The House met at 10 a.m.
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, I have a message from the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor signed by her own hand.
Mr. Speaker: By her own hand, Pauline M. McGibbon, the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor, transmits supplementary estimates of certain additional sums required for the services of the province for the year ending March 31, 1979, and recommends them to the Legislative Assembly, Toronto, December 8, 1978.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, as honourable members will recall, the government announced an expenditure ceiling of $14,482 million in April 1978. The Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) has reaffirmed that expenditure limit on several occasions, and the government remains committed to it. However, within that ceiling it was inevitable that some adjustments would be required.
As conditions change, some expenditure increases are unavoidable. At the same time, in keeping with our commitment to responsible and prudent financial management, we are making sure that such increases are offset and total spending does not increase.
The supplementary estimates which are being tabled today amount to $64.4 million. This increase is fully balanced by a series of decreases in other areas, and the expenditure limit of $14,482 million is not affected.
HUMAN RIGHTS LEGISLATION
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House this morning to commemorate a very important anniversary. Thirty years ago this coming Sunday, on December 10, 1948, 58 countries, including Canada, joined in signing the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
The adoption of this declaration was viewed as the first step in the formulation of an international bill of rights.
In 1976, the international bill of human rights became a reality, with the entry into force of three significant instruments:
1. The international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights;
2. The international covenant on civil and political rights; and
3. The optional protocol to the latter covenant.
In ratifying these three covenants, a country guarantees to recognize and protect a wide range of human rights within its own boundaries. This is usually accomplished by the individual countries enacting legislation enshrining the provisions of the covenants in their legal systems.
In Canada, the province of Ontario took the lead in 1944 with the introduction of the Ontario Racial Discrimination Act. This was followed by the Fair Employment Practices Act and the Female Employees Fair Remuneration Act in 1951 and by the Fair Accommodation Practices Act in 1954. In 1962, Ontario again took the lead, becoming the first province to enact omnibus human rights legislation.
Human rights legislation in Ontario is administered under the Human Rights Code by the Ontario Human Rights Commission. The code prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, creed, colour, nationality, ancestry, place or origin, age, sex or marital status, in vital social and economic areas which affect our lives.
In administering this code, the government of Ontario through the commission has over the years always kept in mind two overriding objectives. Of major concern is that the inalienable rights of every person in this province must be made secure in law. As well, we believe that a climate of understanding and mutual respect among the citizens of the province must be created so that each and every one will be afforded equal opportunity to contribute his or her maximum to the economic and social enrichment of our whole community.
As noted in the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s recent report, Life Together, human rights legislation does and should perform important functions in our community.
It should sum up and declare public policy, officially and unequivocally.
It is my hope that the members of this Legislature and the people of the province will, on this important anniversary, look back with pride on the work which has been accomplished in the field of minority and women’s rights. At the same time, however, we must not be complacent.
As Life Together has pointed out, human rights is everyone’s responsibility. The protection of human rights is a dynamic and ever-changing process, particularly in a vibrant multicultural and multiracial society such as ours where the contributions of all persons, regardless of their sex, religion or age, must be encouraged.
Mr. S. Smith: Or handicap.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: The role of a responsive and responsible government is to meet these challenges. As you know, Mr. Speaker, my ministry is currently preparing legislation which will give the province of Ontario a new and revitalized Human Rights Code.
Safeguarding human rights must always remain at the core of life in our province, providing the opportunity for every individual to contribute the maximum to the growth and development of our society, on the basis of merit and ability.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I would like to comment briefly on recent reports which have suggested that the Ontario Development Corporation, the Eastern Ontario Development Corporation and the Northern Ontario Development Corporation will be combined to form a single corporation.
I wish to assure the honourable members of the Legislature that the three development corporations will continue to exercise their individual responsibilities for approving, disbursing and directly administering loans in their respective jurisdictions.
The report of the agencies review committee to Management Board of Cabinet, chaired by the member for Lanark (Mr. Wiseman), recommends only the integration of the administrative operations of the three corporations within the Ministry of Industry and Tourism.
Since their inception, the corporations have reported to the assembly through the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, and this move would simply bring such administrative functions as payroll and personnel into alignment with the ministry’s administration division.
The recommendations of the agencies review committee as they relate to the development corporations are now being discussed within the ministry. Implementation of the recommended procedures will be effected as soon as the details are worked out.
FEDERAL HOUSING PROPOSALS
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, later this morning I will be discussing a number of housing items with the provincial-municipal liaison committee and one is of a nature that I should report to this House. It concerns our negotiations on the community services contribution program which, members will recall, is a new activity designed to replace the neighbourhood improvement program, the municipal incentive grant program and the sewage treatment program which Ottawa has now cancelled.
The community service grant program, which in the latest draft is called the community services contribution program, is affected by the federal decision to wind down and disband the Ministry of State for Urban Affairs.
We have been advised that the administration of the community services contribution program will now be undertaken by the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Finalization of this transfer at the federal level has not as yet taken place and further delay in negotiations of our agreement has occurred.
The status of the program is that we are still actively trying to negotiate a final operating agreement, despite the shifting grounds Ottawa keeps presenting to us. Following the meetings between my staff and the municipal liaison subcommittee last August, a revised draft agreement reflecting the results of these meetings was forwarded to Mr. Ouellet by hand on August 30, 1978.
The future of the program was then placed into considerable doubt by the federal announcements on program cutbacks and the deliberations of the federal-provincial conference of finance ministers. Then, on November 10, 1978, I received a telegram from Mr. Ouellet, stating that implementation of the program had been delayed one year and it would not operate in 1978. However, the municipal incentive and sewage treatment programs will continue until December 31, 1978. He also indicated that the program would commence on January 1, 1979.
Subsequent to this, I received a revised federal draft of an operating agreement to implement the programs from Mr. Ouellet on November 21, 1978. This new draft required us to determine the program content and municipal allocations by December 15, 1978, some three weeks.
Since we, and at least one other province, have indicated that this is a totally unreasonable timetable, there has been an indication that other arrangements may be acceptable. Although there are some major points requiring resolution, I have received confirmation from Mr. Ouellet that the dollar amounts of $51.6 million for the first program year and
$86 million for the second program year are firm federal commitments. These funds will be made available to us under the terms of an operating agreement that we have yet to negotiate with the federal government
My officials met with CMHC officials as recently as Wednesday of this week, but because of the reorganizational problems caused by the transfer of this program from the Ministry of State for Urban Affairs to CMHC, the federal officials were not in a position to discuss the agreement. However, arrangements have been made to pursue this discussion in the very near future; we contemplate in the following week.
PLANT LOCATION INCENTIVES
Mr. S. Smith: I have a question which may or may not be able to confine itself to one ministry. It may spill over into two. But I shall start with the Minister of Industry and Tourism. On this matter of financial assistance to industries locating here, is the minister considering the creation of a special financial assistance program with regard to the auto parts industry, in view of some of the confusion and uncertainty set up by the unusual grant to the Hayes-Dana people for locating in Barrie?
Shouldn’t the minister put before the Legislature any plans he has now to assist the auto parts industry? And would he make special reference to the Hayes-Dana matter since he referred to it as an ODC loan, but surely he’s not suggesting that Hayes-Dana could not have received money from a normal lending institution? The ODC, as you know, Mr. Speaker, is to be a lender of last resort so this is a special circumstance.
Does the minister have a plan?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: With regard to the Hayes-Dana situation, I understand it was not an unusual loan but rather one made through our OBIP program. I can read the terms to the member, but essentially it’s a five-year incentive period, repayment over five years to commence in November 1983 at 11¾ per cent. There is nothing unusual about the loan. It was made through one of our existing programs.
Mr. S. Smith: ODC is a lender of last resort, Mr. Speaker.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: With regard to the OBIP program, which was the one through which this loan was made, it was an entirely regular and ordinary transaction for the Hayes-Dana project.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Doesn’t the Leader of the position want us to have these things?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: May I say that under the general question of the incentive program, at the time of the Ford transaction this government made it quite clear to the federal government that it would be appropriate to have an ongoing consistent method of operation. At that time, we indicated a one-for-two program would be acceptable to us, $1 from us, $2 from the federal government, and we indicated our willingness to participate up to $50 million on that basis for the automotive industry.
The federal government has not taken us up on that invitation. As a result, that whole question and the incentive question generally, is being dealt with back here in our government through a series of discussions I am having with the Treasurer and other people with regard to finding an ultimate position so we don’t have to always be operating on what appears to be an ad hoc basis.
We have made it quite clear that dealing with it on an ad hoe basis is not the best way to do it. We do want to point out that the Hayes-Dana decision was not made on that basis.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary:
Most of us are in favour of some incentive program. What we are against is chaos.
Hon. Mr. Davis: What are you against?
Mr. S. Smith: Chaos.
Hon. Mr. Henderson: Chaos? I don’t understand.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Why would you want to change it?
Mr. Speaker: Just ignore the interjections.
Mr. 5. Smith: Could the minister answer the question and explain why the ODC loan is regarded as a routine matter by the minister, when in fact the ODC is normally a lender of last resort? I doubt that lending institutions would have refused Hayes-Dana a loan.
How does he regard that as a routine matter? Is it true that the Premier himself intervened to help obtain that particular loan, for instance, to indicate its routine nature?
Would the minister comment on whether his ministry has in fact had any negotiations with the Ford Motor Company of Canada with regard to locating a casting plant or foundry, or some additional plant of this kind, in Windsor, as indicated in the Windsor Star of November 1 which said that “Windsor May be the Site of a Ford Casting Plant”?
Has the ministry been involved in any possible incentives, for instance, with regard to that particular location?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Was that November 1?
Hon. Mr. Henderson: That was a month ago.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I can only repeat what I have already said and that is the Hayes-Dana situation was a situation in which money was made available to Hayes-Dana under an existing program of the ministry, the OBIP program, which is a normal and well-used program.
Mr. S. Smith: It is a lender of last resort.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Secondly, I should make this point: it would be chaos in a general way for this government simply to sit aside and take the position that, for example, the Ford V-6 engine plant did not fall under any of our existing programs and therefore we were sorry, but we wouldn’t be able to fund the 2,600 jobs in Windsor.
If the member calls a government which is willing to go in and aggressively react in whichever way possible to a new and different situation chaotic --
Mr. S. Smith: Ad hoc all the time. Answer the question.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- then I must tell him I call them aggressive attempts by the government to create jobs in whatever way possible, in accordance with the goals of this province.
Mr. S. Smith: Answer the question.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We have also made it very clear that dealing continually on an ad hoc basis, such as that --
Mr. McClellan: Did we revert to statements?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- is not the preferred way of doing business. That is why we are trying to develop some ground rules under which we will be operating in the months to come.
Mr. S. Smith: Answer the specific question.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: With regard to the Ford casting plant in Windsor, I dealt with this matter several weeks ago in this assembly, and I made it very clear at that time that the only discussions, if one can call them discussions that had occurred were between Mr. Roy Bennett of Ford of Canada and myself. He indicated to me that Ford was considering a casting plant in that area, that there was a possibility it would develop into a situation in which there might be a differential involved and they may be requesting some sort of incentive. That was all.
This is exactly what I said a few weeks ago in this House. We did not talk numbers of jobs, we did not talk about the numbers of dollars that might be involved. Mr. Bennett did not ask me if that money would be available. I did not indicate to him that we were sitting here waiting to receive that request, that the money would be here and all he had to do was apply. None of that happened.
Mr. McClellan: Come on, save it.
Mr. Warner: This isn’t even a good speech.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: All I said was, “Of course, I’d appreciate it if you’d keep me informed of your plans as they develop over the next few months.”
Mr. Haggerty: Supplementary?
Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary?
Mr. McClellan: Ask three or four more.
Mr. Speaker: A final supplementary; the member for Erie. We have spent seven minutes --
Mr. S. Smith: And he hasn’t answered two questions out of three.
Mr. Speaker: That’s not my problem.
Mr. Haggerty: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Was any consideration given by the ministry to expanding the operations of Hayes-Dana in the Thorold-St. Catharines area? The unemployment rate there is about 10 per cent, which is perhaps one of the highest rates in Ontario, and the area has the skilled trades and all the existing facilities such as railways and canals. Why was the offer to expand not applied to the existing Hayes-Dana plant operations in the Thorold-St. Catharines area?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Again, of course, the way the programs are set up -- and I think it’s the right way -- is that a company makes its decision where it can best operate on whatever grounds it makes its own decisions.
Mr. Kerrio: You decide whether you’re going to lend them the money, don’t you? That’s the big hook.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: The information I have is that they were not, as the honourable member well knows, reducing their operations at Thorold; rather, they had decided they needed more capacity and the best way to do it would be to open up a new plant in Barrie. I understand the company will be relying upon machine shops in the Barrie area for tools and dies, and that was one of the factors upon which they made their decision.
Again, I think the important thing to point out is that that is a decision made by the company with regard to where it wishes to locate within this province, and then they apply to the government for whatever assistance they think is necessary.
Mr. Eakins: Were you involved in the selection of Barrie?
Ms. Gigantes: That’s regional planning for you.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We do not get in the position of dictating to them which municipality or which town they ought to be selecting.
Mr. Speaker: The Leader of the Opposition with his second question.
Mr. S. Smith: I will direct the question to the Ministry of Industry and Tourism. Is it not a fact that the Ontario Development Corporation is normally a lender of last resort? Is it the minister’s contention, therefore, that Hayes-Dana could not obtain a loan from some normal lending institution were it to apply to such normal lending institution?
Under these circumstances, I ask the minister to answer the question: Is it not an unusual situation that the ODC is lending money to a no-risk company such as Hayes-Dana? I also ask him to answer whether the Premier himself intervened in any form to help obtain that particular loan?
I ask this not in order to oppose incentives, but to oppose ad hockery and chaos.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: As the creator of chaos, Stuart, how can you say that?
Mr. Warner: It sounds like a description of the Liberal Party.
Mr. J. Reed: We’ve had 35 years of chaos.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Again, I must say that the whole point of the exercise has been to avoid chaos from striking us in Ontario while all sorts of incentives are offered in the American states. We have put this position to the federal government: the necessity to participate in an ongoing, long-term program to meet the immediate competition in terms of American incentives. If we do not get co-operation in that sense, I have to say we are not going to prevent chaos from developing by losing thousands of jobs to the American states.
Mr. Speaker: Order. I have listened very carefully and patiently, and the same question has been asked three times -- in a little different way, but essentially the same question, fine. If he doesn’t want to answer it, we can go on to another one.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I want to say to you, Mr. Speaker, that so long as the Leader of the Opposition wants to add on, to his questions, allegations of chaos --
Ms. Gigantes: Sit down.
Mr. Warner: You’re not going to answer the question. Why don’t you just sit down?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- I am not going to stand here and ignore that sort of statement. Now I am going to deal with the question --
Mr. Eakins: Were you involved in the selection of Barrie?
Mr. Speaker: It does not detract from the question that was asked.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: That is true. I will deal with both the question and the allegation.
Mr. Warner: Resign and then sit down.
