The House met at 10 a.m.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, perhaps by way of some explanation, I thought we might start with Bill 124. The parliamentary assistant to the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) can’t be here this morning, but will be here later on today, so we would then go to Bill 126, and hopefully find some way to accommodate Bill 35 of the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. F. S. Miller) before noon hour, because he has to be away this afternoon.
Mr. Nixon: Busy fellow.
Hon. Mr. Welch: With some discussion with the other two House leaders, we would add Bill 19 for some consideration as well.
Mr. Nixon: Where in the list?
Hon. Mr. Welch: I think we will just put it in committee of the whole and do it at the end of all the other legislation.
RESIDENTIAL PREMISES RENT REVIEW AMENDMENT ACT
Hon. Mr. Grossman moved second reading of Bill 124, An Act to amend the Residential Premises Rent Review Act, 1975 (2nd Session).
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, the bill extends the application of the rent review legislation for two months. This is something that was brought forward, not only by my colleagues in the caucus of the Liberal Party, but also from other members in the House since, because of the notice requirements in the legislation, if we did not give it this extension, there would not be adequate time in the fall, when the Legislature resumes, for us to deal with the matter without there being some dislocation and maybe even a hiatus in the application of the regulation.
We believe that the bill is necessary. The standing committee has reviewed the alternatives in rent review very thoroughly and the House has now accepted their report which, we are told by the minister, will be acted upon with dispatch and without delay and effectively when the Legislature resumes in the autumn.
Therefore this bill, being simply a stopgap measure, has our support.
Mr. Makarchuk: We will be supporting this bill as well. We recognize that it is a stopgap measure that the minister has introduced until we can overcome the difficulties inherent in the other bill.
I would like to point out to the Legislature that this party supports rent controls and this party recognizes the fact that when the report recommends that rent controls should expire in 1980 it is really looking at a dream world. We said that when the report was being presented. We should recognize that there is no way that this province at this time is going to end rent controls. Rent controls are here to stay. The reason is that there are absolutely no initiatives on the part of that government over there to provide affordable housing for people in this province.
Mr. Havrot: Oh, come on.
Mr. Nixon: That’s decided by the Legislature, not by the NDP.
Mr. Makarchuk: Until such time as we have affordable housing, we will have rent controls. It’s just like market value assessment which the government keeps saying it will bring in and which it keeps putting off; it’s not going to bring that in.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Of which you’re in favour, of course.
Mr. Makarchuk: There is no way the government is going to cancel rent control. I wish the minister would try to get away from this dream-world existence.
Mr. Havrot: You’re living in a dream world, a fairy-tale world.
Mr. Makarchuk: We don’t want to be in an “I told you so” position next year or a year and a half hence, but it appears to me that a year and a half hence we will be going through the same exercise again. We will be coming in with another ad hoc bill extending rent controls to try to resolve the problem.
Mr. Nixon: You want it built into the constitution.
Mr. Foulds: Right. Why not?
Mr. Makarchuk: Why not? Absolutely.
Mr. McClellan: Which constitution?
Mr. Makarchuk: The new one or the old one?
We have to recognize that rent controls are here to stay and we have to try to make them work and make them work properly.
The committee’s report comes to a great extent from the hearings that were held and the number of people who came to the hearings. The report does reflect some of the concerns raised in the hearings.
This party wishes to be on record that it would like to have seen the new buildings included under rent controls as well. It seems to us that under the proposals in the report, people who put up new buildings will have an opportunity to charge economic rents. Also, the tribunals -- and this was part of the report -- would take into account the additional costs, et cetera, that perhaps would be faced by new builders and, therefore, the builders would be entitled to charge the economic rents to ensure that they have a normal return on their costs as well as a profit. It seems to us in this party that leaving new buildings without coverage under rent controls was an unnecessary suggestion, and they should be covered.
The idea of establishing a tribunal is an excellent one. It seems to me, again, that this came out of the presentations made at the hearings. It will bring a sense of informality. The rent hearings will become open, uncomplicated. Perhaps the hearings will be held at times when people can attend them. Perhaps the legalistic complexity that surrounds the hearings at this time will be removed and we will have a much fairer operation.
We in the NDP are concerned about the fact that the tribunal will consist of only one person, as suggested by the ministry staff. It seems to us that if you have three people, one representing the tenant, one representing the landlord and a neutral party -- if there is such a person -- it would be a lot fairer, again, in comparison to what it is now. We had complaints from tenants in their presentations to the effect that some of the rent control officers were really defeated Tory hacks and they did not know what they were doing; they did not give reasons for their decisions and they did not take into consideration --
Mr. Speaker: I must remind the honourable member that the only thing contained in this bill is to extend the provisions of the act for a further two months.
Mr. Makarchuk: Right, Mr. Speaker, I quite agree with you. I will not discuss Tory hacks any more.
The bill arises out of the report that was provided by the committee. It is a report as a result of the green paper on rent control and, therefore it seems to me there should be some allowance or some recognition, some discussion on where it stems from. The bill is part of the recommendations that rent controls be extended at this time, so until such time --
Mr. Speaker: But not contained in the bill.
Mr. Makarchuk: No, not contained, but implied, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. McClellan: There were Tory hacks on the committee too.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Don’t provoke me this morning. Let’s get it over with.
Mr. Deans: The thought that you might be provoked strikes terror into our hearts.
Mr. Makarchuk: When the minister is dealing with the new legislation, and I presume he will be drafting the new legislation some time this fall, I hope the minister takes into account some of the problems that were raised at the hearings regarding the operation of rent review and the suggestion that rent controls, rent review, tenant protection and everything else be combined under one tribunal, which I think is an excellent suggestion.
I hope the minister, when he brings in this legislation, takes these matters into account. I hope he also takes into account the suggestions that the matter of arrears in rent, collection of rent, et cetera, is also to be handled by the tribunal so that the people, the landlords, particularly the small ones, do not have to go --
Mr. Speaker: The member insists on referring to something that is not in the bill so, therefore, is not a principle and not debatable.
Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Speaker, you are quite right.
Mr. Nixon: Why don’t you sit down?
Mr. Makarchuk: However, I hope the minister takes those matters into consideration.
Mr. Nixon: “However” is not in the bill either.
Mr. Makarchuk: I wish to conclude that the government has to recognize the fact that the problem is not the lack of housing, the problem is the affordability of housing and until such time as we get down to the sort of nitty-gritty --
Mr. Speaker: Order. The availability of housing is not in the bill. The member knows that. I am going to have to ask him to take his seat unless he refers to the principle of the bill, and that is the extension of the provisions of the act for a further two months.
Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Speaker, thank you very much.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: However.
Mr. Makarchuk: However, Mr. Speaker, the bill does apply to rent control and the rent control legislation is related directly to housing, to the lack of housing, housing costs --
Mr. Nixon: Housing is related to the provincial budget, the provincial budget is related to the constitution --
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Hit the gong, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Makarchuk: What I am trying to point out to the minister is that if we are going to deal with this problem adequately in the future --
Mr. Nixon: We have got that now, that is the reason the bill is here.
Mr. Makarchuk: -- we will have to start looking very seriously at construction costs, we will have to start looking at things like land banking and so on, and we will be able to --
Mr. Speaker: Order, order. The honourable member for Kitchener.
Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I just briefly want to comment upon the situation which allows an extension of the present legislation for two months. In the report given to the House, there was, of course, a most important comment --
Mr. Deans: Which is not before the Legislature.
Mr. Breithaupt: -- which called for ensuring that there would be no interruption in tenant operations. I recall only the first resolution, which was that a revised rent review program replace without interruption the current Residential Premises Rent Review Act. It was, of course, most important to those of us in committee to ensure that there would be no difficulty in the giving of notice or in the dealings between either landlords or tenants with each other so that there would be no problem ensuring that the will of the Legislature was not subverted by any uncertainty within the market for rental accommodation.
The minister has said he will clearly bring forward the view he will show in his legislation by early September, and that we will have ample time to debate the legislation, which means it will be before us, immediately upon our return, in mid-October. I would think that between mid-October and the end of November, there will be sufficient time to debate the bill. And the legislation will be in place well before the three-month notice period which would end on February 28.
I believe this is a practical way of dealing with the problem and I commend the minister for setting out a timetable that assures us that difficulties which could otherwise occur will be avoided.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I wish to reply at length to the comments made by the member for Brantford.
Mr. Kennedy: They are not in the bill.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: However, I will do it when it’s in order.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Tell us about beer in the ball park instead.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: You’ll have to stick to the press for that.
Mr. Kerrio: There is a connection.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I want to confirm what the member for Kitchener has said. I think it’s important that the House be in a position to deal with this matter early next fall so the bill can be passed in November in order to meet the 90-day notice period for the February 28 deadline.
The date admittedly was picked partly because we feel it is within our capability, at least in the government, to produce a comprehensive piece of legislation by September, and in order that we may indicate to the public what that piece of legislation will be. We hope and expect that all members of the assembly will work as hard as necessary in the early weeks of the new session, next fall, in order that, in fairness to all landlords and tenants, we may have as early passage of that new legislation as possible, but doing so with every bit of deliberation and public input that will be necessary at that time. It is a difficult piece of legislation.
Mr. Nixon: In whose judgement?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: One of the motivating factors behind today’s small amending bill is, the bill which will succeed the current legislation will have many of the same elements as the existing legislation. Therefore, it becomes fairer to simply extend the current program than to ask landlords and tenants to guess what is going to happen.
We did not and still do not anticipate an enormous problem developing if nothing were done, but the two schemes coincide so much --
Mr. Nixon: That guessing business was plan one, was it?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- it would be appropriate to provide some consistency and reliability to the future for everyone involved. Hence, this piece of legislation. We do look forward to some hard work in the early days of the session next fall in order to make the February 28 date practical, reasonable and effective.
Motion agreed to.
Third reading also agreed to on motion.
House in committee of the whole.
CROWN TIMBER AMENDMENT ACT
Consideration of Bill 35, An Act to amend the Crown Timber Act.
Section 1 agreed to.
On section 2:
Hon. F. S. Miller: I have a motion on section 2 of the bill. It was circulated to the critics.
Mr. Nixon: It must have taken a lot of printing.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes.
Mr. Chairman: Hon. F. S. Miller moves that sections 2 to 5 of the bill be renumbered as sections 3 to 6 and that the bill be amended by adding thereto the following section:
2. Subsection 4 of section 25 of the said act is repealed and the following substituted therefor:
(4) The minister may enter into an agreement with a licensee for the promotion and maintenance of the productivity of the licensed area by establishing, regenerating and tending forests and employing silvicultural cutting systems to regenerate forests.
Mr. T. P. Reid: We discussed this matter during second reading of the bill in regard to the principle the minister is establishing hereby. We indicated at that time we were in favour and we applaud the minister’s initiative in this regard.
There is one matter that does disturb me, however. I’m making an amendment to a further section, but I would also like to make an amendment to section 4 that would require the minister to table any agreements with the licensees in regard to the agreement he has for regeneration, and that these should be tabled in the Legislature during the session within 15 days of the agreement being signed or within 15 days of the new session.
I think it’s important that the Legislature and the public of Ontario have access to these agreements because it’s very important, as we’ve said for years, that forest regeneration increase and improve in Ontario. Without such an amendment and without a commitment from the minister that these agreements will be made public, it would be extremely difficult for us to know exactly what the extent of reforestation and regeneration in the province is.
We would also like to know what the format is for agreements between the minister and the various companies and whether or not the ministry itself will also continue to provide some of the regeneration in some of the licensed areas. The bottom line of all this is we want to be assured there is a higher level of regeneration going on; that the agreement between the province and the company is fair and equitable to both sides and, particularly, that we will be assured of a continuing allowable cut in the province to keep employment in the mills growing.
I think it’s very important that this be done. I would like to hear from the minister whether he intends to pursue this in this way.
Hon. F. S. Miller: The willingness to produce any of the material on our part is there. My problem in giving you a carte blanche agreement that all agreements between all companies and government will be produced in public may be that some of those are of use to competitors in certain circumstances. There’s always a degree of confidentiality in some kinds of agreements with private organizations. That would bother me.
We don’t see any real problem with the regeneration agreements being made public. I don’t foresee us not being able to make them public. I just have to put in one rider: there may be times when types of agreements we enter into may have confidential or classified information, specific to an industry, of use to its competitor. I think we have to be very cautious to maintain that trust in government that a company needs to have vis-à-vis its competitors. That is the only reason. I am satisfied anything else should be public information.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I appreciate what the minister has said, but my concern really is that everybody be given a fair shake in these matters. Quite frankly, I am a little loath to allow the minister or his predecessors -- I have no problem with the present minister’s honesty and integrity, but there have been some in the past and may be some in the future whose integrity and honesty we might not be quite as fully prepared to accept as the present minister’s.
Hon. F. S. Miller: You might be there.
Mr. T. P. Reid: That certainly strengthens my argument, I might say.
Mr. Foulds: We certainly would have severe reservations about that.
Mr. T. P. Reid: That makes the argument right there. It seems to me that we have to guarantee to everyone who is involved in the forest industry -- and basically we are talking about the 10, 11 or 12 largest companies which are going to enter into these agreements; basically those are the people we are talking about -- it seems to me that while there may be odd circumstances in which special arrangements can and perhaps should be made for regeneration agreements, that in fact the agreements with each company as to the cost that is going to be paid back to the company, or the subsidy that the ministry is going to pay, or whatever range of negotiations takes place, those should as closely as possible be equal and the same for each and every company.
I would say to the minister that we are going on faith greatly already, and we indicated, both ourselves and the third party, in the principle of section 2 that we were willing to give the minister the authority to do that, but I think we would like some assurance -- you haven’t given us any idea of how you are going to do it -- that this information, at least, is going to be available so that we can review it and discuss it in a rational manner.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Chairman, I am willing to table regeneration agreements.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Thank you.
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, first of all, I would simply like to congratulate the minister for that particular willingness because I think that is an important step forward in making things public in Ontario, and I would support the thrust of the remarks made by my colleague and friend, the member for Rainy River. He will deny that, and actually I went too far; it is just this early morning sitting.
Mr. T. P. Reid: It was a slip of the tongue.
Mr. Foulds: I think it would also be useful, not only if the agreements were tabled, but also if we had reported formally, either to the Legislature or to the committee hearing the estimates of the ministry, on an annual basis, the progress that we are making with regard to this new thrust in regeneration. After all, it will be with one or two or three companies initially, and we would like, in Ontario and in this Legislature, to monitor the progress, whether it has been successful or unsuccessful, the comparison between the success in this method and in those limits where the ministry retains responsibility. I wonder if the minister would be willing to make that formal commitment, not only on his behalf as the present minister, but also on behalf of the ministry as a matter of policy.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I am delighted to have our progress on regeneration subject to the scrutiny of this House, or of the process in the estimates. This year, as you know, we had the regeneration conference.
Mr. T. P. Reid: You haven’t been too fussy about it during the estimates.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I can’t guarantee that we will always have an annual regeneration conference. I can guarantee that there will be one next year. That is also a convenient forum, if it continues, for the members of the opposition to assess in a less controversial and perhaps more technical atmosphere, the progress that is really being made. I, for one, would like to make sure that both parties --
Mr. Nixon: You won’t even take us up to the north to look at it.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
Mr. Nixon: Promises, promises.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I would like to make sure now that both parties understand they are welcome at that conference next year as participants and observers. I don’t care how many members come from the respective caucuses. If, in fact, there are a number interested, I hope they come.
Mr. Nixon: What about the Brampton commitment?
Hon. F. S. Miller: In all honesty, the member will find I am not doing too badly on that.
Mr. Nixon: I hope not. It certainly --
Hon. F. S. Miller: It must be nice for the member to be able to lift his head from reading the Globe and Mail and sound so full of intelligence.
Mr. Samis: It’s hard to take, eh, Mickey?
Mr. Hennessy: That’s right.
Mr. Nixon: A big sigh.
Mr. Hennessy: Stand up.
Mr. Chairman: Order. Is there anything further on this amendment?
Mr. Nixon: I was not reading.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Just in the spirit of the minister’s remarks, has he not had a somewhat informal agreement with a timber company in northwestern Ontario along the lines he has outlined in the bill? Could he give us some indication of how he has done with that?
Hon. F. S. Miller: The kind of agreement we foresee resulting from this amended clause would be more comprehensive than anything we have done in the past. I believe the kind of “regeneration agreements” the ministry has been allowed to enter into, in the past, have generally been very restricted and narrow in scope. My staff are assuring me I’m correct in that.
Mr. T. P. Reid: No, they’re not; they’re talking to each other.
Hon. F. S. Miller: We are looking forward to a much broader assumption of responsibility, in effect, of those responsibilities currently held by the crown and by the crown only. As you know, we needed this to permit us to sign agreements in the interval between now and the next sitting of this House. Otherwise there would be no statutory authority for us to conclude the negotiations currently under way. I hope they result in signed agreements. They are the first of a kind and we may yet find real difficulties; but progress is good.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I have one further question, if I may, Mr. Chairman. I’m presuming the minister is considering that the province will subsidize, or pay, so much per acre to the companies for these regeneration agreements. The minister is nodding his head that this is correct.
I also presume the companies will be after the minister to provide a longer land tenure commitment so they can plan their capital budget and expansion based on that. I presume that will be part of the agreement. He nods yes to that as well.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I should qualify that. As I understand the agreements, they will be subject to the companies’ adequately regenerating the areas for which they are responsible and their licence renewals would be dependent upon an audit performed by us.
Mr. Foulds: The second last remark of the minister prompts this question. He indicated that previous agreements had been rather limited. As I read the previous clause, and as I read the present clause, the real difference in technical terms that I notice is that the terms “regeneration,” “tending” and “silviculture” are used. Did your legal branch indicate to you or to previous ministers that under the present phrasing, “the promotion and maintenance of the productivity of the licenced area,” these specific references could not be carried out? What really puzzles me, in legal terms, is why the vague phrasing which would seem to give the authority in the previous clause was not sufficient and why you had to introduce this clause, which is, as we mentioned earlier, a new bill?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I may have a note here in a second helping me with the technical phraseology. It says here that the old agreements would not allow modified cutting. The amendment will -- if I can read the handwriting -- potentially allow us to have 50,000 acres of spruce covered by it.
Mr. Foulds: I’m sorry, what was that?
Mr. T. P. Reid: Whatever that means.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Okay. I know when we discussed this in my office at the time it was required, the people working on the new agreements had been in consultation with our legal staff to see whether the authority was in section 25 of the old act and they felt it was not, that some of the agreements to pay the money referred to by the member for Rainy River would not necessarily pass the scrutiny of the provincial auditor without a clarification of this section.
Mr. Foulds: Does this imply that the mechanism that you are going to be using is a direct payment back to companies with which you have agreements rather than a lessening of the dues that are established under further clauses in the bill, or is it that you could not reduce the costs, the area charges or the stumpage dues in further clauses without this section?
Hon. F. S. Miller: If you recall in the estimates debates, at least one member, or maybe more, referred to the fact that the costs of regeneration and protection in the forests often exceeded the total revenues the Crown received. Therefore, it was obvious that offset would not necessarily cover the costs incurred by companies. They will have other benefits besides the reduction of Crown dues, but reduction may not cover the total costs of the program we currently are doing. Therefore, there will be need for direct payment in a number of areas and, therefore there will be a need for authority to pay that money.
Mr. Foulds: That, of course, raises this very interesting philosophical problem between us and that is, are you saying -- and I want to have this clear -- that we, in fact, will be paying out of the general revenues of the province funds exceeding the revenues that we gain from individual companies, or is that a very real possibility?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Chairman, the timber revenue dues and the area charges that are collected as a result of this particular statute and the regulations under it are only a small part of the total revenues gained by governments from the forest products industry. They are an easily identifiable part, but I think one has to remember that there is a $300 million payroll in this industry, 28,000 direct jobs, plus corporate taxes, all of which flow from essentially the health of the forest.
These charges have always been exceeded. In other words, we are not intending to do something that is not currently happening. The government does spend more money directly on forests than area charges and Crown dues produce. They are, I am told, six to eight per cent of the costs of wood currently in the industry. They are deemed to be a fair raw material charge for the value of wood; that wood is processed and we also participate in the profits of processing.
Mr. Foulds: I don’t want to belabour the point, and I certainly want the amendment to pass, but as I recall, however, the area charges and the revenue that we gained from the stumpage dues and so on did not pretty well match the silvicultural costs within the ministry. You are now talking about the total management costs, am I correct in that?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes.
Mr. Foulds: Thank you very much.
Motion agreed to.
Section 2, as amended, agreed to.
Section 3, as renumbered, agreed to.
On section 4, as renumbered:
Mr. T. P. Reid: I just have a couple of points I want to make. On section 49 of the act, under section 4, it just seems to me that there might be something somewhat unfair in these two clauses, in that people, who have been operating on the basis of what their costs were, projected and budgeted on the basis of that response. These two sections now allow the minister to change those crown dues and area charges, as of April 1 even on timber that has already been cut under previous legislation and agreement. That seems to be somewhat unfair to some of the people involved in the forest industry. Can the minister comment on that?
Hon. F. S. Miller: We gave a great deal of notice to the industry about this proposed change. In fact, the change is lower than they anticipated. They expected a 70 per cent increase in charges, and we have reduced it to 50 per cent.
Mr. T. P. Reid: So they’re happy as heck.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I think they’re satisfied -- let’s put it that way -- that the charges they are currently paying, under these new regulations $41.20 per square mile retroactive to the first of April of this year, are fair.
We had a chance to discuss it through the Ontario Forest Industries Association meetings with my ministry. Of course, it is natural for industry to resent any increase in charges but when they look back across the time since the last charge was made -- I don’t know, 10 years or thereabouts -- they realize that in fact it is not an annual increment that is excessive. Our purpose in increasing the area charge is simply to give some penalty to companies who hold excessive crown timber areas without using them.
Mr. Foulds: The minister has rightly pointed out that the increase, a 50 per cent increase over the last 10 years which really amounts to five per cent per year, is not horrendous. He also made a commitment that over the next four years they were going to be increased by approximately 10 per cent per year.
Could he tell us what reaction he has had from the companies involved since his statement; whether his commitment is the same on that, does it seem to make sense, and what variations may occur in that over the next four years?
Hon. F. S. Miller: We have discussed with the industry that there should be an annual increment of about 10 per cent. Again, naturally their response would be that no increase could be afforded. But, having said that, I think they have accepted it and we intend to apply it.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I would like to make a comment on that. It seems to me that the minister is getting educated in his ministry and has gone some way to improving the economics of the resource industries.
The minister has introduced a bill and indicated in many of his speeches that he understands the cyclical nature, particularly of the mining industry but maybe the area dues is not the appropriate place to also apply the philosophy of cyclical nature. We are in somewhat of a strained situation in regard to our forest industries and while I am not making any brief for the forest industries per se, it seems that the minister might want to apply his philosophy of cyclical nature to the forest industry as well. It doesn’t seem to me that you are doing that, particularly if you are going to increase the area dues 10 per cent willy-nilly regardless of the economic situation in the country.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I think we have to take into perspective the total revenue generated by area dues versus the total revenue generated by the crown timber dues themselves.
If I am not wrong, out of $32 million in round figures to be collected this year, some $2 million will be from the area costs. Next year it will be $3 million, so the charge for the area dues is not currently 10 per cent of the total amount the government is taking from the forest industry. The cyclical part is accounted for by the other 90 per cent. The very purpose of this bill is to index it to the selling price to allow it to fluctuate as the prices go up and down.
Mr. Foulds: I would just like to support the minister on this particular point, because the area charge does not seem to me to be the appropriate area to apply a cyclical tax, if that is what it is. I think the minister made the point earlier that it would, in fact, encourage those companies that are holding excessive area limits to give those up if they found the cost burdensome, and that they would then be free for the use of other perhaps smaller and independent entrepreneurs who might want to take advantage of a smaller section of limits that are not now accessible or worthwhile to them. This seems to me to be an area where the -- I hate to use the term -- flat rate charge is an appropriate charge.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I agree with that.
Section 4, as renumbered, agreed to.
On section 5, as renumbered:
Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Chairman, we were just getting into this. When we look at clause (d) we are talking about the cyclical nature of the forest industry. We can certainly agree with this, although again the whole matter seems somewhat vague, and I would have preferred to see a little more background information on just how you were going to implement this indexing situation. I do have a particular concern about section (d) in regard to the Crown dues. It seems to me that this information should be made public at some point in the operation of the Ministry of Natural Resources and of this Legislature.
I wonder if the minister could indicate if he has given any consideration to making these agreements public; and secondly, if he can maybe put on the record exactly how he foresees this indexing working, and really what index it is going to be tied to.
Mr. F. S. Miller: Yes, I can explain that, and explain also that all this information, in so far as I can tell, is public. There should be no hidden information of the type that relates to Crown dues.
First, you are giving me the authority in this act to create regulations which, in effect, will set the Crown dues every quarter, based upon the price indices of certain of the wood products and pulp and paper products in Ontario and Canada, as produced by StatsCan or by the information sources we use. I think we use a six-month running average, so that every time we would change the crown dues it wouldn’t be just for the three-month period preceding the change, but for the six-month period preceding the change. So if there were sudden changes in any one month they would be dampened by the six-month average.
Therefore, the regulation would set a base for the crown dues at a certain point in time -- I think it was April 1, 1978 -- and we would have an historic average for the last three years that would form that base. In other words, we would dampen it by averaging for three years to that point, and we would say that is the base to which the current crown dues, as set in the regulations, start. We are not really trying to generate more cash by doing so, we are simply trying to get a base to start from.
I am told they will probably go up four or five per cent in that range because of the fact that over the three years prices have been going up in certain of the products, as you know, with the exception of pulp, which is down considerably over that period of time.
Having established a base through taking a three-year average of the various commodity prices, we would then have an index worked out which would move up and down every three months as the prices changed relative to that base, using a six-month average.
Mr. Foulds: I have an amendment to this section.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Foulds moves that section 4 of the bill, renumbered as section 5, be amended by adding thereto the following subsection:
“The said section 51 be amended by adding thereto the following subsections:
“(2) On and after the first day of July 1979, where regulation is made under clause (c) or (d) of subsection 1, the minister shall within 15 days after the regulation is filed with the registrar of regulations lay a copy of the regulation before the assembly if it is in session or, if it is not, within 15 days after the commencement of the next ensuing session; and the assembly shall by resolution approve or amend the regulation.
“(3) An approval of a regulation by a resolution under subsection 2 is effective from the day that the regulation came into force.
“(4) An amendment to a regulation by a resolution under subsection 2 is effective from the day that the regulation came into force or from such other day thereafter that the assembly may specify in the resolution.
“(5) Where regulation is amended by a resolution under subsection 2, the Lieutenant Governor in Council shall give effect to the resolution by making an amending regulation in accordance with the resolution, and such amending regulation need not be laid before the assembly.”
Mr. Foulds: I think this is an important and fundamental amendment. I met with the minister casually in the hallway the other day and he indicated to me the amendment was not acceptable to him. I am not sure yet how the Liberal Party responds to the amendment. I offer the amendment in the hope that the minister will see the wisdom of it and accept it. If he does not, I hope the members of the Liberal Party will accept it.
I have compromised considerably since I first suggested an amendment to this section on second reading. At that time, I offered an amendment that would require the entire formula and the entire indexing to be brought to the Legislature in legislation.
Since then I have been persuaded that although it is desirable to have all taxation brought to the Legislature before passage, in this particular case certain technical difficulties made that unworkable and impossible. Nevertheless. I do feel very strongly indeed that one of the major roles of the Legislature is to approve or disapprove taxation.
One of the things that disturbs me greatly -- it arose out of the concern I and many members of my party had over the OHIP debacle earlier this spring --
Mr. Laughren: Good word for it.
Mr. Foulds: -- is that increasingly revenues are coming to the general consolidated revenue fund of the province by way of regulation. It would appear to me that over the last 30 years -- or over the 30 years of Conservative majority government -- the government has wrested from the Legislature this prime responsibility of scrutinizing taxes before they are implemented.
For example, on the question I placed on the order paper, question 30, the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) answered that the amount of regulated revenue into the consolidated revenue fund rose from 9.7 per cent in 1974-75 to 11.6 per cent of our income in 1977-78. It rose in hard figures from $884,496,000 in 1974-75 to $1,410,985,000 in 1977-78.
I would think in principle we should have as much of that revenue as possible coming from open sources of taxation. I find the percentage figures more worrying than the absolute figures. When the total in the budget is increasing this much, we are getting into a situation where a sizeable proportion of our revenue is coming from regulation. That gets hidden in terms of the scrutiny that the Legislature has.
In terms of the Ministry of Natural Resources, for example, the revenue yield by regulation, through the management and forest protection royalties -- what are now going to be known as area charges -- actually declined between 1974 and 1977-78, from $1.9 million to roughly $1.4 million in actual revenue that was received in the consolidated revenue fund, according to the figures the Treasurer supplied to me.
On the other hand, the stumpage charged royalties rose in 1974-75 from $19.8 million to roughly $32.22 million. The decline in the area charge -- and it is my understanding that the areas that have been licensed haven’t been declining dramatically or at least that dramatically; if they have, I would like to know why -- should be open and above board; we should see that.
I want to outline for the House and the Liberal Party and the government, the compromises that we, in this party, have made on this particular issue because we could have introduced an amendment that would have required the minister to bring the regulations before the House for implementation.
I was persuaded by very persuasive arguments put to me that that might in fact leave a gap and make it such that the regulations could not be in place, and we might have a loss of revenue from some of the companies involved. Of course, we certainly wouldn’t want that. What I have done is introduce what I think is quite a workable formula.
Mr. Chairman: There are a number of private conversations that make it difficult to hear the speaker.
Mr. Nixon: It is that NDP House leader not paying attention to their new policy.
Mr. Foulds: I recognize the difficulty that is implied here. The minister and all sides of the House, it would seem, want to increase revenues. The minister, and we agree, wants to vary that dependent upon the indices based on the selling price, to reflect market conditions. That requires, as I understand from what the minister said earlier in the House, that basically the regulation will be a formula and any change in the regulation will be a change in that formula. The formula itself is not somehow automatically adjustable should you want to increase one portion of it. That indicates that it may be necessary in administrative terms, not merely for convenience, but for enforcement -- that’s what persuaded me -- to have the regulation in place and to have it deemed to be in place.
That’s why I have said that the regulation should be brought to the House within 15 days after it is filed with the registrar of regulations. But it is absolutely essential that we reserve the right of the Legislature to vary or amend that regulation because it would require the minister to justify the change to us.
Presumably the present minister being the bright, articulate, charming fellow that he is -- the man with the dazzling smile and the fancy footwork, who is slightly to the right of Genghis Khan -- would like to persuade us to allow him --
Hon. F. S. Miller: I never realized you were so perceptive.
Mr. Foulds: Accept my amendment and I will sit down, or be persuaded by my oratory.
Hon. B. Stephenson: No one else is, so go ahead.
Mr. Foulds: It would force the minister and the ministry to justify the change in the regulation and give actual power back to the Legislature. This is what is important to me, the power to amend that formula, that regulation that assesses a tax if it was unjustified. The minister may very well feel I am picking on him or his ministry because the Treasurer gave me the whole list of ministries that garner fees by regulation and his is by no means the largest. The Ministry of Health, for example, which just so happens coincidentally to be this minister’s former ministry, garnered by regulation approximately 10½ times the revenue his present ministry does. It also spends, what is it? --
Hon. F. S. Miller: Sixteen times.
Mr. Foulds: -- sixteen times as much. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications also garners enormous amounts by regulation. But we as legislators can deal only with the bills that are immediately in front of us. The bill immediately in front of us is a bill from the Minister of Natural Resources and this is, in fact, a good place to start in regaining the power of taxation authority to the Legislature.
There was a phrase that was popular during the OHIP debate, “No taxation without legislation.” Even though it is taxation on large corporate entities, which aren’t particular friends of the New Democratic Party, they do deserve the fairness of scrutiny of the taxation levied against them by the Legislature rather than merely through the ministry.
I propose that the date I have included in the amendment, July 1 next year, will give the ministry plenty of time to work out its formula. The implementation, I gather, will in some cases go back to April 1 of this year. That will give the ministry 15 months to find out whether or not this plan is workable and if any significant changes in the regulation need to be brought forward.
I want to point out to the House, and to all members, that my amendment is not without precedent even in this authoritarian House. There is an amendment in the Niagara Escarpment and Planning Development Act that any orders or amendments to that act made under subsection 1 of that act should be brought to the assembly on the day the order is made or within 15 days. There is a pattern. This is not unprecedented in Ontario history. It is, it would appear, unprecedented in terms of this particular kind of matter, a taxation matter, but is very definitely patterned on a piece of legislation, an amendment that has already been passed
I would also like to point out that the method of scrutinizing regulations and the power to amend or vary is fairly common. I understand in the federal House and if that House, authoritarian as it is, particularly under the present Prime Minister -- has the authority to do it, I see no reason why the Ontario Legislature should not have that authority.
The minister may very well object, as I’m sure will some of his officials, that it is not convenient. I submit that convenience is not the prime consideration here. The prime consideration is responsible government. When we talk about responsible government, what do we talk about? We talk about a government that is responsible to a Legislature and a Legislature that is responsible to its electorate. It is time that we, as a responsible Legislature, began wresting back from a government which is authoritarian, even in a minority government situation, the authority that the Legislature has.
What we are saying basically is that there should be no more secret deals. The taxation policies and the changes in those taxation policies, which are often arbitrarily implemented through regulation, should no longer apply in a democratic society.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I take the amendment as a serious one.
Mr. Foulds: Yes, it is.
Hon. F. S. Miller: The problem with the rhetorical capabilities of some of the members of the NDP is that, given enough time, they can make almost anything sound convincing.
Mr. McClellan: Go with the flow.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I accept that the honourable member said those things with true sincerity --
Mr. Foulds: You better believe it.
Hon. F. S. Miller: -- but I think we have to look at the implications of the suggestion. When you said you wanted responsible government --
Mr. Laughren: It would be nice.
Hon. F. S. Miller: -- I assumed you meant majority government.
Mr. Foulds: No.
Mr. Foulds: Robert Baldwin’s definition of responsible government.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I think one would have to look at the problems of the government and look at the basis for this revenue. You have chosen to call it a tax. I would not choose to call it a tax. We do tax the industries. In my opinion, a tax, from the provincial point of view, is something that is related to revenue.
Mr. T. P. Reid: It is called economic rent in economics.
Hon. F. S. Miller: In this case we are making a raw material charge for a product or material existing on crown land. The charge is the same for all users of it; the only variation would be in those particular contracts where there is a bonus bid. We do have some cases where a crown due is subject to a bonus -- usually on the more profitable areas -- and bidding is public and, I believe, the results are available. If I’m not wrong, they make up less than 10 per cent of our total revenue at this time.
I would argue that the regulation we are putting in place today is not a tax but a charge for crown timber on crown land, which is quite different from a tax on the profitability of a company taking that crown timber off crown land. That results from many things including the managerial expertise of the company. With that, I would have to say I honestly can’t accept the member’s amendment. I hope my colleagues in the Liberal Party will be persuaded that we are right.
