The House resumed at 2 p.m.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
PYRAMIDIC SALES REPEAL BILL
Hon. Mr. Drea: Later today I will be introducing for first reading an act to repeal the Pyramidic Sales Act.
The federal Combines Investigations Act was amended in 1976 to prohibit pyramidic selling, except where such schemes are licensed or otherwise permitted by provincial statute. The repeal of the Pyramidic Sales Act removes the province from the field, except for the disposition of funds now held in escrow, thus making the federal statute operative in Ontario.
Ontario’s Pyramidic Sales Act was originally introduced in 1972 because the Attorney General of the day felt that the Criminal Code was inadequate to control the proliferation of schemes then in operation. However, since the introduction of that act there have only been three filings, and two of these firms have disappeared. The remaining one, Bestline Products of Canada, has been the subject of a major investigation which culminated in a proposal to withdraw its certificate of acceptance.
Pyramidic schemes have cost Ontario citizens millions of dollars over the past six or seven years, as people frequently invest beyond their means in the unrealistic expectation of becoming wealthy overnight. Notwithstanding that the 1972 act puts severe limitations on the possibility of abuses, such as providing strict criteria for screening all filings and creating an escrow fund, we are of the opinion that even the one remaining pyramidic scheme is benefiting unduly from the public’s inability to understand the transaction.
In order to protect recent investors the repeal act contains the following provisions. Any escrow funds are frozen and may only be released upon the direction of the registrar. The existing act gives the investor the right to cancel within six months; the repeal act would provide an automatic extension until May 31, with the right to cancel up to that day before the new act comes into effect. The registrar is to appoint an administrator who gives notice to investors that they may make a claim, advises investors on how to proceed and sets up a dispute resolution procedure. Where an agreement is rescinded and the investor is not paid within 60 days, the investor may apply to the administrator for payment. Commodities will be deemed to have been marketable even where sealed cases have been opened, despite any agreement to the contrary.
However, we have reserved the right of any promoter to continue proceedings already begun by us. In other words, promoters can try to clear their names if they wish to pursue the matter with the Commercial Registration Appeal Tribunal. A sunset clause repeals the act on January 1, 1981. If funds are still in dispute at that time, the act can be extended as necessary.
The Pyramidic Sales Act was introduced as a stop-gap measure in 1972 because there were doubts whether the Criminal Code could adequately deal with the problems created by pyramiding. However, with the emergence of the Combines Investigations Act and the now relatively proven provisions of the Criminal Code, we cannot, in good conscience, continue to administer a statute under which Ontario consumers invest money, often borrowed, with a minimal chance of recovering even part of their investment.
DRUG TREATMENT FOR STUDENTS
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, yesterday the honourable member for Oriole (Mr. Williams) asked me a question about an article which appeared in the Tuesday, December 12 issue of the Globe and Mail. The article indicated that certain students were being subjected to drug treatment as a condition of remaining in school. I indicated yesterday that I would ask for an investigation to determine the manner in which the medication was being administered.
A preliminary investigation has been made and I would like to report the results to the House at this time. One of my staff has discussed the issue directly with Mrs. Maxine Diedrich, the Scarborough parent to whom reference was made in the article. We have been advised that Mrs. Diedrich was very upset by the misrepresentations in the article and has conveyed her feeling to the reporter. I understand Mrs. Diedrich did not tell the reporter that the drugs were administered through the school. Rather, a recommendation was made to her to consult her family doctor regarding the advisability of the use of medication in her child’s case.
I am satisfied, Mr. Speaker, that the medication in this case was prescribed by a physician and was administered with the consent of the parent. I further understand that Mrs. Diedrich’s primary concern is how the school program meets the needs of hyperactive children; and Mr. Speaker, this is a concern which I share deeply, and it will continue to occupy our attention within the Ministry of Education.
Mr. Kerrio: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker My point of privilege relates to a question raised with the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations on the question of student identification cards. In his reply to me he suggested that the identification card set-up may have been a deliberate stunt by students. I want the minister to understand that the people who participated in this research were members of the Brock press, and it was not a stunt. It was done so as to point up the inadequacy of the system. I want that clearly understood, because. in the subsequent answer he suggested to me that he would get back to me “tomorrow.”
Mr. Pope: It was a breach of the law.
Mr. Laughren: A responsible group.
Mr. Kerrio: This would have been Tuesday. This being somewhat later, I’d suggest the minister get his facts straight. Number one, these people were responsible members of the press at Brock. They were doing some research to point up the inadequacy of the system as the provincial government has put it. I now await his answer.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, just to reply to that question of privilege. I couldn’t reply to it yesterday because the photo copies were turned over to the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario for investigation, as is their policy. This has happened before, that those cards were turned over to the police. I remind the honourable member that the card -- and I am sure he has seen it -- the card says: “I solemnly declare that the proof submitted by me and marked overleaf is of me and I make this solemn declaration consciously believing it to be true, knowing it is of the same force and effect as if made under oath.”
That is a very serious matter.
Mr. Pope: And you asked him to prosecute them.
Mr. S. Smith: You are going to go after those kids in tightening up your own system.
Mr. Pope: Well, he brought it up.
Mr. Kerrio: Why don’t they accept that for a passport?
Mr. Foulds: A point of privilege, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. S. Smith: Pick on the kids.
Hon. Mr. Drea: I am not picking on the kids.
Mr. Pope: That’s what you wanted him to do.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Do you want a college kid to get off for pinching an affidavit?
Mr. S. Smith: If your system is going to work, they are going to shoot the messenger who brings the message of your rotten system!
Mr. Speaker: Order; will the Leader of the Opposition come to order?
Hon. Mr. Norton: What sense of morality do you have? Any at all?
Mr. Foulds: Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, I asked the Minister of Education a question regarding the opening date of Trillium school for learning-disabled children. In her answer, and I have the Hansard before me, she gave an unequivocal “yes” to the question that they would open on January 1.
I believe it is the privilege of a member of this House to receive accurate information in reply to a question. If a minister wishes, he or she may decline to answer the question, seeking further accurate information. According to officials in the Ministry of Education, as reported by the Globe and Mail this morning, it is unlikely, and probably impossible, that Trillium School will be opened on January 1.
I believe that the privileges of this House and the privileges of the members have been breached by the Minister of Education, who should have properly taken the question as notice to get the right information and to find out what’s going on in her ministry.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, January 1 does fall on a holiday and, unfortunately, in the number of questions which the honourable member had asked of me, I did omit to suggest that it would be early in January, rather than January 1. I apologize to the honourable member for breaching his privilege for a matter of approximately 12 days.
Mr. Foulds: You don’t know what’s going on in your ministry.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Oh yes, I do.
Ms. Gigantes: Talk to your officials.
Mr. Bounsall: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: On Monday --
POINTS OF PRIVILEGE
Mr. Speaker: I would remind the honourable members that the two alleged points of privilege that have been raised up to this point arose out of something that happened in the question period; so we’re now five minutes into the question period.
Mr. Bounsall: In order not to take time in the question period, I will raise my point of privilege after the question period is over. It’s connected with a reply by the Minister of Housing to a question.
Mr. Martel: On a point of order: May I ask the Speaker for a clarification of the statement he just made, whereby he indicated -- we hadn’t even got to the question period -- that time for the point of privileges was being taken from the question period.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, it was the impression of all members here that the question period had not started. As I understand the rules, points of privilege should be raised at the earliest opportunity. I am concerned that we know what the rules are, knowing now that we have lost five minutes from the question period.
Mr. Speaker: I had called upon the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) for his initial question, when the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) got up on a point of privilege as a result of something that happened in the question period, as did the member for Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds). The standing orders are quite clear that a point of privilege arising out of the question period should be raised during the question period and that time is a part of the question period time. We are now seven minutes into the question period.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, could I rise on a point of order, please? Mr. Speaker, in relation to your ruling earlier about the points of privilege taking time during the question period, would you please bring to the attention of myself, as one member who is interested, the standing order in relation to that? I raise this matter because, as I recall, the standing orders say points of privilege should be raised immediately. As I recall the rule, it states that whenever a matter of privilege arises it shall be taken into consideration immediately. Just so members know if, in fact, a point of privilege happens to be raised during the question period that it does take the time of the question period, I would like to know the standing order. It would be helpful for some of us to know which standing order refers to that in relation to your ruling.
Mr. Speaker: In relation to the ruling, it says for points of order raised during the question period, the time taken will be included in the question period time. The honourable member for Niagara Falls got up on an alleged point of privilege that turned out not to be a point of privilege at all. The point of privilege that was raised by the member for Port Arthur, I didn’t think was a point of privilege at all, until the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) apologized for having given the wrong information. That made it a point of privilege.
The standing order is quite clear; points of order raised during question period will be included in the question period time.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, as I read rule 27(d) it talks about supplementary questions and points of order, but I was interested in relation to a point of privilege because I did not see any mention of this in the standing order. I would like to know, as one member, and I think other members would be interested, if the same applies to points of privilege as to points of order because --
Mr. Speaker: It doesn’t.
Mr. Roy: I take it then your ruling was based on the fact that what was stated as a point of privilege was, in fact, a point of order.
Mr. Speaker: It turned out the member for Niagara Falls, in my opinion, didn’t have a point of privilege or a point of order, just a point of view.
Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Premier: Could he please explain in simple, straightforward terms what he meant by his remarks at the first ministers’ conference last month when he said, “I would suggest the federal government examine the inflation-indexing and income-averaging provisions of our tax structure to see if they might be used more effectively to complement our anti-inflation objectives?”
Is the Premier suggesting that the indexing provision be eliminated, reduced or increased? What precisely is he suggesting in this matter?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am suggesting precisely what is in the document.
Mr. Laughren: You don’t know, in other words.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary:
Given the fact that the Premier would appear --
Mr. S. Smith: Do you have some function to perform at this time, Mr. Speaker?
Mr. Speaker: Could we have some order? Does the Leader of the Opposition have a supplementary?
Mr. S. Smith: The question, Mr. Speaker, is whether the Premier is prepared to tell the people of Ontario why he feels the indexing provision requires re-examination. Is he trying to bring about a situation where the indexing provision will be eliminated or reduced? Since that was the second point he raised at the first ministers’ conference, it does not seem unreasonable that we might ask the Premier whether his feelings about the need for re-examination are stimulated by a belief that there needs to be a reduction in the income averaging provision or an increase in it. What aspect, or in what way does he feel the matter should be re-examined? Why does he persist in trying to duck a very serious and important question?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I’m not trying to duck anything. It’s very clear in the statement. I think it’s true of every statement I make, and this one in greater detail than any other. I can’t understand the Leader of the Opposition’s lack of comprehension.
The statement is really quite clear. I suggested that in today’s situation there be a re-examination. It is as simple as that. I will get a dictionary and find if there is some other way I can phrase it that will be more understandable. I have suggested it; and I am not the only one, it is not a unique suggestion.
I would suggest to the Leader of the Opposition that in this effort to deal with inflation, in our discussions of consumer price index, the whole question of indexing, et cetera, is worthy of re-examination. I have made no predetermination; if I had, I wouldn’t be suggesting a re-examination. I don’t know how one can use the English language more effectively than that. I really can’t help the Leader of the Opposition any more on this occasion.
Mr. S. Smith: One final supplementary on this: Given that the Premier does not have the willingness, and I would say the courage, to state what his real position is on this; given the fact that Mr. Blakeney of Saskatchewan has called for the elimination of the indexing provision because he wishes to increase government revenues from the income tax; given the fact that Mr. Chretien of Ottawa has been looking at that precise possibility, will the Premier make it clear to the people of Ontario, as I believe he should, that he will not attempt to get more government revenue by the back door by eliminating this particular averaging and indexing provision, that if he wants to raise more revenue he’ll have the courage to come to this House and raise taxes rather than speak of eliminating indexing provisions?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: The Leader of the Opposition wants to raise taxes?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I have now heard the Liberal policy of the Liberal Party of Ontario, which is somewhat inconsistent with that of the Liberal Party of Canada. They suggest that we come here with a bill to increase taxes. We really aren’t as impressed with that sort of approach as they are.
Mr. S. Smith: An attempt to raise taxes.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh come on, the member is being childish.
Mr. S. Smith: I said an attempt to raise taxes.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The Leader of the Opposition is being childish.
Mr. S. Smith: Did the Premier mean to eliminate the averaging provisions or not?
Mr. Speaker: Order. Does the Leader of the Opposition have a second question or not?
Mr. Martel: I think that was the member’s second question.
Mr. S. Smith: I have a question of the Minister of Colleges and Universities. Given the recent federal report which described the chance for young Canadians to learn a skilled trade as being so rare as to be disgraceful, and given the fact that we have been spending hundreds of millions of dollars in this province on an educational establishment which does not even put out people to take the jobs that do exist in our society, what precisely is the minister planning to do to make certain that we have skilled tradesmen produced by our own educational system and that we do not rely entirely on immigration? Does she not take responsibility on behalf of her predecessors in the ministry for a situation in which hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent and yet right now in Ontario we do not have sufficient skilled tradesmen coming out of our so-called composite schools and our wonderful educational establishment which you folks built at our expense?
Mr. Martel: Wait until the people in our universities hear about that.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: As I’m sure the Leader of the Opposition is aware, the government of this province has been very much concerned about the paradox of matching skills to jobs for a period of time. We have been doing something about it.
Mr. Martel: They must be angry about that.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: My predecessor introduced the program which I think is probably going to be one of the most effective ever. It’s called Employer Sponsor Training. The response to this in a number --
Mr. Martel: The results in the Sault Ste. Marie area are already bothering the minister.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: -- of communities is almost overwhelming. Employers are coming forward at the rate of hundreds every week in order to be involved in a program which is community-based and community-related. It develops the skills of the young people taking training programs specifically related to the requirements of the employers in that area. It is directed by a community committee made up of representatives of the secondary schools, the community colleges, the employers, the trade unions and the ordinary citizens.
The five pilot projects are going very well indeed and a very large number of other communities are asking to become involved. We’re moving as rapidly as we possibly can to broaden this program right across the province. I believe it’s going to be one of the major answers to our skills/jobs paradox in this province. I think we’re providing leadership which the rest of Canada might pursue.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, how does the minister explain that we have allowed a situation to come to pass in Ontario where we are still today having to advertise abroad to bring in skilled workers from other parts of this world when we have spent hundreds of millions of dollars for a gigantic educational establishment, mostly implemented by the Premier (Mr. Davis) in his previous incarnation?
Mr. Foulds: Some of them became psychiatrists.
Mr. S. Smith: How did it happen that we have allowed a situation to emerge where we are desperately attempting to bring in skilled tradesmen from abroad and we do not have right now an adequate apprenticeship program and skilled trades program in our own schools and in our own province?
Mr. MacDonald: Talk to your federal counterparts.
Mr. S. Smith: How did it happen that we have that kind of mismatch or what the minister calls a paradox?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: I think there are a number of factors involved in it, not the least of which has been the preoccupation with the parents and the adults of this country for some time with the need to acquire a so-called university education in order to ensure that one was going to have a reasonable job. We have learned the folly of that kind of thinking.
Mr. S. Smith: It is your folly.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: It has taken some experience to do so, but indeed I believe it was universal throughout the western world, and the member knows it, since 1960 that education would solve all problems. We now know that it doesn’t solve all problems, but we do have a program to try to solve the difficulties which this province and this country are facing at this time.
One would hope that the Leader of the Opposition would be sufficiently supportive of this program to say that indeed he would be willing to participate, providing support and encouragement to it, instead of denigrating the efforts which are being made by some very good and dedicated citizens of this province to solve the difficulties in which we find ourselves.
Ms. Cassidy: Before the minister goes on blaming people for not having a desire to have skilled training, can she explain the findings of the report that there are in practicality no apprenticeship training schemes in existence in one of the highest areas of concentration of industry in Canada, that is in the Toronto-Hamilton-Guelph area?
Can she explain the fact that only 2.6 per cent of the 15,000 skilled tradesmen studied in the industries that were covered by this report were under the age of 34? Can she say what plans the government now has to ensure that we do, in fact, meet our needs for skilled manpower in the 1980s in this province?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: I said that one of the factors was the attitudes of parents within this country. I believe we are all guilty of that if we have been parents, but that is only one factor. There have been other factors as well. In some areas specifically, the trade unions have not been enthusiastic supporters of apprenticeship programs, nor have employers. Many employers felt that it was more expeditious to hire skilled people than to attempt to train people for their own needs, and that it was easier -- and our immigration laws were certainly relaxed enough to allow it -- to import skilled trades than it was to be involved in the training programs.
Training programs to provide skilled workers require the co-operation of employers and certainly require the co-operation of trade unions. That is what we have sought over the last several months. I am very happy to tell members that we are getting that kind of co-operation and that we are going to be going in the right direction from now on.
Mr. S. Smith: Thirty years late.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, if I may add to that, the Leader of the Opposition has been making remarks that this province is the only jurisdiction in which this is happening. I wish he would look south of the border, west of this province, east of this province and in many other jurisdictions as well, because they are having the same kinds of difficulties for the same kinds of reasons.
Mr. S. Smith: You blame everybody else. You take credit for everything going and blame everybody else.
Mr. Peterson: Has the minister had an opportunity to chat with the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) who only a few days ago in estimates said he is aware of a company in his own riding that had to import labourers because they were incapable of having the proper programs here in this province? Obviously he was personally registering his disgruntlement with the programs.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: No, he was not, he was not.
Hon Mr. Maeck: Shame, shame.
Mr. Peterson: In view of his comments, in view of the federal study just published and in view of the fact that Ontario Hydro, under the aegis of the government of Ontario, has had to import technicians, when is the minister going to come up with a comprehensive plan in conjunction with the other ministries to solve this most critical problem? The government has been lagging for years. The Treasurer himself, God bless him, will admit it.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I have to tell you that I am delighted to hear all this hyperbolic rhetoric today as if the members of the opposition have suddenly discovered a problem.
Mr. Pope: They just discovered it.
Mr. Kerrio: We knew it for 30 years.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: We discovered the problem a long time ago.
Mr. Nixon: What are you doing about it?
