The House met at 2 p.m.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
Hon. Mr. Norton: In February I announced the appointment of a task force chaired by Dean Ralph Garber of the Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, to examine the services provided by Ontario’s children’s aid societies with regard to the management of child abuse cases.
The task force was appointed because we recognized that there were problems in the handling of child abuse in Ontario. The mandate was to inquire into the management of child abuse cases by the 50 children’s aid societies and into the services offered to abused children and their families.
In fulfilling this function the task force commissioned research to provide it with necessary information. In addition, opinions, viewpoints, and submissions were invited from children’s aid societies, community groups, staff associations, interested citizens and professionals throughout Ontario.
I am pleased to table the report of that task force today. It is one which my ministry is considering very seriously. We are analysing the recommendations and their implications and we will act promptly on them wherever possible.
At this time I would like to thank Dean Garber and the other members of the task force on child abuse, all of whom volunteered their time, for having undertaken a great deal of work and for having produced a comprehensive report in a short period of time.
I would also like to thank all those people and groups who submitted their views to the task force. I particularly would like to thank the children’s aid societies for their cooperation throughout. Without their thoughtful and sincere contribution, the work of the task force and the report -- copies of which are being distributed today -- would not have been possible.
I want to draw the attention of members to the first paragraph in the summary of recommendations, since it appears not only to raise concerns about the present arrangement of services but to find them completely wanting in their ability to protect children.
While my ministry can see merit in the recommendations, I cannot, as minister, accept the blanket nature of the summary’s first sentence. I think we have to recognize that a great deal of good work has been done over the years by the children’s aid societies. I am confident that a very great number of children have been and are being well protected.
I want to stress as well, however, that I am very concerned about the substantial variations in the levels of service among the societies, and the fact that many societies have not developed guidelines to assist in critical decision-making. Both of these areas are identified in the report.
The need is identified for greater supervision of societies by the province and for my ministry to develop guidelines and standards of service. Historically, our role has been to support and to assist the children’s aid societies rather than to direct or to require. This is the approach taken with other quasi-private agencies.
Recent developments have led me to the conclusion that greater ministry involvement is called for. To make this possible, I have authorized additional staff for the child welfare branch. Active recruiting has been taking place over the past one-and-a-half to two years and staff has been augmented. We now have eight full-time professional staff appointed to the supervision of the children’s aid societies. In addition to this, the child abuse program increased its capability to five full-time professional staff. I accept the principle of an increased ministry role and recognize that this is a departure from past policy, but one which is warranted.
The task force developed 21 specific recommendations to improve the situation. As I have noted, these will be given careful and urgent consideration. Already we are taking action in the direction proposed by the task force.
Several recommendations place responsibility on my ministry for the development of guidelines and standards of service for all aspects of child protection practices of children’s aid societies, and for more intensive monitoring and supervision of the societies. I am pleased to note that standards development in all aspects of children’s services is one of our priorities.
The children’s services division has appointed a standards development advisory committee which is at work on the development of standards. A consultation paper on residential care standards will be released this summer.
The child welfare branch recently circulated a memorandum of guidelines respecting child abuse cases. These are necessary steps, and the task force has identified additional areas where standards development is required.
Certain recommendations have implications for other ministries -- for instance, in the development and operations of interdisciplinary teams and in incorporating child abuse training into the curricula of various educational institutions. I assure the Legislature I will bring these matters to the attention of my colleagues in government and to the interministerial committee on children’s services which has been designated by the government to carry responsibility for the interministerial aspects of child abuse, and which has a child abuse subcommittee.
The report recommends further child abuse training for professionals in the field and the establishment of interdisciplinary teams to advise on the management of child abuse cases. Over the past two years my ministry has been encouraging and funding local interprofessional seminars on child abuse, and providing active consultation to assist communities to establish planning committees and interdisciplinary teams. In order to promote this work an additional $460,000 has been allocated to the child abuse program this fiscal year.
At the present time at least 30 interdisciplinary teams have been established in Ontario. In addition, a minimum of 20 hospital-based teams have been established to advise on the treatment of the abused child and the abusing family. We are pleased with the progress that has been made so far and will be continuing to support these necessary additional efforts.
The report recommends that more attention be paid to services in the north and to native children. We have previously identified this as one of our priorities in 1978 and we have had a group studying the needs of northern areas of the province where there are disproportionate numbers of native children in care.
Several of the recommendations call for legislative changes and I am pleased to report that most of these, such as legal representation for children in protection hearings and authority for the child abuse registry, are included in the bill to revise the Child Welfare Act which I introduced two weeks ago and which received second reading last night.
The task force recommendations are extremely helpful to my ministry and they convince me we have much work to do. Both the report itself and summarized research highlight the urgent need for action. Staff of the ministry are studying the report with care and will formulate proposals for action which we will discuss with the children’s aid societies this summer.
In addition to working with children’s aid societies to improve the handling of cases of known or suspected child abuse, we are also as a ministry focusing our attention on prevention strategies so that we can deal with the roots of the problem.
We have commissioned the chief of child psychiatry at War Memorial Hospital of Western Ontario, Dr. Naomi Rae-Grant, to undertake a project to develop prevention strategies for application within the children’s services division of my ministry.
Mr. McClellan: You’ve changed your tune since last night.
Hon. Mr. Norton: A flexible new proposal has been presented to children’s aid societies to encourage the reallocation of money for child care into prevention initiatives. I will, of course, keep the House and the public informed about progress.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that my ministry has reduced energy consumption by approximately 25 per cent over the past two years. This reduction, which exceeds by five per cent our goal for this 24-month period, has resulted in a cost avoidance totalling $685,000.
In addition to my ministry’s commitment to reduce energy consumption by a further seven per cent during the fiscal year, I have set targets for reductions in food, clothing, and other supplies. There will be no reduction in the size of portions of food served to inmates, but efforts will be stepped up to ensure there is no wastage of food. Stricter regulations will also be applied to the issuance of clothing, linen, and the cleaning and maintenance supplies. This year’s cost avoidance target for these resources I have mentioned will be $679,000.
I am sure that honourable members will be pleased to learn that one of our correctional facilities, the Ontario Correctional Institute in Brampton, is involved in a project aimed at making it more self-sufficient through the use of solar energy. Through the experimental use of solar collector panels, the institute hopes to meet most of its hot water needs. This experiment is being conducted in co-operation with the Ministry of Energy, Ontario Hydro, and the Ministry of Government Services.
Efforts to conserve resources can only be successful if staff participate fully, and I am very pleased with the work performed to achieve our goals by staff at all institutions and field offices.
In summary, if we achieve our cost avoidance targets for this year -- and I am confident that we will -- this will represent a total savings to the taxpayer over three years of more than $1.3 million.
OIL AND GAS PRICES
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I would like to advise the House on the Ontario government’s position concerning the announced crude oil price increase of $1 per barrel scheduled for July 1 which, after a 60-day price freeze to use up existing stocks, could result in an increase of approximately 3.5 cents per gallon in the cost of gasoline on September 1. Home heating oil would increase by about three cents per gallon.
Yesterday, the Canadian Press reported that the federal Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources had announced that the price increase results from an agreement negotiated last spring wherein the federal and provincial governments plan to continue to gradually move domestic oil prices towards world price.
Mr. Bradley: That’s your friends in Alberta.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Contrary to that report, the Ontario government strongly opposed any such agreement last year and continues to do so.
Mr. Deans: That’s shameful. You got us into this mess four years ago.
Mr. Ruston: Tell your friend Peter Lougheed.
Mr. Haggerty: What did you do about Ontario Hydro’s increase?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: For the recollection of the House, I’m tabling a copy of Ontario’s position taken at the federal-provincial conference last year.
Mr. Deans: You got us into this at the first ministers’ conference. You agreed to this nonsense.
Hon. B. Stephenson: We did not agree to it.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: In essence, we stated a price increase was not justified at that time for a number of reasons. Today, those reasons are even more valid than ever.
Mr. Mancini: You are kissing cousins.
Mr. Nixon: Send the money to Alberta.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I might also say that it seems very strange to me that the federal government would in early May of this year urge the OPEC nations to maintain a freeze on world prices because the western economies were just recovering from the sharp increases of 1973, and then turn around one month later and impose such an increase on Canadian consumers.
Mr. Deans: You are just as bad.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I should like to advise the members that during the past few weeks I have had discussions with the Minister of Energy for Alberta and with the federal Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources about the proposed price increases of crude oil for July 1 and for proposed increases in the price of natural gas.
Mr. Kerrio: Darcy understands that kind of management.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Those discussions have been followed up by my officials. At these meetings we have made strong representation against any price increase at this time while the Canadian economy is soft and unemployment is high, and when inflation is still not under control.
Mr. Haggerty: What are you doing about it?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I would like to assure the members of this House that I will continue to press Ontario’s case with Mr. Gillespie. Even though Mr. Gillespie has already taken unilateral action on this increase, there is yet another increase proposed for next January 1, and it would help considerably if members on the other side of this House would support the government in its efforts to prevent still a further increase.
Mr. MacDonald: Oh, go away.
Mr. Breithaupt: What’s Joe Clark’s position?
An hon. member: Look after our dear friends from Alberta.
Mr. Samis: Always passing the buck.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Now is not the time to increase the price of crude oil or natural gas.
Mr. Ruston: Blame it on Lougheed, your buddy.
Mr. MacDonald: You have made your bed, now you’ve got to lie on it.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Such a price increase is not needed to increase the supply of either energy source and can only further undermine the economy.
Ms. Gigantes: The minister finally figured it out.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Ontario has many times been accused of taking a narrow view with respect to energy pricing. Such is not the case. It is as much in the consumers’ interest as it is in the producers’ interest to ensure supply. Price and supply go hand in hand.
Mr. Roy: No, they don’t.
Mr. S. Smith: It is our view of respective politics.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I am very confident that we don’t need an additional price increase to encourage further exploration and development.
Mr. Makarchuk: This is a lot of bunk.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Exploration and development are already happening at an unprecedented level. As a result of my recent visit to Alberta, I was impressed by the optimism displayed about this country’s ability to meet its future domestic crude oil and gas requirements.
Mr. Deans: Talk about flip-flopping.
Mr. Nixon: They can’t wait for you to send them money.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: My discussions with the Canadian Petroleum Association, the Independent Petroleum Association and the Canadian Association of Oil Well Drilling Contractors --
Mr. Nixon: That’s a Conservative government out there, isn’t it?
Mr. Breithaupt: Keep Alberta green.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- indicate that 1977 was a record year for activity, and projections suggest that 1978 will be even better. Indications of the growth in activity in Canada in 1977 over 1976 are that --
Mr. Deans: They have lied to us for years.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- the availability of drilling rigs peaked at 336, for an increase of approximately 10 per cent; the number of exploration and development wells drilled totalled 5,381, for an increase of approximately 11 per cent; and the footage drilled totalled approximately 18 million feet, for about a 12 per cent increase.
Mr. S. Smith: That’s because the price went up.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: New reserves of crude oil and natural gas have been found and every effort is now being directed to prove up these findings so that they can be connected to transportation systems and made available to markets.
Mr. S. Smith: Will the Treasurer tell him the realities?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Although recent findings of crude oil are potentially significant, at best they might reduce our dependency on offshore supplies and not replace it. High exploration activity for conventional crude oil must, therefore, be maintained --
Mr. Swart: That was all in the paper two weeks ago.
Mr. Samis: Support Joe Clark.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- and must be supplemented by the development of synthetic crude oil from the oil sands and heavy oil deposits.
Mr. S. Smith: That’s expensive oil, for heaven’s sake. That is only going to go on stream if the price goes up. Will the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) explain it to him?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: It will take a concerted national effort for Canada to become self-sufficient in crude oil.
Mr. Laughren: Tell us about uranium now.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Without such self-sufficiency, Canada could be subjected to considerable inconvenience and hardship should another oil embargo on imported oil occur.
In February 1977, the National Energy Board reported that the remaining reserves of conventional crude oil in Canada totalled approximately 6.5 billion barrels, for a decrease of about six per cent over the previous year.
Mr. Deans: Their figures aren’t accurate either.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We hope the growth in exploration and development activity will reverse this downward trend, but even if the trend is reversed it will become increasingly necessary to develop synthetic supplies. Present Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board estimates show that some 26 billion barrels of synthetic crude oil, or four times our known reserves of conventional crude oil, could be recovered by surface mining of the oil sands, as is being done by the Great Canadian Oil Sands and Syncrude projects.
Mr. Samis: Is that last week’s figure or this week’s?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Members will recall that Ontario has a five per cent investment in the Syncrude project through the Ontario Energy Corporation. It will be going into production in July and will achieve about 109,000 barrels daily by early February. For the two non-believers across the House, I am going to send them a sample from the oil sands that I picked up in Alberta last week.
Mr. Cunningham: Is this a credit course?
Mr. Nixon: What did they give you, dark glasses?
Mr. Breithaupt: They only gave you a candle and a sweater.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: The Cold Lake and similar heavy oil deposits must be developed using in-situ schemes, rather than the Syncrude mining approach. These have an estimated potential of 15 billion to 30 billion barrels of synthetic crude oil.
Mr. Nixon: What an impact this is making.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: My discussions in the past few weeks also suggest that Canadians have an opportunity to benefit significantly from this industrial activity which would produce an investment of $8 billion in such projects. As members know, a major portion of that investment would be spent right here in Ontario to purchase equipment, material and services.
Mr. Sargent: Why don’t you start all over again?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Ontario, therefore, has a major stake in the development of Canada’s oil reserves and we must take every advantage of the opportunities which are available. In this regard, I have met with the Honourable Don Getty, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources for Alberta --
Mr. Conway: Not even the Argonauts wanted him.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- and discussed in considerable detail the status of proposed oil sand and heavy oil projects. Mr. Getty was most encouraging about the prospects for Ontario industry and how favourably placed it is to compete for business.
Mr. Sargent: Sure he would when you gave him $100 million.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I have discussed Mr. Getty’s comments and suggestions with my colleague, the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Rhodes) and I am confident that Ontario’s industrial interests will continue to be vigorously pursued. We have heard much in the past few years of an energy crisis.
Mr. Roy: What a soft touch you are.
Mr. Samis: What did you say to Getty?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: In my view, we have no shortage in western Canada of crude oil reserves, nor are we limited by technology.
Mr. Conway: Who wrote that for you?
Mr. Ruston: Did Joe Clark write that for you?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: In our view, price is not the key issue at this time to ensure our future supplies, but rather there appears to be a serious lack of will and commitment frustrating the timely development of those reserves.
I should add, as members know, that the National Energy Board is currently conducting hearings into Canada’s energy supply and demand, with particular emphasis on crude oil. Yesterday my officials presented the government of Ontario’s submission to the National Energy Board. At the appropriate time later this afternoon I shall table a copy of that submission for the information of the House.
Mr. Makarchuk: Where do you stand on exports?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: In line with what I mentioned earlier, one of the principal recommendations in our submission is the need for Canada to become self-sufficient in crude oil no later than by 1995 and we believe this to be a realistic goal. Our submission also stressed the need for a new process for addressing and solving energy supply, demand, transport and price problems in Canada, a process based on collaborative planning amongst the provinces and the federal government.
Mr. Makarchuk: Are you supporting exports or not?
Mr. Sargent: Are you planning a price increase?
Mr. Nixon: Boy, you should have heard McKeough when he delivered those statements. We all listened in, eh, Darcy?
CITY OF HAZELDEAN-MARCH
Mr. Roy: Darcy, are you going backwards today?
Mr. Bradley: Blow the bugles of retreat.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that later today I will introduce an Act to establish the new city of Hazeldean-March.
Mr. Bolan: Sounds like a swamp.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: This will be a new municipality within the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, composed of the former March township and portions of Goulbourn and Nepean townships which contain the western urban growth areas designated in the regional official plan.
The bill contains the following provisions: that the new municipality have the boundaries as indicated and have the status of a city for all purposes, save initially for having to maintain a local police force under the Police Act; that the council of the city be composed of the mayor elected at large and six aldermen elected by wards --
Mr. Nixon: We will deal with that next Tuesday.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- that the composition of councils established or affected by the above proposal be provided through minister’s orders, including such adjustments respecting wards and related matters as are necessary for the council of the city of Hazeldean-March and the township of Goulbourn; and that the name of the new city may be changed with a provision for a general vote.
The creation of the new city of Hazeldean-March has followed much discussion with the three existing municipalities involved, namely, the townships of March, Goulbourn and Nepean.
Everyone has agreed that establishing a single municipality for the suburban areas now growing together in this western part of the region is one of the soundest proposals made in the Mayo report.
Mr. Roy: Why don’t you call it McKeough’s folly?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: The adjustments to the boundary proposals originally made in the Mayo report result from practical considerations, and with the understanding that future changes can be made after further study and when appropriate. This understanding applies, for example, to the northern portion of March township about whose ultimate boundaries there is not yet a consensus.
Substantial financial assistance can and will be made available under existing policy to the municipalities affected by this restructuring proposal to ensure that no municipality is left in difficulty by the fact of restructuring itself. Goulbourn township has been especially concerned about this. The council of Goulbourn has indicated by a resolution adopted on Monday, June 12, that it favours the proposal subject to the financial understandings that had been reached as of that date. The new city itself will be on a sound financial footing, assisted by the startup and transitional moneys to which it will be entitled.
With the above in mind, the government agrees with local views that it would be well to end uncertainties and establish the new municipality now. We wish the new city of Hazeldean-March well, and we are confident the city can become one of Ontario’s best-governed urban municipalities within its appropriate boundaries and scope of responsibility.
I would like to re-emphasize that the planning process in the areas affected by this bill should proceed as usual and that this legislation not become a reason for delaying plans now pending approval. I am sure that other amendments to this act and to the Ottawa-Carleton Act may be necessary but they can be dealt with at the fall session.
Mr. Conway: Next Tuesday. That’s a phoney war if ever there was one.
Mr. Roy: You really don’t know what you are doing.
Mr. Conway: Are you going to make Hazeldean-March part of Gatineau?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, on June 1 the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) asked a question which has a fairly long answer which I will give as a statement rather than using question period time. I would like to answer those questions and attempt to settle some of the apparent confusion on this important issue.
The development and operation of waste management facilities have traditionally been a municipal responsibility, and it should remain so. The province’s job is to see that municipal collection and disposal of garbage is conducted safely and without environmental damage. Our future responsibility is to provide guidance and to co-ordinate the efforts of municipalities in the development of shared waste management systems when required.
Mr. Deans: Are you reading this for the first time?
Ms. Gigantes: We can’t hear the minister.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: If you would keep quiet over there, you would be able to hear him.
Mr. Speaker: If we had a little more quiet it would be much easier to hear.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Why didn’t I say that?
Mr. Peterson: The Dennis Timbrell school of mumbling.
Hon. Mr. McCague: In determining these roles we have established clear provincial objectives. Simply stated, we want less garbage and we want to recover more from the waste we produce.
An hon. member: Get rid of the Tories if you want less garbage.
Hon. Mr. McCague: We want to reduce our dependence on landfill and we want to effect all of these changes by the most efficient and economic means, and with minimum displacement of the work force.
Mr. Nixon: Go on; it’s good stuff.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: It gets better.
Mr. Roy: Don’t be shy.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We will never get out of here on Friday if you don’t cut it out.
