The House met at 10 a.m.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
ONTARIO-QUEBEC INSURANCE AGREEMENT
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, two days ago I announced that we had reached an agreement with the province of Quebec to extend insurance protection to Ontario drivers involved in accidents in our sister province. I would now like to outline some of the details of that plan.
The broad principle of the agreement is that Quebec will look after its own residents involved in automobile accidents while Ontario insurers will look after Ontario-insured residents. To this end, Ontario will amend its current accident benefits coverage in the standard automobile policy used by all insurers to add supplemental coverage for Ontario motorists involved in accidents in Quebec. This added coverage will guarantee that Ontario residents, as well as spouses or dependants, will be reimbursed for bodily injury or death, just as if they were Quebec residents.
In return, the Quebec Automobile Insurance Board waives all of its rights to take action against an Ontario-insured person who is at fault in a Quebec accident.
The agreement is not based on statistical data because none is available. However, our best estimate is that as a result of the settlement the cost of accidents in Quebec involving Ontario-insured drivers will be split 50-50 between Ontario insurers and Quebec.
There is an additional benefit for Ontario insurers. First, they are guaranteed that their Ontario insurer will pay up to the level permitted by Quebec law. However, the Quebec plan only pays loss of earnings up to 90 per cent of $18,000. We have prescribed that Ontario accident benefits will be payable in addition to that. That means that an individual earning in excess of $18,000 and involved in an accident in Quebec may receive up to an additional $140 per week based, of course, on actual earnings.
The program is not expected to cost Ontario insureds extra because claims paid under Ontario no-fault benefits should be offset by a reduction in the claims against the third party liability portion of the policy. However, since insurance costs are actuarily based, increased travel in Quebec and increases in the number of accidents in Quebec involving Ontario residents could increase the costs somewhat in the future.
The Quebec automobile insurance plan is a social welfare plan which gives the public certain statutory rights to claim. It is similar to our Workmen’s Compensation Board legislation and it eliminates entirely the concept of a suit against the at-fault driver.
Under the Quebec plan claims for such things as pain and suffering, loss of expectation of enjoyment of life, dismemberment and physical or emotional impairment are determined on a formula which provides a maximum payment of $20,000. In short, there is no provision for tort.
However, we do not intend to limit the right of recovery by Quebec residents for accidents in Ontario. Ontario has never distinguished between residents and non-residents and Quebeckers will continue to have the right to sue in Ontario courts.
The essence of the agreement is that we in Ontario are treating our Quebec visitors to Ontario just the same as our residents. Quebec is treating its Ontario visitors the same as its own residents.
The agreement will be implemented as soon as we can make the required amendment to our regulations. I hope that this can be done by the start of the new year, although I am unable at this time to make a firm commitment on that.
This agreement is fair and equitable and was reached during long and amicable negotiations between the superintendent of insurance for Ontario, Mr. Murray Thompson, and the president of the Quebec Automobile Insurance Board, Mr. Robert de Coster. We believe this agreement is a precedent in Canada and will be viewed favourably as a format for other negotiations. We are offering our assistance to the other provinces and to our American neighbours in their negotiations with Quebec. We are confident that they will receive the same co-operation and mutual understanding that we have encountered with the province of Quebec.
Viewed overall, this is indisputably a better deal for insured Ontario motorists who travel in Quebec. Our people are guaranteed full payment to the extent permitted under Quebec law without deduction for their own negligence. At the same time Ontarians will enjoy the additional benefits of Ontario accident coverage, again on a no-fault basis.
Mr. Speaker, I think I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that at this very moment in the province of Quebec my counterpart, Madame Fayette, has started a press conference to acquaint the residents of Quebec with this type of agreement.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I would like to announce that my ministry has reached an agreement with Cottman Transmission of Canada Limited. An assurance of voluntary compliance under the Business Practices Act has been signed by Cottman and my staff.
Under the terms of the document, Cottman agrees to:
1. Revise sales practices and provide full disclosure of the service package and prices before removing a transmission from a consumer’s car.
2. Employ experts capable of diagnosing transmission problems, not just salesmen.
3. Commit staff and financial resources towards the establishment of an industry complaint-handling body.
4. Respond to all existing and future consumer complaints.
This agreement between my ministry and Cottman in no way affects outstanding charges against the company. I want to assure the people in this province that we will continue to monitor the entire transmission industry to ensure that the consumers get a fair deal.
Cottman Transmission is the first franchiser to come to an agreement with my ministry and it is hoped that others will follow suit shortly.
Mr. Speaker, I just want to say a few words regarding a publication in the newspaper this morning. In no way, shape or form does this agreement involve only minor changes in Cottman’s operations. I am going to table today and I will send to every member exactly what they signed. I will tell you, Mr. Speaker, Cottman surrendered. They not only surrendered, they surrendered unconditionally. I want to extend to the members of this House and to the gallery --
Mr. T. P. Reid: Whatever you say, General Custer!
An hon. member: General MacArthur -- “I shall return.”
Hon. Mr. Drea: I never have to return.
I want to extend to the members of this House and to the gallery that we are going to continue our ghost-car operations on Cottman and by appointment, so we don’t inconvenience you, Mr. Speaker, you can ride in the front seat while we police them. Because in no way, shape or form, notwithstanding the fact that I respect death-bed conversions, the problem is that quite often on the death bed the patient recovers and forgets.
SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BENEFITS INCREASE
Hon. Mr. Norton: In view of the plans to prorogue the House today and the likelihood that it will not resume for a couple of months, I would like to advise the House of changes to the income maintenance programs of my ministry which will come into effect during that period of time. I am pleased to say that the cabinet has approved an additional annual expenditure of approximately $33 million to increase by about six per cent the allowance that is being paid to family benefits clients and to those who receive general welfare assistance.
The increase in allowance to recipients under the Family Benefits Act program will be shown in the cheques issued at the end of January 1979 and increases to GWA recipients will be reflected in cheques issued at the beginning of February 1979. More than 175,000 recipients and their dependants will be affected by this. In addition to the general rate increase, back-to-school allowances will increase from $25 to $30 for children aged four to 12 and from $50 to $60 for children aged 13 years and over.
Three distinct and important reforms to our administration of the Family Benefits Act will take effect the first day of 1979. The first reform affects our benefits for the families of severely handicapped children. The basic eligibility of families who make application for benefits to meet the extraordinary needs of a severely handicapped child living at home will be decided by a system which focuses more directly and more generously on family income than has been the case in the past. The precise amount of the entitlement, which may vary from $25 to $150 per child, will be determined from an assessment of the actual and extraordinary needs of each particular child.
Our use of family income as a fundamental criterion of eligibility represents an aspect of our effort to help families identify for themselves whether they may qualify for assistance. Also, clients of my ministry who presently are receiving a maintenance allowance benefit under the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Act will, as of January 1, 1979, be integrated into the disability provision of the Family Benefits Act. Eligibility for a full Gains-D entitlement will increase significantly the allowances available to handicapped persons in training programs.
Third, a significant administrative change will affect those recipients who are able to earn rental income from boarders in their homes. We shall no longer reduce allowances by a fixed percentage of rental income. We shall instead establish a flat rate system of chargebacks in amounts of $30 a month for boarders 18 years of age and older, $20 a month for boarders under 18 years and $20 for roomers of any age. This is a significant departure and one which I believe will be a positive incentive for the pursuit of additional income.
Adequate provision for the financial needs of those who must rely on public assistance has been a consistent source of concern to the government since I announced the most recent set of increases last year. It is a concern which I know is shared by the members of this House and by many others during a period of time when consumer prices continue to rise and when the economy is failing to grow at projected rates, causing revenue difficulties.
As a government we have felt a clear responsibility both to manage efficiently the province’s financial resources and to identify and continue to grapple with the needs of those citizens who are in need of assistance. My colleague, the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Maeck), made clear that commitment earlier this month when he discussed with the House the guaranteed income supplement to senior citizens. The government’s intention to ensure a pass-through of the additional allowance will be of direct benefit to aged people in this province.
The difficulties which face all people who must support themselves and their families on small fixed incomes are genuine and sometimes very pressing ones. I do not suggest that we can remedy those difficulties by these measures, but we can alleviate some of the harshest financial worries faced by recipients of social assistance.
The increases I have announced will help to do that. I can assure the House that I and the ministry will continue to monitor consistently the adequacy of our allowances and the needs which they attempt to satisfy.
CLINICAL FUNDING COMMISSION
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I shall be tabling the report in a few moments of the commission on clinical funding. The commissioner, the Honourable Mr. Justice Grange, was appointed to review the operation and administration of the clinical funding regulation under the Legal Aid Act.
The clinical funding regulation was passed in 1976 to provide a basis for the preservation of the then existing legal aid clinics. The regulation has since then provided the machinery for the funding and expansion throughout the province of some 30 community-based legal aid clinics. The development of legal aid clinics had reached the point where a thorough independent review was needed of whether the funding and administration of the clinical portion of the legal aid plan was appropriate.
Mr. Justice Grange was good enough to accept the appointment as commissioner to conduct the review. The commissioner has produced a report which is, in my view, excellent. It addresses quite openly and directly the major concerns and issues which have arisen in the clinical funding process. The commissioner has made a series of recommendations for the amendment of the clinical funding regulation. I am in general agreement with the bulk of the recommendations. A few matters, particularly the appointment and the composition of the clinical funding committee, will need some further examination before a final position can be taken.
The proposed changes to the present structure of the regulation are extensive. There is a real question as to whether it will be possible to achieve such an extensive restructuring of the present regulation and its administration before the end of the present funding cycle, which is about to begin with respect to the next fiscal year. A good deal will, of course, depend on the position of the law society as the development of new regulations is assigned by the Legal Aid Act to the law society, subject to the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
On the assumption that it will not be possible to achieve a complete restructuring before the next funding cycle, may I express the hope that the present members of the clinical funding committee will continue in their work until the new committee can be appointed and that they will, so far as possible under the present regulation, adopt, to the extent they can, the general approach recommended by the commissioner.
In expressing this hope, I am aware of the heavy burden assumed by members of the clinical funding committee. I would certainly join with Mr. Justice Grange in stating that the profession, the government, the clinics, and the public stand greatly in their debt.
May I, in conclusion, express my gratitude to Mr. Justice Grange for this excellent report, which will have a major impact on the future of legal aid in Ontario.
PROVINCIAL COURTS LEGISLATION
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: In a few minutes I shall be tabling the report of the former Chief Justice of Ontario, the Honourable G. A. Gale, concerning certain aspects of the Provincial Courts Act.
Ten years ago, in response to the recommendations contained in the McRuer report on civil rights, the Provincial Courts Act was passed. This act established an Ontario Judicial Council to advise the Attorney General on the appointment of provincial court judges and to deal at the primary level with complaints and allegations of judicial misbehaviour.
The work of the judicial council has been exceptionally valuable in performing these tasks and thus in maintaining respect for the judiciary and public confidence in the administration of justice. However, I felt that 10 years’ experience with the operation of the act afforded an excellent opportunity to undertake a review of the legislation.
On November 29, 1917, I asked the Honourable G. A. Gale to study the responsibilities and the functioning of the judicial council, with particular reference to the appointments and discipline of provincially-appointed judges. After consultation with interested parties and extensive comparative research, Mr. Gale has submitted his report on this difficult and sensitive topic.
The report recommends greater public involvement on the judicial council, through the appointment of more lay representatives to the council. It suggests no major changes in the procedures the council uses to review prospective judicial appointments. It does recommend that prospective appointees be qualified lawyers with at least five years of practice behind them.
On the subject of disciplinary procedures, the report makes a number of recommendations. It points out that the council’s role is to investigate and to advise and that this role must be clearly separated from formal inquiries and disciplinary decisions. It recommends that a formal recommendation from the judicial council should be a condition precedent to cabinet ordering a judicial inquiry into the behaviour of any judge.
The report recommends that part II of the Public Inquiries Act should apply to judicial council proceedings. It suggests that the judicial council should not be given express powers to reprimand judges since its responsibility is an advisory, not a disciplinary one. It recommends that the judicial council should be able to order that a judge be compensated for costs incurred during an investigation.
Finally, Mr. Gale advises against the provision of any formal rights of appeal from a judicial inquiry into misbehaviour by a judge, arguing that the final decision must rest with the Lieutenant Governor in Council, rather than the courts.
My staff and I are reviewing the report and will be discussing it with the judiciary. The quality of justice, of course, depends in no small measure on the quality of the judiciary. I am confident that the recommendations contained in the report will enhance even further the high esteem which the public has for the distinguished men and women who serve on the provincial bench.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, on November 28 the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman) questioned me about an unfortunate shooting incident on November 18 near Thessalon, as well as about the policy of the Ontario Provincial Police in regard to having two officers patrolling in each cruiser at night.
I have reviewed this matter with the commissioner of the OPP. I have been advised that the force’s existing, written policy provides discretionary authority to field personnel to use two-member patrol cars in unusual situations. In addition, it is mandatory that two officers respond to calls involving domestic disputes, occurrences where firearms or other offensive weapons are suspected of being used, or in disturbances in public drinking establishments.
This policy was put in place following discussions with the Ontario Provincial Police Association. During contract negotiations with the association in 1976, the association representatives proposed that two-man patrols be carried out in vehicles between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 a.m. the following day. This proposal was withdrawn in favour of a joint study of the situation by the force and the association.
This comprehensive survey revealed that, to institute two-officer patrols, the force would have to reduce the quality of investigations and response time. In addition, some services now provided would have to be eliminated and, in many areas, requests for police assistance would have to be answered on a priority system.
The study also suggested that to free up sufficient manpower, legislative changes would be required to limit reportable vehicle collisions to those involving personal injury.
It was further estimated that 1,200 additional constables would be required to implement the proposal, an increase of approximately one third in the size of the force. Based on 1975 costs, the expenditure for additional manpower and equipment would be well over $35 million in the first year.
The commissioner has further advised me that from experience the force does not generally regard persons in stolen cars as dangerous. In this regard, I will quote from his report to me:
“Usually, in cases where motor vehicles are stolen, the perpetrators of these offences are under 18 years of age and the vehicles are stolen as a prank or a means of transportation. We do not consider the arrests of these people potential violent confrontations. The shooting of provincial Constable Duffield was an isolated case which was unpredictable. Had Constable Duffield been accompanied by a second officer, there is no indication that the presence of an armed and dangerous person would have been detected.”
The member made reference in particular to police services in remote or rural areas. I am pleased to advise him that the government has recently committed $13 million for a vastly improved communications system for the OPP. This will be in operation in the next fiscal year and will substantially improve the ability of the force to respond.
BODY SEARCHES BY POLICE
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: The member for London North (Mr. Van Horne) posed questions relating to the search of certain individuals by members of the Ontario Provincial Police on July 20, 1978. The member indicated that the suspects were ordered to get out of their motor vehicle --
Mr. Sargent: Write him a letter and tell him about it.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- and made to strip on the side of a public highway in order that a body search could be carried out. At the time I indicated that I did not think this was the normal procedure and that it would be unusual that such a search would be warranted. 1 have now had an opportunity of inquiring into the circumstances surrounding the incident the member has described.
I must say that his short description of the circumstances surrounding the search does not fully and properly describe the event in question, according to the information that has been provided to me by the Ontario Provincial Police.
The relevant charges have now been disposed of, so I can indicate there is no question in my mind that the police officers who stopped the motor vehicle and questioned the three occupants had reasonable and probable grounds to search both the automobile and the occupants. It should be noted that the traffic at the time was quite light and the automobile stopped in a remote area with no residences nearby. The place of the search was apparently a gravel road which was not normally heavily travelled, except on weekends.
It should be noted that the individuals who were searched were stopped at about 8 o’clock on a Thursday night. The three individuals who were searched were each searched separately. They were asked to step behind a police cruiser so they would be out of sight, should a motor vehicle pass by. Two of the three individuals consented to the search. It should be noted that at no time were any of the individuals required to remove all of their clothing. The individuals were asked to lower their trousers and undergarments and responded. As a result of this search marijuana was found on their persons.
Mr. Nixon: That ought to make the headlines.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: As I indicated earlier, I feel that it should not be normal procedure to require that individuals remove any part of their clothing in public view and that every effort should be made to see that this does not take place --
Mr. Roy: It’s a pretty safe position, Roy.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- and that body searches take place in private. Having regard to what took place in a remote area out of view of residences --
Mr. Kerrio: Did you charge them with indecent exposure?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- I do not think it can be said that the searches were conducted in public view. It is difficult if not impossible to establish hard and fast rules with respect to body searches that are to be followed on each and every occasion. Each case must be dealt with after carefully evaluating all the circumstances. Members of the Ontario Provincial Police are instructed to exercise extreme caution to ensure that the privacy of individuals is safeguarded.
Police officers are instructed to search in as discreet a manner as possible and, as I indicated, not to search in public view. It goes without saying that unless someone’s life is in danger, women will only be searched by female police personnel.
From time to time body searches are required. This is especially so in the case of drug-related offences. Body searches are, in fact, necessary, otherwise it would be a simple thing for offenders to thwart police investigations.
I hope the foregoing explains the incident in question and outlines generally Ontario Provincial Police policy in this regard.
ONTARIO HYDRO CHAIRMAN
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that the chairman of Ontario Hydro, Mr. Robert Taylor, has agreed to a six-month extension of his term of service which under normal circumstances would have ended on December 31, 1978. In his five years of service to date, Mr. Taylor has offered commendable leadership to this, the most important of our public utilities, during a period of changing and demanding circumstances.
Mr. Laughren: He sure knows how to borrow.
Hon. Mr. Davis: While I shall have more to say when Mr. Taylor officially leaves his post I want to take this opportunity to commend him on behalf of the government and people of Ontario for the quality of service that he has rendered and to thank him for his agreement to a further extension of his appointment in order to provide for a full and orderly transfer of responsibilities to his successor.
That successor, Mr. Speaker, will be Mr. Hugh L. Macaulay. Mr. Macaulay will become a member of Ontario Hydro’s board of directors --
Mr. Nixon: Who?
Mr. Martel: What did you say?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Hugh L. There’s a Robert and there’s a Hugh.
Mr. Laughren: And away we go. A nice, non-partisan, objective appointment.
Mr. Nixon: He has raised money for all those people, that’s why he was so enthusiastic.
Hon. Mr. Davis: An excellent appointment. Mr. Macaulay will become a member of the board of directors on January 1, 1979, and succeed to the office of chairman on July 1. I do not intend at this time to offer any biographical information in regard to Mr. Macaulay.
Mr. Breithaupt: We know.
Mr. Martel: I hardly think we need it; it’s all marked in dollars and cents.
Hon. Mr. Davis: That will be provided in its usual form with the official releases. Let me state, however, for the benefit of any member of the assembly who might not be aware, that Mr. Macaulay is a long-time friend and adviser of mine.
Mr. Martel: We would never have guessed. What a surprise.
Hon. Mr. Davis: In close to 20 years of association, I have learned, as others have, that he is a man of proven ability and of great intelligence. He is straightforward in his approach to problems and articulate and convincing as a communicator -- I was going to add “as a journalist” but that, I think, is still up for some decision.
Mr. Kerrio: The only question you have is his choice of friends.
Hon. Mr. Davis: At the conclusion of a long and extensive period of consideration as to who an adequate replacement for Robert Taylor might be, I came to the conclusion that these were the very qualities that I felt were required for the demanding assignment of chairman of Ontario Hydro at this point in our history. I am more than pleased, therefore, that Mr. Macaulay has agreed to emerge from what many of us regarded as a far too premature retirement to accept this most important post.
Mr. Ruston: Why would he want to do that?
Mr. J. Reed: He was next in line.
Hon. Mr. Davis: It would be of interest to the members, particularly some of the newer members, that Mr. Macaulay’s father, one Leopold Macaulay, and his brother, Robert Macaulay, have served in this Legislature as members of cabinet of early Ontario governments with great distinction.
Mr. MacDonald: Leopold Macaulay was the last Tory elected in York South.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Macaulay’s outstanding qualities, along with his close association with the political process, uniquely equips him with an appreciation of the relationship between the Legislature and Ontario Hydro.
In his new assignment, therefore, I know he will serve the customers and employees of Hydro with dedication and effectiveness.
Hon. Mr. Davis: While I am on my feet, Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce to the members of this Legislature a very distinguished gentleman from Sault Ste. Marie who will be seated amongst us some few weeks hence. He is in your gallery, Mr. Speaker: the successful candidate, as of 7 o’clock last evening, Mr. Russell Ramsay.
Mr. Kerrio: We are going to demand a recount.
Mr. Bradley: Did he doublepark his Brink’s truck outside?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Where’s the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman)? I was going to rise on a point of privilege and say he was all wrong.
Mr. Breithaupt: Sounds like Butch Cassidy.
BYPRODUCT POWER FROM NUCLEAR STATIONS
Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, in consultation with my colleague the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman), I am pleased to announce today the next phase in the important co-operative venture between the public and private sectors aimed at the utilization of thermal power available in the reject warm water at nuclear power stations.
As the next step, we are preparing to proceed to the immediate establishment of two small-scale greenhouse production facilities, one each at the Bruce and Pickering generating stations. At the same time, Hydro will commence the actual engineering design stage of the system needed for the extraction and piping of warm water, the construction of which is tied to the outcome of this next experimental phase.
Members will recall that in May 1977 a steering committee was established to coordinate and plan ways to utilize the reject heat from the Bruce nuclear generating station in greenhouse and fish-farm applications.
A detailed engineering and economic study was undertaken by a private consultant, and the report was released in December 1977. That report concluded that the scheme was technically and economically feasible and recommended that the project be actively promoted.
Mr. Mancini: It’s a waste of money, and the minister knows it.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Earlier this year, the Ontario Energy Corporation began discussions with growers, fish-farm operators, developers and the financial community. The main theme of these discussions was that the project would be undertaken by the private sector and that the small owner-grower must be given every opportunity to become involved.
Mr. Mancini: The minister wouldn’t know a greenhouse if be saw one.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Neither would you, Remo.
Hon. Mr. Auld: This private sector approach and emphasis on the family-size farm were key principles in the government’s effort.
In August, by way of newspaper and magazine advertising, preliminary design proposals were requested from private-sector investors interested in developing the greenhouse and fish-farm facilities at Bruce, Pickering and Darlington.
Mr. Riddell: Of all the alternatives, that has to be the most ill-conceived.
Hon. Mr. Auld: The response to this request for proposals was very encouraging. The 25 proposals received from potential developers, financiers and operators showed that the level of interest is very high.
From these submissions and from ongoing discussions it has become clear that there are three basic and interrelated areas which must be explored in detail, if a commercially sound project is to become a reality.
1. Since the actual extraction of the warm water will need to be capitalized over a long period of time, we need to define more clearly the long-term financial and technological risks involved and how to deal with them.
2. Because long-term contracts are required to finance the extraction and piping costs, we need to explore in depth the specific ways to attract or secure substantial private sector investment capital.
3. Since the volume of produce sold is the key to profitability, we must measure more accurately the potential productivity of greenhouses at these actual locations. Similarly, the fish-produced-for-food business requires high-quality water, the assurance of which, through detailed analysis based on actual growth cycles, is a prerequisite to any fish-farm operation.
Since it is clear that the fastest way to answer the concerns surrounding these questions is to test the productivity of this technology, we are now proceeding to this next stage. I have instructed the Ontario Energy Corporation to continue to work in co-operation with the appropriate ministries and the private sector and to co-ordinate an immediate research, design and development undertaking at the Bruce nuclear power development and at the Pickering generating station.
These projects will be designed, first and foremost, to test the productivity of greenhouses in those locations, including weather effects such as sunlight availabilities, snow loading, wind and inversion factors, soil, water and air quality conditions and other growing parameters. In addition, various crops and growing techniques, such as hydroponics, greenhouse design characteristics and possible engineering improvements will be evaluated.
As I mentioned earlier, we have strong indications that a private sector approach, commercially designed, financed and operated, is feasible and we would like to see this type of involvement in all phases of this undertaking. In particular, those companies or individuals who have already indicated a specific and commercially realistic interest in the project through their submissions would be expected to take on financing and management responsibilities during this research phase.
We feel this productivity test and research phase will answer a lot of the risk-related concerns perceived by the developers, financiers and growers. It will also allow them to participate right from the formative stages of the project.
As has been the case from the beginning, we will continue to work closely with the municipal officials concerned to co-ordinate the development of this unique project. Based on the results to date, I am very encouraged by the potential which exists for a large-scale greenhouse and fish-farm complex at Bruce and for a smaller-scale project at Pickering. Offering Ontario growers this tangible opportunity to benefit from reduced energy costs is one vital part of our government’s efforts to maintain our greenhouse industry and its high-quality produce at a fair price.
But there is additional great importance to this project, which stems from several other sources. Firstly, it is a positive joint venture which can provide the framework for the private sector to harness new technology and to create new business. Secondly, the utilization of thermal power available in hot waters from power stations has great industrial and residential space-heating potential.
Mr. J. Reed: That is the most important thing you have said.
Hon. Mr. Auld: We are confident that this concrete agricultural application will make a positive contribution to our efforts to develop district heating and other community-wide uses.
Finally, this approach opens up new potentials for the expansion of the greenhouse and fish-farm industry, which can only improve the effectiveness of our market development and import replacement efforts in fish, flowers and vegetables.