Hon. Mr. Davis: How is your Magna Carta these days?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Having dealt with the allegation, let me deal with the question. I cannot give the Leader of the Opposition information with regard to who contacted ODC on behalf of Hayes-Dana. I would not be surprised to see that the member for the area made some requests to help them. I think that would be appropriate. I cannot tell him whether the Premier or any other member tried to encourage us to do that, as indeed, I am sure the member for Erie would have encouraged us to do it if the question were expansion in Thorold. That may have occurred, and I will find out for the honourable member who indicated their support for that.
Mr. Nixon: You’re not sure whether the Premier intervened or not.
Ms. Gigantes: This is regional planning?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: With regard to the Leader of the Opposition’s concern about the circumstances under which the Ontario Business Incentives Program loan was made, I want to assure him that on Monday next I’ll give bins all the circumstances surrounding the OBIP loan, how they applied, and who requested assistance. Whether it was a loan with which the member is comfortable, he can conclude from those answers.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary --
Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary.
Mr. S. Smith: It’s only my first supplementary on my second question. It’s not my fault if he’s circling around and not answering the questions, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. McClellan: You deserve each other.
Mr. S. Smith: With regard to the Windsor Ford plant, is the minister giving a categorical assurance to this House that as part of the ad hoc arrangements that he --
Mr. Warner: It certainly is Friday morning.
Mr. S. Smith: -- and his ministry are making, they have made no offer and have agreed to no sum with regard to the Ford company locating a casting plant or foundry in the Windsor area? Is this the categorical assurance he is giving us?
Ms. Gigantes: Is that a supplementary?
Mr. S. Smith: Will he, in fact, be putting before this House a policy by which all industries can be guided, so they know what kinds of grants are available, under what circumstances, with what particular reasons, with what strings attached and with what locations and so on? Is he going to put a policy before us?
Hon. Mr. Davis: What do you mean: What locations?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: In answer to the member’s first question, as of today’s date that’s exactly right. We have not made a commitment to assist the Ford casting plant in Windsor. I have to repeat what I said earlier, that if they approach us, we will listen. No commitment has been made. We haven’t got down to any discussion whatsoever. It was just Bennett saying to me that he’d like us to be aware of the situation, as I said earlier.
Mr. Roy: Bennett?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Bennett. Thank you.
Mr. Roy: I knew it couldn’t be Claude, because Claude wouldn’t be so brief.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: With regard to the second question, I have to say to the Leader of the Opposition, the Treasurer has stated earlier and I have stated earlier and the Premier has stated earlier in this assembly and other places that we are trying to pull all these matters together in a consistent, ongoing program. We have said that time and again and that is still the answer, as clear and direct as I can make it. We will have more to say on that in the next couple of weeks.
CLASS SIZE REGULATION
Mr. Foulds: I had a question for the Treasurer, but as he isn’t here I’ll use it as my second question and give the Minister of Industry and Tourism a bit of a break. In the meantime I’ll direct a question to the Minister of Education.
Mr. Roy: Thank God you are giving us a break.
Mr. Speaker: Place the question, please.
Mr. Foulds: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Is the Minister of Education aware of section 39 of regulation 704-78 of the Education Act which was devised in August and filed and made official on September 8, which limits classes in general studies and occupational programs to 20 students and special vocational programs to 20 students?
If she is aware of that regulation which her department filed and made official on September 8, can she explain why 48 per cent of the classes in general studies and in occupational programs in Metropolitan Toronto and 34.9 per cent of the special vocational programs violate that regulation?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: No, Mr. Speaker, but it’s something I shall be interested to discuss with the Toronto Board of Education.
Mr. Foulds: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In her discussions with the boards of education in the Metropolitan Toronto area, will she determine whether the regulation is being violated because funding for special education programs is inadequate? Is she not embarrassed that, having put that regulation into place in such a recent time, it is not being met at the present time and probably not being met throughout the province?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: I think that as legislators we must be aware of the fact that although we consider the details of the regulation or legislation which we introduce to be ideal, it can take those component portions of the system some time to meet the regulations. I don’t think we can impose immediate compliance. I think we have to work with them in order to ensure that they can meet the requirements within a reasonable period of time.
Mr. Van Horne: Further to the information the minister will bring back to us on the general studies class sizes, would she also report to us her reaction to the same overextending of the numbers suggested for the technical and skills training areas? That, too, apparently is overpopulated.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: I’m aware that it is overpopulated in certain areas but it certainly it not in all areas. I will certainly explore the reasons for this and attempt to report upon it.
Ms. Gigantes: Following along the same line of questioning, I’d like to ask the minister if she now has available the survey, which she promised results from, about shop classes in the province and the adequacy of facilities and equipment?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: It is not completed as yet.
Ms. Gigantes: Take your time.
Mr. Foulds: Does the minister not think that it would be wise, before imposing the regulation, to work with the school boards to have the class sizes at regulation size? Does she not think that in this case it is working backwards to have imposed the regulation and then find that there are violations and find that there has to be remedial action taken to meet the regulation?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: I am absolutely sure that my predecessor in this office, who introduced that regulation, did just that. I’m also sure that the member for Thunder Bay --
Mr. Foulds: Port Arthur.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: -- Port Arthur, thank you -- is aware that some boards of education could meet the regulation more rapidly than others. Some have more flexibility than others and some had not, perhaps, considered the ramifications and the implications of that regulation as seriously as others had.
Ms. Gigantes: It’s 40 per cent.
Mr. Foulds: It’s 48 per cent, almost 50 per cent.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: That is an ongoing process and we shall continue it.
Ms. Gigantes: Yes, government regulations have been broken before.
PULP AND PAPER INDUSTRY
Mr. Foulds: In the absence of the Treasurer, I have a question of the Minister of Industry and Tourism. Given the recognized need, both in the Ontario Pulp and Paper Industry Status and Outlook study and the pulp and paper industry special task force study that was tabled this week, the obvious need for modernization of manufacturing equipment and pollution abatement equipment in the pulp and paper industry, can the minister tell us whether he and his colleague, the Treasurer, are willing to recommend that as part of the proposals the manufacturing of that equipment will take place in Canada and purchases will take place from Canadian suppliers where they are cost competitive?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Obviously this is a problem we’re well aware of in that so much of the machinery that goes into these plants currently is not available in Canada. It’s not a situation, I understand, in which the machinery is available in Canada and is not being purchased. To a large extent apparently it is not being made in Canada, and some would say cannot be made in Canada for the one or two installations.
As we see the response to the pulp and paper document, if it appears that there will be enough of a response to it, and we think there will be, then clearly one of the things that we’ll be looking at is -- on my end of it in any case -- seeing if we can’t put together enough people in industry to respond to what will obviously be a demand for that product, and arrange that it be made somewhere in Canada.
Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: Does the minister not realize that an expenditure of $1.2 billion, which is what is projected for both the modernization and the pollution abatement equipment, could very well be the basis for developing a sound, secondary, high technology manufacturing industry in northern Ontario? Does he not think that is worth pursuing with every bit of vigour that the government can and insist that it take place? Does he not realize that in the pollution abatement equipment area alone, which is one-fifth of the total, 65,000 man-years of work could be created to supply the Canadian market?
Mr. S. Smith: That’s my speech.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I do and I can assure the member very directly that we have a lot of vigour and we will be pursuing this with every bit of energy we have.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, since the minister now finally seems to understand the importance of Canadian purchasing for these particular machines, does he now take the stand that we have to have more non-tariff barriers, not fewer as suggested by the Premier, and that we have to have Canadian priority purchasing, because it’s government purchasing that got those big European machinery giants on their feet in the first place and now, surely, it’s time for us to do exactly the same to get our own machinery companies moving?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Firstly, I want to say that if the Leader of the Opposition is suggesting that he is perhaps one of the few people left who is in favour of more tariff barriers in an area --
Mr. S. Smith: Non-tariff barriers.
Hon. Mr. Davis: You people aren’t consistent; the greatest consistency is your inconsistency. That’s right, you know.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I want to talk about non-tariff barriers as well. We are at a point in time in which one of the things we hope will happen in terms of the GATT negotiations is that some of the non-tariff barriers which are severely hampering those areas in which Ontario particularly is especially strong, telecommunications, heavy electronics and so on, will be removed. We are being locked out of so many international markets because of non-tariff barriers.
Mr. S. Smith: That’s right and it will continue to be so.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: UTDC, to name one, is a body that could benefit substantially by the removal of non-tariff barriers.
Mr. S. Smith: Babes in arms.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I have to say to the Leader of the Opposition, if he is suggesting we are going to benefit as a province by saying, as the province of Ontario, “Japan, we in Ontario are going to have non-tariff barriers.” “United States, we in Ontario are going to have non-tariff barriers, but by the way, would you let us sell telecommunications equipment and would you let us sell urban transportation vehicles?” --
Mr. S. Smith: They won’t anyway.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- I will tell him something. If he checks with the Honourable Jack Horner, the federal minister responsible for the GATT negotiations, he will discover this is one of the things they are trying very hard and optimistically to negotiate.
Mr. S. Smith: They are all babes in the woods.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: If he wants to take the position, as the Leader of the Opposition in this province, that he thinks we should not argue for removal of those non-tariff barriers, then I hope his position is quite clear.
Mr. S. Smith: You’re right.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Well, why don’t you go, Stuart? Go and tell them.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Ours is exactly the opposite. We think we in Ontario need access to those markets. We think that’s where the future lies both for northern and southern Ontario -- in getting access to those markets.
Mr. S. Smith: We don’t make telecommunications equipment there.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We have a very distinct and ongoing belief that here in Ontario and in Canada, we do have the ability to compete internationally. We do believe that with proper government assistance, with proper government incentives, with --
Ms. Gigantes: Planning, planning.
An hon. member: The thing you are producing is baloney.
Mr. S. Smith: They’re procurement policies; they are not tariff barriers.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- proper government advice, a pulp and paper sort of initiative, we can compete internationally in the long term without those non-tariff barriers.
Mr. S. Smith: You have to have them.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: You can be sure, Mr. Speaker, we will approach it on an aggressive fashion not with a 1932 mentality which says we have to close ourselves off to the rest of the world.
Ms. Gigantes: Close Hayes-Dana?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Finally, may I say if the member thinks Japan and the United States will be impressed by a non-tariff wall built up by the province of Ontario, he is kidding himself.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Stuart, find a couch to lie down on, really.
Mr. Speaker: The minister is becoming repetitive.
Mr. S. Smith: Babes in the woods.
Mr. Foulds: Final supplementary, Mr. Speaker, which I assure you the minister can if he wishes, answer in a sentence or two. Can the minister give an assurance to this House that the plan he and the Treasurer will be talking about to develop the secondary manufacturing industry to supply machinery and equipment, pollution abatement equipment and logging machinery in the forest industry will be placed before this House in the coming spring?
Mr. Warner: Yes or no.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I want to say the Treasurer and I are working very hard and have spent a lot of time on those matters. We would expect it to be before this House next spring.
Mr. Warner: Yes or no.
Ms. Bryden: We want more action.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Or sooner.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Or sooner.
Mr. Foulds: I will make you your usual dollar bet it won’t be before we adjourn.
Mr. Pope: My question is to the Minister of Transportation and Communications. In view of the fact it costs as much to fly from Timmins to Toronto as it costs to fly from Toronto to Miami; and in view of the fact Mr Canada wishes to increase domestic rates further by five per cent effective January 1, 1979; and in view of the fact the justification for this increase is a requirement for access to borrowing on the international money markets and the conversion of government debt to equity and return on that equity, will the minister intervene on behalf of the people of Ontario in the Air Canada application to the Canadian Transport Commission to attempt to prevent this increase?
Hon. Mr. Snow: I have not made any decision at this moment, or any recommendation, as to whether we should intervene.
Mr. Foulds: You intervened pretty fast in the Nordair transfer business.
Hon. Mr. Snow: It has not been my policy in the past to intervene on applications of Air Canada for fare increases, but I will take it under consideration.
Mr. Foulds: Is that all yon are going to do?
Mr. Bradley: I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Could the minister inform the House whether or not his ministry is at the present time investigating automotive repairs that do not involve transmissions? We know the success that has been derived from the transmission investigations, particularly in the light of the high fixed labour costs charged by the automotive repair firms, and the very high-priced parts and materials involved in these transactions.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Yes, Mr. Speaker, but I would like to qualify that in rather a general way. Notwithstanding the very nice headline I had this morning that I am responsible for 75 per cent of the lost business of Cottman, I am a little bit disturbed. I would feel a lot better if it was a 100 per cent loss.
Ms. Gigantes: Good.
Mr. Foulds: Is that a Tory I hear before me?
Mr. MacDonald: That’s what they call chaos in the free enterprise system.
Mr. Speaker: Order, would the minister address himself to the question, not the headline?
Hon. Mr. Drea: In view of the fact that part of the question involved that very headline, I really felt I should be free to comment.
I am attempting to say yes, but in a very general way, in answer to a significant question by the member for St. Catharines about this ministry taking a look at the entire automobile repair industry. For the past two years all of our resources, indeed far beyond what ordinarily would have been our resources, have been directed into the transmission repair section of that industry.
An hon. member: Can’t get into the Albany Club either, can you?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Of the number of complaints or consumer concerns that come into our ministry, the overwhelming majority, day in and day out -- and it never changes -- are in the field of automobile repairs. We are going to have to go into a very significant program in the very near future.
Mr. Bradley: Supplementary question:
Since a number of people at the present time are questioning expenditure of funds by government -- we do see some good results; some of these funds are expended in the correct way -- would the minister indicate if he can break down what have been the costs of the investigations and all costs associated with the investigations of the transmission repair business so we can see what the cost is when we have to yield results of this kind?
Hon. Mr. Drea: I have been using a ballpark figure of about $300,000. That is based upon the fact that for the last two years -- certainly not every day, but upon a great many occasions -- we have had as many as 12 investigators working in the transmission field.
Anything we do in the automobile repair field is going to be very expensive for government. But as the minister I am certainly prepared to put those resources up front, because there obviously is a problem. The consumer is relatively defenceless because the type of problem they are encountering is one where somebody has to give them some expert advice, and they have to rely upon it. If they want to go into litigation afterwards they are faced with the difficulty of having to hire expert witnesses and so forth.
It is a field that only government can really pursue. It is expensive. It is going to cost more resources, in terms of both very skilled investigators and money, and I am prepared in this ministry to see that money should be up front, and it will be.
Mr. Samis: Supplementary: Could the minister explain to the House to what extent the investigation of the transmission specialists was done outside of Metro; and to what extent, in terms of auto repairs, the investigation is carried on beyond the boundaries of Metro?
Hon. Mr. Drea: I could take that as notice. I have read statements here from time to time before the media discovered them; it covers a whole range of communities, and most of them are outside Metropolitan Toronto. But I will be very glad to table in the House some of the previous replies I have given which would give an indication, community-by-community, what the program achieved.
Mr. B. Newman: If I may ask of the minister a supplementary on this issue:
Would he consult with the state of Michigan and get a copy of their legislation? They have apparently had an auto repair bill in effect for quite some time and it seems to be working satisfactorily. Will the minister do that?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Yes, I will.
