The House met at 10 a.m.
STATEMENT BY THE MINISTRY
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I believe copies of this have been delivered.
As the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) advised this House yesterday, there was a serious fire in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Hamilton. The fire originated in electrical wiring in the basement and was confined to the lower levels of the hospital. There was heavy smoke and water damage there and the smoke spread to higher floors. A decision to evacuate was made by the medical staff of the hospital shortly after the outbreak.
This morning I would like to report to the House on the response of our health-care system to this emergency. In a matter of one hour and 15 minutes the entire hospital was evacuated. Altogether approximately 500 patients were either sent home or moved to Hamilton and Henderson general hospitals, Kitchener-Waterloo Hospital, Chedoke-McMaster Hospital and five area nursing homes. Psychiatric patients were moved to Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital.
I was on the scene myself and was told that everyone involved handled his or her tasks calmly and efficiently. In fact, during the early stages of the evacuation, hospital staff who were not involved in the crisis continued to function effectively and several operations were completed. In all, 42 emergency vehicles from Hamilton and the sur- rounding area, including the Metropolitan Toronto ambulance bus, were involved in the transfer which was carried out smoothly and without incident. Unfortunately, however, five firemen had to be treated for smoke inhalation; three were subsequently released and two, I am told, remained in Hamilton General Hospital for observation.
The decision on when the patients will return is pending the assessment of the fire marshal who was on the site again today. While in Hamilton I met with officials of the hospital and the district health council. I assured them my ministry will make resources available to assist the hospital and work with them to ensure that services in the area are not interrupted.
I think it is important that the co-operation and effort of all those involved in this emergency be acknowledged publicly. In short order and under emergency conditions, beds were made available and the patients were transferred without jeopardizing their condition. All of those involved in this emergency are a credit to our health-care system. I am sure all members of this House join me in congratulating them on a job well done.
Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, as you and members of the House may know, I am a member of what is known us the senior staff of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton. As members can imagine, I was upset, and quite naturally so, when I learned of the fire that broke out in the boiler room and the resultant damage.
I am very gratified to hear that no serious casualties have occurred and that the fire was quickly contained. I want to commend the members of the Hamilton fire department for their quick action, their usual excellent efforts and their bravery. I certainly hope those who were affected by smoke will all recover totally as soon as possible.
I want to express my admiration for the staff of the hospital, all of whom acted very swiftly and efficiently with concern for the patients. It was a remarkable effort. I am grateful to the staff members of the Chedoke, Henderson, Hamilton General and McMaster hospitals, as well as neighbouring hospitals and nursing homes, for the way they adapted. I want to thank everyone for his or her professionalism and express the hope, as the minister has, that things will be back to normal quickly. It was a job very well done by all concerned.
Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I too would like to add my congratulations to the staff of the hospitals involved -- St. Joseph’s and those hospitals to which the patients were moved -- on the very efficient manner in which the evacuation was carried out. I have one minor concern I would like to address to the Minister of Health regarding some comments passed on to me that it may be a little difficult, particularly on Saturdays over the next week or too, in terms of the facilities that are available in Hamilton should there be any run on hospitals or serious emergencies. I am wondering if he has taken any steps to look into this particular concern.
QUESTIONS ON NOTICE PAPER
Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, in regard to the standing orders, particularly standing order 81 on written questions, I had placed a question on the Notice Paper to the Minister of Health regarding the internal report on the provision of assistive devices for the physically handicapped. I tabled that question on April 14, 1980, and received what I think was a hurry-up answer from the minister yesterday, two days after the date it should have been answered.
However, in response to my questions about who was on the committee and when was it set up, would the minister make the report available? None of these questions was answered. Since this matter has been dragging on for some years, I wonder, Mr. Speaker, if under standing order 81 you might direct the minister to answer the questions that were placed on the Notice Paper in regard to this matter.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, with respect, I think they have been answered. I have indicated several times that the matter is under review. I indicated in that response that once the matter is completed and the government and ministers have had a chance to make some decisions, it will be released. I don’t think I could answer it any more fully than that.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I asked who was on the committee and when the committee was set up. Could I have answers to those questions?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I will review the matter again, but once the matter is completed and a policy decision taken, it will all be released.
Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, I have a similar question. It relates to question 43 which I placed on the Notice Paper many weeks ago. I received an interim answer which was noted before orders of the day on March 24. It was an interim answer to a very simple question asking the Minister of Health whether he would ever table the committee report on the Badgley commission report. The interim answer I received on April 8 gave me the information that the answer to my question would be available on April 18. I have received no answer. It seems such a simple question that I can’t understand the delay.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, with respect, it is very simple. The honourable members opposite, as is their right, have tabled a very considerable number of questions. I have a very small staff to work on preparing all of the answers. I believe the interim answer said we would answer on or about April 30, and it is only a couple of days late. I recognize we have been late on a few of them. I apologize for that, but we have had a considerable number to deal with.
Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, if I may draw the minister’s attention to page 12 of our Order Paper which for the last few days has indicated on the bottom of page 12, after four asterisks -- this is in relation to question 43 which I had asked -- “Approximate date information available April 18, 1980.” I can’t understand why the answer wasn’t available long before then. Mine is not a complicated question.
Mr. Speaker: With regard to the two other points that were raised by the member for Rainy River and the member for Carleton East, I am going to have to look into the standing orders to see whether or not the provisions for the answering of questions within the time frame outlined in the standing orders is being lived up to. If I find that it is not I will issue a statement sometime next week.
YOUTH ASSISTING YOUTH
Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, I have a point of privilege which relates to a press report that the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) made a financial commitment on behalf of the provincial government to Youth Assisting Youth. She has misled the community, as well as me. The government has decided not to live up to the commitment. Mr. Speaker, very simply, I ask if you have any jurisdiction when a member is misled because of a broken promise.
Mr. Speaker: I am sure that the honourable member, given his academic background, can use better language than that. You know that we consider unparliamentary any suggestion that a member has been dishonest or has misled the House, and I would ask you to phrase that statement in another way.
Mr. Warner: I understood the promise quite clearly, Mr. Speaker, and it wasn’t fulfilled.
Mr. Speaker: What you understood is fine in your own mind. All I am saying is I, as the presiding officer of this House, have to maintain order and make sure that the rules are lived up to. You personally will not accuse another member of misleading the House.
Mr. Warner: Would you like me to withdraw the remark and simply imply that the government doesn’t fulfil promises? I would be quite happy to do that.
Hon. Mrs. Birch: On a point of personal privilege, Mr. Speaker, if the honourable member is really interested in finding out the facts about what was said and the funding this province is providing for that group of young people, why does he not ask a question?
Mr. Warner: I asked the question many times. The government promises money and does not deliver.
Mr. Riddell: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: Last night, in the remarks of the leader of the NDP, he made some insinuations about my involvement with the Fleck strike and in his usual fashion he fabricated the truth.
Mr. Speaker: No, no. I know this is Friday morning, but we are not going to get into a hassle over that. The honourable member will withdraw that comment.
Mr. Riddell: All right. I will withdraw “fabricated the truth.” He was not accurate in his remarks.
My confrontation was not with the workers; it was with the union leaders. In my personal view, until politicians demand more accountability of the actions on the part of union leaders we are going to have government by international trade unions and not by the people.
Mr. Speaker: Order. That is not a point of privilege.
Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, last night, during the course of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications estimates, the minister tabled a report entitled The Rescue and Extrication of Victims Trapped in Accident-Involved Vehicles. When I opened the front cover, I noticed the date of this document was July 11, 1979.
In view of questions raised in this House and the concerns expressed by myself and the member for Etobicoke (Mr. Philip), I would like some explanation possibly with regard to why the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), I suppose, or the Solicitor General, has suppressed this report for well over nine months?
Mr. Speaker: That is neither a point of privilege nor a point of order, and there is ample opportunity for the member to question any minister at the appropriate time.
AID TO CHRYSLER
Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Premier whether he is in a position to tell this House, since there are rumours there will be a statement just after we rise at the end of our sitting today, the latest status with regard to the Chrysler Canada Limited negotiations. In particular, has an agreement been reached that involves the Ontario government? Will it involve loan guarantees as opposed to grants? Will there be job guarantees of any kind, and if so, would the Premier be kind enough to describe those guarantees? Is he able to bring us up to date on this matter?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I hope the Leader of the Opposition will understand that we are not yet in the position to do so, although the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman), who has been working on this hourly for the past four or five days, will be here a little later. If he is in a position to communicate something, I am sure he will do so.
Mr. S. Smith: That’s fair enough, Mr. Speaker. I guess we will have to wait for the minister.
Without stretching the meaning of “supplementary” too much, may I ask the Premier what steps his government has taken to move the automobile industry into the kind of engines, the kind of planning which will have a real future? He will remember that while the automobile engines were all large ones, everybody knew the future was the small car, but we did not get there. Now we are getting into small cars but everybody knows the future will be in engines that burn more than one fuel. Volvo and Mercedes are going to engines that burn more than one fuel.
Will the Premier tell us whether the government is taking any measures to help the automobile companies and encourage them to get into engines that have more than one fuel capacity?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, unfortunately I am not as familiar with Volvos or certainly Mercedes as the Leader of the Opposition. It has never been within my economic capacity to investigate the availability of those vehicles.
Mr. Nixon: When did the Premier last buy a car? He has not bought a car for years.
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, but my wife has. The member is quite right; I haven’t
Mr. Nixon: Anybody who would drive a big green Chrysler --
Hon. Mr. Davis: As a matter of fact it is brown, and I make no apologies for buying Chrysler. I just wish more people had bought Chryslers. Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition might redirect his question to the Minister of Industry and Tourism, who is now here and who might give him any up-to-date information we can publicly disclose.
Mr. Speaker, while I am on my feet, in answer to the supplementary question, because it does relate to the issue very directly, I would like to extend my congratulations to the government House leader (Mr. Wells) who is today celebrating a fairly significant anniversary, his 50th birthday. Many happy returns.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Give him a raise.
Mr. S. Smith: I wondered why they brought in that new pensioner credit. Happy birthday to the government House leader.
May I ask the Minister of Industry and Tourism if he is able to bring the House up to date on the Chrysler negotiations? Is it true there will be a statement at noon or so and can he tell us what job guarantees have been negotiated, if any?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: May I say at the present time I would be confident there will be no statement at noon. Talks concluded yesterday in Ottawa among my officials, federal officials and representatives of the Chrysler Corporation in the United States. They did not break off. They simply concluded at that stage with all the people at the negotiating table returning to their principals for further instructions. That is where it sits right now.
In view of the fact that in essence nothing has happened this morning and we haven’t heard from any other principals, it would appear to me there would be no announcement in the next few hours. My sense of where the negotiations are at the present time also would reaffirm that I wouldn’t expect anything to be reached in the next couple of hours either.
The situation surrounding the job guarantees which is, as I have indicated from the start, the prime concern of this government and one of the prime reasons for the delay, is simply that job guarantees have not been arrived at which are satisfactory to us, and I believe the federal government, in order to permit a deal to be struck at this time.
Mr. Sargent: Is the minister in a position to tell the House the magnitude of his support for Chrysler at this point?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: No, really we are not because all of that is very much subject to the kinds of guarantees we may or may not be able to achieve. While Mr. Iacocca has decided that bargaining a bit in the public domain would be helpful to his side of the discussions, I think the responsible approach would be for us to protect our position of the Ontario taxpayer by not giving away any of our bargaining positions nor indicating how hard or soft they were on matters, other than job guarantees, on which we have been fairly direct.
Mr. Speaker, while I am on my feet I might take this opportunity to address the point of privilege raised by the member for Windsor-Riverside (Mr. Cooke) yesterday before question period before I arrived. While I haven’t read precisely what he said, he raised some concern about the fact I had indicated some matters publicly which I had not answered in the House.
I should say I try very sincerely to protect the rights of this assembly. I think my record over time would affirm that. I very strongly try to ensure that during the period of time when the assembly is sitting, all announcements, all major policy changes or statements are made here, not outside the assembly.