Mr. McClellan: Well, everybody knows you’re right.
Mr. T. P. Reid: With regard to the minister’s comments, I would say that my friend and colleague from Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds) referred to me as a “friend” when he was asking for my support and the minister just referred to me as a “colleague,” so I have a little problem with this.
Mr. Conway: The troubles of the Liberal-Labour Party.
Mr. Nixon: It’s public seduction.
Mr. Laughren: The member for Rainy River should stop calling himself Liberal-Labour.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Chairman, we have given serious consideration to the amendment. I had intended to move a somewhat similar amendment myself. However, I have to make three points in saying why we will not support the amendment.
First of all I am not going to get into the philosophical argument of what is a tax and what isn’t. I think my friend, Mr. Laughren, would agree that I think what we are talking about is something called economic rent in economics. I don’t know if they still use that term, probably they don’t. It has been a long time.
Mr. Laughren: Are you still reading Eric Kierans?
Mr. T. P. Reid: In any case, the points are these: First of all, I think it is a sheer impossibility for the minister to enter into agreements with the companies, then come back to the Legislature at some future time for ratification. Business just does not, and certainly cannot, operate under those circumstances. The whole thing would grind to a halt.
Mr. Foulds: Nonsense.
Mr. T. P. Reid: My friends in the New Democratic Party do not seem to understand that uncertainty is one of the banes of investment, and certainly the uncertainty of what would happen in this Legislature, especially in minority governments, is enough to send chills up and down anybody’s spine, let alone allow them to enter into any agreements that would have to wait for ratification by this Legislature. That is number one.
Mr. Foulds: No. Not so.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Two, because of the system that the minister is putting into effect with the moving average, it becomes so complicated that it is certainly not something that can be a matter of discussion in this Legislature because it is set by the moving average.
Mr. Martel: You will end up not making a cent. It will be like the mining; we will owe them money.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I would presume that these matters as to what that moving average is, obviously, will be made public, so that we are going to know, in effect, what is going on.
Mr. Foulds: There’s no guarantee.
Mr. T. P. Reid: The third point is that the minister indicated in his earlier remarks that, in fact, the agreements will be made public, or that we will, in fact, know what the revenues are that are being derived from this new system.
So my concern is that we do know, and therefore have an opportunity to question both in the House and the Legislature; if I don’t misread the minister, that information will be available so that it can be discussed here. I can’t, in any kind of rational way, agree with the amendment because it just does not make any kind of sense to have those agreements ratified by the Legislature. It is not done in any other case of a similar nature in regard to funds or revenues that are raised by the ministry. And I say that I am satisfied that this information will be made available, and public, and that satisfies my requirement, and I see no reason for the amendment.
Mr. Foulds: It is with a considerable amount of regret that I learned that the Liberal Party will not be supporting our amendment. It is, frankly, of considerable regret to me that the minister and his officials haven’t seen fit to accept the amendment. I say that just as strongly and as forcefully as I can, although quietly this morning, because it seems to me what we are doing here is putting convenience ahead of democracy.
I want to point out very clearly that the amendment that I have submitted does not contribute great uncertainty in terms of the corporation involved; they know full well what the formula is. From the day that the regulation comes into effect, any amendment cannot precede the effective day of any change to new regulation.
There can be a variation from a future date if the assembly should decide that it comes into effect after the original regulation.
What I would submit is that that would take some extra computer time. But I think the record should show that the Liberal Party and the government, when it came to this matter, decided that openness in terms of charges -- whether you want to argue about whether they are taxes or economic rent or fees -- would not be subject to the scrutiny of the Legislature, and action by the Legislature. This is the important point.
The member for Rainy River indicated: “as long as the minister tables the agreement.” In a majority government situation -- whether that majority is a NDP government majority, a Liberal government majority or a Conservative government majority -- it is my firm conviction that should be subject to the will of the Legislature; that should be subject to scrutiny by the Legislature.
I gave this amendment a very good deal of thought. It may seem immodest of me, but I came to the conclusion that when the New Democratic Party forms a government in this province, I or any other person in this party could live with this amendment in administrative terms, in governmental terms, and in legislative terms.
What the member for Rainy River is proposing is, frankly, what the Liberal Party always proposes -- that is, a toothless tiger. They want to be able to stand up and ask questions but they don’t want to take any responsibility for action when they’re in opposition.
What we are proposing is giving some responsibility to the Legislature, not just the sometimes rather fruitless kicking and screaming that we do through questioning; not just outrage and talking to the press and the television cameras afterwards, but action, which means we would have the power -- particularly in a minority government situation but also possibly in other situations because the authority was vested in the Legislature -- to change what were unjust and unfair levies by any minister or ministry that may come in the future. That is the essential principle of this amendment.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Before you put the motion, it is my understanding of the rules that if you put the motion the entire section carries. Is that correct?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: No. This is adding to the section. If someone wishes to debate the rest and this section does not carry, I would put that section to carry.
Those in favour will please say “aye.”
Those opposed will please say “nay.”
In my opinion the nays have it.
Mr. T. P. Reid: On section (e) of the renumbered clause, which gives the minister authority to fix the times at which crown charges are payable and the rate and kind of interest to be charged on overdue accounts and prescribing the method of calculating or compounding any such interest, I have a slight problem and question in relation to that section.
In the auditor’s report of March 1977, on page 31, there were timber licence fees held in trust of something, and the auditor states that in order to protect crown charges in excess of $682,000 owing by a lumber company for stumpage fees, forest products in the forms of logs and lumber were seized by the province. A chartered bank also made a claim against the forest products. The question of ownership has been left to the courts to decide in an action that is still pending.
I wonder if we could amend this section to ensure that the province has first call in these matters to collect crown dues, timber dues, or crown charges. The province should be the first to be paid, over and above the chartered banks or whatever, other than perhaps a mechanic’s lien action. Surely the province should have the first call for their crown charges. Would the minister care to comment?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I can’t really answer that question. I may get some advice from my legal and ministry staff on that matter. I had the belief and understanding that the crown dues were the first charge. I don’t know if that court case has been determined or whether in fact our assumption has been proved to be correct or incorrect. Perhaps somebody would be able to tell me. Here’s a note coming in a second. Does anybody in my staff know that? If so, just send me one.
Mr. Van Horne: They are flipping coins.
Mr. Martel: They are waiting for Grossman to serve a beer, the pause that refreshes.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Cold.
Mr. Conway: Have you given any speeches in Brockville lately, Frank?
Hon. F. S. Miller: No, but I have given some speeches in Pembroke. I find it a very fine community to visit; very receptive to the truth.
Mr. Ruston: That’s why they elected the member.
Mr. Roy: You just increased his majority.
Mr. Conway: Just remember, I am in the lumber business, Frank.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.
Mr. Martel: You will get no donations, Frank.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I have received legal advice that since the matter is currently sub judice, it should not be discussed by me until the court makes a decision.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I appreciate that. My concern was, not being a lawyer, that perhaps we could amend the act so these matters won’t in fact have to go to court.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I wish any amendment to any act would guarantee something wouldn’t go to court. The honourable gentleman on your right hand side, whom I believe is a member of the bar, would assure you that they will find a reason to take it to court in any event, even the amendment.
Mr. Bolan: We need the money.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Obviously, and there is no group I would rather help.
Mr. Pope: There is nothing wrong with that.
Hon. B. Stephenson: At least he’s honest.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Shall section 5, as renumbered, carry, other than the stacked vote? Carried.
Hon. F. S. Miller moves that section 6 of the bill, as renumbered, be struck out, and the following substituted therefor:
6(1) This act, except section 1 and subsection 1 of section 5, comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.
(2) Section 1 and subsection 1 of section 5 shall be deemed to have come into force on the first day of April 1978.
Motion agreed to.
Section 6, as renumbered and amended, agreed to.
Mr. Foulds: When do you plan to give royal assent?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Tomorrow, I assume.
Section 7, as renumbered, agreed to.
Mr. Conway: How are they ever going to make a profit?
Mr. Foulds: On a point of order: When is this session concluding? Are we going to have a vote?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I would assume we would not give this bill third reading until we have had the vote. Presumably third reading can be given tomorrow, whenever the votes are determined by the House leaders.
Hon. F. S. Miller: On a point of order: Mr. Chairman, I need some guidance; perhaps you can help me. Since I will not be in the House tomorrow, I will have to have somebody else do it. I assume that’s in order.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: That’s in order.
Mr. Foulds: Have you got a parliamentary assistant?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes.
Mr. Conway: Don’t trust him with it.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Frank, you’re losing control.
Mr. Conway: You keep doing that, Frank, and I’ll be elected forever.
On motion by Hon. F. S. Miller, the committee of the whole House reported progress.
CITY OF HAZELDEAN-MARCH ACT
Hon. Mr. McKeough moved second reading of Bill 131, An Act to establish the City of Hazeldean-March.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: At this point, no doubt there may be some questions in the committee stage and perhaps during second reading. All I have to say, simply, is that this, having been a dropped issue last week --
Mr. Conway: You like to boast.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- was activated by resolution of both councils. I would simply like to put on record the high degree of co-operation we have had from all three councils involved, members opposite, and members on this side of the House. I would also say in fairness to members opposite, members of my own staff, myself, my parliamentary assistant, and to the three councils involved, that there are a number of unanswered or unsolved questions as yet.
As I indicated in the statement on Tuesday, I have no doubt we will have some amendments to make to this bill in the fall. But this will allow the election to go ahead on the new basis and bring the new city into being at the appropriate time. If there are changes which need to be made, they can be made at the fail session.
Mr. Roy: I can see why the poor Treasurer, that minister who has been so emasculated the last while, is somewhat apprehensive when he gives a statement on this bill. Our approach has never been one to filibuster; we are a constructive opposition.
Mr. G. Taylor: You are not here often enough to know how to do it.
Mr. Laughren: Are you trying to tell us you have nothing to say?
Mr. Roy: We shall look at the legislation and do what we think is best for the legislation. But I have to say of this whole process that if ever there was evidence of government bungling, of a government which goes forward backwards two steps, of a government which really seems no longer able to govern, it is this whole sorry mess about the Mayo report in Ottawa-Carleton.
Mr. Makarchuk: Is this on the principle?
Mr. Roy: Here we go with the fellows to my left who would not know what the principle of the bill was even though they read it about 10 times. The origins of this bill --
Mr. Martel: Speak to the bill and let’s get on with it.
Mr. Handleman: Let’s discuss it.
Mr. Martel: The fount of intelligence, you are here for a day.
Mr. McClellan: Let’s have some consistency here, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Roy: -- stem from the Mayo report which I have here dated October 1976. The Mayo report was created with some hoopla prior to 1966, and the purpose of it was to review the whole regional government, the local government aspect. The premise was there were problems in the Ottawa-Carleton area. They were to give it a complete review and come back with suggestions to the government as to how best we could have a working process in the Ottawa-Carleton area. Some $250,000 was spent in the process and the work on the Mayo report was completed over a couple of years.
The Mayo report, although it is dated October 1976, was not presented to the people of Ottawa-Carleton until March 1977. It all came down with the fanfare this government has a reputation for. I recall the Treasurer coming down with the usual fanfare, to the Chateau Laurier, the ballroom, or one of the large rooms there -- the duke or the king comes down and invites all the vassals to get the good word on the Mayo report.
Subsequent to the presentation, with all the hoopla on the Mayo report, all local municipalities were invited to make submissions in response to the recommendations of the Mayo report -- and, I would hazard to think, at a great cost, if one considers the cost of each municipality drafting responses, utilizing individuals who are on the payroll of these various municipalities; many of the individuals, in fact, whom the Treasurer says are overpaid, in the statement he made just recently.
Anyway the responses were made by the various municipalities, and lo and behold the Treasurer comes back on May 8, 1978. Again an announcement is made with all the hoopla that goes with the regular travellings and the entourage of the Treasurer.
I have to tell you as an aside, this is really something. I don’t know if this goes on in every regional municipality. I suspect it does. But it is always somewhat annoying. The Treasurer comes in, everybody is invited, and they must come early because the place is full. I don’t know where they get all these people but, anyway, they fill up the room. Then the Treasurer comes walking in, just like royalty.
Mr. Nixon: Like the papal blessing.
Mr. Roy: It is just like the opening of the stream. The Treasurer comes walking in, goes up to the mike, then he states in a white paper -- that was on May 8, 1978 --
Mr. Martel: Straying a bit.
Hon. B. Stephenson: This is the principle of the bill you are speaking about?
Mr. Roy: Bette, you wouldn’t know if it was the principle or if I was talking about something in hell.
Mr. Nixon: Did you hear what Stephen Lewis said about you yesterday?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes. He said I was terrifying. Whenever he comes in I am going to bring my Dracula teeth.
Mr. Conway: Go and see if you can find Bill 70, Bette.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I found it. You guys lost it.
Mr. Roy: He comes in and talks about the introduction of the white paper. But while the Treasurer is reading the content of his white paper, none of us, and there are whole stacks of the white paper, can look at it until he is finished speaking.
Mr. Nixon: Turning pages bothers him.
Mr. Roy: Everybody in the room sees the officials, the entourage, walking around with handfuls of these documents, and asks, “Can I have a copy?”
Mr. Nixon: No, no.
Mr. Roy: And they say, “No, the Treasurer has not finished speaking.”
Mr. Nixon: Keep your place.
Mr. Roy: Then he starts off with the opening statements on May 8, 1978.
Mr. Speaker: What principle of Bill 131 is the honourable member referring to?
An hon. member: It is about time.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, if I can explain to you, the bill is a result of submissions by the Mayo report, that I have before me, of October 1976.
Mr. Laughren: So was the rent control bill.
Mr. Roy: The Mayo report, Mr. Speaker, if I can refer it for your attention at page 102, talks about the western cities.
Mr. Speaker: I don’t have that before me. The only thing I have before me is Bill 131. It doesn’t mention any visit by the Treasurer, or any reference to the Mayo report.
Mr. G. Taylor: That is right, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Roy: With respect, Mr. Speaker, surely if we accept your ruling then there is no sense in talking about how the legislation came into being. Surely, that is not the --
Mr. Speaker: That is not the intent of second reading of any bill.
Mr. Roy: I think it is, to show the --
Mr. Speaker: I don’t think it is. I would ask you to confine your remarks to what is contained in the principle of Bill 131.
Mr. G. Taylor: Read the bill.
Mr. Roy: I will confine my remarks, Mr. Speaker, to the principle of the bill; and I think one of the principles of the bill is the minister’s statement on this legislation back on May 8, 1978.
Mr. Pope: Nice try.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, the Treasurer states at that time:
“I know that many of you have been anxiously awaiting the government’s response to review of local government in Ottawa-Carleton.” That is how he starts his statement. Then he goes on to talk about this amendment that he is going to bring forward. He says: “We have already announced certain recommendations, in particular, reference to the enlargement of Vanier and the creation of the western city.”
The western city is what we now have before us called Hazeldean-March. He stated: “It is important to single out the latter proposal which involved some large change politically and administratively. I would stress that the planning process in all areas affected should proceed as usual, and that this proposal not be a reason for delaying expenditures or plans now pending approval.” That’s what he said about the western city back on May 8, 1978.
At that time he stated as one of the recommendations in the white paper, on page five of the government proposal: “The government proposes that a new urban municipality be established in the west of the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton to include the whole of March township and as tightly as possible those portions of Goulbourn and Nepean townships which are presently included in the western growth area.” That’s the proposal. That’s the basis for the legislation we have here today. He stated that back on May 8, 1978.
The local municipalities are given one month to respond to the legislation. We’re expecting the legislation to come forward. We’ve been told for the last year that we’re going to see general legislation dealing with the whole of Ottawa-Carleton before the end of the spring session.
To our surprise, as late as June 13, we were assured by the parliamentary assistant when we were discussing the election of various regional chairmen that we were going to see general legislation for Ottawa-Carleton, not only dealing with the creation of a western city but dealing with other aspects. For instance, Rockcliffe, dealing with border control, and other recommendations of the Mayo report.
Unfortunately, we were told in this House on June 15 -- and I read from Hansard, page 3482: “When the government received the report from Dr. Mayo and Dr. William Archer on local government in the regions of Ottawa-Carleton and Niagara, it was clear that their recommendations were matters of intense concern.” It goes on: “While there is substantial agreement on some parts of the limited package presented in the white papers, other issues remain deeply contentious. The government would prefer, therefore, that more time be allowed for local discussion of these issues before taking any legislative action.” We were told this on June 15, 1978. Exactly a week ago, we were told there would be no legislative action, on this matter.
It was obvious at that time what had happened, that the member for Ottawa South (Mr. Bennett) -- it must have been the member for Ottawa South because the members for Carleton (Mr. Handleman) and Carleton-Grenville (Mr. Sterling) were surprised by the decision, which was really a complete emasculation of the process the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) had set in motion. At that point I suspected it must have been him because the other two local members apparently had not been consulted; it was a surprise to them.
This was last Thursday. A few days later, last Tuesday, this legislation was brought forward and here we are dealing with Bill 131.
For a government that for so long has prided itself on giving leadership and knowing what it’s doing, this whole process has not only been wasteful because of the money spent, but the evidence before us is such that it’s clear the government really doesn’t know what it’s doing.
In spite of this, I think it’s important to point out that both opposition parties have had absolutely nothing to do with the delay of any of this. We’ve not seen any legislation. This is our first opportunity to look at legislation flowing from the Mayo report. We’ve had nothing whatsoever to do with any delay. We’ve been waiting for the legislation to come forward. We’ve been told it was going to come forward.
In spite of this the member for Carleton -- I really don’t know how to comment sometimes about some of the things he says -- the bill was introduced on June 20, but on that same day the member for Carleton had a reaction for the Ottawa Citizen, prior to the legislation even being introduced and prior to our being told about the legislation: “Handleman said that the fate of the legislation rests squarely on the shoulders of the opposition Liberals and New Democrats.”
Mr. Nixon: Oh, he’s a tiger back home.
Mr. Handleman: Don’t you control the House?
Mr. Roy: We’ve had nothing to do with this. Then he goes on to state:
“If the Liberals decide to bring in some screwy amendments, then it will die on the order paper.”
Mr. Nixon: Let’s test that out.
Mr. Pope: He must have known you were going to speak on it today.
An hon. member: Only your bills die, Roy, only your bills.
Ms. Gigantes: Typical of Tory terrorism.
Mr. Roy: He stated at that time: “If anybody creates a lot of flack about it, it could kill it.”
An hon. member: That’s before the bill was introduced.
Ms. Gigantes: You’re a bunch of terrorists.
Mr. Roy: That type of blackmail and intimidation borders on breaching the privileges of the members of this House. Even before a bill comes in we are told that if we do anything to it, if we even dare to look at some amendments to the legislation, the bill is going to be killed. There is a suggestion that somehow we have had something to do with the delay.
Ms. Gigantes: Shame on you, Sid.
Mr. Roy: As a member of this opposition, I will do what I think is best for the people I represent and I will not submit to that type of intimidation and blackmail on the part of that reactionary member.
Mr. Pope: That’s what he was describing in this newspaper article.
Mr. Roy: When we are trying to work together constructively in the best interests of the people we represent, we get that sort of reactionary approach from that member.
Mr. Kerrio: You’ve learned your lesson about that, haven’t you, Albert?
Mr. Roy: I give credit to the member for Carleton-Grenville to whom this is very important because it affects his riding. If it weren’t for members who are as moderate as he, it would be very difficult to work with the government, when it has members like the member for Carleton who keep anticipating what the opposition will do.
Mr. Swart: Somebody has to take over for Darcy.
Mr. Kerrio: Timbrell said he would drop a bill because of his own colleagues’ amendments.
Mr. Roy: Having made these comments, we do not think that we will delay this legislation. We will not filibuster this legislation, but we do have some concerns about the legislation. This legislation, which is brought in on this second-last day of the session, should really be sent to committee so that people from the area could make submissions on the legislation. There are some people who have concerns about this legislation.
Ms. Gigantes: You are going to support it, are you, Albert?
Mr. McClellan: It’s no use to send it to committee.
Mr. Roy: First of all, let’s look at the name of the city, Hazeldean-March. The only reason it is Hazeldean-March is because Hazeldean happens to be in the riding of the member for Carleton-Grenville and March is in the riding of the member for Carleton.
Mr. Epp: You know where you are, Sid, second.
Mr. Roy: I am even told that the member for Carleton was annoyed because it wasn’t called March-Hazeldean, or that the name of Handleman wasn’t somewhere in the legislation.
Mr. Conway: How about Handleman’s hamlet?
Mr. G. Taylor: Roy’s folly?
Mr. Roy: We know that section 6 of the proposed bill authorizes a referendum on the name of the city.
Mr. Conway: Separatist city.
Mr. Roy: I guarantee you one thing. I hope that in the referendum the name of the member for Carleton is not one of the choices; then we’ll see what his popularity is like in that area.
We like the recommendations of the Mayo report which suggest the new western city be called Kanata. The name Kanata represents something that is, first of all, easier than Hazeldean-March. Secondly, it represents a concept in the Ottawa-Carleton area that is forward-looking for a new city. I know some members -- and I look at the Treasurer -- may not have any love for -- he is now the deputy minister of --
Mr. Handleman: He is on leave, watch it.
Mr. Roy: Is he on leave now? The former deputy minister of urban affairs -- what was his name? -- Teron. He started the development in that area called Kanata.
Ms. Gigantes: He was a good Liberal.
Mr. Roy: It was an interesting concept. Surely that is where the growth is going to take place, where the centre of the city will be. We think the city should be called Kanata. The people should be given an opportunity of changing the name if they so wish. We agree, of course, with the part of section 6 which talks about a referendum on that basis. We like the recommendation of the Mayo report -- and I am reading at page 102 where it talks about what the name of the city should be -- “We suggest that this whole new urban development be called ‘Kanata’.”
The feeling I get from the people in the area is that we should start with the name Kanata. We should get away from trying to satisfy the ego of at least one member. I am cautious about the member for Carleton-Grenville, because he is too smooth about his process as compared to the tiger or reactionary from Carleton.
We think the name of the city should be Kanata. I am sure you will agree, Mr. Speaker, there’s a ring about the name Kanata; it has more zip, it’s more forward-looking. There’s something adventurous about the name Kanata. I suspect maybe that’s going too far for the member for Carleton.
We hope that this bill will go to committee of the whole House, when we will be proposing an amendment regarding the name of the new city, which the Treasurer described in his statement of June 20 as something that is forward-looking. He stated: “The government agrees with local views that it would be well to end uncertainties and establish the new municipality now.” Later in his statement, he said: “We are confident the city can become one of Ontario’s best-governed urban municipalities within its appropriate boundaries and scope of responsibility.”
We will be moving an amendment to change the name of the city from Hazeldean-March or March-Hazeldean, to something like Kanata.
Mr. Swart: Royville.
Mr. Roy: No, there is not this sort of folly on this side. The folly, the esprit de grandeur, comes from the other side. We don’t put forward ideas because they will create statues. We say to people, “Judge us on our actions here, not on puffing.”
Hon. B. Stephenson: They do. They’ve been judging you for 33 years.
Mr. Roy: Having said that, there are other problems with the bill. Section 3 of the bill certainly is of concern to us because of the haste with which this legislation is proceeding in this Legislature and because of threats made by the member for Carleton, who says we had better not do anything drastic with this legislation or it’s going to die. There’s a feeling of panic. He spreads fear on all sides of the House.
Ms. Gigantes: He can’t scare you, Albert.
Mr. Roy: The fact is that we should never, when we are talking about a concept as interesting as the creation of a new city -- in fact it is the first time we have seen this since the days of John White. Remember John White? He used to come into the Legislature and say, “Tomorrow, there will be a new city some place else.”
All members have seen potentially new cities created here and there with different names. My colleagues know what I am talking about.
Mr. Nixon: The land he bought is still there, growing weeds.
Mr. Roy: The grandeur and the potential of some of these projects were never seen by us, but certainly the Treasurer of the day Mr. White saw them.
Here we are, creating a new city. We feel it deserves more work. It deserves representation of people in the local area. Section 3 of the bill states that “the minister may by order do all such acts and things as may be necessary to establish wards and provide for the number of aldermen or councillors ... ” We don’t very much like the idea of giving the government that sort of wide, sweeping power. We think these things should be discussed in committee. We think the people of the area should have an opportunity to say where the dangers may be, where the problems are, to make certain recommendations. But we are not going to have that in this case. What we are saying is that this bill was drafted hastily; we are going to create a new municipality and any problems we will take care of down the line. We think that, as I said earlier, it is typical of this government the way in which they bungled and bumbled on this particular issue, and we want to put on record our concern about that approach.
I suppose there are some other concerns. In section 5, for example: “For the purposes of the Police Act, the city of Hazeldean-March” -- it will hopefully be called Kanata -- “shall be deemed to be a township municipality.” Again, there’s some concern about the haste of wanting to establish this. You know, it is a sort of Band-Aid, a sort of a knee-jerk approach to the establishment of something as forward looking as a new city.
There are concerns, Mr. Speaker, by some of the members or some of the locally-elected people, and of course these people will not have an opportunity to voice their concern, again, because of the haste of this legislation. For instance, I read in yesterday’s Ottawa Citizen where it states: “March council members have some doubts. Councillor Pat Carroll said that he was still unhappy about the ward system.”
Mr. Handleman: A Liberal candidate.
Mr. Roy: He states: “I am concerned about the establishment of more than one ward.”
Mr. G. Taylor: Your federal candidate in the next election.
Mr. Roy: But these people, Mr. Speaker, will not have an opportunity to voice that concern here. He states: “Should we have the amalgamated city at all costs? It bothers me that we really only have two days.”
Mr. Handleman: He supported the motion on a recorded vote. Why didn’t he dissent?
Mr. Roy: “It’s almost like the immaculate conception,” he says. And Sid should know something of that.
Mr. Nixon: Which area of that is he an expert in?
Mr. Roy: Of course the March reeve, Marion Wilkinson, said that she has been informed that if anything is added to the bill, it would not go through. That is part of the whole intimidation, part of the whole process.
Mr. Kerrio: Typical.
Mr. Nixon: That’s why he could not sit in the cabinet any more. They had to throw him out.
An hon. member: Wilkinson is president of Sid’s riding association, so he controls her.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I criticize many of the decisions made by the Premier (Mr. Davis) of this province, and one of the decisions I did not criticize, of course, was the shift of the member for Carleton from somewhere to the left here to the right of where he is -- to his proper position. It shows exceedingly good sense.
But I want to restate again, Mr. Speaker, that in spite of the threats, in spite of the blackmail, we shall take a responsible approach on this side. It is minority government here and we shall do what we think is in the best interest of the people we represent and will not be subject to this kind of reactionary approach taken by the member for Carleton.
Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of Bill 131. It is a very simple bill, it calls for an amalgamation which has been suggested by study, by the Mayo report, and it has also been requested by the councils of March and Goulbourn townships. Those councils met recently and unanimously sent missives to concerned members from the area, and to the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough), requesting this change. There are questions in the local area and I think they are being thrashed out well at the local level; each member of those councils had an opportunity to discuss the fine points of this legislation within the last week and they have given serious reflection to it, I am sure. Their conclusion has been unanimous: they want the legislation.
It makes sense in planning terms and it makes sense in terms of the needs of that area, and for those reasons we support it. We will ignore the kind of behaviour from the member for Carleton (Mr. Handleman) on this subject which has been less than graceful. We shall ignore the kind of blunderbuss approach that he has taken in advocating this legislation.
We shall also give credit where credit is due. I think the member for Carleton-Granville (Mr. Sterling) and the Treasurer have acted promptly and pretty sensitively on this issue. It was one of the most urgent matters that was left behind when the Treasurer was forced to delay House consideration of changes to the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Municipality Act. I think we should give credit that they have decided to go ahead on this matter. I am informed by the Treasurer that he is also requesting a change in the procedure of the OMB so that a request made by Gloucester township council for an increase in the size of that council will be expedited. It also would have come up in the package of Ottawa-Carleton legislation. That request having gone to the OMB in January, and having been delayed at the request of the Treasurer, will now be speeded up by the OMB and we will see that council change, I hope in time for this year’s municipal election. For that too I am quite grateful, as I am sure the people of the Gloucester area will be.
Mr. Sargent: What is this?
Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, we will ignore the huffings and puffings that are coming from the Liberal benches on this bill --
Mr. Nixon: We will ignore that in the light of the sweetness and sunshine coming from you.
Ms. Gigantes: -- and say very simply that we support this legislation and we are glad to see it coming at the end of this session in such a prompt and sensitive way. Thank you.
Mr. Sterling: It is indeed a great pleasure to support this bill. I think congratulations are due to the two principal councils involved in this bill, the township of Goulbourn and the township of March. Under this bill, the township of Goulbourn will be losing 40 per cent of their population and 35 per cent of their assessment. We do not often see in this modern day a municipality agreeing to give up jurisdiction in that situation. I think they are to be congratulated on their attitude in this matter.
March township will also be undertaking the massive task of planning for this new western city, which will immediately have approximately 15,000 people but will have an expected population sometime in the not too distant future of 75,000 to 100,000.
I believe this new city will better align the interests of the rural and urban interests of the people in these communities. In the area which is joining the western city there is an urgent demand for a higher level of servicing at this time. I understand both councils have a certain amount of concern at this time. We have heard concerns from the townships relating to a ward system; we have heard concerns from the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) regarding the name of the new municipality.
I only would comment that I thought the name that was chosen for this bill, while being very awkward, is significant in terms of showing that this is a marriage of two communities.
Mr. Kerrio: A shotgun marriage.
Mr. Roy: Considering the haste, it must have been a shotgun marriage.
Mr. Sterling: It is appropriate in recognizing this was supported by both communities to a great degree.
We don’t expect this name will continue past the referendum date. I would expect probably the name of Kanata would appear on a ballot, I would expect that the name Hazeldean would appear on the ballot and I expect that there might also be other suggestions for names. But the idea here was to allow citizens of the new municipality to have their opportunity to have input into the final name of their new city.
Mr. Laughren: How about Sterlingville?
Mr. Sterling: That would be a very good name.
I believe that the joining of these municipalities was logical, that it was inevitable and that the time for bringing this forward is now. Contrary to some of the discussion that has gone on here today, there has been a great deal of discussions going on among the different municipalities for some period of time. This decision has not been made over the past few days or the past two weeks. The councils have had full discussion on the pros and cons of this matter. In fact they have bad the benefit of listening to the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) and his parliamentary assistant in terms of the financial repercussions it would have for each of these new communities.
On this day I celebrate 15 years of a most happy partnership with my wife Janet.
Mr. Roy: Today? Hear, hear.
Mr. Swart: Let’s hear her version.
Mr. Sterling: I hope that this date shall mark the beginning of an equally successful marriage of these three new communities. Thank you very much.
Mr. Cassidy: What is she celebrating?
Mr. Conway: I shall, like the members participating in this debate, endeavour to be reasonably brief. I rise to support in principle Bill 131, but I do so with the caveats that were introduced by my colleague from Ottawa East. I think without question the method by means of which this Parliament has been presented with this legislation is nothing short of an abuse of this Legislature.
Ms. Gigantes: Oh come on.
Mr. Roy: Right.
Mr. Conway: Whether or not it was calculated, I will not say at this time. It represents an approach to this Legislature which I am not prepared to accept. Notwithstanding the problems that have entered into the implementation of the Mayo report, I find it repugnant in the extreme to read the Ottawa Citizen of a few days ago and to be told by my good friend from Carleton that this bill will succumb to closure. While the member for Carleton is given, I know, to almost incessant reactionary points of view, I appreciate the vigour with which he espouses many of these points of view. But I will not be told by him nor any member of the government that this bill really must succumb to a conventional closure as they would present it. I just can’t accept that.
Mr. Roy: Watch him; do what you’re told.
Mr. Conway: I recommend to him and to his friend the Treasurer a speech given by the Hon. Robert L. Stanfleld about the end of responsible parliamentary government. In its own way Bill 131 is all that Stanfield is talking about.
I find it interesting as well to listen to my colleague from Carleton East, and the sweetness and reason with which she greets both the Treasurer and Bill 131. Like my colleague from Ottawa East, I was trying to figure out what is the basis for this unique McKeough-Gigantes concordat. It dawns on me that the basis for it is their exclusive elitism, as it relates to the Rockcliffe issue. I am not surprised that the member for Carleton East succumbs to the elitist blandishments of the Treasurer in this regard, knowing what we know about her peculiar democratic socialism as it relates to the matters of the Rockcliffe --
Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege.
Mr. Roy: Sit down. Take it like everybody else; come on.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order. The member for Carleton East has a point of privilege.
Ms. Gigantes: Yes, I believe I do, Mr. Speaker. It has been implied to this Legislature by the member for Renfrew North that the Treasurer and I have had discussions on Rockcliffe. This is not true.
Mr. Acting Speaker: The member for Renfrew North may continue.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, speaking briefly to the point --
Mr. Acting Speaker: Does the Treasurer have a point of privilege?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I associate myself with the remark just made by the member for Carleton East. Both she and I understand the word concordat, which the poor old member for Renfrew North just doesn’t have any clues about whatsoever, which is his loss.
Mr. Nixon: It’s not concordats, it’s concord that you understand.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, I think that if both the member for Chatham-Kent and the member for Carleton East wish to read the record, there was no suggestion they had had a dialogue. I am simply drawing my own conclusions for the basis of this concordat.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: You wouldn’t understand.
Mr. Conway: I just want it put on the record, because it --
Mr. Cassidy: That’s just so much papal bull.
Mr. Conway: -- relates to the principle of Bill 131, about which the member for Carleton East has some very peculiar views, not all of them unelitist when it relates to municipal reorganization in the Ottawa-Carleton region.
Mr. Laughren: Unelitist; you like to hear yourself talk, don’t you, Stan?
Mr. Conway: I want to stand here today and offer my explanation as to why she could be so reasonable with the Treasurer. In other areas of the white paper and the Mayo report, and I make specific reference to Rockcliffe, their views are quite similar; and I must say, with respect to Bill 131, I am not surprised.
Ms. Gigantes: They are not the same at all.
Mr. Roy: It was the mot douce exchange here this afternoon -- sweet things.
Mr. Conway: I have to say that in the last few days I have been approached by a considerable number of people in the area of Hazeldean-March --
Mr. McClellan: Name names.
Mr. Conway: It sounds like something from the Richard Nixon White House.
Mr. Walker: That is a non-known considerable number.
Mr. Roy: They are not socialists, don’t worry about it.
Mr. Conway: The people who have spoken to me --
Mr. McClellan: Who are these people?
Mr. Conway: The people who have spoken to me have expressed support in principle for the bill, but they have expressed a very considerable objection to the methodology. The people who have spoken to me are concerned.
Mr. Walker: How many have spoken to you?
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. Conway: The people who have spoken to me are not happy about the ward system. I am not afraid to say my good friend Pat Carroll, my old high school principal now in one of the involved townships, has drawn to my attention that he feels a personal difficulty with the ward system.
Mr. Sterling: Support the resolution.
Mr. Conway: He has also, like others involved, drawn to my attention very serious concerns about what they believe to be lasting assessment problems.
Mr. Walker: How many others?