ONTARIO STATUS OF WOMEN COUNCIL
Hon. Mrs. Birch: Later today I will be tabling the fourth annual report of the Ontario Status of Women Council. I would like to pay tribute to the members and the chairperson, Lynne Gordon, for their efforts on behalf of all of the women in the province of Ontario.
Miss Gordon is in the gallery today, and I take pleasure in introducing her to you, Mr. Speaker.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: I believe deeply that every child in Ontario should have the opportunity to excel and to reach his or her full potential. However, this right is not now being enjoyed by all children who have special educational needs because of physical, mental, emotional or learning disabilities. It is my pleasure, Mr. Speaker, to announce today a three-part plan to rectify this situation. The implementation of this plan will require a memorandum to school boards --
Mr. S. Smith: Excellence isn’t part of your school system.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: -- new ministry programs and, finally, legislative change.
Ms. Gigantes: Point of order, Mr. Speaker. I wonder if the minister has copies available of the statement she’s prepared to read.
Mr. Speaker: I think she said --
Hon. Miss Stephenson: They are available. I don’t have them with me at the moment.
An hon. member: You’re supposed to have them ready at the moment.
Mr. McClellan: How about giving one to the critics?
Mr. S. Smith: I have an extra copy.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Thank you. I know they were delivered to the leaders of the opposition parties but --
Mr. Warner: They’re supposed to go to the critics.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, if I might continue --
Hon. Miss Stephenson: -- during the next few weeks, a memorandum will be issued to all school boards. It will require them to offer an early identification program to ensure that the learning needs of every child entering the schools will be identified. It is essential that physical, mental, emotional or learning disabilities be identified early so that remedial programs may be provided promptly. Boards will begin to implement this program by September 1979 and it should be fully operational by September 1981.
A second memorandum will direct boards to provide educational programs for children with learning disabilities. The memorandum defines disabilities as “disorders in one or more of the basic processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language. These disorders result in a significant discrepancy between academic achievement and assessed intellectual ability.”
In some cases, the boards will be unable to offer programs for learning-disabled children because of the severity of the disabilities suffered by those children. Therefore, the ministry will establish residential schools for severely learning-disabled children in Milton for anglophone children and in Ottawa for francophone children.
Mr. Foulds: When?
Ms. Gigantes: Has that passed by cabinet yet?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: In addition to providing services for learning-disabled children, the schools will provide in-service training for board-employed teachers to equip them to be able to conduct programs for learning-disabled children within their schools. A memorandum will be forwarded to boards advising them of this ministry initiative.
The ministry has undertaken a number of other initiatives to help children with special educational needs and I should like to outline these for the members.
It is anticipated that models for a provincial assessment service for learning-disabled children will be developed at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa. The ministry will provide boards with curriculum material on learning-disabled children. Further, it is expected that several universities will offer graduate programs to teachers who will work with learning-disabled children.
Another initiative will affect children who are both blind and deaf. The program at the W. Ross Macdonald school in Brantford will be expanded to accommodate an additional 15 children, bringing the number of participants to 48.
During the spring session of the Legislature, I shall introduce amendments to three sections of the Education Act. Section 147 (140) of the Education Act makes special education programs optional at this time. The act will be amended to set out each school board’s responsibility to ensure that all children within its jurisdiction are provided with appropriate educational services.
Ms. Gigantes: Good.
An hon. member: Long overdue.
Mr. McClellan: About time.
Mr. Cassidy: About time. It’s been a long time.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: I will also propose that section 34 of the act be amended to permit boards to exclude trainable retarded children from secondary schools and schools for the trainable retarded, as well as from elementary schools. But the amendment will require a board to take all reasonable steps to assist the parents or the guardians of that child to obtain non-educational services when a child is excluded.
Mr. Foulds: That’s got to be tougher.
Mr. Cassidy: That’s got to be tougher. You’ve just taken back what you gave.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: The final amendments affect the trainable retarded as well. Those children may now be excluded from schools for the trainable retarded, before they enter school, by the admission board for trainable retarded, operating under section 75 of the act. I shall introduce an amendment which will revoke this discriminatory section so as to give trainable retarded children the same right of access to schools as other school-aged children. It should be noted that program placement and review committees operating under regulation 704 to the act provide programming, placement and review services to the children who are retarded.
Before I conclude, I would like to express my deep appreciation to the dedicated men and women, both educators and parents --
Ms. Gigantes: Dedicated and patient.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: -- who have worked with the ministry in the development of these initiatives. They have brought to the attention of the ministry the special education needs of physically, mentally, emotionally and learning-disabled children. They have made sure that we did not forget them. These initiatives are their initiatives. If they are to be successful, the active support of teachers, trustees, administrators and, above all, parents will be required.
These policy and legislative changes do not meet all of the needs of every child, but they are a major step towards enabling each child to reach the limits of his or her intellectual capacity.
Hon. Mr. Henderson: I have the pleasure of tabling a report prepared by the consulting firm of M. M. Dillon Limited, following completion of a land-use study of the former Burwash Correctional Centre. The consulting firm was engaged by the ministry in February 1978 to study and propose the most appropriate uses of the former Burwash Correctional Centre.
Extensive research and direct public involvement through public submissions and public meetings resulted in the analysis of over 50 possible uses for this site. The report recommends the use of camps and all the arable land by the federal Ministry of the Solicitor General for an integrated maximum and minimum security institution and farm operation.
This proposed use is considered to be the most appropriate for the following reasons.
Mr. Martel: What use? The federal government just said it wasn’t proceeding.
Hon. Mr. Henderson: It provides for an integrated use of the entire site.
Mr. Martel: Sell it to the feds? What a copout You washed out the fourth largest employer in the Sudbury basin.
Hon. Mr. Henderson: It will effectively utilize the arable land and institutional facilities, including Camp Bison, which the federal government previously purchased from the province for $1.8 million.
Mr. Martel: And they aren’t going to co-operate.
Hon. Mr. Henderson: It will provide jobs for local residents.
Mr. Mattel: For what?
Hon. Mr. Henderson: I am pleased to announce that this recommendation has been accepted by the provincial government.
Mr. Martel: No doubt. It gets you off the hook.
Hon. Mr. Henderson: The staff of my ministry are currently trying to negotiate the sale of this site to the federal government.
OHIP SUBROGATION AGREEMENT
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I would like to inform the members of an agreement we have made with Ontario insurance companies for payment in lieu of subrogation.
The Ontario Health Insurance Plan pays the costs of health services required as a result of injuries sustained in automobile accidents. Where those injuries resulted from the negligence or the wrongful act or omission of another person, OHIP is entitled to recover those costs from the person liable or, practically speaking, from that person’s insurance company.
In response to recommendations of the select committee on company law, and thanks largely to an actuarial formula developed by the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations, an agreement between my ministry and the insurance companies has been developed that will make the recovery of funds direct and the calculations as simple as possible. It is designed to simplify the administration involved by lessening the necessity for exchange of information between OHIP staff and the lawyers and insurance firms. It will also afford much greater protection to the confidentiality of patient records.
The essence of the agreement is that in lieu of OHIP claiming and insurers paying on a case-by-case basis, the insurers will pay monthly instalments to OHIP that each year total approximately two per cent of their annual motor vehicle third-party liability premiums. In 1976, the latest year for which complete figures are available, this would have amounted to just under $11 million, which is about the amount actually recovered for the type of claims covered by this agreement.
The agreement applies to accidents that occur after November 30, 1978. It runs to December 31, 1980, and may be terminated then, or on any December 31 thereafter, by either party on one year’s written notice. It further provides fur payment to the ministry to be made in monthly instalments based on the insurers’ reported gross premiums for the preceding calendar year, with payments to commence March 31, 1979; interest to be paid on late payments; adjustment of payments when the current figures are ascertained; and the right of the Minister of Health to audit the insurers’ gross premiums.
Insurers who are not party to the agreement and self-insurers, like the TTC or the CNR, will continue to be dealt with under the present subrogation procedures. While a separate agreement will be signed with each insurer, the agreements will be identical. I am advised that the companies that have signed the agreement so far represent about 75 per cent of the market.
This agreement will speed recovery of these costs. We expect it will increase revenue to the government by about $12 million over the next four years because the government will still be collecting in respect of accidents occurring prior to November 30, 1978, while instalment payments are being made in respect of accidents after that date.
It is estimated that my ministry will also save approximately $750,000 per year in legal fees. Legal costs for the insurance industry, of course, will also be reduced.
There will still be a small component of the subrogation section of my ministry looking after malpractice, out-of-province claims, the self-insured, such as the railways and the airlines, as well as any non-signatories of the agreement. However, there will be a substantial reduction of perhaps more than 40 persons in the staff of the subrogation section.
Everything will be done to place these employees elsewhere in the government. Already, 12 people have been placed and their positions filled with temporary help. Other ministries and the Civil Service Commission are assisting us in this endeavour and, since the current files will take about two years to close out, the staff reduction will be a gradual one.
Mr. M. N. Davison: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege.
Mr. Speaker: A point of privilege. The member for Hamilton Centre.
BESTLINE PRODUCTS OF CANADA
Mr. M. N. Davison: I would like to raise a matter of privilege with you, sir, unless the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations is going to be making another statement. I’ve waited patiently to the end of statements and I assume he is not going to be making another one.
The matter of privilege I want to raise with you arises out of certain matters that have taken place in the House in the past two days.
On Wednesday morning during the debate on the estimates of the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations, I put to the minister a series of four questions dealing with a company by the name of Bestline Products of Canada. The minister asked me at the rime if I wanted the answers then, but I said, no, I’d be willing to allow the time between that point in time and the time we would debate the bill to repeal the Pyramidic Sales Act in the assembly. That is clearly shown in Hansard on page 9552 of that morning.
Late yesterday, the bill was brought forward. The minister was not in the Legislature, but I understand he was not aware at the time that the bill was coming forward. The debate followed. I put the same four questions to the parliamentary assistant to which he had no answers except, as I recall, an assumption on one of the four questions.
The House leader of my party rose at the end of the debate and asked the government House leader (Mr. Welch) whether or not it would be possible for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations to make a statement this morning in the assembly so we would not delay the bill and proceed with the business of the House. The House leader at that time said, accordingly to page 2125-2 of last night’s Hansard, the following:
Hon. Mr. Drea: Where do you get that from? That’s before the orders of the day. That’s when I was going to do it.
Mr. Deans: The member wants you to answer.
Mr. M. N. Davison: “If I might respond to that, Mr. Speaker, I would think that the member for Hamilton Centre has been very reasonable in his expectations with respect to this matter and certainly, because of the expedition of some earlier business in legislation, this matter has been reached tonight. I don’t even think the minister thought it was going to be reached tonight and, with the help of the parliamentary assistant, we will communicate these concerns and hopefully have a statement from the minister tomorrow with respect to these concerns, if that would be all right.”
Mr. Deans: If the minister has an answer, why won’t he give it?
Mr. M. N. Davison: The minister did arrive in the Legislature later last night and during debate on a different bill, chose to make some response to what had transpired earlier.
I was a little unclear as to what point he was making, but at some point in his comments he did touch on the four questions I had raised and said that --
Mr. Rotenberg: What’s the point of privilege?
Mr. Speaker: Order. I understand the minister is prepared to do the very thing you request right now. We will consider it to be a ministerial statement.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Because of the number of statements today and in order that there could be a full question period, I was prepared to do it and I still am, just before orders of the day are called.
Mr. Speaker: I would prefer you do it by way of a ministerial statement.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, the statement is out there.
Mr. Speaker: So the minister is not prepared to do it at this time?
Hon. Mr. Drea: I am not prepared to do it at this time, but I will do it as soon as possible.
Mr. Deans: There is no provision before orders of the day.
Mr. Rotenberg: The minister is going to answer the question.
TRIBUTES TO MEMBER FOR WENTWORTH
Mr. Cassidy: I want to say a few words about my friend and colleague, the member for Wentworth (Mr. Deans). This may be his last day in the Legislature. I don’t want to let the moment pass without acknowledging the contribution which he has made to his party, to his constituents, to this Legislature and to the province over the 11 years since he was first elected back in 1967.
I recall, in looking at the figures that the member for Wentworth was first elected with a couple of thousand votes majority. By the time he ran in 1977 his majority was something equal to the number of votes I get in total in my riding up in Ottawa.
He has been an outstanding spokesman for the party in the Hamilton area and across the province. As a working man himself, he has spoken on behalf of working people across the province. With his Scottish eloquence, he has brought to this Legislature again and again an understanding of the concerns and the needs of the ordinary people of Ontario.
I want to mention two or three specific contributions that the member for Wentworth has made of whith I am particularly aware. One is the help he gave to a number of us who were part of the class of 1971 when we came in here as greenhorns. He took us under his arm and helped show us the ropes. Another is the very excellent work which the member for Wentworth and the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Mattel), as members of the select committee on economic and cultural nationalism contributed to this Legislature over the period of 1972 and 1973. The reports of that committee, which have not yet been read, to my knowledge, by most members of the government, would, had they been implemented, have made this province a heck of a different place and a much better place for every Canadian and every Ontarian.
Mr. Martel: Right on, even though it was a cop-out in the cabinet.
Mr. Riddell: Even dealt with foreign ownership of land. They completely ignored it.
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, they didn’t.
Mr. Cassidy: That’s right. I would like to pay tribute to the member for Wentworth’s contribution to this House For seven years as House leader and in particular over the very difficult and exciting years from 1975 to 1977 when he was House leader and our party was the official opposition in the House. It is hard to imagine him putting out fires rather than lighting political fires but I just want to say that I regret his intention to resign.
On behalf of my party and of this House, I want to wish him well in his new career and express deep thanks from us all for the contribution that he has made.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I understood that the very distinguished member for Wentworth was going to wind up the budget debate today. So I was really reserving the government’s observations until the conclusion of his remarks to see whether I felt the same way after he finished as I do at this precise moment.
Mr. Foulds: So he can’t reply.
Hon. Mr. Davis: However, knowing that the member will, of necessity, have one or two constructively critical observations to make about the government later on today that, on balance, will be totally supportive of the very excellent programs and policies that this government administers; knowing that will be the main thrust of his observations, I would like to say, in a very personal way for my colleagues on this side of the House, and as a member, not as Premier or anything else, that I have enjoyed the contribution of the member for Wentworth. I must confess that we didn’t always see eye to eye on some of the issues. But his contributions were constructive. They were ones that he believed in very sincerely; I can think of one or two exceptions but they are totally irrelevant on this occasion.
I, too, would like to wish him well in whatever career he decides to pursue. I see from the press that initially he is going to go back to his former profession. I question, Mr. Speaker, whether he will, in fact, stay there in perpetuity. In fact, I would be very surprised not to see the member emerge once again in some form of public service. I will say no more at this precise moment. But I would like to express, in a very sincere way, our very best wishes to the member for Wentworth. I am sure that nothing he says later today will revise those very good wishes. But our best to him.
Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I certainly want to add some comments on behalf of members of my party, and also on my own behalf, regarding the contribution to this House and to this province that has been made by my friend -- and I can use the term, I feel, in a somewhat personal way as well as a political way -- my friend the member for Wentworth.
The member and I have got to know each other a bit this last couple of years and I can tell you I have the utmost admiration for his integrity, his dedication to the people of Hamilton and to the people of Ontario. I think you should know that he has set a standard, Mr. Speaker, for service to his constituency and to his area, apart from the work he has done in this House, his party work and his work in the province. He has set a standard for constituency work which I believe is second to none. He has a well-deserved reputation in Hamilton, among people of every political persuasion, as a person with tremendous tenacity, with great feeling and compassion for ordinary citizens, and a willingness to go to work and to work very hard on behalf of those who require help.
I have had the pleasure also of playing tennis with him, Mr. Speaker, and it is interesting the way in which he has picked up that game. He covers the entire lefthand side of the court and leaves me the righthand side, which I am sure makes certain of his colleagues very happy.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Some of us cover the whole court.
Mr. S. Smith: But as a team, I tell you, Mr. Speaker, we have done very well.
Mr. Breithaupt: Some of you play both sides of the net.
Mr. S. Smith: We have done very well as a team indeed. We have an undefeated record. I want simply to say that I believe the member for Wentworth to be a very fine human being, to be a very fine Ontarian and we look forward to any possible way in which he can serve the public of Ontario. He will, in fact, be serving the public in the profession to which he is returning in a very real, tangible and important way. I trust there will be other ways as well in which we will have the benefit of his services. We all wish him well and I say that from the bottom of my heart.
Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I also wanted to make a few comments this morning. The member for Wentworth and I were both elected in 1967, and during the years in the early ’70s, we both had the opportunity of serving our respective parties as House leaders. I always found in working with the member for Wentworth that he was demanding, that he was certain in his position and his point of view. He made no bones about the clarity in which he held those views. But in addition, I found him to be exceptionally hard working, to be fair, and to be a thorough representative of the people of Went- worth.
I had a very good opportunity in working with him in the tasks which we had to perform on a daily basis with the government House leader. When our roles were reversed as a result of the election to which the leader of the New Democratic Party has referred, the relationship continued to be a strong one, one I certainly enjoyed very much, one from which I learned, and one I will certainly miss.
I indeed wish him well as he goes on to the next stage of his public service.
BESTLINE PRODUCTS OF CANADA
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, the questions in the order they were raised by the member for Hamilton Centre during the estimates were: how did the Bestline company come to be registered under the Pyramidic Sales Act, as the successor of a company called Golden Canada Products Limited; why did they fail to file a company report in 1974, 1975 and 1976, and, third, a question on something that purports to be the destruction of certain records on file with the ministry.
Mr. Laughren: Why can’t we ever get a copy from that side?
Mr. Martel: It’s still in the back.
Hon. Mr. Drea: There was a fourth question raised last night which I will --
Mr. Speaker: The question arises if you are going to make it by way of a ministerial statement, have you provided copies to the other two parties?
Mr. Nixon: Back to square one.
Hon. Mr. Drea: No, Mr. Speaker, I haven’t because I was prepared to answer the questions that arose out of my estimates just before the orders of the day.
Mr. Martel: What kind of convoluted answer is that?
Mr. Rotenberg: He wants to answer the questions.
Hon. Mr. Drea: In answer to question number one as to how Bestline was registered, it was registered in October 1974. Staff of the ministry at that time, who are no longer with the ministry, recall that the absolute proof as to why that company should not have been registered under the Pyramidic Sales Act lay only in police files in far-away jurisdictions.
With respect to number two, I presume that what the honourable member is referring to is that the annual company report was not filed in the companies branch during those three years. Under the rules of the companies branch, you can be up to three years in arrears with your annual report. I would like to point out that they did file under the Pyramidic Sales Act exactly as required.
Concerning the accident and destruction of the Bestline records, there was no accident and there was no destruction. We have many, many thousands of documents from that company which we have seized in raids. They are not even contained in the ministry building; they are contained in an absolutely safe place.
Last night, the question was raised as to whether there was any connection between Bestline and the minister, people in the ministry or anybody else.
Mr. M. N. Davison: The fourth question was about Golden Canada Products Limited.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Last night my parliamentary assistant asked the honourable member if he was suggesting any improper conduct on behalf of the present minister or past minister. Mr. Speaker, I will tell you there is not now, nor has there ever been, any connection between myself, my predecessors in the ministry or indeed the entire civil service in the ministry and Bestline Products.
Mr. Turner: Cheap shot.
Mr. M. N. Davison: Point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: The minister has lost one of the questions and substituted one of his own.
Hon. Mr. Drea: No, I’m reading out of Hansard.
Mr. M. N. Davison: The fourth question originally was why on earth the ministry registered them, considering the record of their previous company, Golden Canada Products Limited.
Mr. Martel: The avenger. The enforcer.
Mr. M. N Davison: The fourth question had absolutely nothing to do with whether or not the minister is an improper fellow.
Hon. Mr. Drea: I do believe I answered that particular question as number one.
Mr. Laughren: The Peter Falk of the Legislature.
Mr. Speaker: Oral questions. The Leader of the Opposition.
Mr. Martel: And they wanted to be out of here by 12 o’clock.
JURISDICTION OF OMBUDSMAN
Mr. S. Smith: I’d like to direct a question to the Attorney General. Can the Attorney General explain to this House why it is that his department felt compelled to test the power of the Ombudsman in court regarding the Ombudsman’s ability to investigate certain of the boards and agencies that exist in the province of Ontario? Fortunately, the Attorney General has kept up his excellent court record and has lost the case, but I would ask why the Attorney General felt it necessary to launch this particular case.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: We have not lost it. The Leader of the Opposition should get his facts straight. One can appreciate he’d be a little upset at what happened last night. It was pretty humiliating for him last night; pretty humiliating.
Mr. Bradley: Are you going to hide behind that every time?
Mr. S. Smith: Was it in fact a question, as suggested by a lawyer in the Ombudsman’s office, that the government was trying to emasculate the position of the Ombudsman?
Mr. Nixon: And you know how upsetting violation can be.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: You almost emasculated yourself in Sault Ste. Marie.
Mr. Peterson: It’s always pleasant when you show up every six weeks.
Mr. Bradley: Hide behind your arrogance.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: You’re smarting a little bit today. I understand.
Mr. T. P. Reid: You having been through it, you should know it.
An hon. member: Yes. You know what it’s like to lose by-elections.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Order.
Mr. S. Smith: Can the Attorney General explain why lawyers for his department advanced an argument in the case of the Ombudsman with regard to the Health Disciplines Board which basically would have the effect of emasculating the ability of the Ombudsman to look at various boards and agencies in this province? Why did he intervene like that? What was his purpose in doing so?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Well, of course, Mr. Speaker, I can understand that the Leader of the Opposition would have some difficulty understanding this matter because he does have so much difficulty understanding most matters that come before this House.
Mr. Peterson: Because he is not a QC.
Mr. Riddell: Just answer the question.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I can’t really explain why he is so confused.
The matter of the Health Disciplines Board was an important legal issue. The Health Disciplines Board was represented by its own counsel. There is an important issue as to whether or not a board which is made up of non-government people, non-civil servants -- members, for the most part, as I understand it, from the private sector -- should be considered as a government board within the purview of the Ombudsman Act.
The counsel for the Attorney General’s ministry participated and did not launch the application. I think the Leader of the Opposition knows that. I think it unfortunate that he would misstate what in fact occurred.
The truth of the matter is, the Ministry of the Attorney General has been and will continue to be very supportive of the Ombudsman’s office.
Mr. Lawlor: Nonsense.
Mr. McClellan: That’s a lot of rubbish.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: There was an important issue before the courts as to whether or not a board made up in this way should be considered a government board within the meaning of the Ombudsman Act. The reason being that we are dealing with boards that are quasi-judicial in nature. The basic purpose of the Ombudsman, of course, his principal purpose, is to review decisions that are made by employees of the government. The principal role of the Ombudsman, as we perceive it, is not to intervene between issues between private citizens.
In this particular case, the Health Disciplines Board was dealing with an issue between two private citizens, a doctor on the one hand and a patient on the other hand. It seemed to me appropriate for the Ministry of the Attorney General to assist the court in determining whether or not this was a proper function of the Ombudsman’s office.
Mr. S. Smith: The minister now says that really his intervention in this case was just to be sure that this Health Disciplines Board was really a function of government and because it was not a governmental function, it shouldn’t come under the Ombudsman.
May I read to the Attorney General from the presentation presented by the attorney for his ministry, who says: “It is submitted, therefore, that if the Health Disciplines Board is a governmental organization as defined in section 1(a), the Ombudsman is precluded from investigation of the actual review and decision of the board and the complaints committee.” So, either way, they want it excluded.
May I ask him particularly whether or not he is aware that the following bodies have resisted investigation by the Ombudsman: The Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers’ Marketing Board; the Farm Products Marketing Board; the Milk Commission of Ontario; the Hospital Appeal Board; the Commercial Registration Appeal Tribunal; the Residential Premises Rent Review Board; and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.
Is the minister prepared to do what one of his predecessors, Mr. Clement, promised originally? That is, tell us which of the boards he feels should not be under the purview of the Ombudsman and produce a list. Because, as the judge said, if, in fact, any of these boards were to be excluded, it should have said so in the act originally.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I think, Mr. Speaker, there is probably good reason for the Legislature to want to clarify the act in this respect. I want to repeat what I said before, because I think it is important that members appreciate the fundamental issue. That is: should the role of the Ombudsman be to intervene in matters that are basically between private citizens in this province? Or is the role of the Ombudsman to intervene in relation to the individual versus the government? This latter function is what we consider to be the appropriate function.
But there seems to be some genuine confusion in this area and I think the act might very well be clarified in this respect.
Mr. Lawlor: I would have thought that the Attorney General would have had the decency to intervene the other way, supporting and affirming the role of the Ombudsman.
Does the Attorney General intend, therefore, to amend that statute in line with the numerous reports of the select committee of this House? Say, put a schedule into that act defining who falls within his jurisdiction?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Again at the risk of repeating something I have already said, I, personally, have great concern in encouraging the Ombudsman’s office to act or to involve itself in a dispute which is essentially between two private citizens. I would not support any amendment that would, in effect, confirm that role because I personally don’t believe that that is the proper role of the Ombudsman’s office.