What happened in the last few days was that in order to have a sincere and serious business negotiation, up until Tuesday we did try to protect the confidentiality surrounding those very difficult negotiations. Between Tuesday, when the House last sat, and Thursday, a great deal of information began to leak out, perhaps predictably. When there are a great number of people involved in negotiations such as these, some of them want to get some information out to help their side of the negotiations.
With all sorts of information beginning to come out during the period between the time the House sat on Tuesday, and yesterday, I felt it was incumbent upon me to respond to certain matters which had come out publicly in order, in turn, to protect that very same bargaining position and to let the public and the members of the assembly know in the interim that we were there and we were trying to protect their interest. Because the House was not sitting and because information was coming out, I deemed it appropriate to make certain responses in order to protect all of us. I trust the House will understand that situation.
Mr. Renwick: By way of a supplementary question to the minister: Who are the principals to whom the various parties are reporting for further instructions on these negotiations?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: In Canada, it involves reports to the provincial and federal government. In the United States, the other principal is essentially the second in command to Mr. Iacocca of the Chrysler Corporation. Clearly, he is reporting to Mr. Iacocca who is operating, in turn, within the context of undertakings he must give to the Chrysler Loan Guarantee Board. In that sense, no arrangement can be struck without having some sort of understanding or concurrence among the government of Ontario, the government of Canada and the loan board, representing, I would say, the government of the United States and Chrysler Corporation of the United States.
Mr. S. Smith: In the minister’s absence, I had put the question to the Premier •but I would now ask the minister to consider it as well. Given that we went through a process over the years of building big cars when small cars were on the way, we are now going to be building small cars when there is another type in the future, namely, with dual-fuel engines -- engines which can burn more than gasoline, that can burn either propane or compressed natural gas and possibly even liquid hydrogen or fuel alcohol. Given that is clearly going to be a wave of the future in order to reduce our dependency on oil, what is the policy of the government, what measures has the government taken to encourage movement into dual-fuel engines by auto makers in Canada?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: There are a great number of works being undertaken under the aegis of my colleague, the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch), which he could report on in more detail.
It has been my desire to make sure that any application of that technology be made available to the Canadian auto industry and, to that end and for other reasons, we have formed a special branch in my ministry, the energy projects branch. I had intended to make a statement in that regard this week but because of the Chrysler situation that fell by the wayside. Next week I will be outlining to this House specifics of the mandate of that branch, which has been assembled from some of the staff people in our ministry who have a special orientation towards energy projects.
With a view to ensuring that any of the technology in those areas the member referred to will be available to those parts of my ministry that interface directly with the auto industry, we have put together this energy project branch. It will be operating over a wider area as well, but one of its chief interfaces will be with the auto industry.
I should also say to the Leader of the Opposition that the auto parts technical centre which, as we announced yesterday, we are setting up at the Ontario Research Foundation, has also very great potential for work in that area. It is a centre which is specifically there for the auto industry and to help the small Canadian auto parts firms stay abreast of that technology in order to ensure they have access to the kinds of research and development facilities that they simply don’t have in their own operations.
This technical centre will, in fact, do more than just respond to requests from the auto industry. It will be trying to define what kinds of new products and processes are being demanded by the North American and foreign automobile industries, and trying to find unique ways in which our Canadian auto parts firms can use our strengths in Canada -- aluminum, plastics and steel -- to meet those particular demands out there.
Quite frankly, I think the auto parts technical centre will be a very major step in the kinds of directions the Leader of the Opposition is referring to and his concern is quite properly placed.
SUDBURY TEACHERS’ STRIKE
Mr. S. Smith: The Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Auld) has just left us so I will ask a question of the Minister of Education.
Could the minister tell us what steps will now be undertaken to try to do the virtually impossible, which is, make up for the time that has been missed by the Sudbury students? In view of the fact that the non-semestered students have now lost 29 per cent of their instructional days, and have about 18 per cent of their year remaining, and the semestered students have lost 58 per cent of their instructional days, and have 35 per cent remaining, what measures will the minister be taking to help these students make up the deficiency?
Will she be contacting the institutions of higher learning so that none of these students will be penalized, with respect to the possibility of their applications not being considered because of cutoff dates and so on at these various institutions?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the HS-1 representatives within the ministry met approximately 10 days ago with board members and those responsible for scheduling and curriculum in the Sudbury area to make an assessment of the requirements of the students based upon the final termination of the dispute. There has been a good deal of discussion and much exploration of methods of implementing programs to enhance and bring up as close as possible to the requirements, the teaching hours that the students require in order to attempt to gain their credits.
The universities of this province have been, over the past many years, of particular assistance in those few areas in which disputes have occurred. Although they have not in fact relaxed their academic requirements, they have been much more flexible in terms of the receipt of applications.
I have been assured by the members of the Council of Ontario Universities that they don’t intend to change that policy.
As I’m sure the honourable member knows, Laurentian University in Sudbury has already proposed some special arrangements which it will provide in order to ensure the very large number of first-year students it acquires from the Sudbury basin will not suffer any detriment as a result of this dispute.
Mr. Speaker, I must comment that it must be the Leader of the Opposition’s long and unhappy experience in psychiatry that leads him to be such a pessimist. Nothing is impossible as long as human beings try hard enough to make sure that it happens.
Mr. S. Smith: I found psychiatry a very optimistic profession because I actually saw changes and improvement in people. It is only in politics that I have to look at people who never improve and never change.
I would ask the minister if she can tell us whether there will be provision made for extra days of teaching, and whether she has the co-operation of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation and the teachers themselves in this regard. Will she explain to us how it is that despite the attention being paid to curriculum some of those students who have missed over half their year can expect between now and the end of June to make up that deficiency unless there are extra days added and extra teaching provided? What has she been able to achieve on behalf of these students in her discussions with the teachers?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I did not suggest all of this could happen before the end of June. For some students, it may be possible to ensure the required number of teaching hours will be provided within the time frame which occurs before the end of June; for others it may not be possible.
Discussions with the board and the teachers would lead me to believe there are a number of programs which may be established and that there will be some flexibility in the provision of those programs in order to accommodate the specific needs of students who have summer jobs and various other kinds of activities.
It is not one single program which is going to be established. I am sure there will be a number of them and the discussions are ongoing at this time.
Mr. Sweeney: By way of supplementary: Given the report, or statement perhaps is the proper word, released by the Council of Ontario Universities approximately one month ago, which indicated in pretty straightforward language that students who had missed a considerable amount of time towards their credits would be in a precarious position with respect to enrolment in limited enrolment courses, what provision, if any, has been, can be or will be made for the students from this area for enrolment in those kinds of courses?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: As I’m sure the honourable member knows, most of the major limited-enrolment courses are courses that do not admit first-year students on a first-year basis at the university. Some of the concerns that were expressed were related to engineering and to architecture, and that is a matter of concern to which I’m sure the universities are particularly sensitive.
We have been attempting to arrange that there will be at least interim reports available on behalf of students involved in a long dispute, in order that the universities may make preliminary assessments, with the aspiration that they might consider the final marks when they are provided, at a date later than usual, for examining all the applications to specific courses within the universities.
AID TO CHRYSLER
Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier or for the Minister of Industry and Tourism, whichever the Premier prefers. I know where it is going to go, but I want the Premier to feel free to interject at any point he wants.
Within the bounds of the secrecy of the details, we simply have to have more information here about the Chrysler Corporation negotiations. My questions, therefore, are: What are the matters that are coming back to this government, as one of the principals, for reconsideration or discussion or report? Why has there been -- and I choose my words very carefully -- a breakdown, if not a breakoff, in the negotiations among the principals with respect to this matter, since the May 1 deadline was not met? Are the Premier and the minister and his colleagues prepared to hang tough on the job-guarantee operation, or is that one of the matters that are back for negotiation and discussion?
What, for example, is the relationship between the original number of dollars, the $500-million guarantee, and the $171 million additional to the $200 million now being talked about in so far as the inclusion or exclusion of the engine plant and the investment and retooling of that operation are concerned? Out of that, what we need is the fullest possible available information on the present state of the negotiations, what the problems are, why there are contradictions between this minister and the federal minister, and where we now stand and what course we can expect the negotiations to take.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I’ll try to take those matters in order, except that I will begin with the last one and then go to the first.
The last part of the question refers to the contradictions between the federal minister and me. As I have read what he has been saying, I don’t think there have been any contradictions at all. I don’t suggest our bargaining positions are exactly the same at any given time, but in essence they aren’t that much different that there are fundamental contradictions.
With regard to the first part of the question -- what matters are coming back for negotiation -- may I say no matters are coming back in any sense. What has been there, as the beginning point of our interest in the discussions, was jobs. I think we made this clear when I spoke in this House last December 18 or 19. At that time I indicated our interest was not in helping this particular company per se but in getting jobs for the Windsor area and in the auto industry. That’s the reason we were at the table, and the only reason we were at the table.
Unless we go away from the table with what we went there to get -- secure jobs for Windsor -- there is little point in our spending a lot of time on the numbers and costs and the prerequisites we would put in place. Those matters have been on the table the whole time. They have not been withdrawn. At this stage of the negotiations, I believe it is becoming a challenge for the other partners to the negotiations, which, inter alia, include the American states that have participated, to meet our requirements for job guarantees for Canada. That is the main issue that is still being discussed.
I also want to clarify that it does not mean there are not other issues still outstanding. There is, as in any set of negotiations, a whole host of other issues that need some fine tuning. But in terms of being in a position to spend a great deal of time on those other issues, I have made it fairly clear that there is little point in spending a lot of time on those until we know we’re going to have a deal. We won’t know we have a deal until we know we have firm and secure job guarantees for the Canadian auto workers.
The member suggested there has been a breakdown or breakoff of talks. With respect, that is really not a fair way to describe what has happened at the present time. As in any set of negotiations, unless you have the principals themselves sitting at the table, at some stage those who are in the discussion are going to have to go hack to the policymakers involved to get some policy direction. That is simply what has happened.
In terms of how sincere everyone is and how hard everyone is trying, I should say the people we had negotiating were there, while they negotiated, for 16 or 17 hours out of 24. They broke off for some hours of sleep and then went back and concluded the negotiations by 3:30 yesterday afternoon. They concluded, not breaking off and not at a stalemate, by simply saying, “Here are some variables. We had better go back and see whether the governments of Ontario and Canada are satisfied on the job-guarantee aspect and, on the other hand, see if Chrysler Corporation, which is being asked to give the job guarantees, is able to meet these job-guarantee requirements.” That is pretty well where we are at the present time.
Finally, the member asked questions with regard to the inclusion of the engine plant. The member will be familiar, I know, with detailed and complex negotiations. There is a point at which opening discussions are held and people try to lay out the general parameters of where they are. In a very general sense, I would say the engine plant was at that time -- and I am talking about last fall -- something that Chrysler didn’t certainly foresee, but could foresee as part of its future if it was able to call down the $1.5 billion from the American federal government.
As circumstances changed for Chrysler, as they lost substantially more money in the first quarter of 1980 than they had projected, and as they increased their projected losses for 1980 quite dramatically as a result, obviously the structure of the company they then envisaged was quite different from the structure they envisaged at the start. That was quite apart from the numbers of dollars the Canadian and Ontario governments were willing to put on the table. It simply meant they were looking at a company that was a couple of hundred million dollars poorer than it was when it began setting out a game plan, which included the engine plant, in the middle of last year. Therefore, they had to look at their operations anew.
One of the things they decided to do in order to recoup those and other losses, in part, was to stop and cancel their plans to make a $200 million or $300 million expenditure on the retooling of plant to turn out engines which they were unable to use until 1983. Therefore, they decided it would be in their best interests to stick to that revised plan, simply decide to buy the engines somewhere, if they were in business in 1983 and, in essence, that would keep them in the same position in which they started, i.e., having found a way to offset their projected deficit.
Mr. Speaker: Order. It was about a seven-part or eight-part question that required a very detailed answer. I think what you are getting into now are things you said earlier this week, so it is really a reiteration of a former position or a former statement.
Mr. Renwick: Supplementary.
