31st Parliament, 4th Session

L052 - Tue 20 May 1980 / Mar 20 mai 1980

The House met at 2 p.m.


The Honourable the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario entered the chamber of the Legislative Assembly and took her seat upon the throne.


Hon. Mrs. McGibbon: Pray be seated.

Mr. Speaker: May it please Your Honour, the Legislative Assembly of the province has, at its present sittings thereof, passed certain bills to which, in the name of and on behalf of the said Legislative Assembly, I respectfully request Your Honour’s assent.

First Clerk Assistant: The following are the titles of the bills to which Your Honour’s assent is prayed:

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

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

Bill 202, An Act respecting Occupiers’ Liability;

Bill 203, An Act to protect against Trespass to Property;

Bill Pr1, An Act to revive Basin-Jib Mines Limited;

Bill Pr2, An Act to revive Christian Reformed Church of Wallaceburg;

Bill Pr5, An Act to revive Milani Lathing Limited:

Bill Pr8, An Act respecting the City of St. Catharines;

Bill Pr9, An Act to revive John Madronich Limited;

Bill Pr10, An Act respecting the Township of Cumberland and the Township of Gloucester;

Bill Pr11, An Act respecting the City of Brantford;

Bill Pr15, An Act to revive Golden Hope Mines Limited;

Bill Pr16; An Act respecting Co-operative Health Services of Ontario;

Bill Pr20, An Act to revive Fargo Disposal Company Limited;

Bill Pr22, An Act respecting Crossroads Christian Communications Incorporated;

Bill Pr24, An Act respecting the Borough of Scarborough.

Clerk of the House: In Her Majesty’s name, the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor doth assent to these bills.

The Honourable the Lieutenant Governor was pleased to retire from the chamber.

2:10 p.m.



Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the ministers of Education, Health, and myself, I would like to advise the Legislature and the public of the specifics of a major joint initiative of our three ministries regarding developmental programs for mentally retarded people in homes for special care and nursing homes in Ontario. This is the culmination of recommendations made by an interministerial task force set up for that purpose last August and of discussions with the Ontario Association for the Mentally Retarded.

This initiative will affect 2,920 mentally retarded individuals, of whom 237 are under the age of 18, 160 are between the ages of 18 and 21, 1,442 are between the ages of 21 and 55, and 1,075 are over 55 years of age. The project is to be implemented over the next four years and is expected to cost approximately $29 million over that period. Funding for this fiscal year will be about $1.3 million. Estimated costs are approximately $5 million for the second year, approximately $9.5 million for the third year and approximately $13 million for the fourth year. It is estimated that the annual cost of providing developmental training and related programs to these clients after the four-year implementation period will be approximately $13 million a year.

In order to determine the individual needs of the clients, four interministerial assessment teams are being established. Assessment teams will include a social worker, a psychologist, and a physician, with additional consultative resources as required. The goals of the assessment process are accuracy and objectivity, the end product being an individualized, goal-oriented plan of training and treatment. Areas to be evaluated include behaviour, self-care and basic life skills training; developmental and special education; pre-vocational and vocational training; physical and speech therapy; activation programs and recreational activities.

I am pleased to announce that the first steps have been taken to assess the children in these homes and that all of the individual assessments of the 400 children and young adults up to the age of 21 years will be completed by September 30 of this year. Training programs appropriate to their needs will be introduced as soon as possible after the completion of each assessment. In addition, by March 1981 assessments will be completed for 300 other adults. As this initiative progresses, training programs for adult residents will be introduced as soon as possible, based on the recommendations from individual assessments. Program alternatives, such as social or recreational training activities, will be made available for those people who may not be able to benefit from developmental training.

Funding for this initiative will be in addition to the $30.6 million which my colleague the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) has allocated this fiscal year to provide residential and health services to mentally retarded people in homes for special care and nursing homes. Operators of the homes will continue to provide these services with the supervision of the Ministry of Health. My ministry will assume responsibility for the administration and general management of this project, together with the implementation and funding of developmental training and social and recreational programs.

The Ministry of Education will continue to be responsible, through local boards of education, for the education of those children and young adults up to the age of 21 already receiving this program and for the education of others identified through assessment as being able to benefit. An interministerial steering committee has already been established to provide overall coordination and direction to the project management and to review and make recommendations on such issues as admissions criteria and procedures for the program, as well as the long-term program implications.

Community activity will be stimulated through the involvement of a provincial liaison group representing organizations such as the Ontario Nursing Homes Association and the Ontario Association for the Mentally Retarded. In addition, local advisory committees, representing service organizations and operators of nursing homes and homes for special care, will play a significant role in both the planning and implementation of programs.

Over the four-year period, approximately 800 new jobs will be created outside the provincial government, producing a significant economic impact. These jobs will be a direct result of the increased demand for programs and services and will enable the mentally retarded people in homes and nursing homes to benefit from the programs thus made available to them. This commitment demonstrates the sincere and continuing desire on the part of the Ontario government to ensure that all mentally retarded citizens in this province are afforded the opportunity to develop to their full potential and live in an environment appropriate to their needs.


Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring members of the House up to date on the forest fire situation in the province. The northwestern region of Ontario continues to be in an extremely hazardous state, even though the number and the spread of fires have diminished since the serious outbreak two weeks ago which threatened the communities of Sioux Narrows, Minaki and Camp Robinson.

Throughout the northwestern region ground moisture is in a drought stage and the potential for forest fires is high to extreme. Because there has been little rain since the first of April these extreme drought conditions are prevailing. Consequently last Friday the ministry declared that the northwestern region will be a restricted fire zone until at least the last day of this month. This means, as the Forest Fire Prevention Act states: “No person shall start a fire outdoors for the purpose of cooking or obtaining warmth except in a portable stove or a charcoal installation.” That is, no open fires will be allowed.

The fire risk situation is extremely serious and can be expected to escalate over the rest of the month. The long holiday weekend just past was the beginning of the cottage season with many cottagers wanting to burn debris. The opening of the pickerel season will mean people wanting to build fires for shore lunches and there will be a considerable increase of travel in the dry bush during this time by campers, hikers and tourists.

The declaration of a restricted fire zone will minimize the risk of man-caused fires and will make the public aware of the severe fire danger in that region. Taking this step also allows my ministry’s firefighting force to regroup and gear up for the anticipated lire load over the balance of the 1980 fire season.

On Friday afternoon my ministry advised the news media of the restricted fire zone in the northwest so that people using the woods in that region would be made aware of the hazardous conditions and the ban on open fires.


Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) has tabled an order in council under the Expropriations Act. This order will allow expropriation of property for rights of way within the town of Vaughan in the regional municipality of York. This land is needed for the construction of the North Maple collector sewer portion of the York-Durham sewage system. The Maple collector sewer has already been constructed from Steeles Avenue to a point about 750 metres north of Langstaff Road in Vaughan. In order to provide service for the community of Maple and the Family Leisure Centre theme park, this sewer must be extended about 2,700 metres northward.

In order to have the project completed and operational on time, it is necessary that construction begin this summer. A delay could mean further lost time as a result of weather and other contingencies and could result in cost increases of as much as 25 per cent.

Therefore, it was felt necessary to expropriate the needed property quickly without permitting the usual inquiry procedure which could lead to delays in construction. Although property owners will not have the benefit of the inquiry procedure, this expropriation does not affect their right to have the compensation payable by the expropriating authority. This is determined by the Land Compensation Board in the event that a satisfactory price cannot be negotiated.

These proceedings will involve a total of 11 properties. However, this will not affect the agreements of purchase and sale already negotiated between eight of the property owners and the crown.



Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Premier, Mr. Speaker. On Thursday, speaking to a group in Toronto, the Premier said this: “I also believe it is time for the government of Canada to break away from its lockstep pursuit of the monetary policy dictated by the Federal Reserve Board of the United States.” He was talking about interest rates at the time.

In October, when we asked him the same question, the Premier had this to say: “I don’t pretend to be an expert in terms of whether this country can dissociate itself from the lending rate in the United States. I confess to the Leader of the Opposition that I don’t have this degree of expertise.”

Assuming that the Premier has exactly the same degree of expertise now to which he confessed a few months ago, may I ask what it is that makes him feel it is now politically safe and appropriate to say that we should not be following the monetary policy of the United States when, while his friend Mr. Clark was the Prime Minister, he did not have the expertise and did not feel confident enough to make the same statement?

2:20 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is reverting to true form again. I only make one observation. I like to think that I learn a little bit every day, and the fact that I know a little more than I did last October is, I hope, a sign of some accomplishment. If the Leader of the Opposition is saying to the people of this province that he does not learn a little bit every day, I would accept that and I would tend to agree with him.

I think it is fair to state that what I was saying on Thursday did not reflect my concern only about interest policy; it reflected my concern about monetary policy generally and that I do not think this country need be lock-step -- or whatever term one may wish to use -- with the United States of America.

Mr. S. Smith: It is of interest that the term “lockstep” was used by the Premier, but it is exactly the same term we used on October 29. The Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) objected to it and said it was not lockstep when Mr. Clark was in office, because there was a quarter point difference in the rates. Considering that the difference in the rates now is 2.25 points, why does the Premier now feel he can use the term “lockstep” to define a policy when Mr. Trudeau is in office, when he could not use it when Mr. Clark was in office?

On a more serious note, does the Premier not recognize that this feeling free to take shots at the federal government, when it happens to be of a different political stripe, is one of the serious problems throughout this country and one of the reasons for the difficulties we are having in making this country governable generally?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would only say that whatever criticisms I have of the government of Canada are mild compared to those the member opposite had when the former government was in power. Whatever I have said about other provincial jurisdictions is completely mild compared to how he has described our friends in Alberta and its Premier over the past several months. I say to him, please do not lecture me on what I say until you take a look at what you say, particularly when you happen to be away from this Legislature.

I happen to get reports of those things he says. Does he want me to tell him what he said in Port Credit the other day, and how he was totally unfair to the public service of this province? Does he want me to read that statement to him? Does he want me to lecture him on just how this sort of thing reacts on the public service of this province? It is something he would not dare say in this House.

Mr. Speaker, what was the question?

If the Leader of the Opposition wants to defend the government of Canada and its policy, that is fine. If I feel there are appropriate criticisms or points of view to offer, I will not be inhibited because the leader of the Liberal Party of this province very recently has found some desire to support, in all cases, the government of Canada.

I cannot understand it. He told the world some months ago he would not do it again. He is now reverting to it. God bless.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, since the question pertains to interest rates, may we take it that the government continues to disagree with the Liberal Party of Canada saying that there is no problem of interest rates for home owners? Will the Premier say now, five weeks since the provincial budget was presented, when the government expects to table the paper on interest rates that was promised within a month after the budget?

Mr. Roy: Don’t worry. We’ll support you anyway.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the sometime member for Ottawa East --

Mr. Speaker: You really don’t have to.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I don’t have to, no. It’s obvious even to you, Mr. Speaker, I assume.

I think the Treasurer answered that question a few days ago and made it quite clear that it was hoped the documentation of the material we were preparing would be ready within about 10 days. I think that was about five or six days ago. The Treasurer is away until, I believe, tomorrow or Thursday. I am hopeful we will have this information for discussion some time in the next few days -- I cannot guarantee it this week, but just as soon as it is ready.

Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, I have a question with regard to interest rates and the Premier’s inconsistencies along the line. In view of the fact that the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch) has at long last told me that they advanced $187 million, interest-free, to Denison Mines Limited and to Preston Mines Limited, and there is still about $150 million to go, does the Premier plan to continue the interest-free policy?

When the small businessman is paying 15, 16 or 17 per cent for money, why should this multimillion-dollar corporation, with a guaranteed profit of $2.5 billion on top of that guaranteed by the province, get this money interest-free? Is the Premier going to continue that policy?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, when the honourable member, attired as he is now, appeared in the very excellent eating facility downstairs, I told him then he should be forewarned that when he stood up to ask me a question I would advise him that Woodbine is functioning this afternoon and what he is wearing is very appropriate there.

I shall try to explain it to the honourable member again. Some of his colleagues sat through the whole discussion on those contracts during the select committee. I read what was said very carefully. My recollection is, and I could be wrong in this, that the contract is between Ontario Hydro, not the government of Ontario, and those two corporations. My recollection is, once again, that these were prepayments, which is not unusual in certain commercial contracts. Ontario Hydro has very excellent legal advice in terms of the preparation and finalization of those contracts, and they were all part of the process that was thoroughly discussed by the select committee at that time.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of the Environment.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The honourable member might read the rest of my speech.

Mr. S. Smith: The Premier has invited me to read the rest of his speech. I can assure him I did, and a good many questions arise.


Mr. S. Smith: In fairness, since the Premier brought up horse racing, I think I might ask a question of the Minister of the Environment who has been known to participate in such pursuits on occasion.

The minister is very familiar with the problems that have come to our attention in the Love Canal, and he is very familiar with the fact that, not far from there, there are tens of thousands of tons of chemicals, dumped by the Hooker Chemical Corporation in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s.

Given the fear that these chemicals might he trickling into Bloody Run Creek and eventually into Lake Ontario, can the minister tell us whether he has finally got around to building the laboratory facilities which will allow Ontario to measure dioxin in water, something he has had four years to accomplish since it was first promised? Is that lab facility now in operation, and if not, why not?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, first of all, let me tell the member that the lab facilities for measuring dioxin are extremely few in number. I am not certain whether we are in full operation or not. I know we have progressed a long way towards completion. I would be glad to advise tomorrow whether we are fully operational.

Mr. S. Smith: Since it would appear that the ministry is still waiting for certain equipment from the United States and since it would appear that it will be August at the earliest before this kind of testing can be done, can the minister explain why assurance was given to the people of Ontario as long ago as 1976 that this capacity would be one of the high priorities of the ministry?

Why has it taken virtually a full four years to get around to the point where we hope to be able to measure dioxin in our water, when dioxin is one of the deadliest chemicals known to mankind and there is enough in the Hooker dump to kill everybody on earth? Why has it taken four years to get around to building that facility?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I think I can tell you that, when we do have this on stream, it will be the first in Canada. A lab facility to measure dioxin must be prepared extremely carefully. Dioxin is not a substance with which one would want to have any carelessness or any possibility of harm to the employees. It has taken longer than I had expected, but I think it is reasonable to establish the safest, soundest methods, not only for the people of Ontario, but also for the employees of a ministry who must work in this very hazardous condition.

2:30 p.m.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, how is the Minister of the Environment assuring the people in the Niagara River area that there is the kind of monitoring going on that is going to protect their health and well being?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, we have said three things. First of all, we said we would take many samples of those substances that we ourselves were able to monitor completely, and we have done so. Second, we have suggested to the federal government that we will assist it in any way that it wishes. Third, any testing for dioxin will be done in other labs.

We do not have facilities for every substance, nor does any other lab that I know of have facilities for every substance. So there is a need to work with other labs, as they need to work with us.

