The House resumed at 8 p.m.
House in committee of the whole.
CITY OF NEPEAN ACT (CONTINUED)
Resumption of consideration of Bill 172, An Act to erect the Township of Nepean into a City Municipality.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: When we adjourned at six we were dealing with an amendment by the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart). The member for Carleton (Mr. Handleman) rose on a point of order and asked that the amendment be ruled out of order and I reserved the ruling over the dinner hour.
The member for Carleton indicated the amendment was out of order as it deals with a detail which is not part of the principle of the bill. The member’s disagreement with the point of order was based on a section in the bill that mentions the representation on the regional council and that any variation of that representation is in order.
The member for Durham West (Mr. Ashe) stated that although section 4 does mention representation on regional council, it does so only in a negative way and as the bill proposes no change in that representation, an amendment to make any change is not in order.
Having considered these points, I find the member for Durham West is correct in stating that this section deals with representation on regional council only in a negative way and it makes no change in the present legislation.
However, representation on the regional council is definitely part of this section and therefore an amendment proposing different representation is a type of amendment that is normally dealt with in the committee of the whole and therefore I rule the amendment will be in order.
The member for Welland-Thorold may continue discussion of the amendment.
On section 4:
Mr. Swart: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. May I commend you on your ruling. You are so perceptive.
Mr. Handleman: Now we will prove the amendment is wrong.
Mr. Hennessy: You are a winner.
Mr. Swart: The purpose of this amendment is clear. The matter has been discussed at some length in the discussion on the second reading of the bill. This amendment provides for an additional representative on the Ottawa-Carleton regional council on December 1, 1980.
We know that this amendment doesn’t provide for correction of all of the matters that need to be dealt with with regard to Nepean or with regard to the Ottawa-Carleton regional council. But we want to take this opportunity -- when we have the opportunity -- which you ruled quite proper to do so, to assure that at least there will be some correction of the inequality of representation on the Ottawa-Carleton regional council from the municipality of Nepean in 1980, even if the government doesn’t do anything.
The argument put forward by the member for Carleton and others on that side of the House has been that this is just a cosmetic bill, the whole purpose of which is just simply to elevate or erect that township to a city. I suggest that any bill such as that is not really a cosmetic bill but that it is a pretty significant event. I would point out to the member for Durham West that there is a substantial difference. He brought the matter of the city of Thorold directions -- I believe it was 1975 -- before this House as an example of something I didn’t oppose at that time and I’m not opposing this. He said the situation was the same, that the bill was erecting it to a city. I want to point out there’s substantial difference.
The member for Durham West must know that that bill was passed well in advance of the specific date, July 1, 1975, Thorold was erected to a city. The council had already determined through the regional act and through further confirmation of that in council that they didn’t want any change in the method of selecting members to the local council or the numbers on regional council. In fact, there was nothing else to chance. There wasn’t any comprehensive bill which was supposed to have been brought in either before that or after that. It dealt with everything that could have and should be dealt with at that time and, of course, this bill does not. Therefore, we want to deal with what we can deal with in this bill.
We do this and move this amendment this day, as I said before, because of the delay of the government in dealing with the recommendations of the Mayo commission and the delay in dealing with the requests of the municipality of Nepean and other municipalities there with regard to representation on regional council and a variety of other things.
I regret that the member for Carleton-Grenville (Mr. Sterling) is not here. I would like to put on record at this time the opinion of the reeve of Nepean with regard to comments made by the member for Carleton-Grenville. It is a letter dated November 13 which I received from Reeve A. S. Haydon. Let me read this:
“Thank you for the information you sent me in your letter of November 6 addressed to myself. It is indeed unfortunate that the government threw away proper planning principles when this new city was created. We argued with Mr. McKeough, his colleagues and his staff, the merit in doing things properly rather than in the manner in which this new city was created. I was very disappointed in the statements of Mr. Sterling who seemed to be misinformed on the matter of the road reconstruction.”
Mr. Roy: Who said that?
Mr. Swart: This was a Mr. Haydon who, you might know, is the reeve up there. Then he goes on to say: “In the first instance, it was the residents of Bridlewood and not Nepean who wanted the road upgraded. The Carleton Board of Education desired it to be upgraded. With considerable school bus traffic involved, the region acknowledges that the Hope sideroad -- ”
Mr. Ashe: This has nothing to do with this bill at all.
Mr. Swart: “ -- will serve as an outer ring road until that particular outer ring road is developed. The region is presently spending funds on a consultant to study the alternative location for the ring road around the periphery of the new city.
“However, I believe the area in which Mr. Sterling is most misinformed is his statement that the Ministry of Transportation and Communications recommended expenditures of $39,000. If that is true, why did the MTC approve” -- and approvals are attached -- “the proposed expenditure of $39,000 -- ”
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order. I am wondering if the member would deal with his amendment, which deals only with representation on regional council.
Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, again you are very perceptive. You are absolutely correct in bringing me to order on this matter. But it does show -- related to this bill -- the opinion of the reeve of Nepean with regard to the government’s inaction in that area.
Relative to our amendment I would like to read into the record the letters which most of us, I guess, received -- or some of us received -- from Mr. Dennis Coolican, the chairman of the region there. He says, in his letter dated October 18 addressed to the minister, “I am writing in support of the two points raised by Reeve Haydon in his letter to you of October 12. Regional council in its submission to the province regarding your white paper on the Mayo report suggests the recommendation of the township of Nepean be elevated to a city status and that other municipalities in Ottawa-Carleton receive similar status upon request.
“The question of representation on regional council is of serious concern to the municipalities affected. Both Gloucester and Nepean are developing urban municipalities and are under-represented. The council endorsed the recommendation of adding one representative from each township which will provide a balanced representation between Ottawa and the remaining municipalities.”
Of course, we all have a letter dated October 12 from Mr. Haydon which makes strong representation for that additional representation. It wasn’t the first time it was made, as I am sure you over on the other side of the House know. This request for additional representation has been made over and over and over again by Nepean and Gloucester.
We would he negligent in our duty at this time if we didn’t attempt to assure that Nepean did get additional representation at the next election when we have that bill before us. We would be negligent. I have no doubt that it is the intent of the government to bring in a comprehensive bill. Gloucester needs additional representation; perhaps Kanata -- you know the figures better than I do -- needs additional representation.
Our amendment in no way is introduced to correct all of the shortcomings in that area. But it is introduced to assure that the government will have to come back with a bill during the next two years, and hopefully very shortly, to deal with the representation on Ottawa-Carleton, and a variety of things with regard to Nepean including, hopefully, the matter of ward representation on the government.
What it really amounts to, the reason for introducing this amendment, is that we can’t accept the vague promises made by the government that they are going to bring in that comprehensive amendment for Nepean or for Ottawa-Carleton. That’s what it boils down to.
We have some reason for suspicion. We have been told, certainly ever since I have been here, that we are going to get an assessment reform program. Every year in the budget there were flat commitments that we are going to get tax reform in the municipal field. No question about it, we’re going to get it. Even last spring the Treasurer gave a fiat commitment again to bring in tax reform.
Mr. Nixon: Where is the Treasurer?
Mr. Swart: But we haven’t got it, and now the government has backed off on it.
There could be reasons why they would do the same thing, political or otherwise, for Nepean. We in this party say simply that when we’ve got the chance we are going to ensure that at least Nepean is going to have one additional representative there; the very fact they may create the imbalance you don’t want to have happen with Gloucester means that you people over there are going to bring in that comprehensive amendment.
What we’re really doing with this amendment is forcing you people to act before the next election rolls around.
Mr. Roy: Sid for regional chairman.
Mr. Handleman: The other night, when there was some suggestion I might leave this place, the member for Ottawa East took it as a threat. Now, apparently, he’s urging me to leave. I’m not about to leave tonight.
Mr. Roy: We’re helping you, Sid, and you know it.
Mr. Nixon: Any time.
Mr. Handleman: I listened last week to the member for Welland-Thorold make a very impassioned and effective argument against --
Mr. Nixon: I never knew the member to be impassioned.
Mr. Handleman: -- piecemeal legislation to which he objected. He wants comprehensive legislation. I agree with him, and my colleague before the dinner break said exactly the same thing. We have been pressing the government from our point for comprehensive legislation and we confidently expect that it will come forward.
What the member has actually done through this amendment is to add another piecemeal piece of legislation to the total picture.
Mr. Swart: It’s a bit more fundamental than the original bill was, you know.
Mr. Handleman: No matter what you call it, it’s piecemeal.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.
Mr. Handleman: Last week we heard from the member for Oriole (Mr. Williams), I thought, an excellent argument for staying out of local affairs. We should stay out of local affairs. Here again we have --
Mr. Nixon: Tell us about the Premier (Mr. Davis) and Toronto Island.
Mr. Handleman: -- that party, supported by the official opposition, imposing the will of this Legislature on a local municipality.
Mr. Swart: Every municipality bill does that.
Mr. Handleman: This one is at the request of a municipality by a resolution of the council, at the wish of the serving reeve --
Mr. Nixon: We don’t have any confidence in the mayor.
Mr. Handleman: -- the reeve-elect, the reeves of other municipalities and the regional chairman. This amendment is not supported by the present reeve, by the reeve-elect, by the reeve of Gloucester, or as far as I know by the regional chairman. We have an amendment put forward by the NDP, supported by the Liberals, which is against the will of the local officials.
Mr. Nixon: And it’s going to carry.
Mr. Handleman: As far as the principle of it is concerned, there is no question Nepean is under-represented --
An hon. member: The government is going to fall tonight.
Mr. Handleman: -- and has been for quite some time.
Mr. Nixon: It’s a matter of confidence.
Mr. Handleman: I can assure all the members opposite that I will be urging on the government that that position be rectified. It will be rectified before the election of 1980, as far as I am concerned and my colleagues are concerned, but not in this way.
An hon. member: This is an amendment, that’s an election promise.
Mr. Handleman: What we’ve done here is take a jigsaw puzzle which is a perfect rectangle and put a little piece on the end of it and say, “there it sits,” regardless of what it does to the whole picture. I say we have three new members of Nepean council. They haven’t even been sworn in yet. They won’t take office until December 1. I suggest that we might give them an opportunity to express their views on representation on regional council.
I understand another amendment, which determines how those representatives are going to be chosen rather than the number of them --
Mr. Swart: We’ve got two years before this is effective. You can make any changes you like.
Mr. Handleman: I’ve seen the amendment which has not yet been introduced in the Liberal Party. I would say to the member for Welland-Thorold that if he takes a look at that he’ll find that the two amendments are mutually exclusive. One says, “the first three members;” the other one says, “Excepting one of those first three members who does not wish to serve.” I don’t understand how both amendments can possibly appear on the statute books.
Mr. Swart: Think about it; you’ll be able to understand it.
Mr. Handleman: For that reason we’ll be voting against the amendment when the time comes.
Mr. Hennessy: Give him a hand.
