The House resumed at 8 p.m.
CITY OF HAZELDEAN-MARCH AMENDMENT ACT (CONCLUDED)
Mr. Speaker: When we rose at 6 o’clock, the member for Carleton-Grenville was about to hold forth.
Mr. Sterling: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to make a few remarks on this bill to amend the act relating to Hazeldean-March.
I want to make it clear to the House that indeed there was a tremendous amount of consultation before legislation came to a head in June 1978.
First of all, as we all know, the Mayo report was produced in October 1976. All councils and public were given a chance to react to that report. On May 8, 1977, a white paper was produced by the then Treasurer of the province, Darcy McKeough. Councils were again given a chance to react to that particular white paper; indeed, at that point in time the Treasurer and his staff negotiated with each of the municipalities involved to make certain that each was treated fairly and equitably.
When there was a decision by the cabinet not to go ahead with the creation of the new city, there was an immediate reaction by the two major councils involved. Both of those councils reacted in terms of wanting the city to go ahead.
After the bill was passed on June 22, there were three public meetings held in the various parts of the new city of Hazeldean-March. Subsequently, an amending bill was drafted and again, before it was presented, it was taken to each of those three municipalities. One of the municipalities, the township of Nepean, which has complained most about lack of consultation, did not see fit to send a politician to that particular meeting last Friday morning. They did send two of their public servants. Each of the other councils sent at least three councillors to that particular meeting.
It is also worthy of note that at that meeting there was, in the words of one of the councillors for the township of Goulbourn, which I represent, only a token resistance to the legislation in this amending act relating to the boundary road.
Going to the boundary road, I think it’s important to point out that in 1976, at the request of the township of Nepean, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications undertook a roads needs study for that township. At that time, the traffic volume on the Hope Sideroad was 115 vehicles per day. The 1985 forecast was for 187 vehicles per day. The resulting recommendation to the township of Nepean was a road improvement of a granular base and a surface to a tolerable standard at an estimated cost of $39,000.
Subsequently, the township of Nepean decided in its own wisdom to spend over $400,000 on a road which goes nowhere at this time. In my view, a debenture of $200,000 outstanding and owing against that particular road should not be shared by the new city. Why should they be burdened with the misjudgement and poor decision of the township of Nepean?
Mr. Bradley: Is that in your riding, Nepean?
Mr. Sterling: I believe our Legislature did act fast on June 22 to bring this city into being. I don’t think we have any reason to apologize for that quick action.
Mr. Eakins: I would say too fast.
Mr. Epp: Quick action; you said two weeks.
Mr. Sterling: It was necessary to bring it about at this particular time because of the municipal elections this fall. If we had left it for a period of time, there was no doubt there would be a very bad slack in time in the next two years to which neither township would know how to react.
Mr. Epp: I want to speak with regard to the amendment which Mr. Swart has put before us.
Hon. Mr. Welch: There is no amendment yet.
Mr. Epp: With respect to Section 2(2), it seems there are two points. One is that we shouldn’t use a road to try to divide municipalities; the other is that they are trying to clarify the section which pertains to that.
It seems to me the member for Welland-Thorold should be keenly aware that roads are not good dividing lines or good boundary lines. In creating divisions, municipalities for years have tried to maintain that when the provincial government makes a determination of this nature, if roads are divided down the centre as boundary lines, neither municipality wants to accept full responsibility for maintaining them. In this instance, the government has acted properly in not allowing a road to be a dividing line or a boundary.
We on this side of the House cannot support the amendment and hopefully, on future occasions, we won’t have amendments of this nature which would suggest that boundary lines should be made or drawn or focused on streets, roads or highways or any other kind of public transit.
Mr. Speaker: Any other member wish to speak to Bill 144?
Mr. Ashe: I’ll try to address very briefly the concerns and remarks raised by the various members relative to Bill 144.
First of all, there is a general, overriding comment I might make that really relates to all the comments that came from the members for Ottawa East and Welland-Thorold and even indirectly, the member for Waterloo North, although I appreciate the support expressed by him and the rationale behind the disapproval of the amendment that is not yet before us. I appreciate it.
The big key, and it was touched on very adequately by my colleague from Carleton-Grenville, is that if there ever was a municipality created with consultation of the municipalities involved, it was this one. There is no doubt that the creation came at the very late stages of the last session. That has already been acknowledged and admitted.
The municipalities involved in this particular creation have been involved in the process all along, and have been aware of the various stages that have gone through. It even accounts for the difference the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart) referred to between the draft bill and the bill that was introduced for first reading yesterday.
If he did go through it very astutely, which I am quite sure he did, he probably noticed that there are three distinct differences -- albeit not major differences, but distinct differences -- between the draft bill and the final bill that was tabled. That came about because of the consultation process which took place with the participating municipalities Friday last. It comes back to the old adage: “You’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t.” In this case I would rather be criticized for consultation than for lack of same.
Mr. Nixon: That’s the motto of the Conservative Party.
Mr. Ashe: Mr. Speaker, I’d rather be damned in this way than in the way the Liberal Party across Canada has been damned at the polls very recently.
Mr. Nixon: That’s not the problem.
Mr. Ashe: You brought up the subject.
Mr. Nixon: I’m trying to spice up this debate a little bit.
Mr. Ashe: On the issue that has been raised on more than one occasion relative to the Hope Sideroad being the boundary road, even in the original legislation this was not perceived to be a boundary road per se in the sense that the boundary was down the middle of the road. There is no doubt that the road was envisaged to be, and in fact was, completely within the township of Nepean. The reason for that was obvious. On the north side of the boundary road there is no doubt there were some drainage works that were envisaged to be to the total interest of the new municipality, and these were quite correctly included within its jurisdiction. The road itself, on the other hand, was built and has served, and potentially will serve to a large extent, just the residents of the township of Nepean, although I think it has already been indicated by my colleague from Carleton-Grenville that in fact it doesn’t serve a great deal of people at all at this point in time.
The reason for maintaining that particular identity as being totally within the jurisdiction, control and, hence, financial responsibility of the township of Nepean, therefore, is obvious. It would be completely unfair, in our view, to burden the new city with the debt -- and that is exactly what it is at this point in time -- that has been created by the overbuilding of this road. That was a decision made at the volition of the council of the township of Nepean and quite rightly, therefore, should be carried on, and their obligation should be carried on in the next few years.
Mr. Haggerty: Along with MTC; it had to meet their approval.
Mr. Ashe: Just responding very briefly to the honourable member opposite, there is no doubt that the MTC was involved in a roads needs study which indicated that for approximately 10 per cent of the total expenditure that was made, that road could be adequately maintained and built up to a standard that would be sufficient to carry the traffic that it was carrying and was deemed it would be carrying in the foreseeable future.
If a municipality wishes to overbuild, then it should be responsible thereto. The municipality in question, in its wisdom, decided to put a debenture relative to the construction of that road, and I think it is only fair that those ratepayers should bear the responsibility of the decisions made by that particular council.
Mr. Haggerty: It’s a boundary road; turn it over to the region.
Mr. Ashe: This portion of the bill, relative to the jurisdiction on the Hope Sideroad, is not really changing the boundary issue. That has already been established in the past legislation. But we have been advised by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications that even though a boundary road, or a perceived boundary road, is within one particular municipal jurisdiction, it is perceived for expense purposes and for paying off debenture purposes to be a boundary road. Hence, without this particular reference in the act, the municipalities would have to share equally in paying off the indebtedness that was put on that particular road.
I might also add, if it is of any comfort, that I suppose it is possible that at some future point in time this could become a regional road, and hence the burden of the cost of that road would be borne in proportion to the regional expenses that are derived and go to each municipality within the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton.
In conclusion, I think there is only one point I have not touched upon and that is an area raised just before the adjournment by the member for Carleton relative to hydro commissions. I indicated to him personally after the adjournment at 6 o’clock that it would not be practical at this time to include or even attempt to include the small portion of Nepean township that now forms part of the new city -- to allow them the ability to vote on the hydro commissioners in the upcoming election. This is for two reasons: first, the obvious, they are in effect buying a service on a temporary basis; secondly and probably more importantly, it is hoped -- and I might say this is perceived to be the case on behalf of the new municipality as well -- that a municipal hydro-electric commission will come out of a study that will be initiated very shortly through the Ministry of Energy. Before too long there will be a new utility within the new city and hopefully it will come into being before 1981.
Mr. Haggerty: That will cost them some money. It will cost dearly for that.
Mr. Ashe: Hence, you would not want to have to take people within one jurisdiction today and have to switch them over a year or a year and a quarter from now. So I think this is recognized. In the short term they are buying an existing service, albeit from a different utility within a different jurisdiction. When you compare the relatively -- and I appreciate that “relatively” is a subjective word -- small number of people within that portion of the new community of approximately 500 people and relate that to the total population of some 80,000 people in Nepean township, it is a small portion. I’m sure that even the collective 100 per cent ballot disposition within that area would probably not change in any way at all how the vote would go on November 13 next.
I think I have covered all the various points that have been raised by the honourable members. Just in closing, the key point has been and hopefully is and will continue to be that the consultative process has worked and has worked very effectively and very efficiently in the creation of this new city.
Motion agreed to.