When I discuss this problem with ministers of the western provinces, they see our labs so far advanced of any they have that they are extremely impressed. Indeed, that fine province of Alberta established its first lab only a few months ago. We are well in advance of any other jurisdiction in Canada.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Premier about the Nanticoke development of Stelco Inc.

Is the Premier aware of the millions of dollars that have been spent in the Nanticoke area on the Townsend site and other developments that were needed for the industrial facilities there? Is he also aware of the fact that Stelco’s new mill will be written off in only two and a half years, thanks to provincial and federal tax legislation?

In view of the millions of dollars that the taxpayers are contributing to the new Stelco mill at Nanticoke, is the Premier and the government prepared to insist that Stelco source its iron ore from Ontario sources to help create jobs in northern Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I do not quite follow the logic of the first part of the question. If the real question is, laying aside all the rhetoric and the preamble, which could be totally irrelevant, are we prepared to insist that Stelco use totally Ontario or Canadian ore, the answer to that is no. We are quite prepared, as we have done with all the steel companies, to interest them and persuade them to use whatever appropriate domestic ore can be used.

I think you will find, Mr. Speaker, that it is not as simple as saying to use Ontario ore. The fact is there are certain types of ore, and certain processes require different types of ore. I think it is fair to say Stelco has been one of the most efficient steel producers in North America. They have provided thousands of jobs over the years for the people of this province. They have been a tremendous economic asset.

If the leader of the New Democratic Party wants to grind some axe with them, that’s fine. But I think it is fair to say that we cannot force a company to use a product that may not work in that particular process. We cannot force a company to do something that will not be economic or that will make them less competitive. Surely the member has an interest in the jobs they are going to provide.

We are certainly interested in the people who would be involved in the provision of ore for that particular industry. I will be having the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Auld) deal -- he does not know it yet, because I just saw him this afternoon -- in some detail with this question as it relates to the question raised by the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel).

As I recall the Inco problem, it relates to the quality of the ore. We have talked to the industry and they say this is a part of the problem. There will be a more comprehensive answer to the honourable member’s question on Thursday. But I cannot undertake to the leader of the New Democratic Party that we are going to insist that a company do something that may not make sense from the standpoint of producing a product at a competitive price.

Mr. Cassidy: I was with my colleague at Atikokan last week and had the chance to relive with miners and people there the devastation of the community resulting from the closing of the two iron ore mines in that particular community. Why is it that over the last two years we have seen five iron ore facilities, including the one at Inco, and four mines shut down across this province and nothing done to help satisfy the increased demand for nine million tons more iron ore per annum that the steel companies are going to need in the 1980s?

Why has the government failed to use the leverage it does have, such as the contributions to Stelco, in order to get more sourcing from Ontario at a time when the Ontario steel companies have now bought in to the point where they can get 45 per cent of their supplies from the United States? Why do we keep on closing mines when we are going to need new iron ore sources in the 1980s?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I know the Leader of the Opposition will not like what I am going to say next. I don’t purport to be an expert on this subject either but I learn a little bit as I deal with these situations. I can only recall some personal involvement in some detail with the National Steel mine. Two of the companies in this province made a very genuine effort to see whether the product from that mine could not he used in their process. I think it is fair to state that most reasonable people, after the experiment was concluded, came to the same judgement.

The member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) shakes his head, but I have to tell him that the companies made that effort to accommodate a provincial priority. We are quite prepared to do this on any occasion where we think it makes sense.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, when the Premier speaks to the Minister of Natural Resources, will he ask him to indicate to this House how much iron ore is being utilized from Canadian sources versus American sources? Then we could perhaps put a little pressure on the companies to use as much Canadian and Ontario iron ore as possible.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the steel companies of this province are quite aware of the desire on the part of this government to use as much indigenous resource as is possible. I would think the member for Haldimand-Norfolk would also be concerned that we not have a policy that would make Stelco noncompetitive, not able to compete in the marketplace. This would be prejudicial to the employment of the people in that organization.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, can the Premier tell us what concrete steps his government took to ensure that the processes developed at Nanticoke were processes that could use the ores that are available within Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I do not know what the processes are. I know generally the product line that Stelco plans on producing there. I understand it is coming on stream fairly shortly. This government did not dictate to Stelco just what technology would be used.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question which I will direct to the Minister of Industry and Tourism. Will the minister confirm or deny that the government is considering an Employment Development Fund grant to Boise Cascade for its operations in northwestern Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, Boise Cascade has been in to see us, pursuant to our pulp and paper program. Simply, they asked if an application would be considered and forwarded certain information to the officials operating the board.

Mr. Cassidy: Can the minister give the House a categorical assurance that the government will have no consideration of a grant to Boise Cascade until there has been settlement reached in the company’s labour dispute with Local 2693 of the Lumber and Sawmill Workers Union in northwestern Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I can only tell the member that at the present time it is in the hands of our officials to do the customary analysis in this matter. If the analysis should be complete, it would then be referred to the board, and the other two members of the board and myself would have to consider all the factors at that time.

Mr. Cassidy: Does the minister not agree that it is a responsibility of the government to remain neutral in the case of a labour dispute? In that circumstance, does he not agree that the government of Ontario, and the taxpayers of Ontario, should stay out of that situation with any EDF grant until there has been a resolution and a settlement in the case of the strike of the Lumber and Sawmill Workers Union instituted with Boise Cascade?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I will certainly present that point of view to my two colleagues, one of whom is sitting immediately to my right, and we will discuss it at the time it reaches the board level.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, would the minister assure us that he consults with his colleague the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) and follow up on his suggestion that the ministry must maintain neutrality in terms of labour disputes in that regard? Would he not agree that putting public funds into it does not maintain the government’s neutrality?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, we regularly consult with our colleague, the Minister of Labour. We will do so in this matter. In fact he and I already discussed this in an informal way.

2:40 p.m.


Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Community and Social Services regarding a petition he has received from the residents of Bestview Lodges Nursing Homes in Oshawa. Would the minister help to put together, with his colleagues the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) and the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell), a committee to review the inequities that are present in the tax benefit schemes for senior citizens so that seniors who are in nursing homes might have the same rights to these tax benefits as those seniors who are fortunate enough to remain in their own homes or apartments?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I have not yet received the petition to which the honourable member refers. I will check with my staff and see whether it has arrived at my office.

Mr. Breaugh: Is the minister in agreement with the statement by the Treasurer that senior citizens who are resident in nursing homes have, if I can use his words, no obligations in society?

Hon. Mr. Norton: I didn’t hear the Treasurer make any such remarks. I am not saying he didn’t make them. I would not comment upon his remarks, but I would say it is clear to anyone who looks at the situation that those persons who are having all of their shelter, food and accommodation needs met in a nursing home or a home for the aged do have less open-ended demands upon them than those who are residing in the community, and that I would agree with.


Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Culture and Recreation. The minister is no doubt aware of the plight of Three Schools here in Toronto. Why would he stand by without assisting this world-famous school for a trifling amount of money considering the number of jobs and the number of students at stake? Why would the minister not jump in and assist them to keep that world-famous school alive?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I would disagree with the assessment that we are standing idly by while this school is sinking. I would like to point out that over the past seven years we have increased our provincial grant to Three Schools by the princely sum of 17 per cent per year. That is a higher increase, I suppose, than any other institution that is getting provincial funding from us has received.

We are still very much in a state of negotiation with them at the present time, but certainly their problems do not stem entirely -- perhaps only in a very peripheral way -- from the kind of provincial support they are getting. Three Schools is in a very highly competitive field. They are competing with the University of Toronto art school, with York University, with the community colleges’ arts courses, with other alternative art schools, with the Ontario College of Art and so on.

It is a highly competitive field and there is a feeling that perhaps they have not been quite as competitive, have not kept up with their world as much as some of the others have. But in spite of all that, I can assure the member opposite that we will continue to negotiate and see what we can do to keep this school afloat.

Mr. Peterson: In view of a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization study which called this a unique facility in the world, in view of a Peat Marwick study funded by the Ministry of Culture and Recreation in 1978 which said that the school urgently needed a substantial injection of working capital and it could find no areas where cost could be significantly reduced, and in view of the relatively trifling amount of money, something like $80,000, to keep this facility alive this year before the potential closedown date of June 6, surely the minister has an obligation to move very quickly and end the suspense for these marvellous people who are contributing, away below market rates, to the art scene of this province, this country and this city? Surely he has that obligation, and surely he owes it to them and to us to make an announcement very quickly?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: They are now being budgeted $105,000 from us. We are being told that to keep them alive they need $200,000. I would not call that kind of increase a trifling amount. That, in my language, is almost double what they are getting.

As far as the UNESCO report is concerned, in the world of art one finds very quickly that de gustibus non disputandum est. There is art and there is art and there is personal taste. A lot of people would not agree all that much with the UNESCO report. There are others around here who would say there are other art schools doing a better job. As far as I am concerned, it is still an open question. We are ready to listen and we will try to do our very best to help this school survive.


Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question, for the Minister of Education. Can the minister explain why the capital expenditure budget for northwestern Ontario has not received final approval? In particular, can she explain why the Lakehead Board of Education has not received approval for construction of additional classrooms at the Gorham-Ware school at Lappe -- a school that has three permanent classrooms and six portables and has been number one on the Lakehead board’s priority list for the last three years?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Yes, Mr. Speaker, because the capital budget for school construction throughout the province has not received approval as yet.

Mr. Foulds: Can the minister tell us when not only the province but also the people of Gorham-Ware can expect an answer? Can she not understand the urgency of the situation when, during the winter, in a small school like that, there are lineups of children at lunch hour from the portables to go to the washroom and the lineups are not completed by the time the lunch hour is over? Can the minister explain and justify to those people in a growth area why they should not have a school that has some decent facility for their children?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: The honourable member knows that it has been the policy to attempt to provide as equitably as possible the kind of accommodation that students need within the school system. I do recognize the urgency and hope that within the next week or so we will be able to inform the various boards of the allocations available to them.


Mr. Gaunt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. Since it now appears as though progress is being made in regard to the Lake Simcoe-Couchiching cleanup -- and I particularly applaud the reduction in the phosphorus loading to 87 tons per year -- can the minister assure the House that meetings are planned in the immediate future -- I underline “immediate future” -- to work out the appropriate cost-sharing between the province and the cities of Barrie and Orillia so that we can get on with the important job of saving Lake Simcoe?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, very simply yes. I can assure the honourable member of that as I did the member for Simcoe Centre (Mr. G. Taylor) two or three days ago. We have those meetings confirmed. Certainly we want to spend some time with those municipalities explaining the whole program.

Mr. Gaunt: Since this matter has been going on for some 10 years, could the minister indicate whether those meetings will be held within the next month?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Yes.


Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I also have a question for the Minister of the Environment. Since we now know that emissions from Inco Limited seriously affect the environment of the residents of southern Ontario as well as the Sudbury basin, will the minister also hold public meetings on the proposed Inco control order in the Muskoka cottage country and in Toronto?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: No, Mr. Speaker, I do not think that will be possible. Quite frankly, we are very anxious to get on with this control order. If we had all these meetings as proposed, I am afraid we would spend all our efforts in meeting and not doing. Therefore, I hope that interested people will go on June 4 or 5 -- whatever time is necessary -- to Sudbury. It seems like a very reasonable approach to have these meetings in the communities that are affected by whatever decision is made.

2:50 p.m.

Ms. Bryden: Since according to the federal Minister of the Environment 40 per cent of the sulphur deposition in the Muskokas come from Inco, surely a very large group of people are affected, and to expect them to travel to Sudbury in order to discuss the preservation of their environment seems to me unreasonable when one is trying to open up the process to the public.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I note that our estimates are starting next week, and perhaps the member would consider the standing committee as a forum for her to put forward some views and to ask some questions. Indeed, I would welcome an opportunity to discuss that particular study and reference to it by the Honourable John Robarts. I think it would be very helpful to have that discussion in a committee where there can be not only the give and take of discussion but also the expert witnesses who, I think, are necessary to fully discuss that particular study and the ramifications it has upon the district of Muskoka.


Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food regarding the farmer assistance program announced on May 8. I wonder if the minister is intending to include the tobacco farmers of Ontario in the relief program announced at that particular time.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, that announcement was quite clear; it referred to food production.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Does the minister not consider that the financial hardship being faced by the tobacco farmers is a severe problem? On what basis does he exclude them?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: The purpose of the subsidy on interest was to encourage the farmers to plant this year’s crop. Their costs were going up so high that we were getting word back from the individual farmers that they were just going to cancel out this year. That was the background; that was the reason behind our subsidization of the loans. It was to encourage the planting of this year’s crop. It was for the consumers of Ontario.

Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, in connection with the Ontario Farm Interest Assistance Program alluded to by my colleague from Haldimand-Norfolk, have program criteria been developed by his ministry? If so, what are the criteria? Has he arrived at a legitimate means test in order to reduce the number of recipients to the most needy? What does he estimate the total cost of the program to be?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, a great amount of work has gone into establishment of the criteria. I do have some facts that I will be taking to my cabinet colleagues tomorrow for their consideration. I would hope within the next week we would be making public the complete criteria.

Mr. Riddell: Will the minister make a statement in the House?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: I can if that is the member’s wish.


Mr. Samis: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Labour. Could the minister explain to the House why the men and women of this province, the wealthiest in Canada, have to work at a minimum wage lower than that being offered by the poorest province in Canada, Newfoundland, which will be increasing its minimum wage to $3.15 in July and to $3.45 next spring?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, the issue of the minimum wage is one we are preparing our recommendations about, and I expect to have them before cabinet shortly.

Mr. Samis: In view of the fact that the people on welfare and family benefits assistance received the 10 per cent increase, and in view of the fact the cost of living has gone up by approximately 12 per cent to 15 per cent in that time period, can the minister assure the House that the increase will be commensurate with the increase in the cost of living since January 1, 1979?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I am well aware of the facts and figures that the member has recited. I can tell him there will be a recommendation coming forward, the nature of which will be known once it has been received and approved.


Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, the week before last in my absence, the leader of the New Democratic Party asked the Premier (Mr. Davis) why the Ontario Human Rights Commission had made no public statement concerning the controversy over the CTV program entitled Campus Giveaway, a program which caused understandable offence to the Chinese community of this province and which resulted in a public apology by the network.

The inference that the human rights commission stood passively aside during this unfortunate incident is entirely incorrect and unwarranted. If the leader of the New Democratic Party had read the joint statement issued on March 16, 1980, by the Ad Hoc Committee of the Council of Chinese Canadians in Ontario and CTV, he would have noted that both the Chinese community and the network paid tribute to the human rights commission for its assistance in bringing about a resolution of this regrettable issue.

I will not take the time of the House to give a detailed description of the commission’s important mediating role, but I can say that Dr. Ubale and Rabbi Plaut were both actively and constructively involved throughout and, as I have said, their contribution to the eventual settlement has been publicly acknowledged by the parties concerned.

