The House met at 2 p.m.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
UNITED WAY CAMPAIGN
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the House the results of the 1978 United Way campaign organized by the public servants of this province. The final tabulation shows that the Ontario public service raised $405,000 in Metropolitan Toronto and $274,000 in 30 other communities in Ontario, for a total of $679,000. This is a 6.6 per cent increase over the 1977 campaign.
This success is a credit to the generosity of the employees and the effectiveness of the fund-raising structure that has been set up. Our organization is unique in charitable fundraising in Ontario.
As members know, we are in the middle of a cancer and heart fund campaign now, hoping to raise $105,000 before the closing date, this Thursday, April 12. I am confident that we will meet this objective.
It should also be mentioned that the Red Cross blood donor clinics received 3,083 donations of blood from government employees in Metropolitan Toronto during 1978.
I hope the members will join with me in expressing our thanks to the staff who have made this worthy project so successful.
Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to be able to announce an increase in the comfort allowance for 45,000 residents of our long-term care institutions.
As the honourable members know, co-payment levels in the major long-term care programs are designed to ensure that residents maintain discretionary income to meet their personal needs.
In homes for the aged, the first $45 of monthly income is currently exempt from charges for maintenance. In nursing homes and chronic-care facilities, the co-payment is set so that an aged person at the guaranteed income level is left with $45 in discretionary income. Non-aged residents of such facilities are often eligible for family benefits allowance, which includes the same comfort allowance.
The basic needs of food, shelter and personal care are met by the facility, and the comfort allowance is to provide for such items as tobacco, refreshments, telephone, clothing, dry cleaning, toiletries, personal travel and confectionary.
In recognition of the increase in the cost of many of these items since the last adjustment in May 1977, the government has decided to increase the comfort allowance to $51, effective May 1.
Consequently, the co-payment level administered by my colleague the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) will remain at its current level of $9.80 per day for the 22,500 residents in nursing homes and the 13,000 residents on extended care in homes for the aged.
The charging policies of the homes for the aged, administered by my colleague the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton), will be adjusted to ensure that the other 7,800 residents in these homes who are entitled will receive the same $51 in discretionary income.
The same increase in comfort allowances will apply to the 2,000 adult residents in facilities under the Homes for Retarded Persons Act.
This adjustment amounts to a 13.3 per cent increase and maintains Ontario’s position of having one of the highest comfort allowances in Canada.
Mr. Cassidy: It’s 2.5 per cent a year.
Mr. McClellan: Who plays Bob Cratchit to your Scrooge?
TRANSPORTATION SERVICES FOR HANDICAPPED; COMFORT ALLOWANCES
Mr. S. Smith: I have a question of the Provincial Secretary for Social Development. How can she come before us with a generous, in quotation marks, $6 per month increase for these people, when people in wheelchairs alone -- certainly in the city of Hamilton -- can’t even go downtown, in most circumstances, for less than $50?
How can people, confined to wheelchairs yet still able to be reasonably active in society, possibly live on your generous $51 per month income when it will cost them almost all that amount just to get around? Remember, they must have more than one ticket if they want to go and see a movie or something like that and then need someone to help them.
Surely she can show a little more humanity than this?
Hon. Mrs. Birch: I don’t know where the Leader of the Opposition has been for the last couple of years. We introduced a program of transportation for the disabled. The onus is on the communities to provide that, but it is subsidized very heavily by the Minister of Transportation and Communications.
Mr. Laughren: You don’t think it is a restraint package?
Hon. Mrs. Birch: The fare for such services is 50 cents per trip. I don’t see any relationship between what I am announcing today and the transportation available to handicapped people across this province if the communities in which they live will become involved and set up the services.
The ministry is providing the subsidy and Hamilton is already involved in it, so I don’t know where the Leader of the Opposition was when all this was going on.
Mr. S. Smith: A supplementary: Perhaps the minister would like to join me at Chedoke Hospital and talk to the people confined to wheelchairs there. Under the new co-payment arrangement her colleague, the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) takes away what meagre allowance they may have had from alimony or from pensions or insurance. It leaves them each with a grand total of $45, now $51. With that each is supposed to buy clothing, pay for entertainment and have somebody handle his or her wheelchair from time to time.
Hon. Mr. Norton: Eighty-one dollars a month.
Mr. S. Smith: Let me invite the minister to visit the people at Chedoke Hospital and tell them about the generous increase from $45 to $51.
Hon. Mr. Norton: There you go, off half- cocked again.
Hon. Mrs. Birch: The honourable Leader of the Opposition forgets that those same people are entitled to tax credits, which makes the total income --
Mr. S. Smith: Tax credits?
Hon. Mrs. Birch: Tax credits, yes.
Mr. S. Smith: They are low income.
Hon. Mrs. Birch: I don’t know where the Leader of the Opposition has been for several years, but he doesn’t understand. They get a tax credit which brings their monthly allowance to about $81.
Mr. S. Smith: That is unbelievable.
Mr. McClellan: Leaving aside the incredible cheapness of this announcement, may I ask the minister, since she referred to tax credits, whatever happened to the promise in last year’s budget to enrich the tax credit for senior citizens, or is that as phoney as this increase in front of us today?
Hon. Mrs. Birch: This is almost beyond explanation.
Mr. Wildman: You are.
Hon. Mrs. Birch: Three million dollars are being contributed to make this possible for those people, who through no fault of their own are in institutions across this province. Their basic necessities are provided for, they are provided with tax credits, and in addition they are each provided with a disposable income, now at $51 a month, to help with those basic requirements.
Mr. Warner: You probably send them a $6 bill. Mail them out two $3 bills.
Hon. Mrs. Birch: I really feel, regardless of what the opposition members are saying, that for those people who will be the recipients of what may seem like a small amount to members opposite, this money will be very helpful and will be very well received across this province.
Mr. McClellan: Answer the question; what about the promise of enriched tax credits?
Mrs. Campbell: I wonder if the minister would care to elaborate? Does this disposable income formula apply in those cases where people are in their own homes, and hopefully in receipt of some home-help service; or are they still precluded because all the funding has been cut off by OHC and they cannot afford to pay for home-help service themselves out of $45?
Hon. Mrs. Birch: I don’t think that question relates to the announcement I made today, which was about an increase in the comfort allowance to those people who are in institutions.
Mrs. Campbell: And nobody else?
Mr. McClellan: What about your promises on the tax credit?
Mr. Swart: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I wonder if the minister would table in this House the average amount paid out in tax credits to people in those institutions for the last four years. In view of the fact that the tax credit formula has not been increased and that they are getting less he cause of the slight increases in remuneration, would she not think that they’re worse off in the tax credit than they were four years ago?
Hon. Mrs. Birch: That information is all public knowledge; I’m sure if the honourable member is interested in receiving it he can find it quite easily.
Mr. Warner: Yes, send a letter to Darcy McKeough.
TORONTO CONSTRUCTION PROJECT
Mr. S. Smith: I have a question of the Minister of Government Services. Since the city of Toronto has been prepared for the last three and a half years to develop the southern two thirds of the east of Bay site, the housing portion alone of which would produce about 700 jobs for one and a half years, which is 1,000 man-years of work, why is the government continuing to drag its heels on this project? Why is it not going ahead and doing something there after three and a half years of waiting.
Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, in answer to the Leader of the Opposition, the government has not dragged its heels.
Mrs. Campbell: You have so.
Hon. Mr. Henderson: The government has looked at several projects for this site. The site is being used at the moment. As the member knows, the Toronto Humane Society is there. There are several other people there. The province owns the site, but it has not decided yet as to whether it will be used by the province or the city of Toronto. At this time I have informed the mayor of Toronto that we are still looking at the site and we will get back to him.
Mrs. Campbell: How many years have you been dragging your feet?
Hon. Mr. Henderson: We haven’t been dragging our feet one year.
Mr. Nixon: What’s dragging then?
Hon. Mr. Henderson: We have responded fully to the city at all times.
Mr. S. Smith: There’s something dragging; I don’t know if it’s their feet.
By way of supplementary, will the minister make it clear who speaks for the government on this issue? Is it the minister himself? When he answers that, would the minister also explain why it has taken three and a half years for the province itself to decide what it wants to have as its portion of the development on that site and why it won’t let Toronto get ahead with the planning for at least the southern two thirds of the site? Since that could create much needed jobs, 1,000 man-years of construction work, why doesn’t he at least let the city get on with it while he’s sitting around making up his mind?
Hon. Mr. Henderson: Nobody’s sitting around making up his mind. The province of Ontario owns this property, not the mayor of the city of Toronto.
Mr. Cassidy: Well give it to him.
Mrs. Campbell: That’s right. Give it to him.
Hon. Mr. Henderson: The mayor of the city of Toronto has put forth a proposal --
Hon. Mr. Davis: There are millions of dollars’ worth of real estate there and members opposite say give it away.
Hon. Mr. Henderson: -- that is not acceptable at this moment to the province. The province is studying the proposal, and I have so informed the city.
An hon. member: Sell Minaki.
Mr. S. Smith: What about Minaki?
Hon. Mr. Davis: To the city of Toronto?
Mr. S. Smith: Sure, why not?
SUBURBAN SOCIAL SERVICES
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Provincial Secretary for Social Development, arising out of the findings in the report of the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto on Metro suburbs, which was published today and which confirmed what we have known for a very long time, that is that social services in Metropolitan Toronto suburbs are simply not adequate to meet the needs of disadvantaged groups, like the elderly, single-parent families, immigrants and working women with families --
Mr. Speaker: Question.
Mr. Cassidy: -- who now make up a social majority in the suburbs. My question is that since we have known for a long time that planning in the suburbs of Toronto and other major cities has catered to physical. but not to social needs, and since the social planning council’s report confirms the desperate state of those in need of social services --
Mr. Speaker: Get to the point of the question .
Mr. Cassidy: -- does the government have any plans to meet the social needs of these suburban residents; and what are those plans?
Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, since I haven’t had the benefit of looking at that report I’m very loath to make any comments. But coming from one of those suburbs which the member suggests does not have those social services, I take exception. I have a riding office and I am available, and very rarely do I ever have any complaints about the lack of social services to senior citizens, to new immigrants or to anyone else. I would like to have the opportunity to look at that report myself…
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Since the Provincial Secretary for Social Development is saying in the first place that in her tenure in the ministry she has never been aware of the problems of people living in these suburban areas; since she has only just discovered them now that the social planning council has brought them to her attention; and since four years of operating her riding office have but brought her into contact with the problems of groups such as women in the labour force, pre-school children whose mothers are in the labour force or who need group care --
Mr. Speaker: Do you have a supplementary question?
Mr. Cassidy: -- immigrants and other people like that, can the minister explain how the government intends to provide the needed social services in the suburbs which are not now in place, in view of the cutbacks which this government is imposing on social services across Ontario?
Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, I do not know if the honourable member is referring to Scarborough in particular. That is of course the one suburb with which I am very familiar. But I am assured that social services, as provided through Metropolitan Toronto, look after the needs of the suburbs very well, and I am not aware of any gap in the services.
Mr. di Santo: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister aware that, with the new immigration law, immigrants in this country are not assisted by the federal government after three years and, therefore, many of the immigrant aid societies are closing down services for immigrants; and is she aware that the Ministry of Community and Social Services does not have enough staff to assist people, especially in the west end of Toronto, which is the part of the city I represent? What is the minister planning to do if she is aware of these problems; and if she is not aware of them, where has she been in the last three years?
Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, I will have a look at the report when it comes across my desk; obviously the Leader of the Opposition received it far in advance of the rest of us. But I am sure that the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton) is very well aware of the programs under his jurisdiction; and, as far as I am concerned, a great deal of money flows into those particular immigrant services through many of the ethnic services that are available within this city.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, Mr. Speaker, has the Provincial Secretary for Social Development ever taken the time to go to the Jane-Finch area, for example, to see the way in which the nonprofit housing, having all been crushed into one area and having been sort of ghettoized in that way, has led to enormous problems for the people there? Has she gone into suburban areas to see the way in which various kinds of facilities have been resisted in suburban areas, or put into a corner somewhere, and to see for herself the problems that are created that way?
Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, unlike the Leader of the Opposition, yes, I have taken time to do many of those things; and I am very much aware of many of the things of which he obviously has not been aware, such as transportation for the disabled and tax credits amongst other things. Yes, there are problems in those particular areas; and yes, there is money being funnelled into those services that provide additional help to those Ontario Housing units where they do have problems. We are well aware of that. Pro- grams are available.
Mr. Warner: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Even though the minister is not particularly concerned about the report, and even though she does not realize the reality of social problems in Scarborough, probably because most of those problems from her area end up in my office --
Mr. Speaker: Do you have a question?
Mr. Warner: I would like to know a precise date when the minister intends to respond in detail to this serious report, which was made known today.
Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my honourable colleague from Scarborough that I was involved in social planning long before he ever thought of being concerned about social problems. Serving as I did for 10 years on the social planning councils of Scarborough and Metropolitan Toronto, yes, I think I know some of the problems.
Mr. Warner: So the minister does not intend to respond to the report.
Hon. Mrs. Birch: I did not say that.
Mr. Warner: That was the question.
Mr. Philip: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister not aware that in suburbs like Etobicoke valuable services such as the new Welfare Action Centre are closing their doors on this very day because of lack of government funding; and would the minister, when she brings in her comments, also look at the statement made in the report, that not only are there current problems, but current population statistics suggest the suburbs will increasingly become the homes of increasing numbers of aged and disadvantaged; would she advise the House what her government intends to do, not only to meet the present inadequacies but also to meet the future projected inadequacies of the system?
Mr. Warner: She won’t even respond to the report.
Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, I will be very pleased to look at the report.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Health arising out of a case which came to the attention of my riding office this week. I would like to bring to the minister’s attention the case of Mrs. May Brown, pensioner, aged 83, with an income of $350 a month, who was transferred to a chronic-care bed in the Pembroke General Hospital last month.
Mrs. Brown has received a bill for $298 for the month of April, payable in advance, as a result of the minister’s new co-payment charge for chronic-care beds.
Mr. Speaker: Are you asking the minister if he is aware of this case?
Mr. Cassidy: I’m going further than that, Mr. Speaker. Does the minister condone this practice of billing a chronic-care patient in advance and does this particular case mean the ministry has eliminated this 60-day grace period he announced would be an integral part of the program?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: That, I think, is a critical point. If, in fact, Mrs. or Miss Brown was just admitted last month, it doesn’t sound to me as though she should be even considered at this point, and I would have thought the member’s riding office might have drawn it to the attention of the administration or the sisters at the hospital, depending which hospital she is in. I will make sure that is drawn to their attention and her situation is checked into.
Mr. Martel: What is the government’s response in all this?
Mr. Cassidy: I thank the minister for suggesting people in my riding office should do his government’s work in terms of ensuring people aren’t victimized by this co-payment charge.
Mr. Havrot: What have you got a riding office for?
Mr. Cassidy: Will the minister act in order to ensure chronic-care patients are not billed in advance for this co-payment charge? Can the minister assure the House that if a patient is transferred to a chronic-care bed from a nursing home there will also be a 60-day grace period in the future?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: As I think any reasonable person would expect with the implementation of this program, as recommended by the three parties in this House among other sources, there are bound to be some start-up problems. That sounds like a start-up problem; I will make sure it is clarified for the benefit of the administration of that particular hospital --
Mr. Swart: Especially when you say go get him.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- and that as far as the advance collection is concerned that is straightened out. That is not what is anticipated or expected in the administration of this program.
Mr. Wildman: Supplementary: Can the minister explain why a married couple earning less than $15,000 a year is exempt from the co-payment plan, but if they are married and pensioners over 65, receiving old-age pensions they are not exempt? Isn’t that a bit of discrimination?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: No, Mr. Speaker. I think I have pointed out to the honourable member once before that having received all the recommendations to institute the copayment, we looked at how it is administered in other provinces. There are three other provinces which have the system, if I remember correctly. In Quebec, they start to charge it from the day the person is diagnosed as being a chronic care patient, no matter where they are in the system. My recollection is that in all three cases the charge applies to everyone, regardless of means, from day one, and if you are without the means, you end up going on welfare.
That kind of system is unacceptable to me --
Mr. McClellan: You are all heart.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- and so in devising the scheme, we set it up in such a way as to be uniform with the nursing home system. However, there are cases where the breadwinner in a family situation, with young dependents, is confined for reasons of strokes, or various debilitating diseases and it was felt those exemptions had to be built in, unlike in the other provinces.
I think on examination the member will see it does meet the two criteria. First of all, it is uniform with the nursing home system, inasmuch as in the nursing home system we are dealing basically with the extremely long-term stay patient. The average length of stay in a nursing home is measured in years.
It meets the other concern identified by various bodies such as the Senior Citizens’ Advisory Council that moneys provided for the maintenance of an individual by way of an individual pension are being used, in fact, for their support, albeit in the institution in which they have become resident, rather than in the community where they were resident.