Mr. Conway: They were prepared to accept, some weeks ago, the idea of the new western city, believing then that the Treasurer not only intended to bring forward legislation to effect municipal reorganization in Ottawa-Carleton but also to effect some measure of property tax reform.
Mr. Roy: We have been promised a lot of things by the Treasurer.
Mr. Conway: Now some of those rules have changed, or so we are told. Those problems, the problems of assessment, the problems of the ward system, are legitimate.
I realize the agreement entered into, in whatever way, by the democratic socialists and the McKeough Tories will give this bill passage through the House, and that I am quite prepared to support.
Ms. Gigantes: You are going to support it?
Mr. Conway: I am not a person to tinker with those kinds of relationships, but as one member, as a backbencher who may very well be in need of a holiday, I just find it unacceptable to --
Ms. Gigantes: A permanent holiday.
Mr. McClellan: Vote against it.
Mr. Conway: -- have the Treasurer of this province lead this Legislature, and indeed many of the municipalities involved, to the point that we were going to have a bill we could discuss during the last few weeks of the Legislature --
Mr. McClellan: Vote against it if you don’t like it. Don’t just stand --
Mr. Conway: -- and then be faced with this ultimatum in the last days, indeed in the last hours. I am not prepared to accept that kind of abusive approach to a Parliament which I respect in its traditions and privileges.
Mr. Cassidy: I appreciate the chance to speak briefly on this bill to create the --
Mr. Kerrio: Nice to have you back, Mike.
Mr. Cassidy: What is that? Yes, I am just back from Quebec. I flew in, as a matter of fact, expressly for this.
I notice with concern the bad grace with which the Liberal Party has been approaching this particular bill, despite the decision to support it. I do have the feeling the reason is simply that when Carleton-Grenville is finally wrested from the hands of the Conservative Party --
Mr. Kerrio: You are an expert on everything.
Mr. Cassidy: -- in whose grasp it has lain for far too many years, it will be in the hands of the New Democrats and not of the Liberals.
Mr. Conway: That’s the time when hell freezes over.
Mr. Cassidy: I have heard predictions like that by parties that very quickly thereafter disappeared into oblivion.
Mr. Conway: Hey Mike, I liked the picture in the Ottawa Journal on Saturday; age 10, precocious as ever.
Mr. Epp: What’s your opinion on rent review, Mike?
Mr. Kennedy: What is yours?
Mr. Cassidy: I think this bill is a healthy and constructive use of the Legislature to correct an oversight which the Treasurer was guilty of, a problem that existed in the Ottawa area because of the delays in implementing --
Mr. Conway: Overpackaged, centralizing dictator.
Mr. Mackenzie: When are you going to realize you’re out of school, Sean?
Mr. Cassidy: Could you repeat that for the record?
Mr. Nixon: Well it is in the record.
Mr. Conway: When are you going to realize you are out of the union hall?
Mr. Mackenzie: I don’t want to.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Would the member for Ottawa-Centre please continue and ignore the interjections?
Mr. Cassidy: It has been made necessary because of the sluggish and uncreative way in which the Treasurer has been approaching the whole question of municipal reform, and I suppose I should put on the record that while we welcome this particular bill -- will you stop yapping?
Mr. Roy: Now they are yapping behind you; they have no respect.
Mr. Cassidy: While we welcome this particular bill, the decision of the Treasurer not to come to grips with promises he made earlier, as for example in relation to the board of control in Ottawa and its abolition, leaves us filled with some regret and the wish that we could have had a chance to have had a larger bill and put those amendments if the government itself was not prepared to carry out commitments it had made before.
Mr. Handleman: What about Rockcliffe?
Mr. Roy: How about Rockcliffe, Mike? How do you feel about that? Tell us your views.
Mr. Cassidy: The bill itself is a simple bill, a straightforward bill. With the anticipated growth in the western community, which has been foreseen as part of the planning in the region of Ottawa-Carleton, it was obvious that that would not be possible to be carried out efficiently and well and sensitively and responsibly if the area to be developed was going to be under three municipal jurisdictions.
In the Ottawa-Carleton area generally, we simply could not afford to wait for another further period of two years while essential planning that needed to be done for that particular area was allowed to be delayed because of the lack of adequate municipal structure.
Mr. Roy: What about your position on Rockcliffe?
Mr. Cassidy: I know a number of people who are involved in local government in that particular area. I have a good deal of respect of them and I hope that with the base that is being created by this particular bill they will be able to go through the difficult period of bringing the municipalities and the sections of municipalities together; of beginning to do the planning that is necessary and of beginning to tie together three separate areas that have grown independently, in order to make of them truly a community which commands local loyalty and a community which will grow to play its role as part of the fabric of the area of Ottawa-Carleton.
Mr. Roy: My God, what a pussycat. We know who the real opposition is around here.
Mr. Cassidy: With that, I would say, as has already been indicated by the member for Carleton East, we were grateful for the chance to be consulted about this and to join in the view that the Legislature would, in fact, do a service in Ottawa-Carleton by seeing this bill had easy passage, even if at the same time we regret the fact that some of the other things that could have been done --
Mr. Roy: Like Rockcliffe.
Mr. Cassidy: -- in Ottawa-Carleton as a result of the Mayo report are simply issues that have been dumped by the Treasurer and by his government as a whole.
Mr. Roy: Ah, now we know who the real opposition is.
Mr. Handleman: I want to support Bill 131 with the moderation for which I have been praised by spokesmen from all sides of the House.
Ms. Gigantes: Says you.
Mr. Handleman: I regret the fact that members opposite feel there was a blunderbuss approach.
Mr. Conway: Have you read Tuesday’s Citizen?
Mr. Handleman: There is such a thing as a calendar. Today is Thursday, tomorrow is Friday, next week is Monday. I understand certain agreements have been reached about when the session ends and obviously we are not going to be coming back in the fall to give third reading to a bill that is being amended in the meantime. However, I am pleased to hear my friend from Carleton East will support it.
Ms. Gigantes: In spite of you.
Mr. Handleman: I am glad she was able to find it in her heart to ignore her personal feelings on the way I have dealt with this bill.
Mr. Kennedy: There is no logic in her statement.
Mr. Cassidy: I want to point out first of all to the member for Ottawa East that this matter didn’t begin with Mayo. An amalgamation took place in what was formerly the constituency of Carleton.
Mr. Roy: You are out of order.
Mr. Handleman: In 1973 there were three new municipalities formed and at that time the Hon. John White, who was praised by the member, announced that there would be a new urban municipality in the western part of Ottawa-Carleton.
Mr. Roy: What did he call it?
Mr. Handleman: He didn’t call it anything.
Mr. Roy: That’s typical. You didn’t either.
Mr. Handleman: The three municipalities that were formed in 1974 chose their own names. They didn’t choose names that I might have preferred, or the member for Ottawa-East might have preferred. They chose names of their own choice.
Mr. Roy: Well why did you call it Hazeldean-March?
Mr. Handleman: I refer to Rideau, which I would have liked to have seen called Richmond. I refer to West Carleton, which I would have preferred to see called Carp.
Mr. Conway: Get it right, Sidney. It is “Caarrp” -- my beloved Ottawa Valley. Back to university.
Mr. Handleman: I am sorry, Rideau would have been North Gore and Goulbourn would have been Richmond. In any case, they chose names that were satisfactory to the people there. The principle of self-determination, I suppose, becomes very difficult for the member for Ottawa East who would like to tell them what they should be called. I happen to share his views on the name Kanata.
Mr. Conway: Beer in the ballpark, Sidney.
Mr. Handleman: I will not lobby for it, but I hope it will be on the ballot and I hope it will be successful. I have some admiration for Mr. Teron’s technical expertise as an urban developer; and I won’t mention any other aspect of his views that I don’t happen to share.
Mr. Speaker, nobody has mentioned the fact that a good portion of the township of Nepean, the Bridlewood section of Nepean, will come into this new municipality. I have heard too from people who aren’t at all happy about this thing. It’s very easy, I suppose, to say to them: “We will make sure that your views are known;” and I have made them known to the Treasurer, as I am sure all members who have heard these views have.
Mr. Roy: Yes, so much for the democratic process.
Mr. Handleman: In the community of Bridlewood one year ago or just a little bit more than a year ago, we were out on the hustings and there was nobody in Bridlewood.
Mr. Conway: Yes, you put it there, Sidney.
Mr. Handleman: The western city was known long before the first person moved into Bridlewood, which is why the township of Nepean council has acquiesced in this loss of a portion of their territory. There is no territorial jealousy in this.
Mr. Roy: You didn’t like that last election, eh?
Mr. Handleman: So I am quite happy to say that all councils have unanimously supported what the Treasurer is doing, by recorded vote as late as last Monday, long after the market value assessment and tax reform were off the books. I don’t understand why councillor Carroll --
Mr. Roy: Were you surprised by the Treasurer’s statement on Tuesday?
Mr. Handleman: -- who has these reservations, didn’t express them at that time. He had an opportunity to do so. But, of course, politics being what they are and knowing that the present member for that area feels the same way about it -- I must say that this is the feeling that Paul Dick shares with Pat Carroll and it will be great to watch them campaign at some time and try to show different views.
Mr. Conway: We’re not going to have a federal election?
Mr. Handleman: They both agree that the name Kanata should be chosen; I agree with them and I hope the people will do that, but I will leave it up to them. The question of assessment we have been discussing for three years.
Mr. Roy: That is right, and doing nothing about it.
Mr. Conway: Three years? Try 10.
Mr. Handleman: The Minister of Revenue (Mr. Maeck) is always prepared -- and I am sure he will let the councillors know -- he is prepared to undertake the kind of financial impact study required, and to let them know what the situation is.
But they don’t have the information and neither do members opposite. They don’t know what the assessment’s going to be in the three different areas, they haven’t got the slightest clue. They are concerned about it; we are all concerned. We have to know.
Mr. Conway: McKeough’s first priority.
Mr. Handleman: I think the minister will do that. There has been some concern expressed about Hydro restructuring, because Bridlewood is now served by Nepean Municipal Hydro Commission while the other two areas are served by Ontario Hydro. There will be some problems and I expect the Minister Of Energy (Mr. Baetz) to engage in a Hydro restructuring study, which hasn’t been done for the area. The regional government has turned it down for the region, they have made that decision. The people in this new area want it and I think they should get it. I am sure the minister will agree to that.
As far as the ward system is concerned, again there is no unanimity on the ward system. I quite agree with what Mr. Carroll said. There are other councillors in other parts of this new municipality who want the ward system, and after all the ward system is designed to protect the minority. I think their views should be heard and the legislation does not preclude the idea of one ward. It does leave it to the minister after he’s heard from all the councillors.
Mr. Conway: A peculiar interest in minority rights over there.
Mr. Handleman: And he can do it. I am not suggesting that is what will be decided, but the possibility is there, and I think --
Mr. Roy: Avoid the Legislature, eh, Sid?
Mr. Handleman: -- this is the kind of legislation that we should have more of where you can have discussion before final decisions are made; and that’s exactly what will happen. I have heard from the heads of municipalities as recently as this morning --
Mr. Roy: Don’t bring in amendments though.
Mr. Conway: No amendments.
Mr. Handleman: -- and they have all said the same thing: that if individual councillors are now departing from the unanimous recorded votes of their councils on Monday night, they are doing it completely on their own for whatever purposes they have in mind. But the councils agreed to this bill with no changes, and I hope that that’s the way it will go through the House.
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased that this process which we began back in 1973 is finally coming before the House. I quite agree it has taken a long time, but when somebody says that we should have more months of consultation and delegation -- and it happens not to have been in the riding of the member for Ottawa East -- I say this thing has been discussed, discussed and discussed.
Mr. Conway: Stanfield is right, executive dictatorship.
Mr. Handleman: There has to come a time when the legislation is presented and passed. More public discussion will simply delay what we should have been doing two years ago; now that the councils have realized this I think we should go along with their wishes. That’s what local autonomy is all about and I am prepared to support the bill with no amendments.
Mr. Epp: What the member for Carleton says is interesting, that they have been consulting on this since 1973, that there has been a lot of talk about it and that all of a sudden we find that a bill has been brought in in the last -- what? it was only printed yesterday or today, so they’ve had about five years to print it and they printed it in the last day or two.
Mr. Conway: A deathbed confession.
Mr. Epp: Nevertheless, it is interesting to get up and speak on this bill and to support it in principle. What it does is bring in the township of March and parts of the townships of Nepean and Goulbourn. Although this was recommended in the Mayo report and, I suppose, supported in part by the government, nevertheless it was never brought in as part of what should have been a much larger bill dealing with the whole region, particularly after spending a lot of money, about $250,000, as the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) has indicated.
I would like to get some clarification from the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) some time during this debate as to the amount of money he is going to give to the various municipalities. Questions have been raised with me by members of the municipalities to find out how much money is going to go to Goulbourn and how much money is going to go to the new city in transitional payments and to the Stittsville sewer project. Maybe he can give us some clarification on some of those matters.
When we talk about bringing this in and about the consultation process, and consider the great emphasis that has been placed on regional governments by the present government, certainly the regional government was not consulted as to whether it agreed with bringing this bill in at this time in isolation of any other amendments that could have been introduced but were not introduced.
Mr. Handleman: I thought they were going to eliminate Goulbourn completely.
Mr. Epp: Is that your suggestion?
Mr. Handleman: That is what they wanted to do: eliminate Goulbourn -- get rid of the rural people. They passed a resolution.
Mr. Conway: That has never stopped you before.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. The member for Waterloo North has the floor.
Mr. Epp: We will be supporting this bill and, when it goes to committee, we hope we’ll get some clarification of a number of points. Certainly the name of Hazeldean-March, which has been designated by the Treasurer, is not acceptable. As my colleague indicated earlier, we will propose an amendment to change the name to Kanata, which obviously would be much more acceptable to the people in that area.
Mr. Roy: That’s right. You said it yourself.
Mr. Epp: The shock of the people in that area to the name that was proposed was such that they wondered whether the Treasurer was out to lunch when he proposed this name. Obviously there are other names that would be much more acceptable, and I’m sure Kanata would be that name.
Mr. Sterling: There are 4,000 voters in Glencairn who don’t agree.
Mr. Handleman: Ask the people in Glencairn.
Mr. Roy: We’re just trying to get a proper name.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. The honourable member for Welland-Thorold.
Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, obviously I rise to speak in support of this bill, as I share the views of my colleagues in the caucus from the Carleton area. I really rise to say to my friends on the right that I think, first of all, they should support the bill, and perhaps they should forget about the amendment which they say they are going to propose at this time.
Mr. Roy: No, we go the same way on second and third reading, we don’t switch.
Mr. Swart: I suspect they’re right in saying that they’re going to vote for the bill. All their comment has been against it; so they will likely vote for it, as they did in the case of regional chairmen: they talked in favour of it and then voted against it.
Mr. Roy: Just like you talk against something on second reading and then bring forward an amendment in committee.
Mr. Swart: I just say to them that they shouldn’t react too strongly to the member for Carleton (Mr. Handleman), to the point of moving amendments to this bill. I know that he rather annoys them, but I should point out to them that it could be worse.
Mr. Conway: Unlike you, he is always here to vote for his amendments.
Mr. Swart: They could have him in their caucus; think of the problem they would have then. It would be like the problem they have over there.
Mr. Nixon: There’s no chance of you being in it. You’re in bed with them. We’re still working on Ellis Morningstar.
Mr. Swart: You will notice, Mr. Speaker, that the Treasurer is here today. This is the first time the Treasurer has been in this House for a municipal bill. I doubt if it’s because he thinks the bill is quite that important; it’s just that he knew that the member for Carleton would be here. After the way the member for Carleton has broken with their caucus, whether it was over rent review or the French-language issue, I think the Treasurer is here just to make sure things are safe over there for the government.
Mr. Roy: He has only changed his mind three times in the last month.
Mr. Conway: What is his position on the boycott bill?
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Would the honourable member return to the principle of the bill?
Mr. Swart: Of course I will. If you consider I got away from it, I will return to it.
Granted it is late in the day bringing in this bill --
Mr. Roy: No, it is only 25 after 12.
Mr. Swart: -- and we like to have the time to deal adequately with it. First of all, we would like to have a composite bill dealing with the whole area down there. Obviously, as I suppose our friends on the right would, we would like to have had this bill in sooner, but let me point out to my friends on the right that if it’s not dealt with at this time it delays the formation of that city for two years.
I suspect there’s a lot of merit now in forming that city at this time to let them get on with the job of melding those municipalities together and planning for the new city. There are many other things in the report of the Ottawa-Carleton region that can be brought in --
Mr. Conway: You have noticed.
Mr. Swart: -- that is amendments which can be brought in to be effective at another time.
Mr. Conway: Now you sound like Mackenzie King.
Mr. Swart: Oh yes, it can be effective a year from now. This particular part of the report has to be dealt with now or wait for two years. So I think there is merit in dealing with it at this time. I too commend the Treasurer for bringing it in. In fact, I am delighted to see him doing what the people want.
Mr. Conway: Same old gang.
Mr. Roy: You should be in trouble, Darcy, having Mel Swart and Evelyn Gigantes coming at you.
Mr. Swart: You know this year, Mr. Speaker, whether it’s in the Hamilton-Wentworth or whether it’s in Northumberland county, we have seen, it appears, a change on the part of the Treasurer so that he wants to do what the people in the area want done.
Ms. Gigantes: He is repentant.
Mr. Swart: Surely, I would not want to interfere with that great transition in the character and the attitude of the Treasurer of this province.
I’m not going to take any greater length of time. May I just ask the Treasurer --
Mr. Conway: No principles at all Mel, sold out for a song.
Mr. Swart: -- when he rises to speak on this, will he tell us whether the amount of money which is going to be provided during the transition period is the normal amount under the regulations? Whether there are any special considerations being given there? If so, why? I want to make it clear I am not against special consideration if there is reason, but I would like to know if it is the normal sort of transition grant and changes. There is nothing in this bill about determining whether part of the township of March will be annexed to West Carleton. Has the Treasurer given anything in writing to the municipalities to the effect that consideration will be given to that, which appears to be the wish at this time, although that may be changed?
I know there are normal procedures in the municipal act for them to use, but I wonder if he has given them anything in writing that at least the provincial government would not step in to object to any changes they might want to make with regard to March. Having said that, we will support the bill. Quite frankly, we support it with some enthusiasm.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I think there is an amendment to be proposed, I gather, although I will do my best to talk the Liberal Party out of their indiscretion in that area.
It seems to me the bill will be going into committee of the whole and the questions that have been raised perhaps can best be answered there section by section. So at this moment, I will simply thank the member for Carleton East, and associate myself with her graceful remarks.
Motion agreed to.
Ordered for committee of the whole.
GAME AND FISH AMENDMENT ACT
Hon. F. S. Miller moved second reading of Bill 123, An Act to amend the Game and Fish Act.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Does the honourable minister have an opening statement?
Hon. F. S. Miller: No, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Nixon: The minister has indicated that he feels it is necessary, if not essential, that the bill proceed and not be postponed until the fall, since it deals with the establishment of the bag limits in certain areas of hunting -- presumably he is the expert in that connection.
I feel we owe him a favour in some connection, but I cannot quite recall. But on his say-so, then certainly, we have no objection to the bill and we support it in principle.
Mr. Foulds: I rise on behalf of my party and after careful and thorough scrutiny, we support the bill. As I understand it, it gives the minister the right, through regulation, to devise what is called a selective buck quota in terms of the animals or game birds that may be “taken or possessed.” It is not essential, but it would be worthwhile to have the authority in place for the minister so that he could implement the variations which he wishes in certain areas of the province before the fall hunting season. In that spirit, we support the bill without amendment.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Is there any other member wishing to participate? The member for Renfrew North?
Mr. Conway: No.
Motion agreed to.
The bill was also given third reading on motion.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I would be prepared to move, unless there is some objection, government motion 13, while the Speaker is in the Chair.
Mr. Nixon: No objection.
Hon. Mr. McKeough moved resolution No. 13:
Resolved: That the authority of the Treasurer of Ontario granted on March 28, 1978, to pay the salaries of the civil servants and other necessary payments pending the voting of supply for the period commencing April 1, 1978, be extended to October 31, 1978, such payments to be charged to the proper appropriation following the voting of supply.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: The member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk.
Mr. Nixon: We have no objection to the passage of the resolution at this time.
Mr. Conway: You don’t want to make a speech on the size of the salaries, Darcy?
Mr. Deputy Speaker: The honourable member for Nickel Belt.
Mr. Laughren: I am really astounded that the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Maeck) would second that motion by the Treasurer, given what the Treasurer has done to him in the last couple of weeks on assessment reform. I am really surprised and I offer both my condolences and any help I can give him. We, of course, will support the resolution. But it is with a great deal of restraint that I don’t launch into a long series of suggestions as to what the Treasurer should be required to do before he seeks permission of this Legislature to have concurrence in this resolution.
A lot of things have happened in the last two or three months that lead us on this side to believe the Treasurer should come before us with a new set of budgetary policies. I shall be addressing myself to that either later tonight or tomorrow, so I will refrain from further comments at this time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Is there any other member who wishes to participate?
Mr. Nixon: Carried.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Has the provincial Treasurer any comments?
Mr. Conway: It is the size of those salaries that shocks me.
Motion agreed to.
House in committee of the whole.
CITY OF HAZELDEAN-MARCH ACT
Consideration of Bill 131, An Act to establish the City of Hazeldean-March.
Mr. Chairman: Are there any comments on any section of this bill?
On section 1:
Mr. Roy: I’d like to speak on section 1, and in fact move an amendment on section 1.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Roy moves that section 1 of the bill be amended by changing the wording in the last line of the first paragraph from “Hazeldean-March” to “Kanata.”
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I hope the member will reconsider when he appreciates the fact that this is an amalgamation, as opposed to an annexation. Perhaps he might, with some sensitivity, consider the fact that the name “Hazeldean-March” in that order, was recommended to me by the March township council, who presumably have every reason to believe “Kanata” is a better name, as does the member for the area -- perhaps the member for Carleton (Mr. Handleman) does. But the March township council, in their wisdom, suggested that a neutral name should be in the bill and that it be put on the ballot.
So I suggest that you might want to take that amendment back. I think you might think of the people in Glencairn and the people in Bridlewood. I think you might think of the people in the north end of March, which is a very historic area. I suggest to you that a neutral name such as was suggested to me by the March township council, is probably the best choice.
Mr. Roy: In proposing this amendment, of course, it’s not our intention to offend anyone. We have read the Mayo report, and its recommendations at length. We know the Mayo commission sat for many months. They received representations from many municipalities and they made the recommendation that the new city be called “Kanata.” We think, from our discussions with various people, that likely that’s going to be the name they’re going to vote for in the referendum in any event. We don’t want to preclude that. We say the section should remain there. If they want to change it, that’s fine.
Having looked at the recommendations of the Mayo report, keeping in mind some of the representations made, and it’s not our intention to offend anyone, we feel it reflects what is going to be a new and exciting concept in the western part of the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton. It should get off on that basis, in spite of the fumbling and the irrational approach taken by the Treasurer in responding to the whole Mayo report.
He talks about local government input, but he has not followed local government very much, for instance, from the city of Ottawa when they were talking about board of control. In one sense he shows extreme sensitivity and on the other hand he’s prepared to run roughshod over the wishes of the local municipality.
I say very simply and I want to repeat for the record, that it is not our intention to be offensive to anyone.
Ms. Gigantes: You are just being tiresome.
Mr. Roy: I am being what, she says?
Mr. Conway: Tiresome?
Mr. Roy: She talks like a frustrated mistress. My God, it is that kind of a morning.
Ms. Gigantes: None of your sexist remarks.
Mr. Foulds: You talk like a frustrated poppycock; that’s what you talk like.
Mr. Chairman: Order.
Mr. Roy: Some of these things may be quoted in the Globe and Mail in the next article when they talk about intelligent interjections.
Mr. Foulds: By the way, I didn’t say verboseness, I said verbosity.
Mr. Roy: I notice that the crudeness in some of the interjections came from the party to my left, Mr. Chairman, quoted by the Globe and Mail this morning.
Mr. Laughren: Speaking of crudeness, what do you think you are engaged in right now?
Mr. Roy: In any event, returning to the amendment: Your stare, Mr. Chairmen, has brought me back to the principle of the amendment. I go to page 102 of the Mayo report which is the basis of what this whole process is about.
It states: “As discussed in chapter four the regional official plan calls for the development of three satellite cities in the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton. The western urban community is being rapidly developed and it is expected to reach 100,000 population in the year 2000. It will include Kanata, in March township, Glencairn and North Hazeldean in Goulbourn township, and Bridlewood in Nepean township. It will also include extra land, enough to accommodate the expected 100,000 people. We suggest this whole new urban development be called Kanata.”
There is a ring to this which reflects the whole new concept. It says: “Briefs received from March township, the March rural association, the Kanata-Beaverbrook Community Association, and the Goulbourn Rural Ratepayers’ Association state that those parts of March, Goulbourn, and Nepean township to be included in the western satellite city (or Kanata) should be joined to form a new urban municipality. We recommend that this step be taken as soon as possible.”
It goes on to state: “This western satellite city (Kanata) is to form a self-contained unit. Major centres of employment and commercial activity are expected to reduce, as far as possible, commuting to downtown Ottawa. The town centre for the new city is planned to be in the present Kanata, adjacent to the western expansion of highway 417.”
So it responds to the concept that we were talking about. The whole centre of the city is going to be around the present development of Kanata, and of course Kanata is, as it is stated here, planned to be adjacent to the western extension of highway 417.
Having this in mind, and having in mind that the people of the area will be given an opportunity by way of referendum to change the name -- and hopefully we won’t have a situation where there will be a multiple choice situation at that referendum, because I think there is some community of interest, and I think there is some consensus in the area on what they feel about the name. I have a feeling, in spite of the response by March township and some of the friends of the member for Carleton, that there was some breast beating on the part of some of the local members that they would like to have Hazeldean, which represents one area, and March which represents the other area.
As I said before, I suppose the member for Carleton is annoyed that it wasn’t the other way around.
Mr. Handleman: I wasn’t annoyed --
Mr. Roy: You are obviously frustrated about something. Some of your comments express a man who is ready to bite into anything that comes within striking distance.
Mr. Foulds: What is it with these personal attacks this morning?
Mr. Roy: We are prejudging this. We feel that as all recommendations of the Mayo report were based on this concept of Kanata we should start on that footing -- that it responds to this interesting and exciting new concept of a city out there. We feel that then the people will be given an opportunity of looking or voting on what the proper name should be.
We think the amendment should remain. It is not an attempt to frustrate the recommendations of the local people. It is not an attempt to run roughshod over sensitivities, as with some other recommendations -- God knows the Treasurer has experience in that field; it has never been the approach of this party. But we feel this is the proper footing to get this exciting new city going, by having a name such as Kanata.
Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, we are not going to support the amendment that is before us, basically for two reasons: It has to be our view that the Liberal Party is endeavouring in this amendment to firmly establish the name for that new city. They are to a very substantial degree trying to circumvent the right of the people. It is my understanding from talking to both of the reeves in the area that they support the name Hazeldean-March solely as an interim name, with the full realization that that will not be the final name of the city. I understand they want to maintain as neutral a position as possible at this time.
The amendment, I think you would agree, would not do that. It would establish that name, after a strenuous debate in this House, and to some extent at least it would put a bias to the vote which would be taking place this fall.
For those two reasons, because the municipalities want this interim name, because it is considered by them only to be an interim name and because the Liberal Party is endeavouring, to some extent, to influence the vote which is going to take place --
Mr. Conway: No.
Mr. Swart: I grant you you don’t have a great deal of influence in the area --
Mr. Roy: That member has even less.
Mr. Swart: But the Liberal Party is going to endeavour to establish firmly that name now. We want to leave it entirely up to the people in the area, and we will not be supporting that amendment.
Mr. Chairman: Are there any further comments on this amendment?
Mr. Sterling: Mr. Chairman, I would only point out to the member for Ottawa East that we are putting together, as has been mentioned before, two urban communities of roughly equal size. However, the area which is commonly known as Kanata at this time is the larger area in terms of population. I think if we are going to make this partnership work in the future we should go in on the basis that there is some kind of equality in this partnership.
I would also like to point out that there is a different level of housing in these two areas. I think it is important that both of these two communities feel equal in going into this new venture.
Mr. Roy: I would like to make just one more comment, Mr. Chairman, in relation to the amendment.
Mr. Makarchuk: The member realizes he is getting a little tedious around here.
Mr. Roy: Tedious? It is interesting that comment should come from the member to my left who has been boring us for the last four months. He should tell us that we are getting tedious.
I want to say to the member for Welland-Thorold that for him to suggest an intention on our part, by making this amendment, to try to influence the final name decision is not --
Hon. Mr. McKeough: The member’s foot is getting in deeper and deeper.
Mr. Roy: You’re babbling away. Yes, take an aggressive approach; that is the only aggression the Treasurer has had. He has been backing off for the last month around this place. That is what he has been doing. He has no guts. If he had any principles he would resign.
Mr. Chairman: Order. Order.
Mr. Roy: They have been having the Treasurer make somersaults.
Mr. Handleman: It is a responsive government.
Mr. Roy: Responsive, yes. They have him on a yo-yo, for God’s sake.
Mr. Chairman: Order.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Chairman, I apologize that the Treasurer has so antagonized me that I -- for a moment there I thought I was getting involved in a very violent --
Mr. Nixon: He’s been very provocative.
Mr. Roy: Very provocative, as my colleague said.
I want to say this, Mr. Chairman; there is no intention whatsoever to influence a name change. What we’re trying to do, and I think that the comments from the member for Welland-Thorold, who believes in local autonomy --
Mr. Swart: That’s Thorold.
Mr. Roy: Is there a problem? There’s a fellow who has been talking in this House as though he has been lacking part of his anatomy and he is telling me how to make pronunciations.
I want to say this, I think the member for Welland-Thorold -- is that okay?
Mr. Swart: No, it’s Thorold.
Mr. Roy: Okay, I’ve got a problem with the “th” The only advantage I have in sitting here is not sitting in front of him so that I don’t get that rainstorm every time he gets up.
Mr. Gregory: That’s pretty gross.
Mr. Laughren: You have really raised the level of debate.
Mr. Chairman: Order.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Chairman, I want to say this: I think his comments are such that they are an insult to the whole democratic process. It was Mayo who made the recommendation that the name Kanata be used. It was Mayo who did after receiving recommendations from various groups right across the whole Ottawa-Carleton area.
Mr. Swart: You are not making a recommendation, you want to legally change it.
Mr. Roy: For that member to stand here -- and he doesn’t have a clue as to what is going on in Ottawa-Carleton -- and say that we’re trying to influence something --
Mr. Bounsall: I’m not sure you know anything about what’s going on either.
Mr. Roy: If you have any guts come in and speak in our riding so you can increase our majority.
We think the amendment is a proper amendment. It reflects what the local people there wanted, and we’re saying, basically, these are based on the Mayo report. We think that Kanata is a far more exciting name, and I’m surprised that the members to my left, who talk about visions and who talk about principles, would not see fit to support such a sensible amendment, which is based on local input.
Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Roy’s amendment please say “aye.”
All those opposed will please say “nay.”
In my opinion the nays have it.
I declare the amendment lost.
Sections 1 and 2 agreed to.
On section 3:
Mr. Roy: Mr. Chairman, I hear from my left the word filibuster. I find it interesting that those members who wasted our time for months on end cannot see the distinction between constructive debate on a piece of legislation and a filibuster.
An hon. member: The member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes) is getting to you.
Mr. Roy: Don’t worry. I don’t think the member for Carleton East will ever get to me -- not in that situation.
In relation to section 3, I’d like to ask the Treasurer what some of the things are that he has in mind in relation to having ministerial orders necessary to establish wards and to provide a number of aldermen and councillors. I’d like to get some comments on the part of the Treasurer on some of the things he foresees will be necessary to be done by way of orders.
As I read section 3, Mr. Chairman, it states here that:
“The minister may, by order, do all such acts and things which may be necessary to establish wards and to provide the number of aldermen or councillors, as the case may be, in the city of Hazeldean-March, the township of Goulbourn, the township of Nepean and provide such other matters as he considers necessary to hold the elections in the municipalities in 1978.”
My concern is, if in this bill we’re establishing by way of section -- I don’t recall what section it is that they’re going to have a mayor and so many councillors.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: It’s section 4.
Mr. Roy: Is it section 4? “There shall be elected a mayor and six aldermen.” Why is it that we would need, by way of ministerial orders, suggestions as to provide for the number of aldermen and councillors?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: We’re talking about Goulbourn.
Mr. Roy: Yes, but you’re talking about Hazeldean-March in section 3. I would just like to get some comments from the minister on that.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Chairman, perhaps I might make a general comment on that as well, because there were questions with respect to the ward system. March has had a tradition of not having wards, Goulbourn has had a tradition of having wards, and Nepean has not had wards. Without going into all the details, there is some feeling between the various subdivisions; some subdivisions -- communities, if I can put it that way -- are larger than others.
In particular, I think the Goulbourn people felt, and I respected their views, that those who were from March might tend to dominate things in the new city. But no one will ever know whether that is a legitimate concern or not. As a matter of principle, I and the ministry would not advocate a ward system. We obviously have accepted them, although there is no general legislation in place. Kitchener, for example, moved to a ward system this year, and perhaps that was a right decision. But when our advice is asked, we will normally say, “Avoid a ward system as long as you can,” in terms of the parochialism it can sometimes bring. There does come a point, however, when a municipality gets large enough that it probably does need a ward system.
Having said all that, in the restructuring legislation we have consistently gone along with a ward system, even though the municipality might be relatively small, as a way of preserving some identity and making sure, although it would probably happen anyway, that each area is represented.
The March council -- there is no vote on this, but if I can put it this way -- I think the council understands the reason why I am proposing a ward system, or that we would put it in the bill. They worry somewhat that if there is to be a ward system, there are roughly 800 or 1,000 people in north March, who may end up in north March or who may end up some place else --
Mr. Roy: Where?
Mr. Handleman: Rural March.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Rural March -- who will be rural citizens in a somewhat larger municipality. Whether in some way or other they need a ward system has not been finally determined. When and if the bill goes through, we would propose to have a series of meetings with the three councils and sort out, if there are to be wards, what kind -- there will be wards; I think that is settled in my mind, but I can still be persuaded against it. Because of the Goulbourn people particularly, we probably do need a ward system for the first two years. If they want to get rid of it after that, fine and dandy, and I’ll applaud them.
The rest of that section is a standard section which allows me to bring the three clerks together. One of their number will become the returning officer for the election, and everything he or she does is authorized by me under this section. It is a pretty neat section for the purpose of this first election to facilitate matters. We stand in the place of the Ontario Municipal Board, of course, because we will ask where the wards should be. It won’t go through the municipal board process; this section then gives me the authority to order the wards.
Mr. Handleman: My position here puts me at some disadvantage in catching your eye, Mr. Chairman. I just want to say that I have constantly been opposed to the idea of a ward system. I think our at-large system in both March and Nepean has served us well; it provides for a cohesive community. But I do want to point out to the member for Ottawa East that the people in Goulbourn who are coming into the new municipality have been underrepresented on their own council over the past number of years because of the vast growth in the Glencairn ward. They are sensitive to the idea of being assured of representation on the new council.