Ordered for committee of the whole House.
REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF NIAGARA AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Ashe, on behalf of Hon. Mr. Wells, moved second reading Of Bill 145, An Act to amend the Regional Municipality of Niagara Act.
Mr. Ashe: Very briefly, Mr. Speaker, what this is doing is reacting to a unanimous --
Hon. Mr. Welch: Response.
Mr. Ashe: -- response from the regional council of the municipality of Niagara to increase the size of the regional council by one member and so allocating that particular member to one municipality, namely St. Catharines. It also changes slightly the electoral timetable to allow for nominations for that newly created position up to and including next Monday.
Mr. Bradley: Speaking on this bill, Mr. Speaker, I rise to support this bill which represents a step in the direction of representation based on population at long last in the regional municipality of Niagara.
Members of this House will recall with their vivid memories that on June 16 I asked the Premier (Mr. Davis) as a supplementary question to that of the member for Carleton-Grenville who was discussing his particular municipality and concern, whether the Premier would consider legislation at that time which would implement the non-controversial items that were found within the TEIGA white paper in response to the Archer commission. At that time the Premier extolled the virtues of the member for Brock at some length, pointing out his interest in the affairs of the city of St. Catharines. Of course, this was totally unnecessary because as members of this House know the member for Brock’s record speaks for itself in this regard.
An hon. member: It hasn’t been very good, has it?
Mr. Bradley: He has always had an interest in the affairs of the city of St. Catharines. However, it was a convenient way for the Premier to avoid giving a direct answer to the question, as is sometimes his wont.
Mr. Nixon: Never heard of him doing that before.
Mr. Bradley: I felt that at this time we perhaps would have had a commitment from the Premier. He did indicate it was being discussed within cabinet; however he was rather evasive, and the result was the noncontroversial items within that white paper, including the proposed seventh seat for the city of St. Catharines on the regional council
-- when you count the mayor it is seven seats -- was not implemented.
This issue really dates back to the implementation of regional government in the regional municipality of Niagara and the allocation of seats to the various municipalities. If my memory serves me correctly it seems to me there was a proposal which called for a 24-seat regional council, with six of those members, including the mayor, being from the city of St. Catharines.
However for some reason -- and some have suggested it was a political reason although I was not in the Legislature at that time to make that kind of judgement -- but for some reason four additional seats were added to that proposal and we came up with a 28-seat regional council, with St. Catharines of course having six of those 28 seats.
With approximately 33 per cent of the population, the city of St. Catharines was assigned, and has as of today, about 21 per cent of the elected seats, clearly a deviation from the principle of representation based on population.
Hon. Mr. Welch: But the quality is there.
Mr. Bradley: The quality, no question, has been there. As the member for Brock points out, over the years we have been fortunate enough to have some excellent members on that regional council.
An hon. member: Have you ever been on council, Mel?
Mr. Swart: I’ve never been on council.
Mr. Nixon: Has it gone up or down since you fellows moved in here?
Mr. Bradley: St. Catharines has paid the consequences of this kind of deficit in terms of representation on the regional council. I have bandied about the figures, and I notice they were back in the press again as the chairman of the regional municipality of Niagara and some of the senior staff met with the St. Catharines city council last night.
We are aware that the wholesale water rates for the city of St. Catharines have increased by over 800 per cent, along with a substantial increase in the sewage rates and other costs.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Now, now; that’s not in the bill.
Mr. Bradley: For this reason -- to relate it to the bill of course -- for this reason it is required that St. Catharines should have a larger voice in that regional council to prevent that kind of scandalous situation.
Hon. Ms. Welch: You have already phoned the Standard, you have already told the radio stations.
Mr. Bradley: Of course, I don’t indulge in those particular activities.
Mr. Nixon: The public has a right to know.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Did you make the 6 o’clock news?
Mr. Bradley: No. Since the minister mentioned the St. Catharines Standard, he would have to look a long way to find any of my press releases in the St. Catharines Standard; somehow they don’t find themselves there, and if they do they make page 74.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Oh come on, half a page at a time.
Mr. Eaton: They are not worthy of it.
Mr. Epp: But a good man gets elected despite that.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I will show it to the publisher.
Mr. Bradley: Be that as it may, we have to accept that in the city of St. Catharines.
This has been one of the consistent complaints then, the area of representation from the council of the city of St. Catharines, and the lack of accountability that exists within the region in total because of the fact that those who are making the decisions are not always elected from those municipalities where the consequences are going to be evident in financial terms.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Are you opposed to regional government?
Mr. Bradley: How did you ever guess that?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Let the record show you are opposed to regional government.
Mr. Bradley: The record has shown for some time that I am opposed to regional government and remain opposed to regional government.
One of the few concrete proposals of the Archer commission, contained in the TEIGA white paper, which I think was worthy of implementation, was this particular bill which comes before the House at the present time.
To be fair, I suppose --
Hon. Mr. Welch: Let’s not go to the extreme, we don’t have to be fair.
Mr. Bradley: If we kept 28 members on the regional council, to be fair in terms of representation based on population, we would have nine of those elected 28 seats in the hands of the people of the city of St. Catharines; or if we were to increase the number to 33 -- I have to explain that very carefully because there are some people in the city who don’t understand that --
Mr. Foulds: That is about the same size as the cabinet these days.
Hon. Mr. Welch: You would have to hire a hall to take care of the council.
Mr. Bradley: If we increase it to 33 St. Catharines would have 11 of those seats. The bill falls short of that, but I commend the minister for bringing in a bill which at least increases our representation in the city of St. Catharines by one --
Hon. Mr. Welch: On the urging of the member for Brock.
Mr. Bradley: -- on the urging of the members for Brock and St. Catharines, who jointly serve the people of St. Catharines. It should have been done in June of this year, because by implementing this particular provision in June of this year, candidates thinking of running for the office of regional councillor would have been prepared to run for that office based on the fact that there would be seven elected positions, one of them being the mayor. Second, the clerk of the municipality known as St. Catharines would have had a better opportunity to be prepared for this particular eventuality, although I am glad to say that he has been in consultation with the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs and I think things can move very smoothly as a result of that consultation.
Hon. Mr. Welch: He consults with you daily doesn’t he, Jimmy?
Mr. Bradley: We do have some consultation now in the constituency of St. Catharines with those at city hall. Of course, there always was that consultation at the staff level.
Mr. Foulds: I detect a certain parochial little joke there. It has to do with the power structure.
Mr. Bradley: In conclusion, I would say that this moves us in the direction of making certain that a vote of a person in the city of St. Catharines carries at least somewhere near the weight of an individual’s vote in another part of the region. If we can take that small step, it’s worthwhile and I call for the quick passing of this bill this evening.
Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, I was rather hoping, this being the last of three municipal bills, that we might have had the new Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Welch) in the House if for nothing more than to have given some visible evidence to the important problems in municipal affairs in our society. I regret that he is not here. I suspect he must have been unavoidably detained or he would have been here. We had hoped, now that the duties Mr. McKeough had before are split, that we would have him in the House during discussion of municipal affairs and I still hope that that will take place.
That’s no reflection on the parliamentary assistant, who is doing an excellent job with a bad case perhaps on all three bills, but it seems to me the time should shortly arrive when, if he is going to carry the load for municipal affairs, perhaps he should be given the honour of being the minister. During the three years that I have been here, the Minister of Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs wasn’t in the House during the discussion of one municipal bill.
Mr. Ashe: Put that in writing.
Mr. Swart: I say that is a rather serious situation. However, when we are discussing this one municipal bill, we have a minister who represents Brock and I suppose perhaps we should feel thankful for that.
Mr. Foulds: For small mercies.
Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, our party is going to support this bill. I think I perhaps can concur with everything that was said by the member for St. Catharines.
Hon. Mr. Welch: For part of St. Catharines. He represents part of St. Catharines.
Mr. Foulds: The riding.
Mr. Swart: There is a riding called St. Catharines, there’s another riding called Brock, and I was referring to the member representing the riding of St. Catharines.
This bill provides for some greater equality of representation by population from that area. It provides, as has already been stated, for 29 elected members plus the chairman of the regional council, who holds the most important position and is responsible to none of the ratepayers in that area. This bill provides for the quorum to be increased from 15 to 16 members to reflect that increase and it provides for another nomination day, so additional people can be nominated if they so wish to run for the now six elected seats to the regional council.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Do you support regional government in our area, Mel?
Mr. M. Davidson: No, we do not.
Mr. Swart: I don’t support your government in any area.
Hon. Mr. Welch: But do you support regional government?
Mr. Swart: No. I do not support it as it is presently constituted. I know, Mr. Speaker, in a moment or two you will say ignore the interjections, so I will ignore them before we get to that point.
Hon. Mr. Welch: You said you agreed with the member for St. Catharines, and he is against regional government.
Mr. Swart: It is true that the lateness of this bill has put some people in a rather difficult position. We are not sure which office they would like to run for, whether it be regional council or local council. It may be said that those people who may be running for one or the other are jockeying for position. There may be some truth in that, but that’s part of the democratic process. If a person wants to serve, he may want to serve where he thinks he has the best chance of getting elected.
Hon. Mr. Welch: That’s why you served on the regional council for so long.
