The House met at 2 p.m.
Mr. M. Davidson: A point of privilege, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Nixon: More delay.
Mr. M. Davidson: On Monday, June 12 during question period, when questions were being asked of the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) regarding property taxation, I rose on a supplementary question. Hansard has recorded that question as having been asked by the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson). I simply raise the matter to have the record corrected.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I am sure the member for London Centre will appreciate it.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I would like to advise the House that in conjunction with my colleague, the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier), who is in Sault Ste. Marie today, we are re-establishing a bursary program to aid our efforts to correct the imbalance of doctors and dentists in our northern communities.
Mr. S. Smith: They are perfectly well balanced up there.
Hon. B. Stephenson: It is only in southern Ontario where they may not be. The imbalance is in Hamilton.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Starting in September of this year, the government will offer 50 bursaries of $3,000 annually to medical students and 15 of the same value to dental students to help them through their last one or two years of undergraduate studies. University administrators will have details of the program in September, and we will advise interested students of the application procedure.
In return, the students will undertake after graduation to spend an equivalent length of time, that is one or two years, in either an underserviced area or in one of our mobile dental coaches. In the event they are unable or unwilling to carry out their commitment of service, they will be required to repay the bursary plus interest. Interest will be payable from the date of receiving the bursary.
Within the next few days I will be advising the medical and dental schools in Ontario of the specific details of the bursary program, which will be administered by my ministry. Members will recall that my ministry operated a similar bursary program from 1969 to 1973 to deal with a deficit of doctors and dentists in some areas of the north at that time.
The program was successful and provided 120 doctors and 30 dentists for underserviced areas. It was discontinued because trends at the time indicated that sufficient doctors and dentists were trying to locate in the north. Recently, however, doctors and dentists have been leaving some smaller communities and the re-establishment of this program will help to provide replacements for them.
A particular problem which we will focus on is the recruitment of French-speaking medical and dental students because some French-speaking communities have difficulty attracting bilingual doctors and dentists. This program will cost a total of $195,000 per year and is one of two programs my ministry operates to attract health-care personnel to underserviced areas. The other, called our Underserviced Area Program, involves financial incentives or guaranteed professional incomes for doctors and dentists who serve in certain designated areas.
The funds for this program are being provided from the regional priorities budget of the Ministry of Northern Affairs, which last year provided my ministry with funds for five new mobile dental coaches. These well-equipped mobile van clinics are staffed by professional personnel and serve the communities of Ignace, Elk Lake, Beardmore, Hornepayne and Chapleau.
These two programs, the bursaries and the dental coaches, are good examples of the coordinating role of the Ministry of Northern Affairs and its use of the regional priority budget to overcome special problems of residents of northern Ontario.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVIEWS
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, when the government received the report from Dr. Henry Mayo and William Archer on local government in the regions of Ottawa-Carleton and Niagara, it was clear that their recommendations were matters of intense concern to local people and that much discussion and debate would and should ensue before even the first action on the reports could properly be taken by the government. This, after all, was the purpose of the reviews. In the ample time provided, a great deal of local response was in fact received before the government released its white papers. At that time, I felt that a further month would be sufficient for discussion and consultation on the selected positions taken in the white papers.
This has not proven to be the case. While there is substantial agreement on some parts of the limited package presented in the white papers, other issues remain deeply contentious. The government would prefer, therefore, that more time be allowed for local discussion of these issues before taking any legislative action. It is the government’s hope that in the near future, sufficient consensus will exist to permit introduction of legislation on those matters covered in the white papers and possibly some matters --
Mr. Roy: Backing off again.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- not covered in them on which there is a will to proceed.
Mr. Speaker, when the report of the Hamilton-Wentworth Region Review Commission was released, impressed on all of us was the urgent need to settle quickly the question of the region’s government. The review had been commissioned to examine the system of government in Hamilton-Wentworth in order to dispel the atmosphere of confusion and doubt that has characterized this particular regional government in the past year. The commission concluded that the two real options for Hamilton-Wentworth were to retain the two-tiered system or implement a one-tier system for the same area.
According to the commission, its major recommendation for a fundamental restructuring to a single-tier municipal government was formulated as the alternative that will best serve the goals of strong and efficient local government.
In the short time since the release of the Stewart report, I have been impressed by the volume of the response and by the many thoughtful and reasoned viewpoints expressed, both by citizens and their elected representatives. Nevertheless, a dichotomy of perspectives continues to exist in the region and no consensus has emerged to indicate to the government that legislation to implement a one-tier government is appropriate now.
The government’s decision therefore, Mr. Speaker, is to take no action at this time with regard to Hamilton-Wentworth.
Mr. Bradley: Complete inertia.
Mr. Laughren: A familiar refrain from you, Darcy. No action McKeough.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: We have concluded there may be merit in giving the existing two-tier system --
Mr. Cassidy: The minister of inaction.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- more time to evolve and mature and to allow all parties more time to study the commission’s detailed recommendations for reform.
One widely held view in response to the Stewart report was that the real problems of the region can be worked out within the existing framework. For now, then, we look to the elected representatives for their undertaking to work together to determine appropriate measures which will improve the functioning of the region. We would be prepared, at their request, to discuss suitable changes which may be necessary to effect improvements in the existing system; or, if experience shows that fundamental changes are necessary, to put the appropriate measures into effect.
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to bring to the attention of the honourable members that we have some special guests seated in Your Honour’s gallery this afternoon in the person of 20 youthful Scottish exchange students who are paying a visit to our province and to our Legislative Assembly this afternoon. I would like to invite the honourable members to join me in welcoming these young persons and their tutors to this country.
Mr. Speaker: In keeping with that sentiment, I would like to call the attention of all honourable members to the fact that we have had 14 young parliamentary interns working for various members and caucuses for the past four and a half weeks and I am advised that tomorrow is their last day. As a gesture of hands across the border they asked if it would be possible to have their names entered into the record in Hansard, and so I am going to do that.
Under the supervision of Dr. Helen M. Graves, who is the assistant professor of political science at the University of Michigan, the 14 young interns, who are under the Speaker’s gallery, are as follows: Michael Schwartz, Russell Carniak, Robert Coates, John Gillies, Hal Sargent, Kathy Babcock, Ann Lawton, Helene Nadjuk, Nicole Paron, Marcie Blumenthal, Nikkie Kilpatrick, Alice Pasqualini, Elizabeth Silverman and Richard Roosen.
It has been a pleasure having you.
Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, Mr. Speaker: In his statement of March 31, at page 1083 of Hansard, when discussing the committee on rent review, the minister said this “will give us time to move into the legislative drafting stage, implementing the general principles approved by that committee . . .” and “I hope to be able to announce the specifics of at least the government’s intention, reflecting the desires of the Assembly as expressed through the standing committee’s deliberations.”
Given those statements, can the minister state whether he intends to implement the recommendations of the standing general government committee’s report on rent review which have been made known through press reports, which I gather follow pretty closely our party’s position and which all members of the committee are alleged to have signed?
Mr. Cassidy: Which position is this?
Mr. Foulds: Which one? Today’s or tomorrow’s?
Mr. Rotenberg: Wait for it.
Mr. S. Smith: Is the minister going to keep to his commitment of March 31 and will he be bringing forward legislation to implement those recommendations?
Mr. Rotenberg: Why don’t you wait for the report?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I will wait until the report is tabled, which I understand may be after question period today --
An hon. member: All you have to do is read the Star and ask the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner).
Mr. Bradley: There’s no honour among thieves.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- in order that I may assess the report itself and decide what action the government will take, whether we will respond directly to the majority report, or perhaps the Hall report or the Campbell report or the Breithaupt report or the Epp report; or whatever comes out of those deliberations.
Mr. Makarchuk: You guys asked for that one.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, since the minister knows full well that he will learn in a few moments the report was signed by all members and is quite unanimous, will he stay by his promise of March 31 that he would bring in legislation which would implement the general principles approved by that committee? That’s a promise he made on March 31. Is there any reason why he should wish now to weaken that particular promise?
Mr. Roy: The minister might as well back off again, he has the example of Darcy.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: If the honourable member will give us an opportunity to read that report, I think I will be in a position to make a statement to the House tomorrow morning. For those members who will hear it tomorrow morning, I will make a full statement to the House on our intentions. I can assure the member generally that of course I, like the rest of the government, live up to all our promises.
Hon. B. Stephenson: The member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) won’t hear it.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Will the minister agree that unlike the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party has been absolutely consistent on this issue --
Mr. Bradley: Consistently bad.
Mr. S. Smith: Hurrah for you, Michael.
Mr. Cassidy: -- that we have fought from the very beginning to get a continuation of rent review on a continuing basis to protect tenants of this province; and that it’s because of the initiative taken by my party that the Liberal Party has finally found out the right action and has swung into line?
Mr. Rotenberg: You’re consistent in leaking to the press. You’re consistent in taking everything to the press, that’s your only consistency.
Mr. Martel: Why don’t you crawl back into your hole?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: The NDP has been consistent -- and certainly the party whip has worked more effectively than the Liberal Party’s whip -- but it hasn’t been any more creative than the Liberal Party either.
Mr. Roy: You’ll have to borrow Cassidy’s roller skates.
Mr. Kerrio: That’s all we can say about what you have done, Larry -- you’ve been creative.
Mr. S. Smith: I have a question which I guess pertains both to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations and also to the provincial Treasurer. I’ll try the Minister of CCR first.
Will the minister move as rapidly as possible to make employee representation on pension boards of private companies mandatory, so that employees are aware of and can influence decisions on their own pension plans? Will he also make mandatory the inclusion of an actuarial statement with each annual report of private companies, stating the position of the fund, the extent of the liability and the assumption upon which liability calculations and contributions are based?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I, of course, wouldn’t be prepared at this time to give a commitment to do any of those things without doing what I guess on this side of the House we put a high priority on, and that is first having extensive dialogue with all the people involved --
Ms. Gigantes: Dilly dally.
Mr. Roy: Get an expensive report.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- the companies, the pension funds, the persons running them, and the employees involved.
Mr. Pope: Who refers everything to committees?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We put that as a high priority and we will have that dialogue.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary: Since it is fully within the capacity of the Legislature to have committee hearings on any proposed legislation and to have all the dialogue necessary, and since I assume that the minister must surely be aware of the very serious rumours of unfunded liabilities which presently exist in both public and private pension funds, I would have thought these dialogues would have taken place already. Will the minister give this House some commitment that this is under active study and that we will have some legislation to give employees representation and to make public disclosure mandatory so that we will all know where we stand? Will he bring such legislation forward, at the very latest in the fall of this year?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Of course, the member is aware that the royal commission on pensions is looking into the entire area and all aspects of pensions. I don’t think it would be appropriate for us to unilaterally come out at this time and undermine the work of that royal commission at this particular time.
Mr. Blundy: Tell that to the Prestolite employees who are losing their pension funds.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: It’s just foolish to suggest that. May I further say that one of the things the private sector is telling us all the time is that it has to be in a position to have some reliability and some predictability on what government is going to do.
Mr. Roy: You can’t rely on McKeough for that.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: When you set up a royal commission and you tell the private sector, the public at large and the employees that this is the forum in which these matters are going to be discussed, then it is obviously incumbent upon us, barring a crisis, to let that process play out. That’s what it’s all about. With respect, for a party such as the Liberal Party, which is falling over itself in trying to capture that part of the electorate, the private sector, and play up to private enterprise and free enterprise -- all of which is quite properly the territory of this party, I am happy to say --
Mr. S. Smith: You are getting nervous, aren’t you?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- for that party, in an attempt to curry favour with that sector, to now say that unilaterally, without dialogue, without waiting for the royal commission to report, we should just slap on legislation isn’t going to help it a heck of a lot as it tumbles down that road, fast on what it has done with the landlords just recently.
Mr. Bradley: That’s just what we need, a lecture from you.
Mr. Renwick: By way of a supplementary question to the minister, because of the fear which may be created in people’s minds because of the question raised by the Leader of the Opposition, will the minister now give a categorical assurance that none of the persons who may become entitled to pensions in the private or the public sector is in any jeopardy at the present time?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I can phrase it in this way: The superintendent of pensions has not reported any critical cases to me since I have been in this job.
On the basis of that track record, I feel very safe in presuming that there is no imminent crisis upon us and no one is in that position.
I will, however, for the benefit not only of the House but of course, all those who have pensions which they may be concerned about -- perhaps unnecessarily throughout the results of this exchange -- check again with the superintendent of pensions and perhaps report as early as tomorrow morning, if possible.
Mr. Roy: How can the minister stand there and try to posture as a defender of the consumer, when he will not give an undertaking to my leader, and in fact he will let some of the consumers sit on board and have some input in pension plans?
How can the minister stand there and say that private enterprise in this province is looking for some predictability of government when one of his leaders, the Treasurer, stood up in this House in the last three or four days and backed off on every report he has commissioned in this province over the last two years?
Mr. Stong: Unreliable.
Mr. Makarchuk: Darcy’s great flexibility; Flexible Darcy, they call him.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: What has been occurring in some of those instances -- all of which the Treasurer has very carefully outlined and explained -- of course to a very large extent results from carrying on the very type of dialogue this government likes to undertake prior to legislation, and obviously dialogue sometimes results in a situation in which you don’t proceed.
Mr. Roy: Now he’s defending the Treasurer. He is backtracking and he knows it.
Mr. Martel: A one-tripper.
An hon. member: Do you realize the Treasurer thinks your defence is the kiss of death?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: The member’s party and leader, on the other hand, would prefer to go to legislation and talk later; have the dialogue later and then come back and rectify mistakes. We don’t think that is the way to govern.
Mr. Roy: We will give leadership here. The minister’s party has lost its will to govern over there.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Fiddle. You don’t know what you are talking about.
Mr. Wildman: In his investigations, would the minister check with the superintendent of insurance on the Prestolite matter, where it is rumoured there is an unfunded liability in the range of $5 million in that pension plan? If that is the case, will he look at the provisions of the American legislation which requires at least one-third funding for any pension plan like this?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We will look into Prestolite and will be pleased to report to the member.
NUCLEAR PLANT SAFETY
Mr. Cassidy: I have a question for the Minister of Energy arising out of the discussions of the last couple of days about the --
Mr. Yakabuski: Not again.
Mr. Cassidy: -- proposed increase in allowable radiation standards which have been put forward by the interorganizational working group, a committee of which Ontario Hydro and the AECB are, apparently, members.
The proposal would raise the allowable exposure to 100 rads from the present 25. I want to point out that 10 rads causes temporary sterility; 250 rads would kill half of the population if people were exposed to that level.
In other words, it is a serious increase in the exposure level.
Mr. Speaker: Question.
Mr. Cassidy: When did Ontario Hydro discover that Ontario reactors could not meet the 25 rad safety standard in the case of an accident; and why is it that nobody at Ontario Hydro notified the Porter commission of these findings?
Hon. B. Stephenson: It depends on the intensity and the length of the period of exposure.
Mr. Renwick: He will answer the second part first.
Mr. McClellan: Let Stephenson answer; she knows the answer.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Involved in that question were two or three premises that I cannot accept.
The premise that 25 rads is not safe is a premise which has not been accepted by the scientists involved.
Ms. Gigantes: What about 100?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: The whole study of the interorganizational working group that the honourable leader of the third party has referred to has been looking in detail at this very complex and scientific subject. They presented their first draft reports to the Atomic Energy Control Board some months ago; and also to the reactor safety advisory committee, which is a group made up of scientists and people coming from industry and from government and from universities and so on. They are now working on their second draft.
They have also told the Porter commission that this work was under way. To imply strongly in this House, as has been done just now, that Ontario Hydro is now operating at an unsafe level is most unfortunate. On a subject which is of such great public importance, I would hope that we in this House would try our best not to make a very volatile subject even more inflammatory.
Mr. Martel: You told us that about Denison too.
Mr. Laughren: Where is your responsibility?
Ms. Gigantes: You have blinkers on.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I would hope we would keep the alarmist talk down.
We all owe that to the people of Canada and to the people of Ontario.
I can only assure the leader of the third party that Ontario Hydro operates today, as it always has, under the Atomic Energy Control Board’s safety standards. Until those standards are changed, we are operating safely. Even Dr. Porter said the other day that he would live outside any of the generating reactors.
Mr. Martel: You told us there was no danger at Elliot Lake either. We got all the platitudes like that then as well.
Mr. Laughren: We have heard that before.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Will the minister confirm that Ontario Hydro has established that it cannot operate in the case of serious accidents within the 25-rad safety standard, and has, therefore, participated in recommending a 100-rad safety standard? Will he also confirm that, while the 25-rad standard could be marginally dangerous to people who were suffering that exposure, the 100-rad standard is very substantially dangerous in the event that anyone was exposed to that level of radiation?
Mr. Laughren: We have learned the hard way.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I regret once again that there are premises and implications in that question which I simply cannot accept. It is true that Ontario Hydro, along with Quebec Hydro and others in the nuclear energy field, is participating in this study dealing with the radiation safety question.
Mr. Laughren: They have a vested interest.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Until such time as that committee has done its work and until the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada has made its decision, we have every assurance they are operating at a reasonable and safe level.
I think it would be most unfortunate and inaccurate if we were to perpetuate the kind of feeling here that until such time as that report comes out from AECB we are living in a very hazardous situation.
Mr. J. Reed: Supplementary: For purposes of clarification, I wonder if the minister would check the terminology of that report to establish whether we’re talking about rads or rems or whatever, because there is a very distinguishable difference. It would be a good idea to make sure the statement itself is accurate.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I would be pleased to respond to that. The committee itself is dealing with principles and criteria which are being established, which have been established and which may be amended, governing a number of safety features, including the famous acronym rad, which is radioactive something or other.
Mr. Breaugh: Use the technical term “hot stuff.”
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I’ll get the correct term.
Mr. Martel: And you want us to believe you know the answer?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I will make sure that all members get the report, once the Atomic Energy Control Board has approved it, it will be public knowledge. We also understand it will be written in language which the general public can understand.
Ms. Gigantes: Supplementary: Is the minister telling us or denying the report that Ontario Hydro is participating in a study which is going significantly to loosen safety standards? Is there a yes or a no to that? If so, would he please table for our information the information on which Ontario Hydro is arguing the case so that the Atomic Energy Control Board will loosen its standards, and then he can come and tell us that it’s all right because the Atomic Energy Control Board says so?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Once again, there are premises and implications in that question I just can’t agree with. Ontario Hydro is participating in this study, as it should. I think this is a responsible act on their particular part.
Mr. Foulds: Does the minister think increased radiation is a good thing?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: But the member must wait until the Atomic Energy Board of Canada has taken a look at it and also until the --
Mr. Cassidy: They wouldn’t.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- reactor safety advisory committee which is made up of the best scientists and engineers in the country, has looked at it.
Mr. Warner: Why doesn’t the minister ask them himself?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Once they have looked at it and come back members get that report, and so will we.
Mr. Foulds: The AECB says increased radiation is a good thing.
Mr. Cassidy: I have a question for the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) in the absence of the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells). Is she aware of the fact that the English-as-a-second-language program in Metro Toronto has been cut from 281 teachers this past year to 202 teachers for September 1978 when the Ministry of Education, which comes under that secretariat, has decided to increase the flow of legislative funds for Metro Toronto in 1978-79 by $3 million to begin to address the needs of children who need to learn English?
Mr. Speaker, I’ll turn my question over to the Minister of Education, who has just come into the House. That will leave the Provincial Secretary for Social Development off the hook, I might say. I’ll start again.
Is the Minister of Education concerned at all that the Metropolitan Toronto School Board is cutting the English-as-a-second-language program this fall from 281 teachers last fall to 202 teachers, despite the fact the ministry has increased the grant for English as a second language by $3 million beginning in the fall so that the school board could begin to address the needs of children who need to learn English?
Hon. Mr. Wells: We had a very thorough discussion about this particular matter during the estimates.
