The House resumed at 8 p.m.
WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION AMENDMENT ACT
Resumption of the adjourned debate on the motion for second reading of Bill 126, An Act to amend the Workmen’s Compensation Act.
Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I don’t intend to take more than five minutes to conclude my remarks on the second reading debate.
I had a few short points that I had begun to make, some of which arise out of a tentative understanding of some of the conclusions of the Wyatt report, which I will need to study a lot more, as all of us will.
The first of these is that the workmen’s compensation program must be maintained as an insurance program and it must not be allowed to become a welfare program. It must not be financed out of general revenue. It must be financed out of an adequate assessment.
I have a concern that the increases that are being granted in this bill, hopefully today, or as late as tomorrow, are being financed simply by running up the liability in the accident fund even higher. If that practice continues, it threatens the insurance nature of the workmen’s compensation program. Sooner or later that money will be gone and then you will have no choice but to turn to general revenue. I don’t think any of us in this House want the fund to move away from the insurance principle.
The second point I want to touch on briefly, even just allude to, is a very distressing reference in the Wyatt report regarding the matter of the relationship between work incentive and benefit levels. I want to say very clearly to the minister again, this is not a welfare program, this is an insurance program, and she should not try to set the rates at punitive levels.
I do not believe that the compensation board benefits are anywhere close to a level where one can say that there is a disincentive to work. That is not my experience, on the basis of having dealt with many hundreds of workmen’s compensation cases since I was elected here. The people that I deal with want to work. They want to get off compensation. They want to get back into a job, whether it’s their old job or a new job which they can do, even in the light of the disability. I don’t believe that there is any ground at all for raising the bogeyman of disincentive.
The third issue I want to touch upon very briefly is simply the issue of work for injured workers. That is still a program area in compensation in this province that is in- adequately dealt with. I speak as one representing a constituency, by and large, of construction workers who, when they experience a disability, become totally destroyed from the possibility of returning to their occupation. We are going to have to face up to the fact that our existing work placement and work rehabilitation programs are inadequate in this province and that we need to start moving quickly into a serious program, which includes both affirmative action and job creation and, I believe, the establishment through statutory right in legislation of a statutory guarantee that injured workers will be found a place in this economy.
The final point I want to make very simply is that in the long run the workmen’s compensation program will have to be replaced by a program of universal accident and illness insurance. This is not a matter that relates solely to workmen’s compensation. If the minister will talk to the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton), she will learn that something in the order of 40 per cent of the people who are on social assistance in this province are there by virtue of an incapacity to work due to sickness or disability.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Some of it is congenital disability.
Mr. McClellan: No. The minister is wrong. I invite her to look at a study of Ontario’s social assistance recipients that was done, I think about a year ago, by the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto with the co-operation of the ministry. It’s a good study and a simple descriptive study. It tells who is on social assistance and why they are there. It would be illuminating for her.
I think that logic, if nothing else, will move us, I hope not too slowly, in the direction of the provision of a universal accident and illness insurance program which will serve to rationalize the present hodge-podge of income security programs which now cover those who are dependent by virtue of sickness, accident, illness or disability in a partial and inadequate way.
We heard the other day again from the Minister of Community and Social Services in response to a question about the substantial number of injured workers who are receiving both permanent and partial disability allowances from the pensions from the Workmen’s Compensation Board and social assistance allowances from the Ministry of Community and Social Services. I would guess as well that the majority of them would be receiving allowances through the Canada Pension disability program. All of these programs together add up to inadequate benefit levels.
To conclude, simply and for the sake of brevity, I think that the needs of our citizens who suffer by virtue of a condition of dependency caused by sickness, accident, illness or disability will only he addressed when there is one single universal program to replace the hodge-podge of programs that serve them so badly today.
Mr. Laughren: I agree with that.
Mr. McClellan: Instead of engaging in a fruitless ideological dispute on this issue, I hope that the minister will simply look at the problem, try to assess it and try to develop a solution to the problem.
Mr. Laughren: It’s obvious that there is going to be general support for this bill. My colleague from Windsor-Sandwich outlined the position of this party extremely well in some detail concerning the principles of the bill, and it is one that certainly none of us would disagree with.
Primarily we support the increases. We are concerned about three or four areas of the bill, and we very much hope that the minister will accept the amendments in the spirit of minority government. We very much hope that the Liberal Party would view it the same way. We are disturbed because of the minister’s reaction to the will of minority government concerning Bill 70; quite frankly that bothers us a great deal, that despite the wishes of minority government as expressed in the amendment that came out of that committee, the minister’s unwillingness to proceed with that bill as it was amended indicates an attitude towards the will of minority government that is not becoming to her as a minister of the crown.
On this particular bill, we are worried about the ceilings that have been established and the small increase of eight per cent or so that raised the ceiling from $15,000 to $16,200 on which compensation benefits are computed. We are worried about the spouse’s benefits. We don’t think that $365 is appropriate, if you think for a moment what that means. Certainly in the Sudbury area we have had ample opportunity to think about what it means to a spouse, and in the Sudbury area with the mining it is invariably the woman who is left to raise a family when the husband is killed in the mine. The husband might have been earning anywhere from $14,000 to $20,000 a year, depending on what his job was in the mine and to what extent he was into the bonus mining operations.
To say to someone like that that, “You are going to now live, at the present level, on around $4,000 a year,” we think that’s just a bit much; $365 a month is simply not enough. That should be and could he raised. As the Wyatt report points out, the board is not bankrupt and they should proceed to pay the levels that are just.
The third major problem is the whole question of how we ensure that the same thing that happened in the last three years does not happen again. It is simply not right that workers would wait three years to have an increase in the level of benefits. I know the benefits are retroactive; that is as it should be. On the other hand, there are people who during those three years should not have been subjected to the level of benefits they were receiving.
At some point the government is going to have to deal with the principle of workmen’s compensation -- the whole question of how it is that we in this society expect people to work. We eulogize the work ethic; we encourage the work ethic; we say to people that it is right to work, and we all benefit because of the labour of people. Then, when they become injured in the pursuit of their careers or of their jobs underground or on construction, wherever it might he, we penalize them in a financial way.
At some point we have to say, “That is simply not right. It is not right to expect people to do dangerous work.” The level of income is not important when we are talking about the principle of compensation. When people work, they should not be expected to be penalized in a financial way if they get injured because of their work.
It is difficult for me to understand how a government so committed to the whole free enterprise concept can substantiate their position over the years on workers’ compensation. That’s something that the Wyatt report does not seem to understand.
As a matter of fact, the Wyatt report bothered me a great deal.
I would hope that at some point we will have a wide-ranging and comprehensive debate on the Wyatt report. I would hope, when we come back in the fall session, the minister will have a comprehensive statement on the views expressed in the Wyatt report, and what the intentions are of this government in implementing some of those recommendations. I think we need that.
The minister would be the first to agree, I suspect, that there’s a lot of feeling out there in the community about workers’ compensation. One of my colleagues -- I think it was the member for Bellwoods -- talked about the violence that occurs occasionally. It happens from year to year. It doesn’t happen in any other area or jurisdiction in the province of Ontario, except to people who are subjected to inadequate levels of income under workers’ compensation.
At some point we shall have to deal with this, and the government will have to take a look at the situation and say, “What is it that we are doing so wrong? Why do we have the Union of Injured Workmen? Why do we have the Injured Workers’ Consultants? Why is it that MPPs who live in industrialized areas, whose offices are in industrialized areas, are besieged by workers’ compensation problems?”
I was in my constituency office not too long ago when an officer from the Workmen’s Compensation Board in Sudbury phoned and wanted to know what percentage of my constituency office assistant’s time was spent on workers’ compensation problems. I expected a response of 50 to 60 per cent. Her response was 90 per cent. This is not an exaggeration. I see a couple of the members opposite looking as though they don’t believe this.
Mr. Hodgson: I didn’t say I didn’t believe you. What else do you have to do up there?
Mr. Laughren: You might ask yourself who is responsible for that, too. Who is responsible for the fact that we don’t have that kind --
Mr. Hodgson: You have wanted to close down Inco for years.
Mr. Laughren: Who wants to close down Inco?
Mr. Hodgson: You guys.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. I wonder whether the honourable member could return to the content of the bill?
Mr. Hodgson: The member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) has been yakking here for years.
Mr. Laughren: I will try, Mr. Speaker, but the member for York North is deliberately misleading this chamber when he says the member for Sudbury East has been trying to close down the mining industry in Sudbury.
Mr. Hodgson: He has not.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Would the honourable member withdraw that?
Mr. Laughren: I will withdraw the remark if the member for York North will withdraw his remark.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Would the member for Nickel Belt withdraw?
Mr. Laughren: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I wonder whether you heard the remarks of the member for York North?
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Would the honourable member withdraw the remark?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Misleading the House.
Mr. Hodgson: Misleading.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: The honourable member used the term “deliberately misleading”.
Mr. Laughren: Yes, I did.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Would the honourable member withdraw that?
Mr. Laughren: You put me in a very awkward position, because I deliberately heard the member for York North say that one of my colleagues had said we were trying to close down the mining industry in the Sudbury area. That is misleading this chamber.
Mr. Hodgson: I have been here a lot longer than you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Will the honourable member withdraw?
Mr. Laughren: He was misleading.
Mr. Renwick: No. He will resign his seat and contest it in a by-election.
Mr. Eaton: Are you volunteering your seat?
Mr. Renwick: All right. We will test you on it.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Will the member for Nickel Belt withdraw the words “deliberately misleading”?
Mr. Deans: What else do you say when that is what he did?
Mr. Eaton: He expressed the wrong information.
Mr. Deans: He didn’t express the wrong information. He deliberately misled the House.
Mr. Renwick: We will fight him on. that.
Mr. Laughren: Before I decide to withdraw or not withdraw, could I ask you for a ruling? Would you please --
Mr. Hennessy: Show some guts.
Mr. Laughren: Would you please tell me whether the member opposite can say something misleading and not have to withdraw it? Will you please give me a ruling on that?
Hon. Mrs. Birch: Shame on you!
Mr. Deans: It is not shame on him, it is shame on him.
Hon. Mrs. Birch: No, it is shame on him.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: I appreciate the honourable member asking the chair a question. However, there was an interjection made, I believe, by an honourable member, and then the member who had the floor stated that that member had deliberately misled the House. That is what I heard, and I have asked the member to withdraw.
Mr. McClellan: It was accidental.
Mr. Yakabuski: Just say, “Yes, I withdraw.”
Mr. Laughren: Could I say --
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: No, no you can’t.
Mr. Laughren: You do put me in a difficult position. Could I, Mr. Speaker, withdraw the remark “deliberately misled” and say instead he deliberately misinformed the House? Thank you.
What I was trying to say was that the whole concept of compensation in this province continues to be a very serious problem. I understand why members who live in certain areas of Metropolitan Toronto might not understand the seriousness of the problem. They do not understand the problem of an injured worker and all that it means when that worker gets injured and doesn’t get a cheque. I understand that.
Mr. Hodgson: I don’t live in Metropolitan Toronto.
Mr. Laughren: And I understand what the member is trying to do in deliberately misinforming this legislative chamber, too.
Mr. Hodgson: I don’t live in Metropolitan Toronto.
Mr. Laughren: I understand that very well.
Hon. Mr. Snow: You don’t understand much.
Mr. Laughren: Is that the member for --
Mr. Hodgson: I don’t live in Metropolitan Toronto or any part of it.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Would the member for York North please refrain from interjecting?
Mr. Laughren: I would say that he’s showing his true colours with his interjections, Mr. Speaker; and that at least is worth something, because he usually is afraid to do even that.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh.
Mr. Hodgson: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order --
Mr. Laughren: Nothing’s out of order.
Mr. Yakabuski: What that supper hour --
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, I ask you, what could be out of order?
Mr. Yakabuski: Can that supper hour ever fortify some people.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Your point of order?
Mr. Hodgson: The statement was made that I very usually never speak and I’m showing my true colours tonight.
Mr. Samis: “Very usually”?