Mr. Mancini: Easy, Mick, watch your arm. You wouldn’t want to hurt your fighting hand.
Mr. Hennessy: No more than an hour.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Chairman, I’ve been provoked to participate in this debate.
An hon. member: You mean encouraged.
Mr. Roy: You know, as is my usual custom I like to sit here --
Mr. Nixon: He’s retiring, moderate and modest.
An hon. member: And talk and talk and talk.
Mr. Roy: -- and read letters from my constituents and answer correspondence. It’s not my style to get involved in very enthusiastic debates, but I think the record should --
Mr. Swart: Just this once.
Mr. Roy: -- be in fact corrected so that it’s clear, not only to the members here but to the public at large, what is the purpose of the amendment and why we in the official opposition feel we cannot trust any further the word of the government, whether it’s through the parliamentary assistant or whether it’s through the previous Treasurer (Mr. McKeough).
Mr. Nixon: Or the House leader himself.
An hon. member: That’s paranoid.
Mr. Roy: The House leader I’ll not comment upon; but I say to the parliamentary assistant that we were fully expecting last spring, following the word of the then Treasurer, that there would be overall legislation dealing with Ottawa-Carleton. On the basis of the word of the Treasurer and the word of the parliamentary assistant we in the official opposition took a responsible approach. As piecemeal legislation came forward we did not support amendments which we felt were more properly brought forward in other legislation, for instance in the Ottawa-Carleton Act.
Mr. Nixon: Did you hear that, Mel?
Mr. Roy: I think the critic for the NDP understands that --
Mr. Nixon: I hope he does.
Mr. Roy: -- that it is the approach we took. Unfortunately, we cannot accept their word any longer. They are not bringing forward legislation. This was confirmed this afternoon by the parliamentary assistant who said we would get it -- in the words of the former Treasurer -- in the fullness of time.
Mr. Nixon: He’s about to take one move to the left.
Mr. Roy: That’s not good enough. When the parliamentary assistant is quoted as saying they’re trying to bastardize the bill --
An hon. member: What?
Mr. Roy: He said that.
An hon. member: It’s unparliamentary.
Mr. Roy: It’s unparliamentary. I’m sure you would have ruled him out of order had he used this wording in the House, but that’s what he said.
Mr. Nixon: The gallery was full of Boy Scouts.
Mr. Roy: That’s right, that’s what he said.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.
Mr. Roy: He said they’re trying to bastardize the bill with an inappropriate amendment.
I look at the correspondence of the regional chairman of October 8, 1978 -- it was read by the critic for the NDP -- in which he states: “The question of representation on regional council is of serious concern to the municipalities affected. Both Gloucester and Nepean are developing urban municipalities and are under-represented.”
Mr. Hennessy: Both of them.
Mr. Roy: That’s right, both of them. Seeing you don’t have the guts to bring both of them here we’ll nail you on the first one we get, that’s the approach we’re going to take.
Mr. Nixon: This is going to carry.
Mr. Roy: That’s right. The member for Carleton mentioned that the present reeve is not in favour of this. I read his letter of October 12, 1978. He states: “Both Gloucester and Nepean are seriously under-represented.” That’s what he says.
Mr. Nixon: Haven’t you had a further communication from him?
Mr. Handleman: No. I spoke to him on Friday. He is against the amendment.
Mr. Roy: Some of us have.
Mr. Nixon: We won’t let Sidney read that letter.
Mr. Roy: The regional chairman of Ottawa-Carleton understands that Nepean is under- represented. The outgoing reeve, who is going to be the last reeve and wants to be the first mayor --
Mr. Nixon: Not if Sidney gets his way.
Mr. Roy: -- understands that. He sent us a letter on October 12. The reeve-elect of Nepean understands this, the deputy reeve is in favour of this; and you have the nerve to tell us that our views don’t represent the views of the elected officials of Nepean.
Mr. Nixon: He has attacked that council for the last five years in the most unwarranted terms.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order. The member for Ottawa East has the floor. Would the members please give him their attention and cease the interjections?
Mr. Roy: An excellent ruling. By the way, did I congratulate you? I understand in my absence you ruled this amendment to be in order. A tremendous decision. You have a great future. Your ruling was based on the merits and it’s an excellent ruling.
What are we to do, we in the opposition who want to take a responsible approach to the problems --
Mr. Nixon: Moderate.
Mr. Roy: -- a moderate approach to the problems of Ottawa-Carleton? We are promised legislation by the government; we don’t get it. Finally, a bill comes forward for Nepean, and we’re asking now what is wrong with the government accepting this bill with added representation for Nepean?
Mr. Nixon: They don’t believe in democracy.
Mr. Roy: What is wrong with that? The parliamentary assistant is being very unfair to the present reeve. If he doesn’t accept this bill he’s not going to allow him to become mayor, the first mayor of Nepean. I think that’s unfair. I really think it’s unfair not to give him that opportunity. The onus is on you. I say to the parliamentary assistant that he has been asking for city status for Nepean for eight years. Why do you wait for his last week?
Mr. Stong: Give him his final wish.
Mr. Roy: What a way to treat your friends, it’s terrible.
Mr. Nixon: You would almost think there was some rush about this.
Mr. Roy: Exactly. We, as a responsible opposition, feel that two amendments are necessary, one of which has been brought forward by the NDP for added representation.
Mr. Sterling: You would kill the city.
Mr. Hennessy: Benedict Arnold.
Mr. Roy: Kill the city indeed.
Mr. Nixon: We don’t want to kill it, we want to erect it.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.
Mr. Roy: The member for Grenville-Carleton is talking about violence.
Mr. Sterling: Carleton-Grenville.
Mr. Roy: Kill the city, he says. You always appeared to me to be a pretty moderate fellow.
Mr. Hennessy: Very mild.
Mr. Roy: Kill the city, he says. Don’t you feel that Nepean should get added representation?
Well there you are, you get an opportunity to vote for this.
We’ll amend the Nepean bill, and of course it’s going to be obvious they are going to have to bring forward legislation for Gloucester because they need added representation as well. The onus is going to be on you to accept the recommendations of the Mayo report.
Mr. Sterling: You’re talking about Gloucester.
Mr. Hennessy: The onus won’t be here.
Mr. Roy: Was that whole exercise of the Mayo report for nothing?
Mr. Nixon: It cost a lot of money.
Mr. Roy: Why don’t you give leadership for a change? Show some guts; guts is what you don’t have over there, show some guts and bring forward legislation.
Mr. Hennessy: You’ve got to show some brains, never mind guts.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: That is an unparliamentary word.
Mr. Roy: It’s not parliamentary? They are using that in the medical profession, you know what I mean by guts.
Mr. Hennessy: Nice going, shed a tear.
Mr. Roy: I don’t want to take on the member for Fort William. You know what I mean about guts.
Mr. Hennessy: On the floor?
Mr. Sterling: You know you couldn’t take him on.
Mr. Roy: You’ve gone 15 rounds before, you know what guts is all about.
An hon. member: Do you hear those bells ringing?
Mr. Hennessy: Don’t cry.
Mr. Roy: I say, in closing --
Mr. Hennessy: Close your mouth.
Mr. Roy: I know what you’re talking about. I’m hearing the bell myself.
I say that we in the opposition have to accept our responsibility as the legislation comes forward, because we can’t rely on the word of the government any more. With this amendment, you’re finally going to be forced to look at the whole of the Ottawa-Carleton area and bring forth legislation. I say to you in fairness, just because there are amendments don’t withdraw the bill and deprive Andy Haydon, in his last week as reeve, the opportunity to become mayor.
Mr. Nixon: It’s not fair.
Mr. Roy: I think it’s unfair on the part of government to do that.
Mr. Nixon: After his record of service.
Mr. Roy: That’s right. We say that if the amendments are accepted we’re prepared to give this bill third reading this evening, if legislation proceeds that way.
Mr. Stong: There’s a big obstructionist over there.
Mr. Roy: That’s the reason we’re in favour of the amendment.
Mr. Epp: I am glad to participate in this debate, because I think it’s a very important one. It’s an important one because in essence what it means is that Nepean will get the kind of fair representation it deserves, the representation it has requested in the last year or years, and the kind of representation that the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton has requested for Nepean.
What we’re talking about here is giving it one more representative, and that representative would be the fourth representative from Nepean. Nepean right now has approximately 84,000 people. The city of Ottawa has one regional representative for every 18,000 or 19,000 people. What we’re hearing on the other side of the House today, as we have heard on other occasions, is that --
Mr. Sterling: There are 31 representatives.
Mr. Epp: -- despite the fact Nepean has 80,000 people and only three representatives including the mayor according to this bill, while Ottawa has one for every 18,000 or 19,000, we are being inappropriate, that we are not being fair to Nepean.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Speak for yourself, Norm.
Mr. Epp: The same thing holds for Gloucester. Gloucester right now has two representatives and they have 60,000 people.
Mr. Handleman: How can you do one without the other?
Mr. Epp: Gloucester needs one more representative. When the appropriate time comes we are going to be prepared to move an amendment so that Gloucester can get that extra representative.
An hon. member: What’s appropriate?
Mr. Epp: Let’s just look at what the parliamentary assistant said earlier. He indicated this particular bill would serve one purpose and that’s all, quote, unquote.
I’m a little confused. I am confused for this one reason: I understand the one purpose of this bill was to give Nepean the status of a city as opposed to the status of a township. However, we have been told since this bill was introduced that one of the other reasons, and maybe the real reason, is not to give Nepean city status but to give one particular person the status of being a mayor as opposed to being a reeve.
Mr. Stong: Shame, you would let that happen.
Mr. Nixon: Oh that couldn’t be. That’s incredible, nobody could be that small.
Mr. Roy: I can’t believe that.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.
Mr. Epp: For the life of me, Mr. Chairman, I can’t understand why this should be such an important measure. I see it as a very cosmetic thing. That’s the reason we have been given to hurry this bill through the House and give it second reading, committee and third reading --
Mr. Sterling: Kill it.
Mr. Roy: We are not killing it, you are the one withdrawing it.
Mr. Epp: -- so that particular person could become a mayor. I know you get all these lovely titles, you are called “your worship” and things of that nature. Having had that experience for two and a half years, it really doesn’t wash.
Mr. Sterling: Why are you against Andy?
Mr. Epp: But I suppose some people are very obsessed with titles of that nature and they would like to have it for a week if they can’t have it for a year or two. The reason he wants to get that particular title is because I understand he wants to be a candidate for chairman of the region and this will tip the scale in favour of being elected chairman.
Mr. Sterling: Oh come on, what are you trying to do?
Mr. Stong: Why are you against Andy?
An hon. member: Just because he ran for the Tory nomination.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order. I would remind the committee the member for Waterloo only has the floor.
Mr. Epp: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I agree. That’s the kind of support I appreciate from the chair.
There is no doubt in my mind, and no doubt in the minds of my colleagues and the people to the left, that we are making, not an inappropriate move but we are making the right move in supporting this amendment.