I have spoken to the members of the March council who have been communicating with me, and I have assured them that if there is unanimity on the question of an election at large, there would be no difficulty with the government or the minister in putting that into the legislation. As I read the section, it can provide for a one-ward system.
I don’t think that will be the result of the discussions; I am quite sure the people of Goulbourn will be quite adamant in their insistence of assured representation. If another system or technique can be devised to assure them of representation on the council, I’m sure the minister will take it into account.
I agree with the member for Ottawa East that an award system may create divisions. In this case, the division is there now. We have to recognize it and somehow assure them their voices will be heard in this very important two years of the formation of this new city.
Mr. Roy: May I ask the Treasurer: Will grants be made under section 3? Is it under the authority of section 3 as well that --
Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, the authority to do that, actually, is in the Unconditional Grants Act. It is not in this act at all.
Mr. Roy: You don’t need it in this?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: No.
Section 3 agreed to.
Section 4 agreed to.
On section 5:
Hon. Mr. McKeough: The member asked about section 5.
A strict interpretation of the Police Act would say that on December 1 next they have to have their own police force completely in place. There is no police force there now other than the Ontario Provincial Police. They want their own police force, but obviously it has to be recruited, and paid for. My guess is that’s going to take several years.
By doing this, the OPP can stay there as long as necessary, and stay there not illegally, if I can put it that way. We’ll work out a timetable.
Mr. Roy: This is always a problem in the Ottawa-Carleton area, because of the number of police forces. It’s something you’ve avoided in spite of the fact that it’s recommended by Mayo. I’m not afraid to put on the record that I don’t agree with one of those suggestions about a regional force.
When these people are getting the services of the Ontario Provincial Police, are you satisfied they are paying the full cost for these services? In view of the fact that the township of Nepean has a relatively large police force taking care of quite a large urban municipality, has it ever been considered that maybe Nepean should look at the policing? Is it their decision that they don’t particularly want that?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: It has been discussed; I don’t know how seriously. It’s obviously, I suppose, a large question on the plate of the new council, when they are elected, as to how they handle it.
This section simply removes the necessity of having to act on December 1. I don’t know that it is necessary -- as a matter of fact, it is not. The OPP are still being phased out of the two regions, I think, at present. We’ve never done that legislatively or have had to authorize that by legislation. But the March council and the Goulbourn council, as well, said their reading of the act would indicate they’d have to provide full policing on December 1. I said, “That is not the intention and the Ontario Police Commission or the Ontario Provincial Police will not be expecting anything like that, but for your protection we’ll put this section in the bill.” That’s how it got there.
Section 5 agreed to.
On section 6:
Mr. Roy: The question I have in relation to section 6 is is it going to be up to the new municipality to decide the nature of the referendum they’re going to have for the name, or is it going to be within the purview of the province to decide that?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: It’s the purview of the province.
Mr. Roy: The purview of the province, okay. Secondly, is the municipality going to decide the alternative choices for the name of the municipality, or is that again something that is within the jurisdiction of the province?
I suppose you would take suggestions from the local municipalities, but it is the province which decides the nature of the referendum and what names they will decide on for the new city. Is that what you’re saying?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Yes, because the new council won’t be there. This referendum would be held on November 14 when the new council is elected.
If the new council doesn’t like it, of course, then they can have another referendum either two years later or sooner.
What we will do, of course, is consult with the three councils and in some way ask them to choose names. I have forgotten how it was done in Waterloo. I think those names were suggested; I have forgotten by whom. In the case with which I was most intimately connected -- and that was before I knew the member for Carleton East too -- was Thunder Bay. We made the very sensible decision there, I thought, to ask the public school children, the elementary school children.
Mr. Foulds: You are going to stimulate me to speak.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: They had a vote and came up with three names which were well accepted. That’s how the three names were chosen. They were recommended to me and I placed them on the ballot -- one of the great success stories of all times.
Mr. Roy: Could I ask the Treasurer if he has made a final decision on the names?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, no.
Mr. Roy: You have not made that decision. Is Kanata going to be one of them?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I’ll suggest it.
Mr. Foulds: I’m sorry, I wasn’t going to give my Thunder Bay, The Lakehead, and Lakehead speech, the saga and the ballad of the amalgamated city that has become known as Thunder Bay, but in the fact the Treasurer will admit privately if not publicly that there was an error made in putting on the ballot the conflicting and confusing choice of Lakehead, The Lakehead, or Thunder Bay. The majority of people would have voted and did vote for some variation of Lakehead or the Lakehead, but Thunder Bay squeaked through the middle. To this day, some people see it as a paranoid plot of the Treasurer. I don’t ascribe it to that at all. I think it was mere incompetence and ignorance of the issue at the time.
Mr. Conway: Is it true that the member for Carleton favours sovereignty-association?
Mr. Chairman: Order.
Mr. Epp: I wonder if the Treasurer could indicate whether he has a limit to the number of names on the ballot. Are there just three, or could six or 10 names be on?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, I have none. Each time it has been three, hasn’t it? It’s never been more than three. I think we’ll suggest that, but if they desperately want four, fine.
Section 6 agreed to.
Sections 7 and 8 agreed to.
Bill 131 reported.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the committee of the whole House reported one bill without amendment.
The following bill was given third reading on motion:
Bill 131, An Act to establish the City of Hazeldean-March.
Mr. Roy: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I might state that the fact that this bill went through two stages in one particular day is due largely to the co-operation of the Liberal Party. We know the rules of procedure --
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order. Order.
Mr. Roy: -- and we did not object to it.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. Foulds: Out of order.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, he doesn’t have a point of order. There is no standing rule that says that.
Mr. Roy: Yes, there is. There is a standing rule that says 20 members can object.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Speaking to the point of order --
Mr. Acting Speaker: With respect, Mr. Treasurer, there is no point of order to speak to.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: It really is a matter of privilege. I would have to thank members opposite for their co-operation in expediting this bill. I really thought it was so cute that the member for Ottawa East felt he had got himself in so far, he didn’t know how he was going to get out of this name business, where he really was on a very sticky wicket. Do the members know how he got out of it?
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: When it came time to put the vote there were only four Grits in the House, so he didn’t have to be embarrassed on the record. That was clever. I admire him, I really do.
Mr. Roy: After your performance of the last few weeks, I have no problem.
CITY OF LONDON ACT
Mr. Gregory, on behalf of Mr. Walker, moved second reading of Bill Pr13, An Act respecting the City of London.
Motion agreed to.
Third reading also agreed to on motion.
HAMILTON CIVIC HOSPITALS ACT
Mr. Martel, on behalf of Mr. M. N. Davison, moved second reading of Bill Pr18, An Act to revise Hamilton Civic Hospitals Act, 1961-62.
Motion agreed to.
Third reading also agreed to on motion.
CITY OF TORONTO ACT
Mr. Gregory, on behalf of Mr. Rotenberg, moved second reading of Bill Pr23, An Act respecting the City of Toronto.
Motion agreed to.
Third reading also agreed to on motion.
CITY OF THUNDER BAY ACT
Mr. Gregory, on behalf of Mr. Hennessy, moved second reading of Bill Pr26, An Act respecting the city of Thunder Bay.
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, in an act of generosity, I offered to move the second reading. I offer to move the third reading as we supported the bill along with Mr. Hennessy.
Motion agreed to.
Third reading also agreed to on motion.
POLY AIRE INTERNATIONAL LIMITED ACT
Mr. Gregory, on behalf of Mr. Leluk, moved second reading of Bill Pr29, An Act to revive Poly Aire International Limited.
Motion agreed to.
Third reading also agreed to on motion.
WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION AMENDMENT ACT
Hon. B. Stephenson moved second reading of Bill 126, An Act to amend the Workmen’s Compensation Act.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, there is little to add to the statement I made earlier this week, when this bill was introduced. I would like the honourable members, having had the opportunity to peruse at least the Wyatt report, to be aware that the recommendations made within the bill on the increases in levels of benefits are those based upon the Wyatt report and the recommendations of the Workmen’s Compensation Board. It is my understanding that the Workmen’s Compensation Board, in their deliberations on this subject, were very close to the recommendations made by the joint consultative committee, a committee of that board, and that those recommendations were the basis for the decisions made by the Workmen’s Compensation Board.
I would remind the honourable members that the Workmen’s Compensation Board does have to report to me and the joint consultative committee is an internal committee of that board, and I am not privy to all of their deliberations. I think it is incumbent upon the members of the House, Mr. Speaker, and I feel very much constrained to ensure, that these amendments are passed by this House as rapidly as possible so that they may be in place for the benefit of Workmen’s Compensation recipients by July 1.
Mr. O’Neil: I would like to open my remarks by saying that although we are very pleased to see this bill brought in by the minister, we have been quite upset, as I know members of the other opposition party have been, at the delay before the increases were brought into the Legislature. I realize the minister has stated that she was awaiting the results of the Wyatt report, but it is my understanding that the Wyatt report has been in the hands of her ministry for approximately two months. This is not right? That was my understanding from some of the quotes that were made, and I will cheek on Hansard on that. I might recall also that as far back as April 13, 1978, the member for Erie (Mr. Haggerty), who is very interested in the Workmen’s Compensation Board and in seeing that the workers are covered properly, given the right amount of benefits and looked after by the board, made several comments that may be found on page 1500 of the April 13, 1978, Hansard.
Another study which was mentioned just now by the minister was the report of the joint consulting committee. I am sorry this report was not made available to the members of the Legislature. I have not seen copies of it, but I believe that were that information given by that committee to the people who wrote the Wyatt report, it would have been good if the details also had been made available to the members of this Legislature, so they could also have examined them and had further input.
As our leader mentioned on Monday when this bill was put forward, he was quite upset that we were not made privy to the information that there are sufficient funds in the Workmen’s Compensation Fund to fund these increases. I am a little upset, as I know all of our members are, that the funding that is made available to the Workmen’s Compensation Board is not done more on an annual basis as is recommended by the Wyatt report. One of the recommendations calls for an annual audit by the superintendent of insurance of Ontario and for full, clear disclosure of the WCB’s financial condition in each annual statement. This is one thing which I would like to see enacted when we go into a study of the Wyatt report and the study of the WCB bill.
We are also a little bit upset, as I mentioned, about the timing of Bill 126. It was introduced on June 19; we are giving it second reading today, the 22nd. It really has not left us adequate time for consideration, to make a study of the Wyatt report, and it is my understanding that the minister will give to this Legislature her commitment that, when we return in the fall, the members, possibly through a committee of all members of the Legislature, will be able to sit down and have a look at the Wyatt report and also look over the WCB Act to look at further changes.
I know there may be some discussion as to whether these amounts are good enough to cover different areas of compensation that we run into, whether they may concern single-parent families, widows or children. There may be discussion on that by some of the members later this afternoon. I feel it is important that we see that this bill is passed through the Legislature so these benefits will be available by July 1 for the people who are on compensation, so they will get these increases. That is the most important thing -- that these increases be made available to them.
In the fall when we reconvene we may have a look at the Wyatt report and the act. We will have had a chance to have examined in detail the recommendations, to see the ones we agree with and the ones we disagree with. Possibly at that time there will be some change in the benefit levels and the things that are made available to these people on compensation.
So the minister can look at it, I would mention one of the things that gives us a bit of problem, even with this bill. I don’t believe the bill really deals with those people who have lump sum payments after 75. We believe that in some cases, people received lump sum payments because they were in dire difficulty and needed the money right away. I wonder if I could have the minister’s comments before we go into this bill, section by section, as to whether she believes that they also should receive these increases. As I say, we are not completely happy with some of the things in the bill. It does give these people increases, and it will give it to them shortly. If it is retroactive for the period of the last three years, when they did not receive increases, then we will be supporting this bill.
Mr. Bounsall: It feels like old times to have a bill increasing the pension benefits of the Workmen’s Compensation Board before us in the last day or two of session, before we break in June or July. This has been the pattern in 1974, 1975 and I have come to expect it. I was, of course, upset that these pensions were not adjusted in 1976 and in 1977. We’re here in 1978 making all these back adjustments -- moneys which should have and could have been already in the hands of the injured workers in the province of Ontario.
I suppose it’s like past history. The bills usually come in with about as much time to look at them as we had this time. In addition, we had the Wyatt report which examined the financial structure of the board and laid before us some of the philosophy for some of the changes that appear in this bill. Certainly the maximums that will be paid out cause me some concern and I will speak at some greater length on that, either in this debate or when we get to the committee stage.
I’m sort of used to doing a lot of work in a rather short time so the data presented to us causes me no concern. All it means is that when it does come up, one loses a little bit of sleep. That’s fair game. So I have no complaint about the bill being debated shortly after its introduction, nor that the bill was accompanied by the 500-page Wyatt report which also needed some digestion. This is par for the course and I would sooner have this bill in which pensions are adjusted, even with the short time to think about it before debate, than not have it at all. I would have preferred to have had debates in 1976 and 1977 in the month of June, rather than waiting until 1978. However, this bill does make adjustments to pensions backdated to those other two periods.
Of the bill, I can say we will support it. We will have amendments to the bill and some of those amendments need not take all that long to discuss. So there is no way the bill won’t come into effect for July 1, 1978, with the backdating of pensions which flow from that bill. We anticipate no problem with that at all.
However, there are two or three points in the bill that do disturb me. One, of course, is the widows’ pensions. The minister, the ministry, and the Workmen’s Compensation Board know my thoughts in this matter from previous speeches on bills, particularly in 1975. I see no rationale whatsoever for the widows’ pensions to be any different from those pensions paid to the permanently 100 per cent disabled workers. It seems to me that if a worker gets sufficiently disabled that he is killed in the work place -- and that is a pretty substantial disablement -- the pension paid to the widow cannot be and should not be identical to those outlined in the bill for the permanently disabled.
For some years from 1971 on those amounts were equivalent; they were equivalent in the amendments of 1974. In 1975, we moved off that and substantially adjusted the amounts for the permanently disabled and increased the amount of the widow’s pension, but only by the 10 per cent cost of living adjustment which was made to all of the other pensions. That principle which seemed to have applied -- although for years before the early ’70s it didn’t apply -- and to have become thoroughly established and which, when talked about received no negative comments or denials from the board or from the various Labour ministers that that was what they had done, was abandoned in 1975. That principle should be reinstituted now without fail.
Hence our amendment in this section would replace the widow’s pension amounts by what is in the bill; they are increased by the percentages which are used in the bill to the amount equivalent to those pensions paid to the fully disabled worker. Again I stress the philosophy of this. How much more fully disabled could a worker be than one who is killed in the work place? He leaves a survivor who should get the pension that a fully disabled worker should and would receive, if he had stopped just shy of death in the work place. It makes such eminent sense that I can’t see why we are fiddling around with any other smaller numbers. I just cannot see the justification of it.
One can always argue that there is a cost factor involved. There is a cost factor involved in all of these. For that matter, there aren’t that many widows and widowers in the province that to give them the amount of pension equal to the pension for the fully disabled would cause much strain on the resources of the Workmen’s Compensation Board.
Of the total pensions paid out by the Workmen’s Compensation Board, a figure roughly around 55,000, the widows and widowers’ category includes less than 5,000 recipients. About eight per cent of the pensions paid out are paid out to the widow or widower category. There are not many in the widower category; I think the number can be counted on the fingers of both bands. The category is mainly widows. They are mainly women who, following the traditional situation women find themselves in, usually haven’t had much opportunity to acquire skills or haven’t practised their skills in the work place. Certainly they very much need the full pension accorded to a fully-disabled worker.
The group is small in number. The minister really can’t argue, therefore, with any great strength that this would put the board under financial constraints if those widows’ pensions were increased from what is in the bill -- for example, from $318 a month -- to the level for the fully disabled, which should be $448 -- in the bill it is $444. I would ask the minister and the members of the Liberal Party to consider very seriously that this is one defective area of the bill and to support our amendment in this regard.
In terms of widows’ pensions, if one looks at it there are various ways one can approach the matter. We will not try to make amendments in this particular bill to the philosophy which would treat widows and widowers somewhat differently. Perhaps we can look forward to a year from now when we get the next bill changing the benefits of the Workmen’s Compensation Board so we don’t have to wait for years thereafter. We expect that next June at the latest.
Perhaps the minister, with the Wyatt report in hand, could consider various changes with respect to widows and widowers. Just in Canada alone, there are various ways in which the widow and widower category is handled.
Saskatchewan pays 100 per cent pension for the first five years, making an assumption that this will enable the spouse to adapt, retrain, and re-enter the work force. And knowing that the 100 per cent pension will not pertain after the five-year period, this certainly gives the widowed time for adjustment and retraining.
After that five-year period, the pension does not go to zero. There is a real figure in Saskatchewan’s bill. As of more than a year ago, this figure was $300 a month, which was certainly more than we have had up to that point, which was only $286. I hope that the minister will consider this as one of the methods we could follow to treat the widow and widower category in this province.
Manitoba pays a 100 per cent pension to widows or widowers. This is reduced by what is called a dependency factor: if the widow or widower was fully dependent upon the person who was killed in the work place, they receive the full pension. If the widow or widower was, in fact, working half time, for example, at the time of death in the work place, then consideration is given to reducing the pension by 50 per cent. They apply this rather nice dependency factor, which I don’t think is too complicated. It recognizes, and really encourages, the working of the widow or widower of the person killed in the work place so that one doesn’t feel forever dependent and tied for the rest of one’s life. And this could happen at a very early stage in life, and the widow or widower could be constantly reminded of it.
Australia has various categories of widows and widowers -- class A and class B. I won’t go into the ins and outs. I am sure the minister and the board know about those situations.
We would certainly be willing to consider changes in philosophy in the act so that widows and widowers are rewarded more than they have been under our acts, and are thus provided with some sort of incentive and encouragement to retrain and get into the work place.
Perhaps the minister would note this in response. I was quite intrigued by the percentages by which the pensions were changed in this act, and it followed that the same percentages, of course, were used throughout. I looked up the consumer price index, as well as the average salaries and wages index changes that have occurred in various years, and looked at the actual percentage figures placed in the bill. As a result, I am not able to conclude just what exactly the minister or the board were doing in picking the particular figure they did.
The consumer price index in the year 1975 showed an increase of 10 per cent. The increase in the average salaries and wages was 12 per cent. Neither figure was picked. Eleven per cent was picked. You say, “Ah, there is a pattern emerging! The minister is taking those two indices and splitting the difference, so she got 11 per cent.”
You look at 1976, where the consumer price index was a six per cent increase, and the percentage increase in salaries and wages was 10 per cent. The minister, inexplicably, picked eight. But you see the pattern following -- she split the difference. Eight is the difference between the six and the 10.
You say, Mr. Speaker, “Well, there’s the clear pattern emerging. There’s the mix of the consumer price index and percentage increase in the average salaries and wages. That is what the minister is doing.” That’s fine, if that’s the principle on which it were done. We would accept that without question; there is some rationale for those percentage changes. Except when you now get to the year 1976, for which the pensions are to be adjusted by July 1, 1978, the consumer price index increase was 14 per cent, and the increase in salaries and wages was six per cent. The ministry and the board increased it only by six per cent and the whole pattern is lost. There is no rationale there whatsoever.
One wonders if there were any rationale for the other two years, because the difference between the six and 14, of course, is eight, half of which is four; so that increase should have been 10 per cent, if that rationale were followed.
We were not therefore able to detect any rationale. We would have settled for and not moved, as we have done, one iota of change in any of these pension rates as laid out in the bill if the changes had been that rationalized change, as we might have observed from the first two years -- 11, eight, followed by 10; rather than 11, eight and then choosing the lower of those two indices.
I am one of those persons who likes to see rationale used when it comes to choosing percentage changes for pensions. I would like to be convinced that some rationale was used -- and if so what? -- in the choosing of that six per cent adjustment for the year 1977. However, having looked at that and observed what I thought was a trend, which completely fell apart for 1977, I am left with the question, if I were making the choice, what would I do? What would I propose for the percentage increase on the benefit levels as contained in this bill?
I wasn’t unhappy with what the minister had done, or appeared to have done at one point, choosing half of the difference, a 50-50 mix of the percentage increase in CPI and average salaries and wages. One simply could have proposed that the first two years be fine, as those increases were, and in the following year have that mix at 10 per cent. If the minister would say that’s the rationale she and the board would like to be using, that also would be completely acceptable to this political party and to me.
However, not being at all confident, because of what happened for the 1977 year adjustment, that that was the rationale used, again we come back to the point of what, in fact, should have been used. I have argued ever since I came into the Legislature in 1971 that workmen’s compensation clearly is a scheme by which the decrease in workers’ income as a result of injuries in the work place should be compensated for, if one is going to make any adjustment at all on pensions, that adjustment should not be according to the consumer price index, but according to the average salaries and wages, the industrial composite, in the province of Ontario.
One can make a very rational argument for that to be the case. This is the one pension, this is the one benefit above all others which should be tied to per cent increases in salaries and wages. That’s always been the rationale which I have used, and therefore, I again choose to stick with that rationale since the ministry doesn’t seem to have any clearly emerging rationale itself.
Mr. Laughren: There is the embarrassed Minister of Revenue (Mr. Maeck).
Mr. Bounsall: The adjustments I would have made on those pension levels would have been 12 per cent in the year 1975, rather than the 11 in the bill; 10 per cent for the year 1976, rather than the eight per cent that’s in the bill; and in the year 1977 I would agree with the six per cent that is contained within the bill, knowing full well that six per cent increase in the salary and wages for the year 1977 is well below the consumer price index increase of 14 per cent.
That is an indication of the effect of the Anti-Inflation Board and its non-operation in our society where salaries and wages went up only six per cent and consumer price index has gone up 14 per cent. It shows the total inoperability of justice being achieved through that Anti-Inflation Board. In the amendments which I have tabled the minister and the staff of the Workmen’s Compensation Board will see that I’ve simply made what turns out to be a rather small monetary adjustment on the numbers as indicated on the bill to give and put in place the proper rationale for what those changes are.
Instead of having 11, eight and six we are proposing 12, 10 and six, with a cumulative effect of around 30 per cent over that three-year period, as opposed to the ministry’s proposal which has a cumulative effect of around a 27 per cent increase.
Those differences aren’t very much. We needn’t argue about those differences. What I would like to really talk about and be convinced about is the minister’s rationale. Let’s get it on the proper rationale, which in my terms should be the percentage increase in the average salaries and wages.
I know the ministry did not have the Wyatt report in their hands for very many days -- I guess it was in unbound form when it eventually arrived in the minister’s hands by the end of the first week in June. However, having had it at least since then, the people at the board serving on that review committee, knowing full well the problems, should have built into the legislation an automatic adjustment at this time. Then we wouldn’t have to have before us each June -- or hopefully each June, for it has not happened in the last two years -- a bill requiring those changes to be made.
Of course, our amendment follows the philosophy that on July 1 each year there shall be an adjustment on all of the benefits equal to the percentage increase in salaries and wages that have occurred up to December 31 of the previous year -- so by July 1, 1979, there would be an absolutely automatic adjustment of those pensions equivalent to whatever the percentage increase in salaries and wages was in Ontario for this year, 1978.
Those figures would be available from Statistics Canada within the first two to three months of any calendar year. It would give the board, therefore, sufficient time between then and July 1 to make all of those adjustments. Then the adjusted cheques could go out by July 1 as the legislation, if amended as we see it, would so indicate and empower the minister to do without coming before us.
We will get into much more detail in some of the arguments as we go through the bill clause by clause. But one of the things which also disturbed me very much about this bill was the maximum amount on which the salary could be calculated. I have read thoroughly that part of the Wyatt report indicating there should be no adjustment to the maximum. Some of the rationale is that it is those persons who are at or near the maximum who are the most advantaged anyway.
The 25 per cent at that level are those who are paying more than 25 per cent of their income in income tax. Therefore, they are the ones, rather than all the lower salaried workers, who are receiving a benefit. Those who are less salaried are not, by that 75 per cent non-taxable payment on which their compensation is initially calculated and then their pensions based.
But it takes the wrong approach and draws the wrong conclusions. We have argued and suggested in estimates before, particularly the estimates dealing with the Workmen’s Compensation Board two years ago. We got into that whole problem rather heavily concerning who is disadvantaged when that compensation is 75 per cent non-taxable of the average earnings. Certainly, it’s most discriminatory against the low-income worker and persons with large families. The person who gets the most advantage from it is the high-income person at the maximum, particularly if that person does not have a family. And I quite appreciate that there is no way we, in the province of Ontario, should have to increase our collections from employers in order to pay out a taxable benefit to workers so that money can then be paid out to the federal government.
I believe that the initial approach worked out with the federal government, that these pensions should be non-taxable, is a correct one in terms of having a lower levy to our employers in Ontario. But what should be applied now, and the board has the sophistication to do it without question, is a sliding scale of what percentage, related to their salary and their dependants, should be paid on compensation.
In response to those estimates discussions of a couple of years ago, the board gave out a very interesting document subsequently. For a fair number of salaries categories and for those with no dependants and those with various numbers of dependants within those salary levels, the document indicated how long each of those persons must be on compensation before they started to become advantaged or disadvantaged.
It was an interesting document because, if I recall, the major breakpoint was around nine months and most of the people on compensation do not stay on compensation that long. But you still have this group of long-term workers, small in number, who are off the job longer than nine months, in those lower salary categories who, in point of fact, should be dealt with more fairly than the present blanket of 75 per cent non-taxable we now have. Those workers, I think, should be on a sliding scale that deals with that equitably and which takes away the major point made by Wyatt in the report: why we should not increase the maximums in the act.
By increasing the maximums only the small amount in the act, from $15,000 to $16,200, some very real problems are caused. There’s a section in the bill where I have some difficulty understanding exactly what it was accomplishing and I’m not sure that it accomplishes it. Maybe we can set that aside as we go through it in committee and see if there is any possibility of changing those maximums in section 5 of the bill.
It will create a situation where, if someone is receiving the percentage increases in their pension, they will end up receiving more than a newly injured worker, injured after July 1, 1978, because the maximums aren’t increased to the point they should be.
There’s a section in the bill at the bottom of page three and continuing to the top of page four which I had difficulty interpreting after several readings. That section is supposed to take care of that. It says no worker injured prior to July 1, 1978, can have his pension adjusted by those percentages outlined in the bill in such a way that he or she would receive more than someone who was injured after July 1, 1978. By so doing, we are seriously disadvantaging those workers who should be, according to justice, receiving those pension increases which are due to them. Because of the salaries they made at the time of the injury they are not going to get the 27 per cent cumulative total outlined in this bill, nor the roughly 30 per cent cumulative total which we are proposing for the bill. They are to be stoppered from receiving them.
I’m not sure that’s what the section is trying to achieve; I’m not sure that the wording of it actually achieves it, but that’s the effect of it. That should simply not be in there.
I would say to the minister that we have always had a problem in there being any maximums at all in the bill on which average earnings can be calculated and compensation paid. We believe very strongly that everyone should be treated the same and treated justly. Why should someone who becomes injured in a work place injury, who is earning for example $20,000, as we MPPs do, have to have it assumed for him that his earnings in terms of board payouts will only be $15,000 or, as this bill amends it, $16,200?
There was no problem in the last adjustment we made in 1975 because we increased the maximum from $12,000 to $15,000, which was a greater increase than the increase in the pension. We didn’t have the problem of workers having a pension adjustment being in danger of receiving more than a worker injured post July 1, 1975. By increasing it by the small amount we have done, we have workers in that situation who will not, therefore, be able to receive the additional pension.
As a minimum, if one is not going to take off any maximum amount in the bill, which I feel should be done for simple justice’s sake, the pension maximums must be adjusted to alleviate that problem by the exact amount as whatever percentage we choose to use in this bill. Either what is in the bill or what we propose should be increased by that identical amount over that three-year period and each year over that three-year period. That is one of the positions which could be taken. That could be a formula used in which thereafter the maximums should be increased by the same percentage by which the pensions are increased, so that we don’t find ourselves in that very much disadvantages situation.
The final point I would like to make in the debate is that one of the continuing concerns for any worker who is injured, be he on compensation for some months who then recovers and is able to return to the work place or if he ends up not being able to return to the work place, is that unemployment insurance and Canada Pension cannot be paid for them. They cannot pay it, and no mechanism has been found by which it can he paid for them.
I would strongly suggest to the minister and to the Workmen’s Compensation Board, whatever it takes to work out with the federal government, while a worker is recovering from an injury, it is reasonable for the worker to have unemployment insurance paid for him so that he is not in danger of losing UIC earnings and that Canada Pension Plan contributions should be made for him as part of his pension benefits as an add-on, so that he is not losing cumulative pension benefits. Whatever needs to be worked out with the federal government should be worked out so that that can be paid for injured workers, at least while they are on compensation.
Perhaps it could be worked out that a payment could be made on their behalf on their pension award as well. But at least for those on compensation that should be worked out and be paid as an additional amount and not as a deduction from the compensation to be received nor the pensions they are receiving. It should be paid on behalf of the workers.
This is a continuing source of questions from and a continuing source of frustration of injured workers who are on compensation for any length of time. It should be possible to work it out. It is not impossible, I am sure. It should be done.
Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, this bill, An Act to amend the Workmen’s Compensation Act, to restore the loss in purchasing power to injured workers as a result of the government’s failure to raise the rates since 1975, ends one of the sorriest chapters in this province’s recent past. It has been a source of shame and disgrace to Ontario. It has been a scandal that the injured workers in Ontario have been forced to bear the brunt of a callous and cruel restraint program; that injured workers have been singled out for this kind of punitive treatment; that injured workers alone, of all other sectors of our society, have been denied a cost-of-living increase for almost three years.
The fact that the bill comes today is a source of some satisfaction to us. It is not a cause for gratitude, however, because we do not have to express gratitude when our constituents’ rights are acknowledged and recognized and accorded. It’s not a question of charity that’s being bestowed by a government on a group of people. It is a question of the recognition by government of the legitimate rights of injured workers to decent pensions and adequate compensation and adequate protection against the ravages of inflation.
Mr. Lupusella: You never used the word “rights.”
Mr. McClellan: It is the epitome, the very essence, of bad government when problems are allowed to go unattended and grievances are allowed to continue unredressed. In this instance, the failure of the government to adjust the compensation rates has led to civil disobedience. It has led to violent clashes with the police. It has led to violence. It has led to charges being laid and court proceedings being initiated.
That is what bad government is all about: when decent, bard-working people are unable to have their legitimate rights acknowledged by government and they turn, in desperation, to other ways of drawing attention to their plight. That’s exactly what has happened in this situation with respect to this government’s failure to raise the compensation rates. It has led to violence and to confrontation.
I hope that never happens again in Ontario.
Mr. Laughren: It never needs to happen.
Mr. McClellan: It should never have happened and it need not happen. I say to my colleagues in the Liberal Party that I hope we can amend the legislation to include automatic indexing in the Workmen’s Compensation Act so that injured workers will be granted the statutory protection, to which they are entitled, against the loss of purchasing power as a result of the ravages of inflation.
I want to speak very briefly to four points with respect to this bill. I haven’t had adequate time, as none of us has had, to fully read the Wyatt report. I regard it as an important document. It covers every aspect of the Workmen's Compensation program. It deserves very close and detailed study, and it will receive that study. But on the basis of a very quick and cursory reading of the Wyatt report, I have a number of observations that I want to make. I make them tentatively, but I believe that the observations are valid.
In the first place, we have to recognize something I’m not sure the Wyatt report recognizes or my colleagues in the Liberal Party recognize, that the workmen’s compensation program is not a welfare program; it’s an insurance program. Like any other insurance program it has to be operated on insurance principles. That means that, like any other insurance program, it has to have a liability fund which is solvent. The reality is that the Workmen’s Compensation Board has an unfunded liability according to the Wyatt report of $682 million as of December 1976.
When members of this House say the money was in the accident fund all the time to raise the rates, they are making a fundamental confusion between a welfare program and an insurance program. The fact is that the compensation board does not have sufficient funds in the accident fund to cover its liability.
Mr. Speaker: I wonder if the honourable member would find this a convenient place to break his remarks. By previous agreement we were to revert to routine proceedings at 2 o’clock.
On motion by Mr. McClellan, the debate was adjourned.
Mr. Speaker: Before I call ministerial statements and in keeping with past practice, in order to acknowledge the excellent service provided us by the legislative pages I’m going to read their names and their ridings into the record:
Ruth Boehm, Waterloo North; Maureen Bracewell, Scarborough North; Douglas Carroll, Scarborough-Ellesmere; Stephen Dunne, Mississauga South; Penny-Lynn Fielding, Sudbury East; Virginia Gallop, Beaches-Woodbine; Lyn Gregory, Perth; Patrick Grier, Lakeshore; Laura Houston, Northumberland; Ian Jeans, Brant-Oxford-Norfolk; Douglas Jones, Scarborough North; Amanda Kelman, Quinte; Wendy McKee, Mississauga South; Kristy McKitrick, Simcoe East; Ross McKitrick, Simcoe East; Chris Miller, Lake Nipigon; Adam Schatz, London South; Monique Smith, Nipissing; Geoffrey Terrill, Victoria-Haliburton; Lisa White, Dufferin-Simcoe; Stuart Wright, Simcoe Centre; and Konrad Yakabuski, Renfrew South.
I’m sure all members would like to join with me in thanking this excellent group of pages for their services during the past six weeks.
Mr. Nixon: If they’d been much better we would have had to pay them.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
QUEBEC POLICY ON CONSTRUCTION HIRING
Hon. Mr. Davis: I am tabling today two letters that were sent from my office yesterday. The first is to the Prime Minister, the second to the Premier of Quebec. The letter to the Prime Minister asks the government of Canada to initiate a reference under the Supreme Court Act in regard to regulation OC 3282 which has been enacted under the province of Quebec’s Construction Industry Labour Relations Act.
This regulation, as members of this House are aware, will deny a substantial number of Ontario residents, particularly those who reside in areas close to the Quebec-Ontario boundary, employment opportunities in construction trades for which they are fully qualified and to which, we believe, they are fully entitled.
We believe that there are serious doubts as to the constitutionality of the Quebec regulation and, having due regard for the manner in which issues of this kind can be properly challenged, we have asked the federal government to place the matter before the Supreme Court of Canada -- an action in which we shall readily join in our attempt to remedy what we regard as a totally unacceptable situation.
In addition, Mr. Speaker, later today the Minister of Labour will introduce for first reading, and, quite frankly, as an indication of our determination, a bill that is intended to protect Ontario workers, given the Quebec regulation. However, it would not be our intention to proceed with this legislation until the decision regarding a court reference is made or until the court rules in the matter. Nevertheless, we feel it is necessary to indicate, and clearly, that we take this matter seriously and we do not intend to have this province or its citizens placed at a disadvantage because of the actions of another provincial government.
As I indicated in my letter to Mr. Levesque, I regret that such action has been found to be necessary. It was my belief, following my recent discussions with him in Toronto, that an acceptable solution could be found. Towards this end, the Minister Of Labour has discussed the matter on a number of occasions with her counterpart in Quebec. Despite those discussion, the Quebec position has not changed. The Quebec minister has explained that the intention of the regulation is to give the Quebec government more effective control over the construction industry in that province, and that it is not deliberately intended to penalize Ontario residents.