Mr. Makarchuk: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In view of the fact that what the minister is doing is going around trying to put out the fire after the problem has been created--
Mr. Kerrio: That’s not fair.
Mr. Makarchuk: -- would he, besides looking at Michigan, look seriously at the legislation that is available in Quebec and provides warranty service and good consumer protection for the people who buy automobiles in that province? The same could be put into Ontario.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Yes, I will, Mr. Speaker. But I would draw this to the attention of the member for Brantford: Why is Quebec so seriously interested in what this ministry, in this province has done -- and most of the credit goes to my predecessor, the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick (Mr. Grossman) -- in the field of transmission repairs?
SENIOR CITIZENS’ RENTS
Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Housing. In view of the fact that the province has passed on the $20-a-month guaranteed income supplement to senior citizens, and in view of the fact that the rent in senior citizens’ apartment buildings is raised from 19 per cent to 25 per cent of any increase in gross income, may I ask the minister what action he has taken to protect the GIS increase to pensioners and to avoid the loss of that increase through rent increases in senior citizens’ apartments?
Mr. Haggerty: Where is the six per cent ceiling?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, it is not our intention to alter the agreements we have had in relationship to family or senior citizens’ housing under the portfolio of the Ontario Housing Corporation or the authorities in the various communities. Whatever our arrangements have been in the past will continue on the same percentage factors.
Mr. McClellan: By way of supplementary: May I ask just how much money the minister expects to make by chiselling Ontario pensioners out of the pension increase through the GIS increase granted in Ottawa?
Ms. Gigantes: What’s his profit?
Mr. McClellan: How cheap can you get? How much?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Only a member of the third party would take that approach to life, that it happens to be a chiselling and sneaking approach of government. As I explained yesterday to the leader of the third party --
Mr. McClellan: Tell us how much money you’re going to get by nickel-and-diming pensioners?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: -- the government in this province has provided roughly 50,000 units for senior citizens’ accommodation at a very substantial cost to the taxpayers of Ontario, indeed to the taxpayers of the country as well. We have had the agreement that where increases in salary or inheritance or things of that nature --
Ms. Gigantes: Answer the question.
Mr. McClellan: How much money? Tell us how much money you’re saving?
Mr. Warner: You make Scrooge look like Santa Claus.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: They are like a bunch of little pups yapping over there. They have no idea what it is all about. I wish they would get out of the corner where they just happened to be a minute ago with their leg up.
Mr. Warner: Try answering the question.
Ms. Gigantes: Answer the question.
Mr. McClellan: Tell us how much money you’re going to make out of this deal.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: They’re the greatest giveaway artists in the world. They give everything away, they expect nothing in return and hope somebody will find change.
Mr. Speaker: Just answer the question.
Mr. MacDonald: You gave away hundreds of millions.
Mr. McClellan: You’re the take-away artists of the world.
Mr. Warner: You won’t answer.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Very clearly, we have had our agreements. Senior citizens in this province, by this government and by the federal government through Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, have all been treated to senior citizens’ accommodations we provided at a reasonable rent.
Mr. Warner: How much have you saved?
Mr. McClellan: Tell us how much money you’re saving.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: If they would let me finish --
Mr. Roy: Yes, let him finish.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I have travelled around this province considerably and I have been in a great number of the senior citizens’ accommodations.
Mr. Mackenzie: You haven’t learned anything yet
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Most of them believe sincerely that the governments that represent them have given them a very fair and honest break in the rental accommodations they have at the price they happen to be paying for the accommodation.
Mr. Warner: How much?
Mr. McClellan: You’re taking their pension increase yourself.
Mr. Warner: You haven’t answered the question.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Very clearly, they have known that when their income rises, whether it be a family income rise or a senior citizens’ income rise, the percentage factor relating to rent will continue.
Mr. Warner: How much money?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: They only become accountable for a rent increase at the end of the lease period. It is not changed in midterm.
Ms. Gigantes: Chatty Cathy.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I might remind this House that the reverse situation happens if incomes happen to drop in mid-term: rents immediately drop at that time.
Mr. McClellan: Wonderful answer.
Mr. Warner: Non-answer.
Ms. Gigantes: You are just full of soul.
Mr. Warner: You’re a disaster.
Hon. Mr. Davis: It takes one to know one.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, yesterday the member for Sarnia asked me questions regarding the Pension Benefits Act. Although my ministry might become involved as a result of a company bankruptcy or relocation in assisting workers to obtain other employment through the employment standards branch, the Pension Benefits Act is administered by the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations and perhaps the member would like to redirect his question to the appropriate minister.
Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations which he can share with the Premier (Mr. Davis), the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie), the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Brunelle), the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman), the Provincial Secretary for justice (Mr. Welch), the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) and the Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Wiseman), since they have all been involved or are now involved with the brief presented by the Ontario Federation of Commission Agents concerning financial protection for commission agents.
Is the minister prepared to meet with the leaders of this group and to take under his ministry the responsibility for removing the unfair treatment which commission agents in Ontario often receive due to the nature of their work?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I will take that as notice and I will give a detailed reply on Tuesday.
Mr. Breithaupt: I would like to ask a supplementary at this point which might assist the minister.
Since these agents have no guarantee of payment for work done, no guarantee of recovery of expenses, no tenure and no health or vacation benefits, does the minister not agree that this group, which is a most important link between manufacturer and customer, is worthy of consideration so that many of these concerns can be attended to with a positive policy?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I do and that is why I will give a detailed answer on Tuesday next.
Mr. Speaker, if you will indulge me for a moment, to the member for Sarnia: I read the Hansard yesterday. I have already taken his question on the pension problems as notice and I will reply to him before the House ends.
APPOINTMENT OF REGISTRAR
Hon. Mr. Drea: Yesterday the member for Huron-Middlesex asked what essentially amounts to about five questions. They concerned the appointment of a new land registrar for Huron county and Goderich.
The new registrar was appointed on the recommendation of the management of the property rights division. It was a management decision. The person who had been acting as deputy registrar was not the deputy registrar, he was a clerk five. He was brought to Toronto for an interview. It was found after the interview that somebody else had much higher qualifications. It was a straight management decision.
I am somewhat reluctant to give details on a personnel matter. I would like to leave it at that. If the honourable member wants to speak with me privately, I think I can reassure him on all his questions. However, if the House wants me to go into detail, the members can ask supplementaries.
Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, why wouldn’t that position be open to competition rather than having an outright appointment made? It makes one a little suspicious when someone appoints a person rather than opening it up to competition and basing the decision on competency and experience rather than just an appointment.
Mr. Swart: Go get him, Frank.
Hon. Mr. Drea: I want to make it very plain to the member that the decision was based on competency and nothing else. If he wants to raise something, I am prepared to come back. That is what I didn’t want to get into.
One of the difficulties is there are only 65 land registrars in the entire province of Ontario. We have now started a management trainee program to bring in very talented young people from the universities. It is no longer a position you can fill with somebody locally.
Mr. Nixon: You will have more defeated candidates in a few months.
Mr. Makarchuk: Filled by defeated Tory candidates.
Mr. Roy: You have the same problem in Ottawa, eh, Claude?
Hon. Mr. Drea: The difficulty is that we are no longer in a position to offer any type of competition because the people who come forward simply have had no experience in the field. I draw to the attention of the House that a land registrar is not a civil servant. A land registrar is a crown employee. The people who work in the offices are civil servants.
In this case, Mr. Lindsay was appointed the land registrar in Goderich. His qualifications are 20 years of experience in land registration, the last four years as senior deputy registrar in Toronto. He is going from being deputy registrar in an office that employs 70 people to become the registrar in an office that employs five. How can you run an efficient management system when you can’t promote anybody?
Mr. MacDonald: I have a question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food. Since the highly reputable Balderson dairy interests have taken over the Thornloe plant in the Timiskaming district, proposing to expand it for cheddar cheese production and in the process use much of the surplus milk of northeastern Ontario which is now being directed at the rate of 35 million pounds a year to the Beurriere Lafreniere at Lavalouchere in Quebec, what conceivable reason would there be for the Thornloe plant not being assured immediately of adequate local milk supplies, particularly since those supplies would bring a higher return to the local farmers?
Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I have had considerable discussion with the member for Timiskaming (Mr. Havrot) on this matter and the answer to your question is none.
Mr. MacDonald: It doesn’t what?
Hon. W. Newman: I think the member asked, if I heard him correctly, what reason there would be that they can’t have quota. I said there is no reason why they can’t have quota.
Mr. MacDonald: By way of supplementary:
Are they going to get it? I agree there’s no reason.
Hon. W. Newman: The Ontario Milk Marketing Board makes that decision. I believe they have already made the decision that the Balderson cheese plant that has bought the plant in the member for Timiskaming’s riding will be getting milk first. Fluid milk comes first in that area. There is milk going to the plant in Quebec, and Ontario’s needs will be taken care of first.
Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Solicitor General. On December 5 my leader asked a question relating to the very serious arson problem across the country and the Solicitor General agreed at that time to review the matter. I wonder if he was aware at that time of the situation in Niagara Falls that has now reached proportions that are very frightening? A recent heading in the paper suggests that an “arson epidemic plagues Niagara.” Was he aware at the time the question was raised and he promised to bring back a report, of the serious situation in Niagara Falls?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, no, I don’t think I had been aware of the situation as it relates particularly to Niagara Falls. But I am pleased to have that information and that will be of assistance to me as we review this matter.
Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, may I have a supplementary? I would like to thank the minister, but I want to add a little more information and hope he might, in cases where it reaches these kinds of proportions, do something quite specific. I would like to read the fire chief’s report noting there have been 50 instances of suspected arson, most unsolved, that have cost somewhere around $1.5 million. I wonder if, in making his investigation, the Solicitor General might consider some special force where such an area is so involved, that may have special help or extra help to deal with the situation?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I will be quite happy to review with the senior law enforcement officials not only the general problem as it relates to the province as a whole but specifically in relation to the matter the honourable member has drawn to my attention in relation to Niagara Falls.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of a brief supplementary on this: would the minister consult with the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Drea), whose ministry has apparently already prepared a new fire code for Ontario? Could he consult to find out whether that code will be coming forward as soon as possible so that municipalities may be governed accordingly?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Yes.
Mr. Charlton: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Chairman of Management Board. In light of the fact the government has taken a fairly strong position in legislation restricting political activity by civil servants in this province, and in light of the fact the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act specifically forbids the Ontario Public Service Employees Union from making political donations, can he explain why Mr. Kelly, the fund-raiser for his party, would send a letter to the president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union -- not as a private citizen, not at his home, but as president if the union and at his office, care of the union?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: The same reason you sent a bottle of champagne to CFTO.
Mr. Foulds: Are you trying to break the law?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, I can’t really explain why Mr. Kelly would send a letter to Mr. O’Flynn but we would be very happy to have a donation from him as we would from anybody else.
Mr. Warner: It is against the law to accept illegal donations, isn’t it?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: No, it is not. You don’t know what you are talking about. Read about it and find out.
Mr. Charlton: Supplementary: Perhaps the minister could take the time to make his party and his fund-raiser aware of the law, and perhaps he could check to find out whether or not the party is prepared to attempt to avoid this kind of situation in the future, this kind of situation which could provoke a violation of the law. Or perhaps the minister would be prepared to bring forth amendments in the House to change the law so that his party can go ahead with its fund raising.
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, that isn’t being contemplated at this time.
Mr. Mancini: I have a question of the Premier. In view of the eloquent statements made today by the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) concerning human rights, I wonder if the Premier is prepared to go to the Ontario Human Rights Commission if the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) does not get a membership in the Albany Club?
Mr. Kerrio: You sold us out, Bill.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: What do you mean “us”? They won’t let you in either?
Hon. Mr. Davis: It is quite obvious that the member for Niagara Falls thinks my position on membership in the Albany Club has in some way infringed upon his rights and has sold him out. I didn’t know he was a member of the Albany Club, but he is certainly welcome.
Mr. Kerrio: My application is there. You wouldn’t sign it.
Hon. Mr. Davis: It would be the most enlightened thing he has done in the last two or three years. I’m delighted to have him. If he wants to walk across the House before he does it, he’s welcome.
Mr. Foulds: You will take anybody, won’t you?
Hon. Mr. Davis: At least, I think he’s welcome.
I really think, Mr. Speaker, that this is perhaps one of the more intelligent questions that has been asked here this morning, and certainly one of the most important. I want to congratulate the honourable member for showing this concern, because I know he feels keenly about this issue and if I don’t go to the human rights commission he will seize the initiative and go on behalf of my colleague the Provincial Secretary for Social Development.
Mr. Warner: Equal rights. Bash a few heads.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the honourable member, though, that I don’t think it really will be necessary for such representation to be made.
SUPPLY OF OHC UNITS
Mr. Dukszta: I have a question of the Minister of Housing. Is the minister aware of the fact that in May 1977 the regional municipality of Peel requested the Ontario Housing Corporation to add to its housing stock 350 new dwellings in both 1977 and 1978 for families and senior citizens, and that there are 1,015 applicants with more than 20 points on the OHC waiting list in Peel? When is the minister going to do his job and ensure that there is an adequate supply of affordable housing for moderate and low-income families in Peel?
Mr. McClellan: Must have had bad representation in Peel.
Mr. Dukszta: Given that, why did the minister and the ministry decide in the spring to request only six new units in Peel this year?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: First of all, I think the member is aware of the fact that the Ministry of Housing responds through OHC to requests made by a local government. We do not impose ourselves on local governments. They believe that they have adequate land ready and -- .
Mr. Warner: You don’t do anything.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: -- zoned properly for family housing or senior citizens’ accommodation. We will together, if the need is apparent and certified --
Mr. Warner: You should be certified.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: -- be pleased to participate with them under the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation sections of the National Housing Act to accommodate the type of housing they believe is necessary.
Mr. Warner: I think we are going to rezone your seat.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I will say to the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere that we wouldn’t have to rezone his seat, because it is a vacant piece of land at the moment.
Mr. Roy: Was that just off the cuff?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I took some legal advice from the member for Ottawa East, and it’s worth just about that much too, so he needn’t worry. The only thing Albert’s a little bit upset about, Mr. Speaker, as you will appreciate, is that he hasn’t had the right to appoint any old Ottawa buddies. His colleagues federally look after getting citizenship judges appointed.
Mr. Speaker: Order. You are answering a question put to you by the member for Parkdale. You have referred to the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere and now you are back in Ottawa. Will you get back to the original question?
Ms. Gigantes: Go home.
Mr. Makarchuk: Stop perambulating.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: You must remember my heart is in Ottawa, so there is no reason for you :to doubt why I am back in that particular community.
Ms. Gigantes: You don’t have a heart.
Mr. Roy: Who does your hair?
Mr. Speaker: Give your answer.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Yes, I will attempt to, if I can get some degree of order, Mr. Speaker. Clearly, in the community of Peel we have this current year opened up a rather substantial number of senior citizens’ accommodations under the private assisted rental program.