Mr. Swart: Therefore, he has to assess who else is running for those particular offices. He cannot do this now because he had to make up his mind as of yesterday whether he was going to run for local council or regional council.
Mr. Foulds: That is why the House leader ran in Brock.
Hon. Mr. Welch: How many years were you on the regional council?
Mr. Swart: The one extra seat is reserved by St. Catharines as there is going to be representation by population. Although the member for St. Catharines has pointed out that the numbers on regional council don’t accurately represent the population of the particular municipalities, there was a final formula used, and I don’t think he mentioned it at the time the representation was resolved. It was decided that those municipalities in the Niagara region which had under 10,000 population would have one representative and that would be the head of the municipality. Those over 10,000 up to 30,000 would have two elected representatives -- the head of the municipality and one other. Those from 80,000 to 50,000 would have three. For each additional 20,000 thereafter they would get another representative. That was the way representation was finally decided in the Niagara region.
That meant that when St. Catharines reached a population of 110,000, if that same formula was used -- and that was only used once; so it doesn’t necessarily follow that it would be used again -- it should have had another representative. Today I believe the latest figures are 124,000 or just a little over 124,000. Almost by any yardstick or by any measurement, they are entitled to another representative. They deserve that seat, even though it is not automatic and we have to pass the bill to do it.
I want to say that as much as I support the bill, the fact that we have this bill before us is a monument, or perhaps more of a tombstone, to the land-use policies of this government and the regional council in the Niagara Peninsula. This bill demonstrates, as nothing else can, where development is taking place in the Niagara region with the increases in population that have brought this bill about. I suppose it might properly cause us to give some consideration to whether we should increase these populations.
Some 43 per cent of the growth in the Niagara region from 1946 to 1951 was in the municipalities below the escarpment or just above the escarpment in unique land. From 1951 to 1961 -- and I use these years because they were the years of the census -- it went up to 46 per cent. From 1961 to 1971 the percentage of the growth took place -- and I’m glad the Minister of Agriculture and Food is here -- below the escarpment and in those unique areas just above the escarpment was 58 per cent.
Hon. W. Newman: You don’t understand your figures and you never will.
Mr. Swart: From 1970, when regional government was formed, until now, 88 per cent of the population increase in those areas has been below the escarpment or just above the escarpment. Let me give you the figures, because these are important to this bill. In the city of Welland the population increase from 1970 to 1977 was 45,018 to 45,248, an increase of 230. Thorold in fact went down. Port Colborne went down, 21,261 to 19,816. Fort Erie went up by just over 1,000 population during those seven years.
But the significant thing is that in Niagara Falls -- and there most of the growth, as the member for Brock well knows, took place in north Niagara Falls not south Niagara Falls -- the population in the seven years had gone up from 64,271 to 70,097. But in St. Catharines the population increase had been from 105,512 to 124,462 -- an increase of 19,000. If we add St. Catharines and north Niagara Falls together -- all of the population increase hasn’t been in north Niagara Falls but even if we take half of it -- we find that in the whole Niagara region in the seven years, 22,000 of the 25,000 increase has been in the unique lands, practically all of it in St. Catharines and in Niagara Falls. Even if we take this last year, from 1976 to 1977, with a population increase of 3,666, we find that 3,100 of that has been on the communities in the unique lands.
So I support this bill with some reluctance because of what it demonstrates. It demonstrates that instead of reversing the trend of growth taking place on the unique lands, it is now taking place more and more on those locations. When we consider that 17 of the 30 votes on the Niagara region council are from municipalities in the unique lands, and when most of the people on those lands think that growth at any price is what must take place, we can see what is going to happen there in the years ahead when there is no provincial direction otherwise.
I must say in fairness that the council of the city of St. Catharines -- I am talking about the local council, not regional representatives -- has pushed less for growth than almost any other municipality in the Niagara region. In fairness to the representative sitting here from St. Catharines I must say he was one of those who thought there should be a shift in that growth. He did think we should not be using up a great deal more of those unique lands for growth.
I support this bill because it deals with the facts as they exist. But those facts as they exist are regrettable; they were preventable and we must see that a similar bill doesn’t come forward in another seven years because we haven’t made any shift in the population growth.
Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I wasn’t going to enter the debate but I want to correct some of the population figures mentioned by the previous speaker. I will support the bill in principle. I see that much of it is based on the recommendations of the Archer report on the Niagara study review; this is one of his suggestions. I think it’s only right that St. Catharines does have an extra representative on regional council, based perhaps on population more than anything. But I think there are other areas that you must look at too within the region. I mentioned to the minister on different occasions about the situation in the town of Fort Erie. As the previous speaker has mentioned on the population, we look at Fort Erie with a population of about 23,000, which includes the former village of Crystal Beach through the amalgamation of the town of Fort Erie with Bertie township in the regional bill, and if one would visit the town of Fort Erie and look at the expansion in that particular area as it relates to home dwellings, one will notice that there is a substantial increase which is perhaps not accounted for on the municipal rolls in terms of voters.
These are Americans who have summer homes there. I don’t have to tell the member for Brook the miles along the Niagara River and Lake Erie, 17 miles or so of shoreline, that are all American-owned and have beautiful homes along the lakeshore, summer cottages at Bay Beach and Crystal Beach. For example, the old part of Crystal Beach will increase from about 1,500, going to 7,000 or 8,000 in the summer months.
To me, those are electors in a sense. We still have to provide policing services, fire protection; and schools, because many of them are over here as landed immigrants we have to provide education for them. We have to provide libraries for them, we have to provide roads for them and all the other hard-core services, I feel that Fort Erie has a population of about 40,000.
As the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart) has mentioned, under the previous rules of the game set up for the regional municipality of Niagara, any municipality over 30,000 would have three persons to represent it on regional council. I feel in a sense that the bill doesn’t go far enough. It should include other municipalities and take in the summer cottages along the shores of Lake Erie, particularly in the Erie riding, the overall length of which would be about 35 to 40 miles and which would include a number of Americans, and even property owners who have a vacation home there and who live in Welland, St. Catharines and Niagara Falls.
When a municipality has to provide all the services, it should include those people as voters in a municipality. I’m sure that landed immigrants may be classed on the voters’ list to vote, but many of them won’t. I think there is some difficulty that if they vote over here they may lose their American franchise, so they don’t vote.
Mr. Ruston: They can’t vote unless they are citizens.
Mr. Haggerty: No, I think you’re wrong there.
Mr. Nixon: Only one kind of foreigner can vote here.
Mr. Haggerty: I know a number of them do have their names mentioned on the voters’ list. I suggest to the minister when we talk about local autonomy, particularly the regional bills, I can’t understand why every time we want to make a change in a bill, particularly as it relates to some matter of electing members to the regional council or to a local council, we must come before the Legislature. Surely we should be able to give them the power to run their own affairs.
I thought that was the purpose of regional government, that they would be able to go out and do this, but apparently that is not the case. Every time we want to make a minor change we have to come begging to the House here to have it done. The member for St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley) has stated that it has taken six or seven months to bring the bill forward, yet it was recommended in the Archer report about 12 or 14 months ago.
Mr. Nixon: Nobody over there has read the Archer report.
Mr. Haggerty: He was a great one to go into making a review of the Niagara region. He was one of those persons who was supporting regional government. It’s just the same as sending Mayo to Ottawa to review that one; there is a conflict of interest there. He is the one who established the Niagara region and yet the government sent him over there to correct the errors that he made in the region.
Ms. Gigantes: He did a pretty good job.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Would you like to disband the Niagara region?
Mr. Haggerty: No, I would sooner see it go back to the two counties. We wouldn’t have half the difficulties but we’d still have regional governments and perhaps they could be run for a lot less, the cost wouldn’t be that great. Perhaps there’s an area that we should be looking at. I’m sure that there are a number of elected representatives and a number of ratepayers or taxpayers within the two counties who would perhaps like to go back to the both counties again.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: They’d never go back.
Mr. Haggerty: You put them to a test and I’ll bet you they’ll go back.
Mr. Haggerty: Would the minister care to make a wager on it?
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Would the honourable member return to the amendment before the House?
Mr. Haggerty: I suggest to the minister that I see no reason to come in here every six months to change that bill or alter it for some minor piece of legislation. When we talk about local autonomy, it should be left with the regional municipality to look after the problems there.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Is there any other member wishing to participate in this debate?
Mr. Ashe: I appreciate the overall support for this bill, although in the case of some members apparently reluctant support. There is no doubt that this bill gives more reasonable representation to St. Catharines, albeit true representation by population still does not exist in that particular region as it does in most parts of Ontario. That was recognized from the beginning in many jurisdictions within the province and I suppose will continue to some degree until the very end of time; for obvious reasons, recognizing that some small municipalities always do need a voice, and quite rightly and legitimately so.
It does increase by approximately three per cent the percentage of representation the city of St. Catharines has within the regional council. I appreciate the comments, albeit they were in a backhanded way, from the member for Welland-Thorold relative to the importance of municipal affairs.
Mr. Foulds: That wasn’t a backhanded compliment, that was a front handed serve. You are a tennis player, George, you should know that.