Mr. Lawlor: Why on earth would you go with that Health Disciplines Board? That is the most --
Mr. Roy: Supplementary: Following on the question of my leader and my colleague, the member for Lakeshore, about the Ombudsman, is the Attorney General not concerned that when he intervenes in situations of this kind there’s a perception out there that the Attorney General, as chief law officer for the crown, is in some way trying to limit the scope and jurisdiction of the Ombudsman? Secondly, would he not agree that once a matter goes before one of these boards, like the Health Disciplines Board, it is something that is a bit different from a dispute just between two individuals?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I think I have made as clear as I can my area of concern in the matter and why the Ministry of the Attorney General participated in this matter before the courts.
Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary: Does the Attorney General not concede that the matter of the Ombudsman’s role is a matter for this Legislature and not for any minister per se and that we must look at least at the reports of the Ombudsman committee as they request amendment?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I just don’t understand that question.
Mr. T. P. Reid: You should resign then if you don’t know any better than that. You are not running the Ombudsman. He is appointed by the Legislature and responsible to us.
Mr. S. Smith: Read John Clement’s comments on that.
PAPER MILL CONTROL ORDERS
Mr. S. Smith: Could I ask a question of the Minister of the Environment? Can the minister explain, in addition to the various matters he discussed with regard to control orders on the pulp and paper industry yesterday, why it is that an extension has been given to the E. B. Eddy company mill on the Ottawa River, permitting them now until December 15, 1980, to continue to dump untreated sanitary waste into the Ottawa River? In answering the question, would the minister be sure to point out and understand that this has nothing to do with the actual making of pulp and paper? This is a simple matter of the discharge from toilets on the place which, instead of being collected in proper tanks as is done in Europe, is going right into the river untreated.
How can the minister continue to give that kind of an extension? Is he going to base that on the lack of elaborate Canadian technology?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: I didn’t quite hear the first part of the question. Is the Leader of the Opposition referring to E. B. Eddy on the Ontario side?
Mr. S. Smith: Yes, the E. B. Eddy company.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: On which side?
Mr. S. Smith: The Ontario side, of course. Do you usually give orders on the Quebec side?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think the member knows how bad it is on the other side of that same river. Indeed the whole city or the whole town of Hull has no facility whatsoever. It has been on the drawing board for three years, so we worry about Ontario and rightly so.
I don’t think I gave that extension yesterday. That extension was given, but I think one must put in perspective what has happened on the other side of the river. It’s a pretty significant thing.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, do I take it that the reason for the extension of this control order from December 15, 1979, to December 15, 1980, to eliminate the discharge of untreated sanitary waste is simply because the minister doesn’t like the policy of the province of Quebec?
Hon. Mr. Davis: He didn’t say that.
Mr. S. Smith: Then what is the reason for this extension? Surely there is no lack of Canadian technology capable of collecting the sanitary waste and pumping out the tanks afterwards? Why do we continue to put that effluent right into the river? This has nothing to do with advanced technology of pulp-and-paper-making; this is a simple matter of sanitary waste. Surely, people can comply with that order?
Mr. McClellan: Speech.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: It is kind of interesting that the Leader of the Opposition gets so exercised on that particular order. It will be done.
Mr. S. Smith: The minister extended it for a year.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: Yes, indeed, that was so. But, I again say to the member that it is kind of interesting that he can be so critical of one company on one side of the river when the total community -- not a company, but the total community -- has absolutely --
Mr. Villeneuve: The whole city.
Mr. Nixon: What can we do about it?
Mr. S. Smith: What’s that got to do with it?
Mr. Pope: If you knew where you were going you would know.
Mr. Villeneuve: Ask Trudeau why he built the swimming pool.
Mr. Pope: Find out what you are talking about before you ask questions.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: The member knows the facts. He doesn’t see the reason why it’s done. He will never put in perspective any of the other things that happen here in this province and in this country. He never does that. It is a serious mistake on his part.
Mr. Cassidy: Since the minister was trying to tell the House yesterday that his easing-up on control orders didn’t really affect the pulp and paper industry, can he explain why it is that he has decided to defer this control order on the E. B. Eddy company? And, now that the matter has been raised in the Legislature, will the government ensure that the sanitary waste from several hundred employees in that plant is not dumped into the Ottawa River? That, in fact, it is captured in a holding tank and put into proper sanitary sewage disposal facilities?
Mr. S. Smith: As they do in Europe -- every European plant.
Mr. Mancini: Yes or no?
Mr. Riddell: He will when he learns how to clean the tank.
Mr. S. Smith: A cottage-owner can’t even do that.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Cassidy: You couldn’t sail a boat down the river with what E. B. Eddy is doing.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. The question has been asked. Will you please allow the minister to answer?
Mr. Swart: Answer yes or no.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: It is kind of interesting to note, Mr. Speaker, how well those deadlines were met yesterday and yet so little attention is paid to such a large number of orders that are met. I just can’t get over that aspect of it. You see, 10 out of the 11 met --
Mr. Foulds: Nine.
Mr. MacDonald: And how often have they been extended?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think, with respect, in six weeks they will be, for all intents and purposes, meeting that order. If the member opposite is going to make a big deal out of six weeks, so be it. I will correct my statement and say nine.
I repeat and repeat and repeat how often this province is ahead of other provinces and other countries. I can’t in one fell swoop, nor can any company, do all of the things that will and should be done. It will take time. But every time the members ask why I think there is a good reason, I repeat: in many instances it takes time. Other facilities have to be put in place and co-ordinated. There are many reasons why. But I come back to one salient point. Let them make some comparisons and the members will see how well Ontario is doing.
Mr. S. Smith: There was a time when Ontario led.
Hon. Mr. Davis: And it still does.
Mr. Yakabuski: Supplementary: Can the minister tell us when the real problem, the overall problem of over 100,000 inhabitants across the river dumping all that effluent into the Ottawa River, is going to stop?
Mr. Yakabuski: And what kind of information has he had from the province of Quebec and Ottawa with regard to the real problem?
Mr. Cassidy: Let’s talk about our record in Ontario.
Mr. Laughren: Let’s worry about Ontario’s problems.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: I had a visit with the minister from Quebec. Certainly, although they have fine words about what will happen, they haven’t been very active in the past. I only hope for the good of that river that not only in one city but in all of the communities along it real action will be taken.
When they get about 10 per cent as well- advanced as Ontario, it will be a big step forward for them.
Mr. Cassidy: Oh, for goodness’ sake. They are building the facilities now.
Mr. Kerrio: If the minister is going outside Ontario, would he check New York state which is dumping 40 million gallons in the Niagara River?
Mr. Foulds: On a point of order.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. What is your point of order?
The member for Port Arthur.
Mr. Foulds: The supplementaries have been by the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party. Surely the rotation should now be this way.
An hon. member: There’s nothing out of order. Sit down and pay attention.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order Just to clarify that point of order, I believe there was a supplementary from the member for Ottawa Centre.
Mr. Roy: That’s right. You’re wrong again.
Mr. Nixon: He sits near you.
Mr. Peterson: Apologize again.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: In reply to that question from the member for Niagara Falls, I would strongly recommend to him that he take the latest report of the International Joint Commission on Great Lakes water quality and he will be absolutely delighted and surprised --
Mr. Laughren: No, we will not.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: Indeed he will, if he makes comparisons with any of the states.
Mr. Laughren: We have seen that report. It says you are failing in municipality after municipality.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: I don’t care whether it’s New York, Michigan, or wherever. On municipal treatment of sewage, Ontario is by far in the lead.
Mr. Laughren: You aren’t leading at all. You are wrong again, Harry.
Ms. Bryden: Supplementary: Since the minister has indicated that he is very concerned about controlling the sewage treatment from pulp and paper plants, he has not yet answered my question earlier this week as to whether the Abitibi Paper Company at Smooth Rock Falls has complied with the order which --
An hon. member: That has nothing to do with this question.
Ms. Bryden: -- had a deadline of October 31 for completion of construction of domestic sewage treatment facilities.
Mr. Havrot: Too bad you weren’t here yesterday. He answered that question yesterday.
Mr. Pope: Could we refer you to the Instant Hansard?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: I don’t think it’s a supplementary, but I promised that we would send that information to the honourable member and shall.
Mr. Roy: I think she knows that.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: While I’m on my feet, there’s a question from the leader of the Liberal Party --
Hon. Mr. Davis: Of Ontario.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: Yes, sorry, I didn’t make the full title, Mr. Premier.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Just trying to help you.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: I do not have that answer yet, but I make this point to the leader: a question asked in the House has taken central office now 25 man-days to get the answer. I’m not complaining about that much time and effort, but a very considerable amount of time has been put into it. I will not have that information until some time next week.
I make the point that we will get it to the member. I also make the point that some of those questions require a great deal of detail. We’re prepared to do it, but I hope the House appreciates the fantastic effort that is required of staff to do so.
Mr. Philip: Do it for a Christmas present.
Mr. Riddell: That’s what you’ve got a staff for.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: Certainly, I’m not denying it.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: The first question, the minister for Ottawa Centre.
Hon. Mr. Davis: When did he get promoted?
Mr. Cassidy: The minister for Ottawa Centre? Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have aspirations even higher than that.
Mr. S. Smith: On a point of order, the minister has just given what sounded to me like the answer to a question previously asked, and he practically scolded me for asking a question that took him 25 days. I would like to ask a brief supplementary if I might, but perhaps later on if you prefer. It seems to me that that’s what he did.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: It’s taken quite some time for the first two questions, so I’ll ask for the first question from the member for Ottawa Centre.
Mr. Roy: No, the minister sort of made a statement that we should stay away from complicated questions.
Mr. S. Smith: The waybills from Interflow; that’s all we asked for.
Mr. Cassidy: A question of the Minister of Health: In view of the rising concern about the possible short- and long-term effects on the public’s health of radiation from microwave ovens, and in view of the fact that health hazards associated with microwave radiation include cataracts, unexplained sicknesses, headaches, insomnia, emotional and behavioural changes, cardiovascular ailments and leukemia --
Hon. W. Newman: Now we know what’s wrong with you.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: He’s been living in front of his microwave oven.
Mr. Roy: That sounds like a description of the Conservative Party.
Mr. Cunningham: Now all we need is one large microwave.
Mr. Cassidy: -- can the minister explain why the government has not yet seen fit to proclaim the 1975 amendments to the public Health Act in order to enable Ontario to regulate microwave radiation and leakage from microwave ovens?
Mr. Yakabuski: Have you got one at home?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: That basically is a matter of responsibility of the Ministry of the Environment now, but as I understand it, the problem at the time was apparently one of concern over whether or not the ministry had the authority to do that. It was apparently, so I was advised yesterday, left on that basis. The matter is now apparently something that falls under the Ministry of the Environment.
Mr. Cassidy: I would like the Minister of the Environment to take the question, if we could transfer it to him.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: I’ll get back to the member with an answer on that, Mr. Speaker.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, if I could interject, the problem is as the Minister of Health outlined, and it’s my ministry that has responsibility with regard to that issue. The recommendations are prepared, and as soon as Bill 70 becomes law the regulations will come under that bill with regard to microwaves.
Mr. Cassidy: A question of the Minister of Labour:
Can the minister explain why there is no regulation at all for microwave ovens, apart from the standard which applies when they are sold; and is he aware of the fact that health effects have been felt at radiation levels which are only one tenth of the one federal government? What standard will be applied in Ontario and how soon can we get action on this to protect people who work with commercial microwaves as well as to protect against radiation leakages from domestic microwave ovens?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Little did I know what I was getting into when I chose to rise and respond.
However, I can assure the member that what the Minister of Health said was quite accurate. The problem at the time that particular division was in his ministry was what legislation it would come under. It’s now clear from our review of it that it will have to come under legislation such as Bill 70.
Members of our ministry staff who came over to us from Health have had a research interest in microwave problems and that interest has now been converted into recommendations.
I can’t tell the member when these will become regulations. But certainly it’s apparent to him that we are interested in the problem and propose to deal with it.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: In view of the fact that Bill 70 will only apply to ovens used in commercial applications, what does the government intend to do about the health risks from leakage by microwave ovens used in homes?
Ms. Gigantes: Nothing.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: I’m sure the member realizes Bill 70 does deal with occupational health and safety and therefore that’s the only aspect that comes under my ministry.
Mr. Breithaupt: That, indeed, is the point, Mr. Speaker. Is the minister now prepared to take on the responsibility that involves the Ministries of Consumer and Commercial Relations, Health, and Environment in certain aspects of concern, and can we have a statement as to which minister will be responsible for this ongoing problem, in manufacture and the problems with respect to the people making these items and also from the consumer side of it? Is one ministry going to be responsible generally for the supervision of this new problem?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: It’s my understanding that the health protection branch of the federal government is the division responsible for microwave ovens used by the public in general.
OTTAWA PSYCHIATRIC FACILITIES
Mr. Cassidy: I have another question for the Minister of Health which I hope I can get him to answer this time.
Considering there is no secure psychiatric facility to provide for juvenile offenders in the Ottawa area, and given that the funding the Ministry of Health has offered to the Royal Ottawa Hospital will only provide for a 10- to 15-bed secure forensic unit for adult offenders, can the minister explain why the ministry is not acting to establish such a secure facility for disturbed adolescents in the Ottawa area?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I would want to check the details of the proposal at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. I’m not sure that it won’t deal with juvenile offenders as well. I’m not certain of that.
I would want to take some time to look at the situation. I have not been aware previously that there is a particular problem in that regard in looking after juvenile offenders.
Mr. Cassidy: Is the minister aware that on November 9 of this year a meeting was convened of the heads of psychiatry and all people concerned with forensic services in the Ottawa area, that this meeting included people from every health facility and every ministry in the government except the four persons invited from the Ministry of Health who were not present?
And is the minister aware that committee expressed grave concern about the lack of a secure forensic facility for disturbed adolescents and called for urgent action on this priority? Will the minister respond to that and say when the government is prepared to act in order to ensure that disturbed adolescents can be looked after securely in the Ottawa area?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I’ll look at the means of providing that service now. I was not aware of the November 9 meeting. I’ll check to see who was invited and when they were invited and whether, in fact, they were able to attend if they had sufficient notice and generally investigate the whole situation and get back to the member.
Mr. Roy: A supplementary: May I ask the minister, in view of his answer that he was not aware of the problem in the Ottawa area, would he consult with some of his predecessors, for example the one just in front of him, who will advise him that there is a problem in the Ottawa area?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I just heard of the problem in the Ottawa area.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Yes, the member does represent the Ottawa area.
Mr. Roy: Secondly, is he aware that the problem --
Hon. Mr. Davis: Only in Ottawa Centre. Maybe even a psychiatric problem.
Mr. Roy: Yes, there may be a problem in Ottawa East, but there is nothing you people can do about it.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Now back to the question.
Mr. Roy: Continuing my question, seeing that the minister isn’t aware of the meeting of November 9, is he aware that the problem is not limited to the Ottawa area but includes the riding of Prescott-Russell? And thirdly, is he aware that the facilities, if he does decide to establish these facilities, must provide services in French, since there happen to be certain francophones there and services in that language which may be important are lacking in the Ottawa area?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions going on for some time with the Royal Ottawa Hospital on the question of psychiatric services and development of a secure unit, which have been accelerated, of course, by a fire in that unit around about that time, I think it was early in November.
Mr. Roy: It was before.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I’ve had a number of discussions with a number of different people about that. My point is that services for the young psychiatric cases have not been highlighted. I will check on the latest state of the discussions about the unit at the Royal Ottawa and look at this particular aspect of it.
The member will get an answer from me in due course.
Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In view of the report by Dr. Roberts who was the chairman of the forensic services committee to which I just referred --
Hon. Mr. Davis: There are a lot of supplementaries this morning.
Mr. Cassidy: -- where he said, “It is regrettable that no reaction will be taken before a tragedy causes a public scandal,” will the minister --
Ms. Gigantes: That’s what he says.
Mr. Cassidy: That’s what it said. Will the minister avoid this and undertake to act on the recommendation of the forensic services committee that the ministry and health services in the area convene now and make sure that this secure forensic facility for adolescents be provided immediately, rather than delaying it again and again?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I’ve already indicated that we’ve been working on this for some time. We’ve indicated to the Royal Ottawa that certain moneys are available to proceed. Unfortunately, in the past --
Mr. Cassidy: They should have what is needed.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- it seems that the ambitions of certain professionals have exceeded what our professional people think is required.
We’re trying to achieve a meeting of the minds on the question of psychiatric services and get on with the job.
Ms. Roy: Was that for Ottawa or eastern Ontario? They’re not exactly spoiled down there.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: A new question, the member for Ottawa East.
QUEBEC POLICY ON CONSTRUCTION HIRING
Mr. Roy: I would like to ask a question of the Minister of Labour. Following the federal-provincial conference where the honourable Premier, along with the Premier of Quebec, suggested that one last effort would be made to solve the Quebec construction problem, would the --
Hon. Mr. Davis: The member is not changing his mind too, is he?
Mr. Roy: No, I never have. If the Premier is going to be cynical, address it that way.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Has the member completed his question?
Mr. Roy: What date has he set for meeting his counterpart, the Honourable Mr. Johnson, in Quebec? Where is the meeting going to take place? What does he have in mind? Does he agree with his Quebec counterpart, who was quoted on the French television last week to the effect that he was in favour of neutral zones for certain areas of Ontario? Is he in agreement with that statement?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: That was eight months ago.
Mr. Roy: Bette, don’t get involved, because you were confused last time.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: The member was confused. He didn’t know what they were talking about, as usual.
Mr. Roy: I would like to ask the minister if he might be of assistance to us. Is he in favour of those zones? Apparently, the Quebec minister is in favour. Would they please get together and establish these?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: I am delighted to hear that the Minister of Labour for Quebec is in favour of free zones. But I would tell the member that the minister’s concept of a free zone isn’t the member’s concept of a free zone, nor is it mine.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: But he may have changed his mind. In any event, I would advise the member that we do plan on meeting with the Minister of Labour early in the month of January. I would prefer not to discuss the time and place, et cetera, at this time.
Mr. Roy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker. If I may ask the minister: talking about a free zone, I have lived in one for a while and I know what it’s about. This minister is not very popular down there but it doesn’t matter. We still like him.
Mr. Speaker: That’s not a question.
Mr. Pope: Who was unpopular last night?
Mr. Roy: I agree with you. It’s not a question. In view of the excellent precedent that has been established by the minister’s colleague, the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Drea), would he take him along to help him in negotiating and resolving this construction dispute? Then possibly we can avoid getting involved in retaliatory legislation or otherwise.
Mr. Pope: You only polled 15 per cent.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: I think it is very important that the member suggests that I take the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations with me. I understand that he certainly had a good time with them last night.
Mr. Makarchuk: If you can’t, Frank can.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: However, I don’t want to suggest that sort of relationship would take place, should I take him with me. However, I would like to indicate my willingness to meet with the Minister of Labour of Quebec. We plan on doing so early in the month of January.
Mr. Peterson: Make sure you have a strong leash.
Mr. Laughren: I have a question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism, following his fog-bound statement on the GATT negotiations yesterday. In view of the fact that free trade holds such real dangers for the Ontario economy, is the minister aware of the dramatic and distressingly increasing share of our domestic market which imports are taking in the following areas -- this is just in the last 10 years: for machinery, from 63 per cent to 71 per cent; electrical products, 19 to 20 per cent; consumer electronics, 25 to 63 per cent; computers and office equipment, 60 to 90 per cent; all high technology goods, 35 to 50 per cent; and, for all manufactured goods, from 21 to 30 per cent.
If the minister is aware of that, why is he just telling us now about adjustment policies for those various sectors, particularly in view of the fact that those are crucial sectors? They are going to determine to a large extent the health of the Ontario economy in the future, both in terms of jobs and in the creation of new wealth.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I must say we are not just saying that now. I believe everything we said yesterday in terms of GATT, and during our estimates this week, is quite consistent with the adjustment paper which the member had “brown-bagged” to him a few weeks ago and which in fact was the position of this ministry I suppose quite a few months ago. This is a position that dates back quite some time in this ministry -- that is, an awareness of those problems.
Mr. Laughren: What are the specifics?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: To address now the specifics of your earlier question with regard to what we are doing about the problem, I know you will be aware of the portions of the Shop Canadian program which relate specifically to what we can do in the short term to replace imports.
Mr. Laughren: Like General Electric in Barrie.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We think the greater strides we make now -- and there are some strides being made now in terms of that import replacement -- then the better position we will be in to respond to the GATT changes when they do occur.
Mr. Laughren: Or Hydro.
Hon. W. Newman: Why doesn’t the member start drinking Ontario wine?
Mr. Laughren: Is the minister aware as well of the dramatic decline in manufacturing jobs in the two major industrial centres in Ontario, namely Hamilton and Toronto? What has happened there between June 1973 and June 1978, in just a five-year period, is that in Hamilton, all manufacturing jobs have declined from 69,100 to 65,500; machinery jobs, from 4,700 to 2,400; jobs in electrical products from 7,200 to 4,200. In Toronto jobs in the whole manufacturing sector have declined from 299,200 to 296,800; metal fabrication jobs, from 31,600 to 30,700; machinery jobs, from 17,800 to 14,400; and electrical products jobs, from 33,900 to 31,800.
In view of that rather dramatic decline in jobs in our two major industrial centres in the province in just five years, and in view of the fact as well that the ministry’s own paper in its submission to the federal government concerning the GATT negotiators earlier said the following: “The federal government has predicated its” --
Mr. Speaker: This is becoming a speech.
Mr. Laughren: I will be specific in my question then. Has the minister done any predictions on jobs in those very critical industries for the next five or 10 years?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Obviously, I don’t have any predictions with regard to those jobs in the next five or 10 years with me this morning. We certainly have some projections within the ministry as to what we expect to happen in those sectors. As I indicated in estimates the other night, we have something over 100 various task forces and subtask forces going on to try to determine what the future holds for each of those industries in sectorial situations in this province.
Mr. Laughren: That is your job creation program.
Mr. Warner: That’s the only place where there will be jobs.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I might say we are the only province that has responded in such an aggressive fashion to get ahead of the game and try to indicate what is going to happen in that period. Second, obviously our final determinations on our ultimate predictions must await the next three or four months, when we will see what tariff and non-tariff changes will occur.
I have to repeat to the member that we are well aware of this situation. He referred the other night, for example, to the speech I made in Oakville, which is near Hamilton, one of the communities he was specifically referring to. I spent quite a lengthy bit of that speech referring specifically to the manufacturing opportunities and what this government was prepared to do in order to assist the manufacturing industry both in Hamilton and Toronto. I hope he will be supportive of the steps we plan to take over the next few years.
UNION HIRING PRACTICES
Mr. Yakabuski: I have a question of the Minister of Labour. Is the Minister of Labour aware of the concern of union members in the Ottawa Valley and eastern Ontario with regard to union hiring and laying-off practices in the Ottawa area? Is he also aware that many of the union members fear reprisals or blackballing if they complain to the Ontario Labour Relations Board?
Ms. Gigantes: What are you talking about?
Mr. Samis: Is this a question or what?
Mr. Foulds: Be specific.
Mr. Yakabuski: Is the minister prepared to send his labour relations people to Ottawa to advertise the fact that they are there, whereby these union members can call on his people --
Mr. McClellan: Name the unions.
Mr. Yakabuski: -- and lodge complaints where they will not fear that reprisals or any other action will be taken?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: If the member will give me the details of the matters outlined, I will be pleased to review them and deal with them in an appropriate manner.
Mr. Warner: Name names.
LUNG CANCER CASES
Hon. Mr. Elgie: In my absence, the leader of the New Democratic Party (Mr. Cassidy) asked the Premier (Mr. Davis) a couple of questions regarding the Workmen’s Compensation Board and compensation for mesothelioma. I would like to advise the member that the board has already recognized mesothelioma as being related to asbestos exposure. The guidelines related to the adjudication of claims for this condition were published by the board in January 1976.
With respect to recognition of any current claims regarding mesothelioma, the board is required to establish that an individual did indeed have an occupational exposure to asbestos. The board has received two claims for mesothelioma from alleged exposure to asbestos in the manufacture of gas masks in the Ottawa area, and appropriate inquiries have already been instituted. The board has also initiated the necessary inquiries to identify any other individuals who might be involved.
I can assure the honourable member that I have asked the board to expedite its inquiry into this particular matter. Since in this instance it is not a question of establishing a relationship, but merely one of establishing exposure, I would expect that the matter would be resolved quickly.
With regard to the second part of the question, there is no provision in the act which would permit the payment of interim benefits to employees or their dependants until such time as entitlement has been established.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Will the minister simply explain why in the case of Mr. Janveau in the Ottawa area that although the family filed a claim back in August, it was not until they actually contacted the board again more than a month later that some action began from the WCB? Will the minister undertake that in future where there is a disease of this nature, which is so obviously related to asbestos exposure in industry, that interim payment of claim will be paid pending the final determination, rather than forcing people to wait months or even longer before they are able to qualify for entitlement?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: I would like to advise the member that the causes of tumours, including mesothelioma, which is a class of tumour, are still unknown, but he is quite right: asbestos has been shown to be related to mesothelioma. That doesn’t mean that all mesotheliomas arise from asbestos. I think, therefore, he will think it is not an unreasonable request that the board try to establish that there was an exposure to asbestos before deciding whether or not to grant a claim.
I have a second answer, Mr. Speaker, if I may.