Mr. McClellan: How many?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: About 318 in one particular project by a private developer under the PAR program. It would appear at the moment most of the needs of Peel in respect to senior citizens will either be accommodated in that building or in another building that’s being proposed under a similar program by the same developer.
Mr. Dukszta: Supplementary: Is the minister aware that there are now 413 applications on file with 40 or more points in each? I’m talking of the families, not senior citizens at the moment. Is he also aware of the study done by the Social Planning Council of Peel called rather interestingly, Fudging the Figures Doesn’t Change the Facts, as applied to the minister’s statements about the housing which suggests there is now a distinct need for further rent-supplemented housing from the ministry which he has not done? As a last thing, will he promise to give an immediate priority to all those people who have 40 points or more on the waiting list?
Mr. Conway: Stop ignoring Peel.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: First of all, as I explained yesterday and I’ve tried to explain on two or three occasions, because there happens to be a waiting list of whether it be 400 or 500, doesn’t altogether certify those are the people who are truly in need.
Ms. Gigantes: Do you know anybody with 40 points?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: The member for Carleton East should sit and listen for a moment, which would be an unusual situation.
Mr. Warner: You’re starting to ramble again.
Mr. Roy: Stay out of Ottawa.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: East, east.
An hon. member: If you’d say something, it’d be worth listening to.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I would suggest most members, when they’re called about public housing by people, whether it be senior citizens or families, take the same attitude as this member, and I think most other members, and they refer them to the housing authority and they make an application. There is a time and period when they certify that application as the person truly in need. Because there are 400 or 500 people on the waiting list does not altogether tell me, nor anyone else in that municipality, that entire number is in the classification of need.
Ms. Gigantes: Forty points?
Mr. Warner: Forty points?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I know what the problems are. In many of the communities we have moved, with the municipalities, to provide the accommodation we believe is needed.
Mr. Foulds: Scrap your point system.
Mr. J. Reed: I have a question of the Minister of Industry and Tourism. Is the minister aware that since at least December 1977, the steel producing mills in Ontario have put their provincial customers on a system called restricted supply, which is sort of a regeneration of, I suppose, the allocations that took place during the year 1974 when supply was short? Is he aware the production is, by and large, going for export? Because of the allocation that is taking place now, jobs are being lost in Ontario. Layoffs are occurring because some of these construction companies, these buyers of fabricating steel, cannot get supplies.
Mr. Eakins: Good question.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We’re aware of the problem. We’re not sure to what extent it’s, in fact, causing some unemployment in other sectors. Part of the early responses we’ve got to our inquiries relates to a suggestion that they are allocating it in accordance with current demand. We are trying to get a handle on to what extent that may or may not be accurate. We’ll pursue our investigations and if the House is still sitting when we have further to report, we’ll do that.
EMPLOYEES’ HEALTH AND SAFETY
Mr. Mackenzie: A question of the Minister of Labour: Can the Minister of Labour give us some timetable for the hundreds of thousands, or indeed probably millions of workers in Ontario, who are denied coverage under Bill 70, and the thousands who are denied the right to refuse, or is this acceptance of the Liberal sellout of the workers the final word on Bill 70?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Sellout, my foot!
Mr. Conway: Oh, oh.
Mr. Speaker: Order. That’s part of a whole ball of wax that’s going to be discussed later this week and I think it would be more appropriately asked at that time.
Mr. Kerrio: Clean up your act at the same time.
Mr. Roy: I have a question of the Premier. Seeing he’s in such a good mood, I want to ask a question of the Premier dealing with the fund-raising activity of the Conservative Party. Would he advise Mr. Kelly to quit sending me letters about fund-raising --
Mr. Turner: Did you get a letter, Albert?
Hon. Mr. Walker: On the list, Albert?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Cheapskate.
Mr. Turner: Make out a cheque.
Mr. Roy: -- and advise him my allegiance is elsewhere? Would he tell his fund-raisers or would he advise the House why it is --
Mr. Speaker: Order. What ministry is the honourable member concerned about? Mr. Roy: I’m interested --
Mr. Speaker: What ministry of the government would you like to question?
Mr. Roy: The Premier. The Premier.
Mr. Speaker: It has nothing to do with the Premier’s responsibility.
Mr. Roy: He’s responsible --
Mr. Speaker: It has nothing at all to do with a particular ministry.
WEST MONTROSE DAM
Mr. Swart: My question is to the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development. Am I correct that he had a meeting with a committee opposed to the West Montrose dam on the Grand River at Elora and he turned down their request for funding of research and other items to mount an effective opposition? Doesn’t he think that in a project of this magnitude, where some 3,500 acres of mostly class one farmland are going to be taken out of production and 225 people displaced, the citizens should be assured of funds to properly fight their side of the battle and perhaps some special concession for government funding should be made to them?
Hon. Mr. Brunelle: I just reiterated when I met with them two weeks ago that this request had been submitted to the Minister of the Environment about two years ago. He had replied at that time that there were no funds available. The only funds that have been made available to my knowledge have been made available to native groups. I don’t believe there’s been any funding to any other organizations. I reiterated that our position was still the same. There are opportunities at the public hearings for those groups to make their views known.
Mr. Swart: By way of supplementary, in view of the fact that the fight for this dam will be mounted by the conservation authority and the money will come from public funds, and in view of the seriousness of the matter, would the minister make a recommendation to the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) that substantial funding be made available to the opposition as well?
Hon. Mr. Brunelle: No, Mr. Speaker.
STANDING PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the standing public accounts committee be authorized to meet Monday, December 11, concurrently with the House.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the following substitutions be made: on the standing social development committee, Mr. Belanger for Mr. Johnson; on the standing resources development committee, Mr. Johnson for Mr. Belanger.
Motion agreed to.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
LINE FENCES ACT
Hon. Mr. Wells moved first reading of Bill 201, An Act to revise the Line Fences Act.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Wells: I am introducing this revised version of the Line Fences Act, 1978, for the consideration of the Legislature. It replaces Bill 135, which was given first reading on June 22, 1978.
In introducing Bill 135, the former Treasurer of Ontario said that the government was looking forward to receiving and discussing comments and recommendations for changes to this bill over the summer months. I’d like to tell the members that a great many comments and suggestions were received from interested individuals and groups and we’re very grateful to everyone who participated in this process.
A special word of appreciation, I think, should go to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Rural Ontario Municipal Association, whose representatives played a key role throughout the extensive discussions that have taken place over the past few months.
The revised bill is not substantially different in principle from Bill 135. However, a number of changes to the old Bill 135 now are being made to incorporate many of the suggestions that we received in the consultation process. Therefore, the government decided that it would be better to introduce a completely new bill rather than proceed by amending Bill 135 at the committee stage. We think this will make it easier for all of us to follow the process of the bill through the House and to understand the detailed provisions.
Mr. Nixon: On a point of order, Mr.Speaker: Shouldn’t the process be accompanied by the withdrawal of the first bill? Do we have a motion to withdraw?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Yes, we have that.
RESIDENTIAL PREMISES RENT REVIEW AMENDMENT ACT
Hon. Mr. Drea moved first reading of Bill 202, An Act to amend the Residential Premises Rent Review Act, 1975, Second Session.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, the bill extends the existing rent review for another 90 days.
ANSWER TO QUESTION ON THE NOTICE PAPER
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day I wish to table the interim answer to question 159 standing on the Notice Paper.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
LINE FENCES ACT
Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the order for second reading of Bill 135, An Act to revise the Line Fences Act, be discharged and that the bill be withdrawn.
Motion agreed to.
House in committee of the whole.
CORONERS AMENDMENT ACT
Consideration of Bill 186, An Act to amend the Coroners Act, 1972.
Mr. Chairman: On section 1:
Mr. Rotenberg moves that section 23(a)(2) of the act, as set out in section 1 of the bill, be struck out and the following substituted therefor:
“(2) Subsection 1 applies only where the deceased has consented to the removal of his pituitary gland or, when no such consent has been given, the coroner or person performing the post mortem examination has informed the surviving spouse, parent, child, brother, sister or personal representative of his intention remove the pituitary gland and has not received from that person any objection to such removal.”
Mr. Rotenberg: Firstly, Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank all members of the House for their co-operation in my discussions with them on this amendment. Whether or not they support it, I feel I have had the understanding of members on both sides of this House,
This is a very difficult matter, and certainly I would consider it to be very much of a non-partisan matter. We are faced with what I would call a conflict of minorities, a conflict of interests. I think members of both sides of the House would want at all times, if possible, to respect the wishes of all minority groups.
We also have a conflict of principles. We have two basic principles before us, One is a very worthwhile principle, which is to get a sufficient amount of pituitary glands for the children who have this unfortunate disease. There is no question in my mind that everybody in this province has sympathy for that point of view.
The other principle we have is the sanctity of the human body. Basically, to whom does a body belong? Does the body belong to the deceased and/or his next of kin, or does the body belong to the state, in this case the province of Ontario? That second is a very important principle, and I am wondering if in our enthusiasm and haste, and I understand this, to solve the problem of the pituitary gland shortage maybe we have not quite taken enough time to consider the problems brought forward by the adoption of this bill.
Although I know we do not take our precedents from the United States, and certainly American court decisions are not binding on anyone in this jurisdiction and this country, there was a very interesting court case in the United States I believe in late summer. A person was suffering from bone cancer and the only way to give him treatment, to save his life, was to have a bone marrow transplant. There was a cousin of this gentleman who had the same genes, makeup and so on and a bone marrow transplant from this cousin, it was felt, could save a life.
The person who was ill went to court to try to force his cousin to give a bone marrow transplant. The cousin refused. The court case was heard, and despite the fact that it was to save a life, despite the fact that it was humanitarian, despite the fact that the court had all the sympathy in the world for the person who was dying of bone cancer, the court in the United States ruled that the courts, government and society had no right to take a part of the human body for another human being.
There may be some parallel. In fact, I think that case was more serious. In that case it was to save a human life, not to correct a very unfortunate disease. Equally important, what was to be taken from another human being was bone marrow, something that is regenerated, such as blood. Certainly, we believe in the blood donor program. Even then, a court in another democratic jurisdiction felt that a person has control of his body and no court or no law or no state should take that control away from him.
I know that everyone, from the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) to the members of the opposition to the member for Cambridge (Mr. M. Davidson), who brought this matter to the House in his private bill, are sincere in really feeling that this does not impinge on anybody’s human rights. But if today we set the precedent, what will be next? Will there be another organ of the human body which people feel is so necessary to cure a disease further along the road, and maybe they will suggest that on post-mortems and autopsies we will take another part of the human body.
As I say, it is a conflict of principles and minorities. What we are talking about is assisting a small minority in this province, I am told around 50 children. If you add their families and their immediate circle, we may be talking about the well-being of something in the order of 1,000 people On the other side of the coin, we are talking about the objections of a religious minority in this province who may be somewhere around 25,000 people.
How do you balance the rights of one minority over the rights of another minority? Certainly members in this House on all sides, members who have taken an interest in this bill and members who sit opposite me, have held themselves out many times as the champions of human rights, the champions of minority rights, the champions of religious rights, and the champions of racial rights. I am just wondering, when the right of a minority now is being somewhat disregarded, why we do not again champion minority racial and religious rights.
I don’t say that in a way to try to criticize. I realize that many members of this House are weighing the two rights and trying to come up with an answer. Everyone here agrees that if at all possible, we should accommodate both. The question really is not whether we should accommodate both but how best can we accommodate both. I am not asking to go back to the Human Tissue Gift Act, which is really what applies now, where there must be written consent before this could happen. I am trying to find a middle-of-the-road situation.
Bill 186 says that glands will be taken provided there is no objection. I thank the Attorney General and compliment him on coming a reasonable distance along the way to try and accommodate the problem. I still see somewhat of a problem, because although the coroner will not do it if there is an objection, my question is, how is the next of kin going to know that this gland will be taken if he or she is not informed?
Sure, there is going to be a bit of publicity about this bill now. There has been. But three, four or five years down the road, someone will be involved in an accident, there will be a coroner’s autopsy, the next of kin probably will know there is going to be an autopsy, hut if he doesn’t know the gland is to be taken, how is he going to object?
What I am really saying in the amendment is that the coroner make contact with the next of kin, not in the mandatory manner in the order of the Human Tissue Gift Act where you go to the spouse and then to the child and so on, but with anyone who has a relationship with the deceased, even a contact by phone, and say, “The law says we should take this unless there is an objection. Do you object?” then the onus is on the next of kin if he doesn’t object, the gland can be taken.
I have heard comments from various members that this amendment would destroy the bill because it would be so difficult for the coroner to make these contacts. I admit that of the roughly 9,000 or 10,000 autopsies now done in this province, the coroner will have difficulty in contacting the next of kin in as many as five or 10 or 15 per cent of the cases. But certainly in the vast majority of cases -- 85, 90, even 95 per cent -- the next of kin will be available and a simple phone call or contact will get this consent or not get this consent. There will be far more consents than we are getting now if the coroner had to make the simple phone call. Now we are getting consent in about 50 per cent of the autopsies being done.
As I said last week, there are other ways of getting pituitary glands than just on the coroner’s autopsies. As I pointed out, there are 8,000 or 9,000 coroners’ inquests, there are 10,000 to 15,000 voluntary autopsies done in the hospitals of this province. Every one of those autopsies, each and every one of them, requires a signed consent from the next of kin before that voluntary post-mortem is done. Each and every one of those requires a contact probably from the attending physician or someone else in the hospital, to explain the need for a post-mortem. The doctors in the hospitals are getting 10,000 to 15,000 -- the number is only an estimate, it is not accurate.
The Ministry of Health could consult with the Ontario Hospital Association and add to that consent form -- after the next of kin signs it saying, “I consent to the post-mortem examination” -- another simple little line saying, “I consent to having the pituitary gland donated to assist children; or whatever the wording would be.
I can’t imagine more than one per cent of the people who consent to a post-mortem who would not consent to having their gland used for this purpose. Here is a vast reservoir which is not being tapped, which would more than satisfy the need for pituitary glands throughout the province without having to take them from people without consent.
The driver’s licence has a very general consent form which just says whether you will donate all or part of your body. It says:
“If you wish to donate your body or part of your body for transplant or other humanitarian purposes, after death, please complete the form below and leave attached to the licence.” And it says: “Consent form: I, so-and-so, having attained the age of 18 years, consent to the use after death of my body, or the following specified parts of my body.” About 90 per cent of the people in the province getting that would not know about the pituitary gland problem. I suggest there be more publicity, perhaps a brochure that goes out with the licence.
The former Solicitor General, the member for Burlington South (Mr. Kerr), in a speech last June indicated that this was necessary. The Solicitor General, as you know, is in charge of the coroner’s office. He said, “Because more people might consent if they had more information about precisely what they are signing, to increase donations and to promote knowledge of a need for these donations, we initiated a number of useful projects. Nearly one and a half million explanatory brochures were produced in English, French and Italian and distributed throughout the province.” These are the brochures:
“Help somebody some day. You can register as a human tissue donor.”
