31st Parliament, 4th Session

L019 - Fri 11 Apr 1980 / Ven 11 avr 1980

The House met at 10 a.m.




Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, two issues which concern my ministry have been brought to my attention recently.

The first question concerns Ontario life insurance companies obtaining personal information about applicants for life, accident and sickness insurance. The concern was raised that companies may be using unreliable sources for their information and that the methods by which this information may be collected should be questioned in light of the applicant’s right to privacy. I am deeply concerned about this allegation, as is the Canadian Life Insurance Association.

In an effort to protect the interests of all applicants, the association has recommended to its members right-to-privacy guidelines that will ensure only proper and authorized means will be employed to collect personal and health information. Due notice of the intended use of the information will be given to the individual concerned. Proper safeguards for the protection of the confidentiality of that information will be instituted.

I applaud the industry in taking this initiative and endorse its guidelines. In order to ensure effective and uniform adoption of these guidelines, I am requiring conformance to them as a condition of the continued licensing of all life and accident insurers. Any insurer not conforming to these guidelines will be subject to a hearing with respect to his licence application. They can bring their licence with them if they require a hearing. Accordingly, I am tabling a copy of the guidelines, which are effective immediately.

A second question has been raised about employees being requested to provide social insurance numbers for themselves and their dependants, again with respect to health and accident benefit insurance plans. The purpose of the requirement is simply for identification of applicants for benefits. Our investigation has not shown the use of this number for any other purpose.

It should be remembered that the creation of the social insurance number was an act of the federal government and that any expansion or restriction of its use would have to come from that source. The federal privacy commissioner is currently investigating the uses of social insurance numbers and is expected to report his findings before August 1 of this year. When this report is made public, we will direct it to the associations concerned.

The guidelines, which really are now the rules for conformance to licensing for life insurance, accident, sickness and health companies, are as follows:

The nature of the business of insurance carried out by a company requires that the company collect, use and retain personal information about those individuals to and through whom the company’s services are provided, and to disclose such information to third parties when authorized or required by law.

The company must balance carefully its need for such information against the individual’s right to privacy, the need for fairness and the need to minimize intrusiveness and take necessary precautions to protect these interests.

To that end, the companies will be guided by the following guidelines: Only proper and authorized means will be employed to collect that personal information which is pertinent to the effective conduct of the company’s business. To the extent practicable, such personal information will be obtained directly from the individual concerned. Prior to collecting such personal information from any other source, the individual concerned will be notified or the individual’s authorization will be secured. Pretext interviews and false and misleading practices must be avoided.

The individual will be advised, on proper written request, of the intended use of the requested information.

An individual, upon proper identification and written inquiry, will be advised, subject to any applicable legal or ethical prohibition or privilege, of the nature and source of personal information about him retained in the company’s records. Personal medical information will be made available through the individual’s designated physician.

Personal information that is collected and retained will be considered to be confidential, and proper safeguards will be provided to protect that confidentiality.

Every reasonable effort will be made to ensure that personal information collected, used, retained or disclosed is accurate, relevant, timely and complete. An individual may correct or clarify personal information retained by the company regarding that individual.

Without the individual’s express written consent, the company will not permit access to, or disclosure of, personal information retained by the company to any person, other than an employee or agent with a legitimate business need for the information, except as may be required by legal process, statutory authority, contractual obligation or business practice.

All employees, agents, brokers and other persons or organizations acting for or on the company’s behalf will be required to conform to the applicable guidelines.



Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Premier (Mr. Davis) in the absence of the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller). Is the Premier aware of the latest unemployment figures for Ontario which would indicate that 151,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 24 were out of work in the month of March 1980, which represents an increase of 23 per cent from one month earlier? It’s an increase from 128,000 to 157,000. Even compared to last March, it’s an increase of 12,000.

Has the Premier been made aware of these figures? If so, does he have an explanation as to why this very large increase in unemployment among our young people has occurred in March 1980 in Ontario? If he has an explanation, would he share it with the House?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think the explanation relates primarily to the economic situation, where at this precise moment the opportunities for employment are somewhat fewer than they were a year ago in this particular month. It’s also fair to state we anticipate these figures will be somewhat altered over the coming three or four months, particularly as they relate to young people who are at present within the school system, with the programs that have been initiated by this government for young people for summer activities.

It’s fair to state the figures do reflect a concern with the economy, with the fact that some industries are not moving as rapidly as they were ‘a year ago, partially because of interest rates and partially because of market conditions. Without getting into any great detail, by and large, that is the answer.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, I appreciate the Premier’s saying essentially they are out of work because the economy is bad. I’m asking specifically whether the Premier has noticed that these figures are very different inasmuch as the young people seem to have been impacted differentially and excessively. The age group of 25 to 54 is virtually unchanged from either last year or a month earlier, but the young people have been virtually devastated.

This is the largest increase I can remember. Perhaps the Premier’s memory goes back longer, and he may remember something larger, but I suggest to him I’ve never seen that many young people out of work in Ontario. I wonder whether it’s because of the difficulties small businesses, being a major employer of young people, are engaged in right now. I don’t know what the explanation is, but I would hope the Premier would have some explanation. Surely he agrees with me that being unemployed is no way for our young people to start their adult lives.

Hon. Mr. Davis: My memory does go back a little further than that of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith). Yes, I think that is factually correct. There have been other periods of some difficulty -- fortunately, by and large, of short term. I expect this will be of a short-term nature too.

10:10 a.m.

I think the reason, very simply, why the other age categories have not been impacted as much is that if one is a businessman and maintaining the present employment rate and not adding new people, the chances are those who are more mature chronologically are not going to be involved in any displacement or alteration. I think this is understandable and I think, in fairness to those who have a certain seniority within a business, this should be anticipated.

Our concern is to see that the economy does pick up. I am, in the longer term -- even in the shorter term -- relatively optimistic. We can accommodate some of these young people over the summer months, but I think it is fair to state the reason there is a differential between the young people and those who are, like the rest of us, not quite as young, is that a number of employers are giving some recognition to the seniority of those who are somewhat older. I don’t think this is something this Legislature would criticize or in any way condemn. I think that has been a traditional pattern.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, if I can try to translate what the Premier has to say into specific situations: in Windsor, there are so many layoffs that there will effectively be no jobs opening up in the automobile industry this June for the young men and women who are graduating from high school and community colleges in that community. An entire year’s graduating class will find no jobs are available; and that situation is duplicated in many other industrial towns across Ontario.

Will the Premier not accept that this is not a short-term phenomenon, that we have had a rate of unemployment approaching 300,000 for the past four years? Is it not time that the government stepped in with job creation programs directed to young people as well as a long-term industrial strategy to make sure it doesn’t continue to happen through the 1980s?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I was just giving supporters of the leader of the third party (Mr. Cassidy) time to applaud with greater vigour and at greater length, but the man in charge of Magna Carta lost his enthusiasm all of a sudden.

I would say to the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner) he is still in that young-person category. He has unfortunately found gainful employment and we want to alter that at some time in the future.

Mr. Cassidy: Answer the question. Don’t play with the futures of young people.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the leader of the New Democratic Party, no one is playing with anyone’s future. The people across the House may feel that is the way to do political business; we don’t. If the honourable members look at the record of this government in this province in terms of our ability to assimilate the number of people coming into the labour force, they will find we have done better than just about any other industrial society. Can the members opposite show me an instance where we haven’t done better? Can they show me another community of this nature that was successful in creating 166,000 jobs?

People compare us to West Germany on occasion -- the honourable member doesn’t because they are a bit of a free enterprise system -- but the reality is, we have had --

Mr. Cassidy: They have a Socialist government.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh yes, but they are not Socialists like the honourable members. They don’t believe in nationalizing everything that walks as do the honourable members.

We have been successful. I suggest, with respect, this is a short-term situation. No one is going to argue that a large number of young people graduating from St. Clair College will be assimilated into the automotive industry this June or July; but I would say, with respect, they will be assimilated into the automotive industry within a very short period of time. I happen to be more optimistic about the capacity of the auto industry to adjust to the market conditions than are the members opposite. I happen to think it is going to become a healthy industry again. I happen to think our manufacturers will be able to compete with those who are at present exporting into this country.

The honourable member may not have that confidence. I happen to think the membership of the United Automobile Workers who, on occasion, support the New Democratic Party, although not in the numbers the honourable member thinks they do, have the ability to turn this situation around. I have complete confidence in them.

We have been very successful in creating job opportunities for several thousand young people over the summer months. We will have again a very significant program to assist the young people of this province.

I would also say to the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy), there are some communities where many businesses will be looking for employees in terms of their ongoing operations. It is not every community that is suffering like Windsor. The announcement by the government of Canada yesterday, which I totally support, of the decision to buy the F-18 -- I hope I have the number right -- is going to be a great shot in the arm for the economy of this province and for employment opportunities, including those for young people.

Mr. G. I. Miller: A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker: I wonder whether the Premier realizes that Stelco is going overseas for 100-and-some employees. The Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) is well aware of that. Has the Premier been able to come up with those people from Ontario and from this area? There are plenty of young people making applications for jobs.

Hon. Mr. Davis: This government, along with some members of the industrial community -- not all of them -- is making a very substantial effort to see we don’t have to go offshore for specialized help.

I think it is also fair to state to the member there will be those occasions when some industries for specialties will go offshore. The practice or tradition has been that when one person comes here from some other jurisdiction in terms of a specialty, that, in turn, creates a number of new job opportunities for people of this province.

Mr. Nixon: So it is a good thing to bring them in?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, it happens. The honourable member can nod his head. The figures are there and they are indisputable. If the honourable member wants the figures, I will get them for him, but that happens to be the reality.

Mr. S. Smith: I have them.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: It’s about eight to one.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Yes, about eight to one. I know, that isn’t high enough for members opposite.

Mr. S Smith: It’s metalwork. We can train mechanics to do metalwork.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Some of it is metalwork; some of it isn’t. There’ is more we can do here in terms of manpower training. We are in the process ‘of doing it. We have been endeavouring to do it for three or four years.

Mr. B. Newman: Why not for 10 years?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the honourable member for Windsor-Walkerville (Mr. B. Newman) who is asking a supplementary question, fine. But I would also say to him that to a certain extent part of the problem traditionally has been the attitude of business itself, and to a certain extent the attitude of the unions, which have been reluctant until fairly recently to lay out before the ministries of Education and Colleges and Universities the kind of people they want. In fact, it has been only very recently they have been prepared to do it. It is relatively recently the unions of this province have accepted an obligation to broaden the apprenticeship program, et cetera.

Mr. S. Smith: It is the union’s fault. Everybody blames the unions. We don’t need a provincial government at all.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the Leader of the Opposition, who is interjecting once again, that in terms of manpower training we have made very significant progress.

Mr. Nixon: You are the grandfather of the education system.

Hon. Mr. Davis: When the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) was the education critic, he would have had us spending 10 times what we are at present spending, while at the same time talking about restraint.


Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch), as well as a good many other ministers, I would like to direct this question to the Premier (Mr. Davis).

Is the Premier aware of reports that indicate there is some thought there may be a shortage of gasoline in this country this summer? The reports indicate that perhaps because of the refinery situation the west might be affected more -- which is a bit of an irony, I suppose, but after all, it is all one country. I suppose the Premier would have up-to-date information in this regard. Could the Premier, therefore, tell us whether there is any prospect for gasoline shortages and how he assesses the situation with regard to Ontario and the rest of the country?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I will not presume to make any assessment for the rest of the country. I would leave that to others -- the National Energy Board and the federal minister responsible. Our information at this moment is that in terms of gasoline supply the chances are that things will be relatively stable.

I have heard these reports before. In December the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith), if memory serves me correctly, was asking questions relative to the availability of home-heating oil.

Mr. S. Smith: And you arranged for a warm winter.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will take credit for a warmer winter because if it had been a cold winter, he, in his rather circuitous way of assessing responsibility, would have blamed me for it.

Mr. Speaker: It’s a federal matter.

10:20 a.m.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will accept total credit for a warmer winter, but the reality --

Mr. Speaker: We have ice and snow in northern Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I want the honourable members to know there is ice and snow in northern Ontario. I don’t want to embarrass you, Mr. Speaker, but when were you last there? Oh, last week. Some of it has disappeared. The ice is out in Georgian Bay. The smelt season starts at the Musquash Channel tonight at eight o’clock.

I would say to the Leader of the Opposition that we don’t anticipate, in very general terms, a problem with gasoline supply. As the National Energy Board said, we have to be careful, we have to conserve, we can’t be wasteful, hut at this precise moment I think we will see our way through the spring and summer months.

Mr. S. Smith: I have a supplementary, Mr. Speaker. Far be it from me to blame the Premier for anything. I have learned that for the last 37 years in Ontario everything good has come from that side of the House and everything bad from the federal government. We are well aware of this view which permeates the thoughts of the people on the opposite side as they dream of another 37 years of power. Believe me, they are not going to have that.