Whatever the purpose of the regulation, however, the end result for Ontario workers remains the same and as a result is unacceptable to us. I repeat that while the message has been communicated on a number of occasions, including my own conversations with Mr. Levesque, we feel that no acceptable modifications in the regulation have been proposed.
In defence of its position, Quebec has referred to provisions in the regulation allowing the issuance of special permits to non-residents, including Ontarians, who are members of an employer’s “regular work force.” However, the definition of “regular work force” is left to the uncontrolled discretion of Quebec officials. Moreover, we have been told that the concept will be limited to “key men” who have lengthy periods of continuous employment with a single employer. Hence, this so-called exemption provision provides no relief to Ontario tradesmen who cannot meet these stringent service requirements.
I have been assured, however, that while the regulation becomes effective July 1, Ontario residents working on Quebec construction projects will be permitted to continue to work at least until the projects are completed. Nevertheless, since these transitional arrangements obviously do not provide the permanent solution which we are seeking, we feel that relevantly quick action is required on our request for a court reference.
I sincerely regret that we have had to proceed along the lines I have outlined. It is, quite frankly, a sad day when it is necessary to ask our courts to reaffirm the rights of Canadian citizens to live and work wherever they wish in this country and to consider legislation as a self-protective measure that seems contrary to the principle of free movement of our citizens. Further, it is unfortunate that such a matter of mutual interest cannot be settled fairly and amicably between two provinces when the circumstances are fully understood, and when our sister province has indicated on numerous occasions its desire to resolve this type of problem through direct discussion.
I have no reservation in stating, however, that the failure to find an acceptable solution does not result from either a lack of effort or a necessary degree of flexibility of thinking in the province of Ontario. In conclusion, let me emphasize the importance of the closing comment in my letter to the Quebec Premier. Despite the requested court reference, and the legislation that has been prepared, we continue to stand ready to discuss this matter with Quebec officials in an attempt to find an acceptable arrangement. It is my hope that he will respond to that suggestion, since it should now be clear that while Ontario wants to resolve this matter in an acceptable fashion, we will not accept the consequences of this regulation as it currently stands, and we are prepared to take the necessary steps to ensure fairness and equity for construction workers in Canada and to protect, to the full, the rights of our Ontario citizens.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have another statement to make. Two days ago in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Trudeau unveiled the specifics of the federal government’s proposals for constitutional reform when he introduced for first reading legislation entitled the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 1978. The proposals contained in the federal bill are complex both in substance and procedure and will, therefore, require a careful analysis to ascertain their implications and effects, both nationally and on Ontario. For this reason I believe it would be premature to try to provide time in the House and to give the House a comprehensive or definitive reaction on all aspects of the proposal at this time.
There are some aspects of the bill that upon initial reflection give rise to questions if not concerns, in our minds at least. For example -- and these are only examples -- I wonder about limited assurances of Ontario-based appointments on the Supreme Court of Canada, about the degree of Ontario representation in the proposed House of the Federation and the functions of that House and about the proposed relationship between the monarchy and the office of the Governor General.
I am also concerned about the lack of pre-consultation on the proposed charter of rights and freedoms, given the specific references to Ontario in that section of the bill. But these matters, I assume, can be fully discussed as part of the consultative process which the Prime Minister has requested.
In looking at the federal proposal I might reiterate the three main areas of national priority that I set out in my remarks to the task force on national unity last November. These priorities, which are just as valid today, are a major concerted effort by the federal and provincial governments to create the right economic climate to permit the private sector to foster growth and development; a reform of the practices of federalism to reduce the kind and degree of overlap and conflict in the policies and programs of the two levels of government, a technique which we have termed disentanglement; and my references to constitutional change.
As we head into what undoubtedly will be a strenuous period of constitutional discussions, I would simply repeat my concern that economic progress and constitutional progress must go hand in hand. The initial steps towards economic recovery that the first ministers took last February cannot be forgotten or ignored as we review suggestions about the constitution. There are economic priorities which must be pursued and economic decisions which must be made if the needs and expectations of Canadians are to be satisfactorily met.
I am pleased that in its white paper, A Time for Action, the federal government has adopted disentanglement as an objective of national policy. As I have had occasion to argue many times over the past three years, we can no longer afford the waste in human and financial resources that comes from both levels of government becoming involved in the same area of responsibility. The public confusion and intergovernmental conflicts which result makes our federal system more difficult to operate effectively. I look forward to discussion with my fellow Premiers later this summer and with the Prime Minister in the fall how we can minimize this kind of duplication.
I am also pleased that an attempt has been made in the federal constitutional proposals to incorporate a number of the goals for constitutional reform that I set out in my task force statement. While I can thus agree with what the federal government is attempting to do in such matters as making a national commitment to the reduction of economic disparities and improving intergovernmental consultation, it will require more detailed consideration before I can say whether I agree with the techniques chosen to implement these objectives.
I particularly welcome the concept in the bill aimed at the strengthening of the Canadian common market, given the type of problems and difficulties which are clearly underlined in my previous statement.
One of the objectives of constitutional reform that I particularly emphasized last November was the need to find ways of integrating federal and provincial actions at the national level. In this way, the federal government would obtain a better appreciation of provincial and regional concerns and thus be in a better position to provide effective national leadership. It is against this objective, among others, that I shall be measuring the Prime Minister’s proposals, including a House of the Federation.
I want it to be very clear that this government will participate in the upcoming constitutional discussions in a positive and cooperative manner. Constitutional reform has been discussed for a very long time indeed. Whether we are any closer to a result this time will, I think, in large measure depend on the will of all concerned to strengthen this country.
I cannot emphasize too strongly that a constitution must be understood and accepted by the people who are governed by it, and this is especially so in a federal state. It is therefore not something that can be imposed and its ultimate legitimacy will depend on the degree of consensus and agreement that can be generated across this country.
To this end, Mr. Speaker, I look forward to the opportunity to make a constructive contribution to this process on behalf of the people and the government of Ontario.
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the members of the House of a new regulation which is to come into effect on July 1, 1978, and which will affect all Ontario teachers, past, present and future.
The Ontario teacher’s qualification regulation brings together all the regulations dealing with teaching qualifications. It will result in a new standardized certificate for teachers as well as a much more convenient method of recording each teacher’s earned qualifications.
At the present time, there are about 500 different teaching certificates existing in Ontario -- basic certificates of various types, limited basic certificates and many specialist certificates and certificates leading to specialist certificates -- some of which are no longer issued, although they are still valid. Confusion and difficulties created for teachers by this proliferation of certificates have been on the increase.
This situation will now be streamlined and simplified, since all the required details regarding a teacher’s qualifications will be brought together on two forms: the Ontario teacher’s certificate and the Ontario teacher’s qualifications record card.
The certificate itself is quite different from what exists at present. It is in English and French, and it is designed for framing as is the practice in most other professions. This certificate is the only one to be issued henceforth to teachers in Ontario. It indicates that the bearer is qualified to teach in Ontario schools. It will be issued not only to new graduates of teacher education programs, but also to all practising teachers and others who hold basic teaching certificates -- elementary, secondary, vocational or occupational.
The Ontario teacher’s qualification record card will give each teacher a complete and convenient record of his or her qualifications on one handy form.
It is important to stress, Mr. Speaker, that presently qualified teachers do not lose anything by this new Certification policy. All previously-earned basic certificates are deemed to be equivalent to the new one -- and all other qualifications that have been earned previously will continue to be valid and will be recorded on the record card.
The idea of a single certificate has been under study by the Ministry of Education for about seven years. Along the way, and especially during the past year or two, there has been on-going consultation with various key education organizations, including the Ontario Teachers’ Federation and its affiliates; the Ontario School Trustees’ Council and member organizations; the Ontario Association of Educational Administrative Officials; the Ontario Catholic Supervisory Officers’ Association, l’Association des surintendants franco-ontariens; the deans of teacher education institutions; and other interested groups.
This consultation, and the advice gained from it, has been of considerable assistance in refining the concept and working out the procedures for implementing the new system. Because the new system directly affects every teacher in Ontario, a special folder was prepared in order to explain the details and to answer questions about the new policy. During the past week these have been distributed throughout the province, and they are now in all schools, and one is available for every teacher in this province.
We expect by the end of March, 1979, all practising teachers and principals will have received their new certificates and record card. All other teachers will be able to obtain their new documents by writing directly to the Ministry of Education.
I might say that I, as a special service to the members of this House, have provided all the members who hold teaching certificates with their new certificates today, and they will receive them in a few minutes.
An hon. member: Is yours still up to date?
Mr. Roy: Signed by his own hand.
Hon. B. Stephenson: That means the whole NDP caucus.
Ms. Conway: The parliamentary guide makes this place look like a teachers’ college. We need more students in here.
Hon. Mr. Davis: It’s about time you did your share to provide more students, Sean.
Mr. Breithaupt: Spoken as a true lawyer.
Mr. S. Smith: How do you know he hasn’t?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I thought from the first part of the statement that he meant something else.
Mr. Speaker: The Minister of Transportation and Communications has the floor, without a certificate.
Hon. Mr. Snow: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’m sorry I’m not obtaining one of those certificates today.
Mr. Roy: So are we, Jim.
Mr. Foulds: Have you got your driver’s licence, Jim?
Mr. Speaker: Order.
URBAN TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Hon. Mr. Snow: On June 2, the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) asked me to provide him with certain non-proprietary information about the intermediate capacity transit system. Specifically, he asked for information about the cost schedule and achievements to date.
At that time also, the leader of the New Democratic Party suggested that this information should be provided during the discussion of my ministry’s estimates. I agreed that this would be an appropriate time.
However, MTC’s estimates will not be presented until the fall session of the Legislature. Therefore, because of this delay, today I would like to respond to those requests for information and table the appropriate back-up documents.
The first is the financial statement of the Urban Transportation Development Corporation for the year ending December 31, 1977. The second is the information about ICTS, which would have been provided by Mr. Kirk Foley, president of the corporation, had he appeared before the estimates committee as planned.
I would like to take a further few moments to present a brief explanation of several of the tables that appear at the end of the report.
In table one, budget expenditure reconciliation, column three is derived from a periodic management report produced by a computer and is supplied to UTDC executives by the project team. This report forecasts the accumulated costs without reflecting any technical or management action. Its purpose is to allow technical managers to take appropriate action to optimize the allocation of funds among the various technical tasks and still remain within the budget. By design, this forecast uses up all available contingencies in the program.
Column four of table one reflects the results of the technical managers’ actions to achieve these twin goals of maximizing technical results and controlling expenditures. This column, therefore, represents UTDC’s current -- as of May 1, 1978 -- estimated cost to complete the project.
It should be noted that reference is made to non-budgeted expenditures relating to foreign exchange costs resulting from the drop in the Canadian dollar and to an increase of $500,000 of tax liability to the federal government which resulted from the change in October of last year of the federal-provincial tax sharing agreement.
I would also like to point out that an updated status report and schedule is included in tables two and three.
DUMP TRUCK LICENCES
Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I have another short statement I would like to make today. As a result of one of the recommendations in the report of the select committee on highway transportation of goods last October, I advised this House that I had requested the Ontario Highway Transport Board to implement a restriction, or type of moratorium on the granting of class R, or dump truck, licences, except in cases of significant urgency. It was a move aimed at stabilizing the supply of licensed carriers and a move which followed a lengthy and in-depth examination of the supply by both the OHTB and my ministry staff.
This moratorium -- and I believe I referred to it as a type of moratorium -- was enforced after careful scrutiny of the need for any additional services and has been carefully implemented by the board over the past eight months. As a result, at the end of March of this year there were 9,457 type R-licensed vehicles as compared to 9,717 the previous year.
I have recently been made aware that there may be possible shortages of licensed dump trucks in some specific areas of the province, such as Sarnia, Kitchener-Waterloo, Windsor and sections of northwestern Ontario.
Based on the information available to me at this time, I have asked the OHTB to review the need for additional dump truck services in those areas, while keeping in mind the fact that every application must still be strictly assessed on the public necessity and convenience criteria.
INTERJECTION BY MEMBER
Mr. Speaker: On a point of privilege, the honourable member for Wilson Heights.
Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Speaker, in this morning’s Globe and Mail there was a statement attributed to the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) which described me in language that is both insulting and unparliamentary.
Hon. Mr. Bernier: Again?
Mr. Martel: Still.
Mr. Rotenberg: This did not appear in the official records of this House. It was stated to be an interjection. I did not hear the interjection being made and, therefore I haven’t raised this matter previously. However, it does appear in this morning’s Globe and Mail attributed to the member for Sudbury East.
Hon. Mr. Bernier: Resign.
Mr. Rotenberg: I would ask him, if the quote is incorrect, just simply to indicate that he didn’t say it and I’ll be satisfied. However, if he did make the quotation I would ask that he apologize and withdraw the remark.
Mr. Martel: I did say it.
Hon. Mr. Bernier: Resign.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I want to say that I believe I made the statement as a response to the member’s comments that the New Democratic Party hated all Americans, which was a fabrication of his. I don’t intend to withdraw it. Because of the type of comment he made, he deserved the entitlement.
Hon. Mr. Bernier: Shame.
Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Speaker, in that case, as the remark was made, I would ask you to take into consideration whether the remark is a parliamentary remark or not or whether it is a word that should be used in this House.
Mr. Makarchuk: What did he say? Tell us?
Mr. Speaker: Order. It becomes a matter of judgement on behalf of the chair as to whether a remark such as that is parliamentary or unparliamentary. We don’t have a catalogue of those remarks that are considered acceptable and those that are unacceptable.
Mr. Deans: You soon will.
Mr. Speaker: Since it is not a part of the official record of this House, I’m not in a position to say whether or not it is acceptable. There is no need to withdraw it. It doesn’t appear in the official Hansard.
Mr. Martel: I will put it back in then.
Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Speaker, with respect, it does not appear in the official record. It does appear in public in a newspaper. The member has indicated that he has made that remark in the House.
Mr. Makarchuk: What did he call you?
Mr. Mackenzie: Does the truth hurt?
Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Speaker, I think there should be, though maybe not at this time, a ruling as to whether that type of language is acceptable in this House. It has been made in the House.
Mr. Peterson: It was a compliment.
Mr. Speaker: If the honourable member insists, I don’t even know the meaning of the word, so I’ll have to take it under advisement.
An hon. member: You old railroader.
Mr. S. Smith: Has that been in a Sun editorial? Maybe the member for Wilson Heights could advise whether that word was in a Sun editorial by any chance.
Mr. Foulds: Second question.
Mr. Hennessy: Just hurry it up; get it out.
FOOD INDUSTRY INQUIRY
Mr. S. Smith: I would like to ask a question of the Premier. Given the fact that this session appears to be grinding towards a close, could the Premier indicate what response his government might have to the requests made by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture for a public inquiry into certain food trade practices, given the very strong report from the committee and the report from the counsel of the committee? I realize that that report will be tabled later, but we are a little short of days in this session. I think the public, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Consumers’ Association of Canada are certainly waiting for some indication from the Premier as to what his course of action is going to be.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I have just within the last hour seen the press release from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. I’ve had a telephone call from the president of the federation. I have not yet seen the final report of the committee, although I’m aware of some of its contents.
The only observation I would make is that the government has made it very clear that we are anxious to see any information of the kind that has been referred to. Yet I gather from the committee hearings that there is not too much evidence of substance, though I’m only making this assumption from a bystander’s standpoint.
I would make this observation, Mr. Speaker, and I am sure the Leader of the Opposition has read it and will be governed by it too in his own approach; the federation made it very clear that they were in support of an independent inquiry under the Public Inquiries Act. In my assessment if there is to be such an inquiry I am impressed by the term “independent.” In the establishment of any inquiry -- if that decision were to be made and it will not be made today -- I want to inform the Leader of the Opposition, and I think he would agree with me, that that suggestion from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture obviously is not on all fours with the final recommendation of the report that is coming to the committee.
As I recall --
Mr. MacDonald: They say it is.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, with great respect, it isn’t then from my standpoint. I would only say to the Leader of the Opposition and the member for York South, who surely must have some sense of what is right and what is proper, that if we are in fact to have a royal commission -- and that’s really what it amounts to -- with all of the problems implicit in that, including what will be a significant cost, if it is in fact --
Mr. Makarchuk: You don’t have to hire Judy again.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, I would say to the member for Brantford that he and his colleagues should be the last ones to talk about who is hired doing what and who is spending public money. I don’t think those people opposite are in any position to know.
Mr. Makarchuk: I’m prepared to discuss the spending in our office compared to yours.
Hon. Mr. Davis: You guys love to throw stones.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Davis: You love to be critical and you can’t take a little bit of fun. You can’t take a little bit of fun.
Mr. Martel: How much do you cover up in yours?
An hon. member: It doesn’t cost much to sit and sleep.
An hon. member: Don’t be so sensitive.
Mr. Breaugh: Do you want to trade limousines, Bill?
Hon. Mr. Davis: All right. All right. I was answering the question, Mr. Speaker, and I confess, Mr. Speaker, to the members of the House that I am at some slight disadvantage in that I haven’t read the report, but I am interested in the concept.
Mr. McClellan: Ignorance has never held you back before.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, I would say to the very distinguished member who quite obviously in the last five minutes has had his conscience pricked a little bit, I accept his observation.
Mr. McClellan: Not at all, not at all.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I understand it.
An hon. member: Conscience, if any.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I am concerned, Mr. Speaker, if the decision is made, if it is the wisdom of the House and the government that I cannot quite rationalize independence with having a member of the Liberal party --
Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, listen, all right, so a nominee --
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The members opposite will have difficulty in persuading me that there be “a nominee of the Liberal Party,” “a nominee of the Progressive Conservative Party,” “a nominee of the New Democratic Party,” et cetera. If there is to be an inquiry, it has to be done objectively. I am one of those who will on occasion opt for a member of the judiciary because that takes it above any question as to whether people have an interest in this form of inquiry. If you are going to have a public inquiry, that’s the way it should be, so that is my response to the Leader of the Opposition.
Mr. Breaugh: Get somebody like Doug Wiseman. He’s not busy.
An hon. member: Thump for Hennessy.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary: Although I must say, Mr. Speaker, that I personally share the view of independence that the OFA has suggested rather than the Premier’s idea, I don’t particularly think it has to be a member of the judiciary. In fact, it might be of interest to the Premier that the Liberal nominee would be the very person suggested by the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) -- that is Mr. Poole, the counsel of the committee --
Mr. Roy: You guys should talk to Frank Drea. He doesn’t think much of judges.
Mr. S. Smith: -- so there’s nothing political about that. But given that the Premier --
An hon. member: Poole is a good Liberal.
Mr. S. Smith: I know it is getting close to the end, but for heaven’s sake!
An hon. member: Where’s your critic?
Mr. S. Smith: Given that the Premier wishes to examine the report --
An hon. member: Welcome back, Mickey.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The honourable minister -- the Leader of the Opposition will please continue.
Mr. Nixon: You’re going to forget prayers next.
An hon. member: We don’t know what he is, either.
Mr. S. Smith: We’re not in the government ministry yet, Mr. Speaker. It will take a little while.
An hon. member: Not much longer, not much longer.
Mr. S. Smith: Given that the Premier deserves the opportunity to read the report, and we appreciate he may have some alternative to present for consideration, would he simply assure the House that we will have some clear response on this matter by tomorrow, since the intention at the moment is for us to recess tomorrow? If he needs a little more time, I am sure we can arrange to sit a little longer. But we and the OFA and the consumers want to have a response; we want to know when we are going to hear from the Premier.
Mr. Germa: What’s your question?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I recognize the importance of this particular matter. I am not in a position to give the Leader of the Opposition a commitment that by 10 o’clock tomorrow morning the government will have made a determination. I say with respect I think that is not only somewhat unreasonable, it is less than logical -- and I might be so bold as to say it is not totally intelligent.
Mr. Kerrio: Darcy does it; Darcy does it every day.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I would suggest that in a matter of this importance, the question of whether there should be an inquiry is a decision that ultimately must be made by the cabinet, because the government ultimately must assume the responsibility.
Secondly, if the decision is in the affirmative, just what direction the particular inquiry should take involves a certain amount of discussion with the law officers of the crown to see that the terms of reference are framed in a manner that is appropriate.
Thirdly, it does involve consideration of who should be appointed. I have only made a passing reference to it because I feel very strongly -- not that I am debating at this moment that particular part of the committee’s recommendation -- that I am not committed necessarily to a member of the judiciary but I think it would be less than independent and less than objective if we got down to the principle of having nominees from partisan groups in this province, and that includes my own.
I don’t see it in the context. If the Leader of the Opposition had wanted, as has been his custom on some issues, to opt for a select committee, I would understand it as a part of the process. If members had wanted to have it as a matter for a standing committee, this I would understand. But I think, with respect, and I say this to the member for York South who has had years of experience, that it isn’t totally logical to say that they want an objective, independent assessment of a matter as complex as this, and include in a recommendation that there will be nominees from this organization, that organization, including three political parties.
Mr. MacDonald: Why not?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I have just got to tell the member opposite there are some people in this province who will say, “That is not an objective way to make an assessment.”
Mr. McClellan: Better than one party.
Mr. MacDonald: Since the Premier has indicated that there wasn’t much substance to back up the allegations considered by the committee, is he aware that the report presented to the committee by our counsel, and adopted by the committee, indicates that on the basis of the public testimony, backed up further by the private testimony he got in camera, there is a prima facie case for the existence of these practices, and therefore there is need for a further inquiry?
Secondly, is the Premier aware of the fact that the counsel advised the committee that a judicial inquiry, headed by a judge, was not the best route and that the committee agreed with that?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I happen to know counsel and have for some time. I certainly respect his point of view on some issues. I think for counsel to suggest to the committee that a judge is not necessarily the most appropriate person -- I am not committed to the inquiry at this point, because I haven’t had an opportunity to deal with it. Secondly, I am not necessarily committed to a judge. But I can tell the honourable member that I am not committed either to the concept as contained in what I understand is to be the committee’s report.
I haven’t discussed with Mr. Poole if he is going to be the member’s source for what he feels should be done, his rationale, because I am not sure that he suggested that it be on the basis of nominations from political parties in this province. In fact my guess is that he didn’t, my guess is that if the member for York West is endeavouring --
Mr. MacDonald: South, you mean?
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- the member for York South is endeavouring to use Mr. Poole as the rationale for what went on, then maybe the committee should have accepted his recommendation as to how the inquiry should be conducted.
Mr. MacDonald: Point of order, Mr. Speaker. I said to the Premier that the advice of the counsel was that there was need for further inquiry, and it was on that basis we accepted the evidence. Now don’t distort that to something else.
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, no; I don’t want to get into a debate, but the member for York South made two points. Firstly, he referred to the makeup of the committee, he did that in what he said.
Secondly, he made the point that Mr. Poole had recommended in his report to the committee that in his view -- I am delighted to see the member for York South always takes the view of those experts and counsel; he didn’t do it on another committee that I can recall, but today he is prepared to accept -- not making his own judgement -- prepared to accept Mr. Poole’s advice. I have every respect for Mr. Poole, I know him better than the member does, I guess.
Mr. McClellan: You seem to be on the hook today.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I would only say that from my observation, and it is only as an observer in reading the press, I didn’t see, and I was looking for, specific issues or items where in fact something illegal or inappropriate had gone on. That is the only point I was making.
Mr. MacDonald: I do.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The honourable member can correct me. Maybe he knows of specifies or situations where in fact something illegal or immoral or improper went on that was provable, and if that is the case I think he should let me know. I am interested in seeing that the right thing is done.
Mr. MacDonald: I let the counsel know I let the committee know.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I am interested in seeing that the right thing is done. I know that politics enters into this, I am not unaware of that; I am not unaware of some of the differences of opinion in the loyal opposition across the House as to how this should proceed.
Mr. Speaker: Is the member’s question on the same item?
Mr. S. Smith: It seems futile, but I was intending to have one more.
Mr. Eaton: He never got a chance in committee.
Mr. Conway: There’s chain store Eaton.
Mr. Speaker: Order. I must remind all honourable members we have spent 14 minutes and we are on the first question.
Mr. S. Smith: I took about one of those minutes, Mr. Speaker.
I will ask the Premier once again: given the fact that the committee is clear in its desire for a public inquiry with the powers under the Public Inquiries Act; given the fact that the OFA and consumers are also in favour and that the counsel found evidence that requires such a finding and such an inquiry, and said so in the strongest possible terms; why, accepting that the Premier may need some time to draft a frame of reference and get legal advice and so on, why can the Premier not give us some assurance today or tomorrow that there will in fact be such a public inquiry, whether the form takes the sort recommended by the committee or with slight differences that the Premier may for some reason imagine are necessary?
Hon. Mr. Davis: If the honourable member thinks the distinction I am drawing from what I understand is in the committee report is slight, I will leave that up to his interpretation.
As one who has to assume responsibility for these things, I would say, with respect, the distinction I am drawing is not slight. You can disagree with it, but it is fairly fundamental, and if the Leader of the opposition doesn’t recognize some fundamental principles then that is his responsibility.
Mr. Roy: Just answer the question.
Mr. S. Smith: Why can’t the Premier assure us we are going to have it?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the Leader of the Opposition, I know that he wants an instant answer from me. I know that he thinks he has the intellectual capacity to have an instant answer for everything that comes across his plate.
I can only say to the Leader of the Opposition, and I make this confession to him, I don’t pretend to have the same intellectual capacity that he pretends to have and I am not in a position to say by 10 o’clock tomorrow morning that thus, thus and thus is going to happen.
Mr. Peterson: That is the first time you have been right.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I confess to this human frailty. I need some time to see that whatever decision is made it is made properly and intelligently. To that human frailty, I confess. The Leader of the Opposition will not have, by 10 o’clock tomorrow morning, I am sorry, a definite answer.
Mr. Cassidy: Final supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The Premier has indicated we will not have an answer to that tomorrow. Can the Premier guarantee to the House that it will be an independent inquiry in the form recommended by the committee; or putting it the other way, can he explain to the House how it can be that a committee entirely appointed by the government party could be more independent than a committee in the form recommended by the standing committee?
Hon. Mr. Davis: This is a form of investigation. It is not, with great respect, comparable to the royal commission on violence and some other broad subject areas. My recollection -- and members opposite can correct me if I’m wrong -- is that most royal commissions that are investigative in nature, where there are suggestions of something improper, illegal or what have you, have been conducted, by and large, by members of the bench. If the leader of the New Democratic Party wants to cast some aspersions on those people who have served on those royal commissions, be my guest.
I do draw a distinction. I will only repeat to him what I said to the Leader of the Opposition. I have made no decision; I don’t even have the report of the committee in terms of the House, I will have no determination by 10 o’clock tomorrow.
If the decision is to have a commission, my answer to him is very simple: yes, if it is held it will be independent.
Mr. Martel: You know about political appointments.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Of course I do.
NUCLEAR PLANT SAFETY
Mr. S. Smith: I’d like to direct my second question to the Minister of Energy. Given the fact that the minister, just as other people, including myself, has the task from time to time of trying to persuade people that we need a nuclear option as part of our future in this province, given the difficulty which, I’m sure he encounters sometimes, as I myself do, in explaining this to people, is he not as dismayed as I am that our task is rendered more difficult by an appearance that there are people being less than frank with the public and giving the impression that there’s somehow something to hide with regard to nuclear safety? Does he not realize, as I do -- and I imagine he must -- that this only makes the job of reasonable, non-hysterical discussion more difficult?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Who are you talking about? The member for Grey-Bruce? It sounds like a perfect description of him.
Mr. Sargent: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, make him qualify that remark.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Not only will he qualify it; he will quantify it.
Mr. S. Smith: One word about hysteria and the Treasurer comes to life. It’s amazing.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: We don’t have to have a word about it. We just look at you. You’re the last one who should talk.
Mr. S. Smith: Given the fact that I assume the minister agrees with me about that general problem that one faces of openness with the public, can the minister tell us whether the power production of the Douglas reactor was derated to 70 per cent in April, 1977; and was it because of concern over the effectiveness of the emergency cooling system, should that system ever have to come into use? If so, can he say who made that decision and why it was not made public?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: First of all, I would like to say I fully agree with the Leader of the Opposition --
Mr. Peterson: You’re getting smart now.
Mrs. Campbell: The Treasurer spoke too soon.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- that it is most unfortunate in a matter of such primary public importance and concern on a subject which is, as we all appreciate, a scientific one -- a complex and a difficult one for many of us in the House and the man on the street to understand -- that the debate is going forward in a manner which I think is most unfortunate.
The most recent illustration of the way this public debate is going forward is the front-page headline of today’s Toronto Star which says: “Public Never Told: Safety ‘Insufficient’ at Nuclear Plants.” That is wrong.
Ms. Gigantes: Oh, come on.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: That is the fact.
Mrs. Campbell: See, Darcy, you spoke too soon.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: It is most unfortunate that that kind of headline appears in one of our outstanding Canadian newspapers.
Mr. Laughren: That is right.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Prove it.
Mr. Sargent: You are totally wrong.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I have today discussed that report at considerable length with Dr. Prince of the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada. I have discussed it at length with the chairman of the Ontario Hydro board and with his scientists.
Mr. Laughren: Yes, all the vested interests.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: All of them agree that the headline -- sort of the bottom line of the whole thing which says really that the safety is insufficient and there is a coverup job here -- all of them agree they will say categorically, and are going to do so officially tomorrow, that that is incorrect.
Mr. Warner: We want proof.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: On the question of the Douglas Point reactor --
Mr. McClellan: You are unglued on every seam.
Mr. Germa: You are going to melt us all.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- it is true that the output of that particular reactor was reduced some time ago. I was never officially informed of it. It was not even felt to be sufficiently important to inform me because it was simply a precautionary step for the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada to take. I find that even reassuring and encouraging, that they would take every precaution down the road to make sure that these reactors are operating well within the safety standards.
Mr. M. Davidson: Without notifying you.
Mr. Mackenzie: I would take it the other way if I were you.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: That is my answer.
Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: May I, again without in any way wishing to create an impression there is something wrong -- because I don’t how if there is and I hope there isn’t -- but may I ask, and this is a very serious matter, does the minister mean to say that a 70 per cent rating was imposed on that reactor as a precautionary step, as he puts it -- one is glad of that, of course -- that was obviously known to Hydro, it’s their reactor, so one presumes it was known, and yet neither he nor his predecessor who was minister at the time was informed about this? If that is what he’s saying, may I ask him to give me his opinion as to whether the decision, whether or not this was to be made public, should have rested with Hydro or with the government?
Would he accept my view that the government should have been informed so it could make the decision as to what is to be public and what is to be private?
Ms. Gigantes: You were informed two years ago.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I would not, frankly, accept the view that the government should decide at what level the nuclear reactor should operate.
Ms. Gigantes: That wasn’t the question.
Mr. Kerrio: That was not the question.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: That is the responsibility of Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada, and AECB is responsible to the federal government; it determines the safety requirements of these reactors.
Mr. S. Smith: A point of privilege: In the event that the microphones were not working correctly, the point I was asking the minister to address himself to was not whether the government should make the decision about the cutback, but whether the decision as to whether or not that cutback should be made known to the public was something the government should have been making; or whether the government should have been kept in ignorance, as it apparently was by Hydro which reserved the right to make that decision about the publicity or lack of it to itself.
Ms. Gigantes: They kept themselves in ignorance.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: On the question -- and this relates to the basic question of safety -- I have said before and will say again, certainly we here in the government in the province of Ontario, as the government at the federal level and as the general public, should be kept fully informed of all decisions made here.
Mr. Deans: Why are we not?
Mr. M. Davidson: We weren’t.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: But I would also like to say that unfortunately -- and again relating back to the newspaper articles -- I think there has been far too much made of the thought that the reactor cannot work at a certain level, say 100 per cent level, and has to be kept back to another level because it would otherwise be unsafe.
Mr. Deans: You are better off with short answers.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: For example, we have frequently been told that the reactor at Bruce is only operating at 88 per cent capacity because, it is always implied, it would be unsafe for it to act at 100 per cent. In fact, that reactor was built to operate at an 88 per cent capacity. At 88 per cent capacity of that reactor the turbines are turning out 100 per cent of the electrical energy potential.
Mr. Sargent: Now it’s 65 per cent.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: It was designed to operate at 88 per cent and yet we keep hearing and reading that because it’s not operating at 100 per cent it is therefore unsafe.
Mr. Swart: Eighty-eight is 100 per cent
Hon. Mr. Baetz: It is licensed to operate at 88 per cent. That turns out 100 per cent of electricity. I don’t know how else to make it more clear.
Mr. Sargent: You can’t. You don’t know. What school did you go to?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Eddie, I know.
Mr. S. Smith: The minister can address himself to the question.
Ms. Gigantes: I wonder whether the minister asked Dr. Prince why there was a recommendation, made in 1976, to keep Bruce at a 65 per cent rating factor? Did he also ask him what’s changed since and why is Bruce operating at a much higher level now?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: When any reactor goes into service, it goes into service gradually. It starts at five per cent, it goes to 10, it goes to 50, it goes to 60.
Ms. Gigantes: That wasn’t a good answer a few years ago.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: They are constantly measuring its output and also determining its safety features.
Ms. Gigantes: Has the minister seen those reports?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: These reactors and the limits at which they are licensed to operate at the present time are safe. That’s the bottom line of this whole argument as far as I’m concerned.
Ms. Gigantes: If the minister says so.
Mr. Bolan: Come on, Eddie!
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, would the minister please try to address himself to what I think is a very key question? A rating of 70 per cent was put on the Douglas Point reactor because of this concern about melt problems in the unlikely event that everything else fails, all right. The decision was made by Hydro not to tell the government, and therefore the decision of whether to tell the public was ipso facto left in Hydro’s hands, the government not knowing about it.
What I want to find out from the minister is: has he found some justification from Hydro? Has he demanded a justification from Hydro for them keeping the government in ignorance about that derating? Has he demanded not only an explanation, but a very full explanation indeed, of why such a shocking refusal to inform the government has occurred? Does he not feel that this is something that only undermines public confidence?
Ms. Gigantes: Malcolm Rowan knew about it.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: It isn’t a shocking refusal to report something very important to the government. It’s a case of Ontario Hydro -- this was a normal step which was taken. The property incidentally, belongs to Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, operated by Ontario Hydro. AECB sets the standards. It was cut back to 70 per cent of operation. It was assumed that this was a normal decision. They feel that this was not the kind of reporting, the type of thing that required something to go forward to government. I am sure if suddenly there were to be a serious flaw discovered in the reactor, or in the turbines or anything else that would affect the public safety, Ontario Hydro would inform us very quickly.