Ms. Gigantes: But no answers.
Hon. Mr. Wells: I would beg to differ with my friend from Carleton East. We did discuss the matter of teachers of English as a second language during the estimates of this ministry. We indicated that the numbers we’re talking about now are the numbers identified as teachers of English as a second language. There will be other teachers teaching English as a second language who come from another section of the teaching appropriation that Metro gives to each board. That number will not be known for at least another month or so till the boards decide the numbers that are needed.
Further, I recall at least eight weeks ago giving the figures in this House to show that the numbers are adequate, based on the criteria the Toronto board used, because of the decreasing numbers, in their opinion, of those who need this instruction and based on their criteria of those who would be in classes for English as a second language.
Ms. Gigantes: They’re your criteria.
Hon. Mr. Wells: I’m not saying they’re right or they’re wrong; however, based on their figures, there was a decline this year in the number of students who should be in these classes.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Is the minister aware that the cuts in provision of English-as-a-second-language services within Metro Toronto are going to be of the order of 28 per cent and that the anger and the outrage expressed by people from all of the ethnic group is almost without precedent in the history of the Metropolitan Toronto School Board? Will the minister act quickly in order to ensure that the priority the ministry has put forward to ensure there are more programs like this, is implemented by the board, and results in maintaining the ESL programs at least at last year’s levels, if not by improving them?
Hon. Mr. Wells: I will give my friend a full report on this particular matter. I would point out to him again, there has been a decline in the number of pupils who would qualify for English as a second language.
Mr. McClellan: The minister knows why that is.
Hon. Mr. Wells: Therefore, applying the formula in the way the Metropolitan Toronto School Board does, it needs fewer teachers. I’m not saying whether that formula is right or whether the definition of who falls into this category is right.
Mr. McClellan: That’s the problem, the minister knows it’s the definition.
Hon. Mr. Wells: The fact is there has been a decline; therefore, using their formula, they find they need fewer teachers this year than they did last year.
Mr. Sweeney: Supplementary: If the Metro board, through their funding structure, can draw to them from the Ministry of Education additional funds for English as a second language, what mechanism, if any, does the minister have to ensure that those dollars are used specifically for that purpose?
Mr. McClellan: None. He doesn’t have any.
Mr. Cassidy: None.
Hon. Mr. Wells: I think we have the assurance and the faith in the integrity of those people who are elected, as we are elected, to the area school hoards and the Metropolitan Toronto School Board and who take their jobs as seriously as we do, that they will do what is best for those students in Metropolitan Toronto. I believe that they wish, just as sincerely, to be as sure those programs and teachers are available, as those of us who are elected to this Legislature do.
I don’t have any legislative procedure, but I do have a procedure to pass that money on to the Metro school board --
Ms. Gigantes: To wash your hands.
Hon. Mr. Wells: -- then I believe that those ladies and gentlemen, working with the problem they have before them, will be sure the money is spent in the areas where it should be spent.
Mr. Grande: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Since the minister is talking about a decrease in English-as-a-second-language students across Metropolitan Toronto, why is it that he and his ministry felt the need to boost that program by $3 million when, if he is correct and if Metro is correct, the need was decreasing? Is that what the minister is saying, that the need is decreasing?
Ms. Gigantes: By the minister’s definition.
Hon. Mr. Wells: I am saying that the figures I quoted in the House about eight weeks ago show that the number of students who qualified for English-as-a-second-language classes had decreased this year.
Mr. Foulds: How did they qualify?
Hon. Mr. Wells: Our weighting factor, which generates the extra money, is paid on the enrolment in the previous year; so the enrolment in this year will be what the weighting factor for English as a special language is based on in the next year.
Mr. Cassidy: So the grants will go down next year. Is that right?
Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary, the member for Kitchener-Wilmot.
Mr. Sweeney: Since the definition of need in Metro Toronto is based on the principle that a student may only stay in the English-as-a-second language class for two years, does the minister have any control over those students who may need it for more than two years? Or is that beyond the minister’s control?
Hon. Mr. Wells: That’s beyond my control --
Mr. Foulds: Most things are.
Hon. Mr. Wells: I think that my friend, having been a director of education, would know that the setting of the definition and the deciding of what the criteria would be for those in English-as-a-second-language classes are established by the local school board.
If they want to establish it at five years rather than at two years, then that’s fine. But that’s up to them; we don’t set that kind of criterion. We just believe that there should be good English-as-a-second-language programs available. That, of course, I certainly subscribe to.
Mr. Speaker: The member for Bellwoods with a final supplementary.
Mr. Peterson: Final supplementary? Mr. Speaker, why do you always change the rule when I stand up.
Mr. McClellan: Supplementary: Does the minister not agree that since he funds the ESL program it is within his power to establish the criteria for funding which would give a broad definition to ESL, incorporating all kids who need ESL programs and not just children who were born abroad? May I ask the minister why be doesn’t revise his criteria to require that kind of a definition?
Hon. Mr. Wells: As I said a few minutes ago, I think that’s a reasonable suggestion to look at. But my friend shouldn’t ever forget that there are also people elected a lot closer to the local community than he and I, who were elected specifically to look after the educational needs of the community.
Mr. Foulds: Speak for yourself.
Hon. Mr. Wells: We all talk in this House about these people having the autonomy and the power to make some of these decisions. They are the ones who have to make some of these decisions, and it behoves us sometimes to believe that they have the sense to make the right decisions.
Mr. Grande: To whom are they accountable?
Mr. McClellan: You know it’s the right thing to do; you should just do it.
Mr. Speaker: The member for London Centre with a spanking new question.
Mr. Peterson: Thank you very kindly, Mr. Speaker. I would take the liberty of informing you now, sir, that there’s the possibility of a supplementary. I would beg your indulgence for at least one.
To the Minister of Health: Why, in applying for temporary premium assistance under section 24 of the Health Act, are all applicants compelled to give full details of their liquid assets without being informed of the upper limits of such assets which would preclude eligibility from such assistance?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I am sorry, Mr. Speaker. As the member was reading that question, it didn’t come across clearly. Was he asking about why they are asked about liquid assets?
Mr. J. Reed: That’s about the way you read them.
Mr. Peterson: I would like to rephrase my original question in view of the Minister of Health’s medical problem, not understanding it. The question is, why does the ministry not reveal to an applicant for temporary premium assistance, even though it requires a financial statement from him, what are the upper limits of his financial status which would preclude his being eligible for this assistance? Why doesn’t the ministry tell him the rules?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I will check into the procedure. I don’t review all the applications, obviously, but I would assume that when the procedures were established it was on the basis that those who need it will get it; those who don’t, won’t.
Mr. Peterson: Supplementary: In fact, there are no rules about who needs it and who doesn’t need it. No one can apply unless the ministry has responded that yes, there are rules.
Let me read a letter from Mr. Hope, head of the pay-direct enrolment: “It was decided by OHIP that the upper limits for temporary assistance criteria may not be made available to the general public.” Why does the ministry keep this secret? As there is an appeal, why does the ministry not let people know the rules from which they can appeal?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: On the question of appeals generally, I have made it clear to my staff repeatedly -- in fact there were one or two things that came to light recently -- that in all matters where appeals are available we must develop -- and this is under way -- set forms or letters or whatever. These are to go to people if they are denied something to tell them that they do have the right of appeal.
Mr. Roy: Secrecy though -- respond to the secrecy.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: That was made very clear and will be cleaned up where it is deficient.
Mr. Peterson: But the applicant doesn’t know; how can he possibly appeal?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I said I would check into the matter. I don’t receive the applications to review them, but the taxable income criteria are very clearly spelled out. I’ll check all the other information to see if it is deficient in any way.
Mr. Germa: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Minister of Health with reference to his statement regarding the bursary program for medical doctors: The statement implies there will be a three- or four-year delay before any doctors are coming onstream as a result of this program. How does the minister plan to deal with the immediate program of shortage of medical people in northern Ontario which in some areas is acute right today?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, first of all, the first benefits of this reinstatement of the bursary program will be within a year. I pointed out that it is for the last one or two years of study so we will start to get people coming out of the schools within about a year. Secondly, I would point out that the underserviced area program has been extremely successful. We are reinstituting this as an aid to that program.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Not in all areas.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: It isn’t always perfect but I think our record in terms of the number of vacancies at any point in time has been extremely good.
Mr. Martel: Except if you are in those communities that don’t have doctors.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I don’t recall receiving any letters from the honourable member about particular communities, but if he cares to let me know, then we can get Dr. Copeman and his staff working on them. But I think if one looks at places like Chapleau, for instance -- it’s not that far from Sudbury --
Mr. Martel: Just on the outskirts.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- whereas I recall, there were two doctors --
Mr. Martel: Three hundred miles.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The member keeps telling me that in the north that is close.
Mr. Martel: Just a jaunt in the morning.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: That’s right. Might keep in shape.
Mr. Martel: You might jog there some day.
Mr. Wildman: What about Dubreuilville?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: We have been very successful maintaining services there. We recognize for a variety of reasons we are facing problems in the future. To meet those problems before they get too acute we have reinstituted this program to assist the under-serviced area program.
Mr. Martel: I hope you make a tour to the north.
Mr. Germa: Supplementary: He motivated me to ask the next question. Is the minister aware that the only neurosurgeon we have in the city of Sudbury is leaving town and we are left without a neurosurgeon for a large population such as that?
Mr. Conway: Send Elgie.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I am very well aware of that, and that was the prime reason I was motivated to indicate that a CAT scanner will be allocated to Sudbury. It is obvious in this day and age you are not going to get a neurosurgeon back to Sudbury without that particular diagnostic tool. That is why I did it.
Mr. T. P. Reid: In view of the fact the minister is bringing this program back in, could he indicate to the House what shortage there is in doctors and dentists in the northern program? Could he also indicate if he has any other programs in mind to stimulate people to move to northern Ontario?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: As I recall, we are running about 10 per cent vacancy right now, which is not considered to be a crisis or an unmanageable situation. Rather, looking ahead, we want to be sure it doesn’t get much worse than that and we think the reinstatement of the bursary program will be of assistance in that regard.
Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: I would like the minister to clarify, if he would, whether he is restricting his efforts to bursaries for present undergraduate students or does it apply in the immediate situation, for example, to Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital dentists in Thunder Bay from which he withdrew the underserviced area program grant? Is he reinstituting that portion of the under-serviced area program -- the immediate grant -- to someone accepting a job in an underserviced area? Secondly, is he applying it to nurse practitioners?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The answer to the second part of the question is no. In answer to the first part, I just sent the honourable member a letter yesterday, explaining all the details of the position at Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital and indicating how I think that can be resolved. I think the effort to date hasn’t been totally effective because it hasn’t been all-inclusive. What I have announced today is in addition to the underserviced area program; it is not rolled into the underserviced area program.
Mr. G. Taylor: I have a question for the Minister of Agriculture and Food. On a newscast last night, there was an item concerning the plight of the cheese processors and milk producers of eastern and central Ontario in regard to the lack of markets and diminishing markets.
Mr. Riddell: That’s been asked. Where have you been?
Mr. Wildman: That was already asked.
Mr. Kerrio: I just happen to have the answer right here in front of me.
Mr. C. Taylor: When is the minister going to get tough with Ottawa and get back our quotas for our farmers and cheese processors in this area --
Mr. Martel: The minister put him up to that. Did he get help on this?
Mr. C. Taylor: -- so that they will not be left in the proverbial position of sucking the rearmost mammary gland of some animal peculiar to farming?
Mr. Roy: You are only two weeks behind with that. We raised it here.
Mr. Martel: Good question.
Mr. Kerrio: Answer the last question first.
Hon. W. Newman: I believe I answered part of the question the other day for one of the members opposite, but I’ll be glad to explain it to the member in a little more detail.
Mr. Martel: The member is fired.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Explain it slowly.
Mr. Bradley: That’s an abuse of the question period.
Mr. Germa: Read Hansard.
Hon. W. Newman: I had the opportunity a week ago Monday to meet with the federal Minister of Agriculture regarding this particular matter. I made many suggestions to him about how he could allocate more industrial milk quota or MSQ to this province for the making of cheddar cheese, which we’re short of now. We thought they were very constructive recommendations. One was that milk equivalent export outside of Canada would not affect the total national supply management system in Canada. Therefore, we should get credit for what we export from Ontario out of the country.
We felt we should get credit for industrial milk that was moving to other provinces from Ontario. Because we have been encouraged by Ottawa to produce specialty cheese over the last three years in order to replace imports, which we have done in Ontario, where we have produced at lot more specialty cheese, we felt we should get the necessary credit we needed for industrial milk to supply the needs for cheddar cheese.
We went as far as to recommend to Ottawa that Ontario, in conjunction with the dairy farmers of Ontario, would be prepared not to tender any powdered milk or butter to the Canadian Dairy Commission in return for a reduction in the in-quota levy of milk, and also for the additional quota we would need to produce the cheddar cheese that is desperately needed here in Ontario, not only for our own consumers but for export purposes.
Mr. O’Neil: Supplementary: I wonder if I could ask the minister when he feels these changes will be brought about so that the farmers in eastern Ontario will feel the effects of the changes?
Hon. W. Newman: As the honourable member knows, a week ago Monday I met with Mr. Whelan and all his staff. I think we presented a very good case. He also asked us to send through more detailed information and statistical data. We feel his people did not have accurate data -- and that’s a matter of opinion -- so we sent him the data we had, which we felt was very accurate, in order to justify our particular case.
I’m sure he knows the plight we are in in Ontario. I’m very hopeful that some consideration will be given to some of these matters. We didn’t go down only to tell him about our problem and how we needed the milk, but we offered him solutions without disrupting the whole national milk supply management scheme. I think that is very fair because we said, “This is what we will do to make sure it works.” As the member knows, the total industrial milk quota is allocated by the Canadian Dairy Commission, which is under the control of the federal government and the Minister of Agriculture.
Mr. Yakabuski: Supplementary: In view of the fact that I met just yesterday with representatives of the National Farmers’ Union and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture in Renfrew county regarding this very matter --
Mr. Bradley: You need a third arm to pat yourself on the back.
Mr. Roy: Do they still vote for you?
Mr. Yakabuski: -- is the minister also aware of their concern that the shortage of cheddar cheese might lead to the acceptance of an imitation cheese that could get on the market here in Ontario and Canada?
Hon. W. Newman: Yes, Mr. Speaker. Pardon my cold. When I was down in Ottawa talking to Mr. Whelan we talked about many other matters. One of the matters which we talked about was cheese analogue, which is the phoney cheese, if you want to call it that.
Mr. T. P. Reid: You are the big cheese.
Hon. W. Newman: We’ve asked him to do an in-depth study of the contents of that commodity in order that we can deal with it at an appropriate time. I assume we will be talking about it at the federal-provincial conference in July in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.
Mr. Cassidy: I have the experimental farm in my riding, Mr. Speaker, which is why I’m qualified to ask this question.
Hon. W. Newman: I am glad to hear it.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I’m not sure that qualifies the honourable member.
Mr. Cassidy: Can the minister say whether it is a proposal or whether it has been agreed that the export levy in Ontario will, in fact, be cut? If it is going to be cut, what steps will he take to ensure that the benefit is passed on to the consumers of cheese and dairy products in Ontario?
Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I’m not sure what the honourable member means by the export levy being cut.
Mr. Cassidy: That is what the minister said.
Hon. W. Newman: No, I said we should get a credit. It may be my cold, and the honourable member may not have understood. The amount of product going out of Ontario, outside of Canada, would not affect the national supply management in Ontario, but we should get credit in the province of Ontario for that MSQ that is being exported out of this province and out of the country.
NORTH BAY PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, on June 8, the members for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) and Nipissing (Mr. Bolan) asked me to report on an incident in the North Bay Psychiatric Hospital on Tuesday night, June 6, in which two staff members were injured, one very seriously, by a male patient.
The member for Nipissing specifically asked if I was aware that this particular man had been a patient at Penetanguishene mental health centre on a Lieutenant Governor’s warrant for some time. He also asked why the patient was released from the maximum security Penetang facility and transferred to what he referred to as a “loose security hospital” like North Bay Psychiatric. In addition, he requested that I explain the procedures involved in the transfer. The honourable member also stated that on the day in question, the patient had been given a pass to go to downtown North Bay.
In order to put the entire matter into its proper perspective I would like to outline the previous history of the patient in question, beginning on October 20, 1976, when he was admitted initially to North Bay Psychiatric Hospital on an order of remand under the Criminal Code.
On December 21, 1976, two months later, the staff at North Bay Psychiatric Hospital felt that the patient’s mental condition had improved to the degree that he was able to stand trial. Consequently, he was returned to court and on January 24, 1977, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity. He was ordered to be held in strict custody until the pleasure of the Lieutenant Governor was known.
On January 27, 1977, the patient was admitted to the mental health centre at Penetanguishene on a warrant signed by Her Honour, the Lieutenant Governor. The warrant stated that the administrator of the mental health centre at Penetanguishene was to safely keep the patient until his discharge or transfer was authorized by lawful authority.
On May 9, 1977, the administrator of the mental health centre at Penetanguishene submitted a request to the director of the psychiatric hospitals branch asking that the patient’s case be reviewed by the advisory review board in the fall of 1977.
On May 19, 1977, as authorized under section 31 of the Mental Health Act, I requested the secretary of the advisory review board, Barry Swadron, to have this man’s case considered when the review board sat at the mental health centre at Penetanguishene.
The patient was seen by the advisory review board on October 14, 1977, and the board unanimously recommended that the administrator of the mental health centre at Penetanguishene be given the discretion to transfer the patient to North Bay Psychiatric Hospital to be safely kept at that facility. The patient was transferred to North Bay Psychiatric Hospital on January 3, 1978. This patient was not considered dangerous to himself or others on the date he was transferred to North Bay.
On admission to North Bay Psychiatric Hospital medication was prescribed and it was decided that the patient should get involved in work within the hospital. However, he was not allowed off the hospital grounds without staff in attendance because of his status as a patient under a warrant of the Lieutenant Governor.
Records at the hospital indicate that the patient used his privileges well and did not abuse them. He had been working with the gardening crew without incident. However, on February 15, 1978, he refused medication. He agreed to resume medication on March 2 but refused again later that month. Medication was therefore discontinued on March 31, 1978. On June 6, 1978, he was again seen by the advisory review board. Following the interview, staff asked him to return to his ward, but he stayed in the corridor and was using the public telephone. The staff assumed the patient would return to his ward as usual. When he did not return, a ground search was initiated and he was located. When he saw staff in the area, he climbed on to the back of a truck, picked up a board and refused to let staff approach. An emergency call was made and additional staff came to the scene. Approximately 15 staff then surrounded the truck to prevent the patient from escaping.
As Mr. Bob Guillemette, registered nursing assistant, came out of the building near the truck, he was struck on the head by the board held by the patient. Mr. Guillemette had made no overt attempts to subdue the patient but was simply walking by the truck towards the group of staff surrounding the vehicle. Soon after this, Mr. John Black, registered nursing assistant, was struck on the head by the same board. Mr. Black had not made an overt attempt to subdue the patient but was attempting to assist Mr. Guillemette. The patient was finally subdued by staff.
At 7:50 p.m. the North Bay city police and an ambulance were called, and Mr. Guillemette and Mr. Black were transferred to Civic Hospital in North Bay. The administrator of North Bay Psychiatric Hospital immediately arranged with the duty medical officer at the mental health centre at Penetanguishene to accept the patient on transfer and called an ambulance to have him transferred to Penetanguishene, accompanied by staff.
The next morning, Mr. Bob Guillemette was moved from Civic Hospital in North Bay to the Toronto General Hospital. At the present time, Mr. Guillemette is in the neurological unit at the Toronto General Hospital in critical condition.
The second injured staff member, Mr. Black, was discharged from the Civic Hospital in North Bay on June 12, 1978.