Mr. Martel: You have the power to do something about it and you haven’t done it.
Mr. Makarchuk: The problem is over there and you made him Premier.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: With the co-operation of my colleagues in cabinet, with the cooperation of employers and with the cooperation of educators and trade unionists, we are in the process of solving the problem.
Mr. Nixon: Sure you are.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: The doomsayers sit over there. Let them stay there and vegetate.
Mr. Conway: The minister is the only optimist draped in black.
Mr. S. Smith: Everything going in Ontario you take credit for.
Mr. Peterson: Put Frank Drea in and you will clean it up in half an hour.
Mr. Speaker: Order. We have about two and a half days to go. Let’s do it with some decorum and some civility.
PULP AND PAPER INDUSTRY
Mr. Cassidy: I have a question of the Treasurer. In view of the frequent suggestions that are made by members of the Treasurer’s party that government should be run like a business, can the Treasurer say if he is aware what business would be prepared to advance $100 million to an industry, like the pulp and paper industry, with no interest being made due and with no participation in the profits through any form of shares or equity?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: The Labour government in England for one.
Mr. McClellan: Why don’t you run in England?
Mr. Martel: Your party wrecked England so many times it wasn’t funny.
Hon. F. S. Miller: The leader of the NDP has come out with some comments which probably aren’t quite correct. I am sure he is trying very hard to make them sound credible, but they aren’t.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: What else is new?
Hon. F. S. Miller: He and I had a chance to talk on radio the other morning, when I pointed out to him that there are a number of approaches we are suggesting. I read a very thoughtful editorial in the Toronto Star yesterday, saying that for a change this is the kind of industrial strategy that government should be carrying out. The leader of the NDP has been talking a great deal about where is the industrial strategy. That was industrial strategy, tailored to a sector, with varying approaches for industries in varying states of development. It was aimed at protecting a Canadian market, while that Canadian market was still viable, so that it would be also viable two or three years hence when the market conditions change, and protecting the jobs of people in northwestern Ontario where 75 per cent of the work force depends upon that particular industry.
Hon. Mr. Davis: That is Sault Ste. Marie.
Mr. Foulds: How does equity take away from that?
Mr. Pope: Think about it for a while.
Hon. F. S. Miller: If he is willing to sit back and tell me I haven’t got some returns for the people of Ontario by making those kinds of investments, then he has misunderstood the program.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: The Treasurer has not answered my question, but I want to ask him when the profits of the major Canadian pulp and paper companies have risen by 94 per cent this year to something around the $352 million mark for nine months alone --
Mr. Havrot: How much was it last year and the year before?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Look at the last three years.
Hon. Mr. Bernier: Look at it.
Mr. Cassidy: -- when the industry has now embarked on another series of price increases in early 1979, ranging between eight per cent and 12 per cent for newsprint, can the minister explain why the taxpayers of this province should not participate in this period of profitability which now lies ahead for the industry, if they are being asked to come up with $100 million in investment for the industry?
Hon. F. S. Miller: The member and often his whole party remind me of somebody on the ocean.
Mr. Martel: Tell us we don’t understand.
Hon. F. S. Miller: If the wave is on the upswing, they look up and they think it is going to go up for ever. If it is pointing down, they can only see the depths. Right now we are looking up, but I realize we do go up and down in that industry. We are helping them on a crest so that they will be able to survive the trough.
Mr. Mackenzie: That is a pretty weak answer.
Mr. Swart: You are like a wave going in and out, but never with any movement.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: I am very surprised at the Treasurer of the province misunderstanding the nature of equity. Is the Treasurer not aware that if we invest $100 million in this industry, we will share in the profits if the profits are going up, but we will not have profits if the profits go down? Therefore, we get the ups and the downs, and that is the concept of equity. Surely that is a fairer deal for the taxpayers of Ontario --
Mr. Warner: The government would rather give the money away.
Mr. Cassidy: -- than that we could put $100 million into this particular industry with no return whatsoever.
Hon. Mr. Walker: Like the waves, you are all wet.
Mr. Pope: You better go back to some more studying.
Hon. F. S. Miller: My Premier paints out there are so many ups and downs in this conversation he is seasick.
Mr. Martel: You have been like that for a long time.
Mr. S. Smith: He finds your economics nauseating.
Hon. F. S. Miller: The fact remains that equity is something I didn’t reject as a possible route at particular times. I told the member that the other day. We’ve had equity in Syncrude when it was justified.
Mr. Breaugh: Yes.
Hon. F. S. Miller: We don’t have a permanent yes or no answer on the basis of equity --
Mr. McClellan: Sometimes you go up and sometimes you go down.
Hon. F. S. Miller: -- but we have to tailor our positions to those which in fact are required at a particular point in time. Return on investment in that industry, as I’m sure the member knows, with minor exceptions has not averaged the bank rate. Is that not so? There are good years, but the report spells it all out. The Toronto Star hasn’t been known as one of the supporters of my sentiments every day of the week, but if it says this looks like a logical strategy, I’m rather surprised the member doesn’t.
Mr. Martel: We have a great equity in Minaki.
Mr. Martel: That’s what you’ve been after.
Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary.
Mr. Foulds: Would the Treasurer not agree the bank rate and the interest at the bank rate level was better than no interest at all?
Hon. F. S. Miller: The interest of this government is the jobs of the men and women in that industry.
Mr. Mackenzie: What about management of their money?
Mr. Breaugh: Bring back McKeough.
Mr. Pope: Keep it up and you’ll just keep on losing seats up there. Just keep it up.
Mr. Warner: Get a red suit and a big bag and give the money away.
LUNG CANCER CASES
Mr. Cassidy: I have a question for the Treasurer arising out of the fact that five workers in the Ottawa area have now died because of mesothelioma, a cancer which is related to asbestos and which they contracted because of their work in filling gas masks with asbestos fibre in a defence plant in Ottawa during the war. Is the Premier aware that after 26 similar cases of mesothelioma related to war work have been discovered in Britain, the British government’s equivalent of the Workmen’s Compensation Board has now recognized that as a compensable disease? Will the government now commit itself to recognizing the irrefutable connection between mesothelioma and work with asbestos and require the WCB to immediately grant compensation to the families of these workers who have died because of this rare form of cancer which they contracted from their work with asbestos?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I thought the member addressed that to me.
Mr. Speaker: Yes, he did.
Mr. Cassidy: I’m awfully sorry.
Hon. F. S. Miller: He did address it to me. I just wondered. Mesothelioma was something I dealt with when I was sitting back in that chair.
Mr. Cassidy: I would redirect it to the Premier then, if I may.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think to really get a comprehensive answer it should be directed to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie).
Mr. Martel: He is not here.
Hon. Mr. Davis: If the honourable member would like, I will convey this question to the Minister of Labour and have an answer for the honourable member tomorrow.
Mr. Martel: That is lovely.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In view of the delays which are substantial in granting any form of compensation to the families of the workers who have died because of mesothelioma related to their war work, will the government undertake to grant interim compensation to these families while the question of compensability is being investigated? Will the government come up with a policy that where diseases like this are being investigated, workers and their families should not be forced to wait for month after month and year after year hut should be granted interim compensation as a matter of right?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have already stated to the honourable member that I will discuss the initial question with and have an answer for him from the Minister of Labour tomorrow. That applies as well to the supplementary. We will get that point of view for him.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: On November 28, the Leader of the Opposition asked for a report prepared for our ministry by a summer student on the subject of compensation for victims of pollution. That report will be forwarded to his office and to the office of his critic and to the third party as well. I had hoped to have it here today, but we had a few problems in getting enough copies. It will be presented either today or tomorrow to his office.
I would remind the member again this is a report of a summer student to the ministry and is not government policy.
Mr. J. Reed: I have a question of the Premier. I am sure he is feeling quite serious this afternoon and I have a very serious question to ask him. Does the government have any means of demanding that Ontario Hydro adopt a buy-Canadian policy where price and quality are at least equal?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, quite obviously the honourable member is setting me up for a supplementary question which he has not yet disclosed to me, where perhaps Ontario Hydro has, in fact, purchased where there was a Canadian-made equivalent at a reasonable price or a competitive price. If he would perhaps give me the supplementary, I would be delighted to get the answer for him.
The general policy of Ontario Hydro has been, and I am sure there are some exceptions -- quite obviously the member has an exception or he wouldn’t be asking me the question -- the general policy is Ontario Hydro does buy Canadian where it is competitive and where the quality is the same. Now I am ready for the supplementary.
Mr. J. Reed: I wonder, first of all, if the Premier would answer the original question, and then we will get on with the supplementary?
Hon. Mr. Davis: To the best of my knowledge, Ontario Hydro has had a policy of buying Canadian where the price of the product and the specifications of the product are relatively equal. I can’t help him any more than that, other than to say I am sure, with an organization such as Hydro, there may have been the odd exception to that general policy. If he will now ask me the specific problem he has in mind, I will endeavour to answer it for him.
Mr. Speaker: I also want to remind the member for Halton-Burlington that he isn’t absolutely assured of a supplementary, so maybe you should get to the meat of the question.
Mr. J. Reed: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Obviously the Premier doesn’t have any means of demanding that Hydro adopt a buy-Canadian policy where price and quality are equal, and I would like to remind him of an article that appeared in the Toronto Star on Tuesday and wonder --
Hon. W. Newman: Is that a question or a speech?
Mr. J. Reed: I don’t know, he hasn’t answered -- you want the question -- he hasn’t answered whether or not he is able to even demand it, so I am not sure how I can even ask a supplementary, but I would point out --
Hon. W. Newman: He did answer but you don’t understand.
Mr. Speaker: Ask the question.
Mr. J. Reed: All right. Would the Premier undertake to use whatever means he might or might not have with Ontario Hydro to ask them why they are employing American performers to make conservation commercials for the utility?
Hon. Mr. Norton: He can’t use those he doesn’t have. Are you gunning for a job?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I really was expecting the honourable member to raise this with me in the initial question. I saw that as well in the paper this morning and I wait to compliment him on his extensive research in being able to get this information.
I know that he himself, being a member of the actors’ guild -- and he does such a good job of acting here in the House on occasion
-- would be the logical one to raise this question, and I think it is a very fair question. I will certainly undertake to discuss it with Ontario Hydro.
NATIONALIST PARTY OF CANADA
Mr. Ziemba: I have a two-part question for the Premier, Mr. Speaker: Is the government concerned, as a matter of policy, about the application awaiting decision by the election expenses commission of the Nationalist Party of Canada for registration under that act, and does the government intend to remedy by way of amendments to the Election Expenses Act the obvious defects which have become apparent as a result of this application by requiring informed consent of signatories as to the party’s aims, policies and objectives?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, this is, I think the honourable member understands, really a very serious -- not issue; I don’t like to use that term. I have had some discussions with certain groups who have brought this particular problem to my attention and I understand they have had meetings with members opposite, or their caucuses, as it relates to this particular organization.
All members of the House must be concerned about amendments to the act that would appear to limit the development -- and I am the last one to be promoting a third, fourth and fifth or sixth political party in this province --
Mr. Martel: There are only two.
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- but I think we have to be careful in terms of amendments that it doesn’t appear to be limiting in any way the democratic process. I am quite sympathetic to this particular request or suggestion that has come in. I understand that the official opposition has had some discussion with the same group, and I assume the member for High Park has as well, and we are pursuing it.
I just register the caution that I expect we may have a possible amendment that will deal with the problem, but that we should be very careful on how that amendment is worded and accepted by this House. I certainly wouldn’t want to be in a position -- I am sure none of us would -- to appear to be limiting in any way free democratic expression or the development of other political parties. But I am concerned about this situation.
Mr. Nixon: Supplementary: Is the Premier aware the chairman of the commission appearing before one of the standing committees expressed his concern that the government had taken no action with the proposed amendments to the statute which he administers? Can the Premier indicate we will be dealing with this without too much further delay?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think the chairman of the commission had -- I can’t recall the exact number of amendments but they were not all related -- in fact I am not sure they were related to this request in any event. I would like to think we might deal with the other amendments, that are partially housekeeping or administrative, at the same time, but they are not being ignored.
ONTARIO-QUEBEC INSURANCE AGREEMENT
Mr. Sterling: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations: In view of the fact the minister and his predecessor have indicated they have been negotiating with Quebec regarding problems relating to the automobile insurance regulations in that province, and also to their effect on Ontario residents travelling in Quebec, and since at this time of the year with the approaching holiday season many people in eastern Ontario are travelling in Quebec for the purposes of holidaying and recreation, I wonder if the minister could bring us up to date on those negotiations.
Mr. M. N. Davison: You should have come to estimates and debated that.
Mr. Kerrio: The estimates were on this morning.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I don’t know how these things leak but I had planned to do this on Friday. As of 1:25 this afternoon, the Quebec cabinet ratified the insurance agreement with Ontario.
Mr. Sterling: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker:
At a previous time in this Legislature we had heard from other members there were various agreements with other provinces. Would the minister care to comment on how this agreement compares with those other agreements and could the minister also reveal to us when this agreement will take effect?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, first of all I don’t know how the confusion arose but I have it on the authority of both Madame Lise Payette and Mr. Robert de Coster, who is president of the Quebec auto insurance board, that no agreement has been signed with any province other than Ontario. That includes Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, and it includes various American states. There have been partial agreements signed but they had so many blanks in them they were somewhat equivalent to the memorandum of understanding my predecessor and Madame Payette agreed to some months ago.
As a matter of fact, we have offered our good offices to the other provinces of Canada and to the American State Department because there are six American states involved. Their law does not allow them to have their insurance departments deal with a province of a foreign country. We have offered them our good offices as to the type of agreement we have reached and we will certainly be as helpful to them as possible.
I don’t know anything about American insurance law but the agreement we have consummated with Quebec is perfectly applicable throughout Canada whether it is public or private.
In answer to the final part, as to when it is applicable, I’d say as rapidly as possible. Perhaps some time towards the end of the month both myself and Madame Fayette might be able to put a firm date on it. I assure the honourable members the agreement will be formally consummated and put into policies as rapidly as possible.
On another note, since I had planned a more formal announcement of this, I would like to pay my respects to Madame Payette and to Mr. de Coster and to the province of Quebec; to our own superintendent of insurance in this province, Mr. Murray Thompson, and the deputy minister of my ministry, for conducting these negotiations and coming to a fair, amicable and precedent-setting end.
I think, too, that some of the credit -- in fact, almost all of the credit -- should be given to my predecessor. I know he has suffered a considerable amount of abuse on this matter. I would certainly hope, on the basis of this agreement, that those who have been very critical of his approach towards the province of Quebec might now want to apologize.
Mr. Speaker: Because of the length of that answer, I am going to add three minutes to the question period.
Mr. Breithaupt: As a supplementary to the minister, following the question from the member for Carleton-Grenville, and with the comments made in the estimates this morning: Does the minister still intend to make a statement on Friday to clear up the details of this arrangement, following the commitment he made to the member for Cornwall (Mr. Samis)?
Hon. Mr. Drea: I could make a general statement on Friday. But I would prefer to circulate the details of the agreement throughout the insurance industry prior to that. I can make a general one. Yes. I can make a general one.
Mr. Breithaupt: I think it would be useful for the people of the province.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Yes. But the agreement’s terms are mostly technical. I can tell you it is very fair and very equitable. The Ontario driver -- indeed, not just the driver but any person in Ontario -- if even a passenger in a Montreal taxicab is now entirely covered by Ontario insurance.
Mr. Breithaupt: I think a statement should be made for the people of the province.
Hon. Mr. Drea: All right, fine.
Mrs. Campbell: My question is addressed to the Premier. In this House we seem to be grappling with an answer to this question:
What is the philosophy of this government in seeking to meet the needs of the disadvantaged in our society at this time?
The Ministry of Revenue has indicated that it is maintaining the Gains program and the Gains assistance, where both partners are on the Gains program, at a rate of $666 per month. Yet, where only one is on Gains and the other is on FBA benefits, the federal program of assistance is increased but this province is decreasing the payments to the spouse on FBA, so that their total is $430 a month.
Would the Premier explain to us how these two sets of people are any different, one from the other, in their needs?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think that really is a question that has already been discussed. But I think the Minister of Community and Social Services would be delighted to engage in further discussion with the member for St. George. That is where the question should be directed.
Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, since it has been suggested that I ask the Minister of Community and Social Services for an answer, would he be able to tell us why his ministry’s philosophy is different from that of the Ministry of Revenue in this matter?
Hon. Mr. Norton: I didn’t hear all of the question from the honourable member. I’m not sure what federal program she was referring to which would provide an increase not passed through under family benefits. I understand what you said with respect to Gains, a Gains-aged person. Were you also referring to a Gains disability?
Mrs. Campbell: No.
Hon. Mr. Norton: I wasn’t sure what the other reference to FBA was. If you could clarify that, I would be quite happy to attempt to answer the question.
Mrs. Campbell: In the one case, the husband is in receipt of CPP and Gains; the wife is on FBA. In June, she was in receipt of $151.90; she is now in receipt of $109.46 because the minister has reduced her allotment as her husband’s increases take effect.
Hon. Mr. Norton: I think the difference there is that the Gains program is not under the Canada Assistance Plan. The funding of the Family Benefits Act is under the Canada Assistance Plan and is cost-shared with the federal government. Under CAP and under the federal-provincial agreements that exist across this country, we are required in calculating total income to take into consideration the income from any other source, especially from any federal programs --
Mr. McClellan: Change your benefit levels then.
Hon. Mr. Norton: -- so that when there is an increase under a federal program which would put the individual in a position of having a total income higher than the agreed level under the Canada Assistance Plan -- Mr Mackenzie: We know that. It doesn’t make it fair.
Hon. Mr. Norton: -- we must reduce it so as to keep it within that limit.
Mr. McClellan: Raise the benefit levels.
Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary: Has the minister consulted with the Minister of Health and Welfare, since the seems to be of a different point of view from that expressed by the minister in this House today?
Hon. Mr. Norton: I have discussed the question of changes under the Canada Assistance Plan with the federal minister. I would also say that she has very candidly admitted that she did not learn the regulations under the Canada Assistance Plan, because she expected them to be abolished with block funding and now is in the process of learning them.