Mr. Speaker: In all fairness, it was about a seven-part original. We have to share the time. We have used about 28 minutes of the question period and we are just on the third question. There was ample opportunity for members of the New Democratic Party to get in on supplementaries to the question posed by the Leader of the Opposition. In equal sharing of time, I will recognize the member for Grey-Bruce.
Mr. Foulds: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: There is nothing out of order.
Mr. Foulds: On a point of privilege then.
Mr. Speaker: What is the member’s point of privilege?
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, you have just chastised members of this party and the leadoff questioner for this party for taking too much time with his lead question.
Mr. Speaker: No, I did not, not at all. Will the honourable member take his seat? I was just appealing to the members of the House for some semblance of fairness and equal sharing of the time. I have not chastised anybody.
Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, I realize this is a difficult question to answer. Based on the premise that 75 per cent of the American people are opposed to this kind of subsidization but the time and place change things now, and based on the premise that it is ridiculous for government to tax winners to subsidize losers -- and I think the question by the member for Riverdale was very important at this point -- can the minister tell us that if we do go through with these guarantee loans, both federally and provincially, and tax concessions, is the government going to have a management shake-up which, I understand, is very badly needed? Will there be periodic reviews? Are these things a part of the discussions?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, in terms of the activities of the Chrysler Loan Guarantee Board in monitoring the future management of Chrysler in that narrow area, I have a great deal of confidence in the expertise the board has and has bought. They spent several hundred thousand dollars, if not $1 million by now, in buying expertise from private-sector consultants to advise them on how best to structure the managerial side of the business.
I do not agree with all the views of the Chrysler Loan Guarantee Board on where various investments should be placed across the world, but in terms of their assessment of the management structure of the company, I have the highest confidence in the decisions of the board and their advisers.
Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, by way of a supplementary question: I specifically talked about breakdown, not breakoff of negotiations. I take it from the minister’s reply to my question that the reason matters have now been referred back is the key issue of jobs. My question is, either to the minister or to the Premier, is the government of Ontario, as one of the principals, prepared to hang tough on -- I use a round figure without knowing any of the details -- the 15,000 jobs at stake?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, may I say with full confidence in my answer that one of the reasons the negotiations were not concluded earlier this week is because this government has been very firm on the question of job guarantees.
Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question to the Minister of Industry and Tourism is, could he inform the House in round figures, so that the people in Windsor may know what type of employment future they have and the city of Windsor may know what type of investment future it has, what the Ontario government is considering lending Chrysler in return for how many jobs and how many dollars in investment?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, the figures that have been speculated on in the press, while not dead on, are in the general area in which we are carrying on negotiations -- a general outline of where we are. In terms of what kinds of jabs we are looking at, if Chrysler Corporation continues with or without our support, the auto pact will ensure there will be several thousand jobs in Windsor. That is on the down side, without our support.
On the up side, this government and the federal government are looking at the historical optimal level of employment in Windsor in Chrysler, which is about 15,000. We would be looking at only incremental gains from the auto-pact figure up to 15,000 if we did not look at historical levels. I am sorry for approaching it that way but I have to, in view of the negotiations. Suffice to say, if we end up with many fewer jobs than there were in the auto industry we started with in Windsor, there is no point in us being at the table. We are looking at historical, if not better, levels.
Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier. In view of the statement by the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) in his budget that a paper would be tabled about interest rates, will the Premier advise the House when the paper will be tabled in the assembly, and what will then be the process? Will it be accompanied by government proposals with respect to the interest question as it affects the three areas of small business, home owners and the farm industry? Will there be a discussion and a debate in the assembly? What is the process by which we will come to grips with the urgent needs of those three sectors for interest-payment aid and assistance?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I cannot really answer the second part of the question. I think it depends to a great extent on what the paper itself produces. What might be done in terms of the mortgage situation, as I am sure the member for Riverdale appreciates, is probably far more complex than what might be done in terms of the farm community. I am not as familiar with what might develop with respect to small business, but the anticipation of the government is to have this study paper, or whatever term one way wish to use, available by approximately the middle of this month.
I should also add -- I think the Treasurer made it clear, as did the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson) -- that because of the concerns of the farming community and the complexity of that, we have not precluded the possibility of the government moving in that area prior to whenever the paper may be produced, but we are trying to look at roughly the middle of the month.
I might say while I am on my feet in direct reply to the supplementary question of the Leader of the Opposition with respect to family life, that it is a great pleasure to extend on this Friday morning congratulations to the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Auld) who tomorrow will be celebrating, along with his wife, their 34th wedding anniversary, which in this day and age may be relatively unique.
Hon. Mr. Auld: I would like to thank the Premier. This year, I won’t forget.
Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, by way of supplementary: Since the budget did contain ingredients that were of assistance to the small business communities, and since the budget did contain a specific commitment reaffirmed by the Premier this morning that there will be assistance to the farming communities, is the Premier at this time prepared to make the commitment that there will be assistance made available to home owners faced with hardship in connection with mortgage interest payments and renewals?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think the government has made it clear that for those cases of real need we are anxious to find some solution. I think it is fair to state that the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett) from this province has taken a great deal of initiative. In fairness to the federal minister, Mr. Cosgrove, as one reads his statements on the policy the federal government has adopted -- I get these programs mixed up, but it is the Assisted Home Ownership Program -- I think there is some evidence from the nation’s capital that they too are looking to find solutions that meet real problems in an equitable fashion.
The member for Riverdale is very familiar with the mortgage business, the complexities and the difference between the institutional lenders and the private lenders, and the great difficulty in sorting out something that is equitable for both the mortgagee and the mortgagor. I know he doesn’t have quite the same sympathy for the mortgagor perhaps, but that has to be taken into account, otherwise the availability of mortgage funding which is also essential to the process becomes just a little more questionable.
I make it quite clear that we will have this documentation. I know the member for Riverdale was trying to put words in my mouth, just slightly, as is his very subtle custom of doing on occasion. What I did say, and I made it clear, was that we will have this paper by the middle of the month. The fact that we will have it does not preclude the possibility of this government moving with respect to the agricultural industry. I think that is what I said.
SUPERMARKET PRICING SYSTEMS
Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations concerning the universal product code. The minister is aware that it has been well over three years since I first introduced legislation, hoping that the government would copy it and introduce its own, that would require that every product having the universal product code marked on it also to have the individual purchase price. Would the minister care at this time to inform the House as to whether he is going to introduce legislation along that line in the immediate future?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, members will recall that in December I announced several steps were being taken in regard to the application of the universal product code, to electronic scanning at checkout counters in supermarkets, and to the question of the price stickers being on or off. At that time I made it very plain that the government would not decide the issue, and the industry would not decide the issue, but that the consumers would decide the issue. To ensure the fullest participation of consumers, the ministry undertook a survey of people who were actually shopping in stores, particularly in Ottawa and London, that were using scanning without the prices. In addition, surveys were being conducted by the industry. Further, two surveys were conducted by the Consumers’ Association of Canada (Ontario).
Almost all the data have been assembled, including the government’s part. As soon as those data are compiled, I will be tabling the results in the House and taking the appropriate steps to ensure the will of the consumers in regard to this technological improvement and how it will be used will be applicable.
Part of the government’s position on this, regardless of the in-depth survey results, is the fact that the honourable member’s original private member’s bill received second reading in the House. That obviously carries a considerable amount of weight. I would hope the data would be available very soon. I am waiting for one more piece, and at that point it will all be tabled. The government policy, reflecting the will of the consumers, will come at the same time.
Mr. B. Newman: I am sure the minister is aware that more and more retail outlets are going into the automatic cash register system. Does the minister not think it is quite urgent that some action be taken very shortly concerning this important item?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Any individual supermarket or supermarket chain that has gone into this in the past six months has been fully aware of the fact that, notwithstanding their investment or their policy, they were going to be subject to government policy and the will of the consumers in this province. The one chain that did introduce it has very specifically labelled it a pilot project. They are not expanding. Anybody who is expanding is fully aware of the risks involved.
Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, can the minister tell us whether his survey or, to his knowledge, any of the other surveys being done with regard to the UPC, are doing a survey of the comparative price consciousness of consumers as between a conventional store and a store that is using the scanner and has abolished the individual price tags? This was done in a comprehensive manner in the United States. Does he know whether there is a loss of price consciousness in these new types of stores?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, the survey by the government is very specific on two grounds. We had to go to great lengths to find people who were actually shopping in stores without the prices and what their very detailed feelings were. In addition, we had to go to people who were not using it but had heard about it to find what their feelings were. That is a very comprehensive point.
The question of price consciousness, if I understand what the member means, is paramount in the whole issue. The whole issue is not whether one goes through the checkout lines faster or not. It isn’t whether the checkout counter aborts from time to time. The question is -- and I say this in the broad way; it is broken down in much more detail than that -- how comfortable as a purchaser does one feel with that system. I think that is all-embracing in terms of price consciousness.
Mr. Germa: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Parrott), I will address my question to the Premier. Is he aware that at a press conference yesterday his Minister of the Environment said that the appropriate amount of study has not been done to determine how much Inco Limited can cut back on its pollution levels? He also defended the Inco line that the 1,900-ton limit on emissions would limit Inco’s investment opportunities, its ability to expand and so on. Yet he admitted he had not seen the federal studies to which we referred in the House which say the technology is available for Inco to cut that to 1,000 tons a day and Inco can afford it.
If the minister has not seen the studies and has not done his own study on Inco’s ability to afford further pollution reductions, is he just once again taking the old Inco line?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would have to make this observation. I think it was demonstrated very clearly yesterday that the government is not accepting Inco’s point of view. If the government had accepted Inco’s point of view, the figures would have been substantially different.
Mr. S. Smith: Nonsense.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I want to read from comments of the Leader of the Opposition’s friend. “I am pleased to inform the House that my Ontario colleague has today announced a new order on Inca. I wish to congratulate Dr. Parrott on the step he has taken. I know it wasn’t an easy decision to make. I believe it is an important and courageous one. The decision, which I salute and support, results from close co-operation between the federal and provincial governments. A sharing of detailed information strengthened Canada’s case and encouraged the United States in their attempts to develop control policies.” I just hope brother Roberts can produce as much in the United States as we produce by way of environmental controls here. I have to guess that he may not. That’s what he said.
The Minister of the Environment for the government of Canada was in Washington. He made certain comments.
Mr. Laughren: John Roberts.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Yes, John Roberts.
Mr. Foulds: You hadn’t mentioned that.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I just thought I would tell the honourable members.
I think it is also fair to state, and one cannot ignore this, that there is still some doubt about the technology that may or may not be available. I cannot comment in as much detail as the Minister of the Environment can but, as I understand it, there is a possibility and they feel encouraged that the pyrite separator, or whatever term is used, is technically possible. There will be some time getting it in place.
Mr. Germa: It’s only $50 million.
Hon. Mr. Davis: It is not a question of the money. It is a question of whether the technology will work, and I think it is a logical next step. This is to be completed, as I recall -- I was not here for the statement -- by the end of December 1982. The ministry has also ordered Inco to move ahead with the next phase. If there is technology available, if it can reduce further -- and that is the belief of the ministry -- then it is the obligation of Inca to do so.
The minister’s order yesterday was tough. It was also realistic. The member nods or shakes his head. I have to tell him that, in terms of the financial capacity of Inco, over the next two years they will be operating t 15 per cent or more below their present rated capacity which, in terms of the world marketplace, causes a potential problem.
Mr. Speaker: The Premier doesn’t have to respond to a nod of the head --
Mr. Speaker: Has the Premier completed his response to the original question? I think it was quite adequate. Does the member for Sudbury have a brief supplementary?
Mr. Germa: I have a short supplementary. On the question of affordability of the program, the Premier and I both know that Inco is heading for a $350-million year this year. How can he continue to defend Inco’s poverty line, knowing figures like that are coming through?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I am not defending Inco’s poverty line. I do not know where a poverty line exists when one takes into account return on investment. I know the member for Sudbury is very familiar with this and he will say to this House that Inco is probably earning 10 or 12 per cent on investment. Even some of his colleagues, who on occasion may make an investment, would feel in this day and age that is not unreasonable. The fact is that Inco is earning far less on investment than that figure. The member knows that. Others may not know it, but I am sure he does.