An hon. member: How do they keep their homes?
Mr. Cassidy: A final supplementary: In view of the discrimination between pensioners and people aged under 65; in view of the very real anguish this co-payment charge is creating for such people as the multiple sclerosis patients of the Chedoke Hospital in Hamilton, whom I visited three weeks ago; in view of the limited revenues now coming in for this co-payment charge because of the exemptions built into it; and in view of the difficulties this co-payment charge is creating because hospitals must apply a means test, will the minister and the government not simply eliminate all those problems by eliminating this unreasonable charge completely?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I will first of all reply, and I hope not in a pejorative way, that it really amazes me how little backbone exists in that party. Having signed a recommendation about six months ago, they scurry for cover all the time --
Mr. Warner: Not for this kind of punishment. No one signed for this nonsense.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- when somebody picks up on a recommendation they supported.
Mr. Cassidy: You get the facilities available in the community. You give people a choice.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I think, with respect, we have gone to great lengths to ensure that the co-payment plan is brought about in the fairest possible way.
Mr. Cassidy: It is institutionalized misery.
Mr. Havrot: You thrive on that.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: We are monitoring it very closely because we know there will be various problems to do with the administration of the co-payment plan, and various problems to do with the way the forms have been designed. We will do everything possible to ensure it is brought about smoothly.
There is one point in particular I do want to refute: The member said a means test is being applied. In point of fact, there is a statutory declaration of income and income only.
An hon. member: How do they keep their homes?
Mr. Cassidy: It sounds like a means test to me.
Mr. Warner: Point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: The Minister of Health claims I signed a report authorizing the course of action which the government has taken. In no way did I sign for the kind of distortion which we are now getting in the province of Ontario.
Hon. Mr. Norton: Squirm a little more. Where is your integrity?
Hon. Mr. Henderson: You are in trouble, David.
Mr. Nixon: Let him make a speech.
Mr. Speaker: Order. There is no point of privilege, so there is no need to respond to it. There is a legitimate difference of opinion between two members in the House. Let’s leave it at that.
Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Minister of Tourism: In 1977-78, the Ontario Development Corporation approved a total of 398 loans; of these, only 52 were tourism oriented. Will the minister introduce a more effective program to encourage the people in the tourism industry?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I must say our support to tourism has, by the member’s own figures, been rather substantial. I think our support through the Ontario Development Corporation to the tourism industry has outstripped our support to any other single industry. That is particularly the case in eastern Ontario and northern Ontario where we have specific preferential rates available to the tourist industry.
We are at the present time considering the ways in which the tourism industry may be even more substantially assisted through the new employment development fund. As the member will be aware, I have already indicated the tourism industry will be one of those industries particularly favoured by the new employment development fund and one of our priority sectors.
Mr. Eakins: Supplementary: Only 52 loans out of 398 certainly does not reflect that the minister is giving very great priority to the tourism industry. Will he introduce a program which will help the people in the tourism industry upgrade their facilities in order to make them four-season oriented? Fifty-two out of 398 is not a very high score.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I must repeat for the honourable member, I don’t have the analysis with me but I suspect he would not be surprised to learn that tourism still is the industry which has received more loans than any other single industry out of the Ontario Development Corporation.
Mr. Eakins: Fifty-two out of 398?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: It far exceeds the support we are giving any other single industry through the development corporation. I have already indicated we are looking for new programs through the employment development fund to give further help to the tourist industry.
1 must say to my friend, before sitting down, that I was interested to note a document unveiled by his leader this morning which talks about seven priority areas for Liberal Party industrial strategy. Although I have already indicated that one of our priorities for industrial strategy is the tourism industry, there wasn’t a single word in terms of the priorities of the Ontario Liberal Party in industrial strategy referring to tourism. It wasn’t there.
Mr. Van Horne: Here we go again.
Hon, Mr. Grossman: How did you let that happen, John? How did you let that happen? Such a high priority and you left it out.
Mr. S. Smith: Why don’t you read it? You might learn something.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: You’ve been reading my speeches; that’s where you wrote it from. You read well, though.
Mr. Van Horne: How’s your expert in bankruptcy doing over in Istanbul?
Mr. di Santo: Supplementary: Doesn’t the minister think what he is doing to boost the tourist industry in Canada is totally contradictory, when last January he withdrew the presence of this province with the other Canadian provinces from the tourist world fair in Berlin, which will provide 30,000,000,000 Deutschmarks out of which $150,000,000 was coming to Canada? Is he aware that most of the Canadian operators were forced to use private travel agency booths, as well as American booths, to promote tourism in Ontario?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I regret that because of the reaction to some previous statements I missed most of the initial part of that question. Perhaps the member might either repeat it or drop me a note on it, and I can get that for him.
Mr. di Santo: I would rather repeat the question. Doesn’t the minister think it is contradictory to try to help the industry in Canada while we missed perhaps the most important occasion this province had by not participating in the world fair in West Berlin last January, forcing our operators to use private travel agents’ booths a well as American booths, because the Canadian government didn’t participate in the fair, thus losing most of the 30,000,000,000 Deutschmarks that are going out for tourism, $150,000,000 of it coming to Canada?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I regret that the Canadian government chose not to participate in that fashion. We have already had communications with them, urging them to reconsider for the next time that fair is held. From what I hear, it is quite likely that they will once again participate.
Mr. Speaker: Order. I want to advise all honourable members of the House and all our guests in the galleries to vacate the chamber in a very orderly fashion and to go down to the main lobby of the building. We will recess for 15 or 20 minutes for that purpose.
Would you do that now, please?
The House recessed at 2:33 p.m. and resumed at 3:15 p.m.
Mr. Speaker: I thank all honourable members and our guests for their co-operation. Because a message I received gave me concern for the safety of those in the House, the security service searched the House and its precincts. I am satisfied that we can now proceed with the question period for which we have 32 minutes left.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, having discussed this matter with representatives of the security force, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Metropolitan Toronto police department -- who all had a hand in the search -- it is fair to say we are satisfied that the call received by the central switchboard can be characterized as a crank call. But it was the recommendation of the Ontario Provincial Police that in the circumstances the utmost precautions be taken.
As you have already mentioned, Mr. Speaker, we are satisfied that our security precautions, which have been in place for some time, are quite adequate. However, I might respectfully suggest to the members and, particularly, to our friends in the press gallery, that a high degree of discretion be utilized in talking about or reporting this interruption in our proceedings, inasmuch as we don’t want to encourage other individuals to disrupt the proceedings of the House in the same manner.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, because of the interruption and the amount of time involved, and knowing what we had planned for today, I didn’t know whether or not the House might want to make some adjustment with respect to the time allocation in order that we could get to the windup of item one. It is really a matter for the unanimous consent of the House. There are still 32 minutes left for the question period before we get into other matters of routine proceedings and orders of the day. I would like to raise that now before we get started, because I do know certain preparations have been made for the windup today. This will eat into that time.
We could either deem the question period to be completed and carry on, or we could have some adjustment of time. I have no fixed approach, except to say that this is the time to discuss it.
Mr. Martel: Well, Mr. Speaker, I think we are prepared to do that. I think most of my colleagues would prefer that we go beyond 6 o’clock to make up the time we lost. That would take us to about 6:30 or 6:45.
Mr. Peterson: What about your lunch? You usually get quite upset when you miss dinner?
Mr. Martel: I only do it on special occasions.
Mr. Nixon: If I might suggest, Mr. Speaker, it has been indicated that about 30 minutes remain in question period. How about having a good compromise -- continue the question period to 3:30 and then carry on with the business otherwise unchanged?
Mr. Peterson: The Liberal Party always has the answer.
Mr. Speaker: Do we have unanimous agreement for that proposition?
Mr. Martel: Which one are you talking about?
Mr. Speaker: It has been suggested that the question period terminate at 3:30.
Mr. Martel: I suspect, Mr. Speaker, that you won’t get unanimous consent. I would ask the House to consider going until 6:30 p.m.
It is only half an hour more and we could carry on until then, with unanimous consent. Or the minister could move a motion to that effect.
Mr. Speaker: The proposition was that the question period be deemed to have ended at 3:30. We do not have unanimous consent for that. I have no alternative but to abide by the rules of the House that provide for one hour for question period.
I want also to remind honourable members that standing orders indicate that a vote will be taken if there is an amendment to the motion for acceptance of the speech from the throne; and that that vote will be taken at 5:45 the night before the budget is brought down. That’s tonight. I just want all honourable members to understand that the debate on the throne speech will terminate at 5:45 p.m.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, we have done it in the past. Just in the last session, to finalize the estimates of the Treasurer, we sat on the Monday evening until seven to accommodate the House, so those estimates could be finished and so we could get on to Bill 70. I would ask the House leader to put a motion forward so that the House goes to 6:30 this evening, to accommodate the orderly completion of this debate.
Mr. Speaker: We will proceed with the question period.
Mr. Laughren: My question is to the Treasurer. In view of the fact that for the year 1978 straight figures show that foreign ownership continues to be an enormous drain on our economy and that our deficit on interest and dividends alone is $5,400,000,000, up in the fourth quarter 72 per cent over the third quarter and more than 50 per cent over the fourth quarter a year earlier, will the Treasurer assure us, and I understand that he cannot provide us with precise details at this time, that his budget statement tomorrow night will address itself to that particular problem?
Hon. F. S. Miller: The last time I was caught in a position of attack such as I am now, I was saying to the honourable member in between, a fire intervened to save me. This time I have to say it was perhaps a little more frightening.
Mr. Nixon: Disaster accompanies you.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes, you were with me that night, you may recall, at St. Lawrence Centre.
Mr. T. P. Reid: The third one will be tomorrow night.
Mr. Nixon: That was one of your better evenings.
Hon. F. S. Miller: That’s right, it was certainly a hot show.
Much as I would like to indulge in speculation about what is in the budget, unfortunately I know that I obviously can’t answer the member’s question today.
Mr. Laughren: Supplementary: Is the minister aware that in 1978, as in other years, his government gave approval to approximately 95 per cent of all takeover applications that went to the Foreign Investment Review Agency, and that in 1978, out of 310 foreign takeovers, 91 per cent were approved, and that for new businesses established in this province, 96 per cent were approved? Will the minister table the criteria by which he and his close personal friend, the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman), approve takeovers in their submission when FIRA asks them for their opinion on takeover applications for Canadian industry?
Hon. F. S. Miller: The Foreign Investment Review Agency certainly does perform a useful role, although in many countries it is seen as a definite deterrent to investment in Canada.
Mr. Laughren: I am asking for your criteria.
Mr. Wildman: They approved 95 per cent.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I can only say to the member that while we want very much to encourage Canadian investment in Canada, an exclusively Canadian investment posture would obviously do away with many opportunities for employment for Canadian people, because by their very nature many industries have become multinational. There is absolutely no use trying to pretend that we have a Canadian automobile manufacturing industry per se. Our job, of course, is to maximize the Canadian content of the production in this country. I have to agree with the honourable member that if we could have Canadian ownership I would be delighted, and I want to encourage Canadian ownership either through the purchase of shares or the creation of companies that become big.
Mr. T. P. Reid: As the minister is so concerned about encouraging people to participate share-wise, will he also encourage these companies perhaps by way of legislation that requires them to dedicate part of their dividends or profits -- and I leave the percentage to the minister, but I would say 50 per cent minimum at least -- to research and development and reinvestment in Ontario or Canada?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I am sure the honourable member has heard the Minister of Industry and Tourism, the Premier (Mr. Davis), me and others talk about our stated objective to improve the percentage of R and D done in Canada. It is something we take every opportunity to encourage. The last federal government’s budget, we were glad to see, had certain measures in it to encourage that. In the past, Ontario’s has too, and we intend to keep on trying to get more R and D in Canada.
Mr. di Santo: Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that despite what the Premier (Mr. Davis), the Minister of Industry and Tourism and this minister have been saying, not one iota has changed, and last year we had a trade deficit of $317,000,000 in the auto pact, most of it in the area of research and development, because it costs Canada $230,000,000 a year, what is the Treasurer going to do specifically and what has happened to his ministerial fair-share document released last year?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Research and development I think has to be encouraged rather than legislated. The member may feel it can be legislated; I don’t think it can.
Mr. di Santo: I didn’t say you have to legislate.
Mr. Cassidy: You will never stand up to the multinationals.
Mr. Warner: You didn’t answer the question.
HOSPITAL BED ALLOCATIONS
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: In my absence on Friday the Premier was asked a question concerning Queensway General Hospital.
The ministry received a letter from Queensway in July 1977 requesting an 80-bed chronic-care unit to be built adjacent to the hospital. That request was forwarded to the Hospital Council of Metropolitan Toronto and to the Peel District Health Council for consideration as part of the broad process of setting priorities.
The hospital subsequently withdrew its request for chronic-care facilities and substituted expansion of its radiology department as a first priority. This was agreed to by HCMT and approved by the ministry.
The next correspondence was a year later, in July 1978, saying the beds were needed for 16 patients who were occupying temporary accommodation in the emergency department. Since, at that time, we were already making definitive plans to expand chronic care accommodation in Metro, the Queensway situation was included in consideration of the overall plan.
Last Friday, ministry personnel visited Queensway to learn that the hospital doesn’t want more money. It doesn’t want more chronic-care beds. It wants to be relieved of the chronic-care patients it has.
Our Metro-wide plans for chronic-care facilities are already bearing evidence. Last September the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital branch opened on University Avenue.
Mrs. Campbell: Bearing evidence of what?
Mr. S. Smith: The minister’s lack of policy.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I think you were there. Maybe you don’t remember.
To repeat, last September the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital branch opened on University Avenue, providing 300 new chronic-care beds. The conversion of Salvation Army Grace Hospital in Toronto will provide 116 more chronic-care beds, of which 61 are already in use.
Next month about 300 chronic-care patients at the old Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Dunn Avenue will be transferred to the new building, and by August an additional 154 chronic- care beds will be available when construction is finished at the West Park chronic-care hospital.
‘Prior to the opening of West Park, about 40 of the West Park beds will be opened in the early part of May, using the old surgical building at West Park, as a means of phasing in their expanded program, and in this way, will relieve pressure on chronic-care facilities in the west end.
Mr. Cassidy: Can the minister explain how these plans are going to solve the problems, when more than 1,200 beds are to be cut in active-treatment hospitals in Metropolitan Toronto over the course of the next two and a half years, but only 509 chronic-care beds are mentioned as being provided under the plans announced here today?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, in addition to what I’ve already identified, we have asked for, and are funding, a study, under the auspices of the Hospital Council of Metropolitan Toronto, to identify the need in Metropolitan Toronto for both chronic-care beds over and above what I’ve already indicated --
Mrs. Campbell: Why don’t you do that before you cut beds?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- and extended-care beds over and above what I’ve already indicated.
Mr. Warner: Great system.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: As in all parts of the province, we are trying to make sure that as we, in the spirit of the philosophy of health care that has abounded in this country in the five or six years --
Mr. S. Smith: First you cut it and then you study it.
Mr. McClellan: Why didn’t you do the study before you cut the beds?
Mr. Warner: You begin the destruction and then you study it. Great system.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: As we are de-emphasizing acute institutional care, in the process we are identifying the needs for chronic and extended care and meeting those needs.
Mr. S. Smith: Is that the only way of identifying it -- when patients are in the emergency room?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: No. We’ve been working on it. That’s the point I was making.
Mr. Foulds: Talk about hyperbole.
Mr. B. Newman: I have a question of the Minister of Health, concerning Metropolitan General Hospital. As Metropolitan General Hospital in Windsor provides two area services, that is, cancer treatment and burn care, which require a large number of active-treatment beds, thus leaving fewer beds for obstetrics, paediatrics, medical and surgical services, is the minister not concerned that the lack of active-treatment beds there means there will be inadequate health-care services provided by Metropolitan General Hospital?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: With the establishment at Grace Hospital of a centre of excellence in obstetrics and with the establishment at Hotel Dieu of St. Joseph Hospital of a centre of excellence in paediatrics, it seems to me that the obstetrical and paediatric needs, in addition to those of the much smaller units that remain at the Metropolitan General Hospital in Windsor, will be extremely well met.
In the statement I made in February regarding hospital services in the Windsor area, part of it concerned approval of the expansion of the cancer clinic at Metropolitan General Hospital, as recommended by the Ontario Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation. Given the overall picture in Windsor, the services will continue to be very well met.
Mr. Grande: Five years from now.
Mr. B. Newman: Supplementary: Is the minister not concerned that Metropolitan General Hospital has already stated that after April 1 it will not be able to assure the public it serves of backup beds required by the emergency department or admission to a hospital when necessary for active treatment?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I am aware that in all the planning in Windsor there has been an odd man out every time.
Mr. Wildman: You.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: It’s always been the same odd man.
