The House met at 2 p.m.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
FEDERAL HOUSING PROPOSALS
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I wish to report to the Legislature the results of last week’s federal-provincial housing conference. I wish to emphasize that much work still remains to be done before any final decisions can be made on the implementation of the new federal housing proposals in the province of Ontario. For example, although we have reached general agreement on the terms of a global funding agreement, which envisages the federal government making a three-year financial commitment for housing programs, the final details of the document have not been negotiated, nor of course has it been executed.
Similarly, although many of the details of the low-income housing proposals contained in the new federal programs have been clarified, an operating agreement confirming the clarification of these details and determining the manner in which Ontario will co-operate with the federal government in the delivery of these programs has not yet been drafted or executed. Further, the operating agreement required for the new community services grants program introduced by the federal government needs further negotiation and drafting.
Many of the programs discussed at the conference are of a relatively complex and technical nature, and, as indicated, time is still required for careful study of the decisions reached and their effect upon current ministry programs. However, I think it might be useful to the members for me to provide some background on the purpose of the housing conference and to outline briefly the agreements in principle which were reached at the conference.
In early February of this year there was a federal-provincial conference in Edmonton. At that time it was the understanding of the provincial ministers of housing that a further meeting of ministers would take place in April. The April meeting was felt by the provinces to be of critical importance because proposals for the new federal programs announced at the Edmonton meeting needed considerable clarification before the provinces could properly assess their impact on their own programs and on the municipalities and other groups such as non-profit organizations.
Unfortunately, the federal Minister of State for Urban Affairs, Mr. Andre Ouellet, cancelled the expected April conference and moved unilaterally to announce new federal programs. I must say that this action caused considerable confusion in the provincial ministries, particularly so since the new programs were announced piecemeal in a series of press releases without sufficient background material to permit a reasonable assessment of them.
Bearing in mind that housing programs have a tremendous social and economic impact on the province and its municipalities, and recognizing the huge sums of taxpayers’ dollars involved in these programs, it was imperative that a meeting with the federal minister be held; and so I asked for a meeting of the provinces and the federal minister.
One of the major problems facing that meeting was that a number of the proposed federal programs had been announced with immediate or early implementation dates. As a result of the agreement reached at the meeting held last week, I am now in a position to report that the federal minister, in the main, has agreed to continue a number of the existing programs for a period of time that will allow for more careful and prudent planning, and continuing consultation with the provinces. This will also avoid upsetting in any serious way the current year’s program.
To ensure that the process of federal-provincial consultation continues in what we hope will be a productive manner, we have done two things. First, it has been agreed that federal-provincial task forces will study a number of the federal proposals in an attempt to reach accord. Second, I insisted, and the other provincial ministers concurred, that the studies should be completed on a timetable that will allow another ministers’ conference in November of this year.
This time discipline, I think, is important because, while we wish to assure ourselves that the interests of our municipalities and citizens are protected as a result of thorough analysis and study, the Ontario Ministry of Housing is anxious to reach a clear understanding of these program changes at an early date so that all concerned can get on with the job of providing housing.
Among the major items referred to the task forces is the question of federal subsidies to rent-geared-to-income housing. This is the question which has received most of the public attention in recent days. Perhaps it would be helpful and useful, Mr. Speaker, if I reviewed this subject.
Going back to the Edmonton conference in February, the federal government stated that it wished all provinces to move to a minimum rent scale that was 25 per cent of income. This policy was subsequently further enlarged to provide that the minimum rent scale would be 25 per cent of gross income and would be extended to cover both existing and new housing projects. To put teeth into the federal proposal it was stated in plain terms at last week’s conference that the provinces not implementing the 25 per cent minimum rent scale would have to pay any difference from the provincial-municipal purses. In other words, full federal government assistance would not come into effect except at or above the 25 per cent of gross income level.
This federal proposal met with considerable provincial opposition and as a result it was agreed that a federal-provincial committee of officials be established to study rent scales and the definition of household income and to report back on their findings to the federal and provincial ministers this fall.
One further point of special interest: While some of the federal programs require further clarification and have been turned over for further study, it is certain that the federal government has opted out of providing direct assistance in at least two of its current major programs -- AHOP and ARP. The direct subsidy housing incentives have been replaced with a plan of graduated-payment mortgages.
I must say that I am concerned; these new plans which allow for lower mortgage payment at the beginning of the payment period and higher payments later in the life of the mortgage cause me some worry. The worry is that home buyers’ income will not rise fast enough to meet the higher payments required. The new federal AHOP program, unlike the old, does not contain a hardship clause. The young family in which the wife may leave the work force to have children earlier than planned could find itself in financial trouble when the day of higher mortgage payments arrives.
Mr. Martel: Can they get any higher?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: That is but one example, Mr. Speaker. In any event, that kind of worry is not shared by the federal minister; this is one case in which I hope he is right and I am wrong.
Mr. Wildman: You are probably both wrong.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: However, at the meeting I asked the federal minister to continue the ARP and the AHOP programs, at least until we could sit down with the industry and lenders and work out modifications to ensure success of his new program. Mr. Ouellet took a very hard line and refused to negotiate, saying they were finished in their old form on May 1, 1978. I am particularly disappointed to see the successful ARP program changed. For that reason I will be writing to Mr. Ouellet and asking him to reconsider AHOP and ARP under the 1976 terms, on the grounds Ontario is willing to continue its rental construction and HOME grants so as to encourage production of such units.
Mr. S. Smith: I would hope so.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I think it would be fair to summarize the results of the conference by saying that at the urging of the provincial ministers the federal minister has agreed that the majority of his new housing programs need revision and greater clarification.
It is unfortunate that the orderly process of federal-provincial consultation and study was interrupted by the unilateral cancellation of the April meeting. However, I feel we have been fortunate, on the other hand, in being able to convince the federal minister to make haste more slowly and to allow more time for existing programs to run in parallel with the new proposals. Hopefully, if he cannot establish that the new proposals are more effective than the existing programs, the federal minister will reconsider the wisdom of implementing them at all.
We intend to co-operate in every way in assisting with the further evaluation of the new programs and will make every effort to obtain the best possible combination of programs to meet Ontario’s housing needs.
Mr. Speaker, the record of the conference and the official statement of the agreements reached is being prepared by the Canadian intergovernmental conference secretariat. When I have received the official report, I will be pleased to provide the members with additional information.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, over the last few months I have assured members that as soon as the very complex and thorough reassessment of Workmen’s Compensation Board financing and benefits was complete, I would move without delay to seek legislative amendments to the Workmen’s Compensation Act. That review is now complete and while the very substantial report, which is also being tabled, contains massive amounts of information and raises a variety of very real concerns, I am honouring my commitment to introduce an amending act before the completion of this session.
In introducing the bill at the appropriate time today, it is recognized that there are benefit areas which require prompt adjustment. It is also recognized that the implications of the report will demand much additional evaluation. I wish to emphasize, therefore, that while the bill which I am introducing today focuses on the important area of immediate concern, further study and consideration of the Wyatt recommendations will be required for the many long-term issues identified in that report, as well as in submissions made to me by various organizations and groups.
I am pleased to announce that the amending act, which is intended to become law on July 1, 1978, will contain the following measures:
First, an increase in the ceiling on earnings from $15,000 to $16,200 effective July 1, 1978. While the Wyatt report urges no change in the earning ceiling pending consideration of changes in the relationship of compensation to earnings on a tax-free basis, it is considered that some interim change is justified at this time. This change will mean that the maximum rate of compensation payable will rise from $216.35 per week to $233.66 per week. The new ceiling will not only benefit workers injured on or after July 1, 1978, but will also apply to those workers receiving disability pensions as a result of accidents occurring prior to that date and will apply in those cases to benefits for periods after July 1, 1978.
The second change is in the present minimum compensation for temporary disability, which is at the present time $90 per week or 100 per cent of earnings if they are less than $90. The new minimum compensation for temporary disability will be $115 per week or 100 per cent of earnings if less. This means that those workers earning more than $153.33 per week will receive the usual tax-free 75 per cent as compensation. Those earning between $115 per week and $153.33 will receive the minimum of $115 per week, even though this will be more than 75 per cent of the earnings; and all workers who earn $115 per week or less, including part-time workers, will receive tax-free compensation equal to their full earnings.
Disability pensions awarded for accidents in any year prior to 1976 will be increased by a factor of 11 per cent with respect to 1975, a further factor of eight per cent with respect to the year 1976 and an additional factor of six per cent with respect to the year 1977. Where the accident occurred in 1976, the eight per cent and six per cent factors will apply. Where the accident occurred in 1977 the six per cent factor will apply. These factors apply retroactively, are cumulative and subject to the maximums.
With respect to permanent total disability pensions, there will be three changes in the absolute minimum. Effective July 1, 1976, it will be increased from $400 to $444; effective July 1, 1977, from $444 to $480; and effective July 1, 1978, $509 per month.
The current absolute minimum for permanent partial disability will also be raised proportionately on the same effective dates, so that effectively, July 1, 1978, the absolute minimum for a 50 per cent disability will rise from $200 to $254.50 per month, and the absolute minimum for a 25 per cent disability will be $127.25 per month compared with the present $100.
The Workmen’s Compensation Board will be reviewing all pension records to determine what additional benefits are payable under the amendment in each case, and the increases will be paid as rapidly as possible. The pensions for dependent spouses will be increased from $286 per month to $318 per month effective July 1, 1976; to $344 per month effective July 1, 1977; and to $365 per month effective July 1, 1978.
Pensions for dependent children will also be increased from $77 per month to $86 per month effective July 1, 1976; to $93 per month effective July 1, 1977; and to $99 per month effective July 1, 1978.
Orphans’ pensions will also be increased from $88 per month to $98 per month effective July 1, 1976; to $106 per month effective July 1, 1977; and to $113 per month effective July 1, 1978.
The pensions for dependants other than spouses and children will also be increased proportionate to those increases granted to dependent spouses. Retroactive adjustments in dependency pensions will be made as rapidly as possible following identification of the claims affected.
The burial allowance will be increased from $600 to $800 for deaths occurring on or after July 1, 1978. The initial lump sum payment to a dependent spouse will also be increased from $600 to $800 on the same basis on the same date.
The allowance currently payable for damage to clothing by artificial appliances will be increased from $168 per year to $192 per year with respect to lower limb prostheses and back braces for a permanent back disability, and from $84 to $96 per year with respect to upper limb prostheses; both effective July 1, 1978.
The changes in benefits which I am recommending are substantial. They are intended to provide more equitable levels of compensation to those affected by industrial injury or disease, while recognizing that a great deal of further analysis of workmen’s compensation still lies ahead.
The costs of such changes are also substantial, having a total capitalized value of $262 million for existing cases, including retroactive payments for existing permanent disability and dependency pensions, plus $6 million in respect of increased cost of new claims occurring during the last six months of 1978.
I would therefore state, Mr. Speaker, that I seek your support and the support of the members of this Legislature for the amending act so that the higher levels of benefits will be available to Ontario’s workers effective July 1, 1978.
Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Minister of Labour: Welcoming, as we do, this improvement in the benefits schedule of the Workmen’s Compensation Board, can she inform the House as to the method of financing these improvements? Is that money available within the fund, will there have to be higher contributions or is this money coming in whole or in part from general revenue?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, all the funding for the improved benefits will come from the funding of the Workmen’s Compensation Board. There will not be a requirement for any increase in the assessment levels.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary: May I ask how it is that these workers have been allowed to suffer through a very difficult winter and spring when the money was there in the fund for the minister to come through with increases long before this so-called study was completed? Why did they have to wait this long if the money was right there in the fund?
Hon. B. Stephenson: It was as a result of some concern on my part, and some concern expressed very well during a meeting of the standing committee on resources development, that a member of the official opposition caucus recommended that such a study be carried out. With the assistance and support of the member for Erie (Mr. Haggerty), this study was carried out.
It was felt there could not be any rational basis for change until all the information requested by the honourable member -- information which I felt was entirely essential to making responsible decisions -- was available to us. As soon as that information was available, as soon as we had the information from the board and from the Wyatt study, the changes were recommended and are brought to the House today.
Mr. Cassidy: Now that the minister has had that report, is the government prepared to build automatic increases into the act so that the three-year delay that injured workmen have suffered waiting for any changes in the disability pensions will never again occur in the future?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I think it is incumbent upon us to examine very carefully all of the recommendations of the Wyatt report, which are far-reaching. There are some suggestions within that report for the kinds of changes which should be instituted, but I would have to tell the honourable members that when they receive their copies of the report, as they will this afternoon, they will note that Wyatt specifically recommends that there not be indexing, but indeed that this be done on an ad hoc basis annually. That kind of mechanism most certainly, I think, can be built into a rewritten act.
Mr. Warner: It’s easy for an ad hoc government.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Can the minister also tell the House if it is the government’s intention, because her statement was not clear, that these increased pensions will be paid retroactively so that the increases suggested for 1975, 1976 and 1977 will now be paid as a lump sum, or is it the government’s intention that the increases will only begin to be paid on July 1 of this year?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I thought I made that very clear in my statement that any pension which had been granted before the date July 1, 1975, would be subject to all three stages of increase. Any that began on July 1, 1976, would be submitted to the two-stage increase; and on July 1, 1977, to the one-stage increase. The total increase, of course, will apply to those which occur after July 1, 1978.
Mr. MacDonald: Retroactively?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes.
Mr. Laughren: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Has the minister compared the increases in either the consumer price index or the industrial wage composite with the increases that she has announced today? Further, would she think seriously in the next day or so about increasing at least the widow’s benefit, which is rising to $365 and is clearly inadequate?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Those two indices have been very carefully considered in the recommendation which is made today. The percentage increases are across the board, as I’m sure the honourable member recognizes, and are either equal to or in excess of the levels which are available in any other jurisdiction in Canada.
Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Could the minister advise us as to when she herself became aware of the funding available to make these increases possible for these injured workmen?
Hon. B. Stephenson: At the time of the submission of the Wyatt report.
Mrs. Campbell: Not before?
Hon. B. Stephenson: No.
Mr. Martel: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I want to go back to the question raised by the leader of the New Democratic Party, because I still don’t quite understand the minister’s answer. In fact, will the workers who started in 1975 and later get a cheque to cover the increase of 11 per cent for 1976, a cheque to cover 1977, one for 1978, and then, as of July 1, be established at a new level?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes. I would imagine, however, that there will not be three separate cheques for those individuals; there will be one lump sum.
MEAT PACKING DISPUTE
Mr. S. Smith: My second question, Mr. Speaker, is also for the Minister of Labour, and it has to do with the meat packing dispute which is occurring in Ontario.
In view of the fact there are reports a strike has started at Swift and that Canada Packers has announced that, despite the minister’s letter to them pointing out what I think she said in the House was an unusual stance -- apparently that didn’t frighten them much -- they are planning to lock out their employees, is the minister aware that this will mean about 2,500 workers out of a job in Toronto and may well have very detrimental effects on consumers, given the shortage of beef that already exists and the pricing structure? Is the minister prepared just to allow Canada Packers to carry out its threat to lock out? Is she convinced that it’s quite legal? Is she going to do anything about it?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, to answer the last question first, yes, their proposed action, I gather, is entirely legal. Secondly, I really wasn’t intending to frighten anybody by that statement.
Mrs. Campbell: You scare us.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Thirdly, I am informed by the Consumers’ Association of Canada that as far as they are concerned any such action will have no effect at all on the consumer price of beef. They feel it is not likely to have any very detrimental effect, even on the supply, for quite some time. So my concern right at the moment is to attempt to bring the parties back to the table to negotiate a settlement which will be satisfactory to both.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary: Given the estimates that it will be about a month or six weeks before the supply pinch definitely will occur, and given the fact that one of the ways the supply pinch will be avoided will be with imported beef, which is a real problem to our farmers, can the minister explain to us why she bothered to write Canada Packers at all? Does she feel Canada Packers needed to know from her that their action was unusual? Did she feel they were desperate to find out whether she thought it was unusual or not? Or had she hoped to back them away from that type of action? If the minister has failed, what action is she now going to take?
Hon. B. Stephenson: It is my understanding that it will not be necessary to import beef to ensure a reasonable supply for Canadian consumers. Indeed, Canadian beef will be available and the small packing houses in this province and in this country will be quite capable, and are certainly prepared to deal with the situation at the present time.
The question was asked of me whether I found this to be an unusual practice; I said, yes, it was an unusual practice, in my understanding.