Mr. Hodgson: I’ve always spoken up for my constituents and for other constituents in Ontario, but I don’t normally run off at the mouth.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. The honourable member doesn’t have a point of order. That’s a point of view.
Mr. Foulds: And a misinformed point of view, too.
Mr. Samis: You’ve struck out twice in a row now, Bill.
Mr. Laughren: I am very happy to have been here and to have heard the member’s maiden speech. I airs very impressed by his contribution.
Mr. Samis: What’s the matter with the yakker over there?
Mr. C. Taylor: He’s made a greater contribution than you have made in aid your years here.
Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, I am trying not to be provocative, but it’s very difficult.
Mr. C. Taylor: Then sit down.
Mr. Laughren: Hey, would you back off?
Mr. Germa: How about a little decorum?
Mr. Laughren: I’ll tell you something, Mr. Speaker. The whole question of workers’ compensation is distressingly similar to the whole question of occupational health and safety. If there’s one area out there that says we still have a class system in Ontario, it’s occupational health and compensation.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Absolute bunk!
Mr. Hodgson: I will, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Laughren: There’s nothing else that indicates how large the chasm is between us and the government of Ontario. Nothing else says it so clearly.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Talk about deliberate misinformation and deliberately misleading --
Mr. Sands: Deliberately misleading?
Mr. Deans: I beg your pardon. What did you say?
Mr. Laughren: Would you repeat that?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I said, “Talk about deliberate misinformation or deliberately misleading.”
Mr. Laughren: I’d be glad to. The Minister of Labour is an expert on that.
Mr. Deans: We could talk about that and quote her all day.
Mr. Laughren: If the Minister of Labour thinks that is not right, perhaps when she replies, which she may decide to do, she could tell us who it is that suffers under a bad compensation system in Ontario.
Hon. B. Stephenson: It’s not a bad compensation system.
Mr. Laughren: Is it the people in the office towers down at King and Bay? Or is it the workers in the mines at Sudbury and Elliot Lake or on the construction jobs across this province? The minister knows who suffers from a bad compensation system; she administers it. She knows who it is.
Hon. B. Stephenson: We don’t have a bad compensation system. We have a good compensation system.
Mr. Laughren: When was the last time you represented an injured construction worker before the Workmen’s Compensation Board?
Mr. Renwick: There aren’t any in York Mills.
Mr. Laughren: That’s right. The minister knows, it’s a class system, and I know it’s a class system, just like occupational health is.
Hon. B. Stephenson: There is no class system in Ontario.
Mr. Laughren: The minister knows, and that’s what makes her nervous about it.
Hon. B. Stephenson: No, it doesn’t.
Mr. Renwick: Of course it does.
‘Mr. Laughren: That’s exactly what makes her nervous about it. I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, we on this side understand very clearly why we have an inadequate compensation system in Ontario. It’s very clear. We understand why it is that the Minister of Labour is not bringing forth Bill 70 this session. It’s the same reason she delayed not bringing forth Bill 70 this session. It’s the same reason she delayed three years on the improvements to the Workmen’s Compensation Act.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Would the honourable member return and make his remarks in regard to Bill 126?
Mr. Laughren: Yes.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Thank you.
Mr. Laughren: One of the things that the bill fails to do which I think it should do, because it’s certainly within the ambit of the principle of the bill -- to return to that, which I know you’re most anxious to do, Mr. Speaker -- is to deal with the administrative problems of the board not some attitudinal problem. The Wyatt report which I know we’re not debating, Mr. Speaker --
Hon. B. Stephenson: Will you sit down?
Mr. Hodgson: Or something.
Mr. Laughren: If the Minister of Labour has something to say let her rise in her place and I’d be glad to give her a moment.
Mr. Hodgson: If you sat down she might say something.
Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, I can hardly wait for the member for York North to get up and express his views on the workmen’s compensation system in the province of Ontario.
Mr. Hodgson: Come on, say something.
Mr. Laughren: This I’ve got to hear. It will be a first in this chamber.
Mr. Hodgson: I would not want to speak for a half an hour and not say anything.
Mr. Laughren: I want to tell you something.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please. Would the honourable member address his remarks to the chair and please disregard the interjections?
Mr. Laughren: Yes. You’re much less provocative than the members opposite, I must say.
The bill itself is one, and you may find this hard to believe, which we are going to support. But, I’ll tell you, it’s not without same anguish. And for those reasons my colleague from Windsor-Sandwich has prepared some what I think are excellent amendments. As a matter of fact, they may be irresistible.
Mr. Eaton: Is all the party going to vote on it or are you going to split on that?
Mr. Laughren: Oh, when it comes to workmen’s compensation we understand what we need to bring in a good compensation system.
That reminds me, Mr. Speaker, now that the member has triggered something in my own mind, that what the minister should be doing right now is taking a long look at the compensation system in Ontario. My colleague from Bellwoods touched on it when he said that what we really should be debating is whether or not we want the present system of compensation in the province of Ontario or a system that the chairman of the Workmen’s Compensation Board recommended a long time ago and that’s a comprehensive social insurance scheme --
Hon. B. Stephenson: That is not what he said.
Mr. Laughren: -- that would protect all people in the province regardless of where they were injured.
Mr. McClellan: Of course I did.
Hon. B. Stephenson: No, you didn’t.
Mr. Laughren: The member for Bellwoods said it and the chairman of the Workmen’s Compensation Board said it as well.
As a matter of fact, if you talk privately to the people on the Workmen’s Compensation Board, which I do on a regular basis, they will tell you that what we need in the province of Ontario is a whole different concept of compensation, the way they have it in New Zealand, the way that the province of Saskatchewan has recommended.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. I’d just like to remind the honourable member for Nickel Belt that Bill 126 contains reference only to the increase in compensation rates. I’d ask him to contain his remarks within that context.
Mr. Laughren: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I shall do that, and I shall do it very briefly.
Mr. C. Taylor: It’s the best scheme in the world.
Mr. Bounsall: Oh, no it isn’t.
Mr. Laughren: I’ll tell you, Mr. Speaker, I would have been finished now if it hadn’t been for the silly interjections from the other side. First of all, let’s lay it to rest once and for all: we do not have the best system of compensation in the world. Let’s put that to rest right now. We have an inadequate system of compensation in this jurisdiction. That’s it, plain and simple. We don’t have a good compensation system in Ontario.
Mr. Hodgson: Why do you come here? Why don’t you go to New Zealand?
Mr. Laughren: What could be a better example? Mr. Speaker, one section of this bill deals with the maximum ceiling on which compensation benefits are computed. The old level was $15,000 a year. Full compensation is considered to be 75 per cent of $15,000 a year. The ministry has raised that level to $16,200. That’s the new maximum on which compensation benefits will be computed. And we say, if you really believe that people should not be penalized because of being injured on the job, you simply take away that ceiling.
I’m going to listen very carefully to the minister’s rationale, and the Liberal Party’s rationale, as to why you need a ceiling on earnings to compute the level of compensation benefits? There is simply no justification for that ceiling.
In the province of Saskatchewan, which is, incidentally a socialist province --
Mr. Eaton: Wait until the next election there.
Mr. Bradley: It’s the only one left.
An hon. member: You don’t have many seats in BC.
Mr. Foulds: You haven’t seen the latest polls, have you?
Mr. Laughren: We’re proud of what we’ve got.
An hon. member: Of what we’ve done, anyway --
Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, as in Saskatchewan, this is what the minister could have done, very simply. As a matter of fact, that was one of the reasons I gave her the model from which to work in a private member’s bill in my name, which we debated here earlier. Personally, I would be quite happy to have no ceiling and regardless of someone’s earnings, compute their compensation benefits on that level.
In Saskatchewan, they say any time more than 10 per cent of the claimants are earning in excess of the existing ceiling, which with this bill would be $16,200, then they hump up the ceiling $1,000. There’s nothing illogical about that. There’s nothing unreasonable about that, nothing that would bankrupt any compensation board. But what does the minister do? She sets an arbitrary level of $16,200, an eight per cent increase over the level established in July 1975.
How does she justify that? I am going to listen very carefully for her rationale because either one believes that workers should not be penalized for being injured on the job, or one believes they should be. That’s really what it comes down to. So there’s no doubt in my mind -- I am not being provocative, I am not even being ideological -- when I say the compensation system in Ontario is a class system. I mean it most seriously and the Minister of Labour understands that. She has been subjected to the lobbying a lot more than I have. She understands very clearly, on this just as with the occupational health issue, that’s exactly what it boils down to. The minister knows it.
Mr. Speaker, we will support this bill, but I want to tell you it could be a lot better. I am most anxious to hear the minister’s response on how she justifies a ceiling of $16,200; secondly, how she justifies a spouse’s pension of $365 a month.
Mr. Foulds: Top limit.
Mr. Laughren: Well, I want to tell you that’s a doctor speaking. That’s a doctor speaking --
Mr. Warner: Not a Minister of Labour.
Mr. Laughren: -- who will never have to worry about living on $365 a month.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I did for years. You don’t know anything about me.
Mr. Laughren: I don’t like to be personal, but I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker --
Hon. B. Stephenson: You have been personal for the last year.
Mr. Laughren: -- no one who has had to live on even twice that income would ever suggest that someone should have to live on half of it. It’s not possible and it is fundamentally, morally and ethically wrong to ask a spouse to live on that kind of income. Doesn’t the minister think there are enough problems in the home already without subjecting a spouse to an income of $365 a month? And the minister doesn’t need to talk to me about the dependant’s allowance. I know what that is. But there might also not be any dependant’s allowance beyond the spouse’s allowance, so that’s an irrelevant argument. I will be surprised to see the amendments. I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, there’s nothing at all unreasonable about the amendments to be put in the committee stage by the member for Windsor-Sandwich, extremely reasonable.
The third point is the whole question of indexing. Why do we subject ourselves to this every two years, three years?
Mr. Foulds: Five years.
Mr. Laughren: Why can we not have an indexing system so workers in the province of Ontario who get injured through no fault of theft own, are automatically compensated in a fair and reasonable way? How does the minister justify this nonsense of going through the anguish of this every three years? You know, some day we might end up with a Minister of Labour who doesn’t care about workers.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Warner: Another one?
Mr. Speaker: I have listened very carefully to what the member for Nickel Belt has had to say. Since I took over the chair, you have been on the mark. Now you are talking about something that is not in the bill.
Mr. Haggerty: Again.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Still.
Mr. Hodgson: That’s what I thought half an hour ago.
Mr. Laughren: Well, the principle of the bill is to raise the level of benefits for workers. I am just suggesting a way to improve what’s in the bill. I am suggesting to you, Mr. Speaker, that the increase in the level of benefits, while we are going to support it -- because it terrifies me to think what this Minister of Labour would do if we didn’t support it -- we are not entirely satisfied with it.
Mr. Foulds: Probably withdraw it.
Mr. Mackenzie: Withdraw it for another year.
Mr. Laughren: Well, exactly. She’s quite capable of withdrawing this bill the way she did Bill 70 and that’s something we are not prepared to tolerate.
Mr. Lupusella: That’s how you play your own game.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Bill 70 isn’t withdrawn.
Mr. Laughren: Don’t give me that nonsense. You have withdrawn Bill 70 to all intents and purposes. I will be surprised if it’s recognizable when it comes back before this chamber in the fall.
Mr. Lupusella: That’s a vicious game.
Mr. Laughren: I will conclude by urging as strongly as I can that the Liberal Party cast aside its class biases and support the amendments that will be put forth by the member for Windsor-Sandwich.
Mr. di Santo: I would like to speak at this point in support of my colleague’s amendments to the bill introduced by the Minister of Labour. I cannot refrain from saying this bill is only a very small step towards what injured workers have been waiting for three years since July 1, 1975.
With this bill, the Minister of Labour realizes perfectly well that she hasn’t solved the problems of the injured workers of the province of Ontario. On that side of the
House, they can use all their rhetoric in saying this is the best system in the world, but there are no other countries in the world where seven injured workers have to face the court, as they have in Ontario, because of fighting for three years against the government.