Mr. S. Smith: I am sure the weather isn’t particularly cold in Jerusalem or Fort Lauderdale.

I want to ask the Premier a supplementary question. He said the chances are we won’t have gasoline shortages and that is good. I hope he is right. Does he not agree, however, that there is something unusual and irregular about the degree to which we as a country and as a province seem to be selling gasoline, which is after all subsidized by our taxpayers, to Americans who have come over for the sole purpose of buying that gasoline at certain border points?

While recognizing that we want to encourage tourism and we certainly don’t want to do anything which would put bona fide tourists into difficulties, does the Premier not think that some kind of limitation should be put on the gallonage that any service station dealer is permitted to sell to cars at the border points within one or two miles of the United States? Does he not think there is something a little unusual about people lined up from the United States to buy gasoline that Canadians are subsidizing?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I don’t want to get into a debate as to the degree of subsidization. If the honourable member is asking whether there is something unusual or unique about Canada, then I say, “Yes, thank heaven for it.” We are a unique and unusual nation and that is one of our great strengths.


Hon. Mr. Davis: When I listen to the Leader of the Opposition, he now has doubts about his wisdom in supporting the new government so enthusiastically. On February 17, he was gung ho, they were going to solve all the problems. They have been in power two months and he is dissociating himself again from what they are attempting to do.

He accused me about dreaming of another 37 years of power. I assure him I don’t have fantasies like his. My fantasies don’t extend in that direction. He should keep his fantasies to himself. He doesn’t know what I dream about; I have my private thoughts. We will be in power long after he has left, that much I can tell him. I wouldn’t predict 37 years.

If the Leader of the Opposition is telling me we should close the borders to our American neighbours because of the amount of gas they are buying, I have to say no. I don’t think we are prepared to close the borders.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Premier (Mr. Davis) which arises out of the decision of the Toronto Board of Education to establish its own task force to test 80 schools suspected of having asbestos to a degree hazardous to children, maintenance workers and teachers. Given that the Toronto Board of Education has repeatedly over a number of months tried to find out from the Ministry of Education what the guidelines are, what the standards are, how to do the testing; given that the board, wanting urgent answers, has been told by the Ministry of Labour that tests on schools would take six to eight weeks, and given that the board has been told by the Ministry of the Environment that it won’t test for ambient air standards at the same time or on the same basis as the Ministry of Labour, can the Premier say which ministry is responsible for cleaning up asbestos in the schools and why this confusion has been allowed to continue?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I really think that question should go on the Notice Paper. By my count, there were approximately five statements of questionable facts and three questions. I think the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) is fully knowledgeable on this subject. The question properly should be directed to her, and she is sitting there in eager anticipation, anxious to answer it.

Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary question: Apparently there is no minister responsible for cleaning up the asbestos situation in the schools and the government has left that situation in limbo, causing a lot of the problem. Can the Minister of Education who has been designated to reply, explain why it is that confusion continues in the ministry to a point where the Toronto Board of Education has had to establish its own task force to do its own testing and to send the tests out to private laboratories because of the failure of this government to come up with answers at a time when parents and kids need them?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Education, with the support of the Ministry of Labour, last July began requesting school boards across this province to investigate all buildings within their jurisdictions for possible asbestos hazards. That request went out in early July. By late fall, all of the boards in northwestern Ontario had complied with the request.

I am not aware at this point that the Toronto board has completed its visual inspection. At the end of January, information drafted by the occupational health and safety specialists was sent to all boards in the province informing them what further testing should be done and what should be done to solve the problem if asbestos were found in any of the samples.

The member for High Park-Swansea (Mr. Ziemba) is the only person in this House who has suggested that the occupational health and safety laboratory would require six to eight weeks to complete the testing. It is my information from the laboratory that the testing is completed in almost all instances within 30 days and that testing can be speeded up if the boards have specific concerns.

There is a difference between air testing done within and that done outside a building. The Ministry of the Environment has developed the expertise to test air samples from the exterior air and I think that expertise should remain within that ministry. Inside buildings it is the specific area of expertise of the occupational health and safety people who have developed their technique. Co-ordinated support is being provided to all school boards across this province.

I am delighted to hear that the Toronto board has formed a task force and is going to become really active in this area. I will be delighted to continue to provide assistance to them if they feel they require it. I am happy to hear they have established a task force, not to deal with asbestos but to look at other hazards that they think may be within the schools. That s a reasonable exercise for a responsible board.

Mr. Nixon: A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker: can the minister explain why that well-known and objective spokesman for the Toronto board, Fiona Nelson, would have said this morning that it’s not the individuals in either of the ministries but the organization of which she is critical? The Ministry of Labour looks after the quality of the air inside the schools and the Ministry of the Environment looks after the quality of the air outside. While the minister may claim that there is a difference, surely, to any reasonable person, it would seem that if they can’t coordinate, then the Minister of Education should co-ordinate these matters and these tests in support of the boards in Toronto and across the province.

10:30 a.m.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am aware some concern has been expressed that there is different testing outside and inside the schools. My concern is primarily within the schools because that is where the students are present for a concentrated and prolonged period of time over the day. If they are outside for recess for 15 minutes, it really is unlikely to be particularly hazardous unless there is some asbestos plant within the area which might possibly be causing trouble.

The efforts being taken through a coordinating arrangement among the ministries are successful, and I think they will continue to be. It is our responsibility within the Ministry of Education to ensure that the actions taken within the school system are taken directly and positively and in support of eliminating as many hazards as possible from those schools. That is what we are doing, and we are grateful for the assistance that has been given to us on a very free and open basis by the occupational health and safety people within the Ministry of Labour and by the Ministry of the Environment.

Mr. Cassidy: A final supplementary question, Mr. Speaker: If the minister contends that the actions of the government are coordinated in resolving the asbestos problem in the schools, can she then explain why it is, after all the concern raised here and across the province, the Toronto Board of Education has still not been able to determine whether or not the ministry is prepared to participate in funding the cleanup of asbestos in the schools?

Can she explain, as well, why it is that the Ministry of Labour has told the Toronto board that even where asbestos contamination is suspected, the testing process will take six to eight weeks, and the only way to get around it is to close down a school and take crisis measures the way they had to do with Harbord Collegiate Institute? Surely this is a sign that the co-ordination is not yet working. It is about time the ministry responded with urgency, because parents and children are concerned and they want answers within days, not months.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, we have responded, I think, with rational urgency because no one is more concerned about any potential health hazard to children than the staff of the Ministry of Education and the minister; but I am now informed by the occupational health and safety division that the period of time required for testing is two weeks. I don’t know where the leader of the third party is getting his information, but I suspect it may be from the chairman of the Toronto board.

Mr. Cassidy: Just on a point of order: The information we have is what the Toronto Board of Education is, in fact, being told by the Ministry of Labour --

Mr. Speaker: New question. There is nothing out of order.


Mr. Cassidy: I have a new question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman), Mr. Speaker, if he would like to get in his place.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Sorry about that.

Mr. Cassidy: Yesterday afternoon, when I spoke to Roy Bennett, the president of Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited, he indicated the company is planning to mothball the Ford casting plant in Windsor for a period of a year or two or more, with a loss of 850 jobs in addition to the 450 or 500 workers already laid off from that plant.

The union tells us that duplicate patterns of every part that is made in that plant have been taken to the United States. I would like to ask, in light of those actions by Ford and that statement -- surely the honourable minister would agree that mothballing is just another form of closure -- will the honourable minister undertake to ensure that Ford does not mothball the casting plant and that it keeps that plant and its 850 jobs in Windsor?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: As the leader of the third party knows very well, short of taking over Ford and seizing the assets, this government and no government can assure the House that that plant will not be closed. He knows that very well.

I want, though, to take this opportunity to repeat what I stated last night during the emergency debate, and that is I have indicated as forcefully as possible to the Ford Motor Company of Canada that that particular plant should, in my opinion, not be one that is mothballed or closed.

The reason I put this proposition to the Ford Motor Company was that the $3-billion deficit in auto trade Canada currently faces is made up largely of Ford’s in-house auto parts production capabilities. Very little of that is in Canada, so if we really are going to get serious about reducing the auto parts deficit, it becomes crucial for Ford Motor Company in particular to do everything it can to maintain its in-house parts production in Canada.

I am aware of the alternatives Ford Motor Company faces. It has two plants in the United States and one in Canada, all with substantial excess and unused capacity, all doing approximately the same thing. Of those three operations, the Canadian one, the one in Windsor, is by far the oldest.

In my view, unless the inefficiencies of opting for the Windsor plant are overwhelming, they should opt to keep the Windsor plant open. In simple terms, having had a lengthy discussion with Roy Bennett, the president of Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited, it is apparent that Ford Motor Company will not be undertaking major new auto parts plant production over the next many years. They will be renovating and retooling and re-equipping old plants. There is unlikely to be any major new auto parts facilities built by Ford in North America over the next few years.

That means whatever plants are in place must be retooled and we must see reinvestment in them if we are even to maintain our current position. Based upon that analysis, I said very strongly to Mr. Bennett that in view of the fact that he was going to have limited, if any, capability to put in a new parts plant in Canada over the next many years, it becomes terribly important that whatever Ford in-house parts plant facilities are already in place here in Ontario be maintained and fully operated. I put that position as forcefully as possible. It couldn’t have been put more forcefully and we’re waiting to see what the next response from Ford will be.

Mr. Cassidy: In light of these words of the minister and in light of his recognition that Ford is responsible for a very large proportion of the huge auto parts deficit we have with the United States, can the minister explain why it is that while Ford is supposedly considering a shutdown of its castings plant, the duplicate dies and patterns have already been takers to the United States? Can he say what assurance he has had that those dies will not be used to produce parts in the United States that could be created or produced here in Canada by Canadian workers in Windsor?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: With respect, the original question has been restated; I have nothing to add to my original answer.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary of the minister: As the question was asked by the leader of the third party (Mr. Cassidy), is the honourable minister aware he has now been asked that same question twice by me? Would the minister consider asking Ford Motor Company not to remove any more equipment, tools, dies, jigs, fixtures and so forth from the Ford casting plant and/or to return the equipment they have moved over to the casting plant in Flat Rock so we can be assured that when the auto industry bas a turnover and improves, that Ford casting plant will again be in full operation?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I could only add one thing to the earlier answer I gave and that is we are informed the movement of that equipment is a normal movement of equipment occurring out of very many plants in the United States prior to some overall decisions being made by Ford Motor Company with regard to which plants are going to do what.

Ultimately, if the decision is made to close that plant in spite of the very severe pressure brought to bear by us on Ford Motor Company, then they are going to move the balance of the equipment. I can only assure the member that at this stage the plant is operational. The decision hasn’t been taken to close out those operations.

Mr. S. Smith: For further testing.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Listen, I’m not up here to tell the honourable members they moved that equipment out of there for reasons other than to assess whether they should close down that plant. I have never said that it is for any other reason.

Mr. S. Smith: Yesterday you said it was for testing.

Mr. Grossman: I said it was for testing, precisely. If the members will read my comments of yesterday and of last week, I said it was precisely for testing as they analyse what is going on in various plants prior to deciding which plants to rationalize and dose. There is no question about that. I’m not here to pretend anything else. There is no question about that.

I say very simply that unless anyone across the floor wants to suggest this country ought to seize the equipment or prohibit by legislation the movement of that equipment, short of bringing pressure to bear on the company not to close that plant there is nothing further any government anywhere could do in the circumstances.

10:40 a.m.

Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, I think the Minister of Industry and Tourism should go into public relations for Ford.

Last night the honourable minister said in the emergency debate and be said it today: “Ford has a vast deficit in the parts side of the auto pact,” yet yesterday Mr. Bennett issued a statement saying the Ford Motor Company has lived up to the letter of the auto pact from day one. How does the minister reconcile those two statements? If there is a huge deficit, would he table the figures of what Ford’s deficit on the auto parts side of the auto pact has been from the first year of the pact, and what it is today, and would he also table the figures for Chrysler Canada Limited and General Motors of Canada Limited?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, with regard to the first part of the member’s question, the reconciliation of those statements is fairly straightforward. I and many others have stated that the provisions of the auto pact, as originally negotiated in the early 1960s, were not sufficient to stop the chronic deficit in auto parts that has accumulated. The member knows that very well.

He knows too that Ford is currently meeting its obligations under the auto pact. The problem is that the auto pact is not strong enough and not far-reaching enough to include particularly those auto parts production items which are the entire source of the deficit.

As the member well knows, tires and batteries were specifically excluded from the auto pact, as were all after-market auto parts equipment. That’s where all the deficit is occurring. It is, to be fair, a problem of the auto pact provisions, and that’s how the two statements can be reconciled.