I also would point out to the member for Sudbury that I did not hear him urging us to assist Inco when their earnings were substantially below what they may be today. I do not recall the member taking up a collection or wanting Lottario to assist. I never hear that when the corporate community is suffering losses. No one in this House will say, “Can we help them in any fashion?” except maybe in the case of Chrysler.
It is not just a question of money; it is a question of whether the technology is there to do it. In my understanding, Inco itself is optimistic about the ability of this converter to reduce the emissions in the process by roughly 25 per cent. They plan to have this in place by December 1982. It is a very encouraging step forward. I am not competent to guarantee that technology will work. They think it will work. The Ministry of the Environment thinks it will work. That is why the order is where it is, and it is a very major reduction. In case the minister did not mention it, I will point out that Inco is a very high-profile emitter of sulphur dioxide, and not just because of the stack.
I read some of the testimony given by the head of the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States, the same gentleman the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) is reciting to us, when he was before a Congressional committee. He said to the members of the committee that he supported the program of the President of the United States to shift to coal. Does my friend know what that program means? It means an increase of 300,000 tons in sulphur dioxide and an increase of 200,000 tons of nitrous oxide. We all know in this House the main source of acid rain or sulphur in the atmosphere is south of the border in percentages far in excess of what is happening here. Here is the head of the EPA in the United States saying to the Congress of that nation, “We should approve this program which will substantially increase emissions.”
I want to point out to the honourable member that we are doing our part here. A very significant step was taken yesterday. What concerns me as a resident here is that our neighbours to the south may not be influenced. The bulk of the problem is still there, and I have seen no evidence of movement on their part to reduce their share of the problem.
Mr. G. E. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Is the minister aware of any problem existing under the compulsory insurance program whereby a person purchasing a new or used vehicle, whose insurance agent does not carry on business in the owner’s municipality, does not have in his possession the proper insurance identification and consequently, on a technicality, could be charged by the police?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of any problem. First of all, when people purchase new or used vehicles, they can carry their existing insurance certificate, which is valid for 14 days’ coverage on the new vehicle. Second, the law was written so that the police do have discretion, just the same as they have if people fail to carry their operator’s licence on their person. They can make a notation of the occurrence, but the occurrence can be cleared by presentation of the document at the police station.
In the case of a person transferring a policy from one vehicle to another, the 14-day automatic period would appear reasonable. If there is some peculiar reason, for example, a person has an agent or a firm far removed, there is still the discretion. The important thing is to carry the existing pink slip; that is sufficient for the police.
Mr. G. E. Smith: I think the ministry should give a directive to the police from the Solicitor General (Mr. McMurtry), because in my area the police are not recognizing the 14 days. People must have the proper insurance identification for a particular vehicle. There is a lot of confusion. Would the minister check into it, along with the Solicitor General, and give direction to the police?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I will speak to the Deputy Solicitor General so that these concerns are reflected in the weekly communications that go to all police forces in the province.
Mr. J. Reed: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for my constituent from Hornby, the Minister of Transportation and Communications.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Why don’t you phone him or why don’t you visit him?
Mr. J. Reed: In the interests of getting this on the public record, I will ask it in the House. What level of gasoline tax increase does the minister contemplate if he introduces a common licence plate, and how is he convinced that the best interests of conservation will be served?
Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I thought the honourable member might have dropped in on his way home this afternoon for a quiet scotch and we could have discussed this.
Hon. Mr. Davis: What is a quiet scotch?
Hon. Mr. Snow: A quiet scotch is one without ice cubes.
Mr. Speaker: It wasn’t part of the question either.
Hon. Mr. Snow: I’m sorry, Mr. Speaker. I know what the member is referring to. I guess it was the article that appeared in the Toronto Star yesterday quoting certain comments I had made. These comments were made in answer to many very intelligent questions that were put forward during the question period at the annual meeting of a provincial Progressive Conservative association.
During the forum on those questions, some of my constituents asked about alternative ways of establishing licence fees for automobiles. One particular gentleman had suggested a different system, rather than using the number of cylinders of cars as the method of establishing the different fees; that is, four cylinders, six cylinders and eight cylinders. As we all know, there are imperfections in that system, because many small eight-cylinder cars are perhaps more fuel-efficient than the larger sixes and so on. He suggested going on cubic content of the engine and having more variation. I explained to him that the ministry had looked at the possibility of having one fee, for instance, for an engine of two litres or less, one from two to three, one from three to four and so on, which would have about seven or eight different fee structures and no doubt would relate fee structures more to the actual size and efficiency of the engine.
I also stated I had a personal view that a fairer way of dealing with motor vehicle fees might be to have a standard registration fee, which would be just that, a registration fee to cover the registration of the vehicle, but then the Treasurer would not agree with me on that since there would be considerable lost revenue. To make up that revenue which, in a roundabout way through the consolidated revenue fund, is used to maintain the road system of this province that automobiles are driven on, I felt the fairest way would be by an increase in the gasoline tax. In that way the overall cost to the operator of a motor vehicle would probably be more fairly distributed, because he would be paying more on the usage of the vehicle and the miles driven. The more efficient vehicle would burn less gasoline, so the operator would pay less tax than with a vehicle that uses larger quantities of fuel.
I also explained, Mr. Speaker, if you will give me another 30 seconds -- and the article was well reported -- that this was my own personal view and not the view of the government in any way.
Mr. J. Reed: The minister must be aware that introducing a common licence plate price would appear, at least on the surface, to reduce the incentive to the conserver and would provide a greater benefit to the driver of the larger automobile at licence plate time.
Has the minister given any consideration to the additional benefit which is apparent here, and can he explain how an increase in gasoline tax will offset that differential?
Mr. Speaker: Yes or no?
Hon. Mr. Snow: It is impossible to answer that with a yes or no. First of all, I would have to agree that a common licence fee, by itself, would remove a certain incentive that is there now to buy a smaller car and pay a $40 fee, rather than $80 for the largest car. It would remove that incentive.
I would be quick to point out that that in itself, in conjunction with an increased gasoline tax, would raise the same amount of revenue from the motorist to the consolidated revenue fund, and the increased gasoline tax would offset that and would provide an even greater incentive to drive a fuel-efficient car.
Mr. Speaker: The time for oral questions has expired.
Mr. Speaker: The member for Wentworth North (Mr. Cunningham) raised what he thought was a point of privilege. He has written me two notes. He is very incensed about my inability to respond in the way in which he thinks I should.
I thought the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) might have wanted to respond to his point of privilege. I am being inundated by notes, Hansards and everything else from that corner.
I want to remind the honourable member that it is the responsibility of the member, when he is dissatisfied with either the actions or the lack of action by a minister or any other member, to take advantage of the rules, by way of asking a question, by way of a debate in the committee or by way of a late show.
In a number of ways, he can approach the Minister of Transportation and Communications to seek redress for the thing he feels very strongly about.
I am here to enforce the rules. We do not have a freedom of information act. All I have to do is enforce the rules as I interpret them. If you have a grievance with a member, please don’t continue to write me notes. Seek redress in the normal fashion. It is as simple as that
Mr. Cunningham: Speaking on the point, if I could, Mr. Speaker, I merely drew to your attention a matter that I thought was an abuse of my privileges and other privileges of the House.
If I could have your indulgence, sir, I felt that you might take it upon yourself, in your capacity as the Speaker, to look into the matter.
Since that time, I have given you two occasions and two references in Hansard where members of the Legislature were told that the report in question was going to be distributed to us as soon as possible. The latter instance and the quote on December 13, 1979, in the Hansard reference you have was that it was at the printers and the members would get it as soon as it was completed. That reference was on December 13, 1979. The report distributed to us last night indicates the date was July 11, 1979. If those are factual and the date is correct --
Mr. Speaker: All this is very interesting, and we could talk about this for the next half hour. If you have a grievance, it is with the honourable minister. Why don’t you ask him a question at the appropriate time?
Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, my point is that we have been misled very severely.
Mr. Speaker: No, no.
Mr. Cunningham: Oh yes, we have.
Mr. Speaker: No, no. That’s not acceptable language.
Mr. Cunningham: No. We have been misled.
Mr. Speaker: No. You haven’t been misled.
Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, on the point: If I could say to you, when the minister tells us --
Mr. Speaker: Are you going to withdraw the allegation that the minister misled the House?
Mr. Cunningham: No, I am not.
Mr. Speaker: I think you should reconsider. I know you have very strong feelings about this issue, but don’t let them carry you away.
Mr. Cunningham: The minister said on December 13 it was at the printers, and it had already been printed.
Mr. Speaker: Please withdraw it.
Mr. Cunningham: I can’t withdraw it.
Mr. Speaker: Then I will have to ask you to leave. I’ll have to name the honourable member.
Mr. Speaker: Would you care to withdraw it?
Mr. Cunningham: No, I’m not going to withdraw it.
Mr. Speaker: I will have to name the honourable member. Please leave the chamber.
Mr. Cunningham left the chamber.
Hon. Mr. Snow: Was this a point of order or privilege before I arrived at the House?
Mr. Speaker: No. The honourable member felt very strongly about it, and I was simply asking, why didn’t he put a question to you?
Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, may I have the privilege to respond to the point of order?
First, may I say I regret I was not here sharp at 10 o’clock. I was tied up in a meeting. As I recall the situation -- and I think I can add enough together to guess what went on here this morning -- there was an interministerial committee of a number of ministries of the government working on this report. It so happened that a member of my staff was chairman of that committee. A report was completed. The report went to the Solicitor General of Ontario, as the Solicitor General was delegated to be the lead minister in this report.
The report was completed. I haven’t got the answer for the date of July 11, other than that it was the day before my birthday. What I believe happened is that the report in draft form was completed and dated that date.
I was told, when the question was asked me last December, that the report was at the printers and that it had not been received. The report went to the Solicitor General, not to me, and I had no access to the report and did not receive a copy myself until I received two copies yesterday afternoon, which I gave to the two critics.
Mr. Philip: On the same point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I think it should be pointed out, with respect to the member for Wentworth North, that he did not have the same opportunity that other members have to respond to the minister for an unsatisfactory answer, because the questions were directed to the minister by me on December 5 and December 18.
It was on those occasions that the minister indicated to the House that the report was at the printers. When we obtained the report last night, the member for Wentworth North correctly pointed out that it was dated July 11, 1979, and he asked why the minister had withheld it at that time.
I just want to point that out to the Speaker. I realize that the Speaker has made his ruling and had the member withdraw from the House. But I think this will at least shed some light on the matter and perhaps make the actions of the member for Wentworth North seem less objectionable to the Speaker.
Hon. Mr. Wells moved that on Friday, May 9, the time for question period be limited to 30 minutes, speakers on the order of the day be limited to 45 minutes, and the question be put before 1 p.m.
Motion agreed to.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
CAN-CON ENTERPRISES AND EXPLORATIONS LIMITED ACT
Mr. Rowe, on behalf of Mr. J. A. Taylor, moved first reading of Bill Pr13, An Act to revive Can-Con Enterprises and Explorations Limited.
Motion agreed to.
CITY OF TORONTO ACT
Mr. Renwick moved first reading of Bill Pr14, An Act respecting the City of Toronto.
Motion agreed to.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE PAPER
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I would like to table the answers to questions 130, 131 and 182 on the Notice Paper.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
BUDGET DEBATE (CONTINUED)
Resuming the adjourned debate on the amendment to the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government.
Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, during the remaining time I intend to speak on the budget debate, I want to cover two or three matters. The House will recall I was establishing certain considerations related to the death of a constituent of mine, Dolly Gallant, as the result of sniffing Pam. Later on in my remarks I intend to complete the comments with respect to that matter.
I would like to have the opportunity, I hope in an organized way but likely in a disorganized way, to deal with some of the matters arising out of the budget which are of basic concern to the province at the present time.
First of all, let me say that over the years I have had my own method of plotting the date for the next election. I would like to share that with the members. It is a relatively easy matter and can be put in diagrammatic form. I will have to put into words what could more readily be conveyed by a graph. I have it here, and members are well aware of what a graph is like. On one side there is the number of dollars, in this instance, and across the bottom are the dates, 1971, 1975, 1977 and 198-question mark.
