31st Parliament, 4th Session

L051 - Fri 16 May 1980 / Ven 16 mai 1980

The House met at 10 am.




Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw to the attention of all honourable members that today is Citizenship Day. Citizenship Day was first proclaimed in 1950 by the federal government. The intent was that it would be a day for special observances by schools and by public spirited organizations, observances to make us “more deeply conscious of our own citizenship and all that it implies.”

The government of Ontario wholeheartedly supports the marking of a day on which Canadians make a special effort to reflect upon the privileges and liberties we enjoy as citizens and the responsibility we have to protect and to preserve what our forefathers fought so long to achieve.

The government urges everyone, irrespective of ethno-cultural heritage, to reflect together on the rights and duties, the institutions and benefits which we all share as members of the Canadian family. Since 1973, this government has awarded the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship. In establishing the medal seven years ago, the Premier (Mr. Davis) defined good citizenship as “the quality of an individual’s response to membership in a community.” On this day each one of us will want to take some time to consider our own response to membership in the Ontario community. At a time when there are forces at play that could divide us, our common citizenship takes on an even greater meaning.

To enhance understanding of the importance of citizenship, my ministry provides materials to schools to stimulate their Citizenship Day observances. Further to that, in the past year this government has reconstituted the former Advisory Council on Multiculturalism into the Advisory Council on Multiculturalism and Citizenship. By changing the council’s name and broadening its mandate, the government seeks to stress that its multicultural policy is a citizenship policy that applies equally to all residents of the province, whether newcomer or native born.

The policy embraces distinctive cultural groups sustaining their own identities and, at the same time, sharing those things we have in common and living together in harmony. That formulation was made by my colleague, the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Baetz) to assist all residents in our multicultural society to participate more fully in the life of the whole community that is Ontario.

I take great pleasure in acknowledging, on behalf of the Premier and the government, the occasion of Citizenship Day. It is an appropriate day on which to reaffirm our commitment to a policy which seeks to ensure full, equal and responsible citizenship for every man, woman and child in our province. On May 16, 1980, it is a compelling day on which to reaffirm our deep commitment to our country and all of its people.

Canada, God bless her.


Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, since their inception in 1967, the Ontario Development Corporations have been a major vehicle for government assistance to further the development of small business in this province. In the past year alone, the corporations have committed more than $50 million in support of small business. The activities of the Ontario Development Corporation, the Northern Ontario Development Corporation and the Eastern Ontario Development Corporation have added substantially to our province’s industrial and tourist potential and have contributed to the creation of thousands of new jobs for Ontario residents.

Last Tuesday I announced Export ‘80, a revitalized, better financed and more comprehensive trade strategy for Ontario. A major component of Export ‘80 involves increased financial assistance for exports through the Ontario Development Corporations. The corporations will double their overall financial support in this area from $12 million to $25 million annually and will double their line of export credit to individual firms from $500,000 to $1 million. This assistance will be available to finance production for export markets and export receivables. Further, the development corporations will provide specific support to co-ordinate access to the federal government’s Export Development Corporation and private sector lending institutions.

This morning I would like to outline additional new initiatives our government is undertaking through the Ontario Development Corporations to strengthen our financial support of the small business sector of the economy. The first initiative involves a broadening of the range of industries which will be assisted under the financial programs of the corporations.

10:10 a.m.

In the past, financing has been available only to small firms involved in secondary manufacturing and tourism-related activities. Loan programs were directed primarily towards the financing of production-related plant and equipment and tourist facilities. As a result, assistance was not often available to small businesses in a number of important sectors where the very real opportunities exist for the employment of Ontario’s highly skilled work force.

I am pleased to announce that we are expanding the mandate of the Ontario Development Corporations in order to allow them to provide financial support in a number of key new areas, including service industries which offer export potential, or where imported services can be replaced; industries which have an important place in the economic infrastructures of less developed regions of the province; and industries which can have important spinoffs in the secondary manufacturing and tourism sectors of the economy.

The second initiative I would like to outline this morning involves an increase in the corporations’ normal lending limits. Over the past year it has become apparent that normal credit limits would have to be increased if the corporations were to continue to fulfil their mandate to assist small business. This was particularly evident in the northern and eastern parts of the province, where assistance provided by the corporations is often necessary to ensure that an otherwise viable project goes ahead.

In addition, the cost of new job creation in a number of industries is relatively high. Experience has demonstrated that if the corporations are to be successful in levering new investment among many small businesses, the need to go further than existing limits is frequently required. Accordingly, we have decided to double the normal lending and loan guarantee limits of the development corporations. Effective immediately, the corporations will be in a position to provide, on a selective basis, up to $500,000 in direct loans or $1 million in guarantees, to assist small business ventures. Both of those figures are double the previous amounts.

The expansion of the corporations’ lending limits will ensure that they continue to provide assistance to small businesses involved in viable investment opportunities. Moreover, it will integrate more fully the services available to small business through the development corporations with the support provided to medium and larger firms through the Employment Development Fund. In this way, the selective assistance programs of our government will be available to a full range of businesses in Ontario, with the major emphasis of our resources and manpower placed on assisting and promoting small business development and expansion.

The development corporations are an important part of our program to assist small business across Ontario. They play a major role in providing financial support and advice to local entrepreneurs. They are not simply another option to private lending institutions but, rather, they are a catalyst to lever private sector financing. The corporations will continue to emphasize private sector participation and encourage banks and other lenders to expand their financial assistance to this important sector of our economy.

I expect the three development corporations will commit more than $80 million this year in support of small business in Ontario. The assistance provided will encourage private investors and lenders to extend more than twice this amount to ensure that viable small business projects go ahead across this province. I am confident that ODC, NODC and EODC will continue to play an important role in fostering and assisting entrepreneurs in all parts of this province.


Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, when, on April 21, 1980, I announced the appointment of a royal commission to investigate all matters relating to health and safety arising from the use of asbestos in Ontario, I advised the House that the commission’s appointment did not mean other activities would be suspended or otherwise delayed.

Members are already aware of our continuing school inspection program, the monitoring program in the Toronto Transit Commission subway system and our inspection program aimed at locating asbestos exposure sites which may warrant further inspection. In addition, we have responded to certain individual requests for investigation and sampling.

One such request was received some weeks ago by my ministry from the Ministry of Government Services. The request was to carry out visual inspections and air sampling in the Macdonald Block and in the Legislative Building.

The inspections and tests have now been completed by the occupational health and safety division of my ministry. Neither the visual inspections nor the air sampling tests revealed any grounds for concern. In the Macdonald Block, a total of 37 air samples were taken. In 34 of these, the fibre counts were below 0.03 fibres per cubic centimetre, the lowest reliable detection level. The highest of the remaining three was 0.28 fibres per cubic centimetre.

The results of air samples in the Legislative Building were similar to those found in the Macdonald Block. Nineteen of the 20 samples taken in the Legislative Building were below 0.03 fibres per cubic centimetre and the 20th sample, which related to a maintenance worker cleaning an elevator pit, was 0.09 fibres per cubic centimetre, far below the occupational health guideline.

Our conclusion is that in areas of the buildings normally occupied, airborne values of asbestos are consistently low -- in fact, in most cases, below the detection limit. In some areas where staff are performing maintenance functions, airborne fibres increase slightly, but in those cases the increased levels were again well below any occupational health guideline.

I might add that the inspections and sampling to which I have referred were carried out after consultation with representatives of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union. The detailed results of the tests have been supplied to the union representatives and I understand there will be a subsequent meeting with them to discuss and explain the result.

I think those who work within these buildings should be reassured by the test results. I shall, of course, keep the members informed of any further developments.


Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to announce some results from a study being conducted by the office of the superintendent of insurance as part of the joint effort by government and the insurance industry to develop a new method of rating and classifying drivers for automobile insurance purposes.

The results justify the ongoing effort to establish a fairer system of rating both good and poor drivers. However, the study indicates it is essential that the insurance industry continues to have access to the conviction records of all drivers insured in Ontario. I would like to go on record today to say that I will defend the right of the insurance industry to have access to these records, provided they are used fairly.

Until today, the insurance industry could and has been criticized for its method of surcharging drivers according to the number of convictions they had accumulated, even if they had a claim-free record. The greatest criticism was that the system of surcharges appeared to be unjustified. There were no satisfactory statistics to demonstrate that a relationship existed between drivers’ convictions and their chances of being responsible for subsequent insurance claims, independent of the fact that drivers with a poor claims record are known to be high risks.

The select committee on company law raised this point in its deliberations. They also suggested that if the principle of insurance surcharges were to be justified, then in fairness all drivers’ conviction records should be checked, not just the records of those drivers who had just had claims or those who chose a new insurer. May I say now that the principle applied by the insurance industry of surcharging drivers with a record of convictions was justified.

For example, our study shows that a claim-free driver with a record of demerit point convictions is an accident waiting to happen. The study, conducted by the department of insurance during the past 18 months, was based on a survey of the driving records of 38,000 insured motorists in Ontario. We examined the records of these drivers for three years prior to the survey, then monitored their claims records for the next 12 months.

The results show that in a group of more than 21,000 five-year claim-free drivers, approximately 35 per cent have a record of demerit point convictions. According to our statistics, these drivers have a 50 per cent greater chance of having an insurance claim in the next year than a claim-free driver without convictions. However, they are not paying their fair share into the insurance system.

The study destroys the myth that nearly every driver has traffic convictions. Less than 40 per cent of all drivers have any traffic convictions recorded in the last three years. Only 16 per cent have two or more convictions; less than eight per cent have three or more. The vast majority of convictions recorded for the high risk group of drivers were those minor speeding and traffic offences subject to demerit points.

The 65 per cent of claim-free drivers surveyed who did not have a record of demerit convictions could benefit from a modest decrease in rates if all drivers with convictions were surcharged fairly. If the insurance industry was denied access to conviction records, the two thirds of Ontario drivers who avoid convictions would have to subsidize the higher risk minority who have a record of breaking traffic laws.

Obviously, this study, together with major studies being conducted by the insurance industry, will play a major role in the design of a fairer insurance rating system. My staff is already working, together with the insurance industry, to try to develop an economical system of retrieving the necessary information at a reasonable cost to all concerned parties.

I feel we are well on the way to developing a system where good drivers will see their rates reduced or at least stabilized and high risk drivers will assume their fair share of the cost of the insurance system.

10:20 a.m.


Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond to a question regarding the price of toilet tissue in New York state raised recently by the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart).

Following an in-depth study by my ministry of the tissue product market in both Canada and the United States and E.B. Eddy Forest Products Limited in particular, I can say the charges of ripoff made by the member are entirely unfounded and misleading. I am tabling a report on paper tissue products which examines closely all of the aspects of the issue. There are, however, several points regarding the charges made which I wish to deal with separately.

First, I would like to comment on the charge that a claimed 13 per cent increase in the retail price of bathroom tissue in Ontario in the last nine months is attributable to a ripoff by the E.B. Eddy company. I wish to report that in the nine-month period between July 1979 and April 1980 the E.B. Eddy wholesale price of Swan’s Down tissue rose only five per cent. In that nine-month period the E.B. Eddy wholesale price in the United States for the same product, under the trade name Soft and Pure, rose 8.8 per cent.

The fact is that the member’s claim of a 13 per cent increase in the retail price during that time in two distinctly different marketing areas has absolutely nothing to do with the E.B. Eddy company. It is largely due to circumstances which relate to retail marketing competitive variables at a given time. For example, in July 1979 the three-store-average price for Swan’s Down in Toronto was $1.37 and on April 2, 1980, it was $1.28, a decline of 6.6 per cent, because of a special feature price in one food chain.

A further example of comparative wholesale pricing of the two E.B. Eddy products in question is the difference in the wholesale price between Canada and the United States -- 3.9 per cent for a case of 96 rolls. In terms of one roll of tissue the cost difference is one solitary penny.

Finally, with respect to the charge that the amount of tissue in the E.B. Eddy package is less by weight now than it was nine months ago, I am assured there has been absolutely no change in the manufacturing specifications of the E.B. Eddy product. The more recent criterion and expressed consumer preference in terms of bathroom tissue relates to softness and lightness. Weight is clearly no measurement for value in bathroom tissue. If one were to ask any housewife, the heavier the roll of toilet tissue, the louder the outburst.

The facts on this matter are contained in the document I have tabled today and I trust the member opposite will in future use careful judgement and more complete data when charging our Canadian companies of ripping off Ontario consumers.


Mr. Swart: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I have not received that statement or report at this time. I should have received it before. Those are the orders of this House. The report won’t stand up, that’s the reason.

Mr. S. Smith: I got the impression from the minister if it were heavy tissue the problem wouldn’t be in standing up, it would be in sitting down.

Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, rule 26(b) is quite specific. It says that two copies of ministerial statements shall be delivered to Opposition party leaders or their representatives at or before the time the statement is made in the House.

The Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations made a statement with respect to the tissue issue, and we still do not have a copy of the statement. We would appreciate receiving it. Also, Mr. Speaker, I would ask that you again draw this rule to the attention of all ministers so that the rules can be lived up to.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, just at the outset there are two things: It was the answer to a question, just to save some time; and secondly, I tabled the report, it’s over there on the desk.


Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, pursuant to standing order 33 (b) of the Legislative Assembly, I am tabling with the Clerk a petition that the annual report of Ontario Hydro for the calendar year 1979, tabled in the House April 24 as sessional paper 72, be referred to the standing committee on public accounts for such consideration and report as the committee may determine.

The petition is signed by 20 members of this Legislature. I am hoping that the standing committee on public accounts will review and report recommendations on the uranium contracts of Ontario Hydro.



Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Energy.

The minister will recall the questions we ask time after time about the substitution of natural gas for oil in the heating of homes in Ontario. Instead of blaming workers for causing inflation, does the minister not recognize that one of the causes of inflation is the high price of imported oil?

That being the case, and it being six months that we have now been discussing this with him, precisely what is the minister doing about the fact that there are a million homes in Ontario using mainly oil and not gas? What is he doing about the fact that 250,000 of these are in areas already served by gas mains and 400,000 are within existing gas franchise areas? Precisely what has the minister done to get these people to convert from oil to natural gas?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, if the Leader of the Opposition had joined us during estimates time, his colleague from Halton Burlington (Mr. J. Reed), the Liberal energy critic, would have told him there was a fairly full discussion on this whole question of substitution. We have done a fairly extensive survey of the province along the lines which he has already indicated, those areas now served and the rate by which the present franchise holders can accommodate requests for substitution. Literally thousands of people are being accommodated by the gas companies.

I think it is fair to say that most of the franchise holders throughout the province are really swamped with applications with respect to the conversion program. I could provide the honourable member with some specific figures, all of which were documented during the consideration of our estimates. Indeed, as I pointed out to the standing committee at that time, what we were waiting for was some further information with respect to the natural gas incentive program. Our friends in Alberta have really not developed this yet, until such time as the current negotiations with respect to oil pricing are completed.

I am encouraged by reports in the morning paper which carry the account of the speech of the federal minister in Montreal showing the keen interest of the government of Canada in this whole program. We have discussed this and we welcome it, but hopefully we will be able to add to the situation here some incentive program that will make it possible for further penetration of natural gas in areas not now served.

If I can summarize, in the areas now served by natural gas and by the franchise holders there is certainly every indication, on the basis of the requests for substitution, of a very ambitious program under way now to accommodate people in those areas. Indeed, the companies have made it quite clear that there are many other areas that could be accommodated if the natural gas incentive program were in place.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, dealing for the moment only with those where there is an existing gas franchise area and people could easily be hooked on to it, what is the limiting factor? Can the Minister of Energy tell us, right here and now, why it is that all the people haven't shifted from oil to natural gas?

I know there are a lot who want to shift; I told him that six months ago. But the question is, why do we not have everybody shifted? What’s the limiting factor? Does he know? Is it the lack of personnel to dig the holes in the ground? Is it a lack of people to do the connections? Is it a lack of the burners?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The honourable member has asked the question.

Mr. S. Smith: I like to help the minister so he might be able to give us a pertinent answer.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I don’t want to be discourteous but I don’t need any assistance from the Leader of the Opposition in discharging my responsibilities.

The honourable member will recall that several weeks ago, if not months ago, he stood in his place and suggested that one of the reasons this program was not proceeding was the lack of skilled workers. Following that question, about what we were doing to make available more personnel who could do this, within an hour or so of that comment I had letters from all the companies indicating that a supply of skilled workers was the last problem they had. They had all kinds of people.

As far as I know, the companies are working at full speed to accommodate people who have requested a gas installation. It’s a matter of the sheer size of the job. Certainly if the honourable member would call them he would find the companies are attempting to keep up with the requests for conversion. There certainly is no lack of interest on the part of the companies, and there is no lack of skilled people to do the job.

What is the limiting factor? I suppose, is something called time -- how many they can do in a day.

10:30 a.m.

Ms. Gigantes: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker, can the minister tell us whether his staff has done any background work which would indicate a need for incentive pricing, as the federal government has so far conceived of it, and if there has been such a study can he table it in the Legislature?

If there has not been such a study, why should we be walking into an incentive pricing arrangement which may be of inordinate financial benefit to existing distributors in Ontario, when it should be the consumers of Ontario who would be getting the benefits of large amounts of cheap natural gas in Canada?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member will perhaps recall, although we don’t have the details, because at the moment Alberta is awaiting the outcome of these particular negotiations, it was my understanding the incentive program that was being discussed at that time -- that is, the reduction from 85 per cent to 65 per cent -- was in fact to be used by the companies in order to help defray the cost of expanding into areas which were not now serviced.

Ms. Gigantes: What proof do you have that it is required?

Hon. Mr. Welch: The point is whether this is even going to be the program, and I’m only trying to be helpful in giving the member some background with respect to what was being considered as an incentive program to encourage companies to go into areas which otherwise would not prove economic on the basis of those tests.

I might point out to the member there have been discussions with the federal minister, the details of which have yet to be discussed at some further meetings. We really are waiting for some further details about the plans which he, in general, announced in Montreal yesterday as to where the benefits might be.

I think the important point to emphasize to the House this morning is there is no disagreement that one of the ways in which we can meet the national commitment of crude oil self-sufficiency is to get large numbers of people off oil. Substitution to natural gas, as far as home heating is concerned, is obviously one of those particular programs.

The member, being my critic for that particular party, will know there was a very full discussion with respect to where we were in Ontario at this time with respect to this matter.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: Would the minister please answer the question in a straightforward way? Is he admitting, in fact, that his ministry has done absolutely nothing to bring about the substitution of natural gas for oil except to ask the distributors, “How are things going?” The distributors say, “Well, we’re pretty well swamped,” and the minister now comes in and tells us “Boy, are they ever swamped.” I take it that’s the limit of what the minister has done.

If he has done something else would he please tell us? Would he please inform this House, from his studies on this matter, since there are a quarter of a million people on the gas main who are not using gas to heat their homes right now and should be, what is preventing it? It’s not good enough to say time and that the number of people who can be changed over will depend on how many people are assigned to the task. What is the problem, burners, the number of people to dig, trucks? What is the limiting factor and why do we not have a massive program of substitution across Ontario right now?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I am quite satisfied that the people in Ontario in areas that are now serviced, as the Leader of the Opposition refers to, are being accommodated at an accelerated rate within the capacity of the present companies to look after those who opt to have that substitution.

Mr. Peterson: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Could the minister tell this House the result of his discussions with the various gas companies and installers, and what he has done to make it easier for those people who want to convert, in terms of assisting those people with salvage on their installed oil tanks and present oil furnaces, et cetera?

He is aware -- because it has been pointed out in this House --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. The question has been asked.

Mr. Peterson: What has he done to make it easier?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, the last time this question was raised -- which was some months ago -- the honourable member took a personal interest in this matter because he was having some difficulties with one of the franchise holders with respect to his own personal installation. I took it upon myself to find out whether there was anything I could do to assist in that area. I found that the company and the member were in negotiation, and I felt the member was quite able to look after the matter himself.

10:40 a.m.


Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Community and Social Services, with regard to the matter of prevention in the work of children’s aid societies.

The minister rose on a point of privilege yesterday to correct certain items that were in a newspaper. Does the minister recall his ministry publishing a policy paper a couple of years ago in which prevention was said to be the first priority of the ministry?

If he does, how does that square with the statement in the newspaper, attributed to a ministry official, which said bluntly, “Prevention isn’t easy to sell politically,” as a way of explaining why it is that $700,000 a year has been assigned out of what was reported as a $30 million budget?

The minister rose on Thursday to say that this article, which suggested that 2.3 per cent of the budget went to prevention, was wrong. By the minister’s calculations -- since the budget was quoted wrongly -- 0.6 per cent has gone to prevention. How is that the minister’s top priority?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I don’t know to what the Leader of the Opposition or the article are relating the funds that were specifically earmarked for the prevention initiatives. I don’t know why they try to look at that as a percentage of provincial allocations to children’s aid societies. I think it is a totally irrelevant relationship they are trying to draw.

In my opinion, and I think in the opinion of most of the people involved in working with children’s aid societies, much of the work they do, and much of the $116 million that the province will transfer to children’s aid societies this year goes into work that could fairly be described as prevention. The specific money that I presume is being referred to by this very confused journalist is, in fact, money which we have allocated specifically for projects from which we hope to learn more about preventive techniques and programs. In fact, it is a research oriented initiative.

The projects currently under consideration for approval are being considered specifically on that basis. They have been evaluated from a research approach, in terms of the design of the program, and they are time-limited. They will be for specific periods of time, most of them for approximately two years, at the end of which time we hope to learn something more about preventive techniques.

One of the things we learned soon after we began, following the initial announcement, was that among professionals in the field there is very little consensus as to what prevention really is and what can be fairly described as preventive. We had a committee of professionals sitting for about six months and one thing they couldn’t do was to define prevention. We do have a great deal to learn in that area.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, does the minister not recognize that the societies that are operating with severe budgetary constraints at the moment are really in no position to carry on with much in the way of new preventive programs and that really the only prevention money that is available is the $700,000 for these demonstration grants, which the minister correctly described to the House?

It is my understanding, for instance, that the Hamilton Social Planning Research Council grant has been turned down, which is the best I can make out from talking to people in his ministry. I am not sure why it has been turned down, but how could the minister argue that prevention was his first priority when his own officials say that it is not easy to sell politically?

Does he not think that 0.6 per cent of his budget is pretty weak as far as a research or demonstration component is concerned? Does he not recognize that the individual societies will not be able to find funds for prevention because they are pretty well strapped to find funds to carry out their mandate of responsibilities?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, there are several questions there. First of all, I do not know who the mysterious official from my ministry is who claims that selling prevention is difficult politically. I certainly do not rely upon that statement for its accuracy or even know for sure whether it comes from my ministry. Obviously, I can’t be responsible for it. I don’t have to be. Within the government, if that is what they mean as far as selling it politically is concerned, it certainly has support.

The member talked about the research allocation of my ministry. There are considerably more funds than that allocated within my ministry for research. That is only one particular component of the ministry’s research allocation. We have, at the moment, a commitment from the Provincial lottery -- I think it is for a period of the next three years -- of about $4 million which will be going into research. That is another component. I don’t think the member can focus upon only one small part of the activities of the ministry.

With respect to the children’s aid societies and their ability to do preventive work, I think they are and they have been doing prevention work. It depends upon what the member specifically means. If he is talking about new prevention initiatives then the only limitation upon them is really the limitation of their own imaginations.

I would point out to the member that the society which was the subject of that article in the newspaper just the other day will this year have a budget probably in excess of $30 million. They have greater flexibility in the allocation of their funds than they have ever had historically, at least ever since they became recipients of provincial public funds. They have the opportunity to move money from very high cost things that they have been doing, perhaps against our better judgement in the past, into new areas as they have never been able to do before. I think the Metropolitan Toronto Children’s Aid Society has a golden opportunity to demonstrate creativity with the $30 million the taxpayers are giving it to do the job.

Ms. Gigantes: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In the line of preventive research, has the ministry research turned up the fact that lack of adequate family income has a direct adverse effect on the welfare of children, which we can witness now in the number of cases that are coming to the attention of officials in the Windsor area; also, witness the very personal testimony of demonstrators outside our building in the last few days who talked about the effects on their children of lack of adequate income under the family benefits payments?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I don’t know any research that has demonstrated that. I do recognize that it is commonly a simplistic, ideological explanation.


Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. Since Dr. M. Lusis, head of the special studies unit of the air resources branch, in a workshop last March pointed out that Nanticoke is the largest polluter in Ontario with 300,000 tons of sulphur dioxide per year and, in addition, some 100,000 tons of nitrogen oxide, exceeding even that at Inco Limited, would the minister explain to the House why he has approved the emission levels of this based only on the local air quality?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, if I remember correctly, those are potential and not actual figures. I think if the member would double check he would find those are potential figures and we are not, at this time, at all sure that is going to become a reality.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, the minister is correct that these are projected figures, but surely all we can operate on for the moment are the projected ones.