Mr. Ashe: I can assure him, as well as all members of the House, that the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs appreciates completely the importance of municipal government and affairs in this province. It is indeed an honour that I have been able to speak to some great degree on behalf of municipalities over the past year, having probably a background with the municipal sector --
Mr. Swart: On behalf, sometimes against.
Ms. Ashe: -- equal to if not greater than many of the members within this chamber.
Mr. Foulds: After the next provincial election you go back to municipal government.
Mr. Ashe: Although some of the members put forth a particular position, in some instances it is not spoken with any great background in the municipal sector. I am not speaking of the member for Welland-Thorold but of some other cases.
Ms. Gigantes: You wouldn’t dare.
Mr. Ashe: I am not sure some of the statistical information put forward is relevant to the bill so I’m not going to spend any great time on it now.
Mr. Foulds: What are these vague innuendos?
Mr. Ashe: The interjection-type remarks from the member for Brock in support of the bill were appreciated.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Best contribution of the whole debate.
Mr. Ashe: The member for Erie (Mr. Haggerty) brought forth the question of representation which I touched on briefly just a few moments ago. I’m not quite sure his particular statistics are valid. I appreciate that some residents and property owners from our neighbours to the south have to be considered. In fact, as he himself acknowledged, they probably couldn’t vote in the two jurisdictions. In the case of the municipality of Fort Erie, they will have approximately one representative in the proposed new regional council, for each 11,800 residents versus the cities of St. Catharines and Niagara Falls, both with one representative for better than 17,000 people. They are still well served having two representatives in the regional council.
As to the reference about running their own affairs, the position of this government and the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs is to encourage municipalities to run their own affairs, wherever and however possible. Unfortunately, many jurisdictions, whether they be regional, county or otherwise, have failed to pick up the gauntlet and look at representation questions. That is why in many instances that particular decision-making process has been forced upon the government and this Legislature. It is my personal view that within all regional acts, if the regional council does not see fit to look at representation on a regular basis, which we encourage, we will be forced automatically to do so. Hopefully, that will put more of the onus and responsibility where it should be, on the elected municipal representatives.
The key point in this particular piece of legislation is that it is to the credit of the regional council that a unanimous vote of confidence in this particular redistribution, or addition in the representation, came from that regional council. I must give them credit for that. Many other regional jurisdictions fail to take on that particular responsibility, and we were forced to act on their behalf; so again those that did should be commended for that.
It was nice to see the general support for regional government. It was unfortunate that some of the people who spoke in opposition to regional government indicated their ignorance of the fact of how well I think regional governments generally are working and are improving their efficiency in serving the people they represent.
Mr. M. Davidson: Which area?
Mr. Nixon: Is that what the taxpayers say?
Mr. Ruston: In the lockup, George?
Mr. Ashe: It is nice, when we hear of various groups that get together, study groups and reports, how those various committees that sit down and purport to bring back findings of what they are hearing --
Mr. Bradley: That’s why you have so many seats in Niagara.
Mr. Ashe: -- that although they don’t come through with the true recognition of what has been accomplished in the regional government areas, in fact they do not come forward with any particular positive alternatives. We all know that the reason there are not positive alternatives is because of the effectiveness and efficiency of the regional governments --
Mr. Bradley: That is why your minister says he is not introducing any more of them, because they are so successful.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Ashe: -- that have been created within the jurisdictions that were needed within this great province of Ontario.
Mr. Nixon: All this palaver for one more councillor for St. Catharines.
Mr. Ashe: The areas that required regional government in Ontario already have it in place, and working very effectively and very efficiently.
Mr. Bradley: How many more have you got planned?
Mr. Ashe: Any other changes in municipal jurisdiction will come forward from the impetus of the local council.
Mr. Epp: That is why London and Chatham didn’t get it. That is why the former Premier and the former Treasurer didn’t have regional government in their areas.
Mr. Ashe: Just getting back to the relevance of this bill, it is nice that there is general agreement that the municipality of St. Catharines and the regional municipality of Niagara both deserve one more representative.
Motion agreed to.
Third reading also agreed to on motion.
House in committee of the whole.
MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS AMENDMENT ACT
Consideration of Bill 143, an Act to amend the Municipal Elections Act, 1971.
Sections 1 to 3, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 4:
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Ashe moves that the bill be amended by adding thereto the following section: (4) Notwithstanding this act, where in any municipality or locality proceedings in respect of the regular election in 1978 were taken in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act 1977 as it existed on April 24, 1978, the proceedings shall be deemed not to be invalidated by reason only of the fact the proceedings were not taken in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act 1977 as amended by sections 1, 2 and 3 of this act, and that sections 4 and 5 of the bill be renumbered as sections 5 and 6.
Mr. Ashe further moves that section 5 of the bill as renumbered be struck out and the following inserted in lieu thereof: 5(1). This act, except sections 1, 2 and 3, comes into force on the day it receives royal assent. (2). Sections 1, 2 and 3 shall be deemed to have come into force on April 25, 1978.
Motion agreed to.
Sections 4 and 5, as amended, agreed to.
Bill 143, as amended, reported.
CITY OF HAZELDEAN-MARCH AMENDMENT ACT
Consideration of Bill 144, An Act to amend the City of Hazeldean-March Act, 1978.
Section 1 agreed to.
On section 2:
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that section 2(2) of the bill be deleted.
Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, I want to make it clear what this amendment does. Perhaps it is clear to most members, but what this amendment does is restore that Hope Sideroad to the normal position of most boundary roads in most municipalities in this province. I’m sorry that the member for Waterloo North -- oh, I see that he is in the House, I thought he had left.
Mr. Hall: Unnecessary.
Mr. Ruston: That’s not necessary.
Mr. Nixon: We all feel like leaving.
Mr. McClellan: Feel free.
Mr. Swart: I would have been sorry if he had left, because I was really quite amazed by the interpretation which he placed on my amendment. He indicated that roads were not good dividing lines and because this would make a road a dividing line he couldn’t support this amendment to the bill.
Mr. Epp: We’re still not going to support it.
Mr. Swart: Apparently by this time, through the efforts of my colleague from Carleton East, he has found out that his understanding was wrong, but I certainly was amazed to find out that he thought this would change the boundaries of the municipality. This does not at all change the boundaries of the municipality. If he doesn’t like a road as a boundary, or even one side of a road as a boundary, I’m really quite amazed that he didn’t move an amendment to the bill which was passed last June 23, because that was what set the boundary. On page two of that bill it says: “Thence easterly along the northerly limit of the Hope Sideroad in the said concession VI to the westerly limit of the Richmond Road.” That set the boundary of Hazeldean-March.
At one time, of course, many boundaries went down the centre of the road. For the very reason that the member for Waterloo North (Mr. Epp) stated, this is not desirable. There is a dispute over which police force has jurisdiction; it’s just not good to have the centre of the road as the actual boundary of the municipality. Of course, this amendment of mine doesn’t change the boundary at all. It just reverts this road to a normal boundary road. I suggest there is every reason this road should be a boundary road, the same as boundary roads exist between municipalities elsewhere within this province and where, under the act, those municipalities have to accept responsibility for the maintenance of the road.
I read section 4(10) of the act, and section 4(19) of the act, and I don’t intend to read that section again, but I would just point out that if you don’t believe in a road as a boundary then there should have been an amendment hack in June; and if you do believe that was the right boundary it is being left there by my amendment, and in no way can that be an argument in voting against the amendment which I have put.
Mr. Nixon: There is that point made. What’s the next one?
Ms. Gigantes: He has to say it slowly so you understand it.
Mr. Swart: The member for Durham West in his comments indicated that this road, and I think I am quoting him correctly, primarily served the township of Nepean.
My information is otherwise. I suspect that he and I know about the same amount from actually observing the road. But my information from people in those municipalities and people in the municipal headquarters in both municipalities is that this road now primarily serves the Bridlewood subdivision. In fact, it may well for quite some time take the place of a ring road which is going to be built. In any event, neither the municipality of Hazeldean-March nor the municipality of Nepean said that it predominantly served the municipality of Nepean. If that is the case, then I suggest there is every reason why both municipalities should accept the responsibility for the maintenance of this road.
It was mentioned that there was a $200,000 debenture on this road. The road was built by Nepean unilaterally, which, of course --
Mr. Sterling: When they were told to spend 10 per cent of what they spent.
Mr. Swart: -- is their prerogative because it was all within their municipality at that time. It was also mentioned this would probably become a regional road in the not too distant future. I would point out that the annual payments on the debenture on that road are only $15,000 a year.
Mr. Sterling: I will tell that to the taxpayers of the new city.
Mr. Swart: Split between the two, that is $7,500 a year and it is reasonable, when it serves both municipalities, that they should pay their share.
I suggest that there must be some other reason why this isn’t considered under this act as a normal boundary road. I guess the reeve of Nepean is a very strong Liberal and I understand that his council is predominantly Liberal, and they tell me that Hazeldean-March is predominantly Conservative.
Mr. M. Davidson: That is not unusual.
Mr. Ashe: I notice there is no NDP in there.
Mr. Swart: There may be some connection between that situation and the fact that this road is declared by this act a non-boundary road. I suggest that this is an unprecedented step: to declare a boundary road which is a boundary road a non-boundary road.