I will speak a little later on another amendment I want to introduce which is related to this, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Roy: We’re all excited now.
Mr. Ashe: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I have never heard so much garbage since I have been here.
An hon. member: Speak for yourself.
Mr. Swart: Listen for the next five minutes.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: On a point or order, the member for Port Arthur.
Mr. Foulds: Thank you. First of all, the honourable member hasn’t listened to himself.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: The point of order.
Mr. Foulds: The point of order, I believe, is that the general accusation against certain members of the Legislature is in fact unparliamentary and should be withdrawn.
Mr. Nixon: “Garbage” is in order.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Point of privilege.
Mr. Roy: I think that as a member from Ottawa-Carleton, representing that area, I take strong objection to calling certain individuals we talked about, for instance Andy Haydon, garbage. I think that is awful. I think it should be withdrawn by the parliamentary assistant.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order. The member did not refer to any particular person, he discussed the quality of the debate.
Mr. Swart: Garbage from his colleagues.
Mr. Foulds: It was a slander of all members.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order. The member was not referring to persons. He was referring to matters discussed in the debate. I think garbage is not an unparliamentary word.
Mr. Nixon: It is a third-rate debate, we expect that.
Mr. Sweeney: A reflection of the person who spoke it.
Mr. Ashe: I suppose when somebody is listening to something and when they hear something it’s all in the minds of the beholder. If the cap fits, wear it; if it doesn’t fit, don’t wear it.
Mr. Sweeney: In the mind of the listener.
Mr. Ashe: In any event, I am trying to respond to a few of the points that were made: I think they were well covered this afternoon, but as they were repeated tonight I guess I will have to go over it again as well. The major point is the constant one that is being made by the member for Ottawa East, that you can’t trust the government any more because they never do what they are saying.
Mr. Roy: That’s right.
Mr. Ashe: I would just like the member to show where we indicated -- or where I indicated, which I think was the main reference in terms of the particular earlier legislation that I referred to -- where we gave any indication that general legislation relating to Ottawa-Carleton and other regional municipalities was at all imminent. We said it would be brought forward at the appropriate time, in response to the various studies and the white papers that were prepared on behalf of the government.
We also heard the representation and the references to autonomy, listening to the local people. As this House very well knows, the reason the government has not proceeded further with legislative responses to the various studies and the white papers is because municipally-elected people and others within municipalities asked for time, at least to the end of the year for the new council to be involved. With the summer gone by it was inappropriate, as far as the elections since passed are concerned, to do anything about it in any event. So we do listen to the local municipalities; it is too bad that some others don’t, and that is exactly what is happening.
As I also indicated earlier, we do hear, by the grapevine if you will, that some municipalities will be asking for a further delay beyond the end of this calendar year. That is probably most appropriate considering the changeover that took place in many councils throughout the various areas in question, including Ottawa-Carleton.
Mr. Nixon: Just what this government is facing whenever they have the nerve to go to the polls.
Mr. Ashe: Some people keep talking about when it is appropriate to talk about local autonomy and when it is appropriate to talk about consultation; when it actually comes about and the government responds in that very appropriate method, those people on the other side don’t recognize what that is and what the facts are.
Mr. Swart: We recognize what you are doing.
Mr. Ashe: The member for Welland-Thorold read a letter into the record that had nothing whatsoever to do with this piece of legislation. I would imagine, being from where he is, he maybe doesn’t know that the city that was referred to in that letter happened to be another city that was established. That is the only thing I can assume. He read the whole thing into the record, and when he was using the word “city” he was undoubtedly using it in the connotation of Nepean and that is not what it was talking about at all.
Mr. Roy: Don’t be so stupid.
Mr. Nixon: Now that member is never very often wrong, just occasionally.
Mr. Foulds: He made some appropriate remarks about the government.
Mr. Ashe: The other thing he doesn’t say -- we are back to autonomy again and he is using as an example out of that inappropriate letter the fact MTC gave approval for the road in question; there is no doubt it is on the record what expenditures were suggested as adequate for the traffic volumes on that road, but again when allocation of funds is made this government tells the local municipalities they can set their priorities, whether they be right or wrong they make that autonomous decision themselves. That is the same area where you are always criticizing what we don’t do, so at least be consistent.
Mr. Swart: We are.
Mr. Ashe: It would be unusual for you, but be consistent from time to time.
Ms. Nixon: You belong at least in the second row.
Mr. Ashe: Thank you very much.
Mr. Epp: That’s in the gallery, George, not there.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.
Mr. Ashe: No comments from the peanut gallery back there.
There was also reference to, and actual excerpts read from, letters from the regional chairmen; which we have, needless to say they were made available.
Mr. Nixon: We have some that you don’t have.
Mr. Ashe: I am sure you do, and I am very glad that you do.
Mr. Handleman: Why don’t you read it into the record, Bob?
Mr. Ashe: The one thing that the members opposite seem to forget is all of those references talked about not one inequity -- and nobody is challenging the fact of inequity in representation on the Ottawa-Carleton council --
Mr. Roy: What are you waiting for?
Mr. Swart: We’re the only ones doing anything about it.
Mr. Foulds: You don’t do anything about it.
Mr. Ashe: But it talked about the inequity for two municipalities. Although you suggest in your amendment this is going to overcome some of that inequity, in actual fact what it will do, of course, is increase the inequities as they relate to Gloucester. You know that as well as I do.
Mr. Swart: Bring in a bill for Gloucester, let’s amend it.
Mr. Ashe: The figures were quoted by the member for Waterloo North.
Mr. Nixon: Are you calling it Gloucester too? Are you afraid?
Mr. Ashe: Pardon? I’ll use it any way you wish. Do you want it bilingually?
Mr. Foulds: Yes.
Mr. Roy: Yes.
Mr. Nixon: En français.
Mr. Ashe: The member for Waterloo North, and I’m using his words, said: “This is a very cosmetic bill.” I agree, it was intended to be a very cosmetic bill.
Mr. Foulds: Like all your policies.
Mr. Ashe: Of course it’s not. I think I used the appropriate word this afternoon as to what is attempted by this piece of legislation. It is very minor in nature and very cosmetic in nature, a very important step in the minds of the people living in the now-township of Nepean who anticipate city status in Nepean.
Mr. Swart: It shows their representation.
Mr. Ashe: There’s no doubt the onus will be on the members opposite if this bill does not go forward.
Mr. Nixon: Are you suggesting that it might not?
Mr. Ashe: The government definitely feels it is inappropriate to proceed with this kind of legislation --
Mr. Ruston: Are you going to call an election on it?
Mr. Stong: We will bear the load.
Mr. Ashe: -- which has been completely turned around from its original intent.
Mr. Handleman: Tramp the streets of Nepean on this one.
Mr. Stong: I think we’ll be able to cope.
Mr. Mancini: You’d better check with the member for Carleton first.
Mr. Ashe: There was also a very inappropriate reference made by the member for Waterloo North; not against myself and not against this government, but I really think he was downplaying the intelligence, all of the intelligence of the members of the regional council in Ottawa-Carleton. I’m sure I know some of them, or at least have met them. I think the member is belittling their intelligence when he made this kind of statement, that to make the present reeve the mayor would tip the scales in his favour in becoming regional chairman.
Mr. Nixon: That is the kind of opposition he’s going to face, eh?
Mr. Ashe: Well if that would tip the scales in the minds of the electors of that regional council, then I sure think you are cutting them short as to their mentality. I don’t think they fall into that category.
Mr. Foulds: “Selling them short” is the phrase, not “cutting them short.”
Mr. Ashe: I think it’s rather unfair to suggest that was at all the idea behind it.
Mr. Epp: What’s the big hurry for the bill then?
Mr. Ashe: You know it just as well as I do. I hope it’s communicated to the various members who make up the regional council of Ottawa-Carleton what some honourable members think of their mentality when they would suggest something like that would tip the balance.
Mr. Nixon: They have you beat 10 ways.
Mr. Ashe: In any event, as I indicated before, the government feels, and quite correctly I’m fully convinced, this is not an appropriate change to this legislation.
Mr. Stong: Do you actually believe what you are saying?
Mr. Ashe: We have stated in the past, and we continue to reiterate, at the appropriate time, when all municipalities have had a chance to react to the white paper and make any further input, we will be coming forward with comprehensive legislation relating not only to Ottawa-Carleton but to other regional municipalities that have had major studies done.
If this bill is going to be changed in this fashion, there is no doubt in our view that it is inappropriate to carry it forward.
Mr. Roy: I just want to ask a point-blank question of the parliamentary assistant. Are you saying that if this amendment passes you are not going to proceed to third reading with the bill? Is that what you’re saying? I just want a yes or a no.
Mr. MacBeth: There’s no way you can.
Mr. Sterling: How can you? The amendment is ridiculous.
Mr. Ashe: In responding to the question, I thought I made that very clear. There was no doubt of the intent of this legislation. If that particular amendment carries, that’s no longer the intent of this legislation and therefore it is inappropriate legislation with which to proceed.
Mr. Sterling: He is telling you.
Mr. Ruston: You should challenge the chairman’s ruling if he rules it out of order.
Mr. Ashe: I didn’t say his ruling was wrong.
Mr. Roy: I just want to say, Mr. Chairman, that it’s clear the word we are getting from the parliamentary assistant is this: After you have made a ruling on an amendment, an amendment that is in order, the parliamentary assistant is telling us, the opposition here in this House, that if we pass an amendment he will withdraw the bill. How unparliamentary can you get? That is contemptuous of the Legislative Assembly; and that’s what you fellows are used to.
Mr. Nixon: You think you’ve got a majority over there.
Mr. Roy: Yes. You’re acting as though you’ve got a majority and you’re acting like a young dictator. I know it comes very easily for you people on the other side.
Mr. Stong: If you can’t win you take all your marbles home.
Mr. Roy: Let it be very clear that we here are passing an amendment which the chairman has ruled to be in order, and yet we get the parliamentary assistant who stands over there and dares tell us -- with this form of blackmail again --
Mr. Sterling: What would you rather it be?
Mr. Roy: -- that if we pass an amendment he’ll withdraw the bill.
I think it is somewhat contemptuous of the House, if we believe in the democratic process, that we on this side, who represent the majority of the electorate in this province, should be told --
Mr. Nixon: A massive majority.
Mr. Roy: -- should be told that if we bring forward amendments, which are ruled to be in order, he is going to withdraw the bill. He should be ashamed of himself.
Mr Nixon: Resign.
Mr. Roy: The last thing I wanted to say was that the parliamentary assistant suggested to us that somehow we had no reason to think that major amendments to the Ottawa-Carleton Act would be brought forward. I just want to read from Hansard of June 15, 1978, a statement from the Treasurer -- as he then was, that was prior to becoming a director --
Mr. Sweeney: Who was that? What was his name?
Mr. Roy: Who was that?
Mr. Sterling: You wouldn’t say that to his face.
Mr. Mancini: Who said that?