Since the air systems in Ontario move from the southwest to the northeast, and the pollutants of Nanticoke become acid rain in Muskoka, and since Ontario Hydro at its Nanticoke plant has spent only $22 million for anti-pollution devices as compared with $36 million spent by Stelco Inc. and $40 million by Texaco Canada Inc., has the ministry done any study as to why we should not proceed with the installation of scrubbers at the Nanticoke generating plant in order to reduce these projected emission levels?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, we have not only thought of scrubbers, we have thought of other technologies that may very well reduce considerably the amount of emissions from that particular installation. I repeat that these are projected figures. I do not expect they will become reality. If there is anything we can do to reduce those figures to more acceptable levels, that is exactly what we will be doing.

Mr. Gaunt: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister giving any consideration to putting control orders on Hydro plants like Nanticoke and others that are big emitters of S02 to deal with them in an adequate way, rather than dealing with the situation piecemeal, particularly since the ministry has come in with a new control order on Inco, albeit a very inadequate one?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, that is a rather interesting comment. First of all, yes, we are considering controls that will affect Ontario Hydro. I think I made that clear some time ago. Just this very morning one of the participants from either Vermont or New Hampshire -- I am not sure of the state, I think it is Vermont -- called our office. I am sorry I did not speak to him, but I shall later today. He did speak to my executive assistant.

His comment about this “inadequate” control order was rather interesting. He thought it was one of the best things he knew of that had happened in the fight on acid rain. He was encouraging us and will be making a public statement that he only wished some jurisdiction in the US was following Ontario’s lead.

Mr. MacDonald: Final supplementary, Mr. Speaker, as far as I am concerned: The minister says he is studying this matter. If he is faced with the prospect of Nanticoke becoming an even greater polluter than Inco, and allegedly he is really concerned about Inco, what is he doing about the studies? What is going to flow from these studies? Is the scrubber approach the answer or is there an alternative? When are we going to find out about it? After the pollution has begun?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I have said many times in this House, and I wish members would fully comprehend the significance of it, that a federal-provincial task force has been established to deal with all these studies. We are of course, looking at that particular installation, and so is the federal government. Those studies will all be coordinated. We expect to have some very definitive statements on those particular installation and others in the comprehensive study we are doing this coming year.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Final supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister keeping the local people informed and is he working along with the region of Haldimand-Norfolk in this regard?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I do not think there is any doubt, Mr. Speaker, that the local people are well aware of what is going on in their own community.


Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour: Since the bottom line of his statement this morning was that the result of the test was that the people working in the Macdonald Block and the Legislative Building should be reassured, may I get the minister’s comment on a memo which, by the brown paper envelope syndrome, has come into our hands, a memorandum to Mr. G. Kellner, chief mechanical engineer, dated April 16, 1980? It says the Ministry of Labour used a mechanism for testing that does not test small particles.

The memo states: “The size of the particles which create a hazard are those less than five microns in length and three microns in diameter. Asbestos particles of this size or less can pass through the respiratory tract and lodge in the lining of the lungs.”

10:50 a.m.

The minister used an optical test, which does not test the small particles. The final paragraph of the memo says: “Another method of testing called the electron microscope technique will measure both the size of the particle and its identity. However, the Ministry of Labour is not making use of this method in the tests.” How can the minister be reassured, since he has used a less efficient and a less effective method of testing?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, just so there will be no suspicion about any brown envelopes, I would like to take this opportunity to table all of the reports that deal with that sampling carried out at the Macdonald Block and the Legislature.

Mr. Peterson: Very forthcoming of the minister.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I would rather be that than back-coming. The tissue issue has gone to the member’s head. Settle down.

The member has raised an issue and clearly it is an issue that is common internationally, because if he will review the literature and review standard setting throughout the world he will see that standards and the evaluation of sampling is carried out everywhere by the optical technique.

If he reads the recent National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health statement which came out about a month ago, he will also see that NIOSH has recommended optical testing as the only practicable method available at this time to evaluate asbestos in the air.

He knows and I know that electron microscopes are not in great supply. As a matter of fact, it is anticipated that the Ministry of Labour will have one in its new facility up on Resources Road, but let me say to him, having used an electron microscope and he shouldn’t talk about it until he has used it -- it is a very long and protracted technique.

Ms. Gigantes: If it works. What is the use of something that is practical but doesn’t tell you what you need to know?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: It is such a problem -- for the member for Carleton East -- that no jurisdiction uses it. It is just impracticable. Let us analyse what we are talking about when we are talking about optical samplings. We are talking about using the optical microscope to see all fibres, never mind whether they are asbestos or not. Any counts done with the optical microscope record any fibre that is there. When we say there are 0.03 fibres, we can’t assure anyone that they are asbestos but we can say we are going to call them asbestos just to be on the safe side. That is the procedure and standard that is used throughout the world.

I don’t say that the electron microscope isn’t superior; all I am saying is the use of the optical microscope is recognized as the only practicable method at the present time.

Mr. MacDonald: The method we are using does not detect the small particles. By way of supplementary, may I draw to the minister’s attention the fact that Dr. Selikoff has estimated that for every one fibre over five microns the mechanism is registering, an individual can breathe 100 short fibres? If one takes the maximum count that the report this morning indicated, 0.28 fibres per cubic centimetre, that means that in an eight-hour day a person could be inhaling 89.6 million fibres. How can the minister dismiss the mechanism which will get the smaller fibres, which are the more dangerous ones?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, what I am really trying to tell the member is that in the sampling that has been carried out in other nations, such as Australia for example --

Mr. MacDonald: Why doesn’t the minister lead for a change, instead of just dragging behind?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: The member should listen for a minute. He might want to hear something so he can understand it better.

All right, what I am telling him is that in other buildings in other countries where sampling has been done it has been found that the levels in the ambient air outside the building are the same as the samples of ambient air taken inside the building.

I would assure the member that if samples were done outside the door of the Macdonald Block they would probably be the same. What I am saying to him is that within the scope of techniques available throughout the world today, everybody has found it only practicable to use the optical microscope because of the time and the complexity of using the electron microscope. I am not arguing with him that it is a more effective and more reliable instrument in terms of the size of fibres it can see. All I am telling him is that it is acknowledged that the optical microscope is the only practicable method available to us today.


Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. The minister is no doubt aware that American Motors Corporation is advertising its 1980 models including Concord, Spirit, and Eagle, as having the added feature of Ziebart rust protection and that these cars are being imported into Ontario.

Is the minister aware that the Attorney General of Illinois has filed for an injunction against American Motors pursuant to its Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act on the grounds that this “Ziebart factory rust protection” is not similar to the Ziebart rust protection process offered by independent Ziebart dealers and that therefore this constitutes consumer misrepresentation?

If the minister is aware of the issue, and if these cars are sold in Ontario or the American Motors products made here are also built under this approach, can he advise the House whether the director of business practices division has or will investigate this matter pursuant to the Business Practices Act?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I was not aware of that action in the state of Illinois. The director of business practices will investigate.

I think it would be imperative, on the basis of the auto pact, as I understand it, the bulk of American Motors -- and I don’t see the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) here -- passenger car models sold here are primarily produced in the United States. He will investigate it.

Mr. Breithaupt: I will be glad to send some material that may be of use to the minister. I would like to point out to the minister that --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Would you like to ask a question?

Mr. Breithaupt: Yes. I have to do this first, Mr. Speaker. In an exhibit of testimony, the president of Ziebart International has stated that “Ziebart factory rust protection offered by AMC is not the same as the Ziebart process offered by the dealers and, further, we fully realize that while the consumer buying the AMC passenger car may to some degree be confused with regard to what rust protection he has purchased, this will be far outweighed by promotion generated by AMC on the balance of the 10 million car buyers in 1980.”

Accordingly then, would it not appear on the surface this is a deliberate attempt to mislead? Would the minister ensure that the director investigates the representations and, if necessary, issues a cease and desist order if vehicles brought into Canada or made here are involved? I will send some material to the minister.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, as I said, he will investigate it. But bear in mind, too, that the whole issue of rust and rustproofing, regardless of whether the manufacturer does it in the normal course of the assembly or production of the automobile, as is the case with General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, or whatever arrangements the smaller companies have made, is subject to the regulations of the Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs and its celebrated rustproofing agreement.

One, I will have the business practices division investigate that. I appreciate the information. Two, I will share the information with or obtain whatever information is available from, the federal minister, Mr. Ouellet. Three, because of the present hiatus in the court interpretation of who enforces standards, I will consult with Mr. Ouellet as to which is the proper jurisdiction to take primary responsibility in the field, and thus avoid the context of yet another test.


Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Speaker, at Nelson Crushed Stone and Dufferin Aggregates, the dependent truckers have been on strike since April 10 and April 22. Since the issue at stake is job security, and in view of the fact that the companies are circumventing the collective bargaining process by massive use of strikebreakers, I would like to ask the Minister of Labour if he is aware of the tense and explosive situation developed at the two strike sites? What is he going to do to protect the rights of the strikers and, above all, to avoid the continuation of a most serious conflict?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the member could repeat the name of the company. I got Nelson. Was it Nelson Crushed Stone?

Mr. Di Santo: And Dufferin Aggregates.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I must say I do not have any firsthand knowledge at the moment of that particular issue, but I will review it and report to the member.

Mr. Di Santo: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I would like to ask the minister whether he is also aware that several strikers have been arrested? Yesterday five strikers were arrested and the management threatened the other strikers that all of them would be arrested. Is he also aware --

Hon. Miss Stephenson: He just told you he didn’t know about it.

Ms. Gigantes: He is telling the minister about it.

11 a.m.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Does the honourable member have a supplementary question?

Mr. Di Santo: Yes, Mr. Speaker. I understand the attitude of the former Minister of Labour but I am trying to bring the present minister up to date.

Will the minister investigate the role of the police, which is perceived not to be neutral, and whether the centralized dispatching set up by the company doesn’t contravene the Labour Relations Act? Will the minister, when he gets knowledge of the situation, finally decide to bring in under strike legislation and --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. I think the member has asked his question.

Mr. Di Santo: Yes, Mr. Speaker. I was going to ask whether he will --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, order.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of the particular strike incident that the member referred to, but I will review it and report to him. With regard to the matters he has raised relating to the police, those are matters within the competency of the Solicitor General (Mr. McMurtry).

Mr. Lupusella: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Given the fact that certain charges have been laid, would the minister also investigate accusations by the union that frivolous charges had been laid by the police against the workers? Would the minister consult the Solicitor General about those allegations and about the validity of those allegations?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, as I have said, that’s a question that should be properly directed to the Solicitor General, but I will be pleased to draw it to his attention and discuss it with him.


Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. A year or so ago we had a discussion in this House about the disclosure legislation for private pension plans. At that time, there was some desire to wait for the outcome of the Haley commission. In view of the fact that nobody knows when the Haley commission is going to report -- it has been put off several times and God only knows when it is going to report to this House -- and in view of the fact that Quebec has taken the initiative and has brought in some very stringent reporting regulations for private pension plans, is the minister prepared to move now or very quickly, as a first step in cleaning up the pension mess in this province, to bring in some stringent disclosure provisions and regulations?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, when the honourable member asked that question, and I think it was about a year ago, if I recall correctly I responded that I would shortly be taking some initiatives. I had what I consider to be interim legislation pending the report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Pensions in Ontario, which contained two small remedial things as well as a disclosure package.

At that time it was decided, as the member has suggested, that in view of the commitments that had been made at the time of the establishment of the commission there would be no significant changes in pension legislation pending the report, and that the particular legislation, which I regard as remedial -- incidentally the industry regards it as remedial -- would not proceed at that time.

I give the House a commitment. It is my understanding that the royal commission will report in the fall. If it does not report in the fall, I will introduce the disclosure legislation. I want to be very fair and frank and inform the House that the mere passage of the disclosure legislation only starts a chain of events, that realistically the first impact upon the individual, and that is the reason for the disclosure, would be approximately 12 months later. I cannot wait longer than beyond the fall session, because otherwise it would be two years and we would be very far down the road.

Mr. Peterson: Supplementary: I welcome that commitment, but I suggest there may be even a trifle more urgency than he would see in view of the comment, for example of Mr. J. W. Bentley, the Ontario Pension Commission superintendent. He told a seminar of the Canadian pension conference a little while ago the terms of some private pension plans are presented so vaguely that he is hard pressed to understand them himself.

Surely if he has those problems, a number of people in the province have those problems. As the minister says, the industry welcomes it; everyone would welcome it. Isn’t it time to bring in legislation even this spring and we will move with dispatch on it?

Mr. S. Smith: Why wait for fall? Why not now?

Hon. Mr. Drea: For one reason, and I have already explained it, Mr. Speaker. If I brought in such legislation tomorrow or I bring it in in October, the practical impact to the individual will be at the same time. It would be preferable, quite frankly, if the royal commission report were down, because neither I nor Mr. Bentley claim to have all the ideas in the world. There might very well be additional suggestions contained in that royal commission report.