What is needed? The first thing is eyes. The second is pituitary glands, required in large numbers to extract growth hormones for treatment of one type of dwarfism, a particularly tragic deficiency which affects children at an early age and prevents them from reaching full growth.
I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, this brochure be made a little bit smaller, jazzed up a little bit and given to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and sent out with every driver’s licence renewal, not just distributed to a million and a half people in constituency offices and social agencies and so on. Send one out with every driver’s licence renewal. The postage would be paid anyway. Then when people get those consents with their driver’s licences they will know what they are really signing.
As I said, there are other ways of doing this if they are pursued. It’s not an easy decision, I know, for the members of this House to discuss this amendment I have put forward. I think my approach can work with a little more effort and a little more time on behalf of the Solicitor General’s department and the coroner’s office. Maybe if we move a little more slowly on this bill and maybe if we are fairer to all people, we will get the answers we want. We will get these glands donated without, at this stage, putting through a bill which may -- and as I said, I don’t criticize the Solicitor General -- satisfy the concerns of a number of people.
Some people will know of post-mortems and some people will be informed, but I have a fear there will be some who will not be informed and some to whom this will be done after death who didn’t want it, and some to whom this will be done without their next of kin having the opportunity to intervene.
I would ask the members of this Legislature, realizing the problems and the conflicts, both the conflicts of principles and the conflicts of minorities, to give serious consideration to the amendment I have put forward.
Mr. Blundy: Mr. Chairman, I have every respect for the views that have been expressed by the member for Wilson Heights on this matter. I’m sure every member of this House is concerned with the expression the member has put forward regarding a religious minority or a minority which for moral reasons may object to the present bill, Bill 186, that is before us.
I would like to put forth two or three matters I would like the House to consider and I have found to be the case from personal experience. The member for Wilson Heights is asking, and quite rightly so, that absolute consent should be given rather than the lack of objection. Under normal circumstances, I would want to support that view, but when I think of what happens in actual practice I’m afraid this might not do what we want it to do.
Firstly, a coroner’s autopsy can and has been on many occasions, within my experience, ordered and performed before a member of the family may be informed of it. You might say to me; “How is that?” Well, if a person is away from home and travelling, for instance, death may occur in circumstances that would not only justify, but make necessary, an autopsy under the Coroners Act. This would possibly be done, and I know that it has been done in my experience, before members of the family or close relatives would even be informed of the death.
Secondly, even though members of the family may be informed of the death of a person under circumstances that would warrant a coroner’s autopsy, on the receipt of that information by close relatives they would naturally be very upset and disturbed and would not be thinking rationally. I think this would cause problems in having them able to put forth immediately the view there was an absolute objection from the deceased during his life or from his relatives after his death. This is one problem I see would happen.
Thirdly, the member for Wilson Heights also mentioned the fact of the much larger number of medical autopsies that are done daily in our hospitals, as opposed to autopsies under the Coroners Act. He is absolutely correct. The number of autopsies being done in the hospitals now is increasing every day. With the sophistication of medical practice and the need for knowledge, the case of a patient who has passed away in hospital is often brought to the attention of the relatives and, as a result, there are a very large number of medical autopsies performed.
That reasoning goes well that far, but this is what is happening in hospitals in Ontario:
Under a Coroners Act autopsy, the cranial cavity must be opened. Under most medical autopsies that are done, the cranial cavity is not opened unless the patient, while he lived, had a condition that was located in the head. But, Mr. Chairman, I will tell you from experience that in 90 per cent of medical autopsies performed in hospitals throughout the year, the cranial cavity is not opened; and, as you know, the cranial cavity must be opened to remove the very small pituitary gland which lies at the base of the frontal lobe of the brain.
Mr. Rotenberg: But it could be.
Mr. Blundy: I want to put those two points before the members of the House for their consideration in thinking about Bill 186.
The third point I make -- and I do not make it in the belief that it has as much justification as the two previous points I made -- is that where there are problems faced by the coroner’s office in this way which cause more work being done previous to the autopsy, this is going to slow down the process to a certain extent. The coroner’s office will probably say that this will cause them more expense, certain delays that are not desirable and so forth. As I say, I know it will do that, but I do not speak in justifying that particular reason as much as I did the previous two points I made.
The need for the increased number of pituitaries so that the growth hormone can be made has been well documented, and I know that we all want to Jill that need. At the same time, I believe we all want to recognize any group of people who, for religious or moral reasons, do not want the body used in this way. But when I think of the greater need, and when I think of what happens in absolute practice from my own experience, I would have to support the bill that is being introduced by the Solicitor General today. I believe that this House should act on this responsibility, and quickly, and pass this bill.
Mr. M. Davidson: Mr. Chairman, on behalf of the New Democratic Party, I have to tell the member for Wilson Heights that we are not able to support his amendment. I have had the opportunity to speak to him personally, and I want him to be fully aware that both I and my colleagues very much appreciate the intent and fully understand the reason why the amendment to the bill has been made.
However, the member himself indicated that a person in a situation such as this pretty well had to make a determination between two types of minority groups, and in terms of numbers the children affected by hypopituitary dwarfism are probably one of the greatest minorities that exist in the province today. Someone has to help them, and I think it is up to this Legislature to take the kind of action that will provide the necessary serum.
I won’t read the entire petition but I am quite sure the Solicitor General has received very similar copies to what I have here in my hand. The names total into the thousands, I might add, and the last line is “provided that the next of kin do not object.” In going over some of these and in talking to the people who put these petitions together, I found that people of all religions signed it, having read it. They had it explained to them very thoroughly as to what the purpose of the petition was and exactly what the meaning of it was. There are names appearing thereon from almost every religion throughout the province.
Mr. Rotenberg: All I am asking is a right to object -- just as your petition says, “providing they don’t object.”
Mr. M. Davidson: I think that’s what the Solicitor General’s bill says. I think your bill convolutes that somehow or other and puts it back in -- actually what the amendment to Bill 186 does is leave us at status quo. Where you suggest we should go, we are there already.
In looking over your amendment, I find you are requesting that consent must be given prior to the removal, and that is what exists right at the moment. There is a definite shortage of pituitaries in the province under the type of program that exists today. You yourself quoted what the former Solicitor General had to say about that, and it was very similar to the response I received from I him to the petition that was tabled in the Legislature on February 28. This is dated March 6, 1978. He also points out there that the donation program seemed to be increasing the number of required glands but even at that, we still only had approximately half of the requirement of the day.
You must remember it was only 50 per cent of the actual number of children who were getting the treatment; the others bad to go on a waiting list. But even those receiving the treatment were not getting a full treatment year. A full treatment year under the program is 10 months, and the children being treated throughout the various hospitals in the province were only getting six months’ supply.
I would like to read to you part of a letter to the editor that appeared in the Globe and Mail dated November 9, 1978. It says:
“Our son is 16 years old, four feet seven inches tall and weighs 75 pounds. Thanks to the Society for Crippled Children, our son, along with a few other teenagers was picked out for treatment with growth hormone serum they were able to purchase in the United States. Last April these children were put on half rations of this serum just to get them started. Our son has just finished his allotment and must wait another six months to resume treatment. We have been told to phone Sick Children’s Hospital before we come for the next batch of serum because there may not be any.
“We will never be able to thank the Society for Crippled Children enough for their endeavours to purchase this serum from outside of Canada, but this does not alleviate the shortage.”
It says: “The only hope our children have is to increase the supply of serum and it seems the only way to get it changed is through the Human Tissue Gift Act.” The bill before us is not to change the Human Tissue Gift Act of course, but to amend the Coroners Act. But I think what was really being said in that letter was that it’s time legislators took some action to ensure the supply of serum for all of the children in the province, and not just those who are getting half treatment at best.
While I’m on my feet I should also point out that it is almost prohibitive for parents to purchase this serum for the treatment of theft own child. The cost runs anywhere in the neighbourhood of $12,000 to $14,000 per treatment-year, and any doctor I have had the opportunity to speak to about the problem will tell you that unless the child takes a three-year treatment program the treatment will not, in fact, be beneficial to him I in bringing him up to full-grown height.
What, in effect, you are talking about then is somewhere in the neighbourhood of $36,000 to $40,000 for parents if they chose to purchase the serum on their own. That is, if they were able to get it. It seems the shortage exists not only in the province of Ontario but throughout the whole of Canada.
It was interesting that in several articles that appeared in various newspapers a forum was held in Vancouver and Dr. Friesen, who works out of the University of Manitoba, I believe, was discussing children suffering from hypopituitary dwarfism. He was pointing out that donations to the program were down somewhere around 32 per cent this year from last year. So if last year we were receiving approximately half the number of glands required, you can estimate that we are now below that figure considerably.
It would therefore indicate that the voluntary gift program simply is not working out on behalf of these children, and that something more and greater is needed. Dr. Friesen also indicated that the province probably having the greatest difficulty in obtaining the pituitaries was the province of Ontario. In fact, he went so far as to say that the record in Ontario was not very good.
So I suggest to you, Mr. Chairman, that although I can appreciate the amendment that was put forward by the member for Wilson Heights and I can understand his reasoning for the motion, I would suggest that the passage of such an amendment would, in fact, take away the intent of Bill 186. Therefore, we in the New Democratic Party will not support it.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Very briefly, I want to make it clear that I deeply respect the motives behind the amendment put forward by the member for Wilson Heights. I respect his very valid concerns in this respect, hut I have to advise the members of the House that having discussed this problem in some detail, not only with the chief coroner of the province, who is here with us this morning, but also with other coroners, in our view the amendment would defeat the goal of the bill.
We heard some submissions in relation to extending a little more time to beef up the voluntary program, but I think members on all sides of the House are very cognizant of and very sensitive to the fact that time is simply running lout for a number of these children. In relation to the bill that has been put forward by the government, it clearly respects the wishes of any minority group that wishes to object to the use of the pituitary gland.
I think it is a practical matter that it is almost inconceivable that the next of kin would not be aware of the autopsy. Where the deceased was a member of a group that held this religious conviction or other convictions in relation to the use of the pituitary gland, it is very difficult to imagine a situation where that concern and objection would not as a practical matter be communicated to the coroner.
In addition, we are prepared and are undertaking to make all coroners aware of the possibility that some groups might object to the use of the pituitary gland and to be on the lookout, as it were, and be very sensitive to this problem. I think as a practical matter it is very unlikely the gland would be taken where there is an objection on religious or other grounds.
I think it’s quite clear as well that the voluntary program, the placing of an onus on the coroner to obtain even an oral consent from a grieving family, given the circumstances families are in both in the context of the death of a loved one and in an autopsy, and the difficulty of explaining what a pituitary gland was, would no doubt just make it practically impossible for the program to succeed.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I’d like to thank again all the members of the House who contributed to this very important debate. I thank them for their support of what is very important legislation, albeit to a small minority, but a minority that very desperately needs our assistance.
Mr. Chairman: Are there any further comments on the amendment?
Section 1 agreed to.
Mr. Rotenberg: I wonder if I may ask the indulgence of the House on another matter of great sadness which I just learned about a few minutes ago. That is the passing of Israeli former Prime Minister Golda Meir this morning. I wonder if I might read into the record a statement issued by Premier Davis a few moments ago.
Mr. Breithaupt: Would it be more convenient to do this at the stage when the committee were to rise and report, or indeed, on adjournment so this could receive the proper proportion of attention I’m sure members would want?
Mr. Chairman: I would suggest to the member for Wilson Heights the appropriate time would be when the House is in session.
Sections 2 and 3 agreed to.
Bill 186 reported.
CONDOMINIUM ACT (CONTINUED)
Resumption of the adjourned consideration of Bill 103, An Act to revise the Condominium Act.
Mr. Chairman: When the committee rose the committee was discussing an amendment by the member for Hamilton Centre (Mr. M. N. Davison) on sections 56 and 57. The member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.
On sections 56 and 57:
Mr. Warner: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You might not have noticed it, but I was standing.
It would be a tough act to follow from yesterday when my good colleague, the member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes) delivered a very comprehensive and persuasive explanation of the situation which exists for many condominium owners in Ontario. I would think the excellent report she gave yesterday should persuade members of the need to adopt the motion put forward by Mr. Davison.
First of all, I assume the minister is not unaware that many of the problems described so aptly by the member for Carleton East also exist in parts of Scarborough. They exist in Etobicoke, they exist in other parts of Metro and I assume in cities other than Toronto and Ottawa.
Condominium owners in my area had some severe difficulties in trying to resolve problems in their buildings, sometimes because the buildings were converted from apartments to condominiums, severe structural problems existed and the developer didn’t feel responsible. There didn’t seem to be any place to go to get that resolved other than trying to wrench it through the courts, which is a costly and lengthy procedure.
In some instances, they were relatively new buildings, which were presumably well constructed except that after a couple of years the roof leaked and it required about $15,000 worth of repairs. That is dumped into the maintenance fund. That little gem occurred in my area, and the condominium owners had the unhappy circumstance of picking up the tab.
What the member for Hamilton Centre is getting at with his amendment is that we must have a registrar who has some powers. We must have a clearly defined body, to which people who have problems can go and get those problems resolved. It must be an open and public body, with a registrar who has the power to make and enforce decisions. That’s the amendment the way I understand it. It’s obviously an improvement over what had been proposed in the bill.
I’m wondering, since we discussed the amendments the other day, if the minister has had an opportunity to speak to -- I don’t mean that he sought them out, hut that they have come to him -- any of the condominium associations or their lawyers regarding the amendment.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Yes.
Mr. Warner: We are not going to get into the political ramifications of some of these groups that came before him. I am wondering in particular if a group from Etobicoke or their lawyers came to see him expressing their interest in the amendment that was put forward by the member for Hamilton Centre.
Hon. Mr. Drea: For Etobicoke, the answer specifically is no. They may have talked to my staff. Yesterday a great number of other groups, including their solicitors, spoke to me; and they are in full support of the bill as it stands.
Mr. Philip: That’s not what their solicitor told us.
Mr. Warner: Could the minister elaborate?
Hon. Mr. Drea: No, I am not going to elaborate. I just told the member something. I said Etobicoke -- whoever they are, either their solicitor or themselves -- have not spoken to me. To the best of my knowledge, they haven’t phoned me; there were no phone messages last night or this morning. A number of other groups, including their solicitors, have spoken to me; and they are in full support of the bill as it stands.
Mr. Warner: I think the minister probably understands the value of the amendment: how it improves sections 56 and 57, how it follows along with the report from the study group -- it’s just following up the report from the study group -- and how it’s an improvement over what was in the bill.
If the minister hasn’t had sufficient time to study that amendment, or to meet with more than one group of condominium lawyers, whoever they may be, perhaps he needs a bit more time.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Just to avoid a filibuster, because we’re getting very close to adjournment on a Friday: I have read the amendment. I understand the amendment. I totally reject the amendment.