Hon. Mr. McCague: The major means of achieving these objectives is reclamation, which is the basis of my ministry’s resource recovery program. We have a number of projects now under way in the Toronto area which are intended to prove the viability of reclamation and to open the door to the construction of major resource recovery facilities which ultimately will lessen our dependence on landfill as a means of disposal.
Under development in Metro Toronto is the Watts from Waste project, which has reached the final design stage with construction expected to begin this year. Its purpose is to recover the energy value from about a quarter of a million tons of garbage each year by using refuse-derived fuel as a partial replacement for coal at the Lakeview generating station. This facility will have a capacity to handle approximately 1,200 tons of waste per day, and approximately 80 per cent of this flow will be recovered for energy purposes.
The glass gobbler program of the Glass Container Council is now in operation in Metro Toronto. During May 260 tons of glass were recycled. Currently, collections are made at 90 commercial establishments in Toronto, and this program will be extended to Mississauga as equipment becomes available.
In addition, plans are proceeding in connection with the Toronto district heating scheme, which is based on using approximately 1,200 tons of refuse per day to produce energy. My ministry’s resource recovery plant, now in full operation, can process 600 tons of waste per day and reclaim approximately 90 per cent of this flow for reuse in one form or another. At 150,000 tons per year, the percentage recovered would be 7.5 per cent of Metro’s total solid waste. In addition, a large quantity of commercial wastes, such as corrugated cardboard, is recycled directly by the private sector.
We have concentrated a number of resource recovery projects in the Metro area. We believe it is expedient that Metro lead the way for other municipalities in moving away from landfill as a principal disposal method.
Of the approximately two million tons of waste produced each year in Metro, about three quarters of one per cent was recycled in 1977, the figure to which the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) referred. About one half of this is made up of newspapers recovered through collection in the city of Toronto and the boroughs of Etobicoke and Scarborough; the other half comes from cans reclaimed from the ash at the Commissioner Street incinerator.
That total of less than one per cent for Metro Toronto is a long way from ideal, I agree. But the current state of resource recovery is far from ideal, not only in Ontario but in North America. Resource recovery is an undertaking which requires huge initial capital investment. At a time of economic instability, municipal governments are hesitant to make major long-term commitments involving large expenditures, despite my ministry’s 50 per cent subsidy program which Ontario has offered to municipalities for the construction of resource recovery plants.
Because resource recovery is so critically dependent upon reliable markets for reclaimed material, the current economic constraints are also hindering the establishment of these markets. While resource recovery is a proven philosophy, the technology for efficient, comprehensive recycling remains unproven. A lot of work has to be done.
At a conference I recently attended in the United States, the technical director of the National Solid Wastes Management Association summarized the situation by saying of existing resource recovery facilities: “The results of the first generation of projects indicate that the best of them can be characterized as limited successes, while others have proven to be outright failures.”
Of about 40 resource recovery facilities in the US and Canada, more than two thirds are less than fully operational today. Even the well-publicized system in the city of Milwaukee has experienced some difficulty.
The fact is that resource recovery is not an instant solution to our waste management problems in this province. We have never regarded it as such, although we do believe that resource recovery, when fully developed, will be an integral part of the efficient solid waste management system of the future.
There is a danger in looking to resource recovery as an immediate panacea and rushing into widescale construction of resource recovery plants based on the soundness of the philosophy alone. What we must do now is to test and develop workable technology and work at the development of marketable products, and the markets themselves which are required for a viable resource recycling industry. We are making progress in this direction through the ministry’s experimental plant in Downsview and through our involvement in several other projects.
Mr. Samis: Jimmy Auld has met his match.
Hon. Mr. McCague: In addition to the projects in the Metro area, which I have already mentioned, today I am pleased to announce that through partial ministry funding, a study in the region of Peel is being undertaken to examine the feasibility of generating steam and energy from domestic garbage and waste paper to fuel a manufacturing plant, and to generate additional energy in the form of electricity.
Though markets for this form of energy are well established, the technology under study is unique in North America. It is highly complex, which is why we are anxious to have a detailed engineering study of the process to explore the potential that it holds for Peel, and later for other municipalities in dealing with their problems.
As we develop resource recovery, there will be a continuing need for landfill capacity in Ontario, including Metro, to accommodate waste which cannot be recycled or which has no energy value. This landfill capacity will have to be obtained in co-operation with Metro’s neighbouring municipalities and the sites must be environmentally acceptable. We have established a working committee involving Metro Toronto, York, Durham, Peel and Halton region with the objective of developing an effective and integrated waste management plan for the greater Metro area.
With respect to regional waste disposal studies, we offer a 50 per cent subsidy for area planning studies so that municipalities can determine the most effective means of waste disposal for their unique circumstances.
Regarding the recent proposal by Crawford Allied Industries Limited to erect a recycling plant at the Maple pit, the firm’s proposal was conditional upon approval of the Maple pit landfill site application.
Mr. Sargent: Time, George.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Quiet.
Hon. Mr. McCague: Since this was not approved, the firm will not be proceeding with construction of the reclamation plant.
Mr. S. Smith: I’d like to direct a question to the Minister of the Environment. I take it that the minister is explaining the discrepancy in the comments he made earlier in the House when he estimated that about 10 per cent of Metro’s waste was not being recycled; he then lowered that estimate in a private communication to 7.5 per cent. I take it that what he is saying now is that it was, in fact, only three-quarters of one per cent last year, but that with the Downsview resource recovery plant he expects that it will be 7.5 per cent this year. I take it that’s what he’s saying.
May I therefore ask the minister to confirm that as of the end of last week -- from January 1 to the end of last week -- the input to the Downsview plant has been 69,239 tons, and of that, 67,448 tons went to landfill sites, with a small amount to incineration? Isn’t it a fact that the Downsview station is virtually a transfer station, and that in point of fact since the loss of moisture accounts for about 1,000 tons it’s really up from 0.75 per cent to 0.8 per cent and nowhere near the 10 times that amount the minister is suggesting?
Hon. Mr. McCague: The honourable member is correct in that up until the end of 1977 it was 0.75, as he suggested in a statement made on June 1 in the House. The fact is that the capability of Downsview does increase that to the 7.5 per cent. I admitted at the time that I was not sure of the 10 per cent figure and within three or four minutes I did send across to him the figure of 7.5 per cent.
Mr. S. Smith: That’s true.
Hon. Mr. McCague: I said in my statement that the resource recovery plants are not the ideal solution at this point in time. He will well recognize that our plant in Downsview is an experimental one. It does have the capacity, as the statement said, to handle 600 tons of garbage per day on a two-shift basis; and yes, a good deal of it is going to landfill sites on a much compacted basis. If five truckloads come in, it goes out in one.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of a supplementary, would the minister not accept that, compacted or not compacted, in point of fact waste recovery recycling is virtually minimal at Downsview and that 67,500 out of 69,000 tons has gone, compacted or not, into landfill sites and therefore can hardly be held up as 7.5 per cent? Would he please check with the people in his ministry and make sure they are informing him correctly?
May I just ask in passing as well, does the minister not think that the time has come, instead of just having co-ordinating committees of Halton and Peel and all that, for the province to take responsibility for obtaining those landfill sites that are necessary?
Mr. Hennessy: We’ll let the Leader of the Opposition take care of it.
Hon. Mr. McCague: That was a long statement, and a quick answer is no, Mr. Speaker.
Ms. Bryden: Supplementary: Regarding resource recovery, which we were talking about, could the minister give us the name of the firm in the Peel region which is to be assisted in the development of experimental technology to generate steam and energy for manufacturing purposes from garbage and waste paper, and also the amount of the funding from the ministry and whether there will be any rights to any patents that are developed from this new technology?
Hon. Mr. McCague: What was the latter part of the question, Mr. Speaker -- will there be any patents?
Ms. Bryden: I understood the minister said it would be a new and experimental technology that he was assisting this manufacturing firm in developing. If any patents arise from that will the province of Ontario have any right to a share in the patents or proceeds?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, it’s a co-operative study between Peel region, the government of Ontario and Reed Limited. Our contribution towards the cost is $300,000 and the designs will be ours on completion.
Mr. J. Reed: Supplementary: I wonder if the minister could tell the House why on earth his ministry has been so limiting itself to the technology studies when we know, for instance, that there are open-grate garbage burners that generate steam and electricity that have been operating successfully for 30 years? What’s the big holdup about this whole business of resource recovery, or energy recovery? The technology has been in Europe, it’s been all over the world; and Ontario is the last place to get it.
Hon. W. Newman: You’re a real expert, aren’t you? We know all about it. You don’t know what you are talking about.
Mr. J. Reed: They’ve been doing it in Europe for years.
Mr. Speaker: Order. All of the interjections add nothing at all to the question period.
Mr. Kerrio: Neither do the answers.
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, I don’t agree with that statement.
Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister could tell us what the province gets for the $300,000 which it is going to pay to the Reed paper company for developing what appears to be, as my colleague from the Liberal Party said, a project that has already been proved in many areas on how to use garbage for steam and energy?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, to my knowledge the technology for the reclamation of fibre as a form of energy is not developed. It will be to not only do the design, but it will also be to assess the needs as they affect Peel region.
OIL AND GAS PRICES
Mr. S. Smith: I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Energy, who has sent over a few packages of crude material.
Mr. Nixon: Is that his statement?
Mr. S. Smith: This is apparently the dividend to the people of Ontario for our investment in Syncrude. I might just say parenthetically that since to bring it on stream --
Mr. Roy: Can’t tell which was his statement.
Mr. S. Smith: -- is going to cost $21 a barrel, I wonder how the far-sighted policy of the minister is going to bring this stuff on stream.
Mr. Nixon: He’s got $200 million sunk into this.
Mr. S. Smith: But may I ask the minister --
Hon. Mr. Davis: You are disappointed that Syncrude is working, aren’t you?
Mr. Peterson: Not at all.
Mr. S. Smith: It won’t if you freeze the price, you know that; you know that very well.
Hon. Mr. Davis: If it is going to be successful the taxpayers will be the beneficiary. You people are all wrong.
Mr. S. Smith: I would like to ask the minister whether Ontario, in view of the surplus that appears to be developing in natural gas as opposed to oil, is now proposing to unhinge or change the level at which the price of natural gas is hinged to the price of oil. Is the government making any proposals, apart from the political statement the minister made today, to separate the price of oil and natural gas and allow natural gas to fall a little closer to a market price in view of the surplus that seems to be developing in Alberta?
Hon. Mr. Davis: World market price.
Mr. Conway: Check with Joe Greene first.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We have on a number of occasions, in as forceful a way as we can, proposed to the federal government and the government of Alberta that the price of natural gas and oil should no longer continue in locked step, to loosen it up, but so far with no success whatsoever -- deaf ears, just stonewalling.
Mr. S. Smith: May I, by way of supplementary --
Mr. Roy: That sounds like the leadership you have been giving.
Mr. S. Smith: I am pleased that such initiatives have been taken, and could I ask by way of supplementary --
Hon. Mr. Davis: Come on, you people were all in favour of the increase at world price two years ago.
Mr. S. Smith: I should allow the Premier the right to interrupt with a few interjections --
Hon. Mr. Davis: I am just speaking to my friend.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Look at your comments on world prices two years ago May.
Mr. S. Smith: It’s been a long day and there are a lot of pressures on the job.
Mr. Ruston: What is Joe Clark’s position on this, Bill?
Mr. S. Smith: Could the minister table some of Ontario’s interventions in this regard so the Legislature can see them? And will Ontario be intervening before the National Energy Board with regard to oil prices, and also with regard to the application that is expected from the province of Alberta to export so-called surpluses of natural gas to the United States? Will Ontario be taking a strong position against Alberta’s desire to export to the United States? Will Ontario suggest instead a lower price for natural gas, so that we as a consuming province will be able to benefit from the natural gas that exists in our country rather than have it sent to the United States of America for higher prices by the province of Alberta?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We will continue to do everything within our power to protect the consumer of Ontario as well as the well-being of all Canadians; to try to keep the price of natural gases down; and also certainly to prevent any kind of short-term exports, the benefits of which would accrue only to a very small segment of our society. That’s been our stance; that will continue to be our stance.
Mr. Deans: Are you intervening?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: And incidentally, since the Leader of the Opposition skated a little bit on the first question, I would like to skate a little bit in reply. The fact is --
Mr. Roy: You are always skating -- backwards!
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- Syncrude is coming in, and coming in extremely well. The Ontario government’s very small investment is paying off very handsomely so don’t be sceptical about it. We could sell our small share any time. It’s going to be a huge success.
Mr. S. Smith: But at a high price.
Mr. Nixon: They have used heavy water up there.
Mr. Laughren: Supplementary to the minister -- and I hope also he would tell us whether or not he does intend to intervene, but further to that: In view of the minister’s vociferous and rather passionate opposition to the price increase as he articulated it today -- and the minister seems to agree with this party that the present price is adequate to guarantee future supplies -- is he prepared to implement a price freeze on gasoline across Ontario at this time?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We indicated our position on that subject some weeks ago when there was a private member’s bill before this House. We frankly don’t think that kind of an artificial --
Mr. Peterson: You never did it before, did you, Reuben?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- very small price freeze would help the broader problem at all.
Mr. Peterson: If we had an election would you do it?
Hon. Mr. Davis: If there was an election would you still be in favour of world price?
Mr. Sargent: Supplementary to the minister: If he is going to keep on whacking us with increases every six months on the price of oil --
Mr. Yakabuski: Trudeau.
Mr. Sargent: -- why doesn’t he pull out the $100 million from Syncrude and get his money back?
Hon. Mr. Davis: This is your leader’s policy.
Mr. Roy: What does Joe Clark say?
Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, can the minister answer that question?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I couldn’t hear that question, I’m sorry. There was a little noise back here.
Mr. Speaker: The question was, are you going to take your money out of Syncrude?
Hon. Mr. Davis: A great investment.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We will take that under consideration.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I can say, just to show how wrong members were across the House, we could probably sell that $100 million investment in Syncrude for $140 million or $150 million right now. How’s that for performance?
Mr. Roy: Just a lot of talk. Tell it like it is, Reuben, you are just going to talk a lot.
Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister would care to elaborate on his statement that the government to which he is related is prepared to do everything in its power to protect the consumer in Ontario against unjustified increases. Given he has said he believes the petroleum industry does have sufficient cash flow and profit to meet the 1995 objectives of self-sufficiency; and given that the only thing left to him is to protect the consumer at the consumer level, what is it that he intends to do?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I think we are going to have to continue to negotiate with the federal government.
Some hon. members: And Alberta.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We hope in due course they will begin to see the wisdom of our ways.
Mr. Deans: Negotiate? Negotiate what?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Further, we will have to negotiate with the producing provinces, particularly Alberta --
Mr. Deans: That’s just idle rhetoric.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: There are some leverages available to us on that score, which I frankly wouldn’t want to reveal at this time. I think there are constitutional constraints that have been placed upon us here, but within that we will certainly continue our efforts to protect the consumers of Ontario.
Mr. Deans: What the minister means is there is nothing he can do. He is talking a lot of political bull.
Mr. Breithaupt: Will the Minister of Energy encourage his federal leader to make some statement on this subject so that we will have the benefit of his intervention?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We will certainly --
Mr. S. Smith: Sign a letter.
Mr. M. Davidson: You are not going to get off the hook that easily.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The interjections are completely irrelevant.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We will certainly do our share to talk to our party in Ottawa, but I would hope that members opposite would do more than they have done in the past to talk to theirs --
Mr. S. Smith: Table the results.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- because for a short period at least they will still form the government. They had better convince them they should take some enlightened action.
Mr. Roy: Are you embarrassed by Joe Clark, Bill?
Mr. Laughren: I have a question of the Treasurer. I wonder if in the three months and some time that has passed since he introduced his budget, the Treasurer has had an opportunity to review the performance of the economy in relation to the budget he laid before us? Could he say whether, in view of the fact that the economy is not performing along the lines of some of the assumptions in the budget, he intends to lay before this chamber a new set of budgetary policies in September or early October?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I have no such present plans.
Mr. Laughren: By way of supplementary: Has the Treasurer taken a look at some of the specific revenue figures and growth projections which have been made? If so, is he aware, to be specific, that the mining tax revenues which he projected at $33 million are going to be substantially reduced to $19 or $20 million; that corporation taxes will be down over $100 million, probably $150 million; that growth projections by independent forecasting bodies such as the Conference Board in Canada have been reduced since the time he brought down his budget -- and they already were lower than the Treasurer’s; that his deficit is going to be considerably higher than he had predicted; and further, that he is going to have some public borrowing which he indicated he would not have to do when he brought down his budget? Does he not think it is time that he laid before this chamber in late September or early October a new set of figures so that we know that the economy is being directed on a set of accurate figures?
Mr. Peterson: Will he be here in September?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Will you?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, no. I can only repeat, I see no such reason at this moment. I would take issue with the member. In the next few days we shall receive reports on the first quarter, but the economy generally is performing along the lines forecast in the budget. It is true that the conference board have lowered their forecast somewhat and their forecasts now tally with our forecasts, which is interesting. My own view at the moment is that the economy, other than the serious problems of unemployment and the still continuing problems of inflation, prompted for the most part by food prices --
Mr. S. Smith: Apart from that everything is fine.
Mr. Breithaupt: Other than those two things.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: The target, the forecast figures, are pretty well, with some variation, as we had laid out in the budget. But there are two substantial differences. Members are aware that from the time of the budget until the end of the fiscal year there was, as I reported, a further drop off in our revenues, which has somewhat lowered the base on the corporate side, and a small reduction, as I recall at the moment, in the retail sales tax side. In addition, there were changes, of course, brought about by the decisions with respect to health-care financing; and there is also a large change, of course, brought about by our paralleling the federal move with respect to the retail sales tax to the extent of $143 million which necessitated -- and I announced that night that we would run up the treasury bills for the time being, perhaps not for the whole year --
Mr. Sargent: And the $600,000 you gave Toronto, too.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- but for at least part of the year, to finance that run-down in revenues. But I see no reason at the moment to contemplate a change of policies.
Mr. S. Smith: Change of government would be more like it.
Mr. Laughren: A supplementary: I wonder if, when the Treasurer is talking about his projections, he could tell us as well why it was, when he tabled his report on the Ontario Youth Employment Program, he used a different set of projected employment figures for the next 10 years than those laid out by the Ontario Economic Council; where did he obtain those figures and on what basis he arrived at those numbers?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I will have to get an answer to that for the member. I am not sure which figures he is using from the economic council, but I would be glad to take a look at them.
Mr. Speaker: The honourable member with his second question.
Mr. Laughren: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism. In view of the answer which was tabled yesterday from the ministry in response to a question from my colleague the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman) concerning the submissions which his ministry might have made to the federal government concerning the Canada-United States Automotive Trade Pact, and in view of the fact that in that answer which was tabled the ministry indicated there had been no formal proposals by the federal government to this government, and no response made by this government to the incentives proposed by the federal government; and further, that not since 1975, when the sector analysis was done by his ministry on the automotive sector, has there been any studies or any commissions conducted to look into the whole question of the fair share which Ontario should be receiving in the automobile sector?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I heard the statement, which I assume is a fact, but what is the question?
Mr. Laughren: Let me rephrase it. How is it the minister can respond to a question, indicating that absolutely nothing has been done by his ministry to look into the problem of the auto pact, and how does he justify that kind of abysmal inactivity on the part of the officials of his ministry?
Mr. Breaugh: Did the minister get the question this time?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: As I recall, the question placed on the order paper was to submit the information we had submitted to the federal government. That was done. That’s what was provided.