I have said if the report isn’t down by the fall, I give the commitment that we will introduce the disclosure and a couple of other minor amendments -- which are only housekeeping, remedial amendments -- to the Pension Benefits Act. The real impact would take effect on the first reporting time, which would be the first quarter of 1982 for one’s status as of 1980.

Mr. Peterson: Can the minister give this House assurance that Mrs. Haley really exists? If we were sure of that then I would probably be more comfortable with the response. I have yet to see for sure that she even exists.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, yes, she exists. I just want to phrase this correctly -- I want everybody to have a happy weekend.

I would draw to the attention of the member that in terms of asking the status of that royal commission, when it is going to report and so forth, notwithstanding the jurisdiction of my ministry in the pension field, that is solely the responsibility of the Treasurer. That is why, when I give a commitment, it’s stated very simply that if it does not report -- I don’t care for what reason, because I am not responsible -- then I will do what I said I would do.


Mr. Germa: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Solicitor General in his capacity as minister responsible for public safety. Could I preface my question by saying that I understand it is in the federal jurisdiction?

What can the minister do when I advise him that Canadian Industries Limited in Nobel is endangering the town of Parry Sound when, in an effort to get around the picket line, it is transporting explosives in an unmarked vehicle on the public highway, contrary to law? They are transferring the load from this unmarked vehicle to a tractor-trailer in a location outside of a powder magazine, contrary to law. They are transferring this load in a built-up area, contrary to law, and they are transferring this load on a public street, contrary to law. What can the minister do to stop Parry Sound from getting blown off the map?

An hon. member: Find out whose riding it is in.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Whose riding did you say that was again? It’s your riding.

Mr. Germa: No, Lorne Maeck’s.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I am unaware of the situation that the member for Sudbury has raised. I would like to take it under advisement, possibly seek further information from the member and discuss it with my colleague, the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow). Then I would decide whether it would be appropriate for us -- it may well be -- to make representations to the federal government.

11:10 a.m.

Mr. Germa: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: This incident has happened on at least four occasions in the past and I have reason to believe it is continuing. I think it is a dangerous practice. Would the minister consider getting an injunction to contain the management of CIL from continuing this dangerous practice?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I don’t think I can be specific at this time as to what the appropriate action might be, but I’m certainly prepared to look into the matter and advise the honourable member as to what we think might be done by the province of Ontario, assuming that some action is warranted.


Mr. McKessock: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism, just before he leaves. In view of the fact that his ministry and the government of Ontario have designated the Meaford-Thornbury-Collingwood area a four-seasons recreational area, and are at present carrying out a study there, can the minister tell me at what stage the study is at? Is it completed or is it nearly completed? Can he give us, at this time, some statement as to what his findings are in that area as to the effect the four seasons recreational area is going to have on tourism in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I expect it to have a fairly dramatic impact on tourism in that part of the province. Having said that, may I tell the House that I haven’t seen the report. I am expecting the report to be in within the next couple of months.

Mr. McKessock: Supplementary: In view of the fact that it will be obvious, when the report is completed, that there will be a great lack of services in that area, especially for water and sewers, to allow the area to expand, will the minister then be prepared to provide the necessary funds? Would he agree that a $12-million shot in that area would have a much greater impact on tourism in Ontario than that same amount would have in Minaki Lodge?

Mr. J. Reed: That’s sensitive, eh?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I know the honourable member might be, but we might not be.

We’re not in the business of playing off one part of the province against another. We think we’ve treated many parts of this province quite well. We have, as members know, been very generous in the Collingwood area of this province. I don’t think anyone there can suggest that we haven’t been terribly helpful; we’ve been terrifically helpful in that particular part of the province.

As a result of that study, I think we’ll identify many more opportunities to assist in that area. I could stand here and enumerate the various things we’ve done for Collingwood in the past year and a half or two years, and I think they’re quite substantial.

With regard to servicing, servicing is an overwhelming problem there still. I convened a meeting of the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett), the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Parrott), myself, and the people from the area’s three or four municipalities, in an attempt to bring together all the ministries and all the jurisdictions responsible for solving the inability to get on with the servicing there.

With that initiative, I’m satisfied that if we can get the municipalities onside and willing to contribute in some way to the resolution of the servicing problems, we will be able to find a way to help finance that problem. I have communicated that to the various mayors up there; they are aware of that.


Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, I have a question to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, concerning his report this morning. I want to say that my quick perusal of that report shows it’s nothing but a sham and a coverup, except to admit that E.B. Eddy Company increased its profits by 117 per cent.

I would like to ask the minister how he can say his report is accurate when, in the comparison of transportation costs, in the comparison of the price of E.B. Eddy’s tissue in the United States and here in Ontario, for the US he used transportation costs of only 60 cents, which in the report is their cost to Buffalo, even though they distribute it to other points much farther than Buffalo in the US, while in Canada he used transportation costs of $1.60, which is the average cost for all of Canada. We were comparing Buffalo and Toronto.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I did that for one very simple reason, Mr. Speaker. The allegation by the honourable member was that the E.B. Eddy company -- and I want to read this, because this is his own thing -- “E.B. Eddy, one of the major producers of bathroom tissue, is a classic example of the price exploitation of the Ontario consumer.” If the honourable member was a man, he would apologize to them.

The freight rates were used because we were comparing the cost of the production and the final price to the retail outlets. The Canadian price was used, which is the average for here. We used the available figures, which were the average to the American border.


Hon. Mr. Drea: I know the member’s toes are twinkling and he is ready to shuffle off to Buffalo, so he can come in on Tuesday with another package of goodies and we can start this all over again. I know the governor of the Bank of Canada is quivering; he does not know the impact upon the balance of payments. I am going to be a nice guy.

Mr. Swart: The minister makes a joke out of it, but consumer prices are not a joke.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Wait a minute. I am going to be a nice guy, and I am not going to alert Canada Customs or do my duty as a minister. I am quite sure it can be for the edification of the press on Tuesday, which will be a dull day, waiting for the referendum result. If the member wants to pursue the subterranean supermarkets of Buffalo, that is fine by me.

The member raised three allegations in this sheet that he turned out on April 24. The first one, about the E.B. Eddy Company, I have read. The report demonstrates conclusively that is not true.

Second, without using the word “ripoff” or “exploitation,” he drops in a product called Cottonelle made by Scott Paper Limited. He says that is being sold for less in the United States than it is here. Sure it is. The Scott tissue sold in the US is produced there at a much lower cost than tissue can be produced in Canada. There is no interchange of product. The Scott tissue that is sold here is from New Westminster, British Columbia. The price is based on BC costs. If the member wants to read the report, he can see the actual cost.

Third, the member says it is time I stopped the ripoff, or, in his words here, "be flushed out of his ministry!” I do not want to impute any motives on the basis of that, or take a look at the mentality that produces that kind of statement with an exclamation point.

This report was prepared by a distinguished professional economist, Dagmar Stafl. It seems extremely odd to me that every time something comes up in here, and I have our chief economist, Mrs. Stafl, go through it and produce an exhaustive report, even with pictures this time, her professional qualifications are called into question. The rest of the year, for some peculiar reason, the honourable member is constantly striving to get closer to Mrs. Stafl. What this love-hate relationship is, I know not.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Does the honourable member have a brief supplementary?

Mr. Swart: Yes I do, Mr. Speaker. I would like to ask the minister if he has checked the comparative weights. If he has, would he table them? Did he check the comparative quality in his report? If he did, would he table that?

How can he dismiss the difference in weight, which I have checked -- it was 610 grams for a four-roll package last summer and is now down to 570 grams -- when he himself used weight last fall in the report as the sole criterion for comparing toilet tissue, and when E.B. Eddy, itself uses weight as the comparison in its letter to the minister?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, my one regret is that I was not fed things like that 25 years ago, because I would have been a ball player of great renown. I would be hitting 1,000.

It is a very sensitive and delicate area. Bearing in mind one constant -- there are the same number of sheets in the toilet roll -- the less the roll weighs, the better off one’s anatomy is going to be.

11:20 a.m.


Mr. McGuigan: Mr. Speaker, I am not doing an encore.

I would like to ask a question of the Chairman of Management Board of Cabinet. Several of the marketing boards have been asking the cabinet -- I believe this falls under the minister’s jurisdiction -- for the right to use the trillium logo on packages that are used for Ontario-grown food products. They have been asking the minister this for several months and the decision seems to have been delayed. Can he tell us when this decision will be rendered? Also, what are his apprehensions? Why is it being delayed?

Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure I heard what the honourable member said. Was it the Foodland Ontario logo he is talking about?

Mr. McGuigan: Yes.

Hon. Mr. McCague: It is our intention to keep that logo for the exclusive use of the government. I think what the member is referring to is a variation of the logo, a change in it for use by other people. I am not aware of the specific one he is referring to unless it was one that was made for the apple growers some two years ago. I think that request was turned down at that time. I don’t think it was the logo as is, it was a variation.


Mr. Philip: I have a question of the Solicitor General. Has the minister yet had an opportunity to review the recommendation of the coroner’s jury into the inquest into the deaths of the three Etobicoke firefighters at Kimberley-Clark of Canada Limited? Has he or his staff met with the senior administration of that company? Can he assure us that the recommendations for additional smoke detectors, fire alarms, and TV coverage of the main aisles of the north warehouse will be implemented by that company?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I have reviewed the recommendations. I am arranging to have a meeting with the fire marshal to get his views as to what can be done in relation to these recommendations.

Mr. Philip: By way of supplementary, will the minister use his personal influence on the company to see that those recommendations are implemented? Is the minister in agreement with the recommendation that regional committees be set up consisting of representatives from the local council of the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association, the Fire Prevention Canada Association, the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association and a lay person, that this committee should meet on a quarterly basis to discuss firefighting hazards and precautions, and that there be consideration at these meetings of fire hazards in particular areas? Is that one of the recommendations that he will be implementing as Solicitor General and as the chief firefighter in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I think the recommendation is a very interesting one and is certainly one that will have to be given very serious consideration. I don’t wish to make any commitment until I have had the opportunity of reviewing the matter not only with the fire marshal personally but also with representatives of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs and the firefighters. I think I should have the benefit of their advice before I take any further specific action.



Mr. Philip from the standing committee on administration of justice reported the following resolution:

That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of the Attorney General be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1981:

Law officer of the crown program, $3,146,500; administrative services program, $39,008,100; guardian, and trustee services program, $6,929,200; crown legal services program, $18,380,600; legislative counsel services program, $2,285,600; courts administration program, $86,475,900, and administrative tribunals program, $8,588,400.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the answers to questions 80, 128 and 151, and the interim answers to questions 148 and 154 standing on the Notice Paper. (See appendix, page 1991.)



The following bills were given third reading on motion:

Bill 45, An Act respecting Tom Longboat and the City of Toronto;

Bill 56, An Act to amend the Territorial Division Act.


Resuming the adjourned debate on the amendment to the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government.

Mr. Cureatz: Mr. Speaker, may I say how pleased I am to see the number of members in attendance in the House -- about the same number as there were last night around 10:20. It is for me a great privilege and opportunity to make some comments about the budgetary policy of the government of Ontario. I don’t know if my speech will be as high-profile as the previous questions in regard to toilet tissue, but I will make an attempt to keep the members of the House interested as best I can.

I would like to make a few opening remarks centring on the effects of the budget in regard to the great riding of Durham East. I will look first at energy conservation and the effect the budget may have in that regard.

There has been great discussion over the last six months in the riding of Durham East concerning the expansion of the GO Transit system from Pickering to Oshawa and possibly to Bowmanville. Under today’s constraints in regard to energy conservation, this is a very important issue that has been debated back and forth, not only locally but now in the provincial arena.

Before we centre in on the topic of the feasibility of the extension of the GO train system east of Pickering, I want to talk a little bit about the existing most-easterly station at Pickering. I am sure the member for Durham West (Mr. Ashe) would be very appreciative of this. We are very pleased to see a new station has been completed there and the opening will be taking place in the middle of June. I know the facilities will greatly accommodate the thousands of daily users there at the Pickering station.

Mr. Speaker, I don’t know if you are familiar with the Pickering GO train station, or if you have had the opportunity of using that facility. I know you are a great user of trains, going up to Huntsville periodically from Toronto to your cottage, but I know you will appreciate that you have to get to the train station.

I have spoken personally to the member for Durham West on this matter and I have made no headway. I have not been pushing it very much because it is not my riding, but I think there is still a bit of an inadequacy there at the Pickering GO train station.