Ms. Gigantes: Punishing Liberals, punishing Liberals.
Mr. Swart: And it is going to come back to haunt you, even though you may want to punish Liberals. Lord only knows there are lots of them who deserve it, but it will come back to haunt you when you set this kind of precedent.
That should be a boundary road for all purposes. That is the intent of our resolution, not to change the boundary of the municipality.
Mr. Sterling: I must speak again to this and point out to the other members of the House who weren’t here when we were passing second reading of this bill that in 1976, as I mentioned before, there was a roads need study done by MTC at the request of the township of Nepean.
As a result of that study there was a recommendation to spend $40,000 on the Hope Sideroad. The township of Nepean, for some unknown reason, decided to spend $400,000.
I do not see any reason why the new city of Hazeldean-March should be saddled with half a debenture of $100,000 because the township of Nepean made an error in judgement before and in 1976 decided to build this particular road.
Mr. Swart: Even Hazeldean-March didn’t say it was an error in judgement. They haven’t said that.
Ms. Gigantes: You never want to give anything to Nepean.
Mr. Sterling: I would also like to comment on the reeve. I do not believe the reeve has carried the card of any political party save the Conservative Party.
Ms. Gigantes: He just ran for the Liberal nomination.
Mr. Sterling: I understand he ran for the nomination of the federal riding of Ottawa West under the Conservative banner and unfortunately lost that race.
An hon. member: Wrong again.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Swart has moved that section 2(2) of Bill 144 be deleted.
All those in favour will please say “aye.”
All those opposed will please say “nay.”
In my opinion the nays have it.
Sections 3 to 9, inclusive, agreed to.
Call in the members.
Mr. Foulds: Hold on. Can we not stack the vote?
Hon. Mr. Welch: We are finished.
Mr. Ashe: We want to complete these two bills for royal assent. If you people want to waste time, the onus is on you.
Mr. Foulds: What onus?
Mr. M. Davidson: Talk about wasting time. If you wanted them so badly, you would have opened the House a week ahead of time.
Mr. Ashe: You knew the onus was on you. If you want to waste time as usual, you’re going along the same course as usual.
The committee divided on Mr. Swart’s motion to delete section 2(2) of Bill 144, which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 21; nays 51.
Bill 144 reported.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the committee of the whole House reported one bill with amendment and one bill without amendment.
The following bill was given third reading on motion:
Bill 143, An Act to amend the Municipal Elections Act, 1977.
CITY OF HAZELDEAN-MARCH AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Ashe, on behalf of Hon. Mr. Wells, moved third reading of Bill 144, An Act to amend the City of Hazeldean-March, Act, 1978.
Mr. Roy: I just want to make a few comments, Mr. Speaker.
Ms. Gigantes: Too late, Albert.
Mr. Roy: My friend shouldn’t get so frustrated. I just want to bring to the attention of all members that this is the same bill that, back in June, we were blackmailed into passing by being told, “Look, if you bring in any amendments to this bill, it’s going to be on your head, and we’re going to withdraw the bill.” But I think it should go on the record on third reading --
Ms. Gigantes: You blew our amendments.
Mr. Foulds: Why didn’t you speak on the amendments?
Mr. Roy: I brought an amendment. I wouldn’t want to miss this opportunity, nevertheless, to say to the government, through the parliamentary assistant and to possibly the Treasurer now through his predecessor, how incompetent they are. Back in June, they brought forward a bill which they said was going to solve a problem in Hazeldean-March and three months later they’re bringing forward amendments. How many amendments? I suppose you’ve got about nine or so amendments back in this legislation. I think it should be recorded, Mr. Speaker, that -- I see the House leader shaking his head, saying you’re taking up time for nothing.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I can’t believe you’re real.
Mr. Roy: He can’t believe I’m real. I have never believed that he was real either.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Would the honourable member speak to Bill 144?
Mr. Roy: Yes, I’m speaking to the principle of the bill. I just think --
Mr. Deputy Speaker: This is third reading.
Mr. Roy: Well, I can speak on third reading, on the principle of this bill.
Mr. Speaker, I think it should be brought to the attention of the people of this province, the voters of this province, that the approach of this government, which tries to acquire a reputation of running the province like business people, was not a very good business approach. Their haste to pass this legislation last June and to try to blackmail the opposition into not bringing forward amendments has backfired on the government and they’re back here with more amendments today. I think the voters of the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton should know, and it should be put on the record, that this government is not doing a very good job. This government, the same government which had the Mayo report to look at, had plenty of time to bring in proper legislation with proper debate. In their haste back in June they in fact brought something forward which was not complete, which we’re having to complete now. I think the incompetence of this government should be put on the record.
Mr. McClellan: Were you at night court, Albert? You must have been at night court.
Mr. Roy: No, I was not at night court.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: We should congratulate him for being here. He is paying his weekly visit to the House.
Mr. Roy: No, no, I will be here until 10:30, I’ve got something else --
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Would the honourable member please keep his remarks in reference to the third reading of Bill 144?
Mr. Roy: I would, Mr. Speaker, but I was rudely interrupted from all sides.
I just want to emphasize again that these people, the so-called Tory representatives from Ottawa-Carleton, are obviously not getting across to their government.
Mr. Foulds: I suppose in court you charge for this kind of representation.
Mr. Roy: If this is the type of knee-jerk reaction that we’re going to get from this government for Ottawa-Carleton, then they’re not deserving of governing. I think that the voters of Ottawa-Carleton and the voters of Hazeldean-March deserve better treatment than they got from this government in relation to these two bills.
Mr. Ashe: Mr. Speaker, seeing as we are attempting to clarify the record, I think in order to put it completely in the correct focus on third reading of this legislation, it was well recognized by the government, back in June that amendments would undoubtedly be in order to reflect the views of the concerned people of the area. If the representative from the eastern end of the Ottawa-Carleton region would better know what the views were of the elected representatives towards the western end of the Ottawa-Carleton region he would not have expressed the views that he did tonight. This bill reflects collectively the views and the goals of the people in that area, very ably represented by the Conservative members in that jurisdiction.
Mr. Roy: Yes, that’s why they get this type of legislation. What a bunch of incompetents.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. The member for Welland-Thorold.
Mr. Swart: Being as there seems to be a tendency to put things on record, I think perhaps it should be put on record that the member for Ottawa East was not here when the very important debate took place on the matter of the Hope Sideroad, and that any of his grandstanding now will not cover up the mistakes that the Liberals made in their voting.
Mr. Kerrio: We made no mistake in our voting. Make no mistake about that, Mel.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Sterling: The only thing I wanted to make a comment on was the fact that we did act relatively quickly in June.
Mr. Bolan: The Neanderthal man.
Mr. Sterling: I think one of the problems that we had was that it was necessary to react to that fact because we were having public consultations up to the very last moment in terms of drafting this bill and trying to accommodate as many people as we could.
Mr. Bolan: It puts you back in the stone age.
Mr. Roy: You had the Mayo report four years.
Mr. Sterling: If people would like to put things on the record I would like to reinforce that the amendment that was brought forward by the member for Ottawa East was to name the new city, now called Hazeldean-March, Kanata at that point in time. I’m glad that both the third party and our party sought fit to allow the new people of this area to choose the name which they wish this November.
Mr. Roy: Kanata is what it is going to be called. It is better than Hazeldean-March.
Hon. Mr. Norton: That’s a charming name.
Motion agreed to.
House in committee of the whole.
TRAINING SCHOOLS AMENDMENT ACT
Consideration of Bill 113, An Act to amend the Training Schools Act.
Mr. McClellan: This is the first in a series of bills that are before the committee tonight.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Can I ask the member which clause of the bill he is speaking to?
Mr. McClellan: Just be patient, Mr. Chairman, and we will get though these proceedings very quickly, I assure you.
Mr. Warner: Do you have a dinner engagement?
Mr. McClellan: I do not have any amendments to all of the bills and this is one of the bills that I do not have any amendments to.
Mr. Roy: Oh, did you get up just to say that?
Mr. Lewis: At least he’s here on committee discussion of this bill.
Mr. Blundy: This bill is one of a number of bills to do with children’s services and facilities for children in Ontario. They have been dealt with very carefully in the committee over the past month.
Mr. Germa: We know that.
Mr. Roy: We can’t take for granted that you can read.
Mr. Blundy: As far as we are concerned, we agree with the bill. We feel that it is a good bill and it is fitting in quite well with the other children’s bills that will be before this House this evening. I have no amendments to propose to the act.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Are there any other speakers to Bill 113?
Bill 113 reported.
CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH CENTRES ACT
Consideration of Bill 115, An Act to revise the Children’s Mental Health Centres Act.
Mr. McClellan: I’m sorry, if you’ll bear with me a second, I wasn’t aware that we were going out of sequence.
I have a question of the minister respecting section 10, which is the section of the bill dealing with the establishment of bylaws for an approved corporation.
Sections 1 to 9, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 10:
Mr. McClellan: I want to ask the minister whether he would have objection to adding after “provisions” in line two a phrase as follows, so that the section would read: “provisions regarding the formation and composition of boards of directors.”