One can do it by dates or guesswork, but there is a scientific method of determining that election date. I have so determined it. Because I would like to have the benefit of other members checking to see whether my date is correct, I am not going to disclose my date to the House. I am going to introduce them to the technique for finding the election date. It is quite simple.
Some people could take the date of the last election and relate it to another matter and say, “Oh, the election occurred on that date, which was the fixed element, and I know this was the result of that election, or a cause of that election.”
Mr. Nixon: How do we predict the election date?
Mr. Renwick: Let me go on here and explain. It is very easy, because we all know the date of the last election and we guess about the date of the next election. I want not only to reduce the guesswork to a minimum, but also to eliminate it.
Mr. Nixon: The NDP should have voted with us last night.
Mr. Renwick: If the members could bear with me on this, they will notice that this line on the chart is related to the deficit the province runs in any given year and what happens to the deficit figures of the province. In 1971, there was a peak in the deficit spending of the government, and there was an election in 1971. In 1975, there was an amazing peak in the deficit, and there was an election in 1975.
Mr. Nixon: What does the bottom line say?
Mr. Renwick: I know the member is excited to know the result. There was a significant peak again in the deficit in 1977 and, of course, there was an election in 1977. Now we come to the interesting part, because the deficit has been declining and was declining right through until this last budget. Now, as members can see, the rise to the next peak has already started. The projection of the deficit for 1981 is somewhat higher, which means the government is spending a little more money because it is an election year and they are responding to the needs of the --
Mr. Nixon: As long as you are voting for them, they don’t have much to worry about.
Mr. Renwick: I am quite happy to compress this into a single chart. Anybody who wants to have it can guess at what point in that rising line in the graph towards the deficit, at what point in that deficit we can say, “There, it has peaked; that coincides with the election date.”
I think it is foolproof and scientific, and I think it is beyond reproach. It eliminates all the guesswork about when the election is going to be. All one has to know is how high the peak will be. I have my guess or my exact calculation of when that peak will be and when the election will be. I cannot spot it to the day, but I can spot it to the month. It has, perhaps like a Gallup poll, a minor margin of error, but I guess I am accurate nine out of 10 times on the week it will be held.
I have my guess, and I ask any other members of the assembly to join with me in the scientific determination of the date when the next provincial election will be held. I think we are all interested in it.
I will make one other comment and that is that I think we can be sure or satisfied that the countdown has started. That seems to me to be obvious, but I am not quite sure. I am sure of the numbers; I start at 25, but I am not sure just when I am going to reach zero, other than by intersecting the countdown with the rise in the deficit. It is the intersection of those two points, give or take as I say the margin of error allowed by the Gallup poll, that allows one to pinpoint exactly the date of the next provincial election.
As I say, Mr. Speaker, I have my date. I have filed it with one of the leading chartered accountancy firms in secret and in private to show how detached I am about it. I am quite happy to have my method of calculation checked by any other members of the assembly, particularly those who are politically astute. By that, of course, I include any member of the Liberal Party. Perhaps I should correct that; maybe what I am saying will be of immense help to them because the one thing, one of the many ingredients that they lack in their political astuteness, is the sense of timing, and perhaps this will help them with their timing problem as to when the date of the next election will be.
I, as usual, lost a particular piece of paper that I had. I am sure I will find it shortly after I sit down, but there was a very real contradiction which appeared in the press which I have to draw to the attention of the members of the assembly and, I trust, to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) on the one hand and the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) on the other hand. I wish it were possible in a government such as this for people to recognize that the relationships in industry must have a corresponding relationship between the labour people and those responsible for labour policy.
All of us will recall the immense personal dedication and attachment that the Minister of Industry and Tourism has to global product mandating.
The key example he has used time and time again is that of a company that he believes to be a Canadianized company, even though it is not owned in Canada, but a really fine corporate citizen that has honed down the question of local product mandating in a way which permits Canada to be involved in the export markets, even though all we have is a subsidiary plant of an American corporation or a small component part of a multinational corporation, whichever analysis one may choose.
That company that is the star in the firmament of the Minister of Industry and Tourism as he illustrates the benefits to be derived from global product mandating is the Westinghouse Company. I believe it is correct that the president of Westinghouse is one of the key members of the task force or working group that he has set out to develop for us a whole technique and process by which we can go to global product mandating.
I am going to touch lightly on the next part. I don’t know whether the matter is under appeal as yet, but my colleague the member for Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie) raised a matter yesterday about the judgement of the Ontario Labour Relations Board and what appears to be an evident attempt to disperse the Canadian Westinghouse operation. They are trying to disperse their operations in smaller areas around the province so that there will be no union obstruction to their plans.
I want anybody who is interested in it to take into consideration at least the article which Wilfred List wrote in the Globe and Mail on April 30, setting out this concern of the board. For those who are really interested in the corporate techniques of avoiding union involvement with their operations I recommend they read the whole of the judgement of the board in connection with that matter. I can’t take it further because the matter may well be a subject of appeal.
But I am saying only by way of illustration that the Minister of Labour of this government and the Minister of Industry and Tourism cannot operate in water-tight compartments. They have a very close and a profound relationship. This is one of the matters I would have liked to have had an opportunity to address this morning. However, it was seen that perhaps I had asked too much of an omnibus question in one of them and I didn’t get a chance to address it. It was that the Minister of Industry and Tourism on behalf of the government is engaged in a negotiation about jobs with the Chrysler corporation and the guarantees about jobs in Chrysler corporation over a great period of time.
There has not been a single indication of any kind that the Minister of Labour, other than in his capacity as one of the members of the cabinet, has had any participation in those negotiations. It is always the same: Labour is never consulted about matters of importance, yet it always carries the can for the problems that occur because of any opportunity to negotiate and to treat labour’s role as a partner in the operation.
Whatever anyone else may say about it, it is time that the corporate practices of all kinds of Canadian industry in the industrial field must be set either by Canadian companies or at least divorced from the kind of corporate practices that may be successful or may be the pattern that is used by the parent corporations of American companies with subsidiaries here. The question is much broader than that but I wanted to focus attention on that specific contradiction which occurs time and time again -- that a company could be engaged, whether they are ultimately held to be subject to the strictures imposed on them by the Ontario Labour Relations Board because of some failure in the language of the Labour Relations Act is not the relevant consideration. The relevant consideration is the kind of technique which that company was using over a period of time in order to so decentralize its operations that it could destroy the union in its operations.
What were they going to substitute for it? What a delightful phrase there is at the end of Wilfred List’s column; “There would be a commitment to good labour-management policies and to increased employee job satisfaction.” Oh, that would be just tremendous for those people who were fortunate enough to work for Canadian Westinghouse after the dispersal of the plants took place and the unions had to start again to try to organize in the kinds of plants that have been the bane of our existence here, such as the Fleck plant and Radio Shack, dispersed in small pockets around the province. It is a serious problem. It is one of the ramifications of the price we pay here for the foreign control of the Canadian economy and, particularly, of the industrial establishment in the province itself.
One thing is a constant and continuing mystery to me. I suppose at one time I used to consider it, one way or another, a frustration. On occasion I was perhaps angry about it. Now it is simply a matter of frustration to me that when the Treasurer makes a statement in the Legislature about his view of the world so far as the Ontario economy is concerned, the lights are on. The Globe and Mail plays the story big. It’s front page; it’s editorial comment. But when the opposition parties spend a reasonable amount of time in response in alternative positions with respect to economic matters, the Globe and Mail carries little, if any, of that dialogue.
I speak particularly of the reply made to the budget address by my colleague the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren) on April 29 of this week. I could find nothing about the model he was proposing. The overall outline of the model he was setting before us for the governance of the economy, the relationship of the government to the economy, the nature of the economy, that alternative model, received no consideration, no analysis and no comment.
On very odd occasions we may find there is no descriptive material or no reporting material in the paper, by virtue obviously of the editors, because the reports do go in from here, but one will suddenly find there is an editorial about it and nothing else. Most of us know at least a little bit about the origin of most editorials, that somewhere there is a report in one of the issues of a newspaper which leads up to and deserves the comment of an editorial.
I don’t know why, and I suppose it is one of the most profound problems we face in a time of very great unease and uncertainty about the economic future of Canada, let alone of Ontario, somehow or other there is no way in which one can get public interest in a dialogue about the alternatives. I have said, both in the throne speech and indirectly in some of the remarks I made last night on the motion of no confidence proposed by the Liberal Party, which I reiterate today, that our party was founded at a time and as part of the basic substructure of this party there is a commitment not only to the principles of democratic socialism but to a recognition that the achievement of those goals can only be if we do in some way have a sense of economic independence, a sense that we have some way of making decisions about our economy which will result in certain results being achieved.
We have lost that. We lost it very clearly, and one need not be an historian to allude again to the 15-year period from 1945 to 1960 when it came to the consciousness of some of the leading people dealing with policy matters that we had to call a halt, we had to look at what was happening and we had to do something about it.
I mentioned last night what happened to the two men in public life who dared to raise the matters in any significant way. I drew attention to the fact that it coincided with the time of the founding of the New Democratic Party and that we have adhered to that policy ever since; that the alternative model, the only way in which we can establish some sense of distance in an interrelated world, is to regain to a reasonable extent the kind of control which we have to have in respect of our own economic affairs.
I want to turn to the automotive industry. There are very few members here on this beautiful Friday morning at 10 minutes to 12, but for those who are here, perhaps some have watched that wonderful television series, The Music of Man, and perhaps some of us have bought the book. I missed some of the shows but I bought the book and I opened it, and perhaps my venture into the automotive industry could be placed somewhat in the words used by Yehudi Menuhin in the foreword to that book, “that fools walk in where angels fear to tread but that may be the ultimate justification for fools and, indeed, may have been the original conception which God had when he put fools on earth.”
So, in that spirit, I am going to make a few comments about the automotive industry, not with respect to any detailed knowledge that I have about it, because I don’t have any. I have none whatsoever except what I have learned and absorbed in the course of the time that we have been in the assembly during the period of the operation of the auto pact, which happens to coincide with my particular time here as representative of the riding of Riverdale.
I know half a dozen very simple things that need to be clearly stated in this assembly in order to bring ourselves into the 1980s. In the 15-year period since the auto pact came into force -- I believe, if I am correct, that it was finally ratified in the United States Senate at the end of 1965, so at the end of this year it will be roughly 15 years it has been in operation -- times have changed immensely. We have been talking a lot about Chrysler. I want to talk in the context of the Chrysler problem but I want to talk in a larger context, at least a little bit, about the automotive industry.
I was prompted to do so because of the concerns which have been developing and have been expressed in this assembly over the whole range of that vexed problem. I was pleased to have had an opportunity to read the address given yesterday by the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) which touches upon the very areas which are uppermost in the minds of many of us and I want to draw to the attention of the assembly the two key matters.
There are other matters in the speech, some by way of background, some by way of analysis, very little by way of goals and objectives. But there are two very important goals, not to downplay in any way the comments the minister made in the assembly referring to this very speech about the initiative being taken with respect to the Ontario Research Foundation and the development of a special centre there for automotive matters.
In my judgement, the minister made two key statements yesterday in view of the preceding introductory remarks which he made about the automotive industry. He said it is time for this country to seek commitments from the auto makers to increase the level of Canadian value added in world production to a level equal to 100 per cent of Canadian sales. In short, the Canadian content should be raised from its present 65 per cent to 100 per cent to equal Canadian sales.
The second major goal, as I understand it, is that we should insist on obtaining from the auto makers a commitment that on a five-year average basis they will balance corporate trade between Canada and the United States. In other words, this horrendous deficit we have been facing over a considerable period of time -- particularly as it began to grow during the 1970s and culminated at the end of 1979 in a tremendous deficit in the auto pact trade, particularly with respect to parts -- which appears to be headed in the same direction this year, would be eliminated.
Let me set the context, as I see it, of the automotive industry in the world and the kind of transition -- maybe very far advanced, maybe actually arrived at -- whose results may have already taken place. The transitional element that becomes very clear to me is that if I want to understand the automotive industry I have to go to Oshawa or Windsor. I have to understand Oshawa and Windsor as places where people live, move and have their being by virtue of the automotive industry.
