31st Parliament, 2nd Session

L125 - Tue 21 Nov 1978 / Mar 21 nov 1978

The House met at 2 p.m.



Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of personal privilege. As the member representing the riding of Huron-Middlesex, I am most concerned that information which is provided this Legislature be accurate, particularly as it concerns persons in my riding who are depicted either by name or by position.

Yesterday, the member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes) asked the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) a question, and I quote: “Is the minister aware the principal of South Huron District High School has had to use the intercom system in that school to appeal for students to bring wire coat hangers to school so students in the welding shop would have material to weld?”

Mr. Speaker, I contacted Mr. Wooden, the principal of South Huron high school and a person whom I know very well because I taught at that school. Mr. Wooden categorically denies that he ever asked the students to bring coat hangers to the class. There was an incident two years ago where one of the technical directors asked the students to bring coat hangers because they were doing decorative welding, and there is nothing better than coat hangers for that particular purpose.

Mr. Bolan: Why don’t you get your facts straight over there?

Mr. Laughren: It’s not the first time Jack’s been wrong.

Ms. Gigantes: Speaking to the point of personal privilege, Mr. Speaker: If I was misinformed by the teachers, whom not only I met that day but also the member for Mississauga South (Mr. Kennedy) met them on behalf of the minister, then I wish to apologize for having misinformed the House or questioned the minister in the wrong way. I do reiterate, Mr. Speaker, that it was brought to our attention, both mine and that of the member for Mississauga South, by a number of the staff at that school.



Hon. Mr. Maeck: Mr. Speaker, I wish to announce that later this afternoon I intend to introduce an amendment to Bill 146. My amendment is to delete from section 3 of the bill the reference to section 2 of section 96 of the Assessment Act.

The effect of this amendment will be to remove the freeze on assessment equalization factors which has been in place since 1970. The factors are used by the government as a yardstick for the distribution of government grants to municipalities and school boards.

I am confident this unfreezing of the factors will be applauded by all members of the House, who share my concern that grants are not distributed equitably among the municipalities and school boards.

Mr. Cassidy: You opposed it last year.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: When I introduced Bill 146, I made provisions for continuing this freeze on equalization factors only because studies by my staff, along with officials in Treasury, Intergovernmental Affairs and Education, had not progressed to the stage where I was confident that new factors could be introduced without serious side effects. Even though these studies are not entirely complete, I am now satisfied that new equalization factors are essential for the equitable distribution of government grants. This view is supported by a large number of Ontario municipalities.

It is not possible to produce equalization factors for use in 1979. However, my colleagues the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells), the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) and the Minister of Education are at the present time considering interim measures to alleviate the most serious discrepancies in the current allocation of grants for the year 1979. I am pleased however, to announce that in 1980, education grants to school boards and the resource equalization grants to municipalities will be distributed on a basis which will take into account the new, up-to-date assessment equalization factors that reflect 1978 market values.

Even though the use of the new factors will cause a redistribution of grants among municipalities and school boards, I wish to state emphatically that no municipality or school board will receive less grant in 1980 because of the introduction of the new factors. My staff has already begun the calculation of the new factors, and these will be published in the Ontario Gazette by July 15, 1979. This will enable municipal and school representatives to review the factors with my officials, and if they are not satisfied with their factors or those of their neighbouring municipalities, to lodge an appeal with the Ontario Municipal Board. The factors will thus be available for county, regional and school officials to use in the calculation of shared-cost apportionment in 1980.

In this particular instance, provision will be made to allow for phasing in burdensome changes. Since June, when the postponement of property tax reform was announced, my colleagues and I have had time to consider options available to the government. I am now convinced that certain assessment reforms are a necessary prerequisite to the consideration of a revised system for levying property taxes. There are several distinct problems which, in my view, should be dealt with before we consider revising the system.

The first and perhaps most important problem is the elimination of discrepancies in the local assessment base. I have started this exercise in 13 municipalities by the application of section 86 of the Assessment Act to equalize assessment within property classes for taxation in 1979. All these municipalities have requested this action by resolution of their councils.

The municipalities where section 86 is being used are Cambridge, Timmins, Kitchener, Hamilton, Newcastle, Rainy River, Sterling, North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot, Woolwich, Burford and Uxbridge township -- to you, Bob, Burford township.

These represent an excellent cross-section of Ontario municipalities and will provide a sound basis for broader application of section 86 next year.

Already, more than 50 other municipalities have requested that section 86 be applied to their assessments and these are being considered for next year.

Section 86, as the members I am sure are aware, allows Ministry of Revenue assessors to revise assessments in a municipality to ensure that they are equitable in relation to similar real property in the vicinity. This means that the inequalities will be removed within each class of property. Each class of property may still be assessed at different percentages of market value however, depending on the assessment practices of particular municipalities prior to 1970. This exercise does not allow for a shift in taxes from one class of property to another, for example, from industrial to residential.

The second problem is the redistribution of provincial grants and shared costs on the basis of the existing assessment base, including where necessary revision under section 86. That is where new equalization factors will fit in. When the new factors’ are used in 1980, the majority of municipalities will be levying taxes on a consistent assessment base, which is accurately reflected by the equalization factors.

When the first two stages are completed, municipalities will be deriving the maximum benefit from the existing tax base as it is defined in the Assessment Act and other statutes. In other words, the assessment division will have removed the inequities within classes of property in most, if not all, municipalities. We can decide then, using improved data, whether or not it is desirable to remove the differential between classes in whole or in part.

At the same time, government grants to municipalities and upper-tier municipal governments and school costs will be distributed on a uniform and consistent basis. We will have accomplished assessment reform and we will be in a position to determine whether or not changing the tax system is necessary or desirable. If it is, we will be in a position to determine the type of change which best suits the needs of the municipalities.

As an aside, I might point out that I sympathize with the position of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, which objected to the recent proposal to tax farm land at market value and have the province pay the taxes. I believe the farmers are reasonably happy with the existing system of taxing on the values obtained from measuring the productivity of the soil and the present system of farm tax rebates.

When the postponement of property tax reform was announced, the Premier (Mr. Davis) gave the assurance that the property tax system would not be allowed to deteriorate but would be improved. The development of new equalization factors in conjunction with the judicious application of section 86, in my opinion, is tangible evidence that my ministry is meeting that commitment.

Mr. Cassidy: You haven’t even left a ghost of Darcy McKeough.

Mr. Laughren: Where is Darcy McKeough?

Mr. Cassidy: He is churning in his political grave.


Hon. Mr. Grossman: I want to take this opportunity to bring to the attention of members of the House who as yet have not seen it the December edition of the National Geographic, which devotes 35 pages to the great province of Ontario.

Mr. Nixon: Are you featured?

Mr. Roy: Did they print your name right?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: It didn’t take me long, did it? While 35 pages in any publication can hardly pretend to cover all the highlights of this great jurisdiction’s attractions, challenges and bountiful resources, I believe National Geographic has done an outstanding job.

The article was written by a man who has travelled and lived literally around the globe.

Mr. Wildman: Do you mean the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett)? He travelled around the globe.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I don’t know how that slipped through. The fact that he was impressed by our province, its people, its importance and its potential is something of which I believe every citizen can be proud. I would remind members of this House that this very respected publication has a circulation of about 10 million. I’m confident that those millions who will read this article and view the pictures, including many Ontarians, will understand why all of us here are so proud of the province and the people we represent and some of the reasons we have so much confidence in ourselves and in this nation as a whole.

Mr. Bradley: That’s one thing you have -- a lot of confidence in yourself. You need a third hand to pat your back.


Hon. Mr. Auld: Over the past few months a task force of Ontario public utilities, in consultation with the Ministry of Energy, has led to the development of a set of voluntary guidelines dealing with the credit, collection and cutoff practices of public utilities. The task force included representatives of the Ontario Natural Gas Association, the Ontario Municipal Water Association, the Association of Municipal Electrical Utilities, the Ontario Municipal Electrical Association and Ontario Hydro.


It is my hope and expectation that these guidelines will be adopted by most of the public utilities in Ontario over the next few months. While the number of complaints about public utility credit collection and cutoff practices has always been very small compared to the total number of customers, present practices often vary widely among utilities and at times have not reflected full appreciation of the consumers’ point of view. As a result, the public utilities on the task force have discussed ways to improve their operations on such matters as notice to customers and other affected individuals before service curtailment or cutoff; the role of security deposits and such related matters as their necessity, size, method and timing; standard policy on late payment charges; and the adjustment of overbillings and under-billings.

The voluntary guidelines developed from the task force are consistent with Bill 163, the Residential Tenancies Act. They set out the manner in which it is recommended that public utilities provide standard services to the public as follows:

1. Credit checks: Utilities should advise the customer when consumer credit reports are being obtained.

2. Security deposits: Residential customers should be required to give security deposits only when there is reasonable doubt they will pay their bills. Deposits by residential customers should be refunded after two years of satisfactory payment record has been established. Reasons should be given by utilities, when asked by customers, for requesting and/or for refusing to refund security deposits. Interest should be paid on deposits held by utilities for six months or more.

3. Billing errors: Residential customers should not, in most cases, be charged retroactively more than two years for billing errors that were in their favour. Cases involving fraud would go back six years, however. Residential customers overbilled would be compensated for up to a six-year period retroactively.

4. Late-payment charges: Late-payment charges should not be imposed if payment is mailed within 16 days of the billing date. Late-payment charges should not exceed five per cent.

5. Disconnect notices: Disconnect notices should be given at least seven days before cutoff. Landlords and tenants who are not utility customers but have an interest should, if they have requested in advance, also receive seven days’ notice before cutoff. Immediately prior to any cutoff, reasonable efforts should be made by the utility to establish personal contact with the customer and the occupants of the building. Members will note this is consistent with Bill 163, in which the interests of tenants are being protected.

I am confident that these guidelines will increase consumer understanding and confidence in the credit, collection and cutoff practices of their public utilities. They should also result in a more uniform policy and publicly recognized process across the province.

At the appropriate time this afternoon, I will be tabling guidelines that set out this suggested policy in more detail. I will be communicating with the various utility organizations in the province, asking them to encourage their members to adopt and publicize the guidelines. I will also be tabling today a suggested format which I anticipate utilities will adapt to suit their local requirements.

These guidelines provide minimum standards for the retail credit, collection and cutoff practices of gas, water and electricity suppliers in Ontario. While many utility suppliers have met or exceeded these standards for many years, the guidelines will help utility customers receive at least the accepted minimum of due process in their utility purchases. Compliance with the guidelines is not legally required, but they are a benchmark of the practices accepted as reasonable by the majority of utility suppliers in Ontario.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the public utilities associations and their members for taking this initiative and for assisting officials from both my ministry and the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations in carrying out the work of this task force.

We are very fortunate in this province to be served by men and women, be they at the political or professional level, who dedicate their lives to providing essential public utility services to their communities. In large part it is a decentralized decision-making system which serves this province well, and it is one of which we can be justly proud. It is for this reason, as well as the fact that credit, collection and cutoff problems affect only a very small percentage of utility customers, that voluntary guidelines seem most appropriate.

May I say also that I believe these voluntary guidelines will provide a balanced measure of protection, not only for the individual customer, but also to the broader public interest.

Mr. Speaker, I have another statement which is a little shorter.

Mr. Roy: Carry on, Jimmy, we’re listening.

Hon. Mr. Auld: That’s a nice change.


Hon. Mr. Auld: I should like to advise the House as to the status of municipal electrical utility restructuring. Later today I will be introducing for first reading a bill to restructure the electrical utilities in the regional municipality of Niagara. As members will recall, when regional government was introduced in the early 1970s, all existing services, with the exception of hydro utilities, were reorganized and distributed between the area and regional municipalities. As an interim arrangement, until utilities restructuring could take place, both the terms of office of commissioners and the service areas of the hydro utilities, were to continue until full studies of new commissions and boundaries could be completed.

Restructuring guidelines based on the Hogg committee report were accepted by the government in 1975. These guidelines established the principle that the sooner a utility was restructured, the sooner the freeze could be lifted and new commissioners and commissions established. However, the responsibility for initiating restructuring was left to the local authorities involved.

Since that time, studies have been initiated in nine regions and counties, and legislation has been enacted in the regional municipalities of Waterloo, Peel, York, and the county of Oxford.

The bill to restructure municipal hydro service in the region of Niagara reflects local circumstances and desires to the greatest degree possible. Copies of this bill are being sent to the municipal councils and commissions concerned. In addition, restructuring studies are presently under way in Durham, Halton, Hamilton-Wentworth and Sudbury, and if they are carried out in an expeditious manner, I expect to be able to introduce legislation for these regions next spring.

In the eases of the district municipality of Muskoka and the regional municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk, I have been advised by the provincial steering committee that no useful purpose would be served by initiating a complete restructuring study. Customer density could not support in the foreseeable future either a one-tier commission or fully expanded lower-tier utilities in these areas. Therefore I expect, after consultation with the local officials, to introduce legislation soon for these regions which should, among other things, allow for the selection of new commissioners.

In the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, a government white paper on the review of local government has recommended that a regional hydro restructuring study be initiated. The proposals of the white paper, including this recommendation, are still under discussion locally.

I am optimistic that by the end of the 1979 spring session of the Legislature, the delivery of electrical service should be rationalized in all regions and restructured counties, resulting in improved electrical power service to customers. I would also like to express my appreciation on behalf of the government to all those who have assisted, or are now engaged, in these studies.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, as the minister responsible for the co-ordination of Ontario’s policy on immigration-related matters, I would like to inform the House that I today sent a Telex to the Honourable Bud Cullen, the federal Minister of Employment and Immigration, informing him that Ontario will be pleased to accept any of the 600 Vietnamese refugees Canada has agreed to accept and who wish to make Ontario their home.

As members will know, response to this sort of situation is not unusual nor unfamiliar to Canada. Canadians have mobilized resources and offered welcome to many thousands of people from countries where political or other circumstances have forced families and individuals to uproot and re-establish themselves.

I might say that last night, several members of the Legislature joined with many other people from this province and the Ismaeli Muslim community, many of whom came here after they were forcibly ejected from Uganda in 1972 and who met last night to pay tribute to their spiritual head, the Aga Khan, and his charming wife -- who, with Canadians, did much in helping to establish that group here in 1972 -- and who have made, I might say, a significant and great contribution to the life of this province and this country.

I might also say that it is a tribute to the people of this province who always respond with immediate and generous offers of accommodation and clothing, and to the network of private organizations, church groups, and volunteer and community groups, that programs of resettlement such as this, upon which we are now embarking, have achieved such success and that these people have been welcomed as contributing members of the community.

I am sure, Mr. Speaker, that members of this House would join me in welcoming the response of the government of Canada to this situation and in assuring the federal government that Ontario, as it has in the past, will do its part in making sure that resettlement of these refugees is secured as speedily and as smoothly as possible.


Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, during the sessions of the standing committee on resources development last month I announced a seven-point action program to deal with the problems of liquid industrial waste in this province. I made it clear then that I intended to make things happen and to happen quickly. Today, I would like to give the honourable members a first progress report on this action program.

1. Classification of wastes: As I have indicated earlier in response to a question, we have completed a classification of wastes which identifies various classes of substances and the requirements for treatment or disposal for each classification. This new system provides definitive guidance to the generators and handlers of industrial waste and ties in closely with other measures we are taking.

2. Waybill monitoring: Our new waybill form will be in use by January 1, 1979. This identifies the class of waste and traces each load from the producer to final disposal. This will provide a check on any specific load of waste, an overview of the total industrial waste production in the province and a breakdown of the various classes and quantities produced. Furthermore, on each form, there is a clear statement of the penalty for failure to comply, which can mean a fine of as much as $2,000. The penalty can be even higher for a violator who tries to circumvent the system entirely and who engages in illegal dumping.

3. Waste disposal guidelines: By mid-December we will complete and circulate guidelines for the storage, treatment and disposal of hauled liquid industrial wastes. These guidelines will be keyed to the classification system and will specify the requirements for each class of material. We are expecting some constructive comments and suggestions from within the industry and from other interested parties to refine these guidelines. We have already prepared and issued guidelines governing the storage of both new and waste chemicals. These earlier guidelines are part of our action program and are now being incorporated. Ultimately, these will become mandatory requirements by regulation and we will have the appropriate legal basis to enforce them.

4. Ban on liquid waste dumping: Effective January 1, 1980, we will ban completely the disposal of untreated liquid wastes in landfill sites other than secure chemical sites specifically engineered for that purpose. I am providing a year’s notice to the industry so that, with our co-operation, it will have facilities in operation when the regulations take effect.

5. Interim storage facilities: We have consulted the major waste haulers and have established that there is a genuine need for interim storage facilities pending the establishment of new approved waste treatment and disposal centres. We have identified several possible sites, and some of these will be developed following public hearings and the ministry’s customary approval process. The ministry will lease or own any storage sites in order to maintain full control of the way they are operated under contract with private operators.

In addition, there is no doubt that our guidelines will make waste generators take a closer look at their own potential interim waste storage facilities and improve these as required.

I think this holds a lot of promise for recycling as well as more efficient use and thus the lower volumes that would be produced.