It is my understanding that that is the intent of the section based on discussions that we had in committee. We have heard some concerns raised in testimony in committee about this particular section. At some point in the future, there may be unwarranted interference -- I suppose that is the best way to put it -- by the ministry with respect to the composition of boards of directors.
I think it would be helpful if it is your intention to limit this section to the formation and composition of boards of directors, as you’ve indicated you intend to do, to state that in that statute. I wonder if you would be prepared to accept an amendment on that.
Hon. Mr. Norton: As I indicated in the discussions earlier I believe, it would be our preference certainly to leave the wording of the statute as proposed, although as the honourable member has indicated and as I indicated to the standing committee when it was dealing with these bills, it would be our intention to deal primarily with the question of the composition of boards of directors.
It would, as I say, be my preference that we would retain some flexibility to look at other issues if they might arise with respect to the bylaws of such corporations, especially bearing in mind that here we’re referring to corporations which in most instances are funded 100 per cent by the province. I think it’s important that we be concerned about the composition of the bylaws. Our interest at this point in time is in those relating to the composition of boards, particularly to ensure that on boards there would be some reflection of representation of the community in which the facility is located.
Mr. Sweeney: I recall that one of your reservations was that if you specified the makeup of the board in this particular section that it is possible, through the selling of memberships or some other variation like that, the specific intent of the section could be circumvented. Have you changed your mind on that? You made no mention of it. That’s why I’m raising the question.
If that is no longer a concern of yours, then I would have to suggest that the amendment proposed should stand. If that is a concern, then the variation that is in here now should stand. That’s the reservation that I recall when we were discussing it in committee. You felt that if you specified just the makeup of the board, there could be other ways of influencing the board composition through selling of memberships or something else.
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Chairman, I am not sure what the honourable member is referring to in terms of the selling of memberships. I must say I am a little confused by that, and I am just trying to recall what the specific reference might have been.
I am quite prepared to admit that our intention at this point in time is to go no further than the reference to the composition of the boards. I honestly have no recollection at this point in time of the reference to the selling of memberships.
If it is going to be a major issue with the honourable members opposite, we could certainly live with that at this time, but the problem then is that it does really not allow any flexibility in the future for any other expression of concern with respect to the bylaws of the corporation.
Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Chairman, let me put it another way. When this particular issue was being discussed in committee, the minister or the deputy -- I am not sure which -- specifically made reference to a variation that would possibly concern him, and he wanted to have the necessary flexibility to deal with that variation. Maybe my particular reference was not an accurate one. All I am trying to get at this point in time is whether the concern expressed by the minister at that time is still a valid concern. If it is not, then I would have to support the suggested amendment.
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I might have a moment for clarification of a note that I have just received from staff and I don’t understand. It appears to be intended to remind me of some earlier reference. If I could have a page, I would send this back and see if I could get some clarification.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Could we stand section 10 down for a moment and continue on? Agreed? Agreed.
Mr. Lewis: The minister’s staff has been incomprehensive for years. I am not sure they can change.
Hon. Mr. Norton: I am not sure that it is their fault at this point.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: I would remind the member for Scarborough West --
Mr. Lewis: I am not in my seat. I know.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: If you want to heckle, please heckle from your own seat.
Mr. Lewis: I am engaging in civil disobedience. It seems to be all the rage these days.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Are there any further comments on this bill after section 10?
Hon. Mr. Norton: Hopefully, it will be resolved in a moment.
Mr. Nixon: I thought you had a handle on this and you weren’t sort of going from hand to mouth.
Mr. McClellan: Why don’t I just move the amendment?
Mr. M. Davidson: They don’t understand it themselves.
Mr. Nixon: Time is money.
Mr. McClellan: We promise not to jeer if you want to walk down there and consult with them.
Mr. Lewis: Oh, for the good old days when they sat at the little table in front of you.
Mr. Germa: It would be better if you knew what you were doing too.
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Chairman, I am not sure that I am any further ahead than I was earlier.
Mr. Lewis: What does that mean? Is that an admonition to your staff?
Hon. Mr. Norton: No, I think it is an admonition to my ability to comprehend what is on the written page. So I would be willing to accept the honourable member’s suggestion.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. McClellan moves that section 10 of the bill be amended by adding, after the word “provisions” in line two, the following: “regarding the formation and composition of boards of directors.”
Mr. Lewis: Do you capitulate?
Mr. Nixon: You may have to remove it next week.
Hon. Mr. Norton: I may have to.
Motion agreed to.
Section 10, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 11 to 17, inclusive, agreed to.
Bill 115, as amended, reported.
UNIFIED FAMILY COURT AMENDMENT ACT
Consideration of Bill 116, An Act to amend the Unified Family Court Act, 1976.
Mr. Blundy: Mr. Chairman, we have no amendments to this bill. We will support the bill as printed.
Mr. McClellan: So will we.
Bill 116 reported.
CHILDREN’S INSTITUTIONS ACT
Consideration of Bill 117, An Act to revise the Children’s Institutions Act.
Sections 1 to 6, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 7:
Mr. McClellan: I just want to state briefly again the concern we raised in committee. The program adviser function and the inspector function, and I’m referring to section 7, are mistakenly lumped together. I really feel the ministry is making a serious mistake by doing this. On the one hand there is a need for an inspectorate which forces compliance with standards, and on the other hand it is useful to have program advisers who can work with agencies and facilities to improve the quality of care. But those are different jobs and they have not been differentiated. That is, in my view, a serious mistake.
Hon. Mr. Norton: I would like once again to reassure the member that although he appears to have some difficulty with the fact that there are references within this one section to different functions, it is not intended that the role of the inspectors, as he refers to them, will in any way be diminished by the provision for retaining program advisers. There will be provision for inspections which will be separate in intent from the role of the program advisers who will be involved primarily in conducting operational reviews from time to time. It is for that reason that there is intention to involve people from outside the regular staff of the ministry from time to time in recognition of the fact there are able and well-informed people in the province who can make a very real contribution through participation in program or operational reviews.
I will just reiterate that I see no threat to the effectiveness of the inspection function by also providing for program advisers for that purpose; not for the purpose of inspection but for operation review.
Sections 7 to 15, inclusive, agreed to.
Bill 117 reported.
CHILDREN’S RESIDENTIAL SERVICES ACT
Consideration of Bill 118, An Act to revise the Children’s Boarding Homes Act.
On section 1:
Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Chairman, through you to the minister, during the committee hearings there was some discussion as to whether or not summer camps should be included in this bill; they are now excluded under section 1(c)(iii). I believe there was going to be some investigation as to whether or not they were properly represented by the Minister of Health. Is there any further information on that?
Hon. Mr. Norton: At this point in time, no. As I indicated earlier, we will pursue this with the Ministry of Health and other ministries that may be involved in some way with the operation of summer camps to ensure that the concerns expressed by members of the committee, and by at least one person who appeared before the committee to give evidence, would be met.
I don’t think it is appropriate that summer camps be in this legislation or covered by this legislation, because the standards would be entirely different. We would be talking about, in one instance, the very comprehensive standards such as some you have seen already in the green paper that we have released for consultation, whereas the type of standards that would be applicable to summer camps would really be quite different, in terms of the standards of accommodation and so on by the very nature of summer camps.
The concern was mainly one that would relate to questions of health and safety in a summer camp setting and we will pursue that with the appropriate ministries before the next summer camp season, so that hopefully those concerns will be met.
Sections 1 to 21, inclusive, agreed to.
Bill 118 reported.
PROVINCIAL COURTS AMENDMENT ACT
Consideration of Bill 119, An Act to amend the Provincial Courts Act.
Bill 119 reported.
DAY NURSERIES ACT
Consideration of Bill 120, An Act to revise the Day Nurseries Act.
Sections 1 to 7, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 8:
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Hon. Mr. Norton moves that clause (c) of subsection 4 of section 8 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor:
“(c) shall, in respect of a child who is,
“(i) enrolled in a day nursery and who attains the age of 18 years where the child has a developmental handicap, or attains the age of 10 years where the child does not have a developmental handicap;
“(ii) in receipt of private day care and attains the age of 10 years;
“(iii) a person referred to in subclause (i) of clause (b) where there are special circumstances and who attains the age of 18 years; or
“(iv) a person referred to in subclause (ii) of clause (b) where there are special circumstances and who attains the age of 18 years; or
“(iv) a person referred to in subclause (ii) of clause (b) where there are special circumstances and who attains the age of 12 years,
“be paid in respect of such child,
“(v) where the child attains such age after the commencement of the school year and before the first day of January of the school year, until the first day of January, or
“(vi) where the child attains such age in a school year after the first of January in the school year, until the completion of the school year.”
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Chairman, the intent of that amendment is to meet a concern that was raised in committee, yesterday I believe, where, by virtue of an earlier amendment which allowed for the extension of subsidy to a child who was enrolled in a daycare centre under special circumstances up to the age of 12 rather than the usual age of 10, that the provisions relating to the leaving age, if you wish, where the age change occurs during the school year, that there be provision that they not have to leave immediately or at the end of that month, but rather at the end of the school term.
If it be in the fall term, they would leave prior to January, or at the end of December rather, and if it were after the first of January they would be able to continue until the end of the school term.
I trust that meets the concerns that had been expressed, particularly by the member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney), earlier.