Mr. Speaker: All right. Try to be brief, will you? We have quite a backlog of answers to questions previously asked and we want to get them all in today.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Last week the Leader of [the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) asked me several questions regarding a fire at the Kimberly-Clark plant in Etobicoke. I would like to inform the member that there were two previous fires at the plant, on September 20, 1975, and on October 8, 1975. Paper rolls did not independently collapse during firefighting operations at either fire, although some rolls did collapse during the cleanup operations after the fire of September 20, 1975. At the October 8, 1975, fire, some rolls of paper did collapse during the firefighting operations when a plant worker was attempting to move rolls with a fork-lift. As the rolls began to fall, he left his fork-lift and was struck by a roll, breaking his nose.
Following these fires, an investigation and a report of the circumstances of the fires was carried out by a committee that included representatives of the fire marshal’s office and the Etobicoke fire chief. The industrial health and safety branch was not involved in the post-fire investigation as, at that time, there was no policy to investigate such events. Apparently recommendations were made by the committee after those fires concerning storage procedures, but there is no written record of those recommendations.
Regarding the latest fire, I understand that an inquest is to be held. At that time I am certain the coroner will request any information that the industrial health and safety branch might have about the December 6, 1978, fire. However, so as to avoid prejudicing the testimony of anyone who might appear at the inquest, I do not believe it is advisable to release details of our current investigation at this moment.
Mr. Ruston: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. Since the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) has made a statement with regard to the saving of agricultural land, has the minister any new plan to have incinerators or something similar installed in some cities in Ontario to avoid using excellent farm land? I’m speaking particularly of Essex county, where the city of Windsor brings all its garbage into the riding of Essex North, and we have the best land in Ontario with the highest heat units and yet we’re continuing to pile it up. Is the minister coming out with any new system like some that are used in the United States for burning it?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: First of all, what the municipalities do with their refuse is, of course, their particular problem. We have a good deal of basic information on a lot of methods of treating municipal solid waste. I think we are fairly aware of the successful research plant that we have in the ministry. Certainly there are many communities right now discussing with the ministry various possibilities of how to treat their municipal waste on a co-operative basis. That is true of the Kent-Essex area. I think there will be some plans coming forward in the not-too-distant future, but on their initiative, and that’s where it should be.
One of the things I would also like to say in this regard is that it is very difficult to find any place in the world -- and it’s a real disappointment to our ministry -- where refuse-derived fuel is a total success. They have been plagued with technical difficulties and what has happened in this area in the last two or three years has been less than exciting. We expected that would have developed very nicely by now. It hasn’t, but we are very convinced that it is something the municipalities and our ministry will work together on and solve.
BEARE ROAD LANDFILL SITE
Hon. Mr. Parrott: This is a rather short answer, Mr. Speaker. On December 4, the leader of the third party (Mr. Cassidy) asked what reply I was giving to Metro Toronto’s request for financial assistance for a study of surface runoff at the Beare Road site.
I am pleased to inform him that during the meeting on Wednesday with the chairman of Metro, I informed Mr. Godfrey that the Ontario Ministry of the Environment has agreed to pay 50 per cent of the cost of the study up to a maximum of $10,000.
The funding will be provided under our waste management improvement program for 1979. Funds will be available in the 1979-80 fiscal year which, of course, commences on April 1.
I am sure the chairman was very pleased to receive that good news on Wednesday.
Ms. Gigantes: I have a question for the Minister of Education. The minister’s statement today finally committed the provincial government to legislation making it mandatory for boards of education to provide special education programs to meet the needs of the individual Ontario children. Can she indicate to the families of these children in Ontario when she expects the program to be in place? Does she expect the boards to be able to develop and deliver these programs on the miserly 4.06 per cent increase in provincial grants to boards announced by the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) last week?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: In the first place, the actual level of the general legislative grants has not been determined totally at this point. The honourable member is presuming what the level will be.
Ms. Gigantes: What was the Treasurer talking about?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Secondly, the memoranda to the school boards will be delivered to the school boards very early in the new year; hopefully, between Christmas and the new year.
Most of the school boards are aware of the initiatives we have been proposing to take in this area. Most are indeed concerned about their capabilities to comply with it. It is obvious that one cannot overnight ask for complete support of a program which, indeed, increases the responsibility of a school board rather significantly. It is anticipated that with the assistance of the Ministry of Education, with the provision of special education courses for teachers, with the other initiatives which the ministry is taking, the school boards will be able to comply totally with the requirement by September 1981.
It is in the spirit of phasing in the program that this is being introduced, because we understand that attempting to provide an immediate universal capability is totally and completely unrealistic.
Mr. Sterling: This is a question to the Minister of Agriculture and Food. In view of the statement to all of the clerks of the municipalities in eastern Ontario in relation to the ARDA program, could the minister clarify two points?
First of all: if work had begun on a municipal drain by September 8, 1978, but cannot be completed until after March 31, 1979, will there continue to be ARDA funding for such a drain?
Second: could he clarify for the members of the Legislature the position of both the minister’s government and the federal government in relation to drains which have not begun but which have been petitioned?
Hon. W. Newman: My understanding, from talking to Mr. Lessard, and the announcements that were made in Ottawa, is that any engineering contract that had actually been signed and on which work had started prior to, September 8, 1978, would be financed under the ARDA agreements to the end of March 1979. After the end of March 1979, if it is an ongoing program or an ongoing project, several of those could be approved by the federal minister, Mr. Lessard, to continue on past March 31, 1979.
The second part of the member’s question was: what happens to all those who have had engineering reports done or outlet drain work that needs to be done between now and the end of March 1979? It is my understanding -- well, it is not my understanding -- we are working on general development agreements with the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller). We are hoping there will be some agreement under a general development agreement that will cover most of the concerns the member has raised with me today.
ENERGY BOARD HEARINGS
Hon. Mr. Auld: Yesterday, the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) asked whether I was aware of a meeting which had taken place last June or so between the Ministry of Energy, possibly the minister, the Association of Major Power Consumers of Ontario, Ontario Hydro and the Ontario Energy Board. The implication of the question seems to be that some discussions took place at that time which in some way affected the costing and pricing hearings of the Ontario Energy Board.
In my reply yesterday I said I was not aware of any meeting but I would look into it. I also said my predecessor had advised me that he was not present at any meeting of the kind described and was not aware of it.
Since then, I have been informed that on May 25, 1978, my deputy minister arranged a lunch between Mr. Earle Alderson, chairman of OMPCO; Mr. Henry Sissons, a vice-president of Ontario Hydro; and Mr. Robert Clendining, chairman of the Ontario Energy Board.
Mr. Alderson, who is an executive with Domtar Limited in Montreal, had never met either Mr. Sissons or Mr. Clendining in their present capacities. The purpose of the informal lunch was to enable these individuals to meet and, more specifically, for Mr. Alderson to discuss with Mr. Sissons some concerns which AMPCO had with respect to its relationship with Ontario Hydro as well as its concerns with the delays and costs involved in the public hearing process generally. Mr. Clendining was invited so that he could meet Mr. Alderson and hear firsthand the concerns being expressed about the public hearing process.
I should also say that the minister was aware that a lunch had been arranged with Mr. Alderson so that Mr. Alderson could discuss, with Ontario Hydro and the deputy minister, issues involving Ontario Hydro.
For the past two years, AMPCO has met with the Minister of Energy and has advised him that its efforts to develop a more consultative process with Ontario Hydro, so that issues could be resolved before they became magnified out of proportion, were not meeting with much success. As a result of AMPCO’s feelings of frustration, which were expressed again at a meeting held May 1, 1978, between the minister and Mr. Alderson, the deputy minister arranged for Mr. Alderson to meet with Mr. Sissons, then the vice-president, distribution, of Ontario Hydro.
It is important to keep in mind that AMPCO is an association of some 250 individual industrial users of electricity who consume about 30 per cent of all the electricity produced by Ontario Hydro.
Ms. Gigantes: At cheap rates. Let them go to the public hearings and argue their case.
Hon. Mr. Auld: One would have assumed that Mr. Alderson and the senior Hydro official responsible for distribution would have known each other well. Why they did not is not worth speculating. The important point is that my deputy felt it was important that they should meet to see if they could try to resolve some of their difference.
At the May 1 meeting between the minister and Mr. Alderson, AMPCO also expressed concerns about the public hearing process --
Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I am having trouble hearing this statement on a very important matter.
Mr. Speaker: Order. If honourable members would keep their private conversations down, everybody would be able to hear the minister who has the floor.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Not likely.
An hon. member: He talks with his mouth full of potatoes.
Hon. Mr. Auld: AMPCO, among many other matters, stated: the hearings were dragging on; it found itself in an adversary position and it did not feel that was the intent of the hearing process in the first place; that the Ontario Energy Board panel should permit a broader scope to the hearings --
Ms. Gigantes: When they don’t like what’s happening, they go to private discussions.
Hon. Mr. Auld: -- and, specifically, that it should include an examination of other methodologies, including the Ernst and Ernst study. I should add that on February 3, 1978, AMPCO had moved a motion at the Ontario Energy Board hearing that Hydro should, among other matters, produce marginal-cost-based rates using the methodologies of Ernst and Ernst. Significantly, that motion was denied by the OEB panel in September 1978.
As I stated earlier, the Leader of the Opposition’s question seemed to suggest that there was some possible impropriety in Mr. Alderson meeting with Ontario Hydro in the presence of the chairman of the OEB to discuss AMPCO’s relationships with Ontario and its concerns over the delays and attendant costs involved in the hearing process.
It is important to keep in mind that the chairman of the Ontario Energy Board is not a member of the board’s costing and pricing panel. Also, one of the chairman’s responsibilities is to be aware of and sensitive to the views of the public with respect to the OEB’s hearing process. In this capacity, the chairman endeavours to meet with as many individuals and groups as possible in order to assess the effectiveness or possible deficiencies of its hearing process.
Ms. Gigantes: Yes, right around the end of the public hearings.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Moreover, it is a board policy, and a particular practice of the chairman, not to discuss ongoing hearings with the presiding panel. I have been assured by the chairman that this policy was strictly adhered to in this case.
After reviewing the facts, I am satisfied that the initiative to bring AMPCO in closer touch with Ontario Hydro and the OEB can only result in better understanding and co-operation between AMPCO and those other two organizations.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary on this very important matter, Mr. Speaker, I have basically three questions that remain: The first one is, does the minister think it is correct in the midst of hearings by an impartial tribunal that the chairman of the tribunal, whether or not he is a hearing officer, should meet with Hydro and with one major party to what is a proceeding in front of the Ontario Energy Board, namely, AMPCO, rather than also having other major parties there? Does he think it’s right that such meetings should go on in the midst of these hearings?
Ms. Gigantes: Shame.
Mr. S. Smith: Secondly, on the change in Ontario Hydro’s position in front of that board, which originally, as the minister knows was to reduce the amount of subsidy the ordinary consumer basically pays to the big industries and reverse it to some extent, why did Hydro change its opinion very shortly after that particular meeting? Is there any cause-and-effect situation there? Those are two of the very basic questions.
A third one is, can the minister tell us how much it is going to cost the ordinary consumers to have to suffer through Hydro’s apparent reversal, if the Ontario Energy Board decides in favour of the new Hydro position rather than the one they were previously putting forward?
Hon. Mr. Add: In reply to the Leader of the Opposition, I think it is important to remember a couple of things. First of all, the cost and pricing study which was done by the staff of Ontario Hydro has not been either accepted or rejected by the board of Ontario Hydro. It was presented to the board to have the board conduct hearings and get opinions on the things that are in that study.
It is also important to recognize that the Ontario Energy Board does not set Hydro’s rates. It may make recommendations, but it is the board of Ontario Hydro which makes those rates. Consequently, I can see nothing wrong with the chairman of the board having been listening to the complaints or concerns of AMPCO because --
Ms. Gigantes: Private pleading.
Hon. Mr. Auld: -- he does not discuss these things with the board. The hearings have been going on for some little time. If he was not to talk to anybody until all those hearings were over, it would be perhaps a year or so before anybody could talk to him.
OHIP DATA PROCESSING SERVICES
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: On Monday, December 11, the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell) asked me a question about “tendering of work as it relates to the data processors and others in the Overlea Boulevard area,” and whether the ministry is “going to complete contracting out for all of these services.”
I believe the honourable member was referring to the fact that 10 keypunchers in the enrolment branch are being phased out because the branch is being decentralized to our district offices. My information is that only three operators of those declared surplus have not yet been placed in other positions, and every effort is being made to accommodate these three people.
In addition, there has been no increase in the amount of work contracted out by OHIP and there is no intention in the ministry of going to full contracting of these services.
Mr. Johnson: I beg leave to present a petition, signed by over 1,000 residents of the town of Caledon, supporting the Cantrakon development proposal for the town of Caledon.
MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT
Hon. Mr. Parrott presented the annual report of the Ministry of the Environment for the year 1977-78.
STANDING RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Mr. Havrot from the standing resources development committee reported the following resolutions:
That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1979:
Resources development policy program, $3,620,000.
That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of Industry and Tourism be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1979:
Ministry administration program, $3,383,000; policy and priorities program, $2,247,000; industry and trade development program, $11,375,000; tourism development program, $13,532,000; small business development program, $5,273,000; Ontario Place Corporation program, $2,411,000; industrial incentives and development program, $23,915,000.
ONTARIO STATUS OF WOMEN COUNCIL
Hon. Mrs. Birch presented the fourth annual report of the Ontario Status of Women Council.
STANDING ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE COMMITTEE
Mr. Philip from the standing administration of justice committee presented the committee’s report.
Mr. Philip: This report is on the committee’s order of reference dated Wednesday, September 13, 1978, respecting George A. Kerr, QC, MPP. I’m pleased to report to the Speaker that this represents a consensus of all parties and all members on the committee.
Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I regret that I must disagree with the chairman of the committee in that this may represent a consensus, but I wish to point out to you as a point of order that there is no procedure whereby an individual member may record his objections to portions of a report. I wish now to record my objections to the inclusion of the final two paragraphs of the report. There is no other means whereby this can be done. I want to point out that I object to those two paragraphs on the grounds that they’re completely gratuitous --
An hon. member: Do you want everybody to get up and say they object?
Mr. Pope: They’re gratuitous and political.
Mr. Handleman: -- they’re not relevant to the matter referred to the committee, they’re not supported by the evidence adduced during the committee’s sittings, and they’re beyond the competence and authority of the committee.
Mr. Pope: Political hanging party.
Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I suggest that you may wish to refer this lack in our rules to the standing committee on procedural affairs so that there is an opportunity for individual members to disagree with portions of a report. There is no other procedure.
Mr. Cassidy: There is. Submit it in the report.
Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, speaking to the point of order, the rules do provide that members may, with the permission of the committee, provide a dissenting opinion. That, of course, is a simple exercising of a member’s prerogative to dissent from the majority or the consensus formed at the committee.
Mr. Pope: No, it isn’t.
Mr. Handleman: And if the committee doesn’t agree?
Mr. Breaugh: Then, of course, all you have to do is to write it, and I’m not aware of any committee in the recent history of this House that has refused to allow a member to dissent.
Mr. Pope: Now you have one.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Now you are aware.
Mr. Philip: On the point of order, it distresses me that the honourable member didn’t have the courtesy to come to the chairman of the committee and at least inform him that he was doing this. It distresses me that the honourable member didn’t even think of the procedure of moving a motion in committee to delete those two paragraphs, and I’m very distressed that the --
Mr. Handleman: There was a motion on the table. You wouldn’t allow it to be voted upon.
Mr. Sterling: Mr. Speaker, on this point of order, a motion was moved by the member of Middlesex (Mr. Eaton) to delete these last two paragraphs. That motion was not withdrawn or called.
Mr. Pope: Political shenanigans.
Mr. Martel: You guys know all about it.
Mr. Handleman: The motion was there. It wasn’t called and it wasn’t withdrawn.
Mr. Philip: Absolutely no ethics whatever.
BIRTHDAY OF MEMBER FOR ST. GEORGE
Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, before I present the report of the standing public accounts committee, perhaps I could draw to the attention of the House that today is the birthday of the member for St. George, who is 39 once again.
An hon. member: And holding, eh, Margaret?
Mr. T. P. Reid: And holding, yes.
STANDING PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE
Mr. T. P. Reid presented the report from the standing public accounts committee.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, the report is rather thin in that we didn’t have that many opportunities to sit during the fall. I would refer honourable members to the interim report that was filed at the end of June. We are asking that we have responses from the various cabinet ministers and deputy ministers as to the recommendations we have made.
I’m not asking for approval of the report today because it contains a couple of recommendations, one of which I believe is being accepted, to allow the public accounts committee to meet when the Legislature is not in session in order to deal with the auditor’s report on a concentrated basis, and hopefully to complete the committee’s scrutiny of that report and the public accounts by a reasonable time during the next spring session.
The report also calls for a research person to be made available to the committee. It is, I believe, the unanimous consensus of the committee that such a researcher is, in fact, required to assist the public accounts committee in carrying out its responsibilities. The committee is concerned that, over the years, it has made recommendations that have not been acted upon by the government. In many cases the responses from the government are either not forthcoming or, in fact, inadequate.
It is hoped that since our terms of reference are to improve the system and hopefully, to do away with any duplication of waste and inefficiency, the government might pay a little more attention to the recommendations of the public accounts committee.
DEPARTMENT STORE TAKEOVER BID
Mr. Laughren: My point of privilege follows a question which I put to the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) on November 23, 1978. This concerned the takeover bid and merger between Simpsons and Simpsons-Sears and the subsequent bid by Hudson’s Bay. At that time the Minister of Industry and Tourism made a commitment to provide some information concerning the ministry’s input to the Foreign Investment Review Agency and as well to table guidelines which they follow within the ministry when making recommendations to that federal agency. The session is coming to a close now and there has been no response by the minister. I would like to draw that to your attention.
Mr. Speaker: On the point that the privilege the honourable member enjoys has been abrogated, the honourable minister obviously hasn’t got the information at the present time. I assume he will be providing it to you at the earliest possible moment.
SITTING OF HOUSE
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the House continue to sit until it is prorogued by the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the following substitutions be made: on the select committee on Ontario Hydro, Mr. di Santo for Mr. Deans; on the standing procedural affairs committee, Mr. Charlton for Mr. MacDonald.
Motion agreed to.
BUSINESS REFERRED TO COMMITTEES DURING RECESS
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that, notwithstanding the prorogation of the House, Bill 136, An Act to stabilize Employment of Tradesmen in the Construction Industry, shall remain referred to the standing resources development committee for clause-by-clause examination. Upon commencement of the third session of the 31st Parliament, the bill shall be deemed to have been introduced and read the first time, be deemed to have been read a second time and referred to the standing resources development committee.
Further: that the annual report of the Minister of the Environment for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1977, and the annual report of the Ontario Highway Transport Board for 1977 remain referred to the committee for consideration during the interval between sessions.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that, notwithstanding the prorogation of the House, Bill 74, An Act to Establish a Code of Procedure for Provincial Offences, and Bill 75, An Act to amend the Provincial Courts Act shall remain referred to the standing administration of justice committee for clause-by-clause examination. Upon commencement of the third session of the 31st Parliament, the bill shall be deemed to have been introduced and read the first time, be deemed to have been read the second time and referred to the standing administration of justice committee.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that Bill 163, an Act to Reform the Law respecting Residential Tenancies, be withdrawn from the standing social development committee and referred to the general government committee. Notwithstanding the prorogation of the House, the bill shall remain referred to the standing general government committee for clause-by-clause examination. Upon commencement of the third session of the 31st Parliament, the bill shall be deemed to have been introduced and read the first time, be deemed to have been read the second time and referred to the standing general government committee.
Motion agreed to.
SITTINGS OF COMMITTEES
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the following committees be authorized to sit during the interval between the sessions:
The standing administration of justice committee, to consider Bills 74 and 75; the standing resources development committee, to consider Bill 136 and the annual report of the Minister of the Environment for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1977, and the annual report of the Ontario Highway Transport Board for 1977; the standing general government committee, to consider Bill 163; the standing public accounts committee, to consider the report of the provincial auditor, the sittings of the committee to take place during the month of February 1979; the procedural affairs committee, to consider the committee system.
Motion agreed to.
STANDING PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE
Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if on a point of order I could ask the House leader if a motion is required? We passed the new rules of the Legislature last night, which provided for the members of the public accounts committee, once appointed, to be members for the life of the Parliament. It has been brought to my attention that we might need a motion in the House in order to ensure that we are able to sit in February. Is that required?
Hon. Mr. Welch: I assume that the motion I just put does keep you alive at least to the end of February 1979. If there is any question about that, I will be glad to revert to “Motions” before we prorogue.
APPOINTMENT OF OMBUDSMAN
Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved resolution 20:
That a humble address be presented to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor in Council as follows:
To the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor in Council:
We, Her Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontario, now assembled, request the appointment of the Honourable Donald Raymond Morand as Ombudsman for the province of Ontario, as provided in section 3 of the Ombudsman Act, 1975, to hold office under the terms and conditions of the said act.
And that the address be engrossed and presented to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor in Council by Mr. Speaker.
Mr. S. Smith: Perhaps I might just add one word in expressing our pleasure at being able to co-operate and to second the motion of the Attorney General. We feel that Ontario is fortunate indeed to be able to call upon the services of Mr. Justice Morand as Ombudsman following the excellent Ombudsman who resigned recently, Mr. Maloney. We believe the career of Mr. Justice Morand is one of great distinction and we look forward to the service which he and his colleagues and staff will be able to give to the citizens of Ontario. I am very pleased to co-operate with the Attorney General in seconding that excellent nomination.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, in response to the proposed address, Justice Morand is a distinguished jurist. We have had the opportunity to meet with him and review with him some of his thoughts about the assumption of the role of Ombudsman in the province of Ontario. On behalf of the New Democratic Party, I want to say that we will also be supporting the motion addressed to the Lieutenant Governor for the appointment of Justice Morand.
Among other things, I have been impressed by some of the recommendations which he made in the report on Metropolitan Toronto police practices reflecting a need for a civilian complaint procedure and I want to express regret that those recommendations have not yet been taken up by the government. I think it’s interesting as well that Justice Morand is a fan of science fiction and, therefore, has a certain humanity one doesn’t always find at the bench.
We recognize that there is a need, as well, for a certain amount of calm in the office of the ombudsman after the excellent service we’ve had from Arthur Maloney. I’m hopeful that Justice Morand will, however, continue to press to expand the role of Ombudsman and not merely confine his role to the most narrow limitations, which seems to be the position taken by legal officers for the present government.
I would appreciate it if the Attorney General, during the course of this debate, would state what arrangements are being made in terms of salary for the new Ombudsman since I understand that they differ from those that were made for Mr. Maloney. And would he verify that the complicated pension arrangements being made between this government and the federal government will not result in any net difference in salary for Mr. Morand, but are merely a matter of ensuring that he will enjoy the judge’s pension he would have had, had he stayed on the bench for the next four years rather than serving this province as Ombudsman? Obviously, we would support that.
I do want to say that in a letter to the Premier (Mr. Davis) I have expressed concern about the manner of consultation surrounding the appointment of Justice Morand as Ombudsman. I say this after indicating very clearly that we intend to support his appointment. I do believe that in four years or so, when we are next considering who should be the Ombudsman for Ontario, the role of that person as an officer of the assembly must be considered much more carefully in the manner of the appointment.
The Ombudsman Act states specifically that the Ombudsman shall be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council on the address of the assembly. All of us recall that the original intention was that the address of the assembly would be more than a few minutes of debate, and that the appointment would be made in consultation with the parties or between the party leaders. I have to say that there has been no such effective consultation on this particular appointment.
The Premier was good enough to call me, and I suppose he called the Leader of the Opposition, when it became clear that the press had learned of Justice Morand’s nomination. He intended certainly to call us before making it public. However, there was no consultation in the sense of asking us for recommendations or considering possible appointees to the office. The only step that took place in my case was when I called the Premier with a couple of names I wanted to suggest, and one name I wished to indicate he would be very unhappy with.
We should seek to develop a more satisfactory procedure and I believe, and recommended to the Premier, that this matter be referred either to the Ombudsman committee or to the procedural affairs committee sometime in the new year for them to come up with a better procedure. I have suggested, for example, that an all-party committee might recommend nominees to the Premier in consultation with the Premier’s office or the cabinet office and the Premier might make his selection from that short list in consultation with the leaders of the two opposition parties.
I am sure there are many other devices which either could be developed here or which have been used for similar types of appointments in other parliamentary assemblies. The point that must be made is that the Ombudsman is a servant of the Legislature and not of the government. It is very important that the manner of his appointment reflect that fact, that he be seen as a servant of the Legislature and not of the government. The Attorney General would agree with me that given the importance of the Ombudsman’s office and given his role as an independent arbiter and protector of citizens against abuses of government administrative authority, the recommendation I am making should be very seriously considered the next time we come to appoint an Ombudsman.
In the meantime, as I said before, it is with pleasure that I support, on behalf of my party, the appointment of Mr. Justice Morand.
Mr. Lawlor: We welcome, and I as chairman of the committee on the Ombudsman, a committee of this House, welcome this appointment. There will not be quite the trumpets blowing and the gonfalons flying that greeted the previous Ombudsman, but perhaps there is not the same flamboyance present either. I will just say a word about Mr. Maloney. I think it is only right to do so. He certainly put the office on the map.