The deficit accruing to each of the automobile companies, as the member knows -- let’s be fair about this -- is not a new issue. The problems in analysing their commitments and their performance under the auto pact is also a chronic problem in this country and goes back to some limitations in the original provisions of the auto pact which don’t specify how these calculations are to be made.

The federal government, through the Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce, is currently struggling with a definitive analysis of the performance of the automobile manufacturers under the auto pact, and as soon as that is available, obviously it will be available to everyone.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, yesterday the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) asked me a question concerning procedures followed for the selection and purchase of equipment by the Ottawa Health Sciences Centre General Hospital.

In mid-December I received a telegram from the Canadian Surgical Trade Association in regard to this matter. Following receipt of the telegram, staff of my ministry contacted the association on my behalf. My ministry offered co-operation if a problem existed after the association made direct contact with the executive director of the hospital in question.

Following contact between the hospital and the association I was advised that the association had only general concerns. The hospital offered to have further meetings with the association but there had apparently been no further request. Likewise, staff of my ministry who offered further discussion with the association have apparently received no such request.

After receipt of the telegram my staff made inquiries and reported that as there are few hospital equipment consultants, the hospital in question solicited assistance from its architects, its health-care consultants, other health-care consultants in Canada and the ministry to identify the appropriate resource.

It was reported that there appears to be no Canadian hospital equipment consultant, but a leading Canadian firm of general consultants was asked to bid, along with the hospital’s own building consultant and an American equipment consultant. Bids ranged from US-$90,000 to C$328,000. The hospital then selected an American firm of equipment consultants at a cost of US$95,000.

The final equipment list for the hospital identified approximately 100,000 items by category, location and department, and the consultants prepared approximately 1,300 draft specifications based on thorough consultation with and input from all the staff of all departments. The specifications were grouped into 35 bid packages, based on the similarity of the equipment required. Approximately 153 different vendors received bid packages. To the best of the hospital’s knowledge, 62 of these firms have manufacturing facilities in Canada and 115 are Canadian-based distributors. No vendor was refused the opportunity to submit bids.

There were a minimum of three vendors per package, with at least one Canadian vendor per package, and more were possible. All bids were originally scheduled to close on December 28, 1979. However, after the packages were in the mail, it was discovered that a number of vendors who had been added to the list were not provided with the necessary packages. To give these bidders an equal opportunity, the closing date for these packages was extended to January 11, 1980. All vendors were advised of this change and no problem was reported.

Based on this information, I believe that the hospital has handled this matter in a fair and equitable manner, and that it has encouraged Canadian participation.

I want to stress that the responsibility for purchasing this equipment rests with the hospital itself as it owns and operates the facility for the community through a community board. This is an important point. The hospital has stressed that the entire process followed for the selection and purchase of equipment has been, and will continue to be, supervised and approved by the board, and all decisions will be taken by it.

I should add that the board of trustees of that hospital is very conscious of the importance of encouraging and supporting Canadian manufacturers.

Mr. Warner: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: The length of the answer that was given, I would think --

Mr. Speaker: Order. I’ll decide whether it’s been too long.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Since the minister’s statement indicates that as a result of that process about 90 of the successful bidders manufactured outside of Canada as compared to only 60 who manufactured in Canada, is the government prepared to establish a provincial purchasing agency that will bring together the requirements of hospitals across the province and use that purchasing power to get hospital equipment from Canadian manufacturers rather than have so much come in from abroad?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: No, Mr. Speaker. First of all, I didn’t say that 60 of the successful bidders were Canadian manufacturers. I don’t have the information that was immediately available yesterday about the successful bidders. What I said was that 153 vendors received bid packages, of whom 62 had Canadian manufacturing facilities and 115 were Canadian-based distributors.

I would draw the member’s attention to the fact that for many years, through the Ontario Hospital Association, there has been a program for co-operation among the hospitals throughout the province, and in various regions of the province, in purchasing equipment and supplies to maximize their potential and get the best possible price. That already exists.


Mr. McGuigan: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier (Mr. Davis). In the Toronto Star of April 5 he was quoted as saying that he promised the citizens of Ajax funds to finance expert witnesses in their fight with the Ajax waste disposal plant. Is this promise any different from that given by the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Parrott) to the citizens of Harwich township, in the county of Kent, where he promised to bring in expert witnesses? The point is whether these witnesses are chosen by the Environmental Assessment Board or his ministry, or are they chosen by the citizens or the municipalities? Can he give us a distinction in terms of his promise?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I don’t recall exactly what the comments were in the paper. My recollection of the discussions at the meeting, and of what the minister said in the House is as follows: If the group in Ajax felt that in one or two areas there were people who had specific or expert knowledge that could be helpful in terms of the board making a determination -- following on the pattern that we used, I believe, in Elliot Lake -- those suggestions would be made to the board, which in turn would be responsible for seeing that those expert witnesses were called to give their point of view at the hearing.

I assume this is the same pattern that has been suggested in the situation raised by the honourable member. It is roughly the pattern that was used, or developed, at Elliot Lake, and that was discussed with the group of people who came in to see me and the Minister of the Environment with respect to the Ajax situation.

10:50 p.m.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Premier if he considers that providing, and paying for, expert witnesses does anything to put the citizens of the township of Harwich, or the other areas, on an equal basis with the proponent who is being offered up to $100,000 of government money?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think one has to understand the responsibilities of the people who are hearing these applications. There is a great deal of discussion about “the proponent.” I think what we are all seeking in these situations is a reasonable and fair judgement. The board has the responsibility to make certain judgements relative to the proposal before it. It is to take into account all the material that is submitted to it. One has to assume that most people who appear before the board, be they experts or otherwise, have a certain degree of conscience and are as interested as the honourable member in seeing that the right answers are found.

I think it is fair to state that, in my discussions with the people from Ajax, they had total confidence in the people who were hearing the submission. I think the suggestion made to the citizens of Ajax, whereby in certain areas -- they mentioned two or three to me; I forget the exact specialties they were concerned about -- names or fields should be suggested to the board, which would invite people who had some expertise, resolve a good deal of the problem.

The honourable member has to understand that the board, like all of us, is looking for reasonable solutions, It should not be, and really hasn’t been, an adversarial situation. It wasn’t on adversarial situation for those of the honourable member’s colleagues who followed the experience in Elliot Lake. It was a situation where everybody genuinely fried to find the proper answer. That is the way these assessments should be made.


Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell). Will the minister give us his assurance that no district health council will be established in Metropolitan Toronto without public hearings in discuss the recommendations of the steering committee, which has been meeting in camera and out of reach of groups opposed to the concept, including all the boards of health in Metro Toronto and the city council of Toronto?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I think it is a little unfair to say “out of reach.” Representatives of the council of the boards of health have sat on the steering committee that has been examining the health council question.

I have met with representatives of boards of health, and the subject has come up frequently. In fact, we had a special meeting just to discuss this six weeks or so ago.

I will take the honourable member’s suggestion as notice as to whether there should be further hearings. I think the steering committee, which did the job voluntarily and was drawn from a wide breadth of groups in Metropolitan Toronto -- political, health, socially oriented -- did yeoman service in pulling together the report, but I will take the honourable member’s suggestion as notice.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Can the minister explain why the chairman of that steering committee allegedly said yesterday to an official at city hall that his report will not be made public, certainly not before the minister announces the establishment of this powerful buffer and names his appointees to it?

No matter what the representation was, is the minister really considering a continuation of what I, and the city of Toronto, consider to be a covert process on a supposedly publicly accountable level of health-care planning, which will have probably $1 billion worth of responsibility in terms of planning? Isn’t it necessary to have open public hearings before making such is decision?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I will take the suggestion under advisement. I remind the honourable member that submissions were publicly invited from interested parties, and I take exception to any notion of covertness, if that is the proper word.

I would be glad to consider this. I am not going to go any faster than is necessary to ensure that the health council does get off on the right foot. So I will take the honourable member’s suggestion under consideration.


Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Premier (Mr. Davis), in the absence of the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller): In view of the fact the unemployment rate in the St. Catharines-Niagara area now is listed as 15.3 per cent, according to the latest Statistics Canada survey, which names it now as the highest level of unemployment in any city surveyed, could the Premier indicate to the House what specific measures this government plans to take in the immediate future to overcome this problem? It is now a chronic problem of unemployment in that area of the province.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, part of our answer is a policy which the member’s party does not support; that is, the attraction of investment, the encouragement to business and industry to expand, sometimes with some modest degree of government support. There has been some modest support to plants not too far distant from St. Catharines, to which that member’s party has objected but which we think will lead to long-term economic growth in that part of the world.

The honourable member and his colleagues can’t have it both ways. The member should not ask me questions about what we are going to do when he and his colleagues consistently are critical of policies of this government which create investment and provide job opportunities, whether in St. Catharines or up north.

Mr. Nixon: Certainly you use up taxpayers’ money.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The Liberals won’t get a seat north of Hamilton West, the way they have behaved to the people in northern Ontario.

Mr. S. Smith: The peninsula is south of Hamilton West.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s right; I know. And the Liberals have been critical of what we have been doing there as well.

Mr. Nixon: There is only one of your people there, and he is on the way out.

Mr. Speaker: Order. The question was asked by the member for St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley), and not by the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon).

Hon. Mr. Davis: Yes, Mr. Speaker. I really gave the answer in the early part of my rather prolonged answer covering more geography than just the St. Catharines area. Quite obviously, it is partially related as well to the auto industry. The honourable member is fully aware of that. He knows of the efforts of the Ministry of Industry and Tourism to support investment in the auto industry in that part of the province, and we are optimistic that the employment situation there will improve in the longer term.

I reiterate that we are meeting with people fairly consistently to encourage new investment, and we will continue to do that. That is part of the answer. I just wish the Liberal Party would be somewhat more supportive of those efforts instead of being critical at every incentive we give.

Mr. S. Smith: They don’t work.

Hon. Mr. Davis: They do work.

Mr. Bradley: In view of the fact that workers have been laid off by all those corporations which have received funds from the provincial government -- corporations such as TRW Canada Limited and Hayes-Dana Limited -- and that the majority of the expansion has taken place largely outside of the Niagara region as a result of the incentives that have been given, would the Premier not consider it appropriate to suggest to those corporations that the expansion take place where they’re located presently and where the level of unemployment is so high?

Hon. Mr. Davis: We are interested in those areas with higher unemployment rates. I think it is also fair to state that part of our interest has to be the general economic growth of this province.

Certainly, a company looks at unemployment; but it also looks at the longer-term situation, If they come to us and say it makes sense from their standpoint to locate a plant in Barrie, for example, then we are not going to say they will not get an incentive because they want to go to one geographic area of the province as opposed to another. I think the honourable member understands that; one would hope that, unlike his leader, he would give some indication that this makes a certain degree of sense. Our interest is in getting jobs generally for the province.

We are obviously concerned about the peninsula area. We are also concerned about parts of eastern Ontario and parts of the north. But I think it is unfair to suggest we should have a policy that encourages industry only in those areas where there are higher levels of unemployment. One has to look to the longer term.

11 a.m.

Mr. Swart: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Could the Premier tell us specifically what representation he has made recently to the federal government to ensure that the Alaska Highway pipeline contracts will come to the plant already built in Welland and to speed up the construction of that pipeline?

Hon. Mr. Davis: The last part of the question is very interesting, Mr. Speaker. The traditional approach of the member’s party has been to delay every significant project anywhere in this country, and that includes pipelines.

Mr. Swart: Come off it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, it does. He knows it as well as I do.

Mr. T. P. Reid: It’s the first time you have been right this morning.

Hon. Mr. Davis: What does the member mean by saying it’s the first time I have been right all morning? Let him tell me and tell his leader that what we are doing for the pulp and paper industry is wrong. He shouldn’t come over to this side of the House and tell me what a great program it is at the same time as his leader is up publicly criticizing it.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I have never done that. I don’t agree with the giveaways.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, you have so. You have told us it is a great program. It is a great program, and you know it.

Mr. Speaker: Can we get back to St. Catharines?

Mr. T. P. Reid: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: The Premier alluded to the fact that I supposedly had gone over to that side of the House and agreed with the government’s giveaway program to the pulp and paper industry. I say to you, sir, that is not true. I have never done that, and I don’t agree with that program.


Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, I have an important question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Drea). I would like to know why the minister is more interested in catering to the American tourists who will be attending the Republican convention in Detroit than he is in trusting 1.5 million loyal and faithful Blue Jay fans to have light beer in disposal containers while they sit back and cheer the home team.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, when the honourable member failed to show up to introduce his bill which pertains to this subject, this is obviously the month of April. What the member is trying to compare very simply are two noncomparable things.