For members who are not familiar with the situation, there is a parking lot on the north side of the tracks, and on the east side of Liverpool Road. There are virtually hundreds of cars that are parked there daily, and when one wants to get out of this parking lot, one has to travel west, coming into Liverpool Road. If one wants to go north on Liverpool Road, there is a bridge immediately to the south that comes over the railway tracks, and one cannot see any oncoming cars which are travelling north on Liverpool Road. This makes it extremely dangerous for the large volume of cars trying to get out of that parking lot

11:30 a.m.

Likewise, if the member for Durham West (Mr. Ashe), wants to attempt to go south on Liverpool Road, it is even worse, because not only does one have to contend with vehicles coming up over the bridge and the railway track, but one also has to contend with southbound vehicles on Liverpool Road. That bridge comes over Highway 401. In addition, one must contend with traffic coming off Highway 401 on a collector lane right at that point. I must say it is extremely hazardous, and I cannot understand why there has not been more attention paid to this problem.

I do my best to use the south parking lot, but quite often it is already full. I know my wife uses the train at least two days a week. We like to think that a woman’s intuition is of great value, and she is an ordinary person using that facility and she finds it extremely dangerous. The Durham regional police have very considerately taken the option of putting on a patrol officer during the rush hours. That alleviates a lot of the problems, but I do not think it alleviates the overall problem of the dangerous, hazardous situation there.

On Wednesday, I happened to be in the committee considering the Ministry of Transportation and Communications estimates, and I brought this to the minister’s attention. He indicated to me that the ministry is planning an overpass to the west of Liverpool Road. They termed it the White’s Road overpass. I asked very blatantly when he anticipated that new overpass would be put in. He said, “In the fullness of time.” If I have heard that phrase once around here I have heard it a thousand times. In other words, the minister was not in a position to make a commitment to alleviating that hazardous situation. I do hope the member for Durham West is cognizant of it, now that I have brought it to the floor of the House. I am sure he will bring it to the minister’s attention and we trust that very hazardous situation will be resolved somewhere down the line in the future.

Notwithstanding the problems existing at Pickering, we are very appreciative of the GO train service. There have been some new innovations in regard to the service, and I am thinking in terms of the two-tier cars. I know they are extremely comfortable. I know a lot of residents from the city of Oshawa and constituents from the town of Newcastle use the train and find it extremely useful.

My next point is centred on the possible extension of GO Transit service to Oshawa, Bowmanville and beyond. It is my understanding, interestingly enough, that over a number of years the city of Oshawa council has not been overly sympathetic to the extension of the GO train system to Oshawa because it is feared that would create a bedroom community. As fate would have it and as attitudes change, it is my understanding that a great majority of the city council of the city of Oshawa now is thinking in terms of extension of the GO train system to the city.

There has been much correspondence about it. Well over a year ago, when I first brought the feasibility of such an extension to the attention of the Minister of Transportation and Communications, he indicated to me that the cost would be around $56 million. One of the difficulties was that right at Liverpool Road was the beginning of the heavy freight traffic between Toronto and Montreal. As a result, there could not be an immediate accommodation of the commuter rail system at that point.

The other difficulty was that possibly some of the overpasses on the various roads along the rail line between Pickering and Oshawa could not accommodate the two-tier cars. That was why the cost figure was in the range presented to me by the minister. He was thinking in terms of construction of a new track and of upgrading and fixing the various grade levels to allow the trains to pass under the overpasses.

Since that time, the minister has had increasing numbers of inquiries from myself and, I must confess, from the member for Oshawa as well as from concerned councillors in the region of Durham. As a result of those inquiries, the Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority was requested to take a look at the commuter program for the city of Toronto and including the possibilities of extension of the GO train system to the Oshawa area and beyond.

We are under the impression from the minister’s comments that the solution to the problem may be forthcoming within a very short time. I understand from what the minister said in his estimates that we now are thinking in terms of next spring. That is a little disappointing, because we all know the lead time required for such a large development. If we are thinking in terms of only receiving the report next spring then we are thinking in terms of another year to follow in regard to the final construction and extension of the system.

Interestingly enough, I had a phone-in TV show last night, with myself, councillor Cy Elsey from the city of Oshawa and Mr. Calder, who has been instrumental in preparing and giving me a petition signed by residents in the region of Durham with some 22,000 signatures, expressing their concern and interest in expansion of the GO train system. We had some very interesting phone calls. Generally speaking, they were all enthusiastic about the possibility of the expansion. It seems to me the expansion is inevitable. There is no doubt, when we are thinking in terms of rising costs for gasoline, that more individuals are going to be prohibited from, or at least will be conscious of, driving their own vehicles from the city of Oshawa area and the region of Durham, and they will be thinking in terms of commuter traffic. I think the government of Ontario should take the responsibility of making commuter traffic available to residents so we can encourage people to use a massive transportation system instead of their individual cars.

I hope the Minister of Transportation and Communications is cognizant of the concerns we have out in the region of Durham. It is my understanding that the government policy for a number of years has been to go east, in an attempt to attract people and industry to the region of Durham. One method by which they can stimulate that kind of impetus is the expansion of the GO train system.

In connection with the GO train system, we have a task force headed by a colleague of mine, the member for St. David (Mrs. Scrivener). Her task force is taking a look at the utilization of the various rail services in Ontario. We are very pleased to see that such an investigation is being done. Her task force is currently receiving delegations with regard to the problems or the anticipated future uses of the rail systems in the province. Happily enough, I presented a brief to the task force in relation to the GO train expansion but, more specifically, pointing out to the task force the possibility of electrifying the GO train system.

The member for Durham West last year presented a resolution in this House with regard to the possibility of electrifying the train system between Toronto and Montreal. Am I not correct? The member is shaking his head. Where was it?

Mr. Ashe: Windsor to Quebec City.

Mr. Cureatz: Windsor to Quebec City. Thank you very much. As I recall, the member’s resolution was passed unanimously. Is that right?

Mr. Ashe: Sort of.

Mr. Cureatz: Sort of. For the record we will say it was passed unanimously, overwhelmingly, in the House. With regard to that resolution, and thinking in terms of electrifying the railway system, the first step would be to take a look at electrifying the GO train system. We can dovetail that with the fact -- we have to face up to it -- that there is an excess of electrical capacity in the province. We should not be embarrassed about that overcapacity; we should be utilizing it to our best advantage. One of the best ways would be to think in terms of electrification of the GO train system.

I know these things do not happen overnight. I am appreciative of that. But if we are thinking in a progressive way, and of having some self-sufficiency in our commuter traffic and in our energy resources, we should be thinking along this line.

With regard to the excess capacity, I want to bring in under that heading some of the activities currently taking place in the select committee on Ontario Hydro affairs. As of yesterday we had another debate about another budget. That was the budget of the select committee on Ontario Hydro affairs. Interestingly enough, the budget was turned back by the Board of Internal Economy to be rediscussed by the committee.

11:40 a.m.

I do not have to point out that the select committee on Ontario Hydro affairs has been very worthwhile. I have not been a member of the committee from its inception, but in the time that I have been there the committee has been looking at the safety of nuclear reactors and waste disposal, and I consider it to be a very important committee.

It is my understanding that at the time the committee was looking at the capacity of Ontario Hydro there was great concern about budgetary restraints, and the all-party committee pared down that budget as best as possible, being cognizant of the cost factors involved in select committees. As a result, it is my understanding, that budget was as low as possible.

After that budget in regard to electrical capacity, we then had the budget regarding the safety of the Candu reactors in Ontario. It is my understanding that second budget was fairly close to the budget concerned with the investigation of electrical capacity.

We have not quite finished the report, but we are looking at the draft report regarding the last investigations of the disposal of nuclear waste, and the budget for that investigation was very similar to the previous two budgets. Now we are anticipating an examination of the front end of the nuclear program; that is, an investigation of the uranium mining industry. The budget that was presented to the committee some two or three weeks ago was very similar to the previous three budgets and now, finally, when we present the budget to the Board of Internal Economy, they turn it back.

I understand we have some new members on the Board of Internal Economy and they want to show some muscle. They want to come and say to the select committee: “Listen. We are in charge of the show. We are in charge of the money. We are going to cut you back.” I am sure the Minister without Portfolio, the member for Cochrane South (Mr. Pope), wants to show the Premier that the members from the north are made of hard stuff, that he can put his foot down when he wants to; not to mention the whip for the Conservative party.

I would say it is a little too late to try to cut the budget by a third or a half. If they were at all cognizant of budgetary restraints, they probably should have taken a look some three or four years ago when the committee was originally struck, but it’s very difficult now to pull the rug from under the committee and to request them to cut back the budget drastically.

It goes without saying, the committee is very important. We have examined a number of interesting topics about the nuclear industry, and I am confident that our own Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch) has been very appreciative of the reports that have been coming from the select committee on Ontario Hydro affairs to give him some direction with regard to policies on nuclear energy. I am very confident that when the Board of Internal Economy again receives the budget of the select committee for review it will be approved, just as the budget for the province will be approved by this assembly.

On the subject of the select committee on Ontario Hydro affairs, we are very pleased with the government’s continued commitment in the budget for nuclear power. Of course, I greatly appreciate the construction of the Darlington generating station in the wonderful riding of Durham East. This station is scheduled to come on stream in the late 1980s. Many of the residents in the community, contrary to popular belief being circulated at the anti-nuclear demonstrations taking place, are very appreciative of the construction of the Darlington generating station because of the spinoff benefits with regard to jobs and opportunities in the area. We are also pleased about the government’s commitment for the continued construction of the station and are looking forward to the time when that station comes on stream and trust we will be able to co-ordinate the production of electricity at Darlington with the electrification of the GO train system.

Interestingly, there is always great debate from the parties opposite about who is or is not in favour of the construction of nuclear stations. This Friday, I am meeting with Mr. Jack Tressider, president of the district labour council and presidents of other local labour councils in the community. They want to discuss with me and emphasize to me the need for a continued program at Darlington. Further, they want to have a little discussion about their own demonstration to promote the construction of the station, in the light of the anti demonstration that will be taking place very shortly. I am very pleased to see we have residents in the community from all walks of life who are appreciative of the kind of construction that is taking place in Durham East, namely in Darlington.

The budget of the select committee is only one area that has proved to be of some difficulty for the Board of Internal Economy. I want to bring to the members’ attention the fact that there is another budget on which I have had some input, and that is the budget of the standing committee on regulations and other statutory instruments, which we debated yesterday morning in committee.

After three meetings, it was decided that a budget of a twofold nature should be presented to the board. The Australian government has invited Commonwealth nations to the first meeting of various statutory instruments committee members to discuss mutual concerns about regulations.

That’s a very mundane topic, I am sure, to members of the assembly who are present, but I want to tell them that the Globe and Mail reported quite recently on the effects that regulations have on all of us in Ontario. Many of these regulations pass through without recognition or debate in the House. The main legislative process transpires here, but the underlying rules and regulations are not discussed whatsoever.

This is a very important matter, and the all-party committee on regulations and other statutory instruments decided it would be worthwhile to send a delegation or representation to Australia. The problem was, in recognizing the constraints with regard to government these days, deciding the kind of delegation; so the committee decided to propose two budgets. The first was to ask the Board of Internal Economy about the possibility of sending just the chairman of the committee. The second was to consider the possibility of sending a representative from each party, for a total of three members, to Australia for this convention.

The Board of Internal Economy decided it would be worthwhile under today’s constraints to send just the chairman. This was brought back to committee, and I think all committee members were appreciative of that decision. But there was an underlying thought that the difficulty with that is there seemed to be no specific policy by the Board of Internal Economy. There was some question about whether their policy was a random decision, since an all-party delegation of one committee will be going to Westminster this summer or this fall, whereas our committee was instructed to send only the chairman.

Looking at the principle of the matter, the committee on regulations and other statutory instruments instructed its chairman, the member for Oriole (Mr. Williams), to approach the Deputy Speaker (Mr. Edighoffer) to try to strike up again the ad hoc committee. Apparently there is an ad hoc committee of the House composed of all chairmen of various committees who get together from time to time. The last time they got together, interestingly enough, apparently was a year ago in June.

We have instructed our chairman to speak with the Deputy Speaker about the possibility of getting all chairmen of all committees together to express mutual interests and concerns, and possibly to try to devise some kind of policy with regard to committees and whether there should be underlying consistent principle that the Board of Internal Economy should be following. We are looking forward to the ad hoc committee being struck if the member for Oriole is successful. Since I am the chairman of the general government committee, I am very anxious to have some input.

With regard to the provincial budget in so far as restraint goes, I want to bring to the attention of the member for Durham West the fact that I had an unusual situation in my riding. About a year and a half ago, the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton) approached me and indicated he was having difficulty with the continuation of what was referred to then as the Pine Ridge Training School. This training school was operated by the ministry for juveniles across the province. With the declining enrolment, not only in schools but also in such institutions, the minister was finding it increasingly difficult to support that institution.