If I want to understand Windsor and Oshawa I have to go to Detroit, because that is where all the basic, fundamental decisions with respect to the automotive industry of any one of the Big Three industries are made. We all know who the Big Three are at this time. I need not go into why it is, but the decisions are made in Detroit. The decisions are not made in Canada. I will come back to that perhaps in a moment or so.
Let me just repeat that. To understand the automotive industry I have to go to Windsor or to Oshawa, and to understand Oshawa and Windsor I have to go to Detroit, because that is where the Big Three are located and that is where the decisions are made about the automotive industry.
Another aspect of the automotive industry which comes through very clearly to me is whatever the complex process -- and I am quite sure the historians of the industry will write about it or think about it or talk about it for a long time -- by which the decision was made to down-size the automobile, down-size the automotive ingredient of private transportation accommodation by reducing the size of the cars, that came about fundamentally and very directly amidst all the complexities of that decision because of government standards.
I happen to think that if you want to single out the basic thing which led to General Motors deciding to move effectively to down-size, it was because the company recognized it had to accept the emission standards, the miles per hour standards and the safety standards imposed by government. They fought against those, but there came a point when they had to accept them.
We in Canada have to recognize the correlative responsibility, either at this level of government or at the level of the federal government in Ottawa, that if we want to move specifically with respect to the automotive industry to down-size the cars to conserve our energy in this province, we have to be very effective and determined about the kinds of standards which government will impose in those three areas. We should be a leader in that field, not a follower.
Let me make a third point about the automotive industry. It is, in my judgement, no longer something which can be talked about as a domestic industry, as though there were a domestic industry in the United States which is quite large and a somewhat smaller domestic industry in Canada, relative to the size of the country, and the auto pact was a result of the allocation of a sort of common domestic industry.
The industry at the present time is an international market, and it is very clearly an international market. There are no longer just the Big Three, but at least the Big Eight. Probably over the course of time that will be reduced to five or six, and maybe Chrysler, in the course of time, will be one of the casualties of that reduction. Only time will tell.
The other point which comes through to me very clearly is that General Motors is at a point in its development where it is no longer an American corporation with foreign subsidiaries, but it is a multinational corporation. It certainly did not appear, even though it was of mammoth size in the United States and Canadian markets, having at this time upwards of 60, 65, 70 per cent of the share of the market, that it really had any commitment to overseas expansion the way that some others have. General Motors, at this point in time, is no longer an American corporation with foreign subsidiaries, but is, in fact, a multinational corporation which happens to have its controlling centre in the United States.
It is interesting that General Motors does not appear, on balance, to be any longer mainly concerned about whether it will run afoul of the antitrust laws in relation to increasing its share of the market at the expense of Ford or Chrysler. That it is a multinational in the much broader context of an international market and in the automotive industry must be taken into consideration.
The last very general point in the framework I’m trying to indicate in a very linear way that we must understand is that the decisions of the Big Eight are made at their home offices and nowhere else.
When our caucus was first in contact with Chrysler last summer in order to get some idea or inkling of their plans, when I talked with the president of Chrysler Canada and with one of the vice-presidents, and then when they came and met with the leader of our party and some of my colleagues here in Toronto last September to try and get some handle on what Chrysler was about in Canada, one of the principal points they made was: “You’ve got to understand that Chrysler Canada is sort of separate from Chrysler US. We have a good record. We haven’t got the kinds of problems that Chrysler US have.”
It was clearly part of the line we were supposed to accept. I don’t think any of us really accepted the particular distinction that somehow or other Chrysler Canada was a viable, going operation with no financial problems and that they sort of ran their own show here in Canada and what happened across the river in Detroit was kind of insulated by the river and you couldn’t get there by tunnel. If you wanted to communicate you had to swim over, which would take a little longer time.
It wasn’t so. Obviously, the decision with respect to the engine plant was not taken by Chrysler Canada. It was taken in Detroit, by the home office. I want everyone to understand that we should no longer kid ourselves about where the decisions are made.
I tried this morning to get some indication from the government as to who the principals were, who were the persons who made the final decisions. I wanted to know not who they had to consult with as a group, but when the chins were down, who said “Yes, that’s the deal,” among the parties.
What did I get? That the principals are the government of Ontario and the government of Canada and the loan board in the United States, under the US treasurer. There is no personalization allowed in the game at all.
We find all these negotiations that we were supposed to be waiting to hear an announcement about were not being conducted among principals at all. They were being conducted among certain negotiators who had to go back and report for further instructions. What good would an announcement have been had it taken place on May 1 or May 2?
I would hope and expect the announcement that is made with respect to Chrysler aid will be made by the top players in the game and not by anybody else. The top players in my judgement in any event are, in the United States, at least the treasurer of the United States, Mr. Miller, if not the President of the United States; the top player in Chrysler Canada is Lee Iacocca and nobody else; the top player in Canada is the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Pierre Trudeau; and the top player in Ontario is Premier Davis.
When the record is clear, we want to understand they are the ones who make the final decision. In my judgement, the announcement of a deal will only be stuck together and put together when that particular time comes.
The decision which has been ongoing, and ongoing, is about the protection of jobs. The Conservative government has enough wits to understand it can’t again get away with a Ford deal. They can’t again make public moneys of the province available without some substantial and significant commitment about the people involved in the industry to which they are making assistance available.
If we have gained one thing, perhaps we have gained a little understanding about that. They have at least had the wits to understand that. My assessment is and the record can prove me wrong, but until it does I will hold to it -- the pressure from this party, its insistence, again and again, on the guarantee of jobs if public funds are to be made available, has provided at least a good part of the stiffening of the government’s attitude, let alone their own political survival -- if it has a political survival as a party, in the province. They understand as we understand that they’ve got to have the job component.
I was using my language reasonably advisedly this morning when the minister said, in response to a question from the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) that there hadn’t been any break-off in negotiations. I used what I believe and am convinced is the accurate term, there was a breakdown in negotiations, because only when this question of jobs can be sorted out and the principal players -- not the ones who were negotiating and whose every word we were listening to -- are satisfied on the job question, will the negotiations resume, and not before.
It was couched in very polite and very nice terms, that they’ve really all gone home on a nice May weekend and they were going to sit around and toss this around somewhere in the upper levels, and when that was ironed out they were going to come back. They said: “We are not near the point of derailment. Negotiations are very delicate and very sensitive” -- all of the nonsense we have to listen to when we are trying to find out the kind of information we require in order to make certain there is no breakdown in communication between this party and that party about where we stand on that issue. Therefore, it has become a case, as often happens in this kind of situation, of having an international market with the Big Eight operating in it under the conditions and within the framework I tried to elaborate a few minutes ago.
We have the basic reduction. I don’t have any magic about the number, but I think the round number is about 15,000. It is the guarantee of that 15,000 jobs. What sets them all scurrying to their dovecotes for the weekend and for the next several days are the implications, not only for Chrysler Canada and not only for the multinational or American company with its foreign subsidiaries, Chrysler in the US, but the implications of that with respect to the whole of the automotive industry.
That is the very fundamental problem. As members know, as I know, as I hope the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) knows, as I trust the Premier (Mr. Davis) will know, and as I hope his cabinet colleagues will know, as presently structured or forecast there is no conceivable way that a promise by Chrysler to maintain 15,000 jobs in Windsor can be worth anything in real terms unless the outrun of that is a restructuring over time, by way of significant investment and co-ordination of activities, of the operations in Canada of Chrysler.
That is the only way 15,000 jobs can be guaranteed. In any real business sense, in the atmosphere in which we are working, with the component parts that now remain of Chrysler, recognizing and remembering that the engine plant appears to be going to oblivion, there is no way it can support that number of jobs. Yet I find a real element of hope in this very difficult situation.
If I were asked to put any money into Chrysler, if I were to look at its past track record and the way in which it operated from, I suppose, the early 1950s though the 1960s, there would be nothing in any of its corporate judgements which would lead me to invest a plugged nickel in that company.
I want to set that aside. I hold no brief for the change in the top management or direction of Chrysler Corporation, but I am prepared to set it aside because the price is so high and the target is so high, namely, the protection of those 15,000 jobs. It is very interesting that the Minister of Industry and Tourism has set out these five-year goals for the balance in trade in the automotive industry between Canada and the US and the 100 per cent Canadian content equal to Canadian sales to be achieved over a short period of time.
I hope he understands the implication that that means that part of the commitment for 15,000 jobs is a significant commitment to the restructuring in Ontario, in Canada, of the Chrysler operation. That means a commitment with respect to what can be done about that engine plant and what can be done in a number of other areas as well.
When the second-string negotiators went home for the weekend they went home, not just to plead, if there was any pleading going to take place about the jobs, but to consider what are the implications of the demand made by this government which, in my judgement, would not have been made but for this party. The implications for Chrysler Canada, as they are worked out, and the commitment achieved and the plans made about the nature of Chrysler five years down the pipe, are a kind of model of the restructuring that is going to have to take place with the other auto makers in Canada. That is very clear.
It is interesting that in the minister’s address yesterday he recognized something this government is always reluctant to, that it has to talk to the owners of the companies. Another thing is that it is about time we got some public information tabled in a public form that you and I can understand, Mr. Speaker, about whatever they call it, the Canadian value-added content, or as I prefer to say, the Canadian content of the cars that are manufactured, as we start to demand that they move at least from 65 per cent to 100 per cent.
The implications of the request for job guarantees do not involve a reluctant person on one side and somebody asking something on the other side. If one keeps asking long enough, and if they want the money long enough, they will agree. The implications are fundamental to the automotive industry as it must and will and should develop.
When I was trying to think of some of the things I might want to say about the Chrysler situation in this debate, and when I spoke the other night and used up part of my time on another matter, I was quite pessimistic about it. I see some element of understanding, hope and possibility in the statement made by the minister and the two goals he has set out.
It certainly is a far cry from the day a question was asked in this House of the Honourable Stan Randall, when he was Minister of Economics and most everything else in that government. Ten or more years ago -- I suppose it is 10 or 15 years ago -- we asked him specifically in this House if he was taking part in any discussions in Ottawa with respect to the auto pact, because 30 per cent of the industry then was in Ontario. He said, “Oh no, that is a federal matter. They do all that negotiation and discussion.”
At least we have come to the point where the government of Ontario is participating, and I use the term in its more positive sense. I hope the spanner they have thrown into the works sticks until we get the restructuring commitment of Chrysler with the co-operation of Chrysler US, which runs the organization, and with the co-operation of the government of the United States. We should stop this nonsense that somehow or other, in the strange process of negotiation, we begin to get the sense that the United States has set aside its plans to assist Chrysler US because we are all waiting on Canada.
It is a funny day when that kind of decision is suddenly reversed and we are the ones responsible for how it works. I do not mind that; we will take the credit if we can protect those jobs. I do not mind sharing the credit a little bit with the government, but I will share damned little elsewhere. It is the reiteration by my colleagues, the member for Windsor-Riverside (Mr. Cooke) and the member for Windsor-Sandwich (Mr. Bounsall), that over a period of some 18 months has established their credentials and brought into focus in this Legislature the nature of the kinds of problems posed in a symbolic way, if I can use the term, by the Chrysler question.
I suppose at this point in time I have said enough, but I always have a postscript or an afterthought in situations such as this.
I think the government of Ontario has to be in a position, either alone or by agreement in concert with the government of Canada, that if the terms and conditions are not adhered to by Chrysler, in the restructured sense I have forecast will have to take place to support the 15,000 jobs, which is a small participation by us, but essential to us, where it is clear about what it will get and what it will do with the Chrysler operation as a whole in Canada if the events occur that mean the government has to take it over.
Therefore, they must be damned certain that the plants of Chrysler Corporation as a whole in Canada represent a going concern, a viable operation, so that we won’t be getting buildings, sheds and equipment that can be sold off or be of no value except for scrap. The government has to foresee the day it may have to interpose a receiver and manager on the Chrysler operation in Canada. If they do or if they take a pledge of the shares and realize on the pledge of the shares that they own the Chrysler operation, they will want a viable and going concern. I am not so certain the government has envisaged that as a possibility in this area.