Mr. Roy: Yes, the Duke of Kent; and here is what he said.
This is what he said on June 15 at the time he brought forward the white paper: “I felt that a further month” -- this was in March, we had waited one month, April -- “a further month would be sufficient for discussion and consultation on the selected position taken on the white paper.” That is Darcy McKeough saying this. He is saying that back on June 15; that in one month, that is what we were led to believe here in the opposition, we would see amendments pursuant to the Mayo report; in a period of about one month.
They try to tell us that somehow we got this idea. They told us personally; they used to come across the House and speak to us personally and say, “Fellows, don’t pass the NDP amendment. We are coming with our own.” They don’t remember that.
Mr. Nixon: We were subverted.
Mr. Roy: Their memory becomes convenient. They’ve got convenient memories. They would make very poor witnesses for cross-examination. We would rip them apart if they came in the courts.
So I say, Mr. Chairman, this is the reason we can’t rely on the word of the parliamentary assistant any longer. I want it on the record, Mr. Chairman, that the same government which neglected the pleas of Nepean township for the eight years it wanted to become a city --
Mr. Stong: Very same government.
Mr. Roy: -- brings forward a bill to which we bring forward an amendment which you rule in order, and the government immediately withdraws it and dares to blame us for it. That is contemptuous and the people of Nepean should know the type of approach the government takes to legislation.
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, I want to enter the debate. I would like to speak, through you, to the parliamentary assistant. I must say I find surprising the arrogance the parliamentary assistant has displayed in the House this evening, presumably on behalf of his minister and his ministry.
I find it surprising first of all because that particular member hadn’t known the arrogant days of 1971-75.
Mr. Roy: He was never in a majority government.
Mr. Sweeney: That is one of the qualifications for being a member of that party, it comes with the job.
Mr. Foulds: I would have assumed that having experience only in a minority government he would understand to some extent how the House works. I would have assumed he would have had some sensitivity to the mood and the spirit of the House. But I want to tell you, Mr. Chairman, and through you the parliamentary assistant, that we on this side of the House will not submit to the kind of blackmail he is proposing in this legislation. That kind of blackmail only blackens the party, the representatives of that party and the spokesman who express it.
The parliamentary assistant did not have the guts and the courage to challenge your ruling. You ruled the amendment of my colleague from Welland-Thorold in order. If he had had that experience, and the courage, he could have challenged that.
Mr. Stong: And the intestinal fortitude.
Mr. Foulds: If he did not wish to go that route, he still has the option, and his caucus has the option, of standing in this House and voting against it. If this bill is so important to the government and they have their three-line whip on, they have an opportunity to defeat it; but they have not taken those precautions because they did not consider Nepean to be important enough.
I would also suggest that the argument the parliamentary assistant uses that they cannot accept this amendment that would give Nepean the representation that it deserves on regional council because at the present time Gloucester doesn’t have the representation that it deserves, is nonsense.
Two wrongs do not make a right. This is the only avenue we on this side have to remedy the one wrong that is before us. It is up to the government to introduce another bill to right the wrong that is being done to Gloucester township.
I would like to suggest that all members of this House should vote for the amendment, thus putting the parliamentary assistant in his place.
Mr. Swart: I just want to say a few words.
Mr. Roy: We want third reading of the bill this evening.
Mr. Swart: Yes, we will; I am only going to take five minutes.
I am appalled at the parliamentary assistant’s threat to withdraw this bill because of an amendment. That amendment has to be about as innocuous an amendment as it is possible to make to any bill. It doesn’t do anything for two years; it doesn’t change a single, solitary thing for two years. The township will be elevated to city status in exactly the same way as if we didn’t put the amendment.
An hon. member: But it costs money.
Mr. Swart: It can be nothing else but an excuse. I suggest that the minister and the members over there are rather embarrassed. They are rather embarrassed that the opposition is taking the necessary steps, the NDP is taking the necessary steps, to do something they ought to have done, and ought to have done before this. Rather than let the credit go to the opposition for bringing this about they are prepared to kill the bill. That’s the real reason for the threat to withdraw it.
I suggest to the parliamentary assistant that when he said to the member for Waterloo North that he was doing a disservice to the elected members up in that area by saying they weren’t intelligent or something of that nature, the people of Nepean and that area are bright enough to know whom to blame if this bill is withdrawn.
Mr. Ashe: That’s right, they will.
Mr. Swart: They are. They will all blame you over there. That is who they are going to blame. I say to you that it’s not going to wash here. It’s not going to wash with the press and it’s not going to wash with the people of Nepean.
Mr. Chairman: Order.
Mr. Sterling: I really do think the debate on this subject probably has gone on long enough, so I will only make one comment. It is in relation to the remarks made by the member for Welland-Thorold in relation to his amendment. His amendment says there shall be four members on regional council. That amendment in effect is in total opposition to the present Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Act. I don’t know how he or any other member of this House can support an amendment which creates an opposing and a redundant piece of legislation. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous to propose such an amendment at this time, when basically the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Act says there shall be 31 members on that council and this amendment says there shall be 32. It’s ridiculous.
Mr. Epp: I find that kind of reasoning somewhat wishy-washy, somewhat obtuse, as someone has indicated. Certainly, you can’t amend both bills simultaneously. You have to amend one bill at a time. If you amend the Nepean bill, you follow up by amending the Ottawa-Carleton bill. If you amend the Ottawa-Carleton bill, then you have to amend the Nepean bill. But you have to amend both of them. So if we do this one at this time, surely to goodness we can follow it with the amendment to the Ottawa-Carleton bill later on.
When I was in the boondocks and before I was a member of this assembly, I used to read in the newspaper and hear on the radio about the arrogance of the government. I didn’t know about it first-hand. But I see it tonight first-hand as represented by the parliamentary assistant to the minister. I am sure if the minister realized what was going on in the House he would be most embarrassed by the actions of his parliamentary assistant.
Mr. Nixon: We really ought to have the minister here.
Mr. Epp: For a parliamentary assistant to indicate that he would use the guillotine on this particular bill, he should be embarrassed and should never go down to that area again and face the people of Nepean. I’m sure they would never want to see him if they knew the kind of actions he is trying to pull in this assembly and on the people hack home and on the people of this province.
Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Swart’s amendment will please say “aye.”
All those opposed will please say “nay.”
In my opinion the ayes have it.
Mr. Roy: I’m sorry, do they even have enough members to call a vote?
Mr. Ashe: You’re not usually here. That’s your problem. The difference is that we work five days a week, and you only work two.
Mr. Roy: But you don’t accomplish anything in five days.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Ashe moves that section 4 of the bill be amended by adding thereto a clause (ii): “Notwithstanding subsections 4, 6 and 8 of section 110 of the Education Act, 1974, nothing in this act shall, for the period commencing the first day of December 1978 and ending on the 30th day of November, 1980, affect the representation on the Carleton Roman Catholic Separate School Board of any area municipality within the jurisdiction of the said board.”
Mr. Ashe: Just a brief explanation: Apparently in the Education Act there is a clause that I referred to “that in the event the status of a municipality changes, an automatic review of representation on that board must take place.” Again we are appreciating that representation, and this has been agreed, will not change prior to the next election.
Motion agreed to.
Section 4, as amended, agreed to.
On section 5:
Mr. Epp: At the moment if this bill passes and Nepean becomes a city -- I was going to say a city-state -- it will become a city municipality --
Mr. Nixon: Elevated.
Mr. Epp: -- elevated to the city status, then the top two members, the mayor and the two members of council gaining the most votes, will be on the regional council.
Mr. Handleman: Three. You just voted for three.
Mr. Sterling: Two or three? Get it straight.
Mr. Bradley: We’re going to abolish the regional government next.
Mr. Epp: The amendment that we’re going to introduce will mean there is some latitude for the people who want to decide to sit on regional council. In other words, if the top alderman or the top two aldermen decide they prefer not to sit on regional council, they have an opportunity to indicate that to their fellow members. The next person in order can then serve on regional council.
This is not a new amendment to the government. The government sponsored an amendment of this nature and the words that I have indicated in my amendment are identical, where appropriate, to the words that are in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo Act.
Mr. Handleman: But we don’t want it. You can have it.
Mr. Epp: There is this flexibility for the people of Nepean if they choose to have it. It may very well be that if you didn’t have this amendment in there, some very qualified people -- and Nepean has a lot of qualified people down there --
Mr. Sterling: Why don’t you start listening to them?
Mr. Handleman: Why don’t you listen to them?
Mr. Epp: -- would like to serve on the local council but would prefer not to sit on the regional council. The reason is quite simple.
Mr. Handleman: Tell me one.
Mr. Bradley: They’re opposed to regional government.
Mr. Epp: Having experienced sitting on regional council for two and a half years I know many of the committee meetings and the regional committee meetings take place in the morning or afternoon, as opposed to a lot of meetings --
Mr. Bradley: Retired men’s clubs.
Mr. Epp: -- that, for local municipalities, almost exclusively for most urban municipalities, take place in the evening.
Mr. Bradley: When the working man can be there.
Mr. Epp: So the person who can’t serve on a regional council because his professional duties prevent him from doing so could very well still get the top number of votes and serve on the local council hut not on regional council. That’s the reason for putting forth the amendment.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Epp moves that a new section 5(2) be added to read:
“Notwithstanding the provisions in the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Act, two members of the council of the area municipality of the city of Nepean who at the election for members of council next preceding the organization of the regional council of Ottawa-Carleton in any year receive the highest number of votes, and in the event that either or both of such members decline to accept membership on the regional council of Ottawa-Carleton, the members of the council of such area municipality receiving the next highest number of votes in declining order shall be entitled to be a member or members of the regional council of Ottawa-Carleton.”
Mr. Swart: Very briefly I rise to speak in support of this amendment. As has already been mentioned it’s a kind of amendment that has been incorporated into the Regional Municipality of Waterloo Act. It is itself a cosmetic sort of thing. It’s something that undoubtedly has been overlooked by the government over the years. It could create a problem in that area.
Once again, it does not apply for two years from now. In no way can the government say that it is destroying the bill which it has before it. If it brings in the necessary amendments any time during the next two years -- brings in the comprehensive amendments -- then of course it can delete any sections it wants.
Mr. Handleman: It has been debated and turned down.
Mr. Sterling: It is called trade-off.
Mr. Swart: In no way is this destroying the original purpose of the bill. It’s perhaps a minor amendment but it provides for an improvement over --
Mr. Chairman: Order. There are a number of private conversations. I wish the members would keep it down.
Mr. Swart: -- over what is in the bill now. Therefore, we in this party will support it.
Mr. Kerrio: It’s much more important than what the member for Welland-Thorold is saying.
Mr. Handleman: Aside from the defects in the amendment, which speaks of two members having the option to drop out -- I don’t know what the third one does; he’s forced to remain because we’ve just voted in favour of three -- aside from that, this whole matter has been debated at regional council in Ottawa-Carleton and regional council has rejected it. I have spoken to the reeve-elect of Nepean, who says, “Absolutely no way.” I have spoken to the councillor who topped the poll, who will be on regional council, and she says, “No way.”