As the honourable member has pointed out, that document indicates we had had no response from the federal government. He’s quite correct, as we have indicated, that we have not responded to the incentives program of the federal government because, quite frankly, there hasn’t been one. There has not been an incentive program. The only incentive program we are aware of -- and I think we’re correct -- is the Department of Regional Economic Expansion funding that is available for incentives to companies to locate in Canada. The federal government does not have an incentive program.
Mr. Laughren: In view of the fact that there are problems, as evidenced by the announcement by the federal government of the appointment of the Reisman commission and the announcement by General Motors to delay the decision on the new facility, is the minister really surprised, given the difference of opinion between himself and the Treasurer, that this kind of activity is going on both in the private sector and at the federal level? Further, is he going to make a presentation to the Reisman commission? If so, which position is going to be presented -- his or the Treasurer’s (Mr. McKeough)?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I don’t think the member will find any great difference between my position and that of the Treasurer. As far as a submission to the Reisman commission is concerned, we will have to wait and see whether the gentleman wants to hear from us. I understand part of his responsibility is to talk to all the areas involved in the automotive industry, including the industry itself and the provinces with their positions. Obviously, he’ll be discussing the matter with us.
I don’t understand what the honourable member is referring to when he talks about a difference of opinion between the Treasurer and me. I don’t think there is anything of any great consequence.
Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary.
Mr. Laughren: Is the Minister of Industry and Tourism telling us he’s in agreement with the Treasurer that we should be entitled to our fair share without having to buy it and without jumping into bed with Jack Horner and going along with the sellout he’s announced?
Is the minister fully aware of the TEIGA document, which indicated there were 25,000 jobs at stake and further, that there’s as much as $60 billion in investment going to be made in the auto industry between now and 1985? Does he really think Ontario or Canada is going to get its fair share if he and the Treasurer can’t come to a general agreement as to what position should be put to the industry and to the federal government?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I think the honourable member is imagining certain things. The Treasurer and I, along with other of our colleagues, have met with the industry. We have not been presenting opposite views. We think there is more than one way to approach this particular problem.
I certainly wouldn’t be jumping in and out of bed with Jack Horner because I’m not too sure what bed Horner is in most of the time.
Mr. Peterson: That’s it. Get personal.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Breaugh: You are trying to get Horner.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I will certainly bow to the expertise of the member for Oshawa, who’s more familiar with beds than I am.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Is that true?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Concerning the other part of the question, as far as the sellout Mr. Horner has announced, unless the member was referring to the establishment of the recent commission, there haven’t been any real statements made by Mr. Horner.
Mr. Laughren: Only on incentives.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: As I understand it, Mr. Horner has not made any announcement on incentives. I’ve had a number of discussions with him.
Mr. Cooke: A million dollars to Ford.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: We’ve discussed with his staff about what possible incentives might be involved, but no decision has been made in that area at all. There’s been no announcement by the federal government relating to incentives. The only incentive we have heard of was the possibility of funds being made available to General Motors through the DREE program if they locate a plant in a designated area.
Mr. Breaugh: Montreal.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: The other one was the possibility of some funds being made available on an ad hoc basis to Ford Motor Company if a plant were to be located in Ontario. In either one of those particular cases there was no involvement of the province of Ontario. Certainly we would not be involved in an incentive program for a plant going into Quebec.
Mr. Laughren: It’s not a spectator sport.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Secondly, there was no request of the province of Ontario to give funds towards the development of a plant by Ford. If and when such a suggestion is made to us, then a decision can be made.
Mr. Bradley: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: When the minister gets an opportunity to further discuss this matter with the federal Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce, would he indicate to him the information that he has been given from the industry and from the unions in terms of the impact that any of these incentives would have on existing plant facilities such as now exist in the Niagara Peninsula?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: That’s a matter we have been discussing with him all along. I think the honourable member is probably well aware, because of his particular interest in the industries in his particular riding, that the incentives being offered would not necessarily involve the creation of new jobs but could very well mean the relocation of existing jobs, and that is a concern of ours.
Secondly, something was suggested previously about a $60 billion investment. I think most members in this Legislature are aware of the fact that the $60 billion investment, or whatever the figure is that they have been throwing around, is not necessarily new plant construction. A very substantial amount of it is to be used on retooling and modernizing existing lines in order to produce the new automobiles required to meet the energy consumption regulations that are being imposed by governments at this time.
Mr. Laughren: It’s still dollars and investment.
LONDON CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a question of the Premier, in the absence of the Attorney General.
Hon. Mr. Davis: As long as it’s not a legal opinion.
Mr. Peterson: No, no. We don’t even ask him for legal opinions any more, because they’re no good.
Mr. Roy: That’s right.
Mr. S. Smith: Or a policy of any kind.
Mr. Peterson: In view of the fact that the capital works budget of the city of London was submitted to the Ontario Municipal Board on January 14 for 11 specific proposals and only two have been approved, and in view of the fact that this is holding up construction and jobs and all sorts of things in London, would the Premier intervene or get involved to make sure that the OMB hurries up on that approval process?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, if the honourable member is asking me whether I or the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) endeavour to expedite some problems emanating from the city of London, I have never been reluctant to try to assist any member of the House in the determination of a constituency problem.
Mr. Nixon: The problem is with the OMB.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Certainly I’ll take this up with the Attorney General.
Mr. Peterson: Supplementary: This obviously speaks to a much wider problem than just London’s problem. This administrative tardiness is costing London in the order of $2,000 a day. To offer a specific suggestion, would the Premier consider sending some people from the Ministry of Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs -- now that they’ve scrapped every major program in the TEIGA portfolio, they must have a lot of people not doing anything -- would he possibly consider sending them over to assist the OMB in working out these figures, getting back quick approvals and getting construction and jobs going again?
Mr. Nixon: Sounds reasonable.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Ruston: Darcy’s withdrawing.
Mr. Conway: He is going to Hazeldean-March for a holiday.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I was interrupted, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: You were indeed.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I would be delighted to confer with the Attorney General and determine to what extent communities other than London -- I must confess that I know of several communities where their capital budgets have been approved and work is in progress. I will endeavour to find out if there are other communities besides London with this difficulty and so inform the honourable member.
Mr. Van Horne: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Could the Premier give us some indication of his priority system in the selection of the two out of the 11 projects? Given his dedication to a policy of local autonomy, could he indicate to us when he provides that answer what kind of priority criteria were used in selecting these two projects out of the 11?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I would have thought the honourable member would be somewhat familiar with the activities of the Ontario Municipal Board. I don’t make those determinations of priorities. They are, of course, made by the board. I don’t direct the board in terms of what particular project from the City of London is approved or not approved --
Mr. Nixon: McKeough does, though.
Mr. Kerrio: Darcy does.
Mrs. Campbell: Darcy does.
Hon. Mr. Davis: That is what the OMB does and does quite well.
Mr. S. Smith: The Treasurer sends them a letter. Darcy says, “No parks, no -- ”
Mr. Breithaupt: “Dear Mr. Chairman -- ”
Hon. Mr. Davis: Certainly the Treasurer sets out general areas of concern. There’s no question about that.
Mr. Van Horne: Why don’t you just find out and get us an answer?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I think one of our areas of concern, unlike the Leader of the Opposition, is some development in downtown Hamilton. He is more concerned about Toronto than London; I learned that the other day.
Mr. McClellan: I have a question for the Minister of Community and Social Services on the report of the Task Force on Child Abuse. The task force says in the opening sentence: “It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the present arrangement of services are not effective in protecting children from child abuse or violent death.”
The minister challenged the truth of that statement in his own statement. I want to ask him whether he does not understand that that inevitable conclusion was based on evidence of the task force’s own research report to the effect that the majority of children’s aid societies in this province have no standards, no guidelines and no procedures for identifying and treating child abuse cases?
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I think that if the honourable member recalls my comments, I was taking some exception with the generality and the sweeping nature of that opening statement. I do not disagree with the recommendations. In fact, although I have only very recently received a copy of the report myself and we and the committee were in some considerable rush to be able to table it before the House rose for the summer, my concern was that the opening sentence, in a careful reading of the recommendations, is not necessarily borne out or supported by those recommendations.
It does not make any exception for the fact that there are many children in the province of Ontario who have been and probably are being well served by the protection afforded by the children’s aid societies. I just think that statement, as a blanket statement, would have been more accurate had it been qualified to suggest that it was true in some cases, but not as a blanket statement implying, as one might interpret it, that under no circumstances does the system provide protection.
I don’t deny there are cases where there have been failures, but I also think the members opposite and I and everyone else who shares a concern in this area must recognize that although there can be and will be improvements in the system, there can never be a guarantee of a perfect system. Wherever human judgement is involved, even with the most complete and thorough guidelines, there will always be room for some error in human judgement, especially when that judgement relates to the anticipated acts or the interpretation of acts of other human beings. There is just no way that I know of to provide for a foolproof predictability in human behaviour.
Mr. McClellan: Supplementary: In view of the fact that the task force indicts the ministry’s failure to properly supervise the work of children’s aid societies, will the minister agree as a minimal response to implement the first two recommendations and bring forward guidelines and standards of service for children’s aid societies, and present them to the social development committee by the time we begin hearings on the Child Welfare Act in September 1978?
Hon. Mr. Norton: I am not sure that is a realistic time frame.
Mr. McClellan: You’ve had since 1974.
Hon. Mr. Norton: I will indicate, if the honourable member can control his apoplexy for a moment --
Mr. M. Davidson: It’s sincere concern, not apoplexy.
Hon. Mr. Norton: We share his sincere concern, if that’s the case. I would like the honourable members to bear that in mind.
There have been many policy directives and memoranda go out to children’s aid societies over a lengthy period of time indicating approaches and guidelines, if you wish, in dealing with cases of child protection. One of the things that have come to our attention is that in some instances it is questionable whether these have been circulated or whether in fact they have even been maintained in a file by some of the societies.
At the moment we have a group within the ministry working on a manual, using as a base some of the material that has already been prepared. As I indicated in my statement in the House earlier, we are working on the development of guidelines. I cannot guarantee it at this point, because I think that as a social worker the member would understand that it is not always possible to develop full and complete guidelines within a very limited time frame. We are working on them, and I hope it will not be long before guidelines will be available; at least in the form of a compilation, in the form of a handbook of recommendations that can be referred to by the children’s aid societies.
Mr. McClellan: You are in a fog. You are floating in a fog.
Mr. S. Smith: A supplementary: Can the minister explain how it is that between his predecessors and himself there could still be what is referred to on page eight as the ministry being “remiss in setting standards and monitoring their performance,” “the fact that the unevenness of service has persisted and is so pervasive is most disturbing,” and on page 13: “There exists a lack of consistent ministry guidelines for abuse investigation and disposition”?
I realize he has been minister a relatively short time, but how does he account for the fact that with child abuse having been with us for so long there still persists such a situation in Ontario? Have his predecessors not been on the job? Has there been a problem within the organization of the ministry? What has the minister done about it within the ministry? Has there been some upheaval? These are very serious indictments.
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I am sure the honourable member realizes that I view these as very serious matters. I would agree that child abuse has been with us a long time; in fact, probably since the beginning of time or the beginning of man. Perhaps a more relevant time frame is the time at which a growing awareness of the rights of children has come about, and that may have been delayed in our society, or North American society, or western society generally. But the fact of the matter is that since that perception has grown, we in Ontario, as in other jurisdictions, have moved really quite quickly in terms of trying to come to grips with this problem.
In a more specific response to the Leader of the Opposition’s query, I have not yet had a chance, because of the very short period of time I have had the report, to evaluate or to review all of the background material that the task force had at its disposal, but I think part of that very problem may relate to the traditional organization of the children’s aid societies in our province, in that they have been --
Mr. McClellan: No, it has to do with your ministry. You are responsible.
Hon. Mr. Norton: -- established traditionally and historically as having a degree of autonomy that perhaps allowed for a limited amount of supervision.
Mrs. Campbell: Oh, come on. You can’t use that one.
Hon. Mr. Norton: As I have indicated in my statement, I believe now that it is time to review the role and perhaps seek some changes in the role of my ministry vis-à-vis children’s aid societies in this province.
Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, my question is of the Minister of Industry and Tourism.
Mrs. Campbell: He is leaving.
Mr. Conway: He is going back to the Premier’s chair, where he was the other night.
Mr. Eakins: Has his ministry conducted any studies geared to reducing the provincial tourism deficit this year, similar to the study in British Columbia, where they have found that if just one resident in 10 who normally travels outside of BC could be convinced to stay at home the provincial deficit could be reduced by 30 per cent? Is the ministry undertaking any studies that would reveal similar findings in Ontario?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: No, Mr. Speaker, we do not have such a study.
Mr. Eakins: Supplementary: Since British Columbia and Ontario together make up over half of the national travel deficit and yet BC is ahead of us by one year in attempting to reduce its deficit, has the minister been made aware of some of BC’s more successful efforts, such as the Bonus Blitz in which the provincial government would purchase newspaper space in which members of the private sector in turn would submit discount coupons for their particular operations? If he is aware of these programs, would the minister consider such a measure before the summer season is upon us in Ontario?
Mr. Ruston: Tomorrow is the first day of summer.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: We are aware of some of the programs that are being started in the province of British Columbia. They have taken several steps. We have monitored what they have been doing. We have attempted to do some similar things to what they have done, but we have not embarked upon quite as expensive a program as they have.
Mr. Laughren: I don’t think you are doing much over there.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: We have put a great deal of our money into the advertising budget as opposed to what they are doing in BC.
Mr. Martel: You are not doing much about the auto pact either. What are you doing?
Mr. Conway: They’re sinking without the former minister. Bring back Bennett, buggy and all.
Hon. B. Stephenson: The member for Renfrew North is suffering from terminal dandruff.
OIL AND GAS PRICES
Mr. Deans: I have a question for the Minister of Energy related to his statement earlier today. I wonder if the minister could tell us, firstly, whether or not in the deliberations within his ministry he has taken into account that there will likely be a loss of approximately 4,300 jobs as a result of the increase that will take place this year in the price of petroleum-based products.
Secondly, has he done a calculation to determine whether or not there is in the inventory 107 days’ supply, as opposed to the 60 days’ supply in the period of grace that is permitted by the federal government? Since $23 million will, therefore, flow to the oil companies as a gift, will he consider extending the freeze period in the province of Ontario for at least the 107 days in order that we not further reduce the capacity of the province of Ontario to maintain its relative economic position both in terms of jobs and in terms of income?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Certainly we will do all we can to extend the freeze period beyond the 60 days that has now been agreed to.
Mr. Martel: Permanently.
Mr. Laughren: Do it.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: On the matter of the percentage of funds from the increase going to the industry itself, if the member opposite would look into that in some more detail he would find that only about half of the increase goes to the industry itself. A very big chunk of it goes to the government of Alberta and a smaller percentage goes to the federal government.
Mr. Conway: Lougheed will balkanize this country yet.
Mr. Deans: Supplementary: Does the minister believe it is within his competency, his power and his jurisdiction to extend the freeze unilaterally in the province of Ontario to the 107 days in terms of the impact of the increase? If he does believe that, what other course of action can he take in order to protect the consumers of the province of Ontario for the period of time during which there is an inventory sufficient to meet the needs of the Alberta producers?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I frankly don’t think --
Mr. Haggerty: You don’t know.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- that applying a unilateral freeze on price increases here in Ontario --
Mr. Deans: You can’t apply it anywhere else.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- and disregarding the increases that will be taking place outside is a solution at all. That is simply running away from the broader problem.
Ms. Gigantes: That’s what you do all the time.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: That is just a Band-Aid approach.
Mr. Deans: What’s your alternative?
Mr. Martel: Nothing.
NUCLEAR PLANT SAFETY
Mr. Sargent: I have a question for the Minister of Energy. In view of the very serious news story in this morning’s Globe and Mail, headlined “Emergency Coolers for Atomic Units Can’t Do Full Safety Job, Reports Say,” which goes on to say that the Bruce plant is now shut down to 65 per cent power; and in view of our concern that the interorganizational working group for the past nine months did not volunteer to the royal commission on electric power planning the fact that it had discovered serious inadequacies in the emergency system design, I ask the minister if it is his concern that we can guarantee to the people of Ontario that criminal negligence charges will be laid against scientists or those in the nuclear program who withhold information from the public? Why can’t we have a full disclosure of the whole situation?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I certainly share the concern of the member opposite about the story that appeared in the Globe and Mail this morning. I think that probably every member in the House who read the story is equally concerned.
Ms. Gigantes: We were concerned two weeks ago and we were concerned two years ago.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Even though I have a very high regard for the Globe and Mail, and peddled it as a boy myself, and a regard for the reporter --
Mr. Cunningham: That is the best thing the minister ever peddled.
An hon. member: When the minister was a boy?
Mr. Conway: It must have been the Globe then.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- I would like to say that I do not believe the story that appeared in the Globe and Mail this morning. Until such time as I can get evidence to prove something to the contrary, I will continue to believe what the chairman of the board of Ontario Hydro tells me and what the president of the Atomic Energy Control Board, Dr. Prince, tells me.
Ms. Gigantes: What did Dr. Prince say?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: And this morning, following my reading of that story in the Globe and Mail, I talked to both of those gentlemen. I asked them a very direct question and I wanted a direct answer.
I said, “Are you withholding anything? Is there a concern here? Is there something that I should be concerned about, or the people of Ontario?”
The chairman of the board of Ontario Hydro said, “Categorically, no. There is no room for concern.” The president of the Atomic Energy Control Board said, “Look, if I was concerned about the safety, I would close those plants down or I would de-rate them. There is no reason for concern.” Therefore, until such time as further evidence is available, I’m going on the assumption that, in fact, that story was erroneous in many of its aspects and that the information I got directly from the Atomic Energy Control Board and from Ontario Hydro is the correct information.
Mr. Sargent: A supplementary: Due to the fact that there are billions of dollars involved and that the lives of 10 million people in this province are involved --
Hon. B. Stephenson: We have only eight million.
Mr. Sargent: -- eight million people, Mr. Speaker --
An hon. member: Not according to our OHIP files; we may have 11 million.
Mr. S. Smith: There are visitors here during the summer, Bette.
Mr. Sargent: -- in view of the fact that the minister makes a very serious charge, and it says here, and I quote: “However, leaked documents indicate official worry about how Parliament and the public might react.”
Mr. MacDonald: You were dismissing them last week, Eddie.
Mr. Sargent: The thing is that I would hope that the minister would get a full investigation, get the names of these people and get them on the carpet and find out what the hell’s going on.
Mr. Hennessy: Atta boy, Ed. Go right ahead.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I agree, Mr. Speaker. I would like to do precisely what the member opposite wants us to do and that is to find out what is going on; and that is precisely what we’re doing right now. I can simply say in this House at this time that on the basis of the information that I’ve received from the Atomic Energy Control Board and from Ontario Hydro, that that report in the Globe and Mail this morning was largely -- not entirely --
Mr. Deans: Ontario Hydro has not told the truth in 20 years.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- erroneous and misleading and it is unfortunate it was written in the way it was.
Mr. Sargent: The minister had better back that up.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: The very fact that the scientists today are not in total agreement with each other about what constitutes adequate criteria for safety is to me a sign of real assurance. If they are all complacent about safety and there was never an argument about it, then I think we should have cause to worry. But, really, it is most unfortunate that that report in the Globe and Mail this morning was written the way it was and I fully expect that after we hear more from Dr. Porter, after we have a statement from the Atomic Energy Control Board, which is forthcoming, that report will be largely disproven.