Finally, my staff have assured me that on the day in question, June 6, the patient had not been given a pass to go to downtown North Bay.
Mr. Roy: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I am certainly not trying to tell you what to do, Mr. Speaker, but in view of the lengthy statement and in view of the fact that the standing orders are quite clear, could we have some time added to the question period for that statement, please?
Mr. Speaker: Due to the amount of detail that was involved in the answer to the question, I think it would have been more appropriately made during statements by the ministry. I will add three more minutes to the question period.
Mr. Bolan: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister aware of the fact that, before this particular incident, several employees had complained to the administrator about the fact that this man was considered dangerous and that he should not be working in an area where there were tools such as garden tools and what have you? If that is the case, what proposals does the minister have whereby employees complain to the administrator about a situation which they might consider dangerous?
Ms. Gigantes: Bill 70.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, it is ultimately a decision of the physician in charge of a patient’s case to assess the potential for physical harm to himself or to other patients and staff, and to prescribe a proper program for the treatment and rehabilitation of the patient. That is always the course that will be followed, and ultimately it is the physician in charge who must assume that responsibility.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Now that the minister has had the opportunity to review not just this case but the general principles underlying the particular situation, is he prepared to recommend to his colleague the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) that no exemption be sought from the health and safety legislation for psychiatric hospitals so that workers in the psychiatric hospitals will be able to work with management in order to get the safest procedures to follow in cases like this so that this kind of tragedy will not happen again?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, the question of that particular legislation is one which is under active consideration by my colleague and the government but, as he also knows, the question of safety in the workplace in terms of dealing with patients and care for oneself is something which is stressed repeatedly and regularly in the psychiatric hospitals as well as in the public hospitals.
I may say that one of the things that happened yesterday in the standing committee on social development in reviewing Bill 19 is particularly germane to this particular incident, inasmuch as the committee had proposed to it by one of the members -- my colleague the member for York East (Mr. Elgie), a treatment model which we had discussed with the medical association and others six months ago, which will be of tremendous assistance in cases like this, because this particular individual had refused -- and he was competent, a competent patient -- to take his medication as of the end of March. Under the amendment passed by the committee yesterday, we will now be able to deal with that kind of a situation to ensure that all possible is being done to assist the patient and, thereby, hopefully avoid any unnecessary incidents.
COLUMBUS MCKINNON LIMITED
Mr. Bradley: A question for the Minister of Labour: Now that the strike at Columbus McKinnon in St. Catharines has reached a Niagara Peninsula record, I believe, of eight months in length and in view of the fact that several mediators from the ministry have been unable to bring about a settlement of this very difficult labour dispute, would the minister be prepared to intervene personally to resolve the differences between the two parties?
Hon. B. Stephenson: To my knowledge there has been no face-to-face negotiation for the last several days between the parties in this dispute, and it would seem to me to be the most appropriate action to encourage them, persuade them, cajole them, do something, to get them back to the table again to discuss their differences. That is actively being pursued at the present time by the director of industrial relations and it’s hoped at this point that there will be yet another meeting early next week, at which time we will be actively attempting to resolve the problem.
Mr. Bradley: Supplementary: In light of the fact that the union reduced its proposals on the last two occasions when the parties met in Toronto and that the company has rejected these proposals without even offering the courtesy of a counterproposal and in view of the fact that, as the minister says, no meaningful face-to-face negotiations have taken place, would the minister not agree that, since her ministry has worked very hard to resolve this question, the only real option left would be the minister’s own personal intervention using the best in her office, so to speak, to bring the two parties together and to encourage them to meaningfully negotiate a just and equitable settlement?
Hon. B. Stephenson: No, I am not convinced that I am the most able individual in the area of labour-management relationships in resolving problems.
Mr. Mancini: I have said that all along.
Hon. B. Stephenson: There are many on the staff of the Ministry of Labour who have had much more experience and, I think, are very much more capable. Those people we will be delighted to direct towards finding a solution to the Columbus McKinnon problem.
MANITOULIN ISLAND JAIL
Mr. Lupusella: I have a question of the Solicitor General: Considering that the conditions in Manitoulin Island police jail are “a clear insult to human dignity, disgusting and worse than a Nazi concentration camp” as was stated by a county court judge in last Tuesday’s Globe and Mail, can the minister state to this House what he is prepared to do in order that the basic concepts of decency and humanity will prevail and that steps will be taken to provide adequate cells in the cause of law enforcement?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, this is a rather unique situation in this particular area and as the article points out quite correctly --
Mr. Cassidy: They are all unique.
Mr. Germa: Whose riding is that?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- the OPP is using other facilities when this particular facility is full.
Mr. Wildman: Yes -- Espanola and Sudbury. Sudbury’s 100 miles away.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: It is only in certain times, when this has happened in the past, and I have asked --
Mr. Germa: It is the member for Algoma-Manitoulin’s (Mr. Lane) riding. He is not looking after it.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- the commissioner to look into it. But as the article states there is a change in policy there. When that cell is filled, they use facilities in an adjoining community.
Mr. Laughren: You should spend a weekend there, George.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: It is quite definite that the conditions that prevailed in respect to the trial that took place before Judge Hogg will not happen again, and I have asked for a report that that will be confirmed.
Mr. Lupusella: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: It’s really a shame that this particular incident took place in Ontario. But, anyway, taking into consideration that maybe other OPP jails similar to the one which exists in Manitoulin Island exist elsewhere, would the minister undertake a widespread investigation of all OPP jails existing in the province in order that the situation will be corrected as soon as possible?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: As usual, Mr. Speaker, the member is prone to exaggeration.
Mr. Laughren: Spend a weekend there.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: It is not happening all over the province and he knows it.
Mr. M. Davidson: He didn’t say that.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: There is nothing the matter --
Mr. M. N. Davison: They should lock you in that cell for a week.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- with that jail cell. The cell is quite clean.
Mr. Cooke: You try to minimize everything.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: It’s quite proper. It is quite a modern cell from that point of view.
Mr. Cooke: Why don’t you talk to Frank?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: The problem here has been overcrowding. That is the problem. You can’t put three or four people in a cell, and it shouldn’t be done. It’s a question of overcrowding. It’s not a question of an old, ancient, improper facility at all. If it is used properly, it is quite a modern facility. To imply this is happening all over the province in OPP lockups is nonsense.
Mr. Foulds: One place is too much.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: If you have any evidence that there are other areas and other lockups that are like this, please let me know.
Mr. Lupusella: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I think the implication which was expressed by the Solicitor General is not what I have said. I encouraged the Solicitor General to undertake an investigation around Ontario in order that similar incidents wouldn’t take place. It is as simple as that.
Mr. Laughren: He is misleading the House.
JURORS’ UIC PAYMENTS
Mr. Roy: I have a question of the Provincial Secretary of Justice, in the absence of the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry). That’s one of the useful features of policy secretariats when the minister is not here. I would like to ask the minister this, Mr. Speaker. In view of the fact that one of the highest duties of citizens in this province is serving jury duty, and in view of the fact there are a great number of people unemployed, would the minister agree to get in touch with the federal Minister of Immigration and Manpower and advise him that as a minister of the crown and as Provincial Secretary of Justice in this province he abhors, or disagrees with, the fact that unemployment insurance benefits should be cut off for an individual who serves on a jury and happens to be unemployed in this province?
Mr. Worton: Pay a little more for jury duty.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I am surprised that is being done in view of the amount we pay jurors.
Mr. Roy: Yes -- 10 bucks. That’s a supplementary income.
Mr. Martel: Don’t brag about that one, George.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I can’t see how that would be considered a supplementary income to any extent. I would be happy to look into that.
Mr. Roy: If I may ask a supplementary, Mr. Speaker: While the minister is informing the federal Minister of Immigration and Manpower of the wishes of this House, that there is a contradiction in having UIC benefits cut off while serving jury duty, would he also give some consideration, as has been promised by many of his predecessors, to looking at what people who are serving on juries are paid in this province?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: To answer the last question, we are doing that, particularly in cases of long trials. For example, if, like the Jaques case, they extended over 10 days or two weeks, there certainly should be added compensation.
Mr. Roy: That’s right, for self-employed people.
Mr. Charlton: I have a question of the Minister of Revenue. In light of the fact we are going to be allowing for French-speaking juries in some areas of the province, and in view of the fact that French-language advisory committees are supposed to be elected this fall by the French-speaking ratepayers of this province, why is the minister not prepared to have identification of French-speaking Ontarians as a part of the municipal enumeration which will be conducted by the assessment division of his ministry this fall?
Mr. Laughren: Good question.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: I have never made the statement that we wouldn’t be able to do that. All I have said is we couldn’t do it for this year --
Mr. Laughren: You came pretty close.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: -- simply because the forms are already at the printing presses. The request for that came too late to the ministry. I am prepared to say now we can get that information next year. There was a misunderstanding with that particular group.
Mr. McClellan: It is a new idea.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: They understood we only enumerated every two years, which is, of course, wrong.
Ms. Gigantes: But there’s only an election every two years.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: We do an enumeration every year. We are prepared to get them a list next year.
Mr. Charlton: Supplementary: Is the minister not aware that in addition to the information which the enumerators in his ministry collect for input into the computer, they are already collecting additional information which is dealt with manually by the assessment division? Does he not feel that in light of that fact, and the fact market value reassessment has been postponed again, and in fact the staff in the assessment division may have a slight breather, he could ask the enumerators to ask one additional question when they are at the doors this fall and have his assessment staff take two or three weeks to compile those lists manually?
Hon. Mr. Maeck: As the member very well knows, the people who do the enumerating are temporary people. They are not civil servants as such and I think it would be a very difficult situation to ask each one of them to ask that particular question as they are enumerating.
Mr. Foulds: Just give them a second sheet of paper with questions typed on it.
Mr. Breaugh: Just because you can’t walk and talk at the same time doesn’t mean they can’t.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: The other thing is, because of the changes in the Municipal Act this year, there is less time to do tie enumeration than there has been in previous years, as the member also knows. I am not prepared to ask people who work on a part-time basis to obtain information that is not contained on the forms.
Mr. Gaunt: I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. The Environmental Assessment Board report on the Nanticoke waste disposal site made the observation that, “There should be appropriate precautions and criteria established by the Ministry of the Environment for site selection, design, operation and security of any facility for the reception, treatment and containment or disposal of such materials.” Does the minister agree with that statement? If so, are such criteria being developed and when will they be in place?
Hon. Mr. McCague: The criteria that the honourable member is mentioning I think could be subject to various opinions from any given number of experts. They are very difficult to develop. We are looking at it.
I think it would be valuable, if anybody is contemplating a facility such as the one in question, prior to that, to talk with the people in our ministry. Of course it still is subject then to the hearing and the opinion of the members of that board.
Mr. S. Smith: It didn’t help in Nanticoke.
Mr. Gaunt: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: What is happening to liquid industrial waste for which there are no other alternatives, particularly in view of the fact there have only been five loads delivered to the Beare Road site since April, all by the one company? Secondly, why isn’t the ministry giving approval to Canadian Waste Technology Incorporated?
Hon. Mr. McCague: I didn’t get the last part.
Mr. Gaunt: Why isn’t approval being given to that company, because they do have a new technology which is apparently working?
Hon. Mr. McCague: I think the member said “why isn’t?”
Hon. B. Stephenson: Is not.
Mr. Gaunt: Yes.
Hon. Mr. McCague: To the best of my knowledge the company has not asked for approval for its process. I think you are referring to a letter they wrote to me a couple of days ago in which they claim they can treat all liquid industrial waste in the province. I think that is subject somewhat to other opinions. They have not asked for approval, to my knowledge. There are people in the same solidification business who have asked for approval, and I am sure the honourable member is well aware of that.
Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the minister, in view of the crisis situation that is developing in the liquid industrial waste field and the need to develop these complicated criteria he is mentioning, would he consider recommending setting up a select committee to meet over the summer perhaps, to develop these criteria and to develop a policy for disposing of liquid industrial waste in developing criteria?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Set up another select committee.
Mr. Breithaupt: Excellent idea.
Mr. Ruston: We can’t get a quorum together for what we’ve got.
Mr. T. P. Reid: It’s called strange encounters of the fourth kind.
Hon. Mr. McCague: The suggestion the honourable member makes is one that was suggested to her as well as, I’m sure, the Liberal critic and myself, by Pollution Probe. They have a very nice letter in which they suggest that there should be a select committee.
I would have no personal objection to it. However, I think if the member would check with the members of her own caucus and if the member for Huron-Bruce were to check with the members of his caucus and we were to do the same here, I am of the understanding that there is absolutely no time this summer or into the fall for a select committee to sit on this matter. Furthermore, if the Liberal Party critic agrees with this letter from Canadian Waste Technology Incorporated, I don’t think there would be any necessity for a committee.
STANDING STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS COMMITTEE
Mr. Williams from the standing statutory instruments committee presented the committee’s first report.
Mr. Williams: I would ask that under provisional standing order 6 this report be placed on the order paper for consideration by the Legislature at a later date. Copies of the report have been placed in all members’ boxes.
In presenting this report, I would point out to the House that this is the 10th committee of the House appointed pursuant to the Regulations Act to examine regulations of a legislative nature made under authority delegated by the House. Yet, this is the first substantive report to be made on the subject.
This report will provide all members of the Legislature with the first real opportunity to give consideration to a broad field of law that has received virtually no attention in recent time. This lack of attention is undoubtedly due to the fact that the regulatory process and all procedures thereunder have been working well in Ontario. However, as a committee, we think there is still room for making improvements within the system.
Mr. S. Smith: Is this a speech or a report?
Mr. Williams: We will address ourselves to these matters in detail when the report is before the House.
Mr. Foulds: Is this speech necessary?
Mr. Williams: In the meantime, I wish to thank the members and staff of the committee in their dedication to the task.
An hon. member: It must have been tough.
Mr. Williams: In particular, I would recognize our legal counsel, Lachlan MacTavish, QC, without whose professional assistance, sage advice and commitment this report would not have been able to be presented to the Legislature this afternoon.
STANDING GENERAL GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
Mr. McCaffrey from the standing general government committee presented the committee’s report.
Mr. McCaffrey: I’d like to take this opportunity on behalf of all members of the committee to express our thanks and gratitude to our consultants, Lionel D. Feldman, who is with us in the gallery today, Mr. Henry Sears, Katherine A. Graham and Peter Mclnnis of the consulting firm Lionel D. Feldman Consulting Limited, who worked so diligently during the public hearings and who wrote this report.
On behalf of all members of the committee I would also like to thank Stephen Fram and Scott McAuley of the Ministry of the Attorney General for their valuable contribution.
The committee received full co-operation from the Ministry of Housing, the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations, the rent review board, and the appeal board. We are also appreciative of the assistance extended to the committee during its deliberations by our clerk, Mrs. Fran Nokes, and her assistants, Frances Davidson, Donna Cantar and Barbara Michalak.
In arriving at our recommendations the committee conducted some 50 hours of public hearings in Toronto, London, Ottawa, Sudbury and Thunder Bay, at which close to 100 briefs and presentations were made, and we reviewed together more than 150 letters. In addition, two nongovernmental experts were invited to make presentations before the committee. The committee wishes to formally thank all those who devoted time and effort to make their views known, in particular those landlords and tenants who took time off from work to make their presentations, during the day and evening hours in some cases.
The majority of briefs and letters concerning rent review came from individual tenants, tenant organizations, individual landlords and landlord organizations. The tenants almost uniformly argued for continuing the current rent review program indefinitely, with major modifications which would strengthen the controls and improve the administrative process. On the other hand, landlords’ submissions almost uniformly argued for termination of the rent review program.
However, many landlords indicated, either in their written briefs or under questioning, a willingness to move from their preferred position of termination to an acceptance of a further extension of rent review or controls provided certain conditions are met. In essence, that was the balance that his committee tried to arrive at. Whether we were successful will be discussed by others and determined in this Legislature at another time.
Mr. S. Smith: You were successful.
STANDING SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Mr. Gaunt from the standing social development committee presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:
Your committee begs to report the following bill with certain amendments:
Bill 19, An Act to amend the Mental Health Act.
Ordered for committee of the whole House.
STANDING PROCEDURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
Mr. Breaugh from the standing procedural affairs committee presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:
Your committee has carefully examined the following applications for private acts and finds the notices, as published in each case, sufficient:
County of Lennox and Addington;
Poly Aire International Limited.
STANDING ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE COMMITTEE
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that standing order 62 be suspended for the consideration of Bill Pr29, An Act to revive Poly Aire International Limited, so that the standing justice committee may consider this bill at its meeting tomorrow.
Motion agreed to.
STANDING PROCEDURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the standing procedural affairs committee be authorized to sit concurrently with the House next week to consider the matter of the privileges of the member for Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell).
Motion agreed to.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
GAME AND FISH AMENDMENT ACT
Hon. F. S. Miller moved first reading of Bill 123, An Act to amend the Game and Fish Act.
Motion agreed to.
POLY AIRE INTERNATIONAL LIMITED ACT
Mr. Leluk moved first reading of Bill Pr29, An Act to revive Poly Aire International Limited.
Motion agreed to.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, might I just take a minute for the information of the House while we are here.
This evening it was our plan to do second reading of Bill 103, which is An Act to revise the Condominium Act. For the information of the members, it is generally hoped that we might still proceed with that at 8 o’clock. Following that bill’s getting second reading, we plan to go into committee of the whole to complete Bill 83. So for tonight we have for consideration Bill 103 and Bill 83 in committee with the understanding that divisions called for with respect to Bill 88 would be stacked and that there would be a vote at 10:15.
I thought the members should know that before they went to some other responsibilities. This would mean that for tomorrow morning we would do Bills 110, 111 and 121 for second reading and committee work if necessary. Then we would go into committee of the whole to do Bills 91, 85 and 96.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
PRIVATE MEMBERS’ BUSINESS LABOUR RELATIONS AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. McClellan, on behalf of Mr. Breaugh, moved second reading of Bill 65, An Act to amend the Labour Relations Act.
Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, could I ask you to remind me when I have used 15 minutes, so that I may reserve at least five minutes for a wrap-up?
I am very pleased to have the honour to introduce and debate Bill 65, An Act to amend the Labour Relations Act. I would like to take a couple of minutes to explain -- I hope clearly -- to the members exactly what this bill does. I think there has been some deliberate misinterpretation of what it does. I would like people to understand what the bill does so that they can at least vote for or against it on the basis of what it does and not on the basis of what other people say it does.
What that amendment to the Labour Relations Act states is, first, if a group of workers who are members of a certified bargaining unit go on strike, the bill will prevent anyone except, one, management or supervisory staff, and, two, anyone except people agreed to jointly by the union and by management, from doing the jobs that are normally done by the striking workers. That’s the first thing the bill does. It prevents people from going into a plant, factory or workplace that has been struck and taking the place of the workers who are out on strike unless they are members of management or supervisory staff or unless management and union mutually agree to allow them to do the work of the workers who are on strike.
The second thing the bill does is establish unequivocally and clearly who may cross a legal picket line. The bill sets down five classes of people who may cross a picket line. I will review them quickly: 1. people who are management or supervisory staff; 2. people who are members of a bargaining unit at the plant who are not on strike and are not doing jobs that are normally done by the striking workers; 3. non-union employees who are not doing jobs that are normally done by the striking workers; 4. persons who need to have access to the plant for the purpose of doing emergency repairs or providing emergency services; 5. anybody whom management and the bargaining unit on strike agree should be allowed to cross the picket line.
Those five categories of people would be allowed to cross a picket line during a legal strike. Anybody else who crossed the picket line would be subject to the laws of trespass. Under subsection 4 of the bill, it becomes the duty of the police officer to ensure that only persons authorized by the bill cross a legal picket line.
It is useful to understand what the existing rights in law are of people who are legally on strike, and attempting to picket the struck workplace. I have done some research on the subject and it is very interesting to discover that there are no provisions in the Labour Relations Act governing the right of workers to picket. As a matter of fact, the legal right of striking workers to run a peaceful picket line is enshrined in a kind of backhanded way in the Criminal Code, curiously enough, under the section that deals with sabotage and the section that deals with interference.