Yesterday I met with the federal minister, the Honourable Len Marchand, to discuss the flow of industrial waste across the Canada-US border. As members are aware, Canadian industry has been partially dependent upon facilities in the United States for the disposal of certain industrial wastes, including PCBs. Closing of the border would eliminate this essential means of disposal from use by our industry.

I am indeed happy to report that the Canadian government has opened discussion with the US authorities on keeping the border open to the flow of industrial wastes. Mr. Marchand and I agree, however, that this is only a stopgap measure and that we must proceed immediately to develop our own solutions to our own problems.

As part of our action program we will provide more information to the public on the problem of liquid waste and its disposal. Contrary to an editorial in yesterday’s newspaper, I am convinced that a full information program is an essential and integral part of our new program for industrial waste. It is obvious to me that neither government nor industry can develop and establish facilities until people really understand the need for them and accept that the technology for a variety of efficient disposal methods and facilities does exist. Our information activities will be aimed at having full public discussion of these problems and their solutions, and they will proceed along with other measures we plan.

That’s where we stand today. I am taking continuous action on this vital issue and will continue to advise the House of further progress.

Mr. Speaker: The Minister of Culture and Recreation.

Mr. Breaugh: Have mercy.

Mr. Kerrio: A new lottery.


Hon. Mr. Baetz: This is the last one. Further to the statement made by my colleague, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, it is perhaps timely to remind members of the House that the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture and Recreation for refugees and immigrants begin when they arrive in Ontario.

In the present case and in preparation for the arrival of the Vietnamese refugees now aboard ship off the Malaysian coast, my officials are meeting with their counterparts in the federal government and with voluntary agencies to plan for their reception. As in the past, Welcome House stands ready to serve as a focus for refugee assistance activities here in Toronto and in Ontario. There is an emergency refugee program ready to be invoked which has evolved as a remit of handling previous refugee movements, notably the Ugandan refugees in 1972 and the earlier Vietnamese influx in 1975.

In anticipation of the projected arrival of numbers of Vietnamese boat people, for whom the federal government had already made a commitment on Canada’s behalf, the executive committee of the Toronto Vietnamese Fraternal Association has been provided with office space at our Welcome House. I understand from recent press announcements that many of the Vietnamese refugees at issue today are ethnically Chinese. This, however, should present no language communication problem because in our Welcome House we are able to communicate in three Chinese dialects.

Members might be interested to know that at Welcome House the multilingual staff, all of whom have known the immigrant experience themselves, speak 17 languages amongst them. The information and referral settlement services which they offer to all newcomers of Ontario are offered gratis.

Having spent much of my working life in refugee operations in eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, I am well aware of the difficulties these people will face in the transition period ahead of them. It is, therefore, with a great deal of satisfaction that I announce my ministry’s participation in aiding these people in their immigration to and settlement in Ontario.



Mr. S. Smith: I thought it was a Thursday for a while.

Mr. Roy: Now we will get some action.

Mr. S. Smith: I have a question for the Treasurer. Is the government of Ontario taking a strong and vocal stand against Alberta’s tax incentives, the incentives which were designed to entice the major oil companies to consolidate their operations in Alberta? Will he be bringing this matter up at the first ministers’ conference next week? What proposal can he make to protect Ontario against this kind of interprovincial incentive competition which Alberta seems to be launching?

Mr. Sweeney: Piracy.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, the true purpose of the Alberta move was not to lure head offices to their province. Rather, it was a fight between the federal government and the provincial government on the question of the allowance of royalties as it is charged against operations.

The $4.95 or $5 a barrel royalty imposed by Alberta is not considered a charge against the profits of a corporation for the calculation of federal tax. In order to give the companies the credit they believe they should have had, it is my understanding the province of Alberta gave a credit for that federal tax against provincial corporate tax. However, as a byproduct of all this, it has become profitable for the corporations to move, sometimes almost on paper, their operations to that area. In my opinion that hurts almost every province of Canada except Alberta.

I lodged a complaint with the federal government on that matter when the economic conference was held two weeks ago. I pointed out to provinces like Quebec and the Maritimes that they, too, were losing considerable sums of money. Many people may not realize that goods produced by companies in Ontario and sold in other provinces have always had some of the corporate tax base transferred with them to the purchasing provinces as a form of equalization. We have always considered that to be a necessary part of the Canadian scene.

One could argue justifiably that the present Alberta-federal argument is penalizing all the provinces while they argue about whether royalties should or should not be allowed.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary: The minister has certainly analysed the problem. What is he intending to do to protect Ontario against this particular kind of un-Canadian attitude exemplified by the imposition of these incentives in Alberta? Did the Treasurer discuss this with the Energy minister? Did the Energy minister know of this particular bone of contention when he refused to support the federal government in its effort to set aside the $1 a barrel price increase due in January?

An hon. member: Probably not.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Go to Pierre.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I would simply say to the Leader of the Opposition those two topics are unrelated.

Mr. S. Smith: What is the minister going to fight with?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I would suggest that the federal government is trying, perhaps successfully, to interfere with the resource ownership the provinces currently have. I think that has been an outstanding argument.

Mr. Roy: You said Canada had a right to.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: In view of the answer by the Treasurer, will he say if the reason for the change in Ontario’s policy with regard to the price increase in oil and gas due to take place on January 1 is because Ontario has now decided that Alberta’s case on resource ownership is more important than the needs of the consumers, both business and personal consumers, in the province of Ontario?

Hon. F. S. Miller: No.

Mr. Peterson: Because the problem is becoming specific, could the minister bring us up to date on any discussions he, or his ministry, or his predecessors have had with the various oil companies about moving their head offices? I am thinking specifically of Imperial and Gulf and perhaps others. Could he share his confidence with the House?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I have only had discussions with one corporation because the other two corporations the member named --

Mr. S. Smith: Had already moved.

Hon. F. S. Miller: -- had already made the decision to move before I became Treasurer. They had other reasons. The refining end of the business these days is not profitable. The pumping or the development side is. That to me is an unhappy coincidence brought about by an overabundance of refining capacity in Canada.

Mr. S. Smith: Too high a well-head price.

Hon. Mr. Davis: World price, Stuart.

Hon. F. S. Miller: The overall problem is, is there enough return on total investment from total operations? There appears to be.

Mr. Nixon: You want another raise in January.

Mr. Roy: Sure you do.

Mr. Nixon: You are insisting on it.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I have talked to one corporation which is reluctant to move. I have replied to them today. I would like them to have the opportunity to receive my letter before I divulge its contents.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary: Since the minister has told us that he has spoken to a corporation, since he has told us he is willing to talk to the federal government, has he talked to the Premier of Alberta or the Treasurer of Alberta --

Mrs. Campbell: Oh no.

Mr. S. Smith: -- to point out to them what we think of this type of interprovincial rating; and exactly what can the Treasurer do to protect Ontario in this instance?

An hon. member: It’s the same old gang.

An hon. member: Those blue-eyed oil sheikhs.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I think one should point out that a provincial Treasurer and a provincial Premier only have certain rights in Confederation. Perhaps the problem lies with the honourable member’s friend in Ottawa.

Mr. S. Smith: You can talk to Lougheed. You can talk to your friends in Edmonton.


Mr. Speaker: Order. Order.

Mr. Hennessy: One at a time.

Mr. Roy: Lougheed certainly has got your number.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. S. Smith: Talk to your friends in Edmonton.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Are you a part of the enemy?

Mr. Roy: Lougheed is leading you by the nose. You guys are on your knees in front of Lougheed.

Mr. Peterson: Would you settle them down, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Speaker: It’s your own colleagues who are doing it.

Mr. Peterson: No, it’s not my colleagues.

Mr. Speaker: Yes, it is.

Mr. Peterson: It’s completely their fault.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Are you a part of the enemy?

Mr. Roy: Lougheed is leading you by the nose.

Mr. Peterson: Specifically I would like to ask a question of the Treasurer --

Mr. Roy: No guts.

Mr. Peterson: I would like to ask the Treasurer a supplementary question that is completely within his jurisdiction. What strategy has the government developed or what strategy is it in the process of developing with respect to the unused refining capacity in this province? What is the government doing to assist refiners to bring that capacity up to scratch that is going to create jobs and going to help substantially here in this province?

Hon. F. S. Miller: If that question was coming to me from the socialist benches I would understand it.

Mr. Laughren: Do you want it redirected?

Hon. F. S. Miller: What the member is basically telling me I should do is regulate a free-enterprise industry. Is that not what the member is saying to me?

Mr. Peterson: I am asking you to get off your behinds and do something. Free enterprise isn’t doing nothing, like you do all the time.


Mr. Speaker: Order. Order. Order. A new question, the Leader of the Opposition.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The new incoming president will take away your membership.

Mr. Roy: He wants you to protect the consumers of Ontario, that’s what he wants.

Mr. Peterson: I just want you to do anything; just one miserable thing would satisfy us. You haven’t done anything.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It would be miserable.

An hon. member: And it would be little.

An hon. member: You’re miserable and you’re little.


Mr. Speaker: Order. Would the Treasurer come to order please? The Leader of the Opposition with a new question.


Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Minister of the Environment: In his statement about toxic and other liquid industrial wastes, the minister shows a certain willingness to act but can he possibly explain to us why we are continuing to import PCBs into Ontario? Can he tell us from the knowledge he must surely have, given the importance of the matter, the amount of PCBs imported in the year 1978 and the amount imported last year? Where have those PCBs gone? Does he track these things once they enter the country?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I’ll be glad to table a full reply to that question.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, since it would appear the minister is unable to answer the question can he confirm the information we’ve been given by the company May and Baker (Canada) Limited that in 1977 it imported 90 tons of PCBs into Ontario? Can he try to find out why we have had to import that amount of PCBs and where that particular substance has gone?

Is the minister aware that in a field study provided to the Ministry of Labour, six out of 10 transformers inspected were leaking PCBs and the oil was dealt with in many instances by the working people as they would deal with normal oil with no understanding of the terrible risks they were running under the circumstances?

Mr. Hennessy: Terrible. Terrible.

Mr. Peterson: The government is going to sit on it.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think the leader of the Liberal Party asked me to confirm some information he has received.

Mrs. Campbell: Don’t you have it?

Mr. S. Smith: Do you not know these things?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I’ll decide. There are problems with making a confirmation, but I hope it might also be known that it might he a denial because the information the leader receives is erroneous.

Mr. S. Smith: If it’s wrong, say so.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I said I would get the member that information. I think you can appreciate, Mr. Speaker, that given the large number of haulers we would want to look into that and thoroughly answer the question.

Mr. Deans: I didn’t have the benefit of reading the statement the minister made, but am I correct in assuming that the disposal of PCBs was considered as part of the overall disposal of liquid industrial wastes? Can the minister identify for us now some of the sites that have in fact been determined as perhaps suitable and will be going forward for public hearings in the near future?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I would ask the indulgence of the honourable member to have perhaps another week before I identify the sites. We have made some contacts and I would like another week in which to have an opportunity to discuss those sites specifically with the owners of the sites, et cetera. That will be done at that time.

Mr. Deans: I don’t know if I can wait that long.

Mr. S. Smith: You will still be here in a week, eh, Ian?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: You’re not leaving until Christmas.


Mr. Kerrio: Would the minister agree at this point in time that there is a responsibility on the part of the companies that supply some of these liquid wastes, the disposal of which we now are confronted with, in terms of the inception and the shipping of the wastes? Would the minister look into the matter of the responsibility as it rests with those people who are supplying those dangerous and toxic chemicals?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I don’t think there is any doubt that the underlying principle is that the responsibility for dealing with the wastes is indeed the private sector’s. But I think what has been announced of recent date, and what is changing right now, is the fact that we will assist the private sector in finding the sites for the treatment facilities; and that’s extremely difficult for the private sector to do. We recognize that and, therefore, we will be involved in the finding of the sites and in the public process of having those sites and methods approved.

The underlying responsibility for the costs of disposal, treatment or whatever is the private sector’s. I think that is important for this reason: It will encourage the private sector not only to perhaps recycle them -- that’s quite possible in many instances -- but also on other occasions it’s possible to trade with other industries so they can assist each other. Thirdly, I think it will encourage them to produce far less of those wastes.

So the responsibility has been, and will be, on the private sector to treat the wastes at their cost; but we will help in the establishment of facilities.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I want to direct a question to the Minister of the Environment as well. I would like him to explain just to what degree the government has changed its policy in relation to the disposal of liquid industrial wastes.

Given the fact that for the past seven years the government has been insisting that private industry handle the disposal of liquid industrial wastes, can the minister explain what exactly he means when he says that the government will lease or own any interim storage sites for the facilities that may be needed pending the creation of new waste treatment centres?

Secondly, does the proposal that the government will own or lease interim facilities also apply to the ultimate long-term treatment facilities that the government hopes to see created?

Thirdly, where will those secured sites or treatment facilities be located?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I’m not sure that I can remember all of the questions, Mr. Speaker. The change in policy, I think, is that we will assist in the establishment of the sites. We have committed ourselves to the public hearing process on those sites. The requirement to own or lease is contained in the statement that I issued earlier today; we are quite prepared to own or lease the facility, but we are not prepared to run the facility. We think it’s quite feasible to own or lease the land and, if necessary, the facility, but we do not believe that it is desirable for us to run the facility.

Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary: Does this mean that, after seven years of adamantly refusing to take the step, the government is now saying it will take any new waste disposal site through the approvals process, including environmental assessment? If that is so, does this policy apply to permanent waste treatment facilities as well as to the interim facilities mentioned in the statement?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Yes, it certainly applies to permanent sites. We are hopeful that with a good public information approach to initiate it -- indeed, the commitments that have been made here today are an integral part of that information -- we will then go in partnership with the private sector to find the sites. If necessary, we will go it alone to find the sites.

We obviously can’t find the sites without a hearing, and we will be parties of the hearing: but, of course, whether those hearings result in successful applications will have to wait until the hearing is held, obviously. But we will go that far.

Once it is approved, then we expect the private operator to run the site through a lease arrangement, and we will revert to our role, as I think our normal responsibility should be to be the watchdog to make sure that the standards are adhered to. We have no intention of being the operator of the disposal site itself.

Mr. Gaunt: Supplementary: May I ask the minister if the government’s stated intention of leasing or owning storage facilities would include a site facility for the solidification plant in Fort Erie?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Yes, I think it was all- inclusive. We recognize that it has to have the public hearing and be done in a very open way, but we hope that the solidification process, which is one of the logical answers for inorganic waste, will be done here in Ontario.

I am not sure at this moment how many such sites we need. I suspect we need more than one. It is a fairly proven technology and at the moment appears to be without any hazard. I hope during that process that it isn’t my statement which will be accepted, but the views of experts in the field who will have demonstrated very conclusively the hazard or the lack of hazard which we think applies in this case so that when we become site specific, that information will be known and the fears of many people allayed before a site is finally approved.

Ms. Bryden: Supplementary: I would like to ask the Minister of the Environment if he is planning to require the private operators of waste sites to post bonds or other sureties for performance and maintenance of their sites and removal of waste in case it produces contamination, even though he has had the power to do this since 1971 under the Environmental Protection Act and has never used this power, according to a reply he gave me yesterday to a question on the Order Paper.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: That is under consideration. I am not prepared yet to finalize that answer. I think it is one of the things that will be decided between now and when the sites are finally approved. We obviously have to make that commitment by that time but can’t do so before then. We are considering it.


Mr. Cassidy: I have a question for the Minister of Revenue, arising out of a statement today about property taxes in which he accepted the proposals made by this party last year and which we intended to make again this year for lifting the freeze on equalization. We welcome that by the way. It took some time for him to see the light.

Can the minister say exactly what steps the government will take in order to ensure that home owners on modest incomes and small businessmen will be cushioned against very substantial tax increases, in the event that their assessment rises sharply because of reassessment under section 86 as announced in the House today?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: We are not prepared to make any compensation. If there is a sharp rise in assessment and a sharp rise in taxation, obviously what is going to happen is the person who has been getting a free ride will be paying his share. I don’t see any reason why the government or anyone else should provide them with some subsidy simply because they are suddenly going to start paying their fair share of taxes. We don’t anticipate having any particular program for that purpose.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Can the minister explain why it is in the past when market value assessment or other forms of reassessment have been implemented by action of the Legislature that there has been a phase-in usually of five years in order to protect home owners on modest incomes and small business people in particular from very sharp and destructive increases in their property taxes?

If that was the policy of the government in the past, why is the government abandoning it, when it is now going to be extended to every home owner in the province within the course of two years?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I think the leader of the third party is wrong in what he is saying. He is talking about the transitional grants that were given to regions and so on after being restructured. This had nothing to do with the individual taxpayer whatsoever. There were no special grants or subsidies available to individual taxpayers for that purpose. There were transitional grants to the regions, the municipalities within the regions --

Mr. Mancini: It’s the same thing.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: -- but they were not necessarily tied to assessment or property taxes.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: Does the minister not understand that no matter how inequitable a tax system might be, once it is in place for a while, people make adjustments? They buy and sell according to certain expectations of what their payments are going to be each month and so on.

Does the minister not understand that many of the homes that will be reassessed upwards are in the older parts of certain cities and are occupied in many instances by the elderly, people of fixed incomes; these people are not going to sell those homes during their lifetime and will therefore have a discrepancy between their income and their taxes far greater than what they are presently adjusted to?