Ms. Gigantes: After a lot of unfortunate incidents.
Mr. Speaker: A final supplementary: the member for Carleton East.
Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, could I ask the minister if he is saying, in the light of Dr. Porter’s letter in which he mentioned his concern that information relevant to the vital subject -- and he was speaking of the safety of existing nuclear power plants -- may not have been brought to our commission’s attention by the responsible organizations and the other source -- that this may be true, which is the Globe and Mail story, apparently confirmed by sources in the AECB, that there may, in fact, have been an attempt to “rewrite regulations in such a way that the existence of an escape clause on the safety requirement could be covered up”?
Is the minister satisfied to tell us that if information is being withheld he will sit tight and feel calm and we should all feel calm until the people who withheld the information come forward with the information? It’s illogical and inconsistent, it seems to me.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite has quoted from Dr. Porter’s original letter to the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development. I expect on Thursday of this week the minister, my colleague, will be tabling Dr. Porter’s further letter where he will elaborate on what he meant in the first one. I think when that letter comes, the honourable member will see the subject from a somewhat different point of view.
In the meantime I can only say, as I said earlier here, other statements will be coming out of the Atomic Energy Control Board and from Ontario --
Ms. Gigantes: When?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- probably from Ontario Hydro to my ministry to make it very clear that there is no prevailing danger and as a matter of fact the standards set by Ontario Hydro for their own nuclear reactors were higher than those the Atomic Energy Control Board finally imposed and the level at which they licensed those stations to operate.
Ms. Gigantes: There was a mistake.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: There is at this point nothing -- nothing -- to indicate that there is any danger or that in fact we are compromising on our safety standards; there is nothing to that story whatever.
Ms. Gigantes: They are not rushing forward to confess.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Quit grandstanding until you get the facts.
Mr. J. Reed: I wonder if the minister is saying by his answer that really what is happening here is that the article represents another point of view regarding the same subject, or is he suggesting that the article is definitely erroneous? Because of the sensitive nature of this whole nuclear issue and because these stories elicit such a strong response and because they provoke such a deep concern among the people of Ontario -- and rightly so -- would the minister see to it that these articles are answered factually and concretely, so we know that we are dealing with either an erroneous statement or simply a divergence of viewpoint?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: It is our full intent to issue a statement coming from the Atomic Energy Control Board, possibly from our ministry, but a statement which will clarify the issues. There is no doubt that in this particular story there are differences in points of view and nobody argues with that. I think what has been unfortunate in this and earlier stories, but particularly in this one, is an innuendo, a suggestion, that there’s something very clandestine and undercover going on here and that they are fooling around with the safety and the lives of the workers and the people of Ontario. We are determined to get to the bottom of that so people will know just what is what.
An hon. member: And you run them at 100 per cent capacity?
OHC SALARY AWARD
Mr. Bounsall: A question for the Minister of Housing, Mr. Speaker: In the contract reached between Ontario Housing Corporation and the housing authority employees across Ontario, members of the OHC employees’ union, CUPE Local 761 -- the nine per cent salary increase in the contract received as an arbitration award in December 1977, rolled back by the AIB to six per cent in February 1978 and that decision reinforced upon appeal in April 1978, with that contract signed the day after April 4 -- why has that contract not been implemented and those employees paid, it now being almost two years since most of them have had an increase in salary and they have been working now without a contract for some 17½ months?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Most members of the House will realize that CUPE 167 is in two divisions as far as the Ontario Housing Corporation is concerned. The first division is the employees who are gainfully employed here in the metropolitan area and the rest of the province is under a second contract.
Mr. Bounsall: I said across Ontario.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Very clearly and very carefully, the contract for one CUPE organization has been agreed to under the arbitration agreements and the points that were made by the arbitrator at the time.
On the second contract that went to arbitration the union did not agree, or could not come to a common understanding with the Ontario Housing Corporation, as to the interpretation of the order or report by the arbitrator. At this very moment, Mr. Speaker, that particular recommended settlement is back before the arbitrators for clarification.
Mr. Bounsall: Supplementary: That being the case, would the minister intervene personally, if he hasn’t already, to ensure that the long-delayed contract is implemented without further delay so these workers will not continue to feel frustrated or in any way develop disincentive feelings about working at their maximum capability?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I trust the union and the Ontario Housing Corporation will present their cases before the arbitrator. As minister, I do not intend to interfere with the regular procedure of negotiating a contract.
Mr. Deans: It is taking a long time.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: That’s your union fellows. Don’t blame me. Sure, they drag their feet all the time.
Mr. Conway: My question is to the Treasurer, Mr. Speaker. It deals with the Treasurer’s supplementary budget of April 25, in which the Treasurer indicated very specifically that as part of his permanent reductions in expenditures to refinance the OHIP increase, one item involving a cut would be the Ministry of Northern Affairs’ regional priorities program in the extent of $9 million.
I would like the Treasurer to indicate why it was that in mid-May the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier), who I believe did not at the time provide a full explanation of the situation which indicated that the intention of the supplementary budget was largely altered and that, in fact, the $9 million was not taken, as he indicated, from the regional priorities program in its entirety, although several millions were taken from other parts -- why was that supplementary budget paper of April 25 altered? That is my first question.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I think that we could probably find several other changes --
Mr. Peterson: It’s not very easy running backwards, is it?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- and I think some changes, perhaps, are still being finalized. Ministries obviously had the option of going over the list. The dollar amounts didn’t change; they looked at where best they could take the money from.
Mr. Conway: Well, supplementary to that, surely the Treasurer would appreciate that if the estimates process is going to mean anything -- and I am sure there are many on that side of the House who would expect it not to mean very much in terms of financial accountability -- it is surely the responsibility of the government, to the best of its ability, to indicate where those changes are going to be made and why. I would ask the Treasurer to indicate to this House, in the light of what he has just said, how much of that supplementary budget is in fact negotiable. How many of the other seven items are not going to be as they were presented to us on that occasion? Because surely if the Minister of Northern Affairs --
Mr. Speaker: The question has been asked.
Mr. Conway: -- is free to change as he has, then others can be expected to do likewise.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I am sure the Minister of Northern Affairs would be delighted to answer the question during the course of his estimates.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order, if I may, arising out of this situation in regard to the estimates.
Mr. Speaker: There is nothing out of order.
Mr. Ashe: The member is.
Mr. Conway: I rise, Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege. Surely it affects the privileges of all members of the House when we are presented on April 25 with a supplementary budget paper which we are now led to believe is not going to be proceeded with quite the way suggested at the time. I think the privileges of all members of the House are greatly affected by this haphazard, cavalier dismissal this afternoon by the Treasurer of his supplementary budget paper. I would invite the Treasurer --
Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh Sean, you’re being silly.
Mr. Conway: I do not think --
Hon. Mr. Davis: His point is silly.
Mr. Conway: -- I do not think that it is a silly matter, though the Premier may not agree with me.
Surely the privileges of all members of this House are directly affected when we are led to believe, as we were on April 25, that there was a supplementary budget which was going to make cuts in seven specific areas, and in fact we have evidence that we continue to vote moneys in ways that are not squared with that supplementary budget. I would ask you, Mr. Speaker, to consider the fact that the budget presented by the Treasurer at that time is not being proceeded with --
Mr. S. Smith: It was a political document.
Mr. Conway: -- quite in the way we were led to believe. I would certainly invite the Treasurer to take the opportunity of one of the remaining days in the session to indicate what other changes are going to be made and why.
Mr. Roy: We are being misled around here.
Mr. S. Smith: It was a political document,
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I am sure that at the conclusion of that statement, which I don’t have in front of me -- I think I brought it with me for some little time. Obviously, nearly two months later we are now getting the first question, which says something about the interest of the Liberal Party in these matters.
Hon. Mr. Davis: A slow day, a slow day.
Mr. Roy: You should talk.
Mr. S. Smith: Specific, and it turns out to be phoney.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I would simply say that I am sure at the end of that statement I indicated that I would be able to give more precise details as to where the reductions totally had been achieved and would do so, in any case, not later than the first quarterly finances, which I would expect we would be putting in the mail some time in July.
I am quite sure the ministers, as their estimates come up, can give up-to-date figures as to not only what changes might be made on April 25, but perhaps also other changes which might occur during the course of the year, either by way of underspending or overspending, handled by the possibility of supplementary estimates or, if the amount is small enough, by Management Board order.
Finally, addressing the point of privilege raised by the member for Renfrew North, I would just say that in my view it is not a point of privilege and what he needs is a good summer holiday.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Maybe a day camp.
Mr. Roy: The Treasurer is the one who needs a holiday more than anyone else.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I would like to address myself to that point of privilege, if I might. In regard to the point of privilege raised by the member for Renfrew North, two things occur. First of all, the questions were asked of the Minister of Northern Affairs as to how the budget cuts were going to affect his budget. He was not able to tell us during his estimates what programs were going to be cut down or by how much. I would agree with my friend from Renfrew North that we have been presented with a document by the Treasurer outlining the requirements of the province of Ontario, and at the whim of the various ministers these can be changed, and the document that we and the public at large are supposed to follow is nothing but a falsification of the actual requirements of the Province of Ontario.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Oh, get off it!
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: There is no falsification, and that should be withdrawn.
Mr. T. P. Reid: That was raised with the Minister of Northern Affairs --
Hon. Mr. McKeough: The member stands there trying to defend his inadequacy in the estimates --
Mr. Speaker: Order. I would ask the member for Rainy River to withdraw any intimation that there was a falsification of anything.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I am sorry, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Hennessy: It is about time.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Certainly the Treasurer and the Minister of Northern Affairs did not mean to mislead the House; it is simply incompetence.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: It’s your incompetence that you don’t know how to ask questions.
Hon. Mr. Bernier: If I could clarify the point, Mr. Speaker. I regret the memory of the member for Rainy River is that short. This particular point was discussed in detail during the course of the examination of my ministry’s estimates when we talked about the $9-million cut.
Mr. Nixon: You didn’t have any answers then either.
Hon. Mr. Bernier: I pointed out to the honourable member that $5 million was coming out of the community priority budget, $3 million out of the regional priority budget and $1 million out of the capital construction program for highways in northern Ontario. He knows that. It’s on the record for him to look at.
Mr. T. P. Reid: That’s not the point.
Hon. Mr. Bernier: It is on the record and if he checks the record he will find it is correct.
Mr. Speaker: I have come to the conclusion there is no prima facie case for a point of privilege.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Patrick, you must have been away that day.
Mr. Conway: Darcy will float out to the tune of the Hazeldean March.
STANDING SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Mr. Van Horne, on behalf of Mr. Gaunt from the standing social development committee, presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:
Your committee begs to report the following bill with certain amendments:
Bill Pr18, An Act to revise the Hamilton Civic Hospitals Act, 1961-62.
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 Pr29, An Act to revive Poly Aire International Limited.
NUCLEAR PLANT SAFETY
Hon. Mr. Brunelle: Mr. Speaker, I am tabling a letter today that I have received from Dr. Arthur Porter, chairman of the Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning.
Dr. Porter’s letter provides information on matters that ware raised in his letter to me of June 9 last that related to the safety of nuclear power stations and to the viability of the Canadian nuclear industry which were subsequently raised in the House last week and again today.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
CITY OF HAZELDEAN-MARCH ACT
Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 131, An Act to establish the City of Hazeldean-March.
Motion agreed to.
HEALTH INSURANCE AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Peterson moved first reading of Bill 132, An Act to amend the Health Insurance Act, 1972.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Peterson: The purpose of the bill is to require a medical practitioner and a health facility to inform every patient of the cost of the medical services incurred by the patient and paid by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.
It seems to me if we are going to provide some kind of “visible link” between the high cost of services and consumption on a patient basis, the first step we have to undertake is to inform the patient of the cost of the services consumed. That is the intention of this bill. I hope it receives a quick passage.
COUNTY OF LENNOX AND ADDINGTON ACT
Mr. Hennessy, on behalf of Mr. J. A. Taylor, moved first reading of Bill Pr27, An Act respecting the County of Lennox and Addington.
Motion agreed to.
MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Samis moved first reading of Bill 133, An Act to amend the Municipal Elections Act, 1977.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Samis: The purpose of this bill is to establish limits on the amount of contributions that can be made to the election campaign of municipal candidates. The bill requires that all contributions to a municipal candidate must be made by individual persons only. All contributions of $100 or greater are to be recorded and subsequently reported. The contributor is limited to a maximum contribution of $1,100 in an election year and $550 in any year that is not an election year.
INCOME TAX DISCOUNTERS REPEAL ACT
Mr. Walker moved first reading of Bill 134, An Act to repeal the Income Tax Discounters Act, 1977.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Walker: The bill repeals the Income Tax Discounters Act, 1977 because the act is no longer necessary by reason of paramount legislation brought in and introduced and passed by the Parliament of Canada.
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 37, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93 and 97 standing on the notice paper and call the 11th order.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
DISCRIMINATORY BUSINESS PRACTICES ACT
Hon. Mr. Davis moved second reading of Bill 112, An Act to prohibit Discrimination in Business Relationships.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I just have a few brief observations to make. Actually, the intent of the bill, which was modified somewhat from the previous bill that was introduced, was stated upon its introduction.
The basic principle in this bill, I think, is quite clear. It relates to discrimination as it might affect people or citizens of this province in relationship to policy set outside this country. I think it is regrettable, and I’ve said this before in the House and publicly, that it was necessary for Ontario to bring in this kind of legislation. It would be far more properly done by the government of Canada.
We were not able to really use any existing legislation in other jurisdictions as the guideline for the bill that is before us, in that we were not able to go the route of economics or trade and commerce which would have been the appropriate approach, we believe, and properly done by the government of this country.
Of necessity and bearing in mind the extent of the constitutional limitations imposed upon us, we have established in this bill the principle of anti-discrimination. I think it’s fair to state there are very few similar pieces of legislation, and we are particularly interested in the principle that this bill establishes.
I have received communication from one of the members opposite. I expect perhaps two or three others may, as they study this bill carefully, express certain concerns; although I sense in the letter from the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) his support of the bill in principle, but outlining two or three areas of a technical and legal nature that he would like to raise --
Mr. Samis: Pretty fundamental.
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- during the course of the discussion of the bill. I would make it quite clear to the members opposite that I have no objection, and the government has no objection, to consideration of some of the issues raised by the member for Riverdale. It is difficult in drafting legislation of this kind to anticipate the examples that could be developed, and that may be when this bill gets before committee.
My concern is that the principle of the bill remains intact. Certainly as far as I’m personally concerned, we would welcome either from members opposite or those who might appear before the committee any suggestions as to its improvement, or ways and means to see that in the pursuit of this principle and objective we are not contravening the rights of individuals within this province as well.
It is perhaps at first glance not that complicated a bill, but having lived with it now for several months I suggest to the members opposite that there are some implications here that I would hope all members are aware of and that we have an opportunity to discuss when this bill goes before committee. The principle is very simple. It is an expression, hopefully by this Legislature and by all members, of our opposition to a policy or policies created other than in our own country which has an impact of a discriminatory nature on citizens of this province.
This is the intent and principle of this bill.
If some of the members opposite prior to, I would hope carrying of second reading in the next short period of time, have any basic concerns to which they wish me to reply, I’d be delighted to try but I would think that really detailed discussion would be much better served in the committee. I’m sure there will be ample opportunity for discussion there of some of the questions raised, particularly by the member for Riverdale who has communicated them to me.
Mr. Conway: Daniel Moynihan and Scoop Jackson would be so happy.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Is the member not going to vote for it?
Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, the matter of this boycott situation first arose in January, 1977 upon the return of the Premier from a visit to Israel.
The headlines in the Toronto Star of January 22 were: “Firms That Boycott Israel To Lose Ontario Contracts.” The body of the comment made there is as follows: “Ontario will refuse to give government business to companies which comply with the Arab boycott against Israel, Premier William Davis said yesterday.” The Premier went on to be quoted as follows: “It is my intention to take certain steps to lessen the effect of the boycott in so far as firms over which Ontario has jurisdiction are concerned.” That, sir, was on January 22, almost exactly 17 months ago.
The next matter that came before the House in a formal way was the bill introduced during the spring session of 1971. This was Bill 39, introduced by the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick (Mr. Grossman), since which he has joined the ministry. The bill was introduced on April 19, almost exactly 14 months ago. In that bill, the honourable member set out his particular concerns and attempted, through the means of the private members’ system, to bring this matter before the House in a form not dissimilar from what we have with us today.
However, two weeks later, a provincial election was called. I recall it had something to do with rent review, that stays in my mind.
Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s my recollection.
Mr. Roy: That was the excuse.
Mr. Breithaupt: In the event, of course, the election campaign saw several comments made during its time. One of which I have record, is a comment made by the Premier during an interview on Radio Noon with respect to the bill which had been introduced by the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick. The premier mentioned at that time that this bill was the only representation of any action by anyone in the province and he said, quite properly, that it should be a matter of national concern. My leader was particularly involved in this matter on two occasions during that election campaign; the first in a private way, one might say.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Is he speaking on it today?
Mr. Breithaupt: I expect so. The first, in a private concern, was made by addressing a letter to the Prime Minister of Canada; a letter dated May 31.
Mr. Roy: What is the Premier trying to suggest?
Hon. Mr. Davis: He said it was phoney.
Mr. Roy: He comes in here and speaks up.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: He is meeting with the press right now.
Mr. Roy: Don’t be so phoney.
Mr. Breithaupt: My leader at this time commented as follows to the Prime Minister:
“Dear Mr. Prime Minister: In the interest of the civil liberties of all Canadians I am appealing to you for federal government legislation to discourage compliance with the Arab boycott. Experience in our country, the United States and elsewhere has proven that unless the federal government provides to all of its citizens a strong, governmentally- supported base from which to resist application of the boycott, such resistance will never be fully successful.
“The guidelines set up on January 21, 1977, are insufficient. Evidence has been presented by the Commission on Economic Coercion and Discrimination that the business community in Canada has complied with the boycott. This has occurred because the guidelines substantially narrowed the grounds upon which your own policy statement of October 21, 1976, could be applied. The guidelines have failed to combat Canadian corporate compliance with boycott provisions of both a restrictive trade and discriminatory nature.
“The United States experience with compulsory reporting of requests for compliance with the boycott resulted in almost 170,000 requests within the first year, October 1, 1975, to October 1, 1976. This was in connection with over 97,000 transactions involving $7.7 billion. Compliance with the requests was cited in over 90 per cent of the cases reported. This information indicates the very serious extent to which the boycott intrudes upon the normal functioning of the American economy.
“The Export Administration Act of 1965 expired on October 1, 1976. This act enunciated the principled opposition of the United States government to restrictive trade practices and boycotts furnished or imposed by foreign countries against other countries friendly to the United States. However, a reporting mechanism and other prohibitions against boycott compliance were maintained in anticipation of a new bill. I understand that anti-boycott legislation is now before the House of Representatives and the Senate and is expected to be signed imminently by President Carter.
“I have been informed by the trade commissioner in Damascus that he no longer requires a negative certificate of origin in all cases because the United States usually refused to meet this requirement in the past. Due to the tough stand that the United States government has taken, the impact of the boycott has been reduced and business in the United States has not suffered.