Mr. Wildman: You.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I am confident, given the support of all but one of the hospitals in Essex county to make sure the rationalization works and the level of service is maintained, that any problems will be kept to a minimum.
As I said, with the establishment of centres of excellence in obstetrics and paediatrics, as well as neurosurgery, inasmuch as a CAT scanner will be going to the Hotel Dieu hospital as well, and with the expansion of chronic-care units in various of the hospitals, I am confident, based on the advice of the local health council but also involving the hospitals who are signatories to that rationalization agreement, that the level of service will not only be maintained but improved, particularly through these centres of excellence that are being introduced into that community.
Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, I have raised this issue in the Legislature on several occasions over the last few weeks. I would like to ask the Minister of Health whether he has bothered to check out the fact that since January of this year, on an average night at three hospitals in Windsor -- Grace, Met and Hotel Dieu -- people are stacked up in emergency rooms and hallways because of a lack of active-treatment beds? Did he bother to check that out when he was in Essex county last week?
Mr. Mackenzie: He hasn’t got around to it yet.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I have discussed it with staff on various occasions. I am satisfied it would appear this is again a situation where, with the expansion of chronic-care services and even with a reduction in active treatment, this will assist a great deal in relieving these kinds of pressures.
Mr. Foulds: Well, expand them. Expand them ahead of time.
Mr. Swart: Before, you said it wasn’t true. Remember? It’s a different story today.
Mr. Cassidy: Where is your plan for chronic care across the province?
Mr. Mackenzie: He is too arrogant to have a plan.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Ashe: A bunch of rowdies over there.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I know it upsets people in that party --
Mr. Mackenzie: It’s upsetting people; that’s what it’s doing.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- that for one of the first times anywhere in the province the local health council, with the active involvement and support of the hospitals in the community, came up with a plan not only to rationalize existing services but to provide very valuable new services to that community.
Mr. Cooke: You told them what to do.
Mr. M. Davidson: You didn’t give them any alternative.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I know it bothers them that local people can plan --
Mr. Cooke: You made the decisions.
Mr. Mackenzie: They can’t make the decisions. You are pulling the strings.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I know it bothers them that we aren’t accepting their policy. I know it bothers them that we aren’t wiping out all the hospital boards as per their green paper and centralizing all the bureaucracy.
Mr. Warner: It bothers us that you allow the health-care system to be destroyed.
Mr. Mackenzie: Come off your arrogant horse and start dealing with people.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I know that bothers them, but local planning can work and is working in Essex county.
Mr. Mackenzie: How long are you going to fool around with people’s lives? Arrogant.
Mr. di Santo: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Attorney General. Can I have his attention? In view of the fact that last Thursday the editorial in the Toronto Sun, and the adjacent cartoon, reinforced the stereotype that organized crime is the exclusive product of the Italian community, and in the aftermath of the CBC program Connections, doesn’t the minister think it is time for an inquiry so that it can be made clear what is the extent of the operation of organized crime, and what control over the situation the government has so that the public will have a clear perception of the phenomenon, since this is the way to contribute to clearing the atmosphere of the suspicion and misunderstanding surrounding the entire Italian community?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I have said on a number of occasions in recent years that any conception in the minds of any of our citizens to the effect that the Italian community is any less law-abiding than any other community in this province would be entirely mistaken. The fact of the matter is the Italian community, which, as we know, has made an immense contribution to the development of this province, is as law-abiding as any other community in Ontario. I repeat that once again.
In so far as a public inquiry into the problems related to organized crime is concerned, I am still not persuaded that this would be in the public interest. I say that, having met on a regular basis with senior officers of the major police departments in Ontario, who are all of the view that the fight against organized crime can more effectively be carried on by traditional police methods, namely, the gathering of evidence that is admissible in court, upon which to secure convictions.
I rather regret that those responsible for the production of Connections II did not make note of the fact that several individuals who were featured in that series had been successfully prosecuted. Notwithstanding that, I think I should also state that in the past year and a half, according to figures available to me, some 250 individuals who are believed to have some connection with organized crime have been arrested in this province and have either been tried or are at present awaiting trial.
The advice I have received from senior police officials is that a public inquiry would probably interfere significantly with ongoing investigations and, furthermore, would interfere significantly with the cases before the court. For that reason, at this time I am of the view that it would not be in the public interest to have such an inquiry.
Mr. Warner: If they wore hockey skates, you’d get them. You wouldn’t hesitate.
Mr. di Santo: Supplementary: Since I don’t doubt for a moment that law-enforcement officers have control of the situation, short of an inquiry, could the minister at least undertake to make a public statement delineating the limit and extent of organized crime operations so that the public has a clear perception of what is going on? I don’t think it is good enough for him to issue a disclaimer, as the editorial in the Sun demonstrated on Friday. Can he make a public statement at least?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I will take under advisement whether or not the honourable member’s suggestion might be carried forward into a public statement. I will certainly consider that and advise the honourable member as to my decision in that respect.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Supplementary: In view of the minister’s response in regard to the number of charges laid and the number of convictions, and in view of the fact that organized crime does seem to be on the increase in Ontario, is the minister still of the opinion the police forces in the province and the RCMP have all the tools they require to deal with this growing problem?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: First of all, Mr. Speaker, we do not have evidence to suggest that organized crime is on the increase. It is a significant problem, it has been for some period of time and I am afraid it probably will be for the foreseeable future. But I am of the view that, while police forces would always like additional resources, they currently do have the tools with which to carry on very effectively their law enforcement activities in this area.
Mr. Lupusella: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In spite of the minister’s opinion that a public inquiry would not serve the public interest; and in spite of the recommendation that was made by my colleague the member for Downsview that public statements should be made by the Solicitor General in the Legislature in relation to organized crime to sensitize the public -- an idea that was suggested several years ago -- can the minister explain the statement made by Commissioner Harold Graham of the Ontario Provincial Police, who told the annual Ontario police chiefs’ conference on June 28 that there is no Mafia in Ontario, they are just organized criminals, and that, in his opinion, he thinks of the phenomenon as no more of a problem than burglary? Can he explain that?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I think I heard the honourable member’s statement, Mr. Speaker. First of all, the term “Mafia” is not a very helpful term. It is rather a meaningless term in the ranks of law-enforcement officers. It is a term that is not used by experienced police officers who are involved in the fight against organized crime; it just is not a very useful noun and it is just not a very useful term. I do not know how one adequately defines what is meant when one uses the term “Mafia.”
Mr. Lawlor: You’re the first Attorney General to admit that organized crime exists in this province.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I did not hear the commissioner make his remarks to the annual conference to which the honourable member referred. Without having the benefit of the text of his remarks, I do not think I can add anything further that is useful at this time.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, April 3, the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) asked me about a questionnaire of the ministry and its use by certain health-service organizations, and I replied that I would respond more fully at a later date.
Today, I am tabling my response to the member rather than taking the time of the House to read the answer in full; it is fairly lengthy and detailed.
In essence, my reply indicates that a questionnaire was used by the ministry as part of a pre-test in four HSOs. Legal counsel has indicated that neither the survey nor its application, which was on a purely voluntary basis, was in violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code or the Health Disciplines Act. The questionnaire and its results will be discussed by ministry officials and the HSOs concerned, at a meeting on April 16.
I should also like to say that I know the honourable member will agree with every effort made by the ministry to ensure that consumers are provided with satisfaction where it involves the expenditure of tax dollars.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I have a further answer. On Thursday last, the member for London North asked me some questions about students employed as ambulance attendants during the summer months. I am tabling today a letter that explains the matter fully to the member. Again, it is a very lengthy answer, too long to go over here.
In brief, I am satisfied that the requirements for summer part-time employment in ambulance services across the province are such that excellence of care is protected. Summer students are always required to work in company with senior ambulance officers anywhere in the province.
Mr. Van Horne: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The allegations that were made in my opinion were serious, and in spite of the assurance the minister has given I would like to know that students as poorly trained as this would not he employed in any way, shape or form either this year or in years to come.
Has the minister spoken directly with the executive of the London Ambulance Association and has he looked into the specific instances wherein they claim that students who were not qualified did work in London and Windsor in the summers of 1977 and 1978?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I have not spoken with them. I believe staff of the ambulance services branch, either at district office or in Toronto, have. I am advised by a member of the media in that community that at a press conference last Friday the representatives of the association were asked to give specific instances and for some reason were reticent about it.
I would hope that if they have any specific incidents about which they have concern they would report them either to the district office in London or to the head of the ambulance services branch, directly or through solicitors, however they want. I can show them they should have no concern about any legal problems for themselves. If there are specific incidents they are aware of, we want to know about them. The member will see in the letter I have tabled, the original of which will come to him, that our policies are very clear in that regard.
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Community and Social Services. Is he prepared to table in the House the study that four senior civil servants in his ministry reportedly embarked on into the issue of removing unfair sexual biases in the welfare legislation and the family benefits act?
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I have no reason to withhold the information as obviously it is available merely by looking at the legislation. There is nothing secretive about identifying those areas within the legislation where there are apparently biases based upon gender. All the report consists of is identifying those areas within the legislation. It’s not an original comprehensive report of information that’s not already available. I will see whether we can make it available to him. That’s no problem.
Mr. Peterson: Given that the minister has made this piercing insight into the self-evident and the obvious, is he now prepared -- because he now admits it and everyone else who looks at this admits it -- to work with the other members of the House to change these sexual biases in the legislation? Or is his only answer against it the one he gave in an interview in the Globe and Mail -- I believe about November 1977 -- when he said it would cost $26,000,000? Is that the only reason he has for changing this? My supplementary to my supplementary is: On what basis does he say $27,000,000 will be the cost to change this unfair legislation?
Hon. Mr. Norton: The basis upon which I used that figure was the work done by the analysts within the ministry as to the total cost implications. I would say that is not the only reason but I would say it is a significant reason. If the member can identify where we can come up with $27,000,000 in this fiscal year --
Mrs. Campbell: That’s the only reason you gave.
Hon. Mr. Norton: -- to eliminate those biases, then it seems to me you have accomplished something I haven’t been able to in the time I have been in the ministry. I would also point out that another and very significant reason is that in view of the fact -- I recognize it and so do my colleagues -- there are traditional biases within existing legislation and we would like to eliminate them --
Mr. McClellan: How about an income security review?
Hon. Mr. Norton: -- I would like to see that done in the context of a major reorganization of our approach to income maintenance, for example. I had, in view of the desire to do that, made very specific proposals to the other provinces back in September and got the support of the other provinces. In November I made the request --
Mr. Warner: Blame it on someone else.
Hon. Mr. Norton: -- to the Honourable Monique Begin at the federal-provincial conference for co-operation on the part of the federal government to make the necessary changes to the regulations under the Canada Assistance Plan. At that time it was indicated to me, along with the other provincial ministers, that they would sit down and seriously discuss changes under the Canada Assistance Plan. I must say that I am terribly disappointed to tell the House that I have now in my possession --
Mr. S. Smith: How about the pensions?
Hon. Mr. Norton: -- it has now been received by our ministry, a letter, to which I intend to be responding to the Honourable Monique Begin very shortly, indicating that no, the federal government is not prepared, after all the effort that has gone into it and support from the other provinces, to sit down and seriously make changes in the regulations that would allow us the necessary flexibility.
In the face of that, I obviously will have to discuss with my colleagues whether Ontario is in a position once again, as we have been repeatedly in the past, to go ahead independent of the federal government to make changes that we feel are necessary, with no cost sharing at all.
HERITAGE LANGUAGE PROGRAM
Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to present a petition from over 200 parents in one school area petitioning the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) regarding the reduction of funding for the heritage language program. The petition reads:
“We were shocked and dismayed by your recent proposals to reduce funding for the heritage language program. This program was instituted after long years of struggle on the part of several community groups and has become a valid and important part of our children’s education. Therefore, we most vigorously protest the proposed budget cuts for this program and strongly urge you to consider and rescind them.”
This petition is the first in a long list of petitions from people who are extremely upset about the retrograde decision to destroy the heritage language program.
SITTINGS OF THE HOUSE
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that when the House adjourns on Thursday, April 12, it stand adjourned until 2 o’clock, Tuesday, April 17.
Motion agreed to.
STANDING ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE COMMITTEE
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the standing administration of justice committee be authorized to travel to Milton and Guelph to visit the Maplehurst complex and the Guelph Correctional Centre on Wednesday. April 11, 1979, and that two and a half hours be credited against the time allotted for the estimates of the Ministry of Correctional Services, and that the provisions of section 66 of the Legislative Assembly Act be not applicable.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Welch moved resolution 2.
Reading dispensed with. (See Votes and Proceedings.)
Resolution concurred in.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE PAPER
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I would like to table the interim answers to questions 100, 101, 102 and 103 standing on the Order Paper. (See appendix, page 874)
ORDERS OF THE DAY
THRONE SPEECH DEBATE (CONCLUDED)
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, let me say at the outset I am tremendously disappointed at the government House leader in not moving that we sit until 6:30, because we on this side of the House on more than one occasion have seen fit to do so to accommodate the order of business which had been planned. I draw your attention to the Monday when the House adjourned for the Christmas break and we sat until 7 to get the Treasurer’s estimates finished so that we could do Bill 70 on Thursday and Friday, and I feel that the minister --
An hon. member: Stop crying and get on with it.
Mr. Hodgson: You weren’t interested in reducing the question period by half an hour.
Mr. Martel: When the order of business is established and something interferes with that order, there is nothing to say that we cannot change the rules, by motion, to accommodate the orderly carrying out of the business planned for that day.
Mr. Foulds: We certainly did not plan for the adjournment of half an hour.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I want to say that in reading the throne speech it contained, I think, something for everyone -- mind you in small doses. It reminded me of the Brylcreem ad, “A little dab’ll do ya.” That is what everyone is getting, a little dab. It amounts to very little.
In fact, the throne speech contained a lot of reruns that the government has tried to pass off as things that are going to be done. Let’s look at a few of them.
How long have we been talking about apprenticeships; how long? Forever, it seems; and we really haven’t reached first base. The committee to promote employment opportunities for women; we established such a committee in the civil service a number of years ago and it has not accomplished a great deal.
Mr. Laughren: Bob Welch, remember that.
Mr. Martel: The fight against inflation; members will recall that this government --
Mr. Hodgson: Get on with your speech, Elie.
Mr. Martel: -- supported the federal Liberals on that fight against inflation on the backs of the workers of Ontario, as well as on the backs of the Canadian people. There is a little blurb in there that says we are going to look at profits this time, but for the last three and a half years the workers have paid the price of fighting inflation.
Risk capital; those of us who served on a select committee from 1971 to 1974 advocated action, there is a whole report on risk capital. We have been talking about helping small business for years and not much has materialized.
They also ran this one by us, senior citizen drug plan retained. That’s nothing new; it just goes to show how they just threw a little bit in here, a little bit there to make a throne speech which appeared to be doing something and which virtually was not going to change a heck of a lot in this province.
Family planning; we have been talking about that for years. I was surprised to learn, a couple of years ago, that we had a clinic in Sudbury which was open every Wednesday afternoon. The only problem was that the people of Sudbury did not know it was there. I did not know it was there.
An advisory council on multiculturalism; we had one, our friend from Sudbury was on the multicultural committee but it was allowed to die. I think my colleague from Brantford put his finger right on the pulse when he said, “This government has as much commitment to multiculturalism as an alley cat has to morality.”
My colleague today brought in a petition from people who are trying to establish a heritage program. It indicated their dismay at government withdrawal from that whole sphere, withdrawing the funds necessary to proceed. Now we are going to establish another committee. I ask the government: what in God’s name is it doing?
I have cited just seven items. All of them have been repeated over and over in this House, but we really have not advanced very far with them. A couple were good. I appreciate the fact that we are going to do something for people who are handicapped, at long last. This is something I started advocating as the critic for this party in 1971; that we do what Saskatchewan was doing then and put 50 per cent permanent funding in place for those municipalities which in fact were providing transit systems for the handicapped. We are going to do it in 1979.
The other one, interestingly enough, was a motion I moved in this House, and which the government and the Liberals voted against, when we created the Ministry of Northern Affairs. I advocated a community council. The government is not going to call it that; it is going to call it a local services board; but in fact it is going to do exactly what I suggested, which was to get people voted onto a committee through which in fact necessary funding would be obtained. This was impossible in the unorganized communities.
The throne speech really did not have much new. It is not going to do much to overcome the problems facing Ontario. It deals, I think, primarily with the economy. I want to look at the economy as it affects my area, and then broaden it out to the province. In my own area, I want to examine this throne speech against the background of a document, prepared for the region a couple of years ago and called A Profile in Failure. So members won’t think it’s just those people in the New Democratic Party, listen to what the chamber of commerce said in respect to the planning of the northeastern Ontario regional strategy, called NORS:
“The NORS is devoid of any strategy of development physical, economic or social. It represents the pinnacle of intellectual bankruptcy of the southern establishment in even analysing the problems of the north, let alone dealing with them effectively.