I apologize to the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) because he doesn’t seem to have a copy of it, and I would ask that perhaps if the staff have an extra copy they could get one to him immediately.
Motion agreed to.
Section 8, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 9 to 18, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 19:
Mr. McClellan: Section 19 is an amendment which was passed on the final day of the social development committee discussions on the bill. I simply want to have on the record a point of clarification. Section 19, in my understanding, leaves the matter of choice with respect to how the application for a daycare subsidy is to be completed with the applicant for daycare subsidy. It is my understanding of the section that an applicant for a daycare subsidy can choose whether the subsidy application, the form 7, shall be administered in the daycare centre or private home daycare agency or the municipal welfare office, but that the matter of choice rests with the applicant. That was the basis of the understanding I had in committee, but I would like reassurance from the minister that my understanding is correct. I want to be absolutely clear that the question of choice rests not with the ministry or with the municipal welfare office, but the question of choice rests with the applicant for daycare subsidy.
Hon. Mr. Norton: That is clearly our intent, as expressed by the honourable member opposite, that the permissive nature of section 19 by using the word “may” relates to the applicant. They may make an application at any of those locations.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Any further discussion on section 19? Any further discussion on this bill?
Sections 19 to 24, inclusive, agreed to.
Bill 120, as amended, reported.
CHILD WELFARE ACT
House in committee on Bill 114, An Act to revise The Child Welfare Act.
Mr. Chairman: Are there any comments, questions or amendments on any section of Bill 114?
The member for Bellwoods, on what section?
Mr. McClellan: I have an amendment to section 80.
Mr. Chairman: Are there any comments on any section prior to section 80?
Sections 1 to 79, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 80:
Mr. McClellan: Mr. Chairman, do you have a copy of my amendment?
Mr. Chairman: Mr. McClellan moves that subsection 1 of section 80 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor:
“(1) Subject to subsection (2), the documents used upon an application for an adoption order that are filed with the court shall be sealed up by the proper officer of the court and shall not be opened for inspection after the adoption order is made.”
He further moves that said section 80 of the bill be amended by adding thereto the following subsection: “(3) Subject to subsections (5), (6) and (7) and notwithstanding subsection (2) of section 24 of the Vital Statistics Act, the Registrar General shall, where an application is made in the prescribed form by an adopted child who is 18 or more years of age, supply to the adopted child on payment of the prescribed fee such information as is necessary to enable the adopted child to obtain a certified copy of the record before the adoption of his or her birth.
“(4) It shall be the duty of every society to provide counselling for adopted children who apply for information under subsection 3.
“(5) Before supplying any information to an applicant under subsection (3), the Registrar General shall inform the applicant that counselling services are available to the applicant from societies and where the applicant intends to receive counselling the Registrar General shall send the information referred to in subsection (3) to the society chosen by the applicant.
“(6) The Registrar General shall not supply an applicant with any information under subsection (3) unless the Registrar General obtains with the assistance of the society the consent of any living person who is the parent of the applicant at the time of the birth of the applicant and whose name appears on the record of birth of the applicant kept by the Registrar General under the Vital Statistics Act.
“(7) The Registrar General shall not supply an applicant who was adopted before this act comes into force with any information under subsection (3) unless the applicant has attended an interview with a counsellor at a society and the Registrar General obtains with the assistance of a society the consent of any living person who is the parent or the applicant after the adoption order is made.”
Hon. Mr. Norton: In view of the fact that we are moving at such a clip, I just realized that I have a prior amendment. I wonder if the --
Mr. McClellan: As long as I don’t have to read that again.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Do you have copies?
Mr. McClellan: Mr. Chairman, I filed copies with the clerk’s office on Friday for distribution to opposition critics. Fortunately I have extra copies here.
Mr. Chairman: Maybe the honourable member would distribute those copies now. Would the committee be agreeable to revert to the section referred to by the minister?
Mr. Chairman: What section?
Hon. Mr. Norton: Section 68, Mr. Chairman.
On section 68:
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Chairman, I move that clause (c) of subsection 1 of section 68 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor -- and I believe there’s a problem with the numbering here. I think that in the printed bill it’s 69.
Mr. Nixon: Section 68 hasn’t got a clause (r), has it?
Hon. Mr. Norton: No. May I just check to see? There may have been a renumbering in an earlier section that did not get reprinted. It is 69, Mr. Chairman.
On section 69:
Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Norton moves that section 69(1)(c) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor:
“(c) A person who is not recognized in law to be a parent of a child, but
“(i) has acknowledged a parental relationship to the child and has voluntarily provided for the child’s care and support;
“(ii) by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction or a written agreement, is under a legal duty to provide for the child, or has been granted custody of, or access to the child, or,
“(iii) has made a written acknowledgement of the fact of his or her parentage to the adoption agency or licensee under section 59(5) placing the child for adoption, but does not include the crown, a society or a foster parent of a child.”
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order, I know that a number of the members here tonight have been working on these very sections of these bills for many hours of many days; but for those of us who are not so familiar with these bills, it makes it very difficult to know what the devil you’re talking about if we don’t have copies.
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Chairman, I apologize. I had asked that copies be sent across the House to the honourable members opposite. Have any of the members got a copy of that amendment?
Mr. Sweeney: We have one copy.
Mr. McClellan: We have one.
Hon. Mr. Norton: If there are additional copies, I would ask that they be given to the honourable members.
Mr. Nixon: Then if I might just speak to the section, actually without expressing an opinion, but simply asking the minister if he would explain to those who are not au courant with these matters how the wording changes the meaning from what is in the latest amendments which are in our books, that is, the wording of section 69(1)(c). Actually, what is the specific difference between being a parent and “acknowledging a parental relationship”?
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Chairman, someone might acknowledge a parental relationship with a child, but not necessarily be legally recognized as a parent, in terms of all the rights and responsibilities that accrue. For example, if you are familiar with the definitions in the family law reform legislation, there is reference there, if I recall correctly, to acknowledging a parental relationship in circumstances where it might be a relative of the child; it might be an aunt or an uncle who has taken the child into his or her care with the intent of treating the child as one of their own and have provided for the child on a voluntary basis. For the purposes of this section, we are including that as it would be included under the family law reform legislation, for those persons who have developed that type of relationship with the child.
Motion agreed to.
Section 69, as amended, agreed to.
On section 80:
Mr. Chairman: Have the critics received copies of the amendments?
Mr. McClellan: Mr. Chairman, this is the --
Mr. Nixon: Famous.
Mr. McClellan: Famous? Or otherwise? -- adoption disclosure amendment which was debated in the social development committee about two and a half weeks ago. I should start by noting one change in the amendment that I am introducing tonight. We have dropped the previous section 4 which related to the provision of birth records to persons under the age of 18 who were applying for a marriage licence. That had been borrowed verbatim from the British statute, and in the subsequent process of amending this amendment in committee it became both inappropriate and, in a sense, redundant. It is my understanding that it is the practice of the registrar general’s office to advise persons applying for a marriage licence who are in this circumstance whether there is a problem with respect to consanguinity, and it was not felt that the section of the British statute was necessary here.
Let me deal with what this amendment does. What it does is to provide information with respect to an adult adoptee’s birth record under what I believe is a very restrictive set of conditions. As I have said, it deals only with adult adoptees. For persons who are applying for their birth records prior to the passage of this act, they are required to attend on the Registrar General, who will refer their birth record to the appropriate Children’s Aid Society. The Children’s Aid Society will then undertake to locate the birth parent and, if it is ascertained that the birth parent is living, the Children’s Aid Society is required to obtain the consent of the birth parent and of the adoptive parent before the birth record information is released to the applicant. For adult adoptees who apply for information about their birth identity in the future, it will be required only that they obtain the consent of the birth parent.
I want to stress that this is not a very revolutionary change. It is, if I can use the words of the honourable minister, a very reasonable and cautious change.
Hon. Mr. Norton: You’re not quoting me.
Mr. McClellan: Yes, I am quoting the Minister of Community and Social Services.
Hon. Mr. Norton: I said it was more cautious than the first one.
Mr. McClellan: The minister said that it was reasonable and cautious; and it is reasonable and cautious. Firstly, it permits the disclosure of birth information within a counselling environment. The agent that will assist the adult adoptee to obtain the birth information will be the Children’s Aid Society; so it will take place in a counselling environment, and the question of feelings, which are so central to this issue, will be dealt with by people who are skilled in dealing with feelings. Secondly, the rights of the principals are scrupulously honoured, because the consent of the birth parent -- and even for persons who are adopted prior to the passage of this act, the consent of the adoptive parent -- is required before information will be granted under section 3 of this amendment.
I believe that this change is something that is timely. The time has come to bring Ontario into line with modern thinking about adoption practices and adoption procedures.
On the day that we began to discuss this amendment within the social development committee, the Children’s Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto released its own study of the issue: “The Adoption Rectangle”. They state in that study that the question of coming to terms with one’s own identity is a normal and natural part of the adoptive process. It is not something that is abnormal. It is not something that people seek to obtain because they have some underlying disturbance. There is nothing abnormal about wanting to know who you are. There is nothing abnormal about trying to come to terms with your own identity. It’s a normal part of human growth, it’s a normal part of human maturity; and adoption professionals recognize this. They understand that the adoption process doesn’t begin and end with the giving of a child from one set of parents to another. It is a lifelong process, obviously, for the adoptive parents; it is a lifelong process for the adoptee as well. It is increasingly recognized that many thousands of adult adoptees in this province are asking themselves the question, “who am I?” And they have a right to know.