It may very well be that Judge Morand will have sufficient money to carry out his functions into at least the immediate future in this particular office. The office needs a man who is prepared to do some hard slugging with respect to organizational functions. I won’t go into the details of that. The Ombudsman’s office, from the point of view of the chairman, has not derived sufficient respect from the members of this House, nor has the committee that has been charged with the responsibility of overseership.
I think the House should know that. I think ministers of the crown should damned well know it. They are ignoring, rejecting, turning aside and generally asserting an element of contempt in not giving proper cognizance to recommendations coming to them from the Ombudsman. This has happened in much too many instances.
Secondly, there was the disgraceful display which in effect caused my colleague, then the chairman, to resign the post of chairman the other night in this House, on a Monday evening, where, it seemed, by a conspiracy or universal boycott, all the cabinet ministers stayed deliberately away when the report affecting their responsibility vis-à-vis the Ombudsman was to be discussed. I thought we had set up a good precedent. I thought we had set up a good working relationship, and that the most sensible way in which that committee could get an exchange in a public way across the House with respect to the various rejected recommendations was the particular forum done the previous year. But, no, we came in here expecting that this would take place. The debate was truncated and adjourned long before the final hour.
It was a direct slight, so far as I am concerned and I am sure all my colleagues are concerned, to the work of this particular committee. Let me go one step further. If we don’t get a better response than we have got, that is, the select committee, this is not a threat but I am just warning the government that that committee may not exist. It may very well dissolve itself. We anticipate, expect and, damn it, demand better treatment. We don’t give ourselves any airs. We are not in a refined position. It is simply a question of how the Ombudsman in this province is to operate and what agencies to use. The government set up a special group in order to act as filter for the complaints and any form of aggravation which may obtain in that particular, and it is ignoring it. There is no co-operation.
So be it. If the government doesn’t want to co-operate, we’ll quit. We don’t have to do the job. It is a very onerous job. I want to make that abundantly clear that that is what is going on, certainly to my mind and from certain conversations with others of my colleagues in this particular area.
I suggest to you to pull up your socks on this issue, if we are inefficacious. We are effectively the only sanction the Ombudsman has got. The committee is set up as his sanction. The sanction isn’t very onerous. The Ombudsman in Sweden can send people to jail and prosecute. He has criminal powers. None of us has anything like that, nor has our Ombudsman. The only way we can make the Ombudsman work effectively is though the agency of this House and by way of that committee. If that is not the desire, then so be it. The government will find out what the consequences are, and not too long from now.
In any event, I want to take issue this morning for a moment on what the Leader of the Opposition brought forward as a question. The committee on the Ombudsman has suggested that a certain extension of its powers not be given, namely, in the whole municipal area, which the previous Ombudsman solicited and to some extent lobbied for. We thought that was unwise. There must be some confinement of that particular office, not just in terms of the financial potential, but because of the effective internal working. We all believed that these various agencies, et cetera, derivative of public funds, including the hospital boards, would fall within his purview. And now what is happening? It is part of this disrespect. Various agencies and boards under the ministry -- I guess with the consent of the minister -- are challenging the operation, function and ambit of the Office of the Ombudsman. That can’t go on, for many reasons.
To force the Ombudsman time after time to take an address or to take a petition before the divisional court of this province, with the legal help that is required, with the money involved, with the totally unnecessary expenditure of funds which the government is trying to harvest more carefully than it has done up until this time, and then to encourage that and then for him to join on the wrong side, as I put it, he should be arguing on behalf of the Ombudsman. He should be arguing that he has jurisdiction in these various regards where public funds and expenditures are involved or where the appointee powers are operative through the Lieutenant Governor or otherwise. But he didn’t; he went in on the opposite side.
It’s again a slap in the face, as far as I’m concerned. Either he wants that office to function or he doesn’t. If he doesn’t, he should dissolve it. There are too many members of this House who would do so in any event. But from here on in, give him all the support you can. He needs it. if Mr. Morand is to operate properly he is going to have to have the full backing, particularly of the Attorney General’s office. When the Premier, on occasion, receives that final report, after rejection by one of his ministers -- his routine dismissal and sending it back -- I don’t know if he even looks at it.
I understand the Premier’s position in this particular regard. The Premier wants to support his cabinet ministers and will not easily be persuaded to run adverse to their opinions, particularly when they have overtly rejected the report. But maybe on occasion he might sufficiently look into it to give the Ombudsman some kind of prestige, some kind of role in the thing and some recognition. There are occasions in which we in committee have found the minister has been at fault; maybe too legalistic in his interpretation of a clause in a statute. This is particularly true of the Ministry of Health. It has the most draconian lawyers I’ve ever encountered. I shouldn’t say that so broadly; I don’t know them all, but the few I’ve met are quite unbelievable.
There is a responsibility to heighten, entrench and give substance to that particular operation. With a new man coming in, I think the government can find a modus vivendi and set up the proper internal working relationships. We have asked over and over again to have the estimates of the Ombudsman sent to the select committee. Four or five reports have done this. It has been ignored and rejected.
The other morning -- I think it was yesterday morning -- the Ombudsman’s estimates came up at the standing general government committee. Nobody who has internal cognizance of the operation of that office and who knows rather more intimately than the average member what goes on there, because that’s his responsibility, was there. We were tied up in other committees. You can’t be at two places, and I’m not even going to try any more to run from one to the other. How effective can you be, in any event? So the Ombudsman’s estimates come though on a committee that is not thoroughly aware of the internal workings and we already have a committee that is, and that is told to be. That’s our job.
The government should give some thought to that particular recommendation that has been made over and over again to refer them to us. We can’t reduce them, we can’t change them, we can only comment. But it would give an added opportunity to those who are thus aware to submit comments in the course of those estimates on a number of financial matters and areas at which the government could take a look, particularly Management Board.
I think that when Mr. Justice Morand comes into office he will find that the works of Asimov and Heinlein and other major scientific fiction writers of the contemporary world are far more closely related to the Office of the Ombudsman than he would ever suspect at the present moment. There is a certain air of fantasy. He may be living at times in other worlds. The ingenuity of government departments to traduce may resemble certain Martians that I know well. I would just apprise him of that particular fact and wish him the very best.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, very briefly, I will state, as has been recognized by the members opposite, that in making this motion I am, of course, very mindful of the very high importance of this office, both to this House and to the people of Ontario generally.
I reiterate what I said earlier: The Ministry of the Attorney General has and will continue to be very supportive of the Office of the Ombudsman.
The members might be interested in knowing very briefly a little bit about the Ombudsman who has been nominated. The Honourable Mr. Justice Donald Raymond Morand is a person, by qualification, experience and manifest qualities, ably suited to fill this high post.
He was born in Windsor, Ontario, in 1918, the son of the Honourable Raymond Ducharme Morand, MD, PC, and Blanche Moore. He was married to Agnes Angela Henderson in 1941 and has five children. He was called to the bar in 1941, named a Queen’s Counsel in 1955 and appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Ontario in 1960.
He presided, as has been mentioned, as commissioner of the Royal Commission into Metropolitan Toronto Police Practices, and has been particularly involved in the family law division of the Supreme Court since April 1976.
From my own experience as a trial lawyer for some 17 years, I am very much aware of the very high esteem for Mr. Justice Morand that is felt by all associated with the administration of justice in this province. As a trial judge, he has been directly involved with the fundamental problems of citizens from all walks of life.
I say, with respect, that the province is very fortunate that Mr. Justice Morand is willing to serve in this challenging post, and that apparently is the wish of this Legislature.
I would like to explain very briefly to the House the process which is to be followed in this appointment. This address, when passed, will be engrossed and, when certain arrangements are made with the government of Canada, the Honourable Mr. Justice Morand will resign from the bench of the Supreme Court of Ontario. He will then immediately be appointed by order in council made pursuant to this resolution to actively pursue the tasks of the Office of the Ombudsman.
Mr. Ruston: Briefly, Mr. Speaker, since Mr. Justice Morand did come from the Windsor and Essex county area, I would like to say that I am very happy that he has been nominated for this appointment. His father, as you know, was very active in the community and served the country well. He was a federal member in my own riding, and I am old enough to remember when he was in that position.
I do not know Mr. Justice Morand personally but I do know, from many of his relatives who live in my riding and who have met with him a number of times, that he is a very capable man, and I look forward to having him in this position.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. S. Smith moved first reading of Bill 211, An Act to amend the Employment Standards Act, 1974.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of brief explanation, Mr. Speaker, the purpose of presenting the bill now obviously is not with the intention that it will eventually be passed, since this session is coming to a close, but rather to indicate clearly a method by which a goal can be achieved.
The purpose of the bill is to establish a standard relating to the installation and operation of electronic surveillance systems in places of employment. The bill permits the installation of these systems only where it is reasonably necessary for the protection of the health or safety of employees or the property rights of the employer. The onus of establishing that the installation and operation of a surveillance system is reasonably necessary for these purposes is placed upon the employer.
RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS ACT
Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved first reading of Bill 212, An Act to provide for the Holding of Land by Religious Organizations.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, this bill would replace the existing Religious Institutions Act which has been part of our law in one form or another for about 150 years. The Religious Institutions Act is a relatively unknown statute. It permits religious congregations to hold land for church buildings and other purposes in the name of trustees. A religious group does not have to spend the money necessary to incorporate. By the same token, every time there’s a change in trustee, the group does not have to register a new deed from the old trustees to the new trustees as it normally would have to do. Thus the act offers religious groups a convenient method of holding land.
This feature is retained in the new bill. However, at the present time, the Religious Institutions Act makes this convenient landholding device available only to Christians and Jews. This clearly is a relic of the past. Ontario is now a multicultural society. Its population includes members of many other religious groups particularly those which might generally be classified as eastern religions. It is only right and proper that these groups should enjoy the same privileges in respect to holding land as are enjoyed by the religions which have been present in Ontario for a longer time.
This bill has one principal, practical effect. It permits religious groups to hold their land through trustees, instead of incorporating. But, in its expansion to cover religions other than Christians and Jews, it’s a symbolic recognition that Ontario’s population now includes adherents of other world religions.
ANGLICAN CHURCH OF CANADA ACT
Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved first reading of Bill 213, An Act respecting the Anglican Church of Canada.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, very briefly, this is a bill that is complementary to the new Religious Institutions Act that was just introduced.
Mr. Speaker: Before the orders of the day, I would like to react to a point of privilege. On November 20, the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren) raised a question of privilege concerning the lack of simultaneous translation facilities in the chamber for the French and English languages. I advise the honourable member now that I have requested the members’ services committee and the procedural affairs committee to provide me with advice on this matter. As you know, the standing orders are silent, so that’s where it stands at the present time.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE PAPER
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answers to questions 137, 171, 178, 180, 181 and 182, and the interim answer to question 186 standing on the Notice Paper.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
CONCURRENCE IN SUPPLY, MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, I have a few comments to make before we take that step you suggested. It’s too bad that the minister is not here. I am sure that she or her staff will look at the Hansard some time in the new year and take some of these comments under advisement. I want to make these comments, which I think should be of some considerable concern to all of us, because, in my opinion, we are dealing with very large amounts of money.
We all know the government is held accountable for collecting and distributing funds through a variety of processes. As members in opposition, we have an opportunity to be part of that accountability process through the estimates procedure. This procedure, as we know, is not without its faults. Often questions are asked that are not answered and, after the estimates are completed, we get on with other jobs and never really do get back to those things we feel were important enough to ask at that time. I want to go on record as asking one more time some questions which demand a reply before this fiscal year ends.
First of all, I would congratulate the minister on the announcement earlier today on the extension of the special education programs.
Mr. Bradley: At last.
Mr. Van Horne: At the same time as I do that, I want to be assured that legislative grants formulas and weighting factors are properly adjusted to assure equality of opportunity at the elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels of education in this province.
Mr. Grande: That will never happen.
Mr. Van Horne: Over the years we are aware that there has been some token consideration of special education in our elementary schools. At the secondary level, the recognition seems to be for those children who at one time were called opportunity class children or slow learners. Programs were made available to them through what we called the occupations program. But precious little time, effort, programming, curriculum or other things were given to those students we called learning-disabled students.
They too go to secondary school. They are chucked into the regular classes with those people who don’t have any visual, perceptual or audio disability, and are expected to swim along and survive with them. It is time that we recognized these people in our secondary schools and provided an equal opportunity for them.
Beyond that, some of these people survive in spite of us and go on to university or college, having again to struggle under the same lack of consideration in most of the lecture rooms and labs. I would submit, in light of what the minister announced today, the minister who now wears the two hats of Minister of Education and Minister of Colleges and Universities --
Mr. Cunningham: Not to mention sunglasses.
Mr. Van Horne: -- that it is time consideration be given to these students. Once again I would ask, as I see the minister is back with us, that the legislative grants, the grants formulas, the weighting factors be properly adjusted to assure equality of opportunity at all three levels of education.
There were other questions asked too in the estimates which have not been properly answered, in my opinion. For example, professional activity days are often considered in the eyes of many people in the public to be misused or not properly used. We don’t, however, take a look at what a professional activity day costs. If we take the elementary and secondary school calendars of roughly 200 teaching days and divide that into our budget, our estimate of over $2 billion for education, we come up with a rather large sum of money for each day of schooling in the province of Ontario.
When school boards are allowed to take a maximum number, which most of them do, of school days off their regular teaching calendar, we do have a cost that is astronomical. Many parents and some teachers have asked for reconsideration of the school calendar as it applies to professional activity days. Some suggestion has been made that it be reduced on a scale base to perhaps eight in the calendar year 1979-80 and six the following year. I think we should get some reaction from that, again keeping in mind the tremendous cost involved with professional activity days.
Two other topics, very briefly. The heritage language program is an example of one program that has come on stream in the last couple of years in our province, a program that came on without too much thought as to its ultimate cost. Let me state very clearly -- and we’ve discussed this at length in estimates -- that I am not in fault with --
Mr. Grande: Why are you doing it again? I don’t understand.
Mr. Van Horne: -- nor am I quarrelling with the concept of heritage language. What I do quarrel with is the government process by which any program comes on stream without some kind of determination regarding the possible ultimate cost. I have been told that the original estimate was that the program would cost somewhere between $1 million and $2 million for its first year of implementation.
Mr. Grande: Two and a half.
Mr. Van Horne: In fact, the cost as I understand it is almost double that figure. I am wondering how the government will determine at what point it is going to stop the expenditure. Or will it, in fact, let the expenditure go on and grow and grow without any kind of limit put on it?
Mr. Grande: Is that what you are talking about?
Mr. Van Horne: The final point that I would make is in reference to the superannuation fund. This past year has been an interesting one for us in this regard. We all saw the printed estimates. We reviewed them. We came back last February and found that the supplementary estimates included a rather considerable increase in the government’s contribution to the superannuation fund. When we pursued this, we found, in fact, that it was not just an additional $102 million that was needed. On second blush, there was an additional $107 million needed.
Giving credit to the minister, as well as to the Treasurer at the time and his staff, there was no attempt to cover up or excuse what appeared to be a rather gross error. Perhaps it is still a gross error. But when we got into the estimates for this present fiscal year, we were told on the very last day of estimates on May 16, that an additional amount of money had to be considered. I’m just going to read part of a statement that I made at that time.
“Yesterday during the estimates the committee members were given information sheets regarding the province’s contribution to the teachers’ superannuation fund. The minister commented on this new information, indicating that the 1976 actuarial valuation report done by Eckler and Company and dated March 1978 revealed it had unfunded liability of $1,594 million rather than $1,397 million. He went on to point out that, after certain credits were applied this meant an increase in the unfunded liability in one year of $243 million.”
I said this could result in a supplementary estimate of some $55,283,000, made up in amounts of $26,707,000 for 1976-77, $26,707,000 for 1977-78, and $1,869,000 interest, totalling $55,283,000.
When we questioned this, in the very last few minutes that we had, the minister indicated that the cabinet “will review the matter.” The minister has indicated that such a review might result in a further supplementary some time before the fiscal year ends. I think we have the right to know if that is going to come to us as a supplementary. In other words, can the minister tell us now, with three months to go in the fiscal year, if this in fact will come in as a supplementary? Can she find the money to come up with that $55,283,000?
In summary, I feel strongly about these and other points that came up during estimates but, in fact, were not dealt with thoroughly enough at the time. I do implore the minister to consider these statements and give us an answer.
Resolution concurred in.
CONCURRENCE IN SUPPLY
Resolutions for supply for the following ministries were concurred in by the House: Ministry of Transportation and Communications; Office of the Assembly; Ministry of Labour; Ministry of Natural Resources; Provincial Secretary for Justice; Office of the Ombudsman; Ministry of Health; Office of the Provincial Auditor; Ministry of Industry and Tourism, and Provincial Secretary for Resources Development.
The following bill was given first, second and third readings on motion by Hon. F. S. Miller:
Bill 214, An Act granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the Public Service for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1979.
House in committee of the whole.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT (CONCLUDED)
Resumption of the adjourned consideration of Bill 70, An Act respecting the Occupational Health and Occupational Safety of Workers.
Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Elgie moved an amendment and Mr. Bounsall moved an amendment to the amendment to change words in section 1(29).
The committee divided on Mr. Bounsall’s amendment to the amendment, which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 28; nays 75.
Mr. Chairman: I will now place the amendment by Hon. Mr. Elgie to section 1(29).
Motion agreed to.
Section 1, as amended, agreed to.
Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Elgie has placed an amendment striking out all of section 3 of the bill. There are seven subamendments. I will place the first subamendment.
The committee divided on Mr. Bounsall’s amendment to the amendment to section 3(1) deleting the words, “or servant of the owner or occupant,” which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 28; nays 75.
The committee divided on Mr. Bounsall’s amendment to the amendment deleting section 3(2), which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 28; nays 75.
The committee divided on Mr. Sweeney’s amendment to the amendment to section 3(3) changing the word “may” to “shall,” which was agreed to on the following vote:
Ayes 103; nays 0.
The committee divided on Mr. Fould’s amendment to the amendment of section 3(3), adding the words, “for a period no longer than two years,” which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 28; nays 75.
The committee divided on Mr. Fould’s amendment to the amendment deleting section 3(3), which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 28; nays 75.
The committee divided on Mr. Bounsall’s amendment to the amendment deleting section 3(3)(c), which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 28; nays 75.
The committee divided on Mr. O’Neil’s amendment to the amendment deleting section 3(3)(b), which was agreed to on the following vote:
Ayes 103; nays 0.
Mr. Chairman: The amendment, as amended, is agreed to.
Section 3, as amended, agreed to.
The committee divided on Mr. Bounsall’s amendment to the amendment to section 7(2), substituting the word “shall” for “may,” which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 28; nays 75.
The committee divided on Mr. Bounsall’s amendment to the amendment deleting section 7(4), which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 28; nays 75.
The committee divided on Mr. Bounsall’s amendment to the amendment deleting section 8(1)(b), which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 28, nays 75.
Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Elgie had moved an amendment replacing sections 7 and 8 with new sections.
Motion agreed to.
Sections 7 and 8, as amended, agreed to.
The committee divided on Mr. Bounsall’s amendment to the amendment to section 23(1)(a) and 23(1)(b), which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 28; nays 75.
The committee divided on Mr. Bounsall’s amendment to the amendment to section 23(2) adding a new clause 5, which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 28; nays 75.
The committee divided on Mr. Bounsall’s amendment to section 23(12), which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 28; nays 75.
The committee divided on Mr. Bounsall’s amendment to the amendment of section 23(13), which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 28; nays 75.
Mr. Chairman: The next question is, shall Hon. Mr. Elgie’s amendment carry?
Motion agreed to.
Section 23, as amended, agreed to.
The committee divided on Mr. Bounsall’s amendment to the amendment on section 37, which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 28; nays 75.
Mr. Chairman: Shall Hon. Mr. Elgie’s amendment carry?
Motion agreed to.
Section 37, as amended, agreed to.
Bill 70, as amended, reported.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the committee of the whole House reported one bill with amendments.
Mr. Speaker: My compliments to the chairman of the committee of the whole.
The following bill was given third reading on motion:
Bill 70, An Act respecting the Occupational Health and Occupational Safety of Workers.
BUDGET DEBATE (CONCLUDED)
Resumption of the adjourned debate on the amendment to the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government.
Mr. Chairman: The honourable member for Wentworth.
An hon. member: Dispense.
Mr. Deans: That is the second time that happened to me. I remember the first time; I wasn’t happy that day either.
I am pleased to have an opportunity to say two or three words on the budget. I am not going to say them right away, though. I am going to say them in a moment or two. I want to take advantage of this last opportunity to say some other things I have been wondering about and thinking about for the last number of weeks.
I would first of all like to say to you, Mr. Speaker, that we in the NDP are proud of the fact that you became the Speaker of the House. It has served us well across the province of Ontario that you have done the job with such obvious capacity and enthusiasm, with the kind of understanding we would hope every Speaker from this point on will display.
I know I speak for my own colleagues, and I am sure I speak for all the others in the House, when I say that for those of us Who have been here long enough, we cannot recall a fairer Speaker. We cannot recall one who has devoted more time or more energy to the job. We hope you will be able to continue in this capacity for as long as there is the desire within you to do so.
Mr. Deans: As the member says, three cheers for Jack; that’s probably true.
I want to say to those who spoke earlier today -- the Premier (Mr. Davis), the Leader of the Opposition, (Mr. S. Smith), the leader of the NDP (Mr. Cassidy) -- how embarrassed I was about all the nice things said about me; and secondly, how grateful I am for the fact they took the time to express what I know were their own feelings about my departure from politics.
I noticed a sort of veiled threat in the Premier’s comments.
Mr. Nixon: We all did.
Mr. Deans: I realize that unless I speak very carefully today I will never be the Ombudsman or whatever.
An hon. member: How about fire marshal?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Chairman of Hydro?
Mr. Martel: Hydro.
Mr. Havrot: Governor General.
Mr. Peterson: How about chairman of Air Canada?
Mr. Deans: Maybe we could open our own airline. I could run and lose and then I could be appointed; it would be appropriate.
I want to say to the Leader of the Opposition that he is right, we have come to know each other very well over the course of the last couple of years, not only in the Legislature but on the tennis court. He was mentioning how I had developed a capacity to play in the left court. I also had to develop a capacity to play in the fore court since he has developed a remarkable ability to balance the ball right on top of the net.
Mr. Nixon: It doesn’t hurt as much.
Hon. Mr. Walker: That’s how he gets his hernia.
Mr. Deans: Michael, let me tell you, if you only would have said those things a year ago.
Mr. Nixon: We always know where Michael stands: out in left field.
Mr. Deans: It has been one of the great joys of my life to spend time here. It’s kind of remarkable, really. If you were to go back just a little bit, Mr. Speaker, it was not often that someone emigrated from another country to Canada and ended up, within a very short period of time, serving in the Legislature of his chosen home. I have done that with some considerable pride, as many members may have noticed from time to time, with a little arrogance, as Claire Hoy might say. I have also done it with the recognition that it doesn’t happen to many people. Not only does it not happen to many immigrants; few people are given the opportunity to come here and to take part in the processes which should and frequently do govern the courses of events that will affect everyone’s lives.
I have enjoyed every minute of it, some minutes more than others, but I have enjoyed every minute of it nevertheless, and will look back on it with a great deal of fondness. I am happy to have arrived at Friday, December 15. I am happy to be here because today really is the last day for me. I don’t want to go back into politics, and I will tell why later.
One of the things I want to say to the members is this: Having spent a lot of time, having worked with almost everyone, having taken part in almost every major debate, having been on the committees and worked with and against many of them, I can’t help having developed a fondness for everyone. Some days I like all of the people, some days I like some of the people; yesterday I liked most of the people.
I must confess the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett) wasn’t my favourite yesterday. Nevertheless, by tomorrow even, I will have forgotten about that and I assume so will he.
It is true when one works with people, one sees their strengths and their weaknesses. One learns to find in them the unique quality they were able to display which got them elected. Because each one who does get elected has some unique qualities and those qualities are not always evident to those of us in the Legislature because of the partisan nature of the place. But if one works with people long enough and in close enough quarters, one finds that there are, generally speaking, good and just reasons why certain people win. They express or exemplify a concern that touches on the lives of the people who send them here.
When I look back over the last number of years, I tend to categorize things by phrases. I always remember the key phrase during one period of time was, “all in the fullness of time.” Everything happened “in the fullness of time.” God knows when the fullness of time will come, but everything happens in the fullness of time.
Then we went through a period of time when the clarity of every issue was to be set out. It was either “abundantly clear” --
Mr. Nixon: That was good.
Mr. Deans: -- it was “perfectly clear,” or it became “crystal clear.” I can remember every debate ended by someone on one side of the House or the other rising and expressing the clarity of the issue in exactly those phrases.
One can always tell when the Premier is in difficulty; that’s when he doesn’t want to be “controversial.” He always rises in that most controversial way and lets a member know he is just about to shaft him. One may not be absolutely sure how it’s going to happen; it may not even happen right there; but he is not going to be “controversial” nevertheless.
Then we come to the worst phrase of all, the one that really used to gall me. Everything is measured by the “bottom line.” I have never yet been able to get to the bottom line. I don’t understand the bottom line. I don’t think anyone understands it. However, that became the key phrase in the Legislature for quite a long period of time. We always talked about it as if it existed -- “and the bottom line is”; but it never really was.