Mr. Warner: That’s unfortunate. I am not going to take much longer, Mr. Chairman. The minister is adamant about not accepting a progressive step. That’s his problem. He’s doing a disservice to condominium owners, in my view. After a couple of years it may show up. It may not show up immediately, but it will as condominium owners attempt to resolve the serious problems which they face with maintenance, with the management of the building or with whatever sweetheart deals have existed with some management groups. They cannot resolve those problems properly through this bureau. They really required a registrar of condominiums, with the powers that are described in my colleague’s amendment. The minister must accept the full responsibility for that.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Yes, I do. And I will two years from now, or 10 years from now.
Mr. Warner: It will be fine for you to say you accept the responsibility after you’ve not only bolted the door when the horse has gone but after the barn has burned down as well.
Hon. Mr. Drea: I will say to the honourable member, and he knows me very well, I always accept responsibility for what I do, not just on a given day but into perpetuity afterwards.
Mr. Warner: I would hope then that the minister, after a length of time has gone by and he discovers that what he’s got in the bill isn’t working properly and that my colleague’s amendment would have solved the problem, he would be quite willing to reopen the matter here in the Legislature and deal with my colleague’s amendment by accepting it.
Yes, you’re right, I’ve never known the minister to break his word, so perhaps today he can assure us that if his ideas as expressed in sections 56 and 57 don’t work, after a while he will revert to my colleague’s suggestion. Would he be willing to do that after we’ve had a trial period with this new legislation?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Chairman, I really think, with all due respect to the member, that he is asking me to negate the function of an opposition member. Notwithstanding that there is no possibility that the events that he predicts will take place, that even assuming hypothetically that they might, surely it is the role of the opposition member to stand up in the House and to demand, not of the minister to come forward. Surely that’s the entire basis of this Legislature.
Mr. Warner: Of course, I have never been reticent in doing that and you well know that, but what’s the point of hitting your head against a brick wall? Ml I want to know is when we bring this matter back after a couple of years, when we know full well that it isn’t going to work, then are you going to listen? Are you going to be amenable to the original suggestion? Will you then stand and say: “I’m sorry, we’ve made a mistake and we should have accepted Mr. Davison’s amendment”? Otherwise, the problem will simply go on and the opposition obviously doesn’t have the same power as :the government. We’re dealing in a two-way situation here. There’s been very little concern shown by the other party towards the serious problems.
Mr. Breithaupt: That is not correct.
Mr. Warner: Mr. Chairman, that is all I have to say.
Mr. M. N. Davison: Mr. Chairman, I have one question of the minister and then I would like to conclude my participation in the debate on this amendment with a few comments.
The question, Mr. Minister, is whether or not since you’ve assumed the ministry you’ve had some time, after having read the bill and learned about it, to consider the makeup of Condominium Ontario, the composition of the members in the bureau? Specifically, are you at this point in time willing to guarantee in this House publicly that the majority membership of the bureau of Condominium Ontario will be unit owners and their representatives and not some people you may pick from the other parts of the condominium world?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Chairman, the makeup of Condominium Ontario as a non-profit corporation is outlined in the legislation.
Ms. Gigantes: No, it is not.
Mr. M. N. Davison: I would ask that the minister respond to that question, because without a response the clear impression that is left is that the answer to that question is no and that condominium owners --
Hon. Mr. Drea: That is not true.
Mr. M. N. Davison: -- will not be effectively represented on Condominium Ontario, and you’ll sell out what little good is in the bureau concept.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Chairman, it is outlined very plainly in the legislation that the board of directors can be either 13 or 15 members. If it’s a question of 13, it is six unit owners. If it’s a question of 15 there are seven. It is set out in the legislation. Can’t you read?
Mr. M. N. Davison: In other words, the minister has guaranteed that the condominium unit owners will not be effectively represented on Condominium Ontario with majority representation and that’s fine. I’m glad that’s on the record. In conclusion of my participation in the debate on my amendment, it’s quite obvious to me that the amendment is going to be lost, which is unfortunate for a number of reasons.
Hon. Mr. Drea: That’s the first accurate thing you have said all day.
Mr. M. N. Davison: Perhaps the most unfortunate aspect of it is that those who have the capacity to view the amendment objectively understand that while they may or may not agree with what the amendment does in setting up a registrar’s office, there is much about the amendment that is good. There is much about the amendment that is better than this Condominium Ontario bureau, a privatized form of consumer protection that the minister is offering. We have listed them already. They range from the funding of the office to the way in which they would effectively license management firms, protect the buyer against a shady developer and make sure that developers with bad records never, but never, built another condominium in this province. What’s happening today is unfortunate, but one has no choice but to accept it.
The registrar’s office, if it had been established as put out in my amendment, would have provided an extraordinarily good advisory and advocacy service for condominium owners and purchasers. The bureau is a wishy-washy, pale, privatized office which is just not going to work. We are going to be back here asking the minister why he did this, why he made this tragic error. I’m afraid we are going to be back here in rather short order to ask those questions. The registrar’s office would have provided real and effective consumer protection legislation. It would have provided real and serious protection to people who own condominium units or are prospective owners of condominium units.
Finally, it is quite clear to me there is only one party in this Legislature that has any interest in providing real and effective consumer protection legislation and I am most pleased to be a member of it.
Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Davison’s amendment to sections 56 and 57 will please say “aye.”
Those opposed will please say “nay.”
In my opinion the nays have it.
Mr. M. N. Davison: Earlier, we stood down section 52. I am prepared now to move an amendment which I have circulated to the minister, the Liberal critic and yourself, Mr. Chairman. Would it be your pleasure to do that section now before continuing?
Mr. Chairman: Might as well.
On section 52:
Mr. Chairman: Mr. M. N. Davison moves that section 52 be amended by adding a new subsection 5 as follows:
“5(a) a declarant shall offer to buy back units at the price of purchase if the building is not registered as a condominium within two years of the final approval for occupancy;
“5(b) a declarant shall offer to buy back units at the price of purchase if the building is registered but is being operated as a rental unit.”
Mr. M. N. Davison further moves that the following subsections be renumbered accordingly.
Mr. M. N. Davison: All of us who sat on the justice committee saw case after case, time after time, where people had purchased a unit in good faith in what was purported to be a condominium only to move into the unit and find they were living in a rental building, a building with 100 units in which only six or seven or 10 or 11 units had been sold. They were there as condominium purchasers living in what the developer was running as a rental building, or in what other people were operating as a rental building. These two suggestions put forward by the amendments I proposed will not provide the end solution but will certainly start to find a solution to the problem.
If a person moves into a building, purchases a condominium unit in good faith, believing they are moving into a condominium, only to have that belief dashed by the developer or by others, there is responsibility on the developer to say, “Yes, I am going to operate this building as a rental building and I will buy back those few units I sold so that other people will not have to suffer for my mistake.”
I recommend this amendment to my colleagues in the assembly as a solution to a problem presented by the many people who came before the committee with briefs, a problem to which the government has failed to address itself.
Ms. Gigantes: I would like to point out in support of this motion that HUDAC has already taken as one of its mandates to provide a buy-back arrangement, which it has enforced.
In one case, I know of in the riding of Carleton East, in a development called the Cross Winds, this summer HUDAC enforced the buy-back arrangement which was carried through to the benefit of about 15 owners of condominium units in the Cross Winds building. They were 15 owners in a building of 336 units. The rest of the building was being advertised as a rental building in the newspapers. Sales were not proceeding at the building. They were, in effect, paying mortgage rates and a good cost for living in what they expected would be a condominium building, and it had turned into a rental building.
HUDAC was willing to step in in that case because the building had never been registered, in spite of the fact it was two years old. You will notice, Mr. Chairman, our amendment calls for action on the part of the government to ensure the declarant be forced into the buy-back situation where a building has not been registered within two years. HUDAC has undertaken certain responsibilities in this area, but it certainly is not in a position, or refuses to say it is in the position, to help other purchasers of condominium units whom I know of in Carleton East.
For example, in a building adjacent to my office are two women of a certain age. One is a widow, the other is a working woman whose daughter is living with her. Each of them has paid cash for a condominium unit; one paid $50,000 and one paid $54,000. These are pretty elaborate units. They are two-level units with an upstairs and a downstairs. There again, the situation has been that a small minority of the units have been sold. The rest have been rented.
I would point out to you, Mr. Chairman, this amendment goes hand in hand with the amendment I proposed to section 54 of the bill concerning information, and the possibility of action through the court against the developer who is leasing a large number of units. At least, under section 54, as I have proposed the amendment, information would go to condominium unit owners about how many leases existed in the building. The condominium owners would have the right to demand, before a judge, that there be some kind of contractual obligation on the part of the tenant that there is an option to buy, and that leasing of any particular unit cannot go on longer than two years. This is a complementary motion, and it would offer assurance to condominium unit owners who are in the situation of owning units in a building where they can’t resell them because the building has been turned into a rental building.
What we are suggesting is that the declarant, the developer, should be forced to make an offer to purchase at the original purchase price if the building is registered when it can be established by a judge that the building is being operated as a rental building. This is fairly easy to do in most cases because they are being advertised in the paper and the sales office is not listed in the telephone book for the building, but the rental office is. We are saying that when a judge can establish a building is essentially being run as a rental building, then the owner should have an offer from the developer to buy back at the original purchase price. That price is really a price which would share the balance of risk for a developer and for the owner of the condominium unit.
I consider these to be backup amendments that would offer in the final analysis protection for people to be able to take out their money in the end. Do we, as legislators, really want to see 55-year-old or 65-year-old women stuck with paying $50,000 out over two years and they can’t get out of a building which has turned into a rental building, which they don’t want to live in?
I’ll read just a couple of notes. There is one building I am referring to and I won’t mention the name because as with all condominium matters what happens is if you publicize the name of the building then sales are undermined again. I’d be glad, however, to show these notes to the minister.
A group of the people from this building in February of this year met with representatives of the developer and the notes from this meeting end on this note -- it’s fascinating, you know: “While the representatives” -- these are the representatives of the developer -- “were cordial and expressed interest in our problems it was made quite clear that if we attempt to make use of MLAs, ombudsmen, HUDAC, et cetera, they will take a hard-line approach in future dealings.” Let me tell you, the rest of the notes from that meeting indicate that if this is not a hard line I’d hate to see what is.
They were also told that HUDAC does not cover their building. This is a developer who didn’t even register this building with HUDAC until mid-summer and who had been operating it for two years. A fine group of people. From the same group in the same building I received a letter on October 31:
“Dear Mrs. Gigantes:
“We are an unhappy group of condominium owners who noted with a great deal of interest the article written by NDP leader Michael Cassidy. In general, we are in complete agreement with his comments.” This refers to newspaper coverage of Mr. Cassidy’s contribution to discussion of this bill in committee.
“One paragraph in particular reflects our unfortunate situation exactly, namely his reference to provisions to allow owners to sell back their condominium units to the developers when it becomes apparent their building is occupied primarily by rental tenants instead of other condominium purchasers.
“In our unfortunate circumstances we fail to see, under the present condominium laws, our building ever becoming anything other than a small percentage of owners with a far greater percentage of renters. This, to our way of thinking, defeats the object of the condominium laws in as much as the developer will have the controlling interest and jurisdiction in the running of the building. Consequently, the efforts of the owners to be in control of not only the building but their quite considerable investment is to no avail.
“Indeed, in justification of the previous paragraph, some of the owners have been without a voice in the running of our particular building for over two years and, as far as can be seen, under the existing laws will never be able to exercise the right to run their own affairs, as we are sure the Condominium Act was designed to do.
“We feel that as citizens of Ontario we have the right to request that all parties concerned with fair and just government bring forward without delay retroactive amendments to correct the anomalies which we feel are very unjust in their present format. We look forward to early action by members of all parties to rectify this unjust situation.”
Mr. Chairman, a copy of this letter went to the Premier, to the Leader of the Opposition, and also to the leader of the NDP here in the House.
I would ask all parties in the Legislature to support this motion, which is attempting to deal in the only conceivable way with a situation where the bottom has fallen out of the condominium market. In buildings which were built two or three years ago where the developer simply has not been able to sell the units he has found it to his greater convenience to rent them. That’s understandable, Obviously you don’t want to leave him sitting with an empty building as some kind of punishment for having missed the market, hut why should individual families and individual people bear the costs of that market risk which was lost?
The person who undertook the risk in this private enterprise system is supposed to be the developer, not those individuals who in good faith and with good legal advice went ahead and in some cases paid $50,000 cash, $54,000 cash. That’s a lifetime investment for people who now can’t get a cent of that money back and who are living in conditions where they are very unhappy. I don’t think that’s fair. I’m sure the members of this Legislature don’t think that’s fair.
We can rectify that by saying to developers: “Good, you’ve run your risk. You’ve had your problems. Now, when there are 15 or 25 people who have bought and they didn’t get what they bought, they didn’t get a condominium unit, when that situation exists, developers, own up to our risks and offer them the purchase price back.” I think that’s only fair and I do hope that all parties in this House can accept that amendment.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Chairman, this matter was discussed rather exhaustively in the committee. I stand by the comments of my predecessor at that time. I remind the House that the substance of this motion was decisively defeated by the committee prior to the reporting hack of the bill.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Davison’s amendment will please say aye.
Those opposed will please say “nay.”
In my opinion the nays have it.
Ms. Gigantes: You won’t get one vote out of condominium owners in Carleton East.
Mr. M. N. Davison: I wish I had some condominium owners in my riding. I would get a landslide victory because of the position of the other parties.
Hon. Mr. Drea: You are going to win by 11 this time instead of 10?
On section 58:
Mr. M. N. Davison: Mr. Chairman, I have filed with you two sets of amendments to section 58. The one set hinges on the registrar’s office; that is, the amendment to clauses (r) and (t). Perhaps I could just move those and we could stack them with sections 56 and 57, if that is acceptable.
Hon. Mr. Drea: You had better do that, because I am going to accept your other one on clause (m).
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Davison moves that clauses (r) and (t) of section 58 of Bill 103 be struck out and the following substituted therefor:
“(r) regulating and governing the duties and powers of review officers appointed under section 57;
“(t) prescribing information to be filed by corporations with the registrar.”
All those in favour of Mr. Davison’s amendment will please say “aye.”
All those opposed will please say “nay.”
In my opinion the nays have it.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Davison moves that section 58(1)(m) of Bill 103 be struck out.
Mr. M. N. Davison: That clause reads: “exempting any class of person from this act or the regulations or any provisions thereof.”
I would recall that when we did the Income Tax Discounters Act, for example, the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations was kind enough to accept this amendment from me. I understand they will accept it again, and I applaud them. I think that is a wise move. It is not the kind of power we need under regulation. They can always come back to the House if an exemption is needed.
Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Chairman, I would speak in favour of the amendment. It certainly seems that there is no requirement to exempt any class in this circumstance, because the bill is an inclusive one. If other exemptions are required, it would be far better to deal with them through the legislation.
Motion agreed to.
On section 59:
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Philip moves that section 59(1) of Bill 103 be amended by deleting the words “where that person will retain an interest in the land as tenant-in-common with the offeree.”
Mr. Philip further moves that the following be inserted as section 59(2) of the bill:
“No person shall offer to sell shares in a corporation which offers an exclusive occupancy or use for residential purposes as an entitlement arising from holding shares in the corporation unless he does so as a declarant or proposed declarant under the act.”