11:50 a.m.

I acknowledge that he courteously asked me to make some input and, after his explanation on the cost of operation of the school, I submitted to his wishes that the school should be closed. However, I did so on the condition that, as far as possible, all employees there would find suitable employment within the immediate area. Happily enough, most of them have been able to be placed at another training school in Cobourg referred to as Brookside.

The understanding in the back of my mind was that, with the agreement to the closing of Pine Ridge School, there would be some accommodation for the utilization of the vacant site. That site, interestingly enough, was donated by a resident of the then town of Bowmanville. Now, of course, we are in the town of Newcastle under that wonderful institution referred to as regional government, which is a topic I won’t get into this morning. That 300-acre parcel was donated to the province in 1912 by a resident of the town of Bowmanville for the utilization of juveniles.

It turns out, after the closure of the training school about a year and a half ago, the easterly 100 acres have been given to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food for research purposes, which I think is a very worthwhile project. In addition, the westerly 100 acres have been given to the Ministry of Housing for utilization at some future date, and I am confident that is a worthwhile endeavour, thinking in terms of future years.

The problem, Mr. Speaker -- and I want you to listen very closely; just pretend this is the Muppet Show, because I want your full attention -- is with the middle 100 acres, where all the buildings are located.

It was my understanding, when speaking with the Minister of Community and Social Services, that my views would be given some consideration with respect to the total utilization of that 100 acres. The 100 acres contains an administrative building, a number of smaller buildings where the juveniles were housed, a swimming pool, soccer fields, baseball diamonds and the like.

The time has come for the Minister of Government Services (Mr. Wiseman) to think in terms of disposing of the last 100 acres. Indeed, he laid a heavy hand on me in my municipality. For a cool sum of around $2 million, the town can have the property. I say to the minister, thanks very much. After the way I co-operated originally with regard to the closing of the school, he is now coming back to me and my municipality and saying, “For $2 million, you can have that 100-acre parcel.” Some bargain indeed! It’s very disappointing.

We had met with the previous minister, now the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson), and he indicated then to the municipality and myself that if the municipality could indicate that the middle 100 acres would be used only for municipal purposes, there would be some due consideration. I must confess there was no monetary comment, but due consideration would be given the transfer of the 100 acres at a nominal cost. We have come a long way now, from the nominal transfer of $2 to $2 million.

The situation at present, happily enough, is that the minister visited the site two weeks ago today. He capitulated a little and indicated that in regard to finances the government and his ministry would be in a position to have reasonable negotiations over long-term financing.

At the moment, that’s not good enough to me. Within two weeks, the ministry, the town of Newcastle council and I will be meeting again for a final disposition of this property. We do hope that through the good efforts of all concerned there will be a very happy and successful ending to this.

But I cannot stress more that this property cannot be moved from the municipality. Of the 100 acres, 50 acres are in a flood plain zone as it is, 25 acres are used up as soccer fields and baseball diamonds -- a very park-like atmosphere -- and the other 25 acres are used up with various administrative and housing buildings.

The buildings and the site are very conducive to long-term planning for the town of Newcastle. I think it’s incumbent upon the government, especially in view of the fact that it got the land for nothing in the first place, to give at least due consideration to transferring a third of the land back to the municipality, which would undertake to use the property only for municipal purposes, so that the municipality might to the best of their ability co-ordinate the various community functions in the town of Newcastle for the full utilization of that 100-acre parcel.

Speaking of various other budgetary restraints, I have another little problem in the riding of Durham East. It concerns what I refer to as the Wilmot Creek basin. I am very sympathetic with the present government’s policy, and we appreciate what they have been doing in the city of Oshawa. I know the member for Durham West is very happy that he has a large building being built for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.

I am appreciative, and I am sure the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) is appreciative, of the government for constructing the Ministry of Revenue building in downtown Oshawa. It is my understanding that the tenders are in, and within about a month we will know who the successful bidder is. We are all very anxious and pleased to have the Ministry of Revenue moving to the region of Durham.

On the restraint side, I am a little disappointed with the Ministry of Natural Resources. Let me tell a little story as a leadup to this. The Wilmot Creek basin, for those members who are in attendance and do not know, and for those members who are fishermen -- there must be a fisherman somewhere here; are there no fishermen in attendance? The Wilmot Creek is one of the best, if not the best, trout and salmon fishing streams in the province. Every year we have virtually thousands of people in attendance who fish regularly at Wilmot Creek.

I am sure members are wondering where it is. When you drive along Highway 401 and get east of Oshawa, the highway branches off to Highway 115-35, and just east of that branch off is Wilmot Creek. You would not believe the thousands and millions of vehicles that travel to the creek, but it is one of southern Ontario’s best fishing streams.

There have been a great number of people using the stream, and hundreds of people have been parking their cars along the shoulder of the road on Highway 401 and Highway 2. This has resulted in a very dangerous situation.

The Ontario Provincial Police have told me we have had three deaths as a result of this parking over the years. People are driving on to the shoulder of Highway 401 to get to the creek bed. Later, they are pulling on to the highway from the shoulder of the road; when cars are travelling at 80 kilometres an hour and people suddenly pull onto the highway, inevitably there are accidents.

As a result of my meeting with the Ministry of Natural Resources official from Lindsay, Mr. Phil Smith, who has been very co-operative, the local councillors in the area -- regional councillor Bill Clarke and local councillor Keith Barr -- and mayor Garnet Rickard, we came up with a stopgap solution.

There would be no-parking signs along the shoulder of the road on Highway 401 and Highway 2, and a small parking lot would be made available on one of the side roads. It will hold only about 20 cars, but at least it is a start. Government at all levels being what it is, unfortunately the lot is not finished yet. But I am very happy to report we have got the culvert in. So we have started.

I am sure the member for Durham West, when he was mayor of Pickering, would have been much more successful in getting a culvert in a little sooner than that. We have got the culvert in, and I am sure ministry officials will be in there tearing up a bit of the property to accommodate some of the parking.

That is only a stopgap solution. I have had the opportunity of touring the creek basin at the opening of the trout season and since then. The first day of the trout season is not indicative of the problem, because a massive number of people come out. Looking at the time frame since opening day there are still a large number of people using the Wilmot Creek basin. This is causing some great problems in that particular part of my riding.

12 noon

First, the natural habitat is slowly being destroyed. There is no uniform, orderly process taking place of accommodating visitors who are outside the area. Second, those visitors -- not all, but some -- are a little discourteous, and there is litter strewn about that wonderful creek area. Some of the incoming people are a little disrespectful of private property which, in turn, makes the residents in the surrounding area a little concerned about what is happening to their property. After an investigation by myself and Sergeant Elson of the OPP, there is no doubt that the small parking lot is only a stopgap solution.

We have to be thinking in terms of an overall plan, an overall study that has to be done on that Wilmot Creek basin to make sure we do not lose its natural habitat and environmental conditions and to make it available to the people of the province and the residents of the surrounding area in such a manner that it is not hazardous to them.

I have had the opportunity of meeting with Ontario Hydro, which owns a fairly large parcel of property of 20 or 30 acres close to the creek basin as a result of the Hydro corridor that traverses my riding. Hydro was sympathetic with my concern that it would be nice to accommodate a parking area, but in its wisdom it is also thinking in terms of dollars, which I appreciate.

The Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Auld) is not here today. I understand he is in Europe. I forwarded him a letter in which I specifically stated -- and I am going to be following it up with him -- that we have to have a meeting with his deputy minister and his staff in Lindsay so we can take a look at an overall program with regard to the Wilmot Creek basin.

I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, and the few members opposite, it is sometimes a little disappointing when one sees $20 million being plunked into Minaki, which no doubt a few hundred people will be visiting. But, boy, when one takes a look at my particular area, where thousands of people come from all parts of southern Ontario to fish in Wilmot Creek, there is no accommodation whatsoever being provided there by the government of Ontario.

I am very confident that the Minister of Natural Resources, after listening to my plea, is going to be able to convince his cabinet colleagues to provide some necessary funding for a preliminary study and plan of this area so that we can alleviate some of these problems. I am looking forward to meeting with him. I am very confident that in the near future we can start working on resolving a very serious problem that is taking place in the riding of Durham East.

Those are the few comments I have with regard to the spinoff of the budgetary program that affects the great riding of Durham East. I thank members very much for listening so intently. I will recline for the next hour.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, it is nice to rise this nice, bright, sunny morning of May 16 and take part in the budget debate for 1980. As I look around the House, I think the members must all be wanting to enjoy this particular day. They are going to miss some good comments.

I do appreciate the debate that took place last night. My colleague from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) gave a good speech early in the evening, and the member for Windsor-Sandwich (Mr. Bounsall) indicated the depressed area in his riding in the Windsor area. As we come into the 1980s, the economy is very difficult and it is certainly going to be a year that will be very trying for many of us and many of our constituents. The member for Durham East (Mr. Cureatz), who just completed his budget debate speech, indicated that Minaki Lodge was unneeded in Ontario with the expenditure there and that the province should be changing its priorities. I would have to agree with him on those comments.

Mr. Cureatz: It is not unneeded, but we are looking forward to funds coming my way.

Mr. G. I. Miller: After 37 years of one government, it would be nice for all the people of Ontario if we could come up with a change of government. I would like to think the Liberal Party under the direction of our leader could give the leadership this province really deserves.

I would also like to indicate in my opening remarks that I am proud to represent the riding of Haldimand-Norfolk. It is an area that has changed considerably over the past 10 years with the development of an industrial park where Stelco has located. They are about to produce steel, which we have been waiting for 12 years to take place. It is to be hoped it will contribute to the economy of Ontario in these very difficult days. Almost $1 billion has been spent on that plant, and it has created a lot of jobs over the past 12 years on behalf of all of Ontario and Canada, and probably spreading as far as Europe and many other countries.

The Hydro plant is working, and the generating station is producing about 70 per cent of its energy. I think there were some comments made this morning in the House in regard to the sulphur dioxide pollution which can contribute to the environment. It is time again that was looked at more closely.

Texaco Canada are in operation and they are producing at full capacity. They spent something like $400 million developing that plant, and Hydro spent in the area of $800 million; so you can see that area has had a lot of money put into it which has stimulated all areas of Ontario, as I indicated before.

Another controversial issue coming up at the present time is the development of Townsend town site. It is a new town site, and the Ministry of Housing is moving forward with it. I have already said, I support the principle of it, if there is a need for the town site, because I think we should make sure our young people have the opportunity to own their own homes. I think they do have a good plan concept on it at the present time. The only question I am concerned about is whether it is needed now.

As I tried to point out to the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett), there are 1,100 housing lots available in the riding of Haldimand-Norfolk, and many of them in that particular area are in Jarvis, Simcoe, Port Dover, Hagersville, Caledonia and Cayuga, which are within range of the industrial site. I question whether we should be moving ahead at this particular time when the houses and lots that are there are not moving very swiftly.

All the labour force is in Stelco. As I indicated, the plant is going to start up within the next week or so, and it may even be producing steel now. I indicated the work force is there in all areas, for Texaco, Hydro and Stelco, and there are still houses that aren’t moving. Some of the subdivisions have been sifting for several years. Do we need it now or should we let the existing municipalities get some growth? When that pressure is being applied, we could then move over into Townsend.

The province hasn’t accepted that. They are continuing to move forward. Before they do it, I indicate to the minister that they should provide water to the towns of Jarvis and Hagersville, because there is a definite need there. Jarvis’s water is at the limit now and they can’t grow unless they have it. Hagersville water comes from drilled wells, which is very hard on the water pipes. We do have a hospital there, a high school and the public schools and, with the type of water we have now, it is very costly just for the upkeep of the system.

I hope they do proceed with the water lines so they can have a good, adequate supply of water. I would hope this government does not use that as a lever to get Townsend going while holding back on the supplying of this much-needed facility.

12:10 p.m.

I do have some prepared comments that I would like to give, to point out the problems with this government in putting more expenditures back on the municipalities. We do have a regional government. It has received considerable flak because it is so expensive, but I think this government has to take some responsibility by not providing the grants. They have been withdrawing grants instead of moving forward and I will give some examples to point up this fact.

We were trying to provide a home in Dunnville for our mentally retarded adults. The ministry indicated, back in 1978, there would be money available. Yet, when they had the lot and the groundwork done, the government withdrew and indicated the money wasn’t available. Consequently, they had to make other arrangements. A lot of dissatisfaction in Dunnville itself was created with people not willing to accept the location of the adult housing centre. It certainly caused a lot of debate, discussion and hard feelings in the community because the money was not made available.