We are not in any way speaking otherwise than in a positive sense. So long as the goals and objectives are clear they are worth the game and worth the candle and worth the cost it will be if we can establish it, whatever its ultimate future, as a symbolic way in which the smallest of the Big Three in Canada will provide a model to which General Motors and Ford will also have to adhere if the future of the automotive industry in an international world is to have our fair share. I hope it will not be a particular model for other industries, but I think in the automotive industry it has to be that way.
I recognize and I guess everyone in the House recognizes that the time has also come -- and the minister has been saying this, so I am not suggesting it is novel to us in any way -- where market access for the other offshore manufacturers, the European manufacturers and the Japanese manufacturers, must now give way to manufacturing and investment in Canada if those companies, the Big Five that make up the Big Eight, are to continue to have import access to Canada. They have to come in here and have to make a planned commitment by way of investment and future in Canada if they are going to be allowed to have the benefits of access to the Canadian market. That is in no way a threat. I think it is part of the reality under which we live. I welcome the fact that the government seems to be aware of that.
The auto pact is called the US-Canada auto pact. So far as Canada is concerned, I think in a sense it could open the door to models with other countries about access to Canada and the terms and conditions by which they will participate here in Ontario or elsewhere in Canada in the automotive field.
One other aspect of this I did want to touch upon very briefly is the energy conservation aspect. We mustn’t forget that area in this multifaceted problem. My understanding is -- and my figures are accurate because it was the government itself which covers them. They were certainly accurate as of September 6, because they had to raise some money in the United States for Hydro at that time.
They filed a prospectus which obviously was gone over with a fine-tooth comb with respect to the statements which were made in it. But in 1978, Ontario’s allocation of primary energy consumption was: petroleum 40 per cent; natural gas, 23 per cent; hydro-generated electricity, 13 per cent; coal-generated electricity, about 15 per cent; nuclear- generated electricity, about 10 per cent. The average rate of growth of energy consumption from 1974 to 1978 was 2.5 per cent.
“Most natural gas and crude oil requirements are obtained from western Canada. About 4.5 per cent of Ontario’s total energy consumption was derived from foreign crude oil in 1978,” which is a rather interesting comparison with the previous prospectus of the government, dated November 15, 1978. That one, about a year earlier, said, “About 0.5 per cent of Ontario’s total energy consumption was derived From foreign crude oil in 1976.” Those are probably significant figures. In 1976, 0.5 per cent of our total energy consumption was derived from foreign crude oil, and by 1978, despite all the problems, about 4.5 per cent of Ontario’s total energy consumption was derived from foreign crude oil.
Let me talk for a moment about the 40 per cent of crude oil consumption in the province. Our best estimate is that about 30 per cent of that 40 per cent, 30 per cent of all the crude oil used in Ontario, is in private automotive transportation. I am sure there can be arguments give or take a few percentage points on that, but a significant part of the energy consumption and our dependence on crude oil relates to the use of the private automobile. In this province, as a conservation measure, we need to have a total commitment to the down-sizing of automobiles and the energy-per-mile standards.
I am not worrying about constitutional jurisdiction. Surely at this time in Canada, if there could be agreement anywhere on any topic it would be on that topic by all levels of government. The enforcement of miles per litre -- I guess that is the modem terminology -- is an essential ingredient of the nature of the kinds of cars that we are to have in Canada. Ontario has a profound role to play if we are to get a handle at all upon the dependence of this province on energy or crude oil consumption.
As usual, I have half a dozen other matters that are important to me, but their urgency seems to have been dispelled somewhat and I don’t think I will take up any further time in the House about that area.
I want to complete my remarks of last week when I spoke about the tragic death in my riding of Dolly Gallant, as a result of the sniffing of Pam. Some of my colleagues will be interested in my closing remarks, but I am most anxious that the House be acquainted with the work which has been done on my behalf in connection with this matter, in an attempt to be helpful about what this assembly should in due course do about it.
It was drawn to my attention that in this morning’s paper, the Globe and Mail, datelined Sault Ste. Marie, was the heading:
“Take Cooking Sprays from Store Shelves, Inquest Recommends.” The story says, “A 16-year-old Sault youth died shortly after inhaling a cooking spray, a coroner’s jury was told last night.” I am not going to read the whole of the story except to say that the director of the poison control centre of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto told the jury that it was the third time this year, 1980, that he was asked to testify at an inquest of a youth who had died after inhaling fumes from similar products. So it is a current, topical and urgent matter of protection of young people in this particular area and I am not underestimating, and I think my comments will bear out that I was not in any way underestimating the difficulty of how we accomplish this goal.
Let me continue with these comments which do not allow themselves to extemporaneous comment or, indeed, my particular or peculiar form of Legislative Assembly rhetoric.
The topic of aerosols has received much less attention than other drugs such as tobacco, alcohol and marijuana. There is a definite tendency to steer away from the hard drugs such as LSD, speed, other street drugs and, of course, solvents and aerosols. The material available to the teachers covering alcohol and tobacco are much more abundant. The Addiction Research Foundation’s recently published lesson plans covered alcohol for grades nine and 10. Soon after, the Ministry of Health also produced alcohol lesson plans which virtually served the same purpose. This would seem to be an unnecessary duplication of material and prevented the publication of lesson plans on other drugs which are desperately needed.
Dr. Goodstadt expressed this viewpoint and was at a loss to explain why the Ministry of Health failed to co-ordinate its efforts with those of the Addiction Research Foundation. An important factor in drug education should be the particular group to which attention should be directed. It was previously mentioned that there are certain high-risk groups of children. Efforts should be made to identify these groups and to aim the material in the right direction.
It is also apparent that drug education should begin at an early age. At present, the highest concentration is aimed at grades seven to 10 for alcohol, grades four to eight for tobacco and grades seven to eight for other drugs. If the education is to have any preventive effects, the facts concerning the dangers of drugs to the body should be presented to the child before he or she begins to indulge in drugs.
As one youth worker stated: “To tell kids to stop doing it is pretty useless. After a while, it becomes part of their lifestyle and then you are asking them to give up a big part of themselves.” If children are old enough to use drugs then they are old enough to know what harm they are doing to their bodies and minds.
The objectives of drug education, and I put these as possible objectives: If it is decided that the present level of drug education in Ontario is not adequate and that this situation is in need of improvement, then some viable, substantive objectives must be identified. In order to identify desired objectives it is worthwhile to consider the present objectives behind drug education. The existing objectives fall into two categories, cognitive and effective. The cognitive objective attempts to impart some knowledge and understanding regarding drugs, various aspects of drug use; the effective objective places an emphasis on issues dealing with feelings and values.
A third traditional set of objectives are the behavioural, but these are rarely stated in programs or curriculum guidelines. Behavioural objectives are related to more fundamental human behaviour and are considered to depend on what the individual does with what he is given or experiences as part of the course. In terms of drug education, behavioural objectives might include decrease in the use of drugs, less harmful use of drugs, not starting to use drugs and stopping the use of drugs.
Michael Goodstadt claims that no one has the courage actually to state these objectives in any curriculum and, having stated them, to try to build them into the development of a curriculum. Maybe these are an example of the objectives, or at least the direction, those involved in the field of education should begin to consider. It must be stressed that at the present time there is an inherent obligation on the part of individuals in the education field to inform potential abusers and current abusers of drugs of the hazards that exist in drug abuse, even if this entails only a lesson in actual physical effects.
Certainly the case of Dolly Gallant illustrates this point. It has been reported as having been discovered during the inquest into the death of Dolly Gallant that she sniffed Pam cooking spray after being informed by a friend that it was safer than glue. What would have been the outcome if Dolly Gallant had, in fact, known this information was false, we will now not know.
What are the recommendations, therefore, that I would like to make to the assembly for consideration? They are
1. To urge the federal government to ban the use of fluorocarbons; that is, the propellants used in these particular kinds of sprays for the reasons which I have given earlier in my remarks;
2. To promote action to limit the sale of products such as solvents in aerosols to those under the age of 18, either through legislation or through increased community awareness or on both fronts;
3. To promote strong action on the part of the various community resources -- and I have set out the way in which that kind of community resource can be mobilized -- in order to bring a maximum effort to bear in the particular community in which interested persons reside;
4. The following two recommendations which were contained in the Addiction Research Foundation’s study on the status of drug education, and I direct them to the Ministry of Education.
The Ministry of Education health education guidelines should be examined:
(a) To determine the most appropriate groups to receive alcohol and other drug education. At the present time, recommendations refer only to grade differences. Guidelines should take into account the influence of other target group characteristics, including sex, academic standing, drug use, geographic location.
(b) To make explicit the basis for the recommendations concerning groups to which drug education will be directed, since at the present time the basis for these recommendations are not immediately obvious.
(c) To make explicit the drugs, other than alcohol and tobacco, to be included in drug education curricula and the class times to be allocated in the teaching of drug education at each level.
(d) The second major recommendation of the Addiction Research Foundation, namely, careful experimental studies of the impact of current tobacco and cannabis education should be undertaken to determine the effectiveness of these programs for students, especially those in junior grades.
Such studies should include a longitudinal analysis of the relationship between various changes in various aspects of drug use, attitudes, knowledge and awareness regarding these drugs and a longitudinal examination of the possible preventive, ameliorating and facilitating effects of drug education.
I hope to be able on occasion to pursue that topic, but I did want to have a somewhat extended statement on the record so that we would all, as members of the assembly, have a reference point which we could use as a departure for improvement in the circumstances in the hope and anticipation that no other member of the assembly will be faced with this kind of tragic death of young people, not necessarily that these events can be prevented in total, but so that we can at least see that we reduce to the absolute minimum the tragic results which come from the use of what are considered to be normal products purchased in the stores in the province.
I have gone on at sufficient length, and I therefore thank the members for the attention they have given to me, making these remarks in the budget debate.
Hon. Mr. Gregory: Mr. Speaker, before I make my minor contribution to the budget debate I would like to take the opportunity -- I know it is unusual, to congratulate the member for York North (Mr. Hodgson) on his victory last night. I am sure most members know what I am referring to. We are very happy and it certainly is a great personal victory for that honourable member.
There is a certain amount of excitement in speaking after the member for Riverdale, the excitement being that one wonders whether one is ever going to get on and whether he is going to finish. I listened very attentively. I wanted to go out to the washroom, but I was afraid to, so I might have to cut my speech short.
Then, of course, when one knows one is going to be followed by the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon), one feels a little like a ham sandwich with the bread in the middle and the two hams on the outside. I know my remarks will not be nearly as important as those made by those two distinguished members.
As always, I welcome the opportunity to speak to the honourable members in regard to the budget, and naturally to speak in support of the budget. I have been following the budget debate very closely and I must confess I am somewhat perplexed. The member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson), who is the opposition Treasury and Economics critic, stated that his response was a realistic assessment of the province’s realities. I know the constituents in Mississauga disagree. They contend he is preaching doom and gloom, which we know is wrong and ultimately self-defeating.
I do not like to address remarks to a member when he is not here, which brings up another subject. What happens to the crazies of Thursday night on a bright Friday morning? Where do they all go to get out of the sunlight?
Mr. Nixon: Are you talking about the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Drea)?
Hon. Mr. Gregory: No, I am talking about the crazies who were here last night. We got into the glue-sniffing bit. I sometimes wonder whether we get some of that around here Thursday nights.
Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, is that an appropriate way to refer to the honourable members of the Legislature?
Mr. Acting Speaker: It was going through my mind. I do not think it is appropriate to refer to members as crazies. He did not refer to any particular member. I wonder if you could modify that in some way so that it would not cast aspersions on all members of the House.
Hon. Mr. Gregory: Mr. Speaker, I retract what I said. I’ll say that some of the members of the House are not crazy part of the time, but most of them are crazy all of the time. Does that help?
Mr. Acting Speaker: I think, under the circumstances, we all understand.
Hon. Mr. Gregory: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I hope nobody will take that personally. A certain amount of paranoia goes around.