To quote again from the study directly: “Adopted children who as adults search out their natural parents are displaying a normal and natural need.” The Children’s Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto stated in this report and in accompanying releases that the growing phenomenon of adult adoptees seeking to know who they are is not restricted to adoptees who have had unhappy adoption experiences. They found this in the study.
I am reluctant to repeat all of the arguments that I raised in committee. Those arguments were based largely on experience in other jurisdictions, principally in Britain, and there is a wealth of scrupulously documented research on British adoption practices which support the practice of adoption disclosure. This information has been made available to all of us who were on the social development committee looking at this bill, and the majority of the members on that committee came to the conclusion, I believe, that this amendment is justified -- that the issue of adoption disclosure is a valid issue and that adult adoptees have the right to know who they are.
I don’t understand clearly the objections of the government to this amendment. I say that quite genuinely. When we were debating the issue in committee the minister did not respond to the substance of the debate, the minister simply said that change was unacceptable to the cabinet. I’m not sure the minister is able to argue against the notion because the notion is consistent with good adoption practice. I believe the minister knows that, and many people within his ministry and within other ministries acknowledge that as well.
I recognize this is a subject that stirs strong feelings on many fronts and on many sides, I suppose on all sides. I think we had good debate in the committee. I believe we will have good debate here again in the House. I hope the minister will deal with the issue of sound adoption practice that’s involved in this amendment. It’s not good enough simply to say, “No, we don’t like it.” I could perhaps understand a strong and even vehement reaction from the government if I were introducing the English statute which provides for disclosure of adoption records as an absolute right without a requirement of consent from birth parents or adoptive parents; indeed without even a mandatory counselling provision.
We know the British system works well. It has been in place since 1975 in England. The same system has been in place in Scotland since the 1930’s. It does not create difficulties. Recognizing, however, the very strong feelings this subject arouses in people, and in the search for a position that would be acceptable to a majority of the members of this Legislature, the committee has worked out a compromise proposal which I have said, and I believe I am quoting the minister accurately, is reasonable and cautious.
It moves a very little way forward but it does move us toward the direction of openness and honesty in adoption practices and procedures. I think that is absolutely essential.
Adoption cannot take place in an atmosphere of secrecy, shame and guilt. That is destructive in the adoption process. I don’t think there is anything to hide in the adoption process. We get into trouble when we try to hide, whether it’s a triangle or a rectangle. Openness and honesty have to be the basis of decent human relations, and we are dealing with human relations. It is damaging to the relationships between the three parties in the adoption triangle when there is secrecy, shame and guilt surrounding the issue of adoption.
We are moving just a few inches with this amendment. We are not moving very far but that’s as far as we can move at this time; so be it, let us at least move that far. Somebody else at some future time may want to look at this issue again in the light of the experience we have had with this particular statute.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: He obviously has had no experience with natural mothers.
Mr. Nixon: All mothers are natural.
Mr. McClellan: I heard the sotto voce comment of the Minister of Education. I have had a surprising number of letters from birth mothers in support of this statute.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: What’s the surprise?
Mr. McClellan: I think you would perhaps be surprised.
Mr. Eaton: Tell us; don’t keep it a secret, tell us how many.
Mr. McClellan: I think I will content myself with that by way of an opening statement, and I would again ask the minister to respond to the substantive issue and not simply to restate adamant opposition, as though that were some kind of an argument.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, as a matter of organizing debate, I know that we have now arrived at an issue which is of a tremendous amount of importance to a large number in this House. I think in terms of the time we would be better at this particular stage in our proceedings to recognize the fact that we are not going to complete the discussion on this particular issue tonight, and recognize also that we have set aside Thursday evening for legislation, so that we might agree as a House that we should really provide all our members with an ample opportunity to discuss this particular issue, which is very important, and indeed hopefully provide the opportunities for a large number of those who want to speak on Thursday night and maybe come to some resolution of the matter on Thursday night. If that were considered to be a satisfactory arrangement, we could rise and report now and then set aside a fair amount of time on Thursday night for all who want to take part in the discussion of this amendment, hopefully to resolve the matter and complete it one way or the other at that particular time.
Mr. Chairman: Does the committee agree with the suggestion? Agreed.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the committee of the whole House reported two bills with amendment and five bills without amendment.
Mr. Speaker: I beg to inform the House that in the name of Her Majesty the Queen the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor has been pleased to assent to certain bills in her chambers.
Clerk of the House: The following are the titles of the bills to which Her Honour has assented:
Bill 143, An Act to amend the Municipal Elections Act, 1977.
Bill 144, An Act to amend the City of Hazeldean-March Act, 1978.
Bill 145, An Act to amend the Regional Municipality of Niagara Act.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch order 24 on the day’s order paper was discharged.
Mr. Speaker: We are a little ahead of our time this evening, but since there is no further business before the House other than the notice under standing order that the member for Ottawa East is dissatisfied with an answer given by the Minister of Housing, if it is agreed I will deem the motion to adjourn to have been made and I will hear the member for Ottawa East for up to five minutes.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, my concern and the reason I rise and indicate my displeasure at the answer given by the minister to a question involves the intervention of the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett) in relation to a project on the Niagara Escarpment.
We feel that in the political process, when a minister intervenes, when an elected official, a representative of the government, intervenes in the process he should be accountable to the House, and that is a very important principle in our democratic process. There are very few things that should intercede to prohibit a minister of the crown from giving an adequate explanation to members of the House when they are desirous of obtaining such an explanation.
Unfortunately over the last while, it seems to me and to many of my colleagues, ministers of the crown have been taking it upon themselves to refuse to answer questions on the basis of what is called the sub judice rule. I am concerned about this. As you know, Mr. Speaker, it is up to a minister of the crown to answer or not to answer a question and it is up to him to accept or suffer the consequences of his actions. But very often when such an excuse as the sub judice rule is given what happens is that some credibility is given to his stance in the sense that he is given a good excuse and, of course, the matter is delayed and forgotten in the ordinary processes of the House. That should not be allowed to happen.
I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that there is a responsibility on the chair to see to it that that rule is not, in one sense, abused by members who are asking questions. In other words, in obvious cases where there would be an infringement of the sub judice rule, members should refrain from doing that. I think the chair has that authority under the standing orders. Likewise, the same thing should happen in the sense that ministers should not abuse it either.
I bring to your attention, Mr. Speaker, a ruling of one of your predecessors, Hon. Mr. Rowe, back in July 1977. I think you are familiar with the ruling he made at that time. His ruling was based basically on a committee that was set up by the federal House which made an extensive study of that rule. One of the principles to emanate from that study was that very often the chair is not in a position to know how much validity there is in invoking that rule. Sometimes in the process the ministers or the members are the ones in the best position of knowing whether in fact there is some validity to that rule.
It states here, and I read from Hansard at page 590: “Additionally, a member who calls for the suppression of discussion on a matter on grounds of sub judice should be obliged to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the chair that he has reasonable grounds for fearing that prejudice might result.” He must convince the chair of this.
It goes on to say: “‘Your committee is of the opinion that precise regulations concerning the application of the sub judice convention cannot be evolved, and that it would be unwise to attempt to do so. Your committee recommends that the Speaker should remain the final arbiter in the matter, that he should retain the authority to prevent discussion of matters in the House on grounds of sub judice, but that he should only exercise this discretion in exceptional cases where it is clear to him that to do otherwise would be harmful to specific individuals.”
Of course, that’s the purpose of the whole rule, so that this Legislature does not become an impediment to our justice process if certain individuals are going to be harmed by certain evidence. I will give an example. For instance, if there is certain evidence which may be prejudicial and in fact not admissible in a court of law, and if it is discussed in an open forum like the Legislature, it might be prejudicial to the accused. I can see some merit to the rule there.
It goes on to say: “‘In exercising this discretion, your committee recommends that when there is doubt in the mind of the chair, a presumption should exist in favour of allowing debate and against the application of the convention.” In other words, when there is any doubt, the presumption should be exercised in favour of allowing the debate.
Mr. Speaker, we are involved here in a situation where the process is going to be as follows: There is going to be a judicial review of a ministerial decision, as I understand it, which basically involves law only. In these circumstances, it can hardly be said that our discussion of ministerial discretion would in any way affect the decision of the judges. They know they are operating independently under our system of justice in that we are not discussing evidence which may be tainted or otherwise coloured by certain statements in the House.
Mr. Nixon: Maybe even exaggerated.
Mr. Roy: It becomes a decision on a question of law.
In closing, I might say that I’m afraid -- I’m very concerned and I say this in all sincerity -- certain ministers are derogating from their ministerial responsibilities by unduly using the sub judice rule. I would like you at some time to intervene, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Since the minister is not here to take advantage of the five minutes that is allotted to him under standing orders, this House stands adjourned until 2 o’clock Thursday afternoon.
I deem the motion to adjourn to have been carried.
The House adjourned at 10:30 p.m.