There is no other democratic jurisdiction in the world where injured workers are disposed of, as this government is doing with them, as useless people who cannot contribute anymore to the economic machinery of this province.
Hon. B. Stephenson: That is not true.
Mr. Laughren: It is true. We understand power. We understand you are in power.
Mr. Lupusella: She should resign as minister.
Mr. di Santo: That is what you are doing. We have been fighting on this side of the House.
Mr. Lupusella: How can we cope with this situation for so many years?
Mr. Speaker: Will the member for Dovercourt stop interrupting his colleague from Downsview?
Mr. Samis: He is helping.
Mr. di Santo: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The support of my colleagues is most helpful.
Mr. Bradley: You are not very selective about your assistance.
Mr. Laughren: But the quality is there.
Mr. di Santo: If I had to select, I could mention the extremely important speech made by the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) who was speaking against the bill of my colleague for Nickel Belt --
Mr. Lupusella: Shame on the Liberal Party.
Mr. O’Neil: You should have him here so he can defend himself. He hasn’t a chance to defend himself.
Mr. di Santo: -- who proposed, incidentally, exactly what this bill said. He spoke on April 13 at 4:50 p.m. in this House and said that was the most irresponsible piece of legislation he had seen in this House.
Mr. Laughren: Exactly right. I remember it well.
Mr. di Santo: I am not concerned with the attitude of the Liberal Party. We know exactly where they stand.
Mr. O’Neil: We are glad you do.
Mr. Laughren: It is irrelevant.
Mr. Eaton: It is usually hard to tell.
Mr. di Santo: For them, the injured workers are only political pawns as long as it doesn’t disturb the peace with their small- enterprise, narrow-minded mentality and approach.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Is this the principle of the bill?
Mr. Foulds: They are dogmatic, too.
Mr. Sweeney: The member is sinking to the level of his radical colleagues.
Mr. Hall: Are you on Bill 70?
Mr. Bradley: You are being encouraged by the wrong people over there. The member for Nickel Belt has warped your mind.
Mr. Laughren: He required no help.
Mr. Eaton: That came out wrong.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I hope Hansard recorded that.
Mr. di Santo: Bill 126 responds only to some limited needs of the injured workers. In fact, the increases which have been explained at length by my colleagues are not even adequate, do not even correspond with the increase in the cost of living in the meantime.
What we would have seen from a Minister of Labour with some sensitivity, who would not act with that spirit of prevarication that she has used in this House and with the workers in the last three years.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I have not.
Mr. di Santo: We would have expected the Minister of Labour would have responded to some of the major problems the injured workers are faced with, and the problems are not only those of compensation although compensation is important. We know it is humiliating for the injured workers to keep fighting and standing in front of the Legislature at the beginning of every session because the Minister of Labour doesn’t want to increase their benefits. We know there are more important problems, the problems of their human dignity.
We are talking here of numbers, 25 per cent increase in the benefits and 37 per cent increase in the cost of living, but what we are not talking about is the human dignity of thousands of people who are hurt every day when they happen to have an accident on the job.
Mr. Laughren: None of them are doctors either.
Mr. di Santo: That is something your bill doesn’t speak about. We are not talking in this bill of the thousands of workers who, once injured, are not able to return to a profitable job because this system and this government doesn’t want to take into account the fact that there are human beings who may not be totally productive, because productivity is one of the ideas the government cannot relinquish, that could be useful to themselves and to their families.
Personally, with my colleague from Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden), I have tried several times to introduce a bill which is the law in many countries of the western world, as we like to call it, a law which would provide injured workers, disabled people, with an opportunity to have employment by way of making it compulsory for the government and for the private sector to hire a certain number of injured workers.
I would like to tell you, Mr. Speaker, if that were the case in the province of Ontario, with a working force of four million people and 34,000 or 35,000 partially disabled workers with partial disability pensions, we could solve the problem if a bill were passed which made it compulsory to hire one per cent injured workers in the total working force of Ontario.
Of course the Minister of Labour doesn’t respond to this. We have seen that several times in the committee debating the Workmen’s Compensation Board report every year. We are not hopeful at this time that the callousness of the government will be’ removed by the reality because they don’t look at the reality, and also because I think the government is convinced the injured workers are not a pressure group strong enough to make its weight felt at the ballot box.
I want to tell the Minister of Labour that we will keep fighting. This is a human problem and whether she likes it or not, she has to come to terms with us, she has to come to terms with the injured worker, because this is a permanent problem in our society that she doesn’t want to solve and she will be forced to solve it.
If the minister doesn’t want to solve it, we will fight for it and make the people of Ontario aware of the problem, which is not a partisan problem, that is what the Minister of Labour doesn’t understand. This is not a partisan problem. It’s a problem that has to be seen in human terms, as it is in many other jurisdictions of the world.
The bill doesn’t address itself to another major problem, which is one of my greatest concerns.
Mr. Speaker: Order. You’re not going to express that concern on this hill, because I’ve given the honourable member as much leeway as I can. Under the rules of the House, when you deliberately set out to say “another principle that this bill does not address is” you’re clearly admitting that you’re not speaking to the principle of the bill.
Mr. di Santo: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would have liked to have seen this bill solve one of the other major problems that we are faced with with the Workmen’s Compensation Board. That is, all those workers who end up in the so-called rehabilitation system of the Workmen’s Compensation Board, and who, for some strange reason, end up being examined by psychiatrists.
On May 5, the Minister of Labour, answering one of my questions, gave me this account, which is quite appalling: “From 1974 to 1977, 4,254 injured workers, disabled workers, were referred to psychiatrists.” This is a tragedy in many families, because we are confronted every day, the members --
Mr. Speaker: Which section of the bill are you referring to?
Mr. di Santo: This is the principle.
Mr. Speaker: What section?
Mr. di Santo: This is the principle of the bill.
Hon. B. Stephenson: It has nothing to do with the principle of the bill.
Mr. Speaker: Will the honourable member inform me what section of the bill he’s talking about?
Mr. Warner: The principle, the explanatory notes.
Mr. di Santo: This is the principle of the bill in the explanatory notes, if you allow me.
Mr. Laughren: Talk about the principle of the bill. It is not clause by clause.
Mr. di Santo: This is part of the benefit the minister has increased, only momentarily. We don’t think the financial part is the only important part, because this is an aspect which is crucial. You referred 4,254 injured workers through the Workmen’s Compensation Board to psychiatrists because, I suspect, the board has a vested interest in saying that those workers were disabled, not because of the accident, hut because they had psychological or psychiatric problems. This is one of the worst features of the Workmen’s Compensation Board that you should have corrected in this bill.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Laughren: Section 1.
Hon. B. Stephenson: The proportion is less than it is in the general population.
Mr. Speaker: Order. If the honourable member insists on straying from the principle of this bill, I’m going to have to ask him to take his seat and recognize the next speaker. If he can confine his remarks to the principle of Bill 126 I will allow him to continue, otherwise I’ll have to ask him to take his seat.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Throw him out.
Mr. di Santo: It was my impression that I was referring myself to section 1 of the bill, but I accept your ruling and I move further, because I want to talk about another aspect of the hill that I think is really important, and which was not dealt with by the minister in 1974 and 1975. That is the rate of compensation. I’m referring myself to section 1 of the bill now.
As my colleagues have said before, the increases introduced by the minister are quite arbitrary, not only because of the percentage chosen by the minister, but because of the whole system on which the compensation is based. As you know, Mr. Speaker, a pension is based on the earnings of an injured worker 12 months before the accident.
It happens that with this bill there is an increase in the pensions of the injured workers starting from 1975 with the percentage spelled out by the bill. But what the bill doesn’t take into account is that if the worker had an injury or became disabled 20 years ago, in this bill we are giving him an increase on the basis of his 1975 pension. We are not making any relation whatsoever to the wages of the workers who are performing a similar job today. I think that’s wrong and I think that the minister should recognize it.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Have another drink. That’s the best part of the speech.
Mr. Laughren: What’s that supposed to mean?
Mr. di Santo: Certainly, the member for Rainy River is not one of the persons who can speak on this bill. In fact, nobody on that side of the House is speaking.
Mr. O’Neil: Oh come on now, that’s not right.
Mr. Laughren: When you do speak you want to lower the level of benefits.
Mr. Bounsall: Your speech was an appeal to give you time to read the report
Mr. T. P. Reid: They never let the truth be known.
Mr. Laughren: There is the clown from Rainy River.
Mr. di Santo: Mr. Speaker, I think that in all fairness we should recognize that if a worker has an injury today 20 years from now we shouldn’t give him compensation on the basis of what he’s earning today. Because, if he had the chance -- I’ll repeat it for the minister.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I think you’ve got it backwards, but I know what you mean.
Mr. di Santo: The minister has it wrong. I’d like to tell the minister that for the last three years everything that I heard from her has been wrong, and I can quote from Hansard if she wants.
What I’m saying is that if the worker has an accident today we shouldn’t attach his pension to what he is earning today. Because 20 years from now if he had the chance he could have improved himself and he could have earned what the workers in the same group and in the same category would have earned. That is what is happening today with this bill. We are giving a totally disabled worker $500 regardless of the fact that he could be earning $15,000 or $20,000 today. I hope the minister realizes that this is an injustice.
Mr. Laughren: Kerrio is going to speak. The member for Niagara Falls is going to speak.
Mr. di Santo: There is another section of the bill that I’d like the minister to explain to us, and that is section 3(2) where it says:
“Subsection 9 of the said section 42, as reenacted by the Statutes of Ontario, 1975, chapter 47, section 6, is repealed and the following is substituted therefor” --
Mr. Kerrio: Did he put that in the record again? That’s looney. That’s ridiculous.
Mr. di Santo: -- and it says that that section doesn’t apply to lump sum payments.
Mr. Samis: Calm down, Vince.
Mr. Kerrio: That’s a disgrace.
Mr. T. P. Reid: What he is saying is they don’t have the ability to make their own decisions, but the NDP will make them for them.
Mr. Foulds: With the shape you’re in tonight, somebody should be making your decisions for you.
Mr. Laughren: Go back to the party, Reid.
Mr. McClellan: Go back to your party and talk about trees.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I know more about trees, Ross, than you know about children’s services.
Mr. Laughren: Go back to your party.
Mr. di Santo: I would like to remind the minister that in 1974, before we both were elected, when the amendment was introduced this section was applied also to the commuted pensions. In 1975, when the amendment was introduced, the amendment was not applied to the commuted pensions and she is doing the same now.
I could give the minister many examples. When the Workmen’s Compensation Board also increased the commuted pensions after the amendments introduced in 1975, for some arcane reasons I didn’t understand they decided they should comply with the amendments of 1975. As a matter of fact I had to go to the ombudsman because I had some cases in which the increases were given and some cases in which they were not granted.
I would like the minister to clarify for us why it is that for an injured worker who had his pension commuted because his pension was rated by the Workmen’s Compensation Board less than 10 per cent, he should not be qualified for an increase that the minister is granting to all the other injured workers who have a pension granted more than 10 per cent. I think that’s really an injustice. It’s one of the injustices that should be corrected.
I think that my colleague, the member for Windsor-Sandwich, will introduce an amendment and I hope that the minister will accept it because I don’t think this is controversial. I think it is understood by everybody that somebody who has an injury, it doesn’t matter the rating -- five, ten or 15 per cent -- if we think at this time that there is a need for an increase in the benefits because of the increase in the cost of living in the interval, it should cover all the injured workers. It should not discriminate against those injured workers who bad chosen for their personal reasons to have their pension commuted or because the Workmen’s Compensation Board had commuted their pension because it was rated less than 10 per cent. I hope the minister will explain --
Mr. Speaker: Order, order. I have been just about as patient as I am going to be with the honourable member. If the honourable member can tell me what section of this bill deals with that aspect of workmen’s compensation that you are talking about now, I will allow him to continue. Otherwise I will call on another member.
Mr. di Santo: Mr. Speaker, it is section 3 --
Mr. Bradley: Section 10.