“The only way to deal with NORS is to let it terminate as an expensive receptacle of dust, until it glides, gracefully or otherwise, into oblivion.”
Mr. Laughren: Who said this?
Mr. Martel: The chamber of commerce. “The fundamental problem with NORS can be summed up as the troika of noes: no strategy, no analysis and no programs; therefore, no use.”
That’s the business community in Sudbury indicating what they see as the problems in the Sudbury area. I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, if we’ve got problems, the beginning of the problems in the Sudbury basin started with this government: I well recall in 1974, the day the House adjourned, as I motored home I listened to the announcement by the government that they were shutting down Burwash. They eliminated 250 jobs with the stroke of a pen. Interestingly enough, they opened up a new institution in Milton.
Mr. Laughren: The Davis years have been bad for the Sudbury basin.
Mr. Martel: That was part of the decline of the economic base in the Sudbury basin. They wiped out, with the stroke of a pen, the fourth largest employer, after having spent in the previous two years anywhere from $4,000,000 to $5,000,000. They put in a new gym, new quarters for single custodial officers, remodelled all of the homes, and then they wiped it all out overnight.
We argued to try to get the government to change its mind. We argued on the economic basis that they were wiping out economic diversification and leaving us simply to the resource-based industries. It didn’t matter.
We argued that they would have to then take the prisoners from the Sudbury basin and put them somewhere else where their loved ones couldn’t see them. That was the excuse for closing Burwash: there were too many visitors from the south who had difficulty getting to the Sudbury basin and, therefore, they would have to alter it. Do you know where the prisoners go now from Sudbury? They go to Monteith, about 250 miles away, and they go to the institution in Thunder Bay, about 450 to 500 miles away. It didn’t matter about people from the Sudbury basin.
I remind members that Burwash is less than 200 miles from Toronto. It was good, and they wiped it out. I remember raising it in the House. Know what Dr. Potter said to us? He said: “I am running a correctional services institution, not an employment agency.” They wiped out some diversification, and they haven’t put it back. It was mothballed.
The Minister of Government Services, then the Honourable Margaret Scrivener, followed and she was going to sell it. She, in fact, got one offer of $1,000,000. The chamber of commerce, the labour council and the local members met with the Premier and prevailed upon him not to sell it and, in fact, to establish a committee that would look into the multiple-use concept for Burwash. We suggested, first, that there should be jobs involved in this multiple-use idea and that it should offer services which were not available in the north.
A year and a half later, that committee reported. Listen to what that committee said: “This proposed use is as follows: It provides for an integrated use of the entire site. It will effectively utilize the arable land and institutional facilities, including Camp Bison, which the federal government previously purchased for $1,800,000. It will provide jobs for local residents.”
Unfortunately, by the time the report was tabled, the federal government had withdrawn its offer.
Mr. Nixon: That’s not like them.
Mr. Martel: It was no longer going to build a federal institution in Sudbury, utilizing the facility that was already there. So there went the jobs. I wrote to the Premier and I said to him: “The Dillon report could have been prepared by a six-year old after a cursory walk around the property.”
Mr. Nixon: Is that the Mr. Dillon you are talking about?
Mr. Martel: I’m talking about Mr. Dillon.
Mr. Nixon: Is that the guy who used to be chairman of the John Robarts election committee?
Mr. Martel: I believe he is the same one.
Mr. Nixon: That is the fellow who is on the board of Hydro.
Mr. Martel: I wrote: “The multiple-use concept made more sense than the proposal by Dillon, particularly when one realizes that Camp Bison, which the federal authorities purchased, has not received ministerial approval to proceed with the necessary renovations. I can almost envision the expression of the federal minister, the Honourable Jean Jacques Blais, when he learns there is another authority telling the federal ministry what it should be doing with the property.”
I went on further and indicated it makes more sense to provide a number of services under the provincial jurisdiction which are not now available in the Sudbury area, such as a rehabilitation centre for injured workers, promised by the Premier the Tuesday night before the 1975 election in Sudbury.
Mr. Nixon: That’s going to Hamilton.
Mr. Martel: Well, that’s gone. The use of some of the homes in the village as group homes f or the retarded was recommended by the Ministry of Community and Social Services. That’s gone.
The Ministry of Natural Resources wanted in, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food wanted in, Laurentian University wanted part of the facility, Cambrian College wanted part of the facility, and so did the labour council. We get a report after all of that which says, “We’ll make it into a federal institution.”
I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, for gall this government demonstrates it all.
Interestingly enough, the chamber of commerce responded very recently to the Premier.
The chamber of commerce says in their letter to the Premier. “To the Honourable William Davis.
“We are sorry to have to pursue further the matter of Burwash land use study which upon serious examination we find to be a disservice to yourself, your government and the people of Ontario. This is a sad conclusion regretfully arrived at and which we suspect that you may already share, having regard to what we understood to have been a very substantial cost to the taxpayers of the province, to produce a document of 223 pages which is permeated with bias, contradictions and imbalance of emphasis both in the selection of study areas, conformity to the accepted terms of reference and failure of terms of reference to reflect both in spirit and action the commitment which we felt to be morally binding between us.]’
“The steering committee formed by your authority was to address itself to the concerns originally identified by the Sudbury Burwash committee, formed around local citizens and groups which met on a chamber of commerce premise to effectively document their collective concern and which we felt would ensure us of effective ongoing direct input and liaison with the steering committee. In reality we were exorcised from further involvement by the procedure of holding meetings alternatively in Sudbury and in Toronto which effectively ensured the non-participation of the chamber volunteers and others, both through cost and subsequent failure to invite meaningful participation.
“This point was brought more precisely into focus by independent and voluntary appearance of the chamber of commerce members at public information gatherings and meetings held by M. M. Dillon Limited, during which no specific recognition was accorded to the visitors, no special courtesies extended, no notes were made or tapes recorded, so that it is bemusing in the ultimate to encounter the outright gall evidenced within the chamber report when it stated that interviews were held in Sudbury with the Sudbury and District Chamber of Commerce on page 93. This statement was so lacking in substance as to bring into question the quality of the other purported contacts and which leads to the following observation.”
1 am not going to go into those observations, but what in effect we have happening at Burwash and in the M. M. Dillon report is really a continuation of the status quo.
Mr. Foulds: Was that the chamber of commerce again?
Mr. Martel: Yes, that was the chamber of commerce again. We believe the government advised M. M. Dillon not to come up with a multi-use concept which would provide the services and the jobs which are so badly needed. Instead of spending $10,000,000 on Minaki Lodge, they could spend a heck of a lot less and in fact, provide some alternative employment in the Sudbury basin.
The only recommendations which are meaningful in the backup to what we asked for were the adoption of those services or those things already on the Burwash property. For example, they went along and said, “What we need or should go along with is the camp that is already there for kids.” Well, that was built by the Ukrainian community, I believe. That’s already there.
They suggested we go along and have a part of the facility for training dogs.
They went along and said they would put a weigh scale on the Burwash property.
It went on and on in this vein, not creating one new thing. Not one cent of commitment came forth from the government to establish a multi-use concept, although they had spent $4,500,000 to $5,000,000 when they shut it down and they’re spending roughly $500,000 a year now to keep it in mothballs. I tell you, Mr. Speaker, that’s commitment.
I want to leave Burwash to move to another part of my riding, and it deals with a multinational. You haven’t come to grips with the multinational situation in this province yet either.
We have a mine in my community, which is located about 14 miles away. There are 250 jobs at the mine -- by the way, they only made $6,000,000 profit last year. It’s called National Steel.
I want to thank the Minister of Labour and Manpower (Mr. Elgie) and the Premier for trying to keep that facility open. But it comes to the nub of the problem when dealing with multinationals that we in Ontario are held to ransom by those corporations.
Let me document it briefly, and I make the following observation before I start. Multinationals, not only in this country, but in other countries, have no concern for the host country. Recently I listened to an economist indicate that southern Ontario looks to northern Ontario as a supplier of raw materials -- and I remind you of the Thoman report. Do you, Mr. Speaker, remember that famous report which said that northern Ontario would continue to be the source of raw materials for the megalopolis from Chicago, to Toronto, to New York? That was the Tory government’s response to our problem, called the Toronto-centred region plan. The multinationals look on all of Ontario and all of Canada in the same vein; as merely a place from which you draw natural resources.
This company, lo and behold, has an excess of pellets. Iron ore pellets. They’ve got an excess in the United States. Shades of excess of nickel. Here we go again.
National Steel, which is managed by Hanna Mining, was going to close a mine called Pilot Knob in Missouri, which produced approximately the same amount as is produced in Capreol, my hometown, about 500 tons or 600 tons a year.
Pilot Knob is a losing proposition. It’s underground mining for iron ore, and that’s usually a losing proposition. They have a three-year life expectancy. The American government decided: “We shouldn’t close this operation. We want you to mine it out. We’ll pay the shot. You mine it out, and we’ll pay you $28,000,000 a year to mine it out so that we can store oil.”
National Steel and Hanna Mining decided they could close the mine in Capreol, throw 250 people out of work, despite the fact that the company made $6,000,000 in Capreol last year.
One wonders why they can’t gear down somewhere else. Hanna Mining, which manages this operation, produces about 18,000,- 000 tons a year in Canada. They produced about 20,000,000 tons in Brazil, and they produced about 15,000,000 tons in the United States. It’s a drop in the bucket to produce 500 tons in Sudbury. They could gear down one notch somewhere and not destroy that community.
Let me tell you what will happen. Two hundred and fifty men will be out of a job as of May 15, unless we can get something to change that. They’re going to close for two or three years, and then they’re going to come back when the pellet glut is over. But, where do workers from the Sudbury area go, with Inco having laid off 2,000, losing another 2,000 which they would have had to lay off had there not been a strike; Falconbridge laying off about 750? Where do the 250 men and their families go from Capreol?
But, this company is going to come back. Two or three years from now it will say to the town council, “We need another subdivision. We want you to put that in and we want you to put sewers and water in, and we want you to put in an addition to the high school because we’re coming back.” Hopefully in two or three years those homes which will have been put up for sale will have been sold, and other people will have come in.
What does it do to that community? What does it do to those workers? What about the tax loss to a small municipality, with about 4,100 people? Right now there are 84 homes for sale in that community.
If Hanna Mining is grinding out 35,000,000 tons a year, and it’s just the operator for National Steel, and if from Labrador alone National Steel itself is extracting about 10,000,000 tons, I can’t understand how we allow a small community to be hammered in that fashion. This leads me to ask a question of the government.
When we had the Inco layoffs, the Premier established a cabinet committee under the jurisdiction of the then Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. F. S. Miller) which was going to do a cabinet study and come up with a policy pertaining to resource communities. I suspect that committee hasn’t even met because if it has, I’m still waiting for the report on what policies it is going to adopt to prevent multinationals, or even nationals, from acting in such a high-handed fashion that they would destroy a community and see workers lose their homes.
After 35 years, this government has not come in with a policy with respect to the resource sector. Its track record leaves a good deal to be desired. That leads me to want to deal with the whole mining industry. I’m glad the minister responsible for the resource sector is here because I want to indicate to him what bothers me about that sector.
Aside from a legacy of abandoned communities, I’m not sure what we have in northern Ontario in terms of secondary industry. I might indicate that if we wait for secondary industry, as espoused by the former Treasurer when he said there would be no secondary industry in northeastern Ontario for 20 more years, if that’s the position of the government of Ontario, northeastern Ontario is in trouble.
The mining industry produces fewer than 50,000 jobs a year, and yet the boast of this government is that the resource sector is the basis of our economy and that it is very proud of that. What does it do with the 50,000 jobs, if you include pits, quarries, mining or you name it? If one looks at employment in metal mining and the amount that is produced, one will notice that in 1966 with 27,147 people involved in metallic mining the industry managed to churn out 43,000,000 tons. In 1976 notice the great difference. With 27,380 workers, about 230 more workers, they managed to grind out 60,000,000 tons. In other words, they increased their production by 39 per cent with 230 more workers.
That doesn’t bode well for us in the north. It doesn’t bode well for Ontario in terms of jobs for young people. If one looks at where our unemployment is, the heaviest area is among young people. Look at revenue. The government talks about this being the cornerstone of our economy. In 1968-69, we got $19,000.000 in revenue in Ontario. Isn’t that a magnificent sum?
Mr. Foulds: What are those figures again?
Mr. Nixon: For the whole mining industry?
Mr. Martel: For the whole mining industry, we got $19,616,000. Up until 1972, it had got all the way to $16,344,000. If we include it with income tax, starting with 1973-74 as a base year, we got $59,000,000. Then we had a boom year. We got $191,000,000 in 1974, if we include mining tax and corporate income tax.
Mr. Nixon: That’s when John White adjusted it.
Mr. Martel: That’s right. Then the slide started.
Mr. J. A. Taylor: Reform.
Mr. Martel: In 1975-76, we got $82,000,000. In 1976-77, we got $59,000,000. In 1977-78, we got $31,000,000.
Mr. Nixon: Gee, that John White was a great Treasurer.
Mr. Foulds: Scandalous.
Mr. Martel: The total in federal income tax and in mining tax was $31,500,000.
Mr. Nixon: They have been trying to clean up their act after John White ever since.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, if you want to look at it in another way, based on production, let me tell you the value of production in 1977. The value of mineral production in 1977 in Ontario was $2,699,400,000. Our total take was $39,000,000 or about 1.4 per cent of production.
Mr. Foulds: Awful, just awful!
Mr. Martel: Tell me how we will build an economy in Ontario with that kind of return. Let me tell you, if you try taxing them, Mr. Speaker, they will just high grade, so you can’t win the game on taxation.
Let me tell you what the Saskatchewan government did in 1978. Let me read their return.
Mr. Nixon: It sounds like a political pamphlet you are reading.
Mr. Martel: In 1978 they got $349,000,000 from gas and oil. In natural gas they got $500,000. In potash they got $108,000,000; in uranium, $2,356,000; and there are a couple of other smaller ones for a total revenue from the resource sector of $461,923,000. Compare that to Ontario where from a value of mineral production of almost $3,000,000,000, we got $39,000,000.
Mr. Laughren: What a disgrace.
Mr. Nixon: Inco says they pay it all to workers.
Mr. Martel: Oh, I can give you Inco’s figures too. I have broken them down. Inco’s total profits in 1976 were $197,000,000; their total tax -- federal, provincial and provincial mining -- was $79,000,000.
Mr. Nixon: That is corporation tax -- everything?
Mr. Martel: The whole business, the whole business. It is not only bad enough that we don’t have jobs and we don’t have tax revenue, but we got into the game of exemptions. We have about 30 exemptions which allow them to take our resources from here and refine them somewhere else.
Inco alone delivered 111,000,000 pounds of nickel -- contained in nickel oxide sooter -- to Wales in 1971. It was 109,000,000 pounds in 1972; 75,000,000 pounds in 1973 and in 1974; 100,000,000 pounds in 1975; and 82,000,000 pounds in 1976. That comes to a total of about 20 per cent of their total production.
If one looks at the refining capacity in Port Colborne, they refine about 90,000,000 pounds a year and this accounts for about 1,411 jobs. When one realizes that Inco sends that much out annually to Wales, we see we lose those 1,411 jobs. If you extrapolate and consider the effect in terms of other jobs in Ontario, it is about double.
It isn’t bad enough that we give the exemptions and allow them to send it out of the country, we even allow them to take their money out and explore somewhere else, and we even allow them I to write off their taxes against profits earned in Ontario. We are generous. We are generous to the extreme. In fact, they don’t even reinvest in Canada any more.
Mr. Foulds: We are giving them away.
Mr. Martel: Let’s just look at Inco for a moment. They reinvested about $250,000,000 abroad in ESB Incorporated. They invested $235,000,000 in Exmibal in South America. They invested $30,000,000 in Inco United States Incorporated, International Metals Reclamation Company Incorporated in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania -- I didn’t even know that existed. They invested $850,000,000 in PT International Nickel, Indonesia. All of that money was earned in the Sudbury basin and they haven’t invested a cent for secondary industry in Ontario -- none. They have a plant which may start up eventually. They have taken that kind of money and invested it somewhere else.
Before someone says, “Ah, but what about their investment?” As of November 16, 1977, Inco’s profits for the previous 10 years amounted to $1,700,000,000, or a 14 per cent return on investment. That is not bad, when you take all that investment, you plough it in somewhere else, and you do not create a job in Ontario. In fact, the only place Inco has invested in Ontario is in the extractive end so that it can get it out of the ground faster.
Inco ploughs it in somewhere else, and we get nothing. We get nothing in tax; we get nothing in research and development; we get nothing in jobs for our young people. I want to say that goes right across our resource sector. If one looks at Falconbridge, Falconbridge is the same; Falconbridge invests in Norway.