Just because it’s good for Waterloo doesn’t mean it’s good for Ottawa-Carleton. We don’t want it. We have turned it down. We have rejected it. There’s a new regional council, a new municipal council. I suggest that if they want this, it’s quite simple. They can debate it and send a resolution to the government asking for it.
I just want to point out to the member for Welland-Thorold what his colleague from Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes) said, because she does know the situation in Ottawa-Carleton. When this was discussed last week this is what she said: “There is going to be a Liberal amendment apparently which says that there should be greater regional representation. But if the people chosen in this overall election decide they don’t want to be regional representatives, they have the opt-out option. I find that unacceptable.”
The member for Carleton East, who does know what we think down there, went on to say, “Either we should have people who are directly elected or else whoever is elected must represent us.” Then she went on to say, “If we won’t deal with the structure, let’s not touch the structure.” That applies to the previous amendment as well as this one.
This matter has been discussed thoroughly. There probably are better ways of electing the regional representatives than the one we now have, but this one has been rejected. If it’s put forward to the councils again and they decide to accept it, I’m sure the government would abide by their wishes. But there should not be an amendment from this Legislature which is contrary to the expressed wish of the regional council and all the councillors in Nepean.
I say we should oppose this amendment.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Chairman, the amendment is a very simple amendment --
Mr. Sterling: Do they want it?
Mr. Roy: I hear the member for Carleton-Grenville, who keeps yapping. He reminds me of a little chihuahua sometimes. He makes a lot of noise but his effectiveness is somewhat limited.
Mr. Bradley: A chihuahua wouldn’t wear a suit like that.
Mr. MacBeth: Don’t get your leg in the way, he’ll bite.
Mr. Roy: I’m surprised not to see more Conservative members at the Joe Clark dinner. It’s disappointing. Your federal leader. Why aren’t you over there?
Mr. Chairman: I’d like to remind the member for Ottawa East that we’re discussing the amendment to section 5.
Mr. MacBeth: He knows more about the Joe Clark dinner than he knows about the amendment.
Mr. Roy: We’ll stick to this amendment.
Mr. Stong: Joe who?
Mr. Roy: I’ve even awakened the former Solicitor General. It’s good to see you. How are you?
Mr. MacBeth: Good to be here, Albert.
Mr. Roy: The amendment is very simple. All it says is that generally speaking aldermen who top the polls automatically go on regional council. All we’re saying is they should have a choice. If they don’t want to go on council it’s the alderman who’s got the next highest number of votes.
Mr. Handleman: We should have that here.
Mr. Roy: Are you against that kind of democratic process?
Mr. Handleman: The person who is elected to the House should have the option of stepping down. Why don’t you step down?
Mr. Roy: The member for Carleton, who wants to become the next regional chairman -- he wants to become the next regional chairman --
Mr. Roy: He’s not prepared to allow this type of democratic process.
Mr. Roy: I can’t understand it, Mr. Chairman. I would have thought the prospective next regional chairman of Ottawa-Carleton would have been in favour of this amendment.
Mr. Epp: He thought he was going to Alberta.
Mr. Roy: As my colleague from Waterloo North said, there is a precedent in the House. We’ve done it for the regional municipality of Waterloo. It’s a sensible piece of legislation.
If people want to run at the local level and they want to represent the local municipality and not sit on the regional council, they should have that option. If they top the polls they should have that option.
I would have thought the party which prides itself on being democratic would have been in favour of this, especially when your ambitions are elsewhere.
Mr. Handleman: I would never let my runner-up sit here, no way.
Mr. Stong: I smell a by-election.
Mr. Roy: I would have thought that. I say, Mr. Chairman, it’s a very simple amendment. I want to ask the question again of the parliamentary assistant. This amendment is an amendment to a bill which is in order.
Mr. Stong: The rats are deserting the ship.
Mr. Roy: I’d like to know from you again, are you saying that if this amendment passes you’re not going to pass the bill?
Mr. Handleman: This one is even worse, because they rejected it before.
Mr. Warner: He’s going to resign if it passes. He’s going to go to Europe if it passes.
Mr. Roy: Let’s hear from you, let’s hear your contemptuous remark again. Let’s hear from you, if you’re going to tell us that because we’re passing this type of amendment you’re going to withdraw the bill.
Mr. Epp: Mr. Chairman, I just want to be a moment on this. It has been indicated to me we should have three members in here. Unless they decide not to support it, let me recommend an amendment, that in the second line this particular amendment to the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Act read, “The three members of the council of the area municipality,” rather than “the two.” I recommend we change that to three.
Mr. Handleman: What if the top four don’t want to sit?
Mr. Roy: Oh no.
Mr. Handleman: Do you mean the fourth has to agree?
Mr. Chairman: Order.
Mr. Ashe: Have you accepted that as an amendment to the amendment?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: No, it’s just in his mind.
Mr. Ashe: Is the member changing his motion? I have no problem if he wishes to change it, I just want to know what I’m discussing.
Mr. Foulds: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Not again.
An hon. member: It’s called plea bargaining.
Mr. Foulds: There is no subamendment.
Mr. Chairman: There is an amendment before the committee. Would you like me to read it again?
Mr. Roy: Dispense, Mr. Chairman.
Reading dispensed with.
Mr. Epp: I had a subamendment on that one, Mr. Chairman; to read “three” rather than “two.” That would help clarify the point the member for Carleton made.
Mr. Chairman: The member for Waterloo North wishes to change, in the second line, the word “two” to “three.”
Mr. Roy: It is to reflect the earlier amendment that has been passed.
Mr. Handleman: But what are you going to do about that poor fourth guy who doesn’t want to serve?
Mr. Ashe: What am I speaking to, Mr. Chairman? Am I speaking to the subamendment? Has that been accepted?
Mr. Chairman: I will place the amendment.
Mr. Ashe: I just want to make sure which one I’m talking against.
Mr. Roy: Come over here and we will explain it to you. I know it is difficult for you.
Mr. Chairman: The chair will read the amendment as amended.
Mr. Epp moves that a new section 5(2) be added to read:
“Notwithstanding the provisions in the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Act, three members of the council of the area municipality of the city of Nepean, who at the election for members of council next preceding the organization of the regional council of Ottawa-Carleton in any year receive the highest number of votes, and in the event that any member declines to accept membership on the regional council of Ottawa-Carleton the members of the council of such area municipality receiving the next highest number of votes in declining order shall be entitled to be a member or members of the regional council of Ottawa-Carleton.”
Mr. Ashe: Mr. Chairman, much of the discussion and the debate really has centred upon the basis of, I think the phrase has been widely used, the democratic process. I guess we’re back to democratic process depending on whom you’re talking to.
I think we’ve already heard from the member who represents the area that the particular council in question, at least the leaders and next to the leaders of the council, have already examined this issue and turned it down.
Mr. Foulds: There is more than one member who represents the area.
Mr. Ashe: They don’t support it. That in my view is a democratic process; it’s the consultative process. We are more used to that term in talking to elected representatives.
Mr. Roy: Oh sure.
Mr. Ashe: That I think is contrary to the spirit that was referred to.
Speaking as a person who goes to the polls whenever the opportunity presents itself, I would like to know what I am voting on behalf of. First of all, I don’t really think the method of election, as it is now within the act as it represents this municipality and many others, is fair to the electorate.
Mr. Foulds: It has never bothered you in here.
Mr. Ashe: That can be corrected and hopefully will be corrected again when we respond to the Mayo commission --
Mr. Roy: You sound like a broken record.
Mr. Ashe: -- and in consultation with the municipalities that are affected. I think it is fair to say that when the electorate is going to the polls, it should like to know who has presented himself as a potential candidate on regional council I agree there can be times when unknowingly the top candidate does not wish, or the top two or three candidates do not wish -- whether it be a he or a she doesn’t matter -- to be members of the regional council but the electorate has indicated that it wishes them to be so. Is it really fair to the electorate to be able to have that passed down? It is quite conceivable that the electorate, as part of the democratic process, marks its ballots accordingly.
Mr. Roy: What foolishness.
Mr. Ashe: As we all know on a multivote system, you do not have to mark the total number; you can mark one or two. Often that is used, as you well know, if you are trying to indicate your strong support for fewer members than you are allowed to elect. I’m not quite sure the electorate is properly served in a democratic way by being able to have that option.
I appreciate there are other advantages in not having to go through the process again because a person who gets elected doesn’t wish to serve and may be forced to resign. There is no doubt in my mind there are two sides to that argument. I appreciate and understand both.
As far as the amendment we have before us at this time is concerned, let me point out to the members that what this is doing in its present form is increasing right now -- and I hope the honourable members are listening -- the representation for the city or township, as the case may be, of Nepean on the regional council. On that basis, obviously the government could not proceed with this bill. This section comes into effect upon royal assent. That could very conceivably be before the convening of the first meeting of the regional council. It says that there shall be one more representative from the city or township, as the case may be, of Nepean.
Mr. Roy: You are out of order. You are talking to the wrong section.
Mr. Ashe: Oh no, I am not. There was a reference by the member for Welland-Thorold: “We don’t have to worry about this. This is another one that doesn’t come into effect until 1980.” May I respectfully suggest that this motion, the way it is, and the rest of the bill -- I appreciate in this itself it does not say when it is effective, but the second last section indicates that this act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent. This section would also come into being on that day and you would effectively change the representation from Nepean on the regional council. Obviously, we cannot support that amendment.
Mr. Roy: I just want to respond to a couple of things the parliamentary assistant said.
It’s impossible for the electorate, when they are voting a slate and electing a number, four or five -- even in the ward system you have in Toronto when there are two people -- to conscientiously or deliberately designate one of them to have a greater number than the other so that he or she will serve on regional council.
Mr. Rotenberg: They vote for one only.
Mr. Roy: So the electorate should be free to vote in whatever fashion they may desire. It’s just the same with an elected member at this level. For instance, if the parliamentary assistant, once he has been elected, were offered the job of cabinet minister, he could turn it down.
Mr. Nixon: Just imagine his turning it down.
Mr. Roy: Knowing your great potential, maybe you have already done that, but at least you have the freedom to do it.
Mr. Rotenberg: That is something you will never get.
Mr. Roy: At local council level you should have that option as well. If you don’t want to serve on regional council, you don’t. Then the next person in line does, if he or she so desires. It is designed to keep that freedom. I think it is only fair. In looking at both the principles you talked about, I think it is a lot fairer to proceed in that fashion.
Mr. Handleman: You are on pretty thin ice on this one.
Mr. Roy: My colleague from Carleton says: “Where did you dream up that idea?”
Mr. Handleman: No, I said, “Why let the cream drop out?”
Mr. Roy: He suggests the members on the Nepean council aren’t in favour of this.
Mr. Nixon: The member for Carleton was offered a cabinet job one time.
Mr. Roy: Yes, there is a clear example.