In both of those sections there is a specific exemption. The sabotage section reads as follows: “No person does a prohibited act” -- that is commit sabotage -- “by reason that he attends at or near or approaches the dwellings, house or place for the purpose only of obtaining or communicating information.”
We are in the ludicrous position of standing in 1978 with one of the basic human rights enshrined in law only by way of exemption to sabotage or to interference. Fortunately, the courts have defined and have enshrined through convention that striking workers have the right to picket for the purposes of providing information and communication. As I have said, that is the only right in law that striking workers have in 1978.
The question is how is this right upheld? The Fleck strike, which has been on now for three months, has shown very clearly that this right is not upheld at all in this province. Even the backhanded enshrinement of the right to picket through the sections of the Criminal Code that I cited seems not to be understood either by the Ministry of Labour or by the Ministry of the Solicitor General or by senior officials of the Ontario Provincial Police.
How is this right upheld in Ontario in 1978? On April 10 at the Fleck plant there were 520 officers of the Ontario Provincial Police on the picket line. On April 11 there were 523 officers of the Ontario Provincial Police at the Fleck picket line. On April 12 there were 517 OPP officers. On April 13 there were 516 OPP officers at the Fleck plant. What were they doing there? They were not there to uphold the right of the 75 courageous women who were on strike at the Fleck plant to run a picket line, an informational, communicative picket line.
They were not there to do that at all because of a combination of two things. First, the law does not seem to be sufficiently clear to guarantee to striking workers the right to a picket line. Second, the OPP has failed to understand, as has government, what their responsibilities are respecting workers in this province. What the 500-plus OPP officers were doing there was providing an escort service to strikebreakers. In fact, what the 500 OPP officers were doing was preventing the 75 striking women from communicating at all with the strikebreakers going into the strikebound Fleck plant.
The time has come simply to modernize our labour relations law. That’s what this bill attempts to do. In a labour dispute in this province, there are at least four parties to an industrial dispute. There is management, there is the bargaining unit that is on strike, there are the strikebreakers, and there is the Ontario Provincial Police. Under the present law, they are all entangled in the labour dispute, because the law is sufficiently unclear and sufficiently inadequate that it does not specify a proper role for the police and it does not bar strikebreakers from coming in and taking the jobs of workers who are not on a legal strike. It puts the police in the absolutely impossible position of having to provide an escort service for strikebreakers. It therefore puts the police in the position of having to support management as against the workers in an industrial dispute.
We believe that the role of police during a strike very simply ought to be twofold: to protect property and to keep the peace. That’s precisely what these amendments would achieve. No longer would the police be required to provide an escort service for strikebreakers. No longer would the police be in the impossible and ludicrous and unfair and unjust position, because of inadequacies of the law, of having to side with management in an industrial dispute. Their role would be clear and simple: to protect property and to keep the peace.
This is not entirely novel legislation. A version of this legislation has been enacted in Quebec. It was enacted because that province was experiencing labour problems similar to the kinds of problems we are experiencing here in Ontario at the Fleck plant, or some time ago during the strike at Sandra Instant Coffee Company Limited in Ajax.
The time has come to give working people in this province the rights in law which are universally recognized as natural rights. It is very much to be hoped that there will be sufficient members on all sides of the House who will realize and accept the principle that it is wrong for laws to force the police to take sides in an industrial dispute and it is wrong for laws to make it possible for strikebreakers to take the jobs of workers who are out on a legitimate, legal strike.
I will reserve whatever time I have left, Mr. Speaker, for some concluding remarks after the rest of the debate.
Mr. Acting Speaker: You have eight minutes left. Do you wish to reserve all eight minutes?
Mr. McClellan: Yes, thank you.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, right at the outset I should state that I really cannot support this bill. I object strongly to the central concept of Bill 65, which is the fact that struck employers may not realistically attempt to continue to function during a strike.
It should be pointed out that the Labour Relations Act in this province is predicated upon a balance between the rights and responsibilities of organized labour and the rights and responsibilities of management. The Labour Relations Act gives labour and management the right to exercise what has to be construed as approximately equal economic sanctions, the strike on one hand and the lockout on the other.
There are those who may argue that the strike is less effective as an economic sanction than the lockout. I’m not really sure that that is so, but I think it should be noted that the strike effort is, in effect, an extremely effective, economic sanction. It’s been used effectively by unions to achieve their objectives in the collective bargaining process.
I think one only has to look at the importance which trade unions place upon the strike as an economic sanction to understand just how vital this is to their role in collective bargaining. They certainly object very strenuously when any mention is made of any infringement upon that right and, certainly, there is major objection if any suggestion of the removal of that right is made.
But it should be noted, I think, that neither the strike nor the lockout is a totally effective economic sanction. At present, a struck employer may, under the act, reassign management personnel or, indeed, the employer may engage temporary employees in order to continue the operations. Conversely an employee who is locked out or who is on strike may seek employment elsewhere in order to continue to obtain an income during the strike or the lockout.
Bill 65, as it’s presently written, would upset this balance totally. It would, in effect, totally shut down a struck plant. It would prevent the employer from hiring any temporary help of any kind and, I think, thereby intensify the effect of the union’s economic sanction. However, it would not provide the employer with any additional power to exercise economic sanction over its locked out employees. It does not prevent the locked out employee from getting a job elsewhere during a lockout.
Mr. Speaker, I think the passage of Bill 65 would create an imbalance in labour management relations in this province which, I fear, could seriously damage the collective bargaining process as we know it in Ontario. For example, the bill would abolish the right of those persons who do not support a strike to continue working. This, of course, flies in the face of the democratic principles upon which the Labour Relations Act in this province is founded.
From the organizing stage to the certification stage, each employee in each workplace is given the opportunity to exercise his or her democratic right to self-determination. I think one must question whether that right should be totally abrogated during the strike or lockout situation. Yet such abrogation is implicit within Bill 65.
A union member would lose the right to decide whether or not he or she wants to support the strike or to continue working during a strike. The bill would require all members of the collective bargaining unit to refuse to do work. Regardless of personal choice, that would be imposed upon them. I’m sure such an infringement upon democratic principles must be unacceptable in this jurisdiction.
Under section 64 of the Labour Relations Act of Ontario, an employer must reinstate a striking employee within six months of the commencement of a legal strike upon the request of the employee.
Mr. Foulds: You know how well that worked in the Port Arthur clinic strike, don’t you?
Mr. Breaugh: Then why don’t you do it?
Hon. B. Stephenson: And this section also states, and I’d like to quote this: “The employer, in offering terms of employment, shall not discriminate against the employee by reason of his exercising or having exercised any right under the Labour Relations Act, such as the right to strike.” This section, I think, incorporates the principles I mentioned earlier, the concept of balance and the concept of free choice.
Mr. Foulds: Yes, and you know how that is enforced, too, don’t you?
Hon. B. Stephenson: If Bill 65 were to be passed, the right to seek reinstatement, I think, would be nullified. An employee, even when reinstated, would not be permitted by this bill to do any struck work. I find such a concept unacceptable.
Having raised those specific objections to the bill, I’d like to make a general observation. The institution of collective bargaining is complex and delicate, but vital to the economy of this province. I don’t think it can be, nor do I think it should be restructured without a great deal of thorough and thoughtful analysis. It cannot be changed piecemeal, as Bill 65 attempts to do, because if that is done, I think we run the risk of very severe long-term consequences.
I recognize the concern which I think has prompted this bill, the concern about collective bargaining and the process of collective bargaining. I would agree that as it is presently structured within this province and defined within The Labour Relations Act it is not perfect. However, I think it is important to state, and to remind the members of the House, that more than 90 per cent of all collective agreements in this province are renewed without resort to either strike or lockout.
Mr. Foulds: What about first agreements?
Hon. B. Stephenson: But if we look at the structure of collective bargaining and amend the Labour Relations Act in ways which will indeed improve that vital process, I think we have to do it thoughtfully and carefully.
Mr. Lupusella: When are you going to do that?
Mr. Foulds: You promised that that would be reviewed two years ago.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I think I should also remind the members of this House that over the last several months there has been an improvement in the labour-management climate in this province. I think it is partly due to the increased initiative in the areas of --
Mr. McClellan: Where have you been?
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- preventive mediation by the Ministry of Labour and certainly in the areas of new initiatives and the quality of working life.
Mr. Foulds: Justify that statement.
Hon. B. Stephenson: There is no doubt in my mind that the collective bargaining process and the act which in fact guides it require further improvements, but the principles embodied in Bill 65 I don’t think will assist us in that improvement. In fact, I believe deeply that they will do just the reverse.
Mr. Foulds: How?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Therefore, as I stated at the beginning, I truly cannot support this bill.
Mr. O’Neil: Mr. Speaker, I am very interested in the comments that were made by both the NDP member and the minister. I might remind the members of this Legislature and the member who brought in the bill, that a bill similar in some respects was introduced in the third session of the 30th Legislature of Ontario in 1976 by the then critic for the Ontario Liberal Party, Mr. Bullbrook. There is quite a difference in the bill he introduced and that bill brought forward today.
His explanatory note read, “The bill prohibits the use of professional strikebreakers,” and I feel, as do some of the members of this party, that the explanatory note of Bill 65 is not the same at all. It was my understanding when Mr. Bullbrook introduced this bill that what he was trying to do was remove or get rid of the definition of the professional strikebreaker as someone who came or was hired by a particular company to come into a picket line and could possibly use force to break up that picket line. It is my understanding that that bill, dealing strictly with professional strikebreakers, would have been supported by this party. We do not see this bill here as dealing with professional strikebreakers.
Mr. Foulds: No, just amateur strikebreakers.
Mr. O’Neil: We see it as excluding replacement employees. We also see some problems in the definition of the legal picket line in the bill. We think it is vague and could lead to unusual results.
Mr. Breaugh: How about the principle of the bill?
Mr. O’Neil: Suppose the Teamsters are on a legal strike against a transport company. The Teamsters could set up a picket line outside the premises of any non-union employer, for example Eatons, and the employer would be prevented from hiring any new staff to cross that picket line. If the member doesn’t agree with that, I would like his comments.
Mr. Breaugh: It is not a legal picket line.
Mr. McClellan: That is not a legal picket line.
Mr. O’Neil: That is why I said that the definition of a legal picket line is vague and I think it should have been expanded before this bill was written.
Mr. Foulds: Eatons probably should be unionized.
Mr. O’Neil: The labour relations experts estimate that only two or three per cent of all employers hire new employees during a strike and we feel an argument might be made that this practice should be re-examined. It might also be suggested that this bill will reduce the violence that has been sometimes associated with labour disputes. The province of Quebec, as mentioned by the second previous speaker, introduced similar amendments to its labour code. However, there are currently a number of strikes in Quebec which have been characterized by violence, most notably the Commonwealth Plywood plant in Ste. Therese. As mentioned by the minister, it is also our fear that some of the smaller employers could be forced to shut down operations during a labour dispute, which could result in them being forced out of business. I don’t think that any of the parties would like to see this happen. We are certainly interested in getting rid of labour disputes, but we also have to make sure jobs are retained, that jobs aren’t lost across this province. We feel that possibly this bill would be the cause of some of those problems.
The concept of performing the work of an employee who is exercising a legal right to strike is vague and could give a rise to disputes. How would the labour board decide if a given piece of work was included in the definition or was excluded from it? The minister mentioned a few other examples. I would like to quote from one of the editorials in one of the large papers which quotes the Quebec law.
Mr. Foulds: Name it.
Mr. O’Neil: I think it was in the Star of last year.
Mr. Foulds: How can you quote it if you don’t know where it is from?
Mr. O’Neil: The editorial talked about the bill that was put through in the Quebec legislature. The editorial said: “Quebec’s plan to amend the province’s labour code and outlaw strikebreakers threatens to undermine a basic principle of collective bargaining, the right of a company to try to continue to operate when its employees strike.”
An hon. member: Are you the labour critic here?
Mr. O’Neil: I would invite the comments of members on this when they get up to speak, because they have a chance to refute some of these things that were said. I would like some of the answers on some of these things which we have looked into. Another thing the editorial refers to is the assumption that the union is always right in its demands and is, therefore, justified in shutting down a business if its demands aren’t met. But, as the editorial says, experience shows this is not always so.
As I say, we had some worries about the wording of this particular bill and the effects that it might have on destroying of jobs in both larger and smaller unions and businesses. We also are not happy to see some of the problems that have happened throughout the province, one being the strike at the Fleck plant. The intention of the bill is not to allow the employer to hire additional help to come in to take on temporarily some of these jobs that the strikers have left. We also wonder whether it was the member’s intention in the bill that members from larger unions from across the province can’t be brought to a picket line during a strike, and whether the definition of picket line would exclude people from other parts of the province taking part in those strikes.
There are several things at the Fleck plant which have inflamed the situation there. It could be said that the police have inflamed it. It could also be said that groups coming in from all over the province or other parts of the province have also inflamed it. We don’t feel that the definition of a strikebreaker is covered enough. I would invite and like to hear comments of members to my left and from across the House on some of these matters. As I say, we are looking at the bill and we have some worries about it.
Mr. Breaugh: I am a little concerned that people are addressing themselves to clause-by-clause issues as opposed to the principle. I still am not sure whether the Liberal Party labour critic is in support of the principle of the bill or not?
Mr. O’Neil: I am in support of professional strikebreakers --
Mr. Breaugh: Let the Hansard show that the Liberal labour critic just indicated that he is in support of professional strikebreakers.
Mr. O’Neil: I am sorry. I am against professional strikebreakers, as I mentioned in my remarks on the bill.
Mr. Breaugh: That’s one of the fastest turnarounds we have had.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. Lupusella: Keep him under control, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Breaugh: Let me attempt to deal very succinctly, if I can, with the principle of this legislation, recognizing that I am seeking the wisdom of the House in proposing that it would go to a committee stage later on where the opportunity to debate it clause by clause would be provided. The principle is a relatively simple one, namely, that in this day and age and in this province the status of the trade union movement is recognized as such that it is no longer fighting for recognition. One of the few concessions we have managed to get from the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) lately is that she is now recognizing the validity of people getting together into a bargaining unit, that people have a right to do that.
Mr. Germa: She does it reluctantly.
Mr. Breaugh: Perhaps with some reluctance --
Hon. B. Stephenson: No, it wasn’t. For two years I have been asking that the validity of unions as part of our social structure be recognized.
Mr. Breaugh: -- but she did say that, and that is certainly to her credit. I want to address myself, though, to the principle of the bill, which basically is that in this day and age it is no longer appropriate to apply the use of force on a picket line. Where a picket line is legally recognized -- and that is contained within the bill -- and where the bargaining unit is legally recognized -- and that is also contained there, so there are those two provisos -- the use of force is no longer a proper exercise, certainly not on the part of the police officers -- whom we all support; we all appreciate they have a difficult job. As the Solicitor General (Mr. Kerr) said in this House of the Fleck Manufacturing Company strike: “They are doing a job they don’t want to do and that they don’t like.” Frankly, I think even the Solicitor General is beginning to recognize it is basically not their proper role.
The principle of the bill, very simply, is to remove that use of force -- and in particular to remove from police officers the job they don’t want to do and one that they don’t do particularly well, that is to provide access to a legally struck plant.
What I find particularly irritating is that basic police decision which must be made at every picket line almost every day in the course of a strike where strikebreakers are used; that is some superintendent or sergeant deciding: “Can we provide access to that plant now? Do I have enough personnel on hand; do I have enough equipment on hand to move strikebreakers through a picket line?” That surely has to be a soul-searching moment for him.
The difficulty, too, is that whether they want to or not; whether they are there to do this or not, the police are seen to be the aggressors in the instance. They are not keeping the peace; that’s quite clear. They are not acting in a passive or defensive role; that’s clear. They have to take, usually, a bus full of strikebreakers -- in the vernacular they are scabs -- through a legal picket line. A distasteful job at best, one that can’t be done with much dignity or grace.
In particular, the initial instance for the drafting of this legislation was a strike at Sandra Instant Coffee Company Limited in Ajax. Even though that dispute has not been settled fully yet it is still apropos, and perhaps more so with the strike at Fleck where again we see the classic case of a small bargaining group attempting to get what they think are their legal bargaining rights, an exercise in what they think is a legal right to strike, and yet having the massive power of the police in this province directed against them to break that strike.
The minister talked about the economic sanctions and the differences between a strike and a lockout. I didn’t hear her say that when a company locks the employees out the employees should have the democratic right to go to work and to receive a pay cheque. I didn’t hear her say that; that certainly would be a needed balance that would have to be put into it.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I said they have the right to work elsewhere.
Mr. Breaugh: What is the use of providing employees in Ontario with the right, in a legal sense, to get together in a bargaining unit, the right to have a legal strike and pretending they have an economic sanction, when you turn the full force of our police against them? That’s certainly unrealistic in this day and age.
Mr. Breaugh: There is a measure -- and I am quite prepared to admit it -- of infringement of democratic rights on people who might previously have been employees in that plant, there is no getting around that; but there is also no getting around the fact that if you join a bargaining unit and they negotiate a set of wage packages for you, you get them; whether you walk the picket line or not you are represented by those people. In the process of certification -- and we might talk on some other occasion about whether that’s fair or not -- a majority of those employees in that plant said: “Yes, we want to belong to this bargaining unit.” Before employees who do not support the strike to the secondary location they go on a strike, the majority of those people say: “Yes, we want to go on strike.”
We can argue individual cases as to whether that was fair or properly conducted, or whatever you want, but you can’t get away from the democratic process at work there. They voted, the majority of them, to join the bargaining unit in the first instance. Secondly, they voted, a majority of them, to go on strike. True, in any democracy sometimes we lose a bit of our rights. That’s what a democracy is all about; a democracy exercises the right of the majority opinion. We don’t get away from that, we should never apologize for that; it is the best system of which we know to function in.
So there is some infringement of democratic rights, for sure.
Mr. Ruston: That’s not correct.
Mr. Breaugh: There’s also some infringement of democratic rights, though, when human beings who work very hard for a living, who negotiate a contract and find themselves in a position they don’t want to be in in the first instance, and that is on a legal strike.
You can’t find me a trade unionist in this province who doesn’t spend most of his or her time making sure the people they represent don’t go on strike. The purpose of sitting through all that negotiation is not to get your people out on the picket line; it is to get a settlement. That’s the purpose of the entire exercise.
There aren’t people in this province who go around saying, “We want to have a strike.” There are people who get to that point in the series of negotiations where they say: “We don’t have any alternative. The last thing we have got is to withdraw our services as a unit.” And that’s the way it goes.
There are a number of related issues in all of this, not the least of which is -- and I don’t want to overemphasize this, but it has certainly got to be a factor -- when you take an example like the Fleck plant, where we have now spent better than $1 million from the public purse to provide police protection, police access to a plant. At some point in time there has got to be a limit to that price tag.
Stop to think about this: If we handed that $1 million to the company -- which I suppose this government would be quite prepared to do -- and said, “Go settle your labour dispute with that $1 million,” perhaps that would be a preferable option. If we gave to the employees their share of that $1 million of police costs, they would probably say: “That’s a good enough bribe for me. We’ll go back to work now.”
At some point in time we have to make that distinction; public cost must enter into the picture and, as of now, it does not.
The management of any company on a strike is given access to a rather substantial amount of protection, which they warrant, and of interference, which I don’t think they warrant.
That public cost is getting to be a rather substantial total, which has got to be a consideration as we move through this type of legislation.
There are those who might say this bill expresses a bias on the part of a worker. I wouldn’t back away from that at all. If anything, I would be saying they have been robbed of their rights for long enough that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put a little bias into legislation these days that would support the stance of the worker. In theory and in practice it would not do that.