Let me tell you just how bad it is, Mr. Speaker. Inco is taking some $50,000,000 of its earnings this year and putting it into ESB-Ray-O-Vac to upgrade those plants in the United States. But they cannot even put an offer on the table to the workers in the Sudbury basin who have created all the wealth for them. All the Tories do is give them more privileges and more benefits, and after seven months they still have not put a decent offer on the table.
I want to tell the government that its track record in the resource sector leaves a good deal to be desired and, when government party members say it is the cornerstone of our economy, I think they are all nuts. There is nothing left to be the cornerstone.
If one takes it one step further, to where the exploration is going on, even the mining companies to whom we have been so generous do not reinvest that money here. In Ontario in 1977, $28,000,000 was spent in looking for new metals. In 1972, the amount spent in looking for new metals was $14,000,000; then it got to $16,000,000, and in 1977 it was $13,000,000.
Do you know what they are spending in Saskatchewan this year? Eighty million dollars. And that province is one seventh the size of this jurisdiction in terms of population. Thirty-five million dollars is coming from the Saskatchewan mining development corporation, but $45,000,000 is coming from the private sector. This government can say socialism scares off the private sector, but we are not getting $45,000,000 looking for new wealth. In fact, the last new mine discovered in Ontario was Land Lake Mine in 1971, and the last new mine to come into production was Sturgeon Lake in 1975.
Where is this government’s policy? Where is its policy that will ensure that we have more jobs, more tax, and a greater percentage of reinvestment of earnings held here in Ontario? Where is its policy to guarantee that a certain amount of that resource will be put into the manufacturing sector? Why are we allowing them to invest abroad and then to write that off against the profits earned in this jurisdiction? It’s nuts. Surely, even for a Tory government, it is time to put it all together and take a look at it. It’s a disgrace.
If one looks at forestry, the government’s track record is a little bit better. I guess it was Frost who said, way back, “You have to produce more in this country.”
I am trying to go as quickly as I can, but there are some things that cannot be overlooked.
First of all, we are turning back to the private sector the reforestation of this province. We took it away from them in 1963 because they did a lousy job. Now, in the speech from the throne, we are putting it back in their hands. What has convinced this government that they are going to do any better now than they did prior to 1963?
Mr. T. P. Reid: Because the government did a lousy job itself.
Mr. Martel: I was just going to say that. Armson in his report indicated the government did a lousy job. Here’s this industry in Ontario which in the first nine months of 1978 made $540,000,000 in profits, and we’re going to give them $100,000,000. The federal government is going to give them $230,000,000 -- not all in this province. This is happening at a time when we have Domtar in 1978 acquiring a gypsum business in California for $34,500,000, and when we have Abitibi Paper going to invest some $22,000,000 in an expansion at Roaring River, North Carolina. Why do we have to provide $100,000,000, without equity and without a return? Does the government even look where those companies are reinvesting the money we are giving them? It might not be the dollars we are giving them, but they are taking other dollars and investing in North Carolina and in South Carolina. They are investing abroad, yet out of the public treasury we are going to give them $100,000,000 this year and we don’t have an equity. Government members are lousy businessmen. I don’t know any other country that is so generous.
It was interesting when the select committee on economic and cultural nationalism visited England, the vice-president of ICI, which is the parent of CIL, said to the select committee, and there are seven members sitting over there: “The second you start giving money away you are in trouble. The companies that locate in Canada or in any jurisdiction go because the infrastructure is there and the government is fairly stable; but if a government starts playing giveaway, we want our share too, even if we don’t need it.”
Mr. Laughren: It’s unstable government.
Mr. Martel: The government wants to play Las Vegas with these corporations. I want to know if the government has any policy, outside of giveaway, to enhance the economy of this province; I think not.
Yet there are areas where this can occur. I was able to serve on the select committee on economic and cultural nationalism for about four years. In that four years we tabled, I think, 21 reports dealing with the mining industry and with a whole variety of things. One of the conclusions we came to was that somewhere along the line we are going to have to grapple with multinationals. Seven government members signed those reports, by the way; most of them are in the cabinet today too.
Mr. Wildman: And now they don’t even know who is responsible for replying to questions on the subject.
Mr. Martel: One looks at what multinationals do. There are not only multinationals like National Steel putting it to us in the Capreol area, but if one looks at Hamilton, one sees that Westinghouse wants to close and move somewhere else. One looks at Columbus McKinnon in St Catharines; they closed and moved to Buffalo, after 102 years, I guess, in Ontario. One looks at Budd Automotive who are at the trough looking for a hand-out. One looks at the Hoover Company. One looks at Kennametal who have moved to Toronto. Remington Rand have closed; Wagstaffe bought out Delmonte and closed the operation down.
The government just can’t go on with handouts in this area. The select committee, we thought, was established by the Premier to look into that problem, yet most of the recommendations have been ignored.
On the one report dealing with natural resources it says, “The policy shift should involve not a discouragement of resource development but an encouragement of manufacturing and processing in Canada.” The second recommendation was, “One important goal of both provincial and federal resource policies should be the achievement of a strong and visible Canadian-controlled presence in the non-renewable resource sector.” We haven’t done that.
I won’t even read it, but the government member of the committee suggested in that report, and signed it, as did the two Liberal members, that we should take up to 50 per cent ownership in the resource sector.
Mr. Nixon: Donald Deacon was a Liberal member.
Mr. Martel: Donald Deacon, and my good friend the late Dick Smith wanted that. And the government members over there signed that document.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Donald Deacon signed it?
Mr. Nixon: Donald Deacon signed that.
Mr. Martel: That’s right. But the government hasn’t moved. They paddle around this province saying, “Oh, it is only the socialists who want that.” The Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) signed it. The member for Carleton (Mr. Handleman) signed it; and the Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. Walker); as well as the former Speaker (Mr. Rowe). It really is amazing.
But that select committee also said something else. It said we should look to areas where there are weaknesses and then move in. When one sees what our trade deficit is it indicates to me there are certain weaknesses. The trade deficit in Ottawa, $1,100,000,000; auto pact machinery, $3,100,000,000; electronics, $1,000,000,000; textiles, $1,900,000,000.
That select committee had recommendations on mining equipment. I want to speak about manufacturing. Members would be interested to know that at the present time there is a smaller percentage of our population in the work force engaged in manufacturing than in all other western countries except Ireland, Turkey and Greece.
Mr. Laughren: You guys should be ashamed of yourselves.
Mr. Martel: Can you imagine that; Ireland, Turkey and Greece? There are fewer Canadians and Ontarians involved in manufacturing than in all those countries. Isn’t that something? The emphasis on giveaways --
Mr. Foulds: What are those countries again?
Mr. Martel: Ireland, Turkey and Greece.
The select committee said one of the places we should be moving into was our mining equipment sector. I just want to put a few facts on the record.
Canada is the third largest mining country in the world; Canada is also the second largest consumer of mining machinery. Canada has the dubious honour of being the largest importer of mining machinery in the world. For mining machinery, narrowly defined, our imports amounted to $376,000,000 in 1978, up 340 per cent from 1968. The trade deficit in mining machinery was $255,000,000 in 1978, up 140 per cent from five years earlier.
The percentage of market captured by imports is truly astounding and getting worse. For mining machinery, the figure was 91 per cent in 1978, up from 73 per cent in 1975 and up from 59 per cent in 1965. Mining machinery has about the worst trade performance of any of the machinery sub- sectors.
In terms of jobs lost, the imports represent a conservative estimate of 6,000 jobs, based on the formula relating value of shipment to number of employees in the overall machinery business. Other formulas suggest that the spin-off would amount to double that. In other words, mining machinery imports represent a total of about 18,000 potential jobs, if we got serious about it.
The argument is always advanced that Canadian industry can’t get established because of a small domestic market. Well, in this field, that’s crazy. In the mining field this argument just doesn’t hold water. The Canadian market for mining machinery
-- and this does not include oil and gas or extractive machinery -- was $416,000,000 in 1978, double that of five years earlier.
According to Stats-Can, the capital expenditure on new machinery or equipment for all Canada amounted to about $1,163,000,000, or $649,000,000 excluding oil and gas. If equipment for smelting and refining is included the total expenditure rises to $1,692,000,000. Capital expenditure on machinery and equipment for iron ore alone was $233,000,000.
It is an interesting fact that Canada produces a value of metals almost equal to that of the United States, yet the United States maintains a trade surplus and we continue to be the largest importer of mining equipment. Canada also produces more minerals than England, Sweden, Germany and Finland, yet all these countries have established a strong domestic base.
Just one interesting fact: you cannot, for instance, buy a Canadian-made diesel engine in Canada of any size, of any size.
Mr. Foulds: Scandalous.
Mr. Martel: Isn’t it interesting to note that the select committee, in 1974, made the following recommendations: “There is a scope for the development of a significant Canadian control presence in the mining machinery and equipment industry. The committee recommends that the government actively encourage the development of Canadian-controlled firms in the mining machinery and equipment industry through the provisions of loans and research assistance and through purchase policies. The committee recommends that policies be developed to include the performance of mining machinery and equipment firms in terms of export, research and development and increasing Canadian value added.
“The committee is of the view,” I go on further, “that if the private sector does not respond to policies designed to encourage the development of the mining machinery and equipment industry, it may be appropriate for the government to become involved in the area directly.”
That was signed by at least four cabinet ministers.
Mr. Nixon: Yes, but do you believe that any Minister of Industry and Tourism or any Premier ever read that or ever paid the slightest attention to it?
Mr. Martel: Well maybe they didn’t, but maybe they should have.
Mr. Nixon: You, me and your mother are the only ones who read it.
Mr. Martel: My understanding is that the member for Carleton (Mr. Handleman) was put in charge of going through those reports and indicating to the government what policies might, in fact, be enacted. Interestingly enough, it was not just that select committee, it was the select committee that looked into Inco last year. They too, made a recommendation. Let me read that recommendation. Finally, the final report of the select committee of the Ontario Legislature on Inco and Falconbridge layoffs made a recommendation:
“That all levels of government investigate and develop a program of industrial diversification in the Sudbury area.” Two of the specific areas to be examined and encouraged were an expanded mining research and development program at Laurentian University and a mining equipment manufacturing industry in the Sudbury area.
“While acknowledging that the Sudbury area is primarily involved in the production of nickel and copper, the committee notes that most of the heavy equipment used in the mining industry throughout Ontario is manufactured outside of Canada. Within a relatively few miles of the Sudbury area, uranium, gold, silver and other precious metals are mined throughout the year.”
It was interesting that the people who opposed the establishment of that sort of development were the mining companies. Edwin Carter said at those hearings: “That is a cyclical industry and therefore we should not get involved in it.” It is interesting that the one large producer of underground mining equipment in North Bay --
Mr. Nixon: Canadian Tire?
Mr. Martel: -- hardly -- Jarvis Clark, recommended that we move to that field. He is the only successful producer of equipment. Mr. Clark said he would leave the market system intact but has specific proposals for government effort to foster its development. One of his favourite themes is that Ontario should form an Ontario mining group modelled on the Swedish and Finnish group. Its members would be the manufacturers, government agencies, mining companies, contractors and consultants. The Ontario mining group would have a commercial role, informing its members of all the international commercial opportunities, arranging joint ventures as well as participating in trade missions.
That was just one of the recommendations from the select committee. Significantly, though, they indicated in the report probably seven or eight other areas of real weaknesses, and the select committee recommended that Ontario should look to those weaknesses and then get involved.
Mining equipment is a natural. Because we are the third largest producers in mineral wealth, we should in fact move to the field of production of mining equipment. We have not done so and it is a disgrace, because not only could we capture the internal market, we could give tax preferences and so on, tax credits, we could also get involved in research and development and we could also start to export.
The market is there. If the private sector does not want to do it, rather than give away to Ford $68,000,000, rather than give away to other industries large sums of money, maybe we should be ploughing our money into something that is going to give us jobs, that is here going to give us research and development, that is going to give us offshoots, and that is going to allow us to get into the export market.
That is just one area. Those reports indicate a variety of areas.
I am trying to go as quickly as I can. I am just going to deal briefly with the health issue. I wanted to talk about children, but I won’t.
Hon. Mr. Welch: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: Before the honourable member goes on to the final issue, I think the record should show that there was a general understanding by which the House is not bound, and I appreciate that, that the time allotted for this debate prior to 5:45 would be divided equally among the three parties. Notwithstanding a matter that I am going to talk about in a minute for just a minute, that would have been 35 minutes per speaker. The honourable member started at five minutes to four so he had an extra five minutes on that, which no one is going to question, which meant he would have 40 and the other two parties would have 35. Before even the disruption of this afternoon he assured us he had a 45-minute speech; he has now gone 50. All the time he takes now is taking away from the other two, which is not in the spirit of the understanding.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, if my memory serves me correctly, I started after four o’clock.
Hon. Mr. Welch: You started at five minutes to four.
Mr. Martel: That is quite impossible. I would ask the Speaker if he would check that figure out.
Hon. Mr. Welch: You started at five minutes to four.
Mr. Martel: You might say that. I do not agree. My timetable does not indicate that. The other thing is, before you get too hooty with me, we offered a solution --
Hon. Mr. Welch: Why don’t you go to six o’clock then?
Mr. Martel: -- and in your usual lovely fashion you ignored it. We have sat on this side of the House on a number of occasions to accommodate the government House leader beyond six o’clock. I asked the minister why he couldn’t move to go an extra 30 or 35 minutes.
Hon. Mr. Welch: You never agreed to anything that wasn’t convenient to yourself.
Mr. Martel: If it isn’t convenient to the House leader it doesn’t hold water either, does it?
Mr. Cassidy: You sat there, inert.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Would the honourable member continue?
Hon. Mr. Welch: You’ve proved your point. You just take it away from the other side.
Mr. Martel: We’re prepared to sit until 6:30 p.m.
Hon. Mr. Welch: You’ve proved your point.
Mr. Martel: You did that on the emergency debate. You proved your point. And you proved your point last Tuesday night when we went into bills that weren’t scheduled. So, don’t come around here telling me about proving points.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Now, wait a minute. We had an understanding.
Mr. Martel: We had it out, yes. My office checked with your office on that occasion, my friend.
Mr. Nixon: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, it has already been raised. I can’t wait to hear what the honourable member has to say about medicare, and I hope we all understand that whatever happens now, the light will have to go on after this marvellous debate concludes. So, let’s get on with it.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I only want to spend about five minutes on this.
Mr. Laughren: I’ll testify to that.
Mr. Martel: I am interested, from this point of view, at the accusations being made.
Mr. Nixon: Come on, come on.
Mr. Martel: It is interesting to note that 18 per cent of the doctors have opted out, that we are down to a formula of four beds in the north and 3.5 in the south. It is interesting to hear the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) try to blame the opposition parties for the dilemma we are in. He didn’t get such a hot reception at Wellesley Hospital last week, according to the reports in the paper. As for the member for Algoma-Manitoulin (Mr. Lane), who totally blamed the NDP the other night for the attack on doctors, I’m amazed; I really am amazed.
Mr. Laughren: He had to apologize to his constituents.
Mr. Martel: Before we are all said and done, if he has not already done so, I suspect the member for Algoma-Manitoulin has already gone to the Minister of Health to talk about the cut to the Little Current hospital, which is going to see itself with about a one per cent increase this year and a bed cut. I suspect if he hasn’t already visited with the minister, he will be doing so in the very near future.
Mr. Foulds: If he hasn’t gone, he should.
Mr. Martel: The other problem with medicare, of course, is that this government has never been committed to it. I recall when it came in -- I happened to be here -- John Robarts called it a Machiavellian scheme. I remember it well, the great reluctance with which they went into OHIP. I recall that debate well.
Mr. Martel: The minister wasn’t here, so she needn’t tell me about it.
Hon. Mrs. Birch: I do read.
Mr. Martel: She should read the record some day.
The government didn’t want to go into it. If the government were sincere about trying to iron out some of the problems -- but it is not usually; this government has a great capacity for putting a middleman between the government and the electorate. It does that with school boards and municipal councils, and now it is doing it with doctors. It makes them the goat in the piece.
If the government wanted to resolve it, it would have appointed a mediator, as Saskatchewan has just done, to try to iron it out -- someone with the eminence of Chief Justice Hall, then it would get a mediator in there to try to resolve the solution. It might look at a couple of other things in discussions with doctors. There is no other profession I know where one starts at the full buck, where one starts from square one. If one is a teacher, he has to work his way up the totem pole. If one is a lawyer, he works his way up the totem pole. Not doctors; they start at the top. No other profession does that. Maybe the government should start to look at that.
They might also look at the maldistribution of income within certain groups. They will find there are certain specialists in certain sectors at the top -- a very small group -- who cream off the milk. This is what the specialists tell me. Maybe the government could look at it.