For the last four years, the member for London Centre has played the same tune. Just five days ago, he predicted that when the next budget is introduced in 1981, he will be sitting on this side. I do not know whether he was predicting a Liberal victory, or whether he is going to cross the floor. If it is the former, I think it is wishful thinking; if it is the latter, I think it is somewhat presumptuous to think we would accept him. Either way, it is a ridiculous remark.
Despite the carping and criticism from the opposition, the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) is to be congratulated on a very intelligent budget. By my count, every proposal in the budget was designed to better our lives in Ontario. I was delighted to see all the proposals and I know the voters of Mississauga East were too.
Mississauga East is, as the honourable members know, quite a distance from being a depressed area. We have the good fortune to share an enormous number of amenities in my community, and we are happy to see the government taking steps to ensure the good fortune we enjoy in Mississauga will be shared throughout the province.
At this point, when we’re talking in terms of slow growth, some remarks I made in replying to the throne speech might bear repeating. I would like to repeat what I said.
“. . . industrial development in Mississauga continued to grow in 1979. It was up some $28 million over 1978. It is predicted that it will continue to grow at the same rate and that it will continue to lead Metro Toronto and surrounding regions in attracting new industries this year.
“Recent statistics released in Mississauga show that the total value of all building last year increased by $39 million over the $250 million recorded in 1978. Although commercial building was off slightly, down $4 million from the $36-million value in 1978, industrial building was up $28 million to $88 million, and residential construction was up $23 million to $160 million. It is worthwhile noting that a report indicates that 45 per cent of all new industry in the Metro area is located in Mississauga.
“While it can be argued that the depressed economy and high interest rates may keep Mississauga from matching the 1979 industrial totals, I am certain that the city’s programs to encourage new industry will continue to pay off in 1980.”
It speaks well for the advancement of the economy at least in one segment of Ontario. I think it is much the same right across the entire province.
It’s very easy to take the opposition remarks with a grain of salt because they make the same comments year after year. It is the Treasurer’s job to forecast the economic outlook for the Ontario economy. Last year, many opposition members thought he was too optimistic. I recall the Treasurer forecast that we would create 127,000 jobs in the province and have an unemployment rate of 7.1 per cent for the year. It was contended that such a forecast would create the wrong impression about our economy, especially when we remember that 133,000 jobs were created in 1978.
This government created 161,000 jobs in Ontario in 1979, and our unemployment rate for the year averaged 6.5 per cent. I’m proud of this government, and I’m very proud that 68,000 of those jobs were in manufacturing, following the 36,000 jobs we created in 1978 in that sector.
There is no doubt about it, in Ontario we are strong. Relative to the United States we have our costs under control, and the depreciated Canadian dollar is making us more competitive in foreign markets and here at home. As the Treasurer has stated on many occasions, we can’t relax; we must watch our comparative cost performance with the United States. That’s the barometer.
I believe the Americans are struggling with an inflation rate in the neighbourhood of 18 per cent. My secretary recently returned from England, where she was on a visit. She tells me mortgage interest rates there are approaching 28 per cent.
Mr. MacDonald: What do you expect under a Tory government?
Mr. Nixon: They got in trouble under Labour.
Hon. Mr. Gregory: That’s where they got into trouble, all right. As usual, the Tory government is having to clean up the mess left by a previous Labour government.
Our rate is high, as well, and some forecasts we have seen are pessimistic about the prospects for further inflation. We all know that inflation is linked to high interest rates. I think that even the member for London Centre understands that. High interest rates have been especially hard on small businesses, farmers, and people who have to refinance their homes. We won’t have low interest rates until we beat inflation. Inflation is a national issue, and I’m certain that it’s of great concern to everyone in this Legislature.
Ontario is a province open to foreign competition, so it is imperative that we continue to press our opinions on the federal government. It is also imperative that we avoid panic, as has been ably demonstrated by a chap named Viv Woolford, in Mississauga, who is a man interested in mortgage rates. He started Proposition 89. Generating excessive inflationary expectation does no one any good. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think this is exactly what happened.
Mr. Woolford perhaps panicked. He became hysterical, as many members did. Even the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) came out to Mississauga and added to the inflammatory remarks. As with some television involving Mr. Shulman, I think those things have come home to roost. So what we have is a rather panic-stricken young man, rightfully so perhaps, because he was in danger of losing his home. I think this has spawned many groups around Ontario that are charging off in the wrong direction to solve a problem. Mr. Woolford unfortunately lost not only his credibility but much of his support.
In 1980 in Ontario our costs are in line, and we have the basic resources for an investment boom. The province has been getting positive signals from businessmen and investors about the state of our economy. They are increasing their investment dollars in new plants and upgraded equipment. They have confidence in our economy and in our ability to expand.
Ontario business investment will total about $13 billion in 1980, close to 16 per cent more than in 1979, and some two per cent higher than that expected for all of Canada. Further, the Treasurer has stated that the spending plans of large Ontario manufacturing firms provide an additional basis for optimism. Large manufacturing firms in this province are expected to increase their investment spending by more than 72 per cent compared with spending increases of about 19 per cent in the rest of Canada.
The 1980s will also witness large investment spending in energy projects -- pipelines, tar sands, heavy oil upgrader plants and coal developments. Mining projects should also flourish. It is, therefore, mandatory that we harness this demand to make certain that all Canadians benefit. I know all members are aware that we are now pushing this with the federal government.
The opportunity for the recycling of petrodollars throughout this country and for import replacement is enormous. It has been stated, and I must agree, that one of the real bottlenecks to growth will be in the availability of skilled labour. Traditionally, we have relied on imported skilled labour, but circumstances have changed. Not only have working conditions improved somewhat in Europe, but Canada’s immigration laws have been tightened.
That is precisely the reason our government established the employer-sponsored training program in June 1978, to fill these critical skill shortages and to promote innovative approaches to training in industry. That is also the reason my colleague, the Minister of Education and Minister of Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson), announced earlier this year that we will be spending an additional $5.3 million on employer-sponsored training.
Local employers determine what skills should be taught under the program, and the federal government helps by paying a wage subsidy. The provincial funds are used to provide administrative and training support for employers.
I am delighted to report that good progress is being made in providing machinists, tool and die makers and other metal workers. Our employer- and community-oriented approach to training has been so successful that it is the model for the federal government’s critical skills training program. It is a pity that government does not follow us in other areas.
As the representative of a riding that has a great many small businesses within its borders, I was most happy to see the budget proposals, which will encourage the growth of such business. Small business is the source of employment for half the province’s private sector employees and 60 per cent of its new jobs. Our very innovative 1979 legislation encouraging investment in Canadian small business through the Small Business Development Corporations has led to some $8 million invested to date with $12 million more planned. I believe that some 50 small business development corporations have been formed, which is truly an admirable program.
The budget will broaden business eligibility for SBDC investment. Minimum capital requirements for an SBDC will be reduced to $100,000 from $250,000. Small businesses that grow from fewer than 100 employees to between 100 and 200 employees will continue to qualify for SBDC investment for up to five years. Further, the definition of an eligible small business will now include book publishing and research and development activities.
In addition, pension funds and credit unions will be eligible to receive grants when they invest in SBDCs. This will certainly expand the supply of funds for equity investment in small business.
The Treasurer also announced a reduction of the small business capital tax. Small businesses with taxable capital of up to $1 million will now see a capital tax of $100. Corporations with taxable capital up to $100,000 will continue to pay a flat tax of $50, as will family fishing corporations. This measure by the Treasurer means that 150,000 Ontario corporations will pay capital tax of $100 or less and only about 8,000 large corporations will bear the full amount of this tax.
The Treasurer’s budget stimulates reinvest- ments in their own operations by small businesses with a new investment tax credit for Canadian-controlled private corporations which qualify for the federal small business deduction. This credit will be equal to 20 per cent of the purchase cost of depreciable assets for use in Ontario. The maximum credit in any one year for any individual small business will be $3,000. It is expected that this tax credit, along with the capital reduction, will give $50 million back to Ontario’s small businesses and will stimulate job creation and economic growth.
Also related to small business, the Treasurer announced that annual compensation paid to retail sales tax collectors will be increased from $700 to $1,000 and compensation paid to those remitting only small amounts of tax will be increased. These measures will provide $8 million to Ontario’s small businesses in this fiscal year alone. I should add that Robert Duddy, president of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, said his group is pleased with the easing of capital taxes and the proposal for a new corporate income tax incentive. He is also pleased that more financial assistance will go to employer-sponsored training programs.
As I stated in the beginning, I applaud the efforts of the government in stimulating the economy. It is often a difficult task when so many factors are under national and international control. I appreciate this opportunity to express my thoughts about Ontario’s economy. Certainly there are going to be problems, but I am confident any problem can be solved and every opportunity will be grasped.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for allowing me to express some thoughts on this particular subject. I look forward to the remarks by my esteemed colleague from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk.
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I realize there is just five minutes before the regular adjournment. If you will permit me a couple of minutes, I want to bring to your attention a matter of some importance in my constituency which is very much affected by a decision announced by the Ontario Divisional Court yesterday.
The court has dismissed an application to quash two Mississauga bylaws which prevent the burning of polychlorinated biphenyls in the municipality of Mississauga. This is particularly important since the Ministry of the Environment has announced a $5-million storage facility in my constituency in the municipality of Onondaga. Naturally, the people in my community do not want the PCBs brought in. They have valid reasons which I will have an opportunity to describe to you, Mr. Speaker, at a later date.
I am concerned, however, that the ministry is considering appealing the decision of the divisional court. PCBs have been burned experimentally in Mississauga in the high-temperature cement kilns operated by the St. Lawrence Cement Company. The burning was quite effective, but further experiments are required. The municipality in its wisdom passed bylaws prohibiting the burning.
The government of Ontario indicated to the court that it felt this was beyond the jurisdiction of the municipality and infringed on the responsibility of the province. The court, however, has found that Mississauga acted correctly in this connection. Obviously, it means that other municipalities, such as the one in my own constituency, would have the same remedy open to them. They may very well pass bylaws prohibiting, for example, the transportation of PCBs through to the storage site that is envisaged.
I am glad to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that there is an alternative to the situation we face and that I have just described; that is, the research which has been carried out at the Royal Military College in Kingston with federal funds. It is based on a high-temperature electric arc developed in the United States. It is called a plasma arc because of its physical properties. It develops high enough temperatures so that PCBs and 2,4,5-Ts -- and we already have several hundred thousand gallons of those that we must destroy -- can be burned in this high-temperature furnace.
It would mean a considerable advantage to us all, particularly a saving of money, if this alternative were accepted by the Ministry of the Environment, rather than the one that is now precluded from it, that is, burning the PCBs in the cement kilns at Mississauga, or -- the one I am particularly interested in and opposed to -- storing them in Brant county. The decision made by the courts really means the Ministry of the Environment has suffered a substantial setback, even though they may appeal it. Their chances of success in that connection, in my view, are rather tenuous.
It would be much wiser to abandon the program of trying to burn the PCBs in Mississauga or store them in Brant, and to move in the direction which, I feel and have felt all along, is the only reasonable solution, that is, to take the development of the high-temperature plasma arc -- and the experimentation has been completed, according to the minister -- and apply some of the funds that would otherwise have been spent in the project, to develop a facility that would be portable. It can be taken around the province to wherever the PCBs are, so they do not have to be transported into one central location and can be destroyed where they are.
If there is a time delay of a year or 18 months, I believe the Legislature should provide funds for special inspection so that the PCBs, where they are at present located, are not going to cause any short-term damage nor endanger any people in any way.
I am glad to have an opportunity to put that to the House today, since the court decision has just been made public.
On motion by Mr. Nixon, the debate was adjourned.
DISCHARGE OF RESOLUTION
Mr. Renwick: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I would ask for the consent of the House to discharge the resolution standing in my name as a private member’s motion in view of the resolution which appears on the Order Paper in the name of the Premier (Mr Davis), dealing with the Confederation matters. It incorporates in the body of it the appointment of a select committee of the Legislature on constitutional matters, which was the substance of the resolution standing in my name.
Mr. Acting Speaker: I understand there is no difficulty in that, and it will be done.
The House adjourned at 12:58 p.m.