Mr. S. Smith: Why did the minister write them?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I didn’t write to them; this was communicated verbally, as a matter of fact. I think it’s important that the House know that it wasn’t put down on paper. It is, in my estimation, an unusual practice but one which I gather has been indulged in by other employers in the past. If this is the route which the packing houses see fit to follow, since this is not limited to the province of Ontario but indeed is a national situation and I gather involves at least two other packing houses as well as Canada Packers, it is not the role of the Minister of Labour of Ontario to say, “You must not do this”; indeed I gather it is being condoned, if not supported, by departments of labour in other provinces and federally.
FEDERAL HOUSING PROPOSALS
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Housing arising out of his statement on the federal-provincial meeting of last week.
In view of the very clear statement the minister gave two weeks ago that Ontario favoured the 25 per cent rent scale, and in view of the statements by the federal Minister of Housing that the provinces have the right to set whatever rent scale they see fit in public housing, can the minister indicate what Ontario’s position will be leading up to the November meeting; and can the minister say whether Ontario was one of the provinces that opposed the federal proposals on the rent scales?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, if the leader of the third party will read my statement, it clearly indicates that the majority of, if not the entire, 10 provinces, opposed the federally designed program of rent-geared-to-income.
When I reported to the Legislature about the meetings in Edmonton, held on February 1 of this year, there was general agreement that some logic should be used in moving towards a 25 per cent income factor relating to rent. It was to relate to the formula that exists at present in the various provinces to calculate income. It was understood that it was to relate specifically to the new units coming on stream.
At last week’s conference, it was clearly outlined by the federal minister that he was no longer referring to the income formula we had worked with for some period but to a gross income formula, which would take into account all income; even if it happened to be a tax rebate situation it would be considered as income.
I would admit that in pressing the federal minister for some clarification as to the income factor, he admitted he did not have the entire formula spelled out completely. That's the reason the 10 provinces put the federal government in the position of taking it to a federal-provincial civil servants’ meeting to determine what the word “household income” should mean and the 25 per cent factor, or a percentage factor, for rent-geared-to-income.
It has been indicated clearly before, and again today, that if there happens to be an increase in rent -- and there is none anticipated at this time, because there is no formula we can work to: but if one should be worked in, it would likely be over a lengthy period of time. To conclude my answer to the question, the federal minister said very clearly, as I said in my statement today, the provinces can establish any rent factor they want in their provinces. That is clearly understood.
Mrs. Campbell: You’ve never understood it before.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: You can establish the rents as you see fit as a province, but he is now saying clearly and distinctly to the provinces: “If you do not get 25 per cent of gross incomes as the rent factor, you and the municipalities will pick up that shortfall 100 per cent. The federal government will not participate in any subsidy until you succeed in coming to the 25 per cent of gross income as rent.” That is very clearly spelled out. We admit, I think -- all 10 provinces admit -- that we can establish rent.
I think the leader of the third party will admit it is quite a change away from what was originally the type of agreements we had signed with the federal government whereby there was rent established as to income that could range anywhere from 16.7 per cent to 25 per cent -- not as the leader of the third party tried to indicate some weeks ago, that we had rents down to 13, 14 or 15 per cent. We have never been in that factor before. Clearly we have held up the whole program of rent-geared-to-income until there is some clarification by the federal government of what they mean by household income.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, can the minister be specific as to what Ontario’s own intentions are as far as the rent-geared-to-income scale is concerned? Does Ontario in its proposals wish to see an actual increase in the rent-to-income scale? If that is the case, since it is clear that Ontario will have the power to set its own rent scale, can the minister say to what point or by what percentage amount does Ontario intend to increase the rent-geared-to-income scale in this province?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I have no announcement to make on that subject at this time until I see what the federal government wishes to offer to us in the terminology it will outline sometime between now and November.
Mr. S. Smith: Do I take it from the minister that the basic thrust of the federal position has been that they are going to get into the business of cheaper mortgage money, and basically that is it; that is basically what they see their position as being able to provide? If that is the case, doesn’t the minister feel a lot of the strings they are attaching to this mortgage money represent a constitutional intrusion into a provincial area which should be resisted. Doesn’t he feel they should in fact stick to providing the cheaper mortgage money and allow the provinces to work out exactly how they wish to use that money to benefit whatever people they have and whatever needs they have in their own provinces?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure it is supplementary, but I will attempt to answer it.
Mr. Bolan: Who are you to determine that?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I take it the Liberal leader is referring to the graduated payment mortgage plan, which is a very broad plan into the field of rental accommodations and ownership.
What the federal government is intending to do very clearly and very distinctly is get out of the money business -- period. It is not their intention to lend funds from CMHC except under very extenuating circumstances in various parts of Canada. In other words, they are trying to encourage provinces, municipalities, nonprofits and co-ops to go into the private lending sector and to secure funding, and if a certain percentage of the funding is put up -- 100 per cent, for example, by a co-op through the lending institution -- the federal government will write down the interest rate on that funding to one per cent. If they borrow up to 90 per cent they will write the interest rate down to roughly two per cent. It really works out to about 1.9 per cent.
That is really what they are intending to do. They are not intruding into the field, as far as we understand, except to the point that they will no longer lend funds. They have the same desire as the Ontario Mortgage Corporation and that is to move out of the loaning field and let the private sector look after it. To do that they are offering a graduated payment mortgage scheme. As I have said in my remarks, I have great difficulty in believing it will be profitable and beneficial to the overall rental market or to the housing market in this country. I make that statement not because Claude Bennett thinks that is the way it should be --
Mr. Peterson: Who is Claude Bennett?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: -- but over the last number of weeks I have taken the opportunity to speak with those in the development business from across Canada -- not just the province of Ontario, but across Canada. I have met with 16 of the largest principal mortgage lenders in this province and this country, and I have yet to have one positive response to the graduated payment mortgage plan that the federal government is proposing.
Mr. Makarchuk: In view of the fact that the financial institutions have indicated they are not prepared to go along with the graduated payment mortgage plan, and in view of the fact that the provincial and federal governments are getting out of the mortgage business, can the minister tell this House who is going to provide the mortgage funding for new construction then?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I suppose the member should look again at my statement where I very clearly said today that I am urging Mr. Ouellet, by letter once again, to review his program and to retain the ARP and AHOP program that was introduced in 1976, to leave it in place at least for the current year, until we have some appreciation of what the other plans will mean.
Mr. Ouellet has never taken the opportunity to meet with the people in the private sector who do the development. He has never taken the opportunity to meet with the people in the private sector who lend funding.
Mr. Peterson: You represent the private sector.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: They’ve come to a graduated payment mortgage plan in Ottawa that is entirely their own brainwave. They have never really tried to consult anyone.
Mr. Kerrio: Now you know how frustrated we get dealing with you guys.
Mr. Nixon: He talks to the Matthews Group regularly or their representative.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I would tell the members frankly that last week Mr. Ouellet got a clear message from 10 ministers of the provinces of Canada that the plan is not likely to succeed. I’m not throwing cold water on it at this moment, but there appears to be very little support for it in the private sector. I have asked Mr. Ouellet to retain the present program until we can try to find some way out of the situation.
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Ouellet is not here to defend himself.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: His cousins are here.
Mr. Bradley: You love to pass the buck, don’t you?
Mr. Peterson: You act for the private sector.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I’ll act for the people I think will provide housing for this province.
Mr. Cassidy: I have a final supplementary arising out of the meeting last week of federal and provincial housing ministers. In view of the absence of any reference to it in his statement, can the minister say whether Ontario pressed the federal government to abandon its plans to completely change the nature of co-operative and nonprofit housing in the country or in the province, and can he say whether Ontario was successful in ensuring that they are not turned into an adjunct of the rent-geared-to-income housing plan?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: May I report to the House, so that there will be no misunderstanding, what sections of the National Housing Act will remain in effect. Section 15(1) will likely continue until the end of 1978. I must admit even that is a change in position from last Tuesday afternoon when Mr. Ouellet left the city of Toronto. It was to be continued until the end of August. I understand that because of some other moves he will now extend it until the end of 1978, even though he has no provision for funding in his budget at this moment.
Section 27(1) -- that’s the NIP program -- is terminated as of March 31, 1978, and will not likely be taken up in the community services program. Section 34(1), the residential rehabilitation assistance program, will be continued. That’s one that up until last week was likely to fold. Section 34(1)(a), loans to co-operatives, will continue.
Section 40, federal-provincial-based public housing and land, which is the 75-25 program that Ontario has not used very extensively over the last number of years, will be retained and could very well become the vehicle that we’ll use from now on in the development of public housing in the province of Ontario, at least in the smaller communities.
Section 42, loans for acquisition and servicing of land which go to municipalities, will be continued. Section 43, which is the capital lending program from the federal government to the housing corporations, will terminate as of the end of 1978.
Under section 44(1)(a), public housing subsidies of rent supplements in public projects, 50-50 subsidies will be continued for existing units and modified for new use. Section 44(1)(b) will be continued as well. Section 51, loans for sewage treatment, will be terminated at the end of 1978 and will likely be one of the programs that will be included in the community services grants program.
Section 56(1) is the section that related to AHOP and ARP which terminated on May 1, 1978. It is now being taken over by the graduated payment mortgage plan.
TORONTO CORE AREA PLAN
Mr. Cassidy: I have a question to the Treasurer arising from a speech the Treasurer gave to the Toronto area redevelopment council more than a month ago, but which I think is worth reviewing at this time. In that speech, the Treasurer discussed the legitimate provincial interest of the province in the city of Toronto’s core area plan. He mentioned, among other things, the balance of development between the downtown and suburban commercial centres, housing provided in the plan and the use of railway lands.
In view of the fact that the province has stood back from the development of that core area plan for some time while it has been before the Ontario Municipal Board, can the Treasurer say what he means when he says the province has a legitimate interest, how that will affect any subsequent cabinet decision and whether that cabinet decision will in fact simply put years of work on the core area plan down the drain?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: No. I would like to review what I said well over a month ago before I comment extensively. Obviously, we have a legitimate interest. As I recall, we spelled out that interest three or four years ago. At any rate, we weren’t interested in seeing all growth come to a standstill in downtown Toronto, in the core area, as some would have happen. What ultimately happened to the downtown plan was that it went to the Ontario Municipal Board, and there it is.
There will undoubtedly be decisions. In the meantime, I think my own casual reading of newspaper clippings and other areas would be that the city of Toronto, if I may say so has adopted a somewhat more realistic approach to the development of the core where Metropolitan Toronto, and indeed I suppose the federal government as well as the province, has invested a great deal in transportation systems, subways, all based on the premise that we had a growing, vibrant, alive, awake core and not something which was going to come to a complete halt, as no doubt the leader of the third party devoutly wishes.
Mr. Lewis: Ah, don’t be silly.
Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary: Can the minister say why these areas of legitimate provincial interest as he calls it, were not raised at the OMB hearing where they could be discussed publicly, and whether it is the intention of the provincial government, if opportunity arises, to put its views in terms of the housing mix, the balance of downtown development and the use of railway lands into an adaptation of the plan if it comes to cabinet?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, no, I don’t think we propose to do that. I think the city of Toronto and the Ontario Municipal Board are well able to work those things out. I don’t see any reason for us to get into the nitty-gritty of the city of Toronto planning or Metropolitan Toronto planning provided that it isn’t trying to stop the world. As I say again, the member would undoubtedly like to see the world stop.
Mr. MacDonald: That’s silly. It really is quite silly.
Mr. Martel: It is the government who has been stopping the world, with all the flip-flops this year.
Mr. Lewis: It sure has slowed it down.
Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: If the Treasurer has this confidence in the OMB and the city of Toronto, can he explain why he came galloping in at the last minute in order to express the legitimate provincial interest, in his terms, rather than allowing that provincial interest to be expressed through the proper channels and not making the OMB hearings into a charade?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I don’t think they are a charade. I recognize that it really must gall the third party that the city of Toronto is allowing some development and some things are happening in this great city. It really must gall them.
Mr. Martel: Go back to the Wentworth bill.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: On the other hand, the NDP’s friends in some of the construction unions are much happier today than they were a few years ago.
Mr. Martel: It is not tax reform.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Certainly we have an interest. We have an interest in GO Transit, we have an interest in parkway belts, and we’ll express that interest from time to time --
Mr. Martel: Your last hurrah.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- but we’re not going to get into the nitty-gritty, detailed planning which only happens in a socialist Valhalla and is not going to happen here in Metropolitan Toronto.
Mr. Lewis: You are just an old pachyderm.
Mr. Martel: The Treasurer has had to backtrack so many times this year that I can’t understand why he is so uptight.
Mr. Lewis: He is just an old, decaying pachyderm.
Mr. Martel: They should call you Backtrack Darcy.
Mr. MacDonald: He is in full speed retreat.
Mr. Lewis: He is the last bumble of the fossil.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: If the Treasurer is going to keep out of these planning issues can he explain what is left to the municipalities to be autonomous about, after he has written to the OMB telling it not merely to make decisions based on planning, not merely to make decisions based on official plans and not merely to make them based on solvency, but on a certain set of priorities that he thinks municipalities should have, which downplays, among other things, recreational and cultural projects? Why is the Treasurer taking this point of view with the OMB and not allowing municipalities to decide how to spend their taxpayers’ money autonomously?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Whether the Leader of the Opposition recognizes it or not, we do have some responsibility in this Legislature and on this side of the House.
Mr. Martel: The Treasurer had better look at his last answer.
Mr. Makarchuk: That is not what you said a little while ago.
Mr. Breaugh: The Treasurer is supposed to count to 10 before he answers.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: We have some responsibility for the financial viability of our municipalities. It’s only a year ago that the Leader of the Opposition was going around this province with the simplistic notion that mill rates would be held to an eight per cent increase. How does he square that?
Mr. S. Smith: The Treasurer’s own letter says they were held to 7.5 per cent yet he said it couldn’t be done.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: The honourable member is talking out of both sides of his mouth and he knows it.
Mr. Makarchuk: Heave the Treasurer out.
Mr. Speaker: Order, order.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Oh, what simplistic, simple-minded solutions he has.
Mr. Martel: The Treasurer is finished now.
Mr. Lewis: He had better watch that slingshot now.
Mr. Warner: Some of these members really are quite unruly, Mr. Speaker. I’d like to know why it is that the Treasurer has now decided the Ontario Municipal Board should no longer be at arm’s length from the government and should be subject to his direction. Gould be please explain why that is happening?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I would be glad to debate that issue at some time during my estimates; I don’t know whether the question period is the appropriate time to debate these issues. I think if you examine select committee reports, ones that even the New Democratic Party didn’t dissent from as I recall, members will find in a number of places that there’s a clear responsibility expected of a government to give direction in broad terms to the Ontario Municipal Board. Certain members obviously would like to have a municipal board hearing one month, a year later an assessment review hearing, then they would like a couple of appeals to the cabinet, then finally refer the whole thing to a standing committee of the Legislature -- and nothing would be done.
Mr. Nixon: What is your excuse for doing nothing?
Mr. Martel: You know all about cabinet interference.
Mr. Makarchuk: You are a spent force.
Mr. Martel: Yell a little louder, Darcy. We didn’t bear you.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, would you ask that fellow to turn the mikes up?
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Lewis: It is compassion for an aging relic who mumbles from time to time.
Mr. Blundy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Community and Social Services: Would the minister explain why he has done nothing about the recommendations of the committee on record disclosure to adoptees which was funded by his ministry and which made its report fully two years ago this month -- June 1976?
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, the fact is that it’s not that we have done nothing: we have done a great deal. It’s a very complex issue as I am sure the honourable members opposite appreciate.
The number of very delicate interests that are involved in the resolution of that issue is at least three in every instance. Trying to find a mechanism that would protect those interests to the maximum possible and still recognize the concern of the adoptee who is seeking identifying information about his or her roots and origin is not an easy matter to resolve. In fact we are now working on what I hope will be a final proposal for policy consideration by the government in the very near future.
Mr. Blundy: Supplementary question: Does the minister see the need for some consistent policy on these records in Ontario? If so, why, after two years, has at least some direction not been given to conform somewhat with the report? It is a most conclusive report I would think.
Hon. Mr. Norton: Yes, I think it’s imperative that there be a consistency in terms of the handling of such information. In fact the attempt has been to provide consistency up to this point. But because of the manner in which some of that information is available in various agencies across the province, it has been difficult to assure that. However I have met with a number of heads of agencies who have such information, who believe that the information has not -- surely as a matter of policy -- been released by their agencies in contravention of the existing policy, but rather that there have been other avenues by which it has been made available without any official recognition of that by the agency.