“I urge you, therefore, to enact legislation for Canada incorporating the following proposals: That the government prohibit itself and its agencies from assisting or supporting the boycott; that the government prohibit Canadian firms from complying with any foreign-imposed boycott directly against a country which is friendly to Canada; that the government prohibit Canadian firms from answering or complying with discriminatory boycott requests regarding the religious or ethnic character of their personnel; that the government prohibit Canadian banks from processing letters of credit containing boycott clauses; that Canadian firms be required to report receipt of boycott requests within 30 days, including an indication of the disposition of each request; and that the government require public disclosure of information concerning boycott activities in Canada.
“The boycott has a discriminatory impact upon Canadian citizens. By creating an invidious distinction between Canadians of different religious origins, it undermines the quality of Canadian citizenship and divides Canadians from other Canadians. It requires Canada to violate its own principle of nondiscrimination in international trade. It demands that Canada forgo its policy of balance and objectivity in foreign disputes and puts our resources at the disposal of one of the belligerents to the conflict.
“Compliance with the boycott constitutes taking a stand against Israel, which is in opposition to our stated foreign policy in the Middle East. Non-compliance is a refusal to take sides. The issue is not whether Canada is pro Israel or pro Arab, but is simply one of basic fairness. This is a time for strong nationhood for Canada. The boycott is a threat to our country’s sovereignty. I urge you to immediately enact definitive legislation to ensure that the political, economic and moral character of our society is not in danger.”
That letter was sent to the Prime Minister of Canada by my leader on May 31. It outlined the position which this party has taken throughout the involvement in this particular situation. The opportunity came forward several days later, on June 3, to re-emphasize our position in a speech which my leader made in north Toronto to a B’nai B’rith meeting.
I would quote just briefly from the comments, which were reinforced publicly at that time. “Specifically, I want to appeal today, in the interests of the civil liberties of all Canadians, for federal government legislation to discourage compliance with the Arab boycott, and to pledge that the Ontario government under my leadership would do everything within its power to encourage resistance of the boycott. Experience in our country, the United States and elsewhere has proven that unless the government provides to all of its citizens a strong, governmentally-supported base from which to resist application of the boycott, such resistance will be never fully successful.
“The guidelines set up by the federal government on January 21, 1977 are insufficient. Evidence has been presented by the Commission on Economic Coercion and Discrimination that the business community in Canada has complied with the boycott. The guidelines have failed to combat Canadian corporate compliance with boycott provisions of both a restrictive trade and discriminatory nature.”
Further, my leader said: “The boycott has a discriminatory impact upon Canadian citizens. By creating an invidious distinction between Canadians of different religious origins, it undermines the quality of Canadian citizenship and divides Canadians. It requires Canada to violate its own principle of non-discrimination in international trade. It demands that Canada forgo its policy of balance and objectivity in foreign disputes and puts our resources at the disposal of one of the belligerents to the conflict.”
Those were two involvements which the leader of this party took during the time of the last general election campaign. Professor Irwin Cotler of Montreal served as chairman of the Commission on Economic Coercion and Discrimination. The findings, conclusions and recommendations of that commission have been publicized. We, as Liberal members of this Legislature, associate ourselves with them.
The legislation that should be enacted by the federal government had really to be meaningful in order that it might be effective. It should not, for example, simply be a restatement of the federal guidelines, since those guidelines are deficient. They substantially narrowed the grounds upon which the October 21 policy statement could be applied. They certainly stated that federal government support and facilities would be denied to companies after boycott clauses had been signed; thus government support would be provided up until the actual time when the contracts were signed. Promotional services, market information and all facilities would continue, under the federal government’s terms, to be made available for any transaction so long as the boycott clauses, known to be required, were not yet signed.
I believe that the absence of a serious reporting mechanism has been a significant undermining of the federal government’s position. The application of the federal government’s policy is limited and narrow. It will do nothing to compile general information on the boycott situation in Canada, or to substantially combat Canadian corporate compliance with boycott provision of both a restrictive trade and a discriminatory nature.
Professor Cotler concluded his report of the commission with the following remarks: “The issue at this point goes beyond the question of the protection of Canadian sovereignty, the affirmation of free trade and the protection of the civil liberties of our citizens, though this alone would be enough. The issue, in effect, goes beyond the question of the boycott. What is at stake now is the credibility of our commitments and the integrity of our policies. At some point we must say the sovereignty of this country is not for sale. In defining our policy on the Arab boycott, we are really making a statement of ourselves as a people.”
When the Legislature returned in session after the election on June 9 last year, there was nothing further to be said on this subject by the government. On June 30, a question in the House from my leader to the Premier brought the following comments from the Premier: “We are pursuing it. It is a complex matter. It is one, obviously, that would be better dealt with, and more properly dealt with, by the government of Canada. I said that at the time and I repeat it now because I believe that to be fundamentally correct. However, Mr. Speaker, the matter is under consideration by the government.”
Mr. Nixon: That answer was a year ago?
Mr. Breithaupt: Well, almost exactly a year ago as we go through the chronology of this matter.
Mr. Conway: The fullness of time.
Mr. Breithaupt: Finally, on December 16, Bill 129 was introduced. A government bill, at last, was on the order paper, almost a year after that excursion to Israel. It was at the very end of the session, where of course unfortunately it could not be dealt with further in a prompt fashion.
Hon. Mr. Davis: We still had hopes that the member’s friends might do something.
Mr. Breithaupt: But Bill 129 was placed on the order paper of the House almost exactly six months ago. There was a general feeling that this was a good bill. Certain sections were worded in a way that might have shown some hasty draftsmanship, but the only fears the Jewish community had within Ontario particularly appeared to be that there might be a strong lobby by businesses which feared a loss of trade from the legislation, and that that would either delay the reintroduction of the bill or cause it to be substantially altered when the matter came before the House again.
Mr. Philip: They wouldn’t dare.
Mr. Breithaupt: It should be noted, I would suggest, that the business community, in its response, was aware of the fact that during the time period, according to the findings of that Commission of Economic Coercion and Discrimination, there had been no substantial loss of trade as a result of resistance to the boycott, especially within the United States.
Basically, Bill 129, as it was brought before us six months ago, designated certain business practices as discriminatory and prohibited such practices. It also, of course, provided designated information about other persons, as well as negative certificates of origin, which were both prohibited at the same time.
As I have said, there was a feeling half a year ago that that bill as introduced was the prospect of good legislation. Now we have Bill 112, introduced to this House on June 8, 1978, almost exactly a year since the previous election and almost exactly 17 months since the Premier returned from Israel. It was known at that time that this session of the House would end just two weeks later, indeed a couple of days from now.
So here we are, in the last few days of this portion of the session before the expected adjournment on Friday of this week, considering the principle of this legislation.
In this overall situation, the federal government has clearly been inadequate in giving the necessary leadership in this matter. We therefore seem forced to follow the approach taken within the United States. After some 10 or more state legislators had introduced bills which were passed by their assemblies on their own, the federal government finally got its act together. We know that in Canada the only effective resolution of this matter will be with the commitment of Parliament to act. The American experience shows that a strong approach, a national approach, is the best policy and that it alone can work.
Yesterday, in the Toronto Star, there appeared an article by Mr. Ron Atkey which I would commend to all members of the House.
Mr. Conway: A fine fellow.
Mr. Breithaupt: I’ll quote only a brief portion:
“ ... the principal fact that can no longer be disguised is that many Canadian firms, particularly large ones, are simply ignoring the policy. The reason for this is that the policy, without legislation, lacks teeth. The only sanction for non-compliance is the possibility of withdrawal of Canadian government services and financial assistance in performing a contract in the boycotting countries. Large Canadian or multinational firms don’t usually require governmental assistance, so are free to comply with any boycott demands no matter how much they may discriminate against Canadians on the basis of racial or religious criteria.”
Mr. Conway: Did you hear that, Sidney?
Mr. Breithaupt: In supporting this bill in principle, we do so recognizing that there are certain problems of drafting which will have to be considered in committee.
It is the intent of the legislation to avoid having foreign powers impose their views on our business organizations. However, we do have situations where our residents in Ontario may wish to gather together and encourage other residents not to buy certain products. It may be because the products may not have union labels, or they may have come from some nation whose internal social policies are abhorrent to the protesters.
If this legislation is to apply to these cases, then this may go beyond the resolution of the problem as suggested and perceived by the government and, indeed, I think, by the majority of the members of the House.
The Premier, in his introductory comments, mentioned a letter received from the honourable member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick), who had shared the correspondence with certain other members of the House. The member is not here but may be attending on the debate, and I dare say he will be able to place on record the comments in his letter, which set out quite explicitly those examples which I have briefly cited for the benefit of all the members of the House. I hope he will have the opportunity of placing the contents of this letter on the record of the House. I would not presume to do so, but if he is not able to speak perhaps one of his colleagues would be prepared to have that information provided to the House.
When this bill was introduced by the Premier on June 8, he mentioned in his statement certain comments which may also cause us concern as we deal with the bill at the committee stage. The comments dealt particularly with some legitimate concerns of the business community that would have to be addressed as the bill was drawn and developed, in order to achieve the attitude that we would wish to have.
As the Premier stated in his comments two weeks ago, the bill was tabled prior to the end of this session, and I quote: “ ... so as to give members of the business world and others who might be interested ample time to put forward constructive suggestions.”
Indeed, we support the principle of this bill. As I have mentioned, the approach of the federal government has been most inadequate on this subject. A strong provincial decision may encourage an effective national approach. The committee hearings which will eventually deal with the particulars of this bill will, no doubt, bring forward other concerns in addition to the ones I’ve mentioned, raised by the member for Riverdale, and the comments by the Premier with respect to legitimate business concerns.
I commend the legislation, in principle, to the members of the House, and I can assure the members it will be supported on this side.
Mr. Lawlor: My colleague the member for Riverdale has done yeoman service in connection with this particular bill in terms not of its central principle but with respect to certain ramifications or side effects that flow from it, which I am sure weren’t in the minds of the government when it was drafted and which require rectification. He cannot be here today and he asked me to say on his behalf that he desires -- and I suppose we all desire in this kind of measure -- a certain transcendence of normal political partisanship, a coming to grips on the largest consensus that we can achieve in the House and on all sides with respect to a central matter of this kind.
Therefore, I wouldn’t in the least -- despite what I am going to say in a few moments -- wish to be provocative. My comment on that is that when the Premier says he doesn’t wish to be provocative -- that is poising, usually to be his most provocative. I shall use the word in its proper context and not attempt to do that, to not stimulate any unnecessary adrenalin flow.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We will watch carefully. We are listening.
Mr. Lawlor: This is extraordinary legislation. We all recognize it. Under our constitution, we are trespassing, in a sense, upon areas where we have no jurisdiction and no particular power, and this explains in part the tortured nature of the legislation as it has emerged, because somehow it has to be fitted in to the Business Practices Act and to civil rights in the province, although it’s directed beyond the boundaries of the province. So you get certain anomalies on which I can only commend the legislative draftsmen and Mr. Atkey, who participated in this process, in being able to come up with a bit of a gem, twisted though the pearl may be in some ways.
Secondly, as has been mentioned in this House several times now, Mr. Don Jamieson of the federal Parliament presented some legislation at an earlier time or commended it to the House. Nothing has ever been done about it. They have trod water in this particular area and there is a feeling that some spurring in this particular regard with respect to our self-determination and certain practice which I think we find questionable would be circumvented or eliminated.
Now, the letter from my colleague, which was mentioned, is a letter to Mr. Atkey. I won’t read it all. I shall simply comment on it. The second paragraph reads: “I recommend to the caucus that we support the bill in principle, but I have serious concerns about the draftsmanship of the bill and the wide and, I believe, unintended ambit of the bill. While one can think of many examples, I have tried to narrow them down to two or three which directly reflect the concerns which I have.” Then he mentions the South African situation, the apartheid policies and our way of expressing our international discontent with that particular policy.
For individuals in this province to consort together or even the single individual to announce publicly that he or she does not wish to purchase South African wine because of the declared policies of that government might -- and I think in the close reading of the bill, almost certainly does -- bring that individual within the ambit of this legislation and subject to the very onerous fines and penalties that this bill contains. Surely that wasn’t the intent in that particular context.
The second example that was mentioned is, “It would appear to me,” says the member for Riverdale, “that if I, Jim Renwick, took part in a boycott, similar to the grape boycott of a few years ago which was in support of the United Farm Workers in California, I would be subject to the enforcement provisions of the bill.” That, in a strike way, is perfectly true.
Now I will introduce what I consider one of the complexities of the bill. In that particular kind of context, it seems to me that not necessarily would you be caught within the ambit of the legislation; it would depend upon the reasons that you gave, in the particular context. This applies generally to this bill and it is kind of an interesting point. Under this bill, or the bill as I suppose it is intended to be amended, if the discrimination or the boycott is directed against ideology, there’s nothing that I can see under this bill against saying: “This is a Marxist-Leninist product; therefore I won’t, and I don’t want you, to buy it.” Or, “I don’t want you to sell that particular product to a Marxist-Leninist outfit” or “a fascist outfit,” or -- and here’s a tricky point -- “a Zionist organization.”
Whether that’s a designation within the ambit of this legislation, with respect to geographical location, race or creed, there are tricky points that will come up in committee on that, as to whether, say, Zionism is credal in nature or not. I personally have some great doubts about that. So by wording the grounds on which you are prepared to discriminate in such a way as to circumvent the legislation, that objective can fairly be achieved.
The Premier said he didn’t expect that we would go into detail -- nor do I intend to, not in any great depth -- but I do think it’s helpful in a debate of this kind, in advance of committee hearing, to know where at least some of us feel the areas of discontent or weakness might be in the legislation. I intend to point out only three or four of these major considerations.
My colleague mentioned the native peoples in northwestern Ontario perhaps taking boycotting action against merchants in order to force the civic fathers to take particular stances with respect to their native rights or their voices being heard in the community. Again, that would fall foul of the legislation.
If one of the members of this House then went to northwestern Ontario and spoke to the Indians, spoke approvingly of what they were seeking to do, trying to aid them, that member -- or any citizen of the province for that matter -- would possibly be subject to criminal and other penalties in that regard. It would be considered a kind of conspiracy in restraint of trade, or at least as falling within the specific terms of the legislation.
None of this was thought of, because the mind was focusing on a particular objective. It is precisely for that reason this House exists, to cut back into that and to expose ramifications which were not intended and which can certainly be deleterious to civil liberties and to basic benefits.
I would like to refer to whatever committee subsequently meets an article, which again was dug out by the honourable member, from the Harvard Law Review, volume 91, 1975, page 659: “Political Boycott Activity and the First Amendment.” I won’t go into it; I leave it for perusal. It analyses the issue in depth and with intensity as to the impact on boycotts generally in the United States, particularly with respect to a certain case called Claiborne Hardware Incorporated versus NAACP, having to do with the town of Port Gibson in Mississippi where certain blacks set up a systematic protest against racial discrimination and began to boycott the merchants of that town.
The court in that instance at the state level held them liable in damages, granted injunctions against them, said they infringed against a whole host of common law remedies and state statutes; for instance, anti-trust legislation in the state which they said had been infringed, the tortious liability with respect to the interference in business relations, restraint of trade conspiracies, all this stuff was brought against them and they suffered very dire consequences.
There are cases going the other way in the American jurisdiction now but the Supreme Court has had the very devil of a time on the issue because of the peculiarities in the United States. The first amendment is deemed by some judges of the Supreme Court to be a plenary right of free speech. Nothing can trespass upon it. To other judges it has enormous flexibility and is highly conditional et cetera. One of the conditions very well could be that the interest of the state government, in its anti-trust legislation, supersedes the right to free speech.
It also depends upon the mentality and basic temperamental acumen of the judges, as to whether they happen to be a little to the right or a little down the middle or in which direction they proceed early in the morning. This is a peculiar problem that does not apply here. However, it might be a good idea to make some reference to free speech in section 2, I think it is -- the protection of free speech within a confined context. This would give recognition to that principle in this legislation and as it will be interpreted by the judiciary.
On the second page of my colleague’s letter, he says: “I suppose in legal terms I am saying that the right of peaceful picketing for information purposes through this kind of boycotting activity would be significantly curtailed if not prohibited by the terms of the proposed bill.” I would say very true indeed -- and not just in picketing either. Just the conveying of information or the business of dealing or not dealing in terms of contracts would be curtailed. It need not necessarily involve the picketing aspect at all, although that should be taken into consideration.
There are three kinds of boycotts. There is a primary boycott -- that is one person or country refuses to deal with a second person or country. That is not in question particularly, although it is in terms of this bill. But let us take the case of some of the Arabic nations and Israel. I think they consider it back and forward fair game. I mean to say, “If you don’t want to deal, you don’t want to deal.” That is life in the raw and it is a very difficult situation.
It is the secondary and tertiary boycotting that is really the nub of the issue. Secondary boycotting is when one country or person, as a condition of dealing with it or him or her, requires the other country or person not to deal with a third country or person on certain grounds. That is really the questionable point.
Tertiary boycotting goes even further. It prohibits for instance one Canadian company from doing business with another Canadian company which does business with a designated company. It goes even further than the Arab boycott situation. It also appraises the share ownership or capital holding on a racial basis of individuals within a particular country; say, about 30 per cent is the norm, although there is a very wide variety and spectrum of the terms and conditions of the boycotting imposed.
Each of the 20 countries has its own criteria. There’s a certain core of similarity. It could be 15 per cent or it could he 39 per cent in this particular context. It has to do with shareholders and with who the directors of the company are and the positions they occupy in the business and in the intellectual life of that country. It has to do with the hiring practices of a particular corporation and its source of materials. This office -- I think it’s in Beirut or Damascus -- will send a questionnaire to the company involved. If the company doesn’t reply, it is automatically blacklisted. If it replies, disclosure has to be made of the sources of the materials and as to whether particular firms are supplying parts within the country itself that is dealing with the foreign territory.
This is very searching, far-reaching and pretty invidious when you get to that particular point with respect to hiring practices and promotion and the capabilities of individuals who are being placed under a cloud and not being able to advance. On the other hand, it’s a highly selective process. As I understand the situation, none of the countries in question excludes the financial institutions of the other countries from participating in such things as bond drives, the raising of capital and in banking concerns. That’s a fairly sacred territory for all of us, but it’s not impinged upon. It’s a preserve that’s not touched.
There are a fair number of these; for example, anything to do with arms manufacturing. You get your arms where you can get them, I suppose. You don’t ask for colours of skin or eyes or any other colours. You seize upon it. There’s a certain cynicism involved in that where these issues begin to touch the bone.
There has come into my hands -- and I don’t think it’s a breach of any confidence -- a possible amendment to the legislation to make it more palatable to us to meet the objections raised by the member for Riverdale. This bill must have efficacy and avoid these trespassings upon the liberties of the individuals in this province to a wide diversity of things. Sometimes it even serves the cause of the right. The right has its little boycotts now and then. What’s being proposed is not partisan.
I’ll read the clause into the record for the purposes of the committee that is coming on and then make a brief comment on it. In section 4, having to do with the refusal to buy or to sell from particular persons for seven specific reasons, having said all that, it says where the refusal or agreement to refuse is at the behest of another party as a condition of engaging in business with that party.
By and large -- and until I can speak to the member for Riverdale I wouldn’t dare say for sure -- that seems to me to fairly satisfy our objective. I’ve given it some thought and tested it against the various situations that have come to mind. It may very well meet the objection. I leave it for the committee and the record to peruse.