Mr. McClellan: A pox on both your houses.
Mr. Laughren: You deserve each other.
CLOSURE OF EDUCATION COLLEGES
Mr. M. N. Davison: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Education. In view of the minister’s apparently contradictory statements in regard to the closing of the Ontario Teacher Education Colleges, will the minister offer some further clarification of her position to the Legislature?
Specifically, on November 20 the minister advised the House that OTECs were being closed in response to the shrinking job market for teachers. On November 30, speaking on radio station CHML in Hamilton, she admitted that the real reason for closing OTECs was her desire to end participation of the Ministry of Education in teacher education.
Will the minister now admit that the closing of OTECs will, in fact, increase the cost of teacher education and do absolutely nothing to deal with the problem of declining enrolment in this province?
Mr. Laughren: What’s today’s version?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I thought I had made it relatively clear on the interview on CHML --
An hon. member: You never do.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: -- that there were a number of factors involved in the decision.
Mr. Laughren: You keep changing your program. You change your mind every day.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: The reports that were made by the Committee on Costs of Education strongly advised the closing of OTECs as early as 1974. In August 1978, the Commission on Declining School Enrolments in Ontario strongly advised the closing of OTECs. There has been discussion and deliberation about this subject for a number of years. Indeed, the number of Ontario Teacher Education Colleges has diminished regularly over the past decade, because it was obvious that other institutions capable of doing teacher training were developing within the province. It seems to me that is a perfectly natural progression. But there were a number of factors involved, including the number of teachers we have, the number of training places we have at the moment, and the declining enrolment Those are three of the factors. Another factor --
Mr. McClellan: Is your own sheer incompetence.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: -- is that it has been strongly recommended that the ministry remove itself from the area of teacher training.
Mr. Foulds: Why?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Read the reports.
Mr. M. N. Davison: Supplementary: If the minister will deal for a moment with the question of cost, does she not realize that it costs 2,000 basic income units, or $5.3 million, to educate 1,000 teachers with the faculty of education at the university, whereas the Ontario Teacher Education Colleges can do the same job much better for $2,815,000?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: I am aware that there has been a variation in the amounts of money which have been projected --
Mr. McClellan: Oh, you are? But money is no object.
Mr. Laughren: Tory extravagance again.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: -- for the cost of teacher training at the two levels. But there are other factors to be considered as well, it seems to me, than simply that. The Ontario Teacher Education Colleges have served this province extremely well over the last several years --
Mr. Warner: Yes, that’s why you’re closing them.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: -- particularly in the era when there were no alternative educational programs. But the universities of this province have matured --
Mr. McClellan: What would you do?
Mr. Warner: Ti you were in charge of the highways, you’d close them too.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: -- to the stage where they now can take over that aspect of professional training, which is particularly important in the education of our young people. I think we should allow them to do it.
Mr. Cassidy: At twice the cost.
INMATE WORK PROJECTS
Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Minister of Correctional Services regarding snow removal: Would the minister advise if the services --
An hon. member: Is he still in the cabinet? Interjections.
Mr. Kennedy: Quiet, you fellows. He can’t hear me
Mr. Kerrio: We’re just trying to help you out.
Mr. Kennedy: Would the minister advise if short-term and weekend prisoners will be available to remove snow from the premises of senior citizens, the infirm and the handicapped during this winter?
Mr. Foulds: Is there a conflict of interest in your asking this question?
Mr. Kennedy: If so, what is the process to acquire such services?
Hon. Mr. Walker: In reply to the member for Mississauga South, I would indicate that most of the institutions will have available inmate population for snow removal, as designated by the superintendent. It’s merely up to the individual members of the House or to individual municipalities to contact the individual superintendents of each institution to arrange for prisoner help.
Mr. Bradley: Would the minister indicate to the House whether or not he has the same commitment to this particular program that the last minister had, in light of the fact some groups and organizations have experienced difficulty in securing the services of the people referred to in the question?
Hon. Mr. Walker: The last year has been one of tremendous experiment and we’re going to progress even more, based on the former minister’s approach.
Mr. Philip: Supplementary to the minister:
Has the ministry now reached an agreement with the borough of Etobicoke, since I understand that the mayor had expressed grave reservations concerning the feasibility of this program and the cost to the individual municipality of Etobicoke by way of supplying equipment for the program?
Hon. Mr. Walker: It is my understanding that we have not been able to arrive at an agreement with the borough of Etobicoke. I’m not really sure what the costs are that they are concerned about. If they mean providing half a dozen shovels for snow removal, then yes, there is some cost attached to it. But I don’t consider that significant. We have reached agreement, though, with a number of other boroughs, particularly North York and others, relative to removal of snow.
Mr. Kerrio: I have a question of the Minister of Culture and Recreation. Would the minister explain why he wrongly replied to my question on Monday that a mere $100 or $1,000 was given by Wintario for the purchase of 15 Duncan Street, home of the terrorist magazine, Strike, when in fact $55,000 was given to purchase the building? And while replying to this misinformation, would the minister say what grants are pending and --
Hon. Mr. Davis: The member’s colleague is --
Mr. Kerrio: -- what moneys in total have been given to this group, both provincially and federally?
Incidentally, the former minister said, with his fingers a half-inch apart, that it was a very small grant. I’d like that to show on the record.
Hon. Mr. Welch: We were talking about the magazine.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I didn’t say that; I just said that your colleague was turning up his coat because he was embarrassed.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Since that question was raised, I have asked our staff, as well as the Ontario Arts Council, to give me full details as to how much money was granted and under what circumstances, and also what arrangements are being made, if any need to be :made, as a result of the reported sale of that property. I’m looking into that in great detail.
Mr. Kerrio: In view of the fact that the figures that are bandied about, from a low of something like $225,000 purchase price and a resale of $315,000, to an upper limit of a purchase of $300,000 to a sale of $500,000, we’ve got a great differential here. I’m really concerned and I wonder if we’re going to recover the moneys that have been put in there from Wintario, and if in future these will be monitored and we will recover any kind of moneys given to these kinds of organizations.
Mr. S. Smith: With $90,000 profit.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I would certainly agree with the member for Niagara Falls that many figures have been bandied about. I’m really trying to get to the bottom of it and find out what the actual figures were. That includes the figures for the sale, as well as the kind of grants that were made and the conditions under which they were made.
I do want to assure this House that we are looking into this in detail and I will be reporting in full detail when I have the information.
ONTARIO SPECIAL EDUCATION BILL
Ms. Gigantes: My question is to the government House leader. Since the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) has been promising the members and the public for some months that she is imminently going to announce a special education program and she can’t even seem to get in place a cabinet-approved program for Trillium School, could he indicate to the House when he will be recalling Bill 18, the private member’s bill I introduced just a year ago to this House to make special education a mandatory obligation of the boards of education of Ontario?
Mr. Warner: You supported it, remember? The minister has I a short memory. It’s a year later and nothing has happened.
Hon. Mr. Welch: There are no plans to call private member’s Bill 18 this week.
Mr. S. Smith: Or any other private member’s bill ever. There is no use calling them when the minister blocks them. It is a bloody disgrace.
Mr. Martel: Supplementary: Is the House leader prepared to send that bill to the social development committee in January so that it can get clause-by-clause study?
Mr. Warner: You supported it. What a sham I
Hon. Mr. Welch: As my colleague knows, we have been spending all kinds of time planning for January and February. With eight committees sitting, that’s not one of the committees that is part of that schedule.
Mr. Warner: What a phoney bunch! We pass a bill and then you do away with it.
Mr. Cassidy: It’s a copout.
FOOD LAND GUIDELINES
Mr. McKessock: I have a question of the Premier. How can he, as the Premier, issue guidelines for farm land to be implemented through the planning process, and on the other hand for the marginal, less valuable land of the Niagara Escarpment, say that implementing restrictions through the planning process is not good enough and that the government must have development cartels?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I’m delighted to have that question. I hope the honourable member has reconciled his policy as it represents that of the Liberal Party with that of his leader, who I sense is trying to be, as he is in so many eases, all things to all people. I just wish the member would rationalize his point of view with his leader’s and that would help me answer the question.
I don’t issue the guidelines. The guidelines are issued by the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman), as they should be. Our view of it was explained by the minister yesterday articulately, logically and intelligently --
Mr. Breithaupt: Loudly, not articulately.
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, it was explained with vigour, I think that’s how I would describe it and how they were understood by all members in the House, except the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald), who is probably in Sault Ste. Marie today.
An hon. member: He’s in Brampton.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I think the answer is very simple. The member is opposed to the escarpment. I understand that he doesn’t believe there should be any unique development tools or policy with respect to that. Here he is, once again, out of step with at least his leader.
Mr. S. Smith: Agricultural guidelines are useless and the Premier knows it, that’s the question.
Hon. Mr. Davis: But probably he is totally in step with other members of his caucus. We have to differentiate between the unique characteristics of the escarpment and what we’re attempting to do as a government and the general policy and its implementation in terms of the preservation of agricultural land. I hear this party opposite, talking -- not to me because they very rarely do so; it’s usually to the press -- with respect to local autonomy, the question of planning --
Mr. S. Smith: We wouldn’t waste our time talking to you.
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- and the question of the responsibility of our municipalities, except when the crunch is on, when they then want imposition by this government, because it makes it a lot easier for the people opposite in the political sense.
Mr. S. Smith: We would never do that.
Mr. Hall: The Premier doesn’t have to look too far himself.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Our position is very simple. We are saying these are the guidelines. We’re saying to the local municipalities “Please understand and respect them.” We also acknowledge there will be, on occasion, those communities -- my own may be one -- where there is agricultural land, which I’m sure would come under the Minister of Agriculture and Food’s guidelines, which in the evolution of that great municipality may find its way into something other than the production of food. I acknowledge that and so does the member for Grey. He acknowledged that in a different term of principle when he introduced the private bill which his total caucus supported, but which his leader now says doesn’t represent his party’s policy.
Mr. McKessock: A supplementary.
Mr. Speaker: A new question; the member for Welland-Thorold.
TRANSFERS TO MUNICIPALITIES
Mr. Swart: My question is of the Treasurer. Is he aware that the municipal liaison committee stated to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) last Friday that they were shocked and disappointed by the Treasurer’s statement on November 23 in which he indicated that on the one hand he was accepting their position, which was a request for a six per cent increase in transfers, but, on the other hand that provincial expenditures would grow at a rate of six per cent while transfers to municipalities would be increased by only five per cent? Has the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs conveyed this information to the Treasurer and asked him to increase those transfers to six per cent? And is he prepared to do it?
Hon. F. S. Miller: The answer is no, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Swart: By way of supplementary then, can I ask the minister if he is not aware that because of the one per cent increase in population during the last year, the five per cent increase which is supposed to be given to municipalities amounts to only a four per cent increase per capita while the inflation rate is eight to nine per cent? Is he aware that because municipalities have no alternative but to raise taxes an additional amount to make up the shortfall, overall taxation is not being reduced, that he is simply shifting it to the property taxpayer?
Mr. Roy: They have been doing that for the last five years.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I don’t accept that last comment. There are problems for all levels of government. We are all spending the same taxpayers’ money. It is our job to spend it as wisely as we can. We have been flowing, in this province, a very generous amount of money to the municipalities compared with some of our neighbouring provinces.
Mr. Warner: Your mismanagement ends up in punishment.
Hon. F. S. Miller: We are continuing with a much simpler formula than we had in the past, one less likely to cause misinterpretation. We are doing very well at a time of constraints.
Mr. Laughren: Why do you deceive them, then?
HYDRO PURCHASING POLICY
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I would like to give an answer to a question asked by the member for Halton-Burlington (Mr. J. Reed), who has left his seat now. It relates somewhat to a question asked of the Premier a little earlier.
The honourable member and the member for Hamilton West (Mr. S. Smith) both asked questions relating to Ontario Hydro’s purchases from Canadian Porcelain Company Limited.
I am informed that during the past year, Ontario Hydro has purchased from this Hamilton firm some 36 different products worth about $750,000. I understand further that some components for one product worth $68,000 were brought in from the United States and assembled at the Canadian Porcelain plant. However, I have been informed it is Ontario Hydro’s understanding the company has arranged for the necessary rights to manufacture this product to be transferred to them. This will allow them to manufacture this product in Canada in the future.
My ministry has been working with that company to help them in their efforts to develop export markets for their products. Every effort is being made to overcome difficulties related to the high cost of manufacturing here compared with some foreign plants competing in the porcelain field. That addresses the problem of their layoffs.
In addressing the honourable member’s supplementary question regarding Ontario Hydro’s purchasing policy, I would like to assure the members that Ontario Hydro does have a buy-Canadian policy in which preference can be given up to 10 per cent for products made in Canada. It is the stated policy of Ontario Hydro to buy from Ontario or Canadian manufacturers first, provided the product is available in Canada, the quality of the product is adequate and the price is competitive. I’m not sure what the situation was with the commercial.
Mr. Nixon: Why didn’t you buy it, then?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: In this respect, Ontario Hydro has a pretty good record. In recent years, 85 per cent of the value of goods and services purchased by Ontario Hydro have originated in Canada.
Specifically, regarding purchases of insulators, I am informed that in the past two years, Ontario Hydro has purchased 98.8 per cent of its insulators from Ontario sources. I might also add that Ontario Hydro was an important exhibitor in my ministry’s government purchasing opportunities show in November.
Mr. Nixon: How many banjo players?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: One final point, to comment on the honourable member for Brantford’s (Mr. Makarchuk) supplementary question regarding Hydro purchases of tubing in West Virginia. The question relates to an order Hydro has placed with Noranda Metal Industries Limited in Arnprior for the supply of steam generation tubing. Noranda indicated in its tender to Ontario Hydro it would obtain the tube hollows that are necessary for the manufacturing of the tubing from Inco in Huntington, West Virginia. Currently we are informed there is no Canadian source for these tube hollows.
Mr. Cassidy: Why not Sudbury?
Mr. Laughren: There is a problem right there; you won’t even deal with that problem.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: However, I understand Noranda is researching the possibilities of further integration of its processes which might well eliminate the necessity for reliance on the imported materials.
Mr. Speaker: The time for oral questions has expired.
SENIOR CITIZEN HOUSING
Mr. Bounsall: On a point of privilege:
On Monday the Minister of Housing, in reply to a question I asked him re his approval of the 50 rent-supplement programs in Windsor’s housing unit on the corner of Riverside and Bridge, said, “I am going to be meeting with the mayor of Windsor. I communicated with him again last week on a date that we could meet and discuss the senior citizens’ housing development.”
Mr. Speaker, after speaking with the mayor today, he says he has had no verbal conversation with the minister, nor have any of his officials; nor has the city of Windsor received, in any department, nor in the mayor’s office, a written communication suggesting a date for that meeting. I think it abrogates the privileges of the members of this House to have that statement put forward here without the tabling at least of the letter showing in fact the suggested date was made. We should not have the implication in that answer that he again communicated regarding a date, when there has never been any evidence so far received in any way by the city that that sort of communication was sent out or received.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I think if the member will read the exact remarks I made, I said we were communicating with the mayor. I take no responsibility, as I explained in this House once before, for the speed at which the royal mail happens to go between the city of Toronto and the city of Windsor. I am prepared to table, or send to the member himself, a copy of the letter I sent on to Mayor Weeks of the city of Windsor requesting that we review this matter.
Mr. Laughren: What date?
Mr. Warner: What did you do, send it by carrier pigeon?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I seem to hear a lot of chirping over there once again. I made a remark on Friday about the little bunch of puppy dogs, they have not improved one hit in a matter of five or six days.
Mr. Martel: Better than being a jackass.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Further, in answer to the member’s remarks, there have been negotiations and discussions between people of my ministry, including Mr. Riggs and others, with the people in the housing authority in the city of Windsor, and with people in the municipal employment in the city of Windsor. I sent off a letter last week to the mayor of Windsor requesting an opportunity to meet with them to discuss not only the Norton-Palmer site, but indeed the other requirements of senior citizens in his community. As soon as the mayor receives the letter, and I have no idea what date it will go -- or that he will receive it rather, or that he will get back to me.
Mr. Foulds: The minister doesn’t know when it will go now. There is a slip, that is the truth.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: It’s gone, it’s gone. The letter is gone, I can give that assurance.
Mr. Foulds: He doesn’t know when he is going to send it.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: The member for Port Arthur is always very sharp about things. I suppose it would take even longer to get to his particular community.
Mr. Speaker, clearly I have made the offer to the mayor and I am trusting he will get back to me.
Mr. Foulds: Yes, he would if the minister would put it in the mail.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Sometime early in the new year, we will find an opportunity to resolve all of the problems that relate to the Norton-Palmer site, and indeed to the other requirements for senior citizens.
STANDING RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Mr. Havrot from the standing resources development committee reported the following resolution:
That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of Natural Resources be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1979:
Ministry administration program, $23,208,000; land management program, $89,130,000; outdoor recreation program, $62,687,000; resource products program, $61,383,000; resource experience program, $10,604,000.
STANDING ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE COMMITTEE
Mr. Philip from the standing administration of justice committee reported the following resolution:
That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the justice policy be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1979:
Justice policy program, $527,000.
STANDING GENEBAL GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
Mr. McCaffrey from the standing general government committee reported the following resolution:
That supply in the following amount and to defray the expenses of the Office of the Ombudsman be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1979:
Office of the Ombudsman program, $4,116,000.
Mr. McCaffrey from the standing general government committee presented the following report and moved its adoption:
Your committee begs to report the following bill without amendment:
Bill Pr30, An Act respecting the City of Windsor.
Your committee begs to report the following bill with certain amendments:
Bill Pr44, An Act respecting the Corporation of the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville.
Your committee recommends that the fees, less the actual cost of printing, be remitted on Bill Pr24, An Act respecting the Ottawa Charitable Foundation.
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that Mr. McClellan be substituted for Mr. M. N. Davison, on the select committee on the Ombudsman, and that Mr. Lawlor be the chairman of that committee.