Mr. Nixon: The Republicans’ big drink is Canadian Club.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I find it very humorous that the Liberal Party, which came to me on bended knee as a suppliant asking for a fair consideration, a request in Windsor, now wants to smart aleck.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Drea: They are not comparable situations. I think I have detailed the situation in Windsor at great length as to the reasoning of my own recommendation to cabinet, the cabinet decision, the agreement by the mayor and the chief of police within the municipal limits of Windsor, the five members from the area and so forth.

The question of beer in the ball park is not a question of hours. It is a question that has been before cabinet even prior to my time as the minister. It involves the very fundamental question of the consumption of alcoholic beverages in a person’s seat in athletic stadiums throughout Ontario.

Mr. Ruston: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker. The honourable minister in his reply said that five members were contacted from the area with regard to the late hours. I want to tell him I did not contact him. Would he please straighten that out?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I will withdraw that. I must admit I didn’t call that particular honourable member, but I did ask what was the feeling of the members in the area. The response given to me was that they thought the decision I was asked to make would be correct.

Mr. Warner: Recognizing that the minister trusts American tourists ahead of Ontario residents, can he tell me whether he really honestly believes that the good citizens of Toronto are somehow less mature or less responsible than are the baseball fans in Montreal?

Hon. Mr. Drea: As usual, the member is obsessed on the wrong topic. I have implicit and actual trust in all the residents of Ontario when it comes to the consumption of alcohol. That is not the question. The question facing the cabinet of Ontario is the direct selling and the direct consumption in one seat in athletic stadiums, both indoor and outdoor across Ontario. That has nothing to do with the trust of the participants.

I believe I have particularly answered the member’s question. I wish he would show up today to introduce the bill he talked about so much yesterday.


Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Baetz). In the light of sagging sales and other problems in the auto industry, would he consider having a Wintario or Lottario draw for some given number of automobiles as a means of disposing of some of the surplus automobiles on the market?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, as this House knows, we are very inventive in the lottery fields, and there is no idea we will dismiss out of hand. We will take it under advisement.


Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the minister responsible for Hydro, I would like to ask the Premier (Mr. Davis) a question. In view of the Ontario government’s decision last year to ban 2,4,5-T because of serious concerns about its effects on health, does the Premier condone the reported policy of Ontario Hydro to dispose of its present stocks of this highly questionable herbicide by selling them to other provinces and other countries?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, just to clarify the early part of the question, no minister of the crown is responsible for Hydro.

Mr. McClellan: That’s for sure.

Mr. Breaugh: That’s obvious.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s right. I just want to make it clear. There is a minister of the crown who reports to this House for Hydro, but I want to make that very real distinction.

Mr. McClellan: Nobody is responsible.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Listen, I was there. I know what it’s like.

Mr. Bradley: Now we know who calls the shots.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, what was that irrelevant remark from the member for St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley)?

Mr. Speaker: The time for oral questions has expired.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I was just getting wound up, Mr. Speaker. I will get that information for the honourable member and have a reply for her on Monday, or the minister who is responsible to the House for Hydro, but not for Hydro, will reply, if I don’t.


Mr. Cureatz: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: Last night, when you were not in the chair, the member for Windsor-Sandwich (Mr. Bounsall) said of me in the debate, and I quote: “All he did tonight was to solicit a $500 donation from General Motors for his next campaign.” I view that language, on the face of it, as a violation of my privilege as a member and, as a consequence, a threat to the privileges of all members.

I have checked the draft Hansard today to determine the comment. The member was recorded on page 2200-2. Immediately after the member for Windsor-Sandwich concluded his remarks last night, my colleague the member for Chatham-Kent (Mr. Watson), in my absence, drew the attention of the Deputy Speaker (Mr. Edighoffer) to the remark. The Deputy Speaker replied flatly that the point raised by my colleague was neither a point of order nor a point of privilege.

I further draw your attention to standing order 19(d) (8) and (9), which say “a member shall be called to order” when he “makes allegations against another member” and he “imputes false or unavowed motives to another member.” Mr. Speaker, I would ask at the very least that the member for Windsor-Sandwich withdraw his remarks.

Mr. Speaker: The honourable member is not in the House to respond to the comments.

I will look at Hansard to see what was said and whether it is a breach of the rules of the House.

11:10 a.m.



Mr. Rowe, on behalf of Mr. McCaffrey, moved first reading of Bill Pr16, An Act respecting Co-operative Health Services of Ontario.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Warner moved first reading of Bill 41, An Act respecting the Sale of Beer at the Canadian National Exhibition Stadium.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to declare the Canadian National Exhibition stadium to be a licensed premises for the sale and service of beer at games played by the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team. I trust the people in Ontario.



Resuming the adjourned debate on the amendment to the motion for an address in reply to the speech of the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor at the opening of the session.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, when I spoke last, I talked about the lack of imagination in the throne speech in terms of the way it did not meet the major concerns of people in my riding.

I am disappointed to see that there is no major provision for the extension of public transit in the city of Toronto, no suggestion of an enlargement of the subsidy to that utility, no recognition of the fact that it will be one of our major ways of meeting the energy problems in our city, and especially no suggestion at all that it will be made totally accessible to handicapped and elderly people who are unable to make use of it.

As Metro spokesman for the NDP, I am particularly disappointed to see that in the throne speech, and since, there has been no idea of reforming Metropolitan Toronto government and the way it is established. It has been three years since the Robarts commission reported, the second commission to have reported. About $1 million was spent, and it was a magnificent report in almost every aspect. Except for my resolution presented last week suggesting four major electoral reforms, there has been no suggestion nor movement by the provincial Conservative government to make that level of government more accountable.

Specious arguments have been raised against direct election in terms of overgovernment and the establishment of a new tier of government. There is no new tier; it would just be an accountable tier. The need for three-year terms for a government which makes larger expenditures than some provinces do should be self-evident. The need to have an elected member of that council as chairman should be self-evident. An election expenses act, much like our own provincial act -- I hope with some improvements so that there are ceilings on expenditures -- should be an essential part of making that level of government more accessible to people who do not have high incomes.

I am disappointed to see that in statements on industry and tourism there is no mention of a convention centre for Toronto. Instead, we learn Ontario Place is going to provide information about northern Ontario. There is a need for a convention centre to help the construction industry in this city, and there is an even greater need in the premier city in Canada for a facility that can attract large conventions. Many national conventions of Canadian unions and organizations are no longer able to meet in this city.

I hope if they do come forward with an idea for a convention centre it takes into account the needs of property taxpayers in the city of Toronto and doesn’t pose any burden on those people in terms of the deficit that kind of convention centre will necessarily incur. I hope the province will be generous in accepting its share of the responsibility for carrying that and will also make a huge demand on the industries which will be the major direct recipients of such a centre.

It’s wonderful to see the comments in the throne speech about open government. Today I raised the issue of the health council in the city of Toronto. The Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) has been sitting on a report from a steering committee which met, with advice certainly from local people but with no direct input or ability to cross-examine by the public in Toronto, for the establishment of a district health council.

It is rumoured, and I believe it is true, that the minister intends to introduce this unnecessary body in the city of Toronto with the ability to spend a billion dollars worth of funds every year in terms of health services in Metropolitan Toronto without it having a proper public hearing.

We have the example of the East of Bay site. There were promises of acceptance of the city’s land-use plan for developing housing in that area. Instead, we learn the government has huge expansion plans that are going to necessitate its controlling that area and excluding the prospect of housing in the city of Toronto in a key location, which is necessary if we are going to keep the city of Toronto a humane place to live.

The promise on page nine to increase group homes may be met by some of us with a bit of derision. I think enough has been said in this House already, but it will be said again in terms of the fact that the government cannot just through public relations alone bring about a fair and equitable group homes policy for this province.

Municipalities must be mandated to provide orderly provision of group homes. It is absolutely essential. I know there is a philosophical difference of opinion between myself and the member for Scarborough East (Mrs. Birch), who is now shaking her head. We are both members of a municipality, Scarborough, which has decided it will accept mentally retarded individuals into its community, members of its community who already exist there, and say they can stay as part of that community, but will not allow other dysfunctional adults and dysfunctional children to be housed in group homes in our community. I think their rights override the rights of a municipality to have some sort of local autonomy in setting up prejudicial standards. The government must take efforts in that area.

Mr. Nixon: Do you feel your colleagues are trying to tell you something?

Mr. R. F. Johnston: My colleagues are all listening outside in the box because it’s easier to hear.

The back wards in the community that have been developed in the Parkdale area are a shame, and a shame upon this entire House. Unless we have licensing of those boarding houses, unless we have provision of care in those boarding houses, I believe we will be prolonging an intolerable situation.

Moving on to the matter of a citizens’ complaints procedure, again it is welcome to see that the minister is planning to proceed with that legislation. I am hopeful it will come back in a slightly different form, taking into account the principles that were raised by the New Democratic caucus in advance of his entering his initial bill.

There are many good reasons for wanting a civilian review process and having that in the control of local people in order to make our police more accountable and to overcome the suspicions that have developed, especially between our visible ethnic minorities and the police in the city of Toronto. At the moment, as the bill is developed it sets up so many roadblocks that I cannot perceive many of those people will proceed who feel they have been hard done by in the policing in the city of Toronto. There are just too many roadblocks set up before it ever has to go to a public review of any kind.

I’d also like to comment on the lack of any initiative by the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) on the reform of the Metropolitan Toronto Board of Police Commissioners. It’s absolutely crucial that control of that commission be turned over to Metropolitan Toronto and taken out of the control of the provincial government so that the appointees from this government in Ontario do not control the wishes of the people of Metropolitan Toronto.

11:20 a.m.

Another thing which disturbed me greatly in the throne speech was yet another omission: The absence of any concentration on the need for day care. Yesterday in the House our leader raised the issue of the recent report by the Metro social planning council and the Action Committee on Day Care on the problems of day care in the city of Toronto. There are 2.500 people on waiting lists trying to get places, and over 3,000 calls a month from people wanting to get places who obviously have to go and take other kinds of service, inadequate service in a lot of areas.

There is a total lack of recognition of the importance of those day-care workers in terms of the kind of salaries they need to be paid. Child-care workers should be as important to us as high school teachers or university professors. They have in their hands the potential for prevention of sociological problems, of learning disabilities, of the prolongation of the class system which still exists in the city of Toronto today.

I have with me a list of petitions from the Action Day Care group which I would like to send to the minister’s office. They sent it to me without a request from me. Therefore, the wording of it does not meet the requirements for introducing a petition in the House, so I would merely ask that it be taken to the minister’s office.

It read as follows: “We, as the parents, wish to express our concerns over the pending cutbacks within the day-care community in Toronto. We believe it is the government’s duty to provide quality services to all children in need of day care. The signatures below reflect our conviction regarding these issues.”

There are well over 340 names of parents on that list, parents from only a few of the Metro day-care centres in Metropolitan Toronto.

What we’re doing with day care at the moment is we’re turning it into a welfare program. There has been a dramatic leap in the numbers of poor families and subsidized families who are using day care and an insignificant rise in the number of people from middle incomes who are using day care. The reason for that is the reason that was raised by the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) in question period yesterday. There is no way the average income earner can afford to pay $240 a month for day-care costs for one child in the city of Toronto today. They have to find other resources.

That major failure will speak volumes in terms of developmental problems in children over the next decade in this city and in the province in general.

As members may know, my background before becoming elected to the House last year was working in the field of the elderly. One of my major reasons for becoming involved in the political process was to hopefully get governments to stop treating the elderly in a patronizing fashion and to understand that their needs are serious needs. In the next 20 to 30 years, the needs of the elderly will become the largest single social issue in Ontario. If we don’t do our planning for it now we are going to be in serious trouble at the turn of the century.

There are some very vague hints in the throne speech that the elderly are going to be pleased on budget day. This harks back to the days when the government used to give out the $50 bonuses at Christmas to senior citizens, one of the most patronizing acts I think has ever been perpetrated in this province. Thank goodness it has been replaced.

I don’t know what the break will be, but whatever it is, it will be needed in terms of financial stability.

There is also the statement in the throne speech that chronic home care is going to be extended throughout the province. It doesn’t exactly say that. Like everything else in the throne speech it is qualified. It says that special efforts will be made to see that chronic care is extended to all parts of the province.

The Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton), the Minister of Health and other ministers have recently received information from a coalition of community-care programs which are asking that chronic care be brought in this year and that they not wait any longer. They have had that for about two weeks at this point, and I would hope we might see a positive response from the government.

The problem with this government and its dealings with the elderly is this: who is going to believe this government is willing to take action?

The other day in the House, the member for Downsview (Mr. Di Santo) raised the problem of pension pass-throughs. When the federal government raises disability pensions the family benefits assistance benefits are dropped off at the other end. We were given absolutely no satisfaction by the Minister of Community and Social Services that he was going to deal with that.

There has been no effort at all made to stop housing authorities from taking the full amount of any increase that’s given in terms of the cost of living by the various levels of government and adding that on to the cost of housing for the individual, especially in Metropolitan Toronto.