Another area is that of equalized assessment and I would like to read one of the headlines on this: “Equalized Assessment not so Equal, According to Many of the Local People.” First, I would like to raise the question of tax increases in my riding of Haldimand-Norfolk. One result of implementing market value assessment in the city of Nanticoke is the very severe hardship to the farmers of Walpole township in particular. Individual tax increases in excess of 100 per cent and some as high as 200 per cent have been reported. I have had numerous letters of complaint on this subject, and I am sure the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) has also had many letters and submissions.

I would like to quote from a letter sent to the minister by the Haldimand Federation of Agriculture, with a copy to myself:

“The implementation of market value assessment coupled with the lingering effects of the creation of regional government in this area has resulted in a unique situation that requires your special attention and consideration.

“We understood funds have been made available for this purpose and we would also like to point out that a substantial amount of assessment has been lost by the farming sector to the towns and townsites and the industrial development at Nanticoke.

“Our calculations of farm taxes across the old county of Haldimand now show a substantial increase in Walpole over the rest of the former county of Haldimand. Municipal taxes will be 53 per cent and 35 per cent higher than in the neighbouring municipalities, the town of Dunnville and the town of Haldimand respectively, for properties of equal market value. Yet municipal taxes on industry will be lower by 78 per cent and 58 per cent compared with industrial property in adjoining Haldimand and Dunnville.

“Therefore, it would appear that industry is not paying its fair share of municipal taxes in the city of Nanticoke and we urgently request an immediate evaluation of the financial affairs of the city of Nanticoke.

I have asked the minister to carry out this request and his response indicated there doesn’t seem to be much that can be done at this particular time. This is the first time the city of Nanticoke has pooled its resources and it is because of regional government that it has all come about. I feel there should be some recognition for this particular problem.

It appears that in Nanticoke the tax on a $100,000 assessment in three categories is as follows: On the industrial assessment, the tax, if it had applied in 1979, would have been about $1,548; on residential it would have been $1,053; on agriculture it would have been about $1,639.

One can see that agriculture is being assessed on the same assessment considerably higher than industry. Therefore, equal assessment does not produce equal taxation, neither does it reflect equal payment for equal services provided by the municipality.

Again in 1978 this government didn’t move forward with the property tax reforms as it had indicated it was prepared to do 12 years earlier. It came in with a piecemeal solution, bringing in section 86, which gave the right for the municipality to pool each class of its assessment. This is certainly creating many hardships in my particular riding.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind the government, as one person expressed it recently, “Hell hath no fury like a farmer up against his tax bill.” I would point out that in the Nanticoke area that fury is rising into white heat as farmers watch their tax bills go out of sight under market value assessment.

We have had a number of very lively meetings on this matter of tax increases in my riding. One farmer in the Hagersville area pointed out: “When Stelco and Hydro came in, everybody made out that we wouldn’t have to pay anything. Now we are paying it all.” He also expressed the view of many people when he charged that farm values in the area have been inflated by provincial land buying. I know of one 100-acre farm that was sold for $280 one year. Then the province came along the next, and it was sold to the government for $2,000 per acre. “What was the value of that?” he asked. The question is frequently asked, “Who wants to farm the land when it can be sold to the province for $2,000 an acre?” This was the case with 12,000 acres in the Townsend town site.

On the subject of Townsend, I would like to remind this House that although these 12,000 acres were bought in 1974, the province has only recently begun to develop it. In the meantime, it is good class one and two agricultural land -- it is certainly good farm land. As the local member there, I would like to make sure that we protect that agriculture industry. I hope we can have industry and a place for the people to live and to work, and also provide agriculture along with it. I think it has to be that way, and I will maybe make some points on that as I go along.

Mr. McKessock: The government aren’t very good farmers.

Mr. G. I. Miller: They certainly aren’t. They are just concerned about justifying the expenditure they put into these town sites across Ontario. These total up to tremendous amounts.

I think it was $280,000 they put into Pickering -- the figure given in answer to a question of our financial critic, April 3, 1980. The interest on that property alone is as much as they paid for the Townsend town site and almost equal to that for the South Cayuga town site. It just points out that the minister of the day, at that time, made some bad decisions and overestimated the need for land to provide housing facilities.

Mr. McKessock: Give the farms back to the farmers.

Mr. G. I. Miller: They certainly should, as my colleague from Grey points out. He brought his bill forward only a few weeks ago indicating that this province is not providing adequate support for the agriculture industry. One per cent of our overall budget goes towards the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. That is down from the 1979 budget, which indicates what this government really feels about agriculture. They only give lip service to it. They can put out good brochures indicating what their intent is, but they never follow through and carry out.

As my colleague the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) pointed out last night, it is time for a change. It is our job as members of the opposition to sell it to the people of Ontario. I have hope we can do that whenever an election may be called.

Some rural residents are also up in arms because they believe they are getting raw deals when they are made to pay for street lights and fire hydrants in the urban areas. This is another complaint arising from the regionalization of the area. I very strongly urge the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs to give urgent and serious consideration to this question of taxes, specifically tax increases in Haldimand-Norfolk.

With the region’s move to implement equalized assessment based on market value, revenues collected from land taxation within each municipality will not change, according to the chief assessment officer. Residents are now paying taxes based on market value as of 1975, with readjustment to be made every two years in land value.

12:20 p.m.

Farmers believe that new equalized factors are causing a shift on to them. I have raised this matter with the minister in a letter read in this House. Once again I bring it to his attention in the hope that something can be done, bearing in mind the vital importance of maintaining a viable farming community, putting aside questions of simple justice.

When the Haldimand-Norfolk regional council finalized its budget in 1980, the taxpayers were hit to the tune of $5.8 million, an increase of something like 17 per cent. The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs indicated in his opening statement this past week that taxes would not go up in 1980. Yet we can see by the results that the taxes in the region of Haldimand-Norfolk are going to increase 17 per cent

As I pointed out earlier, this government brought in regional government, and the elected municipal people have spent a lot of time trying to bring in a budget that would be acceptable to the residents. Originally it was up around 26 or 27 per cent. They did bring it down to 17 per cent, but if this government wants to make regional government work, it has to keep pace with the payouts to those municipalities so that the local taxpayer is not carrying the whole burden.

I would like also to make the point at this time that education costs are the big factor. Fifty-two per cent of the property taxes goes to the educational budget, and that only leaves 48 per cent for the other services of the local municipality, the area municipality and the regional municipality. While the regional council is taking the benefit, the province is making the region look bad because it is not providing the proper funding. If regional government is so good, my argument has been that if they can accept the responsibility, and I know they have good people, why do we need the services here at Toronto or Queen’s Park? Why can that money not be transferred, along with the responsibilities, to provide the services? I do not think this government has followed through on that.

Getting back to the budget of $5.8 million, there were a number of reasons for this. There was some misplaced information. A figure of $34,000 in debt charges for the Caledonia Dam has been mentioned. I would like to point out that it was a needed facility in the Grand River at Caledonia because the old dam had broken down. It let the water down so that it would not regenerate the wells. It had to be replaced. It is under construction now at a cost of something over $2 million, and again the municipality has to pick up almost 50 per cent of the cost of that dam.

I remember, as a member of the conservation authority at the time the dams were put in to provide a holding area or holding supply, that 80 per cent of the cost was picked up by the conservation authority and 20 per cent by the municipality. That is another area where the region and the local municipality are paying more than their fair share. A dam of that size is a long-term investment. It not only provides a service for the municipality, but also provides a recreation area for Hamilton, Brantford, even as far away as Toronto. They come down to fish off the Caledonia Dam in the Grand River.

While I am talking about the Grand River, only last week there was a cancer drive. I have always wanted the opportunity to canoe down the river. Because it was requested that the member participate in a special occasion, my wife Shirley and I canoed from Caledonia to Cayuga in the morning. It was a beautiful morning, exactly like this. If anyone wishes to take that trip, he could not spend a better weekend.

I have lived there all my life and I did not realize the Grand River had so much to offer. It is the largest river in southern Ontario and there are about 15 to 20 islands on the way down where you can stop. The water is not deep; the river has a rock bottom and there may be only a few deep spots. As a matter of fact, in some places you may have trouble when the water is running lower, but you can canoe all the way from there to Lake Erie and from Cayuga on. The larger boats, the motor boats, can navigate the stream from Dunnville to Cayuga.

It was a beautiful morning and I was certainly glad to have the opportunity to do it. We also made some money on behalf of a worthy cause.

Getting back to the Caledonia Dam, I mention the $34 million of debt charges that had to be picked up by the region. Services had to be cut from the budget of Haldimand-Norfolk to make up this omission. There were other departments and services which they were reluctant to cut from their estimates.

Other matters have contributed to the increase such as contractual obligations for wages and benefits, the growing staff in some departments, and new programs and changes in service. To these factors must be added the lower assessment growth, a provincial freeze on grants, and a 1979 deficit of $317,220. While there was a deficit, it wasn’t a huge deficit, but a lot of this was the responsibility of this government, which didn’t provide adequate funding for the programs that were carried out. They put the responsibility back on the municipality.

All in all, the situation has been described as calling for a crisis level. Many people place the blame squarely on regionalization itself and I have indicated it’s not all the region’s responsibility. I think if the province wants to make regional government work, it has to provide adequate funding and the region has to know where the money is coming from at least one year ahead.

I would like to mention that in our submission to municipal finance and property tax reform, the Ontario Liberal Party accepted the farmers’ argument that productivity value assessment, based on the ability of the farm to produce, provides a more logical basis for assessment. In our view, productivity value assessment need not conflict with market value. If we adjust the definition of market value for farms to represent the market value of the farm for farming purposes only, based on the farmer-to-farmer sale rather than its highest market value, then the concern over the impact of market value on the urban fringe is lessened.

I think that is the key to it if we want to maintain a viable agriculture industry along with urban development, because there is no way under the present prices paid to farmers that they can compete with industry. Food is going to be a basic need for generations to come, and I think that is important, particularly to Ontario and Canada.

Before leaving this topic I would like to read an advertisement that has appeared in two papers in our region. The heading is “Land Wanted.” The advertisement reads:

“Canadian corporate groups forecasting population growth and requirements for development land for the next 30 years is creating $100-million land bank. Our group seeks to purchase for cash, land anywhere in Canada in the following categories:

“(1) urban residential building lots, any quantity; (2) rural residential building lots, any quantity; (3) recreational or vocational building lots, waterfront or back lots or acreage, any quantity; (4) farm land with or without buildings, any quantity, minimum 20 acres; (5) bush acreage, any quantity, minimum 50 acres; (6) environmental land, swamp, marsh, et cetera, any quantity, minimum 50 acres; and (7) commercial and/or industrial lots or acreage, any quantity, but must have correct zoning now.

“Note: Any quantity means one let, or partial or more with no upper limit. Principals only, but realtors protected. Please forward particulars of category of land you have for sale, number of lots, size of acreage, exact location and price expected. Airport Building Corporation Limited, 239 Sheppard Avenue East, Suite 300, Willowdale, Ontario, M2N 5S2.”

As I indicated before, this ad has appeared in two papers in this region.

Mr. McKessock: I thought they were only going to buy Grey county but they are going to buy yours too.

Mr. G. I. Miller: I say we have a job to do to keep our young people on the farm, and I think we certainly have to protect them.

12:30 p.m.

There is another article I would like to read now in connection with agriculture to point out the need in the future. This was an article in the Globe and Mail dated November 9, 1979, I believe. I’m not sure of the exact date. It reads:

“Developing countries were warned in the UN yesterday that mass starvation could occur in some parts of the world as early as 1985 if they did not quickly move to increase their food production.

“Geoffrey Bruce, Canada’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, told the economic committee that it has become clear that the current increase in population is outpacing the increase in food production in the Third World. Canada has made huge amounts of food available for the struggle against hunger, contributing more than $100 million this year alone.”

I would like to point out that at the present time it is particularly dry in the western parts of Canada and it could come to be a serious situation, perhaps even resembling something back in the 1930s. People are not planting because of the dry conditions. That has been the bread basket of Canada. It is a tremendous area, but if it does not get moisture it certainly could affect the world supply of food.

It may come about quicker than we think, although in southern Ontario we have a very good water supply and we can use irrigation if necessary. In the tobacco area, in the former county of Norfolk, we are using irrigation. We have a lot of potential there. All we have to do is harness it and utilize it.

While we may say we don’t have co-operation with the west, we received a call the other day from a friend of ours, from whom we bought cattle before, indicating he wanted to know if we were in the market to buy stocker tattle. Because of the drought in the west, the price has dropped from $1.20 a pound to an asking price of 75 cents. I think we are going to try to finance it under the difficult high interest rates in order to load these cattle and feed them here. We have the facilities to do it. I’m just pointing out that means we can help our neighbours to the west, which is the strength of Confederation in the great country we have. It indicates, too, how vulnerable we are when it comes to weather conditions.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to our farmers and to mention that technological advances, combined with the ever-increasing efficiency of our agricultural community, have given North American consumers the most abundant and reasonably priced food in the entire world. We met with the food processors yesterday who indicated that very clearly.