Would the minister not, under those circumstances, consider a cushion of some kind, such as a $100 maximum per year over five years in terms of the increase, some kind of cushion, rather than just turn the tap immediately and say, “Too bad, buddy, you had a free ride before”? Is that not a little unfair, particularly to our elderly citizens?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Let me tell the Leader of the Opposition that I happen to come from an area where market value assessments are implemented. There were shifts; of course there were shifts. Those who were under-assessed had to pay more; those who were over-assessed paid less.

Mr. Cassidy: It’s the law of the jungle.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I didn’t see the type of hardship that the Leader of the Opposition is talking about. I must also remind him that there are Ontario tax credits that are available through this government which should alleviate some of the concerns he is mentioning. As I’m sure he is aware, the amount of Ontario tax credits is based on the amount of taxes that are being paid along with the amount of income the person is making. I would think that the Ontario tax credits in most cases would look after that situation.

Mr. Swart: Supplementary: The minister will recognize, I presume, that there are many property-tax payers in municipalities in this province which are not aware that they have not been getting the correct amount of grants because of the freeze on equalization.

Will the minister table in this House the names of all municipalities which are losing grants because of the equalization freeze and the amount they have lost, so that no municipality will lose grants because they do not have access to the minister’s figures and thus don’t know what grants they’re losing? That’s for the purpose of the interim payments this year.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I will relay that question to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs who will be handling this year’s adjustments. The program I announced today is taking into consideration that it will be 1980 before we have equalization factors.

Mr. Swart: Will the minister recommend to him that it be done?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Yes, I will relay the member’s message to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, because he is the minister who will be looking into that particular situation.

Mr. Swart: How about recommending it to him?

Mr. Mancini: Supplementary: Does the minister not agree with me that there are many small businesses across the province whose profit margin is very slim, and does the minister not want to assist these small businesses and help them with a cushion, as the Leader of the Opposition suggested, so that they may be a viable enterprise for the future?

Hon. Ms. Maeck: I don’t think there’s anyone in this Legislature who is any more sympathetic to the small businessman than I am --

Mr. di Santo: Why don’t you do something?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: -- but I must say that the idea of bringing in a program such as this is to bring in equity, and if we are not going to permit any shifts there is really no point in us talking about it at all; we might as well leave things as they are. Shifts must take place if we’re ever going to reach any equity. I’m sure we would be happy to look at any major shifts that may take place, but I don’t anticipate that.

Mr. Cassidy: Final supplementary: In view of the fact that some municipal councils which were considering using section 86 may have more concern for their small home owners and small businessmen than the government --

Mr. Pope: What a bunch of nonsense.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Sheer idiocy.

Mr. Cassidy: -- is the minister prepared to give the municipalities the option of bringing in those tax increases created by reassessment over a gradual period if the municipalities so request?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I must remind the leader of the third party that every municipality we are dealing with at the present time was made very much aware that there would be tax shifts, and not one of them has made the type of request that he has asked. Each one of them passed a resolution asking that we move in and invoke section 86.

They were made very much aware that there would certainly he shifts between some of the people who are paying not the proper amount or the low amount now. The other thing is, of course, I guess if we’re going to do that we’d also have to consider what we are going to do about the people who have been paying the high taxes all these years. Are we supposed to rebate them too?



Mr. Gaunt: I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. May I commend the minister on what I consider to be a very good interim report? With respect to failure to comply in terms of the waybill system and the fact that it will mean a fine of a maximum of $2,000, what applies in the case of an illegal dumper and what does the minister mean when he says the penalty will be even higher? Will that include a jail term?

Mr. Roy: Or a public flogging or something?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Believe it not, I am not sure whether it does include a jail term, but I know the member feels that the fines should be higher. I suppose in the final analysis there would be no doubt that a jail term could result, but in this particular instance I personally feel the right way to address the problem is with fines. It is their responsibility and there is a cost.

Getting away from those real costs, I think we have one logical thing to do, namely, to make sure that the fine will prevent such an occurrence. Then of course if there is contempt, I suppose eventually the process has to be one of jail. That doesn’t seem like the logical way to go about this. I would much prefer that we dealt with it on a financial basis. Given the considerations of the committee that they feel the fines should be higher, as we are able now to find out in practice what will happen, I think we would consider that, but I would like to see this system in use first.

Mr. Gaunt: Supplementary: The minister has not addressed the matter of bonding. He has addressed the matter of fines. What is the minister’s view with respect to bonding in terms of trying to prevent illegal dumpers, and coupling that provision with the increased fines I hope the minister has in mind?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Obviously, if the system is going to work, there will have to be a method whereby the haulers are held accountable. There can be no doubt about that. If they aren’t, the system breaks down. That’s one of the advantages of the new waybill system. We know where it starts and where it’s to wind up.

I think the member will find that we will have something to say about bondings and about the possibilities of spills and whose responsibility for a spill will eventually be determined. All of those things are in the process at this time.

Given the short period of time since the committee hearings, I don’t promise to have all of these things in place today. What we have said is that we are making some very strong commitments. One of the valid criticisms the member himself made in committee was that perhaps we had said too often that these were maybes. Today we have put some specific dates on the table. To say it’s all in place is wrong, it isn’t but many of the major decisions are in place and I think the questions the member asks will follow logically from here until January 1, 1980.


Mr. Laughren: I have a question for the Minister of Energy: Since the minister has already stated that Alberta might have been amenable to negotiating a cancellation of the price increase due on January 1, if the federal government had made an effort to renegotiate the agreement with them, could he tell us what efforts he’s made between August 24, 1978, and his meeting with the federal minister and the other provincial ministers last week in order to get those two parties together and in order to negotiate a cancellation of the January 1 price increase which the minister tells us he wholeheartedly supports?

Hon. Mr. Auld: I don’t know that it is a provincial minister’s business --

Mr. di Santo: Prerogative.

Hon. Mr. Auld: -- prerogative is the word -- to attempt to mediate between the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources of Canada and the Minister of Energy of Alberta. However, they were together last week as a part of the meeting called by myself as chairman of the Council of Provincial Energy Ministers in Quebec City.

Mr. Laughren: There’s your leverage right there.

Hon. Mr. Auld: As I read one of Mr. Gillespie’s quotes in the press, they were getting together.

Mr. Laughren: Supplementary: It is remarkable, given the stake that Ontario has, that the minister would take that attitude. May I ask him why he is unwilling to use the tremendous bargaining power we have in Ontario as a large consuming province? Is the minister aware of what the Isbister commission said two or three years ago when they prodded the government to do just that? I quote: “Ontario has all the bargaining power of a large consumer and needs mainly to think about it, assemble it and use it.” Doesn’t the minister think that is pretty good advice? Why doesn’t he start to do that on our behalf?

Hon. Mr. Auld: Perhaps the honourable member would assist me and agree to stop using certain products to help us in our bargaining power. The leverage a consumer has is not to use a product. I don’t think the member is suggesting that I tell people not to use the product. There isn’t any way I could stop people from using a product.

Mr. MacDonald: Exercise your control of the retail price.

Mr. Laughren: Come on, we are talking about the negotiation of a price.

Hon. Mr. Auld: That’s right and that’s why the provincial ministers meet.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Mississauga North.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: No. We have had that over the last three days.


Mr. Jones: A question for the Minister of the Environment. Can the minister advise if his ministry has conducted any studies into the potential noise levels arising from CN’s construction of a new spur line serving the Bramport marshalling yard?

Hon. Mr. Parrett: Yes, I can advise the member on that. We have made some studies. As a matter of fact, we have made some recommendations to the federal government on how to reduce the noise levels and what should be done. There is no doubt that the federal government is responsible for where the line goes. We will attempt to monitor the noise levels and have made those recommendations.

Mr. Gaunt: Supplementary: Could the minister indicate if the ministry’s tests differ sharply from CN’s tests and if so, to what extent? Further, what recommendations is the ministry making in order to alleviate or lessen the noise problem that will result from this particular spur line?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: We have established the level that will be acceptable. Such things as a berm would be significant in reducing the noise irritant to the residents. I suppose in the final analysis, the amount of noise will only be proved with the use of the spur line. But if it is not acceptable according to the standards of our ministry, then we will insist those modifications be made.

As to whether or not it is significantly different, I don’t have that information. I will give it to the member privately, if he would so like. I suspect when we are talking about a hypothetical situation, the producer of the noise will indicate it to be less than those of us who are assessing the situation think it will be.

I am sure the members would not be surprised to know there is a difference in those two levels. But I will give him the specifics on it.


Mr. Sweeney: A question to the Minister of Education. The question has to deal with the minister’s announcement that the last two teachers’ colleges under her jurisdiction will be closed.

Given that the minister retains the responsibility for certifying the teachers of this province, and given the autonomy of the university faculties with respect to their courses, what, if any, control will she have over the quality and the content of the teacher-training programs in the province?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: The control which the Minister of Education has approximates the control the Minister of Health has in the education of physicians in the province. There are certain requirements which are established in terms of the educational program required for graduation or certification or licensing. Those requirements must be met before a certificate can be issued.

Mr. Sweeney: Supplementary: Would it not have been preferable for the minister to have kept at least one of those teachers’ colleges open and if necessary close one of the university faculties or reduce their funding so that she would be able to maintain some kind of a model of what she believes, and what her ministry believes, should be part of the teacher training program in this province?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: I would remind the honourable member that the universities of this province have been providing the educational and vocational training programs for a number of professions in this province for lo, these many years. They have done it extremely well and although the Ministry of Education was required in the past, before there were any faculties of education, to establish the educational programs for teachers, I think they did a superlative job in developing the model at that time. That model has been copied over and over again within faculties of education and indeed will continue to serve as the blueprint for the kind of educational vocational training which is necessary for teachers.

Mr. Speaker, I can only disagree with the honourable member.

Ms. Gigantes: Supplementary: I’d like to ask the minister, now that OTECs are closing, who is going to carry out that very vital service they’ve been providing, the in-service programming in areas like special education, music, French as a second language, English as a second language, and reading. Who’s going to do that for our elementary school programs?

An hon. member: Welding.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: The faculties of education of this province have great capability in that area and can indeed provide it --

Ms. Gigantes: In elementary grades?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: -- perhaps in a much more easily accessible way to the teachers of the province than the Ontario Teacher Education Colleges could.

Ms. Gigantes: No way.

Mr. Cassidy: We’re talking about elementary level. You’re confused.

Mr. Laughren: In other words, you don’t know.

Mr. Van Horne: Supplementary: In the light of the observation by my colleague from Kitchener-Wilmot that the minister now has lost the last contact insofar as the teacher training is concerned, I’m wondering if there is going to be any attempt on her behalf to keep some link between the ministry and what is going on out in the field by assigning some of this staff to the regional offices whose staff has been decreased in many instances by as much as 20 per cent in this last year?

Mr. Laughren: This is getting interesting -- the Liberals want to close up all the schools.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: I think I made it very clear yesterday that indeed there were a number of employment opportunities for the staff members of the Ontario Teacher Education Colleges. One of the areas that we suggested specifically was in the regional offices or in the various boards of education of the province where that kind of relationship could be maintained.

Mr. Warner: Back-bench policy versus the front bench.


Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Leader of the Opposition asked a question regarding the student assistance program related to landed immigrant students who were sponsored.

The policy which was included in the Canada student loan program for the 1978-79 year by the federal government was suggested strongly to the provinces for inclusion within their programs as well.

Mr. Sweeney: “Suggested.”

Hon. Miss Stephenson: “Suggested strongly” I think is more appropriate than “suggested.”

It was initially applied to the grant program as well in this province, but it’s since been removed from that. Since the beginning of the processing of this year’s student loan applications, we have permitted in Ontario three exceptions to the rule.

I will list the exceptions: Students who were sponsored or nominated and who are now Canadian citizens are exempt from the program. Once the student has achieved Canadian citizenship these guidelines no longer apply.

The second exception: If a student was a full-time student last year, that is, before the 1978-79 program, he or she was considered to be exempt from Ontario’s policy, including following the kind of suggestion or criterion which was established by the federal government.

The third exemption was that students who were sponsored by their parents were exempt from the program as well.


Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, would the minister be sure her staff understands that citizens are now exempt, because that was not told to one of my constituents? More important than that, why did the minister acquiesce in this particular request from the federal government, given that it really means those students whose families are landed immigrants -- who themselves are landed immigrants -- are expecting from their families not only the normal level of support that all Canadians ought to give, and do give, to their relatives, but something extraordinary, something over and above that? In certain instances, given that the decision wasn’t made until into the school year, these people are going to have to quit their university studies. Is this not an unfair discrimination?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: The sponsorship of a landed immigrant I think implies very strongly that the maintenance of that individual in terms of room and board will be assured by the individual who is sponsoring. That is all that is being asked; that is all that is being subtracted from the assessment which is carried out for those students when they apply for student assistance.

Mr. S. Smith: We all support people if they go out of town to school.


Ms. Bryden: I have another question of the Minister of the Environment. He called his statement on liquid industrial waste a progress report, but it largely repeats statements he made two weeks ago in the House to the effect that the classifications systems and the revamped waybill system would be in effect “in a matter of days.” How can he call it progress when he has now put off the inauguration of the new waybill system to January 1979?

Secondly, when will he bring in regulations requiring all waste generators to register the wastes they generate and the methods they propose to use for their disposal, so that preplanning of facilities can be undertaken before the landfill sites are closed and before the waste enters into the transportation stream?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: In answer to the first portion of that question, I think I said at that time we had sent it to the printers. As I indicated in my statement we had made those comments in response to a previous question.

I understand there are 50,000 forms printed. It’s a pretty large process. To get those out into the hands of the truckers and to the industries is going to take some time. What I am attempting to do in today’s statement is to put specific dates. I think that is a significant change and therefore justifies another report to this Legislature.

I don’t know whether I’ve answered all the member’s questions yet or not.

Ms. Bryden: The second part of my question was: when is the minister going to require by regulation the registration of all wastes generated by manufacturers and generators in the province so that we can preplan the disposal before we close the landfill sites?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I suspect that will be part of the program that will be done by January 1, 1980. We need the facilities. They have to be prepared, and that will take some time, given the necessity for public hearings, et cetera. There’s no sense in putting in regulations until you’re in a position to enforce them. That will take that much time, I’m satisfied on that.

I discussed that point very thoroughly within the ministry and they have convinced me that’s the absolute minimum amount of time, given the enormous problems that exist and the amount of work to be done. I think if we can accomplish that much in the next year, and given that the problem has been around for a considerable period of time -- granted, it’s escalating in the public’s perception -- in my opinion that’s speedy reaction.


Mr. Yakabuski: I have a question of the Minister of Health. In view of the concern shown by Renfrew county citizens with regard to the phenomenal growth of the Renfrew County and District Health Unit -- I believe from 42 in number to 75 in two or three short years -- can the minister advise the House in what areas this growth has taken place? Is it in the areas that are totally funded by the province or is it in areas that are cost-shared? Is he aware that most of the citizens are very strongly in favour of an expanded home care and home visitor program, but resent very much increased staff --

Mr. Sargent: He is making a speech.

Mr. Yakabuski: -- for the purpose of intruding, in so far as unnecessary inspections are concerned, under the Public Health Act.

Mr. Warner: Yes or no?

Mr. Nixon: The answer is yes.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: First of all, Mr. Speaker, I am sure that no one involved with the public health unit would in any conscious way be making any unnecessary inspections. Rather, one hears from time to time from people who wish that they would make more of certain kinds of inspections. So I am sure that is not a problem.

With respect to programs which would be 100 per cent funded by the ministry, in the case of that unit these would include the home care program and the family planning program. I am sure there has been an increase in the utilization of the former. I won’t comment on the latter in that county.

Mr. Breaugh: Are you going to let him get away with that, Paul?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Don’t ask for a supplementary on that.

If the experience in other parts of the province has been duplicated in the fair county of Renfrew, they have undoubtedly seen a significant increase in the utilization of home care.

Mr. Nixon: Can’t you arrange any retroactive family planning?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Do you mean, to eliminate Sean?

An hon. member: What would the minister know about it anyway?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I may know more than my friend thinks.

I will ask for a detailed review to send to the member for the interest of his constituents.

Mr. Roy: He needs all the help he can get.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I can only say that I certainly hope we will continue to see significant growth in public health programs as the alternative to the traditional institutional care that we have witnessed in the past. I think the health unit in Renfrew, as in the other parts of the province, deserves a significant commendation for the work it does.

Mr. Yakabuski: Supplementary: In view of the constraints that face all levels of government -- municipal, county, provincial, whatever -- does the minister not find that rate of growth more rapid than normal?

Mr. Wildman: “Rabbit,” did you say?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I think we’re back to family planning again; I’m not sure. Did you say “rabbits”?

Mr. Yakabuski: Rapid.

Mr. Speaker: Time’s a-wasting.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I’m sorry, Mr. Speaker. We’ll see if the examination of the programs over the last few years bears this out, but I would think most of that increase would be in the area of the home care program. We have seen, as I said earlier, significant expansion in the utilization of that program, which is all to the good.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Renfrew North with a short supplementary.