Mr. di Santo: Section 3, subsections 2 and 9.
Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, on a point of personal privilege.
Mr. Speaker: Point of privilege.
Mr. Kerrio: I have a translation of a letter written to an Italian newspaper in the city of Toronto, and I would like to read to you the words of the member who’s on the floor right now.
Mr. Samis: Is that relevant?
Mr. Sweeney: The member wasn’t here and he made some comments.
Mr. Kerrio: He made some comments about this member.
Just be quiet and you might learn something, George.
At the end of the letter, after he had talked about increases in workmen’s compensation and widows’ pensions, the member has written: “In conclusion, I would like to point out to you the attitude of the Liberal representative from Niagara, Vince Kerrio, who has rejected the law proposal by calling it irresponsible. Since he is of Italian origin, he should understand that after three years, the invalids and the widows are not irresponsible in requesting that their benefits be raised.”
Mr. Laughren: What is your point of privilege?
Mr. Kerrio: The point of privilege is that I have before me everything that was entered in Hansard where I participated in the debate. I challenge that member now to stand on the floor and suggest anywhere in the debate in which I participated that I addressed myself to anything other than the bill before me --
Mr. Laughren: You are making an ass of yourself. You’re making a fool of yourself.
Mr. Eaton: Mr. Speaker, make him withdraw that.
Mr. Kerrio: -- and suggested anywhere in all the remarks that I made that the portion where I referred to his irresponsibility was in the funding of the increases.
Mr. Laughren: Oh Vince, go home.
Mr. Kerrio: The member for Nickel Belt is just making a lot of noise because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He would be wise if he kept his big mouth shut.
Mr. Laughren: You are making a fool of yourself.
Mr. Kerrio: I’d like to tell you) Mr. Speaker, that I’m quite disturbed about this. I would very well have liked to let it rest at that juncture. But the member saw fit to come before the Legislature and repeat it, and that is something I am not going to buy.
Mr. Bradley: When you were not here, by the way.
Mr. Kerrio: Subsequent to his participation, the minister has seen fit to raise --
Mr. Samis: Is this a speech?
Mr. Makarchuk: Is this the principle?
Mr. Kerrio: I’m talking on a point of privilege, if you’d like to know, Mr. Yahoo. The point that really disturbs me is that I was referring to the irresponsibility of that member’s bill when he did not know who was going to fund the increases.
Mr. McClellan: Yes, he did.
Mr. Kerrio: Nowhere in all of the responses that I made did I not concur that I was in full accord with raising the funds to people who were invalided, widows and everyone else that was suffering in Ontario. I defy him, I ask him right now to point out one place in this debate where I made any point other than what I am suggesting here on my point of personal privilege.
Mr. Bradley: Ask him to retract.
Mr. Kerrio: I ask him to retract.
Mr. di Santo: On the point of privilege, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Riddell: Show your honesty and integrity now.
Mr. Laughren: What would you know about that?
Mr. Riddell: I will match mine with yours any day.
Mr. di Santo: We have to deal with the Fleck workers.
Mr. Kerrio: Read from Hansard.
Mr. di Santo: On April 13, 1978, Hansard no. 36, on page 1498, it says: “Mr. Kerrio: I will not address myself to any of the interjections because that is a ploy of the socialists to get you to leave your theme. As far as I am concerned, this is a most irresponsible piece of legislation.”
Mr. Kerrio: Read on.
Mr. Warner: Case rested. That’s the case. Case closed.
Mr. Sweeney: Don’t confuse me with the facts.
Mr. O’Neil: Give the whole chapter; don’t take it out of context.
Mr. di Santo: I can read on.
Mr. Kerrio: Are you not going to read any more? You took one sentence out of context, didn’t you?
Mr. Foulds: It’s not out of context and you know it full well.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The member for Niagara Falls has had his say. He explained what he thinks is a point of privilege. Allow the member for Downsview to speak.
Mr. di Santo: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Will all due respect, I quote again from the member for Niagara Falls: “As far as I am concerned, this is a most irresponsible piece of legislation.”
Mr. Kerrio: Go on.
Mr. di Santo: The piece of legislation which we were discussing that day addressed itself to three points: One, that the benefits be increased according to the cost of living; two, that widows’ pensions be increased to $400; and --
Mr. Kerrio: You are not reading from Hansard.
Mr. di Santo: -- three, that dependants’ allowances be increased to $100. That was the principle of the bill.
Mr. Kerrio: Are you not going to read the rest?
Mr. di Santo: The member for Niagara Falls said that was a most irresponsible piece of legislation.
Mr. Sweeney: Read Hansard. Read the record.
Mr. Kerrio: Look at the experts down there trying to find something. Look at the two of them -- a fine combination.
Mr. Warner: The member for Niagara Falls should withdraw.
Mr. Kerrio: You have used this Legislature. A yoyo like you.
Mr. di Santo: Mr. Speaker, if the member for Niagara Falls has any dignity at all, he should stand up in this House and apologize to the injured workers.
Mr. Kerrio: Have the two experts down in front come up with something from Hansard?
Mr. di Santo: But going back to --
Mr. Speaker: The member for Rainy River has the floor.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak on this matter of privilege. I have had the opportunity to glance very briefly over Hansard and to see what was said. It seems to me that my friend who has just spoken and who has the opportunity that most of us do not have to edit and publish a newspaper --
Mr. di Santo: You are not able to do that. You are almost illiterate.
Mr. Sweeney: We are not able to make the distortions that you do.
Mr. T. P. Reid: -- has taken what we used to call poetic licence --
Mr. di Santo: It was a quote; it was not licence.
Mr. T. P. Reid: -- to interpret what was said in this Legislature to his own means. My reading of the matter is that my colleague from Niagara Falls said that what was in the particular bill as proposed by the member was particularly irresponsible --
Mr. di Santo: Right. Exactly.
Mr. T. P. Reid: -- but he went on to list what he felt was due to the people who unfortunately found themselves in that position as a result of accidents that had happened. It seems to me that particular member has used his position, not only as an MPP but as an editor of a newspaper, to select, if I may say that --
Mr. Bradley: Misrepresent.
Mr. Samis: Where’s the point of privilege?
Mr. T. P. Reid: -- perhaps I might go so far as to say, in my opinion to misrepresent the opinions as expressed by the member for Niagara Falls --
Mr. Makarchuk: Like the Toronto Sun.
Mr. T. P. Reid: -- and to mislead those people who might have occasion to read that particular newspaper.
Mr. Speaker: Order. I have heard enough from the member for Rainy River. Is he suggesting that I have the authority and responsibility to edit every newspaper that appears?
Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I am sorry; I didn’t mean to indicate that yon had that authority. But if I may preface my remarks in response to that, I do feel -- and I say this with due respect to all members -- we have seen judgements handed down by the chair, with all due respect, and by the procedural affairs committee and others, that indicate to me, quite frankly, that the privileges of members of this House seem almost non-existent.
If we look at the record in the last six months, the privileges of the members of this House, at least as I as a member understood them --
Mr. Laughren: As an elitist.
Mr. T. P. Reid: -- are non-existent; there are no privileges before this House that exist as individuals in the community. It is something you and I have spoken about, Mr. Speaker, and it disturbs me greatly. I would agree with your comment that perhaps you do not have the authority to address yourself to a newspaper, whether it’s edited by Mr. Malone of the Globe and Mail or my friend Odoardo di Santo --
Mr. Laughren: What is this? Do we have to listen to this nonsense?
Mr. Samis: Where’s the point of privilege?
Mr. T. P. Reid: -- but I say to you, that I think we have an obligation, to see that comments made by a member in this House are not slanted or misinterpreted but are taken at face value. I think there is a special obligation when a member of this House also has the responsibility of being an editor and publisher of a newspaper; he has more of a responsibility than the editor of the Globe and Mail or the Star, or even the Sun, if I may bring that into it, to be a little more honest and straightforward in his opinions.
Mr. Speaker: Is there anybody else who hasn’t already spoken who Wishes to speak to this alleged point of privilege?
Mr. di Santo: I would like to speak to that.
Mr. Speaker: You have already spoken.
Mr. di Santo: But --
Mr. Speaker: You have already spoken.
Mr. Kerrio: Sit down. You have done enough damage.
Mr. Foulds: Frankly, I don’t know what all the fuss is about from the member for Rainy River and the member for Niagara Falls. I would like to read the full quotation into the record right now and just let people decide what in fact the member said.
He said: “As far as I am concerned, this is a most irresponsible piece of legislation,” referring to the bill brought forward by the member for Nickel Belt. “The member hasn’t addressed himself to the real truth of real involvement, of real responsibility.”
Mr. Kerrio: Hasn’t addressed himself to the truth.
Mr. Foulds: That is what I said. I said “hasn’t.”
Mr. Kerrio: Be very clear about it.
Mr. Foulds: He said: “It is one of the real things I say about government.” I don’t know what that means, so I won’t put a gloss on it.
Then Mr. McClellan interjected: “Vince, you are not real.”
Mr. Kerrio: Keep reading on.
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Kerrio continued: “Priorities are very significant and important. We cannot look after a person injured in the work place to the exclusion of someone who happens to be injured on his way home from work. I don’t have to go around and be defied by people who would suggest that because I would vote” -- and I am underlining this -- “against such a bill as this, that doesn’t make any sense at all, that I am against the worker. Nothing could be further from the truth -- “
Mr. Kerrio: You hit the key line.
Mr. Foulds: -- “and I would like to see members who say so make that stick.”
The comment I would like to make after reading the full quotation is that the member did make two statements that are clear and unequivocal. I do not believe his privileges have been breached.
The two statements that are clear and unequivocal are, one, he says; “As far as I am concerned, this is a most irresponsible piece of legislation,” and two, “I would vote against any such bill as this.”
Mr. Bradley: Two well selected passages, I might say.
Mr. O’Neil: What about the third one?
Mr. Foulds: I just underline those two selected passages in the context of what I read.
Mr. Breithaupt: Yes, you selected them.
Mr. Bradley: Nice choice.
Mr. Speaker: Order. I have heard --
Mr. Breithaupt: Sufficient.
Mr. Speaker: Sufficient is right. I have heard the honourable member who raised the alleged point of privilege. I have heard from his colleague from Rainy River. I have heard from the member for Downsview and the member for Port Arthur.
Clearly, there is a difference in the interpretation of what was said and what was meant. Notwithstanding the comments of the member for Rainy River, I don’t think there is any privilege that is contained in the standing orders that the chair needs to address itself to at this time.
Clearly, there is a difference of opinion, and a difference of interpretation. I fail to recognize a privilege of this House that has been abrogated in any way. Is the member for Quinte challenging my ruling?
Mr. O’Neil: No, I am not challenging, but I would like to say something on it.
Mr. Laughren: Dig yourself in deeper.
Mr. Speaker: I think we have had enough discussion on it. This can go on ad infinitum and we are not going to resolve the situation. There is clearly a difference of opinion.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Let Hansard show that this is a difference of opinion and not a matter of fact.
Mr. Speaker: The member for Niagara Falls has stated what he said and his interpretation of what he said. There is clearly a difference of opinion. I don’t think it is a breach of privilege.
Mr. Breithaupt: Let us proceed.
Mr. Speaker: The member for Downsview.
Mr. Kerrio: You would be wise to stick to the bill and mind your business, and the rest of you too. You make a big monkey of this Legislature in doing what you want here.
Mr. Warner: Did you have dinner at Dineley’s?
Mr. Makarchuk: You have come unzipped.
Mr. Kerrio: You are a big yapper.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The interjections don’t help one iota.
Mr. di Santo: If the member for Niagara Falls would accept the defeat graciously, it would help us to keep debating the bill.
Mr. Sweeney: No such thing.
Mr. Kerrio: You want to keep the fire going.
Mr. di Santo: You have to come to terms with your leader.
Mr. Speaker: Order. It would help also if the member for Downsview would address his remarks to the chair.