In any event, these are some of the things one thinks about. And when one thinks about phrases, one thinks about people. I was about to say, “give me a word and I’ll give you a person. Give me a word and I’ll tell you who it reminds me of.” Stubborn; Matthew Dymond. Will I ever forget? Kicking and screaming, we dragged him into medicare. We can’t forget him. We knew we were right, and he knew we were right but he wouldn’t admit it.
Mr. Mattel: The duke.
Mr. Deans: Who would be more arrogant than Darcy, even in good humour?
Mr. Peterson: It is not nice to attack the deceased.
Mr. Deans: I think vague probably describes many of the Premier’s answers to many of the questions asked of him. Exuberant; Donald MacDonald. Who could be more exuberant? Whenever the word is used I think of Donald, dashing in all directions, happy as anything just to be here, just to be doing --
Mr. Peterson: He is not a Liberal.
Mr. Deans: No, I know. I can think of many others. When I think of quit, I think of the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner).
Some hon. members: Resign.
Mr. Deans: I know; I chose the word. When I think of quit, I think of David.
When I think of pompous, I think of Claire Hoy, strangely enough. I don’t know why.
An hon. member: He’s the bottom line.
Mr. Deans: When I think of control, the person who always comes to my mind is John Robarts. He always seemed to be in control. I don’t know whether he was or not, but he sure as hell seemed to be.
Anyway, I could go on for a long time, but I am not going to. However, it is strange how words bring people to mind. I thought about that last night when I couldn’t sleep, wondering what the devil I was going to tell the members today.
In any event, I don’t think the time we spend here is wasted. Some may; I don’t. I don’t think the effort expended by most of the members is necessarily appreciated sufficiently. It always galls me when someone talks to me about my role as a politician and asks me how I like it in Ottawa. I don’t know what it is we have ever done to the people of the province of Ontario, or for them for that matter, but they all seem to think we are in Ottawa for some reason.
It says something about the Legislature and something about the importance of its role as it is perceived by the people in the province of Ontario. I am going to tell you something: they don’t see our role as being too terribly important if they can’t tell where we work.
I found particularly pleasing the kind of response I was able to get from particular members of the Legislature during those periods when we were in turmoil and under great stress. The period of the first minority government was particularly difficult. It was difficult because it was new and because no one knew quite what to expect. It was difficult because we were desperately trying to do a good and credible job while at the same time preserve our political integrity individually.
I think it fair to say that the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt) who spoke this morning and the government House leader, the member for Brock (Mr. Welch), put out an effort in that regard that was far beyond what was required to do the job properly. I think the fact that we were prepared to try to work together possibly made the first minority government in Ontario a better government than it would otherwise have been.
I am happy to have served the riding of Wentworth. It’s a strange place. It must be; it elected me. But it is a strange place, because if you look at it very carefully it is a very small example of what Ontario is really like.
It represents a fairly broad cross-section of all of Ontario: The city of Hamilton, with its steelworkers, steel mills, its commerce and industry; the smaller towns, desperately trying to maintain their identity within a regional government system that may some day gobble them up and which they fear so desperately; small, crossroads communities; strip development that must fit in with a farming community with which it is not really terribly compatible. Trying to find common ground between all those elements and trying to represent the rural, semi-rural, suburban and urban interests, all at the same time was a challenge for me. This is not, I think, unlike the challenge that government faces in trying to put together policies that will be, in one way or another, compatible with the needs of almost everyone without causing unnecessary hurt for anyone. Representing that particular riding and being able, as a New Democrat, as a socialist, to speak to those people and still hold their support, has been an experience that the person who succeeds me will find very rewarding.
I am not happy with the way things are going around here and I want to tell you why. I am going to be very brief because I don’t want to go on at any great length in any event.
I am not happy because I don’t think we are presenting the people of Ontario with any goals. I think we have all become more interested in the next election than we are in putting forward policies that can be measured against the reality and the needs of the province of Ontario. I am really concerned that no one knows where the government is going. Maybe the government does, but certainly no one else does. No one can tell what the economic policy of this government is or identify it, at least not in words that I would understand.
I only understand words understood by the majority of people and in that context I don’t think that government members have any sense of what it is to be a government in the province of Ontario. This is a time when people are desperately looking for leadership. It’s a time when people are desperately looking for someone, or some group of individuals, to offer them goals; to offer them goals and to offer them directions that can be followed to achieve those goals. There has to be a clear, understandable, co-ordinated policy placed before the people of the province of Ontario if they are ever going to reach the level of capacity that they obviously have within them.
If anything has worried me during the time I have been here, the thing that worries me most is that in bringing in the policies we have brought in we may well have created a whole society of dependents. We have not challenged people to use their own individual capacity to work together, to use that capacity to create the kind of society they themselves would want to live in. We have attempted to meet their problems with piecemeal programs.
We have attempted to isolate the problems that confront people. Whether the problems are in housing, in employment, in the tax burden they have to carry, or in the lack of planning, we have attempted to meet those problems as if they were somehow isolated one from the other. We have never looked at what we can do with people if we say to them that Ontario can be the finest place in the world; that it has all of the capacity, both economically and in terms of the people’s own ability to do things, to be the single finest jurisdiction anywhere, the best possible place to live. But we have not been able to do that. We have spent far too much time messing around on the fringes.
When is there ever a debate in the Legislature about the direction the government will follow? I asked the Premier many months ago whether he did not think it would be appropriate to place before the House his view of what Ontario should look like in 10 years’ time; what he would like to see accomplished and how he would hope to get there; whether he did not feel, given that there was so much uncertainty on the federal scene and so much worry among all people over the future of Canada and the role that Quebec and other provinces might play in that future, that maybe it was time for the leadership in Ontario to stand up and say, “We think we know where we would like to get to and we think we have some answers to the questions and the problems.” I asked him to put that before us rather than one of those vague, hotchpotch budget speeches or vague throne speeches, the end result of which is always a question rather than an answer, and perhaps put before us some clear definition of where we are going and how we are going to get there.
How are we going to meet the problem of the creation of jobs? While we raise the topic frequently and we talk about it often -- the leader of the Opposition and the leader of the NDP speaking frequently about the problems that young people are going to have over the next 10 or 15 or 20 years in finding employment, not only meaningful employment but also employment of any kind, we have not put into place in this province one long-term job creation program -- not one.
I remember asking the various ministers year after year, starting in 1970, when we were going to get a manpower program in Ontario. In fact, I even asked who was responsible. I remember Jack McNie, who was responsible for manpower; I said to him one day, after he had gone, “Jack, what did you do there?” He couldn’t tell me. He didn’t have any idea of what he was trying to accomplish. I suggest that’s an indictment of the lack of direction that the government has provided.
It’s not an easy problem to solve; and no one pretends it’s easy. It’s not one of those magical things where all of a sudden you have job-creation programs and you can see Ontario growing and developing. It occurs because people decide, first of all, to take an inventory of what our strengths are in terms of the world and in terms of the future of this country.
We have got to understand that, while up until fairly recently the resource sector was one of our major strengths, little by little, if not lot by lot, we are losing that strength. I said in Sudbury a long time ago that I would live to see the day when Sudbury was a ghost town. I think I scared a number of people in Sudbury that day when I said it. But I’m going to live to see the day when Sudbury is a ghost town, unless we here in the Legislature commit ourselves, not only in name and in theory to try to recreate a secondary source of economy in that total area, but also actually to begin the process of taking advantage of the resources that now are there, while they are still of value, and to use them to the advantage of Ontario for development purposes in those areas that will be affected most detrimentally by the inevitable change that will take place when Inco and others determine that they can get their resources more economically or with less difficulty from another part of the world.
Unless we determine now to use those resources and the revenues that flow from those resources for our advantage -- “our” meaning all of the people -- then we are going to be faced sometime in the next 15 or 20 years with an awful lot of people standing outside of the gates, not able to get in because there will be no reason to go in; there will be no company there to work for. That bothers me when I look at it because, if there was a single strength in this province, that was surely the first major strength that we had.
Over the course of time we have frittered it away. Little by little, we have allowed it just to dwindle, to drift until whatever is now left for us to work with is, to say the least, short-term. We have got to work much more swiftly than we are.
The same thing can be said, I think, for the lack of initiative on the part of government for the development of a manufacturing sector. You don’t get one just by wishing. My colleague from Sudbury East has spoken frequently in this House about the report of the select committee on economic and cultural nationalism. I rarely ever speak about it; I don’t even pretend to understand a lot of it. But I know that the member for Sudbury East has used it almost like a bible -- in fact, he has used it like a bible. He has put before this House on numerous occasions a series of directions which, if followed, would change the face of Ontario and would provide for the kind of economic stability that we all desperately want to see in the long term. But we don’t get a response to them. There isn’t a response. Everyone wishes things were better. Everyone would want that things would he different. Everyone would hope that industry would blossom and spring up. Everyone thinks that maybe it would be a good idea if we had an economic strategy. But an economic strategy, I say to the Treasurer, is not walking around and talking about balancing the budget. Balancing the budget in itself is a useless undertaking. It makes no sense. It was cute to use and it seemed to satisfy some of the innermost fears of a lot of the people in the province but, as a tool for economic development and as an initiative to provide for future needs, balancing the budget made no sense at all, and anyone who understood even the most elementary economics would understand that.
And, yet, that is what happened here. We talked about a lot of things that were meaningless; we did very little. What we have to do now is talk about what is going to happen in the future.
What is going to happen in the future? What is to happen to Ontario? This budget that we’re faced with has not provided the kinds of initiatives and direction that is going to be required. This budget has not spoken about the judicious use of the resources. It has not spoken about the need to use renewable energy resources rather than to use up the resources that are nonrenewable. This budget doesn’t speak about housing and the need for housing as it really exists in Ontario. It’s all good and well for someone to say there’s lots of housing -- and there is -- but there isn’t the money to buy it.
When you take a look at young families growing up in this province today, and they ask you, “Where am I going to work?” and “Where am I going to live?” you can’t tell them. When my kids come to me, any one of the three, and say to me, “What kind of work do you think I should go into?” there isn’t an answer any more. What can you tell them? What line do you give them in terms of where they should be studying and placing their efforts? They can’t all be doctors; and even if they were, they would be unhappy, no doubt. Or they can’t all be lawyers, I hope. Where do you tell them to go?
When I was a young man growing up, it was easy. My parents were able to give me some guidance and direction. They were able to talk to me about what kinds of jobs provided you with security and the opportunity to have a decent life.
What has happened in this province? What has gone wrong in this province? I defy anyone here, in government or otherwise, to identify for me what it is they are going to say to their kids or their grandchildren that will provide them with the necessary tools to go forward and be a part of a productive society. Where should they place their emphasis?
They come and talk to me about some day living in a house of their own. I look at their potential for income and I look at the price of housing and I ask myself: Where does the single-income family fit into the province of Ontario any more? It’s fine for me, because I bought my house 15 years ago. It’s okay for many of the others here, who have been around a long time like I have, and who have bought homes and can live in them, and whose mortgage interest rates are fixed and whose mortgage is maybe $10,000 or paid off. What does one say to the young people who go out today and get a job and want to buy a home but who can’t find anything within their capacity to pay in any of the metropolitan areas across the province of Ontario? I can’t live with the necessity for two incomes, and yet there are no answers being sought.
The Ministry of Housing opts out of housing altogether, for God’s sake, instead of pursuing a program that would, even at the risk of the need for subsidy, provide accommodation for people at a price they can afford. We continue to allow this so-called private sector -- and I have yet to understand what has ever been free-enterprise about the private sector, at least in modern times -- to build and to charge whatever they can. They, more than the government, dictate the economic direction of the province of Ontario, because they determine how much of the individual’s income will go into the cost of necessities. They have a far greater impact on the direction of the economy than the government ever has. The government leaves it up to them. When your kids come to you, Mr. Speaker, and ask, “Where do you think I should go looking for a job?” and, “Is it possible for me to find a place to live in that community?” the answer to the latter almost inevitably is “No.”
I’ll give the best example I know. On February 1 I will go to the fire department. The fire department pays $19,400 a year, to the best of my knowledge. It’s not an exorbitant sum, but it’s not all that bad. If my son were to go there instead of me and if he were to do that job I’m going back to do, the job that I left in 1967, he couldn’t afford to buy the house we live in. Yet when I was doing that job, I was able to buy the house we live in. There would be nothing he could do. He wouldn’t even qualify for the mortgage.
Yet we’re not in the house-building business in the province of Ontario. We don’t build any houses in the province of Ontario. The private sector says, by its own admission, that it can’t build them. It can’t build them at a price people can afford. That’s their statement, not mine.
Now if they can’t build them for the people who need them, and government won’t be involved in building them, who in heaven’s name will? That’s what’s wrong with this government’s program. That’s what’s wrong with their leadership and that’s what’s wrong with the direction of the province of Ontario.
That’s what should be expressed here in the Legislature time and time again. We’ve become experts. We all come in and we lay before the House the expertise we have developed from reading the books and pamphlets put out by the so-called experts. We create experts in here because we quote someone and automatically he becomes an expert. If you don’t have reams and reams of statistics to put before the House or the committee, of course, your contribution is deemed to be of somewhat less value than someone who has reams and reams of statistics.
Yet let me tell you something: The reason we’re here is not to become experts, at least not in my judgement. The reason we’re here is to express the concerns of the people of the province of Ontario. Damn it, the expression of concern is not being heard. It’s being put forth, but it’s not being heard.
On February 28, 1968, I spoke in this House for the first time. I pointed out that there were problems in the field of accommodation; that young people were having difficulty as a result of actions of the federal government, actions which freed the mortgage interest levels; that young people were beginning to face difficulties in meeting their mortgage obligations.
Since then we have gone through a series of programs, one after the other, each of which has compounded the problem. We made five-year loans to them. But those five-year loans didn’t help them; by making a five-year loan you assumed that they would be making sufficient money, in the end, to he able to repay it. I remember telling members in this House that this was nonsense. If the people didn’t qualify, there was something wrong with the marketplace, there was something wrong with the distribution of incomes. Loaning them money they would have to repay from incomes already in-sufficient was not going to solve the problem.
So we went into land banking and we opened up land for young people. No sooner did they become involved in that than we decided we ought not to be in it, because the private sector cried.
Mr. Martel: They didn’t like it.
Mr. Deans: They didn’t like it; so we backed out of that.
We used to lease the land, and at least on that basis the fixed payments could be understood. They did have to conform with the income capacities of the families involved. Then we stopped doing that.
We had a mortgage corporation that should have, and could have, been used as a vehicle for providing interest rates considerably lower than the interest rates being offered in the free market. But we didn’t use it.
I’m not even sure, now, that it’s possible for the government to introduce programs that would begin to meet that and the many other needs.
In the late 1960’s, we spoke about land preservation. We said there was ample land in the province of Ontario to provide that accommodation I’m speaking about. Yet in actual fact what we were doing was using the wrong land. The member for Brock will understand. We were building on the very best farm land, for God’s sake, and we were leaving all land that couldn’t even grow stones vacant. A little bit of planning would go a long way towards resolving that.
It’s strange that, in 1978, the community I represent is begging the government to let them use up even more and more farm land that cannot be replaced. Instead of saying, clearly and unequivocally: “No, you can’t use it; it can’t be replaced. It will be needed for future generations”; instead of just making a blanket policy and saying “no”; the government procrastinates, waits, delays.
If the government told them that they couldn’t do this, they would find another way. There is lots of land available. They should not be able to use the single most important resource we have for the production of food for other than its most important purpose, which is of course the production of food.
Yet we don’t tell them that; there is no policy across the province to enforce this approach.
When I came into this House we could have acquired the Niagara Escarpment and then the present Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett) could not have messed around with it. When Gertler made his report we could have spent the money necessary to acquire the escarpment for the recreational needs of future generations.
But do you know what the government told us, Mr. Speaker? We can’t afford it. That was in the days when the budget of Ontario was $2.8 billion or $3 billion. Ten years have passed and the budget is about $14 billion. Strangely enough, had we done then what we ought to have done, all the debate and all the destruction that is inevitably going to take place could have been avoided.
And where did the other $12 billion go? Where it is? Identify it; show us the value. I fail to see it. Every time we proposed a program, whether it was a program for employment, a public works program; no matter what we proposed, we were told that it was outrageous, the cost was far too high. Yet all along the government managed to manipulate the budget from $2.6 billion in 1967 to almost $14 billion in 1978; and they can’t even point to the programs that came into being that satisfied the additional expenditure.
Remember all the arguments over the years. The arguments we had in this House when only a few were in opposition were over the need to provide senior citizens with additional financial assistance, because obviously we were not going to provide them with senior citizen accommodation in sufficient quantity to meet the need. Remember the argument that went on week after week. There they were living well below the poverty line and begging, begging the government to bring in a program, anything to subsidize them, to bring them up to a level that would allow them to buy in the same bloody stores everybody else bought in. Finally, as a Christmas present, the Premier of the day rose and reluctantly acknowledged they should perhaps do something in that area. He sent a cheque, I think with a Christmas card, to all the senior citizens across the province.
Mr. Riddell: Some personally delivered.
Mr. Deans: Some perhaps were personally delivered, as my colleague says.
When you look at what is going on in this place, Mr. Speaker, I really do wonder why things are so bad. The questions, the problems that still confront us, confronted us 10 years ago. Some of them have been met marginally. We now have an OMSIP or an OHIP program. Some people may even think it’s overly expensive.
Mr. Nixon: OMSIP?
Mr. Deans: OHIP. It was OMSIP and it became OHIP. Let me tell you something: If there was ever anything that freed people, it was the knowledge they were covered in the event they became sick or in the event they needed medical help. We may question the expenditure, because at times it may have been mismanaged, but we should never question the value of a comprehensive medical care program. It is the single most important thing.
We’ve a long way to go now. The next budget, the one I will read about in the Hamilton Spectator, will probably say no more than the budgets that have come in over the last 10 years.
Let me tell you something, Mr. Speaker. If this government doesn’t begin now to put before the public of Ontario the kind of direction that will guarantee we will in fact be using our resources in our own advantage; doesn’t put before the government of the people of Ontario programs for the use of renewable energy resources; doesn’t recognize, maybe for the first time, there is a tremendous housing crisis in the province of Ontario and reinstitute the Ministry of Housing, and give it to somebody with some sensitivity and allow them to begin the necessary programs to meet the obvious need; if the government doesn’t place before the people of Ontario in their next budget the programs they intend to use to stimulate the economy of the province of Ontario, to take advantage of the markets all over the world that our very skilled residents can produce for; if they don’t move out of this place and into the world and find for us, the people of the province, the kind of marketplace that is sitting there being used by every other nation, then they will have failed again; and they can’t afford to fail again.
The government can afford to fail again politically; it doesn’t matter to me. They can fail if they like in that regard. But they can’t afford to fail the people.
When we can’t tell our kids where to go for work; and we can’t tell our kids what to study because we don’t know what will be there when they come out of school; when we can’t tell them where they can live at a price they can afford; when we can’t tell them the recreational potential of the province is being preserved; and we can’t tell them we’re moving into new and innovative energy sources; when we can’t tell them they’re going to have a clean environment in which to raise their children; when we can’t tell them those things, then the members opposite don’t deserve to be in government, when we can’t point out the directions, and when we can’t talk about the goals, we can’t give people the kind of dreams they need. People will respond to any challenge, but first the government has to present the challenge and they have to believe in it themselves.
The members may recall that at the beginning of this debate, the leader of this party, in doing an excellent critique of the budget, placed before them an amendment. It’s an amendment which speaks to some of the things I’ve spoken about. It’s an amendment that says to the government: “Look, there are challenges to be met, obligations to be lived up to.” Why doesn’t the government challenge the opposition to oppose them on good and worthwhile measures? Why don’t they take their chances and put before this Parliament the kinds of things they really believe, as a government, would meet their obligations to the social and economic needs of the people of Ontario and say to the opposition: “Defeat us if you dare”?
Why isn’t the government confident enough in its capacity to meet those challenges to stand up and say: “We’d rather lose than do other than what we believe to be right?” That is the role of the politician today. That’s the role of leadership that has to be met.
When they’re considering their next budget, they might take into account the contribution made by the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) on March 14 of this year when he moved that: “This House deplores the continued failure of the government to undertake a long-term strategy for building the strength of Ontario’s industrial economy, rejects the government’s proposals for yet another handout to the mining industry…” -- and they might add to that incidentally, the pulp and paper industry and the Ford Motor Company and a number of other places.
They might add those, because they can’t engage in handouts and win. We’re not big enough; we don’t have the fiscal capacity. We can’t compete with the United States. If they damn well decide to get into the bidding war, we, my friends, go down the drain. So the government cannot afford to be involved in the kind of outbidding that’s going on in an effort to try and shore up the economy. They have to produce markets and they have to produce new initiatives.
Our leader said: “We reject the government’s proposal for yet another handout to the mining industry that would export jobs from the north through the blanket exemption on foreign processing.” Just remember what I said earlier. There was a time when the world looked to Ontario as a source of raw materials. We should have been bright enough then to recognize that if they needed our raw materials, we too should be using them to produce the very things they were producing for us with our own material; but we weren’t. It may not be too late, but the government better begin the process quickly.
“We oppose the government’s irresponsible manipulation of its commitment to the funding of municipal government which will add still further to the regressive burden of property tax.”
Mr. Laughren: Still at it.
Mr. Deans: Boy oh boy; property tax. I listened to the previous Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) speaking about the federal government’s duplicity and the fact that the federal government was unfairly transferring fiscal responsibility from themselves to the province. My God, if this government were to stop and look at themselves, they would see they have done exactly the same thing to the municipalities, systematically transferring responsibility to the property taxpayer without paying proper recognition to the fact that those taxpayers can neither afford it nor does their property tax bear any relationship to their ability to pay.
“We condemn the government’s failure to finance health insurance costs in Ontario on the basis of ability to pay; and we call for immediate action to create jobs in order to meet the needs of Ontario’s” -- then -- “326,000 unemployed.”
We’re going into another winter. More and more people will become unemployed. The government can tell me it’s not all their fault. They can tell me the federal government could help. They can tell me it’s happening all over the world. They can tell me anything they like and there is a certain element of truth to all those things; but they can’t tell me what they have done to try and combat the areas into which they could have had some input. They can’t tell me what they have done because they have sat and done nothing.
For these reasons, and many others that would take me forever to tell you, Mr. Speaker, and I can’t stay forever, the government really does not enjoy the confidence of this political party; and we frankly believe the government will find, as time goes on, that they don’t enjoy the confidence of the province of Ontario.
Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, we are coming to the end of a very interesting session, interesting not so much for what we did but for what we did not do.
We find, as we prepare to go home to our respective constituents, we are going to have some interesting times explaining to people what we have done to earn our salaries over the past few months. People will, I suspect, ask us what does happen in Ottawa -- which is probably where they think we work, as the member for Wentworth points out -- but once they have remembered that it is Queen’s Park, they are going to ask what happens at Queen’s Park and what did we do.
We are going to have quite a time explaining that there is a new strategy afoot on the part of the government of Ontario. The Premier (Mr. Davis) has decided that the best way to make no enemies is to be sure he does absolutely nothing. The Premier believes that in being certain not to move into areas of tax reform; in being certain not to move in terms of employment policies; in being certain not to state an economic policy, not even to state how one intends to treat the matter of fiscal responsibility -- that basically the less he does, the more friends he is likely to make.
You will remember how 1978 started, Mr. Speaker. It is very interesting to think back. You will recall the budget that we are discussing today being brought in and the then Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) standing up where the present affable fellow happens to be as his successor, and saying how essential it was to have 37½ per cent increase in OHIP premiums, even though health costs themselves hadn’t gone up even a fraction of that.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Uh, uh!
Mr. S. Smith: They had gone up a fraction, a small fraction of that, to be absolutely accurate.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Since the last change?
Mr. S. Smith: Yes, since the last change. Members will recall that to find some other way to raise the revenue the Treasurer at that time thought he needed was considered impossible. Members will recall when it was demonstrated that there were other possibilities he had to back down. The budget Ontario has operated with this year bears no resemblance whatsoever to the budget that was presented at that time. The fundamental revenue change had to be rescinded. The revenues which were anticipated at the time never materialized. The growth that had been predicted for Ontario did not happen. The deficit which had been trumpeted as one of the lowest in years turned out to be one of the highest in years once all the facts were in.
Mr. Conway: Typical.
Mr. S. Smith: More than that happened at the beginning of the year. Members will recall how we went through Energy minister after Energy minister. We eventually got rid of one who admitted when he left that he didn’t know anything whatsoever about energy. He, of course, had only recently replaced a minister who didn’t have to admit he knew nothing about energy because it was all too obvious.
We went through Environment ministers as well; and of course we lost a Solicitor General. I point out to you, Mr. Speaker, in going through this list, that all this happened prior to September or October. The most recent occasion when it appeared that yet another minister might be shaky was of course at the time of the famous Cantrakon proposal. I look forward to the location of that particular hotel on a more appropriate site and I fully expect that this will happen. We had this marvellous handling of the matter by the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett). Disappointed as he must be that his government no longer does any housing, he had to find something in which he could meddle and create a certain stir. Of course we know what happened to that particular proposal. We know the quality of the minister in question.
Mr. Conway: Bette, is omniscience a burden?