Mr. Conway: It is with some trepidation that I ask this supplementary, Mr. Speaker. I believe the minister has received a recent presentation from the Renfrew County Board of Health with respect to serious deficiencies, as the board sees it, regarding certain laboratory facilities in the county. Can he indicate at this time, or very shortly, what his response will be to the request for the establishment of a laboratory in the Pembroke area?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I have replied to the health unit within the last few days, indicating that we will give the matter serious consideration. The honourable member will understand that we are not anxious, unless necessary, to see the establishment anywhere in the province of any more laboratories, be they public or private, than is needed.


Mr. Bradley: I have a question for the Minister of Housing, Mr. Speaker. Is it the policy of the Ministry of Housing to utilize all available Ontario Housing Corporation units within a specific project? If it is the policy of the ministry, would the minister explain whether he would agree or disagree with the policy of certain local authorities of boarding up certain units when there are people in an area, particularly families, who require accommodation?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I take it that the member is referring to properties that are owned by the Ontario Housing Corporation and managed by the authority in the local community. Obviously the subsidy for all units that we have is being paid for by taxpayers, federally, provincially and municipally. It would be our intention to make sure they are used to their maximum potential, but allowing a period of time, between the time tenants move out and the new tenants move in, for some refurbishing, painting and so on. It is our intention that all units be in use constantly.

I might say that at this very time there are certain authorities in Ontario which have three-, four- and five-bedroom units and it is beyond their ability to find tenants to move into those particular units. They are experiencing some difficulty in trying to move them back into a usable position.

Mr. Bradley: A supplementary to that question: If there are, indeed, three-, four- and five-bedroom units and there are families which are smaller than would have been the case in the past who would have moved into these particular units, would the minister consider issuing guidelines to the various housing authorities instructing them to make use of those units even though the family size might not be in conjunction with the number of rooms available?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: My understanding is that is exactly what takes place today in the housing operations. The member might smile about the fact that in some communities it may not be happening, but let me assure the House that in some cases we cannot find individuals who made application for housing within that authority or within the authority where the surplus units now exist, who will move into the larger units because of other costs that are incurred by them by being in the three-, four-, five-bedroom units.

If the member has some specific examples or cases I’ll be glad to look into them and find out whether it is the case, as I’ve indicated, where people have refused to move into them or whether the authority has drawn up some particular policy of their own which would not allow a tenant with a small family to move into a larger four- or eve-bedroom unit.


Mr. Wildman: I have a question of the Minister of Natural Resources. Since the minister admitted in his speech in Barrie on November 17 that there has been an overall decline in camping in provincial parks of about 11 per cent this year at least partly as a result of the 75 per cent increase in camping fees instituted by his predecessor last spring; and since local MNR figures indicate an even greater decline in camping in the Sault Ste. Marie area parks such as Pancake Bay and Lake Superior, in the area of about 18 per cent and 15 per cent respectively, is the minister now prepared to reconsider and to recommend lower camping rates in provincial parks in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Auld: I think it’s fair to say the record shows that each time there has been an increase in fees for camping in provincial parks and some other fees, there has been a decline in use for the following season. I don’t know if it is fair to say that all the decline is the result of the fee increase. I think there were other factors and they vary from area to area. I see the member nodding.

Mr. Conway: It’s that liquor ban, Jim.

Hon. Mr. Auld: I would say, though, the answer to the member’s question is we are always looking at fees but there has been no decision either to change or not to change the fees at the moment.

Mr. Wildman: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: If the minister is admitting there has been a decline and it may be related, at least partly, to rate increase, does he not think that the figures he has now indicate the statements made by the former Minister of Industry and Tourism in the spring of last year are correct?

He said the comparison of the facilities in Michigan and Ontario parks does not justify a higher fee north of the border and, further, Michigan may become a more popular destination for tourists. Subsequently, in the House he maintained that our prices are much too high in comparison to Michigan parks and other American parks.

Doesn’t the minister think the figures we have now indicate the former Minister of Industry and Tourism was correct?

Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker. I always have difficulty disagreeing with the former minister.

Mr. Foulds: What is the government going to do about it?

Mr. T. P. Reid: A supplementary, if I may: Would the minister not agree that one of the reasons people are not using the parks where the numbers are down is because at the same time as providing facilities at approximately $5 a night he is also providing a wholesale area of crown land on which they can camp for nothing?

Hon. Mr. Auld: That certainly must be a factor, as we discussed the other day.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I am a lot wiser.

Hon. W. Newman: Beautiful.


Mr. Hodgson: I have a question of the Minister of Energy. Some months ago he met with concerned ratepayers and elected officials from the town of Vaughan, the town of Richmond Hill and the town of Markham concerning 500-kv lines which were affecting some people’s property. Other residents nearby were also affected. I read in the local paper at that time that the minister would be discussing it with the local people to try to come to a solution. Could he give us an up-to-date report on what has happened up to now?


Hon. Mr. Auld: I believe two meetings took place; one group with the Premier and another group with myself. As of this week, I believe that Ontario Hydro has completed the report on the cost factors that are involved in the construction of an underground transmission line as opposed to regular overhead transmission. If this report has not yet been sent, it is to be sent to the municipalities involved and also to the ratepayer groups involved, asking if there are any technical questions or discussions which the ratepayers or the municipalities want to have about the report. Then I expect there will be another meeting with myself, individuals from Hydro and the various groups.

Mr. Speaker: The Minister of Energy has the answer to a previous question.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Oh, my God!

Mr. Samis: Give us warning now.

Hon. Mr. Auld: Aren’t you glad you came?

Mr. Breaugh: Can we bring a lunch?

Hon. Mr. Auld: I will get my specs on.

Mr. Sargent: Take your time. Enunciate very clearly.

Mr. Breaugh: Try not to get excited this time.


Hon. Mr. Auld: Last Tuesday, November 14, while I was in Quebec City meeting with my Quebec colleague, the Leader of the Opposition asked the Deputy Premier a question about Ontario’s policy on natural gas exports.

Mr. S. Smith: He doesn’t know.

Hon. Mr. Auld: Specifically the leader asked, “Given the fact that we in Ontario have been paying quite heavily for natural gas, the additional burden being a stimulus in order to encourage exploration, the finding of new supplies, and in order to discourage a switch into natural gas from other products, and given the fact that this strategy has now worked and we have found enormous new amounts of natural gas in Alberta, is this government standing up to the government of Alberta and making clear publicly that we will not tolerate additional exports of this newly found gas over and above the present export contract, and that we insist that the people of Ontario who largely paid for the finding of this additional gas be the main beneficiaries of this gas and that it be used to benefit Ontario users of gas, industrial and domestic?”

Mr. S. Smith: It’s all one sentence.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Period.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, there were two split infinitives and one dangling participle. He was quoting him.

Mr. Van Horne: He tripped over it.

Hon. Mr. Auld: I would say at the outset I am pleased to see that in some respects the approach of the official opposition to natural gas pricing and marketing and government policy appear to be similar. I am interested to note, however, what seems to be a basic shift in Liberal Party policy inasmuch as that party is on record as being in favour of the federal government policy to move the Canadian price of crude oil towards the world price. On this policy of course we differ.

Mr. S. Smith: Always with the exception of United States pricing, as the minister knows.

Hon. Mr. Auld: It is the federal government’s policy to index natural gas at the price of crude oil, so if crude oil prices increase, so does the price of natural gas. Unlike the Liberal Party, we don’t subscribe to that policy either.

Mr. J. Reed: What do you subscribe to?

Mr. S. Smith: If we run out of gas now, what do we do?

Hon. Mr. Auld: Also, contrary to the implications contained in the question, we are not convinced “that we have found enormous amounts of natural gas in Alberta.” The additions to the Alberta natural gas reserves on which we can count have still to be determined. We believe one must be careful not to be swept along by the general tide of euphoria which some are displaying about the potential.

Mr. Conway: You are not likely ever to be swept along.

Hon. Mr. Auld: I referred to this matter in a speech to the Canadian Gas Association on October 23, when I stated, “We are vitally concerned that a clear public understanding and consensus be achieved on the issue of natural gas reserves in western Canada. It is obvious that opinions and estimates of those reserves vary widely, so widely in fact as to stretch the bounds of belief, and one is tempted to conclude that some estimates are clearly self-serving and should be dismissed on that account. For our part, we have great confidence in the professional capabilities and experience of the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board and we believe its advice should be given very serious consideration.”

Mr. J. Reed: What a non-answer!

Mr. Conway: Another Tory non-answer outfit.

Hon. Mr. Auld: Similarly I cannot agree with the premise contained in the question that the Ontario government must “stand up to the government of Alberta.” It is not the government of Alberta which decides whether additional exports of gas can be made, it is the National Energy Board. Nor can I agree with the premise that the higher prices consumers are paying for natural gas are designed “to discourage a switch into natural gas from other products.” I am not aware that this is, or ever has been, a policy objective of any jurisdiction in Canada -- certainly not of Ontario; nor do I believe it is the policy of either the federal government or of Alberta. In fact, in recent months the opposite is the case.

Apart from that, however, Ontario’s position on natural gas generally has been expressed publicly on several occasions in speeches, before the standing committee on resources development, and in our recent submission to the National Energy Board on natural gas supply and demand.

Mr. J. Reed: Why don’t you just state your position instead of analysing it?

Hon. Mr. Auld: For the information of the Leader of the Opposition I am pleased to provide him with a copy of the speech to the Canadian Gas Association marketing conference, October 23, along with a copy of Ontario’s brief to the National Energy Board’s current hearing on gas supply and demand which further amplifies our position. And I would refer the Leader of the Opposition specifically to items 23 through 27 of that submission.

Mr. Speaker: The time for oral questions has expired. I suggest due to the nature of the response it should have been by way of a ministerial statement.



Mr. Breaugh from the standing procedural affairs committee presented the following report and moved its adoption:

Your committee has carefully examined the following applications for private acts and finds the notices, as published in each case, sufficient:

Macdonald Stewart Community Art Centre;

Borough of Scarborough;

Homemaster Improvements Limited;

Township of Longueuil.

Report adopted.



Mr. Nixon, on behalf of Mr. Worton, moved first reading of Bill Pr9, An Act to incorporate the Macdonald Stewart Community Arts Centre.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Rowe, on behalf of Mr. McCaffrey, moved first reading of Bill Pr49, An Act respecting the Borough of Scarborough.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. MacBeth moved first reading of Bill Pr50, An Act to revive Homemaster Improvements Limited.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Belanger moved first reading of Bill Pr34, An Act respecting the Township of Longueuil.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Rotenberg: We’ll get to you, Odoardo.

Mr. di Santo: I’ll give up.

Mr. Foulds: The member for Downsview never gives up.


Hon. Mr. Auld moved first reading of Bill 179, An Act to amend the Ministry of Natural Resources Act, 1972.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Laughren: Did you say “repeal”?

Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, section 6 of the act deals with delegation of the powers and duties of the minister, and with the enforcement of contracts and titled documents. The section is re-enacted to permit delegation of any statutory power or duty by the minister.

Section 5 of the Executive Council Act, referred to in the re-enacted section is as follows: “No deed or contract in respect of any matter under the control or direction of the minister is binding on Her Majesty or shall be deemed to be the act of such minister unless it is signed by him or is approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.”

New section 6(a) codifies the authority of the minister to enter into a contract in respect of any matter under his administration under any act. New section 6(b) provides for the use of facsimiles of the signature of the minister and the deputy minister.


Hon. Mr. Auld moved first reading of Bill 180, An Act to provide for Municipal Hydro-Electric Services in the Regional Municipality of Niagara.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Swart: You accepted my recommendation, did you?

An hon. member: You’re not going to get away with that one.

Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, I gave a short statement which included the general provisions of the bill. I would just like to add that this bill establishes a new municipal hydro-electric commission for 10 of the area municipalities in the regional municipality of Niagara. The 12 existing commissions are to be dissolved. The bill is substantially similar to previous restructuring acts in Waterloo, Peel and York Regions and Oxford county.

No later than July 1, 1979, all customers within Grimsby, Niagara Falls, Port Colborne, St. Catharines, Thorold and Welland will be supplied by a new commission. Ontario Hydro will continue to serve those customers in Lincoln, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Pelham, West Lincoln and Wainfleet, which it serves today. The new commissions in Lincoln, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Pelham and West Lincoln will supply power to the present municipal hydro customers. The Canadian Niagara Power Company Limited will supply power to all customers in Fort Erie and to one customer at 25 Hertz in Niagara Falls on the same terms as their existing franchise.

This legislation has been reviewed by the provincial steering committee, Ontario Hydro, the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs, in consultation with local representatives and local MPPs, the Association of Major Power Consumers in Ontario, the Ontario Municipal Electrical Association and the Provincial-Municipal Liaison Committee.


The provisions of the bill in general have been agreed upon by these groups. In answer to the question sent to me earlier this afternoon by the member for Lincoln (Mr. Hall), we will be consulting further with the newly elected municipal representatives in the Niagara region.

On behalf of the government, I wish to commend the Niagara local study team, the steering committee, their staff and Ontario Hydro for their efforts during the past three years in helping to establish a more rational and responsible electric power service to the people of the Niagara region.


Mr. di Santo moved first reading of Bill 181, An Act to provide for the Employment of Disabled Persons.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. di Santo: The purpose of the bill is to provide employment opportunities for disabled persons. The bill requires that employers hire disabled persons to constitute at least three per cent of the employer’s work force. The bill permits the minister to vary this percentage requirement in cases where the minister considers another quota to be more suitable. In addition, the minister may exempt some employers.

The bill establishes a register of employable disabled persons to be maintained by the ministry for the purpose of facilitating efforts by employers to meet the quota established by this bill.


Mr. Mackenzie moved first reading of Bill 182, An Act to amend the Labour Relations Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Mackenzie: The purpose of this bill is to clarify the status of an employer before the Ontario Labour Relations Board upon an application for certification by a trade union. The employer is permitted to present evidence and make submissions concerning several matters listed in the bill, but is not permitted to present evidence or make submissions relating to any other matter in the matter of certification.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answer to questions 141 and 142 standing on the Notice Paper.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before calling the orders of the day, I wonder if I might indicate some general understanding with respect to our program during the course of the day.

It was our hope we would proceed with second reading of Bills 162, 172 and 104. Then, if required, we would go into committee of the whole to consider any amendments to those bills. If there are any divisions, it is understood they will be either at 5:45 this afternoon or at 10:15 this evening; that is we would defer any bills until those particular times so that there could be some degree of predictability with respect to any voting in the House.

Mr. Speaker: Is that agreed? Is there some agreement on that?

Mr. Nixon: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, since you obviously want some response to this: It seems to me agreements of the type we are discussing are made behind your chair; I have heard you on more than one occasion indicate that House leaders’ agreements mean nothing to you, and I think it should stay that way.

Mr. Speaker: In other words, you are suggesting that anything the House leader of the government party said right now was superfluous and I am just to ignore it, is that right?

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, believe me, I say this with respect. I simply support what you have said frequently, that you should not be bound. I don’t even think you should take notice of the agreements that are entered into, because it is the responsibility of the various House leaders, together with the whips, to inform their colleagues of an agreement. Now if you are asking for an agreement in the House that the bills be called in the order the honourable House leader for the government has indicated, certainly we have no objection to that.

Mr. Speaker: As always, it’s his responsibility to call the business as he sees fit.



Hon. Mr. Wells moved second reading of Bill 166, An Act to establish the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Mr. Speaker: Does the honourable minister have an opening statement?

Hon. Mr. Wells: No, Mr. Speaker. I think, in reviewing the comments I made on the afternoon of November 6 at the beginning of the estimates of this new ministry, I covered very fully the organization and reason for the new ministry at that time. I think that all members had a chance to hear those comments, or read them in Hansard. So I will not make any opening statement, but will be happy to answer any questions that arise during the debate.

Mr. Speaker: The honourable member for Waterloo North.

Mr. Epp: Mr. Speaker, I will try to be brief with respect to this; as the minister said we partly covered this on November 6.

However, I do want to indicate that our party will support the change. We support it for the simple reason that we believe the government has the right and the responsibility to divide its ministries the way it wishes to divide them. Consequently, although we may disagree with the way they divide them, we nevertheless will support them in their bid to divide the Treasury and Economics part of the ministry formerly known as TEIGA from the IGA aspect, now known more respectfully as MIA, Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs. We don’t want to associate the ministry too closely with some of those others, known somewhat as supermarkets, that are out there in the hinterlands.

This particular bill has been some time coming. We note that it was announced in August. The House convened on October 23, it is now November 21 -- I think it is, I have kind of lost track of time a little -- so we are finally into it about a month after the House reconvened.

Nevertheless we will support it. We feel, on this side of the House, that the government should not incorporate into one ministry federal-provincial relations in addition to the municipal relations. Alternatively, we feel that what should be done is to group housing and municipal affairs into one ministry, as we have done on this side of the House in the division of our critic responsibilities. We feel that because municipal affairs and housing is so closely related, dealing often with the same people and with the same responsibilities or similar responsibilities at the local level, these two should be together. Similarly, we also think that federal-provincial relations is another ball of wax, so to speak” and that the government should take note that federal-provincial relations are somewhat apart from the municipal affairs aspect and therefore should be separate. Nevertheless, Mr. Speaker, as I indicated we will support it. In the interests of preserving time I will conclude my remarks at this time.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, obviously, we too are going to support the bill that is before us. We have, over the years, stated on numerous occasions there should be a separate ministry of municipal affairs. I am not sure we go quite as far as the previous speaker in saying it should not include intergovernmental affairs involving the federal government, although that relationship is, in many respects, a separate subject.