Mr. di Santo: I would like to sum up what I said before. I would like to tell the Minister of Labour -- and I am referring again for your benefit, Mr. Speaker, to section 3(2) -- that I would have loved to see the commuted benefits also included in this bill and not deliberately excluded as they are.
Mr. Speaker: Order. I’ve warned the honourable member not to refer to something that has been omitted in the bill. He has just said that he is chagrined because something is not in the bill. You must address your remarks -- how often must I remind you -- that you can only talk to something that is in the bill, not something that is not in the bill.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Contempt of the Speaker, I call it.
Mr. di Santo: Yes, I’m sorry, Mr. Speaker. It’s section 1(6) that excludes the commuted benefits.
Mr. Speaker: I couldn’t care less what section excludes it from the bill. You have to address yourself to something that is contained in the bill, a principle of the bill.
Mr. Makarchuk: But it’s excluding the commuted payments.
Mr. McClellan: It’s in the bill, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: He says it isn’t in the bill.
Mr. di Santo: It is.
Mr. McClellan: Section 1(6) excludes the --
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, if I could clarify.
Mr. T. P. Reid: He is obviously confused, Mr. Speaker, and we beg your indulgence.
Mr. Bradley: The circus has come early.
Mr. di Santo: Section 1(6) says that the amounts payable under clauses (c) and (d) of subsection 1 of the said section as re-enacted do not apply to a lump sum award or the payments due prior to the effective dates. My opinion is that it should apply also to those injured workers who had a lump sum payment.
Mr. Kerrio: You are on your way out and you don’t even know it.
Mr. di Santo: In summing up my remarks, we support this bill because we know what will happen if we tried to amend it the way we want. The same thing would happen that’s happening to Bill 70. I hope the other members will accept the very minor amendments that my colleague from Windsor-Sandwich will introduce in the spirit of making this a better bill, and in the conviction that the whole Workmen’s Compensation Act should be changed. Eventually we should go to what even the chairman of the Workmen’s Compensation Board thought was a good idea -- to a universal system of insurance for injured people. Thank you.
Mr. Laughren: Point of order. I wonder if the Speaker would rule on the fact that there has been a number of New Democrats speaking in succession on this bill -- whether or not he would rule that it’s time for a Liberal speaker to --
Mr. Speaker: It’s not a point of order.
Mr. Laughren: Okay.
Mr. Bradley: It’s a point of sarcasm.
Mr. Haggerty: I rise to support the principle of Bill 126. I was interested in the comments of the previous speakers on the bill. I say that perhaps we’ve lost contact with ourselves tonight.
Mr. Laughren: Have you come unhinged, Ray?
Mr. Haggerty: I suppose we can look to the other side over there and say it’s the usual practice by the present minister and the previous ministers to bring in a bill of such importance at this late date, when the House perhaps will adjourn tomorrow. I think that more consideration should be given to the Legislature so we can have reasonable debate on such an important bill. To put a time limit on it doesn’t give the speakers and those interested in it a chance to put in the approach they should in consideration of the bill.
I look at the bill there and the amount of money that’s going to be increased to the persons who are injured and in particular I look at section 1 of the bill that applies to the widow or widower as the sole dependent of monthly payments. It may seem that from $318 to $365 is a substantial increase.
Mr. Laughren: Going to support our amendment, Ray? We have got support for the amendment.
Mr. Haggerty: In comparison I suppose, I could comment on the Wyatt report --
Mr. Bradley: Keep it up and they’ll move you to the back benches over there.
Mr. Haggerty: -- which, I suppose, is open for much dialogue later on in the session. I can only read the one comment in the report and I’m not too happy with it. It says, “We do have sympathy for the working poor.”
Mr. Laughren: They don’t want sympathy.
Mr. Haggerty: I hope when the amendments do come forward concerning the Wyatt report that they have more than sympathy for the working poor. If you look at the Canada Pension Plan and old age supplement --
Mr. Speaker: That’s not a principle of this bill.
Mr. Haggerty: I’m using it as an example when it comes to the terms of benefits paid. When you apply it to two spouses under old age security and the supplement, you have an income of almost $1,330, Mr. Speaker. I’d like to have the minister, or anybody on that side, show me where any person is in receipt of workmen’s compensation of $7,330 a year. The minister does not match that at all. The minister is frowning over there.
I think about a person with a permanent disability who has no other source of income who will receive approximately $7 a month increase on a $70 or $80 pension. It’s most pitiful that we talk about assisting those injured workers here in Ontario.
I don’t know why there is such misinterpretation of section 42(5) of the Act by members of this Legislature and those persons who are responsible for looking after it at the Workmen’s Compensation Board. When a person goes out with a disability pension and a rating of 10 per cent and $70 a month and they do obtain some light modified job such as a school crossing guard, even now they’re taking action to say that’s not good enough. They say they should be applying for a job in some other community across the province.
So I say to the minister, with the section that applies to those persons who have been injured before 1975 as suggested in the bill, that more consideration should be given to the persons who were injured previously. They can’t get by on what is given to them through workmen’s compensation. They have less chance, in the first place, to obtain full employment.
There are grey areas perhaps where persons who are receiving benefits today also are in good standing with a good job. Perhaps we should be looking at that and saying that maybe some of that money should be passed on to those less fortunate -- some of the working poor. But I say to the minister that we welcome the suggestions in here that there will be some increase, but it just doesn’t go quite far enough.
If you look at the single person receiving old age pension and the supplement, there is the basic $3,665 per year. Again, if you look at what you’re offering some of these people here, that source of income for a disabled person will not even match the $3,000. I can cite case after case, as the member for Nickel Belt has mentioned. I think I also spend much of my time looking after persons who have been injured and who have problems with the Workmen’s Compensation Board. I spend quite a bit of my time down at the board with a number of appeals. I find that the difficulty is there.
I said before to the minister I can only assume that all persons actually receive today who are on partial, permanent disability is the interest on the amount of money that is set aside by the Workmen’s Compensation Board that applies to the industry. It says that for a 10 per cent rating, or something like that, there is a $14,000 assessment against that industry. All that you’re giving them is that interest on the $14,000 per year.
No wonder the minister can come in and say that they’ve had the money all along. I’m sure she’s had the money for the last three years. Then she comes in now and says that she’s going to give them a measly increase to workmen’s compensation.
Hopefully, when the fall comes and we will have ample time to get into this Wyatt report, there are comments in there that are really debatable and are contentious.
I suggest to the minister that the intent of the resolution introduced by myself and supported by the government and members of the Liberal Party is that we want to see fair compensation under the Workmen’s Compensation Act. Until those changes come about, it is not a fair program for many, many injured workers in the province of Ontario. And I hope the minister will have time, perhaps, with a committee of the Legislature to report and deal with this matter in full detail, as well as all the other necessary information that has been handed to the Wyatt firm that did the study. But I suggest to the minister and to members of the House that we have no other choice but to go along with the minister in her recommendations for an increase to the workmen’s compensation.
However, there are many areas where this aid can be improved. I thought after three years we would see some vast improvements in assistance given to injured workers across Ontario.
I still have strong reservations about the rehabilitation program, and of course it’s not here. But it does have, Mr. Speaker, some serious effect on the benefits that are applied to the injured worker. I support the bill in principle, and that’s about all I can do, because it does not go quite far enough. I wish the minister had the time to go through my files -- I have almost four cabinets filled with workmen’s compensation cases -- and, perhaps like other members, we could travel across Ontario to assist in the cause of workmen’s compensation.
This measly increase doesn’t go far enough. And I suggest to the minister that if the money was there three years ago, then perhaps there is more now that can be given.
I understand that my colleagues to the left have certain amendments to put forward. Some of these amendments, perhaps, might be of interest to a number of us here. I don’t know whether we shall be able to support them, hut I shall take a serious, close look at them.
I suggest that there are many improvements that have to be made in some direction by the minister to the board under section 42(5). There definitely has to be a clear-cut line on this particular section from the minister or from the Legislature on how to interpret that particular section of the act. I notice that section 41 -- I think it’s 41(8)(c) -- relates to the 1975 increase of the two per cent for a number of years. The increase now will be 11 per cent in that particular area.
For a person drawing a small pension, it means nothing to him, except greater hardship, perhaps. I suggest to the minister that the Wyatt report should be debated some time in the fall, and that there should be some key amendments to the workmen’s compensation.
I think we are looking for a universal program covering any person injured in Ontario. This is my goal, and I am sure it is the minister’s too, and I trust we eventually come out with a workable program that will provide sufficient means to support and sustain a decent living for many injured workers and their families.
I support the bill in principle.
Mr. Lupusella: I rise in support of this bill, Mr. Speaker, and share the particular position taken by so many members of this Legislature, particularly by the New Democratic Party members, that this bill is not really going far enough to represent and solve the problems of injured workers in Ontario.
I am supporting this bill because I am really sorry about the physical, social and economic conditions under which injured workers have been living in Ontario since 1975. I am supporting this particular bill not because the government and the Minister of Labour in particular have been quite generous in solving the problems faced by injured workers in Ontario, but because the injured workers have been suffering the consequences of the constant inaction of this government, not just since 1975 but since 1914, when the Workmen’s Compensation Board was formed in Ontario to represent the interests of employers and not the interests of employees, especially not the workers of Ontario. That’s the kind of principle I want to emphasize tonight.
The Minister of Labour has been playing with injured workers’ lives since 1975. I think it is time this government and the Minister of Labour, in co-operation with the Liberal Party, stopped this game. We are dealing with human beings. I don’t think this bill really reflects the financial needs of injured workers. This government has an obligation to recognize the great contribution made by workers, and especially those people who have been injured on the job in making this contribution, to the economic growth of this province.
I don’t think the Minister of Labour and the Liberal Party have been really concerned about recognizing this contribution made by injured workers in Ontario to building this great province called Ontario. In some ways I feel sorry and upset and frustrated; I really don’t understand why the member for Niagara Falls should be resentful of the criticism raised by my colleague --
Mr. Bradley: Because it’s a distortion.
Mr. Kerrio: On a point of personal privilege, Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Lupusella: -- because both parties have been suffering a political --
Mr. Kerrio: Point of privilege, Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Lupusella: -- in relation to the needs of injured workers in Ontario.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Kerrio: Point of privilege, Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Kerrio: My point of privilege is that they keep reading something into the record that shouldn’t be there.
An hon. member: I agree with you, Vince; you shouldn’t have made the statement.
Mr. Kerrio: I would like to set the record straight. I would like to relate what was actually said.
Mr. Lupusella: Are you trying to delay the progress of this bill?
Mr. Kerrio: I want to refer to that, Mr. Speaker. If you are going to allow them to debate that particular bill, which was debated on April 13 --
Hon. B. Stephenson: And defeated.
Mr. Kerrio: -- then I should be allowed to make some remarks in response to their remarks. I would like to read into the record my remarks on the bill as recorded at page 1497 in Hansard.
Mr. Laughren: You’ve already done this.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Is this --
Mr. Kerrio: I’m going to read one paragraph, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Laughren: You already did that.
Mr. Kerrio: I listened to you. I listened to you kooks.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Laughren: How many points of privilege are you going to have tonight, Vince? Every time you are quoted accurately you rise on a point of privilege.
Mr. Kerrio: And what’s he doing sitting down in a front seat? He’s sitting out of his place and making a remark.
Mr. Laughren: Every time you are quoted accurately --
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Will the honourable member take his seat? Do I understand this point of privilege to be exactly the same as the point of privilege discussed earlier?
Mr. Kerrio: No. It relates to what he said now.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Let me hear your point of privilege.
Mr. Kerrio: My point of privilege is that they are reading something into Hansard and I would like to correct the record.
Mr. di Santo: He didn’t read anything.
Mr. Kerrio: I would like to say what was said at that time. He has made remarks about the member for Niagara Falls and he wants to have it on the record.
Mr. Bradley: That’s right.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: What’s your point of privilege?
Mr. Kerrio: I want to read what was said. If I can’t, I shan’t; it’s up to you to make the decision, Mr. Speaker. But I would like to read into the record something that is quite important:
“I would like to take a most responsible position as I relate my feelings to this bill. I suggest to those assembled that the injured workers of Ontario certainly deserve the support of the legislative body here, and I’m the first to suggest that that’s uppermost in my mind.”