There is concern on their part and on mine and many others’, I can assure the member, that until such time as we have a more comprehensive policy that kind of pirating, if you wish, of information might continue. I would like to see that resolved in the very near future.
Mr. McClellan: We will amend the act and that will solve it.
Hon. Mr. Norton: We have been examining practices in other jurisdictions as well as considering the recommendations of the committee cited, and I believe it should be resolved before the fall. Otherwise, it will be just a totally incomprehensible policy.
Mr. McClellan: You can vote for our amendment and that will solve it.
AIRPORT HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
Mr. Philip: A question for the Provincial Secretary of Resources Development: Concerning the decision by the Ontario Municipal Board and the cabinet to approve a 450-unit housing development by Cannard Investments Limited less than a mile south of Toronto International Airport, does the minister not see any conflict between the decision to build the houses and the obvious environmental and housing problems, and particularly the noise problems; and is the minister not concerned that the development fractures all the borough’s zoning requirements for the size of houses and setbacks?
Hon. Mr. Brunelle: Mr. Speaker, I believe this question should be more appropriately directed to the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett).
Mr. Philip: If I may ask another question of the same minister, then, since it is my understanding that all of the various ministries that would be affected by this problem are under his aegis: In the light of the recent statements by the Honourable Alastair Gillespie in which he requested a recess on all decisions on this project until his colleague, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Otto Lang, has had an opportunity to consider the ramifications of the Ontario government’s decision; and in the light of Mr. Lang’s recent statement as reported in the Toronto Star of Friday, June 16, that the decision to allow housing to go this close to the airport was a bad one; would the minister explore ways of getting together under his aegis the various ministers -- namely the Minister of Housing, the Minister of the Environment (Mr. McCague), and the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) -- and the appropriate federal ministers, and look at a way of solving this problem?
Mr. S. Smith: Just repeat the question.
Hon. Mr. Brunelle: As I indicated earlier, I believe the Minister of Housing could give the member some information. I would be pleased to look at the whole aspect of your question.
Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, may I redirect?
Mr. Speaker: You had the opportunity on the initial question.
Mr. Van Horne: A question for the Minister of Community and Social Services: In the light of the universal concern over child abuse, can the minister tell us if his ministry has any plans to promote outreach assistance programs in communities across Ontario?
Mr. Lewis: The mere words induce stupor.
Hon. Mr. Norton: I am not sure precisely what the honourable member would include in outreach community programs. But, as I indicated earlier this spring, there are a variety of programs that are being funded during this fiscal year for preventive programs in various communities across the province. The programs are in each case being proposed by agencies within the community. If, following review, they meet our criteria for funding of preventive programs --
Mr. McClellan: Don’t go on too long, you are going to make me mad.
Hon. Mr. Norton: There are quite a variety of such programs in place -- I can’t give the precise number at this point; 30 comes to mind. That is in addition to the efforts we have been making, and continue to make, to establish child abuse teams in communities across the province. We have had some 40 seminars in various communities across the province as well, which have led in many instances to the establishment of child abuse teams.
I am not sure whether that covers the full range of community outreach programs that the member may have contemplated --
Mr. McClellan: I hope not. Let’s hope not.
Hon. Mr. Norton: -- if not, I would invite him to pursue it with a supplementary.
Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary: Could the minister advise this House how much money is being made available to the Hospital for Sick Children to enable them to expand the Denver Module Program, which seems to be the most effective in the prevention of child abuse?
Hon. Mr. Norton: I cannot give the honourable member a specific answer to that. I will undertake to do so.
Over and above the funding that is available to children’s aid societies for prevention programs, which is about one quarter of their total budgets or $25 million --
Mrs. Campbell: You can’t use it for that research.
Hon. Mr. Norton: -- we have a special budget allotment this year which is double what it was last year, in excess of $800,000, for funding specific programs. Whether or not any of that is allocated to the specific program which the honourable member has expressed interest in, I can’t say. But I will get her that information.
Ms. Bryden: I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. In view of the minister’s lack of information about where the liquid industrial waste which formerly went into the Beare Road landfill site is now going, and in view of the concern by local citizens near Sarnia about the report last week that Tricil Limited, a company with a very bad record on waste disposal, is preparing to establish a deep well disposal project on Highway 40, which is known as the scenic route, I understand, will the minister undertake to set up immediately a task force of ministry officials to collect information on where and in what way liquid industrial waste is now being disposed of in this province and to determine what quantities of liquid industrial waste will likely require to be disposed of in the next decade, and to examine the adequacy of the facilities now available or planned and to make recommendations for the safe disposal of the total amount of liquid industrial waste expected to be generated, which could then be referred to a select committee of the Legislature to examine this very important problem in the fall?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Another select committee? Unbelievable.
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, the information that the honourable member is requesting in that series of questions is available from our ministry.
Mr. Kerrio: We’re going to have a select committee on the Premier next.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Are you in favour of that site, Marion?
Ms. Bryden: I understand the minister said in the House that he did not know where the liquid industrial waste that formerly went into Beare Road was now going. Secondly, has he got the wey bills on a computer system so that we can have monthly reports on exactly what waste is being generated and where it is going, and can we have those reports made public?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, as far as the wastes that is going to Beare Road -- the task force of officials of my ministry and of Metro are auditing those figures, and where that’s going exactly, I presume will soon be available. As far as computerizing the program is concerned, that will be done in the next few months, but we are monitoring the wey bill system, not by computer, but manually at this time.
HOSPITAL BOARD REPORTS
Mr. Stong: In the absence of the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell), I have a question of the Provincial Secretary for Social Development. In the light of the proceedings which took place at the annual meeting of the York Central Hospital in the regional municipality of York, wherein the executive board refused to supply requested information to its members, would the minister take steps to set, make known and enforce guidelines which would require hospital boards to be more accountable to their members and communities in terms of supplying general statistics concerning the number of, types of and procedures used in operations performed at their respective hospitals?
Hon. Mrs. Birch: I will be very pleased to take that question under advisement and discuss it with the Minister of Health.
Mr. Stong: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I wonder if the minister would report back to the House and make these guidelines generally available throughout Ontario prior to the next annual meeting of all of the hospital boards in Ontario.
Hon. Mrs. Birch: I am rather surprised. I thought it was a practice of public hospitals to divulge the numbers of operations and procedures that had taken place within those hospitals; that is public knowledge. But I will be very pleased to report back.
Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Colleges and Universities. It is regarding the fact that there is a 55 per cent drop in applications for the student grant program, as reported in the paper last week. I would like to ask the minister if in fact he has any explanation for this dramatic drop and would he agree that the basic reason is the inadequacy of his program?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: No.
Mr. Havrot: Good answer.
Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, would the minister answer the first part of my question? Does he have any explanation or not? Secondly, would he not agree that part of the reason for the drop is the requirement for parents to have to give away the right for privacy for their income tax and, further, the eligibility periods which eliminate thousands of students from the grant portion of the program?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, the answer is three times no. No, no, no.
Mr. S. Smith: No idea?
Mr. Eaton: They have to reveal their income so they are not eligible; that is the problem.
Mr. Grande: The minister doesn’t know what is going on.
SALE OF BEER AT BASEBALL STADIUM
Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Would the minister inform the House, in view of the fact that the patrons of Exhibition Stadium are anxiously awaiting the decision of this government with regard to serving beer in that stadium --
Mr. Warner: Beer in the ballpark -- a second-row revolt.
Mr. Yakabuski: -- and in view of the fact that summer is nigh --
Mr. Nixon: And the living is easy.
Mr. Kerrio: And Claire Hoy is high on beer in the ball park.
Mr. Yakabuski: -- would the minister inform the House if he is moving with Godspeed to provide those patrons with that much-needed refreshment?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We will move with Godspeed, although that is one quarter from which I have not got any representation on the matter.
Mr. Makarchuk: The Lord works in slow and mysterious ways.
Mr. Samis: It’s the power of Billy.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: However, I have indicated earlier that I hope the matter will be resolved one way or the other this coming week in cabinet.
Mr. Martel: What are you recommending?
Mr. Warner: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Perhaps I missed the end of that response but, recognizing the minister finds it difficult to make decisions on important matters, could he still tell us by which date this year will we have a decision as to whether or not the good people who attend Blue Jay games can actually enjoy a pint or two of beer?
Mr. Breithaupt: If they miss the playoffs.
Mr. Sands: In 1994.
Mr. Deans: Obviously you are not serious.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We have, of course, had a busy year making all sorts of decisions on matters such as rent controls, condominium legislation, income tax discounters, changes to the Liquor Licence Act --
Mr. MacDonald: Going in reverse.
Mr. Warner: This decision has taken you a year and a half.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: In view of that record of making decisions, the honourable members can be quite sure that we will have a decision within a week or 10 days, probably this week.
Some hon. members: Hurray!
Mr. Warner: Claire Hoy is smiling.
Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Premier: In view of the decision of the court of assessment on May 29 to award Cyanamid of Canada a $520,000 reduction in assessment, resulting in a tax cut of more than $82,000 for its two Niagara Falls operations, and in the light of indications that an increasing number of industrial plants will be appealing their assessments as a result of his government’s announcement that it will not proceed with property tax reform this year, does the Premier have any plans to review the decision not to proceed in 1978 with the legislation or at least to compensate those municipalities adversely affected by these appeals?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think the honourable member is aware that it would be very difficult to have legislation to compensate for a decision on appeal.
No, we will not be introducing market value assessment in the form of real property tax reform, although quite obviously, from the tenor of the question asked by the honourable member, it has now become the official policy of the Liberal Party of Ontario that they will introduce real property tax reform, except they won’t get the chance.
Mr. Kerrio: Oh, don’t bet on that.
Mr. Bradley: A supplementary question: I am always amazed by the Premier’s ability to get an indication from an individual member of a party what the policy of that party is.
Mr. Nixon: “Amused” is the word.
Mr. Bradley: However, my supplementary question is this: Is the Premier aware of allegations that some TEIGA ministry employees who discovered loopholes in the existing property tax system and examples of overassessed property, during a government study, have now formed companies which are launching assessment appeals and does he feel this is the proper procedure?
Mr. Makarchuk: A new growth industry in Ontario.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I am not aware of it. If the honourable member has some information that he thinks I should have on this matter, I would be delighted to receive it from him.
Mr. Bradley: On a point of privilege, I just wish to make a quick correction, Mr. Speaker. In the question to the Premier, I referred to former TEIGA employees; it should be former Revenue employees.
Mr. Swart: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: May I ask the Premier, in view of the indefinite general postponement, is he prepared to recommend to his Treasurer that municipalities which want to proceed with the tax reform, with the assessment at market value, be permitted to proceed with it themselves, as permission is provided in the act for the Minister of Revenue to lift the freeze on those municipalities?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I don’t think it is as simple as saying, “Would you permit the municipalities to do that?” I think one gets around to the question, is it a single municipality or is it a regional municipality? I think one would have to answer the question, if this were to be done, does this encompass all of the general reforms that were included in the initial proposals?
I would have to say to the honourable member that I can’t answer that question in its rather simple form. I am not being critical; I think the answer to that question has to take into account a number of other issues, and I am just not prepared to give an answer on that at this moment.
Mr. Martel: Better than no reform at all.
Mr. B. Newman: May I ask a supplementary of the Premier? Does the Premier intend to continue to punish municipalities by not doing anything in the line of providing them some financial assistance as a result of their not going along with his tax reform program?
Hon. Mr. Davis: It has never been the policy of this government to “punish municipalities.”
Mr. Martel: The Minister of Labour did last week.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I’m sure the member for Windsor-Walkerville fully understands that, when he looks at the involvement of this government in endeavouring to assist that great municipality on so many matters over the years, for which he takes most of the credit locally, if he can get away with it. I know he understands that.
Mr. S. Smith: And rightly so.
Mr. Nixon: They don’t give the Premier much credit.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I read the Windsor paper and I get reports from in-laws very regularly about how the member for Windsor-Walkerville appears almost to be a Tory when it suits him and when it doesn’t he is a Liberal. I understand that.
Mr. Speaker: That wasn’t part of the question, unfortunately.
Hon. Mr. Davis: It doesn’t hurt at all; it’s human nature. But I would say to the honourable member I also understand that Windsor has a problem with respect to what it perceives to be something less than its fair share of the resource equalization grant.
Mr. Swart: I have a question of the Minister of Revenue. May I ask him if he is going to permit the unjust assessment system to become more unjust and to continue indefinitely; or does he have some alternative proposal to put before the Legislature in view of the abandonment of the tax reform program? Is he or is the Treasurer going to make an announcement to this House before it rises at the end of this week; or whenever that time may be?
Mr. Martel: It will only be the 100th in the last 10 years on tax reform.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: I would inform the honourable member that the staff of the Ministry of Revenue and the staff of the Treasury are working at trying to find an answer to some of the problems raised in the Legislature and raised by municipalities.
I don’t think the answers or proposals we might have to give to some municipalities which are in serious trouble as far as assessment is concerned will be forthcoming by the time the Legislature rises, but we are working on it.
Mr. Swart: Supplementary: Will the minister at least assure this House today that he will lift the freeze on municipal equalization, on the equalization factor, so the injustice which is being done to so many municipalities with regard to grants and with regard to --
Mr. Speaker: Order. That’s the same question you asked of the Premier on a supplementary.
Mr. Martel: It’s a new question.
Mr. Swart: No, it is not. It’s entirely different. With due respect, Mr. Speaker, this pertains to the equalization factor. I’m asking the minister if he will give the assurance that the freeze on the equalization factor will be lifted so municipalities can get fairness with regard to grants and with regard to common payments made for regions and education.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: I would inform the honourable member we have investigated some municipalities with a view to allowing the freeze to be lifted from the equalization factors. We have discussed the whole problem with some municipalities and they have found if we had done such a thing they would have been in worse shape than they are now, so I cannot give the member that assurance until we’re sure it’s going to be beneficial, rather than making the problem worse.
Mr. J. Reed: I have a question of the Minister of Energy. Is the minister aware of rather serious public accusations that Ontario Hydro has been withholding payment for lands expropriated pending the recipient’s withdrawal from an organization concerned with Hydro corridors and known as the Interested Citizens’ Group? Would he take it upon himself to investigate the circumstances surrounding these allegations and report to the House to assure us there is no subtle blackmail taking place?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I am not aware of those allegations but I will promise to look into it and report back to the House.
Mr. MacDonald: Blackmail doesn’t sound very subtle.
Mr. Deans: I have a question for the Minister of Education. Can the minister explain to the House the extent to which his ministry is able to monitor and to exercise any influence or control over the private school system in the province of Ontario as it affects the conduct of these schools and the degree of care taken by them over the children placed in their responsibility?
Hon. Mr. Wells: The responsibilities of the Ministry of Education for the private school system as opposed to the public school system of this province lie in several areas. One is that private schools are required by law to register with us. They fill out a form which is available for anyone to see and which asks for certain information. No check is made of that information. It’s presumed that the correct information is put on that form.
If a private school has students who wish to obtain the secondary school graduation diploma or the secondary school honours graduation diploma, we inspect the teachers for the purpose and then give them the right to grant the credits that would allow those students to get the diplomas. As far as I know, private schools outside the boundaries of this province pay for that inspection. There is a charge for the inspection within this province also. It isn’t a charge that covers the total cost, but it pays our inspectors. People go in and inspect the schools. If the teachers are found to have the standards that are required in the public school system, they then can grant the diploma. Beyond that, we have no jurisdiction with the private schools.
Mr. Deans: Supplementary: Is it the minister’s intention to investigate the unfortunate incidents which caused the loss of life of a number of students from St. John’s School and, since the inquest will take place in Quebec and we will have absolutely no input, to determine whether or not it would be appropriate to review the overall responsibility undertaken by the Ministry of Education to determine whether or not it is sufficient and whether or not it may be necessary to rewrite some of the legislation governing private schools to guarantee the safety of the children in their care?
Hon. Mr. Wells: My friend has sent me a letter about this matter to which, I must say, if it had been sent to me unilaterally and had not been sent also jointly to the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), my answer would have been no, it would not have been the responsibility of the ministry to do that. The coroner’s inquest would have been the proper vehicle through which that investigation should be carried on. Since he did write also to the Attorney General, we are collaborating and I’m waiting to find out what the Attorney General has to say on the matter.
SCHOOL BOARD ADMINISTRATION
Mr. Nixon: I’d like to direct a question to the Minister of Education. It’s one that I’ve put to him before, but I didn’t get an answer. Can he report to the House on the policy of the various county boards to reduce their administrative staff and costs at the same time and at the same rate, as they are cutting back due to the lower enrolment of students and for other reasons?