I should also say that the negotiations leading to the eventual apology by the network were difficult, and the need to avoid gratuitous public comment during this sensitive period was wisely recognized and honoured by the representatives of the human rights commission. I hope members will agree with me that quiet diplomacy leading to success is sometimes preferable to public grandstanding. In this instance, the commission members involved have followed the correct and responsible route, and I believe that we owe a debt of gratitude to them.


Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Industry and Tourism with respect to the Radisson Hotel Corporation’s management agreement concerning Minaki Lodge.

Does the minister recall the comments made at the time of the announcement, I believe by the member for Essex North (Mr. Ruston), concerning the bankruptcy circumstance and the difficulties of the Radisson Hotel in Detroit? Will the minister advise us whether he intends to make a full statement in the House concerning his confidence in programs, or otherwise, in this new arrangement to ensure that it is thoroughly carried out at, of course, the expense that has now been committed?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Yes. The Radisson Hotel chain has our complete confidence. Radisson Hotels are in a very real sense no different from any other major hotel chain that goes into very many operations. There is hardly a hotel chain which any member of this House could mention that has not had an experience which has caused a notice of termination to have been served on the company, asking them to withdraw from a management arrangement. That is common in the hotel industry and should not in any way be meant to impugn the entire operation. That is as applicable to Radisson as it is to any other major hotel chain.

I might add that I have caused some inquiries to be made subsequent to that particular instance being drawn to my attention, and it appears that the particular hotel in question has been the subject matter of a great deal of difficulty for a long period of time. A previous hotel chain was likewise asked to stop operating it because of their inability to run the premises, and that has been acknowledged. The hotel is in a very difficult area and has a history of its own problems, notwithstanding the management. There is no question but that Radisson was unable to turn this particular hotel around.

On the other hand, one of the reasons we selected Radisson instead of the two or three other better-known chains in an area such as Toronto, for example, was their unique experience, not in downtown urban metropolises, but rather in these types of resorts. I would refer the member specifically to their experience at the Radisson Arrowwood, to name one of their lodges, and they have had extraordinary success in that location.

I have with me a note of some of the references that we got which I would be pleased to read to the House. Suffice it to say it is clear that Radisson is among the leaders in this particular type of wilderness resort. We retain the utmost confidence in them. We, of course, are checking into the one instance of which we are aware they have had any difficulty. Again, I emphasize to members of the House that it is not unusual in this business for a hotel chain to run into some difficulty in an operation when they run 23 or 24.

Mr. Breithaupt: While I recognize that difficulty might occur in one particular circumstance and that the chain might well be able to do many other tasks well, how is it, in the light of the minister’s comment that this is a well-known and continuing problem, that it would appear at least from the quotation in this morning’s press that his staff members did not know about it and did not advise him about this particular?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I am sorry; when I said it was a well-known problem in terms of that particular hotel in Detroit, what I was indicating was that the hotel is well-known to have problems in Detroit. The citizens of Detroit, as members know, did get together in a joint effort to try to solve this problem. At the present time they are just beginning to see some light at the end of that tunnel.

In terms of my staff’s knowledge of it, I think I made clear to the House when I announced this transaction with Radisson that we asked some outside people to come in and help us. Chief among them was Bob Rubinoff, chairman of Commonwealth Holiday Inns. It is no secret that Commonwealth Holiday Inns, for example, has had difficulties in some of the hotels they have gone in to run. That should not be taken in any way to impugn Commonwealth Holiday Inns’ reputation.

I asked a lot of important questions with regard to the worldwide reputation of Radisson and in running wilderness resorts. I don’t think the fact they did not give me a detailed rundown on the one problem they have had should be taken to impugn them. In any case, I do not want this to be taken in any way as my laying off on Bob Rubinoff or the people who advised me with regard to the Radisson hotels. I looked over the three alternatives we had, carefully selected Radisson and I am prepared to stand by that selection myself.

3 p.m.


Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Attorney General and it is with regard to the request by North York council to investigate the need for a judicial inquiry around Caledon Village.

Can the minister inform the House today whether he will recommend a judicial inquiry into the operation of Caledon Village? If he cannot, when does he think he will be in a position to make that decision?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: No, Mr. Speaker, I am not in a position to make any statements on that matter today.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Will the minister at least indicate to us today that he will not preclude taking such action merely because there is a court action under way? Does he recognize the fact that action includes an action between the condominium corporation and the initial developer, the condominium corporation and the property managers and the condominium corporation and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation? Does he recognize that to decide not to take action because the present board is under consideration would not be a valid reason to not have an inquiry? Will the minister guarantee that will not stop him from holding an inquiry?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I am not going to speculate one way or the other until I have had an opportunity to review this matter in some detail, and I am not yet at that position.

Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, is the Attorney General at this time causing a review of the books of the corporation, which I understand are in his possession? Could he at least go that far?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: We have some books which have been delivered to us, Mr. Speaker. Whether they are all the books, they are being reviewed.


Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question to the Attorney General. When can we expect to see legislation presented by him involving important changes in the law dealing with limitation by way of statutes? In view of the fact that the Ontario Law Reform Commission has been putting forward recommendations now for more than 10 years, since 1969, and the Court of Appeal stated recently that the existence of a privilege limitation period for public authorities creates what is called statutory injustice, when can we see these amendments?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I think it was announced earlier, Mr. Speaker, that the new limitations legislation will be introduced this spring.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, is it the Attorney General’s intention that the law will be presented this spring to be passed by summertime? What are his plans? When does he plan to see his new amendments dealing with limitations passed into law?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I think the member for Ottawa East appreciates that it is not within my control as to when this legislation is passed. I will obviously want to consult with my colleagues on the other side of the House, with the member for St. George and others, and some determination will need to be made as to whether this legislation should go out, for example, to a committee. These are matters that will be determined by consensus.


Mr. Mattel: Mr. Speaker, I would like to go back to the Premier’s response. He indicated the product from Inco was not marketable. Is the Premier aware Inco maintains that only in the case of rolled steel for car bodies can the product not be used; that for stainless steel it is by far the finest mix going because the nickel is already in there; and that it is an excellent mix because there is only two per cent silica, which is one of the problems the Premier referred to with respect to National Steel, from the material in Sudbury? Are we prepared to watch 500,000 tons of nonrenewable resource being dumped annually on the slag heaps in Sudbury rather than be utilized in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think we would much prefer to see it utilized.

Mr. Martel: That being the case, is not the problem with this material that the steel industry in Ontario has entered into long-term contracts with mines in the United States from which there is no possibility of their getting out and they must take that commitment?

What position are we going to be in when there is an upturn in the economy, since it takes about two years to put an iron ore mine on stream? How are we going to be in a position to meet that need when nothing is going ahead so that we do not have to import more to meet the nine millions that are already being brought into the province?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I expect the industry will be in a position to invest in appropriate time for the upturn in the economy the honourable member refers to.

Mr. Mattel: If it takes two years to bring a mine on stream, is the Premier suggesting we will be in the position to meet the demand when there is an increase called for by the steel industry?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am just saying I think they have the capacity to do it if they feel there is an upturn.


Mr. Bradley: I have a question for the Attorney General, Mr. Speaker. In view of the fact that the Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere program has been placed in some jeopardy by the ruling of a provincial court judge, Maurice Charles, that the police do not have the authority to carry out spot checks, could the minister indicate to the House whether he has made a final decision on whether he will be appealing this decision?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: The decision has been appealed, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Bradley: In view of the fact that the program has been a success in reducing the number of people who have been killed and injured and the total accidents in those areas where it is in effect, could the minister indicate to the House what procedure would be followed in those cases which would be before the courts now or are about to be brought before the courts in terms of the outcome of the appeal?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: That would be within the discretion of each individual judge. Other provincial court judges are not bound by the decision, as the honourable member knows, of His Honour Judge Charles. There may be some people seeking an adjournment on the basis of that decision. It would be within the discretion of the presiding judge whether to grant the adjournment in relation to any decision. Some judges may want to withhold their reasons pending an appeal. I really cannot speculate as to how this would be treated. I would imagine a number of judges will not feel bound by the decision.


Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Labour. Could the minister give us his position as regards protection of people over the age of 65 from age discrimination in the work place, given that they are not protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code? For instance, would the minister be willing to intervene on behalf of an older citizen who is fit and wishes to continue his employment but is being denied that option?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I think the member should know for future reference that the Ontario Human Rights Commission already investigates informally such complaints and, I must say, investigates them very thoroughly and often provides great help in mediation.

The former part of the question assumed there had been decisions made with regard to forthcoming Human Rights Code amendments concerning the upper limit of the age. That is not so. I think that is a matter that will become known to the member in greater detail when those amendments are submitted to the House.

3:10 p.m.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Would the minister be willing to investigate the specific individual case of a Mr. William Gibbon, an instructor of the hearing handicapped at George Brown College, who has been told that his application to continue his position next year will not be considered and has been refused an interview, even though he is physically capable of carrying on and wishes to reapply, and though he understands that he cannot be guaranteed a position wishes at least to be able to compete?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I will be pleased to pass that information on to the Ontario Human Rights Commission on behalf of the member.


Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. In the light of his announcement today that the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) has tabled an order in council under the Expropriations Act which allows the Family Leisure Centre theme park in Maple to be completed on time, can the minister describe the special circumstances, as required by section 6(3) of the Expropriations Act, which are necessary in the public interest to allow a private interest to meet its deadline and avoid the due process of law which is afforded to the owners of private land, particularly the 11 involved? What are the special circumstances that allow the ministry to avoid the due process of law as set out under this act in a private interest concern?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I do not believe it is avoiding the due process of law. I think it is clearly the privilege of the ministry to do so, and I will be glad to forward to the member a complete set of reasons for having done so. I also note that this extension will benefit not just one particular area but also the total community of Maple.

Mr. Stong: Will the minister include in his answer those special interests that would conform to the requirements of the Expropriations Act and assure this House he is not acting solely in the interest of a private concern but in the interest of the public when he allows the Expropriations Act to be avoided?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Yes, I can assure the member we will give him that information. I think the due process is there to completely protect the people, and I am sure it will work.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, could the minister tell us whether some of this required work that appears to be so urgent is also for the benefit of the people who received authority for the new Maple landfill?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I believe the answer is it does not. However, I will confirm that and, if I am incorrect, I will certainly advise the member.


Mr. Bounsall: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications. What will the minister do to end the situation and practice in Windsor of American motorists coming to Windsor and filling five-gallon containers with gasoline, containers that are approved for such, but then putting them in their car trunks and thereby creating a road safety hazard far in excess of the former Pinto gas tank design in the case of a rear-end collision? It is a situation that is concerning all the firemen and policemen in Windsor, let alone all those persons concerned with road safety.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, first, I was not aware of such a practice. I can understand, though, under the present circumstances, that this may be taking place. I would point out to the honourable member that the Gasoline Handling Act and all matters relating to the storage and transportation of gasoline come under my colleague the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Drea).

Mr. Bounsall: As I pointed out in my question, the actual selling of gasoline in an approved container -- which I think is all the jurisdiction the minister’s colleague has -- is permitted. But where those containers go, placed loosely in a trunk or even in a van, creates quite a road safety hazard, and that is an area within this minister’s responsibility. Is he not concerned about that situation, and will he try to do something about it?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I will have my officials in the Windsor area look into this matter. If what is taking place creates an unsafe vehicle, then we may have some jurisdiction. I would also say that the transportation of gasoline, propane and other such items, not only the sale of them and the containers but also the handling of them, come under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, would the minister also look into the situation of add-on tanks to circumvent the regulations? Individuals simply have a tank welded in a given position, in addition to the regular tank on the car, and use it solely for the purpose of taking gas from the city of Windsor and transporting it to the United States.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I shall look into that, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Education. Can the minister inform the House of when a final decision will be made regarding the expansion of Don Bosco Secondary School, since her ministry officials have given three different dates as to when that decision would be made and would be made public, and she has broken each and every one of those dates?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member’s colleague from Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds) asked a similar question earlier in this question period. If the member for Etobicoke had been here, he would realize that the final decision has not yet been made, but I hope it will be made shortly.


Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. I welcomed the Premier’s commitment to this House to ensure that the enumeration for the French committee in Toronto would be in place. Is the Premier now in a position to give us the details of the solution to that problem so we will not have to continue to conjecture for very much longer?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would have hoped that after what has been said here in the House there would be no conjecture. The problem is finding a way to do it that is appropriate and acceptable, and we are working on that. I expect we will have the solution fairly shortly.

I would say to the honourable member there is nothing to conjecture about.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, could the Premier specify -- because it was not clear from his last answer -- whether he is planning on using the enumeration form as the format? He talked about the timing and he talked about it being ready by then, but is he planning on using that format or some other format?

I am not interested in the question but in whether he will be using that format as the enumeration notice.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I thought my answer to the member for St. George’s question was quite clear: (a) there is no need to have any conjecture, and (b) the details are not yet sorted out.


Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Natural Resources. The minister pointed out to the Legislature two weeks ago that he had entered into agreements for reforestation with some of the large companies in the north. Does that include some very worthwhile game management plan, as they have done in other jurisdictions, or is he not questioning that aspect of reforestation?

Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, I think I mentioned several times in the House during the debate on the amendments to the Crown Timber Act, that one of the matters that will be addressed in the agreement, and more specifically in the manual and in the actual reforestation plans and cutting plans, will be cutting and the type of reforestation of certain species which will provide habitat for deer, moose, et cetera. We will be in a better position to do it.

We are trying to get a balance between the utilization of wood fibre for the economy and the best habitat for the wildlife, for those who enjoy wildlife.

3:20 p.m.



Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition that is being submitted on behalf of the residents of Bellwoods Park House, which is a residence for disabled adults in Toronto. The petition reads as follows:

“To the Lieutenant Governor and Legislative Assembly of Ontario: We, the residents of Bellwoods Park House, 300 Shaw Street, Toronto, a residence housing 61 disabled adults, petition the government of Ontario to raise our comfort allowance from $51 per month to $100 per month. Because of inflation, we find it difficult to live on the existing comfort allowance. We must pay for our own television cable, purchase our own clothing and personal necessities, finance our social events and transportation. The low income we receive, too, prevents us from saving for vacations, which are necessary.

“It is with these reasons in mind that we request you to raise our comfort allowance to $100 a month, plus travel and transportation allowance of $30 a month, making a grand total of $130 a month.”

It is signed by 43 residents of the home.

Mr. Speaker: I am sure the honourable member knows that any petition praying for the expenditure of funds is clearly out of order.

Mr. McClellan: Well, I have --

Mr. Speaker: It is out of order. It is as simple as that. If the member wants, he may present it to the minister, but he cannot present it to the Legislative Assembly.



Hon. Mr. Gregory moved that in compliance with section 81 of the Workmen’s Compensation Amendment Act, 1973, the annual report of the Workmen’s Compensation Board, Ontario, for 1978 be referred to the standing committee on resources development for consideration starting May 22, 1980, such consideration not to exceed 15 hours and the proceedings of which shall be transcribed by Hansard and appended to the Hansard proceedings of the House.