Mr. S. Smith: But, you know, recently there has not been much in the way of disturbances like those that occurred at the beginning of the year. More recently the government has adopted a new strategy. They put new faces in the sensitive ministries that were under attack by the opposition.
An hon. member: Smiling faces.
Mr. S. Smith: They made the member from Woodstock Minister of the Environment (Mr. Parrott). He puts on his most earnest face whenever he comes before this House. At least, he had the good judgement to take the statement issued by the environment critic for the Liberal Party, the member for Huron-Bruce (Mr. Gaunt) --
An hon. member: A good fellow.
Mr. S. Smith: -- and a statement suggested by the member --
Mr. Nixon: Soon to be Governor General.
Mr. S. Smith: -- for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden); he took those statements, put them together, claimed them as his own and claimed that this was a hold new innovation. He finds himself, time after time, deflecting questions with a sort of innocent look and saying, “I have just started here. I am doing my best. These are difficult questions to handle. We don’t know exactly what to do with liquid industrial waste.” Far be it from that government --
Hon. Miss Stephenson: At least he is honest.
An hon. member: What does that mean?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: You know what that means.
Mr. S. Smith: -- to take responsibility after 35 years in government. The previous Minister of the Environment, the late and lamented member for Burlington South (Mr. Kerr), said in 1970 in this House: “If industry doesn’t deal with the matter of liquid industrial waste, then the government will.”
Hon. Mr. Baetz: You don’t know what you are talking about.
Mr. S. Smith: Then the present minister comes in and makes the statement, in 1978, that, “if industry doesn’t deal with the matter of liquid industrial waste, then the government will.” What a tremendous advance in eight years.
An hon. member: He wants applause for it.
Mr. S. Smith: The comma was the same; not only the words.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: What are you doing as a leader over there? Nothing. Your party is going down and down.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, somehow I seem to have annoyed the Minister of Culture and Recreation --
Mr. Nixon: Did he miss his valium at noon?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: We are responding in kind.
Mr. Nixon: Do you feel strongly about this, Reuben?
Mr. S. Smith: -- who has still not settled down. I can well appreciate the difficulty of that minister who, after all, has to keep track of the real estate dealings of some of his grantees; who has, after all --
Hon. Miss Stephenson: The major grantees are the federal Liberals.
Mr. S. Smith: -- to figure out how he is ever going to get money back from the real estate speculators, who for all we know may be in Italy at the moment seeking out new kneecaps to attack.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: He’s against Italy and Sault Ste. Marie.
Mr. S. Smith: It would also appear, Mr. Speaker, that we have struck a nerve with the Minister of Colleges and Universities and Education (Miss Stephenson). Heaven knows she has enough of that to strike.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: It means they are responsive nerves, which is more than you can say.
Mr. S. Smith: The minister, of course, who herself was prepared to annihilate Bill 70 virtually single-handedly, a bill rescued only by her successor, who is a man --
Hon. Miss Stephenson: That is not true.
Mr. S. Smith: -- who enjoys the respect of labour --
Mr. Nixon: And rescued also by the Leader of the Opposition.
Mr. S. Smith: And rescued by the Leader of the Opposition --
Hon. Miss Stephenson: On a point of personal privilege.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order. Does the minister wish to rise on a point of privilege?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, on a point of personal privilege: The Leader of the Opposition should choose his words more carefully. He should adhere to the five-letter word which is very important: truth.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: That’s for sure.
Mr. Breaugh: What do you know about truth, Bette?
Mr. Conway: You may not be a sterling example in that regard, Bette.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Will the Leader of the Opposition please continue?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Why doesn’t he give the party to the member for London Centre?
Mr. S. Smith: I can only presume from that that the minister was suggesting that I do not adhere to the truth.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Not in that statement, you don’t.
Mr. S. Smith: I certainly resent that implication. I will tell you this, Mr. Speaker: Her performance in the Ministry of Labour has given pains to a good many of the working people in Ontario.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: You don’t know anything about labour anyway.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Turn the party over to Peterson.
Mr. Bradley: We’ll give you a chance in a while.
Mr. S. Smith: I want to tell you, however, of the new strategy adopted by the Premier. The strategy is to put forward friendly faces suds as that of the Minister of the Environment, who then says: “My goodness, these are all new problems. We never heard of them; we never thought of them before. I am doing my best.”
I want to tell you about one particular problem, Mr. Speaker. The minister stood today and pointed out that he could not answer my question on waybills at Interflow in Hamilton. He says 25 man-days of work have been spent on that one question alone. He has told me why. You can find out from him why it takes 25 man-days merely to find out how much in the way of gallonage has gone into Interflow, how much has gone out, where it has come from and where it has gone to.
Twenty-five man-days have been spent to find that out. Why? Because the waybills, all done by hand, are piled up veritably to the ceiling, and the minister has to have some poor soul go through these waybills. The waybills themselves describe in very general terms the type of fluids and sludges that are moved back and forth in Ontario. The utter lack of a system is the reason it is taking him 25 days to answer the most simple and straightforward question, and he still doesn’t have an answer.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: There is one sludge that I wish we could move, and it is that one.
Mr. S. Smith: Of course, the strategy is that he stands up and says: “I am doing my best. I have just learned of the problem, and I am doing my best.”
We have the remainder of the same strategy; we have a system of education in Ontario which has cost us hundreds of millions of dollars and which has produced students who find themselves graduating from the system in one way or another with no hope of employment in Ontario; they are unsuited for the jobs that are available.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: As a product of the Quebec school system, you may say that. But Ontario students don’t say it.
Mr. S. Smith: We find ourselves with a so-called composite system of schools that have produced nothing of value for the money which has been tossed into them.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: That is hogwash, and you know it.
Mr. S. Smith: We find ourselves with complete waste: a school system which has forgotten competition and excellence and which in many ways has downplayed core curriculums, with the exception of the hastily prepared notes of the former Minister of Education an hour or two before the speech he knew I was to make two years ago.
Mr. Pope: You are full of nonsense.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Cynical, snarling Smith.
Mr. S. Smith: We then have the spectacle of the same person who made such a catastrophe of her tenure in Labour becoming the Minister of Education, and she has the gall -- the chutzpah, I would say for the benefit of the acting Speaker --
Mr. Breithaupt: He knows what it means.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Snarling, cynical Smith. You are too bitter about life.
Mr. S. Smith: -- to go in front of the people of Ontario and say: “Write to me with the problem. Tell me, what are the problems in education?”
Hon. Miss Stephenson: And they did.
Mr. S. Smith: I am sure they have. Her predecessor has been in that portfolio for years. Why didn’t she just ask him what the problems were?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Because I believe in democracy. Unlike you, I believe in democracy.
Mr. S. Smith: What was the necessity to go to the people of Ontario? She is a new person and, after all, you can’t blame a new minister for the mistakes of the old. That’s the strategy: affable new ministers who can’t be blamed.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: You are an old leader, and you haven’t learned a thing: you should quit.
Mr. J. Reed: It’s all true, Reuben. You know about it.
Mr. S. Smith: Then we have Energy. My goodness, what an inspired choice as the Minister of Energy.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Stuart, go find a couch somewhere; that’s really what you need.
Mr. Peterson: What are you making indecent suggestions to my leader for? That’s outrageous. I suspected that about you for a long time.
Mr. S. Smith: The Minister of Education has just suggested that we go and find a couch somewhere. I want to tell her that that remark reminds me very much of the story of Lady Astor who said to Winston Churchill: “If you were my husband, I would flavour your coffee with poison.” Then Winston Churchill remarked, as I would in a similar situation with the Minister of Education, “If you were my wife, I would drink it.”
Mr. T. P. Reid: What would you do if she was on your couch?
Mr. Peterson: There would be no room for the Leader of the Opposition.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Thank God.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Could I remind all the members that we are debating the budget?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Is this your swan song?
Mr. S. Smith: Because I make reference to the minister, she mistakes reference to an ugly duckling as a swan song. I assure her there is quite a difference. I shall continue now, Mr. Speaker, with your admonition, to return a little closer to the topic, which I believe is the budgetary policy of the province of Ontario.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: You haven’t been anywhere near it.
Mr. S. Smith: I want to say that this strategy has its quintessential application with the new Minister of Energy (Mr. Auld). The new Minister of Energy stands in the House and answers questions, be they simple or complex, with the same monotonous mumble, the same affable nod of the head from time to time, and the gesture to the spectacles which he carries with him. Generally speaking, he has managed to confound the issues in such a way that few people in the press gallery or in the House have the temerity to ever re-ask a question or ever really try to get an answer.
Mr. Ruston: He repeats himself.
Mr. S. Smith: I point out to you that a very serious situation exists in the field of energy which we were discussing today, that is the whole matter of the pricing policy of Hydro, a matter which underwent a radical change, a change that will cost the consumers millions of dollars; particularly the ordinary domestic consumers, while the large companies continue to be subsidized by the rest of us.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: You’re the financial expert on energy costs. The Globe and Mail told you all about that.
Mr. S. Smith: That has rendered the hearing of the Ontario Energy Board into something resembling a prearranged farce, and that is a very serious thing to happen to the board.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: You’re looking for another editorial from the Globe and Mail.
Mr. Peterson: You’ve got a wee burr under your saddle.
Mr. S. Smith: None the less, to return to my main point, the main point is that the government has adopted a posture of putting new ministers in who can’t be expected to know anything about their ministries; and who are expected to take no blame for the errors of the past 35 years. This strategy, I must say, is working. It is working because there exists in Ottawa at the moment a focus for the people’s anger so that those who are angry with the direction of our society and our government tend to focus their anger on the Prime Minister of the country.
The Premier of Ontario is able, instead, to look as though at one and the same time he is somehow in opposition to the Prime Minister of the country, and also, his errors are somehow minor in comparison to those which people seem, according to the Gallup poll, to think are happening in Ottawa. What we have is a situation where the strategy is to do nothing and to produce new ministers who seem to be learning their job and trying their hardest. Under those circumstances the government escapes the public criticism which it deserves.
Let us look at the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller). Here is a perfect example of a person who walks into a job which is extremely important to Ontario, namely the direction of our economy. For months and months he gives no sense of what direction the economy is going to take. He has produced nothing in the way of employment stimulation in Ontario. The only thing this government has been able to do which even resembles economic policy is, first of all, to permit itself to be dragged kicking and screaming, by Jack Horner on the federal scene, to give money away to Ford. I gather there is some possibility Ford is looking for yet more money for yet another plant. Economic policy is to give money away to Hayes-Dana, a perfectly solvent company that’s doing extremely well, an American company with a branch here in this country. Now they’re talking about giving away another $100 million to the pulp and paper industry.
Fine, we understand there may be instances where incentives must be given in order to compete with the United States of America. In fact we raised those matters here many times, but that is not a substitute for economic policy; it is absolutely not a substitute for economic policy.
You will remember well over a year ago, Mr. Speaker, when we suggested the subsidy of labour rates the way we do with summer students, to pay a certain amount to create new jobs in this country, and in this province particularly. That particular type of subsidy would go a long way towards creating employment, especially for our young people in Ontario. The then Treasurer rejected that on the basis it would be using provincial money, and that the benefits which would flow to the public treasury would flow mostly to Ottawa. That was the excuse given for not going ahead with this type of subsidy plan.
That was a heartless excuse at the time. It is even more heartless now, as so many of our young people have come out of their educational training, such as it may be, and find themselves with very little in the way of work they can do.
We need, in this province -- as I have stated here over the past two years, during the budget speech and throne speech time after time -- we need to have a clear idea of where it is we want to compete with the rest of the world. It is not good enough to simply say the private sector will do it. We will give away lots of money to Ford because they look like they’re producing 2,600 jobs or to Hayes-Dana because it involves 600 jobs. But that is not a strategy. A strategy says, first of all: “What fields of endeavour can Ontarians successfully choose in which to compete with the rest of the world? Which are the fields of endeavour in which we have some natural advantage?”
Hon. Mr. Baetz: There’s an intelligent observation.
Mr. Bradley: Go back to sleep, Reuben.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: This has been said 300 times by the Treasurer; he’s just copying.
Mr. S. Smith: I remind you, Mr. Speaker, we have a need in the province for pollution abatement equipment, just as an example. Instead of standing, as the previous Minister of Energy used to do, and say conservation costs jobs; instead of suggesting, as the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier) has done from time to time, that pollution cleanup costs jobs; we have to look, as most sensible people would, at the tremendous possibilities that exist for Ontario in the production of pollution abatement equipment and the new technologies related thereto.
Is the Treasurer aware, for instance, that research Cottrell (Canada) Limited -- which is itself, I may tell you, a branch plant of an American company, but none the less a successful branch here -- employed 70 persons in 1974 in the design and manufacturing of air pollution abatement equipment? They have laid off 58 of these workers because, and I give you the company’s words, “The government environmental regulations don’t have any teeth.” That is the reason given by the private sector for having to lay off their workers. That is the reason there are fewer jobs today in the manufacturing of pollution abatement equipment.
Mr. Pope: Garbage; self-serving garbage.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: You’re polluting the air in here.
Mr. S. Smith: If we are going to give away, as is suggested, Mr. Speaker, $100 million to the pulp and paper industry, then I will tell you this: Money should only be given if it will be spent in this country to buy Canadian machinery and equipment.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Now, there is a terrific new idea.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: I should say, he’s just babbling out all these brilliant new ideas.
Mr. S. Smith: I point out to you, Mr. Speaker, that the pulp and paper industry this year is planning to spend in this country $1.2 billion for new and renewable equipment. That $1.2 billion is going to be spent by the pulp and paper industry on equipment for operations in this country, in Canada generally. The $1.2 billion, roughly speaking, is what they’re going to spend on new equipment in the fiscal year, on renewal of plants and on repairs. I can help the Treasurer with that figure, if he likes. It is for operations in the Dominion of Canada, and they are going to spend about half of that outside the country; most of the larger pieces of machinery are to be obtained outside of the country.
I was visiting Texasgulf and I found that the mining industry had to buy its equipment outside the country. They are buying these big pieces of mining equipment from Sweden, from Switzerland, from Germany, from the United States, from Japan, but they are not buying very much here. They even had to buy a process to obtain zinc from ore. They had to buy a process from Japan; and Japan doesn’t even have any zinc. Somehow or other, other countries are now be coming better than we are at what should be our own game; namely the production of mining and metallurgical and techniques; pollution abatement; energy-related materials; communication and transportation materials; and of course all materials related to pulp and paper.
Let’s ask ourselves how it happened that we now have to buy our equipment abroad. At one time, Ontario, as members well know, was the leading producer of mine machinery. Other parts of the world beat a path to our door for our expertise and our technology. The same was true of pulp and paper.
How did we lose that? Why is it that in some instances, we seem to be sending more dollars out of the country to buy the machinery than we are getting for selling the ore? How did it happen?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: What are you talking about? You don’t know what you are talking about.
Mr. S. Smith: The fact is, Mr. Speaker, this happened as follows: There existed large machinery companies in, let’s say, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany. When they decided to enter the world market to sell these machines, their governments got together with those companies and used procurement policies which guaranteed that the governments would buy the equipment of their own companies.
Hon. Mr. Walker: It wasn’t Ontario that did that; it was the federal government.
Mr. S. Smith: Thus, their domestic market gave them a leg up in the world. Based on that solid base, those companies were then able to go out and sell elsewhere in the world.
The common way of referring to that is as a nontariff barrier. In other words, when someone else wanted to sell to Sweden, Sweden said: “No, we are buying from our own company.” When someone else wanted to sell to Germany, they said: “No, we have to buy a certain amount from our own company.” That has been the policy of most of our competitors.
Take the United States, with its famous defence contracts in the billions and billions of dollars. The United States does virtually all its procurement within the United States, allegedly for security reasons.
Mr. S. Smith: Rut let me tell you, that does a tremendous amount of good for their own local machinery industry. Yet in our own country, and in our own province, we are following a foolish and dangerous course. That is to try, instead of setting up our own nontariff barriers; instead of setting up our own procurement policies; --
Mr. Turner: Provincial.
Mr. S. Smith: -- our own set asides; the provincial government has been advising Ottawa to participate in an agreement to lower nontariff barriers all over the world. In exchange for this, we will not construct any of our own. That sounds good if you think in terms of sending an occasional piece of equipment to other countries; if you imagine that those countries really are trying now to open up their markets to Canadian goods.
Personally, I don’t believe they will. Personally I think the logical thing to do is for us to buy Canadian-made equipment; to give our manufacturers their domestic market to give them a start; to set up our own procurement policies, as every other country in this world has done, and not be such babies --
Hon. W. Newman: Why don’t you tell your friends in Ottawa?
Mr. S. Smith: -- as the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) was when he stood in this House to suggest that we ought to lower nontariff barriers in the hope that the Germans, the Japanese and Swedes and the Swiss would do the same. Nobody really seriously believes that they will.
Hon. W. Newman: Why don’t you tell your friends in Ottawa, because you don’t know what you are talking about?
Mr. S. Smith: The government in Ottawa, for the benefit of the Minister of Agriculture and Food --
Hon. Mr. Baetz: You have had a lousy session and that is why you are mad. That is why you are so cynical.
Mr. S. Smith: -- is mistakenly seeking a policy which will in fact lower barriers instead of raising them. The government of Ontario is encouraging the government in Ottawa to seek a policy which lowers nontariff barriers. That is what the minister said the other day, and I will send his statement to the Minister of Agriculture and Food in case he has now learned how to read it.
I’ll tell you this, Mr. Speaker: That is a mistake on the part of Ottawa, and it is a mistake on the part of Ontario; and we in Ontario are going to pay dearly for this misguided naiveté, which suggests that we ought not to raise cur own nontariff barriers in the hope that the Germans, the Swiss and so on will lower their nontariff barriers. That is misguided naiveté.
Mr. Turner: Why don’t you talk to the federal government?
Mr. S. Smith: Once the Treasurer begins to understand these matters and once he gets a better grasp of economics affairs --
Hon. F. S. Miller: I understand them a lot better than you do.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: It is obvious that you don’t know.
Mr. S. Smith: -- I trust that the Treasurer will talk to the Minister of Industry and Tourism about them.
Hon. F. S. Miller: At least your own critic understands.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: David, teach him a little bit about economics; get him away from this garbage.
Mr. S. Smith: We are faced, therefore, with a situation where we have hundreds of thousands of people unemployed in this province. We have hundreds of millions of dollars spent on education which ill equips the people who come out for the jobs that are available. We have a lack of growth. Even in our own manufacturing area, an area in which we ought to be specialists, our growth has fallen behind that of many of the other provinces, and not just the oil-producing provinces.
We find that Ontario, which used to lead in this country, now has fallen behind very sadly. We have a government which has decided basically to drift, to do absolutely nothing, to produce nothing that might cause controversy, and to hope that it can hide behind the kind of political difficulties which are now occurring with the federal government.
The hope of the provincial government is that it can escape notice somehow. In the short run that’s working. In the short run it looks to me as though they have somehow stopped the erosion which was occurring when they were losing minister after minister and having to shuffle Environment and Energy twice a year, when there were resignations -- and, of course, an unfortunate death occurred -- forced resignations and everything else.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Stuart, I’m available.
Mr. S. Smith: That decline has stopped temporarily. In its place we have a new strategy of doing nothing and putting forward affable, pleasant ministers to say they are trying their best to do what needs to be done.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: That is a lot more than can be said about you. You are not even affable. You are a very unpleasant person. Old snarly, cynical Smith.
Mr. Turner: Tell us what happened in the Sault, Stuart.
Mr. S. Smith: That strategy is going to work for a while. But I’ll tell you this, Mr. Speaker: Once the focus of the people of Ontario no longer is riveted quite so fiercely on Ottawa; for whatever development that may occur there, once the focus is no longer riveted quite so firmly on Ottawa --
Mr. Watson: Not after yesterday’s result.
Mr. S. Smith: -- the people of Ontario are going to want to know what this government has been doing to deal with the economic crisis that is before us. At that point they are going to realize that we have had a public relation type of government rather than a government that actually does anything. At that point they are going to realize that we have a Premier who gives no leadership either at first ministers’ conferences or here in Ontario --
Hon. Mr. Baetz: That’s a joke.
Mr. Kennedy: That’s nonsense.
Mr. S. Smith: -- but simply prefers to cover everything over and to avoid questions, to avoid legislation, to avoid policy, thus hoping to avoid political difficulties.
The time will come, and I am confident of that, when the people of Ontario will recognize that we have been adrift in Ontario --
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Because we have a weak Leader of the Opposition; that’s why.
Mr. S. Smith: -- that we are suffering because of the mistakes of this government, and at that time they will turn upon this government with a vengeance. Mark my words: They will turn upon this government at that point, because they will recognize the total abdication of leadership that we have had over the past 35 years.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: You won’t be around to see it.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to have the opportunity to respond to the kind words the two opposition critics have seen fit to offer in support of our party in the last hour and a half.
I am sorry to see so few New Democratic Party members present. I had hoped to have a chance to respond, both sincerely and perhaps a bit with tongue in cheek.
Hon. Mr. Davis: They are at a wake.
An hon. member: The cream of the crop is here.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I was listening to the member for Wentworth, a person about whom I think we should say nice words today. He was talking about the personalities he would put with certain words as he started his speech.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Whom does the member for Wentworth North (Mr. Cunningham) want to investigate now?
Hon. F. S. Miller: If we had to look to one word that in many of our minds brings Ian Deans’ name to our minds it would be “eloquence.” Eloquence is something the member for Wentworth has had a great deal of. I am sorry to see him go. I understand the problem. He really was the best-dressed man in the caucus and, sadly enough, he had the only pin-striped suit. Lately, of course, his leader has been using it, I understand he wore it out in the Sault this week, that is, if the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman) is to be believed.
In fact, that was my next question. Where is the member for Algoma?
Mr. Villeneuve: He is still campaigning.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Somebody told me he was up there in the north looking for some good old northern Ontario crow because we understood that was what the party was going to eat for Christmas, in spite of the fact that the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Drea) has brought down the price of turkeys as much as he has.
We share a number of things, the member for Wentworth and I. We share a Scottish background. I luckily have mine leavened with something else. I’m a mixture of both the founding races.
I’m reminded of Stephen Leacock’s comment. In one of his books, Stephen Leacock said that when he looked at two of the three founding races in this country, he always likened the English and the Scots to the ocean liners of his day. He said that in every ocean liner there was an Englishman up on the bridge peering over the horizon wondering where they were going to go, while down in the hold there was a Scotsman as an engineer getting them there. I thought that was a pretty good one.
I share with him too the friendship for many members of this House. Perhaps at Christmastime we should drop our partisanship a bit and remember that we are usually friends when the bell rings and we leave this room -- and we are. I think of the member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent) who is not here today and thank God one day for his using his better judgement.
Hon. Mr. Davis: One of those rare days.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Some will be surprised to know he took me to the hospital, if they recall.
Mr. Peterson: He regrets it.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes, he regrets it. There he was trudging through the snow and the slush into Wellesley Hospital dragging me. He had no shoes on, running in there in his socks and his hockey pants, no shirt, just suspenders, dragging me in. I still had my shirt on, at least, and my hockey pants and my shoes. This was in March 1976, at the height of my popularity with the hospitals in Ontario. At the height of that popularity, he brought me in the door and in a loud voice he said to the receiving group, “I have the Minister of Health here. He’s had a heart attack.” I want all members to know that up to that point I hadn’t.
I tell that story because, for all that we call each other names, for all that we involve ourselves in good honest debate, I do suspect that most of us share many bonds of friendship and common understanding. This is the arena for us to forget those temporarily, but at Christmastime I would hate to let the occasion pass without saying that I have a warm feeling for my departing friend from Wentworth.
Mr. Peterson: You sound like him. Why don’t you retire too?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I can honestly say there is hardly one member I don’t like. I had to qualify that. I could go on with a good number of things the member for Wentworth said, but I think honestly right now I will skip some of them because he isn’t here.
I would like to refer to some of the things the Liberal leader said today. If I listened to those fellows I would come to the conclusion we live in the worst spot in the world. He told me about the great lack of opportunity, and I point out the fact remains that this year has seen us have a 4.2 per cent real growth in this province compared to a two per cent average over many years -- not bad; the largest increase we know of in jobs year over year for many times, 154,000.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Not bad.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Not bad. The only province in Canada that showed a month over month increase in employment in the month of November was Ontario. Not bad.
Mr. S. Smith: Fifteen per cent of our young people. Fifteen per cent of our young people.
Hon. F. S. Miller: In spite of all the gloom I heard from that side.
Mr. Kerrio: That’s in spite of your planning.
Mr. S. Smith: If anything good has happened, it is probably due to federal policy.
Hon. F. S. Miller: He talked about the Cantrakon site and suggested we should find another one. I know why he’s suggesting we should find another one. We keep getting letters from his friend telling us where to buy it.
Hon. Mr. Davis: He’s your Metro organizer.
Mr. Laughren: That hurts. That must hurt.
An hon. member: You should know how to deal with friends.
Hon. F. S. Miller: The member talked about my colleague here, the Minister of the Environment.
Mr. S. Smith: He is your friend, not mine, as far as I know.
Hon. F. S. Miller: He is my friend. I hope he’s yours. He should be. The member talked about him coming in here with a sincere face and how the Premier chose him because of his face and me because of my face. I want to tell the member one thing: At least he chose us because we had one face, not two like some people around here.