Hon. Mr. Wells: I don’t have any knowledge of any policy in that particular regard. That would be up to the local school boards, in their wisdom, in deciding on their budgets, to decide if they wish to trim their administrative staff. As I think I said to my friend before, as far as the teaching staff is concerned --
Mr. Nixon: Yes, that’s different.
Hon. Mr. Wells: -- much of that is all negotiated in the contracts they negotiate each year.
Mr. Nixon: Supplementary: I appreciate the minister’s comments about the teaching staff. Has he received complaints -- as I have and I’m very sympathetic to them -- that in many areas schools are being closed, teachers are either being laid off or not being replaced and yet the size and cost of the administrative staff is growing, both in numbers and cost? Would the minister agree with me that this is something that must concern us and cannot simply be fobbed off by saying that this is a local responsibility, particularly since it was under our responsibility in the first place, or at least the government’s through one of the minister’s predecessor’s, that it was dictated that every board had to have a director of education with everything that went with it?
Hon. Mr. Wells: I think the only place we dictate is that they do indeed have to have a director of education and chief executive officer; that’s it. What happens beyond and below that is entirely up to the local trustees. I get letters just the same as my friend does complaining there is a very heavy in-between administrative staff.
Mr. Nixon: And is the minister not concerned?
Hon. Mr. Wells: I draw to my friend’s attention that the staff is all appointed, mostly by resolutions of those elected school boards. They decide to have superintendents, assistant superintendents, curriculum co-ordinators and master teachers in certain areas -- the list goes on and on and on. I also draw to his attention that we do not require any of those things under our legislation or regulations.
Mr. Nixon: Wouldn’t the minister feel there is something we should do about this and not just ignore it?
Hon. Mr. Wells: Let me say that if my friend thinks we should do something about it and stress that boards look at their administrative structures and make sure that if there is any fat in them it be cut out, the answer is yes. If he means we should do something legislatively, I would say no.
Mr. Warner: I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. Since the disposal of liquid waste is a severe problem and a growing problem for Metro Toronto and other areas of the province, and since he told me earlier that his government doesn’t have any policy on this important matter, would he not think it appropriate to refer this business to the resources development committee in the fall, when the Legislature reconvenes in October? In the interim, he could collect whatever useful data there is available from his own --
Hon. B. Stephenson: What for?
Mr. Warner: -- ministry and from other interested groups, and supply the resources committee in the fall with that material, so that although he --
Mr. Speaker: The question has been asked.
Mr. Warner: -- doesn’t have any policy we could develop some guidelines for this province?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, that’s probably a decision that could be made in the fall. There is some work ongoing, as the member knows, and I have mentioned many times; a task force with Metro and members of my ministry. We would expect there will be some fairly significant developments between now and October, but it might be a valuable question to raise at that time and might be needed.
Mr. Warner: Supplementary: I am wondering why, if the minister is now interested in solving this problem, he couldn’t simply say today that yes, we’re agreed to do that in the fall, so that everyone who is interested can be preparing material over the summertime? Why couldn’t he simply tell us that he will agree to that today?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Because we are always preparing material, and I think we should wait to see what the situation is in the fall. I think that’s the only responsible thing to do.
STANDING ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE COMMITTEE
Mr. Philip from the standing administration of justice committee presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:
Your committee begs to report the following bill without amendment:
Bill Pr28, An Act respecting the City of Toronto.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION AMENDMENT ACT
Hon. B. Stephenson moved first reading of Bill 126, An Act to amend the Workmen’s Compensation Act.
Motion agreed to.
LANDLORD AND TENANT AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Wildman moved first reading of Bill 127, An let to amend the Landlord and Tenant Act.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the bill is to modify the security of tenure provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act to meet some problems faced by mobile home owners. The bill provides that a mobile home park owner cannot arbitrarily refuse to enter into or renew a tenancy agreement with a person who has taken possession of a mobile home from a tenant of the landlord.
In addition, where an owner wishes to terminate a lease for purposes related to the owner’s own use of the site, or to change its use or undertake a major renovation, the owner shall make every effort to find an alternative site for the tenant. In these circumstances, as well as in the situation where a tenant’s move is made necessary by a breach by the owner of his obligations under the act, the tenant is entitled to be reimbursed for any moving costs incurred as a result.
CONDOMINIUM AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Wildman moved first reading of Bill 128, An Act to amend the Condominium Act.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, the bill amends the Condominium Act to enable mobile home parks to be registered as condominium projects. The bill also clarifies the existing law by stating that a designated unit can consist of vacant land. This bill, therefore, provides for flexibility in the development of mobile home condominium projects by enabling a developer to choose between designating a mobile home as a unit in itself, or alternatively designating a vacant lot as a unit upon which a mobile home may be placed.
MUNICIPAL AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Wildman moved first reading of Bill 129, An Act to amend the Municipal Act
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the bill is to provide for separate taxation of mobile home park operators and mobile home owners. Where a mobile home is assessed and taxed by a municipality the tax collector must send a tax notice to the mobile home owner indicating the amount of the tax to be paid in respect of the assessed property. Any taxes due in respect of the assessed mobile home constitute a lien on the mobile home rather than against the land of the owner of the mobile home park.
EDUCATION AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Wildman moved first reading of Bill 130, An Act to amend the Education Act, 1974.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Wildman: The purpose of this amendment is similar to that of the Municipal Amendment Act. It is to do the same thing and will apply simply to mobile home parks in unorganized communities.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE PAPER
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day I wish to table the answers to questions 28, 94, 95, 96 and 98 standing on the notice paper.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
SELECT COMMITTEE ON HEALTH CARE
Hon. Mr. Welch moved resolution 14:
That a select committee of this Legislature be appointed:
1. To review Ontario’s health-care costs, health-care financing methods, and services provided for that expenditure; and then to compare that profile with those of other provinces and countries as the committee may deem appropriate for purposes of providing a valid basis for comparison;
2. To review alternative methods of financing the health-care system and the impact of those alternatives on the fiscal and economic affairs of the province; and to make recommendations thereon;
3. To review existing reports winch relate to methods and means of containing or reducing health-care costs, and to report its findings to the Legislature.
The committee shall report its final findings no later than October 17, 1978. The select committee shall have authority to sit during recesses and have full power and authority to employ counsel and other such persons as the committee may deem advisable. The proceedings of the committee shall be reported by Hansard in the format used by the House unless otherwise ordered by the committee.
The committee may call for persons, papers and things and examine witnesses under oath, and the Assembly doth command and compel attendance before the said select committee of such persons and the production of such papers and things as the committee may deem necessary for any of its proceedings and deliberations, for which the honourable the Speaker may issue his warrant or warrants.
The said committee shall be composed of eight members as follows: Elgie (chairman), Conway, Johnson, McCaffrey, Mackenzie, Riddell, Turner and Warner. The committee shall have power to substitute members provided that notice of such substitution is given to the chairman at the commencement of each meeting.
Mr. Speaker: Is the motion agreed to?
Mr. Breaugh: No. I have an amendment.
Mr. Speaker: Mr. Breaugh moves that resolution 14 be amended by adding a fourth term of reference, namely, to review and recommend alternative methods in the delivery of health-care services.
Mr. Breaugh: It is implicit in what is written here as the terms of reference, and after discussing this with the chairman of the committee there was general agreement, that if we’re to do a reasonably effective job of examining health-care costs, of course a primary source of health-care costs is how that service is delivered to the public at large.
It is our view that the terms of reference should be expanded somewhat to make it rather explicit that it is the job of this committee, while it is considering all forms of gathering and dispensing revenue, to also look at how the service itself is provided. It is not our intention to broaden substantively what the committee does, nor to broaden its time frame either, but rather to see that implicit in the terms of reference for the committee is this very important part of health-care costs.
We had some previous discussions on this in connection with the matter that was referred to the social development committee. We all recognize the need to go through a rather thorough and substantial exercise in looking at health-care costs in the province. We fail to see how that can be done with any degree of intelligence unless we look at how the money is spent, and that is, in the delivery system itself.
We are not asking that the committee sit forever and a day, nor are we asking that we broaden the terms of reference to include the entire world; we are saying this is an element, and surely the substantive element, in the cost of health-care services and we must look at the delivery system.
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, we have considered this in our caucus. I just want to speak briefly about what has led us to the opinion that we would not support the amendment for a fourth term of reference.
The first point is that reference of the report of the Minister of Health to the standing committee, insisted on by my leader, led to a very productive result; not only were there changes in OHIP rates but it also became apparent that OHIP financing methods had to be reviewed. As a result one of the recommendations from the committee report called for the establishment of a select committee and this is what the motion before us this afternoon will do.
Frankly, we were persuaded by the concept that the committee need not necessarily be a large one. I should also say frankly that we’re very pleased the member for York East, (Mr. Elgie), has consented to act as chairman, or so we are told. We think with a committee comprising a very highly competent and respected chairman with a competent and respected membership from all parties -- and a very short deadline, October 17 -- something quite constructive and useful can come out of the recommendation.
This is not an all-encompassing review of the provision of health-care services. We also point out to the mover of the amendment, that in the first term of reference, the phrase, “and services provided for that expenditure” will essentially permit the committee, if in their wisdom they think it is useful, to expand their review and consideration to include the provision of those services.
I’m sure you’re aware, Mr. Speaker, it indicates in the third term of reference the following: “To review existing reports which relate to methods and means of containing or reducing health care cost.” Having looked at some of those reports and read them very carefully myself, I am of the opinion that those reports open up almost the entire field of review. But we are very much concerned that the emphasis be on the financing aspect, and also that the report be available in the fall so action can be taken by this House during the fall session. So often, when a deadline has been given to a select committee, and I have from time to time acted on committees of this type, the committee finds important further things to review and asks for further perpetuation, if not perpetual perpetuation --
Mr. Warner: Are you on the company law committee this time?
Mr. Nixon: -- all of which could be justified if the committee sees fit later in this session. But we feel, for these reasons, the terms of reference are in no way restrictive. We have confidence in the committee, under these terms of reference, to give us a report which this House can act upon effectively and expeditiously. We do not intend to support the expansion of the terms according to the amendment.
Mr. Martel: I am a bit disappointed because I thought my friends to my right had indicated that they were prepared to support the motion.
Mr. Nixon: You live in perpetual disappointment.
Mr. Martel: With the Liberals around that’s right --
Hon. B. Stephenson: And perpetual perpetuation of various kinds of peculiar activities.
Mr. Martel: -- because God only knows how long they’re going to stay in the same place on any given issue beyond one minute, and this is yet another example.
Mr. B. Newman: You can look in a mirror.
Mr. Martel: I want to make a few points. How one can deal simply with the cost without really dealing with the system is beyond me. If you want, you could merely hire a chartered accountant to calculate what the costs are, but if you’re not going to look at how they’re going to deliver that system, or alternative methods of delivering that system, then I think the exercise is merely an exercise in futility. The sum total of what you will get next fall will be that we might cut this, or that has to go this way. I think you have to look at alternative methods.
Surely, when we reach a point where we’re spending, what is it now, almost $4 billion, if we’re really seriously looking at costs, we should take the time to find alternative methods to guarantee that we’re providing the proper service at the right price. Surely you can’t separate one from the other.
I don’t pretend to be an expert in the field of health, but I want to tell the House it’s like anything else. Unless we look at the delivery of it, we can’t really gauge whether we’re getting the benefits in terms of the costs. That’s precisely what the committee is going to attempt to do. The government is going to take the costs that have occurred from OHIP to this time and determine whether in fact they are reasonable. Well, if that isn’t weighed against something, or if that’s not measured against something new we might use to attempt to deliver at a different cost, then surely the government doesn’t need the exercise we are going through.
I have never been as excited as my friends to the right are that we have to have it come fall. I think that’s just a lot of poppycock. If we are spending $4 billion annually, and we are establishing a select committee to look at the financing, surely we must look at the other parts of it. I mean you don’t undertake a mathematical calculation and leave one of the ingredients out, Mr. Speaker. You take the entire equation so you can come up with solutions which are relevant. What we are doing in our haste to meet a couple of requests made during the debate on OHIP is to simply look at the cost and surely that’s irresponsible when we are spending $4 billion.
I heard the Minister of Labour and she’s correct. I suppose there’s tons of material somewhere on file that could be looked at. But obviously we haven’t done it or we wouldn’t have the select committee.
Mr. Martel: Well, what is the government appointing a select committee for then?
And surely if we have tons of material and we hire the staff to glean from it the various recommendations and we look at them, we must look at it in terms of what we are trying to achieve. Just to tabulate the bill to see from the bottom line whether we are getting adequate services for cost is crazy, unless the government is looking at alternatives.
What is the government attempting to achieve, the bottom line? That’s insufficient. We know what the bottom line is now and unless the government is going to look at alternatives, we are, I think -- and I hate to say it -- just wasting our time if the other ingredients aren’t included. I implore the House to consider that.
Let’s not be in such a hurry to get a report by some deadline and really not achieve what we are attempting to do. Some of us and my friend who is going to chair this committee know what it’s like to work under the gun. We went through it with the Inco committee. We worked under the gun, we made recommendations, everyone gave a little to try and reach a consensus and none of us were satisfied that doing it in haste achieved a lot. We really didn’t.
I am sure my friend from York East (Mr. Elgie) agrees with that, that he can’t be party to that sort of haste where you have a gun held to your head as you try to reach a consensus; that you are better off taking the time to do a very calculated, very detailed but significant job, because to go through another exercise like Inco and Falconbridge would be a waste of taxpayers’ money. It really was a waste because although we got consensus the government failed to respond, because they had to respond almost within hours of receiving our recommendations.
I implore the House that with a $4 billion expenditure at stake; with us prepared to get to the bottom line; we must look at the alternatives to determine whether we have reached the bottom line in the best interests of society and in the best interests of delivering health services at a cost which we can afford.
If we don’t do that, then scrap it. I say to the House leader scrap it, because if we don’t do that we are going to get to the bottom line and a chartered accountant with a staff working with him could do that for us this summer in about a month. He’s not going to look at delivery. He’s simply looking at the bottom line in terms of cost and surely we are not just interested in cost. We are interested in the proper type of delivery with the amount of money available to the government to operate. Surely that’s what the government should be interested in doing and not cutting it short just for expediency. I would urge the government to reconsider its opinion if it wants to make this a successful venture this summer.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I doubt that there has been any subject which has been studied more thoroughly by people with specific expertise in the area of the professional service and the consumer requirements than the delivery of health care services.
This has happened not only in Canada and the United States but around the world. I would doubt that there is any country in the world which has been so diligent in its exploration of this subject as Canada has been. At the present time, in the confines of my own library, I have a six-foot stack of reports -- Canadian primarily -- which weighs 400 pounds and which constitutes the expert examination of alternative methods of delivery of health care services for this country.
I would implore the members of this committee to make use of the information which has been developed over the past decade, which is thoughtful, incisive and has been examined extremely carefully.
Mr. Breaugh: That’s exactly what we are asking you to do.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I would remind the honourable members that the third term of reference within those suggested terms of reference gives the committee exactly that power to do so.
Mr. Martel: Then accept point four.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I would also remind members of the committee that it took Mr. Castonguay four and a half years to do his study for the province of Quebec. It has taken other committees equally long or very little shorter periods of time to examine the very thorny and difficult subject of delivery of health care services.
With all due respect, Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that although there may be a great deal of expertise in this House, there is not sufficient expertise to really make the kinds of examination and to draw the kinds of conclusions which would be necessary within that committee if there were going to be developed specific alternative methods of health care delivery legislated by government.
I would recommend very sincerely that the members of the committee take advantage of the opportunity to examine a number of reports which have been written in this country which have relevance for this province and which could provide the background information required by the committee, in a very helpful way.
Mr. Martel: That’s all I’m saying.
Hon. B. Stephenson: But a fourth term of reference is absolutely unneeded in order to carry out that kind of exercise.
Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to thank members of the opposition and the third party for the co-operation there has been in setting up this committee. The size, to begin with, surely has to be an important indication of the seriousness that we have about this committee. I am also delighted with the makeup of the committee. I might say, Mr. Speaker, it must be some sort of record. Fifteen minutes have gone by and I haven’t been asked to resign yet by the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.
Hon. B. Stephenson: You are doing pretty well.
Mr. Breaugh: You aren’t in the chairmanship, yet. That’s the point.
Mr. Warner: Don’t put any bets on it.