Motion agreed to.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
TREES AMENDMENT ACT
Hon. Mr. Auld moved first reading of Bill 207, An Act to amend the Trees Act.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, this bill purports to enact certain housekeeping and other measures in order to strengthen the administration of the Trees Act, which is designed to prevent the destruction of trees in the agricultural areas in Ontario. At the same time the bill grants greater exemptions from its provisions for certain uses and activities which are considered legitimate exceptions to such protection. Finally, the enforcement provisions of the act are strengthened to encourage compliance with the intent of the legislation. We don’t plan to proceed with this bill in this session, but will assess the reaction and comments received between now and the next session, and I expect to reintroduce the bill then.
PYRAMIDIC SALES ACT
Hon. Mr. Drea moved first reading of Bill 208, An Act to repeal the Pyramidic Sales Act, 1972.
Motion agreed to.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE PAPER
Hon. Mr. Welch: I wish to table the answers to questions 168, 169 and 172 standing on the Notice Paper. (See appendix, page 6102.)
House in committee of the whole.
MUNICIPAL ACT (CONTINUED)
Resumption of the adjourned consideration of Bill 195, An Act to amend the Municipal Act.
On section 4:
Mr. Chairman: When the committee was last sitting we were discussing Mr. Swart’s amendment on section 4. Any further comments from the parliamentary assistant?
Mr. Ashe: Mr. Chairman, at the moment, we are only discussing Mr. Swart’s particular amendment. There are other amendments on section 4 that will be considered in due course.
When we came to the hour of adjournment yesterday, I think I was discussing the proposed amendment by Mr. Swart relative to the condominium section. I indicated at that time that we would give it further consideration last night. Today, I was to respond back to the House in committee this afternoon and I am prepared to do that at this time.
Having given a great amount of thought and review to the particular amendment, I feel we cannot support it at this time for many reasons that I would like to put for the consideration of the committee.
First, I think it is safe to say that all members and all parties, at least in this Legislature, have talked about consultation, particularly with municipalities when particular legislation would affect them in any way. We have been doing that relative to this particular part of the bill. They have been under the impression and have been led to believe, of course, that this would be an optional section in the bill. I think the proposed amendment would substantially change the intent of that and we do not feel making a change of this nature would be fair to that consultative process.
Second, probably even more important for the consideration of the members of this committee is the fact that the government legislation in this section now before you, without amendment, does fulfil the recommendations made on that particular subject by the Ontario residential condominium study group.
I would like, for the record, to read the appropriate section, recommendation 19(b): to enable municipalities to provide road maintenance including snow ploughing on condominium roads; to enable municipalities to levy fees for that purpose if necessary.” That is in the proposed legislation without amendment.
Another section, Mr. Chairman: “Legislation be amended to enable municipalities or their public utilities commissions to maintain and repair water and sewer pipes on condominium property and charge a fee if necessary.”
If there is any change in the proposal relative to the proposed legislation, it is the next one: that the legislation be amended to require, in the interests of public safety, that municipalities or their PUCs be allowed to maintain condominium fire hydrants, and to allow them to charge a fee for such services if necessary. We have included that in the other one that deals with water and sewer services as “permissive.” I suppose you could argue that this was one deviation from the condominium report. But I think it’s safe to say, Mr. Chairman, that the spirit of the recommendation is within the proposed legislation, without the amendment.
Also, Mr. Chairman, as part of our consultative process, we consulted with the municipalities, which is, of course, quite normal. But we also consulted with the federation of condominium owners, or whatever the actual title is -- it escapes me -- and, in fact, they were quite satisfied and quite pleased with the legislation that we were proposing. Now, by that, I’m not suggesting or intimating that they would not take something further. I think that would be a fallacy. They would naturally, I assume, much prefer If we said a municipality shall provide all services and shall not charge any fees.
Ms. Gigantes: Right.
Mr. Ashe: But they are quite satisfied with what we are proposing and have discussed with them.
Their only negative reaction, and it was a very positive suggestion and forms one of our amendments that I’ll be proposing on another section of the bill, relates to the reference to a “unit” rather than “a piece of land” in connection with the parking situation. It has nothing to do with this section at all. So, again the consultative process has indicated that the legislation before you is considered fair and adequate.
I know some of the concern expressed by the mover yesterday really inferred that we don’t really care if the municipalities end up with an agreement or not. But we think they should be forced to sit down and negotiate --
Ms. Gigantes: Right.
Mr. Ashe: -- if a condominium corporation approaches them. I, as well as the government, have a much greater faith in the councils of this province. We believe they are a responsible group of people. If they are approached in a responsible way by any section of their electorate, they will respond responsibly to that kind of an approach. So I think we’re condemning them in suggesting that they will not listen and talk reasonably to their constituents in advance. Personally, I feel we should give them that opportunity.
Ms. Gigantes: You’ve had the opportunity for seven years.
Mr. Ashe: I would go so far as to say that I think those of us who have been in municipal affairs in the past know that a group or a segment of our constituency can be politically persuasive, as they are in all levels of politics -- municipal, provincial or federal. I think that, if a condominium group or a group of condominiums get together because they feel their municipal politicians aren’t listening, they will soon publicly make their views known loud and clear. Again, I think the political pressure will be there, if needed, on the municipal council.
Last, but not least, Mr. Chairman: We are prepared to suggest to the committee that the legislation, as proposed, is more than reasonable; is more than adequate; and has filled the requirements that were asked of us. We shall see that it works, if, by chance, it is proved that it does not work and that municipal councils do not respond in a reasonable way to a reasonable request, then, at that time we will be prepared to consider the suggested amendment or a similar type of amendment that would make it somewhat more mandatory. But, in the meantime, we do not feel that you should automatically suggest that municipal councils in. this province are irresponsible. I think that is the real connotation put on the amendment before us.
So we do not and cannot support the amendment for those various reasons. I would hope the committee will weigh the various points I have put forward and will come to the reasonable conclusion that the amendment should not be supported.
Mr. Philip: Mr. Chairman, may I respond to some of the minister’s comments which, I’m afraid, leave me with a great number of questions or more questions than I started off with before his statement? The minister talks about consultation with municipalities and he adds that he also consulted with the Federation of Ontario Condominium Associations. One must ask the minister whether or not he showed our amendment -- which he had time to do -- to that federation or to any of the more prominent and more vocal federations suet as the Etobicoke Condominium Association? I don’t think the minister answered that question.
He suggested that the federation would accept this as being better than nothing. That’s the feeling I got from his statement. He refers to the Kealey commission report and how wonderful it is that the government is implementing a recommendation of the Kealey commission report. But the Kealey commission report is not particularly sacred to this government. As a matter of fact, the major recommendation of the Kealey commission was to set up a registrar of condominiums. This was completely violated only a few days ago by the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Drea) when he introduced this condominium bill. So what is so great about the Kealey commission report?
You use it for your own benefit. When it suits your purpose, you adopt it; when it doesn’t suit your purpose, you don’t adopt it. It’s the greatest form of hypocrisy to come along and say, “Isn’t this great because we have implemented the Kealey commission report,” after you have had the audacity to ignore the major thrust of it only a few days ago.
The government says we can come back and implement this amendment if things don’t work. I would have to ask the minister what monitoring system is he going to set up and when is he going to come back with a report on whether or not a majority of condominiums have had negotiations with their municipalities and whether these negotiations have concluded successfully? To set up a suggestion of negotiation without setting up some kind of process is completely meaningless. I say to the minister sure, it’s better than nothing. We will support it, but do more than simply go through a bunch of processes that appear as though something is being done when in fact it has no substance.
Mr. Swart: The parliamentary assistant will know and maybe other members of the House should know, I had some discussion with him this morning that we would be flexible on this amendment if he took out the part he is concerned about at the end, saying they had to come to a conclusion or if he wanted to bring in an amendment to another section of the act. There’s no question that there is a real difference of principle on this amendment.
It’s not the details of it. It is the principle and the real difference of principle is, shall all councils be required, where they have condominiums and where they are requested, to negotiate with the condominium groups. We say yes. You say no. The parliamentary assistant says no. That is the real issue before us in this amendment.
You said you consulted with the municipalities and other groups. I suggest to you, if you .consult with the condominium groups, you will find that they want this in. I, as much as anyone, am anxious to consult with the municipalities, and say we will do what you want to do. But there comes a time when you have to look at both sides and this is one of those times when the condominium owners have a real case for having some of the services provided at municipal costs. There can be no question about that and there should be consultation on it.
You talk about having faith in councils. I have faith in councils too but when you have a government of Ontario that’s only going to give them a four per cent increase per capita this year when the inflation rate is eight or nine per cent, you can expect those councils, if they are looking at a 10 or 12 per cent increase in taxes, to do what your government is doing -- cut, regardless of who it hurts. You haven’t got a normal situation now, thanks to your government over there. Therefore, it’s time for greater fairness.
But it doesn’t work that way, especially when your government and the municipalities are trying to save every penny that they can. You have said that if the councils don’t respond, you will give some consideration to changes. But this bill has set up the option for them to respond or not respond. Our amendment sets up the moral principle they must respond. We don’t say they have to come to any type of a conclusion, but we say they must respond. We don’t think that option should be there. When you are setting that option you are giving them as much right not to respond to the condominium group as you are to respond to them. You are setting no moral principle at all in this that the municipalities should follow. I suggest this House should pass this amendment.
Ms. Gigantes: I would like to point out to the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs that he is talking about enablement; and there is no question of enablement. Municipalities that have wished to negotiate in good faith with condominium corporations have concluded agreements with those corporations. That is true in North York. It’s true in Etobicoke. The municipalities have always had that power and they haven’t wished to exercise it, for some of the reasons that my colleague from Welland-Thorold has pointed out.
Let me remind the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs that he cites Mr. Kealey and the Kealey report on this issue. He says the Kealey report didn’t require negotiations. The Kealey report asked for enabling legislation to allow municipalities to do this. Let me tell you, when Mr. Kealey was a candidate in the riding of Carleton East he suggested to condominium owners, at a meeting I attended, that they withhold taxes from the municipalities because he was so convinced of the injustice of double taxation on condominium owners.
Let me tell you what that crowd of condominium owners did. They booed, because they wanted somebody to speak for them here in this Legislature; to make the responsibility come from this government to ensure condominium owners across this province are not double taxed. The very least we can ask is that you take one more step. The enablement is already there. Don’t just repeat it in this amendment. Go one step further and require municipalities at least to sit down and negotiate.
We can’t guarantee what kind of agreement there will be, but at least require them under Ontario legislation to sit down at the table and talk about those agreements.
Mr. Epp: I have been listening with interest to the various comments. I think what has to be indicated is that the municipalities over the years have been given additional responsibilities. Obviously, they have not been given the kind of responsibilities we would have given them. They have not been given a sufficient number of responsibilities.
We feel that in order for municipalities to reach the kind of maturity they should reach, just like any individual, they have to have the kind of responsibilities so they can show to the public, from time to time, that they are able to make the right decisions after weighing all the circumstances before them.
As a consequence of that, we think this particular amendment should not be supported because the municipalities are maturing. They are in the position to deal with these matters, whether they be related to condominiums or whether they be related to other matters. As far as this particular amendment is concerned, we will be opposing it. Give the various municipalities an opportunity, according to the legislation before us, to reach the kind of conclusions with the condominium corporations that should be reached.
If we find after a sufficient amount of time has been devoted to this, there is not the kind of progress we would like to see achieved, obviously we will be prepared to make amendments to this legislation.
Ms. Gigantes: Wait another decade.
Mr. Ashe: I’ll try to touch very briefly on some of the points that have been made by the last four speakers, although I think I covered most of them before. Some of them I guess bear repeating because there were questions asked of them.
The member for Etobicoke asked did we show the condominium federation the amendment. I thought I made that clear without specifically stating it. The answer is no, and I don’t apologize for that. We got it yesterday. I think I did acknowledge quite openly and honestly the initial response of the federation was that they would be quite prepared to pay for all of their fees and then have the ability to deduct any fees from their taxes.
Of course, that’s not the situation at all. That’s not what taxes are all about, as we all know. How would you, for example, arrive at how much of your road taxes paid for the specific 36 feet or 40 feet or 50 feet in front of your property, and) how much of it pays for the general maintenance of the road system that everybody uses practically every day within his municipality?
The same thing goes for the sewer system, the water system and so on. That is not the answer to the problem at all. I’m quite sure the federation would have liked it if we had suggested legislation that made it mandatory for municipal services at no cost at all. I acknowledge that quite openly and honestly.
At the same time, I think what we are saying is that the proposal we made was considered by responsible people even within the federation as a reasonable piece of legislation. Their main concern has been expressed on numerous occasions, and quite rightly -- and now I’m going to be answering partially one of the statements of the member for Carleton East. Municipal councils have denied requests for services, or even to talk about their services, because they did not have the legal authority to enter on those private lands and provide those services -- with or without fees. They did not have that authority.
Ms. Gigantes: There are agreements.
Mr. Ashe: Yes, many municipalities have entered into agreements -- there’s one municipality right in my own riding to be very honest -- but they did not really have the authority to do so. They now will have the authority to do so Those municipalities who have been using that as an excuse -- and quite rightly and legally so -- why they could not perform those services or enter into an agreement no longer have that excuse, because now they do have permission to sit down and negotiate a reasonable agreement with or without fees as they see fit, depending on the kind of service they are providing.
Mr. Swart: They don’t have to. They can still say the act doesn’t require it.
Mr. Ashe: Granted, the act does not require it.
I acknowledge with thanks the comments of the member for Waterloo North, because there is at least one other member, obviously supported by his party, who recognizes as I do that municipal councils on the average and on the whole in Ontario are a responsible group. He recognizes they do sit down and respond to responsible approaches to them. It’s just too bad the members of the third party do not acknowledge the kind of councils we do have in this province of ours.
The only time you can refer to the fact that you feel municipalities should have more decision-making processes and more decision-making ability is when it suits your purpose. But when we do give them the authority they rightly should have you try to abrogate that. You say, “No, we don’t think you’re responsible people; you must do it” -- not, “You have the ability to do it.” We think they have the ability to do it as well.
Mr. Swart: How about your bill last year? Took half of their pay away from them.
Mr. Deans: You’re being provocative.
Mr. Ashe: Never. I’m never provocative. Never. It would be the last thing that would ever enter my mind, Mr. Chairman, and you’re quite aware of that.
Mr. Deans: It doesn’t have to enter your mind. It happens automatically with you.
Ms. Gigantes: It’s a reflex action.
Mr. Ashe: I’m sure the honourable member didn’t anticipate I would respond to statements that may or may not have been made, because they’re not of my personal knowledge, in the election campaign in Carleton East. I’m not saying those statements were not made. I frankly don’t know.
As far as the various components and other recommendations, of which of course there are many within the Kealey report as referred to, again I can’t really respond on behalf of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. He is more than capable of responding on his own account to questions that would be put to him as to why he did or why he did not do something.
What will be the overseeing? Again, I think it is fair to say that there are enough members of this Legislature, either formally though contacts with municipal associations or organizations such as the Federation of Ontario Condominium Associations or as a result of our own knowledge of our own ridings, that if we see it is not being treated responsibly, we will all be made very aware of it. I am sure there are such members in the third party and in the official opposition, as well as in the government party.
Ms. Gigantes: New amendments in six months?
Mr. Ashe: If and when that happens -- frankly, I don’t think it will -- we will be very happy to respond accordingly to take care of the problem, which at the moment does not exist.
Mr. Haggerty: I want some further clarification of this whole section as well as of the amendment.
I was on a municipal council a few years ago, and we entered into a number of agreements with property owners who owned private roads. Council always put in one stipulation when signing such agreements, that we would not be liable for any damages done.
If you look at this particular section, you’re asking municipalities to go in to remove mow from a private laneway that might be only 10 feet or 12 feet wide. Since normal snow removal equipment wouldn’t be able to get in there, they might have to buy special equipment to remove that snow.
I would like to see a clause added here saying that the municipality would not be held liable. I suggest that is missing in this particular clause and even in the proposed amendment put forward by the member for Welland-Thorold.
I think there’s a possibility that the municipalities could be penalized for damages done. It could be a case where an owner or a tenant of a building says: “You didn’t provide snow removal, and I slipped and fell.” This proposed clause could put quite a responsibility on a local municipality.
I suggest a no-liability clause should be attached to this section of the bill.
Mr. Chairman: Is the member talking to the amendment?
Mr. Ashe: I don’t think he really is, Mr. Chairman. But, if you like, I can respond to it at this time, while the question is uppermost in the minds of the committee. This was considered very seriously. It was felt that this exclusion should not be put in. As a mailer of fact, that’s part of the negotiating process.
I think it’s safe to say that if a condominium is having a service done now by a private contractor, for example, in snow removal, that that particular contractor weighs his liability in the contract he negotiates. I would suggest that the same thing holds true with a municipality. Why should the condominium not have the same protection or be aware of it? It shouldn’t be an automatic exclusion. It’s part of the negotiation.
I would also suggest that, with a legal agreement, any liability insurance coverage that a municipality has -- and I don’t know any that don’t have it -- would cover them adequately. Again, that’s why they pay the premium.
What I’m saying is, I’m sure if they agree to enter into a contract that provides no fees, or a very nominal fee, they may very well wish to include a no-liability clause, in which event the condominium corporation will be very aware that responsibility is theirs.
On the other side of the coin, if they are going to provide a service equal to what is there now, and it’s going to be on any kind of fee-for-service or recovery fee basis, why shouldn’t they have the same liability as a private contractor would provide?
I think we have to think of the protection on both sides. But we do not think it’s right to have an automatic exclusion of liability.
Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Chairman, the reason I bring this --
Mr. Chairman: Order. I think we’re straying a bit from the amendment. I with the honourable members would keep their comments to the amendment placed by Mr. Swart.
All those in favour of Mr. Swart’s amendment will please say “aye.”
All those opposed will say “nay.”
In my opinion the nays have it.
Mr. Chairman: Is there anything further on section 4?
Mr. Swart: Yes, Mr. Chairman, I want to deal with page seven of the bill, paragraph 113. If anyone else has anything ahead of that time I will be pleased to sit down.
Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Chairman, I want to go back to section 4. I raised a question about the clause “no liability clause should be attached to the bill.” The reason I mention this is, if I can recall, for insurance purposes under the Municipal Act you are only permitted to use equipment on municipal-owned roads. Unless the act has been changed I suggest that the parliamentary assistant should check into that particular clause or that section of it, because I’m sure the insurance company does not apply to private roads, that’s municipal insurance.
Mr. Philip: Just say yes.
Mr. Ashe: As I understand it, there is coverage any place where the municipal equipment would legally be. Under this situation, if they have a legal agreement they are there legally, so the liability insurance would not contain an exclusion for that area. Before we go on, I have an amendment for page six.
Mr. Chairman: That’s section 4, subsection 3?
Mr. Ashe: Clause B of subclause (i) of clause (g) of subparagraph (ii) of paragraph 112 of subsection 1 and so on. It’s in the same subsection 4 of section 4 but it’s on page six. It’s (g) at the bottom of page six.
The unfortunate part, if you will, of this amendment is that it really is three separate amendments on one motion, because it involves the same section, albeit different subsections, one of which is on page six of the present bill and two are on page eight. So if I can introduce the whole amendment and then we can possibly deal with this part of it and then move on at your discretion.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Ashe moves that subsection B of subclause (i) of clause (g) of subparagraph (ii) of paragraph 112 of subsection 1 of section 354 of the act as set out in subsection 4 of section 4 of the bill be amended by striking out “land” in the fourth line and inserting in lieu thereof the word “unit.”
Mr. Ashe: Would you like me to introduce the others that are on the same page, Mr. Chairman, or just stop at that point?
Mr. Chairman: I think we should handle one at a time.
Mr. Ashe: Okay. This is the word change, substituting the word “unit” for the word “land,” that came as a suggested recommendation from the condominium federation and we think it’s a very reasonable and positive type of change so we’re happy to change it.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Chairman: And your next further amendments?
Mr. Ashe: I think Mr. Swart’s would precede it.
Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, I want to refer to that clause 113 that I’ve already mentioned at the bottom of page seven. I’m wondering if the parliamentary assistant -- I’m going to be very brief here -- would be willing to exempt “wheeled vehicles used for farm purposes” from that clause? I have an amendment ready to put, but it seems reasonable that farm equipment is exempt under the Highway Traffic Act. It seems to me that the municipality should not have the right to license farm equipment.
Mr. Ashe: I think the member is on page eight. There are other amendments on page eight as well, not page seven. I realize the section starts on seven but where you are speaking to it would be on page eight. Is that correct?
Mr. Swart: I was reading the first paragraph of 113, the fourth line of which is over on the next page. That is where my amendment is, which after “Highway Traffic Act” would say “and a wheeled vehicle used for fanning purposes.” It is right in the very first paragraph of that section.
Mr. Chairman: It is an addition to the first line on page eight?
Mr. Warner: That’s correct.
Mr. Swart: I shall move it if it will speed things up.
Mr. Chairman: I think it would simplify things if you would at least table that.
Mr. Swart moves that paragraph 113 of section 354(1) of the act as set out in section 4(4) of the bill be amended by adding after “act” in the fourth line the words “and a wheeled vehicle used for farming purposes.”
Mr. Swart: I’m sure that makes it all perfectly clear to everyone.
Mr. Ashe: Could I clarify the intent of this section, to start with, and suggest then that the amendment won’t serve the purpose as perceived by the member? This particular section, I am advised, really is for nonmotorized vehicles, namely, a bicycle. If you can think of wheeled vehicles used for farming purposes that aren’t motorized that are like a bicycle, that’s fine; but, that really is what this section is about.
Mr. Swart: There are things such as wagons used extensively on the farm and other vehicles that aren’t motorized. In my reading of the act, this would apply to them. Therefore, it seems to me that we should accept it.
Mr. Epp: I am sympathetic to the amendment. I am not sure whether it is necessary or not. I am not sure whether the House is clear as to what the parliamentary assistant really intended with his comments. Is he going to support the amendment or is he not going to support the amendment?
Mr. Ashe: Under the basis of the additional description of what the member for Welland-Thorold was attempting to get at, namely, the type of vehicle that normally would be drawn by a tractor or something is a wheeled vehicle without motorization within itself, we have no problem with the amendment.
Mr. J. Reed: On a point of clarification, we are talking about non-motorized vehicles here. It seems that the municipalities now have the power to license bicycles. What is new about that?
Mr. Swart: They are changing the fees. If you read the bill, they are really changing the fee schedule under this act.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Ashe moves that clause (a) of paragraph 113a of subsection 1 of section 354 of the act as set out in said subsection 4 be amended by striking out “or” at the end of subclause (iii), by inserting “or” at the end of subclause (iv) and by adding thereto the following subclause (v): the vehicle is licensed by another vehicle under a bylaw passed under this paragraph.
Mr. Ashe: Some concern was brought forward that it implied that there could be multiple licensing of the same vehicle. We are saying that is not the case. There shall be one licence and one licence only. That’s the reason for the addition of clause (v).
Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Chairman, I have another amendment which I think would significantly change that one and I think they should be on the floor at the same time.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: You have an amendment to the amendment?
Mr. Sweeney: Another amendment altogether.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: If you have an amendment to the amendment, I can receive it. If you have another amendment I cannot take it until we deal with this one.
Mr. Philip: Mr. Chairman, I can accept this amendment. However, I do so with a certain amount of reluctance, not because I accept the amendment but because I would feel much more comfortable if the whole section were deleted. It seems to me that many of us have argued in this House that municipal licensing of any vehicles that move, just does not seem to work in this province. That is true whether you are talking about licence plate licensing or whether you are talking about licensing under the Public Commercial Vehicles Act or the Public Vehicles Act. It has been fairly clear that economic, and in this case, recreational boundaries are quite dissimilar from the municipal boundaries and therefore only provincial licensing makes sense.
Certainly, this amendment is necessary if this section is going to be kept in the bill. Why go through all the contortions of exempting a vehicle that is licensed in one municipality? Why not issue a provincial licence that will apply to all of these vehicles and cut out all of this nonsense and duplication?
A lot of people will not know one licence then may be used in another jurisdiction. You are going to have to do a whole education program out there to show certain municipalities that somebody else’s licence, in fact, is acceptable in their municipality. Why not simply have one provincial licence for a vehicle of this nature and cut out all of these contortions the minister has gone through to patch up what is obviously a fault in his bill?
Mr. Epp: Mr. Chairman, just on a point of order: As the member for Etobicoke has spoken to the whole part, I am just wondering whether we could keep this particular amendment in abeyance pending discussion on the whole section. We very much feel there are some other matters in this whole thing that should be discussed, including some of the things that have been alluded to by the member for Etobicoke and some that my colleague, the member for Kitchener-Wilmot, wants to speak to. I would hope you would be gracious and kind enough, Mr. Chairman, to let us deal with this whole section rather than with one particular part in this amendment at this time, because some of the discussion hinges on whether we should support that particular amendment or not.
Mr. Swart: I am rising on a point of order. I just say to the people on the right that they should have been up before that amendment was put, because it should have come ahead. We have an amendment on the floor. May I suggest we can deal with that amendment. We still have the right to delete, which I think is the intent, but if it stays, then I think it is beneficial to the whole section. I suggest we deal with this, with no more discussion on it. Mr. Chairman, take a vote on this and the other amendment will still be in order.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: I point out to the members of the House we are dealing with 4(4). I have an amendment by the parliamentary assistant which we are discussing. Although I can only take one amendment at a time, in the discussion of the amendment a member could indicate what other amendment he may be putting in the future in the debate. As long as the discussions relate to the general subject we can deal, although not in voting, with other intents in the same section.
Mr. J. Reed: I would like to speak to the amendment, Mr. Chairman. As I understand the amendment put forward by the parliamentary assistant, and I hope he will signify as to whether I understand this amendment properly, the intention of it is to provide one municipal licence which would be acceptable and applicable in any other municipality in Ontario. Is that the intent?
I would like to ask the parliamentary assistant how a licence issued by one jurisdiction can accept the bylaws of another jurisdiction? For instance, if I obtain a municipal licence in Halton, and I use my off-road vehicle in Haliburton, whose bylaws am I subjected to? Am I, as a Halton licensee, imposing the bylaws of Halton on Haliburton, or am I, as a Halton licensee, expected to accept the bylaws of Haliburton?
It seems to me there is an area here that is pretty muddy and is made even more muddy by this technique that the parliamentary assistant considered would be a simplification. It seems to me that it complicates the matter.
I just want to say in regard to this section that this omnibus bill was introduced a total of seven days ago. I am not sure how much discussion the government has had with various members of the public, with municipalities and with industry and so on in order to arrive at something that is fair and equitable. I can’t really see, first of all, how this section is going to provide a satisfactory answer to the obvious problem, and secondly, how the amendment to it is going to simplify it. Whose laws are going to prevail?
Mr. Ashe: Mr. Chairman, responding to the last couple of comments and questions, I think the key item here is why this section is here at all. I think that is really the underlying concern, if you will, that is in the minds of many members of the committee. What it is really is nothing to do with the licensing in a revenue sense or in a control sense in the way of, “you shall operate your vehicle this way or that way.” That is really not what we are talking about at all. There are already rules and regulations on how to operate vehicles and how not to, I suppose.
What this is for in some municipalities, and I would suggest it is not in all municipalities within the province of Ontario; that is why until this point of time there has not been any great demand in a general way for provincial licensing or provincial registration that we have been made aware of. Maybe that is something that should be looked at if it is perceived to be a province-wide situation.
I am sure that if the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) is so advised, he and his people would look into it, because I would suggest any form of even central registry, whether it be licensing or not, would probably he handled by that particular ministry.
What we are talking about is, in many municipalities where there is a problem within parts of a municipality in many instances, often in ravines, often in the extremities of some of the more passive-type parks particularly, where you have certain motor vehicles, sometimes your dune buggy type, your small mini-motorbike type, where they are going helter-skelter all over the place, they can’t be caught in a physical sense by the bylaw enforcement officer or by the police for obvious reasons, and at the same time they cannot be identified.
People have been detrimentally affected within the municipalities and have been after their municipal council saying, “Get after this problem.” The response is: “We can’t. Our police can’t catch them and we don’t know who they are.” So the request for this is on the basis of identification, that there will be a point of saying: “Okay, we can’t catch this fellow, but somebody is going to see who it is who has licence number XYZ,” and they will be able to track down ownership of that particular vehicle.
So that is the main basis behind it and the thrust behind it, again permissive, for those municipalities that perceive they have a problem. This is what they have been asking for on behalf of their constituents that they feel they can solve their problem with, at least to the degree of identification.
Now in terms of bylaws, again I don’t think that is particularly relevant. All we are saying here with the one and one only, is that a municipality may not ask somebody to purchase a second licence if they already have one. It really has nothing to do with a particular municipality in which you are operating. The question is simply: Do you have an identification tag issued by Halton or do you have an identification tag issued by -- whoever? That is the only question. It has nothing to do with differences in municipalities.
Granted, there could be some confusion when checking back, with regard to rationalizing where the licence was issued. I acknowledge that as a possibility. But there will be no conflict as to whose jurisdiction will apply in terms of conflicting bylaws.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: In reply to a point of order by the member for Welland-Thorold and the request by the member for Waterloo North, may I make a statement regarding the amendment put forward by the parliamentary assistant as a clause to 113a ( a). If that carries, or doesn’t carry I would then have to put the question: “Shall the clause carry?” At this point, the motion by the member for Kitchener-Wilmot to strike the whole clause out would be in order. Even though the clause has been added, it doesn’t carry the whole section. That motion would then be in order after the parliamentary assistant’s motion has been dealt with.
Mr. J. Reed: Thank you very much. I appreciate the intent of this section. I do. I understand the problem all too well in my own area. I understand that the responsible elements of the industry recognize the problem. They probably recognize it on a broader base than has been reported to the ministry. They do want to see it brought under control. But I would have to ask, with all respect; how in the world can you achieve this objective, if some vehicles are licensed and others are not? How in the world can you do that? It just doesn’t make sense that Halton, for instance, might choose to license its off-roads vehicles while Wellington might choose not to license them. How in the world can you even achieve the end, the tracing, the identification, and so on, when you have these deletions, these exemptions?
It does not apply, et cetera, et cetera, which means that someone can own an off-roads vehicle, can drive it legally under certain conditions without any licence whatsoever and then, at some point in time, use it once, twice or three times illegally in another situation? You are not achieving what you really intend to achieve. I can’t for the life of me understand that.
I was encouraged by one thing. That was the statement of the parliamentary assistant that you would consider a provincial registry for off-roads vehicles. We have introduced an amendment which would provide for that kind of registry. I am not referring to licensing here at all, but the kind of registry that is used for snow vehicles, for example, where a registration number is issued with the snow vehicle at the point of purchase. The owner is then required to go out and purchase or affix the number on the side of the snow vehicle, whether or not he elects to license the vehicle.
To me, that would serve a number of ends. It would not only assist in eliminating this obvious problem but it would also help the owners of these vehicles in case of theft, and so on. It would give them a better chance to trace lost vehicles.
I therefore would respectfully request that the parliamentary assistant give us an undertaking that the government will consider introducing a bill which might be entitled the Motorized Vehicles Act. It would be patterned after the Snow Vehicles Act, allowing for appropriate differences, of course, and that would solve the problem. Then we wouldn’t have to deal with what I consider to be ad hockery in this particular situation.
Mr. Ashe: I appreciate the very sincere concerns and questions brought forward by the member for Halton-Burlington and I am quite prepared to make the commitment, but I would suggest and have already suggested privately that the proposed amendment would be out of order to this particular piece of legislation, the Municipal Act. I would be very pleased to pass it on for review and consideration by the Minister of Transportation and Communications in whose purview I am sure this ultimately would be. I do understand we are not talking a licence, we are talking a central registry. I acknowledge and understand that. Yes, I would definitely be very happy to do that.
In the meantime, I would hope that the honourable members would support the clause before them so at least the municipalities have something to work with right now. I think we can appreciate that the time of the year is a problem. We are getting into new councils, policies for next year and so on and there are many municipal councils, from what I understand, waiting for this kind of authority for 1979. I think you will agree that there is no possible way that the Minister of Transportation and Communications can react to this kind of a request over the next two-day period by way of legislation. I think that’s understood and it’s only reasonable. But I would definitely make available to him through Hansard the discussions that have taken place on this particular issue as well as the amendment which isn’t before us as yet.
Mr. J. Reed: With all due respect, let me point out to the parliamentary assistant that it is now approaching winter. It is not summertime, it is the winter and trail bikes and mini-bikes and so on will not be the order of the day. Rather, snowmobiles will be, and there is an act for them. We have the time between now and March when the House sits again to prepare such an act and bring it in. It would create a total muddle if municipalities started to issue licences at the present time when we know there’s a better way. We have these months to do it and I think we should take advantage of that time to give some real responsible consideration to this.
Mr. Philip: With the greatest of respect for what the parliamentary assistant is trying to do, this ministry has let the Ministry of Transportation and Communications off the hook too many times. It was over a couple of years ago that the chairman of the transport hoard admitted that the municipal licensing of vehicles that move or transport goods such as those in the cartage industry or the tow trucks simply doesn’t work and we are still waiting for the minister to come out with some kind of provincial licensing for those vehicles.
My anxiety is, as much as I can understand what the parliamentary assistant and the ministry are trying to do, if we allow this ministry to let the Ministry of Transportation off the hook on this one, we will continue to have this kind of nonsense. At some point, somebody has to say, “No. We are not going to have any more.”
The municipal authorities inform me they don’t like municipal licensing of vehicles. It hasn’t worked. It isn’t working in the taxi industry either, another example you can look at. Municipal licensing of vehicles just doesn’t work and it’s about time this ministry said to the Minister of Transportation, “We are not going to do your work for you. It isn’t our job. Get on with the job and do what you are supposed to do, which is the regulation of vehicles that move in this province.
Mr. Bolan: I can understand what the problems are with respect to motorized vehicles such as mini-bikes and the like which are tearing around the province. However, with the greatest respect to the parliamentary assistant, he is going about it the wrong way and I won’t dwell any longer on that particular point other than to say this. Let us suppose we accept his principle that any municipality can give a licence and that the licence given by the municipality of say a city in southwestern Ontario is applicable to North Bay or Sudbury or Sault Ste. Marie.
First of all, where are the guidelines which that municipality must follow to issue that licence? Does it issue licences for certain motorbikes which have a certain weight, a certain force of motor or a certain diameter of tire? And is that the same type or regulation by which the municipality of North Bay might issue licences?
We may have opposing forces there, one against the other. One may have regulations for issuing a certain licence; others may not have similar regulations for issuing a certain licence. Why should one municipality be forced to comply with the issuance of a licence in another municipality? To me, that simply does not make any sense.
The best way out of the predicament we now find ourselves in is to issue a completely separate act, something like the act that governs snow machines and snowmobiles, with a central registry system, whereby each particular municipality can pass its own regulatory bylaws as they apply to the use of motorbikes and motorized vehicles in certain areas or parts of that municipality.
It worked very well with snow machines. I was on city council in North Bay when we had something to do with this. The people came in, there was an orderly discussion, and certain areas of the city were laid out for snowmobiling. There is no reason why the same can’t happen here. Don’t have one municipality foist its regulations, and whatever mechanism it may have for issuing a licence, on another municipality.
Mr. Warner: I will be brief, Mr. Chairman. Many of the points have been made. If there is a serious problem, and in many areas there is, and if the government recognizes that there is a serious problem, rather than approaching it piecemeal, surely it is more reasonable and sensible to approach it from a province-wide perspective that isn’t being attempted here.
Secondly, I’m surprised that before enacting such a change, which not only affects municipalities, but also affects residents and owners of those vehicles, the government didn’t bother to consider the other aspect; that is, the actual production or sales of those vehicles.
I understand the government didn’t bother to consult with the motorcycle and moped industry council, which obviously has a direct concern and may very well be prepared to consider a province-wide approach rather than the piecemeal municipal approach. They called me today. They were quite concerned that they hadn’t been consulted, and I am as well. I think the government is taking the wrong approach on this. I think the province-wide approach is more important.