Mr. Peterson: Let the record show the Premier nodded approvingly.
Mr. Kerrio: That’s your style.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Talking about faces, I wonder how much the Leader of the Opposition lost last night. I wonder how much he lost in the Sault last night. I did a little arithmetic. By my count there were 15,889 PC votes last night, 10,107 NDP votes, 4,504 Liberal votes. That comes to 30,500.
Mr. Peterson: A 50 per cent increase. That is fantastic.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I want to point out that if one multiplies 30,500 times 15 per cent, which is the requirement for the deposit, the Liberals got 14.75 per cent of the vote last night.
Mr. S. Smith: We demand a recount.
Mr. Cunningham: We were trying to save you some money.
Mr. S. Smith: It was part of our restraint program, the saving of public money.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Premier, I’m going to have to stop this.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh no, keep on for a few minutes.
Hon. F. S. Miller: One of the last moves I’m going to make today before we adjourn is to introduce a supplementary estimate for the Liberal Party to cover the election losses in the Sault Ste. Marie by-election yesterday.
Hon. Mr. Davis: You mean you didn’t get enough?
Mr. MacDonald: Favouritism.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I was a little worried. I hope to goodness Hansard didn’t get the interjection I had a few minutes ago.
Mr. S. Smith: You spent 10 times what we did in 1977 and you still don’t have a majority.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Hon. F. S. Miller: My friend talked a lot about the fact that many of us are unsuited to our jobs. He is a psychiatrist; he should know. Certainly he is the greatest example of a man being unsuited I’ve ever run into.
Hon. Mr. Davis: That is said kindly and constructively.
Mr. S. Smith: That’s pretty hilarious.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I was laughing all the way through the Leader of the Opposition’s speech. I picked up one or two gratuitous insults from the honourable member in the course of the last hour, and I just thought -- it’s not like me --
Hon. Mr. Davis: I heard a few myself when I came in, and I’m smiling.
Hon. F. S. Miller: The member told me I smile too much. Everybody has told me I’m too nice. I thought the member should understand the car-dealer side of me for a while.
Hon. F. S. Miller: He talked about the Prime Minister of Canada being the focus today for the anger of the Canadians and of course that reflected anger was ruining his chances in Ontario. if I were studying psychiatry I would say he had done a bit of rationalization.
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Right.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I’m through with the preamble.
Mr. Riddell: The people of Clinton love you.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Forty-five pages from here we’re going to be done.
Mr. Breaugh: You’re kind of medium-rare now.
Mr. S. Smith: You’ve already been done, I’m afraid.
Hon. F. S. Miller: if you’ll take the balance of it as written, I’ll be quite happy.
An hon. member: Dispense.
Mr. Riddell: Table it. We’ll read it.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I’m going to go through it a little faster than I anticipated.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell) is enjoying every minute of this. Don’t leave.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I take those pills too.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Don’t leave us. Smile.
Hon. Mr. Drea: The member for St. George is leaving.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I’m going to talk a bit about the budget because I thought that’s what we were here for. I want to talk about the man who introduced this budget for just a moment, the previous member for Chatham-Kent (Mr. McKeough). I want to talk about the six tough years and the six budgets that man brought into the province, because I think they have been an example to the rest of Canada; in fact, I heard other provinces saying so.
Mr. Makarchuk: He is getting his rewards now.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Darcy McKeough was the kind of man who, long before it was fashionable, long before anyone else was twigging to it, understood the need to control the rising cost of government. He had the courage to do something about it and he did.
Mr. S. Smith: He did a wonderful job. From 1971 they just did a wonderful job.
Hon. F. S. Miller: In a brief five years, he reduced the growth in provincial government spending --
Mr. Peterson: Let’s talk about Charlie MacNaughton. There was a good Treasurer.
Mr. S. Smith: Why don’t you make a speech for Charlie MacNaughton?
Hon. Mr. Davis: How’s your import replacement program in your business? I didn’t know you were such an importer.
Mr. Peterson: Oh, golly, we’ve done real well.
Hon. F. S. Miller: What I liked were the stickers the Liberals were handing out in the Sault, printed in the States.
Mr. S. Smith: No, no, they were printed in the Sault on paper bought in the States.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Did I get that right?
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, you’re not serious? Do you have one there?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I was given one that said, “Printed in Oshkosh,” or something.
Mr. S. Smith: They went to the printer and it turns out he uses paper that comes from Wisconsin.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, I see.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Obviously, no matter where they were printed, no one read them.
Mr. S. Smith: Check on the source of the paper you print on.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Certainly.
Hon. F. S. Miller: We were really very lucky --
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, I was referring to his own company.
Hon. F. S. Miller: -- to have the kind of Treasurer we had and whose work I inherited. This budget --
Mr. S. Smith: By the way, what about your Detroit pollsters?
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, no -- Ann Arbor. Mr. Speaker: Will the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition please allow the Treasurer to continue.
Hon. F. S. Miller: If I put on these rose- coloured glasses, maybe I’ll see you all in a little happier mood.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, I’m in a very happy mood.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Does that look better?
Hon. Mr. Davis: That looks great.
Hon. F. S. Miller: He certainly looks better that way. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen him with any colour in his face.
Mr. S. Smith: Oh, come on. It doesn’t give you any more foresight, anyway.
Mr. Peterson: You look like Elton John.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Well, this day’s almost over.
When Mr. McKeough introduced his last budget in March, he had four key objectives. He identified them at the first ministers’ conference on the economy held last February.
Mr. Kerrio: To get a triple A rating so you big spenders can do your thing.
Hon. F. S. Miller: They were to encourage price stability, improve the business climate and increase private investment, to promote exports and replace imports and to reduce regional priorities.
Mr. S. Smith: And he cleverly reduced the dollar to 84 cents and bailed out.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Ontario, working with the feds, has initiated a number of actions to do that; for example, the Shop Canadian program as it’s now called and the work on price stability by checking the growth in the consumers’ and province’s spending. We’ve done a great deal to introduce tax incentives to encourage investment. The examples of mining and other ways that we have done this in the last budget are there to be seen.
If the member want to look for examples of how to stimulate jobs for those most in need, OYEP, the Ontario Youth Employment Program, was probably the most successful youth or employment program ever introduced.
Mr. Laughren: Very bad example.
Mr. S. Smith: Summer students are not the most in need. Summer students are in need but there are others.
Hon. F. S. Miller: The only real final limitation was money. Forty-two thousand young people had jobs this summer because of that program.
Mr. S. Smith: There’s a lot of unemployment this winter. It is winter, you know.
Hon. F. S. Miller: The mining industry had its bill passed just this week, Bill 29. The seven per cent tax was taken off --
Hon. Mr. Davis: The Leader of the Opposition heard the Speaker. I’m behaving myself.
Mr. S. Smith: You didn’t have the courtesy to be here, Mr. Premier, and you could have been.
Mr. Speaker: May I ask the Leader of the Opposition what time his flight leaves?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I have to say, Mr. Speaker, I generally keep quiet when the other fellows speak.
Mr. S. Smith: Oh, that’s what happened during my speech, didn’t it, Mr. Treasurer?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Most of the time. Most of the time I was writing. But it’s nice to see the Leader of the Opposition lose his temper.
Other examples include the elimination of the seven per cent retail sales tax taken off hotel accommodation till December 31, 1979; a 100 per cent tax credit for new jobs in industrial research -- all those kinds of things.
Mr. S. Smith: Created a tremendous number of jobs.
Mr. Nixon: What about the balanced budget?
Hon. F. S. Miller: My turn will come soon, but I’ve had some chance to bring some of my beliefs to this position. I carry on many of Mr. McKeough’s measures and beliefs. I am an economic conservative and the members know that.
Mr. S. Smith: Of course. Whatever that means.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I think this is an important thing. I do go home most weekends to the little businesses our family still owns. Little businesses, yes. I’ve got them there. A farm -- you’d understand the farm, Bob --
Mr. S. Smith: Yes. That’s cheap.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Stuart, you are unhappy today.
Hon. F. S. Miller: -- Santa’s Village, which is a small business --
Mr. S. Smith: Little elves.
Hon. F. S. Miller: -- the lodges. But I begrudge every penny I give to this province, every penny I send to the Treasurer of Ontario.
Mr. Nixon: How about that yellow Corvette? Is that what you drive home?
Hon. F. S. Miller: No, I drive that in the riding because I have to drive a suitably humble car in my riding. Besides, does the member know of any other vehicle that would be recognized on the main street of every town in my riding, without me having to talk to everybody?
Mr. S. Smith: You don’t like to talk to people? You don’t want to talk to your own constituents?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Of course, I’m not like the Leader of the Opposition. 1 don’t have to talk to myself all the time.
Mr. S. Smith: You want to be able to be recognized without having to talk to people.
Hon. F. S. Miller: If he’s hearing voices in his head, it’s himself.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Yesterday must have upset you a bit, Stuart.
Mr. S. Smith: It did. Falling short of that 15 per cent, I just snapped out of it.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I can send over $10.20.
Hon. Mr. Davis: You’re just saying what you believe.
Hon. F. S. Miller: There were many other things I could have said today. I could have talked about the Ford deal, a deal both parties have criticized.
Mr. S. Smith: You were dragged into it by Horner.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Oh, not by any means.
I might point out, having been privy to that deal, if the Leader of the Opposition had been there, he would have noticed how often the federal government welched on the way down. That’s one of the juiciest verbs I can think of.
Mr. S. Smith: You should thank them for letting you announce it for them.
Hon. F. S. Miller: The members should talk to the workers in Chatham-Kent, talk to the workers in Windsor. Ask the member from Windsor if he doesn’t think it was a good idea. Ask if the people down there who are going to be employed think it wasn’t a good idea.
Mr. S. Smith: We said it was a good idea.
Hon. F. S. Miller: The members should think about the import replacement that that one move made.
Mr. S. Smith: We supported it.
Hon. F. S. Miller: The Liberals supported it? Oh, that’s interesting to hear.
Hon. Mr. Davis: You would have given away 50 per cent, if memory serves me correctly.
Hon. F. S. Miller: We have repealed the land speculation tax. Some of the members disagreed with it. I’m glad to see the Liberal Party basically agreed with that move. It was a measure that had a time and place.
Mr. Nixon: That’s chutzpah.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Chutzpah, yes.
Mr. S. Smith: We agreed.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I’ve had more lawyers in this province come to me and say, “Forget about the dollars and cents. In one stroke, you have eliminated more red tape than anything else we’ve ever seen happen before.”
Mr. Nixon: Who put it in in the first place?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes. We put it in at a time when the members probably would agree that something was needed.
Mr. Hodgson: He wasn’t around here then.
Hon. F. S. Miller: We are talking about incentives for the pulp and paper industry. We’ve unfrozen the equalization factors for next year and are making an important move towards property tax changes.
Mr. Laughren: Long overdue.
Hon. F. S. Miller: We attended the first ministers’ conference on the economy in December and stressed the need to get rid of internal Canadian barriers. In this case, perhaps I would agree with the Leader of the Opposition to some degree that we need a Canadian market. But we need our provinces to recognize that the industrial base right now is in Ontario. If they hope to see a Canadian base or a Canadian industry, we have to learn to give some preferences --
Mr. Laughren: Tell Larry Grossman.
Hon. F. S. Miller: -- to Canadian industry and support it, even if it means supporting this province and our people.
I had a chance to go to Europe, and although I listened to all the gloom and doom from members --
Mr. Nixon: Several times. And the Minister of Agriculture and the Premier.
Hon. F. S. Miller: -- it was a great opportunity to see ourselves through other eyes and to realize how well our own steps and financial responsibilities are appreciated abroad. That’s an important thing to do from time to time.
Mr. S. Smith: We can borrow as many Deutschmarks as we like, I guess.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Recently, my colleague the Honourable Douglas Wiseman brought forth the discussion of the ABC’s report, the Agencies, Boards and Commissions report, talking about the elimination of 46 of them.
Mr. S. Smith: That man benefited more from geography more than anyone else.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I did a little research on that, a little research as to how we got into too much regulation of government, and I bet some of the members have never done it. I discovered how far back government regulation went in our own history. It went right back to the days of the camel caravans. The members will recall that those camel caravans went to the east and picked up frankincense and myrrh and brought coffee in the other direction. They carried a lot of coffee in urns. Do the members remember that? The trouble was, these camel caravans drank the coffee as they went along and they left behind all this rubble on the desert, all those coffee urns. So the first regulation was, there should be no left urns.
I just lost my job.
Mr. Breaugh: Thank God.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I will wind up by saying --
Hon. Mr. Davis: What about Syncrude?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes. Syncrude; $160 million. The members were telling us yesterday we shouldn’t have sold it. I would love to read back through the House records when the members told us we shouldn’t have bought it in the beginning, that it wasn’t the kind of thing the province of Ontario should do.
Mr. Laughren: A chance to make money, and you gave it away.
Mr. S. Smith: I am embarrassed for the Premier. Aren’t you glad they made you go up 100?
Hon. F. S. Miller: in 1975, Stephen Lewis said, “It’s almost beyond belief that Ontario and Canada entered into a consortium in this kind of a position.” The member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes) had a lot of comments about her belief we were hoodwinked by the oil companies into making a deal with equity which should never have been made. It’s very nice to see those same people asking us why we sold it at all. One of the great things about making money in life is not when to buy, it’s when to sell. Any fool can buy; but you’ve got to know when to sell. We were in that place.
Mr. Laughren: You said you could have made more if you’d kept it.
Mr. S. Smith: Any fool can buy, but a lucky one can sell at a profit.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Both of the members ended up with an attack on this government and the confidence of the people of Ontario in this government. Let me tell you, the confidence of the people of Ontario in this government was never shown better than it was yesterday.
Mr. Bradley: Same old bunch.
Mr. Speaker: Order. On March 7, Hon. Mr. McKeough moved that this House approve in general the budgetary policy of the government.
On March 14, Mr. Cassidy moved that all the words after “that” be struck out and the following added thereto:
“this House deplores the continued failure of the government to undertake a long-term strategy for building the strength of Ontario’s industrial economy; rejects the government’s proposals for yet another handout to the mining industry that would export jobs from the north through the blanket exemption on foreign processing; opposes the government’s irresponsible manipulation of its commitment to the funding of municipal government, which will add still further to the regressive burden of property tax; condemns the government’s failure to finance health insurance costs in Ontario on the basis of ability to pay, and calls for immediate action to create jobs in order to meet the needs of Ontario’s 326,000 unemployed.”
The House divided on the amendment by Mr. Cassidy, which was negatived on the following vote:
Bounsall, Breaugh, Bryden, Cassidy, Charlton, M. Davidson, M. N. Davison, Deans, di Santo, Dukszta, Germa, Grande, Laughren, Lawlor,
Lupusella, MacDonald, Mackenzie, Makarchuk, Martel, McClellan, Philip, Renwick, Swart, Warner, Young, Ziemba -- 26.
Ashe, Auld, Baetz, Bernier, Birch, Bradley, Breithaupt, Campbell, Conway, Cunningham, Davis, Drea, Elgie, Gaunt, Gregory,
Grossman, Havrot, Henderson, Hodgson, Johnson, Kennedy, Kerr, Kerrio, Lane, Leluk, MacBeth, Maeck, McCaffrey, McCague, McGuigan,
McNeil, F. S. Miller, G. I. Miller, B. Newman, W. Newman, Nixon, Norton, Parrott, Peterson, Pope, J. Reed, T. P. Reid, Riddell, Rotenberg, Rowe,
Scrivener, G. E. Smith, S. Smith, Stephenson, Sweeney, J. A. Taylor, C. Taylor, Turner, Villeneuve, Walker, Watson, Welch, Wiseman, Worton, Yakabuski -- 60.
Ayes 26; nays 60.
The House divided on the original motion by Hon. Mr. McKeough, which was agreed to on the same vote reversed.
Mr. Speaker: Just before I leave the chair, I want to take this opportunity to extend to all of the members and all of the staff of the House my very best wishes for the holiday season and to thank them, one and all, for their co-operation and their assistance.
The Honourable the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario entered the chamber of the Legislative Assembly and took her seat upon the throne.
Hon. Mrs. McGibbon: Pray be seated.
Mr. Speaker: May it please Your Honour, the Legislative Assembly of the province has, at its present sittings thereof, passed several bills to which, in the name and on behalf of the said Legislative Assembly, I respectfully request Your Honour’s assent.
First Clerk Assistant: The following are the titles of the bills to which Your Honour’s assent is prayed:
Bill 11, An Act to amend the Vital Statistics Act.
Bill 29, An Act to amend the Mining Tax Act, 1972.
Bill 70, An Act respecting the Occupational Health and Occupational Safety of Workers.
Bill 103, An Act to revise the Condominium Act.
Bill 114, An Act to revise the Child Welfare Act.
Bill 122, An Act to amend the Co-operative Corporations Act, 1973.
Bill 137, The Metric Conversion Statute Law Amendment Act, 1978.
Bill 147, An Act to amend the University of Toronto Act, 1971.
Bill 148, An Act to amend the Ontario Agricultural Museum Act, 1975.
Bill 150, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act.
Bill 168, An Act to amend the Niagara Parks Act.
Bill 179, An Act to amend the Ministry of Natural Resources Act, 1972.
Bill 183, An Act to amend the Planning Act.
Bill 184, An Act to amend the Ontario Land Corporation Act, 1974.
Bill 186, An Act to amend the Coroners Act, 1972.
Bill 187, An Act to amend the Corporations Information Act, 1976.
Bill 191, An Act to amend the Executive Council Act.
Bill 192, An Act to amend the Legislative Assembly Act.
Bill 193, An Act to revise the Ontario School Trustees’ Council Act.
Bill 194, An Act to amend and repeal certain Acts administered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
Bill 195, An Act to amend the Municipal Act.
Bill 199, An Act to amend the County Courts Act.
Bill 202, An Act to amend the Residential Premises Rent Review Act, 1975 (2nd session).
Bill 203, An Act to amend the Municipal Act.
Bill 208, An Act to repeal the Pyramidic Sales Act, 1972.
Bill Pr30, An Act respecting the City of Windsor.
Bill Pr44, An Act respecting the Corporation of the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville.
Clerk of the House: In Her Majesty’s name, the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor doth assent to these bills.
Mr. Speaker: May it please Your Honour, we, Her Majesty’s most dutiful and faithful subjects of the Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontario in session assembled, approach Your Honour with sentiments of unfeigned devotion and loyalty to Her Majesty’s person and government, and humbly beg to present for Your Honour’s acceptance, a bill entitled An Act granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the Public Service for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1979.
Clerk of the House: The Honourable the Lieutenant Governor doth thank Her Majesty’s dutiful and loyal subjects, accept their benevolence and assent to this bill in Her Majesty’s name.
The Honourable the Lieutenant Governor was pleased to deliver the following gracious speech:
Hon. Mrs. McGibbon: Mr. Speaker and members of the Legislative Assembly, it is my duty to bring to a close this second session of the 31st Parliament of Ontario, a session marked by hard work and rewarded by steady progress in numerous areas of public concern. While some few matters remain to be resolved, still it can be noted that the program outlined by the government last February has largely been accomplished.
Our province has continued to play a full and vital role in issues of national interest and concern. This role has been strengthened by the creation, this fall, of a new Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs to provide direct liaison between Ontario and other governments, at all levels.
At the conference of first ministers, a week before the start of this session, a 10-point proposal by Ontario received endorsement, for the most part, as the framework of a national strategy for job creation and economic recovery. That agreement was actively pursued at a subsequent meeting of first ministers at the end of November.
Ontario’s commitment to the agreement was largely implemented in the 1978 budget presented to this assembly on March 7, which put into effect initiatives on which the province could take action on its own.
Two measures in particular, namely, suspension of the seven per cent retail tax on accommodation and introduction of a tourism awareness program by the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, have been enthusiastically accepted and are playing a part in reversing the current deficit in the provincial tourism account.
To counter the trade deficit in manufactured goods, the ministry also set its sights on replacing $10 million worth of imports to Ontario for the current fiscal year by more aggressive promotion of domestic marketing opportunities. This initiative is in addition to the province’s participation in the Shop Canadian campaign launched in May.
As well, Ontario took part in a federal-provincial economic stimulation program, whose main feature, a six-month reduction of the retail sales tax by three per cent, was directed toward bolstering consumer and business confidence.
Some 23,000 employers in the private sector took advantage of the Ontario youth employment summer program, which created a record of more than 39,000 jobs at a cost to the government of $25 million. At the same time, the duration of the program was extended this year from 16 weeks to 25 weeks, and the subsidy to employers increased from $1 to $1.25 an hour.
In the permanent job market, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities is working to bring renewed focus to apprenticeship training, to counter the serious shortage of skilled workers in the province, and is meeting with encouraging response. The program, funded by the government of Canada, emphasizes private-sector, employer-sponsored training at the local community level.
Ontario’s comprehensive family law reform legislation was proclaimed on March 31, bringing into force a modern code of justice in economic relations between spouses and among other persons in the event of family disputes.
A higher rate of fees for jurors who serve on long trials has been set, to alleviate the difficulties imposed on many people in meeting this important civic obligation.
A new Securities Act and complementary commodity futures legislation has received royal assent.
A major overhaul of the Liquor Licence Act includes a provision to raise the legal drinking age to 19, effective December 31. Concerns about alcohol abuse in our society are reflected in stricter laws on drinking and driving which now call for a three-year suspension of a driver’s licence on the third conviction.
Amendments to the Ministry of Correctional Services Act provide for exchange of service agreements with the government of Canada and assumption by Ontario of responsibility for parole in provincial institutions. A new system of earned remissions by inmates is a positive addition to the progressive community service focus of a number of existing correction campaigns.
Significant protections for children in our society are embodied in reforms to nine acts dealing with children’s services. Among them, major revisions to the Child Welfare Act incorporate provisions to serve the best interests of the child as well as for independent legal representation of children.
The progress continues in consolidating and streamlining children’s services as much as possible within a single ministry. Recent changes include the transfer of responsibility for children’s probation services to the Ministry of Community and Social Services under a new Children’s Probation Act, which came into force on July 1.
Two interim reports from the select committee on Ontario Hydro affairs and one from the royal commission on electric power planning attest to the continuing high priority given by members of this House to the problems and costs of meeting Ontario’s future energy needs.
A new Indian Commission of Ontario has been created as the provincial participant in tripartite consultations with the Indian community and the federal government. This tripartite forum will negotiate issues of special interest to the Indian community. It responds, for the most part, to the interim report of the royal commission on the northern environment, brought down in April by Mr. Justice Patrick Hartt, who has been named the province’s first Indian Commissioner.
The government set to work early in the year to meet its commitment to develop comprehensive tenant protection provisions with the publication of a green paper. The opportunity thus provided for public debate and response was supplemented by a review of the policy throughout the spring. Finally, at the end of October, legislation was introduced combining the residential aspects of the Landlord and Tenant Act with a revised form of the present rent review program.
The new Residential Tenancies Act also breaks new ground in that it marks the first attempt at writing the law in layman’s language as part of the drive for a more straightforward or “deregulated” approach in carrying on the government’s business.
The culmination of this process of open consultation and debate will be in the enactment of a body of law that prescribes a fair and smoother course in future landlord-tenant relations. In the meantime, the provisions of the existing rent review program will continue to apply.
All legislation dealing with the health and safety of workers has been consolidated into a single body of law. The Occupational Health and Safety Act, fashioned to a great extent from the recommendations of the royal commission on the health and safety of workers in mines, was first introduced in October 1977. The bill has been the subject of detailed scrutiny and extensive debate. Substantive amendments now have the approval of the House.
The legislation, applying as it does to the vast majority of workers in Ontario, represents a significant advance in safeguarding the health of Ontario’s working men and women, on whom the continued strength and progress of our society must rest.
Earnings eligibility ceilings and maximum workmen’s compensation benefits were increased on July 1. New benefits in minimum compensation for temporary or permanent disability, as well as pension increases and other allowances for dependants, were also introduced.
The Ministry of Natural Resources is undertaking two watershed projects in eastern Ontario in conjunction with the South Nation River Conservation Authority. The projects, announced in June, are part of a land reclamation and resource development plan to improve the economic productivity of the area. A federal-provincial agreement, signed at approximately the same time, covers a five-year forest industry and job creation program also directed towards improving the economy in eastern Ontario.
Conscientious efforts have been made in all ministries to improve relations between government and the public, in keeping with stated policies on better “customer service” and “deregulation.” As well, there has been a marked increase in the provision of services in French, ranging from the publication of documents and information for the public to legislation providing for French-language court trials.
As indicated by this summing up, this session has produced achievements from which honourable members may derive no small sense of satisfaction. In declaring the session prorogued, may I commend you on the reasoned debate, the give and take and the sense of duty to the public interest that have prevailed in the activities of the past 10 months.
May I also take this opportunity to extend warm and sincere greetings to you all and to your families for a happy holiday season.
In our Sovereign’s name, I thank you.
God bless the Queen and Canada.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker and honourable members of the Legislative Assembly, it is the will and pleasure of the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor that this Legislative Assembly be prorogued and this Legislative Assembly is accordingly prorogued.
The Honourable the Lieutenant Governor was pleased to retire from the chamber.
The House prorogued at 3:52 p.m.