Mr. Nixon: And he turned it down. He is a classic example.
Mr. Roy: You went in and you went out. Now you want to go out and do something else. You can do it.
Mr. Handleman: Can you help?
Mr. Roy: The member for Carleton has that flexibility.
Mr. Nixon: He would make a great chairman.
Mr. Roy: Potentially you may make a great chairman, but Andy Haydon may have some other ideas.
Mr. Sweeney: Not actually, just potentially.
Mr. Roy: Just potentially, yes. That is all we are doing in this legislation. That choice should be there.
I just want to make one comment. As I read the previous amendment it reads: “On or after December 1, 1980.” That is in the amendment for the additional representative on regional council. The intent of the amendment, as I understand it, is that that will come into force in 1980. Maybe your staff or your legal people or people who advise you, because you wouldn’t come up with that idea on your own, have got to you and said that the effect of this amendment is that it is going to come into force immediately.
That is not the intent of the amendment. The intent of the amendment, I take it, is that it is going to come into effect in 1980. That is how I read it. It says, “On or after December 1, 1980.” If there is legal opinion from legal counsel that it is otherwise, we should be advised. It wouldn’t be the first time we have bad legislation which we intend to do one thing but it is interpreted to do something else. Let’s be clear on it. That is the intent of the legislation. Certainly it is not the intent that the additional regional representative should apply immediately.
Mr. Swart: I have to rise to speak to that same point, as well as to make a further point with regard to the amendment we have before us. It is inconceivable to me how anybody could interpret, unless they deliberately want to do so, the amendment which we have before us to mean an immediate increase on regional council. Just let me read that, Mr. Chairman. You have permitted others to do so and make comments. I am sure you will permit me to do so also.
It says, “But on or after December 1, 1980, the number of representatives of the city of Nepean on the council of the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton shall be increased to four.” It is about as clear as it could be when that takes effect. My goodness, how anybody could possibly conceive otherwise --
Mr. Sterling: It is ridiculous.
Mr. Swart: -- and get up and seriously make a statement that somehow or other it is going to mean that there will be an immediate increase is just incomprehensible.
Mr. Sterling: Who said that?
Mr. Swart: The parliamentary assistant just said that a few moments ago. I think I heard him correctly. Didn’t any others hear him say that same thing?
Mr. Sterling: He didn’t say that. You know him well enough.
Mr. Swart: It is clear that the amendment by the member for Waterloo North applies at that same time. He moved that, “three members of the council of the area municipality of the city of Nepean who at the election for members of council next preceding the organization of the regional council of Ottawa-Carleton...” Both of these take effect in two years’ time.
Mr. Rotenberg: That is it now. It is the amendment of the member for Waterloo North that he is worried about.
Mr. Swart: I want to say very seriously that the people on the other side are making light of this in suggesting that it hasn’t got a great deal of significance, but in a system where you elect the same people to local council as you elect to regional council, they don’t run for regional council. They may not want to be on regional council. They may want to be on only the local council, and if so there is no office for which they can be nominated which will ensure that’s the only office they are going to hold. I’m sure you would agree that it’s true.
Mr. Handleman: But this doesn’t do it.
Mr. Swart: Yes, it does.
Mr. Sterling: How does the voter know?
Mr. Swart: This says if that person doesn’t wish to serve, then the next one below may be moved up to that position.
Mr. Handleman: How can you cast an intelligent vote?
Mr. Swart: Therefore, it seems to me that this is reasonable. In fact, it really enhances the democratic system in that municipality because a person then has the right to say, “If I am elected, I am only going to serve on the local council.” Nobody knows whether he’s going to come at the head of the polls or not. One might say, “I don’t want to be at the head of the polls; therefore I don’t want to be on regional council.” That may not happen. There’s no way for the municipality then to resolve this. That man just can’t resign from the regional council without resigning from the local council. I suggest that this does improve the bill and in no way can either amendment be interpreted to apply now. It’s only in two years’ time.
Mr. Epp: Mr. Chairman, I just want to make two points here. One is that it has been suggested that this somehow takes something away from the democratic rights of the people of Nepean, if you gave the councillors a choice, to decide whether they should serve on the local council and decide not to serve on regional council.
I just want to give you three examples. One was indicated earlier, that people who run provincially can serve in the cabinet or not serve in the cabinet, if they are asked to do so. Another is that if you have the ward system you might have 14 wards and five people who go to the regional council, as is the case in Cambridge. Any one of those 14 people then has the opportunity to say, “No, I don’t want to serve on regional council.”
How is that different and more democratic than what we are suggesting here? We are suggesting they have the opportunity of saying no too.
The same thing applies when a person goes to regional council. He may suggest that he doesn’t want to become regional chairman. He has that opportunity. This is certainly an equivalent situation, where the people who are elected to the local council of Nepean then have an opportunity to decline to sit on regional council if they so choose for the term of two years.
Mr. Ashe: Of course, I personally don’t think the comparison between the option of going into cabinet or not is the same at all.
Mr. Mancini: That’s because you have never had the choice.
Mr. Ashe: In one instance you are talking about a person being elected to a job. In the other case you are talking about a person being, if you will, invited to take a job which he can accept or decline. I think there is a rather significant difference if you’re trying to relate that to the democratic process. But that’s not too important.
Mr. Epp: What about the ward system?
Mr. Ashe: The ward system is much more appropriate, but that’s a personal opinion.
Mr. Roy: I agree with you. I agree with you on the wards.
Mr. Epp: And they have theft opportunity to decline.
Mr. Ashe: If the member for Welland-Thorold would listen, I would like to respond to a point that was made relative to the time. There is no doubt that his amendment, which has already been dealt with to a degree, is very specific about time.
I’m not challenging his amendment in that respect, but this amendment that we are dealing with now, Mr. Chairman, is not the member for Welland-Thorold’s amendment. This does not in any way deal with dates. In fact, this section of the bill, the way it is presently worded, would come into effect upon royal assent. It would put one more representative on the regional council of Ottawa-Carleton when it next constitutes itself, which is in the second week of December, I assume -- I don’t know the exact date.
What you are talking about in terms of electing is true, but in actual fact with this amendment we take the top three people on the local council, or the fourth or the fifth or whatever, until three accept, plus the mayor, because it does not relate to date.
If you wish it to be consistent, that is fine. You would then have to also put into this section that this does not come into effect until on and after December 1, 1980.
I think learned counsel from Ottawa East would agree that is so -- this is not the section that has a time element relative to it.
Now, the correction could be made in the second line after “municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Act,” which is the second last word of the second line, upon the insertion of the words “on and after December 1, 1980.”
Mr. Roy: Good amendment.
Mr. Ashe: I am not asking it as an amendment, I am just trying to get you in order.
Mr. Chairman: Any further comments?
Mr. Roy: If you make sense we are in full support, you know that.
Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order or not but my reading of that amendment is perfectly clear that this cannot apply for two years, notwithstanding the provisions in the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Act: “Three members of the council of the area municipality of the city of Nepean, who at the election for members of council next preceding the organization of the regional council of Ottawa-Carleton...” The regional council of Ottawa-Carleton will organize some time in December. The next election for the council of Nepean will be in the fall of 1980.
Mr. Rotenberg: You are wrong.
Mr. Swart: When will the election be if it is not in the fall? It says “next preceding the organization of the regional council of Ottawa-Carleton.” That will be at the election to the council, which will be in the fall of 1980. Nothing will take place until that time.
Mr. Rotenberg: You are wrong.
Mr. Swart: No, I am not wrong. I suggest to you that you read that very carefully.
Mr. Rotenberg: You read it carefully.
Mr. Swart: I had nothing to do with the preparation of this resolution, of course, but I presume there was legal counsel and certainly to me that is absolutely clear -- next preceding the organization of the Ottawa-Carleton council.
Mr. Handleman: Taken directly from the Waterloo bill before regional council was organized.
Mr. Epp: I appreciate the comments the members for Durham West and Welland-Thorold have made. My intention, of course, was not to suggest an amendment which could conceivably be ruled out of order. I appreciate the legal niceties that have to be included in these amendments and I am prepared to move an amendment which is identical to the amendment that the member for Welland-Thorold has in section 4 and that would be, Mr. Chairman, if you will entertain that, to read that a new section 5(2) be added to read: “But on and after December 1, 1980,” and have exactly in there what I suggested earlier. I would so move, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman: The chair would be very pleased to entertain a written amendment.
Mr. Epp: I would be glad to. Right here, there is a copy.
Mr. Bradley: You just happened to have that the way the ministers just happen to have an answer when the back benchers ask them a question.
Mr. Kerrio: When we form the government, we are going to do the same thing. Question seven, answer nine.
Mr. Bradley: Are you whipping tonight, Lorne, because you lost the vote the other night?
Mr. Chairman: Could I ask the member for Waterloo North if I have this clear that it should read: “Mr. Epp moves that a new section 5(2) be added to read: ‘but, on and after December 1, 1980, and not withstanding the provisions...’”?
Mr. Epp: That’s correct, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman: I wonder if it would be better to drop the first word “but,” so that a new section 5(2) be added to read, “on and after December 1, 1980, and notwithstanding the provisions...” Is that better?
Mr. Epp moves an amendment to the amendment to read that a new section 5(2) be added to read, “on and after December 1, 1980, and notwithstanding the provisions in the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Act, three members of the council of the area municipality of the city of Nepean who, at the election for members of council next preceding the organization of the regional council of Ottawa-Carleton in any year, received the highest number of votes and in the event that any of such members decline to accept membership on the regional council of Ottawa-Carleton, the members of the council of such area municipality receiving the next highest number of votes in declining order shall be entitled to be a member or members of the regional council of Ottawa-Carleton.”
Mr. Bradley: Is the dinner over already?
Mr. Chairman: Are the members of the committee ready for the question on the amendment? Shall the amendment --
Mr. Worton: By golly, here’s Joe Clark coming.
Mr. Ashe: Just a clarification --
Mr. Chairman: The member for Durham West.
An hon. member: You really have to do your stuff now, George.
Mr. Ashe: Are you now putting the amendment to the amendment or the amendment as amended?
Mr. Sweeney: What difference does it make?
Mr. Ashe: It doesn’t matter. I can support the amendment to the amendment. We are not going to support the amendment anyway, but at least you know two wrongs don’t make a right. At least make the wrong thing right to start with.
An hon. member: You know you are so arrogant, George, you should be in the front row.
Mr. Chairman: In reply to the member for Durham West, I will put the amendment as amended by the member for Waterloo North.
Mr. Kerrio: Must have a high-profile whip tonight, boy, to bring the top brass out.
Mr. Chairman: Order.
All those in favour of the amendment as amended will please say “aye.”
Those opposed will please say “nay.”
In my opinion the ayes have it.
Mr. Kerrio: Bill, what are you voting on? What did Joe Clark say about oil prices? We want to know what he said.
Mr. Chairman: Order. I would like to remind the members of the committee that Bill 172 is before the committee. Are there any further comments on any other sections of the bill?