Mr. Chairman, I have a question. The Deputy Chairman tried to outline through a point of order what the procedure will be. We have an amendment before us; I understand, whether that amendment is carried or not, that we then vote on the section. I refer to paragraph 113a, clause (a); we would be voting on that particular clause. Am I correct so far?
Mr. J. Reed: Subclauses (iii) and (iv).
Mr. Warner: No, the entire clause (a), if I understand correctly.
Mr. Chairman: It’s clause (a) of 113a. There’s an addition.
Mr. Warner: Right. Therefore, if that clause is defeated, then it would be in order to place an amendment to go in its stead. Am I correct in that?
Mr. Chairman: That was so ruled.
Mr. Ashe: Very briefly -- and I am not going to go over it all again -- I thought I had answered most of the points and concerns that were raised. The only one that I have to stress is that it is being misconstrued what the licensing is for. It is for identification; and whether you are in municipality A or municipality B, it really doesn’t matter. I would suggest in most cases the problems are caused by locally owned and operated vehicles, so I appreciate they can go elsewhere and in some cases they do go elsewhere. That’s not usually the problem unless there happen to be municipalities that come right together. Right there you have that kind of concern, but it’s not usually the type of situation where they’re licensed here and they’re going halfway across the province and causing a problem elsewhere.
The identification plus would still be there. As far as the motorcycle and moped council is concerned, no, we did not consult with it because motorcycles and mopeds aren’t covered. They are covered under other legislation and it is an obligation that they be licensed now. It’s true, we did not consult with them.
Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Ashe’s amendment will say “aye.”
All those opposed will say “nay.”
In my opinion the nays have it.
Mr. Deans: What’s happening here? Where are the five people?
Mr. Epp: Mr. Chairman, we are dealing with section 113a and it’s my opinion that what most of the members have addressed themselves to shows that this section does not adequately address itself to the broader problem that some of these regulations should be dealt with by the province. I am going to move that we delete section 113a.
Mr. J. Reed: You may as well put in (b) and (c) while you’re at it.
Mr. J. Reed: Oh, I see.
Mr. Chairman: Is the member writing out the amendment?
Mr. Epp: Yes.
Mr. Ashe: In the meantime, I appreciate you cannot accept another amendment yet, but may I advise the House, as the critics of the opposition parties are already aware, we did have a further amendment which would be known as 113a, section (d), that further clarified this same section. I’m afraid we’re getting in a position where we could end up with either no section -- and that’s fine if that’s the will of the House -- or end up with a section that we feel isn’t as good as it could be because there was an amendment not dealt with.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Epp moves that section 113a be deleted.
Mr. Warner: The entire section?
Mr. Chairman: The complete section. Any comments?
Mr. Swart: I think I’d better rise, first, on a point of order, to determine exactly what they mean by 113a. The motion is obviously not clear. I presume he means all parts of section 113a as set out in subsection 4 of the bill. Is that what is meant? This would be on page 8. It would delete it from 113a down to subsection 5. Is that what is interpreted? I think we should bow what you’re talking about. It’s not clear.
Mr. J. Reed: I think that’s the intent of it, Mel.
Mr. Chairman: Order. Would the member for Waterloo North clarify that?
Mr. Epp: Yes, the amendment includes 113a, which would include subsections (a), (b) and (c).
Mr. Swart: I’m going to support this amendment to delete this whole section The arguments that have been put forward on this side of the House, members in this party and members in that party, don’t need to be repeated. We just simply think that there should be provincial licensing. The section does not really meet the other problem which is as great for municipalities, or greater, that is, the problem of being able to determine where these vehicles may travel within the municipalities. It’s under the snowmobile act. There municipalities do have the power. They do not have the power under this bill as it is written.
It deals with licensing, bet it deals with it on an ad hoc basis because it doesn’t require municipalities to license them, and some will and some won’t. Perhaps a majority will not license these frail bikes or mini-bikes. They should be licensed at the provincial level or registered which perhaps is better than licensing. They should be registered at that level. Then the municipality should have the power to determine where they shall travel and what hours they shall be allowed to operate and so on. This bill doesn’t deal properly with either of those.
If the section is going to stay in, I say to the parliamentary assistant that we have another amendment too, which we think would have improved it and which would have provided that a bylaw could include a section which could designate parts of the municipality where these motorized vehicles could travel.
However, I think it’s much better to deal first with the whole principle of whether we delete this section. Then, if it’s not deleted, we can go on and make the amendments. Otherwise, we’re going to debate everything twice. I would just add my words to the words of my colleagues in this party in saying that this simply does not meet the needs and in fact, will probably cause more problems than it will bring benefits if it is passed. We will be supporting the amendment to delete.
Mr. J. Reed: In speaking in support of the motion of my colleague, I just want to clarify the record. We support provincial registration. I think the member who spoke just ahead of me actually was referring to the same thing, a provincial registry. It’s our view that what has to happen here is the introduction of what would be called a motorized vehicles act to be the correct solution to this problem.
Mr. Ashe: Would you read the amendment please, Mr. Chairman? I’m not quite sure that it does what it’s supposed to do.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Epp has moved that paragraph 113a be deleted. That includes clauses (a), (b) and (c).
Mr. Ashe: May I respectfully suggest the wording as suggested by legislative counsel? I’m not speaking for or against it when I put this forward’. With the approval of the mover, since it would not be my moving, I move that “paragraph 113a of section 354(1) of the act as set out in section 4(4) of the bill be struck out.” Legislative counsel suggests that’s the way in which what the honourable member is trying to accomplish could be accomplished.
If I may, I would like to pass that on for his consideration.
Mr. Chairman: Would Mr. Epp be in agreement to change the amendment to read “that paragraph 113a of section 354(1) of the act as set out in section 4(4) of the bill be struck out.”
Motion agreed to,
Mr. Sweeney: With that section now deleted, I am moving that we introduce a section to take its place, which would read as follows:
1. The owner of every motorized vehicle shall register it with the department of transport before driving it or causing or permitting it to be driven and shall pay to the department a fee for the registration thereof and for the number plate thereof.
2. That the minister shall issue or cause to be issued for each motorized vehicle so registered a numbered permit stating that the motorized vehicle is registered and shall cause the name of the owner, his address and the number of his permit to be entered in a book to be kept for that purpose.
3. Every motorized vehicle, while being driven, shall have attached to and exposed in the front thereof in a conspicuous position a number plate furnished by the department showing in plain figures the number of the permit issued for the current year or any part thereof.
4. That the council of a local municipality may pass bylaws, regulating or governing the operation of motorized vehicles within the municipality.
May I speak to it, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. Chairman: Just a moment. On listening to the amendment, first of all, in subsection 1 the member refers to the department of transport. I don’t think there is such a thing.
Mr. Sweeney: Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
Mr. Chairman: Transportation.
Mr. Ashe: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order: May I respectfully suggest for your consideration that this amendment should be ruled out of order. It is not related to the principle of anything in this bill. The provincial registry cannot be said to have anything to do with the Municipal Act. The amendment thence is out of order for this piece of legislation. I think it’s fine to bring forth such a suggestion for the consideration of the government at the appropriate time and in the appropriate place and to the appropriate ministry. But I would suggest the Municipal Act is not the appropriate place and this obviously then is not the appropriate time, and it is out of order to this legislation.
Mr. Sweeney: May I speak to it?
Mr. Chairman, as I understood the purpose of the section that has now been deleted, and as I listened to the parliamentary assistant just a few minutes back, the two key problems we’re dealing with in the view of the municipalities are a means of identification and the right of municipalities to pass bylaws to regulate the operation of such vehicles in their areas. That is precisely the intent of this motion. It does both of those things.
It may very well be the parliamentary assistant believes this same intent would be served better in soma other area and I think it’s appropriate for him to say so. However, I do think the section of the act we were speaking of before, which this is intended to replace, deals with basically the same issues.
I would also point out the same problem the parliamentary assistant described as the municipalities being concerned with is also a problem in my own area. The city of Kitchener :has forwarded to the ministry a resolution that there not be municipal licensing but there he some form of either provincial licensing or provincial registration.
So, once again, I would point out the intent, certainly -- and the wording is obviously open to be changed -- fulfils all the purposes which have been described, even by the parliamentary assistant himself. I would suggest it fulfils them much more appropriately than the section which has now been deleted or which has been proposed to be deleted.
Mr. Ashe: Mr. Chairman, I don’t dispute at all any points --
Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, are we not speaking on a point of order? Are you not going to rule on whether this is in order or out of order?
Mr. Chairman: I think the point was made that it was out of order.
Mr. Swart: Do you mean you should rule but we not have debate on it?
Mr. Ashe: I think that is exactly what is being done. I would suggest the member has given his point of view of why the point of order is not appropriate. I would suggest again, Mr. Chairman, I don’t deny any of the points that are made by the member in terms of the intent, and it may very well be an appropriate place to consider it. But once again I would suggest the Municipal Act, which is a form of legislation that gives authority to municipalities to do certain things, usually in a permissive way -- that subsections 1, 2 and 3 in that amendment are out of order to that legislation. In fact, the only part of it that could be conceived to be within the order of this House at this time is section 4.
Mr. Chairman: On reviewing this amendment, and according to standing order 86 that states that “Any bill, resolution, motion or address, the passage of which would impose a tax or specifically direct the allocation of public funds may not be passed by the House unless recommended by a message from the Lieutenant Governor, and may only be proposed by a minister of the crown,” I would have to state it is my view this type of obligation as presented in this amendment is not under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Act. The amendment is actually placing an obligation to collect the tax on another ministry and therefore I would have to rule this amendment out of order.
Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Chairman, I do not challenge your decision. May I ask the parliamentary assistant a question dealing with it then, if that is the case, on the basis of your decision? Is it appropriate for me not to challenge the decision, but to ask the parliamentary assistant a question as a result of your decision?
Mr. Chairman: The amendment is not before the committee as I ruled it out of order. I cannot stop the member from asking the parliamentary assistant a question in regard to the legislation before the committee.
Mr. Sweeney: Very neatly put. The point, obviously, I want to make is if, in fact, the deletion of this section carries, I believe the parliamentary assistant recognizes members in all three parties in the House are aware of the problem and the reason this section was put in. I believe the parliamentary assistant also realizes the decision to support the deletion is in no way intended to suggest we don’t recognize the problem, and we don’t want something done about it. I would therefore ask the parliamentary assistant that if in fact the deletion is successful, do we have his assurance to the best of his ability to give it to us at this time, that something along the lines of the motion which I have presented will in fact be brought to the attention of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications? Will he, through his ministry, his minister and at the urging of him and his minister to the Minister of Transportation and Communications assure me that such a bill would be brought forward? May we have that kind of assurance?
Mr. Ashe: Responding to the question from the member for Kitchener-Wilmot, yes,
I already made that commitment earlier to the member for Halton-Burlington. I would be happy to pass forward this suggestion along with the Hansard transcript of the relevant debate to the Minister of Transportation and Communications for his consideration. Obviously, I cannot in any way indicate what his reaction, positive or otherwise, will be. He will be made aware just through the transcript of the problem we are attempting to solve. Then it is within his ability to see whether it is possible to solve it in the way suggested or not.
As far as the section as it was proposed before is concerned, it is already deleted. We did not ask for a stacking of the vote. The section is already out. At the moment, as far as the municipalities are concerned, the problem is still with them.
Section 4, as amended, agreed to.
Section 5 agreed to.
On section 6:
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Stong moves that section 6 of the bill be amended by inserting after the word “Canada” in the 16th line the following: “or except where such conveyance is made to a destination in a municipality wherein the cab is validly licensed for conveyancing.”
Mr. Stong: Mr. Chairman, not two days ago the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) pointed his finger at the third party and said that the third party, if given the chance, would regulate the people of Ontario out of existence. The very section that we are dealing with here now regulates beyond control and eliminates some very legitimate business that exists in the peripheral area of the municipality of Toronto.
Under the section as it exists in the bill, a person who is a taxi driver or taxi owner, for instance -- and it is geared towards the taxi industry -- a person who would be bringing a fare into Toronto would be legitimately allowed to do so. However, a taxi which would be licensed in a municipality other than Toronto could not come into Toronto to pick lip a fare or pick up goods to deliver at a point outside of the Metropolitan Toronto area. That is a breach of a legitimate source of income for the taxi industry that exists on the peripheral area of the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto.
Some of the areas mostly affected are as follows: some of the school boards in the peripheral area, York county for instance, have a contract with taxi companies to transport some children with learning disabilities into special services and educational facilities in the Metropolitan Toronto area. There is absolutely no difficulty in transporting those children from Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan or Thornhill into the school.
However, when that same taxi driver would attend at 3:30 in the afternoon in Toronto to bring that child back home, that driver, if this section is allowed to pass, would also have to be licensed in the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto as well as the municipality which he was serving, whether it be Markham, Vaughan or Richmond Hill.
Likewise, a taxi driver who has a contract to pick up goods in Toronto and deliver in his own area to a company in that area would have to be licensed in Toronto to carry on a business which is legitimately carried on right now within a licence in Toronto.
So all this is doing is working a hardship on those drivers or those owners who are legitimately licensed in their own municipality and carry on one-way business from Toronto to their own areas. Their investment in their own business would, therefore, be jeopardized.
I move this amendment because it allows that same driver or owner to go into Toronto and bring back goods or passengers to the area, to a destination point in the municipality in which he was licensed. That is all it does. It allows him to go into the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto and come back into his own area and not have to be licensed by the city of Toronto to do so.
Mr. Warner: I feel quite elated to see this particular section, section 6 of the bill. I spent the best part of two and a half years trying to convince the ex-Treasurer, Mr. McKeough, that we should have some protection for the 8,000 cabs in Metro Toronto to try and stop the pirating that has been going on from Mississauga and Markham in particular. My question never got answered. It was always being studied. It was being studied. Something was going to happen and we never knew when.
This minister, the Honourable Tom Wells, has brought forward section 6 dealing with the cabs, and I appreciate it and applaud what he has done. I listened carefully to the remarks of my good colleague from York Centre, and I appreciate his concern about that particular circumstance involving cabs which are transporting youngsters with learning disabilities, or perhaps other youngsters, to special programs. The only suggestion I might have, Mr. Chairman, is that, if the government is willing, I certainly would be willing to look at an amendment. This would exempt cabs being used for educational purposes, where they have entered into a specific contract with the municipality or with the school board.
Obviously, no one in this assembly is going to deny transportation to a school person. No one here is going to do that. But the basic thrust of the legislation in front of us is to stop the pirating. That is exactly what it does, so I am prepared to support it for that very reason. As a matter of fact, I am a little sceptical as to whether or not the amendment put before us is actually in order. It may be in direct opposition to the intent and the principle of section 6(1)(b) as outlined in the bill. But I will be supporting section 6 (1)(b) as outlined in the bill.
Mr. Hodgson: I have thought twice about getting up and supporting the member for York Centre on this. His riding and my riding are both on the north side of Steeles and this will affect any action, as far as we are concerned, on the south side. I think in past years Metropolitan Toronto has shared in more protection, as well as the municipalities surrounding Metropolitan Toronto. We always seem to be the last one on the totem pole and this is one time I have to rise in favour of my colleague from York Centre. I think we both know what we are talking about.
Mr. Nixon: One of you does.
Mr. Hodgson: We have people’s livelihood at heart in that area. I have to support the member for York Centre.
Mr. Ashe: Mr. Chairman, let me make it really very clear -- and I am sure most of the honourable members know what we really are talking about with this section and with this amendment: the actual amendment puts back the status quo exactly as it is now. I am saying that, if we dealt with the section as it is, passing it or defeating it, it is silly to have legislation that repeats what is in effect now. That’s what would really happen if the amendment carried. The section, as amended, changes nothing. Let’s make that abundantly clear.
I think it is also safe to say that, if the taxi companies and the taxicab owners and operators from the surrounding municipalities -- this is true of any metropolitan area albeit the problem is greatest in and around Metropolitan Toronto -- they were all doing the very pious things that are being suggested, there would not be a problem.
The problem is this. Many cabs, particularly in the northern half or, being fair, the northern third of Metropolitan Toronto, are doing a great part of their day-to-day business in a municipality where they do not have valid licenses. With the amount of cost involved in a Metropolitan Toronto licence -- whether or not you think that is good or bad -- the livelihood of those people also is at stake. They have spent $30,000, or whatever to acquire a licence. But, in fact, they find that they have no protection for their investment because of the “pirating” from surrounding municipalities; that is, cabs doing business from point A to point B within the municipality. They are not really, as has been suggested, coming down on a complete round trip.
That is the way I would perceive the particular items suggested by the member for York Centre. That is really the issue. I would hope the committee would deal with it accordingly; that, come what may, they would defeat the amendment. Then they can vote accordingly on section 6 so that it remains within the bill; or vote against section 8 80 that it is deleted. But let’s not design legislation that recreates the wheel and says exactly the same thing that presently exists. I think that is redundant. We are looking for ways to cut down the amount of legislation, not repeat the same thing all over again.
Mr. Stong: If I may respond, of course this amendment is designed to protect the situation as it is now. What the parliamentary assistant is really saying is that there is no effective way to police the situation in Toronto, and in order to police the situation, which has proven ineffective, he is willing to take away the legitimate livelihood of those who have investments in their business just on the peripheral area of Toronto.
When you are talking about transporting children, the school hoards are very jealous of and guard very carefully what drivers they have to transport these children, and they make sure the same driver is on that route each day and every day while that child goes to school, to protect the interests of the children.
This will destroy that and destroy the investment. If the weakness is in policing, let’s look to some other way to police this pirating that goes on. I haven’t seen any statistics and I don’t know how many cases have gone through the courts. The real weakness is in policing, but what this will do is, in order to effectively stop pirating, which you have indicated, you are cutting off the livelihood of legitimate business and that is improper and ought not to be allowed in this House.
Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, I rise not so much to speak on the pros or cons of this amendment as to state the fact that I don’t think the amendment states what is taking place in the debate, if I may he so bold as to question something that a lawyer has submitted.