The other thing it might look at is the mess within OHIP. In the Saskatchewan system, 82 per cent of the claims are paid within 30 days. I know a doctor in Sudbury who is still waiting for his $3,000 cheque for January. Does the government wonder why they are upset? It is convenient to have the minister try to blame the opposition parties.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Do you support Saskatchewan’s balanced billing?
Mr. Martel: There is less than three per cent in there. They are so far ahead of us it is not even funny, Larry.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Do you support their system?
Mr. Warner: You will never catch up.
Mr. Martel: I was amazed to read in the last couple of weeks a letter from Dr. Vail. I thought he was just blaming the NDP. I thought, “Here’s a Tory,” but I learned lo and behold, the other night that Dr. Vail is a Liberal. I couldn’t understand why he was just kicking the hell out of us. I thought he was a Tory and, like most doctors, kicked the hell out of us, but I found out he was a Liberal.
I want to ask if anyone in this House recalls this statement being made: “If the marketplace, to which the Premier refers, is insufficient to overcome this 30 per cent differential in the two fee schedules, and it seems as though that will be approximately what the difference is, would the minister consider making the marketplace truly effective by either eliminating the opting-out provision or more importantly, by including the non-reimbursement by OHIP of those patients who chose to go to opted-out physicians?” Do members know who asked that question?
Mr. Laughren: Who said that?
Mr. Martel: That was in the House.
Mr. Laughren: Tell us who said it.
Mr. Martel: It was the Leader of the Opposition. It is in Hansard, April 14, 1978.
Mr. Cassidy: What a flip-flop.
Mr. Martel: We have Dr. Vail sending letters to everyone in the province saying:
“Look at the NDP; they’re after you,” while there’s the Leader of the Opposition saying, “You can’t opt out or, if you do opt out you’ll have to collect all your money yourself.”
Mr. Laughren: He is still saying that.
Mr. Martel: Isn’t that an interesting question? Maybe somebody would send a copy of that to Dr. Vail and to all the doctors in the province.
Mr. Laughren: Is he still saying that?
Mr. Martel: No, of course not. The other thing I wanted to mention is the $50,000,000 budget cut that was recommended from that side last year.
Mr. Laughren: The Liberal side, that is.
Mr. Martel: The Liberal side. Last year they were going to save the province $50,000,000 in the health budget. Nobody ever asked them where they were going to cut. If they were going to cut $50,000,000 last year, that wouldn’t be in this year’s budget and, with a four or five per cent increase where would we be this year, if that party had got its way?
When all of these people go around wagging their finger and saying it’s the NDP, I want to tell them we’re trying to save the universality of this plan.
Mr. Nixon: Goodbye socialism.
Mr. Martel: That’s what you said before Thursday’s by-election.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Right, and you dropped 20 per cent.
Mr. Martel: Those two seats will be filled by New Democrats.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: What about Chatham? There was a landslide there.
Mr. Martel: What happened in Chatham? Where was the landslide there? You slid all right, you slid in the mud.
I want to tell the honourable members that for sheer hypocrisy that group has got it all. They wanted a $50,000,000 cut in the budget, though they didn’t say where. That would have given a further shortfall this year, if we had gone that route. They wanted the opting-out clause totally removed or not to allow doctors to bill OHIP. That’s just unacceptable. I wish somebody would send a copy, as I said earlier, to Dr. Vail to let him know the Liberal position.
Mr. Nixon: Why don’t you send it? You’re always sending out letters.
Mr. Martel: I don’t send anything out. If the member wants to give me Dr. Vail’s address, I’ll send him the letter and Hansard.
I’ve heard many speakers in the last week on this side of the House say that they’re tired of this government. If they want an opportunity to get rid of it, I urge them to join us in the vote today.
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I think we can probably divide the time remaining. I will be cutting short some of my comments as did the member for Sudbury East, and perhaps the Premier will be able to cut his short as well. I notice he hasn’t been in since the bomb scare. No doubt he and his platoon of writers are feverishly trying to work out some defence of the indefensible, which he will bring in hot off the mimeograph machine when he has it completed.
I am of the opinion that the irrelevancy of this debate is pretty much apparent to everyone anyway, and I say that with a very heavy feeling in my heart and mind. As a matter of fact, for most of the hour that the member for Sudbury East was speaking we did not have a quorum. Keeping careful count, there were at one stage only four NDP members present and only about three in the government benches, without a cabinet minister except our good friend formerly from Cochrane, who in that respect doesn’t really count -- except as a gentleman, when he will always count.
Mr. J. A. Taylor: And two Liberals.
Ms. Foulds: And two Liberals.
Mr. Nixon: So the idea that what is presented in this debate is of some momentous importance really is something that disappeared, if not this year, maybe several years ago.
Mr. Foulds: Probably because the Premier never attends.
Mr. Nixon: I think it should be a tremendous responsibility on all of us, including the House leaders -- I say to the member for Sudbury East, and the House leader for the government (Mr. Welch), who has now departed -- that we can surely organize ourselves so that this debate returns to being one of the more important ones the legislative session would have.
I would suggest as follows: On the completion of Her Honour’s speech, we set aside the first day immediately for the leaders of the three parties, including the leader of the government. There’s no reason why we couldn’t do this. It’s not necessary for an elaborate presentation, since the leaders have the responsibility to put forward in broad terms the alternatives they and their parties are offering to the electorate and the taxpayers.
We could devise a time and maybe could have an agreement sealed in blood so that no one is going to take advantage of the other. The honourable members could be sure we would see there would be no committee meetings, and heaven help the private member who would not be interested enough to attend and listen. We would hope some of the press people would be hanging on the gallery -- let’s say hanging on the railings of the galleries; we will hang them another way some other time. It can be made an event.
I would further suggest we could limit the speeches of private members, such as I myself and the honourable member who has just completed, perhaps to 20 minutes. Once again, we could arrange the work in the Legislature so there is no reason for the members not to be in attendance.
If we have to rely on our whips to see the men and women who are elected are here to listen to the views expressed by the honorific members in a limited debate, we can certainly do so. This ought to be an occasion where, in general terms, we not only put the party alternatives but listen to the problems that have been brought forward and will be brought forward by private members.
There are not many members of this House who know anything, or give a damn, about the mining tax. Whatever members think about the speech from the member for Sudbury East --
Mr. Foulds: A fine speech.
Mr. Nixon: -- he did give us a good deal of information in that connection. When one looks at all those blue seats opposite, and the member for Sudbury East wonders why they don’t take any action, the answer is clear: They don’t know anything about it and they don’t care anything about it.
When the honourable member bleeds a little bit that Conservatives and Liberals and NDPs signed some report of some select committee, really he is being a little naive. I hope I’m not being unduly cynical when I would suggest that although a good deal of work goes into those reports, the ministers concerned simply hand the report to some person employed and say, “What do you think of that?” Probably the person employed, if he/she (Toes get around to reading it, will say, “Actually we’re on top of this and our policies cover it.”
A lot of the select committee work is practically meaningless.
Mr. Foulds: No. Let the record show that some honourable member said “no.”
Mr. Nixon: I regret that very much. It’s an opportunity when the House is in a minority situation when we can really impose the responsibility on the government to react to these matters.
The honourable member even referred to the famous select committee dealing with the Sudbury situation. In many respects I would say to him that was largely window dressing. Frankly, it was window dressing for more parties than the government party.
Mr. Foulds: Speak for yourself.
Mr. Nixon: I would include the NDP in that regard. There seemed to be nothing that could be done. The damage having to do with government policy was already a fait accompli and unfortunately it continues in the benighted policies that are doing little or nothing for the development of Sudbury.
But the thing that bothers me is when the honourable member, in the dying moments of his address -- somebody wrote me a note and said there was a bomb in here after all, but that’s another matter -- couldn’t understand why we Liberals were not going to support their no-confidence motion. It occurred to me that when we had the NDP no-confidence motion last week -- goodness knows what we’re going to have next week, more of the same, no doubt -- but last week, when it was the greatest thing in the world that we had to have an election, we had to vote no confidence because of a five cent increase in the subway fare in Toronto.
I wonder what the member for Sudbury (Mr. Germa) is telling his people back home.
Mr. Martel: Sudbury East.
Mr. Nixon: The other Sudbury member isn’t even here. Is that a big issue in Sudbury? Should we, as the Liberals, have turned to the NDP and supported it on this fatuous, no-confidence motion?
Ms. Warner: You supported the government; a coalition government.
Mr. Nixon: Really, they seem to have lost any understanding of what can be done effectively in this Legislature in a minority situation.
Mr. Foulds: When are you going to sign the form for coalition? When are you going to sign the coalition agreement?
Ms. Nixon: I would ask them to simply look to see what my colleague, the leader of the Liberal Party, the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith), has been able to accomplish in here in this minority situation.
Ms. Foulds: I’ll tell you what the initials are: SWF.
Mr. Nixon: It was his leadership that reversed the 38 per cent increase in OHIP premiums. It was his leadership that got the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett) to back down from his Olympian position and cancel that great big, huge, elite hotel that was going to be built on the Niagara Escarpment.
Hon. Ms. Grossman: So much for tourism.
Mr. Nixon: It was his leadership that got the royal commission on food appointed.
Mr. Foulds: Talk about hyperbole.
Mr. Nixon: Whatever you think about its work, this is the way knowledgeable and sensitive leadership, supported by a cohesive and hardworking party, can, in fact, improve the work of this Legislature.
Mr. Foulds: How can a son of Harry Nixon he saying these things?
Mr. Nixon: I know the Premier (Mr. Davis) will be anxious to have his share of time. Dr. what’s-his-name, his chief --
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Smith.
Mr. Nixon: No, no; not his chief psychiatrist.
They are just dashing off a few pearls they are going to cast before the members of the Legislature. I regret that. It’s a shame we cannot have the kind of debate in this House where the Premier and at least some of the more effectual cabinet ministers were present --
Hon. Mr. Maeck: Thanks a lot.
Mr. Foulds: Go ahead and leave, Larry.
Mr. Nixon: -- in order to hear not only what the opposition officially thinks about them but what individual members want to bring before this House.
We forget the tremendous power that resides in this chamber, or in the membership of this chamber through its vote. There are many reasons for us to believe we are rather powerless, simply because no one seems to respond to what happens here and the vote is everything; you know, Mr. Speaker, that in a minority House the vote can in fact dismiss the government.
Mr. Foulds: Except when, under the great leadership of Stuart Smith, we telegraph the punches.
Mr. Nixon: I’m getting so convinced by my own oratory I’m going to be led, perhaps, to recommend to my colleagues it is time for such a dismissal, but not on the basis of the ineffectual and crying no-confidence motion that is before us, that’s certain.
Mr. Warner: No; coalition is better, coalition government is better.
Mr. Turner: Thank God for that.
Mr. Warner: No, you support the destruction of the health-care system.
Mr. Foulds: Nothing wrong with the hospital system, eh?
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I was giving you my recipe for an improvement in the quality of the debate, and one of the things was to truncate some of the longer speeches. My own is approaching that time limit I don’t want to go over --
Mr. Turner: Yes, it is.
Mr. Foulds: Go on.
Mr. Nixon: -- but there are many areas for the development of an effective parliament that we must bring ourselves to consider. We have to do something so the debates here are effective, so that they influence government policy and we, as elected members from our own communities, feel we have some effective and useful role to play in these deliberations.
I want to speak about two or three specific things very briefly. The first has to do with the deliberations of the select committee on Ontario Hydro affairs. The matter in Harrisburg, the atomic accident just finished a week ago, in my view makes it imperative that that select committee, standing in for private citizens across this province, review the safety features in our own atomic reactors and make a recommendation to the House and to the government in that connection.
One of the things that concerned me during the height of the incident, or accident, was attempts by some of the media, -- and I think particularly of the CBC -- to bring together qualified scientists to more or less discuss it. If one scientist was from the anti-nuclear camp, and another for example was from Ontario Hydro, it was appallingly apparent that there was no meeting of minds whatsoever. The one group from Hydro was prepared to say it’s safe and it must go forward, and the other was prepared to say it’s the end of mankind and civilization as we know it.
Any reasonable person listening to this would have that chill feeling in his heart that perhaps some review of this was not only timely but seriously overdue.
It is true the select committee is going to undertake that this summer, but the proposal put forward by my leader, which would have involved Dr. Porter in the deliberations of the select committee, was an excellent one. I hope it is not going to continue to be dismissed. Any time it is raised the honourable member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes) says, “You haven’t the guts to make the decision yourself.” That has to be so fatuous, it just has to be unbelievably inappropriate under these circumstances. If anybody thinks there is any politics in this, then really it is pretty scary.
This is an instance where the select committee under the chairmanship of the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) -- and I believe there is universal confidence in his chairmanship -- would have a chance to hear the people from Hydro and the people from the anti-nuclear lobby who are extremely well versed and highly academically trained. So we should have somebody there in whom we have confidence, who can listen to these arguments and more or less weigh them, one against the other.
What is going to happen is that public consciousness of the situation in Harrisburg is going to fade. In fact, it is already fading very quickly. We are going to be back to business as usual believing it can’t happen here and that it was probably something designed to increase the sales of tickets to some movie. People are already more or less forgetting about it. Yet it was perhaps a chance in a lifetime for us to focus on the situation involving the safety of the atomic alternative, which is so important to this province.
There is no doubt in my mind if that alternative is rejected, or significantly rejected, it is going to mean a tremendous change in the quality of life in this province for the foreseeable future. If we are not going to have access to atomic energy, then the decision must be taken very deliberately indeed, and after only the most careful review, which I believe should have already been entered into.
Secondly, I want to deal with another matter which came out of the review of the Hydro committee when we were dealing with the atrocious bad judgement of the government in allowing the expansion of Hydro to go forward at its rate over the past decade. I will be referring to that again, hopefully when the Premier is here because I want to refer to it in his presence.
One of the things I found very interesting, when we were talking about the population which must be provided for in the future, up to the year 2000 and beyond, is that the distribution of that population is going to dictate quite dramatic changes in the policy of the government, now and in the future. It is common knowledge that with the number of citizens, probably including most of ourselves, who will be retired in the late 1990s and by the year 2000, that is going to mean that the proportion of the population will be disproportionately aged and there is going to be quite a commitment in order to pay the pensions and provide the services needed.
At the other end of the scale, however, we must recall, with the birthrate being down and immigration also being down, the number of young people under the age of 15 to be provided for in schools and other facilities will also be down quite dramatically.
The interesting fact which came forward in the Hydro affairs committee is that the number of people productively employed in order to pay the cost of the dependents, that is those under 15 and those over 65, will be higher in a few years than it is even now. That’s actually good news. It means that our tax-producing capability in relation to those we must provide for, those under 15 and over 65, is going to improve and will continue to improve slightly. But we can only use that improvement if government policy is going to direct these tax dollars for the provision of services, financial and otherwise, to those at the upper end of the age scale, those over 65, and therefore reduce them for those in the school age.
This seems terribly difficult to do. The teachers have put forward good reasons why this is the time when we can improve the quality of education by reducing the number of students and hiring more teachers. But certainly we in this House must realize that long-range policy must be towards directing those scarce tax dollars -- which must be used for the provision of services to dependants -- in an orderly way to those in the age groups above 65.
I also want to say something about the problems involving the provision of medical services. The member from Sudbury said he was down here in the gallery, or as a member, when John Robarts was talking about medicare being a machiavellian scheme. I remember that as well. I also remember that, a few weeks later, he attended a federal-provincial conference and reversed his position by saying that it would provide the best medical care that would be possible. I certainly believe that his second perception was correct.
I see the honourable gentlemen shaking their heads, indicating that it is inconceivable to them that John Robarts might have changed his mind in any of these views; yet I know, when they rush out and peruse the record following my remarks, that they will find I am right; as usual.
We in the Liberal Party have a commitment to the concept of universal medicare that perhaps the other parties do not have. The New Democratic Party is talking about the experience in the west, but it was Pearson and the Liberal government of Canada that took the steps which resulted in what we now have as, in my view, the best medical insurance program in the world.
We are very deeply concerned about the opting-out problems.
I would like to talk about two matters in principle. I cannot sit as a member on the Legislature and permit the services in our publicly-financed hospitals to be such that those doctors representing various specialties will not accept Ontario Health Insurance Plan fees for their full payment. It must be of great concern to the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) and to the Premier that we are providing these many millions of dollars, now directly under the day-to-day and dollar-by-dollar control of the ministry here in Toronto, and still permit those specialists who are necessary for the health and welfare of our people to demand payments above and beyond the OHIP requirements.
I have no objection to the government negotiating with the doctors, but I feel very strongly that in the long run, in public hospitals particularly, we cannot accommodate opted-out doctors in any number. This is something that I put to the government opposite.