Motion agreed to.



Hon. Mr. Elgie moved first reading of Bill 73, An Act to amend the Labour Relations Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to amend Bill 204, An Act to amend the Labour Relations Act, which came into force on May 1. Members will recall that Bill 204 deals with collective bargaining in the industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sector of the construction industry where trade bargaining takes place on a province-wide basis.

Bill 204 provided for existing area bargaining rights to be extended to cover the entire province. In addition, it provided for bargaining rights acquired on or after May 1 to be provincial in scope. The bill also prohibited partial strikes and lockouts in the industrial, commercial and institutional sector and provided a specific statutory remedy where there is a delay in ratifying collective agreements.

The amending bill introduced today deals with several procedural matters relating to the extension of those bargaining rights. Briefly, it enables local unions, as well as the employee bargaining agencies, to apply for certification. It permits local unions and district councils of local unions as well, once again, as the employee bargaining agencies, to enter into voluntary recognition agreements. Finally, it allows an applicant union with the requisite majority support to acquire area bargaining rights for non-ICI-sector work when an application for a provincial ICI certificate is made.

I will be developing the rationale for these procedural amendments during the second reading.


Mr. Speaker: Before the orders of the day, I beg to inform the House that the Clerk has received from the commissioners of estate bills, their favourable report on the following bills:

Bill Pr7, An Act respecting Montreal Trust Company and Montreal Trust Company of Canada;

Bill Pr23, An Act to incorporate Knox Presbyterian Church, Ottawa;

Bill Pr25, An Act respecting the Hamilton Foundation.


Hon. Mr. Gregory: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answers to questions 24, 26, 141, 145, 152 and 161, and the interim answers to questions 155 and 156 standing on the Notice Paper.



Resuming the adjourned debate on the motion for second reading of Bill 52, An Act to amend the Retail Sales Tax Act.

Mr. Speaker: It is my understanding that when this debate was adjourned, the Minister of Revenue was winding up with his comments on second reading.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Mr. Speaker, I just want to answer quickly some of the questions posed by members of the opposite parties, and I want first of all to deal with gasohol. I think it might be beneficial to the members of the House if I were to read from some notes I have prepared, which the critics already have but which other members of the House were not able to have access to.

This new subsection, and I am dealing now with gasohol, complements the budget proposal to exempt from gasoline tax, methyl and ethyl alcohol when used as a source of power, provided that they (1) are used singly or in combination with another fuel as a source of power in an internal combustion engine and (2) when purchased by a consumer, are placed directly into the fuel tank of the purchaser’s vehicle by the vendor. So it eliminates in some cases where there would still be retail sales tax on alcohol, but only when it is being used in a vehicle is it tax-exempt.

The budget exempts from tax all methyl and ethyl alcohol used in internal combustion engines. At present, alcohol used in this manner is taxed under the Gasoline Tax Act, which, after amendment to that statute which we will deal with later, will remove the tax from alcohol. The way the Gasoline Tax Act is written at present, anything that goes into that gasoline tank is subject to gasoline tax; so we are correcting that in the Gasoline Tax Amendment Act.

If the amendment to this act is not effected because alcohol is no longer taxed under the Gasoline Tax Act, it would be taxed under the Retail Sales Tax Act. The reason we are bringing this amendment in is to remove that tax. As the exemption is to cover methyl and ethyl alcohol, all other alcohol, when mixed with gasoline or other fuel, will be taxable if premixed under the Gasoline Tax Act or, if purchased separately, taxed under the Retail Sales Tax Act.

The other fuels exempted by the budget, such as propane, natural and manufactured gas, et cetera, will be exempted from retail sales tax by regulation. No gasohol is available in Ontario at present; however, current plans to build stills for the commercial production of methanol and ethanol, if realized, will soon make gasohol available in limited quantities.

By currently approved ratios of mix -- that is, 10 per cent alcohol to 90 per cent gasoline, I say to the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) with a smile -- a substantial reduction in gasoline consumption can be realized. If all gasoline sold were gasohol, at present consumption levels approximately 1.25 billion litres of gasoline would be conserved annually. So while this is not going to have a direct effect on revenue for this current year, the thrust of the whole thing is to encourage people to move in the direction of substitute fuels for vehicles.

The member for Kent-Elgin (Mr. McGuigan) talked about dual-fuel vehicles -- in other words, vehicles that burn propane gas as well as gasoline -- and wondered about the removal of sales tax on those vehicles. It is not the intent of the government at this time to remove the sales tax on those vehicles. The amendment only removes sales tax on vehicles which will be burning propane or natural gas or other substitute fuels, but as long as a vehicle still burns gasoline, it will be subject to sales tax.

3:30 p.m.

There were several speakers who talked about children’s wear and children’s shoes. Of course, that is not in the amendments at all, Mr. Speaker, but I thought I should assure the members -- and I have talked to the member for Etobicoke (Mr. Philip) and the member for Hamilton Mountain (Mr. Charlton) on this subject on several occasions -- that my ministry staff are looking into the price of shoes today in comparison to what they cost in 1974, when this act was brought in.

As a matter of fact, I think we even got a supplementary question from the great member for Renfrew North, who called the act “niggardly,” if I remember the word correctly. We are looking into that with a view to advising the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) of what results we get from it. As members know, in the final analysis it would be a policy matter and would have to he approved by the Treasurer.

The member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden) talked about solar energy. As members know, we removed the sales tax on most equipment dealing with solar energy in the budget last year; so it is, of course, not dealt with in this budget at all.

The member for Windsor-Walkerville (Mr. B. Newman) talked about the ministry adopting the same exemptions as the federal government, and we will look into that. As a matter of fact, I have written a letter to the member on that particular subject.

The member for Victoria-Haliburton (Mr. Eakins) talked about a greater exemption on children’s shoes. Again, I have already replied to that. He talked about the Millard case, which is a case he has written to me about and which deals with retail sales tax. At this point we are not prepared to change the act in that regard.

I think that covers all the questions that were asked. Some members made statements rather than asking questions. Obviously when the amendments to the act are so well accepted by all the people in the province, all that remains for the opposition at that point in time is to say, “it’s too little, too late,” or that kind of remark. Nevertheless, I am quite proud of the budget that has been brought in this year and proud of the fact that we are not increasing taxes.

One other point I should mention is that there was a comparison made by the member for Haldimand-Norfolk (Mr. C. I. Miller) between this year’s deficit and the deficit last year. If members will recall, the projected deficit last year was $1.2 billion, rather than the less than $800 million that was the actual deficit. That was simply because we were able to collect more revenues than we had anticipated. What has been happening is that comparisons have been made with the projected deficit of this year against the projected deficit of last year, which was not the deficit at all. I think that covers all the remarks that I had to make on this particular bill.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for third reading.


Hon. Mr. Maeck moved second reading of Bill 53, An Act to amend the Corporations Tax Act, 1972.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Mr. Speaker, this bill to amend the Corporations Tax Act includes several important amendments arising out of the 1980 Ontario budget Four important changes are being made which will affect small business corporations.

First, a new small business tax credit is being introduced. This tax incentive is designed to encourage reinvestment by small business corporations by providing for an income tax credit equal to 20 per cent of the purchase cost of depreciable assets for use in Ontario. The maximum credit in any year for any small business reinvesting in new plant and equipment will be $3,000. This program will be continued until April 22, 1982, during which time it should assist small business corporations in building and strengthening their investment in their businesses.

Second, the effective income tax rate for professional and personal service corporations will remain at 10 per cent. Up until October 23, 1979, these corporations qualified for this low rate when they ceased to qualify for the 10 per cent rate as a result of an amendment to the federal Income Tax Act. Without this amendment the effective Ontario income tax rate for these corporations would have increased from 10 per cent to 14 per cent, an increase of about 40 per cent.

As a consequence of this amendment and the federal amendment, income earned by professional and personal service corporations will be taxed at a combined effective rate of 33.3 per cent. This rate is between the 25 per cent rate which they formerly enjoyed and the 37.3 per cent rate which they might otherwise have been taxed.

Third, the $100 capital tax is being extended to small to medium-sized corporations with taxable capital in excess of $200,000 and up to $1 million. For those corporations whose taxable capital exceeds $1 million, a notch provision is also being enacted to phase in the difference between the $100 tax and the higher capital tax they would otherwise pay.

Fourth, a special $50 capital tax will apply to family fishing corporations. This special tax is similar to the $50 capital tax now being paid by family farm corporations.

Two other important changes relate to nonresident corporations. First, this bill will repeal clauses of the Corporations Tax Act which subject to Ontario income tax nonresident corporations carrying on business in Ontario without a permanent establishment. These clauses caused nonresident corporations operating elsewhere in Canada uncertainty and interfered with the interprovincial allocations of income taxes. For these reasons these clauses are being repealed.

Second, for purposes of calculating the capital tax, an investment allowance will be applicable to loans made to a nonresident related corporation, provided that the loans have been outstanding for at least 120 days at the end of the lending corporation’s taxation year.

Finally, this bill includes three administrative measures which are of interest to all corporations. First, payments received on or after October 1, 1980, will be applied in the following order to corporations tax: to interest, to penalties, to taxes payable.

Second, effective October 1, 1980, interest will be charged on penalties as well as on taxes payable.

The third and final administrative amendment is of particular interest to a corporation which because its tax liability is $2,000 or more is required to pay its taxes in monthly instalments during the taxation year. After the corporations tax return is filed and assessed, interest calculated on deficient or excessive instalment payments will not be recalculated if after subsequent reassessment the corporation’s tax liability is increased or decreased.

This bill does not include certain other amendments relating to corporations income tax credits arising out of the 1980 Ontario budget. These changes are being made by amending the Small Business Development Corporations Act, 1979, and by enacting the Ontario Mineral Exploration Program Act, 1980. These acts offer tax incentives to corporations which have invested in small business development corporations or in approved mineral exploration programs.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I want to address myself to the Act to amend the Corporations Tax Act, 1972. Perhaps I am like some other members in the House here who are a little bit in the dark. When one gets into this particular area dealing with the Corporations Tax Act, a person should be an expert in the area. From my discussions with accountants back in my area, I find it is a specialist field. When the bill is introduced here in the Legislature, we on the opposition side do not have research in depth dealing with corporations tax. When we also have to deal with the area of the federal Income Tax Act and Revenue Canada, we are not perhaps most suitable to be addressing ourselves to this particular bill. It is a field in itself.

3:40 p.m.

My comments will lead more to questions relating to each section of the act. Would the minister inform the members what the rationale is for removing from the act the taxation status of nonresidential businesses? I am not quite sure what the intent is here. Are there other areas of taxation policies picking up the lost revenue of nonresident corporations? In one of his corporation tax branch information bulletins, the minister does set out an example dealing with corporation X, corporation Y and corporation Z. From the way it ends up, credit available can vary from $500 to $277. I would bring that to the attention of the minister.

There seems to be a substantial increase, from four per cent to 10 per cent, for the small business service corporations in the deduction program that relates to section 3. Section 4 adds a new subsection 36b to the act to provide an additional deduction from the tax payable by corporations eligible for the small business deduction under section 125(1) of the Income Tax Act (Canada). Again, that relates to the federal income tax.

In this particular area, I suppose the minister should be looking at consolidating the corporations tax provincially and federally. There are other provinces, I understand, in our Confederation, where through the federal Income Tax Act the federal government collects the corporations tax. I suggested to the minister before that I thought we should be moving in this area to make it more understandable to those small businessmen who have to deal with two particular Income Tax Acts as they relate to corporations and small businesses. I suggest the minister should be looking at that.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I have.

Mr. Haggerty: The minister has indicated he has. I haven’t seen it to date. If it is, it must be in piecemeal, I guess.

As it stands, depreciable property is physical property acquired to gain or produce income such as equipment in office buildings. Does the minister intend to define more specifically this particular area? He gives some tax concessions to corporations and small businesses, but he cannot remove the sales tax on depreciable goods such as workers’ safety boots.

The matter was raised during the sales tax debate that there should be removal of sales tax on shoes. In this particular area, I would suggest he should be giving it to the other taxpayers within the confines of the Ministry of Revenue.

Does the minister intend to bring any restrictions on the matter as it relates to depreciable property? This is quite a good tax concession given to the corporations and small businesses. One would have to start to look deeper and say, “Are there any other areas in Ontario that are allowed tax depreciation on equipment?” I wonder what benefits will be derived from this particular area of taxation the minister is applying today under these amendments to the Corporations Tax Act. Will there be a benefit to the province?

We have seen previously where the minister has removed the sales tax, for example, on equipment in industry because it was supposed to create a number of new jobs in Ontario. Until this day we haven’t seen those new jobs come forward. When we go deeper into the taxation policies of this ministry, we have to look at the loans or grants that were given to the paper industry in Ontario. If they had accepted that tax rebate program a few years ago, we wouldn’t have to be giving the grants out today which they never did apply for.

Again, we have to look at section 6 of the act as it relates to a corporation paying the $50 where its taxable paid-up capital does not exceed $100,000.

Can the minister provide members with an explanation as to why this section is being introduced for nonresident corporations? What benefit is there to the province when we apply this amendment? Can the minister indicate under section 5 what benefits will be derived for Ontario? Can we look to see an expansionary program in corporations here where they perhaps will be out hiring new employees and creating new jobs in this province? I would have to look at it as it relates to that section.

Section 6 does apply to a nonresident corporation employing paid-up capital in Canada which will be treated on the same basis as resident corporations for the purpose of section 133a. In your corporations tax branch information bulletin, I think there is a particular section which applies to this section, liability of nonresidents with nonpermanent establishments in Ontario, section 2(2)(d), section 2(3)(d).

The section of the act goes on to say, “extended the liability for income tax to corporations incorporated in a jurisdiction outside of Canada which carries on business in Ontario without a permanent establishment. They are repealed retroactive to December 1977. Corporations carrying on business in Ontario and liable for tax under this provision since December 7, 1977, will not have to file Ontario returns and will not be subject to Ontario tax.” it is difficult to follow the policy of the Ministry of Revenue. We are having a discussion on succession duties tax later on today, and here we are going to make legislation retroactive to gather additional taxes. If I interpret that correctly, we are going to forgive it here. The minister is taking it out of one pocket and putting it --


Mr. Haggerty: It just doesn’t make sense in what he is trying to arrive at. This is what I am saying. It takes an expert in this area to find out what he is heading for. I haven’t been able to go through the bill, as I should as a critic, but as I said before, one has to be an expert to deal with corporations tax.

In my experience sitting as a member of the select committee dealing with Inco, for example, and with the massive layoffs there, when one is sitting in committee firing questions to the directors of that company, they don’t have the answers. They will look at you and say, “We have an expert in this particular area,” and they call upon that expert. They are very capable persons, but even the directors can’t provide all the answers.

That is why I say in this particular field I feel the members of the Legislature should have additional research in this area or be provided with additional background papers so we can stand up in the House and discuss the amendments perhaps far better than what is being put forward today.