Mr. Nixon: You are not supporting this? It is a very reasonable amendment and you are not supporting it?
Mr. Swart: I am saying, Mr. Chairman, if the amendment passes as is, I don’t know what it will mean in any event because you are excepting from the provisions, including provisions for establishing fares or rates, for limiting the number of cabs, you are excepting fares, number of cabs, et cetera, from one licensed municipality to another licensed municipality. They may pick up from a non-licensed municipality and come back, but that is not what this amendment says at all.
I would think if there is to be an amendment to this it should apply to the owners and drivers of cabs and in the conveyance of goods and passengers to any point within the municipality to any point outside the municipality and from any point outside the municipality to any point inside the municipality. I think that is what you are really trying to do, but this doesn’t say that and I am very confused by this amendment, and if I may say so, I am rightly confused.
It seems to me that here, once again, in licensing we adopt a very parochial point of view. We say every municipality shall have its boundaries as the area in which a cab can operate. The principle in Toronto applies perhaps even more so out in many other municipalities across this province where you have, if I may draw the example of St. Catharines and Thorold, each municipality there limited to the boundaries. That would make a rather absurd situation.
However, I am very conscious of the situation, having lived in Toronto, the breaking of the law, the difficulty because of the present legislation, the breaking down of the legislation, having practically no meaning, and undoubtedly it would be easier to enforce if you prevent any pickups in one municipality or the other.
I would like to see a broader form again of the province taking some responsibility for establishing an area where licences would be issued, but until that time I think we are going to have to stick to the boundaries of the local municipalities.
Mr. Ashe: Very briefly, Mr. Chairman, just to assure the House that consultation has taken place in the past and will continue to take place --
Mr. Ashe: -- with the cab industry both inside and outside Metro, and if there are other problems brought to our attention we will try to address ourselves to them.
Mr. Chairman: Shall the amendment carry? All those in favour will say “aye.”
All those opposed will say “nay.”
In my opinion the nays have it.
Section 6 agreed to.
Sections 7 to 11, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 12:
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Ashe moves that section 391(2) of the act, as set out in section 12 of the bill, be amended by striking out clause (a) and substituting the following therefor:
“(a) the members of a school board.”
Motion agreed to.
Section 12, as amended, agreed to.
On section 13:
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Ashe moves that section 13(1) of the bill be amended by inserting “of a municipality or a local board thereof after “council” in the fifth line. He further moves that section 13(2) of the bill be amended by striking out “subsection 1” in the first line and inserting in lieu thereof “this act or the Municipal Amendment Act, 1978, being chapter 32.”
Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, there is one question I would like to ask the parliamentary assistant. It would be my understanding that this amendment and this section would not circumvent the legislation which was passed last spring and with which I and my party disagreed, whereby municipal councils could only pay themselves eleven-twelfths of their salary for last year because they only had 11 months. This does not circumvent that, I understand, in my reading of this amendment. I wish it did, but it does not circumvent that, does it?
Mr. Ashe: Mr. Chairman, that assumption is correct. This does not circumvent that.
Motion agreed to.
Section 13, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 14 to 20, inclusive, agreed to.
Bill 195, as amended, reported.
MINING TAX AMENDMENT ACT
Consideration of Bill 29, An Act to amend the Mining Tax Act, 1972.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Chairman, if there is no comment on section 1, I have five amendments. The first one is for section 2.
Mr. Nixon: You are wasting time.
On section 1:
Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Chairman, because of the complexity of the act, I wonder if the minister could explain the effect these amendments are having. It’s difficult enough to understand the bill without the amendments, let alone with the amendments. I wonder if I could ask his indulgence to give us a sort of blow-by-blow description on them.
Section 1 agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Chairman, I would be delighted to explain all five of the amendments at once, because I am told they are legal housekeeping.
Mr. Chairman: It probably would be best if the minister did it section by section.
Hon. Mr. Auld: It won’t take long, I trust.
On section 2:
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Auld moves that section 3(3)(k)(iii) of the act, as set out in section 2(2) of the bill, be amended by striking out “equal to” in the eighth line and inserting in lieu thereof “not exceeding.”
Hon. Mr. Auld: The purpose of that, again, is legal housekeeping. The legal people say that is preferable because it allows something less than equal to” if that was necessary.
Mr. T. P. Reid: The minister seems to me the soul of clarity, if not wit.
Mr. Nixon: He is joining two ridings.
Mr. T. P. Reid: We don’t have any problems with this not exceeding and equal to business. I wonder if the minister could indulge me a bit. We’re dealing with section 2 of the bill and -- we’ll support the amendment -- but I am concerned in that I made certain statements yesterday in regard to the operating and maintenance costs of social assets.
I made the statement, which I won’t repeat, that I felt in providing incentive it might be only fair and equitable for mining companies, with the exception of Elliot Lake, but particularly for new ventures and even for some of the older ones to which, as I think the minister will agree, are marginal operations financially and profitably, if he would consider amending section 2 of the bill to allow depreciation costs. If the minister is not prepared to go that far, perhaps he would allow at least some of the depreciation costs of these social assets, whether it be housing or not.
I am not going to repeat at great length what I said yesterday. The Quetico Centre had a study on getting and keeping manpower in northwestern Ontario, and the same in northeastern Ontario. One of the matters they focused on and found difficulty facing people staying in these communities -- and I think of Ignace, also in my riding -- was an adequate supply of housing such as might be found in other centres. It seems to me that if we are going to provide housing at a reasonable cost in the northern communities we should be encouraging mining companies to provide these social assets of housing and recreation facilities, and perhaps medical and dental clinics. They should be able to deduct these and depreciate them as normal costs of doing business, as almost any other enterprise is entitled to do.
Hon. Mr. Auld: The estimated cost to the Treasury of the changes that we are proposing in the amendments -- not the amendments to the amendments but the amendments to the act -- is something in the order of $1 million. As I said yesterday, there is not a great effect on existing mines because in many places the social assets involved, or most of them, have become municipal operations or have been written off, even though they were not depreciated.
The question of going to the extent the honourable member suggests would certainly be helpful, but the cost of that would be in the tens of millions of dollars. The position of the government at the moment is that we aren’t prepared to go that far. I think I also said there may well be some other changes in the mining taxation field in general, which the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) would be dealing with at an appropriate time. It is fair to say that the government would like to be able to do a little more in incentives, but we haven’t reached any conclusion as to what other things we might do as yet.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I am extremely disappointed in the response that I got to my question on the Order Paper in regard to the committee the Premier (Mr. Davis) announced with great fanfare, set up to study the financial position and continuing future of mining communities in northern Ontario. The minister hasn’t said anything here that makes me more optimistic.
I would have hoped you would have been able to tell me how much it was going to cost and what the benefits would be. I recall that Union Miniere, I believe that is the name of the company in Pickle Lake, had to provide almost all the services for the opening of that mine. I’m not against the mining companies having to pay and I don’t think they were, but they should be entitled to depreciate those assets, particularly if they’re also required to pay all or a large portion of the costs of what most of the rest of Ontario takes to be services provided by government, such as medical-dental facilities, sewer and water facilities and all the rest of it.
If they’re providing these services, then the taxpayers of the province as a whole do not have to pay for them. It seems to me that the benefit to both the people in that community, and the general revenues and expenditures of the province, weighs more heavily in favour of allowing these mining companies to deduct a reasonable rate of depreciation for these social assets rather than having the general taxpayers of the province pay the full shot and amortize them over 25 or 30 years.
Hon. Mr. Auld: The answer to the honourable member’s question, which was also his question on the Order Paper, is somewhere in the mail. I would assume the House leader would have it tomorrow and it would probably be tabled tomorrow.
Mr. T. P. Reid: No, it was tabled today. It is not satisfactory.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I thought it was tabled very well.
Mr. Nixon: Excellent, the royal mail.
Mr. T. P. Reid: It was well-tabled; the answer was not satisfactory.
Hon. Mr. Auld: I take it all back then. The mail service is even better than I thought, because I only sent it to you today.
Mr. Foulds: Bob Welch for postmaster general.
Mr. Ruston: Carry on.
Hon. Mr. Auld: The honourable member has to remember, though, that we are talking about the mining tax, which is not the entire tax that a mining company pays. We’re talking in some cases about a substantial levy and in other cases a not very heavy levy on a mine compared with some of the other taxes which they do pay and for which they can deduct certain costs.
Mr. Chairman: Is the motion agreed to?
Mr. Haggerty: I just wanted to ask one question on the depreciation of equipment. Does this apply to Canadian-made equipment? I understand that many of these mining companies will be buying foreign equipment. They have in the past. I suggest if we’re going to have a program to buy Canadian you should encourage it, in that if it’s Canadian we allow the depreciation.
Hon. Mr. Auld: My understanding is that the depreciation involved here would be on equipment no matter from whence it came. In the mining business there is certainly an opportunity for more Canadian production of certain kinds of equipment, but the potential for production of other kinds, I’m informed, is very small. There’s not a large production run. There aren’t a lot of many of the items of equipment made. That’s one of the reasons there is a good deal of imported mining equipment used here.
There are some fields, trucks and that sort of thing, where there is a good deal of Canadian production or Canadian assembly of partially Canadian and partially imported components.
The federal government, both Energy, Mines and Resources, and Industry, Trade and Commerce have been looking at this. We’ll have some input, as has the Ministry of Industry and Tourism. There are some fields where there is an opportunity for Canadian production; in others it is unlikely. One comes to mind -- the big shovels used at Syncrude; I can’t remember the figure at the moment but they are very expensive. I think there are two of them and they cost several millions of dollars. In that kind of thing -- there are perhaps only one or two others in the country -- there are many dollars involved, but there just isn’t the market in Canada, or perhaps even Canada and the US, to make it worthwhile to get into production.
Mr. Haggerty: During our discussions on the Inco and Falconbridge layoffs some of the witnesses who gave testimony thought that more Ontario mines could be buying Canadian mining equipment. That technology is there. I’m just suggesting that you should be giving a better write-off if the equipment is bought in Canada or in the province of Ontario, for the depreciation allowance.
Motion agreed to.
Section 2, as amended, agreed to.
On section 3:
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Hon. Mr. Auld moves that clause (c) of subsection 1 of section 3(a) of the act, as set out in section 3 of the bill, be amended by inserting after “council” in the third line, “subsequent to the 31st day of December 1977 and.”
Hon. Mr. Auld: The purpose of that is to be precise in what contract is being excluded. I understand that Hydro had an old contract in 1966, with either Denison or Rio Algom, and that contract is excluded from the effect of this section.
Mr. Foulds: I have one comment on the entire clause-by-clause debate, and I might as well make it at this time, in the interest of time and in the interest of getting Bill 70 on the decks at least this afternoon. It is interesting that this amendment and the entire section 3 excludes the uranium contracts signed by Ontario Hydro. I suspect the reason for that lucrativeness of those contracts to the mines in Elliot Lake, to Rio Algom and to Denison, embarrasses even the government.
The government couldn’t give two giveaways to these two companies by giving the giveaways included in this bill and the giveaway in signing the contract that they have. I would just like to make that one comment that this section allows the government to make only one giveaway, which was a bad contract that they approved with Hydro and the uranium mines because it would have been cheaper for the people of Ontario to buy both those mines to supply the uranium to Ontario Hydro.
While I’m on my feet I just want to make the point that it is interesting that the Liberal spokesmen on this bill are even farther to the right than the government in terms of the tax breaks they would like to give to the mining corporations.
Mr. T. P. Reid: The honourable member who just spoke, obviously wasn’t here yesterday to hear his party’s critic speak.
Mr. Foulds: Oh, yes.
Mr. Nixon: You missed the point again.
Mr. T. P. Reid: The NDP has never been noted for its knowledge of how the economy works or how investment works, so it’s not worth replying to it.
Hon. Mr. Auld: I would like to take one minute to say that contrary to what the honourable member said about giveaways, what we are doing is avoiding duplication.
Mr. Foulds: Avoiding duplication of giveaways.
Motion agreed to.
Section 3, as amended, agreed to.
Section 4 agreed to.
On section 5:
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Hon. Mr. Auld moves that section 7 (a) of the act, as set out in section 5 of the bill, be amended by striking out “or other subject of tax” in the third line.
Hon. Mr. Auld: It’s an administrative action and it requires the mine to file a return so that the assessment can be made properly. If it didn’t make a profit at the end of processing et cetera it would otherwise not have to file a return.
Motion agreed to.
Section 5, as amended, agreed to.
Section 6 agreed to.
On section 7.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Hon. Mr. Auld moves that section 7 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor:
“7. Section 15 of the said act is amended by adding thereto the following subsection:
“(4a) Every person who wilfully fails to comply with this act at the time provided,
“(a) by failing to make a payment of tax under section 2;
“(b) by making payment of tax under section 2 that is an unreasonable estimate of the tax payable by him or is a deliberately underestimated amount of the tax payable by him; or
“(c) by failing to file a return as required by section 6,
“is liable to a penalty of 10 per cent of the amount by which the amount of tax payable, as shown in the notice of assessment sent under section 7, exceeds the amount of tax, if any, paid under section 2, and such additional amount shall for all purposes be deemed to be a tax payable under this act.”
Hon. Mr. Auld: The explanation for this is that most payments are made in advance of filing a complete return. This is to ensure that payments are made as required, which is annually. It gives the power to get the full information from the mine. In other words, it should prevent people from sending, say 10 per cent of the actual amount payable and then arguing for a year or two and avoiding making proper payments within the time that is allotted.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Yesterday we went over how complicated this act is. We also brought to light the fact that the mine assessor is four or five years behind in sending out the tax assessment bills to the various mining companies. We didn’t get a commitment from the minister that he would be moving to simplify these rules and regulations in legislation in regard to mining tax in the province. He didn’t address himself to that at all.
I just wonder about the methodology of all of this. Perhaps he could explain it. Does the tax assessor send out his best guess as to what they owe and then they’re supposed to remit that amount. Then, five years later, he’ll say, “Here’s your actual tax bill;” and if they’re not within the limits as expressed in the amendment they’re liable to a penalty of 10 per cent.
Hon. Mr. Auld: The assessor can’t send out the final assessment until he has received a return. What this does is provide a penalty if when they send their final return, they have only sent a very small portion of the tax which obviously should be payable. I agree that it does seem to be a complicated system but it’s really not that complicated to those who deal with it. What we are attempting to do here -- and I hope with success -- is to plug some of the loopholes so that some of the arguments that have been going on back and forth, and which have delayed final assessment, will now be resolved and some of these somewhat obscure points will be clarified.
Motion agreed to.
Section 7, as amended, agreed to.
Section 8 agreed to.
On section 9:
Hon. Mr. Auld: Here’s the biggie.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Hon. Mr. Auld moves that section 9(2) of the hill be amended by striking out “9th” in the second line and inserting in lieu thereof “10th.”
Hon. Mr. Auld: There is an explanation. The budget was on April 9, but the tax started at midnight, which was the 10th.
Mr. Foulds: I would like to mention that, much as I regret it, this commemorates my birthday.
Motion agreed to.
Section 9, as amended, agreed to. Bill 29, as amended, reported.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT
Consideration of Bill 70, The Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1978.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: I would like to move amendments, but would it be in order, Mr. Chairman, for me to make some opening remarks?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Yes.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: In a few moments, we will be commencing clause-by-clause debate on Bill 70. I sincerely hope we are close to the final stages of what may be called a legislative odyssey begun some 15 months ago by my predecessor, Miss Stephenson, to whom much credit must be given for the bill which is now before us.
Mr. T. P. Reid: And the delays.
Mr. Martel: Should never have said that.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Without her commitment and without her determination, it is no exaggeration to say there would not be any Bill 70.
Credit, I think, must also be given to Dr. James Ham, whose royal commission report on the health and safety of workers in mines sewed as the inspiration for the main features of this legislation: First, the consolidation and reconciliation within one bill of the principal features of the four major statutes which until now have constituted the occupational health and safety laws of Ontario; second, the creation in one ministry of an agency or division solely responsible for the administration and enforcement of occupational health and safety programs; thirdly, the promotion of the joint responsibility concept, the notion that while there must be a capacity in government to regulate, and in appropriate cases to enforce compliance, greater emphasis must be placed on promotion of participation and voluntary compliance, by both labour and management in accordance with program strategies which they themselves develop and manage.
As Dr. Ham pointed out, the responsibility system can only work when employees participate and when they are given responsibility. I believe the bill before the House today addresses this central problem in a number of ways which will be elaborated during the course of the debate.
It would be less than candid for me to pretend the end product which I shall shortly place before this Legislature has been arrived at easily. There is unlikely to be unanimity about the delicate balance we have attempted to achieve between the regulatory, coercive, punitive aspects on the one hand -- what academics refer to as the “command and control approach” -- and on the other hand those aspects which encourage, promote and exhort self-designed voluntary reform and improvement.
I should be surprised but not disappointed if there was to be total agreement as to the scope of coverage, but I believe the amendments I propose to move on this issue are fully justified. I suspect, as well, that some will not agree on every aspect of our approach to mandatory health and safety committees, and the way in which we have dealt with the difficult and complex problem of the right to refuse to perform unsafe work. This is a right, I might say, which has existed at common law for years and in varying forms in the legislation which is now to be consolidated in Bill 70. However, I will be contending during the debate that the codification which the government proposes in this connection is consistent, is sensible and is workable. Most important, I think it provides the appropriate procedural mechanisms for those cases where there are disputes as to the exercise of the right.
These then are several of the areas in which I suspect there will be meaningful debate, although I hope I might be permitted to express the hope the debate will not be unnecessarily prolonged.
In general then, I believe the bill which I will ask members to support expresses a broad-based community consensus on what is needed at this time to encourage and promote healthier and safer work places in Ontario.
If I might be permitted one other comment by way of introduction, we in Ontario had the benefit of watching the development of health and safety legislation in the United States since 1970. As we move towards the final enactment of our legislation, I think we can benefit from certain aspects of the United States experience. Much has been written about the act establishing occupational health and safety -- some of it positive, some of it negative. From these writings and from these analyses, certain key questions emerge. For example: How valid is their basic assumption that the essence of the problem lies in the control of easily identifiable and preventable hazards? Can those hazards be detected by relatively cursory and intermittent inspections? What is the correct budgetary balance between funds allocated to compliance and enforcement activities as opposed to research, identification and remedial programs?