Mr. Germa: Then you voted against the bill.
Mr. Kerrio: Then I went on to explain: “I cannot support this bill, for a ... good reason.”
Mr. Laughren: You speak with a forked tongue.
Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, it only related to who was going to pay. It had nothing to do with what that member said and what the member that moved the bill said.
Mr. Bradley: They are masters of distortion.
Mr. Kerrio: I have to make the point very clear to this assembly that I supported their bill in principle.
Mr. Laughren: No, you didn’t.
Mr. Kerrio: I was only relating to the fact that they did not care who had to pay.
Mr. Laughren: Your friends are going to pay. That is what bothered you.
Mr. Kerrio: I reinforce that position now. I would prefer that they would make their points without referring to the member for Niagara Falls.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Kerrio: You guys ruined the country you came from and now you are over here trying the same damn thing.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order!
An hon. member: You stand condemned with your own words.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Would the honourable member for Dovercourt continue?
Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege, would you please invite the member for Niagara Falls to withdraw the statement which he has just mentioned?
Mr. Bradley: Do you mean you’ve got the gall to ask him to withdraw after the nonsense here tonight?
Mr. Deputy Speaker: I’m sorry, I did not hear the honourable member for Niagara Falls.
Mr. Kent: I will repeat it. You ruined the country you came from and you are trying to do the same thing here.
Mr. Laughren: That’s the point. Are you going to let him say that, Mr. Speaker?
Mr. Kerrio: What is wrong with that statement?
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Would the honourable member for Niagara Falls withdraw?
Mr. Kerrio: What, Mr. Speaker?
Mr. Germa: The offensive statement.
Mr. Kerrio: The country they came from is in dire trouble because of the socialist activities over there.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Would the honourable member withdraw?
Mr. Kerrio: What?
Mr. Laughren: Let him say it.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: The comments that you just made in regard to the member who has just spoken.
Mr. Kerrio: I don’t see anything wrong with the statement I made.
Mr. Laughren: Let him say it. It’s valuable on the record.
Mr. Kerrio: Let it go on the record.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: I will ask the honourable member once more to withdraw.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, could you specify exactly what it was that the member said that you find offensive.
Mr. Lupusella: It is really clear what he said. He should withdraw it.
Mr. Laughren: You’ve given him his ultimatum.
Mr. Bradley: You are great pitchers and lousy catchers over there.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if we might calm this entire proceeding down just a little if we were to allow the honourable member for Dovercourt to complete his remarks briefly and then proceed to clause by clause.
Mr. Laughren: No, the member was given an ultimatum.
Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Speaker, before I am going to continue with my remarks, again I would like to invite the chair to invite the member for Niagara Falls to withdraw the statement because it was really offensive.
Mr. Kerrio: I don’t see anything offensive about it. The socialists have ruined your country. What do you want me to say?
Mr. Lupusella: You didn’t say that,
Mr. Bounsall: You are castigating all of Italy.
Mi. Deputy Speaker: I asked previously if the honourable member would withdraw the remarks he made.
Mr. Kerrio: There is a little misunderstanding here, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Laughren: No, there isn’t.
Mr. Lupusella: It’s very clear what you said.
Mr. Kerrio: I am suggesting that the socialist government has ruffled a great country in Italy.
Mr. Laughren: That is not what you said.
Mr. Kerrio: They have done the same thing in Britain. And I am suggesting that the socialist movement is attempting to do the same thing in Canada. if you take that as a personal insult and you would like me to withdraw directing that to any individual, Mr. Speaker, I will. But I will make the statement and I will say it standing in my place that you socialists have ruined every jurisdiction you have ever touched.
Mr. Warner: You have ruined Niagara Falls.
Mr. Laughren: What are the Liberals doing to Canada?
Mr. di Santo: Mr. Speaker, on the point of privilege, just for the record, the member for Niagara Falls said before that he had supported the bill on principle with some specifications.
Mr. Bradley: Write to the newspaper.
Mr. di Santo: Not everybody is able to write to a newspaper.
Mr. T. P. Reid: No, that’s the problem.
Mr. Gregory: You have your own.
Mr. Kerrio: You sure made your points with the people you want to and in the wrong way. Now it is coming out.
Mr. di Santo: On that point of privilege, I would like to submit that the member said that he voted against this bill.
Mr. Kerrio: Clean up your act.
Mr. Lupusella: I was really immersed, in my mind, on the context and within the context of this particular bill.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. I thought the member was speaking further to the point of privilege.
Mr. Lupusella: No, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Nixon: He’s continuing his speech.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, could I address myself to the point of privilege? I made some remarks earlier about the fact that the privileges of the members seemed to be almost nonexistent in this House. It was my impression that an actual point of privilege was in fact where something was said or done that impugned not only a particular member, but also had a reflection on all members of the House.
These are the privileges that were designated as a result of his or her being a member of this House, the traditional privileges from our British heritage and through our House of Commons in Ottawa and our parliamentary tradition in the Ontario Legislature. It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that your predecessor in the chair only 10 or 15 minutes ago ruled that in fact what had been said was an honest difference of opinion.
I would submit quite frankly that what my colleague from Niagara Falls has said is simply his opinion. Perhaps he doesn’t have the benefit of having a newspaper or some media organ to make his opinions known, but certainly he is as entitled to his opinion about what is going on here as is the member for Downsview. I would suggest if my friends from the NDP had any concept of what they were about, they would be attacking the government and not the Liberal Party.
Mr. Laughren: There is no difference. We know that and you know that.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Previously I asked the member for Niagara Falls to withdraw the language he used in regard to another member. I believe he withdrew that.
Mr. Kerrio: Yes, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: I was calling him to order because he was using what I felt was insulting language. Since that was withdrawn, I will now ask the member for Dovercourt to continue.
Mr. Bounsall: Just further to the point of privilege --
Mr. Breithaupt: It is over. The Speaker has ruled on it.
Mr. Bounsall: On a further point of privilege then.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: What is the further point of privilege?
Mr. Bounsall: I would like to point out that in the withdrawal of his remarks he indicated that Italy was ruined by the activities of the socialists. I would like to point out for historical reasons that Italy has never been governed by the socialists but rather by the right-wing Christian Democrats for years.
Mr. T. P. Reid: We are all very interested in yellow bird’s opinions but they are no more relevant than anything else he has ever said in this House.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Will the member for Dovercourt continue in regard to this bill?
Mr. Lupusella: Thank you. I really don’t understand what the Liberal Party is talking about, nor do I understand what the member for Niagara Falls is talking about. As my colleague emphasized just a few seconds ago, the Christian Democrats have been ruling Italy for 35 years.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Are you supporting the Red Brigades? Is that what you are saying?
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. I would like to inform the members that the House is now considering the workmen’s compensation bill. [f the member for Dovercourt continues on the principle of that bill, I will not have to call grave disorder for a few moments.
Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege again: I should use your indulgence because the Liberal Party tonight is not really keeping its remarks in relation to the bill. They talked about the socialists and the Christian Democrats --
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, order.
Mr. Eaton: Ignore their interjections.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, would the honourable member please be seated. That’s not a point of privilege. Would the honourable member continue on the bill.
Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Speaker, would you please invite the member for Rainy River to withdraw the statement which he made just a few minutes ago?
Mr. Bounsall: About us being in support of the Red Brigades.
Mr. Laughren: Make him withdraw it. That’s not proper.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Would the honourable member continue with Bill 126.
Mr. Laughren: On a point of privilege, the member for Rainy River suggested that the New Democratic Party was supporting the Red Brigades. That is false and misleading and he simply must withdraw that remark.
Hon. B. Stephenson: No, he didn’t. He asked a question.
Mr. Laughren: You cannot allow that to happen in here. He’s not allowed to say that.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. I appreciate the comments made by the member for Nickel Belt. I did not hear those comments.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: I will certainly look tomorrow in Hansard and see if they were made.
Mr. Laughren: Fine, we will take it up tomorrow.
Mr. Lupusella: I hope the Liberal Party tonight is going to contain its remarks and you are going to keep those members under control.
Mr. Gregory: Why don’t you get on with the bill, for heaven’s sake?
Mr. T. P. Reid: Do you notice that they feel they can say anything and not be --
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Lupusella: Getting into the main principle of this particular bill, I emphasized previously that the government really didn’t use the right approach to reflect the economic and social needs of injured workers through each clause of this bill. I can understand why. I can also understand the position of the Liberal Party. I can also understand the position taken by the Progressive Conservative Party in 33 years of this government. The fact is that both parties are supporting the interests of employers in the province of Ontario.
Mr. Bradley: What a distortion.
Mr. Lupusella: That’s why certain members sifting on that side, on the right side of this House, are really taking two stands when they are talking about injured workers.
Mr. Breithaupt: Put it in the paper.
Mr. Bradley: That’s not on the principle of the bill
Mr. Lupusella: Of course they want to support them, but on other side they don’t want to upset employers.
Mr. Laughren: Try a little harder.
Mr. Lupusella: The Liberals cannot have it both ways, nor can the Progressive Conservative government.
Mr. Kerrio: Certainly you can have it both ways in this country. You can have all the advantages on both sides. How else can you have it?
Mr. Bradley: Another pile of socialists.
Mr. Lupusella: That’s why the clauses contained in Bill 126 do not reflect the problems or the needs and this particular bill won’t solve the problems of injured workers in the province of Ontario.
Mr. Kerrio: Thank the good Lord for what you’ve got here.
Mr. Lupusella: Just to give an example, the increase in the cost of living since 1975 up to 1978 has been 30 per cent. What is
Mr. Laughren: It’s all going to be in Hansard. contained in this bill? Just 25 per cent. The Progressive Conservative government and the Minister of Labour are giving injured workers just a 25 per cent cost of living increase. By the way, for so many years members of this party have been inviting the Minister of Labour to incorporate a particular clause in the bill which would reflect a scale to incorporate the cost of living increase through an automatic formula in order that injured workers do not have to confront the police force in the province of Ontario to try to convince the government that they are really seriously hurt by the way they are living.
What happened in the past? I’m sure the Progressive Conservative government is aware of it. In 1975, when they introduced a bill to amend the Workmen’s Compensation Board Act to increase the previous injured workers’ pensions, they came out with a big fanfare. They were going to increase pensions about 60 per cent -- and what happened? That’s the theory that should be taken into consideration. That’s the kind of theory which is not contained in Bill 126. We easily understood why they came out with the big fanfare because big figures were making sense in the media; big figures were convincing the general public that injured workers are not really facing economic hardship when the Minister of Labour and this government are saying that the ceiling is going to be increased from $12,000 to $16,200.
Hon. B. Stephenson: From $12,000? It’s not going from $12,000 to $16,000, it’s going from $15,000 to $16,000.
Mr. Lupusella: Let me ask the Minister of Labour, how many workers in the province of Ontario in 1978 are making 16,200 per year? I’m sure she is making particular reference to a particular group of workers. Maybe she is talking about the plumbers and the electricians. How many plumbers and electricians do we have in the province of Ontario? Maybe we have 2.5 per cent plumbers of the total labour force in the province of Ontario.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I don’t think so. It is more than that.
Mr. Lupusella: We might have 2.5 per cent of electricians in the total labour force in the province of Ontario. Those are the workers making more than $16,200 per year. What is she going to do about other workers making $8,000 per year or $9,000 per year? Are they going to get the fat figure of $233.66 per week? The government cannot fool us. Maybe it can fool the public by emphasizing those particular figures, but it cannot fool the New Democratic Party, because in Ontario we have 65 per cent of the total labour force not organized by the trade union movement and they are not making $16,200 per year.
So what is the minister talking about? Why is she emphasizing this particular principle that injured workers in the province of Ontario shouldn’t face any particular economic hardship because from now on any worker who gets injured is going to get good money from the Workmen’s Compensation Board? That’s an indirect message that she is trying to portray to the public. That’s what she’s trying to do to convince the public that the real situation of injured workers is not based on those figures.