As I said previously -- and I don’t want in any way to derogate from the legislation as it stands -- it may be possible to close some of the loopholes that I propose to bring to your attention. One I’ve already ventured upon. If I say I will not buy a certain product and encourage others not to do so, too -- whether it comes from a foreign country or not -- that falls outside the legislation. If you approach it from the point of view of ideology, the same kind of thing happens.
If you say, for instance, “I will not deal, because of the governmental apparatus, with Chile,” that falls inside the legislation because it’s a mention of a geographical location, and that’s taboo. You can’t say, “I won’t buy South African wines,” because, after all, they’re talking about South Africa. The legislation says that you cannot do that. But if you say, “I will not buy wine from people who are addicted to apartheid,” then I suspect that you’re outside the legislation.
We don’t want legislation that depends upon sheer cleverness, upon the wording that you impose upon a particular situation. I don’t think that was the intent. If it is, then, Lord, there are lawyers enough, and others, but lawyers enough to devise an endless number of ways in which companies and individuals in this province could thumb their noses at the legislation as it exists. That has to be given very careful consideration.
The second thing I would bring to your attention has to do with situs. It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that under this legislation if an Ontario company goes down to Montreal, sits at the Bonaventure, signs a contract there, and designating in the contract the situs of the contract as the province of Quebec, that would fall outside the legislation.
That may not be so, and if it is not, let’s take the next step. If a company in Ontario was given so drooling an offer from the Saudi Arabians on a particular type of air conditioning equipment that they just didn’t feel they could possibly refuse, they could set up a subsidiary, incorporated company in the province of Quebec and be home free, as I understand it. I’m not counselling, but I’m saying you don’t have to be a Philadelphia lawyer to read it that way.
Part of the problem, I suspect, in the legislation is that in the governing section, section 4, it reads: “A refusal or an agreement to refuse by a person in Ontario.” That same formula is repeated in paragraph 2 in connection with the tertiary boycotts. Somehow that has to be refined. When you say “by a person in Ontario,” do you mean located when he’s doing it in Ontario or don’t you really mean an Ontario person, a person or a corporation which has been and is resident in Ontario?
Just what does that mean? Perhaps, I suggest, an unnecessary ambiguity, an escape hatch in the legislation, which might be easily rectified. I would ask that the powers-that-be around here turn their attention to that.
I won’t go on beyond this point on these things. We can resume our discussions in a more minute way in the committee. With these various thoughts, I think it’ll have to be agreed that the legislation is really symbolic. It is more than a gesture, it’s a symbol. For those who depreciate symbols, so be it. They may be reductionists; they may be positivists; they may be scientific-minded individuals; so be it. Symbols, to the rest of us, are enormously important things. They show what the meaning of human relationships and the relationships between countries might be.
To venture upon this particular area requires, and the government should be given it, a certain recognition in my opinion. It requires a certain courage because it would be so easy to refrain. It would be a step back because we are on either virginal ground or trespassing on no man’s land in this particular area. The very fact that it’s there shows a sense of disapproval; a sense that in certain contexts, this kind of game can’t go on.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I am, of course, confident that all members would agree that any form of discrimination on the grounds of race, creed, colour, nationality or ancestry, and place of origin is simply intolerable and unacceptable to the people of this province. As a government, we have committed ourselves to fight, and where possible, to eliminate the forms of discrimination which manifest themselves in this province. We have taken and we will continue to take each and every action appropriate in this struggle.
Ontario was the first province to pass human rights legislation in Canada. I believe we were the first province to introduce a law reform commission in the English-speaking world. The commission, as you know, has dedicated much of its efforts to enhancing individual rights. It appears we will be the first jurisdiction in Canada to pass such legislation. It is before the House in the form of Bill 112; legislation to prohibit discrimination in business relationships.
We have developed multicultural and educational programs to create positive understanding of these problems and the importance of the multicultural mix in our country and the Ontario community. Of course, in the final analysis, the war against discrimination can only be won if we enlist and obtain the efforts of individual members of the community.
Obviously, legislation alone can never eradicate discrimination, prejudice or racism. No matter how much direction is provided by the Legislative Assembly and by community leaders, commitment on the part of each and every member of the community is necessary for any success in the ongoing struggle.
It is a struggle in which the responsibility of the individual citizen is particularly heavy and obviously it can never be won by legislators alone. It is equally clear that the responsibility of legislators is no less important or serious because of the fact that individual initiative in the community is of such great importance. If anything, the responsibility that does exist within each responsible citizen -- or should exist -- perhaps increases the responsibility of legislators to provide leadership, to lead the public and to attempt to mobilize public and community support wherever possible towards the goal of eradicating the disease of discrimination.
At the same time, we recognize that as legislators surely we have a duty to respond to initiatives that come from the community and, indeed, from other communities and other nations in the struggle in so far as it lies within our power to do so. It is in the context of this duty that I turn to the specific manifestations of discrimination which now command the vigilance of this assembly and the force of our laws.
Many words in the English language have, with usage, changed their meaning from words perhaps formerly commendable, to be words with loathsome connotation. Perhaps no example of this is better or more striking than the word “discrimination” itself. That word, according to general dictionary definition, once meant “to make a distinction, to use good judgement.” Unfortunately, it has now been very much tainted with the pejorative connotation of prejudice.
We, unfortunately, have seen discrimination in this sense in our streets, on our public transportation, and in many other areas of human relations; and wherever it arises, and where we can within our jurisdiction attack it, this government, together, I am sure, with the support of all members of this Legislative Assembly, will attempt to deal with it in a positive manner.
In recent months we have learned that discrimination, of course, is not restricted to our streets, but regrettably is becoming more and more evident in the marketplace, in business and in commerce in the broadest sense. Therefore, it is as an endeavour to cope with this relatively new challenge that the Premier has introduced into this House An Act to prohibit Discrimination in Business Relationships, and which is now, of course, before us for second reading.
From the Premier’s statement, on introduction, it must be obvious that one area of concern to the government, and a concern to which this bill addresses itself, is the area of the Arab-Israel boycott. But it should be pointed out, and it should be observed, that the statement of the Premier had much wider connotations than this conflict, this boycott or attempted boycott, as important as it is, because he obviously spoke in very general terms of ethnic or religious background or affiliations.
Therefore, it should be noted and emphasized that this is not an issue, and the principles on which this legislation is based should not simply be considered as a Jewish or as an Israeli issue, for in preparing or in casting our legislation, great care has been taken to bring it within the framework of our constitutional competence. When one reads the legislation, it quite clearly deals with civil rights within our province in a very broad sense. The right of employment, the right to trade and the right to contract are surely all basic rights that must be protected in the best interests of all our citizens.
We know, regrettably, that efforts are continually being made in the context of business relationships to deny certain of our citizens some of these basic rights. If, as a term of contract or as a condition of doing business, it is specified that an Ontario company shall not deal not only with a specific country but with a specific company, whether it be within Ontario, within Canada or within another country, then it must be observed that the scope and opportunity for development, not only of Ontario companies but of citizens of Ontario, would be severely restricted.
Certainly it is particularly abhorrent to observe the potential for interference with these basic human rights to be accomplished by legislation of nations over which we have no power or control whatsoever. Surely if it is a condition of doing business in Ontario that an employer be restricted from hiring certain individuals at the behest of a foreign country, then such restriction cannot be tolerated, nor can we tolerate restrictions which would endeavour to stop business dealings or transactions between Ontario companies simply because one company may not be able to meet some discriminatory foreign law or policy.
As has been observed, this problem has been faced in the United States by federal legislation which, unfortunately, has not been duplicated or emulated by our own federal government. It has been quite clear from the debate to this moment that all parties represented in this Legislature regret very much the failure of the federal government to initiate legislation in this crucial area. It certainly has been the position of the government of Ontario that it would be more appropriate and more effective to have federal legislation. Quite frankly, it has been our hope and our expectation right up until the present time that the federal government would move in this direction, because obviously the areas of trade and commerce, money and banking can be much more effectively dealt with, and in some circumstances can only be dealt with, by the federal Parliament.
In approving second reading of this bill, in adopting the principles of this legislation, as it would appear the members of the House are prepared to do today, I think it’s fair to say that we all join as one in again urging the federal government to demonstrate leadership and introduce legislation in this area. Notwithstanding the failure of the federal government to do so, the province of Ontario recognizes that we have responsibilities as well, as did certain of the United States which enacted certain legislation before, I believe, the legislation was enacted by the federal government.
Mr. Roy: Are you sure?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: And I think it is important that as a result of the legislative efforts undertaken by the federal government of the United States and certain individual state governments, it can now be reported in one American business magazine, and I quote:
“Close observers of the US-Arab trade area in the past few months are expressing considerable optimism about the inclination almost every Arab country has to accommodate the needs of the American suppliers and satisfy US anti-boycott legislation regulations.”
Again, in the New York Times of June 12, the following is stated:
“Just a year after its enactment, legislation designed to combat the Arab boycott of Israel and companies with business interests in Israel appears to be having effect. A number of Arab countries have relaxed their requirements while American trade in the region has even increased.”
One would hope that these developments might have served at least as some spur, as some encouragement, to our own federal government to introduce legislation.
A number of people in Ontario, people in the business community for example, have said to me and others on the government side of the House that at this time, particularly when the economic situation is difficult, that as a province we simply cannot afford to risk alienating wealthy buyers and people who would like to enter into agreements with companies in Ontario. Whether or not that has been the result of the US legislation, and it would appear from the recent press comments I just referred to that it has not been, I want to emphasize, and I know I speak for all of us in this House, the fact must simply remain that human rights cannot be bartered for a few dollars or for many dollars, and it is in this spirit that we are approaching this legislation.
Specific examples can be given of a secondary boycott involving attempts by United States firms and individuals and specific countries to pressure firms in Canada and Ontario to refrain from dealing with Israel as a condition of trade, or of a tertiary boycott which attempts to prevent firms in Canada or Ontario from dealing with firms in their own country because of the relationships of some of these firms with Israel. I’m sure such specifics are well within the knowledge of many members of this Legislature.
In this respect, I commend to all members of the Legislature the report of the Commission on Economic Coercion and Discrimination. The commission was made up of many eminent Canadian scholars, businessmen and politicians.
We recognize that there may well be some further refining to this legislation. We have taken great care in drafting the legislation to date. We have invited comments from many parties and many individuals, both within and without the Legislature, in order to produce the most effective legislation and legislation which is clearly within the legislative constitutional competence of Ontario, and we will continue to do so.
Mention has already been made of some of the very thoughtful and very relevant comments made by the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick). I have read those comments and have considered them. There’s no doubt but that he makes some very valid observations which must be taken into account before this legislation is passed.
I look forward to working with the member for Riverdale and interested members from all sides of the House in producing the best possible legislation in the circumstances, because there can be no doubt that this is very important legislation, landmark legislation. From a symbolic standpoint, as stated a few moments ago by the member for Lakeshore, it certainly is a clear indication, not only to the citizens of Ontario but hopefully to the citizens of the world, where we in the Legislature stand when basic human rights are involved.
Mr. Conway: I rise to support the principle of Bill 112 for the reasons which have been so ably put by my friend from Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt) and, though him, by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) who has been on record for some months now on this matter.
I do so because I agree entirely with what the Attorney General has said in his agreement with the member for Lakeshore about the importance of symbols within politics and the broader community. I do so because I think that a bill that has as its purpose and intent an action by government against discrimination in Ontario on the ground of race, creed, colour, nationality, ancestry, place of origin or geographic location of persons employed in or engaging in business is a particularly laudable principle.
I agree entirely with what the Attorney General has just said about the importance of this Legislature collectively and its members individually, indicating to the broader community what we think of discrimination on those grounds. I agree entirely with the Attorney General when he says that this must surely be a bill to recommend itself to Ottawa to do things it has chosen not to proceed with, at least at a rate which we would expect acceptable.
But it’s sad and it’s disappointing for some of us to stand here today and listen to these speeches about the importance of symbols and the importance of the message of symbols to the broader community, particularly when it relates to matters of race, creed, colour, nationality, et cetera, when some of us remember not so very long ago the intervention of the Premier of this province on a matter which some of us felt very strongly was in principle a matter of symbols in some of those related areas.
I find it very difficult to stand here today and to be told by leading members of that ministry that symbols are important in so far as they deal with our actions on the broad international questions when those symbols were not nearly as important on matters of urgent domestic and local import. I would certainly expect this government and I would certainly expect this Premier to be somewhat more sympathetic to the importance of symbols as they relate to some of our local, provincial and national concerns, some of which are directly related with the principle and the purpose of Bill 112.
The high statesmanship to which the Premier falls heir in Bill 112 is something with which I am happy to join him in support on this occasion because I think and I know he is right. The matters of discrimination on the basis of race, religion, nationality and the like are abhorrent to us all. I must say, though, that I sometimes wonder why, on the basis of the same criteria, more high-profile and punitive action was not taken with respect to certain members of this assembly when they appeared, at least, to go on the record with what appeared to be comments of a racial kind with respect to the native people of this province.
The present member for Timiskaming (Mr. Havrot) may have been misquoted -- and I am not here to say that his remarks with respect to native peoples were particularly well-reported at the time -- but I expect a consistency from my Premier in the matter of symbols, particularly where they relate to race, religion, nationality and the like.
There were some of us growing up not so very long ago, embroiled in a famous schools question.
Ms. Gigantes: Did you support Dr. Jackson?
Mr. Conway: The member for Carleton East very properly draws attention to the controversial public attitudes of the commissioner on declining enrolments. I know and can sympathize with her opinions in that respect. I would suggest to the Premier, who I am sure needs no such suggestion, that consistency on this principle is at best a difficult, unheroic task.
The history of our politics, and indeed present practice, indicates that western countries -- not the least of them the United States, to which the Attorney General made reference -- will, when economic imperatives dictate, do business with every tinpot dictator extant anywhere on this globe. Let’s understand that. Because the United States’ administration has taken high and moralistic positions, certainly with respect to items of this kind, I notice a very interesting debate recently concluded in the Senate with respect to arms agreements with certain countries in the Arab block.
As my colleague from Ottawa East was suggesting to me just a short time ago, the power of oil has indeed had an accommodating influence on certain of our principles. I have been impressed by the necessary accommodation, however repugnant I might find that accommodation. Similarly, I am happy to know that it is only high statesmanship which motivates the Premier in this respect. I am happy to know that there are no domestic political considerations, may I say imperatives, guiding him through the course of this legislation and what it represents. I know that, and I am happy to share in that feeling.
I just want to say, Mr. Speaker, that Bill 112, as the member for Riverdale has pointed out, is something which needs legislative refinement if we are going to avoid encompassing in the bill and in its operation many groups not intended to be covered by the bill. I found it interesting, in that respect, to note we are not expressing an abhorrence to boycotts per se or to the general principles of other boycotts, because it is clear from section 3(2) that certain boycotts are quite acceptable to us.
I appreciate the Premier’s concern in this respect. I will agree with Bill 112 in principle. But I want him to know, as carefully and as forcefully as I can state it, why I agree with Bill 112. I agree with it because I feel strongly that the Attorney General and the member for Lakeshore are right when they say to us and to the people of Ontario that Bill 112 is of fundamental importance and deserving of our support because it stands as a symbol, because it stands as a principle to people to understand our views on these matters.
I only wish the Premier of this province would express a similar concern and a similar approach to symbols with regard to discrimination in matters of language, race, and religion, et cetera, which relate to this province. Matters which have unfortunately not been addressed by him in this session, with the same degree of high statesmanship as Bill 112 for which I commend him.
Mr. Samis: Let me preface my remarks by stressing -- I emphasize that word “stressing” -- that I speak as a person who supports the right of the state of Israel to full independence, full territorial security, and integrity.
I speak as a person who is cognizant of the tremendous suffering and injustice that has been perpetrated upon the Jewish people in the history of mankind. I speak as a person strongly opposed to all forms of racial discrimination, racial prejudice, bigotry and any ideology based on any form of racism. I find them all, totally, without exception, abhorrent.
But I also speak as an individual, and as a legislator, who cannot, and does not, support the principle of this bill. Obviously that is a dissenting opinion. Obviously that is a minority opinion in this party and in this House. But I think it is fair to say there is dissent outside this House. There is dissent in this province. There is dissent in this country. There is dissent on this continent And there is dissent in western society in general, on this whole issue.
I would like to outline four basic reasons why I cannot support this bill:
First of all, I genuinely and sincerely believe this bill should not be before this Legislature in the first place. I understand the sentiments echoed by the Attorney General and the Premier regarding the revisions of the bill to try and focus on civil rights which comes within the purview of provincial jurisdiction, but I can’t in my own mind not be aware of the fact that this bill deals with foreign trade, foreign commerce, and a foreign political situation. I sincerely believe that would be far better and more rightly taken care of in the federal Parliament rather than one provincial Parliament, or even all 10 provincial Parliaments.
Secondly, I believe, in the context of the dramatic breakthrough achieved last year by President Sadat of Egypt in his visit to Israel and his direct negotiations with Prime Minister Begin, this sort of bill really is out of keeping with the general spirit of those peace negotiations. I know those negotiations are stalled. I know those negotiations are encountering serious difficulties, but they remain the single greatest source of hope for lasting peace in the Middle East in the 30 years since the foundation of the state of Israel.
To me this bill is sort of a hangover, a reminder, of those days of confrontation, mistrust, and stalemate. As I say, I just don’t think it is in keeping with the temperament and spirit of the times on the international scene.
Thirdly, I believe this bill can interfere with the rights of citizens in this province. The member for Lakeshore has very articulately given examples where someone may want to protest and boycott South African products, Chilean wines, Rhodesian products, California grapes, lettuce, J. P. Stevens’ products -- you name it. This bill could have implications for people who want to exercise their philosophical or very deep personal moral disgust with the policies or actions of another government and have that right to refuse to purchase products on that basis.
I find the bill very sweeping in its powers and in its wording. I’m afraid it’s open to situations where the democratic right to protest economically is either denied or severely infringed upon in this province.
I don’t intend to get into any partisan posturing or politicking. But when speaking on this bill I can’t help but refer -- as alluded to by my colleague from Renfrew North -- to the record of this government’s treatment of the largest minority in this province. It certainly doesn’t inspire confidence in me when he talks about rights in other parts of the world being violated or about rights being violated in this province.
My fourth reason for opposing the bill -- and I should say this is probably the most fundamental reason -- is that when we have a situation where a country has part of its territory militarily occupied by another power, and that power is clearly militarily superior and refuses in principle to end that occupation, then I believe that a country, a nation, or a people has every right to resort to such economic weapons as boycotts to aid it in its struggle to recover its homeland or any part of its homeland.
I’m referring to the situation in the Middle East today where one country occupies land, clearly recognized as not belonging to it, but belonging to the people of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Whether you abide by resolution 242 passed by the United Nations, or whether you abide by the statements and declarations made by President Carter of the United States in the last 18 months, or some of the initiatives and statements made by the American State Department, it’s almost universally recognized that the key to peace in the Middle East is, and must be, Israeli withdrawal from those occupied lands.
In the absence of the withdrawal sought by the United Nations, sought by President Carter and almost every country in the United Nations and around the world, and in the context of what any military occupation means inevitably in terms of civil rights and basic human dignity, I cannot support a bill which ignores that fundamental consideration.