Mr. Roy: I was going to speak on section 8.
Sections 6 and 7, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 8:
Mr. Roy: I would just like to make a few comments while we are so privileged to have the Premier here and if we can’t convince the parliamentary assistant, maybe we can convince the Premier on this legislation, Mr. Chairman.
Section 8 reads that the act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent. Our concern, Mr. Chairman, is that we have already heard from the parliamentary assistant who has told us that if the amendments pass -- the amendments which the chair, yourself and your colleague the other chairman, have ruled to be in order -- if these amendments pass, then the bill will not be called for third reading, and of course we will not have royal assent.
I am sure even the Premier must be concerned about that kind of contempt of the parliamentary process here -- that when legislation is brought forward, amendments are brought forward and ruled in order, your parliamentary assistant takes the position that if they pass then the law which has received the approval of the majority of the members here, will not in fact become law.
In the process you are going to be depriving the township of Nepean of becoming a city. I think it is most contemptuous, Mr. Chairman, that the parliamentary assistant, who is apparently representing the views of the government, should take that approach and deprive the township of Nepean, which has been asking for city status now for eight years -- for eight years it has been asking for city status. To deprive them of their day in the sun is contemptuous of the parliamentary process. It is unparliamentary on the part of the parliamentary assistant to bring forward legislation --
Hon. Mr. Davis: You are making a mockery of it.
Mr. Roy: I am not making a mockery of it at all. You are making a mockery of it. You bring forward legislation, we make amendments to it, and you say it will not become law.
Mr. Chairman: Will the honourable member speak to section 8?
Mr. Roy: That’s right. Looking at section 8 we are led to believe that once this act gets second reading and consideration in committee, it will get third reading and will come into force on the day it receives royal assent. And that’s not what’s going to happen.
Mr. Hennessy: You are all mixed up.
Mr. Roy: That’s not what’s going to happen in this particular case. I think it is unfortunate that the government should be so contemptuous, not only of the Legislature, but of the people of Nepean. Finally, when they get their bill, the Conservative government, which has refused to bring legislation forward for eight years, finally brings it in and then changes its mind. I think it’s unworthy of that government and that party to do that to the people of Nepean.
Mr. Sterling: That’s a farce.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Let the record show that Mr. Roy was smiling through his irrelevant observations.
Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, the member for Ottawa East is playing the crassest kind of politics. I don’t think this House should permit that kind of thing at all.
I think the member for Ottawa East was home last week and he saw the headlines which said, “Opposition Amendments Delay City Status for Nepean.” The press knows who to blame; the people of Nepean know who to blame; and it won’t be the government. I don’t think the member for Ottawa East should be trying that kind of thing in here.
If he would listen to the member for Waterloo North, be knows what he said. He’s vindictive. He doesn’t want the reeve to be the last reeve and the first mayor and he said so. There’s no generosity whatsoever over there, to take a man who has served with great distinction and permit him to enjoy --
Mr. Roy: Here’s the defender -- the potential chairman.
Mr. Handleman: Are you not defending that position? Because this is a bill which will create a city out of the township of Nepean and nothing else. And what you have done, and what your colleague from Welland-Thorold has done, is to --
Mr. Swart: Improve the bill.
Mr. Handleman: -- do what the member for Durham West has said; you have created a completely new bill out of what was a simple bill.
Mr. Roy: You are saying we can’t bring forward amendments to legislation.
Mr. Nixon: It’s not his bill.
Mr. Handleman: I don’t know what the government’s intentions will be, but to say that the government will be to blame when you have attached unacceptable conditions to the bill is absolutely the lowest kind of politics, and you won’t get away with it.
Mr. Roy: I still think he would make a good regional chairman.
Mr. Chairman: Order.
Section 8 agreed to.
Section 9 agreed to.
ROAD ACCESS ACT
Consideration of Bill 104, An Act respecting Motor Vehicle Access to Property by Road.
Mr. Ashe: In discussions during the debate on second reading this afternoon support was indicated from all sides of the House by numbers of speakers. I indicated that we would be bringing forward, and I had already supplied copies to the members opposite, three amendments to, in effect, make the bill a little better.
On section 1:
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Ashe moves that clause (a) of section 1 of the bill be amended by adding at the end thereof “but does not include a private forest road or a public forest road I within the meaning of part II of the Public Lands Act.”
Mr. Kerrio: When the government does it, it improves the bill; when the opposition does it, it puts the bill down. Isn’t that a strange way to do business?
Mr. Chairman: Order.
Mr. Hennessy: That’s right -- you’re second best now. You know that.
Mr. Kerrio: Never mind, Mickey, the bell hasn’t sung yet. Now just sit back there till you hear the ding-a-ling.
Mr. Hennessy: You’re second best. Now you know somebody’s ahead of you. Keep quiet.
Mr. MacBeth: A big gap, too, isn’t there?
Mr. Kerrio: Claire Hoy’s going to look after you, Mickey.
Mr. Hennessy: Yes, the Pope will look after you.
Mr. Chairman: Order. The member for Durham West.
Hon. Mr. Davis: He’s on our side.
Mr. Kerrio: Who is?
Hon. Mr. Davis: The Pope.
Mr. Hennessy: That’s right
Hon. Mr. Davis: He’s a conservative.
Mr. Hennessy: PC.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, just “c.”
Mr. Roy: You’ve got a real load to carry there.
Mr. Bradley: Were you out to dinner tonight, Mickey?
Mr. Hennessy: That’s right.
Mr. Kerrio: That wasn’t fair, Mickey. I take it all back.
Mr. Hennessy: You haven’t got the brains to look ahead.
Mr. Chairman: Order. There’s an amendment before the committee to section 1 of Bill 104. I recognize the member for Durham West.
Mr. Ashe: Very briefly for those members who were not present this afternoon when I made the explanation in second reading relative to this section, there already is a section under part II of the Public Lands Act wherein the district forester may close a public forest road to the public for such period or periods as he may determine, with the exception of persons operating vehicles used for hauling forest products.
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.
Rather than have this bill cross-referenced to the Public Lands Act, we’re making it very clear by this amendment that the district forester still has that particular authority and power to close a road. Normally it would be used and is used --
Mr. Haggerty: In other words, you can spend public money providing a private road.
Mr. Ashe: -- in the event of forest fires, in the event of major logging equipment blocking the road or that kind of situation. That is not and never was intended to be taken away by this bill.
But for those people who may be referring to this particular piece of legislation it seems simpler to do it by amendment rather than by cross-reference to the Public Lands Act.
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, I regret that unless I get a clearer and fuller definition from the parliamentary assistant I cannot, at this time at least, support the amendment that is presently before us.
Mr. Mancini: Go see Frank Miller.
Mr. Foulds: I have checked through the Public Lands Act and I have it in front of me. I find the definitions of private forest roads and public forest roads of that act defined either in regulation or in documents issued by the ministry; so we do not have a full and adequate definition of those terms in order to make a reasonable decision on this matter tonight.
Let me put to the parliamentary assistant the concern that I and my colleague from Algoma have -- and I want to put this as reasonably as possible. First of all, I do not believe that we are concerned about private forest roads. I understand -- and this is hearsay rather than from studying the clear definitions -- I understand that those are the roads entirely built by private logging companies in order to log their limit and on which at the present time they have gates up, and they have the right to close because no public money basically has been expended upon them.
I’m concerned about the public forest roads that have been taken over, as I understand it, by the province. There have been public expenditures on those roads. They have given access to the public to fish in lakes, even though there may not be a cottage on those lakes. In some cases, there may be cottages there. I think in those cases the spirit of the legislation in front of us should apply.
It may be, because the area is unorganized, there’s no township, and it is crown land through which the road runs, and yet there are cottage lots at the end of the road, the legislation in front of us -- the main legislation rather than the amendment -- should apply. The spirit and the principle should apply.
Let me also assure the parliamentary assistant that we do not wish to take away from the district forester the right to close those roads in the event of an emergency such as a washout, a flood, or a forest fire. Those are legitimate reasons and it may be for that reason they would not, in those cases, for those roads, want to go through the procedures spelled out in Bill 104.
I would assume -- and once again I’m speaking simply from memory -- that the Minister of Natural Resources, and therefore his district foresters, have the authority to close even public highways and to close secondary highways and roads in the case of the emergencies I have cited. Therefore, my suggestion to the parliamentary assistant would be that basically we would be willing to support the amendment in so far as it applies to private forest roads, but at this point in time we are not prepared to support the amendment as it applies to public forest roads because it may give the Ministry of Natural Resources excessive powers to close roads on which public moneys have been spent and upon which the public legitimately has come to rely for public access.
For example, there may be a public forest road which the ministry wishes to close because of some legitimate reason such as over-fishing in a lake or possible over-hunting of an area. They simply want to make it more inconvenient for people to have access. It seems to me that’s a legitimate reason for closure. It also seems to me that in those cases they should be required to give the notification and go through the procedures of Bill 104 the same as an individual who wishes to close a common road in the legislation before us, who may get the order from a judge to do that.
In other words, I think there should be public accountability on behalf of the Ministry of Natural Resources, just as there is in the bill as it affects individuals.
Mr. Kerrio: It has long been established that we can get rights over certain roads just from using them over the years to get ingress and exit from particular areas.
I’d hate to think that now, because we can establish legislative rules on roads that not only are privately owned and could have had such rights established over years of use, that it now becomes the right of the province to take roads that have had public moneys expended on them and close them as the province sees fit. I can’t believe that we can circumvent long-established rules of procedure where such rights have been acknowledged by those people who have used that method of entry to their properties over many, many years.
When we talk about lumber company roads I even wonder if we might consider if they really establish the right as being privately owned, because full payment has been made to the people of Ontario. We could argue that point, I think, and really never establish the true ownership of those lands where complete restoration has not been made; we could regard them as a debt to the people of the province.
I think we’re on ground where we should tread very carefully. Those areas where public funds have been expended particularly are in that realm where I would hesitate as an individual -- and I imagine many people on this side would hesitate -- to give that kind of right to any individual before we are able to go into it in much greater depth than we can on the kind of notice given here.
Mr. Ashe: I think the member for Port Arthur is taking too much out of the amendment as being something new.
I think he indicated he had in front of him a copy of the Public Lands Act. As he well knows, even that particular section is several pages long, so I doubt whether the honourable members would like to hear it.
Mr. Foulds: It is only two pages.
Mr. Ashe: But I can assure you, as I have been assured by counsel, that this amendment does not -- and I repeat, does not -- confer any more authority to the district forester than he already has under the Public Lands Act.
Mr. Foulds: That is not my question.
Mr. Kerrio: Then there is no need to pass it.
Mr. Ashe: I appreciate that. It was felt that it is better for it to be in here. As we all know in many instances -- and it is particularly relevant to this piece of legislation -- somebody may go to this legislation and not be aware of the Public Lands Act. That’s why it was felt that this should be included -- to make clear to somebody who may be reading only this piece of legislation that there is other legislation that gives the district forester those kinds of powers -- no more and, in effect, no less.