I would certainly take it upon myself to be kept informed of that. They know my stance on that. I am convinced at this point that Ontario Hydro is openly reporting what is required and what the public has to know.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I want to ask about the Bruce plant, because the Bruce plant is the one that is operated by Ontario Hydro. The minister has now said publicly in the House that there is a distinction between the capacity to which the reactors were operating and the capacity to which electrical energy is being produced. Would he also care to comment on the differences between Ontario Hydro and the Atomic Energy Control Board over whether the remaining 12 per cent of capacity can be safely used at the Bruce to generate steam or generate electrical energy? Are those differences not over safety and the question of the emergency core cooling system?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: No. At the present time, Atomic Energy of Canada and Ontario Hydro are looking into and examining the question of whether the capacity of that reactor can be increased by 12 per cent, and whether steam in fact can be produced when the heavy water plant comes on stream about two years from now.
I am confident that if it is determined that that reactor can, in fact, operate at an additional 12 per cent of power, they will license it to operate at 100 per cent. If they don’t, the honourable members can be dead sure it will never be licensed to operate at anything beyond a safe level.
Ms. Gigantes: Dead is what we may be.
Mr. Warner: It’s a good choice of words.
Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that not a single insurance company in North America will give one cent of life or property insurance against radiation; in view of the fact that Dr. Edward Teller said that all we can do is guess and hope we are right; and in view of the fact that we have a situation at Bruce whereby we have a 65 per cent operating capacity -- we are 35 per cent wrong in a $1 billion operation -- and the minister tells us these stories in the paper are false -- will he tell me, if the leakage had not been reported in the press, would he have reported it to the Legislature?
Mrs. Campbell: He wouldn’t have known.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: To respond to the first part of that question first, I am not sure whether insurance companies won’t insure against radiation hazards; maybe they won’t.
Mr. Sargent: You should know that.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I would only say that on the basis of the safety record at our nuclear reactors in this province the insurance companies are foolish not to do so, because there has been not one radiation accident in this province. There is no industry can demonstrate a safety record comparable to that.
Ms. Gigantes: That is simply not true.
Mr. Warner: What are you afraid of?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: When the member says that Bruce is kind of operating inefficiently -- I think the figure used was 35 per cent less than capacity -- he is again incorrect. The Bruce reactor was designed to operate at 88 per cent, which provides 100 per cent electrical generating capacity, and that is what it is doing. These plants are operating safely and efficiently.
Mr. Warner: You wouldn’t answer the question. Would you have reported it? No.
Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary; the member for Port Arthur.
Mr. Foulds: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Could the minister forget his usual bluster and tell this House exactly what instruction he has given Ontario Hydro about when they should bother him? Can he tell us whether he sleeps in his bed a little more soundly tonight because Ontario Hydro is in charge, or has he given Ontario Hydro strict instructions to inform his deputy, and his deputy to inform him, every time there is any kind of a variation or shutdown in one of our nuclear plants? Does he not think the public would be reassured more readily if that information came to us the moment the minister knew and if things like the Bruce 40 Notes and the Loss of Coolant Accident Report were made public when they came to the ministry’s attention?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I would like to assure this House that I have instructed the chairman of Ontario Hydro to provide me with all information that is appropriate for this House and for the general public.
Mr. Foulds: Who makes that judgement? Hydro or you?
Mrs. Campbell: Who makes that judgement?
Mr. Warner: Hydro does. They run their own show. They do what they please.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: In all of this we have to remember that we do have a chairman of Ontario Hydro, a responsible citizen; we do have a board of directors of Ontario Hydro and we do have a staff --
Mr. Foulds: We thought we had a responsible minister.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We in this House are not the board of directors of Ontario Hydro --
Mr. Bolan: And you shouldn’t be the minister
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- but I can assure the member opposite that Ontario Hydro has got the message clear: I want to be kept informed and I will keep this House and the general public informed.
Mr. Cassidy: You should have begun the day you became minister.
EMPLOYEES’ HEALTH AND SAFETY
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Labour, arising out of the uncertainty about the fate of Bill 70, the omnibus health and safety bill which was tabled in this House to come back for third reading in February. Could the minister end the uncertainty and give the House a straightforward assurance that the bill will be returned to the House as soon as we resume our session in early October?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I would be unable to pinpoint the date that accurately because the consultation process which I had hoped would be completed by the end of June has not been completed.
Mr. T. P. Reid: This is the biggest stall you have ever pulled -- along with the workmen’s compensation stall.
Hon. B. Stephenson: We have not been able to arrange meetings with the association of fire chiefs, nor with some of the associations representing municipalities which have expressed some concern. We have met with most of the employee groups at this time. As soon as that is completed and we have some knowledge of the appropriate routes to follow in order to solve the health and safety problems of those workers whose coverage would be included in the bill as a result of the amendments, then I shall be able to report to the House precisely when we are going to be working on it.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Since there have been 32 of those meetings, and there are apparently nine to go according to the reply that the minister has tabled in the House; and since the summer is clearly an adequate time in order to have those remaining consultations; can we have a commitment from the minister that she will do everything possible to finish the consultations in the early part of the summer? And can we have a commitment from her that at the earliest possible date when the session resumes in the fall the bill will be called back and will be presented to the House for its approval?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes, Mr. Speaker.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: How does that grab you, Mike?
Mr. Speaker: Second question.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Kerrio: Next.
Mr. Deans: That wasn’t very kind.
Mr. Cassidy: Can I now ask the minister to define more closely “the earliest possible moment”? We would like the assurance that the bill will be back in the House in the fall and will not be allowed to die.
An hon. member: Will we see it in October?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I said that it would be at the earliest possible moment -- that is when it will be.
Mr. Laughren: You told us that before.
Mr. Nixon: 1984.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I cannot at this point tell members what the earliest possible moment is going to be, but it will be then.
Mr. S. Smith: Just after the budget is balanced.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Can we have an assurance from the minister that under no circumstance will she or the government allow Bill 70 to die?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I have stated on many occasions that the occupational health and safety legislation is extremely important. In addition to the demands which the honourable member is imposing upon my ministry this summer, we are also carrying out the process of consultation in order to establish regulations for toxic substances.
Mr. Lupusella: Answer the question.
Hon. B. Stephenson: This is going to be done as vigorously as we can.
Mr. Sargent: You are a good stick-handler.
Hon. B. Stephenson: This is a very important subject. It is one which must be kept growing rather than letting it die.
Mr. Sargent: Put her on the hockey team.
COMMITTAL OF DOCTOR
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Health, arising out of some problems we have had in my riding over the course of the weekend.
Hon. Mr. Bernier: Parochial.
Mr. G. Taylor: Toronto or Ottawa?
Mr. T. P. Reid: Toronto and the Islands?
Mr. Cassidy: Is the minister aware that on Saturday last a Dr. Fred Stenger went to the Ottawa Civic Hospital complaining of dizziness which he thought was caused by high blood pressure? Is he aware that having been seen by a psychiatrist he was then kept in the hospital for two days; that he was told on certain instances that he could not leave the hospital, that mention was made of the Mental Health Act, that he was kept in the psychiatric ward, that on his request to leave he was told that the staff would have to talk to the senior advisers; then when he finally did leave, he left only after signing a waiver relieving the hospital of any responsibility because he was leaving against medical advice; and that three days after this all began he was telephoned by the doctor who said that the commitment was a mistake in judgement?
Is the minister aware of this curious set of events, and will the minister make a report to the House?
Mr. Havrot: His doctor must have been the Leader of the Opposition.
Hon. B. Stephenson: No, the patient was the leader of the third party.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: No, Mr. Speaker, I had not heard of that incident. I certainly will ask my staff to report. I would anticipate that given the length and nature of the question it will take more than about 18 hours to prepare the answer, so I would anticipate what I will do is write to the honourable member when I have a full and complete description of the incident and whatever explanation there is for it.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Send it in care of the Ottawa psychiatric ward.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I will send that to him as soon as it is ready.
Mr. Warner: But you won’t do anything.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In view of the concerns that have been raised in this House about the use of the powers of involuntary commitment under the Mental Health Act, could the minister focus on that particular aspect of this case, where a patient who went in complaining of dizziness found himself apparently kept in hospital against his will for a period of two and a half days? Can he make a report on that particular aspect, about the possible use of involuntary commitment powers, and report that part to the House before we rise tomorrow?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Again, it sounds like a rather involved and perhaps delicate question to which I would prefer to give the member a complete answer in writing once I have had it investigated.
Mr. Nixon: You didn’t set it up by any chance?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: As members know, the question of involuntary commitment is embodied in Bill 19, which will be considered here in committee of the whole House, probably tomorrow morning. I think it is a matter about which we are all concerned. I will have the entire matter investigated. Rather than trying to deal with it piecemeal, I would prefer, if the member doesn’t mind, to give him a complete answer.
Mr. Roy: Supplementary.
Mr. Speaker: It has been taken as notice.
Mrs. Campbell: My question, Mr. Speaker, is to the Premier.
Mr. Kerrio: Right to the top.
Mrs. Campbell: Whereas almost three years have passed since the Premier made certain commitments to reassure the opponents of the Spadina Expressway that the decision to end the roadway at Eglinton Avenue was final and irreversible, and considering that not one of the three commitments made in August 1975 has been fulfilled, could the Premier now advise us on the progress of negotiations for the title of all properties, road allowances, rights of way and other lands originally scheduled for the route of the Spadina Expressway south of Eglinton Avenue West? And could he advise us how quickly such negotiations and the assumption of title will likely be concluded to the three-foot strip south of Eglinton Avenue which is to be bequeathed to the city of Toronto as an insurance against the extension of the Spadina Expressway south of Eglinton Avenue?
Will the Premier today reaffirm all of his commitments of August 1975, indicating there will be no extension of that expressway south of Eglinton Avenue West, and will he urge Metropolitan Toronto to conclude its report with reference to the park-and-ride facility not later than September of this year?
Mr. Kerrio: Yes.
Mr. Bradley: Answer yes or no.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I had difficulty following all of the question. Would it be too much of a problem for the honourable member to repeat it so I make sure I get it right?
Hon. Mr. Davis: She’d be delighted to.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. S. Smith: We don’t expect the Premier to remember his promises, of course.
Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, I have one supplementary which I think the Premier can address himself to. Recognizing that he does not always remember his commitments --
Mr. Nixon: Those are exactly what she’s listed.
Mr. Warner: Remember the Bramalea charter.
Mr. Martel: Transportation man of the year.
Mrs. Campbell: Would the Premier at least assure the House today that his commitment stands and that the Spadina Expressway will not be extended below Eglinton Avenue? Perhaps he could repeat that commitment at least this afternoon.
Mr. Germa: Yes or no?
Mr. McClellan: Answer yes or no.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I really can’t say yes or no as simply as that
Mr. Roy: It’s not election time.
Mr. S. Smith: You did in 1975.
Mr. Roy: And 1971.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Pardon?
Mr. S. Smith: You had no trouble in 1975 making that commitment
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Ever since a few days ago, the Leader of the Opposition --
Mr. Speaker: Order. Just ignore the interjections.
Hon. Mr. Davis: He’s getting just a little irritable, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Deans: He is getting irritable; you are getting irritating.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Irritating.
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, no; irritable. Irritating I have known about for quite a while; irritable is more recent.
Mr. Breithaupt: Wait until we come back after the summer.
Hon. Mr. Davis: After the summer? Oh, no.
I’m trying to refresh my memory so I don’t unintentionally mislead the House.
Mr. S. Smith: Do it intentionally.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I leave that up to the Leader of the Opposition, he can make his own judgements.
Mr. Mancini: You leave a lot of things up to the Leader of the Opposition.
Hon. Mr. Davis: There were three issues the honourable member raised. My recollection is that they were the three-foot reserve, also the parking facilities, also the right of way south of Eglinton.
Historically, there are two or three problems involved and I will confess some lack of knowledge in this. Going back a few years, there was an assumption -- perhaps an erroneous assumption made by others and not just myself -- that the property to the south of Eglinton Avenue in the Spadina corridor was actually within the city of Toronto. I think this was an assumption made by some officials of the city of Toronto and several others.
The government has been working diligently in order to fulfil that commitment, but it is very difficult to deed to the city of Toronto a three-foot reserve which is, in fact, in York. So we are trying to sort that out. It has been complicated, somewhat, because at one point in time the council of the borough of York, I think was in agreement, basically, with the policy of the government. I sense that there is not quite the same agreement as between the borough of York and the city of Toronto and the government with respect to the future of that particular corridor. So it has been difficult to negotiate any, shall we say, accommodation by York vis-à-vis the city of Toronto for the three-foot reserve.
As recently as June 12, a letter was sent from the ministry, I think to Mayor Crombie, offering a three-foot reserve which is just east of the Bathurst Street bridge. Geographically I can’t say to the honourable member whether that is, in itself, sufficient.
Mr. McClellan: It’s not.
Hon. Mr. Davis: To date we haven’t had a reply from Mayor Crombie, although there was such a suggestion made, I think on April 24. I’m quite optimistic that we’ll get that sorted out in some form or other.
I apologize for taking so long, Mr. Speaker, but you must admit, and I’m sure agree with me, that it was a fairly lengthy question and is deserving of a detailed answer.
There is the question of the transfer of the land. The honourable member is aware that it is always important that there be a search of title and that we, in the public interest, acquaint ourselves with all of these matters. So that particular aspect has been going forward.
The title to the property that has been now very clearly established by the province. I am told there has to be a certain amount of survey work and I would say to the Leader of the Opposition that survey work takes more than a few weeks.
Mr. S. Smith: Three years.
Hon. Mr. Davis: It is a fairly detailed survey that is required. This is almost finished and will be completed within the next few weeks.
The commitment has been received by us from Metro -- and this is a two-way street if I can use that terminology -- that the Metro officials will have this agreement to present to the Metro council by mid-September.
Mr. Roy: Too bad the Premier is not in the development business.
Hon. Mr. Davis: So there is a three-foot reserve. Where we’re having the difficulty is as to where we locate that reserve, the lands we think we will have surveyed and laid out ready for agreement by the Metro Council by mid-September.
Regarding the Spadina parking facility, Mr. Speaker, I confess there is not the same clear solution to the problem. We have made an offer for the construction at the Glencairn location for payment of some 75 per cent of the cost -- the minister can correct me if I’m wrong.
Our problem with this particular situation is that, once again, we have a divided jurisdiction. We have no unanimity as between Metro council and the city of Toronto. We have met our commitment in terms of saying that we will pay the funding; there is no question about that.
Really, I guess I could have summed it up in the first place by saying that the policy of the government hasn’t changed. We are not seeking, nor will we in any way allow an extension of the -- Allen Expressway I think is the correct terminology, and the honourable member would want me to use the correct terminology -- south of Eglinton Avenue. While I’ve read a great deal about it in the press -- the odd editorial -- I can assure the honourable member the policy is not changed and we are moving as rapidly as we can from our end on those three issues, two of which I think will be fairly easily resolved, although the three-foot reserve is a bit difficult. The parking situation I can’t guarantee will be as simply resolved, but we have made our position known and I think the honourable member can be relatively comfortable that she won’t see the Allen Expressway going south of Eglinton.
I’m sorry that it was such a short answer.
Mr. Warner: A supplementary: I wonder if the Premier could perhaps agree with us on the opposition side that we’re a bit sceptical about his explanation today. When the statement was first made in August, 1975, nearly three years ago, the statement was quite clear, quite explicit, that the province will grant to the city a three-foot reserve across the road of the former expressway, that it will bring a resolve to the problem so we won’t see a continuation of the Spadina Expressway. Yet three years later all we hear is that there is some difficulty about the legal status of the three-foot right of way.
Doesn’t this appear to tarnish, somewhat, the award which the Premier won earlier as the transit man of the year? In fact, we are no further ahead today than we were three years ago. Unless we continue to push on this issue, there will be an extension of that Spadina Expressway. Surely we need better action than what we have today?
Mr. Speaker: The question has been asked.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I understand the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere is involving himself in a bit of a political statement other than a question.
Mr. Martel: You would never do that though.
Mr. Breaugh: Unlike the Premier.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Unlike the Premier, yes.
I think the proof of the matter, Mr. Speaker, is that in spite of the support of a number of people, who will remain nameless, through whom a great deal of pressure was exerted on myself personally and members of the government, the Allen Expressway has not proceeded south of Eglinton Avenue.
I think it must be obvious even to the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere that while people can speculate about it, while they can say we haven’t got that three-foot reserve, that while the land hasn’t yet been deeded to the province of Ontario from Metropolitan Toronto, the reality of life and the legal nature of the situation precludes the Allen Expressway being extended. While we certainly are going to meet those commitments, if the member studied the issue just a shade more he would understand that the possibility of the Allen Expressway extending south is really nil. It would require the government of this province to alter its position, and it has no intention of doing so.
Mr. Breithaupt: Which it is.
Mr. Nixon: Again.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Members opposite should not talk about altering positions, they really shouldn’t. Somebody had a phrase for members opposite the other day.
Mr. Nixon: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, just so the Premier can be prevented from misleading the House, the position of the Liberal Party at the time when he and his ministers had a signed commitment with the city of Toronto to build the Spadina Expressway right down to the waterfront, was that it should continue no further than Eglinton and that it should have a parking garage associated with it. That’s been our position.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, in the last two or three days --
Hon. Mr. Davis: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: The former member for Downsview Mr. Singer, was never in support of that position. Members opposite know it and I know it. The Liberals had six positions on Spadina within six months. They know it and I know it. Mr. Speaker, we are really getting in -- I am sorry.
Mr. Speaker: Order, order. There’s really nothing out of order, there’s nothing out of order at all. A new question from the member for Hamilton East.
Mr. Nixon: The then Minister of Highways signed an agreement and the Premier repudiated it. Talk about division in cabinet.
An hon. member: Name the members.
Mr. Nixon: I don’t want the Premier to mislead anybody, least of all himself.
Mr. Conway: Which isn’t very difficult.
MEAT PACKING DISPUTE
Mr. Mackenzie: A question of the Solicitor General: I assume the Solicitor General is aware that some 2,600 packinghouse workers, members of the Canadian Food and Allied Workers, are being locked out of their work place in spite of their desire to go to work. Can the minister assure us that the police will be available in sufficient numbers to assist the workers to enter the plant to perform their jobs?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: How did you ever get into the union?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, the police will be there if necessary to maintain peace and order around the plant.
Mr. Deans: To open up the picket line.
Mr. Mackenzie: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Considering that the minister was willing to use large numbers of police to assist the company to allow access to Fleck Manufacturing Plant by some of the workers to perform their jobs, would the minister explain why he would not offer the same assistance to workers who wish to work at Canada Packers? In the event he doesn’t, is the minister prepared to withdraw the police from Fleck Manufacturing?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, apparently the hon. member predicted my answer to his original question and he had the supplementary written out.
Mr. Deans: Well the Solicitor General is predictable.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: The honourable member knows very well, because I have a great deal of respect for his knowledge of labour matters, that a lockout situation with the plants he refers to is quite different from the situation at Centralia.
HOSPITAL BOARD REPORTS
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: On June 19, the member for York Centre (Mr. Stong) asked my colleague, the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) in my absence that steps be taken to set, make known and enforce guidelines which would require hospital boards to be more accountable to their members in communities in terms of supplying general statistics concerning the numbers of, types of and procedures used in operations performed at their respective hospitals.
Mr. Speaker: If there were fewer interjections, we would all be able to hear better.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I would like to point out to the honourable member that our guidelines at the present time is that the ministry by means of its annual publication of hospital statistics releases annual data on number of diagnoses and procedures on a provincial basis only, for all of Ontario hospitals. It remains the decision of each hospital board to determine if any more detailed data will be released on specific procedures performed at the hospital.
OHIP BENEFITS SCHEDULE
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Secondly, on June 13 the member for Hamilton West (Mr. S. Smith) inquired about OHIP policy regarding the payment for experimental and as yet unproven forms of treatment.
In the past year, few services have been deleted from the OHIP schedule of benefits, but there have been several description modifications. However, the specific service that the honourable member asked about in the House has been neither deleted nor modified because it has never been a benefit. Moreover, to my knowledge, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan has never knowingly paid for any experimental procedures.
The act itself would exclude these services, both because of unproven medical necessity and because the Ontario Medical Association has never considered such procedures to be listed in its schedule of fees.
With regard to PUVA, the Ontario Medical Association was asked specifically about this treatment in August 1976. The OMA responded that this treatment was experimental and that no fee should be established; thus any claims for PUVA under code G467, which is for ultraviolet light treatment, have been inappropriate and incorrect. The wording in the interim schedule of benefits from OHIP under code G467, on page 100, simply reflects this opinion of the medical association. So OHIP’s policy has not been changed but it is now stipulated in the schedule.
Further, in February 1978 the OMA again was asked about this treatment and an answer was received this week. The OMA is now of the opinion that treatment of psoriasis and other related conditions with “high intensity A-band ultra-violet light in conjunction with all medication” in other words PUVA, is still experimental and therefore inappropriate to claim.
Other dermatological ultraviolet light treatment may be appropriate and may be claimed under this code. Accordingly, the description in the schedule of benefits of ultraviolet light treatment will be altered to reflect this opinion.
The Ontario Medical Association has stressed that it expects the foregoing treatment to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the near future. At that time the OMA will consider again whether PUVA is any longer experimental and it will again be considered for inclusion under OHIP benefits.
Finally, should the honourable member wish a complete list of the deleted codes from the schedule of benefits, I will be more than happy to send it to him with a letter.
STANDING RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Mr. Havrot from the standing resources development committee reported the following resolution:
Resolved: That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food be granted Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1979:
Ministry of Agriculture and Food Ministry administration program
Agricultural production program
Rural development program
Agricultural marketing program
Agriculture education and research program
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD ANNUAL REPORT, 1976-77
Mr. Havrot from the standing resources development committee presented the committee’s report on the Annual Report of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food for 1976-77 and moved its adoption.
Mr. Laughren: The anti-farmer member from Timiskaming.
Mr. Havrot: The anti-Cassidy member from Nickel Belt.
Mr. Speaker: The honourable member has placed the Chair in a very difficult position. You are moving the adoption of a report that is not in the record. It contains 17 pages. If the honourable member wants the House to consider it, we are going to have to read it into the record. I am not going to put a question about which the House knows nothing.
Clerk of the House: Your committee, having considered the reference from the Legislature of the Annual Report of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food for 1977, submits the following report for consideration and adoption by the assembly:
The committee thanks its counsel, Mr. William Poole, for his submission and accepts his recommendations with the following amendments:
A. That item on page 16 of such report be deleted and the following substituted.
That an inquiry be conducted under the Public Inquiries Act into the marketing of food in Ontario with respect to prices, price spreads, price discounts, rebates and allowances, trade practices, methods of financing and management policies relating to the marketing of farm products. The terms “marketing” and “farm products” to have the meaning provided by sections 1(b) and 1(e) of the Farm Products Marketing Act.
B. That item 2 on page 16 of the said report be deleted and the following substituted therefor:
That such inquiry be conducted by a Food Industry Trade Practices Commission composed of (1) a nominee of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture; (2) a nominee of the Ontario section of the Consumer’s Association of Canada; (3) a nominee of each of the Progressive Conservative, Liberal and New Democrat caucuses of the Legislature, and that the chairman of the commission be appointed from the above nominees by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
(c) That the word “study” be substituted for the word “investigate” in item 4 on page 16 of the said submission.
Since May 24, 1978, I have attended all your sessions --
This is the report of Mr. Poole.
Mr. Nixon: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, before the Clerk proceeds, I think you will find that the words the Clerk has already read, except for the recommendations in the report that is in his hands, and those recommendations that would be found on the last page --
Mr. S. Smith: Pages 15 or 16, as I recall.
Mr. Speaker: Is it acceptable to all members of the House to read only the recommendations appended to the report?
Clerk of the House: These are the recommendations:
1. The Milk Commission of Ontario should monitor the wholesale and retail prices of fluid milk in selected markets in Ontario on a regular basis, and not less than twice a year, to determine any significant changes in prices and margins and the existence or absence of effective competition in the market place.
2. The Milk Commission of Ontario should monitor on a continuing basis the types and amounts of discounts given by fluid milk processers and distributors to their various customers and assess the effect of this practice on the structure and competitiveness of the industry.
3. The Ontario Food Council should monitor the wholesale and retail prices of other foods in Ontario on a regular basis to determine any significant changes in prices and margins and the existence or absence of effective competition in the market place.
4. The Ontario Food Council should monitor on a continuing basis the types and amounts of discounts given by processers to retailers and assess the effect of this practice on the structure and competitiveness of the industry.
It is noted, for example, that Mrs. Shand, who appeared before us, is a member of the food council.
5. The milk commission and the food council should discuss any evidence of excessive margins, discount or discriminatory trade practices considered to be detrimental to the public interest with the offending parties and publicize any such evidence.
1. That an inquiry be conducted under the Public inquiries Act of Ontario, with both public and in camera hearings.
2. That such an inquiry be conducted by the Ontario Food Council to be constituted or reconstituted as to its members as is appropriate in these circumstances.
3. That appropriate legal and accounting personnel be retained to conduct a thorough investigation with power to summon witnesses and to examine books of accounts.
4. That such an inquiry investigate the British Columbia recent studies into discount practices; the Alberta situation with regard to vertical integration and loss of competition; and the American experience with reference to state laws re retail pricing.
Finally, my views on discount practices can be summed up in a phrase: If the chains have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear from an inquiry; if they have something to hide, it should be exposed.
Mr. Speaker: Honourable members have heard those sections of the report they deemed advisable to have read into the record.
Hon. W. Newman: May I just make a few brief comments on the motion and on a few aspects of the inquiry?
As I interpret the standing committee’s recommendation, the other parties want a public inquiry to investigate just about every conceivable aspect of the retail food industry in this province.
Mr. Foulds: Not a bad idea.
Mr. Nixon: That was a majority decision of the committee.
Mr. Swart: Difficult.
Hon. W. Newman: I said at the beginning and throughout the hearings that I wanted to keep an open mind on the subject. I said I wanted to have all the facts before committing my ministry or the government to any further investigation of the food chains. The question we have to ask ourselves is whether facts have been presented which would demand a further look into the food industry. I am not ruling out a public inquiry of some kind.
Mr. Breithaupt: However.
Hon. W. Newman: But I must remind members that any large scale inquiry, such as a public inquiry or a royal commission, is not to be lightly undertaken.
Mr. S. Smith: Like the LaMarsh commission.
Hon. W. Newman: In fact, a public inquiry into the aspects that the opposition wants investigated would probably be the longest, costliest and most complex study in the history of this province.
Mr. Roy: You are afraid of cost now.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Only if you employ Judy LaMarsh.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Just another spendthrift Liberal, that’s what she is.
Hon. W. Newman: The number of commodities and items for sale in the average supermarket would guarantee that. We produce 200 commodities in Ontario that are sold in supermarkets.
Mr. Foulds: John Rhodes could have done it cheap when he was just a cop on the beat.
Hon. W. Newman: Most have their own set of production methods, handling requirements and marketing customs. The committee heard over and over again that people would not testify because they feared reprisals. Under the most highly confidential circumstances, Mr. Poole could still only get a few people to talk to him in private.
Mr. S. Smith: You were a great help.
Hon. W. Newman: The recommendations I made to the committee yesterday probably would have given producers and suppliers the opportunity to come forward and testify on a confidential basis. One of my main concerns was to provide a forum where people could be heard in confidence so they would not feel fear of reprisals.
Mr. S. Smith: Not if they don’t say anything.
Hon. W. Newman: Before I go any further on this matter, I should like to review Mr. Poole’s report further; a report and testimony of the British Columbia standing committee; and the actions taken or under way in other jurisdictions, including the activities of the federal Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs. After I have fully studied the material already available to us, and if I find it desirable to launch a full scale public inquiry, I will not hesitate to recommend this course of action to cabinet.
Members should be reminded of the Premier’s (Mr. Davis) comments earlier this afternoon, particularly on the question of representatives to such an investigating body from both political and partisan groups. If such a commission is established, it must be a completely independent commission.
Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise and discuss this report. I want to say at the outset that I was most impressed with the report given to the committee by its counsel, a counsel who if I’m not mistaken was recommended by the Minister of Agriculture and Food, and a person who the minister has even recommended might be the chairman of the committee that the minister would prefer to see in existence according to his own suggestion at the meeting of the standing committee on resources development. Clearly, he must have confidence in this individual, and I most certainly do as well.
The report given to the committee by the counsel was in the strongest conceivable terms. He as well as I and other members of the committee, with the exception of those who represent the government party, were very impressed with the kind of information that was put before the committee, the danger of excessive concentration of power within the food industry leading ultimately, if continued at the present trend and with the present practices, to the possibility of a very few large corporations, vertically integrated and horizontally powerful, being able to pretty well exact what they wish from the marketplace; furthermore, little by little, as the number of processers, canners and so on would be reduced in the province of Ontario, leaving the farmers pretty well as the captives of those few that remain.
That is a situation which we did not wish to see, and that is the reason the report was constructed the way it was constructed.
The suggestion the minister made to the committee and which he’s repeated here today -- and that’s the only reason I address myself to it -- is that rather than have a public inquiry, with the powers under the Public Inquiries Act to see the books of the companies, to have testimony under oath and so on, he would like to have, as he said again here today, a committee of three people that he recommended who presumably would be able to ask questions and presumably would be able to examine certain matters. They could certainly examine each other, I suspect, and possibly those other people who are willing to come forward and say what they please, but it would not have the power to examine the books of the companies, and consequently would be pretty well a useless exercise.
Our select committee met for a very long time. With the exception of one particular evening meeting I was there, I believe, for every minute of those meetings, and I certainly found them most fascinating. I tell you that the committee has come to a conclusion and it does not require now some further committee to study the results of this committee. We’re not dealing now with property tax reform, we’re now dealing with something that can be dealt with in a straightforward and reasonable manner.
It’s obvious that the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, people whose opinions ought to be of some interest to the Minister of Agriculture and Food, have unanimously and enthusiastically supported the need for a full scale, independent investigation under the Public Inquiries Act.
There seems to be same question about this business of a nominee from the various caucuses. Let us be clear: it was never the intention, and this was made clear in the committee, that these would be members of the caucus nor even members of the party. They would merely be people knowledgeable in the food industry and suggested by all three parties. If that is in some way very objectionable, if some deep principle of parliamentary history that momentarily evades me bothers the Premier of the province, and he wishes to implement the report of the select committee in some way slightly different from that of the committee -- in other words, with a nominee of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, a nominee of the consumers’ association and some other neutral person; and I don’t think it has to be a judge, there’s no allegation of illegality or anything that requires, necessarily, an advanced background in the criminal law or anything of this kind -- it seems to me we would be willing to accept some reasonable point of view from the government in this regard.
But certainly we insist that an investigation be held; and that it be under the Public Inquiries Act, not under the Ontario Food Council. I’m sorry to say this: without meaning in any way to demean the worthy civil servants on that body and other representatives on the body, the testimony and the view of the federation is very clear that the food council is not the place for it. That was even the view of one of the members of the food council who represents the consumer interest in Ontario.
It’s perfectly clear that what’s required is a swift answer and the adoption of this particular report. I cannot understand why there should be this tremendous reluctance. The government is still free -- as long as it complies with the spirit, meaning and intent of the report -- it is still free, I am sure, to make small changes in its implementation, but very small indeed.
My view is that we would have much more impact if all parties voted together to adopt the report. Naturally, the vote was not unanimous in the committee because the government party had from the very start indicated a predilection in the other direction. Nonetheless, and we will divide, I assume, in this House, I presume that the report will be adopted. I most certainly hope so. Then, I presume and expect that the government will, in the democratic fashion comply with the basic wishes of the House, consisting as it does of democratically elected members representing the people of Ontario.
Mr. MacDonald: I am a little puzzled as to why we are having this debate. We have seen the whole issue. I don’t know why the minister led off and started the debate. We have gone through this for three or four weeks. The minister has had all of his say. He said nothing new that he hadn’t said two or three, four or five times in the committee, therefore we have nothing to do but respond in a repetitious way.
If the government is going to block this, they block it in the cabinet. Why are we wasting the time of the House in debating the thing when we have had such an exhaustive debate in the committee? Since we have had the debate, let me make two or three points briefly, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Warner: Set a precedent, Don.
Mr. MacDonald: The purpose of that committee was to examine whether or not there was a prima facie case for a fuller investigation. The minister himself expressed some concerns about the two per cent discount that was revealed about six or seven weeks ago. He was sufficiently concerned about it that the chairman of his food council went to the supermarkets and persuaded them to withdraw it.
It’s a very strange situation. It is not illegal, yet as soon as it is raised, they retreat from it. They did it in 1972, they have done it two or three times in the interval, they have done it again. If it isn’t illegal, why do they retreat? If it isn’t illegal, why does the minister get concerned about it as soon as the spotlight of public attention has been turned on it once again?
The two per cent discount is only one of a wide number of merchandising practices that were considered in the committee. I just want to reiterate what I said by way of a question to the Premier this afternoon. The summation of counsel, whose name was suggested by the minister, to the committee, and which the committee by majority view adopted, was that the thrust of the evidence that was given publicly, and even more the confirmation of that evidence given privately to him in “in camera” sessions, was that there was a prima facie case for questionable practices, therefore we should have a fuller investigation.
What kind of an investigation? Independent is the key word. If it were going to be under the food council it would not be an independent inquiry because the food council -- because of its very structure, made up of processers and wholesalers and retailers who presumably were going to investigate their own questionable practices -- is obviously on the face of it not the way to go about it. It wouldn’t be an independent inquiry.
What has been proposed is that there shall be a committee that will be representative of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the consumers, the producers of food and the consumers of food in this province, and a nominee from each of the parties.
Now I’m very interested in the political tack that the Premier has taken this afternoon; that this is not going to mean an independent inquiry, it is going to be prejudiced and with political bias. It is very fascinating that when the government party, the one party alone appoints them, presumably they are above politics, but if everybody makes an appointment so that you have a balance of any prejudice that might exist then that becomes partisan.
A few years ago, a well known lawyer in the city of Toronto on a CBC panel was discussing the impartiality of royal commissions. He made a flat assertion. He said that most people appointed to royal commissions are appointed to bring in the report that the government wants.
Hon. W. Newman: That’s just nonsense and you know that.
Mr. Hodgson: We don’t believe that.
Mr. MacDonald: Members don’t believe that? I quoted from a distinguished lawyer who has observed and studied the situation.
Hon. Mr. Welch: What a slur on the commission.
Mr. MacDonald: We want an independent inquiry. We want it under the Public Inquiries Act. We want appointments from nominees who are going to be representative of a spectrum of view rather than just the views of the government. The plain fact of the matter is that through all of the operations of the resources development committee, the government members on the committee were a cheering squad for the supermarkets.
Hon. W. Newman: That is not true.
Mr. Eaton: That’s a lie.
Mr. S. Smith: It is factually correct.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The member for Middlesex will withdraw that comment.
Mr. Eaton: Mr. Speaker, I will withdraw the comment that it is a lie that --
Mr. Speaker: Unequivocally.
Mr. Eaton: But he was interpreting our position on that committee to his own political advantage.
Mr. MacDonald: I want to make a final point in a comment on the remarks of the minister, and the Premier earlier, when he said something to the effect that this isn’t the kind of inquiry that the OFA wants. The Leader of the Opposition has pointed out that the OFA and some of its key people attended the meeting yesterday, heard what had happened and at an OFA board meeting passed a resolution unanimously and enthusiastically supporting what the committee had done.