With regard to transfers, there is some relationship between the two. In any event, the separate ministry -- the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs -- where the main thrust of the minister will be towards municipal matters, is certainly a big step forward from what we had previously. If it is, then this bill becomes necessary to legalize that, it is a normal type of bill for establishing a ministry.

As the minister will know from certain comments I made last night and from the amendment he has, there is one part of the bill which we think is inadequate, and is already being used for division of departments which we think is undesirable. I refer to section 5 of the bill where it designates the responsibilities of this ministry. It states in that bill that the minister will be responsible for, and I quote section 5(2)(c), “co-ordinating programs of financial assistance to municipalities.”

I would go on to quote subsection 4 which deals with the administration of the various acts for which he is responsible. It says, “The minister is responsible for the administration of this act, the acts set out in the schedule” which is attached to this bill” “and the acts that are assigned to him by the Legislature or by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.”

If we turn to that schedule we see there are a great many acts for which the minister is responsible, and rightly so. Quite a number of those acts deal with the transfer of funds to a local government. I won’t mention them all, but they include the Municipal Elderly Residents’ Assistance Act, the Municipal and School Tax Credit Assistance Act, the Municipal Subsidies Adjustment Repeal Act, the Municipal Tax Assistance Act, the Municipal Unemployment Relief Act, the Municipal Works Assistance Act, the Provincial Parks Municipal Tax Assistance Act and the Shoreline Property Assistance Act.

All of these come under his jurisdiction and by this act he is responsible for their administration; yet in the statement the minister made in this House in leading into his estimates he is abdicating the financial responsibilities which arise from those acts. Let me again read from page 9 of the comments he made relative to the responsibilities of his ministry in those lead-in comments:

“In our early discussions with the Treasurer and his officials, it was recognized that the municipal financial base and the system of intergovernmental transfers are important components of the fiscal and budgetary structure of the province. However, while recognizing that the ultimate responsibility for provincial financial policy rests with the Treasurer, it is also clear that the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs can, and should, perform an active planning and advocate role on behalf of the municipalities ... ”

This is a significant paragraph: “Having regard to all of these factors, the decision has been made that the municipal finance branch and the intergovernmental finance and grants policy branch will remain as part of the fiscal policy division in the Ministry of Treasury and Economics.”

It seems to me a very real contradiction that in one section of the act he is going to administer these acts which transfer funds to local government and their agencies, yet the municipal finance branch remains in another ministry, namely Treasury. We feel there should be a change in that.


I would point out immediately, and the minister can correct me if I’m wrong, that to have the finance administration branch rest with the Treasury is a very substantial departure from the policy which exists with regard to all other ministries. The Ministry of Education disperses something like $2.3 billion to the school boards; they administer that, not the Ministry of Treasury and Economics. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications transfers, largely in the form of municipal road grants, over $500 million -- in fact just about half of that ministry’s budget is transferred to local government; they administer that on their own. The Ministry of the Environment transfers funds, they administer that. The Ministry of Community and Social Services, for unemployment, welfare and a great variety of things, transfers funds to local government.

It seems to me, therefore, that the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, who runs such things as the per capita grants -- I could go over all of them, the resource equalization grants and all of the others -- should really administer them under the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs. The municipalities should not have to go through the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs to Treasury for all the changes they want or for additional assistance they may require.

In fact, the amount of money being transferred from this year’s budget is about $800 million. It seems to me that is only about one quarter of what the Ministry of Education administers on its own. Although we recognize that Treasury has to have global control on the budget, it seems to me that the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs should function in the same way as the other ministries in relationship to municipalities; even more so because it is that ministry more than any other that deals directly with the municipalities. They look to that ministry to be their spokesman and to have the power to make decisions with regard to finance as well as a great many other things.

There is no question that if the control of the finance rests on a day-to-day basis in another ministry, although obviously there will be co-operation between the two it’s certainly going to weaken the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs in his relationship with the municipalities. He will perform the function of one of two things; either a funnel to funnel their requests through to the Treasurer; or perhaps a buffer, saying, “As for funds, I don’t make the decision on that, that has to come from the Treasurer; I will convey your wishes to the Treasurer.”

I don’t think that’s the way it should be done. I think the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, subject of course to the overall global budget, should administer the moneys which are transferred to local government.

I know the pie has to be divided up and I have confidence the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs can fight for his fair share with the other ministers. That’s the way it should be, rather than placing it in a different category to all of the other ministers.

So while we agree to the principle of the bill, we are going to move an amendment which will simply add the words, in section 5(2)(c), “administering and” to “co-ordinating programs of financial assistance ... ” so it doesn’t just leave it at “co-ordinating programs of financial assistance ... ” There are many programs which that ministry should administer.

We realize the amendment will not make it mandatory that the minister is going to have to move that responsibility from the Treasury to his ministry, but it sets out the principle that he should administer those transfers to local government. I feel confident that, if this amendment is passed, he will accept that as direction from the House and will do just that. That’s the only fault we have to find with the bill.

Because it is not binding, I hope the minister will be willing to accept this amendment which we are going to propose.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, I intend to be brief in my comments with regard to this legislation.

I welcome the creation of the ministry and, more significantly, I welcome the appointment of the minister to head this ministry. Not to be gratuitous, I think the minister has carried himself very well in the Ministry of Education over the years. We have had our discussions, both public and private, with regard to the problems we have with Bill 100, especially in my county. In fact, we have had some long discussions and, unfortunately, last year a long disruption in the service to our children.

I would like to make some comments with regard to Hamilton-Wentworth itself. I think the minister is aware of some of the problems we are having in that particular area. I think he brings to this ministry maybe a fresher approach than his predecessor, who, I saw in the paper this morning, was appointed to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; I am sure they’ll balance the books there.

More recently, we had a review of the operations of the Hamilton-Wentworth region. I have to think the review was an impartial one. The conclusions possibly were somewhat preordained and generally were not acceptable to a number of people in the city of Hamilton and, more important, to a number of people outside the city of Hamilton.

I would like to take this occasion to indicate to the minister that I see some real conflict developing, because of the personalities in the city and in the rural areas, that may yet further undermine Bill 155.

As I am sure the minister is aware, my preference would be to see the existing system largely dismantled and the powers restored to the local municipalities. I guess it is no surprise to the minister that I share with him his sense of confidence in local autonomy and in the ability of local municipalities to conduct their own affairs.

With that in mind, I feel that municipalities such as the township of Flamborough, with a population of 25,000; the town of Dundas, with a population of 20,000; the town of Ancaster, with a population of 18,000; or Stoney Creek in Saltfleet, with somewhere in the area of 45,000, and growing -- they are certainly capable of running their own affairs.

It has to be realized there is a fundamental difference between city life and the small-town rural life, and the conflicts that are inherent between the two in many ways are not able to be resolved by way of any legislation.

It’s with that in mind that we constantly have problems in the operation of that region that relate entirely to that conflict in terms of the laying-off of what are largely city of Hamilton responsibilities -- the operation of an art gallery, the operation of Hamilton Place, the operation of the football stadium -- the costs of which it is the intention and desire of the incumbent mayor of the city of Hamilton to pass off on the rural municipalities equally. That’s somewhat unfair.

What has failed to be realized in this whole process of assessing these particular costs is that people from Burlington and from St. Catharines come to watch games at Hamilton -- even the odd Argo fan sometimes comes down -- although I don’t know why -- and these are costs that might be better borne by the users. We are experiencing some difficulties at the moment, specifically with the mayor of Hamilton. It was as a result of his impetus that we had a plebiscite placed on the ballot in this current election, an election that saw 30,000 votes cast against the mayor, including 30 per cent of the electorate who voted for a 71-year-old lady who ran a campaign on somewhere around $1,000. I think that speaks for itself.

Getting back to this plebiscite, I would say to you, Mr. Minister, that the results are as deceptive as the plebiscite itself. When you’re given an opportunity to decide whether you want a one-tier or two-tier system and nobody explains what is involved or what is inherent in that choice, it’s no surprise that there is some confusion. What should have been offered on that plebiscite -- if we’re going to get into government by plebiscite and I personally don’t prefer that system of government -- was the opportunity to opt out of the regional system itself.

There are going to be some serious problems in the near future. I see a division developing on the regional council between largely city interests and the rural interests. In the city all but two or three of the regional representatives are inclined to support the mayor on a regular basis and align themselves in a city-type of division against the other interests. I find that unhealthy. The mayor, on a continuing basis, is trying to unload what would be city expenses on the small rural municipalities, which lack the fundamental industrial tax base to accommodate those expenses.

I’m not certain if the minister’s prepared to look into this particular situation. I would hope that he is. I would hope he would bring a renewed interest and vigour to the administration of the legislation and the ministry with respect to the type of vigour that his predecessor apparently had but was not demonstrating In the last year or so of his administration.

I really would encourage the minister, as soon as possible, to conduct some meetings with the regional chairman in our area, Mrs. Jones, so that he might be totally apprised of the division that seems to be occurring and possibly contemplate some amendments to Bill 155 that would offer some safeguards for the outlying communities. At this point in time the only safeguard they have is to walk out of a council meeting and leave them without a quorum.

Basically, that is the only way they can protest situations they find intolerable or proposals that are not acceptable to them. That is certainly not the kind of direction they would like to take. It’s not a constructive approach to things; and to date, to their credit, they haven’t done it. I sense that kind of environment and that kind of frustration developing and I would hope that as soon as possible, some meetings with the people concerned might take place with a view to alleviating this difficult situation I see coming.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I’d like to make a few comments on this bill because it affects an area for which I am critic.

I agree with some of the earlier comments made in the House, but I would have hoped before anything was done in relation to passing or attempting to pass any bill under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs, we would have had the main bill. I was surprised that after the announcement was made by the Premier (Mr. Davis) creating this ministry the first order of business in the Legislature was not the legislation to give the minister the power and the responsibilities necessary to carry out his function as minister. But be that as it may, we now have the bill.

The second point of concern, and we’ve said this before, is that we feel this government, and certainly the Davis government since 1971, seems to have some difficulty in splitting or organizing its ministries in what we consider to be a logical fashion.


I appreciate that some attempt has been made. We have seen the processes back a few years ago of establishing what they call policy secretariats or policy ministries. We have seen the process that that system has not worked. I don’t want to get into personalities or give examples of how that hasn’t worked. I suppose the best evidence that the system is not working is that the government’s heavyweights or better ministers are in actual ministries whereas in its policy secretariats are ministers who are either just getting new portfolios or are on their way down because they have not performed too well in other ministries.

I see the minister shaking his head, but the Deputy Premier (Mr. Welch) is the best evidence of a minister who was originally appointed by the Premier as a token of the esteem that he had for his colleague. He was one of the first policy secretariat ministers along with the former member for Carleton East (Mr. A. B. R. Lawrence). Also, there was Allan Lawrence who has gone off to other things.

We saw during that period of time how the supposedly heavyweight ministers were extremely unhappy with their positions. I recall that the Deputy Premier was not getting sufficient action. If someone should have known that, it was that minister. He tasted an awful lot of ministries during his career in this House and he wanted to get back into the stream of action. He wanted to get back to doing something. That’s when he left the policy secretariat. The Deputy Premier is now policy secretary for justice, but that is just a title because policy secretary for justice really doesn’t mean anything. It’s a complete waste of money.

Mr. Nixon: Do you mean they can get along without him?

Mr. Roy: I’ll say.

Mr. Acting Speaker: I wonder if the member could get back to the principle of the bill we are dealing with.

Mr. Roy: I am right on the principle of the bill. I’m talking about the splitting of the bill in a logical fashion; this is what the government is not doing in this bill. In giving you examples of this, Mr. Speaker, I would have hoped that in setting up this Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs the government would have done it on a more logical basis. When we are discussing an era, a period of time as important as we have now in the history of our country, the minister’s role as minister responsible for federal-provincial relations, for interprovincial relations and for international affairs -- for federal-provincial relations rather -- to some people may not have seemed enough. I appreciate that if there were no problems in the country as such it may appear as though it’s not that heavy a ministry. Yet, in my opinion, there is more action in that ministry on the basis on which I have divided it than there is in many other ministries that exist at this time, especially when we are discussing a new constitution, the sharing of powers between the federal and provincial governments and the differences which we are experiencing now between provinces, more so than we have had in the past.

We are discussing this legislation now. We are discussing the difficulties we have encountered in relation to construction workers in the province of Ontario and Quebec. Today we discussed the question of Alberta’s giving certain tax incentives to companies which are an incentive for those companies to move their head offices from Toronto to either Calgary or Edmonton. These are important matters.

At this period of time it would have been sensible, reasonable and logical for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs to have taken care only of that. I don’t agree with the member for Ottawa South (Mr. Bennett) very often on many things; on this I agree with him. The member for Ottawa South says that although he is Minister of Housing, that ministry now doesn’t have the priority it had or is not involved as actively as it was in the past. Maybe that ministry should be fused in with a separate ministry of municipal affairs.

I really think he is right on that. Because municipalities are the creatures of the province, because of the relationship and the difficulties that exist between that level of government and the province, that area would have merited a separate minister to look after the problems. Not only the problems concerning powers and the transfer of funds, but on everyday problems that take place between municipalities and the provincial government.

So I would have hoped that the ministry would have been divided on that basis. I even go a step further. There seems to be some confusion about which officials are going to move out of Treasury. I would have thought, because of the large transfer payments that take place between not only the federal government and the provinces but the provinces and the municipalities, the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs would have needed the staff and the experts necessary, who are presently in the ministry of the Treasury, to be able to negotiate, to be able to know exactly what he was negotiating about, to have the expertise necessary to make a case either for the province with the federal government or for the province with the municipalities.

I think there is certainly some confusion, from the minister’s statement when he originally presented Bill 166 for first reading, as to how the Treasury people or the Treasurer are going to be involved in that process; and that is unfortunate.

We will support the bill in principle, but it is unfortunate that, given the opportunity, and especially given the willingness on the part of the opposition to co-operate in this process, the division of the ministry and the responsibility given to this minister were not given on the basis I have been suggesting.

It may be that when there are problems down the way, in five or 10 years or so, the government will rearrange your ministry. There is nothing sacred about a ministry as such. Be it Housing or a ministry taking care of cultural relations, or another ministry taking care of, for instance Correctional Services, or a ministry taking care of the Solicitor General, when priorities change, when the responsibility of that ministry changes, I don’t see why you don’t reorganize the ministry. You can wipe it out completely if it is necessary and fuse it with another ministry. There is ample precedent for this in ministries that existed over a number of years that are now changed.

We deplore the fact that the opportunity was not seized by the government; especially for this minister -- and I have given him credit for a number of things -- to give him full responsibility for looking after federal-provincial relations, relationships with other provinces and international affairs. I think those subject matters at this time would have warranted the full attention of the minister. Municipal affairs and municipal-provincial relationships, I think, merit the full-time services of a minister. It is unfortunate that the minister will have to divide his attention on the basis imposed on him in this bill.

Finally, I hope that now the minister has the responsibility that previously was encompassed under the previous Treasurer (Mr. McKeough), that a certain focus, as has been mentioned by my colleague, will take place in some regions of the province where there are problems. The best evidence there is a problem is the fact that you have commissioned studies for the Niagara area and you have a report on that; you had a study on Metropolitan Toronto and you have a report on that; you have the Mayo report for Ottawa-Carleton. All these studies have cost an awful lot of money. I take it that the studies were not just an academic exercise, that the exercise was to respond to problems which existed.

The purpose of the exercise was to look to the future, to determine how municipalities, how regional governments or how agencies within regional governments are going to operate. I must say it saddened me to think that we had spent all this money, encouraged people and municipalities to participate in the process and to make submissions and to make comments and to put in written submissions and responses to these reports; and the only response we had, for instance from Ottawa-Carleton, was a last minute flurry with the Hazeldean-March bill this spring. This fall we have another bill which again deals superficially with the problems existing in Ottawa-Carleton.

We want to make Nepean a city, we’re in favour of that; but surely there are other things necessary to correct the problems existing in Ottawa-Carleton. Let’s hope the minister looks at some of the recommendations of the Mayo report and that he deals sensibly and logically with the problem. If there is one hangup that this particular minister has, it’s a tendency to try to get time to solve some of his problems, to keep putting them off, to have another study. He did it when he was the Minister of Education.

Hon. Mr. Wells: It works.

Mr. Roy: It works, yes, sometimes it doesn’t work.

Mr. Nixon: Mackenzie King found that out.

Mr. Roy: Sometimes it doesn’t work, time is not always the great healer. Sometimes, because of time, there are problems that are created which are much more difficult to solve when you come to grips with them five or 10 years later.

Ms. Gigantes: Like the Essex school.

Mr. Roy: I was going to mention that, but I didn’t want to hurt the minister’s feelings. The member for Carleton East is right on. The Essex school question was an example. Had we reacted immediately to that situation maybe we would not have the problem we have there today.