With those comments, I will leave it there, and perhaps the minister can answer some of the questions I have raised.

Mr. Charlton: Mr. Speaker, I say to the minister at the outset we are going to support the bill, but I have a number of comments, a number of questions and a bit of chastising of the minister in terms of the approach that is always taken with these kinds of tax actions.

3:50 p.m.

There is no question in our minds, with the present economic situation, with interest rates, inflation and the pressures small business gets from large corporate competitors, chain stores and so on, no matter what sector we are talking about, that small business is under extreme pressure and any tax measure which is in effect a tax expenditure in order to assist small business, is difficult for anybody to oppose. Any assistance they get in the tax sector cannot do any harm. I suppose that is avoiding the point though a bit. Just because a measure cannot possibly do any harm does not necessarily mean that it is going to do an exceptional amount of good. That is what is missing in terms of the presentation in the budget, I think, and in terms of the minister’s presentation of the bill.

We are happy to see the extension from $200,000 on the flat rate tax to $1 million in the second step and so on. All of these measures cannot help but assist somebody in some way. I suppose what the members of the Legislature would like to know, though, is the cost of each of these specific initiatives and what kinds of businesses are going to receive the benefits.

What specific goals do the minister and the Treasurer have in mind? How did they determine what the breaks will be in terms of each of the sections that we have here: the flat rate tax, the 10 per cent, the extension of the small business credit at 20 per cent or $500, whichever is greater, and so on?

How did they specifically determine the levels at which each of those things was going to be set? Was it just based on the number of dollars they had to play with? Did they have a specific goal in mind in terms of the types of businesses they were trying to target and assist? Did they have a specific goal in mind in terms of the potential for the number of jobs they might try to create by that kind of an action? What it boils down to is, what are the targets and why did they use the specific numbers they have used? We obviously do not have any of the analysis they and their staffs used when they set the particular levels.

I guess this goes back to the resolution that was presented in this House a few weeks ago by the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson). Would the minister be prepared to table in the House next spring an analysis of the results of these actions so that members of this House can start to understand in a more effective way the beneficial effect of the measures they have supported in the past and so that we can understand whether new measures he is bringing in are relevant in terms of the kinds of things that are being said about them in the budget presentation and so on?

As the member for Erie (Mr. Haggerty) has already pointed out, we quite often get put in the position in this House -- whether it be new tax relief to small business under this act, whether it be reduction for six months in the retail sales tax or whatever the action happens to be -- of not being able to look effectively at the net result. We are not in a position to criticize these or any other measures that are being undertaken by the government in relation to other tax measures, reduction measures and so on, which from past experience might be more beneficial in terms of their specific assistance to small business in hard times or their specific initiative in creating new jobs, or even in maintaining existing jobs, if that’s what the goal happens to be. But the minister, the Treasurer and the government always tend to put us on this side of the House in a very difficult situation when something is presented in the light that it is additional assistance to small business, which is under tremendous pressure. We have no effective way of analysing in advance exactly what the effects of these changes will be that the minister, the ministry and the Treasury have obviously done some work on. That kind of presentation would be extremely useful to us.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Mr. Speaker, I’ll deal with the questions posed by the member for Erie first. He was interested in the nonresident corporations and why we were removing them from the tax rolls. This change is parallel to what the federal government now is doing. Our former position was outside international tax agreements that had been signed by the federal government. The federal government has been pressing us in Ontario for the last couple of years -- since 1977, I guess -- to change that particular piece of legislation, and it does bring Ontario into line with all of the other provinces which have already adopted this situation.

Who is affected by this? It will affect foreign corporations which conduct business in Ontario but do not have an office here. They are mainly people in the mail-order business; companies with travelling salesmen based in the United States who might take orders in Ontario that are to be filled in the United States; or companies which send salesmen from the United States to Canada to receive specialized orders, even though they may have subsidiaries in Canada to fill general orders, but special orders not manufactured here and are sometimes referred to the parent company in the United States.

This is the type of thing we are talking about. As I indicated, the reason for all of this is to stay in line with the treaties that have been signed by the federal government.

The member for Erie also suggested that we should get in line -- he said this last year too -- and I thought I explained to him that, I guess it was in 1977, we brought in the new Corporations Tax Act, and it’s in line with the federal government, with few exceptions. What we do now is bring in --

Mr. Haggerty: The government is making them parallel.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Yes, that’s right. That’s exactly what we’re doing; each year, as I’m sure members will recall, there are more amendments being brought in that parallel the federal legislation. These are the areas that we haven’t already paralleled, but almost all of the legislation now is parallel with the federal legislation.

As I recall, it was Bill 88, back in 1977, that was passed by this Legislature. Most of those concerns that the member for Erie has registered have already been looked after.

The member talked about section 5, dealing with the 120 days for the deduction of paid-up capital for nonresident corporations. That is there simply to remove the problem that now exists whereby, just prior to tax-filing time, corporations were able to remove certain funding from the subsidiary corporation and, therefore, not pay any tax on it. What we are saying is, it must be a bona fide transfer of funds and, therefore, it must take place at least 120 days before that; so they can’t play and cook the books. That’s the idea.

The member talked about depreciation on equipment and so on and asked what benefit would be derived from that. Obviously the depreciation on equipment and the removal of sales tax on equipment, which I think he also mentioned, are incentives for small business and industries to progress and to provide more jobs. That’s the whole thrust of this kind of legislation.

Let’s be honest about it. When they buy equipment, it eventually wears out. They should be entitled to depreciate it. They cannot buy a new car or a new truck, if they are in a business, and expect it to last forever. When it is worn out, as for any other piece of equipment, it must be replaced. It’s normal to assume that corporations should be entitled to depreciation on any of this type of equipment.

4 p.m.

The member for Hamilton Mountain (Mr. Charlton) was asking about the costs of the initiation of the major programs; I presume he meant in the legislation. The section that deals with depreciable assets will cost the province something like $30 million. That’s what we will lose in revenue by bringing in this amendment to the act. The cost for the capital tax program is in the neighbourhood of $20 million. What we have effectively done is infuse about $50 million into incentive programs for small businesses in the province.

He was wondering whether it would be possible to produce some results at the end of the year, or at the end of any given time, to see what effect this sort of program has. That would be a very difficult thing to do, simply because the economy changes from day to day. While we might bring this program in and measure from today, if other things change during that period of time in the economy it would be pretty hard to say exactly what effect this infusion of money into the small businesses and corporations would have.

We do our best to keep track of the results, but the figures are usually pretty loose at best. They’re not very accurate. Conditions change from day to day, and it’s very difficult. If everything remained static, it would be very simple to say, “At the end of 12 months this is what we’ve done.” But things do not remain static in the economy and we would have a great deal of difficulty in doing that.

As I said earlier, these programs are an incentive for small business, to assist them. I think all of us know that about 60 per cent of the jobs in Ontario are with small corporations and businesses. It’s important that we keep those people viable and operational and give them an incentive, particularly through depreciation allowances, to put money back into the business and expand as much as possible. If they do that, it’s to be hoped we are going to create more jobs. It doesn’t always work that way, because they find ways and means of becoming more efficient, and sometimes it costs us jobs. But on the whole I think the thrust the Treasurer had in mind was to create jobs.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for third reading.


Hon. Mr. Maeck moved second reading of Bill 54, An Act to amend the Gasoline Tax Act.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Does the honourable minister have an opening statement?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I thought I had, Mr. Speaker, but I’ve lost my page. I can find tobacco tax, and I can find many other things. Help is on its way, they tell me.

Mr. Speaker, this bill, An Act to amend the Gasoline Tax Act, if passed, will effect those energy conservation budget proposals for alcohol and natural and manufactured gases, thus providing a lower effective tax rate for gasoline-alcohol mixtures and full exemption for natural and manufactured gases when used in internal combustion engines.

By providing the equivalent of the 10 per cent tax reduction on gasohol and complete tax exemption for propane and other types of natural or manufactured gases, recognition is given to our commitment for conservation of this country’s precious supplies of gasoline and other nonrenewable and rapidly depleting energy sources.

This bill introduces provisions which, when enacted, will further Ontario’s plan to become less dependent on supplies of oil by providing the necessary tax incentives to make these alternative energy sources cost-competitive.

Members will recall that I referred to the amendments of this particular bill when we were discussing the retail sales tax on gasohol because they are interrelated.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I rise to support Bill 54, An Act to amend the Gasoline Tax Act. I think we can agree on this side that any conservation of energy is rather important at this particular time.

The budget statement, under the Gasoline Tax Act, said an exemption would be provided for alcohol when used alone or when blended with another fuel for the purpose of generating power by means of internal combustion. How is the minister going to remove the tax when, say, alcohol or other manufactured gases may be blended? How does one remove that tax at the gas pump if you are going to have it blended? Where is that gas tax going to be removed? That is the only question I want to clear up at this time. When the gasoline or fuel is blended, how will that tax be removed? Will it be removed at the place of purchase, at the gas pump, or the service station, wherever it may be, or is it removed from some other area?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I will answer that question later.

Mr. Charlton: Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief, because I think I probably made most of my comments in relation to this bill when we were dealing with the Retail Sales Tax Act.

We have no serious problem in supporting the measures that are being taken here. Very briefly, I say again to the minister, the criticism is that these measures in themselves are very innocent, very progressive and very forward looking, but in isolation they become a joke. In isolation they have no meaning unless this government is prepared to do something to see that those vehicles in which this kind of fuel can be used are made available on a large scale.

I had a discussion with the minister the other night. He is going to make some comment about things that can be done to make them available but, for them to be available on a large scale in this province, some actions have to be taken. It is quite obvious that the industrial sector in this province is not prepared to do that now on its own, and additional actions are needed by this government to see that they happen.

I urge the minister to avoid being the brunt of a joke 10 years down the road when still nothing has happened, by now urging his colleagues the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller), the Minister of Industry and Tourism. (Mr. Grossman), I suppose the Premier (Mr. Davis) and for that matter the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch), to get off their behinds and do some serious work dealing with some of the serious suggestions that have been made by Energy critics from this side of the House and a number of other people.

This action on its own has very little value in this province. The minister himself admits that, in terms of the exemptions provided here and in the Retail Sales Tax Act dealing with fuel and vehicles, the tax loss will be very small because of the situation which exists in this province today.

Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Speaker, I just have one point on this bill. It deals with section 1(d)(i), which refers to “aviation fuel, except when used or intended to be used to generate power by means of internal combustion in a vehicle other than an aircraft.”

4:10 p.m.

The way I read it is that it could be aviation fuel, but, provided it is not used in the aircraft, it becomes exempt under the minister’s regulations. Aviation fuel can be used in an ordinary vehicle. There are various types of aviation fuel and some of it operates very well, It could be used in a car, a truck or whatever internal combustion engine is used -- even one’s lawn mower -- without any problem whatsoever.

Unless I misread it, I don’t know the exact meaning of that section. In effect, if one buys it at the airport and sticks it in one’s car, then it becomes exempt from taxation, although it is the same fuel that is obtained at the ordinary gas pump. I hope the minister will clarify that in his explanation.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Mr. Speaker, first of all, to deal again with the member for Erie (Mr. Haggerty), he asked one question and wanted to know how the tax is going to be removed. It is simply done at the pump. Tax would be charged on the gasoline and not on the alcohol.

If one puts 10 gallons in one’s tank, nine gallons are gasoline and one gallon is alcohol; one pays tax on the nine gallons of gasoline, but none on the alcohol. As I understand it, it is a very simple method of doing it, and I don’t think there is any problem with the administration of that at all.

The member for Hamilton Mountain (Mr. Charlton) has referred to some of these things being a joke on two occasions now. I let it go by the first time, but I cannot let it go by a second time. I consider this to be a pretty serious piece of legislation. I do not consider it to be a joke at all. I don’t think any move this government makes to encourage people to use substitute fuels with the type of fuel problems we have today in this world, is a joke.

I would remind the member for Hamilton Mountain that in the United States there are many states where a great deal of alcohol is being used in a mixture of fuel now. I do not think there was any incentive on the part of those governments to promote that. I think it will be a natural thing. We are putting it in place to encourage people to do it.

As I have indicated to the member in our conversations, we have also removed the sales tax on vehicles that will burn this kind of substitute fuel. Surely that is an incentive for people when they are on the market.

I admit they are not easily obtainable today, but they will be. And we want to tell people there is an incentive there for them to purchase vehicles other than gasoline-burning vehicles and to use alternative sources of fuel. I think one of the good ways to do it is to say to the consumer, “If you want to burn alcohol, if you want to burn propane, if you want to burn natural gas in your vehicle when they come on the market, we will not charge you sales tax, to encourage you to do so.”

I understand it will cost something like $1,500 at this point for a kit to convert a vehicle to burn propane gas or natural gas.

The problem is, of course, it is very difficult to obtain these kits. I understand they are only manufactured at this time in the United States, and they cannot meet the demand -- but that is not to say that will always be the case. The knowledge is there now to convert vehicles for the use of this type of fuel, and we hope this will encourage the consumer to demand this kind of vehicle. When the demand is there, I think it will be available.

I was patiently waiting for an answer from my staff on the question asked by the member for Brantford (Mr. Makarchuk), because I am not quite sure myself. But I think the answer is simply that we cannot deal with this amendment without taking into consideration the amendment to the retail sales tax, because I think the two work in conjunction with each other. I do not think it will be possible under this act to buy aviation fuel free of gasoline tax to put in a vehicle.

Mr. Makarchuk: That is the way it reads right now.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Yes. I am having it checked out to see, but I do not think that is the case.

Mr. Makarchuk: I should hope not.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Mr. Speaker, I think my note is coming now. Perhaps this will give us all the enlightened answer. I am told that if aviation fuel is used in other than aircraft, the fuel becomes gasoline by definition and is taxed at 4.6 cents per litre. So that apparently is covered.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for third reading.


Hon. Mr. Maeck moved second reading of Bill 61, An Act to amend the Tobacco Tax Act.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Mr. Speaker, this bill to amend the Tobacco Tax Act contains administrative and deterrent provisions necessary to stop the sale of tobacco products in the province without the payment of Ontario tax. The principal source of this untaxed tobacco is wholesalers who do not hold a valid tobacco tax wholesale dealer’s permit. This tax evasion is currently costing Ontario approximately $5 million in tax revenues annually. Further, it is creating unfair price competition for those tobacco wholesalers operating in accordance with the act.

This bill contains only those investigative powers necessary to prove evasion and deterrent measures commensurate to the benefits to be derived from such tax evasion. It in no way affects a wholesaler, retailer or individual operating within the law. The provisions of this bill, while correcting the current inadequacies of the Tobacco Tax Act, will, by enabling the stopping of such tax evasion, preserve the basic tenet of Ontario’s tax system: voluntary compliance.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak on Bill 61, An Act to amend the Tobacco Tax Act. We on this side will be supporting the measures put forward by the minister as they relate to those persons who are violating the existing act; that is, those wholesalers who are not paying their taxes as they should be.