The last-minute grants to a group of Meals on Wheels programs this spring has maybe saved them from falling apart in Metropolitan Toronto, and thank goodness for that. But when the government does last minute things how can it expect anybody to believe it is actually considering a major rethinking and undertaking of the community care services package. The methodology that’s been used in presenting what is known, in tremendously ironic terms, as the community dialogue on community care services is just a farce, and indicates just how involved and how committed to community interaction this government actually is.

A meeting I was at in Scarborough, which invited various service agencies, had missed a number of them, For instance, it bad missed the disabled totally. They had not told them to come. None of the elderly groups in the borough of Scarborough was invited to that meeting, and neither was the chairman of the task force which has been looking at the problems of inner-city difficulties that are developing in Scarborough.

It was a total farce. The questionnaire, which I don’t have on hand, is many pages long. It’s decided upon consensus. There is a secretary at that meeting and she takes down notes which are then reinterpreted by that chairman who then takes them back and reinterprets them again to a committee which then tries to achieve a consensus out of their comments, and one ends up with absolutely nothing.

Last fall I asked that there be a white paper presented for discussion in public hearings. I was told that white paper would be produced before this community dialogue was started. Let me correct that. It was produced but it was not released to the public, and is not likely to be released to the public.

Supposedly we’re going to have a green paper this summer, and I will wait to see if that actually comes forward. But at the moment there is no one in the delivery of home-care services for the elderly in this province who can have any confidence at all that this government is actually taking seriously the need for a continuing of care for the elderly in Ontario.

One of the things I’ve raised time and time again in this House is the problem of chronic care payments, and the injustice of treating a married couple who happen to be 65 years of age differently than you do a married couple who are 64 years of age. A married couple of 64 years of age has a $15,000-a-year exemption in terms of the copayment for chronic care facilities if one member of that couple happens to be in a chronic care institution.

But the day after they become 65 and they’re both pensioners that privilege is taken away from them and there is almost no way at all that a pensioner can be excluded from that deterrent fee. That abhorrent discriminatory practice should have been addressed in the throne speech, which should have stated it would be retracted this session. It has not been done.

There has been no significant change to the property tax provisions for the elderly in this province in the last five years. I hope that’s what the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) is talking about when he’s talking about them looking forward to the budget when it comes forward; that there will be some recognition that this no longer meets the needs of elderly people trying to maintain a home in the community.

The other factor in terms of care for the elderly is institutional care. In the huge rush to deinstitutionalization, Ontario has decided to forget about institutionalization; forget about the absolute necessity for institutionalization.

Reports have been received from Metro Toronto stating that we’re going to need 600 to 1,000 new beds in homes for the aged right now, this spring, in Metropolitan Toronto. That need is going to increase. The need for that kind of care, and that kind of standard of care, has been demonstrated many times. Instead, this provincial government has decided it’s going to create 600 new nursing- home beds.

Nursing-home beds in the private sector make profits on the backs of the elderly, a priority which is dead wrong. If there is a responsibility for institutional care it should be in the public not the private sector. It is a major ideological difference between ourselves and the government. The thrust to turn it over to an area which has too few standards, too few guidelines, is absolutely wrong.

11:30 a.m.

I have mentioned already the need to have standards for rest homes and boarding homes. The example of what was done in British Columbia in terms of stopping recidivism of the people, especially back into mental institutions, should be taken seriously. The Parkdale ghettos of this province should be assisted immediately with a comprehensive program.

I would like to make a plea through the only minister I see in the House to include accessible transit as a major priority for all senior citizens and to get away from this emphasis on things like Wheel-Trans. It does not meet the needs of elderly people with minor heart ailments -- like my parents, for instance -- who are not able to handle the stairways in the TTC. They can’t get on Wheel-Trans. They get no priority there. We have to make the subway system and the buses accessible, It can be done, and is being done in other jurisdictions. That should be a major emphasis of this government.

If this government had any imagination and any real commitment to the needs of the elderly we would have seen more mention of those needs in the speech from the throne. There must be recognition that a majority of our elderly people are living in poverty in this province. That should be absolutely unacceptable to us. That 54 per cent of the people who built this country and province are living below the poverty line -- according to recent statistics which may be higher or lower at this point -- should be unacceptable to any humane government.

This government should be looking at ways to make sure there is income stability for older people. It should be working on creative ways to make the transition to retirement more flexible, so that older people are not caught in the shock of being seen by our society as worthwhile people one day, and as worthless the next day in going through the various traumas involved.

I would like to see this government be positive and look at concepts such as recognition of the principle of “30 years and out” for anybody who is a labourer, and recognition that people who have been in a hazardous labour situation should he given special consideration for early retirement. Special compensation in terms of full Workmen’s Compensation Board pensions should be provided immediately to anybody who has been given an asbestos-related compensation claim in the asbestos industry. That should be recognized.

There are extended unemployment periods for older people between the ages of 55 and 65. That should be recognized in developing a flexible retirement age so that older people can retire earlier if they are going through an extended period of unemployment which outlasts their unemployment insurance benefits.

The ability for people to phase out of the work force should be crucial. I realize this will not be as appropriate for people on the plant floor as for those in clerical work, but they should be able to move into part-time work and not lose income. They should be able to take sabbaticals between the ages of 60 and 65. Thoughts like that should be put in throne speeches. Some imagination should be put forward in terms of how we should be dealing with our elderly.

When we were talking about the Ontario Educational Communications Authority and other publicity functions of the government there should have been an emphasis on trying to overcome the stereotypes that have developed about the ageing process and about the work of older people. It could easily be done through OECA having a special program for developing ads in co-operation with the Ontario Welfare Council’s committee on ageing or the advisory council on ageing both of which have suggested that exact approach. That should have been included in the throne speech and I am very disappointed that it was not.

Monsieur le président, je voudrais parler quelques minutes en français. Et ceci pour beaucoup de raisons. Premièrement je dois vous remercier pour la possibilité d’apprendre le français; pendant les huit derniers mois j’ai appris le français dans mon bureau quelques heures chaque semaine. Pour moi, c’était des heures difficiles mais très agréables. Mais pour mon professeur, c’était une épreuve de patience formidable. Aujourd’hui je ne suis pas bilingue mais j’ai suffisamment confiance en moi pour prendre la parole en français aujourd’hui. En plus, je suis fier de dire que dans cette Chambre nous avons maintenant trois de mes collègues qui suivent les cours en français et quelques autres députés aussi. Et nous vous en remercions pour l’opportunité.

Mais en même temps que je vous remercie, je dois dire que notre assemblée ne reflète pas la réalité culturelle de notre province. Presque toutes nos affaires sont traitées en anglais, nos débats sont en anglais, nos comités de travail sont en anglais, nos services de traduction sont limités. Et, nous, les députés, nous représentons une société multiculturelle qui a deux langues officielles. Par exemple, dans combien de langues avons-nous imprimé cette brochure Queen’s Park? On ne peut pas l’acheter en français. Sait-on qu’à l’hôtel de ville de Toronto on offre des services et renseignements municipaux en quatorze langues? Si nous voulons sérieusement représenter la mosaïque culturelle de l’Ontario, si nous voulons accueillir les touristes mondiaux qui viennent ici, nous devons pouvoir offrir des services législatifs multiculturels et principalement dans l’autre langue officielle et j’espère que nous utilisons les télévisions et émissions directes pour cette raison.

Dans quelques jours nous aurons peut-être dans cette Chambre un débat sur l’avenir du Canada. Ce débat peut être un exercice fermé et futile, ou il est peut-être un événement important dans l’histoire de notre province. J’espère que les trois partis de cette Chambre décideront d’avoir un débat télévisé au moins en anglais et en français, si c’est possible, aussi le canal multiculturel, ce serait un événement trop important pour être limité aux seuls anglophones.

Il y a une autre raison pour laquelle je veux parler en français. C’est parce que je suis convaincu que le gouvernement conservateur n’en a fait assez pour garantir les droits éducationnels des Franco-ontariens. Certainement, j’approuve l’annonce de l’ouverture d’un collège de technologie agricole de langue française à Alfred, et la liste des services éducationnels énumérés par le ministre de l’Education mardi soir est merveilleuse à entendre. Mais le rôle du gouvernement conservateur dans l’affaire Penetang est gênant, dégoûtant. Pour les Canadiens français en Ontario et au dehors de l’Ontario, Penetang était un symbole de la perte de leurs droits sous le pouvoir de la majorité anglophone. Et à cette époque fragile de l’histoire du Canada, il est incroyable que le gouvernement conservateur soit incapable de faire preuve de bonne volonté pour symboliser l’affirmation des droits indiscutables de l’autre nation fondatrice.

11:40 a.m.

Si j’ai tort, et si les droits des Franco-ontariens sont acceptés dans l’éducation, et si le rôle démocratique des comités consultatifs de la langue française des conseils scolaires est accepté, pourquoi est-ce que ce gouvernement a décidé de suspendre le droit d’énumération des électeurs francophones? Comment peut-on avoir un comité élu sans le pouvoir d’identifier les électeurs de ce comité? Mais ca c’est la réalité maintenant et ça l’est depuis quelques années.

En janvier 1978, l’association française des conseils scolaires de l’Ontario a adopté à l’unanimité une résolution demandant l’inclusion dans le municipal énumération notice d’une simple question qui identifierait les personnes d’expression française. En juin 1978, le ministre du Revenu (M. Maeck) en répondant à une question du député de Hamilton-Mountain (M. Charlton) a promis une énumération l’année prochaine.

Mais puis-je lire un paragraphe d’une lettre du ministre du Revenu au député de St. George (Mme Campbell), qui comme moi même a adopté la cause? La lettre est datée du quatorze février de cette année:

“In the final analysis, the results of the Ottawa-Carlton experiment leave me with a strong belief that the municipal enumeration is not an appropriate vehicle for identifying persons eligible to participate in the election of French language advisory committee members, and that some other means should be developed. However, it is clear that the future determination in this project should come not from this ministry but from the Ministry of Education. I believe my colleague, Dr. Stephenson, has the matter under consideration.”

Monsieur le président, quelle St-Valentin? Monsieur le président, quel cadeau? Après deux années, il n’y a toujours rien. Bientôt, il sera trop tard pour ajouter cette question à la carte d’énumération pour l’élection cet automne. Voici la question: Etes-vous d’expression française? Est-ce si difficile à ajouter? Non monsieur. Le gouvernement ne veut pas le faire.

Jeudi prochain, M. Max Yalden viendra ici pour parler avec le premier ministre. J’espère qu’avant cette visite, le gouvernement se sera engagé à ajouter cette question sur la carte d’énumération dans chaque municipalité avec un CCLF dans la province. Sinon, nous, citoyens anglophones d’Ontario, nous pourrons regarder la réaction du Québec, honteux et coupables. Une action positive sur cette question et dans l’affaire Penetang peuvent faire plus pour convaincre les Canadiens français que la confédération peut très bien marcher, que toutes les promesses passées.

Mr. Ashe: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to be able to participate in the throne speech debate, particularly when you consider that in this particular throne speech, probably more so than ever before. one issue has been highlighted above all others. By that, I am not suggesting the many other issues and initiatives as put forward by the government are not important, but I think the highlighting of energy within the throne speech does indicate once again the importance this government and this province sees in that overall issue.

I might point out that this position is not new. Back in the mid-1970s before any other jurisdiction within Canada, whether it be at the federal level or at the provincial level, before any of these were recognizing that a difficult period was coming upon us, Ontario was pointing out to all others that it was coming and in fact was starting to do something about it. This was highlighted very early on in the remarks of Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor, and I quote:

“First and foremost, my ministers believe our capacity to sustain economic self-reliance for Canada, as for Ontario, will depend in a large part on Ontario’s ability to advance significantly towards greater energy security. As the largest consumer of energy in Canada, our responsibility to provide leadership is clear. To this end, my government will embark on an extensive and ambitious energy program for the 1980s.”

Indeed, many of these particular initiatives that are highlighted in the throne speech are already well on their way by this government as co-ordinated and put forward through the Ministry of Energy.

There’s some criticism of this particular thrust -- I must say I am sure not by some of the members opposite -- but we do not feel the government should be the sole supplier of the capital funds for all of these projects that will be needed, that will be developed, and that will be brought into the marketplace in a rational, convenient and competitive way over the next two decades.

There are some who are maybe more socialistically inclined who feel it is the right and responsibility of the government to be the end-all for everyone, providing all of the capital that is necessary, but we all know there are limitations to this approach. If we make a particular field, a particular area, attractive to the private sector, the free enterprise system will react to that, develop along with it and will, in fact, be the major provider of capital and technology and knowledge that is needed. That really is what we have been saying.