In any event, I say to the minister that we’re prepared to co-operate with him, but we are also saying to him that now that he has this responsibility we expect leadership. Surely the recommendations of these various people who were involved in the study of these various municipalities across the province warrant leadership on the part of government to deal with the problems.

I mentioned, for instance, Ottawa-Carleton. The government has to deal with regional representation. Some municipalities are over- represented and some others are under-represented. The minister has to come to grips with that problem.

He has to deal with the school problem. I know he can say he’s going to wash his hands, it’s not his problem. I think he is somewhat pleased that it is no longer his problem. Surely we can’t leave these people in a situation where the outlying school boards lack space and the downtown school boards have additional space and they have difficulty co-operating. Surely leadership is required on the part of this government to deal with it, especially when it has solutions proposed to it. It’s a matter of making decisions and not always hoping that time will correct the problems for the ministry or for the minister involved.

We are in favour of the bill with the reservations I have explained. As usual, I suppose, time will prove us right on this.

Mr. Nixon: That’s what usually happens.

Mr. Roy: Yes, it’s always been our experience. I don’t want to start chest-beating here and bringing out the old Hansards to tell you what happened back in 1971, but the fact is I would hope that as the minister gets into the ministry and as he gets involved in all of these affairs, maybe somebody will see the light and divide the ministry on a logical basis which responds to the needs out there.

We feel that federal-provincial relations and relations between provinces warrant the full-time services of a minister, just like the municipalities warrant the full-time services of an individual. I think they deserve nothing less.


Mr. Nixon: I will be brief because, as my colleague has said, we certainly approve of the division of the ministries. I regret very much that the ministry we’re now discussing in this bill includes our federal-provincial and inter-provincial relationships. It seems to me the government productivity committee was enamoured by that nice phrase “intergovernmental affairs” and felt here was a convenient bag into which many various situations and administrative responsibilities could be thrown and neatly labelled.

I feel the relationship between the province and the municipalities has practically nothing to do with the relationship among provinces or with the government of Canada. I personally believe very strongly that our relationships with the government of Canada should be dealt with exclusively by the Premier, who might very well have a committee of his cabinet colleagues in the various areas that deal with the other provinces. I feel it is not up to an individual minister to co-ordinate these duties, but to the Premier himself. Anything other than that is bound to get us into some trouble, or with respect, to downgrade the importance of these relationships at a time when just the opposite should be done.

At the other end of that argument, I regret very much that we have not served the municipalities as effectively as we might, that is using the authority of the Legislature through an appropriate minister who would deal exclusively with municipalities and the many problems that they have.

The government productivity committee, feeling to begin with as I indicated that it was convenient to put the so-called intergovernmental responsibilities all in one ministry, then went on to say that none of the municipalities can exist or use their powers without the grant structure, and therefore it would have to be associated with the Treasurer. That kind of reasoning created a ministry that was far too big and top heavy in its responsibility. Only the abilities of Mr. McKeough, in my view, kept the thing functioning efficiently. We are still recovering from some of the bad judgement made by some of the previous Treasurers, including I suppose most notably John White.

I notice the great mining tax is coming up again later in the week. I recall what confusion there was in the House when the then Treasurer brought it in for the thoroughgoing review he thought was so essential at that time.

I am sure the minister would recall on a friendly basis, but I don’t know whether he recalls on the basis of administrative abilities, the famous Wilf Spooner. When I was first elected, when the minister was certainly very active in municipal and educational affairs in Scarborough, Wilf Spooner was certainly the foremost authority in matters pertaining to municipalities. I always had the highest regard for him. When, under the act, the “approval” of the minister was necessary for any change in plans or approval of a plan, we might be very sure that the minister, Mr. Spooner, didn’t give it his approval without his own careful inspection. He was one of the few ministers in whom we had confidence, as members of the Legislature to stay on top of the matters which had been assigned to him by the House.

It wasn’t until Mr. Spooner was succeeded by other ministers of municipal affairs that the stamps bearing the minister’s signature were purchased and people were authorized to use them discriminately or indiscriminately. I know the minister we are talking about now, the new Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, will not let those stamps out of his sight or out of his direct control.

Mr. Spooner at one stage was burned in effigy, I recall -- actually much to my delight as he was doing something about some kind of a regional government in the north. We thought it was quite appropriate that the citizens let him know their objections in no uncertain terms. That was perhaps a bit too certain for my tastes. However, I do recall Mr. Spooner, as minister, intruding himself into municipal matters where he felt this intrusion was necessary.

The classic case was where Conn Smythe and his colleagues at Maple Leaf Gardens wanted to build that place out over Wood Street and all the surrounding streets and put in more gold seats. I can recall being at a private bills committee where the minister simply stood up and said: “as minister, I certainly do not support such an extension.” My goodness the powers that be in Toronto and at Maple Leaf Gardens, I am not sure which was the order of importance then or now, raised the devil. They attempted to get this decision changed.

My point really is that I have no objection to the minister intruding into municipal affairs where he feels it can be justified. Undoubtedly he will be criticized, just as I notice in the Sun today John Downing chastises the ministry, and I quote from him: “The next time Davis and company mouth pious nonsense about municipal autonomy, I hope they gag.” It depends which issue is at stake; if the government takes a position that is opposite to the one you are supporting, then you certainly don’t want them to intrude, but on occasion you do feel that the decisions of councils should be mitigated and moderated.

The minister himself has pointed that out in reference to opposition comments, but we all know that the government does, and I believe must, intrude itself into municipal matters on certain occasions. Being a responsible government, they must carry the responsibility to the House and finally to the electorate. They must not only have that responsibility but they must also withstand the criticism from people who feel they are acting incorrectly in this regard.

However, the ministry does not permit the minister to stand back and not affect the course of municipal matters. The last thing I want to do is review the debate from last Friday over the Brantford-Brantford township situation. I simply want to say the minister knows the situation is found in other areas of the province, and it is not going to be solved by any procedure other than the establishment of government policy, with as much input as he feels he can take or stand and then the enunciation of a policy that will affect all the communities across the province in an even and, we hope, judicious way.

As far as I’m concerned -- and I am sure my colleague the leader might have a different opinion from time to time -- the minister must allow himself to become fully informed in the matters that pertain to the municipalities. I am sure he can, if he chooses, build up the same kind of rapport that some of his predecessors -- and I refer to Mr. Spooner particularly -- have had with the leaders of the various municipalities. I do not mean they should turn to the minister as to some sainted uncle for advice on these matters, but with the confidence that the government at Queen’s Park, bearing the total responsibility for the establishment of the municipalities and for the need to see that they are adequately financed for their responsibilities, also has the responsibility to see that in the broader structure of the province municipalities effectively reflect the needs of the community.

I have often felt that the best answer to the people who argue for regional government and, in fact, for another tier of government, is to refer to the province, I suppose, as the upper tier of regional government. With a modern approach to a partnership, we can co-ordinate the planning procedure and the establishment of industrial growth areas, and co-ordinate the financing of municipal responsibilities, without imposing and intruding another level of government for the municipalities.

I wish the minister well. I think he tends sometimes to be more careful than is necessary, but a good many successful politicians have done that in the past. I interject the name of Mackenzie King, who in some respects is the one the minister reminds me most of; this minister is better looking, but there are certain similarities of carefulness that I wanted to bring to your attention, Mr. Speaker. So I wish him well.

We do not intend, as far as I know, to support an amendment that is going to fiddle and nit-pick with the specific areas of responsibility. We feel that the government has the right to be supported in this House in establishing the executive council and in the distribution of responsibilities as it sees fit; so we intend to vote for the bill.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I cannot let the occasion go by without, first of all, thanking all the members who have taken part for their words about this bill, about the ministry, about myself and about what we should or should not be doing. I would like to reply first to some of the comments of my friend from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk. I appreciate his comments; I am not sure I appreciate being likened to Mackenzie King. I have never really held him out as a political model to emulate in what I do.

Mr. Nixon: I could have said John A. Macdonald; they used to call him “old tomorrow.”

Hon. Mr. Wells: Well, no. I would rather he compared me to someone like George Drew or Leslie Frost, people I greatly admired --

Mr. Nixon: I don’t see how you could be compared to either of them.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I think if the member studies the way they brought forward things for the good of this province, anyone in this government would like to emulate some of the things those two very famous former Premiers of this province carried out.

Rather than refer to two members of my own party, I was going to refer to a colleague of the member’s late father and a person who has made a great contribution to Canadian political life -- the man who established the first ministry of municipal affairs. He is at present a senator, the Honourable David Croll, with whom I had dinner last week. He reminded me of the occasion and the circumstances that led the government of the day to create the first Ministry of Municipal Affairs. I believe it was because several municipalities were in receivership and there had to be some department of the government to run the affairs for those municipalities. He was given the job and he set up the staff and began what has continued as the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. Now under a variety of names a large part of it is found in the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Mr. Nixon: By coincidence, Windsor was the place they were most worried about.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Windsor was the place they were most concerned about. I guess people have always been concerned about Windsor.

I would like to deal very briefly with the reasons this government decided that municipal affairs, federal-provincial affairs and provincial-provincial affairs should be put together in one ministry. I fully recognize one can debate the point, and one can draw together pretty good arguments on either side of the question. But I think there are just as compelling arguments on our side as to I why they can all fit together in one ministry as there are in suggesting that there should be separate ministries or separate functions for federal-provincial and municipal affairs.

My time is consumed, and that of those in my ministry, in supporting the government in the Premier’s position in the constitutional debates that are now going on. This is an added federal-provincial responsibility and a work load that wouldn’t normally be there over a long period of time. But at this time in the history of our country it is a very important function and, I admit, one that is taking a fair amount of time of the minister and certain parts of our ministry.

If one takes out that particular federal-provincial situation that is now occurring, and thinks of the normal federal-provincial relations and the municipal relations, one sees that they are all intergovernmental functions. The new concept is not to refer to government as levels of government, which suggests a step process where you start either at the top with the federal government, move down one step to the provincial and one step to the municipal -- or go the other way around, from the municipal to the provincial to the federal.

The common terminology, and the way we are all thinking about these matters, is as orders of government. In other words, there is a federal, a provincial and a local government. An ordinary taxpayer pays taxes to all those orders of government and they perform certain functions for him. So he has his local government, and perhaps he has a second-tier government because there are regional governments in this province, and there are county governments. So that is local government.


Then that same taxpayer is governed by a provincial government; and then he is governed by a federal government. They are all intertwined, and there is no question that the policies of each relate one to the other and have to be co-ordinated. Therefore, the whole theory of an intergovernmental affairs ministry is that we can bring a more coordinated approach to total government to serve the one taxpayer, the one citizen for whom they all exist -- and who is our boss.

We all find ourselves in the position, from time to time, of criticizing the other order of government, and that’s fair game. We criticize the federal government, the municipalities criticize us as a province, and we sometimes criticize the municipalities; and that’s fine, we’re all criticizing each other.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Usually for the same things.

Hon. Mr. Wells: My friend says for the same things, and that’s right. But I think at some time we have to drop our political considerations and realize we’re all elected and have a certain function to perform. We have to disentangle ourselves so that we don’t overlap as much as we’re doing now, so that we all perform the functions we can best perform and for which we have the resources. That’s some of the philosophy behind the development of this ministry. We won’t know whether it works or not until we’ve had a chance to see it in action for the next few years, but I think there is a rationale for that particular concept.

I might draw my friend’s attention to the fact that, of course, all the other large provinces have created ministries of intergovernmental affairs, which function apart from the offices of the Premiers of the provinces, particularly because the constitutional talks and some of the special things at this time necessitate a ministry with a small secretariat that can do the backup work for the Premier. It can meet, as we will be meeting starting this Thursday, to do the kind of in-depth, detailed negotiations, in this case on nine or 10 items concerning the constitution in preparation for the Premiers’ meetings so they will have an agenda and a set of documents from which they can work. And so we find Alberta, Quebec and the federal government each with federal-provincial or interprovincial ministries which can do this job on behalf of their first ministers and their total government.

That, I think, Mr. Speaker, is the rationale for the establishment of the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs as a separate ministry, and the reason all the orders of government are found together there -- albeit I will admit, as my friends have said, some of the functions pertaining to municipal government are not found within this ministry. That, of course, is important to remember. The fact there are at least eight or 10 other ministries that deal with municipalities is the reason one of the functions of this ministry is to help co-ordinate the programs of financial assistance to the municipalities but not administer them.

I will deal now with the comments of my friend from Welland-Thorold. We administer some of the programs of financial assistance, not all. I would therefore draw his attention to the fact that the amendment he has proposed, and which we’ll deal with in detail when it comes up in committee, would suggest, and perhaps make it mandatory that we administer all the programs of financial assistance; which I don’t think we want to do, we just want to co-ordinate them.

We don’t want to administer the programs for the health units that the Ministry of Health handles; we don’t want to administer the programs for the Ministry of Transportation and Communications or the Ministry of the Environment. What we do want to administer and what we do administer, are the programs as provided for in the acts attached to the schedule of this bill. We administer the programs of the per capita grants, the programs of special assistance and the resource equalization grants.

I think the only place where my friend and I would differ is where we locate the staff to provide backup for these particular programs. I want to make it very clear to him that the administration of these programs within the policy settings will be done in this ministry, just as it is done in the Ministry of Education for their grants and in the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Ministry of Health and so forth. I also draw to my friend’s attention that none of those ministries operate any differently than we do, in other words they operate within the parameters set by the Treasurer. In other words the Treasurer sets global parameters for the amounts of money that each ministry will have; and that he will do for this ministry as he will do for Education, MTC, Health and so forth. We have that point clear. He’s going to set those global parameters, and then setting the way that money is distributed will be decided within this ministry and in the normal way government sets its policy.

I might draw to my friend’s attention that this is not done unilaterally by ministers, but by recommendation to Management Board and cabinet and so forth. It’s all a joint process. No minister decides on his own what any program will be or what any grant will be.

This ministry will decide and put forward the recommendations to government on per capita grants, on special assistance, on resource equalization grants, for instance, the standard that will apply, and so forth.

Mr. Swart: The Treasurer won’t administer them. You are going to have your municipal finance department in the Treasury. They won’t be administering it.

Hon. Mr. Wells: This is where he and I would differ. We will decide what the parameters are for these programs. As the members of this House know, we’ve just gone through the estimates. The money for those grant programs will be in the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs.

However, in this time of restraint in government, we do not want to create new bureaucracies or new departments. The staff are there in the Treasury department to perform the kind of backup functions that can help us do our job. They also do certain things in the general financial affairs of the Treasurer. They also do certain things for the Ministry of Education. They provide financial data for the Ministry of Revenue and so forth. In my mind, there’s no need for them to be switched to our ministry and then have the Ministry of Treasury and Economies create new departments to take up and carry out the functions they had those people doing for them.

We will be able to operate with the advice, assistance and support from them and then devise the policy with our ministry and deliver the grants. The municipalities will be able to deal with us, just as the boards of education deal with the Minister of Education.

Ms. Gigantes: Look how successful that is.

Hon. Mr. Wells: It’s been very successful over the last six years. But you have to remember that over all those ministries, the Treasurer, in conjunction with his colleagues, sets certain global Treasury policies which we all adhere to. In this particular case, we will be adhering to those policies, as will all other ministries.

Mr. Swart: You can’t do it with a municipal finance branch, not in your own ministry.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I really see no problem. I think my friend perhaps just doesn’t completely understand how we’re going to administer these programs. We are going to deal with the municipalities, we’re going to handle those transfers and we’re going to deal with them in the best way possible. But we’re going to also co-ordinate all the ministries that deal with the municipalities so we’ll be able to tie together and help tie together the total provincial support for municipalities. This I think we can also do in a co-ordinating fashion.

I would suggest to the member that the addition of the word, “administer,” which he suggested, would not be in keeping with the way we see this ministry operating and it would be an amendment that I couldn’t accept.

With those remarks I have nothing further to say in regard to this bill. If there are any particular sections in committee we’d like to deal with, I’d be happy to deal with them.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Before we get into clause by clause, may I ask the minister a general question?

Mr. Speaker: It’s not usually done on second reading. If it’s something that’s crucial to preparing for clause by clause, I suppose he could ask one very brief question.

Mr. Foulds: We are going into committee anyway, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I wonder if the minister could provide an answer to the question as to how his ministry will relate particularly to northern Ontario and community development and that sort of thing. We had the indication that the Treasurer was getting out of that kind of thing, except on a very broad regional basis. Is his ministry now responsible for community development, declining resource communities and that sort of thing or is that still with the Treasurer?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Most of that was transferred to the Ministry of Northern Affairs, as I understand. The Treasurer --

Mr. T. P. Reid: So you have no involvement in that sort of thing?

Hon. Mr. Wells: We have an involvement in special Northern Affairs grants but we don’t have any direct involvement in those special programs. Most of those are in the Ministry of Northern Affairs.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.


Resumption of the adjourned debate on the motion for second reading of Bill 172, An Act to erect the Township of Nepean into a City Municipality.

Ms. Gigantes: I was on my feet when we last discussed this matter and time for discussion ran out. I just wanted to add a few more words to the point that I had been making earlier.