There is one other matter that concerns me. I was interested to read that the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson), who has been absent for some time travelling in China, stated without equivocation that she, as a professional, had never belonged to OHIP and never would, and that it was always her philosophy that the doctors should charge the patient on the basis of the doctor’s perception of the patient’s ability to pay.
I would hope that the members of the government, and particularly the Minister of Health, have rejected that completely. They may have to do it with some care, knowing the abilities of the Minister of Education as a member of the cabinet to impose her views on some of her more flexible colleagues. But as a matter of principle, for a doctor to decide what the patient should pay, when we have a system such as ours, is unacceptable; and I would hope that all members of the House would agree that it is unacceptable. It should be a philosophical basis of our program that we are prepared to provide, through our insurance program, adequate payment; beyond that, the doctors should not decide what the patient should have to pay for his services.
I want also to mention something about liquor legislation. I am very glad that the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) is in the House, because I was very impressed on March 30, 1978, when in response to a debate initiated by the member for Essex South (Mr. Mancini), the honourable minister, then the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations and responsible for liquor and liquor policy, got up and said that they were going to raise the drinking age, which has been accomplished. But he went on with a package of policies which were going to reduce the pressure on young people to follow the examples of their peers and learn bad beer-drinking habits. I do not have the quotation here, but Toronto Life had an interesting article about it by our good friend Colin Vaughan.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Inaccurate but interesting.
Mr. Nixon: Inaccurate? I don’t believe so, because I am very interested in this. I happen to know that the Premier, as a former superintendent of the United Church Sunday school, is also interested in this. There was a commitment by the minister that by regulation we were going to require that lifestyle beer and liquor advertising be removed from television.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: No; not so.
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, you can recall very well the elaborate statement made by the now Minister of Industry and Tourism, in which, in detail, he indicated the regulations and controls that were going to be necessary. Being the fair-minded person that he is, he said, he wasn’t going to impose this immediately, he was going to let the beer ads run out to the end of the year so that they would not have to waste all that money. We are now into another year, and if anything the beer ads are more compelling and more effective. I would say they are the best ads on television. In some respects, they are better than the programs they sponsor. I can’t take time to describe them, but members know them. They sit around those tables and knock back all that foaming beer.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I’m getting thirsty.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Never watch them.
Mr. Nixon: I don’t know whether it’s because the ministry now has new leadership or not, but the government has gone completely back on that commitment. If the minister thinks otherwise, certainly he should made a statement in this connection, because if anything the beer ads are more compelling. We are putting, particularly on young people, more unnatural pressures which they are going to find irresistible. The argument that the people who are selling beer are simply vying for a share of the market simply will not wash. The pressure certainly has increased the consumption of beer and liquor, and I think it is of grave concern to all of us here.
I know the Premier is anxious to make his contribution to this debate. I want to talk, at least briefly, about the matter that probably concerns me more than anything else. It has to do with the state of the finances of the province. The Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) is going to treat us tomorrow night to his budget. I have a feeling that he will, as is the custom of the Treasurer since 1971, announce a large deficit. There is no way of knowing what this will be. I would also predict that by the time the deficit is actually counted up, after the money is spent, it will be larger even than he predicts.
It appears to me that, after these 36 long years, this province has a stable of sacred cows which are the pets of the Tories, often implemented at the behest of this Premier or his predecessors, which even his cabinet ministers can’t touch. The cows can’t even be milked, let alone slaughtered. They are lined up there eating at the public trough, using up in every way the dollars that we, through the authority of this Legislature, tax out of our citizens.
Mr. Peterson: What about the waste products?
Mr. Nixon: I am very concerned that from one end to the other we have established an infrastructure -- that phrase is often used by the Premier who likes those confusing phrases -- an infrastructure that itself is almost beyond the control of this government. I just want to list a few of them.
One of the old chestnuts, one of the first ones -- actually the father of this was John Robarts who made the announcement when the Minister of Education was travelling somewhere -- is the county school board. We have the most expensive system of education in the world. There’s no doubt about it.
Hon. Mr. Davis: No.
Mr. Nixon: If you are talking about sending your kid to private school, that’s different; but we have the most expensive public system in the world, and I am not at all convinced of its efficacy.
Hon. Mr. Davis: It was your idea. Do you remember that pamphlet from the election on county school boards? Elect a Liberal government.
Mr. Nixon: We have a system which has so many administrators that the top-heavy aspects are really a terrible and continuing draw on the taxpayers. I think of so many of the county school boards where one can’t even list the officials before one gets to somebody in the school. Most of those officials, who were good teachers at one time, were wise enough and able enough to move into administration so that they can retire when they are 55 years old. With their service, if they were 20 when they started teaching -- and many started to teach younger than that -- it means that they can retire when they are 55, while we have the pleasure of sending them a cheque every month from the time they are 55 until they shuffle off this mortal coil. It is just great for those people, but the costs are incredible; it is the most expensive system in the world, and I feel that we have to come to grips with that.
As a matter of fact -- I mentioned this the other day -- as the enrolment declines, we must reduce the cost of education. I remember the Premier responding to a question, in the absence of the then minister, having to do with cutting back on the administration. He agreed with me that administrative costs should be reduced. It was not until the then minister returned and said, “Oh, we can’t do that,” that all the people in administration across the province heaved a sigh of relief and went on building their empires of directors, assistant directors, area co-ordinators, subject co-ordinators, assistant subject co-ordinators -- all in the $35,000- $50,000 range.
When we talk about the top-heavy administration, even the hospitals, which now are run almost on a day-to-day basis by the Ministry of Health, are troubled by the same disease. The penchant for bureaucracy to grow larger and larger is costing us more and more day by day, and reducing the numbers of dollars available for the actual hospital services that are so important.
In our own instance we have a new health council. They did not want to use facilities that were vacant and had been vacant because of previous cutbacks in the hospitals. They rented rooms and facilities for the new health council elsewhere. They hired a PhD as the director of operations for the health council. Once again the whole thing starts: He has got to have a secretary; he will soon have an assistant; the members of the health council will start paying themselves per diems. The whole thing builds and builds from one end of the province to the other.
Let me turn to the program of land assessment -- one of the New Democratic Party members is a professional assessor, but I do not see him in the House. In 1971, one of the first acts of the Premier, at the behest of the then Treasurer, was to say, “You people in municipalities can’t handle assessments.” He took it over, and it has been a fiasco ever since. They have not been able to do anything with assessment. The Minister of Revenue (Mr. Maeck) is turning grey trying to deal with it now; we can see how worried he looks.
A comparison of the cost is simply astounding. Even in Brantford we have a regional headquarters and a district headquarters, and still the assessment is out of whack. Then they end up, in Hamilton, imposing 500 per cent tax increases on the businesses in the east end of the city.
Hon. Mr. Davis: That was the Volkswagen one.
Mr. Nixon: I know these people came in to see the Premier. They felt they had every right to, since they supported him with their vote and with their money for so long. Now they feel they have simply been done in.
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, they didn’t; I went to see them.
Mr. Nixon: I will be just another couple of minutes.
We are listing the sacred cows. Surely one of the fattest and sleekest is the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, which is the special pet of the Premier. They are paying millions of dollars in rent in that famous building. I hesitate to even mention that again, but it is true. We are still paying rent for that palace up on Bloor Street, even though the former Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) had recommended that OISE simply be dismantled and the furniture sold. I think he said that we should rent that property to somebody else to get a few bucks back out of it, and that the research in education be carried on by the universities. That doesn’t sound irresponsible to me, but it is in the same stall as educational television. That is another one of the Premier’s pets.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Are you opposed to it? I’ll take some responsibility.
Mr. Nixon: I do not want to get into all those arguments, but I am opposed to ETV in its present form. I agree with Darcy McKeough: Educational television to provide something in the schools is fine; but if I want to watch Judy LaMarsh interview somebody, why can she not do it on the CBC? I am already paying --
Hon. Mr. Davis: She is not hired.
Mr. Nixon: Oh, she has been fired, has she?
Hon. Mr. Davis: No. I said she had not been hired by the CBC.
Mr. Nixon: I never know whether the Premier is on good terms with Judy or not; sometimes she is working for him and sometimes she is not.
Just as I approach my deadline, in this stable is regional government -- I do not want to say too much about that, except that regional governments now are buying land and looking at the various plans to build their new headquarters; and they are elaborate, beautiful ones. They provide skateboards for the councillors to get from their offices to the cafeteria. The one that is going up in Haldimand-Norfolk -- it is going to be in the new city proposed by John White -- is certainly going to be something that the Premier will be proud of. It is his policy, it is his baby, but it is our money.
Hon. Mr. Davis: That was your policy.
Mr. Nixon: There are all sorts of good municipal facilities that could be used. I find that regional government is high taxes, unaccepted it was too costly to continue with is an excellent one.
Conservation authorities I have already talked about. The duplication, huge staffs, the inertia that goes with big bureaucracy -- they cannot decide whether to open the dam or to close the dam. The chairman, who is a government appointee in our own area, says to Nixon, in response to my comments, that it is strange I did not know, for example, that the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) is responsible for dynamiting ice dams. I phoned my good friend, Roy, and he said, “That is news to me.”
All of these conservation authorities are rapidly losing their credibility. They are building the same big headquarters, they are paying the per diem, they are having the big dinner meetings and all the rest of it. They are putting in all of the facilities to find whether the water is going up or whether it is going down, and they cannot decide how to control the floods. The only thing the conservation authority in our area does is run marvellous parks, but we have a municipal parks board, a provincial parks board, a federal parks board. I am telling you, Mr. Speaker, we are going to have to look at this situation if we are going to truly cut these costs.
Hydro: wow. You know, I have a new office here, room 210. You are all invited to come in because from the window -- and there has got to be some justice in this --
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Is it as big as Margaret’s?
Mr. Nixon: -- I have the best view in the House of the Hydro building.
Mr. T. P. Reid: He almost called it the Moog mansion.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Can you see the guns trained on you?
Mr. Nixon: It is shades of 1974, but there it is and it is an engineering miracle, except that it came from medieval times in democracy --
Hon. Mr. Davis: You know how it worked in 1974.
Mr. Nixon: -- because we simply could not find a way to build it with public tenders. Remember the arguments about that? The people have even spoken on that, but still it is a fact; we could not even do it by public tender.
Hon. Mr. Davis: It works very well.
Mr. Nixon: Yet, the decisions to do with Hydro are still made by this government; they are made by the Premier. He takes the credit when they are good and he fries to justify it when they are bad, that we are overbuilt to the extent of two-and-a-half Niagaras -- something like that. But, you know, the Premier says it is nothing, it is only three cents per day per consumer. Do a little easy arithmetic and that is $100,000,000 a year we are paying --
Mr. S. Smith: More than that.
Mr. Nixon: -- for these fabulous atomic mausoleums that are sitting there and we do not even need them. We will need them some time, but meanwhile the consumers are paying the interest.
Mr. Nixon: He thinks the solution is to appoint his former campaign manager to clean up Hydro, and at least government will have a role there.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Let’s cut Atikokan.
Mr. Nixon: I cannot rest until I have given perhaps an impartial, maybe an insider’s view of what is going on over there. I quote -- and I must do this -- from the member for Prince Edward-Lennox, James Taylor, QC, MPP, at a meeting in Newmarket on March 28.
Hon. Mr. Davis: LLB.
Mr. Nixon: It is a short quote. “Ministries are manipulated by deputies in clever marionette-like manoeuvres, who, in turn are managed by the Premier’s mandarins, with only the semblance of power at the elected level. The charade becomes more sophisticated as government becomes more involved in the day-to-day lives of the people. I say this as a concerned citizen, committed to the democratic process, who has walked the so-called corridors of power, only to be mugged in the back alleys of bureaucracy.”
Mr. Nixon: If the honourable member had been writing his own speeches when he was in the ministry, he would still be there and he would be running for the premiership, instead of accepting that other advice.
In closing, I just want to say that the government with its policies and programs, is responsible for the problems the Treasurer is facing. I feel appalled to think of what he will be announcing tomorrow, that he has rejected the concept from McKeough that a balanced budget is possible and it is not possible, after these many years, for this government to do anything with the programs that have been in place and grown without control as far as administration is concerned, for 36 years, since 1943. I do not believe this government, with their supporters, has the confidence and I don’t believe they have the freedom of action to do what must be done to cut the costs of the administration we control in this House from one end of the province to the other.
There is only one alternative and that is to turf them out and replace this government with one headed by my colleague from Hamilton, a man who has shown -- and I have indicated this to those who were here at the beginning of my speech -- through his leadership in this House that we can control the costs of OHIP, that we are not prepared to allow the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett) to go ahead and ride roughshod over local interests in the Niagara Escarpment, and that we are concerned about the costs of food. He has indicated clearly through our policies that we have an alternative position in education, in local government, in control of the environment, and in the development of our economy. I would say to you, Mr. Speaker, this is the answer the people of Ontario are seeking.
The NDP, who are paying close attention to my remarks, have brought forward the old standby, the old chestnut, of a no-confidence motion. I have already indicated it surely is an embarrassment to those NDP members from Sudbury and so on that they bring forward these no-confidence motions regularly, having to do with the TTC, and so on, instead of dealing with the problems we all must face in this House.
We are not supporting the no-confidence motion but we are prepared to continue to work effectively in this Legislature for the good of the province. When an election comes, and I for one will welcome it, we are prepared to work hard for the confidence of the people. We have an alternative program the people of this province need. We have a leader in whom we have great pride and we are prepared to work and we are prepared to win the election and govern.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: At 5:34, the member for Brampton.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Do we finish at 5:45, Mr. Speaker?
Mr. S. Smith: That’s correct.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I will do my best. The honourable member who has just finished divided the remaining time in 50-50 fashion which is really quite comparable to so many of the Liberal policies. As they sort it out, I wasn’t surprised nor was I disappointed. In fact, I rather enjoyed it. I am not going into some of the observations he made because I know his memory is short and convenient on some issues and longer on others. I won’t remind him on this occasion of the Liberal Party, when it was truly a Liberal Party, commitment to county school boards.
I remember bringing a pamphlet into the House: “Elect me, Bob Nixon. We will have county school boards. We will have regional government.” Do you remember those great days when the Liberal Party --
Mr. Nixon: You don’t have any pamphlet like that.
Hon. Mr. Davis: We pick up all your good ideas. I have kept the pamphlet. It’s going to be in my memoirs.
Mr. S. Smith: Fortunately, no one is going to read them.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I’ve kept that pamphlet, I think it’s one of the most significant ever used, and the very distinguished member remembers it so well.
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Singer might have said that.
Hon. Mr. Davis: He said regional government, but you said county school boards. That’s where Jack McCarthy got the idea to give to Mr. Robarts who communicated it to me some 3,000 miles away. I heard about it in London, England, and I was delighted to get the information. Then I got the message, “Come back and put it together,” which we did.
At the outset, it is traditional to express the government’s appreciation to you and through you to the other Speaker -- if that’s the best way to phrase it -- for the way in which the affairs of this House are conducted. Certainly, on this side of the House, we have total confidence in the Speaker’s ability to run it in an orderly fashion -- Oh, here he comes, I’ll be more eloquent now.
I was just saying, Mr. Speaker, in your absence, what a great fellow you are and what great dignity you add to the House.
There are very few who can deal as effectively with the member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent) as you can. Certainly, the Leader of the Opposition can’t deal with him, I’m sure; he has difficulty himself. I want to congratulate you, sir, on the way you do it.
Mr. S. Smith: We have great confidence in the member.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The Leader of the Opposition has great confidence in his colleague? So do we, but in what particular areas, I would not want to mention.
But I say most sincerely, sir, that while we do cause you problems on occasion -- myself less than anyone else in the House -- in terms of succinct and proper answers and always sticking to the point, we do congratulate you on the very excellent way you handle the affairs in what is on occasion not too easy an assembly.
I want to touch briefly on minority government. I was interested in listening to the observations of the member for Brantford-Oxford-Norfolk when he referred to his party’s commitment to making minority government work. I guess I am no less than human, and some days I have less than total enthusiasm for minority government. I would be very surprised if the two leaders of the opposition parties would not like to see a majority government but of a different nature. That I understand.
While not getting into the by-election results in any specific way, I do not think there appeared to be anything in those that would indicate the people of this province were really that enthusiastic about the official opposition. I did not sense that. Mr. Broadbent, the leader of the New Democratic Party, said the by-election wins were great victories; they were marching towards victory federally because of that. But when one looks at the results from Wentworth, that is like Napoleon saying, as he left Moscow, “We won.”
Mr. Warner: Now tell us about the win in Chatham.
Hon. Mr. Davis: In spite of what my friend’s colleague said, that my speech writers were hard at work during the interim, there is my speech. The honourable member will be delighted to know it is so brief. The problem is, this could get into being an hour rather than 10 minutes.