The role of government in our view is to initiate, to prompt the private sector, to work together with the private sector and other ministries within the government, within Ontario Hydro as well, and come forward in the research and development area. The seed money area is the role of government. When something comes on the market and is available and is competitive, the economic attraction will prompt the private sector to bring forth the capital that is needed for further developing and further marketing.

It is going to take a lot of money over the next 15 years to fulfil Ontario’s energy needs from within. At the moment, we import nearly 80 per cent of that energy from outside our jurisdiction and it is the goal of this government to increase our self-sufficiency from that relatively low 22 per cent to 35 per cent by the year 1995. To do that is going to take an estimated $30 billion, which is an awful lot of money in any man’s terms. We feel the private sector will respond with a good percentage of that capital when it is needed.

Referring further to the actual remarks of Her Honour, I would like to quote again: “With the overall Ontario energy bill for all uses by all segments of our society approaching $11 billion a year,” a huge sum of money, “making Ontario more energy efficient must be a shared commitment of all Ontarians.”

Again, I move on: “Government will carry out initiatives in such areas as energy from waste, synthetic liquid fuel, cogeneration, upgrading of heavy fuel oil, small hydroelectric developments and the full development of our nuclear power capability for industrial purposes.”

The government has not been slow to start to implement what was suggested in this throne speech just one month ago. In the past month the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch) has introduced through this Legislature many of the thrusts to fulfil the commitments being made. I am sure members are aware of many of them -- the thrust into the solar energy field, energy from waste, the feasibility study in eastern Ontario about methanol, wood energy use and so on. There are many others in the offing to fulfil the commitments made within the throne speech itself.

Mr. Nixon: All those nice pictures down the hall and those nice ads on the radio.

Mr. Ashe: That’s right. I am just drawing to the attention of the honourable members and the general public out there --

Mr. Nixon: Trying to save your necks; that’s what you’re doing with public money.

Mr. Ashe: That’s a matter of perception. We feel and of course we know from our surveys, which the members opposite so soundly criticized, that John Q. Public out there likes to know what’s going on and likes to be involved in the decision-making process of the government. We respond to those people out there, making them part of the decision-making process.

Mr. Nixon: That’s the best explanation for buying votes I ever heard.

11:50 a.m.

Mr. Ashe: Yes, we can be criticized for that. It is very easy to criticize that approach --

Mr. Nixon: It certainly is.

Mr. Ashe: -- but if the member goes and talks to the people out there he will find they want a government that responds to reasonable and responsible views. That is exactly what this government does.

Mr. Kerrio: They were here yesterday.

Mr. Ashe: Is that right?

As part of the overall energy thrust within Ontario we are very fortunate that a reasonably large percentage of our generation comes from electrical sources. These are available in Ontario through a technology developed principally in Ontario, but not exclusive to Ontario. It is a Canadian technology known as the Candu nuclear system.

Again, in the context of the throne speech, the strategic importance of nuclear energy to Ontario cannot be overestimated. My government looks forward to receiving the final documents of the Porter commission during this session.

As honourable members know, the Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning has tabled its final report and has backed up completely the initiatives taken by the government and Ontario Hydro over the years.

It comes out strongly in favour of the Candu concept of nuclear generation. It also recognizes the potential for further development and further conversions and expansion of electrical use within this province. It points out loud and clear that those out in the marketplace who suggest that we should abandon the growth of electrical generation and nuclear power to concentrate on solar power as the only answer for future energy needs have, to put it very mildly, their heads in the sand.

I quote directly from the royal commission report, “Abandoning nuclear power in favour of solar power could be tantamount to writing a prescription for disaster.” There is no doubt that is so. This government recognizes that we can’t put all our eggs in one basket; we have to take advantage of the pluses we have going for us. There is no doubt that the capabilities, the technology, the knowhow, as well as the basic resources of uranium, are right here in Ontario. It is encouraging to know that we can control our destiny in this area as far as possible.

It is also nice to know that the commissioner, Mr. Porter, has justified the minority report as put forward by the government members on the select committee on Ontario Hydro affairs relative to the target for growth that Ontario Hydro should plan for in the future. He talks of “growth range for peak capacity to the year 2000 of two and a half to four per cent a year.” Those numbers are very similar to numbers that were put forth in the minority report of the select committee. It suggested that a range of two to four per cent was much more appropriate than the narrow restrictive view put forth by opposition members of only two to three per cent.

Mr. Porter has recognized, as did the government members of the committee, the great potential that is open to us for further electrical use in the years ahead. The quantity is unknown. I don’t think anybody would debate that issue. My view, and I think it is shared by the majority of people out in the marketplace, is that we all feel much more secure with an energy source home made in Ontario. I think people feel much more secure in the knowledge that they can go to their light switch at any time and know that the lights will come on, that they can go to their electric stove, that they can go to their electric furnace or any furnace when it involves a motor and that it will come on. That’s exactly what we are planning for.

What exactly are the potentials available for the other over-and-above-the-normal demands in electrical use? Of course, again it’s unknown. The government is looking into the possible electrification of the GO system. As a matter of fact, this Legislature endorsed a resolution brought forward asking the federal government to look very seriously upon the upgrading and electrification of the main rail corridor within Ontario through to Quebec, namely, the Windsor-Quebec City corridor. There is great potential in this for use of additional electrical energy in the years ahead.

Hydrogen in itself has a great future, as well fusion. Both of these technologies, which are still being developed and are nowhere nearly fully developed, rely upon and require great amounts of guaranteed electrical generation. This province has and will continue to have that reliable source of electrical generation in the months, the years and the decades ahead.

Some people would like to suggest that the nuclear system within Canada -- the nuclear system anywhere is their first argument -- the Candu system, is somewhat unsafe and, for that reason, should be put out of business. The Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning has fully backed up its view, after hearing a multitude of testimony, that the Candu system has proven safe. Most recent statistics, which are made available on a yearly basis, show the proof is in the pudding. Ontario Hydro and US nuclear reactors dominated the charts in a performance comparison. Of 104 reactors worldwide during 1979, Hydro had four in the top 10. Pickering unit four reactor was in second place.

When one talks about a life-lime performance -- and I would suggest that life-time performance is really the proof of the capability and the performance of anything, including nuclear power generating stations -- the life-time performance puts the Pickering unit two reactor at the head of the class. It is number one in world class reactors, and a total of six from both Pickering and Bruce are in the top 10.

How can anybody argue with the facts? How can anybody stand up and say that people are being disabled and people are being killed because of nuclear generation? We know that is not so. In Canada, as a matter of fact even with North America -- but we will keep to the Canadian technology, the Candu technology -- there is no doubt at all there has never been a single person of the general public hurt, disabled or killed by nuclear-generated electrical power. I don’t know of any other industry that has a safety record like that.

The statistics also prove that even for the people who work in that industry there is no better safety record than within the nuclear stations themselves. It is also an excellent work place as well as an excellent provider of a relatively inexpensive source of power.

Electrical generation is not the only answer. We appreciate that. It is part of the answer in the years and decades ahead. What are some of the other things? As members know, the Ministry of Energy’s current budget was tabled recently and is now under review by one of the standing committees. This year’s budget estimate is something in the order of just under $31 million, of which more than 80 per cent is dedicated to energy conservation and renewable energy. The Ministry of Energy conservation and renewable energy program has increased over 40 times between fiscal 1976-77 and fiscal 1980-81.

There is a recognition that there is no single answer and that Ontarians, as well as all Canadians, have to be looking for that self-sufficiency within this Dominion that is available to us and to the alternative energy forms that must be developed over the next decade or two.

12 noon

We feel, as was enunciated in the publication Energy Security for the 1980s: A Policy for Ontario, that we can develop within Ontario an alternative source of total energy generation equating to roughly five per cent of our total needs by the year 1995; 1.8 per cent of that would come from the development of solar energy. That amount, 1.8 per cent, may not sound like a very significant sum, but when you’re starting from virtually zero, 1.8 per cent will be quite a challenging goal, to put it very mildly.

Another area, which I suppose one could say is much broader, is that we feel by the year 1995, 3.2 per cent of our total energy needs can come from energy from waste in its various forms, Whether they be municipal wastes, which is already a disposal problem, whether they be wastes from industry, whether they be forest wastes or industrial wastes, these can be utilized and will provide 3.2 per cent of our total energy needs by 1995. To do this will require an awful lot of money, which I referred to earlier.

We’re talking about Canada as a country. We’re talking about Ontario and its position on energy and energy pricing within Canada. It is and has been the position of the government of Ontario, and it has been enunciated on many occasions, particularly over the last year or two, that this country has the capability to become once again self-sufficient in its needs for crude oil over the next decade and a half.

I’m sure all honourable members are aware that at the moment we are importing approximately 20 per cent of our total crude oil from outside Canada If we do nothing towards increasing our self-sufficiency in that regard, in locating and developing new resources, in developing the frontier oils, the oil sands and all the synthetic fuels that are available, by the year 1990 we will be purchasing from abroad, from uncertain sources both price-wise and guaranteed delivery-wise, 40 per cent of our crude oil needs. We cannot let that happen in this country when we have the amount of natural resources that we do. I don’t think we will.

But we do not feel that one of the ways to get to that in itself is by adopting a price for that commodity that has been set artificially by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Mr. Kerrio: Convert to natural gas.

Mr. Ashe: Is that right? That’s another part of the overall solution to our total energy needs.

We feel that a Canadian price for crude oil should be a made-in-Canada price -- by Canadians; for Canadians -- and not dictated by an artificial world price by others. I think that’s a very reasonable and responsible position, and yet not a new position for this government. I know it has been suggested that Ontario now is crying in its beer because we are not having things all our own way in terms of energy sources. We have to buy a good percentage of our energy, as I’ve already mentioned from other jurisdictions, both within this country and without.

We have said all along that it is not unusual to be recommending and suggesting a two-price system for a commodity. We have been saying that for many years. I hark back to uranium, which is widely mined in Ontario. As a matter of fact, the principal sources in Canada were identified in Ontario before any other jurisdiction. We said then there should be a Canadian price for uranium; there should be an export price for uranium. Again, we are being consistent.

Many of the producing jurisdictions outside Canada have a two-price system. Whether you’re talking about Venezuela or Mexico or Saudi Arabia, the price within the country is one; the price for export is another. It’s very reasonable, very rational and, in my mind, very justifiable. I think our position on that is not unusual.

We have never said we don’t recognize that the price of crude oil, whether it be Canadian or otherwise, will have to go up. We all know that’s going to happen. The days of cheap energy in all forms are long gone and, of course, crude oil is leading the way. What we have said very consistently is that any price increase within Canada for Canadian crude oil should do two jobs: It should provide a reasonable return to the producing province -- I don’t think anybody disputes that -- and it has to provide a reasonable rate of return to the producer. If the producer doesn’t make money -- known as profit, which is not a dirty word -- then in my view he is not going to be in business very long.

Beyond that, what we have to do with this extra revenue is earmark the balance to go towards guaranteeing that source of supply over the months, the years and the decades ahead to provide for energy security in Canada, energy self-sufficiency in Canada. Those dollars have to be earmarked. Some of them, in the meantime, will have to be used to cushion the blow of these higher energy prices for those within our economic sphere who need assistance. That includes, in my view, some of the industries that would be hardest hit during a transition period to higher energy prices. I think those are very reasonable, very responsible reasons.

At the same time, we can recognize the pluses for Canada being in that position. Let’s not kid ourselves. We are a relatively small country compared to our neighbour to the south. Any competitive edge we can have in the marketplace has to be a plus for all of Canada. At the moment we have the plus, if you will, in terms of our export trade because of the great significant difference between the value of the Canadian and American dollar. We can maintain a further edge by having a lower cost for energy forms within Canada. I don’t think anybody loses by that, because as our balance of trade becomes more favourable, as our exports grow, the whole economic system within Canada benefits.

The energy issue is not an easy one. It’s not a light one. It’s not one where any particular solution in itself, in isolation, will solve the problem.

The honourable member opposite talked about conversion to natural gas. That’s also part of the answer, obviously, to cut down on the use of crude oil. This government has encouraged that. There is no doubt about it. In 1979, conversions to natural gas increased from 8,600 to 19,650. The utilities forecast that this year those conversions will increase within Ontario alone to 26,500. There is no doubt at all that the availability of natural gas has been proved to be somewhat more significant, available and deliverable than many of the crude oil products that have yet to be found, or have yet to be developed in the context of them being deliverable to market within Canada at a reasonable price. That is part of the answer. Electricity is part of the answer, and many of these other alternative energy forms that we are just starting to develop are part of the answer.

I think this government has indicated in the throne speech that it has identified and has associated itself with many of these issues, and has indicated it is going to tackle them head on and, in fact, is already doing so.

May I just draw to the attention of you. Mr. Speaker, and the House, a closing few paragraphs of Her Honour’s remarks as delivered on March 11, one month ago.