Each farm worker in Canada and the US now produces enough food for more than 50 people. This compares to 10 for Western Europe and fewer than 1.5 in the USSR and China. This indicates how much progress has been made in agriculture in Canada and in North America. This has clearly come about because of the energy and the technology we have, but this may well change in the years ahead.

Clearly, the efforts of our farmers to provide reasonably priced food for consumers are being made increasingly difficult. Energy prices are a big question mark, not to mention energy supplies. Government at every level is going to have to be increasingly mindful of the importance of our agricultural community and the new difficulties which are arising to join with the farmer’s traditional enemies, the pests and unfavourable weather conditions.

In the last 30 years or so, the food industry has been able to take advantage of comparatively cheap energy supplies. Mechanization has been an important factor as tractors and other machines have taken over. We have to bear in mind that a great proportion of farm fuels, such as gasoline and diesel fuel for tractors, cannot be readily substituted. Fuel for tractors must be easily portable and highly concentrated.

We must develop sufficient supplies of alternative fuels. The Ontario Liberal Party’s paper on methanol production should be effectively followed up by this government. I think our candidate for the riding of Parry Sound has been producing alcohol to fuel his automobile. I think he produced 300 gallons of alcohol from an acre and a half, and he estimated the cost of that alcohol was 30 cents per gallon. He has been down to Toronto in his car. It’s an ordinary car. He has driven to Toronto on the alcohol made on his farm in the district of Parry Sound.

There is potential in the north to open it up and utilize that agricultural land to produce crops; that could be the salvation of northern Ontario. I think the Liberal Party has shown a lot of leadership in providing this paper on the development of methanol production. It has to be got out to the people. The people have to be made aware of the alternatives, and a little competition in the field is certainly what is needed. There is also solar power, which could be utilized effectively if the government were prepared to provide the necessary facilities and the funding.

I would like to touch upon the question of health services in Ontario. This is another area of real concern. The government has done a tremendous advertising job indicating how much money has been made available to the hospitals and health services in Ontario that could have been better utilized to provide better services for the communities. We were appalled to read of the prediction by members of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons that Canada faces a slow but certain decline in the health care system. It was their view that the initial pride and enthusiasm for publicly financed health care has waned.

How can we help but be seriously concerned to learn that the emigration rate for qualified young Canadian doctors is 600 a year -- equal to the total graduating class of Canada’s 16 medical schools? I would like to quote from a Texas newspaper, the Plainview Reporter-News, of January 17, 1980. Let me read the banner headline from this US publication: “Canadian Doctor Prefers US system.”

The story is about Dr. Tony Lyons, a doctor born and raised in rural Ontario, who worked his way through college and medical school at Ottawa University to become the first physician in his family. After his post-college training at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, he accepted a government deal to pay for part of his schooling in return for being the only physician in tiny, rural Jarvis, Ontario. That was in 1966.

He intended to stay in Jarvis for a few years and then return to medical training to become a surgeon, but the situation in Jarvis and picking up a part-time practice with two other doctors in nearby Hagersville grew on him and he stayed. Something else grew on him too -- Canada’s progressively more socialized system of medical care. Dr. Lyons said he was one of those doctors who was caught in the middle of the change, and he surmises that being caught in the middle was one of the reasons he became one of those most disenchanted with the change.

Interviewed by the local paper in his new American community, Dr. Lyons said that with the socialized medical care system nationwide, but with each province having control of the system within the province, the provinces had developed planning agencies that control the distribution of medical facilities, the number of hospital beds and the like. We are aware of this, but his following comments are interesting, however.

One of the problems, he says, is that “these regional agencies have only the authority to recommend and the government usually does what it wants to do anyway.” I think that comment is worth noting. He went on to describe practising medicine in Canada as “assembly-line medicine.”

12:40 p.m.

As a footnote to this episode, I would like to say that now it is pretty well impossible to get a doctor to come out to our area. There is a hospital for chronic care in Hagersville which was built back in the middle 1960s by public funding, public donations. Yet, this hospital is not providing the service it was designed for and for which the people in the area provided the funding. The work load is being shifted to the larger centres like the Hamilton McMaster Hospital. While it is a fine facility, we should encourage the use of our locally funded, very convenient and well run hospital in the community.

I would like to point out that a steering committee has been formed with the view to setting up a health council. It is headed by the former Conservative member of the federal riding, Mr. Bill Knowles, and we hope their recommendations will bring the medical services in the region together and they will be listened to by this government at Queen’s Park.

The hospital for chronic care in Hagersville which, as I said, is publicly funded and is not being used very much, I believe would be more appropriately operated as a clinic-type facility. People would be able to use it more frequently than at the present time.

In this House, we recently debated my resolution on the establishment of a permanent relief program using funds from Ontario lotteries to provide grants and low-interest loans to individuals and communities that have suffered severe damage and loss due to natural causes. I would like, once again, to impress upon the government the urgent necessity of doing something along these lines. I would also like to make it clear that it is not proposed that this fund should be an insurance policy but should be used strictly for the result of natural disasters.

My colleague the member for Essex North (Mr. Ruston) was going to have an extra session with the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells), yesterday on the occurrence that had taken place in the town of Essex in his riding which would, in my opinion, be a disaster. A gas line was broken and the heart of the town was taken out but this government does not see fit, under its present policy, to provide any funding for a disaster of this kind.

My own riding of Haldimand-Norfolk has been singularly unfortunate in this regard in recent years. In this connection, I would like to touch upon the serious lakefront erosion taking place at Port Dover. This is a very serious situation with houses going over the bank, et cetera. Clearly, some provincial assistance is desperately needed to organize effective planning and protection. About 40 or 50 homes are involved and I think it is up to this government to provide some leadership to co-ordinate a plan to protect that particular area.

I have brought the matter to the minister’s attention many times. As a matter of fact, the Treasurer of Ontario (Mr. F. S. Miller), the then Minister of Natural Resources, had the opportunity to tour the area to see the effects of the erosion. That was about two years ago. We have not been able to achieve any correction of the problem to this point in time. I would certainly hope to arrange a meeting in the near future to see if the government had a change of attitude to come up with a clear plan to protect that disastrous area.

We need a clear financial program for the designation of disastrous situations, a program whereby citizens directly affected would have immediate assistance. I think one good example would be Port Maitland, another area in my riding, which has been flooded out five times in the last five years. Yet, they can’t qualify for any assistance to protect them from the high water of Lake Erie which particularly occurs when the wind is in a certain direction. This has been going on for many years. Many of the people are older and they cannot finance it themselves so are caught in a bind.

I fail to understand why the federal government has dragged its feet on this issue for so very long. Why have Ontarians been put in the position of having to struggle against tremendous odds to rebuild their lives, which have been severely damaged by natural disasters and circumstances entirely beyond their control, unassisted?

There is absolutely no excuse for the government’s delaying tactics on this very important question. I might add too, that we have had resolutions from many municipalities around Ontario, supporting the establishment of a disaster relief fund. The people of Ontario deserve more consideration.

Another issue of great importance in our area is the Middleport PCB site. We have been told that the proposed facility on Hydro property at Middleport is going to be constructed with the most strict safety and precautionary measures. We have been told there are to be special sumps, concrete curbs, drainage checking systems and air filters, to be utilized to keep any possible leakage of liquid waste of airborne PCB material to a minimum.

By this time we are too well aware of the hazards of PCBs. We know they accumulate in human tissues and can be absorbed by. babies. We know they have been found to cause birth defects, nervous disorders, changes in liver functions and cancer. The hazards involved in their continuing use were taken so seriously by the federal government that they have now been banned in this country for more than a year.

In spite of the fact that the dangers of PCBs are widely known, we are told not to worry about their storage in the proposed Middleport facility. We are told everything will be taken into account. Frankly, the people of the Middleport area are very uneasy about this whole situation, and government reassurances are doing little to allay these fears.

Finally, I would like to return once again to the Townsend development, which I mentioned earlier in my remarks about tax increases. A development of this dimension envisaged for Townsend is bound to have an enormous impact on local communities. It has always been hoped, of course, that some of the negative effects would be outweighed to some extent by improved employment opportunities at Stelco Inc. and Texaco Canada Inc., for example, which I pointed out in my opening remarks.

These hopes are fast disappearing for many people. For instance, many planners and engineers are to come in from the Toronto area, and doubtless the same will be true for senior technical and managerial staff. It was hoped that work would be created for local quarry operators, but this has not been the case. Stelco is obtaining its stone from a quarry on their site and the work is being done by quarry operators from Toronto.

In the beginning, while the development of regional government and the development of the area was taking place, the local quarry operators and business people were gearing up to take care of the development, but this really has not come about I have had many complaints from quarry operators that their business has dropped off rather than increased.

Stelco is also going abroad to hire its tradesmen. The company has received government approval to recruit a total of 103 tradesmen from overseas, probably from the United Kingdom. Forty-nine of these workers will be employed at Nanticoke, with the remainder going to Stelco’s Edmonton plant and various finishing plants.

We have had many discussions with Stelco on this very same situation. We also discussed it with the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) and the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson), who was in her seat earlier on but has not seen fit to stay for the complete morning. I just proved that our education system is not geared to take care of our needs, and there certainly must be some adjusting there.

These workers will be craftsmen and tradesmen, including millwrights, machinists, electricians, welders, electrical technicians and toolmakers. Why is the company going abroad? For the same reason as other companies have been forced to do the same thing. We simply do not have the skilled workers in Ontario.

12:50 p.m.

You may be interested to know, Mr. Speaker, that some 800 applications have been made to Stelco for jobs, and few people have been called in for an interview. They have been very selective. When is this government really going to wake up to the fact that, for all our sakes, something must be done about the lack of skilled workers in Ontario?

Our youth unemployment figures are a scandal. Our young people are becoming increasingly uneasy about their future prospects and our manufacturing sector is in serious trouble. Yet the government does virtually nothing effective about improved skills training. I ask the question why? If the Minister of Education had been here this morning, I would have asked her. I hope she and the Minister of Labour take a look at Hansard.

Why can we not be honest with our young Ontarians about the bleak job prospects in certain areas? They must not be allowed to continue to act on the assumption that higher education automatically guarantees higher-paying work. In many areas, the traditional job opportunities just aren’t there any more. The need for improvement, improved guidelines, and counselling has been widely recognized for well over a decade, as has the vital necessity of extensive and accurate manpower planning. Surely the facilities and information are available to project future employment needs.

Students wishing to take specific courses should be made aware at the outset of their chances of obtaining a job in their chosen field. Graduation day is certainly not the time to learn that through lack of knowledge of future job prospects they made the wrong choice when they entered university or community college.

Why can’t we provide all students with the necessary information on job possibilities in the existing labour market? Why can’t we make them aware of their prospects of finding employment in the career of their choice?

Often when we are talking about young people and their education with respect to job opportunities we tend to overlook the approximately 73 per cent -- and I would like to emphasize that, 73 per cent -- who don’t go to university or community college. They are eliminated from jobs such as those at Stelco, Hydro and Texaco. I think that is the area the minister should zero in on, that 73 per cent who don’t have the same opportunities to get the money to buy the homes they are trying to build at Townsend. They deserve a home the same as anyone else.

I think the key is the 73 per cent who don’t have that opportunity. Perhaps more than any other group they need to have assistance in bridging the gap between school and work. They need to know how to cope with the want ads that say, “experience required.” They need a chance to acquire skills which will enable them to earn a living in today’s competitive world.

We have been aware for a long time now that by far the greatest proportion of our skilled workers are nearly 50 years old. We have also known that the majority of their skill training was obtained in other countries. I think that is a key statement. Why do we allow this situation to continue, knowing the importance of skilled workers in meeting today's manufacturing and industrial needs? Why do we allow situations to continue that force companies such as Stelco to go abroad for their skilled workers, when we at home in Ontario have unemployment figures that are unforgivable high?

With those comments, I would like to wind up my portion of the debate on the budget for 1980. I support my leader and our financial critic in the position that we are taking on behalf of all the people of Ontario. If the government is forced into an election, I think we are well equipped to go to the people of Ontario and explain our position and the need for a change for the best interests of Ontario.

Mr. Charlton: Mr. Speaker, since it is Friday and five minutes to one, and my remarks are somewhat longer than five minutes, perhaps I could move the adjournment of the debate.

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

The House adjourned at 12:54 p.m.