Mr. Elgie: With that sort of confidence under my belt, I suppose we can just move ahead.
I would like to review the matters leading up to the setting-up of this committee, because as the member for Sudbury knows, I share many of his views. But let’s remember what brought this committee about. The social development committee passed a motion on April 20 referring to the House this statement: “Your committee recommends that examination of all aspects of the Ontario Health Insurance Plan be continued by this committee or such other committees as the Legislature may decide,” et cetera, et cetera, “with a view to recommending a long-term alternative to the premium system.”
The direction was clear. The third party’s own leader shortly after that, if I may quote him, on page 1910, said, “We therefore think that a study should go forward within this Legislature to find alternate means of financing health costs.” On that same page be also said, “looking at the alternatives to health financing and do this in a constructive kind of way with a view to bringing in a recommendation sometime in the fall.”
Mr. Martel: You need the alternatives, then. You’d have to look at them.
Mr. Elgie: So with those recommendations, and with the clear suggestion from other remarks that we needed to have some information about health costs, we proceeded to draw up terms of reference that would allow us to report in the fall, as was the mandate suggested, even by the leader of the third party.
Mr. Breaugh: That’s right.
Mr. Elgie: It is my feeling that the first item of the resolution -- incidentally, item number one was proposed in order to give all members an overview of the health care system. It will review costs, financing methods, services provided for that expenditure; and then compare that profile with other provinces and other countries, all of which have different methods of delivery, and --
Mr. Martel: Alternatives.
Mr. Elgie: -- and all of which can be compared in this precise, well-delineated way, without going through a long, drawn-out procedure.
Similarly, item three, as the member for York Mills (B. Stephenson) has said, asks us to review existing reports, of which there are many. If members will take a moment to look at the Mustard report, they will see that it is broken down into primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care.
Then there is a reaction and response. So the documentation is all there. To ask this committee to go about anything other than a review of the existing reports, I think is unrealistic.
Mr. Speaker: Does any other member wish to speak to the amendment? I am reminded that the resolution as such has not been read into the record. I am advised that that should be done at least by the mover or the chair, so I will do that.
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that a select committee of this Legislature be appointed:
1. To review Ontario’s health-care costs, health-care financing methods, and services provided for that expenditure; and then to compare that profile with those of other provinces and countries as the committee may deem appropriate for purposes of providing a valid basis for comparison;
2. To review alternative methods of financing the health-care system and the impact of those alternatives on the fiscal and economic affairs of the province; and to make recommendations thereon;
3. To review existing reports which relate to methods and means of containing or reducing health-care costs and to report its findings to the Legislature.
The committee shall report its final findings no later than October 17, 1978. The select committee shall have authority to sit during recesses and have full power and authority to employ counsel and other such persons as the committee may deem advisable. The proceedings of the committee shall be reported by Hansard in the format used by the House unless otherwise ordered by the committee.
The committee may call for persons, papers and things and examine witnesses under oath, and the assembly doth command and compel attendance before said select committee of such persons and the production of such papers and things as the committee may deem necessary for any of its proceedings and deliberations for which the honourable the Speaker may use his warrant or warrants.
The committee shall be composed of eight members as follows: chairman, Mr. Elgie; members, Messrs. Conway, Johnson, McCaffrey, Mackenzie, Riddell, Turner and Warner. The committee shall have power to substitute members, provided that notice of such substitution is given to the chairman of the committee at the commencement of each meeting.
Mr. Breaugh has moved an amendment, namely, adding a fourth term of reference which will say, “To review and recommend alternative methods in the delivery of health care services.”
All those in favour of Mr. Breaugh’s amendment will please say “aye.”
All those opposed will please say “nay.”
I declare the amendment lost.
Resolution concurred in.
The following bill was given third reading on motion:
Bill 48, An Act respecting Commodity Boards and Marketing Agencies.
House in committee of the whole.
CORONERS AMENDMENT ACT (CONCLUDED)
Resumption of the adjourned consideration of Bill 86, An Act to amend the Coroners Act, 1972.
On section 3:
Mr. Deputy Chairman: We are dealing with section 3(3).
Mr. Stong: I have an amendment to my amendment
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Stong moves that section 3(3) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor: “3. That said section 9 is amended by adding thereto the following subsection: 4(a) where a worker dies as the result of an accident occurring in the course of his employment at or in a construction project, mining plant or mine, including a pit or quarry, the person in charge of such project, mining plant or mine shall immediately give notice of the death to a coroner and the coroner shall issue his warrant to hold an inquest upon the body.”
Mr. Stong: Mr. Chairman, the reason I moved this amendment was that I was persuaded by the arguments and the submissions made by the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren) on our last occasion; also I had been contacted by a Mr. Higgins of Sudbury with respect to this amendment and the concern was expressed that the section requiring a compulsory inquest not only include action in the mine itself and the shaft but a compulsory inquest arising out of a death including any of the operations of a mine, and hence I included “mining plant” which would include those operations. Simply put, that is the purport of my amendment -- to include a mine and the operations concerned therewith.
Mr. Germa: Mr. Chairman, I was concerned with the definition of a mine when first we discussed this section of the bill. I compared at the time the definition of a mine as contained in the Mining Act, which is some two paragraphs long. It does include grinding, it does include screening, it does include leaching, it does include smelting, it does include refining and all those operations which happen to ores or minerals after they have left the mining shop. Now, the minister did say at that time that the definition of “mine” in the Coroners Act would be coincident with the definition of “mine” in the Mining Act. The minister did relieve my mind at that time.
This amendment, of course, goes a little step in that direction but we only have the word of the minister as recorded in Hansard that the mine means all of those diverse activities that would take place when you are dealing with ores -- the smelting, the grinding, the leaching, the crushing. I am supportive of the amendment in that it does to some degree define what a mine is and what mining means. I am just wondering why the minister does not include in the bill the definition of “mine.” All it would take would be to translate that out of the Mining Act and include it in the definition section of the Coroners Act and it would relieve all anxiety of all people concerned with this bill.
But who knows what definition succeeding ministers will impose upon the coroner; and if there is somebody from the coroner’s jurisdiction in the building, I am sure they hear these words loud and clear -- that the traditional definition of “mine” and “mining” as enunciated in the Mining Act is what we are speaking to here this afternoon.
With those provisos, Mr. Chairman, I strongly support the amendment and hope the minister will respond in the affirmative to my concerns.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Chairman, as the honourable member who just moved this amendment will confirm, it was as a result of a representative of Local 6500 of the United Steelworkers of America pointing out, after the last day we dealt with this particular legislation and amendments, that in order to be consistent with the Mining Act we should include the term “plant or mining plant.”
As I indicated to the honourable members before, it is our intention to use the same definition that is in the Mining Act. However, the legislative counsel felt that in view of our definition of “mine” and “mining plant” it wasn’t necessary to put the definition or interpretation into this legislation. It should be understood -- and let the record show it would be understood -- that the definition in the amendment to this section is as contained in the provisions of the Mining Act at the present time.
Mr. Martel: If I understand the Mining Act, and the definition is explicit in the Mining Act, I wonder when that reference to coroner’s inquest is removed -- and the Mining Act is now under the Minister of Labour -- what interpretation is put on plants like Algoma. I think that’s the point my friend is speaking about -- places like Algoma and places in Hamilton, or maybe the iron ore plant in Sudbury, which all come under the Mining Act at present.
I would suspect if the definition is removed from the Mining Act, with the overtones and references in the Coroners Act that all of them will be investigated, you might have an occasion where an inquest will not be called. If the minister is so sure it will occur I fail to understand his reluctance to incorporate it into the act. If he says that’s what it means then, as sure as he might be, those of us over here are not quite as sure.
I have to remind the minister we’ve had some bitter experiences over the years. With great assistance from the chief coroner himself and Dr. Bennett some great improvements have been made over the years in the type of representations worker representatives have been able to make at coroner’s inquests, but it has not come readily. We’ve extracted it bit by bit.
It’s my 11th year here. We’ve extracted getting those rights for the workers over the years, to even be allowed to ask a question, or to get away from having all inquests held on Wednesday afternoon so that the businessmen in Sudbury who close their offices could serve on the coroner’s inquests every Wednesday afternoon. Those things are not long gone; in fact they are relatively new, with some credit to those people involved in administering the act.
We would just feel a little more comfortable if the minister was prepared to put it in the act. He says he means it, that it entails all those operations my colleague speaks about. That being the case, why doesn’t he give us a little peace of mind and simply embody in the act the definition of mining and then we’d have no problems with it? That’s being very accommodating for us over here and we would get through the act, because that’s what you mean anyway. Surely if that’s what you mean you should be prepared to put it in the act.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: As the honourable member knows, the definition of “mine” and “mining plant” is not going to be affected by any change as far as inquests are concerned and the transfer of that responsibility from the Mining Act to the Coroners Act. As the honourable member knows, the Mining Act is a very thick document, and the definition of mine and mining plant will remain.
The only other thing I can say is, to repeat what I’ve already said, the legislative counsel did not feel it was necessary. It was something we considered when the bill was originally being drafted. I would assume your critic felt the same way. There’s been no move to amend the interpretation or the definition section. If we talk about mine and mining plant in section 3(3), what other definition is there? What other definition is there, except as is set out in the Mining Act, especially when we add the word “plant”?
If the honourable member feels that what we’ve said here and what’s on the record and in the submissions and points made by the member for Sudbury and in my reply isn’t enough, then possibly you can make an amendment to the definition section. But we’ve gone by that section. That section has been carried by this committee. I don’t know what the procedure would be in a situation like that.
Rather than go back to section 1 or 2, whatever the definition section is, I would suggest, rather than have everything explicit, the honourable member realize there is no other definition for “mine” or “mining plant” in respect to inquests. We are taking the exact provisions that exist in the Mining Act, including all the trappings, all the definitions, everything dealing with inquests, from one act to another. I can’t imagine that if we’re doing that, we would in any way limit the scope or the definition of mine or mining plant.
Mr. Martel: We didn’t move an amendment to the definition. But there was unrest, as I spoke to the people from Local 6500, that that might not include those other operations. That’s what prompted us to raise whether or not we could be assured by having the original sections from the Mining Act included.
I turn to the chairman and I ask the chairman’s indulgence for a moment. If this House gave agreement, I’m sure we could go back to that section, definition. If we could get concurrence, and allow the minister’s staff under the gallery who must have the amendment from the Mining Act to prepare the amendment, we could move that very simple amendment of definition. The minister himself says that’s what he means. If that’s what he means, I’m sure the House is prepared to accept that amendment, and I’m sure we could get concurrence to revert to that section. The minister’s staff under the gallery could prepare the amendment for us in a couple of minutes.
The minister includes that definition and I respect the minister’s view. But down the road there could be someone else who’s a little more ambivalent on it and I prefer to see it written in. I’m sure we could, with the chairman’s ruling, get agreement from the House. We could go back and allow the minister to move the amendment on his own rather than us, because I don’t have a copy before me.
I checked with my colleague from Sudbury who’s trying to look it up, but I’m sure the minister’s staff under the gallery has it and we could resolve it in a matter of minutes.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Is the honourable member talking about amending the definition section?
Mr. Martel: Yes.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, that we do that.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: There is no definition section in this act before us. I would suggest we can only amend the act that is before us. This has not got a definition section in it and therefore we can’t do that.
Mr. Martel: I’m sure we’re able to add a section to the act called “definition.” Any act has definitions. We simply include under definitions, “this will be.” I urge the chairman to allow that, since the minister is agreeable. Surely we shouldn’t play around with something like that. If the chairman would give us a few moments to work that out, I’m sure we could include that in the definition section and satisfy everyone.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Might I suggest that we take the vote on this section, then we can take it from there.
Mrs. Campbell: Could I just ask a question of the Solicitor General for clarification? Is the coroner not in the same position vis-à-vis legislation as a judge is? Is he not bound by the terms of the legislation itself, rather than by some sort of statement contained in Hansard?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Yes, Mr. Chairman. The point I was attempting to make is that the member for Sudbury asked me, by way of clarification, would the definition of “mine” in the section we are dealing with be the same as that now contained in the Mining Act. My answer was yes, in so many words; we are moving a section that is in the Mining Act to the Coroners Act. Therefore, it is obvious that that section and all its ancillary provisions, including a definition of mine and mining plant, is also moved to the Coroners Act.
There is no other definition. I would suggest by being silent in the Coroners Act on a definition we would refer to the Mining Act in respect to any definition, because that provision is moved from one act to another.
However, if the member for Sudbury East feels that we need some further clarification -- as I say, I’m going by advice of legislative counsel who are experts in this field, who say that it is not necessary to have a second definition of mine or mining plant in the Coroners Act.
Mr. Germa: With all due respect to the legislative counsel, certainly he is a master of words but I presume that he is not a master of mining. That’s where I find some uneasiness. The longer I sit here and listen to the minister debate, the more he’s digging himself in deeper and deeper.
Mr. Martel: He agrees with us.
Mr. Germa: I would refer to section 4(a), which says “not including a pit or quarry.” By doing that, you have therefore changed the definition of mine as contained in the Mining Act.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Chairman, I can save the honourable member a question. The member for York Centre’s amendment eliminates that exemption.
Mr. Germa: That’s understood, Mr. Chairman. The point is that the member for York Centre had to amend the minister’s bill in order for it not to contradict the definition of “mine” in the Mining Act, and in the Mining Act it definitely includes a pit or quarry.
I don’t know what the legislative counsel was thinking of when he chose to try to exclude pit or quarry from this section when he said it refers to a mine, but not including a pit or quarry. So, there is uneasiness on my part. It is not true, Mr. Chairman, that our critic was not concerned and did not make a move to correct this section. He did in fact, move an amendment to read “workplace,” which would include every workplace in the province of Ontario where a worker might get killed. That would include shop, factory, mine, smelter, pit or quarry or wherever people work. That’s how concerned the critic for this party was. We did try to get universal coverage for inquests to be held wherever a person died as a result of his occupation.
I think the longer I stay here, the more concerned I am that the definition of mine and the activity of mining must be included. I presume there is a definition section in the Coroners Act which we are amending. I would go along with the minister and I am sure the chairman can find some device -- I think he’ll unanimously agree -- to revert to an earlier section, at which time the minister will introduce amendments in the definition section to describe the noun “mine” and the verb “mine.” There are two definitions.
I would again ask the minister to respond and the chairman to find a device to get these definitions in the Coroners Act because there are tens of thousands of people who work in mines, pits and quarries and plants connected with these operations who are concerned with what is going on. I am further concerned, now that I realize what the legislative counsel was trying to do when he was trying to weaken the definition of “mine” by excluding a pit or quarry, which the member for York Centre caught on to and has amended.
Mr. Stong: Mr. Chairman, in order to resolve this dilemma, we would not object to an amendment being proposed by the minister which would include the definition as subsection (b), wherein for the purpose of subsection 4(a) “mine” means, and then go on with the definition in that respect.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Is the honourable member suggesting that, rather than putting it in the definition section, we further amend subsection 4(a)? Is that what he is saying?
Mr. Stong: Yes, Mr. Chairman, I would suggest we add a subsection 4(b), if it would make it easier.
Mr. Martel: Or put it in the definition section. Whichever is easier.
Mr. Stong: There is no definition section in this bill.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I would therefore move that there is a new subsection 4(b) --
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Can we hold that until the motion before us is dealt with?
Mr. Martel: Mr. Chairman, with the greatest of respect, I just don’t want duplication; I see the government House leader in consultation with legal counsel and representatives of the minister’s staff. Maybe we could straighten it out and do it all at once. If we could just have a couple of minutes to synchronize what is going on. If you could just hold on for a moment to see what --
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Chairman --
Mr. Martel: -- whichever way you want to do it.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Chairman, there is no reason why we can’t go ahead with the honourable member’s amendment now and decide one way or another on that section; by the time we are through with that, even if we haven’t got the proper wording, we can deal with the balance of the bill and then come back. All right?
Motion agreed to.
Section 3, as amended, agreed to.
Mr. Bounsall: You have in hand, Mr. Chairman, a further amendment moved by myself to section 3(3), dealing with subsection 4(a). It proposes that subsection 4(a) be amended by adding the words “in a hospital or laboratory” after the word “quarry” in line three.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: I suggest, with respect, we have already carried the section. We had taken your amendments earlier as amendments to this but you were not in the House and we have already carried that section.
Mr. Bounsall: I just arrived in the House, Mr. Chairman; I apologize if that is the case. You have carried the section now?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Yes.