Mr. Philip: Shall I move the further sections, Mr. Chairman, or deal with them one at a time? What is your pleasure?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: In the interests of time, you might move the whole section. Unless anyone wishes the votes taken separately, I can take it as an omnibus motion.
Mr. Philip: If I move the whole section, then I will talk to the whole section and can vote on them individually. Do I take it that would be your wish?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: I would vote on them as one motion unless someone requests they be voted on individually.
Mr. Philip: Fine, thank you.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Philip moves that the following be inserted as section 59(3) of Bill 103:
“(3) The Landlord and Tenant Act applies in respect to every tenant in occupation of any part of a building on land to which subsections 1 and 2 apply.
“(4) This section shall not apply to the granting of occupancy of a non-profit housing co-operative defined as a corporation incorporated without share capital under the Co-operative Corporations Act, 1973, or any predecessor thereof or under similar legislation of Canada or any province, the main purpose and activity of which is the provision of housing for its members and the charter or bylaws of which provide that
(i) its activities shall be carried on without the purpose of gain for its members;
(ii) on dissolution, its property after payment of its debt and liabilities shall be distributed to non-profit or charitable organizations;
(iii) housing charges, other charges similar to the rent or any other charges payable by the members are decided by a vote of the members of the body duly elected or appointed by members or a committee thereof; and
(iv) termination of occupancy rights may be brought about only by a vote of the members or a body duly elected or appointed by the members or a committee thereof and that the member whose occupancy rights are terminated has a right to appear and make representation prior to such vote.”
Mr. Philip further moves that section 5(2) of the existing bill be renumbered as section 59(5).
The member for Etobicoke to speak to his amendment.
Mr. Philip: Mr. Chairman, I can appreciate the amount of study and work by the minister that has gone into section 59 of the bill, and by Mr. Kumer with whom I have had several long conversations concerning the section.
The first amendment, I feel, adds nothing. To my understanding, it offers a loophole: if the promoter simultaneously conveys all interest to tenants and a holding company, he is no longer a tenant in common.
In other words, supposing he decides to sell the whole building at once. I am suggesting this could be done by offering signed agreement purchases to those wishing to buy and then conveying all in one block.
This is not a motion that was arrived at lightly. I have spoken to a number of lawyers who are involved in condominium law and who are deeply concerned about this loophole. The argument Mr. Kumer has made is that he feels there is not this loophole in the bill, and no doubt the minister will be giving his reasons for that. His anxiety, as I understand it, is that we may in some way restrict the individual who is caught in that kind of system now from ever getting rid of or liquidating the asset he has bought -- a percentage interest or whatever in a building.
Under this bill section 2, or whatever it is renumbered, gives the ministry power under regulations to cover this kind of situation. This then is not a problem. Those people who are already involved and have already purchased a percentage interest or a share or whatever it happens to be called can be covered by section 2 which I have left in the bill but have simply asked that it be renumbered.
The second amendment is an attempt to solve the Albany Court problem. The apartment is set up entirely as a corporation. This differs, the minister will recall, from the situation at 10 Garfella that I spent so much time talking to him about. In that case, the percentage interest is not just a percentage interest in a building that belongs to a larger corporation but rather is a share in a company, the entire assets of which are the particular building.
I just refer the minister to the prospectus of that particular development which I am sure the minister has seen and which I have here. “Each unit comprises shares in Albany Court Apartments Incorporated, the trustee, a perpetual undivided interest in the company in the same proportion that the number of shares of the trustee included in the unit is to the 940 issued shares of the trustee, and the exclusive right to live in the apartment in the building for a period of 21 years less one day,” and it goes on and on. That is the section to which I am referring the minister.
Considering the amount of publicity that particular prospectus has had and the fact that these people are living in the Attorney General’s riding, no doubt the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) has brought this matter to the attention of the minister. I don’t need to read the whole prospectus.
The other amendment deals with the section on the selling of shares. In dealing with this, it might be argued that this can be covered under the Securities Act. However, an argument can be made to keep matters relating to this kind of housing within one package, within one bill. Therefore, this should be included within this bill, whatever safeguards may be found in the Securities Act.
Section 4 of the amendment is necessary simply because of the previous I section in the amendment which makes it clear that we do not want to include the co-operatives under this, Lawyers for the co-operatives have looked at my amendment and have suggested that this be included in the bill simply as a safeguard to them.
Section 2, which has been renumbered as 5, provides the ministry with considerable flexibility. This is a difficult problem which the minister has been facing. He knows the problem only too well, since it first originated in this province in his riding. He has no doubt been struggling with it as the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations and as the MPP for a riding that had a conversion that got around the condominium conversion bylaws, as I understand it.
Hon. Mr. Drea: It didn’t.
Mr. M. N. Davison: What are you muttering about, Frank?
Hon. Mr. Drea: It didn’t. It didn’t get around anything. That’s why you’re always coming to me getting me to legitimize it. It didn’t get around anything.
Mr. Chairman: Order. The member for Etobicoke.
Mr. Philip: Perhaps they don’t have the condominium conversion bylaws in Scarborough they have in Etobicoke. Maybe if we had people like the Etobicoke Condominium Association pressuring local officials, you would have that problem.
In any case, I think the amendments do make sense. I have discussed them with the lawyers representing the federation. They are in agreement with these amendments and any anxieties the minister may have are clearly covered under section 2 in this bill, which has been renumbered in my amendment.
Mr. M. N. Davison: I would like to congratulate the member for Etobicoke, who perhaps knows more about condominiums than any other member in the assembly. I think this is a fine amendment He has pointed up -- Do I hear some heckling from that front bench across the way?
Mr. Warner: He thought maybe the member for Carleton East.
Mr. Philip: It’s the member for Mississauga East with all the condominium problems.
Mr. Chairman: Order. The member for Hamilton Centre has the floor to speak to the amendment.
Mr. Gregory: I’ve got mine under control.
Mr. M. N. Davison: The member for Mississauga East has been silent.
Mr. Philip: He can’t even handle Peel Condominium 96.
Mr. M. N. Davison: He has to do your case work for you.
Mr. Philip: I’m even doing your case work for you. What are you doing on the bill?
Mr. Gregory: You spend your time recruiting out there. What do you expect?
Mr. M. N. Davison: The fine member for Etobicoke has pointed out a loophole in the government section 59 of the bill you could drive a truck through. And I suspect people will be busy driving trucks through it. It is going to look like the Gardiner Expressway if we pass this section unamended.
The amendment tightens up the section effectively and blocks that loophole. I think it would be absolutely foolhardy for any of the parties or members of the assembly to oppose the member for Etobicoke’s amendment, because if we do, if the amendment is defeated, we’re going to be back here again in very short order to change the bill, for the government to introduce its own amendment to this to tighten up and close the loophole that they’ve allowed to he caused.
The only thing that would stop us from having to come back is if these fast buck artists decide to close up shop on their own because of the minister’s so effective moral persuasion that he uses all the time. I think if we’re going to stop this problem we should stop it today. We shouldn’t fool around and we shouldn’t be planning to come back in six months to take another kick at the can. I think all of the members should support this amendment.
Ms. Gigantes: You can’t do everything by personal fiat. You need some legislation.
Mr. Warner: He won’t accept it.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Chairman, just briefly, I thank the member for Etobicoke very much for referring to my days as the parliamentary assistant in this ministry. I can recall when I wasn’t getting much support from that side of the House in blocking some of those conversions. I blocked all of them. The one in my own riding --
Mr. Philip: The one in your own riding is converted.
Hon. Mr. Drea: It is not converted. In fact, you have been lobbying with them, coming in to see me to legitimize their operation. So don’t tell me it’s not blocked. It’s totally blocked. Not one single tenant in this province bad to leave a building because of this end run around, not the Condominium Act but the Landlord and Tenant Act.
As a matter of fact, I’m very proud to announce to the House that for the second time we have won in court. Two years ago they said we could never win in court on blocking. For the second time on Fontenay Court -- for the second time -- we have won.
Mr. M. N. Davison: Are you going to use the courts instead of the Legislature?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Chairman, what I say to you is that I do understand certain concerns that have been raised.
Mr. Makarchuk: Give some credit to your lawyers, will you, Frank? Don’t take it all yourself.
Hon. Mr. Drea: I said “we.”
Mr. Makarchuk: Give some credit to the boys who did the job.
Mr. Chairman: Order.
Mr. Makarchuk: The way you’re standing there you’d think you did it all by yourself.
Mr. Pope: Ignore him. Ignore him.
Mr. M. N. Davison: Let’s hear some credit for your fine staff, the people who do the real work.
Mr. Warner: The lawyers don’t get much credit in here.
Hon. Mr. Drea: I have used the word “we.”
Mr. Makarchuk: The royal “we.”
Hon. Mr. Drea: I have the finest staff in the world. I have very frequently said it and I don’t think they have to be mimicked by the likes of you.
Mr. M. N. Davison: What have you got against your staff?
Hon. Mr. Drea: To go back to the thrust of this amendment, I can understand the concern about it. I feel that the present section very adequately protects. One of the concerns I do have is that this type of amendment involving the share process and so forth really shouldn’t be in the Condominium Act but perhaps in the Planning Act if it is needed. I don’t think it is at this time, but in the future, if this type of thing is needed because of the ingenuity of certain solicitors in attempting end runs around the Landlord and Tenant Act, not the Condominium Act.
These things constantly come up. There are new variations on them. Quite frankly, if there is a need in the future, the Planning Act probably is the best vehicle to handle it. I emphasize today it is not needed, or, indeed, if it is required in the future, perhaps the new Residential Tenancies Act might be the appropriate place.
Mr. Philip: I simply want to make a couple of comments on what the minister has just said. In the first place, the condominium has been converted in his riding. The tenants who were living there are no longer living there or if they’re living there, they’re living there because they own a percentage interest in that building. They’ve come to me and they’ve told me this, so if that isn’t the case then obviously some of his constituents are misleading members of the Legislature, namely me and a few other people they’ve been around talking to.
The minister says that I have been lobbying on their behalf. Yes, I’ve been lobbying on their behalf. I assumed that section 2 of the bill was in there to allow the minister the flexibility for those people who had bought this thing which is neither beef nor turkey -- and the minister can understand that analogy -- so they could have the protection that once they are in this situation --
Mr. Makarchuk: It’s called blurkey.
Mr. Philip: -- at least they could cash in their equity if they happened to require to move for whatever reason.
The minister talks about how successful we’ve been in taking this matter to court and prosecuting under the Landlord and Tenant Act. Yes, we’ve been successful. I was the member in the House who got up and asked the Attorney General if he thought that tenants were covered under the Landlord and Tenant Act.
I’ve also had to spend hours and hours of my time at tenants’ meetings talking to people who were in 10 Garfella. Many who lived in that building were new immigrants to Canada. They were receiving eviction notices from other new Canadians who wanted a place to live and who had been sold this project. Hours were spent by my volunteer lawyers working with these people to try and convince them. The volunteer lawyers and other lawyers in the riding south of me, in the borough of Etobicoke, had to go to court and fight it on technicalities and all kinds of things.
Sure, we’ve won. But I look in the newspaper and I find this sentence from the newspaper. It’s a story written by Peter Rickwood of the Toronto Star. It says: “Eviction notices have been served on tenants in four units in the building near Burnhamthorpe and Dixie Road.” I believe that’s in Mississauga East, if I’m not mistaken.
If the member there worked with them then maybe he could also go to court with them and help them to beat it under the Landlord and Tenant Act, which, thank God, the tenants are covered under.
I say to you that a majority of people in all those situations haven’t gone to a lawyer and they haven’t gone to MPPs in most cases. What they’ve done is they’ve said, “We don’t want to have a hassle. We don’t want to go to court. We’re not familiar with the system. We’re new to Canada” -- as is the case with most of them -- “we won’t go through that process. We will move.” That’s what’s happened.
All I’m saying is: put this in the bill; show they’re protected under the Landlord and Tenant Act. Put it in here. It doesn’t do any harm. What it will do, though, is give people like the member for Mississauga East -- if one of his constituents does come to him for help on a condominium matter -- the ability to say, “It’s right here in the bill. You’re protected. You have nothing to worry about.”
He can go to the landlord and say, “Not only is it in the Landlord and Tenant Act, not only have there been landlords who have attempted this, but it’s even in the condominium bill. So why waste your time? Why waste your legal fees? You’re not going to win.
I ask the minister what kind of sanity is there in not allowing something that is not going to in any way distract from the bill from going into this bill?
Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. M. N. Davison’s amendment will please say aye.
All those opposed will please say “nay.”
In my opinion the nays have it.
Sections 60 to 62, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 63:
Mr. M. N. Davison: I don’t have an amendment to change the short title. I just wanted to say there are some absolutely first rate people on the minister’s staff that I’ve tremendously enjoyed working with over the past several months on this bill.
In the minister’s silence I just wanted to, on his behalf and my own, congratulate them for a fine job.
Mr. Breithaupt: I don’t think the minister will be reticent in repeating his comments which he has made clearly in the House earlier this morning about the quality of the staff. During the involvement I have had over this last six months, not only through the Securities Act and the companion legislation there, but also in the Condominium Act and throughout the rent review sessions, which are continuing now, the various members of the minister’s staff have been at all times knowledgeable, courteous, involved and I think a clear credit to the civil service of this province.
Mr. M. N. Davison: If only the minister would listen more often.
Hon. Mr. Drea: I just want to make it plain that the staff is not that of the minister, myself or my predecessor; it is the ministry staff. I am very proud that people would stand up in this Legislature on this day and give credit to public servants. I suppose the media will not pay terribly much attention to this --
Mr. B. Newman: They are all up there.
Hon. Mr. Drea: -- but far too often all that is around and about as regards public servants is very negative and very derogatory. I think the honourable members in the House have seen over a very prolonged period of time -- indeed, I commend the honourable members of the House themselves who engaged in very exhaustive committee work and had to adjust to a change of ministers which, unfortunately, was due to other events. The honourable members of this House have conducted themselves in the very highest traditions of the public service, because they are public servants as well.
My only wish is that the media were here to focus as much attention on the fact that we have the very finest civil servants in the Ministry of Correctional --
Mr. M. N. Davison: I thought you were the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations.
Hon. Mr. Drea: That was a Freudian slip. I know, from my time in that ministry, that it also has the finest public servants that anyone can find.
Section 63 agreed to.
Mr. Chairman: I would like to inform the committee that during the discussions they agreed to stand down section 1 and section 55. Those have not been dealt with up to this time. How do you wish to deal with those?
Mr. Breithaupt: Carry them.
Mr. M. N. Davison: I’m sorry. We agreed to stand down section 55 for what reason, Mr. Chairman? I think it was section 52 we stood down; haven’t we already dealt with that?
Hon. Mr. Drea: It was section 52 we stood down.
Mr. M. N. Davison: I think it was section 52.
Hon. Mr. Drea: That’s stacked now.