Let me read two paragraphs from the press release. “The recommendation for such an inquiry was given earlier in the day by the standing committee on resources development, which has been holding extensive hearings into the various merchandising practices of some supermarket chains. ‘The OFA is very happy about the recommendation’, said Mr. Hannam, OFA president. ‘We feel it is a tremendous victory and we will certainly provide as much assistance as possible. It is now up to the government. The OFA simply will not accept anything less than an independent investigation.’”
Hon. W. Newman: Independent, not partisan.
Mr. MacDonald: That is an independent investigation that will be representative of the producers and of the consumers, and include three other people who will be nominated by each of the parties and not by the minister’s party to serve his purposes.
Hon. W. Newman: They said an independent investigation; stop trying to play games with this report.
Mr. Eaton: I want to say a few words on this, because as was the case throughout the hearings --
Mr. Roy: The apologist for the chain stores.
Mr. Eaton: -- the Leader of the Opposition tended to interpret things for people that were not their positions.
Mr. Samis: Whom are you defending now?
Mr. Eaton: He tended to say things during the discussion that people had said that they hadn’t actually said.
Hon. Mr. Bernier: What else is new?
Mr. Eaton: He did it just now when he said that the members of our committee were not supportive of Mr. Poole’s report.
Mr. Deans: That’s right.
Mr. Eaton: I want to indicate to you, Mr. Speaker, that we did not vote against Mr. Poole’s report; we indicated our objections to the amendments that the member for York South proposed to his report. He stands up, all the time and says how great Mr. Poole’s report was. Then he takes a section out of it interprets it and does what he wants with it.
Mr. S. Smith: You want the food council and we don’t.
Mr. Eaton: We were supportive of what Mr. Poole had indicated, that such an inquiry be conducted by the Ontario Food Council --
Mr. MacDonald: Did the member listen to the minister’s questioning?
Mr. Eaton: -- to be constituted or reconstituted as to its members appropriate in the circumstances. That meant the members of the food council who would have been serving on there would be unbiased in the situation that faces them at that particular time.
I would also like to register my objection to the statement of the member for York South, that we were supportive of the chain stores in that committee.
Mr. MacDonald: Did you ever listen to the member for Renfrew South (Mr. Yakabuski)?
Mr. Eaton: We were trying to ask unbiased questions. We were not trying at any time, as the Leader of the Opposition did, to be rude or ignorant, or beat the people who were before the committee.
Mr. MacDonald: You didn’t have to try.
Mr. Eaton: We were the ones who were being objective and fair during the whole debate.
Mr. Speaker: Does any other member wish to participate in this debate?
The motion before the House is for the adoption of the report. Shall the motion carry?
Some hon. members: No.
Mr. Speaker: All those in favour of the adoption of the report will please say “aye”.
All those opposed will please say “nay”.
In my opinion, the “ayes” have it.
Motion agreed to.
STANDING SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Mr. Gaunt from the standing social development committee reported the following resolution:
Resolved: That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1979:
Ministry of Colleges and Universities
Ministry administration program
University support program
College and adult education support program
Student affairs program
STANDING PROCEDURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
Mr. Breaugh from the standing procedural affairs committee presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:
Your committee has met with the three House leaders and wishes to report two agreements concerning the practices of the House.
1. If the adoption of the committee report is moved during routine proceedings and substantial debate is required, the chairperson of the committee presenting the report should move the adjournment of the debate on the motion for adoption. The time for the debate by the House will be determined by the House leaders in consultation with the chairperson of the committee, preferably on Thursday evening.
2. When a petition is presented pursuant to provisional order 7, Mr. Speaker should inform the House of the receipt of the petition and report the assignment of the petition to the committee requested. The chairperson of the committee concerned should then arrange the allocation of times for the examination of the concerned report.
SELECT COMMITTEE ON COMPANY LAW
Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, as chairman of the select committee on company law, I am pleased to present to the Legislature the committee’s second report on the insurance industry. This report is again concerned with automobile insurance. Bound copies for each of the members will be received by next week. In the meantime, a summary of our recommendations is now being placed in the mailbox of each member and is being distributed to the press gallery.
The report deals with five particular areas. The first is that of implementing compulsory automobile insurance. The first report of the select committee recommended compulsory automobile insurance and the government has announced the acceptance of this matter in principle. The committee, accordingly, felt obliged to suggest a program to resolve the difficulties in this field, and we have done so.
We then considered the problems of automobile accident compensation and have recommended, by a majority, a modified no-fault scheme which would continue to allow noneconomic losses generally for pain and suffering in certain defined situations.
The third area of our study was with respect to the government’s presence in the automobile insurance industry. The committee has concluded that Ontario can be better served under a system of automobile insurance operated within the private sector than by the adoption of a government automobile insurance system. We do, however, make certain recommendations for a stronger presence in rate regulation so as to provide Ontario with the open competition form of such regulation.
Fourthly, we have reviewed the subject of marketing, administration and claims adjusting costs, and we have made recommendations to encourage premiums savings to the public.
Finally, we have considered the present rating classification system. We have concluded that the traditional classifications of age, sex and marital status are not adequate. We believe that such classifications would better be replaced by classes based on driving experience, driving record and miles per year driven. In addition, incentives for good driving must be more strongly adopted by the insurance industry, in our opinion.
Mr. Speaker, your committee will now turn to the other lines of general insurance, namely, property and casualty. We encourage public and industry comment on problems in those fields, and we look forward to the public hearings which will begin here at Queen’s Park on those subjects on July 18.
I would like to take this occasion to express the appreciation of our committee to Mr. George Ness, QC, who has served as counsel to the committee, and to Mrs. Frances Nokes, who continues as our clerk. Both Mr. Ness and Mrs. Nokes are in the gallery. As well, Mr. Paul Boddy, Mr. Peter McKelvey and Miss Ludmilla Jagiellicz, all of Woods Gordon, have been of great value as consultants to our committee.
STANDING PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE
Mr. T. P. Reid from the standing public accounts committee presented the committee’s interim report.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I wonder, Mr. Speaker, if I might have two words. One is that this is the second interim report from the public accounts committee. We will be tabling our final report in the fall and would ask that it be debated at that time.
I would also like to inform the House, sir, that there is a subcommittee of the public accounts committee set up, with the member for Carleton (Mr. Handleman), the member for Sudbury (Mr. Germa) and myself as members, to look into the procedures of the public accounts committee and to make recommendations to the committee and the House.
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 bills with certain amendments:
Bill 7, An Act to revise the Securities Act.
Bill 8, An Act to regulate Trading in Commodity Futures Contracts.
Bill 9, An Act to amend the Business Corporations Act.
Ordered for third reading.
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that substitutions be made on the committees of the House as follows:
Select committee on company law: Mr. MacBeth for Mr. Gregory and Mr. Blundy for Mr. Stong.
Select committee on Ontario Hydro affairs: Mr. Hennessy for Mr. Jones and Mr. Deans for Mr. Samis.
Select committee on the Ombudsman: Mr. Grande for Mr. McClellan and Mr. J. A. Taylor for Mr. G. Taylor.
Standing administration of justice committee: Mr. Gregory for Mr. Cureatz, Mr. J. A. Taylor for Mr. MacBeth, Mr. Pope for Mr. Sterling, Mr. Walker for Mr. G. Taylor, Mr. Belanger for Mr. Williams.
Standing procedural affairs committee: Effective July 1, Mr. M. Davidson for Mr. MacDonald, Mr. Wildman for Mr. Grande and Mr. G. Taylor for Mr. J. A. Taylor.
Standing social development committee: Mr. Hennessy for Mr. Elgie, Mr. G. Taylor for Mr. Villeneuve.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that when the House adjourns for the summer recess it do stand adjourned until a date to be named by the Lieutenant Governor by her proclamation.
Motion agreed to.
Mrs. Campbell: No, a specified date.
Mr. Kerrio: When does it recess?
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
LINE FENCES ACT
Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 135, An Act to revise the Line Fences Act.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Ruston: You want an election on that, eh, Darcy?
Mr. Breithaupt: You have been given all the important jobs.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, in introducing the Line Fences Act, 1978, today for first reading, I would like to say that this bill is the result of lengthy discussions with a number of interested parties, particularly with representatives of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Rural Ontario Municipal Association.
It was agreed by all that revisions to the present act were necessary to deal with present-day circumstances. A simpler and quicker method for settling fencing disputes in both rural and urban areas, and in agricultural and non-agricultural areas was needed, one that ensures that the interests of each of the adjoining owners are dealt with equitably. Honourable members will find a summary of the revised method of arbitration attached to their copies of this introductory statement.
At this time I would like to outline very briefly where the two bills differ. In the new bill as opposed to the present Line Fences Act the distinction between occupied and non-occupied land is being removed. A line fence will no longer be mandatory in every case but only where one adjoining owner wants a fence. Where adjoining owners cannot reach agreement, one owner may simply notify the clerk of the local municipality that he wants the fence viewers to arbitrate the dispute. If, however, the municipal council has passed a bylaw providing that the clerk is not to be involved, the owner will have to arrange the arbitration himself, as with the present act.
The options of the fence viewers in making their award are being clarified and broadened. The appeal of either owner from the fence viewers’ award will be to the small claims court rather than to the county or district court. If one owner fails to obey the award and the other owner does the work and wants to recover the value of that work, he will have the fence viewers reconvene to certify the amount owed him by the defaulting owner rather than having to take action in the small claims court.
In addition to the methods of the existing act for collecting the amount owed him by the defaulting owner, the other owner will be able, if the municipal council provides by bylaw, to collect the amount from the municipal treasury. The municipality will then collect the amount from the defaulting owner as taxes with interest.
Mr. Speaker, in developing this legislation, we have not been able to incorporate every recommendation submitted. However, the bill does reflect the many agreements and compromises reached during the discussion and I believe it will receive very considerable support from interested residents, municipalities and associations. Government looks forward to receiving and discussing comments and recommendations for changes to the bill over the summer months and for consideration by the Legislature in the fall.
CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY EMPLOYMET ACT
Hon. B. Stephenson moved first reading of Bill 136, An Act to Stabilize Employment of Tradesmen in the Construction Industry.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, this act is in fact enabling legislation where in the opinion of the Minister of Labour it is necessary to eliminate or reduce instability in the employment of tradesmen in the construction industry or to promote employment in that industry. The minister, subject to the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, may in fact enact or bring into effect a code or codes of employment practices establishing some measures and procedures respecting the employment of tradesmen in construction, including provisions that tradesmen permanently resident in Ontario shall be given preference in employment.
METRIC CONVERSION STATUTE LAW AMENDMENT ACT
Hon. Mr. Rhodes moved first reading of Bill 137, the Metric Conversion Statute Law Amendment Act, 1978.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, the amendments in this act have been requested by the private sector and municipalities, through the national sector plans, to ensure that the conversion process in Canada, as established by the national body, is not inhibited by Ontario legislation. The use of an omnibus bill is to save the House time since all acts included in the bill are being converted for the same purpose. The conversions in the act are mathematical in nature and do not change the intent or policy of the individual acts.
Some changes have been rounded off to avoid large figures of several decimal places. All conversions are explained in the bill, and where a number has been rounded off, the exact metric equivalent is included in the explanatory notes. Altogether there are 57 different acts that are involved in this bill for amendment, coming from 10 different ministries.
The act comes into force on a date to be proclaimed by the Lieutenant Governor. Parts of the act can be proclaimed at different times on the recommendation to cabinet by the responsible minister.
MUNICIPALITY OF METROPOLITAN TORONTO AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. S. Smith moved first reading of Bill 138, An Act to amend the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. S. Smith: The purpose of the bill is to give each of the area municipalities, in the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto the status of a city municipality. The newly-established cities of East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough and York would continue to receive provincial aid for a 10-year period as if they were township municipalities.
HOSPITAL ABORTIONS PROCEDURES ACT
Mr. Sweeney moved first reading of Bill 139, An Act respecting Hospital Administrative Procedures relating to Abortions performed in Ontario.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Sweeney: The bill establishes several administrative procedures governing the manner in which Ontario hospitals provide services and facilities for the performance of abortions in Ontario.
The bill requires that a patient be provided with information concerning the life condition of the unborn child, the risks to her and the social services available to care for the child, before consenting to an abortion.
Where a physician determines that an unborn child has the potential to remain alive outside the womb of the mother, the physician shall use medical procedures designed to maintain the life of the child. A second physician must be in attendance in these circumstances.
The bill provides that hospital facilities and services shall be made available if the continuation of the pregnancy is likely to endanger the life or cause serious and permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the patient. The bill further provides for continuous review by the Minister of Health of abortions performed in Ontario to ensure compliance with the laws relating to the performance of abortions.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE PAPER
Hon. Mr. Welch: I wish to table the answers to questions 99, 100, and 103 standing on the notice paper. I wish to table as well the answers to questions 101, 102 and 108 standing on the notice paper.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
PRIVATE MEMBERS’ BUSINESS
CONSUMER PROTECTION AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. B. Newman moved second reading of Bill 100, An Act to amend the Consumer Protection Act.
Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, in rising to make comments concerning Bill 100, I would like to start by informing the House that my comments in no way indicate that I oppose the principle of computerizing “checking out” in a supermarket.
My whole interest is in the fact that the consumer might not have the opportunity for comparison shopping.
For some years now, with the increasing concentration of the retail food business into fewer and fewer hands, the increasing size of food stores, the increasing number of checkout counters, and the longer and longer checkout lines, it was only natural the retail industry would have to look to automation to speed up the check-out time of the individual shopper. Failure to do so would prompt the shopper to take his or her business to the retailer providing the better service.
In this new electronic age, with the advent of the laser beam and scanning devices, and the development of product identity codes, a way to speed checking out was finally devised. The new method of the UPC -- the universal product code -- finally reached the market. But as it did, Mr. Speaker, the retailer assumed that the universal product code was sufficient and so he decided not to mark individual items with a price tag.
This led consumer groups, as well as the labour union movement, to become seriously concerned -- consumer groups, because comparison shopping by the elimination of individual item pricing; and labour unions, because automation could eliminate or substantially reduce employee numbers. Both concerns were very legitimate.
I don’t oppose the use of the universal product code and quicker checking out, or even the use of the computer. In my own community, the concerns of the consumer were expressed back in 1977. In fact on April 15 I received a communication from a Mrs. A. Ashwell, who was writing to me on behalf of the London Conference of the United Church Women.
Their recommendation was: “Since the supermarket industry is concurrently in the process of introducing the use of the universal product code on all items sold in their stores, which would result in the possible elimination of individual item pricing, thereby denying the consumer the right of comparison shopping, we ask you to petition your government to enact adequate protective legislation to ensure the rights of the consumer to the privilege of comparison shopping by individual item pricing”.
That resolution was approved by the Devine Street United Church of Sarnia. It was also approved by the St. Paul’s United Church Women’s Group in Harwich Township, Kent County, and also by another United Church group in Charing Cross.
Naturally, they would have contacted me, Mr. Speaker, because I am probably not within their geographic area, but because I introduced legislation back early in 1977.
The labour unions, on hearing the action taken by the United Church Women, also decided they would urge laws covering price tags. As a result, the Windsor and District Labour Council decided they would press government for government legislation that would force retailers to retain individual prices on all items sold.
The council -- that is, the Windsor and District Labour Council, which represents 38,000 area trade unionists -- adopted that approach after hearing a report from a Mr. Ron Varley, president of Local 14045, United Steelworkers of America.
Mr. Varley, whose local represents Dominion Stores Limited workers in Windsor and Amherstburg, argued that the removal of individual price labels in supermarkets would create “the biggest consumer rip-off this country has ever seen”.
He said that the universal product code, which makes computerized check-outs possible, is now on most items, and that it is only a matter of time before prices are shown only on store shelves. Mr. Varley said most supermarket unions now have contract protection against layoffs because of computerization, but remain concerned, as consumers, about the effects of ending individual pricing.
Even the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations in a press release of July 14, 1977 -- the minister of that time was the honourable Sidney Handleman -- is quoted as saying: “Over the last year and a half my colleagues and I have received literally thousands of communications ranging from expressions of mild concern to outright alarm over any suggestion to remove individual pricing.” However, no action was taken by the ministry. As a result, I had research check with the federal authorities, that is with the Ministry of Consumer and Corporate Affairs. They told us there was no legislation pending and they didn’t know if they contemplated introducing legislation.
In checking with the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations -- at that time, the honourable Sidney Handleman -- likewise, we were told that there was no indication of legislation being introduced on this matter. At no time did anybody say this matter was not a provincial matter. As a result, on April 25, 1977, I introduced the legislation we are debating this afternoon, that is, An Act to amend the Consumer Protection Act.
Certain events intervened immediately after that. As a result, when we did come back, on July 7, 1977, I reintroduced the original bill. Today, approximately one year since its last introduction, we have An Act to amend the Consumer Protection Act.
It is a very simple act. It defines the computer code. The definition reads. “The computer code means a marking that is designed to be read and recorded by a computer device for the purpose of calculating the purchase price of a product offered for sale and includes the universal product code.”
The act requires individual purchase marking and section 2 of section 47(a) reads: “No retail seller shall offer for sale a product that is marked with a computer code unless the individual purchase price of such product is clearly expressed on the product, its wrapper or its container.” The purpose of that is so the individual would have the privilege of comparison shopping.
Just to point out to those who may read this debate, I wanted to let the public know the universal product code is that symbol on boxes, cans or jars represented by 10 numbers and a series of lines and spaces. The first five numbers represent the company marking the product and these numbers are assigned to each company in the United States and Canada by a data bank. The last five numbers are selected by the manufacturer to represent a certain product. For example, the symbol 5700000305 is the code. 57000 represents the H. J. Heinz Company. The code 00805 is the code for Heinz ketchup in the 11 ounce bottle.
Each of the numbers in the universal price code is represented by two black lines and two white spaces. The scanner reads the width of the lines and the width of the spaces. It does not read the numbers. Even though stores are not ready to use the universal price code system most manufacturers in Canada have included them on their product labels.
When the federal government bill was passed requiring them to have bilingual labels, rather than to change labels two or three times -- which is very costly -- most manufacturers made all of the changes at one time so that the labels were now bilingual, in metric measurement and contained the universal product code.
There are no prices on the UPC, universal product code. The universal product code only identifies the manufacturer and the item.
As a completely computerized operation the cashier passes each of the customer’s items over a scanning unit. The unit identifies the symbol on each item. The scanner is connected to a computer terminal in which the symbol items and prices are stored. As the scanner identifies each item the terminal automatically retrieves the item’s name and price.
The terminal also displays a description of the item and its price at the cash register, performs all the calculations for tax, and takes into account store and manufacturers’ coupons, figures out the total, calculates the change from the cash offered; and its final function is to print a customer receipt containing description of all items, prices and total and so on.
What are some of the advantages of the scanning system? Well, consumers will not be able to deface the symbol or switch prices. The lines and spaces are correlated and the coding system and price are dependent on each other. If a consumer does try to alter the lines or spaces, the scanner will not accept the symbol and a beep sound will warn the cashier that the item has not been accepted.
The scanning operation will likewise cut check-out time by perhaps as much as one half. The cashier will not be able to ring in the wrong price because she won’t be ringing in prices.
Consumers will get itemized tape receipts as an aid to planning food budgets and future shopping and keeping up with the trend in food prices.
Another of the plus features is one manufacturers and storers are very cautious about -- reducing the risk of food poisoning.
If any item is found to be bad, manufacturers notify stores and the stores must take all the suspicious stock off the shelves.
There is a risk, though, of a customer in the store buying the item before the stock boys get the items removed. With the new system, the UPC code would be deleted immediately from the computer program. Then when the cashier passes the item over the scanner, a beep will sound a warning to her that the item is not acceptable. The stock would be removed from the shelves as well and this would eliminate any possibility of a customer walking out of the store with a potentially dangerous product.
The store manager could also determine how much of any given item he had sold and on what days, and so on. The scanning system would also allow the store manager to determine what hours and days are the busiest, and how many check-out lines they should have open, thereby eliminating long, long lineups.
The scanner would read the code even on dented cans and packages and the computer would correctly print out the description of the item and its price.
Occasionally a black felt pen is used to cross out most of the lines and spaces, leaving only a small portion of the symbol for the scanner to read.
The scanner again correctly can read the symbol, print out the description and the price. The system is fast and it is accurate, but how about protection for the consumer in the advent of all of this new technology?
It is the store’s thinking at present that they don’t have to unit price the articles because they will have the price listed on the shelves. However, we also know that the elderly quite often have difficulty bending down the shelves to simply notice the price listed on the shelves. It would be much better to have it on each individual item since the retailer quite often wishes to record the price only on the shelf, but not on each individual item. I pointed out a lot of savings when using the computer, so there must be some type of trade-off. It will save on employee help; it will computerize the whole check-out process; it will get the customer through the lines more quickly, but we likewise want to have the opportunity of comparison shopping in return for that.
Miracle Food Marts in Toronto have two stores, I understand, equipped with a computer, but they still put individual item price stickers on the majority of their products. If not item priced, then we will find that the consumer just cannot comparison shop.
Will there be safeguards built into UPC? Yes; safeguards not only on the prices going into the computer but also on the person programming the computer, so say those who operate the supermarkets. Remember, it is dependent on the person programming the prices into the computer and it is also dependent on the stock person. He or she has to put the right size of can in the right place on the right shelf with the right shelf-price. That is if there is no individual item price. There are many possibilities for human error that that is practically impossible to do. As a result, individual item pricing is an absolute requisite.
Itemized receipt tapes are excellent. Even though they may be excellent, they still don’t indicate, in many instances, the weight of the item purchased. For example, they do not identify between a 10-ounce can or a 19-ounce can of the same item. So the customer may be paying for a 19-ounce can, or have purchased a 19-ounce can when he or she wanted only a 10-ounce can.
In the United States, there was a big hue and cry about the system when it was first implemented. Maryland immediately, on hearing that hue and cry, passed legislation making it mandatory for all stores to unit price all items and now many other states are trying to pass similar types of legislation.
There is another problem too with computerization when individual pricing is not adopted by a retailer. The retailer could very easily change prices in the middle of a day, through the computer, but if items are individually priced, he cannot do that. He cannot double stick, double label, double tag, or the individual item, because that is contrary to federal legislation.
With the computer price only, there would be no way an individual could check the retailer to determine whether he had changed his prices in the middle of the day or at the beginning of the day, even though he may have advertised certain items at a given price.
The state of Michigan attempted to pass a bill in 1976. Because it was complicated, it was put off. The governor of the state vetoed it. However, the Detroit Free Press wrote an editorial headlined “No-Frill Pricing Bill Needed”, on July 11, 1976, as a result of the governor’s veto. I am quoting from the editorial:
“We believe that there is a legitimate public interest in assuring that retailers, in embracing the universal product code, do not abandon the price marking of an individual item on their shelves. The marking of individual items is an essential aid to intelligent shopping. The universal product code can produce worthwhile efficiencies even if the individual prices are retained. In fact, grocery chains have begun backing-off their original intention to abandon individual price posting.”
By the way, since that time the state of Michigan has passed legislation that does require individual item pricing even though their legislation exempts certain high volume items such as milk from the requirement of individual purchase pricing.
I don’t have statistics for the Ontario area to the same extent as I have them for the U.S. In the city of Detroit, there are only five supermarkets with scanners. But they foresee the scanner having such a tremendous advantage to them as far as inventory control --
Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member’s time has expired.
Mr. B. Newman: Twenty minutes? Mr. Speaker, I could carry on at some length, but I would like to close by saying that even though price marking does cost money, labour savings more than offset that difference.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member’s time has expired.
Mr. B. Newman: I will pass on the balance of my material to the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio).
Mr. M. N. Davison: Mr. Speaker, I would like to personally congratulate the member for Windsor-Walkerville for bringing forward this bill. I think it is a very important piece of legislation dealing with an important issue. It is much more important than the last debate the member and I had on supermarkets, which involved the menace created by housewives careering about recklessly in supermarkets with shopping carts without signal lights. This, however, is really important.
It is interesting to note from where we sit that this bill should be brought forward by a member of the Liberal Party, because the federal Liberal Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, some two years ago, said he would protect consumers from any problems that might arise from this new pricing system, but after the chain stores had had a chance to twist his arm and whisper in his ear, he backed off, and the federal Liberals sold out the consumers to the chain stores on this matter. So I trust the members will put a word in the ear of the federal Liberals so they might better understand the problems presented by this new system.
Bill 100, An Act to amend the Consumer Protection Act, reflects the policy of the New Democratic Party. Some time ago, at one of our conventions, the following resolution was passed: “Resolved: that the Ontario New Democratic Party will press the Ontario government to bring in legislation to protect consumers requiring the supermarket industry to continue the practice of marking the purchase price on each item for sale.” The New Democratic Party has indeed done this over the past number of years, and my colleagues the members for York South (Mr. MacDonald) and Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden) particularly, have done so with singular skill on a great many occasions, and I would congratulate them.
For anyone who has not been doing any shopping over the past couple of years, perhaps an explanation of what the UPC system is should be put on the record. The UPC system is identical, of course, to the Canadian grocery product code, or the CGPC. It is a stamp-sized rectangular black and while group of lines on the product package, and with its vertical lines of varying width and a 10-digit identification number, it can provide something in the order of 10 trillion individual machine-readable numbers. Those then are read by the electric scanner at the checkout, which is then informed by a computer of the current price in the store.
While most products at the supermarket carry the UPC, only a handful of stores in Canada actually make any use of it. The system is very unpopular, both with individual consumers and with consumer groups such as the Consumers’ Association of Canada. Because of that, Steinberg’s, which is the first store to adopt the computerized system, has decided it will continue individual price marking on its packages, even in the stores that are using the system.
In Ontario, as the member for Windsor-Walkerville pointed out quite correctly, we have lagged very far behind on this issue. In the United States a large number of the states, and an even greater number of the cities, have passed legislation requiring that the individual item pricing be maintained in those jurisdictions.
Frankly, I believe the industry would be far from unwilling to accept the intent of this bill and maintain item pricing, even if it continues with the computerized checkout and the use of the UPC. The Grocery Products Manufacturers of Canada have stated: “Even in the event that the government action is taken regarding price marking of merchandise, there is no reason to expect the elimination of the electronic store system and universal product code. Deducting the 19 per cent for the saving in price marking, GPMC estimated, yearly savings would be $97,000 on an equipment investment of $150,000. Thus other economies would be sufficient for the program to advance as planned.”
There is no guarantee whatsoever that any savings resulting from the new system will be passed along by the industry to the consumers, and I suspect that as usual the extra money will go into extra profits for the large chain stores. I further have serious doubts about the capacity of some stores to be able to keep shelf pricing accurate and up to date.
Without item pricing, the consumer has no knowledge of or protection against instantaneous price changes in a store. Without item pricing, consumer price consciousness at the time of product use will be greatly lessened, and I don’t think that’s a useful direction to go in. Without item pricing, comparison shopping will become so complicated a procedure that it will be almost impossible.
For all of those and other obvious reasons, I and my party oppose the adoption of the computerized checkout UPC system to the exclusion of item pricing. Therefore, we will be quite pleased and happy to support this bill on second reading.
Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and participate in the debate this afternoon on Bill 100. I am particularly pleased to involve myself in this debate, bearing in mind that the sponsor of the bill is the member for Windsor-Walkerville, whose bills in the past I have always found to be fundamentally sound in principle. I have always admired the logic he displays in the issues he brings before the House, such that I think we can overlook his shortcomings such as one finds in his choice of partisan political affiliations.
I recall having supported in principle his bill dealing with the recognition of support for the physically disabled in the Ontario Human Rights Code. Although at the time I opposed the structuring of the bill, I certainly didn’t oppose the principle. Here too I wish to express support for the bill presented today by the member for Windsor-Walkerville.
Not only I but, I am sure, a lot of consumers are concerned about the impact the universal product code’s implementation would have on the public if it were to negate, do away with and replace the use of the unit pricing system. I know that the Consumers’ Association of Canada has expressed a great deal of concern in this area. At this point in time, it continues, and rightfully so, to oppose any removal of unit pricing from the marketplace. That particular body has been monitoring the introduction of the universal product code and the automated checkouts over some period of time. Certainly the views they have expressed are based on a thorough review and monitoring of this situation.
I have been quite impressed with the extent to which the sponsor of the bill has researched his subject. I found it most interesting to get an understanding and appreciation of how the coding system works. I must be quite candid: I wasn’t fully appreciative of how the system works. In fact, the member went into such great detail on the subject that for a moment I thought --
Mr. Kerrio: He was in the business.
Mr. Williams: -- he was considering that at the time he retires from his present occupation he might take up a position as a salesman with one of those companies that have developed this system. He certainly makes a convincing argument. I realize that in making that argument, he shows there is some merit to the system but it shouldn’t be implemented at the expense of the consumer public. His point is well taken.
The fact is, of course, that there is a fundamental principle here that must not be overlooked. That is the fact that when a consumer goes to purchase a product in a food store, he must have the ability to determine what the price of that particular commodity is. There are three essential concerns to any purchaser of a product, and in particular a food product, whether it’s in a food chain store or in the individual corner market. The person must be able to reasonably determine the quantity of the product, the quality of the product and the price of the product and to compare all three of those factors against other similar competitive products on the shelves in these stores.
To eliminate any one of those opportunities is prejudicing the position of the individual consumer. For this reason, until such time as a mechanism can be devised to take advantage of the universal product coding system and yet preserve some element or means by which the individual purchaser can have an awareness of the individual unit price, this type of legislation is needed to bridge that gap period. I’m satisfied, however, with technology being such as it is, some means will be found to meet both needs and that if such legislation should come on to the books in future years, it may prove itself to be redundant.
It’s quite apparent today when one goes into a supermarket that the present pricing of goods on shelves leaves something to be desired because of the great quantity of individual products on the shelves and the variety of products on the shelves. With the shelves themselves being stacked, it’s hard to determine which price relates to which shelf and to which commodity from the way they’re presently labelled on the shelves. If individual units are not priced, it is not sufficient under today’s circumstances to rely solely on the tagging they use on the shelves in the stores because of the confusion created in the purchaser’s mind.
An interesting development, however, which I’ve noticed in recent times in supermarkets and which may prove to be one of the compromises that could be arrived at, short of the necessity of this type of legislation, would be the establishment of more individualized bins which would clearly contain only one product and which would through a central post or whatever, have a clearly marked single price for all of the commodities within that bin. That would be physically separate and apart from an adjoining bin that would have a competitive product with the price posted and perhaps the size of the canned goods or whatever that are in that bin. They would then be easily ascertainable to the purchaser to do comparative shopping without the confusion that presently exists with all the competitive products crammed together on one shelf and with the pricing labels between shelves confusing the public as to whether they relate to the goods below or above.
That is a possibility that I’m sure the chain stores are examining. I agree with the member that we don’t want to discourage improvement in efficiency in their operations so long as it doesn’t prejudice the consumer.
The other consideration that might eventually lead to such legislation becoming redundant would be something further into the future and is one which, I gather, has been delved into on an experimental basis in the United States. I think it was down in one of the eastern seaboard states. It received a great deal of publicity a year or two ago. That is the fact that supermarket purchasing may eventually reach the point where it will all be done by a closed-circuit television. The person would not even need to go physically to the local store to make the purchase but would simply be able to make the purchase through a shoppers’ list made available throughout the community in the proximity of the market place.
One could simply through the pushing of buttons place an order through the closed-circuit television process. The order would be made up immediately and automatically in the store, bundled and sent out to the near proximity of the store and picked up by the customer without ever entering the store or it might even be delivered to the purchaser’s home.
That of course is somewhat futuristic but it’s being experimented with now, and in that way may more greatly justify the use of the universal product code system and in that situation of course there would be no need for the unit pricing requirement there is today. But as I say, Mr. Speaker, that particular observation is related to something obviously some distance in the future.
The other option that I refer to is something that’s more readily obtainable and perhaps something that’s in the immediate future, whether in fact it’s --
Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member’s time has expired.
Mr. Williams: -- it’s something that the supermarket chains themselves have to resolve in their own minds, but in the meantime, Mr. Speaker, there is justification for giving support to this legislation.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member for Niagara Falls.
Mr. Kerrio: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: I would like to inform the member that he has until 4:58.
Mr. Kerrio: Until 4:58? You are on the computer as well, are you, Mr. Speaker?
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Correct.
Mr. Kerrio: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
The member for Oriole made mention that it’s usual that any bills put forth by my fellow member for Windsor-Walkerville are usually well advised and make a lot of sense. I have to think that in this particular instance it’s a bill that makes a great deal of sense, particularly to those people who are confronted with the possibility of shopping in the future without prices being printed on the products.
I am very pleased to hear the kind of reception that’s been given the bill on all sides. I think it’s particularly timely when the price of foods are increasing at the rate that they are, that those people who would avail themselves of the savings by spending a little more time shopping will be able to be guided by the sort of bill we are debating here today. That is, having all individual articles priced except possibly for those items that are very difficult to price or need not be priced, such as the soft containers of milk or things that could have the prices posted.
I think a very significant thing among shoppers is the ability to comparison shop. To have printed-out receipts with all of the articles marked so that one can compare them is the only possible way that consumers, if they are willing to take the time to study those articles that are reduced somewhat as loss leaders to encourage people to go and buy, can save. I would certainly agree with the large supermarkets that, in the overall picture, they have to make the whole operation pay. I think it’s considered quite acceptable that some articles could be marked very low and very possibly as loss leaders to encourage people to come and buy at those supermarkets. I can’t believe that those people who take advantage of those lower priced items from store to store wouldn’t be able, at this time when prices are so high in the food industry, to save themselves money by being able to comparison shop.
It’s usually good advice to study in other jurisdictions legislation that we might be putting into place in order for us to do a little comparison with what happens in those areas. I have before me some reports in various other jurisdictions. There are not so many in Canada; I guess because Canada is rather in its infancy in universal product coding. It was thought in some areas this was going to catch on like wildfire. Such has not been the case because it seems very difficult, particularly in our jurisdiction, where we see these huge chain stores vying for the average shopper’s business and talking about not putting brand labels on all cans as they relate to certain products. If they are going to encourage people to shop, certainly they can’t do it if they are going to eliminate pricing on the individual article.
As far as the system is concerned, there is a substantial amount of saving, as the member for Windsor-Walkerville pointed out, in the ability of the large stores to maintain very accurate records of their stock, of their sales, and to have very small losses as they relate to mistakes in prices being read as opposed to the printout on the universal price code. But I am sure that as a service to the public most of them would be willing, in face of the substantial savings being made, to pay back some small portion of the saving by conveniently marking all items.
As I suggested before, the universal pricing code has not caught on. I think the large chain stores themselves have read the resistance of the buying public to making purchases without being able to do proper comparative shopping. With individual price labels, one is able to remember the cost of items for purposes of comparison. One of our former ministers, as was pointed out before, suggested that if we went to the universal pricing code we could carry along a pencil and mark things as we went and thereby have our own marking system.
I am pleased to see that in most jurisdictions where scanners have been put in, legislation has been passed for stores to retain individual pricing. Such has been the case in many US states. If we see fit to support Bill 100 that is before us, to take a very responsible position that would convenience people who avail themselves of reasonable comparisons in their shopping day so that they can cut the costs of providing food for their families, we will be performing, I think, a very valuable service.