The new city of Nepean is located in what has been one of the fastest growing areas in Ontario, and even in the country, over the last 10 years. It has grown now to a population base of 80,000 which was noted in the previous discussion of this bill.

I think, Mr. Speaker, it is important to signal at this time that we would expect, when we get to some substantive amendments to the Ottawa-Carleton regional act, that this government would take its responsibilities for making sure that the structure of municipal government -- the structure, indeed, of electing representatives at the municipal level in cities or townships of the size of the city of Nepean, as it will become -- will be done on a ward basis. It is ludicrous in this day and age to have a city or a township the size of Nepean, 80,000 souls, where the township council or the city council is elected on an across-the-municipality basis. It means that sitting municipal representatives are known to the population as a whole. Any challenger during municipal elections has a very difficult time seeking recognition from voters in such a large territorial area and there is much less chance for that close link between the electorate and its elected municipal representatives than should be the case in modern Ontario.

I would ask this government to make sure, when long-awaited revisions to the Ottawa-Carleton regional act come before us, that there be some recognition of the need for wards in areas such as Nepean and Gloucester and to very seriously begin the advances in modern day representation at the municipal level that we need in an area such as this.

Mr. Sterling: I too hope to be brief on this particular bill. As a representative of part of the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton which is adjacent to the township of Nepean, and representing three of the smaller municipalities, I hope that the proposed amendment to restructure the regional council would be withheld until a general regional bill would be brought on.

I can understand some of the frustrations of the opposition party in relation to this matter. I have spoken to the minister myself and urged him to bring the regional bill in the springtime and they can be assured of my support in bringing that forward.

We have talked as a caucus to some of the representatives in the area and although they desire change to the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, they recognize that this should be done on a regional basis and shouldn’t be done within the confines of this particular bill.

My colleagues and I have talked to the present reeve, the elected reeve and one of the other larger areas, the reeve of the township of Gloucester. All of them agree that it would be inappropriate to readjust the regional representation at this time.


I believe that the township of Nepean has asked for city status at this time and we should allow this bill to go ahead unfettered.

Mr. Ashe: Mr. Speaker, the other night, and again late this afternoon, there were many speakers who I think have indicated general support for this particular piece of legislation. There were a few questions and concerns that were raised that I would like to address very briefly.

First, the member for Waterloo North (Mr. Epp) made some reference to the fact that in the spring session I had indicated, relative to other legislation, that we would be bringing back, to use his words -- and I quote them, because I noted them at the time -- we “would be bringing in general legislation in the very near future,” and that was why they supported a particular point of view at that time.

I would have to correct him and say that was not so at all. I did say the government would be bringing in general legislation relating to the acts at the appropriate time. But I did not try to give any impression at all that it was imminent, because we all knew the process and we knew that it was not imminent.

Mr. Roy: Don’t give us that bull.

Mr. Ashe: That commitment by the government still stands, not only as it relates to Ottawa-Carleton, but also as it relates to the other major areas that were studied as well.

Mr. Roy: Yes, sure; two or three years hence.

Mr. Ashe: He also made reference to the consultative process. I might say that, as the honourable members in this House know, I personally, realize, appreciate and understand the consultative process, particularly as it relates to our dealings with municipal governments. That’s exactly why this piece of legislation is here in this very simple form. We consult with the municipalities and we try to get things done easily and smoothly, without trying to muddy the waters, which some honourable members opposite would try to do.

Mr. Roy: They’ve been asking for city status for eight years. That’s really reacting.

Mr. Ashe: This is not intended, and never was intended, to be a major response to either the Mayo report or the government’s white paper responding to the Mayo report.

The former Treasurer in his announcement around the middle of this year indicated to the municipalities, in response to a general request from all areas of the province, that they would have until the end of the year to respond to the white papers that were tabled.

We have some indication -- I am being honest and fair to the members opposite -- that some of the new councils probably are going to ask for an extension of that time to early in the new year, considering the fact that in some jurisdictions there was a considerable change in the composition of the council, to allow the new members of council possibly to apprise themselves of some of the issues that were raised.

I am quite sure we will be quite amenable to that kind of short-term delay, because again we listen to the people in the municipalities. We listen to the municipal governments that are represented. So of course we believe in the consultation process.

The member for Welland-Thorold again raised the issue about why he was going to be proposing a particular amendment. There is no doubt that in the Mayo report -- and even in our response, if I remember correctly, there was an indication -- representation was one factor that had to be addressed, not only in Ottawa-Carleton, which is what we are discussing here, but also in other areas.

The means of election is of course another significant issue that needs to be resolved. That was not the intent of this bill. This is simple legislation that was designed to serve one purpose at this point in time, and that’s all.

I would like to look back -- and, frankly, I didn’t take the time, because I didn’t think it was worth it to invest -- to the time when the municipality of Thorold was raised to city status. I doubt whether the same concerns and challenges and amendments were incorporated by way of amendment into legislation at that particular point in time. As I understand it, it was very simple and basic legislation, which is exactly what we are trying to do in as short a term as possible here.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Very appropriate too.

Mr. Ashe: There was also a reference by the same honourable member to the fact that a date should be set in the legislation. We all know that a date has been set, the date that it receives royal assent. We can make it very clear to the municipality, as we have been all along, when that day will be.

As a matter of fact, if things had gone the way they were perceived to go with no problems, and with a basic, simple bill, we thought that would be last Friday; and it is not our fault that it did not go last Friday. It could very well be tomorrow if the members opposite so desire.

Mr. Roy: Sure, no problem.

Mr. Ashe: And as I understand it the municipality is well geared up to plan their celebration on that day accordingly, because they are ready to go. Whatever that particular celebration is I don’t know, but if there are any invitations around and you want to have a free bit of pop or something, I will see that the member for Ottawa East gets an invitation.

Mr. Swart: Why stop there? Why stop with him?

Mr. Ashe: If that is really his concern, and if the member for Welland-Thorold is really that concerned --

Mr. Kerrio: Oh, now you are stretching a point.

Mr. Ashe: -- come over to my office sometime and I will give you a free one too.

Mr. Swart: I will go to Nepean.

Mr. Ashe: As far as general representation goes, this is not the place to suggest, and I appreciate the amendment does not suggest it, that the representation change would take place right away. I acknowledge what is going to be suggested there. But we are already hearing from other member municipalities with Ottawa-Carleton that do not agree that this is the time to do it. They support this bill the way it is, and they agree as we do that representation is part of a broader package that has to be addressed at the appropriate time.

There were, of course, very suitable historical remarks brought to the attention of the House, and put on the record by the member for Carleton (Mr. Handleman), and I think it was very appropriate that some member was able to put on the record the very historical background of the municipality in question.

I frankly wasn’t able to note anything other than the reference I have made, from the member for Ottawa East, because I don’t think he referred to anything of significance.

Mr. Roy: You are really on the ball.

Mr. Ashe: To the member for Carleton East who started her remarks the other night, and carried on today, I think the same answers apply. I do agree with her personally, I might say, relative to the ward system. I think that is the fair method of election. But again, we try to wherever possible, give to the municipalities the autonomy we all talk about from time to time to make that choice.

It is also within the purview of the Ottawa-Carleton legislation right now for a municipality to request implementation of the ward system. I understand that it will probably be on the early agendas of the new municipality to discuss that issue because I understand that some members of that council at least -- I do not know whether it is a majority or a minority at this time, but at least some -- favour election on a ward basis.

I think, Mr. Speaker, I have covered most of the questions and concerns that were raised. I would hope that we can now conclude second reading and deal with the particular amendments that are possibly going to be proposed at a suitable time.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.


Mr. Ashe, on behalf of Hon. Mr. Wells, moved second reading of Bill 104, An Act respecting Motor Vehicle Access to Property by Road.

Mr. Ashe: Very briefly, Mr. Speaker, I would like to spend a moment drawing to the attention of the House what has happened since this issue was raised and discussed by this Legislature in the fall of 1977 session, by the vehicle of a private member’s bill introduced by the member for Parry Sound (Mr. Maeck) which sought to prevent an individual owner from arbitrarily barricading a private road without giving 90 days’ notice to the other owners dependent on the road to reach their property.

I think it is safe to say that there was strong support from all sides of the House for that particular legislation and that prompted the bill known as Bill 104.

Since the bill was tabled earlier this year -- on June 1, to be exact -- we have widely circulated the bill for comments throughout the province. I might say that there has not been one negative comment or letter directed to us. We have had a couple of suggestions which were very reasonable and very excellent, I might say, for minor changes or expansion of one or two provisions and that is why we will be putting forth three amendments, which have been circulated to the opposition parties, at the appropriate time in committee.

Mr. Epp: Mr. Speaker, I just want to indicate that we, on this side of the House, will be supporting this bill. We believe it’s a bill that has come at a time when it’s necessary to have some more regulation with respect to both common roads and access roads. The fact that the ministry has not received any negative response to this bill -- and we haven’t received any on this side of the House, except some additional comments with respect to some amendments which we will be dealing with later on -- indicates that the bill obviously has the support it needs across the province, and it is going to function, hopefully, in the way it is intended to function.

We will be supporting it in principle.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, we too are supporting this bill. It may come as a surprise to those on the other side of the House, but I don’t intend to break the harmony established by the parliamentary assistant when he said he had no criticism of this bill.

I would like to commend the Minister of Revenue, although he wasn’t that at the time, for initiating this kind of legislation, which has been broadened somewhat now, and say to him this is probably the kind of thing that brought him into the cabinet.

Hon. Mr. Welch: To provide access roads?

Mr. Swart: They had been the government for 33 years, was it, before that time and they had no legislation dealing with a common road or an access road. The Minister of Revenue brought forth the solution to that, largely. He deserves to have his place in that cabinet.

Mr. Foulds: Were it so easy for us on this side.

Mr. Swart: I am aware of some of the problems that have existed over the years with regard to people who had to use an access road or a common road to get to their property. In fact, back some eight or nine years, when I was the executive director of the Ontario Mayors and Reeves Association, I had a very distraught woman call me from, I believe, the Lake Simcoe area, someplace not too far from Toronto. She had a $75,000 home located on the lake. When they bought it -- and perhaps the search hadn’t been done properly -- they thought they had access for all time through the road that existed. Then they were taken to court and they found they no longer had access to their property and they were landlocked. The only access they had was from the lake. The woman was so distraught she was in tears. It certainly had affected her emotionally. This sort of bill will eliminate those kinds of circumstances.

In reading over the bill and studying it, it seems to me the provisions for finding the balance between individual rights and the rights of the public that uses that road have been determined as wisely as they could be by this bill. There are the rights of appeal in this bill, the 90-day notices which should give adequate time for anybody to build up their case prior to the hearing and do all the necessary consultation to determine all the necessary regulations of the act. Because of the need for this bill and because I think the bill is designed wisely, we in this party will be supporting it with some enthusiasm.


Hon. Mr. Maeck: I will be very brief. I would like to compliment the ministry in bringing in such a fine, upstanding piece of legislation, of which I was the father. My only concern is that I don’t see anything on here that says the Lorne Maeck bill. I was hoping that would be on there.

Mr. Swart: Why didn’t they do that with McCague’s bill on land preservation?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: However, as members are aware, I did bring this bill into the Legislature. It had second reading in principle and was supported by all members of the House at the time. Fortunately or unfortunately, I then became a minister of the crown and was unable to proceed any further with it, so I am very happy to see the ministry take over the bill and that it has become a government bill.

It addresses a lot of problems we have had in the riding of Parry Sound. On many occasions cottagers we have had who have come up for the weekend and found that their road had been arbitrarily closed by a chain or a rock pile or a gate and weren’t able to get into their property. This is going to alleviate that situation and I don’t think it is going to take away any property rights. It is going to at least allow some time for decisions to be made before arbitrary road closings are enforced.

Again, I want to thank the ministry for bringing in my bill.

Mr. Epp: Mr. Speaker, I must apologize. I omitted to indicate earlier we will be making a small amendment to this bill.

Mr. Speaker: The honourable member has already spoken and you are only allowed to speak once.

Mr. Epp: Okay, I made my point.

Mr. Philip: I am only going to speak briefly on the bill. I support the bill and I compliment the government for introducing it; it is based on the predecessor bill which of course we were in agreement with -- and I spoke on Bill 63.

At the time Bill 63 was introduced I made a number of telephone calls to various interested, or possibly interested, groups. At that time I could find no organization that had any objections or raised any objections to that particular bill. The ministry has just indicated that it has circulated the present bill extensively and has found no objections to it.

I think this bill has a number of safeguards for the property owner on whose land a road exists while at the same time it protects the right of those who, because of earlier zoning or lack of zoning, suddenly find themselves in the predicament where they can’t get access to their own property.

During the debate on Bill 63 last year a number of interesting horror stories were painted. I recall one particularly vivid description of somebody’s family standing in the pouring rain and not able to get access to their cottage. Interestingly enough, the example was not as far-fetched as one might think. All of us in this House have come up with a number of examples. As a matter of fact, the member for Yorkview (Mr. Young) has informed me that there have been examples fairly close to his riding, which is hardly a rural riding or a cottage area riding. It is in northern Metro, not northern Ontario.

I think the bill deserves our support and we express that support.

Mr. Foulds: I just have a few brief comments to make on the bill. I would like to extend congratulations to the member for Parry Sound, as he was when the original Bill 63 was introduced, because it forced the Legislature and, of course, the government to think about this important problem. I congratulate the government for bringing forward this bill.

I think the ministry itself deserves some credit for taking note of the concerns expressed when it was drafted as a private member’s bill and they have struck the balance. They have allowed access to be maintained without infringing on property rights and that was of some concern in the debate on the original bill.

I wish the government would take similar action with regard to other private members’ bills, particularly Bill 18, that of my colleague, the member for Carleton East, with regard to special education. That is another bill where discussion has focused on a problem and where I would hope that the government would introduce legislation. Certainly if the government House leader were to indicate to my House leader at the next House leaders’ meeting on Thursday that the government was willing to proceed with Bill 18 in some form, I am sure we could get it passed before the end of this session.

Hon. Mr. Welch: She must become a cabinet minister. That’s the precedent.

Mr. Foulds: Well, that’s an interesting proposal that the Deputy Premier and House leader could extend. I don’t know what the response would be. I suspect it might be blunt and perhaps slightly negative.

The bill is of particular importance, in spite of the comments of my colleague from Etobicoke, to people in rural, cottage and northern Ontario areas.

Mr. Philip: I didn’t say it wasn’t.

Mr. Foulds: Of course he didn’t say it wasn’t, but what he did point out was it even affects northern Metro; if it affects the wilds of northern Metro, it must affect all of the province, but particularly the rural and northern areas.

Mr. Philip: Nothing affects northern Metro. We are going to introduce a bill again that nothing affects northern Metro.

Mr. Speaker: Just ignore the interjections.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I think it is out of order to speak twice on second reading. Often in the past someone has had a cottage closed for the winter and come in the spring and found their access to that cottage had been interfered with. They closed it up for the winter and were not using it, and this of course speaks to that problem.

One question that I would like the parliamentary assistant to speak to when the bill gets to committee -- or perhaps he could reply on second reading because there may be no need for it to go to committee -- is whether the bill applies to government ministries such as the Ministry of Natural Resources in interfering with access roads to points on lakes and to other destinations. I would like some clarification on that point and if the parliamentary assistant could speak to that, it may not be necessary to go to committee.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I feel it unfortunate that the minister finds it necessary to carry the responsibility and in fact embarrassment on this reassessment business once more -- That’s not the bill?

Mr. Speaker: Bill 104.

An. hon. member: Let’s send him back to sleep again.

Mr. Nixon: I will carry the responsibility of the embarrassment until that bill comes forward.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: You were just going to say something nice about me, I know.

Mr. Nixon: I was going to be nice about you.

Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, I rise to support this bill on second reading. In October 1977 when the then member for Parry Sound introduced the bill, I spoke in favour of it. As I said then, the problems in his area which led him to introduce the bill at that time are very similar to problems in the area I represent. We have cottage areas that often are not organized municipally and in many cases roads are not planned as they normally are in municipalities. As a result, you have people who are dependent upon what were commonly called private roads in the past which cross other people’s property in order to gain access to their own property.

This led to a large number of disputes, especially when there were no formal agreements among property owners but just an understanding among friends and neighbours about how one could gain access. When the ownership of the property changed hands, sometimes those agreements were not fully understood by the new property owners, who resented the fact that people were travelling across their property to gain access and tried to close the roads.

This led in some cases to very serious legal disputes about whether or not this was a public thoroughfare, even though it was private land. There were questions of common law and how long a thoroughfare was in use before it could not be closed. There were very vague situations, legally, as to what determined a public road and what did not.

I have had some serious problems in my area --

Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s what some of your constituents tell me.

Mr. Foulds: No, no.

Mr. Swart: We’ve still got a Tory government that makes it difficult.

Mr. Wildman: As a matter of fact, after this bill was dealt with on second reading, I wrote a letter -- and the member for Parry Sound can testify to this -- to the government House leader, suggesting it was about time they reintroduced it and asking what was taking them so darn long to do it. Subsequent to that, the former Treasurer did reintroduce the bill, but conveniently forgot about it until now.

Mr. Foulds: That’s the power of the member for Algoma.