In theory and practice the bill does two basic things. It says you can’t, as an employer, hire strikebreakers. Whether you want to call them scabs, strikebreakers, amateur strikebreakers, or professional strikebreakers, they all accomplish the same purpose: they take the job of someone who is legally on strike. The bill does do that, and I do not back away from that at all.
The second thing the bill says is that in the instance of a legal picket line -- and for the first time in our history it gives some reasonable definition of what a legal picket line is -- the job of a police officer is to keep the peace. He does not have to mount up with riot gear on and escort a busful of strikebreakers through a legal picket line. He simply keeps the peace. That seems to me to be a job our police are well equipped to do and could handle without question.
If we see some awkwardness in the way the police forces of Ontario, both the provincial force and local forces, face this kind of situation, it is because it is not only distasteful, but also one which they cannot do without being seen to be taking sides in the issue. They don’t want to do that. Frankly, every time they escort a busful of strikebreakers through a legal picket line, whether they intend to or not, they are taking sides in the issue. They don’t like that role. They don’t do it particularly well, and I am suggesting this legislation would put a stop to that and provide some measure of evenness in it.
In closing, I go back to the basic point. I think it is inappropriate in this day and age that the battle should be a street fight. In my view that is precisely what is happening in a number of labour disputes. The police officers look down the line and say, “Can we make it through that line this morning?” If they can, through they go. If they can’t, they simply call the management of the plant and say: “We’re sorry, we can’t give you access this morning. Try later on in the morning, try earlier in the morning, or don’t try at all.” That strikes me as being a ridiculous situation for us to be in, in this day and age --
Mr. Acting Speaker: The member’s time has expired.
Mr. Breaugh: -- and I would urge the members to set aside their bias on this particular type of legislation and support the principle of this bill.
Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, certain aspects of picketing and the strikebreaker issue are dealt with in other jurisdictions but, with the exception of Quebec, no province has a comprehensive prohibition on the use of replacements.
British Columbia legislation prohibits the hiring of professional strikebreakers as has been referred to by the member for Quinte (Mr. O’Neil), and regulates the where, when and how of picketing.
Manitoba prohibits an employer from disciplining an employee who refuses to perform the work of a striking fellow employee.
Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia prohibit the supply of employees during a strike or lookout in the construction industry in which an accredited employer organization is involved. Ontario contains a similar provision, section 119. The Quebec provision, section 97(a) of the Labour Code, is the only one similar to that in the proposed bill. It has been in force for only a few months and Quebec officials indicate that it is much too early to assess the effects of the recent amendment.
I would like to deal with clause 1(b) of section 59(a). There are three requirements for a legal picket line: It must be composed of members of the certified bargaining unit; they must be moving; and they must be carrying signs.
I assume that if any one of those conditions has been breached -- for example, if the line is not moving -- it would not constitute a legal picket line. Neither the moving requirement nor the sign requirement are significant and I wonder why these prohibitions are necessary. It should be noted that this definition is more restrictive than the present law.
It excludes from participation in the picketing all persons who are not members of the bargaining unit. This group would include not only third parties but also, in many cases, the union officials who have responsibility for conducting the strike. Third parties and union officials who are not members of the bargaining unit are currently allowed to participate in picketing.
Since bargaining rights need not be based upon certification, it is presumably not intended to restrict legal picketing to members of a certified union.
The reference to legal picketing raises the inference that all other forms of picketing are illegal. Picketing which meets the definition of 59(a) 1(b) will still be presumed to be illegal if it involves a common law tort or a violation of another section of the act.
I would like to deal with section 59(a)(ii). The principal problem with this section is in defining the work of a struck employee. The term “the work” is used in that section. This term must be more specific, both in economic and geographic terms. For example, is this section triggered if an employer chooses to produce the product at a second location and to supply his customers from that location? In a sense, the work of the striking employees is now being done elsewhere by other employees who may or may not themselves be organized. Is the section intended to cover this situation?
Mr. Cassidy: Did Bette Stephenson’s ministry write this for you?
Mr. Pope: If not, larger multiple plant operations will have a decided advantage over smaller single plant operations and there remains the possibility of picketing activity at the secondary location. If it is intended that a secondary location of the same employer should be covered by the prohibition, there is an incentive to expand or locate secondary industry outride of Ontario.
It is also unclear whether the bill applies to an ally of the struck employer who performs the work ordinarily done by the employees of the struck employer and thereby assists him to continue to supply his customers.
I’d like to deal next with section 59(3), which deals with the definition of work premises. If “work premises” means where work ordinarily done by striking employees is done, it admits to the same geographic ambiguity referred to previously. It is not clear whether access is restricted to secondary locations of the employer or to the premises of an ally if struck work is being performed there. It is also not clear whether there is any prohibition against hiring new employees at a secondary location to perform struck work; or transferring managerial employees, non-union employees, or bargaining unit employees.
All of these possibilities have occurred from time to time under the present law. If they are not covered by the proposed bill there will remain the potential for particularly bitter forms of picketing and confrontation. Alternatively, if secondary and ally situations are covered by the present law, then it will raise difficult questions of definition and its ramifications are consequently impossible to foresee.
It should be noted that the bill implies that legal picketing can only occur at work premises and not elsewhere. Even if one assumes that the restrictions on access apply only to primary location of the struck employer, section 59(a)(iii) seems to be drafted much more narrowly than is necessary. By implication, access is forbidden to members of the bargaining unit who do not support the strike and are prepared to continue work and perform work of their striking fellow employees.
The bill also forbids entry to the premises unless a person is a member of a certified bargaining unit --
Mr. Warner: This is close enough to clause by clause that we might as well give it third reading.
Mr. Pope: -- that is not on strike and is not engaged in performing struck work; thus it would appear that even persons who are not performing duties of striking employees could not enter the plant unless they were also members of certified bargaining units. For example, a delivery could be made to the plant if the carrier was unionized but not otherwise. There appears to be no logical reason for this distinction.
Mr. Grande: Why don’t you send us a copy?
Mr. Pope: I would next like to deal with subsection 3(c) --
Mr. McClellan: I think you should publish this as an article. Send this to the Law Journal, they will publish it.
Mr. Pope: -- which deals with the position of members of the bargaining unit who do not support the strike. The position of the members of the bargaining unit who do not support the strike is unclear and depends upon the meaning of the term “non-union employee” used in section 59a(3)(c).
Mr. Grande: Don’t support it.
Hon. Mr. Norton: You know you won’t read a law book.
Mr. McClellan: I’d like to think you’re right.
Mr. Pope: This term could mean non-member of the bargaining unit, non-union member of the bargaining unit, or member of the bargaining unit who does not support the strike. Whatever the meaning ascribed to the term “non-union employee,” it is clear that such persons cannot perform the work of any employee who is on strike, no matter how many employees there may be who do not support the strike.
Likewise, the restrictions on access to the plant attach regardless of how many employees in fact support the strike. Again, it will be important to determine what “the work of an employee on strike” encompasses, since there may be a qualification on the section 64 right of the employees to return to work as mentioned above.
Mr. Breaugh: He is reading from a prepared text.
Mr. Haggerty: That’s the worst part of it.
Mr. Pope: I’d also like to refer to subsection 4 of section 59(a) -- because this is a mess -- and ask how you can reach the conclusion that you’re dissatisfied with the role the police now play? You set out a whole line of tests police officers at a striking plant have to perform in order to determine whether or not someone can gain access to the plant. In fact, the onerous conditions that police now have are made worse, because they have to go through a virtual checklist --
Mr. Ruston: By far, by far.
Mr. Pope: -- in the presence of everyone to determine who can get access and who can’t get access.
Mr. Breaugh: Why don’t you go out and visit the real world for once in your life?
Mr. Pope: In other words, this is a mess.
Mr. Cassidy: How many days have you spent at Fleck Manufacturing?
Mr. Pope: The principles are a mess -- and I’m not through, I’m not through.
Mr. McClellan: You were through before you started.
Mr. Pope: I’d like also to deal with the use of the reference of the Petty Trespass Act.
Mr. Grande: Are you going to make mistakes if you don’t have the right place?
Mr. Pope: In addition, it is simply not clear how the procedures of the Petty Trespass Act and the Ontario Summary Convictions Act can be applied to this situation.
Mr. McClellan: Did you lose your place in your prepared speech?
Mr. Pope: Normally, a trespass can only occur if a person enters upon lands or premises without the owner’s permission, whereas here persons potentially liable to trespass will inevitably have the owner’s permission. Who will institute proceedings? Assuming one wished to create an unfair labour practice of this kind, there seems to be no reason why it should not be dealt with in the same manner as with any other unfair labour practice.
Mr. Breaugh: He is doing what Norton does all the time.
Mr. McClellan: Turn the page.
Mr. Pope: I certainly will.
Mr. Breaugh: He turned it back again. He lost his place again. Get them to do it in crayon.
Mr. Pope: The proposed bill seems to envisage a novel means of enforcement by prosecution before a provincial court judge under the Petty Trespass Act. At the present time many contraventions of the act may be brought to the Ontario Labour Relations Board, and in addition may, with the consent of the board, be subject to the matter of a criminal prosecution which can lead to the imposition of substantial fines.
Mr. Grande: We know you can read.
Mr. Pope: It is not clear how the new prohibitions would fit into the existing scheme. Neither the board authority nor the current consent to prosecute provisions are mentioned in the bill and the fines in the Petty Trespass Act are much lower than those currently possible for other breaches of the act.
Mr. McClellan: Have you ever seen a picket line?
Mr. Pope: Just before I sit down, I would like to quote from, I think someone in authority, who may have the respect of the third party, although I doubt that they respect anyone.
Mr. Breaugh: You can’t impugn the motives of the members of this House.
Mr. Pope: This is a quote, and I’ll read it: “I want to tell you something else which may be indiscreet of me, but I’ll say it anyway. I don’t agree with some of the people, including senior labour leaders in this province like Cliff Pilkey -- ”
Mr. Grande: See what happens when you talk, you get into trouble.
Mr. Pope: “ -- when they say that non-striking workers should somehow not have access in law. The law stands that you have a right to go on strike. The law also says that those who choose not to go on strike -- ”
Mr. McClellan: He was talking about the law as it is.
Mr. Pope: “ -- have a right to continue working.”
Mr. McClellan: That’s the law.
Mr. Pope: “That seems to me to be a legal and supportable proposition. I’ve never much liked the idea that should be impeded. So with considerable regret, I don’t agree with Mr. Pilkey on all of that.”
Mr. McClellan: He was supporting the law as it is.
Mr. Breaugh: The next thing we how he’s going to read the Thoughts of Chairman Mao.
Mr. Pope: That quote is from May 31, 1978, by the member for Scarborough West (Mr. Lewis).
An hon. member: It’s a joke.
Mr. Breaugh: Yes? Yes?
Mr. McClellan: He was telling you exactly what the law is.
Mr. Breaugh: Dynamite speech, but are you for him or against him?
Mr. McClellan: He was telling the police to enforce their own laws.
Mr. Mancini: I would like to address myself to Bill 65, which has been introduced by the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan), but which had been, I believe, previously introduced by the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh); which had previous to that in fact been introduced, almost somewhat in the same manner, by my former colleague, the former member for Sarnia (Mr. Bullbrook). Although I commend the member for Bellwoods for introducing the bill, it’s not that original. Maybe the next time he gets a ballot item he can do a little better.
Mr. Lupusella: Will you support it?
Mr. Cassidy: Will you support it?
Mr. Mancini: Bill 65, I believe, deals with the basic rights of working people in this province. When an area, work site, manufacturing plant, a mine, or these other various work places are on strike, I don’t think it’s very much to ask of anyone to let the strike continue legally and not jeopardize the rights of the working people who are trying to gain a fair and equitable contract. I have many establishments in my riding, some of which have been on strike on some occasions.
Mr. Lupusella: That’s exactly the principle of the bill.
Mr. Grande: You don’t understand the principle of the bill. I am sure about that.
Mr. Mancini: Even my father was one of the striking workers. I don’t think it would have been fair for him or for any of those other workers to have someone else go in and do their work, because if that is the way we are going to handle strikes in this province then the working people have no strength and they have absolutely no protection of their rights at all.
Mr. McClellan: You are right on.
Mr. Mancini: The principle of the bill is what I have just stated. That’s why I am in support of the bill although the honourable member for -- where is he from?
Mr. McClellan: Texasgulf.
Mr. Haggerty: From Spadina.
An hon. member: He is only temporary, don’t worry about it.
Mr. Mancini: Yes, although the honourable member for Cochrane South, (Mr. Pope), who is a lawyer, raises many legalistic --
Mr. Pope: The member for Scarborough West doesn’t agree with the principle of the bill.
Mr. Mancini: -- problems about this bill, I don’t think any of his concerns are things that cannot be corrected if he believes in the principle of the bill. If he doesn’t believe in the principle of the bill, that striking --
Hon. B. Stephenson: The member for Scarborough West doesn’t believe in this bill.
Mr. Mancini: -- people have the right to strike when they are on a legal strike, then that’s a different matter totally. Anyone who agrees with the principle of the bill knows that it states very clearly --
Mr. Grande: You show very little understanding of what is going on.
Hon. B. Stephenson: That’s a different matter.
Mr. Mancini: -- that under emergency situations certain personnel can go in and take care of emergencies. It states very clearly that groups who are authorized by the union and the management can go in and perform work activities. It states very clearly in this bill that all the management and supervisory staff can go in and work on the premises.
This is an utmost fair bill, and I say the bill deserves the support of the members of this House. The Minister of Labour can nod and shake her head all she wants, but she has not been a real Minister of Labour, although I consider her to be a good friend of mine.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: You should have read Claire Hoy today. He would set you straight.
Mr. Mancini: On no occasion has she relented to accept some of the very good suggestions made by both opposition parties. We have witnessed other things that have greatly disappointed us with the Minister of Labour.
I refer directly to the compensation benefits paid to injured workers.
Getting back to the principle of this bill, there is one section which I think would possibly have to be changed by the committee. It is section 2, subsection 4, and that deals with the police who are on duty. I think we would create some problems with the police and with the people involved on the strike site, so I think a great deal of work would have to be put into that section to make it more fair. In total, and generally, I support the bill.
Mr. Gregory: You are sitting in the wrong seat. You should be sitting over there.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the speech by the member for the Liberal Party. I hope that indicates that all of his party, and not just one or two members, will be prepared to support the bill that has been put forward by my colleagues.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Did you read Claire Hoy’s article today?
An hon. member: You should listen to Remo.
Mr. Cassidy: It is a good bill. It is a bill which, in my opinion, will go a long way towards implementing the basic purposes of labour relations in the province of Ontario, to which all parties have, in fact, subscribed in the past. I just want to read the preamble to the Labour Relations Act of Ontario, which says and I quote:
“Whereas it is in the public interest for the province of Ontario to further harmonious relations between employers and employees by encouraging the practice and procedure of collective bargaining between employers and trade unions, as the freely designated representatives of employees.”
It is our purpose to encourage harmonious relations through the practice of collective bargaining, and this is a bill which is designed to ensure a better balance between management and labour. Therefore, it is a bill which is designed to strengthen the practice of collective bargaining and this is a bill, Mr. Speaker, which is designed to ensure a better balance between management and labour and, therefore, it is a bill which is designed to strengthen the practice of collective bargaining in the province of Ontario -- a right which, alas, is too often honoured in the breach rather than in the observance in this province.
Mr. Speaker, I was sorry not to be present for the minister’s speech, when she talked about a need for balance. This is something with which I can agree; although I disagree from time to time with the way in which she interprets that, because her interpretations seem to lean so far in the direction of management and so little in the direction of working people.
When the Fleck strikers came to meet with the minister not long ago, she told them she didn’t see why they had to be out on strike for union security for as many days as they had been out. Unfortunately, the Minister of Labour doesn’t see that a government has to act in order to implement those things to which it subscribes in words. All she has been capable of doing on that issue, as on so many others, is coming up With pious words which are not matched by action.
I want to say, Mr. Speaker that my predecessor, the former leader of the NDP, the member for Scarborough West, talked about the present legal situation in the province of Ontario. The present legal situation, as he said, is that there is a right of access by workers who wish to go into a plant where there is a legal picket line.
That is a legal and supportable fact, Mr. Speaker. What he had to say in addition was that if we are unhappy with the existing state of the law, as many in this province are, it is not up to us as legislators to go and tell people that they should break the law. It is up to us to change the law, and that is what we are doing in the province right now with this bill.
Mr. Pope: That wasn’t what he said. You had better read the transcript of May 31, page 53.
Mr. Cassidy: We in the New Democratic Party believe that there is a crucial need for Ontario’s labour relations laws to be thoroughly reviewed and amended on many counts; and this is one of the improvements which we consider to be absolutely vital.
The bill addresses one of the most serious failings of Ontario’s present law. The law now allows employers to hire strikebreakers; even to hire professional strikebreakers who deliberately provoke, inflame and try to create violence on the picket line as a means of trying to prevent workers from exercising their rights of collective bargaining and using the right to strike as part of that particular right.
The present law also allows employers to take advantage, as we have seen at Fleck Manufacturing, of police forces -- be they local or be they provincial police -- by turning them into a kind of company police force. It is something we find unacceptable but which has to exist under the present law. That is another good reason, Mr. Speaker, why we think the law should be changed.
The way the law stands right now, the openings are there for an employer to find many means of prolonging a strike, because the employer can use these devices and is not necessarily subjected to the same economic penalties as the employees who are locked out or who have gone on strike. Surely if our position is that there should be a balance of rights and obligations, then in a situation where workers lose their income or livelihood, in a strike they have had to go into being unable to get a reasonable agreement, the employer should suffer the same kind of economic penalties. That is the basic position which is being taken in the bill which the members for Bellwoods and Oshawa have put forward.
What is at stake, Mr. Speaker, is not just the right to strike, not just the right to picket, but the rights of collective bargaining in general, which are fundamental rights in a free society, which I think every member in this Legislature should be prepared to uphold.
Mr. Speaker, if an employer has the right to continue operation without suffering economic penalty when a strike is taking place, then the collective bargaining right which the workers are meant to have becomes something like a myth. That isn’t just a fanciful extension or hypothetical kind of suggestion of what might happen, because the facts are that for two thirds of the workers in the province of Ontario, the right of collective bargaining is something which exists on the statute books but not in reality because of antiquated labour laws in the province of Ontario. If we are committed to ensuring that any group of workers who wish to have a trade union, wish to get certification under our labour laws, wish to engage in collective bargaining and wish to have a legislated or agreed upon code of rights in its relation with its employer, that it should be able to have that right and not confine it to just one third of the employees in the province of Ontario, then I do not see how anybody in this House could not support the bill which we have before us today.
There are two specific situations to which this kind of bill applies. One situation is the kind we have at Fleck Manufacturing, where the strike is now close to 100 days old. In that situation, the workers are seeking a first contract. They’re seeking a first contract and they’re coming up against every possible hurdle that management and government together can put in their way -- OPP constables who intimidate; the cops coming into the picket line the way that the member for Bellwoods has detailed in his speech; the problems with the local justice system being used as a means of standing in the way of the workers, the use of the Ontario Labour Relations Board in order to try to block the workers getting a perfectly legitimate, reasonable set of demands to have a contract and to have the protection of a union.
We shouldn’t be in that situation in this province where workers have got to go through every hurdle imaginable just to get a basic right of collective bargaining. It’s a difficult kind of thing to form a union. It should simply be accepted that if there are enough workers to form a union they shouldn’t have to go through hassles where a management lawyer who is paid thousands of dollars tries to put them through the hoop to prove that everybody there is a member of the bargaining unit. These kinds of things should he accepted in the province of Ontario. It is in that spirit that strike-breaking should also be prohibited, if they get into a situation where a strike breaks out.