Mr. Bounsall: So our further amendment to the section is out of order. I will speak further to this principle at another part in the bill.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: The members will recall that we had carried through section 11 and reverted to section 3.
Section 12 agreed to.
On section 13:
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Honourable Mr. Kerr moves that section 13 of the bill be struck out and that sections 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 of the bill be renumbered as sections 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 respectively.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Chairman, I had indicated during second reading of this bill that I would be making this amendment. The main purpose of my making the amendment is as a result of some consultation with the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) and his staff. There are a number of occasions when, depending on the type of inquest and the complexities of an inquest, it just may not be necessary to have a barrister and solicitor attend in all cases.
At the present time that isn’t required. We use people who may be students, for example, or who are from the coroner’s office, or even from the Attorney General’s office who are not barristers or solicitors, but who have some experience in the conduct and the intricacies of an inquest and who have been able to represent properly the coroner at such inquests.
The request has been made to me and to the ministry that in view of the number of crown attorneys who are under the employ of the Attorney General and the shortage of staff, it would be difficult to have a barrister or solicitor attend all inquests in every case as provided by the section. Therefore, at least at this time, I would request that this section be deleted.
Mr. Stong: Perhaps I am only speaking on behalf of myself when I address myself to this amendment that is being proposed by the Solicitor General at this time.
I appreciate what he has said with respect to the requirement of barristers and solicitors and their attendance at inquests. However, I have had opportunity to speak to the coroner and he has expressed to me a concern that the coroner who is conducting an inquest have the assistance of a person who is knowledgeable in the law. Such a person, naturally, would be a barrister or a solicitor -- we hope.
However, if section 13 of the bill is deleted we revert to the old act. The present section of the act reads that “every coroner, before holding an inquest, shall notify the crown attorney of the time and place at which it is to be held, and the crown attorney or his representative shall attend the inquest and shall act as counsel to the coroner at the inquest.” I stand to be corrected on this, but I understand that a crown attorney or a representative of a crown attorney must be a person who is designated as such in legislation. In other words, a crown attorney acting in his capacity as a crown attorney cannot designate a lay person or a lawyer in law to represent him or his interests or the interests of the crown attorney at an inquest, or at any other hearing.
I appreciate the concern about the claim that barristers and solicitors are the only ones knowledgeable in the law. I also recognize that on second reading representations were made with respect to the position that lay people ought to conduct this type of inquiry and assist the coroner. I have no objection to that in principle. I’m wondering if it could be accomplished better by leaving the present section 13 in the bill and amending it so that it includes “or a barrister or a solicitor or any other person designated by him.” This would avoid having a crown attorney act beyond the scope of his jurisdiction in appointing a person other than a crown attorney. I stand to be corrected that a crown attorney can only appoint a crown attorney, but that was my understanding. If we’re concerned about barristers and solicitors or any other lay person, then perhaps the section should remain and be amended to include “or any other person.” I’d be glad to hear from the minister on that.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I have no objection to the additional wording suggested by my friend -- that is, adding the words “or any other person” after the words “or a barrister and solicitor” in the third line of subsection 1.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Are you then withdrawing your amendment, Mr. Solicitor General?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Yes.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Did the member for York Centre wish to amend section 13?
Mrs. Campbell: Are you accepting the Solicitor General’s amendment?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: He hasn’t made an amendment. He has withdrawn his amendment to delete the clause.
Mr. Stong: Then I will propose that the words, “or any other person” be included in section 13(1) following “barrister and solicitor” in the third line.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: May I have that in writing, please?
Mr. Stong: Yes, sir.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Shall section 13 be stood down for the moment?
Mrs. Campbell: No, it’s carried.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: I’m awaiting Mr. Stong’s amendment.
Sections 14 to 18, inclusive, agreed to.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Is there a further amendment from the Solicitor General?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Chairman, in reference to the definition of “mine” and “mining plant” as suggested by the members for Sudbury and Sudbury East, it is now my feeling that it would be better to amend section 1 of the bill, which is the definition section.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: This will be a new section 1 of the bill and all other sections will be renumbered, is that correct?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I think that will look after the points raised by the honourable members.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Honourable Mr. Kerr moves that the bill be amended by adding thereto a new section 1, which shall read: “Section 1 of the Coroners Act, 1972, being chapter 98, is amended by adding thereto the following clauses:
(aa) ‘Mine’ means a mine as defined in part IX of the Mining Act.
(ab) ‘Mining plant’ means a plant as defined in part IX of the Mining Act.”
Sections 1 to 18 of the bill are to be renumbered accordingly.
Motion agreed to.
On section 13:
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Stong moves that section 13 of the bill be amended by adding the words “or any other person” after “barrister and solicitor” in line 6.
Motion agreed to.
Section 13, as amended, agreed to.
Bill 86, as amended, reported.
MINISTRY OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES ACT (CONTINUED)
Resumption of the adjourned consideration of Bill 85, An Act to revise the Minister of Correctional Services Act.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: I would remind the members that we were dealing with section 9 when this debate was adjourned. We have before us an amendment from Mr. Ziemba which was a matter of discussion.
On section 9:
Mr. Ziemba: To expedite matters, I’m going to suggest that we divide that amendment and vote on the first part which deals with access by MPPs to correctional centres; then we could leave the other part, dealing with the coming and going of MPPs’ mail and vote on that separately, if that is agreeable.
Hon. Mr. Drea: I have no objection, but in fairness, Mr. Chairman, that is precisely what I proposed on Friday when you gave a ruling. Now, if you will give a ruling in the proper way which would allow that, I think we would expedite matters today, as we would have expedited them on Friday.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: With respect, Mr. Minister, I don’t recall giving any ruling on this matter. I made a suggestion that over the weekend this might be sorted out. As I recall, you had an amendment to the amendment to 9(a).
Hon. Mr. Drea: That is correct, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: And I do not have that in writing.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Well you can have it right now, Mr. Chairman, because I will introduce it.
However, before I introduce it, if you will grant me the liberty, is everybody still agreed that they want the visitation rights in the act or do they want it as a tradition --
Mr. Ziemba: Yes, we’re sure of it.
Hon. Mr. Drea: No, you did. Other members weren’t too sure, so you just wait a minute.
Mr. Worton: I’m not too sure either.
Hon. Mr. Drea: It was my understanding on Friday, from the House leader of the Liberal Party, that there was a consensus. However, it was brought to my attention afterwards by some senior people in the party that there may not have been, but if there is a consensus I will proceed. You know I have no objection. I just want to know if that’s what members want. I know where the third party stands.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Honourable Mr. Drea moves that subsection 1 of the proposed section 9(a), moved as an amendment to the bill, be amended by adding at the end thereof, “unless the minister determines that the institution, community resource centre or facility is insecure or an emergency condition exists therein.”
Hon. Mr. Drea: While we are waiting a moment, how do we propose to delete -- or what are we going to do with subsections 2 and 3?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: I have your proposed amendment, which was a further amendment. The amendment was to delete subsections 2 and 3 of the proposed amendment, which was in order.
Hon. Mr. Drea: You have it?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: I have that in writing here. We will take it as two amendments to the amendment.
Hon. Mr. Drea: All right.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: We have two separate amendments to the amendment; we will take them one at a time. You have an amendment to the amendment which adds those words to section 1, and your further amendment is to delete subsections 2 and 3 of the proposed amendment.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Well yes, Mr. Chairman, except that the member for High Park-Swansea said those are the two he wants to separate. This was what began the trouble on Friday. So would you tell me, since you ruled they couldn’t be separated on Friday, or you appeared to rule that way, what you intend to do today before I move it.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Minister, with respect, I have two amendments from you to Mr. Ziemba’s motion, which is before me. One is to add certain words to 9(a)(1); and your second amendment to the amendment is to delete subsections 2 and 3.
Mr. Nixon: That could be one.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: If we do this it will accomplish your purpose. Is that agreed?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Any further discussion on these amendments?
Mr. Worton: Mr. Chairman, I want to say that over the 20 years that I have been a member here, and being close to one of the larger institutions in the province, namely the Guelph Correctional Centre, I have never run into any difficulty getting into the premises -- there are some people who have difficulty getting out -- but, really, I would like to know what advantage this is going to give. I have always felt that the ministry has honoured members’ wishes when they wanted to call there. I have had reports of a few examples of members abusing those privileges at times. I thought they used bad judgement 10 or 12 years ago. I would like the minister to convince me of what this amendment will do that just good ordinary common horse sense won’t do with arrangements as we have had them in the past.
Hon. Mr. Drea: In all fairness, as a member, not necessarily as the minister, I would have preferred that the same procedures remain, which is as it has been since Mr. Allan Grossman was the minister. I was prepared to file the administrative order with the Clerk so it could be brought to the attention of members or new members in the future. However, on Friday it was the feeling of some veteran members of the Legislature, not the least of whom was the House leader of the Liberal Party, who has compiled a distinguished record here, that it would be better if it was formally placed into legislation.
As I said originally some time ago, and again on Friday, while I preferred one thing I was certainly agreeable if it was the consensus of members, whatever members felt most comfortable with. I would think that now, since the New Democratic Party has produced a unanimous consensus, if you want to put it that way, and they would prefer it to be in legislation; that is there appears to be a consensus in the opposition -- my own party is somewhat ambivalent on the matter -- I think that perhaps to save time we will put it in there. But there certainly will not be any change in the procedures.
The one thing I would draw to the attention of members, though, is that the question of when the place becomes insecure is dealt with later on in the bill. It gives us the right to declare an institution insecure, for a number of reasons; and when you do the inmates must be removed to a secure institution. The insecure status is just a brief period of time while the institution is still in existence, because there wouldn’t be any inmates in it later.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Ziemba has moved that the bill be amended by adding thereto section 9a(1), (2) and (3).
Hon. Mr. Drea has moved an amendment to the amendment, that the proposed 9a(1) moved as an amendment to the bill, be amended by adding at the end thereof: “unless the minister determines that the institution, community resource centre or facility is insecure, or an emergency condition exists therein.”
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Hon. Mr. Drea further moves that the proposed section 9a(2) and (3) be deleted.
Mr. Ziemba: Mr. Chairman, this has to do with MPPs’ mail coming and going. The minister has advised us that the Ombudsman is considering special envelopes, because there is fear that his envelopes could be duplicated and used for illegal purposes. It was for that reason that our mail is opened, censored.
Now two things: With regard to MPPs’ mail going to the institution, most of the new jails have elaborate and sophisticated x-ray equipment that cheeks people coming and going. I don’t know why we can’t use that, if the minister is worried that one of us is sending a hacksaw to some prisoner, or that somebody has stolen our letter and is using it to send a hacksaw to some prisoner.
Failing that, if we have a courier service that delivers plaques to people who reach age 90 or are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, why couldn’t we use the same courier service to deliver mail to institutions, to ensure that MPPs’ mail isn’t opened and censored?
I don’t feel as strongly about the mail going from MPPs as I do about the mail coming from the institutions to MPPs. Here is a situation where we are inviting criticism from people in the institutions. As far as I am concerned, they are at some risk if they criticize the staff, because mail addressed to MPPs will be opened and read. To my mind, there is no excuse for this mail to be opened. Certainly, prisoners aren’t sending hacksaws out of jail. There is nothing that could be coming out of prison by way of contraband that would require the minister --
Hon. Mr. Drea: You have got to be kidding.
Mr. Martel: I don’t want them to send me a hacksaw blade. That’s what he is saying. I can always purchase one. They don’t have to send us one.
Hon. Mr. Drea: There is other contraband that comes out.
Mr. Martel: Sure, but none that would benefit Ed.
Mr. Philip: There are easier ways of getting contraband out; you can get contraband out other ways.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.
Mr. Ziemba: I might accept MPPs’ mail being opened going to a prison, but I do not accept that mail coming out of a prison necessarily should be opened. I don’t know if the minister can convince me that this is absolutely necessary, if there is some great risk to the security. I don’t know why he insists on opening this mail. I hope that the third part of the amendment carries.
Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I could ask a question of the minister. What is the position of an MPP if he or she is in receipt, from one of the institutions, of some sort of material which is contraband material? What is the obligation on the MPP to turn it over and to whom? I would like to know what protection there is that we can extend to anyone in an institution if we are in receipt of such material and what our legal obligation is having been in receipt of it?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Could I ask the member for Sudbury East to please take his seat? He is between the chairs and the speaker.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Chairman, not being a solicitor, my concern would be that the contraband in the envelope did not necessarily arrive at the Parliament Buildings --
Mrs. Campbell: It might arrive at the east door instead of the north door and we would be in trouble.
Hon. Mr. Drea: No. It might arrive at your riding office or it might arrive at your home address and it mightn’t have MPP on the envelope. It might be just written to Margaret Campbell, and your address is a matter of public record. What concerns me in this is -- and I’ll get a ruling in just a moment -- I wouldn’t think you had any protection at all. There might be some limited form of protection if you chose to unveil it in the House and say, “Look what I have received,” on the basis that the security of the Ministry of Correctional Services for that institution had been breached or that it was in the public interest.
The courts already -- through the first two levels of the Federal Court of Canada right up to the Federal Court of Appeal -- have ruled that with the most precious and the most sacred privilege in our society, which is the lawyer-client communication, the absolute confidentiality of it must bow to the security regulations of the institution. That was the case I mentioned the other day, Solosky versus the Queen.
When that relationship, which is squarely ensconced in law, must bow to security -- and that is what the courts have ruled in this case so far, pending the final determination by the Supreme Court of Canada -- it seems to me the communication between an inmate and the MPP, which regardless of our feelings is not ensconced in law or in tradition anywhere, certainly must bow. I am informed that if the material is a narcotic or otherwise illegal, et cetera, then he or she must turn it over to the police.
Secondly, other material does not have to be turned over. There is no penalty in our regulations except confiscation of material. For instance, cash is contraband. Cash is not allowed in an institution. It’s quite true you have trust accounts and so forth. It’s neither allowed to come in nor to come out. In a great many cases it is a more substantial form of contraband than is a narcotic, either in the small leaf form or in pill form. It seems to me the fundamental issue here is security.
I think you have to look at it in this regard, that at the moment we do not necessarily open every letter going out to an MPP, nor open every letter coming in to an inmate that has an MPP’s signature or letterhead on it but we may. We are not talking about hacksaw blades or anything as mundane as that. Anybody who is knowledgeable, either as a professional in the legal field or has had experience in the courts, is fully aware of the number of items that can be of great value to people on the inside, or certain things coming out.
A continuing flow of letters comes to me from inmates. They know the system and in some cases they describe rather substantial matters going on; as a matter of fact, I have received material from other honourable members here that has been sent to them directly by inmates describing, in a couple of cases with great accuracy and in some others with less, exactly what was going on. There doesn’t appear to be an impediment against the inmate under this system.
I would say that I agree with the member for St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley) that I would have some substantial doubts on this, were it not for the absolute right of the inmate to communicate with and to receive communications from the Ombudsman or the correctional investigator for Canada, whichever is applicable in his case.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Those in favour of Mr. Drea’s amendment please say “aye.”
Those opposed say “nay.”
In my opinion the ayes have it.
Sections 10 to 21, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 22:
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Chairman, I believe you have an amendment to section 22 which is really a change of just a couple of words.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Drea moves that section 22 of the bill be deleted and the following substituted therefor: “The minister may designate any person as an inspector to make such inspection or investigation as the minister may require in connection with the administration of this act and the minister may and has just cause to dismiss any employee of the ministry who obstructs an inspection or an investigation or withholds, destroys, conceals or refused to furnish any information or thing required by an inspector for the purposes of the inspection or investigation.”
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, I would just like to ask the honourable minister what powers he has at this time under the old statute for an investigation, as well as an inspection?
Hon. Mr. Drea: None, that is the basic difficulty. We have the powers to do an investigation but we do not have the powers that would be normally assigned in an inspection. On an investigation, which is less formal than an inspection, we want to have those powers, particularly the right to obtain records.
A very good example of this is that prior to my time, in the Don Jail inquiry which led to the Shapiro royal commission, one of the reasons why there was a determination made to go to a public inquiry was the inability during an investigation to obtain records and so forth and so on.
Mr. Nixon: Police records, criminal records and so on?
Hon. Mr. Drea: No, no. These are records of the institution. For instance, who was on duty at certain times -- a number of internal matters like that.
An inspection is a formal procedure; we inspect every institution from time to time for security and a number of other matters. We want to have the same rights if an internal investigation is required.