“Honourable members, the promise and opportunity of the 1980s will require Canadians throughout Canada to resolve to make maximum use of our political, economic and social resources to shape a decade of security and achievement.

In Ontario, our continued prosperity can best be realized through self-reliance, hard work, initiative, innovation and responsibility to our fellow citizens. Government and the private sector must work carefully to ensure our quality of life and the economic opportunity and social stability it provides.

“Ontario is a province where there is no limit to the kind of achievement, progress and security our people can earn and enjoy. We must, therefore, take the courageous decisions necessary now to preserve that overwhelming opportunity for all our people.”

That is the commitment made by this government and that is the commitment that will continue to be made by this government in the years and decades ahead.

12:10 p.m.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and participate in the reply to the throne speech, an opportunity which is available to all members of the House and one which all members look forward to. In the confines of the operations of the House members are usually restricted in what they can speak upon and how long they have, but once a year when we have the throne speech debate these restrictions are not as severe. I am pleased to take my turn as spokesman in the Liberal Party at this time in reply to the throne speech.

May I first congratulate the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes), who has been reappointed Speaker of the House. I have had the opportunity to sit in the House under two Speakers, the member for Northumberland (Mr. Rowe) and now the member for Lake Nipigon. Both men have carried out their duties well and it has been a real pleasure to sit under the leadership of the Speaker’s chair and the leadership shown from that member.

We have just recently returned from our Easter break and I sincerely hope that all of the members of the House had very enjoyable, happy and holy Easter holiday. I hope they have taken time to reflect upon the many problems the people of Ontario face, and are now ready and eager to meet those challenges in the spring session.

It appears, due to political circumstances, that this session might go all the way to the end of June and be adjourned. However, political circumstances change rather quickly in this House and that may not be the case at all.

This may be the last time in this parliament that I have an opportunity to comment on the throne speech, and there are several important items which I feel should be placed upon the record. I will start with some general discussion about the very lovely riding I have the opportunity to represent, the riding of Essex South. Having been their representative since 1975, I feel I am now getting to the point where I consider myself an able representative, a person who knows the area and has become well acquainted with people’s concerns.

As all members are aware, this process does take some time and when we are first elected we have a lot of good intentions but the experience is not there. It certainly does take some time in the House and in the constituency to get a good feel of what the constituents need and what they went. I guess that is an excellent reason why I should be re-elected in the forthcoming election, whenever it comes.

I represent five small towns and several rural townships, all of which are unique and have their own concerns and problems, and their own particular items which make them stand out within the community.

In the town of Amherstburg where I live, we are very fortunate to have a volunteer ambulance service which services three communities, Amherstburg, Anderdon and Malden. This service has been established for many years. The people involved in this service are strictly volunteers. They buy their own vehicles. As a matter of fact, only a few short months ago the volunteers felt a new ambulance was necessary for the community and thought that $35,000 was needed to buy it. It had to be raised locally. The support of the community for this organization was such that in very quick order in excess of $70,000 was raised, enough for two new ambulances if need be. One has been bought, and the funds left over will be put away in safekeeping for whenever they are needed.

This volunteer community service has had its problems, like any other community service. But the problems they have faced have been different because, I would say they have been political problems. They have had constant interference from the Ministry of Health. From the very first day I was elected, I knew of the turmoil taking place and of the many meetings that were held prior to my election and since my election. The bureaucrats in the Ministry of Health want all ambulance services in the province to be identical and all ambulance operators in the province to look the same. They have had a running feud with our service in Amherstburg for the only reason, I believe that we are independent, different and self-supporting. Somehow some bureaucrats in senior positions cannot accept that.

In the past year and a half I have had the opportunity to invite the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) to Amherstburg. He accepted my invitation, the invitation of the volunteers and the invitation of the three communities. He came to Amherstburg, visited our community, and went to the ambulance hall where he met and spoke with the volunteers and the community leaders, mayor, reeves, et cetera. I am pleased to say the Minister of Health noticed that the service was a benefit and that it was cost-efficient and community-supported. He said it would stay the way it is and if there were any changes made to the service whatsoever, certainly the local people would be contacted first.

I want to thank the Minister of Health sincerely for his intervention in this matter. My riding and I sincerely thank the minister for using his discretionary ministerial powers. It is good to see any minister use some of the discretionary powers he has.

Mr. Grande: Make up your mind. You ask the minister not to intervene and now you thank him for intervening.

Mr. Mancini: I hear some heckling from my left, but I think all will be quiet Monday afternoon at approximately 5:45. I am going to come to that later on. I will have a lot to say about what is going to happen on Monday afternoon about 5:45.

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a centennial celebration for one of my municipalities. The township of Colchester North is now 100 years old. It is a beautiful municipality. That is something the NDP wouldn’t know much about. There are many beautiful farms and there is the small community of McGregor. We received congratulations from the Lieutenant Governor. The citizenry of that area appreciated that greatly.

12:20 p.m.

The riding of Essex South is unique. It is such a nice place to visit and live in. I urge all members to visit the sun parlour of Canada. We have unique attractions that I am sure would be a pleasure for members to see.

There are many ethnic groups in my riding. The riding has changed considerably in the last 20 years. We have large ethnic communities in each part of my riding. We have a large Italian community in the Amherstburg area and a Portuguese community in Harrow. We have large Lebanese, Italian, Mennonite and German communities in Leamington and a large Portuguese community in the village of Wheatley. These groups have taken their place in society in that part of Ontario. They have established well-run and well-organized ethnic clubs. They hold ethnic festivals every year, and the activities these provide are enjoyed by all the people of Essex South, who look forward to them.

I was speaking recently with the president of the Portuguese club of Leamington. They are going to construct a large, expensive ethnic community hall. They are going to raffle off a home in order to raise money for this endeavour. If any member of the House is willing to purchase a $50 ticket he would have an opportunity to win an $80,000 home. I think that’s better than the Provincial draw.

Mr. Kerrio: The chances are much better.

Mr. Mancini: Yes. I think it’s better than the Provincial draw. If we have any hunters in the Legislature -- personally I do not hunt -- we have a world-famous pheasant hunt on Pelee Island in my riding that now happens twice a year with the new winter hunt. Every fall we invite the citizens of Ontario and surrounding American states to come to Pelee Island and partake of the pheasant hunt.

The riding of Essex South is a nice place to represent. However. Essex South, like every other riding in Ontario, is not without its concerns and problems. It is my responsibility to bring these concerns and problems forward in this Legislature so that strict government action can be taken when necessary.

I am not afraid to compliment a minister of the crown when he takes action and solves problems for the citizens I represent. I am not afraid to do that because I enjoy political action, I enjoy having problems solved and I enjoy people who use their power wisely.

The riding of Essex South is growing rapidly. The western end of the riding is heavily industrialized. We have a highway that links Amherstburg and the tri-community area with the city of Windsor which we recently have had resurfaced. We consider that just interim maintenance. For the past 20 years we have continuously approached the provincial government to ask that that highway become a link between the county and the city, that it become a four-lane highway, a lifeline to our community. Because we are so closely situated to Detroit, the automotive industry has some impact in my community. There is a great amount of trucking done and we need this four-lane highway. We need this lifeline link to Windsor which will then connect us to Detroit.

In the past we received some expansion from two to four lines, but that was done sparingly and we need to upgrade it further. This highway must be expanded. It has been postponed during the past two or three years because of necessary sewage projects in that part of the riding, but now the sewage projects are under way.

They will be completed soon and I want the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) to know that we are going to hold him to his promise. He has stated to us that when the sewage projects were completed, highway construction would begin and we would finally once and for all have our four-lane highway, our lifeline from Amherstburg into the city of Windsor. We are going to hold the Minister of Transportation and Communications to this promise.

Another reason the riding of Essex South is unique is because we have more greenhouses situated in my riding than any other place in Canada. We are world famous for our greenhouse production and our greenhouse farmers. We in the Leamington area feel very close to this industry. Many of our Mennonite and Italian immigrants have settled into this industry. They have helped build this industry. They have made their livelihood from this industry and they would like their children to proceed and continue to work in the greenhouse tradition and become greenhouse farmers.

However, that may not be the case. We are under extreme pressure in the greenhouse industry. As the chairman of the Greenhouse Vegetable Producers’ Marketing Board said, we are fighting for our lives and we are not going to go down without a battle. I wish to commend the marketing board for the actions it has taken in the last several years to make sure the industry stays afloat and for the representations it has made to the government. I have been only too happy to assist it. In the summer of last year I presented a critique on the Ontario government’s proposal to establish a greenhouse industry in the Kincardine area. A friend of mine, a Dr. Premnanda, from the Leamington area, assisted me with this critique. Basically what we did was to outline what the government was doing, or what we thought it was doing, to assist the greenhouse industry in Leamington. Second, we did what was necessary to ensure that the greenhouse industry would continue to be a viable force in Essex county agriculture.

If the greenhouse industry is allowed to become economically unviable, a severe recession will take place in the county of Essex. The greenhouse industry is as important to Essex county as the automobile industry is to Windsor, no less. That’s why we have continually pressed the government on many matters concerning the industry and we have found them lacking in their awareness of what the true situation is.

I presented this critique. I explained to the government that simply by creating a greenhouse industry in Kincardine, even if it’s possible, which we don’t believe it is, what does that do to the greenhouse farmers in the Leamington area? What possible benefit could the Leamington greenhouse industry receive from an industry established in Kincardine? Do we expect the greenhouse farmer in Leamington to sell his farm and move up to Kincardine? Who is going to buy a farm in Leamington from a greenhouse farmer when the person knows that other person is going up to Kincardine to help put him out of business?

Mr. B. Newman: Irradiated tomatoes.

Mr. Mancini: Yes. That’s a very good point, irradiated tomatoes. What would happen if the tomatoes were irradiated? That would mean that the consumer who does not know --

Mr. B. Newman: Glowing tomatoes.

Mr. Mancini: Yes, we would have glowing tomatoes. That would mean that if the consumer did not know whether the tomatoes were from Kincardine or from Leamington, he would not know which ones were irradiated. The consumers wouldn’t buy a single tomato. The whole industry would go bankrupt. The more I think about this Kincardine thing, the worse it gets.

12:30 p.m.

I thought Dr. Premnanda and I published a fairly nonpolitical constructive document and I am sorry to say we got no response from the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson), a man who has spent his lifetime in agriculture, who should know and be concerned about all aspects of agriculture. He has not said a single word in reply except:

“We are proceeding in Kincardine. Kincardine is the answer. Somehow an industry in Kincardine will solve Leamington’s problems.” That is not the answer.

I was very interested to see -- this was brought to my attention by a Ministry of Energy press release dated March 15, 1979 -- who was actually involved in Kincardine, which Ontario farmers were pressuring the government, who was meeting with the Minister of Agriculture and Food to help build an industry in Kincardine. The Ministry of Energy has told me who these particular farmers are. Let me repeat them to the House: George Weston Limited, a big farmer from southwestern Ontario; TransCanada PipeLines Limited, a big farmer from northern Ontario; Jarmain Holdings, another farmer.

These names were mentioned in a Ministry of Energy press release. These are the people who are involved in the Kincardine project, gigantic corporations who want vertical integration from the soil all the way to the supermarket. These are the people who are supposedly concerned about establishing a new greenhouse industry. It won’t take George Weston Limited long to bankrupt the Leamington farmers after it has been able to create a stable situation in Kincardine. Shame on the Minister of Agriculture and Food for being involved with these people and helping to bankrupt Leamington farmers. Are these the small farmers he cries crocodile tears about? No, they are not.

In my critique on the greenhouse industry I proposed two suggestions I quote from page 15:

“Finally, I would like to conclude by making two suggestions to the Ontario government which I believe to be affordable, feasible and reasonable. One, that the Ontario government immediately starts on-site experimentation in order to merge new modern technology and the Leamington farmers’ cultural expertise. It is not good enough just to have laboratory experimentation. The new technology must be made to work in practical circumstances in the field.

“Secondly, the Ontario government should provide low-interest loans so that the Leamington greenhouse farmer would be able to afford to modernize his operations with any present and future energy-saving technology.”

In the same way that the government has assisted the pulp and paper industry with millions of dollars and has given $28 million to the Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited for replacement jobs, it can assist a whole industry situated in my riding.

We put the case clearly, fairly and non-politically to the Minister of Agriculture and Food. He saw fit not to take any action. We saw fit to go to the Ministry of Industry and Tourism. They saw fit, with the Ontario Research Foundation, to have a $50,000 study carried out in my riding to see whether modern technology can be merged with the cultural expertise of the farmers. Shame on the Minister of Agriculture and Food for allowing the Ministry of Industry and Tourism to usurp his responsibilities and take action when he failed to do so.

Mr. Nixon: He is not even here.

Mr. Mancini: He’s not even here to listen to a word.