The only difficulty I find in reading the explanatory notes is the use of the word “may”; that is, “the minister may.” When he was specific in saying there was $5 million of lost revenue, I thought he would be more definite in his proposal and say the minister “shall” instead of “may” if he wanted to go after those persons in violation of the act. It mentions wholesalers. I do not know whether it mentions anything about vendors under this particular section. I guess it does in subsections 2(4) to (7). I do not know what effect this bill will have on vendors.

I have usually seen a vendor’s licence indicated over the top of the cigarette case where they are selling them. Perhaps we are looking at those wholesalers who may be operating vending machines in Ontario. That may be where the violations could occur more. There are other small vendors who sell cigarettes to accommodate certain persons; for example, they may be sold at a golf course. I do not know whether I have seen a vendor’s licence there, but should we extend it to vendors as well as wholesalers?

The area the minister should be getting tax revenue from is wholesalers instead of vendors. Sometimes it is rather difficult. People do not understand the act as it relates to vendors. I suggest wholesalers should be paying the tax directly, and vendors should be left alone. If vendors want to sell cigarettes at a golf course, at a service station, or wherever, perhaps they should be exempt and collect the tax directly from the wholesalers.

I said before we will support the amendment to the act and we hope the minister is going to be successful with it.

4:20 p.m.

Mr. Charlton: Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief in speaking to Bill 61. We are going to support the bill. Obviously along with the minister and the government we have no desire to see taxes that are due and payable under Ontario legislation being evaded. My colleague from Brantford has raised this kind of issue on a number of occasions in the past with the present minister, I would assume, but at least with several former ministers.

We are going to support the legislation to try to help the minister fill in some holes and deal more effectively with the collection of the tax. It seems to me this is a problem that has been going on for quite a number of years in Ontario. Why has it taken so long for us to come to terms with the problem? Has it been in terms of finding the way to deal with it or in realizing the extent of the problem? It has always been fairly clear to me, having worked in a gas station all through high school, that it has been going on for a number of years. The problem has been there in a fairly substantial way for quite some time.

Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Speaker, I want to raise briefly a matter which I raised with the minister’s staff some time ago in a letter. This deals with the people on the Indian reserves who have the right to sell cigarettes without having to collect taxes for them. The merchants who have stores in the outlying areas complain rather strongly that they feel that cigarettes are not sold only to the native people but that all sorts of other people go in there and purchase cigarettes by the trunkful -- in some cases they say by the truckload -- without having to pay the tax and walk away. Naturally, the people who have to pay the tax are at a great disadvantage in terms of economics.

I wonder whether the minister has looked into those situations and whether he knows in how many other places in Ontario similar situations exist. If he does, is there any way it can be controlled without impinging on the traditional rights of the native people, however those rights were established, to continue not to have to pay certain federal and provincial taxes, while at the same time ensuring fair treatment for those people who have to pay taxes but are at a disadvantage because of some devious ways or knowledge of the situation or friendship of those who are able to go and buy cigarettes not only for their own use but also for purposes of resale in order to evade taxes and naturally not pay their fair share of the taxation?

Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, for clarification purposes, I have a couple of questions I would like to ask the Minister of Revenue. Is this going to increase the cost of cigarettes to the consumer? From the way it is averaged in the legislation, will the seller be able to collect more money for collecting the tax on behalf of the province? Would he clarify those two points?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Mr. Speaker, I will deal with the members in order. The member for Erie wanted to know why we used the word “may.” By using the word “may,” it puts the ministry in a position where there is some discretion in minor situations where we may not want to proceed beyond a certain point. It does give us some discretion in the matter in that we are not necessarily forced to impose a penalty in minor cases.

He also mentioned that the vendors should be exempt from collecting the tax. Of course, they are already exempt from collecting the tax. The tax is collected by the wholesaler and not by the vendor at all. But the whole thrust of this legislation is simply this: Up to this time if someone were wholesaling cigarettes without a wholesale permit -- in other words, sort of bootlegging cigarettes -- we had no real penalty. All we could do was charge them with selling cigarettes without having a wholesale permit. What we have done here is bring in much stiffer penalties for those kinds of people.

The member for Hamilton Mountain says: “Why now? Why not before?” That is a good question except that I would say for the last two or three years, until this particular year, the member will recall we did raise the tobacco tax every year on cigarettes and so on, and we are now in a position where we are very concerned about cigarettes coming in from such places as Alberta where the tax is very low. I am told a transport load of cigarettes could be brought from Alberta with a profit of perhaps more than $100,000 per load because of the difference in taxes between the two provinces. So that is what has perhaps made it a lot more urgent than it was in the past. We don’t see that happening to a great extent yet, but we want to be able to stop it now.

The other thing, of course, as the member for Brantford mentioned, is the matter of the Indian reserves. It has always been known on certain reserves -- not all Indian reserves by any means -- that they were able to buy their cigarettes tax-free from the wholesaler. Then, of course, they end up where they shouldn’t end up. We have no intention of imposing any tax on the Indians for the cigarettes or tobacco they will use themselves, but the act was never meant to allow cigarettes to be purchased on a reserve, then brought out of a reserve and sold to other people.

There are complaints; we are receiving complaints from wholesalers who are being affected. I am talking about legitimate wholesalers outside the reservations. There are various ways, of course, for disposal of these cigarettes. I have had complaints from quite a few wholesalers who notice the amounts of their sales are going down simply because there are cigarettes coming in from other areas.

Mr. Kerrio: Do you put a stamp on your cigarettes?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: No, we don’t any more. At one time, I think the province did put some sort of a stamp on, but it was not very effective and it was quite a cost to the tobacco companies, as well. That is done in the United States, but they are still having the same types of problems with their cigarettes in most states as we are having with ours. The figure of $5 million I talked about in my opening remarks is only an estimate. We can’t be sure of how much tax loss there is, but we feel there is about that amount being lost as a result of the fact that we don’t have any way of penalizing anyone.

If members go through this amendment to the Tobacco Tax Act, they will find the penalties are rather severe but, if they don’t break the law, those penalties obviously won’t apply to anybody.

If we are going to pass legislation in this House and impose a tax, we must be assured that people are going to pay that tax. As long as there is an easy loophole and a very small penalty involved, there is no encouragement or inducement for people to buy a wholesaler’s licence so that we would have control over them. We are having some problems with it, and I appreciate the support of both parties in this amendment.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for third reading.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Mr. Speaker, I understand now that the parties opposite are prepared to go ahead with the other bill I have before the Legislature; is that right?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Which bill is that, Mr. Minister?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: On succession duties; I can’t remember the number.

4:30 p.m.


Hon. Mr. Maeck moved second reading of Bill 62, An Act for the making of Additional Provisions for the Levy and Payment of Succession Duty by or in respect of Property or Persons to whom The Succession Duty Act remains Applicable.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Mr. Speaker, this bill provides supplementary provisions to the Succession Duty Act which are essential if tax revenues in excess of $100 million are to be preserved from loss.

Tax planners in the year following the repeal of both the Succession Duty Act and the Gift Tax Act have determined that where a will allows encroachment to an undutiable spouse, this can be used as an effective method to exempt from duty the otherwise dutiable estate of an individual dying before April 11, 1979. This was never the intent when the Treasurer repealed the Succession Duty Act in his 1979 budget.

Second, in order to expedite the settlement of estates where duty is deferred, this bill allows for payment in 1980 of such deferred duties based on estates’ values established as of April 10, 1979.

After the introduction of this bill, a number of representations were made to me by interested groups, including the wills and trusts section of the Canadian Bar Association. As a result of the points raised in these representations, I shall be referring this bill to committee in order to propose three amendments to deal with concerns raised.

An amendment will be proposed to section 3(2) of the bill to ensure the subsection applies only to duty that is now payable or that has been paid. This will ensure that this subsection will not apply to the deferred duty on interests which have not fallen into possession and that are dealt with in the bill by section 3(3).

The second amendment will be to section 4 of the bill which now applies only to benefits conferred by the exercise of a discretion. This section will be extended to enable the minister to extend the same treatment to benefits that are conferred by the exercise of disclaimer or by the surrender, release, waiver or transfer of any right or interest. In effect, the amendment will give to the minister authority to deal with both clauses (a) and (b) of section 3(1) of the bill in the same way when the same circumstances exist. This was an oversight on the part of the people who drafted the bill and is a request made by the members of the Canadian Bar Association.

The third amendment will be to section 9 of the bill and it is intended to meet, so far as the protection of revenue will allow, the concerns of those who wrote to me on their retroactive application of the provisions of the bill. The bill now provides that a post mortem or rearrangement of the affairs of an estate cannot give rise to a refund or reduction of duties which are now payable. It also provides that those who benefit from those post mortem arrangements may be liable to duty on the value of those benefits.

The intention of the bill was to preserve duty that was paid or payable at the time of the repeal of the Succession Duty Act. This can, in my view, be done by preventing the refund or reduction of duty that is now payable, and it does not require retroactivity for the provisions of the bill that would extract tax on those who benefit from post mortem rearrangements of the affairs of an estate.

Accordingly, the amendment to section 9 will remove the retroactive application of section 3(3) of the bill and will ensure that tax will be paid only on post mortem arrangements where the benefit from the arrangement occurs on or after April 29; in other words, we are removing that retroactivity in between, the date when the bill was introduced in this House, which was April 29. That amendment will remove the possibility of retroactive taxation for benefits that were given prior to the introduction of this bill and after the repeal of the Succession Duty Act.

In my view, the amendments I have described will not impair the purpose of the bill and will give effect to genuine concerns that were expressed to me by the legal profession and others.

Mrs. Campbell: What the minister said latterly causes me some concern, because it seems to me some of the amendments proposed really do change to some extent the purpose of this bill. I am not the critic, and I don’t wish to assume that responsibility, but I wonder whether procedurally we should go on with this bill until we have those amendments before us and can study them and understand whether they do effect the purpose of the bill.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The member for York Centre.

Mrs. Campbell: He wants to answer me.

Mr. Acting Speaker: This is in debate at the present time. You only have the right to speak once. That is the general rule of the House.

Have you got a short answer, Mr. Minister?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I understood that the member for St. George really rose on a point of order rather than debate of the bill.

Mr. Acting Speaker: If that’s the interpretation the House wants to put on it, I’ll go along with it.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I would assure the members there is not a big rush to proceed with this bill; if they would prefer to see the amendments, I would be quite happy, with the House’s permission, to not proceed with the bill until they had a chance to see them.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I want to address myself to the comments of the minister. I had some dialogue, along with a few letters from the minister this afternoon, and with our assistant House leader. I had consented to debate the bill on second reading later on this evening. I thought I would have ample time to go back to our caucus and explain to them the reasons why it was coming up tonight, because it’s not on the Order Paper.

The minister indicated to me in his note that there would be amendments coming. I don’t know what those amendments are but, like other members, I feel it’s an important piece of legislation that affects a number of persons right now and maybe the amendments should be given to the critics so we could at least have time to review and see the intent of the amendments. Then we could perhaps get into fuller discussions with him.

I do have some questions about it, and I am not too happy with the retroactive legislation that is implied under this particular legislation. Then again, I suppose that’s a matter that should be debated later in the evening. I had expected that the bill wouldn’t come forward until some time after eight o’clock. I would prefer if we could delay it to that particular time; then perhaps it would give our other members ample opportunity to discuss it further within caucus.

Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, in speaking to the point of order, my colleague from Erie indicated the matter hadn’t been placed on the Order Paper. I would hope we would be apprised of the amendments that are proposed prior to debating this on second reading. Succession duty is not my forte, but I would like to know exactly what this bill is all about and have the opportunity to discuss it in caucus prior to approving it in principle. I agree and I back my colleague from St. George in asking that the matter be deferred until we have had time to caucus.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Speaking to the point of order, Mr. Speaker, I really have no objections to that. I think the members are entitled to know what the bill is all about and what amendments are being proposed. I understand that my staff already have the amendments, but they are not drawn up yet. As soon as they are, we will get the amendments to the members. Perhaps in those circumstances I could adjourn this debate. Would that be the proper procedure?

Mr. Speaker: That’s right. Someone would have to adjourn the debate. It should be the leadoff for the Liberal Party on tax bills. If the minister adjourns the debate, it assumes that he has the floor.

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

4:40 p.m.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved second reading of Bill 47, An Act for the establishment and conduct of a Project in the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto to improve methods of processing Complaints by members of the Public against Police Officers in the Metropolitan Police Force.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that this legislation has, as it should, attracted a great deal of interest in the community. We have had the benefit of a considerable amount of input from various interest groups who I think represent a very good cross-section of the community. I realize there is no total unanimity or consensus with respect to the appropriate direction that this legislation should follow.

I think we have to recognize that this legislation might be properly described as a pioneering type of legislation so far as this province is concerned. We have discussed the issue of provincial legislation to deal with the resolution of citizens’ complaints against the police and, to my knowledge, I think this is as far as any bill has proceeded. I don’t recall, quite frankly, the total history of attempts that were made several years ago. I mention this in the opening only as recognition of the complexity and the sensitivity of this issue.

In bringing in and, it’s hoped, passing legislation, I think we all, as members of this assembly, recognize that this is not likely to be the final word. Whatever legislation is passed, only time will demonstrate the extent of our wisdom in framing the particular type of legislation,

Furthermore, I think it must be recognized -- and I believe that all the members would join with me in recognizing -- that the people of this province are served, generally speaking, very well by their law-enforcement agencies. We have in this province a quality of law enforcement that I honestly believe is second to none when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of law enforcement in the western world.

I think it is important in considering this legislation, therefore, that we do not embark on a course that might be interpreted, or indeed misinterpreted, as any vote of no confidence in our police forces, particularly the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force, which is the subject matter of this legislation.

In my desire not to introduce or support any legislation that could be so interpreted, I think it’s very important to recognize what I consider to be a very fundamental principle of this legislation. That is, the police must be encouraged to resolve these disputes to the extent they can within the ranks of the particular police department.

There is no question that police commissions have always had a role to play in relation to the administration of citizen complaints procedures. But we do recognize that in Metropolitan Toronto, given the pluralistic makeup of the community, the dense population, the challenge is perhaps greater here than anywhere else in the province. I think, though, it is important that we recognize that the maintenance of a high level of policing in the future will depend to a very large extent in encouraging not only the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force but also all other police forces to have a resolution of citizens’ complaints, where possible, by the department itself.

If we were ever to take that responsibility away from a police department and say we were going to set up another police body to investigate complaints against this police force, and effectively remove that responsibility, in my view we would be party to a very serious and fundamental vote of no confidence in our law enforcement agencies in this province.

At the same time, we recognize in this bill -- and I believe the Metropolitan Toronto police does as well -- the need to have some independent body monitoring the complaint procedure, quite apart from the police commission, which does have that responsibility in most circumstances. For this reason, we seek to establish the position of public complaints commissioner, who under this legislation will have the authority to monitor the progress of the investigation of the citizens’ complaints from the outset and, where appropriate, cause his or her own investigation to be made, and the authority to establish a tribunal of hearings for the disposition of complaints where they cannot be resolved to his satisfaction prior to that time.