We think that another reform is needed, and that’s why, within a very short period of time, Bill 107, proposed by the member for High Park-Swansea (Mr. Ziemba), which would guarantee workers seeking a first contract the right to a first contract, is going to come forward. That will have the support of all of the members of the New Democratic Party. That is another essential reform in the labour legislation of the province which, in our opinion, would help to create more harmonious relations between workers and management in the province of Ontario. That’s clearly the goal which we should all be looking towards.
In other cases, there is an established trade union and there is a management which is trying to break the trade union and that’s where you see the use of professional strikebreakers. That, too, is a situation where this bill is clearly applicable and clearly should be applied.
I’d like to see some other changes in the province. Forgive the frog in my throat; it’s a toad, in point of fact. I’d like to see some other changes. I’d like to see a labour relations board which imposed and enforced the law about good-faith bargaining in the province of Ontario.
Mr. McClellan: That would be a change.
Mr. Cassidy: If that law were enforced and if managements were forced to bargain in good faith, then some of the situations against which this bill of the members for Bellwoods and Oshawa is directed would not, in fact, exist. It seems to me that the time has come in Ontario society when we do away with the antiquated relic of nineteenth century labour relations. That’s what we’re proposing to do in the House today.
It seems to me that the government party, the Conservative Party, should have the good sense to understand the importance of this bill for labour relations in the province of Ontario, the positive contribution it can make to the interests of working people and of labour relations across the province of Ontario and that the government party should be prepared to take the opinion of this Legislature --
Mr. Speaker: The honourable member’s time has expired.
Mr. Cassidy: -- and not take the crafty way out, the easy way out, the dirty way out of blocking the bill. We would like to see a vote on this bill --
Mr. Ruston: Time’s up.
Mr. Cassidy: -- and I am confident that if a vote is not blocked by the government party this bill will pass. I’m then confident that it will contribute enormously to labour relations. I hope that the bill goes all the way through to be enacted in the statutes of Ontario.
Mr. Ruston: Come on. You’re taking somebody else’s time.
Mr. Speaker: The member for Bellwoods has reserved eight minutes. That means there is only one minute left for any other member. Does the member for Bellwoods intend using the full eight minutes?
Mr. McClellan: I intend to yield my eight minutes to the member for Cambridge (Mr. M. Davidson). If another member wishes to use up the minute, feel free.
Mr. Ruston: You’re so generous.
Mr. Bradley: I’ll forgo the opportunity to use up one minute, Mr. Speaker, because I couldn’t express my views on this bill in one minute.
Mr. McClellan: I will yield my eight minutes to the member for Cambridge.
Mr. M. Davidson: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Bellwoods for having allowed me the opportunity to participate in this debate. I do so because this is a piece of legislation which I personally, and many people I know within the trade union movement have been pursuing for many years.
I’d like to inform the members of this House that, contrary to some people’s opinion, this piece of legislation was not brought forward simply because of the situation at Fleck, but this legislation has been brought forward and proposed because of the injustices that exist within the collective bargaining structure in the province of Ontario and have existed over a good many years.
I would like to go over five major strikes that have occurred in the last 10 years. I emphasize that they occurred only in one industry. That was the textile industry, with which I was associated. First of all, we had the Tilco Plastics strike in Peterborough: violence on the picket line; the reason, the company was hiring outside workers to come in and replace the people who were out on the picket line. Sinrite Yarns in Listowel: violence on the picket line; the reason, the company was hiring outside workers to come in and replace those on the picket line. Hanes Hosiery, Rexdale: violence on the picket line; the reason, the company was hiring outside workers to come in and replace those who were participating in the strike. We had the same situation at Texpack in Brantford and Harding Carpets in Collingwood. In both of those cases, major violence on the picket line; the reason, because the company was hiring outside workers to replace the people who were participating in the legal strike.
All of those strikes were legal strikes. The reason for them being on strike was that the majority of workers in the plant, after negotiations failed, had agreed that their only recourse was to take strike action, and did so.
Either the Minister of Labour or the member for Cochrane South indicated that you could not change the Labour Relations Act in a piecemeal fashion. I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that that is perhaps true, but the reason that we find it necessary to put forward these so-called piecemeal amendments to the act, if that’s what they can be called, is because the government on that side does not have the intestinal fortitude to bring forward the kinds of amendments that are necessary to bring the Labour Relations Act in Ontario up to today’s standards.
We will continue to move so-called piecemeal amendments until we do, in fact, bring to the attention of that government over there, and to the people in the province of Ontario, its failure to move until it gets the message and does, in fact, amend the Labour Relations Act so that it does have some sense of relating to today’s society.
Let me point out that although the member for Cochrane South seems to feel that this bill just doesn’t do anything, it is supported by the Ontario Federation of Labour, it is supported by the union which I represented at one time, the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union, it is supported by the United Steel Workers of America, the United Automobile Workers of America and every other trade union organization I know of in the province of Ontario. So to say that the people out there don’t feel this kind of legislation is really necessary, let me assure you that there are countless thousands of people out there who do.
When I say they’re supported by these organizations I’m not necessarily talking about the people at the top of these organizations, because the positions that are taken, either at the OFL convention or the Canadian conventions of the other unions that make up the Ontario Federation of Labour, those people are direct workers in plants who have been delegated to go and represent their trade union locals and speak on their behalf.
When this kind of resolution is being passed, it is not by Cliff Pilkey, nor Bud Clark nor any of the other people that make up the executive, it is being passed by the workers in the plants, and what we are trying to get across to the Tories over there is that the very workers that they seem to be condemning are the people who are asking for this kind of legislation, and it’s about time this government found out that this is what’s happening.
I would suggest to them that if they’ve never been on a picket line, if they’ve never participated or talked to people on a picket line, that they do so, because maybe then they might get a better understanding of what it is that this piece of legislation says. Maybe they’ll understand that the kinds of laws that exist in the province today --
Mr. Pope: Stop being patronizing.
Mr. M. Davidson: -- where violence occurs on picket lines during strikes, tears people apart, tears families apart and costs the taxpayers of this province thousands and thousands of dollars.
Now that is what this piece of legislation is trying to stop, that is what this piece of legislation is trying to get across to you; that the workers of this province do not want their families torn asunder anymore; they do not want to have to fight with their friends; and they do not want to have to pay taxes in order to bring police officers in from all over the province to ensure that the picket line is run the way the present law suggests.
I would urge the members of this House to support this amendment to the act, and then we can move on again, if the government does not see fit to bring in a full package of amendments, to another so-called piecemeal amendment that will help strengthen the Labour Relations Ad for the working people in this province.
Mr. Speaker: We have two minutes before we transfer over to the second item. Does any other member wish to get involved in the debate?
Mr. McClellan: I think this has been a good debate. I think there has been good support of the principles of this bill expressed by two of the three parties. I hope very much that these very excellent remarks, from all of the speakers in support of this bill indicate sufficient votes for this bill to carry.
I want to stress again the words of the leader of this party, that we hope very much that this bill comes to a vote. The opposition parties are getting sick and tired of watching the government impose its guillotine on bills they are afraid of or do not agree with. The reality is that we have a minority government situation in Ontario and the will of the majority in this House ought to prevail, particularly in private members’ hour. It is really a source of increasing disgust for members of both opposition parties that the government refuses time and time again to allow private members’ bills to come to a vote. Let the majority of the legislators in this House decide whether a particular bill will pass or fail on the merits of the bill and not on the fears of the cabinet.
I hope that the Tory backbenchers, just once Mr. Speaker, will have the guts not to act like a bunch of trained seals and jump up and kill private members’ bills on the orders of their political masters, because it is an increasingly servile performance.
Mr. Speaker: That concludes item 27.
SIMCOE DAY ACT
Mr. G. F. Smith moved second reading of Bill 99, An Act respecting Simcoe Day.
Mr. G. E. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I would like to reserve approximately four minutes for the wind-up.
In most countries of the world it is a tradition to recognize and remember historical figures who have made a valuable contribution to their country by making a public holiday for them. In the United States, for example, the contributions of George Washington, the first president, and Abraham Lincoln, the man who abolished slavery, are duly recognized. Indeed, American commemorative enthusiasm extends to Christopher Columbus, the man who discovered the land mass on which the United States was built. Sadly, this is not so with Canadians.
Mr. Wildman: How about Sir John A. Macdonald?
Mr. C. E. Smith: Our tradition seems to be to forget or ignore the contributions of our national historical figures. We have an opportunity, through this bill, to recognize the contribution of a man who, like Washington, was our first leader, and like Lincoln, was the man responsible for the abolition of slavery in Upper Canada. That man was John Graves Simcoe. Let me refresh the assembled members’ memories this afternoon --
Mr. Wildman: Rather a William Lyon Mackenzie day.
Mr. G. E. Smith: In 1790, Colonel Simcoe was elected a member of the British Parliament where he took part in the debates on the bill by which the province of Quebec was divided into Upper and Lower Canada. Therefore he had an intimate knowledge of what was intended by that bill, and no man was better qualified to be governor of this province than he was. In 1791 he was made first governor of Upper Canada, now Ontario, which had recently been settled by the United Empire Loyalists, a grand body of people to whom but scant justice is done by our historians, and whose descendants to this day are the backbone of Canada.
On July 8, 1792, Colonel Simcoe was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada at Kingston. From July 9 to July 21, he held the first meeting of the newly appointed executive council in Kingston at St. George’s church. His first task upon his arrival at Kingston in 1792 was to organize the government of the colony, and following the traditions of British colonial administrations, the form of government envisaged for Upper Canada differed profoundly from the republican institution of the United States, which virtually surrounded the colony. An elective assembly, with a legislative council, was brought into being, and an executive council was appointed to advise the Lieutenant Governor.
Simcoe had found it advisable to divide the old districts of Upper Canada into 19 counties, and these counties or regions still exist today although some of the boundaries have changed. The administration of justice, the development and control of a militia force, and the allocation of elected representation in the assembly were all facilitated by this move.
In September of 1792, he selected Newark, now Niagara-on-the-Lake as the capital and met his first legislature. He energetically organized the new province, providing especially for its agricultural development and military defence. During that winter Simcoe toured the southwestern part of Upper Canada as far as Detroit. He founded, on the River Thames, the village of London and the county of Middlesex, both of which he also named.
In May, 1793, the second session of the first legislature met at Newark. One very important act passed during the second session concerned slavery. Simcoe was determined to eliminate this practice, although the final legislation only provided for its gradual abolition. It did, however, forbid the further importation of slaves into Upper Canada and provide freedom for those born in the province on attaining the age of 25 years.
He also introduced the Weights and Measures Act which was adopted, and was subsequently also adopted in the United States. There was also, at this time, a growing tension between Britain and the United States. Simcoe, therefore, set the Rangers to work constructing Dundas Street from the present site of London to the head of Lake Ontario. This road would provide a less exposed military route in case of war. It’s interesting to note, Mr. Speaker, the allocation of the duty time of the Rangers. A third of the time, or two days of the week, was devoted to military work; two days of the week for road construction or other construction work; and two days were to develop housing and personal projects; with of course the seventh day a day of rest.
It might be interesting to note, too, that in the fall of that year when Simcoe journeyed to Lake Huron, he named Lake Simcoe after his father. He also visited Penetanguishene and the Midland area. I might just pause here, Mr. Speaker, if I may, to make a personal reference. The town of Midland is recognizing its history and the early days. It’s their centennial this year and this honourable member is attempting to get into the spirit of the centennial by growing a beard and attempting to promote here in the Legislature that outstanding event which will take place on July 1.
Having determined to move his capital, Simcoe chose the site of an old French fort on Lake Ontario for the new town, and in 1793 he founded York. This village of York eventually became the city of Toronto in 1834. Soon after, in the new year of 1794, a house was built for him on a hill overlooking the Don River. Simcoe named the house Castlefrank, after his son Francis. In May 1794 the first survey of Yonge Street was undertaken, and construction continued, with interruptions, until the road northward was completed in 1796.
Simcoe’s governorship lasted only four years, and throughout his term of office Simcoe attempted to fortify the colony against the powerful influences of the United States. He encouraged emigration to Upper Canada by advertising the colony’s advantages throughout the Atlantic states and this advertising was most successful. At the same time, he prudently undertook road construction in the interior of the province in order that British supply routes would not be so easily exposed to American attacks in the event of war. He fortified the British frontier posts at Detroit and Niagara, which were technically in the United States’ territory but were held by Britain until the ratification and execution of Jay’s Treaty after 1794.
It is the good measure of Simcoe’s ability and success that he guided the infant colony safely through the first few years of its existence with so many dangers on every hand, and he succeeded in establishing the solid governmental and social foundations on which this province has developed for over 180 years.
As I stated before, it is indeed unfortunate that we Canadians as a whole take our ancestors for granted to the point where they are almost forgotten. We in this Legislature have the ability to reverse this trend. We can unanimously approve this bill and show the people of Ontario that we have not forgotten the man who created the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, of which we are all so proud to be members.
Until very recently, Canadians had been content to let the past be forgotten. Slowly we have begun to appreciate that we have a heritage and that interesting and dynamic people like John Graves Simcoe have been a part of that heritage. Let us move one step further and officially acknowledge one of our fine founding fathers. Canada and Ontario have a great many historical figures who deserve to be recognized, and their contributions to this province and to the nation should be applauded.
I can think of Major General Sir Isaac Brock, William Lyon Mackenzie, Reverend John Strachan, John A. Macdonald, and I think the name suggested in the Legislature on one previous occasion was Richard Cartwright. However, I think that John Graves Simcoe deserves our attention first in Ontario as he was the founder of the government which we are a part of today.
I am not asking that a special holiday be created in his honour. I am asking only that an existing holiday known as Civic Holiday, which is virtually an unmeaningful name, be honoured by his name. It is an easy task, requiring no money, and fulfilling the need for attention to be focused on the past, albeit only for one day of the year, which can help us to foster a unique Canadian identity.
In my campaign over the years to have Simcoe Day proclaimed, I have received increasingly overwhelming support. At the moment I have the support of 65 municipalities, 23 associations and five newspapers. Needless to say, the John Graves Simcoe Memorial Foundation has offered encouragement and assistance from day one. The chairman of the foundation, Mr. John Fisher, “Mr. Canada,” has been kind enough to write me a letter. He is here in the Legislature today, in the members’ east gallery, and I personally appreciate his support and that of those of his associates who are with him.
I quote in part from his letter to me: “We of the John Graves Simcoe Foundation are delighted to support your bill. We think it is a fitting tribute to the man who founded Toronto and served as our first Lieutenant Governor. Simcoe was only in Upper Canada less than five years, but he accomplished an incredible amount of work. His record is familiar to you, but it is not to the general public, so we think Simcoe Day would make all citizens of this province more aware of his contribution.
“This is an appropriate year to introduce your bill because it is the 100th anniversary of the CNE. It is often overlooked that we owe to Simcoe’s foresight the convenience and attractive location of the CNE. Governor Simcoe decreed that the land along the lakeshore should be public domain. He classified it as a garrison reserve so that no buildings would ever be erected on that site. So the famous CNE acquired one of its most prominent features from the man who founded this city and started our province. Most of his term of office was served in a tent. He didn’t even have a house.
“I also bring to your attention another Ontario attraction, the Queen’s York Rangers Regiment stationed at historic Fort York. It too was one of Simcoe’s accomplishments. Isn’t it interesting that the Queen’s Rangers was the regiment Simcoe commanded with such distinction in the Revolutionary War of the United States?
“When he was appointed our first governor, he asked permission to rebuild his old regiment and in later years the Queen’s Rangers were merged with the famous York regiment which fought so valiantly at Detroit, Queenston, the 1837 Rebellion, the Northwest Rebellion and other conflicts.
“Last September the Queen’s York Rangers went to Philadelphia to commemorate the battle of the Brandywine and the occupation of Philadelphia by British forces in the Revolutionary War.
“Along with the American regiment, the great friendship between the United States and Canada was honoured by our ambassadors of goodwill, the Queen’s York Rangers.
“The colours of this regiment have now been restored and are kept in the officers’ mess at Fort York.
“Also at Fort York is the parole document setting Colonel Simcoe free. He had been taken prisoner of war and the certificate of parole is signed by Benjamin Franklin.
“In Toronto are many of Mrs. Simcoe’s sketches and watercolours giving us a picture of those early days in the life of our province.
“Simcoe was more than a governor. He was an administrator, a legislator, a dreamer, a builder, a soldier and he built our first streets, houses and roads. Surely we should set aside one day of the year to salute our founder through this Simcoe Day Bill.”
I also received a letter from the president of the Midland Historical Society just yesterday, and this is one that wasn’t included previously, and I quote in part from that.
They are supporting it and the president, Mr. Norfolk says: “It was Colonel John Graves Simcoe who laid well the foundations of the great Province of Ontario as its first Lieutenant Governor and set an example which is still an inspiration to us even today.”
I might also say, Mr. Speaker, last Monday I visited the Wabasheen Public School as well as St. John’s Catholic School, at Wabasheen. I met with the students. I talked to them. I asked, “Can anyone identify John Graves Simcoe?” -- and without fail, they were all able to identify him in some fashion in relation to our historic background.
Of course he did name the village of Fesserton, which is in that immediate area, but these students were certainly well aware and, naturally, they supported my concept of naming our Civic Holiday after John Graves Simcoe.
Maybe we as Canadians should be doing a little more flag waving. It might help us capture that sense of Canadian identity that has apparently alluded so many of us in the past.
As a result, I urge the members assembled here to enact Simcoe Day to make it become a reality. It will be a step towards realizing the identity of a statesman, a man who made a sincere contribution to this province and whose memory should be perpetuated.
I ask the honourable members to join in supporting me on second reading.
Mr. Breithaupt: This item has come before the Legislature on two earlier occasions while I have been a member.
On May 15, 1972, the member for Simcoe East moved a private bill to establish Simcoe Day.
On June 14, 1976, the member again brought forward this idea in the private members’ hour.
Hansard records the contributions made on both occasions by various members in the House.
On both of those occasions I spoke in favour of this suggestion, and I do so again today. With the new rules for the private members’ ballot business, there is now the opportunity for members to agree on this suggestion and for it, in fact, to be accepted.
On Bill 99, I was asked by the member for Simcoe East to be the seconder for his bill and I was certainly happy to oblige him.
I believe that we must, wherever possible, encourage our citizens to remember the history of our province. We have the easy opportunity today to replace the meaningless and rather dull title of the August holiday with a better and more meaningful title.
In 1972, I called upon the House to consider the wisdom in celebrating the virtues and principles of the pioneers of our society as we move through times in which the only constant appears to be change. In 1976, I suggested that by approving this idea we could help to pay tribute, not only to John Graves Simcoe, but also particularly to his many contemporaries, not necessarily of English, Irish or Scots background, but many of whom were immigrants from Europe and immigrants with a loyalist tradition from the United States.
I do suggest this approach again, even as I cite to the House a review by Dr. Georg K. Weissenborn of a book by John Andre entitled, William Berczy: Co-founder of Toronto. Let me read just a few paragraphs from that review as it was printed in the German Canadian yearbook of 1973. “If Andre is right and, judging by the disdainful silence with which his books have been received, he may well be, then Toronto owes a greater debt of gratitude for its existence to a man named William von Moll Berczy and his ragged band of rugged European refugees than to the illustrious Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe and his Rangers.
“For the conquest of new territory, the soldier or a reasonable facsimile thereof is as indispensable as the farmer and the skilled craftsman are for colonization. On a new frontier, forts and military outposts may be erected one day, only to be removed or abandoned the next for strategic reasons. Camps spring up for the economic exploitation of a richly endowed geographic region which may just as quickly turn into ghost towns. It is the farmer who comes to cultivate the land in order to stay and raise crops, cattle and children. The farmer comes to colonize or to take possession of the land.