On April 9 I issued a press release concerning a disturbing and unbelievable incident -- I guess I can call it an incident -- which took place in my riding. We have heard a great deal from the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) about the Employment Development Fund. I say the Employment Development Fund in my riding has caused unemployment. I’d like to read the press release I issued on April 9.

It is headed, “Employment Development Fund Creates Unemployment.” It reads: “Since the middle of January, I have been in contact with the Minister of Industry and Tourism about the substantial layoffs which have occurred at Freedland Industries Limited located in the town of Kingsville. In this small town of about 5,000 people, the laying off of more than 200 employees will have considerable economic impact on the community at large, not to mention the hardship of the people involved and their families.

“I have now also become seriously concerned about the extent to which the Ministry of Industry and Tourism has, it seems, been instrumental in bringing about these layoffs, which are directly due to the fact that the company has lost work, which it previously carried out for Motor Wheel Corporation of Lansing, to Rustshield Plating Limited of Windsor.

“The ministry’s involvement is twofold. Back in 1970 Freedland received a $250,000 forgivable loan from the province. This loan was completely forgiven in 1977,” and I quote from the minister, “‘after the company had fulfilled its commitments to the province of Ontario.’ Rustshield, on the other hand, has in the last little while received a $170,000 Employment Development Fund grant, supposedly to create 60 so-called new jobs and expand its operations.

“Just what kind of employment development policy is the government pursuing? By helping to create 60 jobs in Windsor, it has effectively destroyed 200 jobs in Kingsville.

“Frankly, I am bitter and angry about this entire matter. It is bad enough that essential jobs have been lost in my riding, due to direct government intervention, but for Essex South taxpayers to be forced to pay for the Rustshield expansion, which is damaging their own community, is surely heaping insult upon injury.

“Throughout, the minister has been most reluctant to provide me with information on this matter. Because I believe he is holding back important details, I have today tabled an Order Paper question. Under legislative rules, the minister must respond to such a question within 14 days” -- and we certainly look forward to his answers. “This information will be made public by me to the people of Essex South at the earliest possible opportunity.

“This clear instance in my own riding of the manner in which the Employment Development Fund is actually creating unemployment leads me to wonder if similar situations have been created elsewhere in the province.”

That is basically the context of the press release. What has happened is that we had a small industry in one of my towns. It had received a loan originally from the Ontario government. The loan was forgiven. It thus became a grant. This all happened in 1977.

Mr. Ashe: Did you complain about the grant?

Mr. Mancini: Listen, this is important. You have put 200 people out of work.

Two years later the same government gives a grant to a company in Windsor which is able to take the original contract from Freedland. Freedland basically operated on this one sole contract from Motor Wheel Corporation of Lansing. Rustshield was able to get this gift -- $170,000 from the government -- to improve its status in the contract negotiations and was able to take the contract from Freedland Industries.

We traded 200 jobs for 60 and gave away more than $400,000. That’s the Employment Development Fund; that’s the industrial policy of the Ontario Conservative government.

Mr. Ashe: Did you complain about the $250,000?

Mr. Mancini: The people of Kingsville are aware of this. No amount of double-talk from that particular member or any member from that side of the House is going to be able to change the facts. The people of Kingsville are aware, and they’re not happy. The Employment Development Fund is a complete failure.

12:40 p.m.

Mr. Ashe: What a lot of garbage.

Mr. Mancini: The people of Kingsville will be glad to read that comment from the member for Durham West. (Mr. Ashe). The member for Durham West has said it’s a bunch of garbage that we lost 200 jobs in Kingsville. That’s his opinion.

Mr. Ashe: You’re a bunch of garbage, talking the way you are.

Mr. Mancini: Now he heaps derogatory remarks on me. I’m not going to get into any name-calling with the member. But the people of Kingsville are going to know what he thinks about them losing 200 jobs. I can guarantee that. Not only did we tax the people of Essex South to give this money to Rustshield, but we took 200 jobs from them. If that makes any sense to anybody in the province, I wish they could come to Kingsville and explain it to the people.

We have two provincial parks in my riding. They are very-well-run parks. I certainly have to compliment the Ministry of Natural Resources. The people are happy with our provincial parks. We have one situated in Wheatley and we have one situated in Malden township, just north of Amherstburg on Lake Erie.

One of the problems we have recently encountered that has been of great concern to the people of Essex South is that the Ministry of Natural Resources, without notifying a single community leader, without notifying a single reeve of any municipality, without notifying the warden of Essex county, without notifying anyone, decided in its wisdom that Holiday Beach Provincial Park in Maiden township, which serves many thousands of Windsor and Essex county residents, is going to be privatized.

Let me explain privatizing to members. After I was able to find out what was happening, the reply from the ministry was, “We were in the process of letting you know that we were privatizing.” Which is nice to know; it’s heartwarming to know that once we found out, they were in the process of making this public. They say for some reason -- I haven’t put my finger on it yet -- the Ministry of Natural Resources can no longer operate Holiday Beach Provincial Park through the busy season, from May until Labour Day. What they’re going to do is call for contracts. I believe they already have 23 tenders. These people are going to operate the park and take whatever profit --


Mr. Mancini: We hear more jabber from the member for Durham West, but I’ll try to ignore him.

We have 23 tenders, and they are going to operate the park. There are some serious concerns here. The Ministry of Natural Resources, which operated the park very well and everyone was satisfied, was able to take in only $61,000. It had three employees, who spent three quarters of their time at that park and one quarter somewhere else, and approximately 16 part-time employees. The grass was cut on time. The park was well kept. Everything was kept clean and everyone was satisfied.

But when you take in only $61,000 to maintain a park this size and to make sure the proper services are given, no one can expect to make a profit. The park fees are the same today as they were in 1973. We haven’t had an increase in park fees in all these years. Then the ministry complains that it can’t make any money, it can’t break even. However, even though there is much opposition, they are going to go ahead and open these tenders and they’re going to have someone operate the park.

I want to say to this individual: How can anyone expect to maintain the park the way the ministry did? The ministry informs me a major prerequisite is going to be that whoever gets the park has to maintain it and offer the same services the ministry has been able to offer. How can anyone do that by taking in only $61,000 and expect to make a profit or a decent salary? This is beyond belief.

I’m afraid the park is going to deteriorate. The tourists who come to Essex county to spend money, stay and visit friends, relatives or neighbours, or just pass through, are going to receive less service. They’re not going to be as happy. Next year they might not come back to Essex county. The people of Windsor and Essex county who paid for the purchase of that land, who paid to make that park what it is today, are now going to receive something less than they originally paid for.

Parks in our society were never intended to be the gigantic profit-making opportunities the Conservatives want them to be. They are part of our natural-resource system where people of average income can go and spend one, two or three days at a reasonable cost and with reasonable service. They expect the grass to be cut and the beach to be clean.

When did the government announce this policy change? When did the Conservative government say to the people of Ontario, “We no longer think the provincial parks are meant to be what they used to be, they’re going to be privatized, and we’re going to ask entrepreneurs to go in and try to make money”? I’ve not heard that.

I have a question on the Order Paper, and I’ll be glad to see the answer from the minister. His deadline has already passed. He has asked for a two-week extension to answer the question. We’ll be glad to hear the answer when we get it.

We in Essex county are not going to stand for buying a park, paying for it, giving it to a private entrepreneur, and then receiving less service than before. That’s not the intention of a provincial park, and we don’t plan to stand for that economic nonsense.

Yesterday we had the opportunity to engage in an emergency debate that was called by the New Democratic Party, and supported by the Liberal Party, concerning the impending layoffs at the Ford Motor Company casting plant in Windsor. On Wednesday of this week several New Democrats, along with the New Democratic Party leader, were in Windsor trying to get as much publicity as possible crying crocodile tears about the layoffs and telling the people of Windsor they were going to have an emergency debate as soon as they got back. We had that particular debate.

But they failed to tell the people of Windsor and Essex county a very important thing. Even though they don’t believe in the economic policies of the Conservative government; even though they believe the government could do more for the people of Windsor, and that they would if they were the government; even though they believe these things, they forgot to tell the people of Windsor that at 5:45 p.m. on Monday the love affair would begin again. There would be hand-holding under the desks.

Mr. Renwick: I’ll be in Windsor tomorrow and I’ll tell them then.

Mr. Mancini: I know that bothers the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick). I’ve heard the member for Riverdale give many eloquent speeches in committees and in the House. I know from listening to his speeches how he feels about this government. I don’t know what happened between Christmas and today to make all the things the member for Riverdale said prior to that time period irrelevant.

What has changed the mind of the member for Riverdale? Has the government instituted all those landlord-tenant reforms he called for? Is that why he now is in a new love affair with the government? Has it instituted anything he can point to which has caused him to change his mind? I’ll listen to the member for Riverdale if he has an answer.

12:50 p.m.

The Ford casting plant in Windsor, we all know now, is going to be closed. The terminology that Ford uses now is “moth-balling.” We know the plant will be closed and that a further 850 jobs will be lost in Windsor. This is already added to the 2,600 layoffs at Ford, the 5,100 layoffs at Chrysler, and the 2,100 layoffs in the auto parts industry. We have 20 per cent unemployment in Windsor, Depression-level unemployment.

Yesterday in the debate concerning the impending closure of the Ford plant, after the minister responsible for the Treasury (Mr. F. S. Miller) refuted the statement he made in the Legislature on March 29, 1979 -- and I quote, “Investment by Ford will have significant impact. The new plant will represent a net direct addition to total employment in the area of 2,600 jobs” -- and after we were told clearly that the new Ford engine plant in Windsor and the $28-million provincial grant which helped bring it to Windsor were only for replacement jobs and not new jobs, I suggested that the Ontario government should take steps to have returned any grant money that has already been given to Ford.

I suggested the government not give them any further amounts of money, as Ford had expected, and that the Ontario government should use this $28 million for job creation programs in Windsor and to help pay for extended unemployment insurance benefits for the Windsor area auto workers whose benefits have expired. That is what the $28 million should be used for.

Never did we know that the $28 million, after having listened to the Treasurer -- read Hansard, page 489, March 29, 1979 -- was going to be used for replacement jobs. A hoax has been perpetrated on the people of Windsor and Essex county, a sad hoax by this Ontario Conservative government.

Mr. Ashe: There are a few federal ministers in Windsor. You should speak to them.

Mr. Nixon: Darcy McKeough is the only one who knew what was going on.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, in my community of Amherstburg, we have the privilege of living near the busiest seaway channel in the world. We live on the Detroit River. The town of Amherstburg is one of the oldest towns in Ontario situated in that area, and was made famous during the war of 1812, as I am sure many of the historians in the Ontario parliament would know.

However, when one lives near such a busy seaway one knows what the dangers are. We have excessive vehicle traffic on the river, with many people buying boats and with freighters going up and down the river, many at a time. We find the situation, although pleasant and enjoyable most of the time, dangerous some of the time. We have had several fatalities on the Detroit River in the past year. I brought this to the attention of the Solicitor General (Mr. McMurtry), who is responsible for the Ontario Provincial Police. I asked him if he would convene a meeting among the three levels of government to see whether proper policing could be afforded the Detroit River on the Canadian side. From my knowledge, the minister did not convene such a meeting.

Recently, on March 24, 1980, possibly five months since I put my original question, which I put late in the fall because I wanted the minister to have time to take action for this coming spring, the minister replied that there was not enough money in the Ontario budget to ensure policing of the Detroit River. It would be foolish for anyone to assume we had been asking for 24 hours a day, seven days a week policing from April until November, but we need some type of security force on the Detroit River.

The criminal element uses that river as a crossing area to come into Canada. Surely the Solicitor General should be concerned about ‘that? I brought it to his attention, and also the fact that on many occasions, especially during the holidays in the summer, the river is severely congested. Some type of policing force is needed for those times.

If there is not enough money in the budget for constant policing, we accept that and we accept the minister’s answer. But we do not accept, we totally reject, the answer that there is nothing available whatsoever. I want to bring this to the minister’s attention again. I see there are a couple of cabinet ministers here, although I am sure the Solicitor General is away on business of urgent public importance.

If he gets a chance to read some of my remarks I hope he would ‘look at this problem again to ensure that for the people who want to use the Detroit River for enjoyable purposes when the river is exceptionally congested there will be some type of security force there, there will be some type of police visibility. That is very important to my riding. It is very important to the people who use the Detroit River. We have •had several fatalities and others may be avoided in the future if we take proper steps now.

I see it is now almost 1 p.m. I have been pleased to have this time to make my comments in reply to the throne speech. I made them in all seriousness. I raised many concerns which the people of Essex South feel are near and dear, and I hope the government looks at them in the manner in which I have raised them. They are straight problems to which we want straight answers.

On motion by Mr. Breaugh, the debate was adjourned.

The House adjourned at 1 p.m.