Mr. Makarchuk: You tell them, Tony.
Hon. B. Stephenson: That is not true. You are incomprehensible, as a matter of fact, as usual.
Mr. Lupusella: Let’s go back to those people who are making $10,000 per year. In Ontario we have 300,000 workers making $2.65 per hour. Would the minister please tell us how much they’re going to receive from the Workmen’s Compensation Board when they get injured?
Hon. B. Stephenson: It’s in the act.
Mr. Lupusella: Why doesn’t she tell us how much money they are going to get when the Workmen’s Compensation Board is going to offset a percentage of their partial and total disabilities? Why doesn’t she tell the members of this Legislature, instead of fooling the public with those big, fat figures when, in fact, she is giving a big fat zero to injured workers in the province of Ontario? That’s what you are doing.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Not only are you incomprehensible but you can’t add and you can’t multiply either.
Mr. Lupusella: That’s why I emphasize the principle that Bill 126 is not solving the problems of injured workers in the province of Ontario.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I didn’t say it was.
Mr. Lupusella: I hope the minister will get this message and I hope she is going to understand it. Otherwise, the minister should resign, because she won’t be able to cope with solving the problems of those people who are most affected by the cost-of-living increase.
The minister shouldn’t be resentful when we say that she does not understand, or she doesn’t want to understand for philosophical or ideological reasons, the problems of injured workers; she is frying to diffuse the main problems of injured workers and the kind of life which they are living in Ontario.
Both the Progressive Conservative Party and the Liberal Party should appreciate the great contribution made by workers to the growth of this province, instead of paying $800 when a person dies on the job. That’s the kind of generosity given by the Workmen’s Compensation Board and by this government: $800 for those people who are leaving their lives in the work place.
Hon. B. Stephenson: That’s misleading.
Mr. M. Davidson: It is not misleading.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes, it is.
Mr. M. Davidson: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: The minister has just said that my colleague made a misleading statement. I would ask her to withdraw it.
Mr. Kerrio: You have been doing that all night.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, if I may, the specific statement of the honourable member was that when a workman dies, $800 is paid. That is one small amount of what is provided on the death of an injured workman, and it is misleading to leave that kind of impression with that kind of statement.
Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Speaker, speaking to the point of order --
Mr. Gregory: Why don’t you resign? You should be ashamed of yourself.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Kerrio: You’d better enjoy it, because you are on your way out. You are on your way out, you rats. Cassidy and your gang are on the way out.
Mr. Makarchuk: He’s hallucinating again.
Mr. Kerrio: You’d better believe it, and I’m enjoying it.
Mr. Makarchuk: I believe it, I believe it, you are hallucinating.
Mr. Kerrio: You’d better enjoy your stay.
Mr. Warner: Have some more LePage’s; you might not become unstuck.
An hon. member: Why is the Minister of Labour laughing?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I was laughing at what Vince Kerrio said.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: It was drawn to my attention that the honourable minister used the term “misleading.”
Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Would the honourable minister withdraw?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I said it is misleading to make that kind of statement. Is that unparliamentary?
Mr. McClellan: You have to withdraw it.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Is it? I am asking you a question, sir.
Mr. M. Davidson: Mr. Speaker, speaking to the point of order: In the interjection that the minister made, and I am sure Hansard has picked it up, she did not say what she has just said.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I said, was it misleading?
Mr. M. Davidson: What she said in effect was that the colleague I am referring to, the member for Dovercourt, was misleading. It was direct, Mr. Speaker, and I would ask that she be made to withdraw that remark.
Hon. B. Stephenson: What did I say?
Mr. Deputy Speaker: I listened to the honourable minister and if she repeated what she said, as I interpret it, she did not impute a motive; so I will ask the member for Dovercourt to continue.
Mr. Lupusella: She didn’t withdraw the statement, Mr. Speaker --
An hon. member: Ask him to check Hansard.
Mr. Kerrio: You guys are really blasting them off tonight. You’re going down for the third time.
Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Labour mentioned that I misled the House, and I think that she has to withdraw that statement.
Hon. B. Stephenson: No, I did not.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Are you challenging my ruling?
Mr. Lupusella: No, I’m not.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: No? Continue with the bill.
Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Speaker, can I suggest that the chair check into the record of that? If I may continue, I really don’t understand why the Minister of Labour should be so uptight tonight.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I’m not. I’d just like you to tell the truth.
Mr. Lupusella: I really don’t understand it, because she has been emphasizing the fact that I misled this House. In fact, what happened is that I haven’t completed my own argument yet, so don’t be uptight. Just let me complete my argument.
Mr. Eaton: We’ve been waiting for that.
Mr. Makarchuk: Loosen your belt, Madam Minister.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. The member has the floor. Please continue.
Mr. Lupusella: Just keep the Minister of Labour under control. I will continue and I will complete my argument.
Mr. Eaton: You’ve had the chance several times but you keep straying.
Mr. Bounsall: She’s been too impatient tonight.
Hon. B. Stephenson: The only people not under control are the NDP caucus.
Mr. Bounsall: Oh, you like your buddies in the Liberal Party, do you? You like the member for Niagara Falls, do you?
Mr. Lupusella: If, again, I may continue. If there is someone who should be uptight tonight it should be the New Democratic Party because we have been waiting for those changes for three years. Doesn’t the minister understand that?
Mr. Bounsall: It’s all your fault.
Mr. Lupusella: It’s a simple principle. I hope that in two or three years’ time we won’t have to see injured workers holding demonstrations in front of the Minister of Labour’s office, or coming to Queen’s Park, because the Minister of Labour didn’t take into consideration the basic principle which was supposed to be incorporated in Bill 126 -- to index pensions of injured workers to the cost-of-living increase. I really don’t understand that.
Mr. Makarchuk: This is an historic moment. The WASPs are getting it from the Italians.
Mr. Lupusella: That’s a very important principle. We don’t want to see injured workers confronting the police force. We don’t want to see injured workers suffering more than they have done since 1914, when the Workmen’s Compensation Board was first formed. We want to see really serious changes. That’s why, as I emphasized at the very beginning of my argument, I’m supporting this bill. I really feel sorry for those injured workers --
Mr. Kerrio: Everybody in the House is supporting this bill.
Mr. Lupusella: You shouldn’t talk about them, because they will never take your double sense of supporting employers and injured workers at the same time.
Mr. Kerrio: We all want to see the injured workers looked after.
Mr. Lupusella: You shouldn’t talk about it.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Kerrio: Clean up your act. There isn’t a better place in the world for the injured worker than right here in Ontario and you know it. Name one place -- go ahead.
Mr. Bounsall: Call him to order. Get him out of here.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Renwick: The member for Niagara needs a doctor, and perhaps the Minister of Labour would oblige.
Mr. Kerrio: You’re a latecomer here; it is getting better all the time.
Mr. Makarchuk: It is a real group therapy session.
Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Speaker, will you please keep the member under control? He has been talking too much tonight.
If I may continue with the argument I have already emphasized, the reason the Progressive Conservative government and the Liberal Party are not really concerned about the conditions of injured workers --
Hon. Mr. Norton: Come on, that is not so.
Mr. Makarchuk: They don’t give a damn.
Mr. Eaton: All you are trying to do is use them. That’s all you’re doing.
Mr. Lupusella: I didn’t complete my statement yet.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Order. I say to the member for Dovercourt, if he would rend the standing orders, he is out of order by being repetitious. I think I have heard that comment at least 16 times.
Mr. Eaton: Insincere, too.
Mr. Breithaupt: He is also attempting to mislead the House.
Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Speaker again, I am always interrupted by certain members --
Mr. Kerrio: If he would only read it into Hansard once.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Would the member for Niagara Falls please contain himself?
Mr. Kerrio: I certainly will, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Cunningham: Start over again, Tony. Don’t let them bother you.
Mr. Lupusella: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I hope you are going to control him.
The main principle I want to emphasize -- and I don’t have to get into a great explanation why they are against such increases --
Hon. Mr. Norton: We would like to hear the explanation because we are not We don’t believe that crap.
Mr. Lupusella: I am not really upset about that, but I am really upset about the adversary system which is contained in the Workmen’s Compensation Board Act That is why --
Hon. B. Stephenson: But that is not in the principle of this bill.
Mr. Lupusella: -- the Progressive Conservative Party, and the Liberal Party, because generally speaking they are supporting the principle of the act --
Mr. Breithaupt: Poppycock.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Absolute balderdash.
Mr. Eaton: What do you call your speech?
Mr. Breithaupt: Then vote against the bill.
Mr. Kerrio: You are really flogging a dead horse, you are.
Mr. Lupusella: Listen to section 8. It will be very educational for a lot of members because some of them don’t understand where the adversary system is taking place and where it is legislated through the Workmen’s Compensation Board Act. That is why there is this sense of reluctance when we are dealing with injured workers’ pension increases to be increased to the point where injured workers don’t have to suffer the consequences of economic hardship.
In part I, section 8 of the Workmen’s Compensation Board Act --
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Would the honourable member return to this bill?
Mr. Breithaupt: Or any bill.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. I heard the honourable member refer to section 8 --
Mr. M. Davidson: Part I, section 8.
Mr. Laughren: He has never strayed.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Would the honourable member continue on this bill?
Mr. Lupusella: Yes, Mr. Speaker. In my preamble I said I am supporting in principle the contents of this bill --
Mr. Gregory: You said that eight times.
Mr. Lupusella: -- because I feel sorry about the conditions of injured workers.
I want also to emphasize that the reason this government is not increasing the levels of benefits to the point that injured workers in Ontario shouldn’t have to suffer the economic hardships they are facing now lies in the Workmen’s Compensation Board Act.
The reason I was given before was based on Part I, section 8 which states that an injured employee forfeits his or her rights to any legal action against the employer, however negligent the employer has been if that employee accepts benefits from the Workmen’s Compensation Board.
Mr. Laughren: Cheap insurance.
Mr. Lupusella: How nice for the employer, this particular section which is contained Within the Workmen’s Compensation Board Act. How can you say the Workmen’s Compensation Board is not operating on an adversary system when such a clause is contained within the Workmen’s Compensation Board Act.
Hon. B. Stephenson: It has nothing to do with it. Your logic is completely irrational.
Hon. Mr. Norton: Surely that very section takes the adversary role out of it. You’re completely out in left field.
Mr. Lupusella: Of course, we have an opportunity from time to time where such n course is not existing in other acts to protect the interest of the employers. Members could see the contents of an article --
Mr. Laughren: Permeates the entire bill and you know it.
Hon. Mr. Norton: That eliminates the adversary role.
Mr. Lupusella: -- which appeared in the Ottawa Evening Journal on May 31, 1978. The title of this article is based on the following lines: “‘Widow of Constable Sues Accused Killer in $350,00 Action.” Let me tell you something, Mr. Speaker: If in the Workmen’s Compensation Board Act this section of the act didn’t exist or hadn’t been passed in 1914 by this Legislature, then injured workers could have taken employers to court because this particular --
Hon. B. Stephenson: She was suing the guy who shot her husband. It is a completely different situation.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. Lupusella: But they can’t do it, they can’t do it. Injured workers are prevented from doing that because there is a particular section in the act which prevents them from taking legal action against the employer and to request bigger amounts of money in order that their economic needs will be met.
Hon. Mr. Norton: Did your researchers prepare that baloney for you? Your researchers are better than that.
Mr. Lupusella: What’s happening is that we have to support. to tolerate -- which is a better word -- the attitude of the Minister of Labour who, from 1975 to 1978, has been questioned in relation to problems affecting benefits --
Hon. Mr. Norton: You mean you are not blaming her for 1914?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes, he is.
Mr. Lupusella: Of course she has to be responsible. She is the Minister of Labour.
Mr. Kerrio: You already read that part of your speech.
Mr. Lupusella: She has been behaving in a very irresponsible way. That’s the problem.
We raised issues on the floor of this Legislature in relation to problems, particularly in connection with the pensions of injured workers, pensions which do not allow them to meet their social needs. I would like to report for the record what has happened since 1975 in relation to this issue.