“In the case of York-Toronto, it was Simcoe who had the soldiers and von Moll Berczy who brought the artists and farmers. In 1792 they followed him from Hamburg, Germany across the sea to New York State where they’d been promised land in the Genesee valley. When it was discovered that the immigrants were to be tenant farmers in the promised land and not landowners, as expected, they sent their leader, Berczy, north to seek a better deal from the Canadian government. Governor Simcoe offered 64,000 acres, 1,000 to each family, in return for Berczy’s assurance that they would build roads and houses and that he would bring more immigrants with badly needed skills to the unsettled and unsurveyed territory. Although,” says Andre, “Dorchester’s Toronto and Simcoe’s York had existed on paper since 1788 and the fall of 1793 respectively, the site was still empty.
“Early in 1794, William von Moll Berczy brought to the uninhabited wilderness more than 180 people, a veritable army, and not a mere few dozen German settlers, as a prominent historian would have his readers believe. Not only did Berczy provide the manpower, but also from his resources he financed the first large scale cattle drive from Connecticut to Upper Canada of bulls, oxens and cows, whose total cost of purchase, transportation and upkeep even exceeded the maintenance cost for his settlers. They used over 100 of these precious beasts for bulldozing pioneer roads to and in Markham where the German mills were built, which supplied flour and lumber to the newly-founded settlement of York.
“Berczy estimated the cleared ground area of the 15-mile long and 18-foot wide Yonge Street and 30 miles of Markham Road to be about 98 acres in total. He saw the birth of primitive industry. Commerce, banking and transportation in Toronto and the surrounding area coincide with the arrival of Berczy’s people and the Connecticut cattle. “It was Berczy who in 1794 erected by far the best house in Toronto, which was located at the southeast corner of the present King and Sherbourne Streets.
“The co-founder of Toronto who, in addition to all these other accomplishments, struck the first bridge across the Don River, was also a sensitive, talented artist and Canada’s first portrait and landscape painter of note. Being polyglot, he prepared manuscripts in several languages and wrote the first statistical account of Canada, which he apologetically prefaced with his remark: ‘Though I am not an Englishman born, I have ventured to write in that language, emboldened to make the attempt under the conviction that a statistical work required but a correct and clear style, wherein logical accuracy is the essential requisite.’
“There can be little doubt that today a man of Berczy’s calibre would easily earn the required number of points to qualify for entry into this country. Without doubt a man of his intellectual acumen and artistic capability would appeal to any immigration officer as the ideal immigrant Nevertheless, for the first executive council of Upper Canada he remained a suspicious alien. When it came to the delivery of land titles, the government not only broke its word, but Berczy and his settlers had to learn that as aliens they could neither be trusted nor legally hold land before seven years’ residence here as subjects of the crown.
An unsympathetic government, envy, slander and political intrigue ruined one of Canada’s most colourful early pioneer personalities and gifted artists. He died a broken man under mysterious circumstances in New York in 1813.
He represents just another one of the immigrants that came to Ontario in those years. The member for Simcoe East has commented on the formation of the country structure that Governor Simcoe had, and it may be well to remind members of the House that before that structure there was a structure of districts. The districts were called Hesse, Nassau, Mecklenburg and Luneburg, named after some of the familiar areas to the court of Hanover, ruling, as it was at that point, under George III.
Mr. Conway: I thought it was Eric Winkler there for a minute.
Mr. Breithaupt: I have given to you an example of another pioneer of our Ontario of the early years in someone such as William Berczy. However, we can’t honour everyone. We have a chance though to honour them all in the name of our first Lieutenant Governor. As a result I’m pleased to support this bill and I commend it to the House for approval.
Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, since this bill seeks to attach the name of John Graves Simcoe to the Civic Holiday and make it a distinctive provincial holiday, I think it might be useful for a moment just to go back and take a look at the man and his ideas.
The sponsor of the bill has already given us a bit of the picture. I always find myself compelled to get a bit of balance into that picture.
Mr. Conway: I don’t believe that.
Mr. MacDonald: John Graves Simcoe was --
Mr. Conway: Balanced socialists don’t exist.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order. You may continue.
Mr. MacDonald: -- was an active officer in the British army during the American rebellion. He learned to detest everything American, in their way of life and their institutions. When he went back to England he went back with a well-developed set of ideas. When it became apparent that he was going to be appointed the first Lieutenant Governor of the colony of Upper Canada, he began to dream dreams of building in the wilds of North America a little Britain.
He took a look at the map and he noticed that the map has this peninsula that stretches from Windsor through to Niagara, and it jutted down into the United States. He thought that he would be able to build here a showcase that would prove to Americans that their institutions and their way of life were inferior to the British way of life.
So he came out with his preconceived notion, these dreams that he dreamed in front of the crackling fire in his manor back somewhere in Great Britain. He dreamed of York, our capital, yes; he dreamed of London, yes, another town out in the wilds on the River Thames. He dreamed of building military roads -- Dundas -- out to connect these two centres of habitation. He dreamed of building Yonge Street, another military road that would be built north to protect us from God knows what -- maybe the Eskimos were going to make an attack.
Mr. Foulds: Atikokan.
Mr. MacDonald: He was going to build his concept of the British society here in the North American wilds.
For example, just to complete the picture -- and I concede that even years ahead of Great Britain, the colony of Upper Canada took the first steps to abolishing slavery -- what John Graves Simcoe conceived of as the political structure in Upper Canada was a hereditary council like the House of Lords and of a legislative assembly which, believe it or not, he was going to make the prerogative exclusively of the half-pay officers in the militia. Nobody else was going to be permitted to be elected to the legislative assembly.
Mr. J. Reid: Typical Tory strategy.
Mr. MacDonald: In short, he was going to build an aristocratic society out in the North American wilds.
Mr. G. Taylor: What would you have done?
Mr. MacDonald: There was one rather interesting quote from John Graves Simcoe to give you some idea of his approach. He was travelling from Montreal through to York along the St. Lawrence River, and he quotes in the records which are to be found back in those days: “In my passage from Montreal to Kingston, I understand that the general spirit of the country was against the election of half-pay officers into the assembly and that the prejudice ran in favour of men of lower order who kept but one table.”
Mr. Germa: I didn’t know that.
Mr. MacDonald: Let me translate that into the reality: the people who dared to eat their meals along with their workers, their slaves of that day or anybody else. He wanted a society in which the manor and those at the head of the manor would eat at one table and all the rest of the human rabble would eat at another table.
That was John Graves Simcoe’s concept of a society that he wanted to build out in this North America.
Mr. McClellan: How enlightening.
Mr. MacDonald: The man who brought John Graves Simcoe out of dream world, in touch with the reality of the North America that we’re living in, was Richard Cartwright -- not Sir Richard Cartwright.
Mr. Conway: Here it comes.
Mr. Gregory: A well-known socialist.
Mr. MacDonald: As I have indicated in an earlier debate on this topic, I happened to have the pleasure -- will you stop prattling? -- many more years ago than I will admit to this House, of doing my master’s thesis on Richard Cartwright, one of the founders of Upper Canada. One of the most interesting aspects of his life was his battle to get John Graves Simcoe to face reality.
I express once again my appreciation to the late Leslie Miscampbell Frost who appropriated some funds from the provincial treasury in Ontario to publish that thesis along with a couple of others. Those who are interested can find it in volume three Theses on Upper Canada in the library, and in all school libraries across the province of Ontario.
What Cartwright did was to say, let’s deal with the reality. Let me give you two or three quotes from Cartwright which show the common sense of the man.
Mr. Worton: Are you giving examples now Don?
Mr. J. Reed: He must have been a Liberal.
Mr. MacDonald: He said, for example, on one occasion: “There is no maxim more incontestable in politics than that a government should be formed for a country and not a country strained and distorted for the accommodation of a preconceived or speculative form of government.”
Let me give another quote from the early days in his conflict with John Graves Simcoe:
“I hope this plan of Simcoe will not be persisted in. For it appears to me as a complete piece of political Quixotism as I recollect having met with and would be going out of the way of the inhabited parts of the country instead of coming to the government.
“If the grandiose scheme were persisted in,” he warned, “the government will waste its sweetness on the desert airs, sir. The energy will be spent where there is nothing to operate upon and the money will be lavished away where it can be of little permanent advantage to the province, however useful it may be to some individuals.” That was the approach of Cartwright.
He got into other battles with Simcoe and I use this one other example to illustrate it. Simcoe had the idea, of course, in this little Britain built in the wilds of North America, that he was establishing the Anglican church as the established church.
Mr. Worton: Great church.
Mr. MacDonald: Only five per cent of the population were Anglican but he was going to impose the Anglican church on others to this extent, that anybody who wasn’t married by Anglican clergyman wasn’t legally married and all their children were bastards.
Mr. Martel: Fine fellow.
Mr. MacDonald: This rather offended Richard Cartwright. Richard Cartwright was a Presbyterian. He wasn’t married by an Anglican. He was married, as the law permitted back in those days, by the officer in charge of the closest military establishment. He fought to oppose the idea of the establishment of the Anglican church.
Let me say this to the honourable member for Simcoe East: When he says that John Graves Simcoe laid the economic and the social foundations of the province of Upper Canada that is true to some extent, but I will tell him something else he did -- he established the Family Compact which distorted the life of the province of Upper Canada for 50 years and from which it had to struggle to escape. Men like Sir John A. Macdonald, who became the leader of the Conservative Party to disassociate himself from the Family Compact, called it the Liberal-Conservative Party.
Indeed, men like Cartwright, who was Progressive Conservative before they put those two contradictory terms together, back in those days fought against the imposition of the ideas of the Family Compact. That’s what John Graves Simcoe did, to establish an approach that was totally foreign to the natural development in Upper Canada.
Mr. Lane: Shame.
Mr. MacDonald: Do we want to enshrine those ideas in the one provincial holiday of Ontario? When I debated this some four or five years ago when the honourable member introduced it, I said that I had some misgivings, and I repeat those misgivings. I would think that Cartwright Day -- although Cartwright is less well known than John Graves Simcoe -- would be more reflective of the real ideas that helped to build Upper Canada, because in his own way Cartwright was a more effective founder of Upper Canada than John Graves Simcoe. It was Cartwright who saved Simcoe from his greatest follies.
However, having said all of that, I will agree with the honourable member that there is wisdom in the proposition of moving away from a meaningless name like Civic Holiday. I have to acknowledge -- I can’t rewrite history as some people like to do --
Mr. T. P. Reid: Oh, you do that regularly.
Mr. MacDonald: -- that John Graves Simcoe was the first Lieutenant Governor in the province of Ontario; with all of his mistaken ideas and with all of his elitism, he nevertheless was the first governor of Upper Canada. If we have to move to some other name, and the honourable member won’t accept the name of Cartwright -- or if he won’t accept the name of my colleague from Windsor whose birthday is on that day and who therefore wants to make it Cooke’s Day -- if the honourable member won’t accept that, then I think there is merit in moving, if for no other reason than to get people to be more conscious of their history.
Maybe, in becoming conscious of John Graves Simcoe, we won’t listen to just the Pollyanna laudations that come from John Fisher or came from the member this afternoon, but we will get a real picture of John Graves Simcoe -- the reality of what he attempted to do and the reality of his ideas. That isn’t being offensive to our history. It is just living with the realities.
I support the bill, because I think it is wise to move away from the meaningless Civic Holiday to something that is more meaningful in terms of our history. But I do it with the reservations which I record once again.
Mr. Speaker: The member for Simcoe Centre.
Mr. Wildman: William Lyon Mackenzie Day.
Mr. J. Reed: Hear, hear.
Mr. G. Taylor: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am sure the “Hear, hear” was for William Lyon Mackenzie Day, not for me.
Mr. Foulds: You’re right.
Mr. G. Taylor: I would follow up on what my colleague from York South has said when he talks about names and their usefulness. We seem to be going through a state of providing names and euphemisms for everything we do today to put it by pleasantly. God knows, the creators of this country and our forefathers were not perfect individuals, as the member would want. Even in this House, I am sure we have some members who might have skeletons in the closet, a little bit of clay around their feet, or some other things --
Mr. J. Reed: How can you be so derogatory?
Mr. C. Taylor: -- but surely 100 years from now they might not recognize them. We might go about recognizing them for some little bit they have done, but I would hate to think they would then draw out all the person’s weaknesses and not his merit for naming some holiday or some event after him. Indeed, we might go down the corridors out there and scratch from the marble roster the names of members who didn’t turn out as properly as we might have liked them to in today’s more liberalized society where everything must have a euphemistic name attached to it.
Even in this very House we avoid using our own names, which most people respect. We go around labelling members as Simcoe Centre, Simcoe East and so on, but we remove them by their own name and only by their own name when they are to be punished and removed from this House. There again we have a reverse; we want to put a name on them only when they have been bad, as we shall say, or incorrect in their manner.
Mr. Conway: It’s McCarthy, is it? Dalton McCarthy?
Mr. C. Taylor: Let’s look at this man, and at what the member for Simcoe East has put forward, as a chance to recognize a man with all his good points and all his faults that may have been put forward in that time, and to give his name to this holiday, which now carries the misnomer of Civic Holiday, which again was put forward euphemistically to call it a holiday.
Many of our present holidays are losing their meaning. When I look at Remembrance Day, and see how much it has changed over the course of the years, it is now referred to as a holiday rather than possibly by its original meaning. Indeed, it is such a vital thing in our history that it is only recognized primarily by luxurious establishments such as civil servants, members of the Legislature and public bodies, and not by the general public at large. There again we have seen something happen.
This great man, as he was in those days, albeit he might he criticized for some of his views -- look what he did for this province. He started it. We recognize that as a beginning. He looked forward to roads and railroads. He planned, and the vision that came forth today is the heart-blood of this province. We see it converted into Highway 400, that first visionary road north that is now Highway 400; and the water routes that have gone forth. Penetanguishene was the original settlement in the area. We see how be followed those forefathers, Champlain, Brulé, and the Indians, LaSalle, up north -- the same routes that they originally took -- and established a great community on those routes.
Again, I refer to two years ago when, following those same routes, the students who involved themselves in the Penetanguishene military and naval establishment, walked and recreated the same routes that he followed in the early days, providing some of the people along the routes with re-enactments of the original historical moments.
Two of those places in Simcoe county named after his father were put forward -- Midland celebrating its 100th anniversary and Barrie celebrating its 125th anniversary; they are putting forth ideas. There is one member in Barrie who may again go over those canoe routes, recreating our history. When many people are trying to find and get back to their roots, it is very befitting that here is a chance to look forward to naming a neutered holiday to something, recognizing one of our great leaders in this country.
Mr. Foulds: Nonsense.
Mr. C. Taylor: I now read from a text, as we all can when we get to these historical moments; when we look forward to some of these moments.
“But at first the new government in Upper Canada worked wonders. Colonel John Graves Simcoe, the veteran commander of the Queen’s Rangers, was appointed as the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada. He arrived in Kingston July 1, 1792, and organized his Legislature at Newark, now Niagara,” -- we’ve changed that name, to give you an example -- “in the same month. For over four years, he governed the province and immensely influenced its future.
“Simcoe was a notable man. He had a vision that looked a hundred years ahead and that lingered also a hundred years behind. He could see in the sandbars and marshes of Toronto a mirage of a metropolis; his great military roads swept, in his fancy, east and west 500 miles; he held the north in his hand and Niagara was his footstool. For him, Upper Canada -- so he told his parliament -- went in its responsibilities ‘infinitely beyond whatever, till this period, have distinguished any other colony.’
“Yet to Simcoe, a democrat meant scoundrel; dissenter; snivelling hypocrite; and without the Church of England morality would go under. But he was all for what he considered progress; he must have schools and grammar schools; he looked forward to a college. He gathered in a printer to set up the Upper Canada Gazette and American Oracle; he collected three refugee clergymen of the establishment to make a church; and asked the crown for a bishop.
“For government, Simcoe wanted the British government and he wanted it all; its established church, its hereditary titles, its forms, its feathers” --
Mr. Wildman: Do you support that?
Mr. C. Taylor: -- “its venerable humbugs, and nothing newer than Queen Anne. On these terms, Simcoe called his first Legislature together on September 17, 1792. It met in a frame building close by the village of Niagara with uncleared bush all around. It numbered 23 men in all, seven councillors and six elected assemblymen. The councillors, handpicked, were gentlemen, but more than half the others were a rougher lot, ‘fellows of one table,’ that is, fellows who ate with their servants and, hence, to Simcoe, disqualified for British government.”
Hon. F. S. Miller: The Liberals and the NDP.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Tut, tut.
Mr. J. Reed: Please don’t lump us together.
Mr. G. Taylor: “But Simcoe’s vision saw it in all its colours of the autumn woods. He read its future in the majesty of the lake and the broad sweep of the river. All that Ottawa now is, he saw it then and he must have pomp to match it. There he went into these great areas, to sow seeds for the harvest that is yet to come.”
When we are searching for such an identity, I even go back to the same text written in 1941, I’ll give you the author in a moment Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Foulds: Yes, please do.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Quite a reader, George.
Mr. Roy: That’s very good, George.
Mr. G. Taylor: “It is exactly at that point that our literature in Canada still stands. There is not as yet a Canadian literature in the sense indicated, nor is there, similarly, a Canadian humour, nor any particular Canadian way of being funny, nor is there, apart from varying accents, any Canadian language. We use the English for writing, American for conversation and slang and profanity, and Scottish models for moral philosophy and solemnity.”
Mr. Kerrio: What about fuddle-duddle?
Mr. G. Taylor: Or bunk? We look at what is written here by one of our leading Canadian persons.
Mr. Foulds: Where do you find that stuff? Who wrote that?
Mr. G. Taylor: It was written in 1941 by Stephen Leacock, one of our renowned Canadian historians and humorists. Even at that time they were hunting for this Canadian identity.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Good for Stephen.
Mr. G. Taylor: Here we just have one slim chance, a minor chance of putting some Canadian identity into our history books, and into our everyday style of living. I think we should support this bill. It’s one of the few we can bring forth as a private member that won’t cost a great deal of money, and it won’t cost a great deal of inconvenience to anybody.
So all those practical things, at which we look at times are here to be celebrated in the future, with a label that will be recognized in the future, so when somebody says “Simcoe Day,” they can also pull out history books. There are so many things in my county, in the riding that I represent, that have those names. There is the township of West Gwillimbury --
Mr. T. P. Reid: Gwillimbury?
Mr. G. Taylor: -- which has the maiden name of the wife of John Graves Simcoe attached to it. The townships of Tay, Tiny and Flos have the names of the dogs of the Lieutenant Governor at that time.
Mr. Foulds: That’s enough, surely.
Mr. G. Taylor: All of these things are historical.
Mr. Wildman: This is getting a bit too much.
Mr. G. Taylor: The areas he opened up are the historical heartland of this province. I think it would only be fitting that we should try to recognize this man with this one singular little bit of effort on our part in this Legislature. I hope it receives the recognition and support from all members of this Legislature. I’ll be looking forward to listening to my friend Mr. Conway bring forth his historical items on this same subject.
Mr. Roy: Hey, George, you should have given us advance notice and we would have given you background music.
Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, the debate we are having this afternoon is one which some of us will remember having participated in on previous occasions.
Mr. Foulds: And too often.
Mr. Conway: Perhaps too often, but that’s for the member for Port Arthur to say. I must say that I well recall the member for Simcoe East previously introducing this particular bill.
An hon. member: That takes a lot of nerve.
Mr. Conway: I must say that at that time I was perhaps more likely to support him than I am now since I’ve come under the very socialistic influence of my legislative intern, Mr. Christopher Waddell, who informed me in his very significant research on this matter that there may be less cause to support this than I had previously thought. Notice the socialist horde applaud when I say that.
I sit here and the member for York South -- there isn’t a more distinguished parliamentarian and historian in this assembly, as he himself, I’m sure, will allow from time to time -- he complains of the degree to which the members opposite, and perhaps others on this side, pay little attention to the context of the time. Simcoe was many things, as the kindergarten history some of us are interested in and concerned with teaches us. I listened to what he had to say and how terrible Simcoe was in terms of for what he stood. A lot of that is true. There is a certain antiquarian disinterest in the sort of Tory aristocrat for which he stood.
Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, we know your escape to the chair is one which has removed you from the clutches of the purity which we all know to be --
Mr. Wildman: Elevation.
Mr. Conway: -- not nearly what the socialists would have us believe in this Legislature. I listen to them, time and time again, suggest that they and only they are consistent in a historic sort of way, and that the Tories today should not wish to force John Graves Simcoe on us because all that he stands for is repugnant to us. Perhaps that might be.
Mr. Wildman: You said you were going to support the bill.
Mr. Conway: That might be the debatable point. That certainly might be the case, but I just refer members of the assembly, in somewhat of an allied fashion, to this morning’s Globe and Mail in which the Ottawa correspondent, Mr. Geoffrey Stevens, wrote an article entitled “The Official Secrets Act.” He does, I think, great justice to the present debate by rolling back to the introduction of that particular legislation in 1939. There is some relevance in this, believe it or not, when the distinguished Ottawa columnist --
Mr. Foulds: You are certainly not using the research of your parliamentary intern.
Mr. Conway: -- of the Globe and Mail quoted the even more distinguished former CCF member of the federal House, Mr. A. A. Heaps from Winnipeg North, about the Official Secrets Act, something about which modern-day socialists have not unheard-of opinions. The columnist this morning cites the former member for Winnipeg North as supporting entirely the Official Secrets Act. He says, and he quotes the member at the time as saying, “I think every honourable member ... will approve of the principle [of the Official Secrets Act] embodied in this proposed legislation. In times such as the present every nation has the right to protect itself ... Honourable members cannot be anything but wholeheartedly in support of such a measure.”
Now, the point of that instruction, of course, is that we should not take, all too seriously, the purist platitudes of the member for York South who fails, as he knows he fails, to give the proper context to the times and circumstance in which John Graves Simcoe found himself. There is a certain intellectual dishonesty in much of his argument, inasmuch as he knows, even the socialists in this House know, that in 200 years Ontario has changed to some degree.
The member for York South, notwithstanding my earlier comments, makes some very valid points about what it is John Graves Simcoe stood for. He was an arch Tory, not unlike the blue-vested member for Carleton (Mr. Handleman) just arriving in the Legislature. He understood Toryism as I suspect few of his contemporaries and many of his successors understand it.
Mr. Roy: He could not be as far right as the member for Carleton.
Mr. Conway: I understand it only inasmuch as I am appalled by its regressive inequalities. I understand it inasmuch as I know the majority of the people of this province today want little or nothing to do with it. I understand it, inasmuch as I can say with the member for York South, that John Graves Simcoe indeed wanted an assembly of half-pay officers. That might be better than an assembly characterized by half-wit ministers.
Mr. C. Taylor: Or fully-paid members of the opposition.
Mr. Conway: That might be better, but I don’t want to suggest that it is something that I, as a liberal in the classic sense of the word, want to foist upon the people of this province. But let us understand, for the edification of the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. F. S. Miller), that that is what we seek to honour when we talk of John Graves Simcoe; an arch Tory who wanted to make this a little England in the bushlands of North America; who wanted to establish and maintain an official relationship between church and state; who wanted, and perhaps this is something that might recommend him to the member for London South (Mr. Walker), to make London the capital of the land and thereby help the Legislature escape from the sometimes difficult clutches of Toronto. This is something that all members should perhaps consider. He wanted, as I said earlier, to make this a province characterized by an invented aristocracy, something which all members are completely, I am sure, at odds with in the modern context of 1978.
Mr. Nixon: Did Chris write this stuff?
Mr. Conway: He did indeed; a fine research assistant.
But I must say, Mr. Speaker, that many of those features which Simcoe stood for were relevant in the period of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Mr. G. Taylor: Glad you understand history, Sean. The members to your left don’t.
Mr. Conway: To that extent, those characteristics, which the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada wanted to establish, were ones which met with widespread support within the provincial community at that time. But I would suggest to the honourable members that those may not he virtues we want to hold forward 200 years later.
I would suggest that inasmuch as honouring Lieutenant Governors is concerned, it is not a bad idea to pick John Graves Simcoe out of what is really a questionable list. I think of John Graves Simcoe as certainly better than Francis Bond Head, known as Francis Bonehead to those liberal reformers of the day. It certainly seems better than Peregrine Maitland.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: You are plagiarizing now.
Mr. Conway: It certainly seems better than George Arthur who brought police state repression to the rebellion-ridden province in the 1830s. To that extent, I would agree with the member for Simcoe East in his suggestion that John Graves Simcoe is a name better than others. But I must say it is a vision which I do not feel succeeded in this country, as all of us know.
This is not a land of aristocracy, despite the Minister of Energy. This is not a land of church-state dominance, despite the Minister of Energy. This is a province that has developed under the wise guidance of liberal reform political ethics.
Mr. Handleman: Do you mean Mitch Hepburn?
Mr. Conway: It seems to me that if we have to pick from the list of Lieutenant-Governors or Governors General, then John Graves Simcoe is certainly acceptable to me. I remember well last year the member for Port Arthur suggesting, as he will no doubt suggest later this afternoon, that others might be more representative.
Mr. Speaker: You’ve got 10 seconds left.
Mr. Conway: He suggested Agnes MacPhail. Not wishing to be sexist, I would suggest that if we must have a name, perhaps the genius of Ontario in both its past history and some of its present direction would be most typified by naming the Civic Holiday for the non-partisan George Brown.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Your researcher gets a C minus for that lousy speech.
Mr. Foulds: I am afraid that once again I must say to the member opposite and to you, Mr. Speaker, that I cannot bring myself to support this bill. Sir John Graves Simcoe, after all, embodies all of the worst characteristics of the early founding of our history in political terms. As the member who has just spoken pointed out, I can understand the commitment of the Tory party to Colonel Simcoe and to Simcoe Day. If the Conservative Party could turn back the hands of time, it certainly would restrict entrance to the Legislative Assembly and voting rights to half-pay officers. In the 20th century, that would be the OPP.
I readily admit the framework of time in which he lived and I readily admit the engineering skills and vision that he had and the second-rate Roman attitude that the building of roads and highways was the primary thing to do. However, the fact that a county is named after his father -- most people think it is named after him -- and that the Simcoe name is embodied in the name of one county, two provincial ridings, one lake and a downtown Toronto hotel is enough honour for one man. When the downtown Toronto hotel elevates him to the peerage, which never happened in history, surely that is honour enough.
I am not always sure of this, but I think that we have moved somewhat forward in terms of democracy from Colonel John Graves Simcoe’s time. I almost elevated him to the peerage myself. Maybe that could be done posthumously. There are a number of other illustrious people in Ontario’s history that could be honoured and I suggested a number of these back in 1976. My own favourite, or one of the suggestions I made, is that we should have a Macdonald Day to honour --
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Which Macdonald?
Mr. Foulds: -- all of the Macdonalds who have contributed so much to the history of Ontario --
An hon. member: Let’s go for a hamburger.
Mr. Foulds: -- Sir John A., John Sanfield Macdonald, and our own Donald C. MacDonald. I think that, in fact, would be an honourable suggestion embodying a number of honourable traditions in political history.
Mr. MacDonald: We might even include Donald S. Macdonald.
Mr. Foulds: Why not? That way all three of the active political parties could be represented, and everyone in the province could feel that they were participating in a day that was honouring one of their particular heroes.
We could name it after Joseph Brant, if we wanted to honour one of the native builders of this province. We could name it after one of the northern native leaders, Shinguakouce who, in fact, spent a considerable period of time walking from his home between what is now Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie to York. I think he walked that distance in 10 days, in order to make contact with the leaders of the Anglican Church to encourage them to bring schools and education to his people in the north.
I am sure the Minister of Natural Resources, the member for Muskoka (Mr. F. S. Miller), would want to name it after the most illustrious son of his riding, the person who is probably the best-known Canadian around the world, and that is Dr. Norman Bethune, who contributed so much in humanitarian terms to the development of our recognition of the country and to medical science and humanitarian efforts.
I am sure many people would want to honour one of the other builders of Ontario, Sir Adam Beck, the founder of Ontario Hydro, or, if you want to look at the social field, the eminently prestigious educationist, Egerton Ryerson, who after all only has a polytechnic named after him so far. My own favourite person, in terms of Ontario’s political history would be, as I indicated last time, Agnes MacPhail. She pioneered in a number of areas, both provincially and federally, in terms of representation on a political level.
I have switched my thinking a little bit since 1976 and I am not bound by those. I have a feeling that perhaps it might be more fun -- and after all, a holiday should be fun -- if we named it after one of the people who have contributed to this province in terms of the arts. I thought of Tom Thomson, and I thought of some of our writers. I actually thought of having a pitch for national unity and naming it Laurier Day as an expression of goodwill to our brethren across the Ottawa River, and I thought of naming it Group of Seven Day.
However, I think if you really want to capture the essence of Ontario, the essence of fun in a holiday in midsummer, what better person to honour than Stephen Leacock, who after all in many ways embodies all of the virtues of Ontario along with a sense of humour that is notably lacking in most of our politicians. I would think that if we had a day in the late summer in honour of Stephen Leacock the people across the floor should find that acceptable. He was a Tory, after all, a Tory economist.
Hon. W. Newman: You would like to name it Foulds Day, I know.
Mr. Foulds: He had a sense of satire and humour that would leaven the turgidity that passes for speechifying and speech-making in this House and often on the hustings. So my nominee this year for honour in terms of the Civil Holiday is Stephen Leacock. It is not that I disrespect the nominee from the member for Simcoe East, but I honour my nominee more.
Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Speaker, I will support the bill this afternoon. I was somewhat amused by the member for York South, who has switched his allegiance, but I listened to his speech and discovered why he is suddenly a fan of John Graves Simcoe. He discovered in his research that John Graves Simcoe was anti-American.
Of course that is one of the pillars and foundations of NDP policy. Anyone who is anti-American is, of course, a friend of theirs.
An hon. member: What about John Diefenbaker?
Mr. MacDonald: Anti-Americanism was the basis of the Tory policy in the 19th century.
Mr. Samis: What about John A. Macdonald? You get dumber every day.
Mr. Rotenberg: I am a little surprised at those across the way -- some who support this bill and some who oppose it -- who are standing up here this afternoon and making fun of the British and the Anglo-Saxon traditions and making fun of John Graves Simcoe.
Mr. Samis: You weren’t even here.
Mr. Martel: Take your halo off.
Mr. Samis: Bring back Havrot.
Mr. Foulds: He was even a Neanderthal 180 years ago.
Mr. Rotenberg: We have to judge John Graves Simcoe in light of 180 years ago, in light of the 18th century. We shouldn’t be judging him by 20th century standards and, of course, if you put John Graves Simcoe into the 20th century, I know he wouldn’t be acceptable in the NDP caucus. But in light of the standards --
Mr. Foulds: It is probably presentable in the back benches of your caucus.
Mr. Rotenberg: Could I have a little order, Mr. Speaker?
In light of the standards of the late 18th century, and if you look at John Graves Simcoe’s record, in light of the standards of the time, he comes out as a very progressive conservative.
Mr. M. Davidson: That’s what he looks at, his record.
Mr. Samis: How much of an ass can you be. Gordy, this is demeaning to your speech.
Mr. Rotenberg: We have had a number of debates in this Legislature, a number of debates, talking about preserving and perpetuating ethnic traditions and ethnic cultures. We debated heritage language, we debated culture, we debated grants to all of the ethnic organizations; and those opposite have always claimed to be in the forefront --
Mr. MacDonald: John Graves Simcoe would have done that. He would have made them all become Anglicans.
Mr. Rotenberg: -- claimed to be in the forefront of those policies and trot out their politics.
But I wonder sometimes why those opposite who want to perpetuate all of the other ethnic minority cultures do not want to help perpetuate the culture of the largest minority group in Ontario which, of course, is the Anglo-Saxons.
Mr. Nixon: It is an endangered minority.
Mr. Martel: Who writes your lines?
Mr. Samis: You make Yakabuski sound sensible.
Mr. Eaton: Nobody interrupted when you guys were speaking.
Mr. Makarchuk: You are the complete Neanderthal.
Mr. Rotenberg: I wonder if you might enforce the rules of the House, Mr. Speaker? Would you ask the NDP to have only one member heckle at a time, please?
Mr. Samis: Okay, we will.
Mr. Grande: Don’t be so provocative.
Mr. Martel: Maybe we can also get the speakers up one at a time.
Mr. Rotenberg: John Graves Simcoe, for all his faults, was really the founder of the establishing of the Anglo-Saxon culture and tradition in Ontario.
Mr. Nixon: His brother-in-law was a minister of the government.
Mr. Speaker: Order. Every honourable member of this House has a right to be heard.
Mr. Martel: Let’s make an exception.
Mr. Nixon: He started the famous Ontario pork barrel.
Mr. Rotenberg: I wonder what set them off? They have no respect at all for wisdom.
What I simply want to say is that I, who do not come from an Anglo-Saxon background, will support the honouring of John Graves Simcoe, who brought Anglo-Saxon tradition to Ontario. Why, suddenly do those across the way who do come from Anglo-Saxon backgrounds simply seem to want to negate their tradition?
Mr. Samis: Who are you talking about?
Mr. Foulds: We blindly honour a dunderhead.
Mr. Samis: Is the cabinet ready for you?
Mr. Rotenberg: We complain so often -- I hear the complaining especially from those opposite -- that we do not have a Canadian identity. They complain we lack a Canadian identity, and here we have a chance to take a silly little name like Civic Holiday, which is meaningless to everyone, call it Simcoe Day to establish an identity, a truly Canadian identity for one holiday, and those who brack and bray about wanting a Canadian identity, when the time comes are just not home; they are out to lunch.
Mr. T. P. Reid: All those in favour of Rotenberg Day?
Mr. Foulds: What about John A. Macdonald? I’ll settle for Macdonald.
Mr. Rotenberg: I think we should honour John Graves Simcoe. About 16 years ago we established in this province the John Graves Simcoe Foundation and I am very pleased to have had some part in that establishment.
Sixteen years ago I was a member of the Toronto city council and not a member of this Legislature. Back at that time it was drawn to our attention that Wolford Chapel in Devon, the burial place and the home of John Graves Simcoe, was in some state of disrepair and ruin; it was actually owned by the publisher of the Exeter newspaper. It was surrounded by the land of a gentleman named Le Marchant whose ancestors had come over with William the Conqueror.
I had the privilege that summer, Mr. Speaker, of visiting Devon and the representative of Mr. Harmsworth of the Exeter newspaper took me to visit the chapel. I visited with Mr. Le Marchant and asked those people, would they grant this little piece of Ontario in England to the government of Ontario through a responsible non-profit organization if one could be set up. They said they would.
When I came back as a member of the Toronto city council I approached the city council at that time and they wanted no part of it. I came to the government of Ontario which respects all traditions. I would like to pay particular tribute to the present Chairman of Management Board, who was then Minister of Tourism. The Honourable James Auld was very receptive to the idea of setting up a foundation -- to the idea of Ontario taking over John Graves Simcoe’s home and burial place.
The government of Ontario stepped in, set up the foundation, and purchased the land for a dollar. Ever since then, we in Ontario are honouring John Graves Simcoe by perpetuating his home and his burial place in the chapel in a little bit of Devon. If we in Ontario can honour him in England, certainly we can honour him within our own province. I suggest, as a non-Anglo Saxon, that we pass this bill, and give some honour to the Anglo-Saxon tradition in Ontario and to its founder.
Mr. Makarchuk: You’ve said that about five times now.
Mr. C. E. Smith: I would just like to say a few words in summing up. I’ve appreciated the comments of the members supporting the bill and I’ve listened with a great deal of interest to the others’ comments from those who were not quite so enthusiastic.
I was interested in the comments of the member for York South when he indicated -- and I think one or two other honourable members indicated -- that John Graves Simcoe apparently was a Conservative or a Tory. I can understand them assuming that now because the member for York South did indicate that John Graves Simcoe was attempting to appoint army personnel to form the government. He indicated that he was trying to bring the class society from England to Canada. But like any good Tory he sensed that wasn’t what the people wanted and he abandoned that.
Mr. Makarchuk: Obviously, he was the last of the good ones.
Mr. G. E. Smith: As a result, I can understand now that he likely was a Tory.
Mr. MacDonald: He was clobbered into it by Cartwright.
Mr. G. E. Smith: I believe it was the member for Port Arthur who suggested that Chief Joseph Brant would be a more suitable name. It’s interesting to note that Joseph Brunt and John Graves Simcoe were personal friends. They had a great deal of mutual respect. Certainly Joseph Brant was a very fine gentleman, as were some of the other people mentioned by the honourable members taking part in this debate. But it comes back again to the point that John Graves Simcoe was the first Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. As a result I think he should receive greater preference than some of the other names that were mentioned.
While Simcoe may have had his faults, he had a grand design for Ontario and an impact upon its development which has lasted to this day. By honouring Simcoe we would be recognizing as well the contributions of all early settlers and administrators in this province.
In conclusion, I would like to say that the Barrie Examiner supported it editorially. I’ll have to condense it because I see my time has elapsed. They headed the editorial, “Simcoe Day -- A Good Name for the August Holiday.” They sum it up by saying, “Besides, Civic Holiday is rather a blah name, is it not?”
I hope the honourable members will support this bill on second reading.
LABOUR RELATIONS AMENDMENT ACT
Sufficient members having objected by rising, a vote was not taken on Bill 65.
SIMCOE DAY ACT
The House divided on the motion by Mr. G. E. Smith for second reading of Bill 99, which was approved on the following vote:
C. I. Miller
F. S. Miller
G. E. Smith
Yakabuski -- 49.
M. N. Davison
T. P. Reid
Worton -- 34.
Ayes 49; nays 34.
Ordered for committee of the whole House.
Mr. Kerrio: That is how private members’ hour is supposed to function.
Mr. Martel: Now we will find out how it goes back to the House.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Actually, we are giving very serious thought to having a special committee meet all summer at Niagara-on-the-Lake to discuss this.
An hon. member: How about Lake Simcoe?
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Hon. Ms. Welch: Mr. Speaker, usually at this point we indicate the order of business for next week. The House leaders have met today and with the permission of the House we would almost like to do it on a daily basis, because although it is alleged we are getting close to recess, it is going to be difficult really to predict too far into next week until we know what progress we have made.
Mr. Conway: That’s what Winkler used to say. He is now driving buses.
Hon. Mr. Welch: You seem to have that name on your mind -- not much more on your mind, but at least you have got that name on your mind.
Hon. B. Stephenson: He has dandruff on his mind.
Mr. Conway: Well, I don’t have the stuff you have got there.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Welch: It has been indicated that tonight we will start at 8 o’clock with second reading of Bill 103, and then we will go into committee of the whole to complete Bill 83. It is my understanding there will be a bell because of divisions within committee on Bill 83 at 10:15 p.m. We will clean up those two items tonight.
On Friday, we will go to second readings of Bills 110, 111 and 121, then into committee on Bills 91, 85 and 96.
Perhaps we might go as far as Monday: On Monday, first thing, at motion time, we will establish the select committee on health costs. We will then do third reading of Bill 48. We will do Bill 86 in committee and then continue with anything left over from Friday’s schedule. Following that we will consider Bills 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120 -- the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton) package of children’s legislation. That will be done on the understanding, of course, that the House would agree to dispense with provisional order 30, because we may have the social development committee in session outside the House.
So if, in fact, we might carry it that far, Monday we could give a report for the balance of the week. On Tuesday, the first order in the afternoon, as has been agreed, will be the second reading of Bill 112.
Mr. Speaker, if I may be permitted one further comment, there will be an evening sitting on Monday.
Mr. Speaker: Agreed?
Mr. Foulds: No. We need a motion.
Hon. Mr. Welch: We don’t need a motion.
The House recessed at 6:03 p.m.