It goes without saying, then, that individual price posting could very well go along with universal product coding; by providing both to the citizens of Ontario we will be providing them with a very valuable ability to do proper comparison shopping.
Mr. Acting Speaker: There are several minutes left for this debate. The member for Beaches-Woodbine, for about two minutes.
Ms. Bryden: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise to support this bill, but I am somewhat disappointed that we haven’t had this kind of legislation two or three years ago when the universal pricing code was first introduced on products in the market place. It seems to me that was the time we should have had some indication from the government they were concerned about protecting consumers with the introduction of this new legislation.
Particularly, we should remember that the consumer is the most beleaguered person in our society today. He faces constant increases in prices with a current inflation rate of nine per cent. He has little control over the choice of goods offered on the shelves, and the recent hearings before the resources development committee indicated that his choice may be affected by the willingness of producers to pay kickbacks or accept discounted prices. Therefore, the consumer has to shop very carefully and must have the opportunity for comparison shopping. This is particularly important for senior citizens whose meagre pensions do not keep up with the rate of inflation, and even for others who are restricted to wage increases of six per cent under the Anti-Inflation Board, while food prices went up 3.3 per cent in the last month alone.
The consumer’s voice is unfortunately very weak, and it is the government’s responsibility to see that his interests are safeguarded in the market. But the government appears only to hear the voice of the supermarkets; its boasts about consumer protection program become hypocritical cant when one views the inaction to date in this field.
I hope that the member for Oriole will persuade his colleagues to support this bill and to see that it goes through to third reading, because it is long overdue.
Mr. Acting Speaker: The time for debate on this bill has expired.
LABOUR RELATIONS AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Ziemba moved second reading of Bill 107, An Act to amend the Labour Relations Act.
Mr. Acting Speaker: The member for High Park-Swansea for up to 20 minutes.
Mr. Ziemba: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to reserve 10 minutes, more or less, to wrap at the end of this debate.
I am pleased to introduce Bill 107, An Act to amend the Labour Relations Act. This bill will provide a first collective agreement when a bargaining unit has been certified but when negotiations for a first agreement fail or one of the partners requests such action. For example, it would end the Fleck strike. In fact, if this legislation had been in place, the Fleck strike would not have gone this far. We could have saved the taxpayers more than $1 million in police costs, not to mention the untold human cost.
What we are talking about in this bill is whether an owner like Fleck will accept a union and a contract in a civilized way or whether workers must continue the politics of the street. Workers place their faith in the Ontario Labour Relations Board. Why wouldn’t they? In the Fleck case, the board found that 87 per cent of the workers had joined the union; 117 out of 134. The bargaining unit was granted automatic certification. This should have been the end of the union’s fight for recognition, but it was not so; it was only the beginning.
Not only at Fleck but more than 25 per cent of initial organization attempts never result in a first contract. In 1977-78, of 629 certifications 291 went to the ministry for conciliation and 161 of these were no-board decisions; in other words, they did not end up with a signed contract. This is not simply because of a lack of legislation. Some managements simply put their branch plants on wheels and move away to avoid unionization, and very often they receive government resettling grants in the bargain. Others hire expensive lawyers to frustrate certification and first agreements, and their high fees are written off as a business expense.
British Columbia enacted first-agreement legislation in 1974. The labour relations board chairman reports that there are about the same number of first contracts negotiated each year in BC as in Ontario but there have been only three requests in the past two years to have the first contract imposed by the BC board.
The prospect of imposed agreements acts as a deterrent to bad-faith bargaining, and this is the key to the legislation. The fact that it is there forces employers to bargain in good faith.
It is a disgrace that the anti-scab bill that was introduced here last week by my colleagues the members for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) and the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) did not pass. Professional scabism is a weapon of anti-union management and the substructure of lawyers, union-busting consultants and so-called security organizations who thrive on this horrendous social confrontation of denying people the right to organize.
Last week the Minister of Labour lectured us on this anti-scab debate and stated that the anti-scab bill would fly in the face of the democratic principles upon which the Labour Relations Act is founded. What nonsense. She’s been sitting over there, hatching the occupational health and safety bill for over a year. We’re told now we might get it in the fall.
Mr. Lupusella: In a reasonable period of time.
Mr. Ziemba: Injured workers, their families and survivors were deliberately kept waiting three years for a deserved Workmen’s Compensation Board increase. The money was in the fund all this time and she knew it. But she let them suffer.
Hon. B. Stephenson: No, I did not.
Mr. Ziemba: You didn’t know how much money you had in your fund?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I did not know that that money was available, no.
Mr. Ziemba: The Minister of Labour --
Mr. Lupusella: The report was not even necessary.
Mr. Ziemba: -- seems to enjoy provoking confrontation, as she did with the Union of Injured Workmen.
Mr. Lupusella: You have been responsible.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I did not provoke any confrontation with anyone.
Mr. Lupusella: With your position, it is your responsibility.
Mr. Ziemba: First agreements are a great opportunity --
Mr. Lupusella: She has been responsible, and irresponsible in her actions.
Mr. Ziemba: First agreements are a great opportunity to establish the basic principle that employees in a work place should have the right and responsibility to determine their health and safety. The first agreement can also enshrine a meaningful standard grievance procedure giving all employees a right to a fair hearing, proper representation and arbitration.
BC, Quebec, and as of June 1, the federal government, have first agreement legislation. Although it is not perfect, it is an honest attempt to deal with an important injustice in our society. I hope that this assembly will have the concern and courage to deal favourably with this bill.
Mr. Acting Speaker: The member for High Park-Swansea has 14 minutes left. Does he wish to reserve all the time or just 10 minutes?
Mr. Ziemba: I would like to reserve that time.
Mr. Acting Speaker: The 14 minutes?
Mr. Ziemba: Yes.
Hon. B. Stephenson: As Minister of Labour, I am as concerned with the problem of successfully resolving first-contract disputes as is the member for High Park-Swansea. While I share his concern, I do not feel the solution which he proposes in Bill 107 will adequately deal with this problem. Therefore, I really cannot support the bill.
The bill proposes to empower the Minister of Labour --
Mr. Lupusella: What do you propose?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Just listen for a minute.
Mr. Turner: You might learn something.
Mr. Swart: I doubt it.
Hon. B. Stephenson: The bill proposes to empower the Minister of Labour with the authority to settle the terms and the conditions of first collective agreements upon the request of either party to the dispute.
This bill appears to have been inspired by legislation involving the same principle which has been adopted in British Columbia, in Quebec, and recently, by the federal government. While the principle is similar, there are several procedural differences between this bill and the legislation in those previously mentioned provinces. The procedure in this bill is the least desirable of the various legislative alternatives available. Under the BC labour code and the Canada labour code the Minister of Labour may refer a first-agreement dispute to the respective labour relations board. The labour relations board may determine the terms and conditions of the first agreement, giving consideration to whether the parties have bargained in good faith.
Under Quebec legislation, the Minister of Labour may submit the dispute to an arbitration council for settlement. The arbitration council can consider the absence or presence of good-faith bargaining by either party.
But Bill 107 involves the resolution of first-contract disputes by the Minister of Labour. It does not require a finding of a failure to bargain in good faith by either party as a precondition for the minister’s involvement; nor does it direct the minister to consider the extent to which the parties have bargained in good faith. As a result, this bill involves a far greater interference with the collective bargaining process than does the legislation of either of the other provinces or the federal jurisdiction.
The enactment of this bill could undermine rather than strengthen the system of free collective bargaining which, I submit, is the cornerstone of our labour relations policy in this province. In Ontario we are attempting to deal with first-contract disputes through a process which attempts to strengthen --
Mr. Breaugh: How?
Mr. Mackenzie: Where and when?
Mr. Breaugh: Give us an example.
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- the bargaining relationship between the parties, rather than to undermine it or pre-empt it.
Mr. Breaugh: Give us an example.
Mr. Mackenzie: That’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re undermining it. You’re spreading Fleck sickness in Ontario.
Hon. B. Stephenson: The Ontario mediation and conciliation service has developed an approach involving preventive mediation to reduce industrial conflict. Such an approach involves devoting particular attention to first-contract negotiations so that assistance can be offered when it appears that the parties are encountering some difficulty.
The preventive mediation initiative is relatively new. Therefore, it is really too early to evaluate its effectiveness statistically. However, the staff of the conciliation and mediation service have indicated that it truly does hold great potential for the fostering of better collective bargaining relationships. The experiences of the jurisdictions which have adopted first agreement arbitration is really inconclusive. The legislation is a relatively recent act in Quebec and for the federal government, but it has been in place in British Columbia since 1974.
As of the end of 1977, the Minister of Labour has referred 27 first contract disputes to the labour relations board. Of these 27, the board has imposed agreements in only eight cases.
Mr. Mackenzie: Do you know how many have reached agreement because of the legislation being there?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Of those eight cases, in only one instance were the parties able to negotiate a second agreement. In four of the eight cases the union’s bargaining rights were terminated, while in two cases the imposed contract was still in effect. In the remaining case, no new agreement was signed, although there has been no termination of the union’s bargaining rights.
These statistics, I will agree, may be open to interpretation, but it appears that the BC legislation has not been particularly successful --
Mr. Ziemba: What nonsense.
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- in encouraging the development of sound bargaining relationships.
Mr. Breaugh: Compared to yours?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I have no reason to believe that the results of such a provision would be any more conclusive in that direction in this province. Therefore, I am not persuaded that we should adopt the principle introduced in Bill 107 at this time. The implementation of the provisions of Bill 107 would be inappropriate without thorough and thoughtful consideration of its implications for the industrial relations system in the province of Ontario.
Mr. Lupusella: You need another study to be sure about it.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I do believe that the experience in British Columbia, in Quebec and within the federal government merits serious study at the same time.
Mr. Breaugh: Someone should lock you out.
Mr. Foulds: You make Mackenzie King look like a man of action.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I feel that the approach which has been taken in Ontario of preventive mediation has considerable potential for our industrial relations climate.
Mr. Grande: So you’re going to study it for three years.
Mr. Lupusella: How can you repeat the same things all the time?
Mr. O’Neil: It is quite interesting to note that the Minister of Labour says that this type of legislation is not required at the present time.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I didn’t say it wasn’t required. I said it wasn’t appropriate.
Mr. O’Neil: It wasn’t appropriate at the present time. I just wonder why she would make a comment like this if she was so much against this legislation. As the member for Erie (Mr. Haggerty) just said to me a few minutes ago, the whole problem seems to be with the problems we are encountering within the Labour Relations Act itself. Possibly the minister should be thinking about having a committee of this Legislature set up to review the act to make those changes that are required in it. I think she herself agrees that there are many changes that are required.
Hon. B. Stephenson: We are reviewing it now.
Mr. O’Neil: The problem is when the minister is reviewing it now it doesn’t really give the members of this party or the members of the third party the input that is required.
Hon. B. Stephenson: The opportunity is there.
Mr. Haggerty: It takes a private member’s bill to get a review.
Hon. B. Stephenson: No.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. O’Neil: As far as this party is concerned and I think the third party also, we would certainly like some input into those changes that are made in the Labour Relations Act so that we do have that input.
I suppose one of the reasons this bill appears before the Legislature as a private member’s bill is the problem we have at Fleck. I can see why the member for High Park-Swansea (Mr. Ziemba) would be quite concerned, as I would believe all members of this Legislature are, that a strike of this type should go on for the amount of time it has. It shows some sort of a weakness in the system or in the Labour Relations Act when we haven’t been able to bring it to a close and have at least some satisfaction from both the sides of labour and management. As I say, that’s one of the reasons that this bill is before us now.
We see some advantages with the bill. I think we see that the threat of government involvement would act as a strong incentive for settlement. It might bring the parties to an agreement sooner. We see that it could possibly reduce the possibility of prolonging disputes, as in the Fleck case, as I have just mentioned. It could provide an effective remedy where a company refuses to bargain in good faith.
Mr. Foulds: As in the Port Arthur clinic strike.
Mr. O’Neil: That’s another example that I suppose you could use also. Mind you, we do see some disadvantages with the bill.
An hon. member: Action is not your motto.
Mr. O’Neil: The minister has mentioned some of those. I think the members of the third party who are supporting this bill should look at it very carefully because I don’t think it’s the consensus of the labour movement across this province that they are totally in agreement with a bill of this sort at this time.
Mr. Breaugh: Federation policy.
Mr. O’Neil: The federation has changed its mind a couple of times on this too. It hasn’t always been along the same line that it would support it. There are even some members of the NDP who I feel sort of look at it a little bit.
Mr. Swart: Get it to committee.
Mr. O’Neil: The thing is that once you get government involved in a matter that should be restricted to management and labour, too much government control, you end up with further problems. I can see the unions might be the first to object to this. I wouldn’t blame them one bit for having too much government involvement. I think this possibly is one of the things this bill is asking for.
Mr. Breaugh: Those Fleck people think there is a little too much government involvement too.
Mr. O’Neil: Well, I mentioned Fleck. I can see, as I say, we are as worried about it as you are. We don’t like to see it have gone on as long as it has.
This is one of the situations where I feel that if there were changes in the Labour Relations Act, we wouldn’t have that problem. The thing is that when you throw these two together or they can’t get together like this, and you ask the government to get in and fix it, it’s like a shotgun marriage. We see other disadvantages --
Mr. Foulds: Some shotgun marriages turn out to be very happy.
Mr. Turner: Is that right?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Speaking from personal experience?
Mr. O’Neil: I can’t speak from experience on this but maybe the member can. The Ontario labour relations legislation is based on the establishing of framework within which both parties, both management and labour, are then left free to establish their own relationship. Again, with government involvement, we would lose this.
Voluntary negotiation of contract is generally preferred by both parties. Both parties, particularly labour, have legitimate concerns when this policy has been departed from, sometimes for good reasons, as in the case of compulsory arbitration or the imposition of the anti-inflation program for another example.
This bill would permit the minister to settle the terms and conditions on the first collective agreement. A number of problems might arise. When should the minister decide to intervene? If she intervenes too quickly or too frequently, free collective bargaining would be destroyed. Just the notion that a settlement could ultimately be imposed might lead one or both parties away from a meaningful bargaining towards posturing. We know what the feeling is towards compulsory arbitration in some cases.
Another question is how should the minister intervene? What sorts of clauses and wage rates should be chosen? A pro-labour or pro-management minister can impose an agreement totally irrelevant to the economic strength and interest of the parties involved. Why should ministerial intervention be limited to the first collective agreement? What about subsequent agreements? Should the government have the power to intervene there as well? Again, I don’t feel that it should. I don’t think the majority of the members of this Legislature feel that either.
The minister has mentioned the example of British Columba. It has had such legislation for some time but rarely continued on voluntary basis for a second agreement.
Mr. Kerrio: They also had a socialist government.
Mr. O’Neil: We currently have provisions in the Labour Relations Act to deal with employers who bargain in good faith. The remedy for a breach of that section may be inadequate. A more adequate remedy, perhaps substantial damages, might resolve the type of problem that the bill attempts to address without leading to the threat of ever-increasing government regulation which could benefit neither management nor labour.
As I mentioned in my preliminary remarks, we can see some of the reasoning behind the member for High Park-Swansea introducing this bill. It might be that some of the advantages and disadvantages that I have mentioned could be discussed if the bill were to go to committee. We will looking forward to hearing further comments by the members.
Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I don’t intend to spend a long time on this bill because I don’t think it is necessary.
Mr. Haggerty: It is embarrassing, isn’t it.
Mr. Mackenzie: I intend to support the bill, and I can assure the member to the right of Mitch Hepburn that the labour movement in Ontario is very happy to have this kind of bill before us at this time, and that is just about unanimous.
Hon. B. Stephenson: That isn’t what I heard this morning.
Mr. Mackenzie: The minister is so right, just as she was right on the statements about BC. I think Paul Wyler told her where she stood, and that is that she was so wet behind the ears it wasn’t even funny.
Hon. B. Stephenson: The facts speak for themselves.
Mr. Mackenzie: She also makes the comment about all of the attention she is giving the first agreements. It is a bit of a joke, because we have a problem in the province now, and it is a growing and spreading problem. That problem is basically good faith bargaining, which doesn’t exist at this time unless you are awfully strong and awfully well-organized.
If you happen to have a small back-alley plant it is probably worse today than it was 10 or 15 years ago. I can tell the minister something about that, because I went through an organizing campaign myself, as an organizer, in back-alley sweatshops in Windsor. In a period of about eight months we organized nine of them -- and there were some rough ones: the East Side Plating I can remember, Arcan Steel, a small Black and Decker tool and die plant, a whole number of them in that area. A year later we had three contracts. We are lucky in some cases today in some of the industrial ghettoes in Toronto if we have three contracts out of 10 organizing attempts a year later.
If you get a management, and especially if they have been coached by somebody like Stringer or some of the lawyers who make a damn good living at doing a job on the labour movement and on organizing drives and --
Hon. B. Stephenson: Don’t look at me. I don’t have anything to do with Stringer.
Mr. Mackenzie: -- on the attempts to negotiate.
Well, you give them all kinds of leeway to operate --
Hon. B. Stephenson: Who gives them leeway to operate?
Mr. Mackenzie: -- and you sure as heck let the strikebreakers operate, you let the police be used to add their weight against the workers such as you see at Fleck, and it becomes a bit of a joke. The scales are not balanced in this province. The scales are heavily weighted against workers in the labour movement. We are not having special attention to first agreements; we are not getting them.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes we are.
Mr. Mackenzie: She may be giving the attention -- it has then become a joke. She is going to have as much credibility there as she had with injured workers for three years in this province.
The primary problem is one of anti-union managements. When one gets a time in society, and we get them occasionally, such as now, when one has a bit of a fear, and a bit of a swing, and the whole government program of restraint and cutbacks adds to it, people become afraid. Managements that don’t like unions to begin with take advantage of that kind of situation.
Hon. B. Stephenson: This is not a solution.
Mr. Mackenzie: That situation is one of the reasons we need a bill like this at this time.
Mr. Foulds: Let the minister give us a solution.
Mr. Mackenzie: Occasionally, the Labour Relations Act or the Labour ministry, should be thinking in terms of assisting workers; most workers don’t feel that is the case at any point in time.
Does the minister think I make a mistake on this? I have had, I guess, eight or nine letters in the last couple of weeks about situations. Let me read the most recent one that just arrived on my desk yesterday:
“Bob, can I ask you a favour? As you can see from the enclosed documents the union is having some difficulty at Alcan. There is one plant that is apparently The last one in the Alcan chain to be organized by any union anywhere in the country. It looks as if the Fleck illness” -- this is a senior staff member of one of the unions writing to me -- “ is spreading. Perhaps you could ask the Minister of Labour whether she favours this kind of bargaining, and whether she intends to do anything about it.
“This is another example where the union organized practically everybody in the plant. More than 80 per cent of the hundred workers signed union cards, yet several months later the company is still opposed to clearcut union security or, indeed, union security in any form. This means the company still hopes one day to return to a world that never existed before the plant was organized. You can get additional information from the staff rep that we have servicing the local and attempting to reach a first contract. The name and phone number is given.”
The contract submitted -- the basic first contract, and not as good as the general one that we have in the Alcan chain across this province -- has some 60 or 70 clauses in it. The company early in the game agreed to about 10 of them; most of them don’t mean very much. They are standard clauses in that contract, and from that point on their attitude and in particular where it comes to union security or any kind of checkoff their attitude is: that is the bottom line; we don’t intend to negotiate these matters with you; we have given you what we are going to give you.
Where do we go from here? We have been months stymied in that situation. We have been months in the Fleck situation. We have gone through the situation at the Brampton Daily Times over modified union security. We have it time and time again, and the staff reps tell me it is growing around this province.
What are we going to do about that kind of a situation? There is no help from the Ministry of Labour in these situations. We just can’t get any action. The minister doesn’t want to interfere. I personally don’t particularly like interference in the collective bargaining process either. But when one gets a position where one has that kind of very strong -- I call it right-wing attitude -- in your community, and where one has a decision made that, by God, we are going to hold the wages, we are going to set these unions back, they are the culprits, they are easy to blame right now and some of the government actions add to that kind of an anti-union sentiment --
Hon. B. Stephenson: What?
Mr. Mackenzie: Yes, some of the government actions do. When one gets that kind of attitude abroad in the community it encourages those managements, those companies that don’t want the union in the first place, to take this kind of attitude.
Hon. B. Stephenson: What government actions?
Mr. Foulds: You promised action two years ago and you have done nothing. What kind of assistance?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I didn’t promise. I said we would look to see. The review is under way.
Mr. Foulds: You have done nothing.
Mr. Mackenzie: I am simply asking the minister what kind of protection or what kind of assistance do we give? The fact is, in terms of that legislation now being tried in Quebec, and in particular the BC legislation, it has had some effect.
Hon. B. Stephenson: As a deterrent effect, yes.
Mr. Mackenzie: Not in the three or four or eight cases that the minister is talking about but, as I think Professor Wyler, the chairman of the board, pointed out very clearly, about 1,000 first contracts are negotiated each year in his province, approximately the same number of new bargaining units certified in Ontario annually. There have been only three requests in the past two years to have a first contract imposed by the BC board. That shows how minimal the problem has become. I took the trouble to phone out there the other day and talked to Ron Douglas, one of the staff reps who does a lot of negotiating with new, small plants in the Vancouver area and the lower BC mainland.
The fact that two or three of the earlier decisions, where there was clearly a case of an anti-union company or anti-union management resisting an attempt to get a first contract with the union, where the first contract was imposed and where that contract more or less met the standards for that particular kind of an operation in that area, the shock waves went out though the entire industrial community.
You didn’t necessarily get the same thing from then on. Rather than risk going to that first agreement, they seriously negotiated. Because they value their ability to be independent and to do their own negotiating in the trade union movement, that was an assist that meant we really didn’t have to resort to that legislation. That is the kind of effect that legislation has had in BC.
It is not the particular clauses and whether it is the best written bill here or not; it is the fact that we don’t see the Labour minister in this province, or the Ministry of Labour, moving to offer this kind of assistance to working people, where you have a clearcut attack on organized working people in this province today. That is what worries me -- the fact that rather than assist, you would seem to ride that kind of bandwagon. That worries me considerably.
For that reason I think this bill is a good step. If the minister is not prepared to accept this, then she should be bringing in a bill with some teeth in it that does give us something with which we can say to management like Fleck, and I don’t know of many worse -- or some of these others, Alcan and the current attitude they have there, and the attitude the Thomson chain had at the Brampton Daily Times -- that is going to be able to say to them, “Look, you are going to have to bargain seriously; that is the name of the game. That means you are going to win some and lose some of the points you are asking for across the bargaining table, but at least you are going to sit down and honestly bargain.”
That is not going on, particularly in new plants, and even in some of the old plants, with fairly well-established unions. For the first time we are seeing companies coming in and saying, “You may have had this for five or 10 years as something you fought to gain, but you don’t necessarily hold it in this round of bargaining.”
That even goes to an attempt to roll back union security clauses. We have had two plants within the past couple of weeks going into negotiations in Hamilton where they have had union security clauses for years and the company has attempted to open that up again on the bargaining table.
When that happens, you are asking for a confrontation and real problems over the next year or two in this province. I am suggesting to the minister, and I say it with some unease and even some fear, and I mean that seriously, that she is asking for some real trouble in the labour relations field in the next couple of years. She should be taking a good look at this kind of legislation.
Mr. Lupusella: When is the minister going to learn?
Mr. Acting Speaker: The honourable member for Peterborough -- you have seven minutes.
Mr. Turner: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Kerrio: Six now.
Mr. Turner: Thanks, Vince. As a member for a riding --
Mr. Breaugh: That’s enough.
Mr. Turner: As a member from a riding in which there is a strong union representation within the industrial base, I am pleased to have the opportunity to participate in this debate. In my view, Bill 107 is an interesting proposal but I am not convinced that the amendments to the Labour Relations Act put forward by the member for High Park-Swansea are the most effective way of assuring that a first collective agreement will be reached between a reached union and an employer.
Mr. Deans: What do you recommend?
Mr. Turner: Just listen for a while.
Mr. Deans: I am trying. Get to the point.
Mr. Turner: I can understand and appreciate the member’s desire to find a suitable mechanism through which a duly certified union can achieve its first agreement with management. I do not believe that the collective bargaining process would be enhanced by establishing through legislation, or government interference of any kind actually, a procedure that would automatically involve the minister in a dispute upon the request of one party or the other.
The minister has already stated the intent of the proposed bill does bear a similarity to existing legislation in British Columbia, Quebec and within the federal jurisdiction. In each of these jurisdictions the minister may refer a dispute to an arbitration agency, which in turn is empowered to consider the extent to which the parties have bargained in good faith. None of these jurisdictions involves the minister directly in resolving the dispute.
With respect to the present Minister of Labour, it is not an area in which I believe the minister should be involved. In British Columbia, as an example, the role of the Minister of Labour under the Labour Code of British Columbia is directed to strikes that are against the public interest. Relying on the prestige of his office and the advice of his staff, the minister may play a significant role in resolving public interest disputes. But it should be emphasized that the role is not one of a mediator providing binding arbitration. Rather, the role of the minister in public interest disputes is to introduce mediation into a dispute that has not had the benefit of that service.
Also, I would like to point out that mediation is a voluntary service in British Columbia. If neither party wants mediation, then the right to strike is not barred. If the minister, however, deems it to be in the public interest, he can appoint a mediation officer. Such situations may arise when neither party wants to show weakness and is asking for mediation, or when there is a massive disruption of public service. When a mediation officer is appointed, a statutory strike bar comes into effect.
Mr. Deans: John, what do you recommend? Don’t give me the history of it; tell me what you recommend.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. Turner: Just listen and we’ll get some background.
Mr. Deans: You’ve only got three more minutes. What do you recommend?
Mr. Turner: A statutory strike bar comes into effect, as I said, Mr. Speaker, until the mediator reports to the minister.
Mr. Deans: You have only got two and a half minutes now. What do you recommend?
Mr. Samis: Throw the speech away, John.
Mr. Turner: The period in which the mediator’s appointment remains in effect may be extended at the discretion of the minister, thereby extending the strike bar.
Mr. Deans: Fine. Now, what do you recommend?
Mr. Acting Speaker: Will the member for Wentworth cease interjecting?
Mr. Deans: I doubt it. But I’ll try.
Mr. Turner: This practice, however, has been used with restraint. I would like to point out that in 1974 there were 17 referrals to a mediator by the minister, in 1975 there were nine, there were none in 1976, and in 1977 there was but one.
An hon. member: That doesn’t mean a thing.
Mr. Deans: That’s good. We are delighted that’s the situation.
Mr. Turner: I’m glad to hear it, because I think that is the whole gist of it.
Mr. Deans: Now, what do you recommend?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Why don’t you just shut up?
Mr. Turner: If I read this bill properly, there appears to be no provision to determine whether the parties have indeed been bargaining in good faith. It simply states that after a given period of time the minister may intervene at the request of either party.
Mr. Mackenzie: It’s the hardest thing in the world to prove. You should know that. They just have to make one offer and they are bargaining in good faith.
Mr. Turner: In my view, this will have three effects. First, it introduces an element of compulsion into the collective bargaining process, and I believe that is wrong.
Mr. Deans: Now we know what you don’t want, what do you want?
Mr. Turner: Second, it may provide a disincentive on the part of one party or the other to resolve their dispute without arbitration. Third, and perhaps most important, it will not ultimately guarantee the strength of the union as a bargaining unit for the employees.
Mr. Deans: You’ve only got two minutes.
Mr. Turner: I would like to deal with that latter point first, because it is often argued that one method of assuring union recognition in a case where an employer refuses to recognize a trade union is by imposing a first agreement upon the two parties involved. It seems to me, however, that there are two principles involved here. The first, of course, is the question of the freedom of contract. The second is the question, does it really solve the problem?
Mr. Deans: Now that we know what you are opposed to, what are you for?
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. Deans: You have only got a minute and a half.
Hon. B. Stephenson: He’s not going to have any time left if you don’t shut up.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Would the member for Wentworth please cease interjecting and allow the member for Peterborough to continue?
Mr. Makarchuk: If he’s not for very much, he’s got enough time to tell us.
Mr. Turner: As I said, this bill would indeed introduce an element of compulsion into the bargaining process and this would manifest itself in that section of the bill which states that the arbitration resulting from the involvement of the minister would be binding on both parties. In cases where the arbitration is not satisfactory to one party or the other, it would mean there would be renewed difficulties upon negotiating a second contract. In effect, as the British Columbia experience would indicate, the provisions put forward in this bill would not appear to be a guarantee of union stability --
Mr. Makarchuk: They say, “Take it or we will move out of town.” What kind of condition is that?
Mr. Turner: -- once a first contract has been negotiated. Moreover, it involves the Minister of Labour directly in the bargaining process and extends the ministerial role beyond any other legislation of this nature in other jurisdictions of the country.
Mr. M. Davidson: That’s our next bill, John.
Mr. Turner: In other words, it extends the role of the minister beyond that of protecting the public interest. For these reasons, Mr. Speaker, I, unfortunately cannot support this bill.
Mr. Deans: You said when you started you would let me know what you were for. What are you for?
Mr. Turner: You interrupted me so much that I cut it out. I will be pleased to talk to you.
Mr. Mackenzie: You don’t even have a suggestion.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, order.
An hon. Member: Allan Pope did the same thing last week. He couldn’t read his speech either.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order. The member for High Park-Swansea has reserved 14 minutes. Does he wish to use that time?
Mr. Ziemba: I would like to yield part of my time, Mr. Speaker, to Mr. Breaugh.
Mr. Acting Speaker: I am sorry. If you do not wish to use your time, I will take the next speaker on the list. Time is not transferable.
Mr. Ziemba: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order. Other members have not used the total time. The honourable minister didn’t, the member for Quinte didn’t and they are not transferable.
Mr. Ziemba: On a point of order; I reserved time at the end of the debate, not halfway through the debate.
Mr. Kerrio: You haven’t been here long enough.
Mr. Acting Speaker: I would point out to the member for High Park-Swansea you have, if you wish to use it, the balance of the time in this debate. If you do not wish to use it, I will take the next speaker on the list. Do you wish to use the time?
Mr. M. Davidson: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker; I am asking you if you are saying to the member for High Park-Swansea that he has 14 minutes before time has expired on the debate of this bill.
Mr. Acting Speaker: That is correct.
Mr. Turner: He has 12 now.
Mr. M. Davidson: Last week, I don’t know whether you were in the chair or not, sir, but the member for Bellwoods deferred his eight minutes in my favour. He was allowed to do so by the Speaker and I spoke on the bill.
Mr. Kerrio: It was a mistake.
Mr. M. Davidson: Now a precedent has already been set in participating in the debate.
Mr. Turner: Two wrongs don’t make a right.
Mr. M. Davidson: It has been recognized by the Speaker of this Legislative Assembly that the final speaker can, in fact, defer his remaining time to another member of his own caucus. I would urge you, sir, before you make the decision, to check Hansard and check with the person in the chair at that time.
Mr. Acting Speaker: The floor now belongs to the member for High Park-Swansea, if he wishes to use the time. If he doesn’t need the whole time, we will then decide who is the next speaker. Does he wish to take the floor now?
Mr. M. Davidson: No, no.
Mr. Ziemba: Mr. Speaker, I have reserved the balance of my time for the end of this debate.
Mr. Turner: Which you would use.
Mr. Ziemba: Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak on this point of order.
Mr. Acting Speaker: The member for High Park-Swansea reserved 14 minutes for himself. He has 20 minutes. It is the practice of this House, if a member does not use his entire time, we move to the next speaker. The time is divided by persons.
Mr. Ziemba: There are only 14 minutes in this debate, is that what you are saying, Mr. Speaker?
Mr. Acting Speaker: Yes. There are now 12 minutes in the debate. It is your time.
Mr. Ziemba: Fine. I am yielding that 12 minutes to Mr. Breaugh.
Mr. Acting Speaker: I am sorry. The next speaker on the list is --
Mr. Ziemba: Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Acting Speaker: Yes, I am the Speaker.
Mr. Ziemba: -- it was agreed to last week at this time by the Speaker at that time.
An hon. member: It was done on my bill too.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Is the member for High Park-Swansea --
Mr. Ziemba: I am going to challenge the ruling of the chair, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Does the member for High Park-Swansea wish to speak at this time?
Mr. Ziemba: I challenge the ruling of the chair.
Mr. Acting Speaker: I have asked you, do you wish to speak at this time?
Mr. Ziemba: I challenge the ruling of the chair, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Fine, fine. The chair has ruled that the member for High Park-Swansea has the floor. If he does not wish to speak, the floor will revert to the member for Essex South (Mr. Mancini). The member for High Park-Swansea has challenged my ruling.
Mr. Foulds: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I would ask if you could, having made that decision, cite any of the rules in the standing orders, particularly under section 35 in the -- what is it called? -- italic type at the beginning in the provisional orders which indicates any support. I would also suggest that where there are no clearcut standing orders, provisional or otherwise, precedent is what governs the procedures in the House. I would earnestly suggest that the precedent that has been established last week when the member for Bellwoods ceded his remaining time to another colleague is the practice of the House.
I draw to your attention, Mr. Speaker, that there won’t be many precedents in that the rules are provisional and have not been in effect for very long. I would very much recommend to your considered and wise judgement the precedent that was established last Thursday.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Does the member for Cambridge wish to speak on the point of order? I would remind the members that they are using up time that may be used for speaking.
Mr. M. Davidson: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I quote from Hansard of Thursday afternoon, June 15 where the Speaker said: “The member for Bellwoods has reserved eight minutes. That means there is only one minute left for any other member. Does the member for Bellwoods intend using the full eight minutes?” The member for Bellwoods responded: “I intend to yield my eight minutes to the member for Cambridge. If another member wishes to use up the minute, feel free.” The member for St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley) declined the one minute he was allowed. I proceeded to stand up and speak and the Speaker allowed me to do so.
Mr. Acting Speaker: The member for High Park-Swansea has indicated that he does not want to speak at this time. I have indicated as Speaker that if he does not wish to speak, I will take the next speaker, who is the member for Essex South. The member for High Park-Swansea has challenged my ruling.
The House divided on the Acting Speaker’s ruling which was upheld on the following vote:
Ayes 60; nays 30.
Mr. Nixon: I wonder, Mr. Speaker, since your ruling has been upheld, whether you might have the breadth of judgment in this connection to indicate that the procedural affairs committee might look into some of the minutiae and ramifications of these rules. I would suggest you might take that matter under advisement.
Mr. Acting Speaker: The Speaker will take the matter under advisement.
The hour of 5:50 having arrived, the time for debate on Bill 107 has expired.
CONSUMER PROTECTION AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Speaker: Mr. B. Newman had moved second reading of Bill 100.
Motion agreed to.
Ordered for standing administration of justice committee.
LABOUR RELATIONS AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Speaker: Mr. Ziemba had moved second reading of Bill 107.
Sufficient members having objected by rising, a vote was not taken on Bill 107.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, when the House resumes at 8 o’clock, we will carry on with consideration of Bill 126.
The House recessed at 6:04 p.m.