Boycotts of an economic nature are not a weapon used only by Arab countries, nor were they inventions of the Arab states. I would call to your attention, Mr. Speaker, some examples prior to the boycott we’re considering today.
In 1931, the Republic of China instituted a boycott against Japan to protest Japanese aggression and atrocities.
In 1951, the United States instituted a brief boycott of Czechoslovakia to protest the 10-year imprisonment of journalist William Oder.
In 1982, the United States instituted a boycott against Cuba. I believe that boycott is still in effect notwithstanding the recent attempts at rapprochement between President Carter and Prime Minister Castro.
The Organization of African Unity has instituted and still has a boycott in effect against South Africa to protest the apartheid policies of that country.
I believe there is presently a partial United Nations boycott -- or series of sanctions -- against Rhodesia to protest that country’s treatment of its black population over the past 10 to 15 years under the Smith regime.
It’s clear that economic boycotts are not new; nor are they confined to the Arab countries, nor are they an illegitimate weapon to redress an injustice.
There would be no boycott and no need for a boycott if the occupied lands were to be restored to their rightful inhabitants. The goal of peace in the Middle East will only be achieved when all sides respect resolution 242, passed by the United Nations. The very existence of that boycott today is a direct result of that occupation. It’s interesting to note that many thousands of Jews in Israel today are protesting the intransigence of the present government and its continuing policy of occupation of Arab lands. In fact, I believe last night that 40 per cent of the members of the Knesset voted against the policy announced yesterday by Prime Minister Begin and Foreign Minister Dayan.
It might be interesting to quote from an article in last week’s Time magazine, June 19, entitled, “West Bank: The Cruellest Conflict,” because I think Time is rather well known for being sympathetic to the cause of Israel.
Mr. Rotenberg: They’re totally pro-Arab.
Mr. Samis: I think if you look back at the history of Time magazine you’ll find that the policy is anything but pro-Arab, especially if you qualify it as totally pro-Arab. May I just quote two paragraphs in this article which try to explain what the problem is, which I think is relevant to what we’re discussing today.
“Many thoughtful Israelis, hawks and doves alike, are alarmed by the long-term impact of the continued occupation on Israel, as much as on the West Bank. Says Emmanual Sivan, a professor of Islamic history at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, ‘For the generation of Israelis in their twenties, the occupation has been the natural order of things; this is certainly bad. They have learned that the Arabs are at the lower end of the ladder, which creates a vision of each other that is not conducive to coexistence. I’m not worried about whether or not we can hold on to the territories. But the price we pay worries me. Here we are, a democratic society, holding another society hostage.’”
It goes on to quote Uri Avneri, editor of the Tel Aviv weekly magazine -- and I apologize for the pronunciation -- Ha’olam Hazeh. The quote is: “The occupation is an unmitigated disaster for Israel. The fact that the Palestinians remain without their dignity poses a greater danger to Israeli security than any long-range benefit Israel could have from the military side of things.”
It goes on to quote biblical expert Shemanyahu Talmon of Hebrew University, who says, “The occupation goes against the basic attitudes of Zionism. It’s clear that we have not been able to turn the situation of ourselves as occupiers into one of co-operation.”
Mr. Speaker, it’s very clear that there’s a serious problem on the West Bank, in Gaza, Golan and southern Lebanon. In the absence of a withdrawal I cannot support a bill that does not recognize the legitimate reasons for such a boycott and ignores the basic injustice that does exist in the Middle East today. I think, Mr. Speaker, instead of focusing our attention on a bill like this, our time might be better spent supporting any and all efforts for peace by either side in the Middle East or by our federal government.
In short, in all honesty and in conscience I cannot divorce this bill from the historical and actual situation in the Middle East today. On that basis, I cannot support it.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I want to address this bill in the context of Ontario, Ontario’s citizens, and our record of protecting civil liberties and civil rights, which of course is what this bill is all about. It is not at all about those things the previous speaker has addressed. We are not here this afternoon, nor have we ever been on this bill, to attempt to resolve things in the Middle East. In fact, the whole reason we’re standing here today is to see to it that Canadians, free Ontarians, be they businessmen or otherwise, are not unwillingly and unwittingly enlisted into that war, or dispute.
I did, and still do, want to keep this debate at the level which other speakers have referred to: a nonpartisan debate, one pointed towards restoring, regaining, and respecting those civil liberties and rights that our people here in Ontario have always had and had protected by government of whatever stripe. Therefore, I will not use my few moments to attempt either to educate the previous speaker in the realities of the Middle East situation or to try to explain to him at great length that this debate and this legislation should be taking place, regardless of which external power was involved. Under no circumstances can we tolerate being dictated to by external forces and powers so that one Ontarian is required to discriminate against another.
I urge members to put this in a better perspective. If this were as open and as blatant as some of the other examples that sadly we have seen through the years in North America and other places, then even the last speaker would be falling all over himself to join the rest of the members of this assembly in passing this bill into law.
I urge the members to consider for a moment that if we were talking about legislation emanating out of discrimination between Ontarians which resulted in school doors being locked, people being forced to the back of buses or using separate health, kitchen or restaurant facilities, being denied entrance to arenas and parks, being in fact separated from other Canadians in Ontario, in the absence of those things one can see on the 6 o’clock news, in the absence of some children being bused to another part of town or not being bused, or being put into substandard school facilities or other facilities, or being denied entrance to high schools -- in the absence of those things some people might believe that things that they can’t see and don’t deal with every day aren’t occurring.
To expect Ontarians to put up with a situation where a businessman can lawfully, if you would, sign a contract agreeing that he would not do business with other residents and citizens of Ontario, simply because that other person happens to be of the Jewish religion, simply because that other firm happens to deal with Jews -- those things are as vicious and as serious and as wrong as the things you can see on the 6 o’clock news when people bar children from entering schools or push people to the back of buses.
It is a rather proud day for me -- I say so unabashedly. I had the pleasure of introducing, as a private member, as the member for Kitchener has noted, Bill 39, the predecessor to this bill. I introduced it a little over a year ago -- on April 19, 1977. Predictably there has been some opposition. I have heard more of it since I joined the cabinet, obviously from people in the business community who are concerned about the loss of business that the Attorney General and others have spoken about.
I have made this point time and again since I originally introduced my bill and it still stands -- if anything it is more valid today than ever -- that in this country we have gone to very great lengths to protect those things that are the cornerstone of our democracy: freedom of the press, freedom of expression and freedom of religion. The reason we go to such lengths is because it seems to me that we have always acknowledged that one small foot in the door leads to the second foot in the door and then an army through the door.
I think of the dialogue the Attorney General and others have had, and I certainly have had, with those who from time to time speak of how horrendous it is to publish the names of those who are charged and not yet convicted of offences. The argument there is that although just publishing the fact of the charge often destroys a person’s reputation for life, even though he may ultimately be proven to be innocent, that we must suffer that wrong in the name of freedom of the press.
Mr. Deans: That’s not true.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Freedom of the right to know.
Mr. Deans: He is wrong on that one. The minister may be right in what he is saying but he is wrong in that.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I might say, without debating whether he is right or wrong, that the point is that we in this country and this province have gone to very great lengths --
Mr. Deans: That’s fine, but it’s a bad example.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- to make certain tradeoffs; and in each case we have made tradeoffs in order to prevent, for whatever reasons, that first small toe, let alone foot, from getting in the door. So we do go to very great lengths, and I agree with going to such great lengths.
Mrs. Campbell: It’s a poor example.
Mr. Deans: It is a bad example, right.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: One must think back to the books of the horrendous, the tragic, the awful -- there are no words sufficient to describe -- tales we have all read of what happened in the late 1930s and early 1940s. We have had those brought to light more graphically and on a larger scale by the Holocaust presentation on television recently.
I raise that at this time because of the number of people who have commented, because of their own personal reading of the history and seeing these matters on television, about how the rest of the world could have stood aside and stood silent. Many people during that period of time begged off. They did not want to get involved. They did not want to get involved because on day one it didn’t affect them, and they didn’t think it would ever affect them. A lot of people stood by and watched the liberty, freedom, dignity and lives of others stripped away from them while they sat quietly. They did not rise up, in the early days, and say that in the long run this will destroy all of our civilization, and in the short run, in any event, I cannot sit quietly while the freedom of others is encroached upon just one little bit.
Why did so many people say that? As so many people indict the people who did that, they indict them knowing that those people stood by quietly, in many cases in fear for their own lives, in fear for their own families. They didn’t want to get involved lest their own lives would be in danger.
Yet we, shockingly, some short years later in terms of history, find ourselves in a time now when others say they do not want to get involved because they may lose some contracts, they may lose some business; and many of these same people are the very ones who have on other occasions indicted those who sat back quietly because they were afraid for their lives and limbs in the 1930s and 1940s. So while they indict those people they are now hesitant about risking a couple of contracts, some money, some dollars; they are prepared to look past the enforced discrimination between Ontarians which is that one small foot in the door.
This assembly has always strongly supported, on all sides, the leadership that has been shown in this province in terms of human rights legislation, the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Indeed the actions taken by this government in 1975, when it said to terrorists we don’t want you in this province, and if the United Nations is not prepared to keep terrorists out then they better not come --
Mr. Conway: Thanks for Dorothy Crittenden.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: That attitude has always been very crucial to the health of democracy in this province, as well as the freedom so many people feel to come to this province and to live in security and freedom.
I cannot put the case strongly enough that unless we are prepared to run whatever risks there might be in terms of contracts and in terms of business to say to people outside this province, outside this country, “You will not come in and tell one person in this province that he or she must, should or shall discriminate for racial, religious or other reasons against another citizen of this province,” we risk a serious inroad on our democracy and our freedom.
We must have the courage now to provide that backup every Ontarian is entitled to; and that backup is to know that the laws of this province -- indeed we only wish it were the laws of this country -- are such that any citizen can stand up and say, “I am sorry, in this democracy I cannot be asked, nor shall I be permitted to be asked, or forced, to discriminate against any other citizen.”
That is what this bill is all about. That is precisely what this bill is all about. It is important that when this small step is being attempted by some, they be told here, as they have been told in other places, that that is unacceptable in this bastion of freedom, human dignity and respect.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a few brief comments on this legislation. My attendance is sometimes criticized, but I always want to participate in a debate where we’re dealing with an important principle that rises above partisan differences, as stated in this bill, and where all parties in the House agree that we’re against all forms of discrimination based on “race, creed, colour, nationality, ancestry, place of origin or geographical location.”
Such a principle gives a certain approach to debates in the Legislature. We can form a common front and send a message concerning what we in the Legislature feel about this principle; and what stand, as leaders representing the people of this province, we are prepared to take, and what leadership we’re prepared to give in this area.
I have listened to the comments from my colleagues, the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt), the member for Lakeshore (Mr. Lawlor), the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), my colleague from Renfrew and others. They have dealt with various aspects of the bill which I don’t intend to deal with. Having read the bill, the principle is an honourable one and worthy of support, but the method or vehicle that we are using here is a difficult one. The bill is fraught with technical difficulties. At times, I suppose, there will be administrative difficulties for this type of legislation.
It’s always a difficult matter to put forward legislation upholding a principle as important as this one, and at the same time respecting other important principles we in this province and in this country have and believe in: principles such as freedom of action and freedom of speech. The balancing act becomes extremely difficult. I am hopeful that once the bill is sent into committee we can deal with some of these aspects together.
As the member for Lakeshore has said, and as the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) has communicated to the members of the Legislature and to the Premier (Mr. Davis), there are difficulties which may well impede such things as freedom of action and freedom of speech in this province. I must say that in looking at the legislation, and a principle as important as this, it is very important that the people of this province and this country have a clear message; and that message has far more weight when it is supported by all parties, and it has credibility.
Let me give an example of that. For instance, people like to talk about high principles, about freedom and respect for the individual; of human nature, the right to due process, the rule of common law. If, for instance, one looks at the constitution of the USSR, and the principles as stated there, and then looks at some of the actions of that country and its president who signed the Helsinki agreement to respect minorities, to respect various individual, there is some hollowness there because we know their actions and sometimes the positions they put forward do not correspond with any of their actions and some of their policies in their own country.
Compare, for instance, the President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, when he talks about human rights and when Brezhnev does so. One can see the difference in credibility -- even though the US at times, for matters of national policy or otherwise, is prepared to deal and to exchange goods with countries we find questionable. But I think there can be no doubt about the sincerity of the President of the US as compared to leaders of other countries when he’s talking about respecting human dignity and respecting human rights in this world.
I say to the Premier it is important as well that we recognize, if we’re going to give this principle weight, that we have this credibility. I say it objectively and I say it in sadness more than I do in anger, that there must be consistency in our approach.
The previous speaker talked about some of the things that have happened and how we are against some of the things that have happened in the last war.
And on a recent visit to Israel, when talking to the Israelis one could see the difficulty of the situation there and the insolubility of the problem.
But the fact is, Mr. Speaker, that there must be consistency in our approach. I say to the Premier that when I look at some of the things that have happened in the last while -- at least since I’ve been in the Legislature -- that just as we like to rise above partisan politics, to give as common front as possible to such an important message, that there must be credibility in our approach. We should be careful when we get into the areas of language or religion that we are not forced to take partisan approaches in these fields.
I would mention, for instance, was it wise in 1971 during the election to get involved in separate schools in our own province? This is something that has concerned me --
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, so there is no misunderstanding, our party did not, your party did.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: That’s right.
Hon. Mr. Davis: That is right. That is historically and factually correct, and I think the honourable member should be very careful.
Mr. Cunningham: The only thing that is correct are the results.
Mr. Speaker: Order. That is not a point of order.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Albert, it is true.
Mr. Roy: I should put it on the record,
Mr. Speaker, that that is not the way most people in this province viewed the events. The decision, in fact was made --
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, on a matter of personal privilege, because I think the record should show this. The position taken by the member’s party -- by his party’s former leader prior to 1971, Mr. Wintermeyer; and the position put by the New Democratic Party under the leadership of one Donald MacDonald in 1964 or 1965 -- if memory serves me correctly, was categorically that with the introduction of the Ontario Foundation tax plan --
Mr. Foulds: No, you are wrong.
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- which was to resolve the issues of the separate schools in this province, both of those gentlemen said their party would not support the extension of the separate school system. Historically, Mr. Speaker, the member for Ottawa East should know this. It was his party leader. It was the leader of the New Democratic Party who changed their party’s policies; and to that extent it was an issue in the 1971 campaign.
Those, Mr. Speaker, happen to be the facts. That’s true.
An hon. member: The Premier would like to make them facts.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, if I may continue, I say to the Premier those may be the facts as he sees them, but the fact is --
Hon. Mr. Davis: Ask your own leader.
You ask the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk and he will agree.
Mr. Roy: I just raised the matter, Mr. Speaker, because I feel --
Hon. B. Stephenson: Facts are facts.
Mr. Roy: I just feel -- and I listened to the Minister of Labour who just said something which I didn’t get --
Hon. B. Stephenson: I just said facts are facts.
Mr. Roy: -- but who was still practising medicine at that time.
An hon. member: A Liberal then too.
Mr. Roy: Yes, a Liberal then, probably.
An hon. member: Not a very good one.
Mr. Roy: I say to the Premier that the perception and the reason this matter became --
Hon. Mr. Davis: The member’s party altered its position.
Mr. Roy: -- an issue in 1971 was because the Premier some time before the election made a ringing declaration that there would be no further extension to separate schools and this is how --
Mr. Speaker: That has nothing to do with Bill 112.
Hon. Mr. Davis: On a point of personal privilege: I think the member for Ottawa East should know the truth and the facts. I didn’t make a ringing declaration. I had been approached by the bishops of Ontario with a brief asking for the extension of a separate school system.
Mr. Deans: As had we.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I was in a position where, prior to that time, every political party in this province was not in favour of the extension of a separate school system.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, it was the members opposite --
Mr. Speaker: I have ruled that the comments dealing with the separate school system were out of order, so therefore any reaction to those would also be out of order. The member for Ottawa East.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I am out of order. You are quite right. I know the facts and I wouldn’t revitalize that issue.
Mr. Roy: I quoted that as an example of something that can be extremely divisive.
Hon. Mr. Davis: But you people made it that way.
Mr. Roy: Well, don’t say that. You know it’s not so.
Hon. Mr. Davis: You did and you paid a price for it.
Mr. Roy: I say that the Premier feels that he can stand here or go around the province and keep saying things that don’t meet the facts.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, it’s factually true.
Ms. Roy: Just because you say so it’s not so. There is a perception across this province
-- and it is unfortunately a perception that became an issue. I say that is the type of thing we should avoid. Now, Mr. Speaker, I go one step further.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Speak for yourself. You avoided it. We didn’t make it an issue.
Mr. Roy: I go one step further and talk about the credibility in the message. I say to the Premier that the actions for instance that took place on June 1 were not something which --
Hon. Mr. Davis: Be careful.
Mr. Roy: Don’t say be careful. I can say what I want here and --
Hon. Mr. Grossman: You are not being careful now.
Mr. Roy: I have not been irresponsible in my statement here.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: You are inaccurate now.
Mr. Roy: I say very simply, Mr. Speaker, that the actions that unfortunately took place on June 1 after all members of the Legislature again rose above partisan politics in an effort to take it away from a partisan issue and the statement and the publication of a press statement by the Premier, has made it a divisive issue. That is the type of thing that we should try to avoid.
Hon. Mr. Davis: We didn’t introduce the bill. We didn’t make it the issue. You did.
Mr. Speaker: Order. We are dealing with second reading of Bill 112, An Act to prohibit Discrimination in Business Relationships. It has got nothing to do with something that happened in 1964. It has nothing whatsoever to do with something that happened on June 1. If you will stick to the principle of this bill, I think we would get along much more harmoniously.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I just gave that as an example. It was the Premier’s interjections in fact which caused me to take additional time on this. I just cited those as two examples.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: It’s your inaccuracy.
Mr. Speaker: We haven’t got back to the bill since.
Mr. Roy: All I am saying is that for the record it was certainly not our attempt to make it partisan. So I say that when we approach problems such as this, it is important that the Premier keep in mind that we are with him, that we support such an important principle as this. But it is important for him as Premier of this province to remember that we take the same approach domestically and provincially that we are prepared to take nationally. I regret that this legislation, even for practical purposes, should be emanating from the federal level. It’s obvious that this is a practical approach, and I am saddened that we don’t have that initiative, that type of legislation on the books. I am saddened at the same time that, for instance, the federal leader of the Conservative Party did not see fit in the last by-election to renege on one of his candidates who said some derogatory things about a political group on the basis of race and so on.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: But he supports boycott legislation; he supports this legislation.
Mr. Roy: These are some of the things that it is important for those people who ought to give leadership in this field to keep in mind --
Hon. Mr. Davis: I think Mr. Clark supports this approach.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: When he is Prime Minister next year, this will be law.
Mr. Roy: -- because their credibility will be enhanced. Members over there should know that we are with them on this type of principle, but again I say it is important that there is some consistency, because it will give much more weight to the message.
Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, I will lend my support as simply and directly as I can to the principle in this bill which I find supportable; that is, that we in this Legislature should remove those elements of discrimination which seem to be gaining hold in the operations of the Arab boycott within Ontario.
This bill does not deal with the Middle East situation; I think we have to try to remove our discussion of this bill from the Middle East situation as best we can. Nor does this bill attempt to deal with discrimination in all aspects of Ontario affairs. In considering the merits of this bill, we do not have to deal with either the failures or successes of the government or any one of the parties in the past in Ontario.