December 16, 1975: I’m quoting the answer to a question which was asked of the Minister of Labour: “I think the question was whether I would give any indication of government action in the direction of increasing benefits. I can give no such indication at this time because this is under study and discussion at the moment.”
We are going back to December 16, 1975, and the studies initiated were in relation to the level of pensions which were supposed to be increased. An increase in those benefits was finally made in 1975. But she has been playing this game on the floor of the Legislature since 1975. I think it’s really a shame, and that’s why the Minister of Labour has to stop playing this double game in the Legislature. When we raise concerns affecting people’s lives -- and in this ease it’s injured workers’ lives -- she has to respond in a very responsible way to the needs of injured workers in the province of Ontario.
I want to conclude my remarks because --
Some hon. members: Hurray.
Mr. Samis: Keep on talking.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. Bounsall: Carry on. Tell them they’re encouraging you.
Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Speaker, it seems it’s the wish of the House for me to continue my remarks.
Mr. Bounsall: Yes, hear, hear.
Mr. Makarchuk: They will be sorry. They should keep quiet.
Mr. Lupusella: I can continue. It won’t be any problem.
Mr. Makarchuk: They want to hear more, Tony.
Mr. Eaton: Just routine saying nothing, as you have been for the last half hour.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order. Would the members of the House please allow the member for Dovercourt to continue?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Why?
Mr. Lupusella: By concluding my remarks -- Interjections.
Mr. Makarchuk: Again! I don’t think you should conclude.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Could I ask the member for Dovercourt to ignore the interjections and please continue?
Hon. Mr. Norton: Especially those from his own party.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Tell him to conclude.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Fair is fair.
Mr. Lupusella: I would like to raise in this debate an important problem which members of this Legislature have been emphasizing through the course of this debate and I want to address my remarks through the chair because it seems that the Minister of Labour is hard of hearing.
An hon. member: There’s a chair out in the lobby.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. Lupusella: I hope when the House reconvenes the Minister of Labour is going to introduce legislation to cover the present loopholes which exist within the Workmen’s Compensation Act. Injured workers in the province are waiting for changes in each clause in the Act, but the most important change they are looking for is that their pensions should be equal to the cost of living increase through an automatic formula. Then injured workers would not have to face police and demonstrate. This would be a simple right which they deserve; this government should give such recognition on the basis of rights and not on the basis of charity.
Mrs. Campbell: I am pleased to enter this debate and I assure you, Mr. Speaker, that I’ll be brief.
First of all, I support the bill itself. But I feel it is important that the minister understands that I am not prepared -- and I speak only for myself on this occasion --
Mr. Laughren: Don’t you speak for the member for Niagara Falls too?
Mrs. Campbell: -- that I am not prepared to debate a bill of this kind --
Mr. Kerrio: The member for Niagara Falls will look after you rascals.
Mrs. Campbell: -- at the dying moments of a session,
Mr. Laughren: Right on.
Mrs. Campbell: The Workmen’s Compensation Act needs revision, and it has been crying out for revision for a long time. It is particularly difficult for me to understand how we come almost to the final hour of this session to be told that the money is available to make these payments to people who have been waiting for them for all these years.
Mr. Bounsall: Don’t conclude.
Mr. Bounsall: Listen to that.
Mr. Laughren: See, Vince, why she is in the front row and you are in the second?
Mrs. Campbell: I find that intolerable. Mr. Laughren: Tell that to the member for Niagara Falls.
Mrs. Campbell: However it would be equally intolerable for me at this time not to support the bill, so I do so, but with this caveat which I trust the minister will take into consideration. This is, without question, the last time that I will be prepared to look at a bill of this hind, a bill to amend the Workmen’s Compensation Act, brought in in the final hours of a session and without the opportunity to fully debate it --
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Are you resigning?
Mrs. Campbell: -- and to deal adequately with the revisions which must obviously be made. Thank you.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I only want to speak to one section of the bill.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Why don’t you wait until it goes to committee then?
Mr. Martel: Are you here, Darcy?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Damn right and you aren’t.
Mr. Roy: Look at the bow-tie, Elie.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Martel: Have you been at the Albany Club?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: No.
Mr. Speaker: Order. Will the honourable member continue with the principle of this bill?
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I am attempting to do so, but it’s the member who is interfering.
Mr. Kerrio: See if you can make some sense, Elie. None of the other guys did.
Mr. Speaker: If the honourable member is prepared to address his remarks to Bill 126, I am prepared to listen.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I only want to speak, as I said, to one section of the bill, really, and that pertains to that section dealing with the indexing, which isn’t there and which we propose to present.
Mr. Nixon: You know what he is implying.
Mr. Martel: Let me finish before the Speaker shakes his head --
An hon. member: It is too late for that because he already has.
Mr. Martel: Let the record show that the government is prepared to bring in tonight three years of increases which they should have done over the last three years. I merely want to remind the government of one point in this bill: that it was this government some years ago -- in about 1970 -- that trooped off to Ottawa, led by the Honourable Rene Brunelle, to demand of the federal government that they introduce in the Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Security a clause which would index -- yes, I am speaking to the bill -- which would index -- well, Mr. Speaker, there are three years of increases --
Mr. McClellan: That’s why the bill is here.
Mr. Martel: -- which are now being stacked after three years of terrible suffering --
Mr. Kerrio: It has nothing to do with indexing. It’s an assessment.
Mr. Martel: -- by many people who in fact are on compensation pensions.
Mr. Kerrio: The Speaker is giving you the benefit of the doubt, Elie.
Mr. Martel: Over the three years, many people have asked this government to move towards introducing an indexing system so that in fact we wouldn’t stack it for three years and subsequently bring in increases, as we are doing tonight, allowing that suffering to go on because of a deprivation of income over that three years. I make the point that it was this government in about 1970 which took a troupe of people, led by the minister, to Ottawa to insist on escalating or indexing; and while this government can go to Ottawa and ask for indexing, a government which is charged with a different type of pension dealing with injured workmen -- and I have read all the papers presented by the Honourable Rene Brunelle in Ottawa -- it is itself not prepared now and wasn’t prepared in 1975 to introduce into benefits an indexing system, which would not allow workers to go from 1975 to 1978 without any increase, despite the tremendous inflationary spiral; and that’s the argument they presented in Ottawa. When in a position itself and with a responsibility which this government has to introduce indexing, it backs off. As an individual I find it rather difficult to accept that this government would propose and insist that Ottawa introduce indexing at a federal-provincial conference which led to indexing but, when in a position itself to introduce indexing to prevent the deprivation that’s occurred to injured workers, is at this late stage still not prepared to do that --
Mr. Deans: Inconsistent.
Mr. Roy: That’s what they do. Pass the buck all the time.
Mr. Martel: -- and I really find that distasteful to the ultimate.
Mr. Roy: You always pass the buck.
Mr. Martel: I would hope that my friend from Humber (Mr. MacBeth) would say to his colleagues --
Mr. Speaker: Would the member for Sudbury East tell me what section of the bill deals with indexing?
Mr. Martel: Well, Mr. Speaker, over the evening --
Mr. Speaker: I am asking the honourable member a direct question. Can you tell me what section of this Bill 126 deals with indexing?
Mr. Martel: Subsection 1, section 2, Mr. Speaker, which deals with bringing in all of the increases over the three years in one lump sum, and what I want to do is implore this government --
An hon. member: Move an amendment.
Mr. Martel: -- rather than try to lump it for three years, to make up for all the suffering that went on because of the shortfall in income in those three years, I am simply asking this government to accept indexing as it went to Ottawa and asked the federal government to do in the Canada Pension Plan and the old age pension scheme.
I find the duplicity of this government unacceptable. They will go to Ottawa and ask the federal government to do it and yet -- and the minister conceded this the other day -- this government had the revenue over these three years from which to give those workers an increase, but they saved it until this time.
Hon. B. Stephenson: No, I didn’t concede it for the entire three years.
Mr. Martel: Oh, yes, she did. I find it totally unacceptable that they could go to Ottawa and request that but they are not prepared to ensure that the workers of Ontario, as they face the ravages of inflation, are protected in the same way that they expected those people to be protected under the Canada Pension Plan I ask the government, and I ask the Minister of Labour as she leans over in dismay --
Mr. Gregory: It’s disgust.
Mr. G. Taylor: Don’t try to read symptoms.
Hon. B. Stephenson: No. This is just inhuman punishment; that’s all.
Mr. Martel: The punishment that the minister has inflicted on injured workers over the last three years has been inhuman, I want to tell her.
Mr. Sterling: Withdraw that statement, Elie.
Mr. Martel: They’ve had to put up with it for three years as their pension cheques became smaller and smaller. But, of course, the minister didn’t feel it. They did. And I am imploring this government tonight to accept and recognize that the only way to overcome that is to allow and to support and to accept the amendment we are about to present, based on the fact that the government did it years ago --
Hon. B. Stephenson: We are never going to get to it this way.
Mr. Martel: We’ll get to it. The minister has allowed three years to go by; why should she worry about three hours of debate? The workers aren’t going to suffer that much in three hours.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: If they have to listen to you, they will.
Mr. Martel: Yes. And your stooges are taking pictures of them.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: They’re not my stooges.
Mr. Speaker: Order. Does the honourable member have anything new to add to the debate?
Mr. T. P. Reid: He doesn’t have anything to add.
Mr. Martel: I simply ask the government, based on the fact that they requested the federal government to introduce indexing six or seven years ago, to be prepared tonight and tomorrow to accept the same principle in this bill so that workers won’t suffer as they have in the past three years.
Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to join the debate on this act, Bill 126, An Act to amend the Workmen’s Compensation Act. I would like to bring into the debate some comments as they relate to my feelings about injured workers.
Mr. T. P. Reid: And a little rationality.
Mr. Kerrio: And maybe set the record straight. It’s time we in the Legislature took stock. I want to point out to those members on my left the very same thing I pointed out when one of theft members moved a bill that I said was irresponsible. And I say it again.
Mr. Deans: But that doesn’t make it any more right because you repeat it.
Mr. Kerrio: I say it now with an explanation of the context in which it was made. Even a fireman could understand this.
Mr. T. P. Reid: That’s asking an awful lot of that fireman.
Mr. Swart: The working slobs again, eh?
Mr. Kerrio: I would like to say that when we pass legislation here that would look after the injured workers in Ontario, I can’t believe there is anyone in any part of the House who wouldn’t agree more with that principle. The point I was trying to make, and I will say it again -- and I would hope the minister would bring this kind of thinking into the bill that she is putting here today --
Mr. Laughren: You’ve got a conflict of interest.
Mr. Kerrio: I want to tell you this, Mr. Speaker, and it’s a sincere thought that I have; it has nothing to do with who is interested and who is not interested in the workers of this great province of ours.
Mr. Laughren: Open and above board.
Mr. Kerrio: I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, I want to pay every injured worker in this province. I want to pay every widow in this province a fair amount of money --
Mr. Laughren: How much?
Mr. Martel: How much?
Mr. Bounsall: I-low much is that?
Mr. Kerrio: -- in proportion --
Mr. Martel: How much?
Mr. Laughren: How much?
Mr. Kerrio: -- to the realistic amount of money that we can pay --
Mr. Laughren: How much?
Mr. Bounsall: How much?
Mr. Kerrio: -- generated by this great private sector that provides it all.
Mr. Kerrio: All.
Mr. Kerrio: All.
Mr. Kerrio: Not by some socialist philosophy --
Mr. Martel: He’s a great Tory, over there.
Mr. Kerrio: -- that would print its own money just to get votes, who bring tears to theft eyes and who suggest that they are the only people in Ontario interested in the injured workers, which is the height of hypocrisy.
Mr. Speaker: Would the member for Niagara Falls consider this an appropriate time to adjourn the debate?
On motion by Mr. Kerrio, the debate was adjourned.
Hon. Mr. Norton: I was just beginning to enjoy it.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the House adjourned at 10:32 p.m.