I believe that most jurisdictions have tended to underestimate and underfund research and identification issues as well as the need to disseminate information essential to the regulation of the more subtle and uncertain health hazards, particularly those involving long-term exposure to toxic chemicals and irritants.
That concern is, I hope, reflected in the importance of the Advisory Council on Occupational Health and Occupational Safety, which is given statutory recognition in Bill 70, as well as the occupational health branch and the special studies and services branch within the ministry.
When I read that approximately 75 per cent of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s budget goes towards compliance and enforcement, I frankly worry about the thrust of that particular program. It is that sort of imbalance which I think we must attempt to avoid as we move towards the joint responsibility approach enunciated by Professor Ham and endorsed by my predecessor.
When the dust of the debate has settled, I hope we can all agree that we have made a very good beginning and that we can move ahead to solve the urgent and difficult problems before us.
On section 1:
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Does the member for Windsor-Sandwich wish to speak to the section or to make a general statement?
Mr. Bounsall: I won’t make a general statement at this time. I suppose it is a query. I assume the minister is moving his amendments to each section, one by one; or, in the case of section 1, where there are several amendments, at least all those under section 1.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: The bill we are working on is the bill as adopted by the resources development committee; the minister has given notice of a series of amendments, and they will be taken one at a time.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Shall I move the amendments now, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: One at a time.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order: Are you going to proceed with the bill section by section, starting with section 1? I haven’t looked at the minister’s amendments; so I don’t know If his amendment deals with section 1. I just want to know if it is going to go through point by point.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: We will deal with the bill section by section, starting with section 1, the definition section. The minister has given notice of an amendment to amend a number of sections; I will take it as one amendment unless there is an objection, in which case I will take them one at a time on section 1.
Hon. Mr. Elgie moves that paragraph 2 of section 1 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor:
“‘competent person’ means a person who
“(i) is qualified because of his knowledge, training and experience to organize the work and its performance,
“(ii) is familiar with the provisions of this act and the regulations that apply to the work, and
“(iii) has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health and safety in the work place.”
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Frankly, Mr. Chairman, this is an amendment suggested by legislative counsel to tidy up some language in the section.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Would the minister like to proceed with all the amendments to section 1? Is there any objection to doing section 1 as one amendment?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: I am not quite sure how you want to do it. Do you want to go through each paragraph?
Mr. Martel: I think it would probably go faster if we went right down the paragraphs and dealt with them. Otherwise, it is going to become rather confusing.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: You moved that one amendment, Mr. Minister. Any further discussion on that amendment? Shall the amendment carry? Carried.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, do you then want to move to paragraph 3, to which I have no amendments?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: No, Mr. Minister, you have moved the first part of your amendment to section 1. I gather you have three different amendments to section 1, the definition section.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Chairman, before we get too far let’s try and clarify what we are going to do. If we have gone through section 1, I am not sure what the next item is on which there is an amendment, but would you call the items in between. I think that is the best way.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: I would point out to the honourable members that I have notice from the honourable minister that there are three separate amendments to section 1. He has put the first one only. I wonder if the minister wishes to put the next amendment to section 1. Would you read the next one?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Whatever is most convenient and most logical.
Mr. Martel: I think we should just go through it clause by clause.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: The House leader of the NDP has suggested that we take each subsection as it presents.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Right.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: I think that is probably a reasonable way to handle it, then I can propose amendments as we get to that subsection.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Do we want to deal with each paragraph of section 1 as we go? All right. We have dealt with paragraph 2; shall paragraphs 3 through 12 carry?
Hon. Mr. Elgie moves that paragraph 13 of section 1 be amended by inserting after the word “factory” in the second line the word “arena.”
Hon. Mr. Elgie: The reason for this, Mr. Chairman, is the definition of industrial establishment here is amended to add the word “arena” because under the Industrial Safety Act, 1971, an arena was included in the definition of a shop. At the time Bill 70 was introduced it was believed that the building code would cover existing arenas in the province under regulations being worked out. It now appears that this will not be accomplished for some considerable time. The amendment is intended to fill the gap that will exist until the regulations under the building code are effective.
Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Chairman, I may have been a little slow, I had a question the minister might be able to answer for me. I am not sure whether it comes here or whether it really would have come under paragraph 10 of section 1.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: I would ask the honourable member, can we deal first with this amendment and then I will take your question.
Mr. Mackenzie: It’s on the amendment.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Is it on this amendment?
Mr. Mackenzie: Yes, it is on the amendment, although I am not sure it is in the proper place. What I am really concerned with is how you define the meat-cutting operation, for example, in a Dominion store?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, I have inquired specifically of legal counsel about that. It was indicated to me that the meat-cutting portion of a Dominion store would be a factory.
Mr. Bounsall: Very briefly on the same line, dealing with the definition of industrial establishment, that same sort of question, do the unloading bays and the warehouse portion of any establishment, such as a Dominion store, any retail outlet, fall under the definition of industrial establishment in paragraph 13, the amendment we are on; or does it fall under factory in paragraph 10?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, once again, I asked our counsel what his view was on that and it was his view that the loading bay would be considered a factory area.
Mr. Bounsall: And a warehouse?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: And a warehouse, as well. Mr. Deputy Chairman: Shall the amendment carry? Carried.
Paragraphs 14 to 27, inclusive, are carried.
Hon. Mr. Elgie moves that paragraph 28 be struck out and the following substituted therefor: “‘Work place’ means any land, premises, location or thing at, upon, in or near which a worker works.”
Mr. Bounsall: Just a very brief comment:
In comparing this definition of work place as proposed by the minister to the one that came out of committee, it strikes me that work place as more generally defined by the minister’s amendment does in fact cover everything, and perhaps even more widely than did the rather more detailed establishment by establishment definition, including things like vehicles and aircraft that were included in the wording under paragraph 28 in the old bill before us. I would just ask the minister, was it intended to include everything that was under the old 28 in its more general wording and, in fact, anything that might have been left out under the old 28?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: We felt that in being so specific, as we had been in the old definition, we might well overlook some site or some area, and thus the more general language was substituted for the specific. For instance, I think the word “location” has such a broad definition it is difficult for me to imagine it doesn’t encompass everything that was included in the old definition.
I might refer the member to section 8(14), which would allow a minister to resolve any dispute about what a work place was in terms of mandatory committees, so it is clear we are endeavouring to cover everything there plus any other possibilities that may arise.
Mr. Haggerty: I want to speak on section 28 as it relates to “work place includes any site, location, space or water.” I suppose, as I look at that, that means perhaps you are looking at the nuclear plants in Ontario and the water there that would be covered under that. But what happens when you come to a vessel? I am talking about a steamship or a motor vessel. I don’t see that mentioned here, and this relates to where you have persons employed in an industry that does marine repair work.
They could be out in Lake Superior or some place like that, but it doesn’t say “vessels” in here. It almost covers everything and I was just wondering, should it be that steamship vessels or motor vessels should be included in here?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: I will ask counsel for a thorough briefing on that in a few moments, but I would think offhand it is covered.
I am sorry, I am advised by counsel that steamships out on the water are under federal jurisdiction. While they are in dock is a different matter, I guess.
Mr. Haggerty: The reason I raised that question is that you are going to have a con file of interest in this particular area here. I have worked in the trade and this is why I am interested in it. You could be under the Employment Standards Act for the province of Ontario, you could be licensed as a qualified millwright or technician or a welder, but then you tell me that if they get on a vessel it comes under federal jurisdiction. There seemed to be an overlapping of jurisdiction here and I thought perhaps it should be clarified in one particular area.
I know the federal government has moved in the area of an occupational health act too and it may exclude that, I don’t know, but it should be included under the provisions here.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: With all due respect, it would be interesting to redebate the rationale for the British North America Act and the division of powers, but I am afraid the act does exist and that power over waterways does fall into the federal domain. There is health and safety legislation in the federal government legislative document. So I can do nothing about that.
Mr. Haggerty: Aircraft is mentioned too, which comes under federal jurisdiction. As my colleague said, aircraft is mentioned there and here you again have the overlapping of jurisdiction. If you have included aircraft, why not have steamship vessels?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: I am sure the member well knows, there are several areas where there is constitutional controversy, let alone airports and the waterways, but it nevertheless remains a fact it will be unconstitutional for this Legislature to pass legislation purporting to deal in those areas.
Mr. Foulds: I would just like to ask the minister a question as a follow-up to the questions raised by the member for Erie. I would assume, however, that if a ship were in drydock for repair, where extensive repairs take place, the workers on the vessel in drydock would, in fact, be covered by the act.
Mr. Haggerty: It doesn’t even have to be in drydock; just laid up.
Mr. Bounsall: Before the minister replies, maybe we can get a reply on this whole area, Mr. Chairman. The same thing strikes me with respect to aircraft. When they are in the air, are they covered by this act, and if not, are they covered when they are en the ground and undergoing any repairs on the ground?
It’s the same thing with respect to trains. I am not at all sure where we are in this. Are the workers covered or not covered when the trains are in motion? Again, there’s a federal jurisdiction in that transportation area. Are the workers on a train in a repair shop -- the roundhouse, the repair shop area, covered while they are working? Perhaps we could get that whole transportation area cleared up. In motion they are not covered, but in any sort of stationary location are the workers covered?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, it would be interesting for me to try and resolve where the constitutional issues fall and where each worker is affected. Now I will endeavour to have counsel provide me with that information but at the moment that’s all I can supply.
Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Chairman, let’s get past this particular section and let the minister have ample time to bring in some further information on the questions raised by the member.
Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Minister, I am assuming that the wording now does cover the situation, but I just wanted to be specific because in at least the last two debates on this particular section, the issue of the brewery workers was raised, It concerned the problems and their accident rate when they were on delivery. Previously they were covered only in the warehouse or in the actual work place where they were employed. I presume now they are covered when they are out delivering to a club or hotel, whether it be barrels or cases?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, I was advised, when I made inquiries about this during my review of the act, that it would now cover those people.
Mr. O’Neil: Adding to what the member for Windsor-Sandwich mentioned about the expansion on this definition, we are quite pleased with the way it reads. As was mentioned there was quite a bit of discussion when the bill went to committee. I think this has given us the coverage we were looking for.
Mr. Bounsall: There is one other area about which I wish to be assured. I think it was covered, at least in committee it was clear that it was covered under paragraph 28 as it came forward from the committee. It’s a question and a problem in the same area the member for Hamilton East raised. It concerns the plant guards at a given industrial location who are ordered out from time to time to direct traffic on the street. Under the old Bill 139, they were not covered while they were on the street. If I recall, I think the definition of “work place” under the present act would cover those workers, if they were ordered into the street by the company to direct traffic. I just want to be assured that the proposed new definition when it says “any, land, premises, locution near which a worker works” covers that plant security worker who, from time to time or occasionally, is ordered out into the street to direct traffic.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, I am advised by that gentleman, once referred to euphemistically by the member for Scarborough West as the “Cheshire cat,” that they would be covered.
Mr. Chairman: Any further comments on the amendment to paragraph 28? Shall the amendment carry?
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Elgie moves that paragraph 29 of section 1 be struck out and the following substituted therefor:
“Worker means a person who performs work or supply of services for monetary compensation, but this does not include,
“(1) an inmate of a correctional institute or like institution or facility who participates inside the institution or facility in a work project or rehabilitation program.
“(2) a patient who participates in a work or rehabilitation program at a psychiatric institution, mental health or retardation centre or a home, or rehabilitation facility.”
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, just by way of explanation: In the ease of inmates it was felt by staff, and I concur, that these people are wards of the state. As such there is already a duty imposed on those who have such inmates in their custody, and I remind you in custody for criminal offences against society, to look after their wellbeing.
If I could refer to some of the legal thought in that area, I am advised in the case of Timm v. R.,  1 Ex.C.R. 174 that “the duty owed by prison authorities is to take reasonable care for the safety of prisoners; as, for example, if a guard orders a prisoner to perform an act involving danger or a risk of injury to a prisoner, there is liability.” And I refer to 12, Can. Abr. (2nd) 473, to substantiate that. There is similar case law supporting that principle.
This duty to take reasonable care for the safety of prisoners extends not only to the acts or work they are directed to do, but also to the safety of the premises, the equipment they are directed to use, and so forth.
An inmate who has a grievance can complain to the superintendent of the institution, to the Ministry of Correctional Services, and then to the director of inmate inquiry and appeal. There is, of course, following the exhaustion of these steps, the Ombudsman.
In the case of the psychiatric and other patients, such facilities are regulated under a great variety of legislation at present. For example, the Developmental Services Act, 1974. Under this act broad regulatory powers are given with respect to the equipment and facilities of such an institution. Those persons who are not patients within the institution -- and I stress this -- are not patients within the institution, but who are living in society and who work in sheltered workshops are not within this exclusion.
Mr. Haggerty: I want to deal with the amendment, particularly as it relates to “an inmate of a correctional institution, or like institution or facility who participates inside the institution or facility in a work project or rehabilitation program.”
This could be in in conflict with the Minister of Correctional Services, who now has a program of going out in the communities to use these persons who have been incarcerated in community work projects. It could cause you some difficulties in this particular area. They are going out providing a service and if there is an injury, because there could be an injury involved, they should be covered under that. If not, then I think you are going to have to make some provisions that when they go out and work in the community they are covered under this bill.
The other area on clause (b), relating to the psychiatric hospital, institution, or mental hospital, I think we can pretty well agree with that. I think it is good psychology here that some of these persons need this type of work involvement. But in the first one, I would bring to your attention that you may have problems in this area.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: There are several situations in areas such as the one you have raised that might confront the minister. For instance, in Guelph I understand there is an abattoir on the premises. But that abattoir is by contractual agreement considered to be quite separate from the prison grounds and the workers in such a facility, because it is more or less a voluntary rehabilitation pro.. gram, would be covered.
But I have to tell you that inmates who are out on the sort of projects the previous Minister of Correctional Services had in mind, are still considered to be part of the institution. The Correctional Services officers have simply extended theft control out into another area, and they would not be covered.
Mr. Bounsall: I have an amendment in this area that would cover those workers and reverse the intent of this section.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Bounsall moves that the amendment proposed to paragraph 29 of section 1 be amended by deleting the words “but does not include” in the third line and substituting therefor “and includes.”
Mr. Bounsall: This reverses the intent of this amendment so that inmates of correctional institutions who receive monetary compensation, and those patients in a rehabilitation work program from any of your institutions -- mental health, retardation or psychiatric institutions -- when they are performing in those sheltered work places and who receive monetary compensation, which they usually do, should have all of the safety and health protection of this act.
It was informative of the minister to clear up the point that in the abattoir in Guelph, which is sort of considered separate from the institution, those inmates working in that abattoir would be covered. I have some real concerns about those inmates who, as announced by the former Minister of Correctional Services, the member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea) would be paid something in addition to their normal rate for being out on those work projects. So they do come under the classification in this amendment of monetary compensation and those workers should be covered.
Whatever regulations you have and whatever onus is put on the guards to ensure those workers work in a safe environment, the nature of the work projects which the former Minister of Correctional Services had in mind, and which we understand will be carried forward by the present minister, is going to be widespread and various. The guards who would be supervising them on those work projects -- and I assume there will be no one else but those guards -- are not necessarily going to be experts in that particular kind of work being performed out there by the inmates under their control and therefore not particularly informed as to the safest way of doing that work which the inmates have been asked to perform outside the walls of the institution.
In fact, there may be an inmate performing that duty who has more expertise than the person supervising in terms of that particular work, and as a result he may well be able to point out the fact that the particular work being performed is not safe in a given aspect of it. Rather than having to go through the procedure which the minister has cited of complaining to the guard, through whom the complaint finds its way to the director of the institution and finally finds its way to the Ombudsman, if there’s a problem he should have the right to say: “Look, the way we are doing this work that we’ve been assigned, for which we’re being paid some additional remuneration, is not safe. Let’s have a safety inspector in to have a look at it.”
That’s a much quicker procedure, rather than having the complaint going up the chain, as indicated, and finally ending up with the Ombudsman, in an area in which we do need safety and in which the particular supervisor, in the form of a guard, may not be very expert.
The inmate bringing to the attention of the guard supervising him on that work project that it’s unsafe may well I be dealing with a supervisor who is not a supervisor as defined under this act, one who is really knowledgeable in the health and safety considerations of that particular work endeavour, and would be quite willing, when the matter is brought to his attention, not knowing precisely how to correct it, to have a labour ministry official brought in, not to actually determine that it’s unsafe so much as to advise the supervisor, the guard, what the safest way is to perform that particular work activity.
I think it’s very necessary. I don’t think it will happen very often, but here again we don’t know the magnitude and scope of the different and various types of work projects that inmates will find themselves on outside the institutional walls.
Mr. Martel: Especially under the present Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. Walker.)
Mr. Bounsall: We cannot expect the guards who would be their supervisors to be experts on the many and various different types of programs they’re likely to find themselves in.
I think those inmate workers should have the right, particularly if some of them have more expertise than the guard supervising them, to call in the Ministry of Labour inspector for confirmation that it is unsafe the way they’re going about it, or for the advice which that inspector would be able to tender, both to himself and the guard supervisor, on the bust way to perform that job safely.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the committee of the whole House reported two bills with amendments and progress on a third.
The following bills were given third reading on motion:
Bill 29, An Act to amend the Mining Tax Act, 1972.
Bill 195, An Act to amend the Municipal Act.
CITY OF WINDSOR
Mr. Ruston, on behalf of Mr. B. Newman, moved second reading of Bill Pr30, An Act respecting the City of Windsor.
Motion agreed to.
Third reading also agreed to on motion.
TOWN OF WHITCHURCH-STOUFFVILLE ACT
Mr. Hennessy, on behalf of Mr. Hodgson, moved second reading of Bill Pr44, An Act respecting the Corporation of the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville.
Motion agreed to.
Third reading also agreed to on motion.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the House adjourned at 6:03 p.m.