Hon. Mr. Davis: He never forgets.

Mr. Wildman: As I was saying before I was interrupted, in my area there are some cases where roads were laid out by what was there before the local roads boards in unorganized areas. When they were following along the surveyed area where the road should go, and they found they had to go around some sort of hill or rock face or something of that nature, they simply laid it around on private property.

That was fine as long as you had just the rural people living there -- people who all knew each other and co-operated with one another. But when someone new came into the area and bought that property, he resented the fact that what may have even become a municipality by this time now had a road on his property, and he wanted to have compensation for it or wanted the road removed. This, again, led to many disputes.

As I was also saying, in my riding there is one particular situation where a number of people have been in a dispute for some time now over a road in Plummer township. Nobody seems to know whether it is a public road or not. It is to be hoped that this legislation will do something to help those people resolve a very sticky dispute and one which has actually led very close friends to become very bitter towards one another. If we hadn’t taken so long to have this reintroduced, the dispute might have been solved by now.

The advantages of this bill are that it does not hurt the property rights of the person who owns the property; there is a system set up which allows people to take an ordered approach to dealing with a problem; and everybody knows how it will be dealt with, because they are given information ahead of time.

At the time it was introduced, I congratulated the member who introduced it and indicated my support for it. I again congratulate him for his tenacity in finally persuading his cabinet colleagues to go ahead with this bill.


I would hope that the one question which was raised by my colleague from Port Arthur can be resolved in this case, though: What happens with a Ministry of Natural Resources road? This has been a very vague situation in the past.

The Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier), when he was Minister of Natural Resources, made a statement in my riding, in the community of Wawa, that once public moneys had been expended on a road that road would not be closed to the public. Immediately after he made that statement, the Ministry of Natural Resources district closed the road that had had public moneys expended upon it.

When I raised that with the minister and pointed out there was a contradiction there, he pointed out that what he meant was generally true but there were exceptions. I hope this bill will also apply to those kinds of situations; not just to roads going across private property, but roads used by Natural Resources. Then when they are no longer in use by Natural Resources, will the public have access to lakes and to the wilderness of our area over these roads paid for with public moneys? Not just public moneys spent by municipalities or roads boards in the past on a road that goes into a cottage area, but also money spent by the provincial government on a road that leads to a lake or a river in the wilderness. I hope that can be clarified.

Again, as I said before, the most commendable thing about this bill is that the people will be warned ahead of time and will have a right to a hearing. This may or may not involve the kind of expense it would involve now, if one had to go to court and resolve a problem using the legal profession. I hope that will not be necessary under this procedure.

Again, I hope this bill will be passed quickly. I don’t really see the need for it to go to committee. I hope we can get through it expeditiously and that the questions we’ve raised on second reading can be answered by the parliamentary assistant so we will not have to go into committee to have those matters clarified.

Mr. Ashe: First of all, Mr. Speaker, I’d like to thank all of the members who have indicated such strong support for this particular piece of legislation. I think it goes without saying after hearing all of the speakers that there is no disagreement whatsoever.

I think the general comments cover many of the pluses of the bill, relative particularly I think to its fairness -- the fact that rights are protected on both sides with adequate notice, there is the right to present both sides of an issue and the assurance that people are aware when an issue does occur. I think both the rights of people who have been using a particular road are well protected and yet these rights of property, of course, are still protected.

In no way, of course, does this legislation have any property rights in the sense of a change of ownership or anything like that. I think it’s fair to say the only question or concern if you will, that has been brought up, I indicated in my opening remarks. We will he going into committee because there are three positive amendments that came about because of our consultative process over the summer. I still hope and perceive that we can proceed with committee and third reading tonight and have royal assent tomorrow. I don’t think that’s any great problem.

Mr. Foulds: Not three stages in one day.

Mr. Ashe: Responding to the particular question relative to the Ministry of Natural Resources roads, as a matter of fact that’s one of the amendments we will be proposing to section 1 -- to clarify that these roads are not included in the act.

Mr. Wildman: Oh, that’s a shame.

Mr. Ashe: But not because of this act. It really is making it abundantly clear that presently, under part II of the Public Lands Act -- and I think this is the particular area that the honourable members were referring to -- the district forester may close a public forest road to the public “for such period or periods as he may determine.” Some obvious reasons are serious repairs, heavy forestry cutting equipment blocking the road, forest fires; that kind of thing is obviously what is in mind, with the exception of persons operating vehicles used for hauling forest products. That’s under section 54 of subsection 1.

In addition, where the Minister of Natural Resources has entered into an agreement with a person who occupies a private forest road to allow travel by the public, the district forester has the same power to close such a private forest road. That’s under section 56, subsection 5.

One of the amendments is really just making it abundantly clear that we still perceive this to be an excellent section in the Public Lands Act, considering the reasons why it is there. I hope that will take care the concerns of the honourable members. To make it clear in this legislation -- that is the reason for one of the three amendments we will be making when we proceed into committee.

Mr. Wildman: An unfortunate amendment. A very unfortunate amendment.

Mr. Ashe: It’s not really an amendment because the Public Lands Act already spells that out, but for the sake of somebody who might pick up this particular piece of legislation it would save a cross-reference.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.

House in committee of the whole.


Consideration of Bill 166, An Act to establish the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Sections 1 to 4, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 5:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that section 5(2)(c) of the bill be deleted and the following substituted therefor: “(c) administering and co-ordinating programs of financial assistance to municipalities.”

Mr. Swart: I will be brief. I explained the reasons for this amendment before. However, I do want to reply to some comments which were made by the minister.

It is true this amendment says “administering and co-ordinating” programs of financial assistance to municipalities. It is also clear that it does not say all programs. The intent is -- and we had some assistance from legal counsel in drafting this -- it would only apply to those programs which are normally administered by the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, or perhaps more appropriately, those matters that were formerly in TEIGA, relating to municipal government.

If the minister had not made the comment he did in his speech introducing the estimates, this amendment might not be before us today. In fact, it would not be before us. He stated that that was rather a detailed explanation of the responsibilities of his ministry -- I don’t wish to put any words in his mouth, but he said words to that effect.

If we look at what he said it becomes rather clear that that ministry does not intend to take responsibility for the administration of those programs.

I would like to speak briefly about the minister’s speech some two weeks ago on the introduction of his estimates. He said:

“I would like to speak briefly about that component of the ministry which has the vital responsibility related to our dealings and relationships with the municipalities of Ontario. The local government division is virtually the same as the division of the same name in Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs. As before, the executive director is Eric Fleming ... and there are six branches.” I won’t read all the six branches.

Then he went on to say, “Broadly speaking. this division had a dual role: to advise the government on policies affecting local government, particularly municipalities, and also to assist local governments in carrying out their responsibilities and functions.” That’s a very reasonable assessment of what that department will be doing.

He continued: “More specifically, this division’s activities include policy advice on local government structure, functions and responsibilities; assistance to municipalities on administration and finance management; liaison with municipalities and municipal organizations on a broad range of provincial policies and programs of interest to local government; policy advice on transfer payments to municipalities, including unconditional grants, transitional and special grants, payments in lieu of taxes, as well as the management of several transfer payments and loan programs.

“I would like to elaborate briefly upon the last point. In our early discussions with the Treasurer and his officials, it was recognized that the municipal financial base and the system of intergovernmental transfers are important components of the fiscal and budgetary structure of the province. However, while recognizing that the ultimate responsibility for provincial financial policy rests with the Treasurer, it is also clear that the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs can and should perform an active planning and advocative role on behalf of the municipalities.” That doesn’t sound like the administration of the grants.

“Having regard to all of these factors, the decision has been made that the municipal finance branch, the intergovernmental finance and grants policy branch will remain as part of the fiscal policy division in the Ministry of Treasury and Economics. On the other hand, the prime point of contact” -- get this -- “with municipalities on the implementation of the policy, including finance, is the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs. This is why all conditional grants to municipalities are in the estimates of the ministry.

“I am optimistic that these arrangements relating to municipal financial matters will prove effective to all concerned. Because of the crucial nature of this area, however, we will be monitoring these arrangements very carefully, prepared to advocate refinements or alterations as may be advisable.”

I say to the minister that it appears to be rather clear that he is leaving certain financial responsibilities of the grants policy branch and of the municipal finance branch in the Ministry of the Treasury and Economics. It is obvious he is not too sure himself that that is going to work satisfactorily, so they’re going to monitor it.

What we’re simply saying in the introduction of this amendment is that we don’t think that it’s going to work too satisfactorily either. We would sooner have it the other way with the branches directly under your ministry. Then, if it doesn’t work very well that way, you can take a look at it. However, bills have the habit of getting passed and then changes are not made for months or years afterwards. We think there is a better chance that this will work efficiently and to the best interests of the municipalities, if those branches are in your ministry.

As I said before, our amendment doesn’t state that they must be in that ministry, but it does reinforce the responsibility we think you should have for the administration of the transfer payments to the municipalities that had generally come under TEIGA. That is the purpose of this amendment.

Ms. Gigantes: I think this amendment has much to recommend it. It has a lot that should recommend it to this minister in particular. This minister has had experience in his previous portfolio of having to assume some kind of public responsibility for funds over which he had no control and which the Treasurer controlled.


I’m speaking of the superannuation fund of the Ministry of Education, the teachers’ superannuation fund. The minister will recall the great embarrassment in which he was frequently placed because the superannuation fund, though it came under the general agents of his ministry, was administered directly by the Treasurer. He found himself in the very embarrassing position of having to explain figures that he really didn’t understand, to put it bluntly.

I recall one meeting of the standing committee on social development where we were discussing superannuation funds. We simply had to close down the committee while the minister, who did not have the administration of this fund under his control, had to seek information from Treasury -- from TEIGA as it then was.

I would suggest very strongly to this minister that he think about the pain and anguish he went through in the situation he was in as Minister of Education, with no control over the administration of that fund, before he agrees to be put in a very similar kind of situation once again. That is, not having control over a very important element in this new Treasury ministry. I recommend to the minister that he reconsider the fact that he should have administrative control over this very important element of the work that he will be doing.

Mr. Foulds: I would just like to make two comments on this amendment put forward by my colleague, the member for Welland-Thorold. I would like to speak in support of the amendment. I would appeal to the minister to reconsider the position that I heard him express at the conclusion of second reading for two reasons.

One is the other side of the argument the member for Carleton East put. This particular minister also has experience in administering large grants -- the transfer grants that went to the school board in the previous ministry. It seems to me if you can undertake that responsibility in the Ministry of Education, you should be able to undertake that responsibility in the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs, if the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs is to mean anything and to have any guts in it.

I am reminded of the arguments that we in this party presented in the debate on the other new ministry that has been created since government reorganization in 1972. That was the Ministry of Northern Affairs, which was also mooted by the government simply as a co-ordinating, liaisoning ministry. It did not have the power in terms of real clout with regard to the north, What I am afraid of is that this ministry will not have the clout to carry on its responsibilities with regard to the municipalities of this province. It should have that clout and it should have that responsibility. The municipalities should know that they don’t have to deal with two moving targets; one, the Treasurer, and the other this minister, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

I think that the minister and this ministry have the potential to serve the municipalities of the province well, both in terms of legislation and policy, and in terms of administration of grants. Therefore, I would appeal to the minister to accept the amendment and I would appeal to the members of the Legislature from the Liberal Party to also support the amendment.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Let me just sum up. First of all, I appreciate my friend reminding me of some of our difficulties with the teachers’ superannuation fund. I admit there were difficulties in reconciling some of the policies that were carried out and transactions that took place in the past. But I think we got those straightened out. I really don’t see any comparison between that situation and this situation.

As for the acts that this ministry will administer -- and those acts are set out in the schedule to this bill -- under section 4 the responsibility for the administration of those acts is given to this ministry. Therefore, we will be making the policy decisions and we will be operating as far as the unconditional grants are concerned, as far as the resource equalization grants are concerned and so forth.

The only difference, I think -- and I draw this to my friend’s attention; I have looked at this very carefully -- is where some of the people may be located. My friend even states that all those branches should be in this ministry. I have to tell him that all those branches wouldn’t be in this ministry; only some of those people might be in this ministry, or some could be in Treasury. For the sake of efficiency and economy, I think we can leave them where they are, and we can operate and administer the acts and the programs that we have to administer and operate on behalf of the municipalities. I don’t see any problem. If there is any problem, we will come back and suggest a new way of operating.

But I must tell the member that, for instance, we have already had a couple of meetings of the fiscal arrangements committee, and I think they have gone very well; this ministry has taken the lead in being the ministry dealing with the municipalities and the transfer payments.

I also have to tell him that I believe the addition of the words “administer and,” as set out in the motion that my friend has put forward, would then mean we would have to administer all the programs from all the ministries of this government. That, of course, is not the policy of this government. It is not the way I would want it. I don’t think it is the way he would want it. So I have no other course of action but to reject the amendment, because I think it would do something more than even he wants.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Swart’s amendment will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

Hon. Mr. Welch: I am just wondering, under the circumstances, since we have other bills to do in committee, if we could defer this vote, along with votes on other bills in committee, until 10 o’clock tonight.

Amendment stacked.

Sections 6 to 11, inclusive, agreed to.


Consideration of Bill 172, An Act to erect the Township of Nepean into a City Municipality.

Sections 1 to 3, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 4:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that section 4 of the bill be amended by adding at the end thereof: “But on and after December 1, 1980, and not withstanding section 4(1)(f) of the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Act, the number of representatives of the city of Nepean on the council of the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton shall be increased to four, consisting of the mayor of the city of Nepean and the three aldermen who receive the highest number of votes in a general election to elect a council of the city of Nepean and holding office after that date.”

Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order: I would ask you to rule this amendment out of order, and I would like to explain why. This is a bill to create a city where a township formerly existed. The bill does everything necessary to achieve that end. The purpose and the principle of the bill are as outlined in the title: simply to create a city municipality. The amendment deals with regional representation, not with the principle of the bill as approved on second reading. In fact it deals with the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Act. I would suggest that the amendment is completely out of order in that it changes the principle of the bill which we approved on second reading. I ask you to rule.

Mr. Laughren: Wrong again.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: On the point of order? The member for Welland-Thorold.

Mr. Swart: I would point out that section 4 of this bill deals specifically with the matter of representation of Nepean on the Ottawa-Carleton regional council. May I read: “Nothing in this act shall for the period commencing December 1, 1978, and ending on November 30, 1980, affect the representation of the city of Nepean on the council of the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton as established in section 4(1) of the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Act.” It deals solely with the matter of representation on the regional council and as such, a bill to amend that, I suggest to you, has to be in order.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, on the point of order: I just want to indicate to you, regarding, of course, the argument put by my colleague the member for Welland-Thorold, that section 4 deals clearly, as the notation on the side indicates, with representation on regional council. It so happens that it takes a particular form and that form is by referring to another act.

However, I would suggest that the amendment put forward by my colleague the member for Welland-Thorold in fact deals also with representation on regional council. The members may agree or disagree with his approach, but because the principle of this section, if you like, is representation on regional council, and the amendment clearly deals with representation on regional council, the amendment is in order.

The confusion that is brought to the debate by the member for Carleton I think is unworthy of him because he opposes the amendment. If he opposes the amendment and if his colleagues oppose the amendment, let them vote against it but not challenge it on this spurious point of order.

Mr. Laughren: Carried.

Ms. Gigantes: Tedious, Sidney, tedious.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Chairman, the opposition from the member for Carleton to the effect that the amendment is out of order is not on. If you read the whole explanatory note on the bill, it deals with making Nepean into a city “and for matters consequent thereon.” One of the matters consequent thereon is section 4, which deals with the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton and the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Act. As some of my colleagues have said, the member may disagree with what is intended in the amendment as such, but to suggest that somehow this amendment is out of order and not in line with the principle of the bill I think is ridiculous, even based on the explanatory note.

It seems to me that unless a bill is clearly out of order on the basis that it spends money or does things of this nature, any doubt should be resolved in favour of the amendment when the amendment in fact deals with a section which refers to the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Act.

Mr. Ashe: Mr. Chairman, speaking in support of the point of order, may I use the same reference as the previous honourable member did, “for matters consequent thereon”?

Mr. Conway: You are as Pavlovian as they come.

Mr. Ashe: In actual fact, those matters just reiterate that there will not be any changes relative to representation and other things. On the board of education, in the case of the separate school board that we will be coming to by amendment --

Mr. Roy: Your amendment is out of order, if you are consistent.

Mr. Ashe: -- also with the regional representation on the Ottawa-Carleton council, in fact, there is not a change. Reiterating that there is not a change, I would suggest, is what is consequent to the bill.

I would support the member for Carleton who suggests that this particular amendment is out of order.

Ms. Gigantes: Shame on you.

Mr. Roy: May I make further comments to you? If you are going to be consistent on this, Mr. Chairman, if you rule this amendment out of order you are going to have to rule the government’s amendment out of order as well.

Mr. Ashe: You probably haven’t even read it, so how can you say that?

Mr. Laughren: You haven’t read the bill.

Mr. Conway: That’s not the way to get to the Treasurer’s bench.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order. It being almost six o’clock, I will reserve the ruling on this point of order until eight o’clock. I will now leave the chair and return at eight.

The House recessed at 6 p.m.