In structuring this bill, we recognize that it places an enormous degree of responsibility upon the complaints commissioner. Obviously, the success, or otherwise, of such a procedure depends to a very large extent on the ability of the individual who is selected to administer the responsibilities and carry out the functions of that office in a fair and effective manner.

While some might say we should not have legislation that depends to such a great extent on the abilities of one individual, it is my own personal view that this is the appropriate way to proceed, because the type of problem we are dealing with, in my view, is going to depend upon a fair degree of individual discretion when it comes to the monitoring of the citizens’ complaints, when it comes to a determination of whether there should be a public hearing. I don’t think any system that does not build in a high degree of discretion is going to work.

There are a number of other features about this legislation that I know honourable members will want to discuss. I should be very happy to hear and look forward to their contributions to this debate on the principle of the legislation. I have simply attempted, in opening, to cover two or three of what I regard to be the highlights of the bill, the principles on which the legislation is presented to this House.

4:50 p.m.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, I rise to discuss Bill 47. At the outset, I would like to suggest to the minister that we concur with some of his remarks as they relate to the integrity of the police forces in Toronto, as well as across Ontario. The reason we are suggesting this kind of bill does not have anything to do with that kind of stature that we have concurred with in speaking to the bill.

I hope in most instances the complaints are going to be ones of misunderstanding between parties. I certainly hope it will not end up that many complaints are going to have too much substance as they relate to police doing anything but a responsible job.

Our party has a position as it relates to the bill that would cause us to move some amendments. I would suggest that some of them would make good sense to the minister. We would like to see the commissioner, the overall man responsible who will be chosen to do the job, direct the police in the function of investigation. We will not appear in the public’s eye to be doing justice to setting up this kind of structure if we do not have someone who has a very impartial position as commissioner. While he may use the forces of the police to do the investigating, I think the person who heads up the commission should be a person who does not have any interest in any other way.

There are other areas in the bill that we would like to address ourselves to. One of them would be the choosing of the various commission members. We would have to get into the appropriateness of choosing them as it relates to how the bill is drafted. I think we would have to consider many other areas, because we may extend this type of involvement to other parts of the province. We don’t want to get it so that it is specific to a given area. If this functions the way we hope it will, it will meet the public’s anxiety about officers’ conduct. If it functions well, we could use it in other major centres. We don’t want to limit the use of this kind of a body across the province.

I don’t know to what degree we would like to get into various other aspects of the bill at this time. I did not hear the minister mention how he would like to deal with the bill in committee of the whole House or what we would do to maybe have some input. I would like to hear his comments as they relate to that aspect of the bill.

We also have some concern about section 19(4), which gives the police officer the right to examine, prior to the hearing, any written evidence that will be used. We would then have to delve into the reasonableness of the complainant having the same kind of an entitlement to evidence that might be on the record and he should have access to if he is going to present a case on his behalf. These are just a few and not all of the areas that we would like to deal with.

There are other areas of discretion by the police commission that would pay an officer’s legal fees as they relate to his involvement. We would like to see some input as it relates to the complainant’s ability, in one way or another, to get legal help.

We have seen from time to time in the Legislature as it relates to many other areas of involvement where people are disadvantaged even though they are given the opportunity to present their case. Very often they are coming up against people who have legal and expert advice that does not necessarily put them in the same kind of a position to protect their own interests. We would like to deal with that aspect of it as it relates to what help might be available to an individual pursuing a complaint he or she might have.

I don’t think I would like to get into every aspect of this. I would like to point out to the minister that there are particular areas that might be very acceptable to him in the kinds of amendments we might propose, because it has been given considerable thought by people in this caucus who are experts. I don’t include myself among them. I put myself in the position of the lay person who, I think, is justifiably considered now but maybe was not in the past.

The lawmakers now are going to have people who are experienced and not necessarily trained in the order of the law who might complement each other. Those are a few of the comments I would like to hear as to what might prevail as it relates to the expedition of the bill.

Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Speaker, I welcome this opportunity to rise and speak about the content of this government bill. I would like to emphasize that we are quite dissatisfied about the content of the bill and at the way in which the Solicitor General (Mr. McMurtry) has been dealing with the previous bill, Bill 201. When criticism and public concern were increasing in Metropolitan Toronto and when the NDP raised the particular concern of dissatisfaction about the particular clauses of Bill 201, the Solicitor General decided to withdraw that bill and to introduce Bill 47.

On doing so, at least the NDP and myself got the impression that the Solicitor General was going to incorporate in Bill 47 the particular concerns that were raised by the NDP and the public as a whole. When we saw the contents of Bill 47, I have to confess to him I felt in some way offended. When the public was crying out for action, when the NDP issued press releases and when our resolution which was tabled on the floor of this Legislature contained particular issues which the Solicitor General completely ignored, I have to say I felt in some way offended.

The NDP also recognizes the importance of having a bill in place which takes into consideration the public concern in relation to complaints against the police force here in Ontario. Even though we accept this, I am obliged to convey the message to the Solicitor General that we are going to vote against the bill on second reading.

By doing that, we want to be constructive about the contents of the changes we are going to propose. I hope the Solicitor General is going to accept our proposal to send this bill to a committee of the Legislature so that the three parties, the two opposition parties and the public in particular, will have an opportunity to make public input on that bill to make sure that all the concerns involved are incorporated in the final draft at the committee legislative process.

5 p.m.

Keeping this in mind, I hope the Solicitor General will be flexible on the principles we are going to emphasize and the changes we are going to propose at the committee stage in order that problems affecting the public in relation to their complaints against the police will be well defined on the final draft and in particular on the third reading of the bill which is going to take place in the near future.

We are taking this process quite seriously. I would like to have public input. I would like to move amendments. Keeping that in mind, I hope the Solicitor General will be flexible.

In his opening statement, he emphasized that this piece of legislation should have the confidence of the police force and of the public. In my opinion and in the opinion of the NDP, the public’s concern has not been taken into consideration. If it had, the Solicitor General’s bill would have incorporated proposals introduced by my colleague the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner) in the resolution and in the private member’s bill tabled in this House.

One of the major problems is that the investigative process as outlined in Bill 47 is not really independent. If the police are going to investigate the complaint, we are killing the principle of this bill, and the bill as a whole will be jeopardized.

A poll was taken for the Solicitor General. The major question asked in that poll, which was published some time ago, was: “Do you think the complaints against the police should be investigated by the Metro police department or by an independent civilian body?”

The final result of the poll was: By Metro police department, 18 per cent; by OPP, seven per cent; by Attorney General, 20 per cent; by a civilian body, 24 per cent; combination of above, 13 per cent; no investigation needed, three per cent; don’t know or no answer, 16 per cent.

I appreciate that the public has some confidence in the Attorney General, but the Solicitor General should consider that 24 per cent of the people polled called for a civilian, independent body to investigate complaints against the police. The Solicitor General is totally wrong when he says the public is going to support the principle that the police have to investigate complaints against the police. We have to put some faith in it; we have to take into consideration the principle of independence in the investigative process, which should be pursued by a civilian body and not by the police force per se.

We should also consider why this bill has been introduced in the provincial Legislature. The answer, at least for all members of this Legislature, is a simple one. It has been introduced because we face a crisis in the policing of Metropolitan Toronto. Confidence in the fairness and impartiality of our police has been severely eroded by recent developments, including a number of incidents culminating in the death of citizens at the hands of police officers.

A series of reports and inquiries, including several recent and current initiatives, have failed to restore public confidence. It seems unpopular to talk about police affairs in Ontario. However, if criticism against the police force is made in such a way as to improve the system, to make it better represent public interest as a whole, such criticism should be taken into consideration.

I am dismayed by the inaction of the previous Solicitor General and the provincial government in not taking into consideration the recommendations of past studies; in 1972 and 1974 a study on policing in Ontario was done with concrete recommendations.

It disturbs me that this government is taking action at the time of a crisis. Instead of preventing problems in our society by elaborating or introducing or reintroducing new tools and methods which should be adopted by the police, the government waits until a social crisis to take action. I completely disagree with this approach. The government should be the watchdog of the affairs happening in our society to ensure that legislative action is taken to end the turmoil and solve the problem.

I don’t think we are going to accomplish the main task of solving the social problems by introducing Bill 47 without an open and flexible mind to make changes in that bill. We are going to weaken the principle of the bill if police are given the power to investigate members, as has been suggested by the Solicitor General, instead of giving mandate to investigate this type of complaint to an independent body.

I understand what the Solicitor General is trying to say to this Legislature. He is emphasizing that this is a pilot project, that his ministry is going to monitor the work of the citizen complaint bureau. Eventually, if changes are required, the Solicitor General will make sure that changes take place.

I have to disagree with such a concept. If we want to take into consideration the public’s concern on such a procedure, the concern should be incorporated in the bill now instead of waiting for the failure of Bill 47 in the near future. Eventually, the bill is going to be scrapped altogether. That is why I want to emphasize again that the bill should be referred to a committee of the Legislature and that the Solicitor General should have an open mind and be more flexible to ensure that there is public input and to ensure that particular clauses of the bill are going to be amended or included if the public is to be represented on that bill.

5:10 p.m.

The other reason why this particular bill has been introduced is that alarm about racism in the community, as well as in the police force, has been voiced by representative figures from many ethnic groups. This has been matched by much wider concern about the responsiveness of our police to an increasingly diverse and rapidly changing community. This mounting external criticism is matched by internal problems with a disturbingly high police turnover and deep-seated problems of police morale.

I would like to voice again the particular principle that has been emphasized in the past, that a police force in this province was unable to cope with this particular situation involving racism. That is why the crisis actually developed to the point that the community reacted in a very forceful way.

Mr. Speaker: It seems to me that the minister who is piloting a bill through the House should not be carrying on a private conversation, almost an all-party conversation. Out of deference and courtesy to the person who has the floor, I think those honourable members should give the Solicitor General an opportunity to listen.

Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank you for that particular remark. I am appealing to the Solicitor General to become more flexible in order to have an open mind when the bill is referred to a committee of the Legislature. I hope he will consider those remarks, to make sure those changes will take place eventually.

What I stated was that the police force was unprepared to face the crisis I am talking about and, in particular, racism. In previous estimates, going back to 1977 and 1978, on the floor of the Legislature and outside of the Legislature, I expressed my particular concern that the police force should be trained to deal with this type of problem. In some way, at that time, I became a prophet because those problems unfortunately occurred in Metropolitan Toronto and the police force was unable to cope with them.

I am going back to the same principle, that this government and the Solicitor General should prevent things in our society and make sure those problems will not reach the point that they become explosive and cannot be contained.

Yesterday the Solicitor General and the members of this Legislature had an opportunity to learn through the media what is happening in Florida -- in particular, in Miami -- and about the racial tension that is taking place down there. We have to learn from past incidents taking place here in Metropolitan Toronto, and we should analyse in a very concrete way what is happening in the United States regarding this racial tension. This particular evidence should be a motivation for the government and the Solicitor General to introduce the right tools in legislative terms to make sure that those social concerns are going to be dealt with.

The government was unable to respond immediately to the need for a new police commissioner in Metropolitan Toronto. I don’t think we can blame the community for the way in which it is responding, but we have to blame the Solicitor General and this government for its inaction.

In response to the tension surrounding the shooting of Albert Johnson and in particular to the calls for change in the wake of that tragic death, the performance of the Metropolitan Toronto Board of Police Commissioners has been, to say the least, extremely disappointing. I want to emphasize this particular point. I think the fault lies with the government and the Solicitor General for not moving quickly enough in making the right changes which had been preached by past studies like the reports of Cardinal Carter and John Clement which have not solved the mounting concern of the community.

I think the problem which has been generated between the police force and the public lies, as I stated before, with the police commission which appears to have discharged its responsibility for maintaining the lines of communication between the constables and the citizens. In particular, it is incompatible with the fundamental role of the board as a whole to refuse to meet deputations while individual commissioners impugn their credentials.

The NDP believes a larger police commission would encourage a more open means of managing police affairs as well as facilitating the more active roles in their administration of policing and community interaction which we believe the board should assume. But it has to be Metro council which should be empowered to --

Mr. Renwick: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: You asked a few minutes ago that members of the House not engage the Solicitor General in conversation at the time this bill is being debated in principle. I wonder whether, as a courtesy to my colleague, the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) would allow the Solicitor General, should he so choose, to follow the debate very closely.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: That seems like a reasonable request.

Mr. Lupusella: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. What I was saying was that council should have the power through legislative change, which should take place here on this floor, to make sure the police commission be appointed by Metro council and not through appointments at the provincial government level.

I think the community as a whole will be well served by that. If from time to time criticism arises in the province against the police force, such constructive criticism should be taken into consideration instead of dismissing all points which are raised as a result of this type of criticism.

5:20 p.m.

Going back to the principle of the bill, I think Bill 47 is a disaster, based on the fact that public concern hasn’t been taken into consideration. I don’t want to go through a report that was published in the Globe and Mail on December 29, 1979, as a result of the action taken by the Solicitor General in introducing Bill 201, but I would like to read part of this report about the content of the government’s bill. As I stated before, there is not much difference between Bill 201 and Bill 47, and I don’t understand why the Solicitor General withdrew Bill 201 only to introduce a similar type of bill, Bill 47.

This particular article is heavily critical of the content of the government bill, and I would like to read part of it.

“The second ridiculous provision is that which gives the Commissioner of Complaints the right to refuse a citizen access to the Civilian Review Board. He has the power to kill a complaint and prevent a citizen from ever getting an independent fair hearing. If that position, therefore, becomes the repository for tired politicians or retired police chiefs (as has been the government’s practice with similar appointments, supposedly superintending the police), this body will very soon lose the respect of the public which is essential for its operation ...

“The composition of the board leaves much to be desired ...

“It is as though we have waited five years and gone through numerous commissions of inquiry for nothing. I hope the leaders of the opposition will have the courage to reject this bill and compel the government to respect the calls for fundamental decency in the treatment of police complaints that have been made again and again.”

Of course, we don’t reject this bill because of this particular report but as a result of the inability on the part of the government to seriously consider the points and concerns we have been raising on the floor of the Legislature and through the private member’s bill introduced by my colleague the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner).

The principle of this bill has been on the Order Paper a long time. Different studies have suggested we need an independent review board here in Metropolitan Toronto to take into consideration complaints against the police. Just as examples, I would like to mention the following: (1) the Task Force on Policing in Ontario, a report to the Solicitor General, February 19, 1974; (2) the Metropolitan Toronto Review of the Citizens’ Police Complaint Procedure, A Report to the Metropolitan Toronto Board of Commissioners of Police by Arthur Maloney, May 1975; (3) the Royal Commission into Metropolitan Toronto Police Practices by Mr. Justice Donald Morand, June 1976; and (4) the report of the Royal Commission on Metropolitan Toronto by the Honourable John Robarts, June 1977.