Mr. M. N. Davison: And, Mr. Chairman, my understanding on section 1 would be that it would be changed only if one of the divisions is won and would require a change in section 1. The amendments have already been before you.
Mr. Chairman: So section 1 and section 52 --
Hon. Mr. Drea: Section 52 is already stacked, and section 1 is dependent on any one of the stacked amendments succeeding.
Mr. M. N. Davison: Might I suggest, Mr. Chairman, that you vote on section 1 last?
In that way if there is any change up to that point, we can have the vote on section 1 at the end or not as the case may be.
Mr. Breithaupt: The other opportunity, Mr. Chairman, is to have the amendments put; then the bill is reported, and it would obviously have been carried at that point.
Mr. Chairman: I have made a note that section 55 --
Mr. M. N. Davison: I’m sorry; you’re quite right. On section 55, I moved amendments that were contingent upon my amendments to sections 56 and 57. All they did was change the words, in effect, from a “bureau” to “registrar.” If the amendments to sections 56 and 57 are lost there is no point in putting the amendment to section 55; if you do it after the amendments to sections 56 and 57, there is no problem.
Mr. Makarchuk: You’ve got it straight now, have you?
Mr. Chairman: The first amendment before the committee has been moved by Mr. M. N. Davison, that section 1(1) of the bill be amended by adding a new clause (8a) as follows: “‘Principal’ means a person owning at least 10 per cent of a corporation or a person who in conjunction with his immediate family owns at least 10 per cent of a corporation.”
The committee divided on Mr. M. N. Davison’s amendment, which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 18; nays 46.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. M. N. Davison has moved that section 2 of the bill be amended by adding a new subsection 6 as follows:
“No highrise complex of more than 250 units, nor a townhouse complex of more than 100 units may be registered.”
He has further moved that subsection 6 as it appears in the bill be renumbered subsection 7.
The committee divided on Mr. M. N. Davison’s amendment which was negatived on the same vote.
Section 2 agreed to.
The committee divided on Mr. M. N. Davison’s amendment to section 52(5), which was negatived on the same vote.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. M. N. Davison has moved that section 52(6) of the bill be amended by adding a new clause (h) as follows:
“(h) 1. A list of all other condominiums registered by the declarant or proposed declarant or; 2. Where the declarant or proposed declarant is a corporation, a list of all other condominiums registered by the corporation, its officers, directors, or principals or any other corporation with a common officer, director or principal.”
The committee divided on Mr. M. N. Davison’s amendment which was negatived on the same vote.
Section 52 agreed to.
Mr. Chairman: Ms. Gigantes has moved that section 54(1)(a) be amended by inserting the word “or” after “unit” in the second line. She has further moved that section 54(1)(d), as it appears in the bill, be struck out. She has further moved that the said section 54 be amended by adding thereto the following subsection:
“(2) A declarant or proposed declarant shall not grant a lease referred to in subsection 1(b) unless written notice of the lessor’s intention to lease the unit has been given to every purchaser under an agreement of purchase and sale, registered owner and mortgagee entitled to vote, and the period referred to in subsection 3 has expired, or, where an application is made under subsection 3, it is formally disposed of.”
She further moved that subsections 2, 3 and 4 be renumbered as subsections 3, 4 and 5. She further moved that section 54(2), now renumbered as section 54(3), be amended by striking “clause (d) of subsection 1” after “any person notified under” in the first line and inserting subsection 2” in its place.
She further moved that section 54(3), now renumbered as section 54(4), be amended by striking “clause (d) of subsection 1” after “the notice mentioned in” in the first line and inserting “subsection 2” in its place.
She further moved that section 54(4), now renumbered as section 54(5), be amended by striking “subsection 1” following “provided that” in the fourth line and inserting “subsection 2” in its place.
She further moved that section 54(5), as it appears in the bill, be struck out.
The committee divided on Ms. Gigantes’ amendment, which was negatived on the same vote.
Section 54 agreed to.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. M. N. Davison moved that sections 56 and 57 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor:
“56(1) There shall be a registrar of condominiums who shall be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
“(2) The registrar of condominiums may exercise the powers and shall perform the duties conferred or imposed upon him by or under this act.
“(3) The registrar shall,
“(a) provide an information and advisory service to purchasers of condominium units for residential purposes and issue information pamphlets in such languages as the registrar considers necessary; and
“(b) make available to the public such information in respect of declarance as is available to the registrar.
“(4) No declaration shall be registered that is not approved by the registrar.
“(5) No person shall enter into an agreement to manage a property unless he is the holder of a licence issued by the registrar.
“(6) No person shall enter into an agreement of purchase and sale for a proposed unit for the residential purposes as a vendor where the agreement provides for a deposit to be held by the vendor pending approval of the declaration by the registrar, and where such an agreement is made, it is voidable at the option of the purchaser.
“(7) The registrar shall issue licences to manage properties and an applicant for a licence is entitled to a licence or renewal of licence except where,
“(a) having regard to his financial position the applicant can not be reasonably expected to be financially responsible in the conduct of his business; or
“(b) the past conduct of the applicant affords reasonable grounds for belief that he will not carry on business in accordance with the law and with integrity and honesty; or
“(c) the applicant is a corporation and,
“(i) having regard to its financial position, it cannot reasonably be expected to be financially responsible in the conduct of its business, or
“(ii) the past conduct of its officers or directors affords reasonable grounds for belief that its business will not be carried on in accordance with law and with integrity and honesty; or
“(d) the applicant is carrying on activities that are or will be, if the applicant is licensed, in contravention of this act or the regulations.
“(8) A proposed declarant is entitled to have his declaration approved by the registrar except where,
“(a) having regard to his financial position, the proposed declarant cannot reasonably be expected to be financially responsible in the conduct of his business; or
“(b) the past conduct of the proposed declarant affords reasonable grounds for belief that he will not carry on business in accordance with the law and with integrity and honesty; or
“(c) the proposed declarant is a corporation and,
“(i) having regard to its financial position, it cannot reasonably be expected to be financially responsible in the conduct of its business, or
“(ii) the past conduct of its officers or directors affords reasonable grounds for belief that its business will not be carried on in accordance with the law and with integrity and honesty; or
“(d) the proposed declarant is carrying on activities that are in contravention of this act or the regulations.
“(9) Subject to subsection 11, the registrar may refuse to issue a license to an applicant or to approve a declaration where in the registrar’s opinion the applicant or proposed declarant is disentitled to registration or approval under subsection 7 or 8.
“(10) Subject to subsection 11, the registrar may refuse to renew or may suspend or revoke a licence for any reason that would disentitle the licensee to a licence under subsection 7 if he were an applicant or where the licence is in breach of a term or condition of the licence.
“(11) Where the registrar proposes, “(a) to refuse to approve a declaration; “(h) to refuse to grant or renew a licence; or,
“(c) to suspend or revoke a licence, he shall serve notice of his proposal together with written reasons therefor on the proposed declarant, applicant or licensee as the case may be.
“(12) A notice under subsection 11 shall inform the proposed declarant, applicant or licensee that he is entitled to a hearing by the tribunal if he mails or delivers, within 15 days after the notice under subsection 11 is served on him, notice in writing requiring a hearing to the registrar and the tribunal, and he may so require such a hearing.
“(13) Where a proposed declarant, applicant or licensee does not require a hearing by the tribunal in accordance with subsection 12, the registrar may carry out the proposal stated in his notice under subsection 11.
“(14) Where a proposed declarant, applicant or licensee requires a hearing by the tribunal in accordance with subsection 12, the tribunal shall appoint a time for and bold the hearing, and on the application of the registrar at the hearing may, by order, direct the registrar to carry out his proposal or refrain from carrying out his proposal and to take such action as the tribunal considers the registrar ought to take in accordance with this act and the regulations, and for such purposes the tribunal may substitute its opinion for that of the registrar.
“(15) The tribunal may attach such terms and conditions to its order or to the licence as it considers proper to give effect to the purpose of this act.
“(16) The registrar, the proposed declarant, applicant or licencee who has required a bearing and such other persons as the tribunal may specify are parties to the proceedings before the tribunal under this section.
“(17) Where within the time prescribed therefor or, if no time is prescribed before expiry of his licence, a licensee has applied for renewal of his licence and paid the prescribed fee, his registration shall be deemed to continue,
“(a) until renewal is granted, or
“(b) where he is served with notice that the registrar proposes to refuse to grant the renewal until the time for giving notice requiring a hearing has expired and where a hearing is required until the tribunal has made its order.
“(18) Where a declaration is submitted to the registrar for approval and approval is refused, every purchaser under an agreement of purchase and sale of a proposed unit for residential purposes within the property referred to in the declaration may rescind the agreement.
“(19) Where a proposed declarant enters into an agreement of purchase and sale for a proposed unit for residential purposes, the proposed declarant shall give to the purchaser under the agreement a written notice of the purchaser’s rights under subsection 5.
“(20) Every proposed declarant who intends to sell proposed units for residential purposes shall file with the registrar at the time that the declaration is submitted to the registrar for approval a disclosure statement containing the information set out in section 52(6).
“(21) Where the registrar receives a complaint in respect of the declarant or a person licensed to manage a property and so requests in writing, the person receiving the request shall furnish the registrar with such information respecting the matter complained of as the registrar requires.
“(22) Every declarant shall file with the registrar the material set out in clauses f, g, h and i of section 26(3) prior to the meeting required under section 26(1).
“(23) The registrar or any person designated by him in writing may at any reasonable time enter upon the business premises of a declarant, proposed declarant or a person licensed to manage properties to make an inspection to ensure that the provisions of this act and the regulations are being complied with.
“57(1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall appoint review officers who shall perform the duties and exercise the powers given to them by this act and the regulations and the officers so appointed shall be civil servants within the meaning of the Public Service Act.
“(2) Where there is a dispute between a corporation and an owner or between two or more owners in respect of any matter relating to this act, the declaration, bylaws or rules, any party to the dispute may, prior to the commencement of any court proceeding in respect of the same matter, refer the matter in dispute to the tribunal for resolution and shall notify all other parties affected.
“(3) Within 14 clear days after the matter has been referred to the tribunal, the tribunal shall give written notice to all parties of the date, time and place for the consideration of the matter in dispute and shall designate a review officer to bear the matter in dispute.
“(4) For purpose of a hearing under subsection 3, the review officer may inquire into any matter relevant to the subject matter of the dispute, whether or not previously brought to his attention by the parties.
“(5) Upon completing the hearing, the review officer may make an order ordering any party to the hearing to do or to refrain from doing any act that is the subject matter of the hearing.
“(6) An order under subsection 5 shall state that every party to the hearing is entitled to appeal the order to the tribunal and shall specify the place where the appeal may be filed.
“(7) On the request of any party to the hearing, the review officer shall file a copy of any order made by him under subsection 5 in the office of the registrar of the Supreme Court under section 19 of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, 1971, that applies thereto.
“(8) Except as provided in subsection 7, the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, 1971, does not apply to proceedings before the review officer.
“(9) Every party to a hearing may appeal a review officer’s order by filing a notice of appeal with the tribunal within 21 days after being served with notice of the review officer’s order.
“(10) On an appeal, the tribunal may proceed by way of a hearing de novo and, after the hearing, the tribunal may make any order it considers just and equitable and for such purposes the tribunal shall substitute its order for that of the review officer.
“(11) The registrar may appoint a provincial advisory committee to advise him in matters relating to condominiums.
“(12) The provincial advisory committee shall consist of seven members made up of not fewer than four members who represent owners of units for residential purposes.
“(13) The members of the provincial advisory committee shall be appointed for terms of one, two or three years and, having served a term, shall not be reappointed for at least two years.
“(14) When a vacancy occurs on the provincial advisory committee during a term of office, the registrar may fill the vacancy for the unexpired portion of the term.
“(15) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may direct payment out of such moneys as are appropriated therefor by the Legislature of the travelling expenses of the members of the provincial advisory committee and a per diem allowance for time spent by staff members in attending meetings, and of any expenses properly incurred by the committee in the carrying out of its duties.”
The committee divided on Mr. M. N. Davison’s amendment, which was negatived on the same vote.
Section 56, as amended, agreed to.
Section 57 agreed to.
The committee divided on Mr. M. N. Davison’s amendment to section 58, which was negatived on the same vote.
Section 58, as amended, agreed to.
The committee divided on Mr. Philip’s amendment to section 59, which was negatived on the same vote.
Section 59 agreed to.
Section 1, as amended, agreed to.
Section 55 agreed to.
Mr. Chairman: Shall the bill, as amended, be reported.
All those in favour will please say “aye.”
All those opposed with please say “nay.”
In my opinion the ayes have it.
Bill 103, as amended, reported.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the committee of the whole House reported one bill with amendments and one bill without amendment.
The following bills were given third reading on motion:
Bill 103, An Act to revise the Condominium Act;
Bill 186, An Act to amend the Coroners Act, 1972.
DEATH OF GOLDA MEIR
Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Speaker, it is with sadness that I draw the attention of the House to the passing this morning of Mrs. Golda Meir, the former Prime Minister of Israel. I would like to read into the record a statement issued by the Premier (Mr. Davis) this morning. He said:
“It is with great personal sadness I learned today of the death of Golda Meir. From humble beginnings Mrs. Meir became one of the world’s great leaders. She was a great stateswoman who never lost touch with the aims and aspirations of the ordinary people of this world. The fact that she was admired and respected by other leaders around the world despite theft philosophical differences speaks highly of her talents and abilities.
“She never gave up in her quest for peace. It was sad that she did not live to see the long-awaited agreement signed by Prime Minister Begin and President Sadat. Mrs. Meir will always be remembered as one of the world’s great pioneers for peace, brotherhood, compassion and human kindness.”
I had the honour to meet Mrs. Meir on several occasions and, as the Premier said, I was most impressed with her abilities and her determination. She certainly was a most successful politician in a democratic society. She was an example to all of us in the profession of politics of how a person with ability and determination could rise to the top, and she was certainly an example to the women in politics that a woman can rise to the top and that sex is no bar when one has the ability.
She has left a legacy to the people of the world which I think will be remembered in history for many years to come. As the Premier said, let us hope her lifelong struggle for peace for her country and for her region will be realized in the very near future.
Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I certainly share in the sentiments expressed by the member for Wilson Heights and in the statement made by the Premier. The passing of Mrs. Meir is a reminder to us all of the work which people can do and the mortality which we all face.
She was an active and involved person, one who brought great credit to her people in Israel and, indeed, one who was a spokeswoman for the Jewish traditions throughout the world, a woman who knew personal suffering, who knew achievements, who grew up and served in the United States as an immigrant before she returned to Israel, and became an active politician and leader there. We certainly share in the sentiments expressed by the member for Wilson Heights.
Mr. Foulds: On behalf of my party I would like to join in extending our sorrow to the Israeli nation. When I think of Mrs. Meir I think of courage and determination. I think of a woman and a leader who had a common touch and understanding and who had absolute integrity. It was a good deal to her credit that her nation has established itself as a permanent part of the world. I would like to salute her on behalf of this party and I would like to salute her nation.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the House adjourned at 1:10 p.m.