Our normal procedure when we do an investigation is if there is any reasonable cause to believe there has been anything contrary to the Criminal Code, immediately the police are called in and conduct their own separate investigation for the purposes of the crown. Notwithstanding that, because of our internal regulations and our discipline procedures we carry on an internal investigation, subject to the regulations of the Ministry of Correctional Services Act, which has nothing to do with whether or not criminal proceedings may or may not result.
Mr. Nixon: I certainly have no objection to the amendment. I find it strange, however, that not only does the minister feel he needs these powers spelled out specifically, but that in the past anyone would consider that the minister or his predecessors didn’t have full access to them, because they are your records. Whose are they, if they are not yours? That is as to who was on duty and who did what, when. They are your jails; you are the boss. Whose are they, if they are not yours?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Well, Mr. Chairman, they are ours, but by the same token, we feel we would like to have the same powers in an investigation as we do in the regular and routine formal inspection. Then there is no argument as to how certain items or certain records were obtained et cetera.
One of the difficulties is that after an investigation it may be very possible there will be internal proceedings leading to outside grievances within the Civil Service Commission. This is of some concern to us.
Motion agreed to.
Sections 23 to 25, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 26:
Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Drea moves that section 26 of the bill be deleted and the following substituted therefor:
“(1) The minister may authorize an inmate or group of inmates to participate in a work project or a rehabilitation program outside the correctional institution in which the inmate or inmates are confined, and the minister may authorize the absence of the inmate or group of inmates from the correctional institution for that purpose on such terms and conditions as the minister may specify.
“(2) Every inmate who is absent from a correctional institution under subsection 1 shall comply with such terms and conditions as are specified by the minister.
“(3) Every inmate who contravenes subsection 2 without lawful excuse, the proof of which lies upon him, is guilty of an offence and on summary conviction is liable to imprisonment of a term of not more than one year.”
Hon. Mr. Drea: We are taking inmates out in work gangs now. The same amendment will be used in a later section with regard to temporary absence.
This is something which the courts so far have been unable to reckon with because there is the tendency in the courts now, unless somebody physically breaks away from an institution by going through the wire or over the wall, to regard that as unlawfully at large rather than escaped. The sentences being given these days for being unlawfully at large are very minor.
It is my feeling the public deserves to be reassured when we take inmates out of institutions. There is no question the inmates are carefully screened and are not a security risk before they go, but there has to be a deterrent to them walking away. The deterrent is making it a provincial offence to walk away from that outside work gang, by virtue of the fact it is a violation of one of the terms and conditions set out by the minister. This will reinforce our efforts before the courts to have these substantial sentences passed on people who violate the trust the ministry has put in them as well as the trust the public has put in them.
When I first introduced this bill and was discussing it I said we might introduce this. Subsequent to that, two people walked away from a paid job in northwestern Ontario and stayed out for a day. Immediately they were charged with being unlawfully at large rather than with escape.
We have also had a bad situation in one court in the province where a person walked out of a minimum security institution -- one without a fence and obviously one that’s easy to walk out of. The court gave him one day on the grounds that if we really wanted to confine somebody we’d better build walls. This defeats the whole purpose of a minimum security institution where the person is gradually brought around to being able to go back to full status in the community.
We want to have this in there for two reasons: First, the public wants some assurance that there will be penalties for people who do violate that trust, because it is costly. These people may not be security risks and they may not be a danger to other people if they do take off, but nonetheless it’s going to cost you as a taxpayer extra costs in policing and in court proceedings. Therefore, there has to be a deterrent.
Second, all inmates, when they do this type of thing, will be treated accordingly. It won’t be one judge’s interpretation as to whether walking away from custodial care in an outside work gang is different to breaking out of a maximum security institution and, therefore, falls to the much lesser charge.
Mr. Bradley: Speaking to the amendment, we agree with this amendment and see it as being essential to making the program a success. Security is very important. The minister has aptly put the ease for it. If this program is to be a success as far as the public is concerned, the public must have a certain degree of security, the kind of security that can be brought about by means of a reasonable deterrent.
The minister has given some prime examples of how this is not operating at the present time without specific legislation to guide the courts. We in the opposition see an escape as being an escape, regardless of whether it’s from a maximum security institution or whether it’s from a work gang or from a minimum security institution. We feel that the amendment allows for handling this particular problem in the appropriate manner.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Ziemba: I have a further amendment to section 26.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Ziemba moves that section 26 of the bill be amended by adding thereto the following subsections:
“(2) Where an inmate participates in a work project under subsection 1, the inmate shall be paid a wage for his work that is similar to the wage received by a person who performs substantially the same kind of work as a full-time vocation.
“(3) All amounts owing to an inmate in respect of work performed under this section shall be held by the ministry in trust for the inmate, to be paid to the inmate upon his release from the correctional institution at the commencement of parole or the expiration of his sentence; but the ministry may deduct from the moneys owing to the inmate an amount calculated in accordance with the regulations, as compensation to the ministry for the inmate’s accommodation in the correctional institution.”
Mr. Bradley: Do you have an extra copy of that amendment? I have the other amendment you proposed.
Mr. Ziemba: Do you want it read again?
Mr. Bradley: I have a copy now.
Mr. Ziemba: This is the key section to this legislation, and it has to do with work projects. While most progressive people see this as good legislation, the worry that has been so often expressed is still there. Our provincial correctional centres could be providing cheap labour or slave labour. The wage levels could be depressed and projects could be taken over and done by prisoners, projects that would normally be done by the public or private sector.
I’ve met with the minister’s staff and they have assured me, as he’s assured me, that before any project is taken over by the Ministry of Correctional Services they check with the local union first. That’s well and good and I’m pleased to see that, but we have no assurances that this is going to be the procedure by his successor a few years down the road.
When I read the minister’s speeches and learn that getting offenders out working in the community should provide the people of Ontario with $10 million worth of free labour this year, that’s a cause for concern, especially when he adds, “We have only begun to scratch the surface. Our goal is to help Canada regain its economic strength.” What the heck are we going to do, put all 5,000 prisoners out working to regain Canada’s economic strength?
I don’t think the minister means that. If he does, then we are in trouble in this province. We have 300,000 people out of work who are looking for work. I can’t think of the kind of work he could be taking over that would guarantee that somewhere along the line jobs wouldn’t be done by prisoners that could be done by trade unionists or people in the private sector.
I also know that there is going to be pressure on the minister from all of these local councils. There have been a few incidents now where local councils were denied the use of his free labour. I can see that escalating over the years with local councils looking for a cheap way out. They won’t have to raise the mill rate if they can get their local projects done by convict labour. I certainly don’t want to support any legislation of that kind. That’s why I’m moving that inmates should be paid the prevailing rate for work that they do. The ministry can deduct from their pay cheques their accommodation expenses and give the rest to their dependants because those dependants are at present getting money from Community and Social Services in any case.
This isn’t a new proposal. The minister has a program in place in Guelph where prisoners are members of the Canadian Food and Allied Workers Union. They are paid union wages, and there is a deduction of $5 a day from their pay cheques towards their accommodation. I understand that the ministry is also paying for prisoners to plant trees in northern Ontario.
If money can be found to do this, I certainly would like to see his ministry, by way of perhaps switching funds from the Ministry of Community and Social Services or whatever, pay people and get away from this idea of free and cheap labour.
Mr. Bradley: I have for some time shared the concerns expressed by the member for High Park-Swansea. Time and time again we have questioned the minister, through his estimates or in the House or privately, and also people from his ministry, to determine that people from Correctional Services institutions are out doing jobs that would otherwise be done by those who might be unemployed in the province of Ontario.
This has been a concern of organized labour. It has been a concern of those who are presently on either the welfare rolls or collecting unemployment insurance. However, on these occasions the minister has provided assurances to the House or to committee or to members individually that such is not the case. He has outlined carefully his consultation with the Canadian Labour Congress, the Ontario Federation of Labour, the Canadian Union of Public Employees and various other unions. As a consultant on this particular program he has a person from the labour union movement who advises him on the advisability of these particular projects as they are undertaken.
All of us in the House ought to be ever vigilant that the programs and projects being carried out are not being done at the expense of those who require jobs within the community.
I think those assurances have been pretty ironclad. We have organized labour to inform members of the opposition, and to inform the ministry if, indeed, this is not being done. There is consultation before projects are carried out to determine whether or not they might in any way be done by paid employees. I think the ministry is concerned enough to determine before allowing projects to be carried out that they are not merely requests by various municipalities to get work done that they don’t want to pay employees to do.
To pay inmates from our institutions in Ontario the going rate to do this work would simply eliminate many of the projects that might otherwise be undertaken. I can think of certain projects within my own community, one particularly involving the clean-up of the old Welland Canal, where there is no way the federal, provincial, or municipal government would undertake a project of this kind. However, with the assistance of labour provided by inmates from our institutions this kind of project may be undertaken and may be quite successful.
The assurances will be there from the labour union movement and others that the work being done, once again, is not work being done at the expense of those who might otherwise have jobs. Because we feel paying the inmates the going rate would be detrimental to this entire program and in fact, render it almost impossible to carry out in a meaningful way, we cannot support this amendment.
Mr. M. Davidson: I rise to speak in favour of the amendment as it is placed, although I personally would like to have seen it go a little further. The member for High Park-Swansea suggested during his remarks that a portion of the moneys so paid should be directed towards the maintenance of the families. Unfortunately, I noticed that is not included in the amendment.
While not trying to cast any aspersions on the ministry or the Minister of Correctional Services I suggest a lot of the work now being carried out by inmates in the various municipalities could well be done by people within the municipality had the Treasurer seen fit to live up to the Edmonton commitment and forwarded enough funding to the municipalities so these jobs would be done and paid for in the normal manner.
I am one of those who, like the member for St. Catharines, agree with the type of program. I agree that the work program is probably one of the more progressive things that have come forward in this House. I also feel that work being done is work that should be paid for. When one takes a look at what is happening here you realize that in these types of programs, such as the one in Guelph where the inmate is earning a wage in conjunction with the trade-union agreement, he is paying back a portion of that to the institution for his accommodation and for various other items he may require during his stay in that institution. A portion of that is also going towards financing his dependants and his family, whereas were this not the case, they in all probability would be relying entirely upon the social services of the community. All of which again is money paid out by the province one way or another. I feel this is the kind of situation, if at all possible, the minister should be working towards.
I fully understand this is not a program you can implement overnight. I fully understand that you can’t expect to have all inmates who have been provided work in various communities receiving pay starting next Monday once it shows on a piece of paper.
As I said earlier, had the Treasurer and the government seen fit to fund the municipalities the way they are supposed to and lived up to the Edmonton commitment, a good number of these jobs would be on the payrolls of the municipality and would not have to be done by inmates of institutions.
I accompanied the member for High Park-Swansea to the briefing for the estimates and I was also pleased to see that there is discussion among the ministry, the community, and the unions representing the workers, within those various communities or on other projects taking place.
Perhaps the minister can respond to this. I’m not at all certain there are not some jobs carried out where there is no trade union and where, perhaps, consultation with a trade union cannot take place. We’re not at all certain as to whether or not these jobs are jobs that can be done by people working on a full-time basis.
However, I do support the amendment as moved by the member for High Park-Swansea. If we’re not going to get it through at this time, I think it’s something the ministry and the people in the Liberal Party should look at. Perhaps all of us, by working together, can work towards that goal and find an answer to that problem.
Mr. M. N. Davison: I would like to recommend this amendment to my colleagues because it takes a very large step in the right direction. I think it’s quite in keeping with the momentum being built in this area by the current minister. I would just hope that after we accept and pass this amendment, the minister would cast his mind even further into the future and look at some of the other things in this area that could be done.
We’re all aware of the terribly high and unacceptable recidivism rate in the province of Ontario. I suspect one of the reasons we have such a high rate is that people in our society who are frustrated by their lack of skills often end up in our institutions. After spending some long period of time there, not particularly usefully in many cases, they return to society -- a society with terribly high unemployment -- still with limited skills, and find themselves totally unable to function as they should be able to in that society. Often, they commit an offence again which puts them back in the slammer -- the cycle is never-ending.
I know the minister is very, very concerned about that problem and is taking large steps to get it under control. But there are all the other problems involved too, such as the problem of a child whose parent is in an institution. That child is part of a de facto single-parent family, and is living, most likely, on some form of social assistance. That presents to the child all sorts of additional problems, aside from the fact that one of his parents is in prison. That too, is one of the reasons we have such a high rate of juvenile delinquency with children in that position.
I think that the approach being taken by the minister and my colleague from High Park-Swansea is an excellent one. In some jurisdictions such as Sweden, where they are quite enlightened, in this particular matter at any rate, they have tried to set up work programs for a number of reasons which I think are very good. One of the most important reasons is not to have the inmate actually filling his time doing some kind of work because the society has a belief in the Protestant work ethic, but rather because the inmate will learn skills that will be useful and marketable when he or she returns to society.
In Sweden they have had a great deal of success with their projects. As I understand it, the division of money in some of those projects runs in the following way: The person is paid the union rate for the job, which is a relatively reasonable rate, and the money is divided into three equal parts with some exceptions made in cases of need; one third of the money goes to provide a fund to re-establish the inmate when he or she goes into society from the institution; one third of the money provides real assistance to the dependants of the inmate in society so we don’t face all of the other social damage that arises from having a parent in prison and one third goes to pay not only for the inmate’s few needs, such as food, cigarettes, or what have you, while in the institution, but to pay for the inmate’s clothing, to pay part of the costs to the ministry -- to the Ministry of Correctional Services in our case -- where that person is being incarcerated.
I favour the amendment very much because it is a big step in the right direction. I would like to add my congratulations to the many that have been offered to the minister for the approach he’s taking. I hope he’ll continue in the future as he’s done up until now with that kind of picture at the end of the tunnel, so that some time over the next few years we will have a system in Ontario that we can hold up to the world as a fine example to follow.
Hon. Mr. Drea: First of all, I’m going to oppose this amendment. But before I do I would like to place on the record -- it will just take a couple of minutes -- the various work programs of the ministry, because they’re not all we do. In some of the remarks that have been made today by various members of the New Democratic Party there is a bit of confusion.
Nothing would please me more than if there were sufficient prison industries -- by which I mean industries employing prisoners either as the whole work force or as in the Guelph abattoir situation, a mixed labour force of civilians and inmates -- to go around. Not only in our system in Ontario but, believe me -- I don’t get along very well with the federal government -- but I would like to see nothing better, because of their particular type of inmate, than that they had enough such industries. But, they are not there.
We have moved heaven and earth, quite frankly. We’re making some progress. A great deal of support and help has come from Canada Manpower, the Federal Department of Public Works, and a number of bodies like that. The industry just isn’t there.
When I say prison industry I mean industry physically located in the prison, such as the Guelph abattoir, or the mattress factory at Mimico, or the jute bagmill that we will soon have at Mimico, and other developments elsewhere. The jobs are not coming. Let me explain.
It used to be a great source of employment for inmates to make licence plates. It is a defunct industry. We used to make eight million or 10 million a year; now we make around a million and just the coloured markers. The market is defunct.
At one time we used to have long sentences and they could make their own clothing. Now, the sentences are getting shorter and, besides, how many jobs are there for males in that particular type of thing? You have to look at getting somebody an occupation where, when they come out they can get a job. There isn’t much market at the moment for making licence plate markers, although, certainly, well --
Mr. Bradley: Why didn’t you finish it?
Hon. Mr. Drea: I was going to say we were trying to get into the export field, and we may very well, but again, that’s for only a very small portion of the people in institutions.
At one time the best project we had was farming. It was killed on the grounds that it didn’t lead to farm jobs because the hired hand wasn’t there any more. My predecessors way back made a terrible mistake. The best thing about the farming operation was it led to the most basic of all work skills and perfected it, the ability to work hard and long on a sustained basis. It’s a very labour-intensive type of field.
At the moment, we have about 450 to 500 inmates who are gainfully employed every day, and I emphasize the word gainfully. They either go out of the institution on a temporary absence and work for an employer, or they are in the mattress factory, or the abattoir, or other paying projects.
Not only myself as the minister, but as a ministry, we are totally opposed to convict labour; that was abolished at the turn of the century. We would be using that labour in competition with and taking away jobs from people who have done no wrong. I can think of nothing more unfair than to penalize a man or a woman who has never done anything except be an asset to society.
We move progressively in the penal field so we are not doing that. When they go to work for General Motors or for the chicken plucking factory in Mr. Gaunt’s riding, in Walkerton, or when they go to many small plants and so forth in and around Ottawa, they are paid for it. They are paid dollar for dollar, penny for penny, fringe for fringe, what have you, whether there is a union or not. We insist on that.