Mr. S. Smith: At least when it’s written out for you, we know when it’s going to end.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I acknowledge his great talents; but today the members are having to put up with my own. I apologize to the member --
Mr. T. P. Reid: We can tell the difference.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I am I sure my friend can tell the difference.
Mr. Conway: Has Gordon Dean found the winning side yet?
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, but I tell the member this: If Gordon Dean runs again, we will have a Tory member from that great riding; no question about it.
I do not get that involved in by-elections, but I watched Hamilton-Wentworth very closely, because we had the perception on this side of the House and I don’t think it was erroneous -- that it was not the Leader of the Opposition, but a fellow by the name of Stuart Smith who was the candidate for the Liberal Party in Hamilton-Wentworth.
Mr. S. Smith: At least they didn’t have to hide their leader, the way Gordon Dean did.
Hon. Mr. Davis: All the material said, “Elect Stuart Smith”; then there was the name of the Liberal candidate buried somewhere in the material. And, of course, there was the campaign strategist, who is sitting right behind, and one seat over, from the Leader of the Opposition. He was the campaign manager; he was the strategist. He was the one who went into the riding and put his foot in his mouth seven days a week. I want to thank him on behalf of our party for his participation in that campaign, because without question it helped Gordon Dean acquire the number of votes he did. We want to thank him for his help. We want to express our appreciation.
Mr. S. Smith: His smartest tactic was avoiding your name.
Hon. Mr. Davis: My wife does that too on occasion. I understand that. But talking about avoiding names, when I went into Scarborough West very briefly, heaven’s above, I had to not only seek out a Liberal sign saying “Liberal”; there was a little bit pasted over a big billboard saying, “A Stuart Smith Liberal.” It was sort of an addendum from party headquarters.
An hon. member: It said, “Ontario Liberal.”
Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, but it was a second thought.
Mr. S. Smith: We didn’t see “Bill Davis” on John Larke’s signs.
Hon. Mr. Davis: John Larke ran as our candidate. Our candidates do not need me to prop them up. Obviously the candidate in Scarborough West did not want his leader to prop him up.
However, that’s getting partisan, and I really wanted to say most sincerely that It is still the intent, quite seriously, on this side of the House, to make minority government work. Being relatively objective, I think we have had some measure of success. I hate to give credit -- well, I do not hate to give credit; I must say to the members opposite that by and large they have been constructive on a lot of issues -- not all of them; they have been misguided on some. But I think we have demonstrated that with some give and take -- because I think this was the wish of the people; I may not agree with what they determined in 1977, but we have accepted it -- we are making a genuine effort to see that it happens.
I want to touch briefly on two or three principal issues. The first is medicare. I will maybe correct the opposition spokesman of this afternoon for the Liberal Party. Actually it was in Ottawa at the federal-provincial conference, at about 10:30 in the morning. I was with Mr. Robarts very early that morning, and it was after that early morning or late evening that he used the word “machiavellian.” It was right at the conference. It was not here; it was there. He said it right in front of Mr. Pearson. I was very young and naive.
Mr. S. Smith: Now you are no longer young.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I am no longer young; I am still naive, and I hope I always will remain a little naive. That is something the Leader of the Opposition might learn, a little humility -- not too much, but a little humility is not a bad thing.
I will not correct it any further, but I think I am probably right that that is where he said it, and there is no question that at that time he meant it. My guess is that if he were asked for a comment today he might say the same thing.
I want this point made clear: I am not being critical, although I did hear the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk via the electronic devices available to ns, and I heard some excerpts from the member for Sudbury East -- for about two minutes, but I am not going to stand here and listen day after day to people on the other side of the House, particularly in the New Democratic Party, expressing any greater commitment to the health services for the people of this province than has been demonstrated conclusively over the years by this government.
We have developed in this province one of the finest systems of health delivery anywhere in North America. I challenge them to find a better system anywhere, a better quality of service or better qualifications in terms of the professionals who administer it. I am not saying for a moment there are not problems.
Mr. Warner: It’s falling apart.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Let us not kid one another, it is not falling apart. There are some problems, but, really, I have to say to the Minister of Health that what he has been able to accomplish in the last two or three weeks -- actually it has been an ongoing discussion with the Ontario Medical Association
-- I think has been a tremendous accomplishment.
I guess this is the basic difference: The people on the other side of the House would have them all as salaried employees of the crown. They can kid themselves, but that is what they want; of course it is what they want. They want a confrontation. Those people always believe in the politics of confrontation, because that is the way they think they achieve success.
I have news for them. The people of this province do not like the politics of confrontation. They do not want to see government confronting the medical profession. They do not want to see that sort of situation if we can resolve it as reasonable people.
Our approach is very simple. We sit down with the OMA. We work out some of the problems. I do not say they are all solved, I do not know that they ever will be all solved; but we are going to continue to work in a co-operative fashion, representing the public interest but taking into account that the medical profession as a group and as individuals have certain rights and certain responsibilities that go with those rights. We understand that. I think the Minister of Health has done an excellent job in terms of resolving many of these issues.
Mr. Speaker, I am going to go on until about seven o’clock. I am enjoying myself here today. This is what you get for not having a prepared speech.
Mr. T. P. Reid: One out of 125 isn’t bad.
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, I really will not go on until seven o’clock.
I want to deal with oil very briefly. I will not tease the official opposition in this province with respect to its commitment to world price and all the rest of it. I will save that for another occasion. I want to say this -- and I hope the members opposite will not take offence: I am concerned with some aspects that the present federal campaign is taking on. I am a politician. I am prepared to suffer criticism. We do it; we enjoy it, I guess. I understand it. But I have differences with the Premier of Alberta. I have differences with the Premier of Saskatchewan. I will debate with them what should happen in terms of what any renewed constitution should contain.
Mr. S. Smith: What are those differences? You haven’t mentioned them.
Hon. Mr. Davis: But I tell members this: I take exception to the Leader of the Opposition saying that Peter Lougheed is un-Canadian. I take exception to the Prime Minister of Canada going to certain parts of this country saying, for example, in Ontario: “Those people out west are greedy; they are not Canadians and they have no national interest.” That sort of campaigning, that sort of approach, in my view is divisive, it is wrong. It does not provide the framework for the reconciliation of these differences.
I think political leaders should challenge one another’s competence, that I understand; but I really am concerned, and I may speak out about it again. It is not a question about any policy; it is a question --
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, no; it is not a question of a policy, it is a question of a political leader trying to set one part of the country against the other, that is what I am concerned about.
Mr. S. Smith: That is exactly what Mr. Lougheed did.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I have to tell members this. This also applies in terms of the great province of Saskatchewan. We took the position at the federal-provincial conference that we would support a constitutional amendment -- and I forget the exact phraseology -- regarding a compelling national interest. No Prime Minister of this country is going to go around lumping everything together, saying that only he can save Canada, only he believes in a strong central government.
Mr. S. Smith: What did Joe Clark say?
Hon. Mr. Davis: This province has committed itself to a strong central government, a government with the economic resources to deal with national issues. That has always been our policy; it will continue to be so and the Prime Minister does us no favour in what he says.
Mr. S. Smith: What does Joe say about Petrocan?
Hon. Mr. Davis: If I were the Leader of the Opposition, I’ll tell him what he should do. He should call his very close friend, the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, and tell him he should alter some of the approaches he is taking.
Mr. S. Smith: You ask Joe Clark what his position is.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I ask him to do it. It would be a great thing. Don’t become apologists for them, don’t become apologists for them.
Mr. Breithaupt: Are you an apologist for Joe Clark?
Hon. Mr. Davis: We are not talking policy, we are talking style and the way these things are being done.
Mr. S. Smith: What about Petrocan?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Do members know what else he did? Here in Toronto, he was attempting to create the impression with the ethnic communities that only he, and he didn’t phrase it exactly this way but this was the impression --
Mr. Mancini: Careful what you say now.
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- that only he was in favour of the entrenchment of the Canadian Bill of Rights in any amended constitution.
I sat there at the same conference, and with the exception of the Premier of Manitoba everybody else agreed.
Mr. Philip: At least he didn’t visit the Pope before the election; talk about playing politics.
Hon. Mr. Davis: That, to me, is not the route this campaign should take. As I say, I have always supported our federal leader, because we are one in this great party. We are really one; unlike yourselves, we are one.
At the same time, while I have always supported our federal colleagues, and I have tried to do it on a positive basis, for the first time this week I did make some observations that were critical of the Prime Minister. I don’t normally do this. It offends me, it upsets me; because I think it is wrong and I make no bones about it.
I may say some of the same things in Calgary, of all places, on Wednesday night.
Mr. Conway: When did Margaret Scrivener stop making speeches?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Does the member want to come out? He would learn something about energy.
I want to touch on the economy very briefly. I listened to those people opposite -- both parties, but that one in particular, which just does not have any understanding of economic issues.
Mr. MacDonald: Oh yes we do.
Hon. Mr. Davis: No they don’t; well that member might.
Mr. Warner: You pillage this province, you pillage it.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Since I first entered this House, the honourable member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) has come so far that by the time he retires, my guess is that he will have seen the light and become a Tory. I still have that hope, I still have confidence that it may happen.
Mr. MacDonald: I have too much self-respect.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The NDP would regulate everybody. It would nationalize everybody; it would take the incentive out of everything, it would leave individuals with no ambition, no desire to accomplish a thing. They don’t understand what motivates people.
Mr. MacDonald: Nonsense.
Mr. Mackenzie: Your speech is deteriorating.
Hon. Mr. Davis: They have no understanding of human nature. They do not know what makes the economy work. I just wish they had some greater awareness Do they know what their slogan should he? It should be Mackenzie King’s: Jobs if necessary but not necessarily jobs.
They attack the multinationals.
Mr. Cunningham: Two chickens in every pot and a Tory on every board.
Hon. Mr. Davis: They waffled around with respect to the grant to Ford. I don’t know that Hansard ever recorded it, but I sat here and my recollection is the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) whispered across so that I could hear it: “Give them 100 per cent. Don’t lose them.” But when he found out that maybe we were coming closer to a deal, then it was 50 per cent we should give them.
Mr. S. Smith: I believed John Rhodes.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I have to tell him that because we were responsible we got something that was equitable. We got something that means 7,500 jobs, which will give a great shot in the arm to the economy.
Mr. S. Smith: I assumed he told the truth.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I’ll tell him something else. There is not a member of his caucus --
An hon. member: It’s too bad the whole province isn’t here to listen to this batch of bullroar.
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- talking to his friends in Essex or Windsor that hasn’t been quietly, if not publicly, in support of what we did for Ford of Canada. I challenge any of them I to stand up in the House and say something else. And so have people from the other opposition party.
An hon. member: No way.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The Leader of the Opposition may feel that it is politically attractive to criticize or make life difficult for the multinationals. I’m not here to defend the multinationals.
Mr. Breaugh: You not only defend them, but you finance them now.
Hon. Mr. Davis: We were in Detroit with some of the senior people from the auto parts industry. We’re concerned about R and D, but if one starts legislating that in order to have expansion a multinational has to have R and D, that’s closing the doors to thousands of job opportunities because of the structure in this province.
Mr. S. Smith: You are going down the road that has taken us to our present dilemma. You are going down a road that has taken us to where we are today.
Hon. Mr. Davis: You’re limiting yourselves. You have no understanding of the real world.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Things are so bad that we have one of the highest standards of living anywhere in the world. We have a quality of life that is the envy of most other jurisdictions. We’re going downhill so rapidly that, without any doubt, the Leader of the Opposition in his negative way --
Mr. S. Smith: We’re being deindustrialized.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, come on! We’ve had a greater growth in the manufacturing sector in the last year than in the past five. We’ve created a 133,000 new jobs. I know that offends him. It is getting close to time, but I’ve got several other points I want to make here.
An hon. member: You haven’t made any yet.
Mr. Breaugh: Dispense.
Hon. Mr. Davis: What do you mean by dispense?
Mr. Van Horne: We have had enough.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I will continue to deal briefly with industrial incentives. Three weeks ago today I spent a little time in Washington. I didn’t go for the purposes that I am now going to describe, but I went there. I had some discussions and I just thought I’d inform the members of the House about them.
An hon. member: It was some place that Marvin Shore lined up for you, no doubt.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I went there to make a speech.
Mr. T. P. Reid: It looks like you found your way to the cow patch.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Until the last two or three months I know why you would go to Washington, but that is all over now, I hope.
Mr. Kerrio: Tell us what you said in your speech.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I went to make a speech. I had some very helpful discussions with senior treasury people there and we discussed this issue of incentives. I made it very clear to them that if they could get agreements from the governors of the northern states with whom they’d already had discussions, I would join with them in any public declaration that we as a province would not stay in this business of giving grants in competition with the northern states. Then I added a caveat I said: “When you get the northern governors to agree to that, you’ve got to bring the southern governors along as well because that’s where a lot of the action is going.”
They’re not so sure they can do that. But I made it very clear that Ontario would participate with them and try to bring to an end the kind of bidding war or whatever terminology one might wish to use. They also made it quite clear to me that they were upset.
Mr. Wildman: You encouraged it.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, come on. You people urge this when it suits you. Come to my riding, talk to the members of the UAW and ask them whether they agree with the grant to Ford.
Mr. Breaugh: All right, when?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I have to say that 75 per cent of them did. Do members know something else they have learned in the leadership of the UAW? They came into my office; they came into the cabinet room; they said, “Mr. Premier, intervene with American Motors. We can’t have the passenger car assembly moving to the United States -- ”
An hon. member: Donald Duck.
Hon. Mr. Davis: “ -- we don’t want the Jeep.” They raised a real fuss. I told them then and I can repeat it now: that has been the most significant move American Motors has made. We are employing people in Brampton. They are having trouble with the other aspects of the industry and so I can go to the fellows on the line where I know quite a few and they are relatively content with a decision made by a multinational which opposition members were in the process of opposing. We have jobs in Brampton. We wouldn’t have them otherwise, maybe.
An hon. member: Do you want a dump?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Listen, we have our own landfill problems.
An hon. member: Biting the hand that feeds you.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I was going to say something that would be considered provocative.
I also pointed out to the government of the United States that it’s fine to complain about us and say their hands are clean, but the fact of the matter is the government of the United States also involves itself because of their subsidy programs to the states. If one wants a highway extension, an interstate, to serve a new plant, one gets a good part of the funds from the federal government.
An hon. member: Are you apologizing for the budget?
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, I am not apologizing for the budget. I don’t want to steal the thunder from the Treasurer so I won’t say what I was going to.
But the economy of this province is growing; it is healthy. The opposition doesn’t like it; they don’t like to see jobs being created; they don’t like to see our standard of living improving, because it doesn’t serve their political purpose.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Tomorrow night’s budget is going to disappoint them. There are so many more things I would love to say --
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- but I have taken now about the same length of time as the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk. I know that for good reasons the official opposition is totally in support of the throne speech. I know, with the dogmatic, stubborn, unenlightened attitude of the members of the New Democratic Party, that in spite of my eloquence, in spite of my logic, they cannot be prevailed upon to see the light and join with the official opposition. So much is their loss, their lack of understanding. But perhaps the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) might on this one occasion separate himself from his party, vote with the official opposition in one of the very significant throne speeches that has been produced in this House.
The House divided on the amendment by Mr. Cassidy which was negatived on the following vote:
Bounsall, Breaugh, Bryden, Cassidy, Charlton, Cook, M. Davidson, di Santo, Dukszta, Foulds, Gigantes, Grande, Laughren, Lawlor, Lupusella, MacDonald, Mackenzie, Martel, McClellan, Philip, Warner, Wildman, Young, Ziemba.
Auld, Baetz, Belanger, Bennett, Birch, Blundy, Breithaupt, Brunelle, Conway, Cunningham, Cureatz, Davis, Drea, Eakins, Elgie, Gaunt, Gregory, Grossman, Hall, Havrot, Henderson, Hennessy, Hodgson, Johnson, Jones,
Kennedy, Kerr, Lane, Leluk, Maeck, Mancini, McCaffrey, McCague, McKessock, McNeil, F. S. Miller, W. Newman, B. Newman, Nixon, Norton, O’Neil, Parrott, Peterson, Ramsay, J. Reed, T. P. Reid,
Rollins, Rowe, Ruston, Scrivener, S. Smith, G. E. Smith, Snow, J. A. Taylor, G. Taylor, Timbrell, Turner, Van Horne, Villeneuve, Walker, Watson, Welch, Wells, Williams, Wiseman, Worton, Yakabuski.
Ayes 24; nays 67.
The House divided on the main motion by Mr. Watson which was agreed to on the same vote reversed.
Resolved: That a humble address be presented to the Honourable P. M. McGibbon, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario:
May it please Your Honour, we, Her Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontario, now assembled, beg leave to thank Your Honour for the gracious speech which Your Honour has addressed to us.
The House adjourned at 6:16 p.m.