Finally, there is the report to the council of Metropolitan Toronto by the Task Force on Human Relations by Walter Pitman, November 1977. Of course, I don’t want to exclude the most important report by Cardinal Carter, whose recommendations need attention and a lot of consideration.

The Solicitor General spends money for reports and studies about problems such as racial tension which eventually might become explosive, and yet we are confronted with the inaction of the government and the Solicitor General in introducing the required legislation at the time of a crisis. I want to emphasize that I completely disagree with this type of government approach. We have to prevent things, and we don’t have to wait until the problem cannot be repaired any more.

It seems that Bill 47 in some way is reflecting in general terms the concern that was raised by Mr. Maloney. But there was no particular attention paid to the recommendations pursued by Justice Morand’s comment on the complaints bureau when he emphasized, to quote from his report, that:

“First, the present system is not effective. For a variety of reasons, the investigation of serious allegations of excessive force are incomplete, not impartial and largely unsupervised ... A system must be developed for the prompt, impartial, vigorous and independent investigation of such complaints, incorporating appropriate safeguards for the rights of police officers. Such a system must be highly visible and manned by personnel who command the respect of the force and of the public.”

I think that particular paragraph reflects the public’s concern about having investigative measures in that bill in order to enact and ensure public confidence. In Bill 47 there is this particular lack of concern. I don’t think there is a great change or a measurable change from the status quo, because that is what is happening now; the police are investigating the complaints themselves. If we want to inject confidence in the public, the investigations should be really independent.

The private member’s bill which was introduced by us is taking into consideration those particular concerns and those particular principles which have been emphasized by Mr. Justice Morand in his report and which also emphasize the right of the police officer as well to be protected in the course of such investigations. I am calling upon the Solicitor General when this bill is sent to a committee of the Legislature to have an open mind in order to make sure those changes will take place.

Besides the social problem, I think this bill is also important with respect to the duty of a police officer when he or she has to deal with the public. As far as I’m concerned, I’m giving a high profile to this bill because I consider this bill as a safeguard or a safety valve to make sure that the police officer is going to pursue his duty in a way that is described by the Police Act without abuses taking place in the implementation of the law enforcement process which are happening on a daily basis here in Ontario.

5:30 p.m.

We are confronted -- and I think each member of the Legislature is a witness of what is reported by the media -- with abuses taking place in our society as a result of the law enforcement process by police officers. I do not want to go into great detail on that, but if members read the headlines reported by various newspapers in Ontario they will find that these abuses have taken place. Even though at this point in time internal investigations have taken place at the level of the Ontario Police Commission, actually nobody knows what is happening. Internal investigations are secret and nobody knows the final result of such investigations.

Going through articles in different newspapers, I would like to emphasize such headlines as “Door Kicked in Over a Ticket, Man Says”; “Man Handcuffed, Waited Three Hours for Breathalyser Test”; “Used Undue Force, OPP Officer Kept On”; “Five Officers Facing Counts Under Police Behaviour Code.” It is really interesting what is happening.

I would like to quote from an article. I do not want to mention the names of police officers. The final paragraph says that the person from the OPP detachment who gave the report on the charges stated: “The charges resulted from an internal investigation held two weeks ago, after getting complaints from fellow officers and citizens. He said the complaints involved eight policemen over an incident that occurred on September 7.” We do not know what is happening as a result of these charges. Most of the cases are dismissed when they are introduced before the court, and this worries me.

I would like to conclude my opening remarks on this bill. I hope the Solicitor General is going to accept our proposal to send his bill to a committee of the Legislature in order that the opposition parties and the public will be able to appear before us to make constructive recommendations and to make sure that, when this bill is given third reading, it will contain the public’s concern and the two opposition parties’ concerns. This should take place as soon as possible to restore confidence in the police force on the part of the public, which is important. There is no system in any country where, if the public is losing confidence in the police force, the law enforcement process will not be jeopardized as well.

Above all, if we are serious about the law enforcement process in Ontario we have to take into consideration the fact that police officers should be trained longer in order that they will get the right type of courses, reflecting the general makeup of our society, so that the law enforcement process will take into account the changes which take place from time to time in our social life.

I would like to thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to debate this bill on second reading.

Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the principles contained in Bill 47 before the House today. This bill has been long awaited, inasmuch as it deals particularly with complaints issued against our law enforcement agency.

I concur in the remarks made by the Solicitor General in his opening remarks that our law enforcement agencies across the province are absolutely second to none. But inasmuch as there has been a rising concern in society today, and that concern persists -- it permeates and weakens the very structure of our police forces and our law enforcement agencies -- this bill is designed to meet that problem and meet the issue as it arises.

It is in that sense that I hail the principle that the Solicitor General has introduced. We welcome it because it purports to establish a vehicle whereby those who feel aggrieved in any way when they deal with our enforcement agencies will be able to have their grievances heard by an independent body, heard by an independent individual, who can deal directly with the concern.

When this type of bill was originally introduced by a past Solicitor General (Mr. Kerr), I am aware that it was not received favourably in society by the police forces or by the public at large. It seemed to be because there was a lack of consultation. But I am satisfied with the remarks of the Solicitor General inasmuch as he has undertaken, since that original bill, a process of gaining information and a process of consultation. The consultation is, as I understand it, with certain individuals in our society, not the least of which was the police force and the police associations. It seems to me the original bill, as it was introduced, has been overhauled and amended into the present bill. The present bill purports to establish more authority in an individual called a public complaints commissioner.

As my colleague from Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio), and our critic of the Solicitor General for this party, indicated in his opening remarks, one of the major weaknesses of the present bill perhaps lies in the role to be played by the public complaints commissioner.

It has been a long-established principle of our law that not only must justice be done but justice also must be seen to be done. One of the methods of guaranteeing the sanctity of that principle lies within the makeup of this bill and the method it offers for a solution to the problem.

Inasmuch as the bill establishes an independent body, an independent method of investigation, an independent method of consideration of the problems before it, it is welcome. In that sense and in that sense alone will justice be seen to be done. But we must also balance in our consideration the fact that the law enforcement agencies throughout this province, and more particularly in the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, must not be eroded. They must be able to deal with problems in an interpersonal way, the way this bill sets up.

I believe that when a complaint is made the bill, as it is presented, establishes three sources of the complaint. Those three sources are acceptable. In fact, they are admirable. But it is the method and the procedure that takes place after the initial report that does cause a certain degree of concern.

5:40 p.m.

Initially, when the bill was introduced by the present Solicitor General, the public complaints commissioner did not become involved until after the investigation had been completed. The present bill before us moderates that position somewhat. Inasmuch as the investigation is still conducted by the public complaints investigation bureau, inasmuch as the investigation is carried out by that body, which is a branch of the Metropolitan Toronto police force, there has been moderation made, because the public complaints commissioner can now take an earlier role in the investigation, but is limited to 30 days. He must be contacted within 30 days.

That does cause a degree of concern to us on this side of the House inasmuch as the principle of justice being seen to be done may be circumvented. It would be preferable, in our opinion, to have the public complaints commissioner take an earlier, active part in the investigation, inasmuch as he is and can be one of the sources of complaint. For instance, a complainant may complain to the police station or he may complain to the bureau or he may complain to the commissioner. Inasmuch as a complaint can be made to any of those three sources, and inasmuch as the commissioner must be apprised of the complaint immediately, it would seem that his active role in the investigation must commence immediately and not be left to the determination of what has been indicated here as the chief of the bureau.

This bill before us for consideration introduces a new concept over and above what the previous bill had; that is, the concept of the chief of the bureau. The chief of the bureau seems to be taking unto himself powers that ought to be relegated to the public complaints commissioner.

We are aware that the force and effect of this bill lie in the individual entrusted with the role of complaints commissioner. All our laws necessarily relate to that type of relationship and, inasmuch as they do, they are good laws. We rely upon the integrity of individuals who are appointed to these positions. In recognition of that principle and that approach, rather than introducing a third party into the equation, namely, the chief of the bureau, in my respectful submission to this House, we should rely on the integrity of the public complaints commissioner at the first instance. He should become involved and play the role of the bureau chief as described in the act.

The board, as composed under the act, consists of three types of persons. There is no quarrel with the composition of the complaints board. It is, in my respectful submission, wholly and completely representative.

Inasmuch as it carries a tremendous weight on its shoulders, it is acceptable.

I suppose the main concern we have is that the public complaints commissioner be active sooner and more completely in directing the investigation and not be relegated to the position of being advised within 30 days and subsequently each month until the investigation is complete. If we are going to satisfy those in society who will be making their views known and who will be espousing the principle that justice must be seen to be done, it seems to me we ought to rely on the integrity wholly of the public complaints commissioner and on his active participation in the investigation right from the outset so that should an individual in society make a complaint to the police station or the commissioner or the bureau, the public complaints commissioner, that individual, will be apprised immediately of that complaint in order that his role may be active.

I understood in conversations outside of this House surrounding the introduction of this legislation that the commissioner would have a more active role sooner. I would prefer to see the legislation before us introduce that type of aspect.

The chief of police, under the present act, has the power to order a further investigation or to cause a criminal charge to be laid or to refer the matter to the board for a hearing or to initiate disciplinary hearings under the act, or counsel would caution the police officer involved to take no action. It seems to me that those dispositions ought to be made in consultation and in association with the public complaints commissioner. We do not wish to take away the power of the police chief and his role in this entire function.

I do not doubt for a moment that justice would be done should this matter be left solely in the hands of the police department. But we have the other aspect of the equation to consider, and that is that justice must be seen to be done. So rather than take away from the chief of police the powers that are set out in the act, I would ask the Solicitor General to consider combining his powers so that they may be executed and exercised in association with the public complaints officer and so that he will have a more vital role to play in this entire process.

The act sets out that the complainant, where he is dissatisfied with the decision of the police, can then take the matter to the commissioner. That is a good position for this legislation but it precludes the public complaints commissioner from being active earlier in the entire process. In my respectful submission, that aspect of the bill is one that is going to have to be reconsidered.

I realize that the commissioner is given his own powers of investigation and I realize the purport and the consequences of what is set out. His investigation may be exercised in two instances: following the receipt of the first interim report from the bureau that it is subsequent to an investigation by the bureau, or when conducting a review of the file after a request by the complainant. Again the complainant becomes involved in this request to the commissioner only after the initial investigation by the bureau. The bureau is a good and necessary vehicle but the bureau, in my respectful submission, cannot and ought not act independently of the public complaints commissioner. So the complaints commissioner ought not be relegated to the position of an officer of review of the initial investigation of the bureau as set out in the act.

The public complaints commissioner, as I have indicated earlier, ought to take a more active role at an earlier stage but not independently -- any more than the bureau ought to be allowed to go on a frolic of its own in the initial investigation. There must be an interweaving of the two roles. In so far as this bill does not interweave those two roles, in my respectful submission, it is weak and does not satisfy the demands of that second part of the equation that justice must be seen to be done.

There is absolutely no intention in my remarks to indicate that justice would not be done, because I believe that justice would be done. But there are other factions in society that must be satisfied. In so far as those factions must be satisfied then the second part of the equation must be met.

5:50 p.m.

The commissioner has the option, if he is of the opinion that the complaint is of a minor nature, to direct the single board member to conduct a hearing. That hearing officer must be trained in the law. Even before that takes place, the bill does provide a mechanism whereby, in the event of a minor complaint, the complainant and the officer can be brought together to iron out their difficulties. That is a good thing, a very good thing. I would not like to see that mechanism removed from this act, nor do I think it will be removed. But I submit that the decision to bring the police officer and the complainant together ought not to be relegated solely to the bureau. In my respectful submission, it must be a common decision between the interweaving of the public complaints commissioner and the bureau of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force.

There is no objection in the bill in its principle of de novo hearings, inasmuch as all parties are entitled to notice and the complainant has a right to counsel. The bill is admirable in that respect. But this procedure takes place after the initial investigation, and it is in terms of the initial investigation that this bill has to address itself in a more complete way.

I personally have concern about the burden of proof in the bill being beyond a reasonable doubt. Currently, the Police Act carries with it a burden of proof, of balance of probabilities, when an individual is being tried on a matter under the Police Act. We are imposing a greater onus, a greater test, under this act than we do under the present Police Act. It would seem to me our law ought to be consistent in this regard. The police chief can cause a charge to be laid against a police officer, with its consequent disciplinary action, which could include dismissal from the police force, taking away an individual’s profession, on the basis of balance of probabilities. Under these circumstances, I do not think a police officer ought to be tested or ought to face any greater onus than he would if his profession were being challenged under the Police Act.

In terms of consistency of laws, in terms of consistency of tests to be applied, it may be that this bill should be reconsidered in terms of the burden of proof and the test to be applied therein.

The resolution of any type of complaint by the board is completely acceptable with respect to major complaints in terms of dismissal, demotion, resignation, days off, forfeiture or reprimand. These same types of disposition find themselves into the Police Act, and the disposition ought to be left in conjunction with the commissioner and the bureau. On the other hand, as I have indicated before, the test to be applied should be reviewed.

There is one other concern, the right to appeal to divisional court of either party, be it the police officer or the complainant, the lay person. It seems to me the bill ought to be reviewed in so far as it relegates that appeal to a question of law alone. It ought to be reviewed if the Solicitor General is satisfied in the area of weaknesses and problem such as the denial of natural justice to either party, the police officer under review or the complainant and the handling of his case through this entire process. It must be made abundantly clear in this legislation that questions to be directed to the divisional court must include a denial of natural justice. Denial of natural justice could include procedural affairs as well as questions of law alone.

There is some doubt in law as to whether natural law, the denial of natural justice, is a question of law alone. In so far as our courts are still struggling with that particular issue, I think it should be made abundantly clear in this legislation that that is to be included. It would necessitate the addition of only a few words so that the intention is abundantly clear that any appeal to the divisional court can include not only questions of law but also questions of procedure. The bill is silent in many respects on procedure. In so far as a lack of procedure or a default in procedure relegates itself to a question of natural law, that ought to be included as a grounds for appeal to the divisional court.

I began my short remarks by indicating the bill in its principle is one that is eminently worthy of support, and it is. It seems to me that any flaws that can be found in this bill are flaws only in the nature of wording and the nature of roles to be played. The roles are set out, but they are set out independently of one another.

The role of the public complaints investigation bureau as set out in the present bill is independent of the role of the complaints commissioner. They are there; they are there to he seen; they are there for the public use. But in so far as they are independent and in so far as they operate independently of one another, it is my respectful submission to the Solicitor General that the bill be reviewed so that those roles can be interwoven and so that the second part of the equation, that justice must be seen to be done, will be satisfied. I urge that upon the Solicitor General.

Mr. Acting Speaker: I recognize the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner), but I suggest that before he commences we recognize the clock.

The House recessed at 5:57 p.m.