In addition we have people who are living in our CRCs, our community resource centres. Most of them go gainfully to work every day. Some go to school. We consider that to be work although obviously they are not paid to go to school. We will not undercut labour.
Finally we come to the bulk of the inmates. All right, we are bringing them out -- the ones who are responsible enough, which is the polite way of saying not a security risk -- to do tasks that otherwise wouldn’t be done in the community. And I think that’s the operative thing. We are not taking on long-term projects because if it is a long-term project, and I mean by that more than a couple of weeks or a month, you could hire people to do it. You should be able to hire, and I am talking about five or six days a week of course.
For instance, how would I be in a position to pay for something like this? Mr. Chairman, with your indulgence, this is from the Westway Horticultural Society:
“Dear Sirs: The R. J. Smith senior citizens apartments landscape project which we undertook this spring for the first time involved far too much physical work for older members but thanks to a gang of six able-bodied men from Mimico it was turned into a good experience for all concerned. We are grateful. I must say that the men were pleasant and co-operative and although gardening seemed to be a new experience for most of them, the association was pleasant. I strongly recommend this work treatment as humane and constructive and I am certain that our residents at the home and Westway Horticultural members appreciate the flower beds that were planted this weekend.”
That was written in May. Now, how would I ever get around to figuring out who should pay those six inmates of Mimico who went and did that? Is it the Westway Horticultural Society? Is it the Minister of Community and Social Services? Is it Metro or is it me? I am not in a position to pay out those kinds of funds.
First of all, I think we have to recognize that there is somebody who hasn’t been mentioned; that is the victim. If people are going to get paid, I am all for them getting paid, making some money and picking up their responsibilities, when they are gainfully employed and in our custody, of paying income tax, OHIP, CPP. But the victim -- there has to be some accountability. You don’t go to jail to get a job and build up a nest egg.
That’s it, and I don’t care if there are some very fuzzy proposals coming from some civil servants in Ottawa indicating that people would feel much better if they came home from jail with a bit of money in their pockets. But you forget the victim. You are not just a statistic when you are in a provincial institution. You did something. Many of these are victimless or you cannot identify the victim. It has been mischief, or perjury. It has been things for which you cannot specifically say that he took money from you, or he took money from me.
Nonetheless, all of us including the taxpayer out there, had to pay for the police, the courts and now, here. There has to be an accountability. What we are building up in our system now is an accountability that you will go and do community work if you are incarcerated without pay. If you do that on a sustained and responsible basis, then you will get first crack at the paying jobs available to inmates.
For instance, this summer we will be putting a great number into harvesting, farm picking and so forth. Those who have worked hard in community projects and have shown their responsibility will be offered the chance to go out as farm labour and be paid penny for penny, dollar for dollar. They will keep the bulk of that. They will pay back their board to us, or they will pay their board to the farmer. To me, this is a logical system of building up a person’s responsibility and self-worth. The first thing they have to get through their head is that they are accountable. They must make some accounting to society in general as well as to their particular victim.
If they do that, show progress and accept the discipline and responsibility that comes with sustained work, that is fine. Then they move out to a position where they can benefit themselves and benefit the community by working and being paid. They also begin to do many of the things that were mentioned here. The final thing I want to say on this particular matter is that if we had to pay for the community work, quite frankly, we would have to stop every single project across this province tomorrow. How am I going to pay? There is a case that was given to me jointly by the member for St. Catharines and my own House leader. A man who was stabbed very seriously in St. Catharines some time ago through no fault of his own, a totally innocent victim, is now paralyzed for life. We are sending him inmates from the Niagara Detention Centre from time to time to cut his lawn, shovel his snow and to help him to remain in his own home. What municipality could afford to get into that type of personalized service, that type of one-on-one service and that type of cost in finding a person to do it on a once-a-month basis? One couldn’t even employ anybody to do that.
I respect the concern of the New Democratic Party on this matter. I am not nor is the ministry nor is the government -- in fact, it is stated government policy -- undertaking work that costs one wage earner his job nor will we undertake anything that erodes future job opportunities. We have been able to do this across the province in varying degrees. We have produced on-the-job training for our own people. It makes it much better when they go back and go out. On that basis, I will not accept this amendment.
Mr. Worton: I have something I would like to draw to the minister’s attention. Perhaps this bill isn’t the appropriate place.
Mr. Chairman: I hope it’s in regard to this amendment.
Mr. Worton: Oh, it will help out. For many years the Guelph Correctional Centre was one of the beauty spots of the institutions under your ministry. The grounds directly surrounding the buildings are still in good shape, but if you go along the road where there are streams and waterfalls along Highway 7, they are certainly in a bad state and need overhauling. The grass is knee-high and the area is certainly a mess.
I would think that’s a project very close to home that you could improve. I realize there are a number of visitors to that area who perhaps don’t leave the grounds the way they should. This would involve the hauling away of stones, the cutting of the grass and the general condition of the trees. I think that would be a good project to start close to home.
Hon. Mr. Drea: It will be done by the time we come back.
Mr. Chairman: You have heard Mr. Ziemba’s amendment to section 26. The mover said the amendment would add sections 2 and 3. I hope he is agreeable to changing those two sections 4 and 5.
All those in favour will please say “aye.”
Those opposed will please say “nay.”
In my opinion the nays have it.
I declare the motion lost.
Section 26 agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Section 37 was amended. It’s all right.
Sections 27 to 37, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 38:
Mr. Chairman: Honourable Mr. Drea moves that section 38 be amended by adding thereto the following subsection: “(3) Where parole is revoked under (2), the parolee shall, notwithstanding that parole was granted before the coming into force of this act, serve the portion of his term of imprisonment including any remission that remained unexpired at the time parole was granted less (a) the period of time spent on parole after the coming into force of this act, (b) the period of time during which parole was suspended and the parolee was in custody, and (c) any remission earned after the coming into force of this act and applicable to the period during which the parole was suspended and the parolee was in custody.”
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Chairman, the reason for this is the Grenier decision by Mr. Justice Linden in the Supreme Court of Ontario. In the case of a parole violation there was no question that they should lose their statutory remission except that Mr. Justice Linden pointed out we should have specific authority to do so. We are not going to bother with statutory remission because it dies automatically on June 30 -- on July 1 earned remission will be proclaimed by the federal government and the other 10 provinces. So it is that court case that makes the specific authority in this amendment necessary.
Motion agreed to.
Section 38, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 39 to 41, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 42:
Mr. Chairman: Honourable Mr. Drea moves that section 42(3) be deleted and the following substituted therefor: “There shall be a supervisor of probation services to be responsible throughout Ontario for the supervision of administration of probation services provided by the ministry.”
Hon. Mr. Drea: The reason for that is to change it from “the minister shall” to “there shall.”
Motion agreed to.
Section 42, as amended, agreed to.
On section 43:
Mr. Bradley: Just a point of explanation on section 43(3): “In addition to the duties of a probation officer referred to in (1) a probation officer shall perform such other duties as are assigned to him by the minister.” Would the minister elaborate on what those other duties might be?
Hon. Mr. Drea: One of them is the supervision of community service orders which so far, while technically under probation, are moving off into a specific sentence of their own. As you know, until they are and until a particular period of time, when they are a valid sentence by themselves they are still bound with a probation order. So the supervision of CSOs rather than the traditional type of probation is one of them.
There might be a direction, particularly in the north, where it would be, in addition to probation, the supervising of part-time probation officers, once you get north of the highways and so forth in the backward areas. Also we have expanded probation officers into anti-vandalism projects and a number of things where they are directly supervising reclamation work through the courts. At present they are doing this in the Timiskaming region involving Kirkland Lake and Engelhart.
Also, quite frankly, it is to prepare for the court worker. We have the native court worker now, and I would hope that we would soon have a court worker “period” for everybody in the courts. It is something coming out of various law reform commissions and so forth. Once again, that might very well be in a limited growth area or a smaller community, and it would be in addition to the probation officer’s regular or traditional probation duties of someone reporting to him.
Section 43 agreed to.
Sections 44 to 49, inclusive, agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Drea: I think there is general agreement that one of the amendments passed today involving section 9, making it 9(a), is not applicable there. I wonder whether we could have it understood when this bill is brought back for reprinting and third reading that that amendment 9(a) passed today will become section 46 of the act under general provisions -- that is the one about the right of members to visit -- rather than being tucked in that particular place.
Mr. Chairman: Does the committee agree?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, with the concurrence of committee, we have one division here and it may be that we could get started on the next bill and then perhaps, if we need a 10-minute bell, we could call the 10-minute bell and clear this division up at that time, and carry on with the bill. So if the committee would agree, maybe at about a quarter to 6 or so we could then divide and clear up this bill. In the meantime, we could get some time in on Bill 96 and get started on it.
Mr. Chairman: Is the committee agreeable?
LIQUOR LICENCE AMENDMENT ACT
Consideration of Bill 96, An Act to amend the Liquor Licence Act, 1975.
On section 1:
Ms. Bryden: I have a question on section 1, Mr. Chairman. It is the one regulation the conduct of agents and representatives registered under section 39.
The previous bill simply provided for the registration of agents, which would be granted except for past conduct of the applicant which affords reasonable grounds for belief that he won’t carry on business in accordance with the law and with honesty and integrity. This new section, Mr. Chairman, seems to be much broader and gives the board the power to regulate the conduct of agents and representatives. I wonder if the minister could explain what he has in mind under that clause and what kind of conduct he is referring to. We had a lot of debates on the Family Law Reform Act on the question of conduct and it seems to me we are getting into the same sort of thing where the government takes the power upon itself to regulate something vague, called “conduct.”
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Chairman, forgive me, I couldn’t hear because of some discussion going on over here.
Mr. McClellan: You were trying to eavesdrop.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: You were trying to eavesdrop on what was happening here. I am sorry, could you just --
Ms. Bryden: As I pointed out, Mr. Chairman, the 1975 act simply provided for the registration of agents, which would be granted except where past conduct of the applicant affords reasonable grounds for belief that he won’t carry on business in accordance with the law and with honesty and integrity. This now simply gives the minister the power to regulate the conduct of registered agents and representatives. As I say, it seems to me to be rather sweeping powers for the minister to regulate their conduct without specifying in what respect, whether it is their conduct 24 hours a day or just what does he mean by that particular clause?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: There’s really nothing new in that section. The authority that would be granted by this section is authority which is now found under the Liquor Control Act. Currently, the agents are registered under the Liquor Licence Act but the conduct is now --
Mr. McClellan: We’re all here.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I’ve noticed.
In simple terms, the agents are registered -- the authority to register them is under the Liquor Licence Act; the conduct, as described here, is currently sitting under the Liquor Control Act. This is just an opportunity with this bill before the House to bring both their registration and control of their conduct under the same act. There’s nothing new being added here at all.
Section 1 agreed to.
On section 2:
Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Grossman moves that section 9 of section 45 of the act as set out in section 2 of the bill be amended by striking out the words “the 31st day of August, 1978” in the second and third lines and inserting in lieu thereof “the 31st day of December, 1978.”
Motion agreed to.
Section 2, as amended, agreed to.
On section 3:
Mr. M. N. Davison: The question of the transportation of home-made wine has been raised outside of the House because of interest stirred up by the debate on this bill. As I understand it now, it’s illegal to transport home-made wine without special permission from the board. I wonder if the minister would undertake to look into that matter and at some time in the future either report back to the House or bring in an amendment to allow people to transport home-made wine?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I will look into that.
Section 3 agreed to.
On section 4:
Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Grossman moves that section 1 of section 46(a) of the act as enacted by section 4 of the bill be amended by inserting after “municipality” in the first line “including a metropolitan or regional municipality.” He further moves that section 4 of the said section 46(a) be amended by inserting after the words “permit 4” in the second line the words “in possession of liquor purchased.”
Motion agreed to.
Section 4, as amended, agreed to.
Section 5 agreed to.
On section 6:
Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Grossman moves that subsection 1(a) of section 52 of the act as set out in section 6 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor: “1(a) Any person who is over the age of 18 years on the first of January 1979 and not an interdicted person may apply to the board for a card indicating that such person has attained the age of 18 years on or before the 31st day of December, 1978.”
Motion agreed to.
Section 6, as amended, agreed to.
On section 7:
Mr. M. N. Davison: Just very briefly -- because I would like to finish with this bill, if we can, before the supper hour -- our party is opposing the inclusion of section 7(2) (1c) in this bill, which is the provision that imposes a minimum fine on employees of establishments who contravene sections of this legislation.
We don’t believe this is a particularly good addition to the legislation because we believe it may place some employees of these establishments in a position where their job is at risk. The reason for that is that some employers, some licence holders, are frequently engaged in the practice of insisting their employees flout the legislation, particularly in terms of serving minors, and place an employee in the position where either the employee breaks the law or is fired -- dismissed from his job on a trumped-up charge.
Frankly, we would not be opposing the inclusion of a minimum fine in this legislation if we believed we had enlightened labour laws in Ontario. Because we don’t have the proper labour legislation to protect workers in such a position, we can’t support the bill. It would put a judge in a very bad position where, after deciding that technically the person had broken the law but had done so only to protect his or her job, the judge would then be forced to impose a minimum fine. We don’t think that would be an appropriate situation.
We do believe, however, that the employees of these establishments who break the law under normal circumstances, without being pressured by their employer to do so, upon conviction should not be dealt with lightly. The legislation in its other amendments provides for very stiff fines for those employees. But we do believe it would be unfair to impose the $100 minimum fine in this case as it could be very unfortunate.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Very quickly, this is consistent with the policy of putting the onus for controlling the problem on those who are delivering the products. That’s the appropriate place to put it. Secondly, you’ll note it’s a $100 fine, not $500.
Certainly we want to make it clear that it isn’t operating the way you’re suggesting it’s operating. The licensed operators are, in our opinion, not carrying on to a very large extent the way you’re suggesting. Certain remedies are available if those things are happening.
I’d also point out that the section imposes a minimum fine on everyone who is not a licensee and not only on employees. For example, if any adult -- you yourself, for example -- were to acquire some liquor and deliver it to a minor, then you’d be subject to that fine as well. In point of fact, the real purport of that section is the acquisition of it by someone other than the persons you’re talking to. You’ll notice that section 45 of the act says “no person.” However, I would point out that they must knowingly serve. There are those aspects to it, which perhaps aren’t entirely clear when you’re dealing with a bill with that subsection sitting in it, although I understand your concerns.
Mr. M. N. Davison: Are you suggesting they’d leave it up to the judge?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: All those in favour of section 7(2)(1c) will say “aye.”
All those opposed will say “nay.”
In my opinion the ayes have it.
Sections 8 to 11, inclusive, agreed to.
MINISTRY OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES ACT (CONCLUDED)
Mr. Deputy Chairman: On Bill 85, Mr. Ziemba has moved an amendment to section 9(a) to add the following clauses:
(2) Any letter addressed to an inmate of an institution from a member of the Legislative Assembly, the Ombudsman of Ontario, or the correctional investigator of Canada shall be immediately forwarded unopened to the inmate by the director or superintendent of the institution or a person designated by either of them in writing.
(3) Any letter written by an inmate of an institution that is addressed to a member of the Legislative Assembly, the Ombudsman or the correctional investigator of Canada, shall be immediately forwarded unopened to the member, Ombudsman or correctional investigator, as the case may be, by the director, superintendent or a person designated by either of them in writing.
The committee divided on Mr. Ziemba’s amendment to section 9(a) of Bill 85, which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 19; nays 43.
Bill 85, as amended, reported.
LIQUOR LICENCE AMENDMENT ACT (CONCLUDED)
The committee divided on whether section 7(2)(1c) of Bill 96 shall stand as part of the bill, which was approved on the following vote:
Ayes 43; nays 19.
Bill 96, as amended, reported.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the committee of the whole House reported three bills with amendments.
The following bills were given third reading on motion:
Bill 85, An Act to revise the Ministry of Correctional Services Act;
Bill 86, An Act to amend the Coroners Act, 1972;
Bill 96, An Act to amend the Liquor Licence Act, 1975;
Bill 95, An Act to provide Probation Services to Young Offenders.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I know that you may be calling the supper adjournment, but perhaps for the information of the members I could say that we will be starting this evening with second reading of Bill 113, An Act to amend the Training School Act. This will start a series of about eight bills put by the same minister. In discussions, it was felt that perhaps we might complete all the debates for second readings and that any divisions might be held at the completion of the eighth bill.
The House recessed at 6 p.m.