I think the bill deserves, because of its importance to citizens here in Ontario, to be dealt with on its own merits.
There are parts of the bill to which other speakers have referred and which are troublesome and may be completely objectionable. Those parts relate to the very general prescriptions provided within the bill on the operation of boycotts. The Attorney General has told us we can’t eliminate discrimination and racism by legislation. I have a great deal more faith in the potential of legislation than I think the Attorney General does.
I think the bill before us does offer the very negative benefit of eliminating boycotts which may be designed to end discrimination and racism, either domestically or internationally. I think that part of the bill has to be subjected to drastic revision before we can feel satisfied that the bill is achieving the ends for which, in principle, it will have my support.
The bill is called “An Act to Prohibit Discrimination in Business Relationships”; it is meant, as the Attorney General said, “to provide protection against discrimination for Ontario citizens in the areas of trade, contracts and employment.” I think we can make this a much better bill; the people of Ontario deserve to have a better bill dealing with this problem.
The principle to which we seek to address ourselves, as we review this legislation, the principle that there shall not be discrimination against citizens of Ontario involved in business here in Ontario, is one that we want to isolate and reinforce, and not confuse with the kind of very wide and worrisome anti-boycott provisions, as they are now proposed to us in the bill.
With those comments, Mr. Speaker, I offer my support in principle for Bill 112.
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I will just speak briefly to the principle of the bill and make some comments that might be useful for those in the House who are now coming to the point where we will be asked to express our views by way of our vote.
You have ruled, very properly, that a discussion of who was responsible for the divisions in this province in 1971, having to do with separate school support, is out of order. But in connection with this bill there are perhaps one or two things that might be said.
There are those in the province who consider the Premier’s action with regard to the bill before us hypocritical and cynical. I don’t believe that’s so; but I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, that we followed with a great deal of interest and care his progress with most of the press gallery, and some members of the press who are not even in the gallery, on the much-publicized peregrination through the Mediterranean and to Israel, the Holy Land, and the broad acceptance by all reasonable people of what a remarkably successful journey that was.
By way of his interjections, his reason for delaying the progress of this bill, as I gather, was that he was trying to bring pressure on the government of Canada to take what he considered to be suitable action. I suppose there are those who say the government of Canada has not taken suitable action and others who feel it has. The justification for the whole process, enumerated by my colleague the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt), has been that the bill has been pending with all the flags of publicity flying around it for so long that there are those who would be very critical of the motivation of the Premier in this regard. We hear he is about to travel to Israel again. There is no doubt he would like to have in his quiver of press releases a reference to the importance of the bill we undoubtedly will support with an almost unanimous vote when this debate is completed.
The argument put forward by the member for Ottawa East is that when we are asked, from a high position of principle, to approve a bill of this importance we should not be too quick to be critical of those who can’t help but question the motive. It even goes back -- not to the matter of 1971 although there is a similarity -- to the debate in this House on the extension of rights to the French community here, which has already been spoken of by two or three speakers, and not been ruled out of order.
Mr. Speaker: Not while I was in the chair.
Mr. Nixon: I don’t know about the consistency of the chairing, but I would certainly respect your rulings and I don’t intend to dwell on that.
While the Premier can always justify in his own mind and to those around him -- for whom he can do no wrong -- the high principled sensitivity, the importance and the moderate justification of his stance in 1971 and last week, his trip to Israel, his forthcoming trip to Israel -- all of those are justifiable, they’re moderate in his own mind and have nothing to do with the principle of these bills -- yet it is difficult sometimes for his political opponents to accept all those justification without at least a tremor.
I don’t know what the significance of that is other than to draw to your attention, Mr. Speaker, and to that of the Premier if he is paying attention, that we don’t believe his motives in all cases are precisely as he himself has maybe described them. It gives us some concern when his approach in this moderate, sensitive and high position fits in so conveniently with some of his other plans.
As far as this bill is concerned, we believe the community of Ontario wants the Legislature to express as a matter of principle and by statute that it does not believe international arguments and confrontations should be allowed to impose themselves in our community -- in the business community or in any other way.
The bill may not be perfect in every respect, but the principle of the bill is that. It’s a principle I can support without hesitation and a principle that our party will support.
Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Speaker, I will be speaking for more than seven minutes so I would move the adjournment of the debate.
Mr. Speaker: We’ve got seven minutes. We might as well make good use of them.
Mr. Breithaupt: It might be convenient if we were to complete this bill even if it were a few minutes after 6 o’clock.
Mr. Rotenberg: I would like to speak in support of this bill and thank the members of the House who have expressed their support for the principle of the bill.
First, let us understand what the principle of this bill does not do. It does not intend to legislate against primary boycotts. It does not intend to legislate against those who may say they don’t want to buy California grapes, or South African wine, or Rhodesian something else, or Cuban something else. Those who drafted the bill, and those in the community who have given considerable support to the bill, do not intend to legislate against a group of Arabs if they got together in Toronto and said, “Do not buy Israeli products.” There is no intention whatsoever to discuss primary boycotts. For this reason, I accept in full the letter from the member for Riverdale and the comments of the member for Lakeshore. The amendment he has suggested, as far as I am concerned, is perfectly in order.
What is the boycott? The Manitoba Human Rights Commission commissioned a study and I would like to read from that study very briefly. It says: “The first component of the boycott is primary.” Of course, we know that. But “Arab firms applying a secondary boycott against Canadian firms, require proofs that these Canadian firms are not involved commercially with Israel, a friendly country.
They also apply a tertiary boycott, as a condition of trade requiring their Canadian trading partner not be involved commercially with any other Canadian firm which is trading with Israel, a form of restricted trade practices. Canadian trading firms which are recipients of investment money are required to give information regarding the presence of Jews on their boards of management or on the boards of management of other Canadian companies with which they do business. They are also asked to refrain from doing business with companies which are blacklisted by the Arab League.”
The investigation of this Manitoba Human Rights Commission committee revealed that “Canadian chartered banks are processing letters of credit with boycott-related provisions. Canadian firms are complying with secondary and tertiary boycott provisions. Canadian insurance companies are insuring contracts with boycott-related clauses. Canadian boards of trade certify boycott compliances” and so on.
That is what is going on in Canada today. As many people have said, it is abhorrent to anyone who believes in civil rights.
What does this Arab boycott do? I would like to read a letter from the League of Arab States, secretariat general, central office, for the boycott of Israel, to a firm in the United States. This is typical of what firms in Canada have been getting. I will read it:
“We wish to inform you that we have acquired reliable information to the effect that your company has purchased a majority interest in a Maltese firm” -- I won’t read the name -- “which is banned in all Arab countries since March 12, 1977, because of the fact it imports from Israel fabrics and textiles and uses the same raw materials for its products of overalls and other work wear. Under the rules in force of Arab countries, it should have been necessary to apply the ban imposed on your said subsidiary, on your own company and all of its subsidiaries. However, in manifestation of the positive nature of the Arab boycott, we are now writing to you in order to give you the chance to arrange for the settlement of the position of your said subsidiary if you have the desire to avoid applying the ban on your company and all of its other subsidiaries.”
They ask for a declaration as follows: “Do you or any of your subsidiaries have now, or ever had, a main or branch factory or assembly plant in Israel; have now, or ever had, general offices in Israel for regional or international operations; grant or ever granted the rights of using your name, trademarks, manufacturing licences, patents, et cetera, to Israeli firms or persons; participated or owned shares now, or in the past, in Israeli firms or businesses in or outside Israel.” On it goes.
I would have liked to have read this whole letter into the record, but it asks for names and nationalities of all companies. “It should be noted the above questionnaire represents in a nutshell the basic rules of the Arab boycott of Israel. If your answer to any of the former six and final questions is in the positive, it means that you are violating the rules in force in the Arab countries.”
Without going into any other matter, how can anyone support this kind of letter coming to firms in Ontario and saying that firms in Ontario have to sign these kinds of letters? I think it’s abhorrent to everyone in this Legislature. The boycott asks Ontarians to violate the human rights code, asks them to practice racial and religious discrimination.
The bill before us, with the amendments I hope as proposed by the member for Lakeshore, constitutes an affirmation of the right of all Ontario residents and businesses to engage in open and unfettered trade with all countries in the Middle East, free from threats of discrimination based on race, creed, colour, nationality, ancestry, place of origin, or geographic location.
Aside from the member for Cornwall (Mr. Samis) -- I’ll deal with that in a moment -- there are some objections to the principle of this bill. They are really twofold. One is that people say they will lose business; and secondly they say we should not get involved in the conflict.
As far as losing business: many years ago when we brought in a fair employment practices act a number of businessmen said, “Look, I can’t be forced to hire Negroes, Jews, Italians, Ukrainians, or what have you because my other workers won’t work and I’ll lose business.” We ignored that argument and we passed fair employment practices. We brought in a fair accommodation practices act, and landlords said, “You can’t force me to bring in blacks, Jews, Ukrainians, Italians, et cetera because my other tenants will move out.” We ignored that and we passed those two pieces of legislation and we have not had a loss of business because of those kinds of anti-discrimination legislation. I submit that the same would apply to this legislation.
The experience in the United States is very interesting. A number of US companies have defied the Arab boycott before the latest legislation and a number of them have not conformed. Three companies in particular get honourable mention: Hilton Hotels, Coca-Cola and Ford, three very well-known companies. These companies defied the Arab boycott in the early days and were blacklisted by the Arabs. In a very short period of time, the Arabs decided that business was more important than boycott and all those companies are now doing business in the Arab world.
American Express gave in to the Arab boycott and did not do business in Israel for a number of years. Then they decided to tell the Arabs that they didn’t want to go with the blockade any more, went into Israel and opened up offices, and the Arabs have never kicked them out of the Arab countries.
Mr. Speaker: How much longer will the honourable member be with his speech?
Mr. Rotenberg: As I indicated, Mr. Speaker, about another 10 minutes at least.
Mr. Speaker: Shall we continue with this item after 8 o’clock or not?
Hon. Mr. Welch: We have this alternative: if the House would allow another five or six minutes, and then we add it onto the supper hour at the other end; or we would have to put this over because of some other commitments with respect to our program.
Mr. Peterson: Five minutes maximum.
Mr. Deans: Is that sufficient?
Mrs. Campbell: He said he would be 10 minutes.
Mr. Deans: Is five minutes enough?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Should we take another five minutes and add it to the supper hour?
Mr. Speaker: Agreed.
Mr. Rotenberg: A number of other American companies -- Sheraton Hotels, General Dynamics, Lockheed, General Electrical refused to comply with the boycott, went to Israel and still do business in the Arab states.
The one that probably is the best example of the fact that the Arabs really don’t mean it is the Chase Manhattan Bank, which is the agent for Israeli bonds. It is probably the financial institution in the world that participates in the development, growth and economy of Israel more so than any other. Yet the Chase Manhattan Bank has offices throughout the Arab world.
We have consultants who complain they won’t get business. One of the main oil drilling consultants to Saudi Arabia is a gentleman from Texas who happens to be Jewish. He flies in and out of Saudi Arabia all the time. When they want to do business, they do business.
We have Bell Telephone, which wanted to comply with the boycott. I think it was abhorrent to us. We have to understand the only other bidder to Saudi Arabia was Western Electric in the United States, which is subject to the American laws and couldn’t comply with the boycott, so that business would be there anyway.
There will not be loss of business in Canada, because since these laws were enacted in the United States last year, according to the New York Times, June 12, 1978, I quote: “Just a year after its enactment, legislation designed to combat the Arab boycott of Israel and companies with business interests in Israel appears to be having an effect. A number of Arab countries have relaxed their requirements, while American trade with the region has even increased. Moreover, trade with the three hard-line countries -- Iraq, Syria and Libya -- has increased at a faster rate than trade with other Arab countries.”
It goes on and on. I see a lot of other things that I would like to read into the record. A prominent New York banker, who had earlier believed that the Arabs were not going to budge from the boycott, told the American Banker magazine April 19, 1978: “We have seen a lot of modification on the part of the Arabs. I have to admit that I was completely wrong on this.”
I would submit that those in Ontario who are going to claim that this legislation will cost them business simply have to look over the border. The Arabs are adopting bullying tactics and bullies will always try to get their way; but when someone stands up to them they will back down. This is the experience on the boycott.
The other objection is that we shouldn’t take sides in this conflict. I quite agree, but what are the sides? Let me quote to you from a publication in Syria in September 1977. We have to realize that anything printed in Syria is official government policy, because they don’t have a free press the way we do. This article states:
“The Arab states regard the boycott as a legitimate form of self-defence against the dangers of Zionism, which threaten Arab civilization no less than the Arab economy. The aim is to force Israel to vacate occupied lands and concede Palestinian rights.” This is the key phrase: “The Arab boycott is a national effort, part of the Arab strategy against the existence of Zionism.” The Arab strategy against the existence of Zionism is the euphemism for destruction of the state of Israel.
The best chance is for all of us in Canada and other countries to stay out of the conflict. The problem has been that many countries in the world have been getting into the conflict. Mr. Brezhnev with his deliberate trouble making, and Mr. Carter with his clumsy meddling have not helped the situation. They have encouraged the Arabs to be intransigent; and it is the Arabs, Mr. Speaker, who are intransigent.
I wanted to stay out of the Middle East conflict, but unfortunately the member for Cornwall, who was well briefed by someone in the Arab propaganda machine --
Mr. Samis: Point of order, point of privilege.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Deans: That is nonsense.
Mr. Samis: That is not true, that is simply not true.
Mr. Speaker: I would ask the honourable member for Wilson Heights to withdraw that comment.
Mr. Rotenberg: Well, he said he wasn’t well briefed by anyone and he got the facts himself. I apologize. But the member for Cornwall made some very essential mistakes, and the most essential one, and the key to what he said, is that the boycott was brought in to ask Israel to withdraw from the lands they liberated in 1967. I would point out to him the Arab boycott came into force in 1948. So it has nothing to do with the 1967 territories. For the member for Cornwall, I point out very briefly: one, the West Bank and other territories are not Arab territories, they are part of the original British mandate; they are part of the territory assigned to Israel.
Mr. Roy: Different people have different views on different events.
Mr. Rotenberg: Different people have different views on different events. The UN resolution 242 does not require Israel to withdraw from all the Arab territories. The resolution was specific in leaving out the word “all” and leaving out “the.”
Mr. Samis: In 1967.
Mr. Rotenberg: In 1967. I have it here, and it simply says it was brought in because the Arabs, after the 1967 war and their Khartoum conference, issued a statement which still stands in all Arab countries: “No peace with Israel, no negotiation with Israel, no recognition of Israel.” That is the Arab stand today.
Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to the member for Cornwall, Mr. Sadat’s visit to Israel was a lovely propaganda adventure. Since that time he has totally pulled out of negotiations, and has said, in effect, “Unless you do it my way I will not negotiate; unless you give all the territories to the Arabs, which are not rightfully theirs, as a precondition of negotiation, I will not negotiate.” That is Mr. Sadat’s point of view.
Mr. Conway: Begin is so much more flexible.
Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Begin has given more concessions to the Arabs than any other Israeli government in the past 30 years.
Mr. Deans: This is really not what this debate is about.
Mr. Rotenberg: And the final point I would like to make to the member fur Cornwall --
Mr. Deans: I hope this is not what the debate is about.
Mr. Rotenberg: You should have stopped your member for Cornwall.
Mr. Deans: I just think you are going a little beyond the normal constraints in this kind of a debate.
Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Speaker, with respect, the member for Cornwall was allowed to go through all of this, and I want to reply very briefly to him. The last point I want to make to him, he mentions that Israeli public opinion does not totally agree with its Prime Minister. This is, of course, true, because Israel is a democracy. In any of the Arab countries, and there are millions of people in the Arab countries who want peace, if anyone speaks up against the Arab governments, they are put in jail or are dead.
Mr. Samis: It is irrelevant, David.
Mr. Rotenberg: Well then, why did you bring it up? Mr. Speaker, really what I am saying to everyone except the member for Cornwall is I appreciate the support for this bill, because this bill really takes Ontario out of the conflict and off the battleground. As long as those letters come into Ontario, as long as Ontario businessmen are forced to sign those letters, in effect, they are being made soldiers in the economic war of the Arabs against Israel. As was the American experience, most of the people would rather not sign those letters, so if they are precluded by law, then we take Ontario away from the battleground and stay neutral. I, as a Canadian, an Ontarian, as a member of this Legislature say, “Yes, we must stay neutral.” Personally, I would rather we were a little more on the other side, but I cannot ask for that at this stage.
Mr. Speaker, hopefully the United States’ experience will be repeated in Canada. First New York State passed the legislation; then several other states passed the legislation; when it got up to nine or 10, the American government passed this legislation. Now Ontario will pass it; Manitoba has the bill before the Legislature; hopefully the Canadian government will get the message.
Mr. Speaker, a few years ago the American government asked the Canadian government to boycott Cuba, and we refused. If we as Canadians can refuse our best friend, our best trading partner, and a democracy, if we can refuse to accede to the request of a democracy to boycott a military dictatorship, certainly we can refuse the request of a military dictatorship to boycott a democracy. I hope this bill will pass.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have a fairly lengthy summary to make, but I will take 30 seconds and just express, having introduced this bill, my appreciation to the members who have spoken in support. I regard it as important, historic legislation, not without its complications.
I understand some of the observations made opposite with respect to motivation. I will ignore those, except to make this casual observation: I guess people in political life on both sides of the House can have their motives questioned from time to time. At your direction, Mr. Speaker, I will not refer to the observations of the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) about the situation in 1971 as it related to separate schools --
Mr. Roy: Because it was out of order.
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- except to say I think I’m right; I know the honourable member is wrong.
Mr. Deans: I think you’re both wrong.
Motion agreed to.
Ordered for standing administration of justice committee.
Mr. Speaker: I beg to inform the House that in the name of Her Majesty the Queen, the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor has been pleased to assent to certain bills in her chambers.
Clerk of the House: The following are the titles of the bills to which Her Honour has assented:
Bill 48, An Act respecting Commodity Boards and Marketing Agencies;
Bill 66, An Act to provide for Municipal Hydro-Electric Service in the Regional Municipality of York;
Bill 80; An Act to amend the Municipal Act;
Bill 81, An Act to amend certain Acts respecting Regional Municipalities;
Bill 82, An Act to amend the District Municipality of Muskoka Act;
Bill 83, An Act to amend the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act;
Bill 84, An Act to amend the County of Oxford Act, 1974;
Bill 85, An Act to revise the Ministry of Correctional Services Act;
Bill 86, An Act to amend the Coroners Act, 1972;
Bill 90, An Act respecting the Ontario Student Housing Corporation;
Bill 91, An Act to amend the Building Code Act, 1974;
Bill 95, An Act to provide Probation Services to Young Offenders;
Bill 96, An Act to amend the Liquor Licence Act, 1975;
Bill 108, An Act to acquire the Assets of the Muskoka and Parry Sound Telephone Company Limited;
Bill 110, An Act to amend the Education Act, 1974;
Bill 111, An Act to amend the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act;
Bill 121, An Act respecting the Township of Pelee.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I have two quick announcements. I just want to draw the members’ attention to the fact that the standing resources development committee will be meeting at 7:30 tonight, a little earlier than usual, and that at whatever time we resume, we will start with the 13th order.
Mr. Speaker: We will resume at 8:15 p.m.
The House recessed at 6:15 p.m.