Mr. Kerrio: You’ve established he has rights over the use of the road?
Mr. Foulds: He can close the road permanently under the Public Lands Act.
Mr. Ashe: Yes, these rights are already there. Don’t forget what we’re talking about. We’re talking about forest roads. We’re not talking about normal roads maintained or built by public funds in the normal sense of the word; I think that is what the member is really referring to.
Mr. Foulds: I don’t think you know what a public forest road is, if that is your definition.
Mr. Ashe: Frankly, I’m not an expert on the subject and I acknowledge that.
Mr. Foulds: That is the first note of humility that we’ve received tonight.
Mr. Haggerty: The Minister of Natural Resources funded the construction of some of these roads.
Mr. Ashe: It is the ministry that drew this to our attention, as a matter of fact, and suggested that it be included there for those exact purposes that I have described.
I think I indicated to the members this afternoon that over the summer we not only circulated to all ministries but we circulated to all municipalities and other parties that had expressed interest in this legislation. It’s from those representations that the three amendments will come before you, the first of which we’re discussing.
Yes, this particular one was drawn to our attention by the Minister of Natural Resources. I think that is quite appropriate. That is the reason behind it. If the honourable members wish I could read the approximately three pages that are relevant to part II in the Public Lands Act that applies. I think many members are going beyond the thoughts of what these forestry roads are, how they are built and, in effect, how they are normally used. Again, I have to admit I’m not an expert on forestry roads.
An hon. member: I thought you were an expert on everything.
Mr. Swart: I’m no expert on forestry roads either. I am prepared to admit that. However, I think my colleague from Port Arthur has made a good point.
Bill 104 undoubtedly breaks new ground generally. I think we all agree with that. It’s ground that we want broken. It gives new rights to the public on common roads and on access roads. There may be a legitimate desire on the part of the people in northern Ontario that some of the public forest roads, where the right has existed prior to now to permanently close them, should be included in this bill.
Mr. Pope: How does this relate to Sault Ste. Marie?
Mr. Swart: Then the public who normally would have access to those areas through these roads cannot be shut off from that area -- whether it’s because they want to go in fishing or whether they want to go into a cottage there. I think this desire is legitimate. I think this is what the member for Port Arthur is trying to achieve in the comments he makes and perhaps by some subsequent amendments to this.
There is no question there has to be the right to close these roads in cases of emergency. If there is a fire in the area or for a variety of reasons, the forester would have to have the right to close these roads.
The other part of this question is whether there should be the right to close some of these public forest roads to the public permanently. That is the issue before us and something we have to address while we are debating this bill.
Mr. Foulds: I think a new element has been introduced into the debate on the clause-by-clause -- I wonder if I could have the parliamentary assistants attention just for a second -- I know he is trying to discuss something important with his advisers there.
Mr. Pope: Continue.
Mr. Turner: We will listen to you.
Mr. Foulds: George, I wonder if I could suggest that there is some confusion. I think, in fact, the Ministry of Natural Resources has not been entirely straight with you in terms of the import of their suggested amendment. Could we stand down this clause, proceed with the rest of the bill -- the other two amendments you are suggesting, which we support -- and have the vote on the stacked amendments we have? Then we could come back to this clause when you have been able to get more detail from your own ministry and from the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Mr. Pope: No.
Mr. Foulds: We too will have had an opportunity to have more research done to present our point of view as it affects things.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: Having been the father of this piece of legislation, I would like to get my two cents worth in here.
Mr. Sweeney: Did they take a blood test?
Hon. Mr. Maeck: I would suggest to the members that should we not accept this amendment, we would then have two conflicting pieces of legislation. The Public Lands Act would be saying that the Ministry of Natural Resources could do certain things. We in effect in this bill would be saying they couldn’t.
To clarify the whole situation I think the amendment should be accepted on those grounds alone, because otherwise you would end up with two separate conflicting pieces of legislation. Who would decide which one would take precedence? I believe this particular amendment is necessary, unless we are also going to amend the Public Lands Act.
Mr. Nixon: Just for clarification, I appreciate the interjection by the honourable member because the amendment has been put forward by the parliamentary assistant and the NDP say they are going to oppose it. As I understand it the amendment will permit the conservation officers by designation --
Mr. Foulds: District foresters.
Mr. Nixon: -- the district forester by designation to close these roads. Why should we be in favour of that?
Hon. Mr. Maeck: They already have that power.
Mr. Nixon: If they have it, why are you asking for it?
Hon. Mr. Maeck: We are not.
Mr. Warner: Closed hospitals, closed schools, closed roads.
Mr. Foulds: Quite reasonably the dilemma that the parliamentary assistant and the ministry have is that there is a conflict, because of the definition of common road in the bill before us. The definition of common road in the bill before us is, very simply, “An access road on which public money has been expended for its repair or maintenance.” And under that definition will fall public forest roads, because public forest roads, or roads other than a private forest road designated by the minister as a public forest road, on which public moneys have been expended.
We should not be in favour of closing public forest roads, if I may say that with great respect to the father of the original legislation. We should not be in favour of closing those public forest roads unless the ministry goes through the same process an individual in this legislation before us goes through. In other words, they have to give justifiable reasons for the closure.
I admit that they should have the authority and that is why I am pleading with the parliamentary assistant to stand the clause down. I admit they should have the authority to close the public forest roads in case of emergency such as flood, washout and fire. I have no quarrel with that. And I can see that that authority may be necessary. And as the Public Lands Act is presently written, it is only part II that gives them that authority. But I point out to the House that the Public Lands Act, in part II, also gives the ministry far more sweeping authority than that.
I suggest they may very well deserve to have the right, with regard to private forest roads. I do not think they should have that right with regard to public forest roads unless they are able to justify it the way that an individual is able to justify it in Bill 104.
Mr. Ashe: Mr. Chairman, I think some of the concerns expressed really are not legitimate. I think the intent in the amendment has always been that it is in the spirit of emergency. I’ll throw out a thought for the moment. If that is the concern of the members, rather than introduce this particular amendment we could add to the bill another section at the end that could read something as follows: “Nothing in this act prevents the temporary closing of a public forest road or a private forest road within the meaning of the Public Lands Act where an emergency exists in the opinion of the district forester.” And then there would be some renumbering of some sections of it.
Mr. Nixon: That is instead of your amendment?
Mr. Ashe: Yes.
Mr. Nixon: I think that would be preferable.
Mr. Foulds: I think we would find that preferable. I wonder if, as I suggested, that might not be the kind of amendment we want to sleep on, all of us. I’m prepared to accept it at this time.
Mr Nixon: Surely if it is a case of emergency, who would question that? That is acceptable.
Mr. Ashe: That was the intent in any event, and I am prepared to reflect it accordingly.
I withdraw the amendment before you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: The amendment is withdrawn.
Section 1 agreed to.
On section 2:
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Ashe moves that section 2(1)(d) of the bill be struck out and the following inserted in lieu thereof:
“(d) the closure is made for a single period of no greater than 24 hours in a year for the purpose of preventing the acquisition of prescriptive rights.”
Mr. Ashe: It is just really new wording for the same section, as suggested by legal counsel.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Epp: I want to ask the parliamentary assistant a question with respect to section 2. That has to do with section 2(3) and section 2(4). I notice with interest that in order to give notice it says here: “Notice of an application to close an access road that is not a common road shall be served personally upon or sent by registered mail to the owner of each parcel of land” separately. It gives a few other instances. Then it says for the common road: “Notice of an application to close a common road shall be published at least once a week for four successive weeks in a newspaper that is circulated in the area...”
I wonder why there is this great discrepancy here and why they didn’t entertain the notice being personally served or sent by registered mail for a common road. I can appreciate that the common road may be a little longer, but they are being denied a very important right here that maybe should be provided for in this bill. However, I’m prepared to listen to the parliamentary assistant to see what the reasons are as to why that was excluded.
Mr. Ashe: I have no great dramatic explanation other than that the descriptions of the roads speak for themselves. We’re talking in the first instance of a road that serves a relatively small number of people, of parcels of land that are very easily identified and where people can be either personally served or served by registered mail, whereas in section 4 we are talking about a type of road that is known as a common road. That may serve a much broader area and involve a much greater number of potential land owners, where it is impractical or in some cases impossible to identify all of the potential users of that road. I assume that is why it is felt the public type of notification through the newspaper is more appropriate. Frankly, I have no greater explanation than that.
I have been given some other advice here that may add to it. Besides that, an objection to closure of a common road is open to anyone who may use the road and it is impossible to serve all potential objectors, that is to say, “serve” in the context of public serving or by registered mail. It is a different kind of a road where one doesn’t really know who may use it and who may object to that particular road being closed.
I would think this would be a road that would go into a broader area, versus a road that would serve a lakefront property where it is very specific, it dead-ends at a point, and anybody else who would use that road would undoubtedly be there illegally in any event. I think the distinction is the possible use of the road by great numbers of people who could be affected and couldn’t be identified versus the other very specific identification of property A, B, C and D down to a dead-end point.
Section 2, as amended, agreed to.
On section 3:
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Ashe moves that section 3 of the bill be amended by adding at the end thereof “and the judge may impose such terms and conditions as the judge considers are reasonable and just under the circumstances, including a requirement that a suitable alternative road be provided.”
Mr. Ashe: This was one of the excellent suggestions that came in to give a little more flexibility in handing down any decision.
Motion agreed to.
Section 3, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 4 to 7, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 8:
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Ashe moves that Bill 104 be amended by adding the following section:
“8. Nothing in this act prevents the temporary closing of a public forest road or a private forest road within the meaning of the Public Lands Act where an emergency exists in the opinion of the district forester.”
Mr. Ashe also moves that sections 8 and 9 of the Hill be renumbered as sections 9 and 10.
Mr. Foulds: I think that meets my concerns and I would like to commend the parliamentary assistant on his flexibility in this matter.
Motion agreed to.
Section 8, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 9 and 10, as renumbered, agreed to.
Bill 104, as amended, reported.
The committee divided on Mr. Swart’s amendment to section 5 of Bill 166, which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 22; nays 71.
Section 5 agreed to.
Bill 166 reported.
The committee divided on Mr. Swart’s amendment to section 4 of Bill 172, which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 44; nays 49.
The committee divided on Mr. Epp’s amendment adding a new section 5 to Bill 172, which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 45; nays 48.
Mr. Foulds: Could I have the previous vote stated again?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: The previous vote was 44 to 49; this was 45 to 48.
Bill 172, as amended, reported.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the committee of the whole House reported two bills with amendments and one bill without amendment.
The following bills were given third reading on motion:
Bill 104, An Act respecting Motor Vehicle Access to Property by Road;
Bill 166, An Act to establish the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs;
Bill 172, An Act to erect the Township of Nepean into a City Municipality.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the House adjourned at 10:36 p.m.