31st Parliament, 4th Session

L054 - Thu 22 May 1980 / Jeu 22 mai 1980

The House met at 2 p.m.



Hon. Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: I have placed on all honourable members’ desks a package of maple sugar manufactured and produced in the county of Lanark. On the back of the package is a short history of the manufacturing of maple syrup products. We have increased our production in Lanark and Leads so that we now produce about a third of all the maple syrup products sold in this province.

Mr. Speaker: We will call that a point of information as opposed to a point of privilege.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, if I may speak to that point of information, I want to thank the honourable member, of course. I take it this is meant in good faith and is not a deliberate effort to ruin our diets, wreck our teeth and sweeten us up before the question period. However, we certainly appreciate it. I thank him very much.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, on the same matter, I would like the minister and the member to know that we here think that when we take Lanark, we will sweep the province.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, while I don’t want to comment on the point of information, inasmuch as I don’t consume calories these days, I do agree with the member for Riverdale. When the NDP takes Lanark, it will in fact have 125 seats, but I have to say to the member for Riverdale, it will be long past his normal life expectancy.

Mr. Martel: Do you remember when there used to be only seven over here?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Eighty-one in ’81.

Mr. Martel: We are getting there. Our numbers are going up and yours are going down.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I remember when you had a little higher percentage of the popular vote than you got the last time. I remember that too.

Mr. Speaker: I am sure the Premier has something much more important to say.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The member for Sudbury East, in his own inimitable fashion, is provoking me again, Mr. Speaker.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the unanimous consent of the House to allow the Leader of the Opposition and a member of the third party to make statements after the Premier makes a statement about the Quebec referendum results.

Agreed to.



Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, May 20 was an immensely hopeful day for all Canadians. Having said that, it is equally clear in my view that the no vote in the Quebec referendum does not mean in any way that we can complacently sit back and assume the issue or the problem has passed.

I understand fully that in making their heartwarming decision to deny the Parti Quebecois government a mandate to negotiate sovereignty-association, Quebeckers did so in the conviction that there is now general acceptance in Canada that the status quo will not do. We must not and we will not betray that confidence.

It is not only Quebeckers -- and I refer to all Quebeckers, however they cast their vote -- who will be in judgement of the commitment with which this process is now undertaken, but all Canadians. We all want positive results from what I trust will be an exciting and creative process on which we are about to commence. Now is the time to demonstrate a spirit of generosity, to work together to put in place, through the words of our constitution and the deeds of all of us, those ideals which will make this nation a better place for this and future generations.

The singular advantage of this moment in our history is that we have in our hands the potential for making real progress in the constitutional arena. That forward movement is enhanced when the representatives of many governments are committed to active participation in the process of change.

On a number of occasions in the recent past, as Premier of this province I have reiterated my assurance and given my pledge that we would support wholeheartedly serious constitutional reform within the framework of federalism. This Legislative Assembly unanimously supported that view on May 9. Today, publicly and in this House, I renew that pledge.

Last evening, joined by my colleagues the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) and the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), I met with the federal Minister of Justice, Mr. Chrétien, for initial discussions on the substance and process of constitutional change. As many will have heard reported, before this weekend is out, Mr. Chrétien hopes to have completed similar discussions with representatives of all 10 provinces.

I am, of course, encouraged by this type of quick initiative on constitutional reform and I have pledged this province’s full cooperation for any and all constructive steps in this direction. I do so because, if we are to continue to uphold and to build upon what we have achieved together as Canadians, and to be proud of our nation, we must rise to the challenge and overcome the impasse that has denied us success until this time.

2:10 p.m.

In the recent debate on Confederation in this House, members of all political parties, as I understood what they said, expressed with considerable emotion their feelings toward their sister province and urged, without exception, that Quebec remain within Canada. The debate also saw the passage of a resolution that commits the government of this province to supporting full negotiation of a new Canadian constitution because, as adamant as we are in our rejection of sovereignty-association, we are also deeply committed to developing a new constitution that will meet the express and legitimate aspirations of not only Quebec but all other parts of this nation.

To assist us in the task of preparing for renewed constitutional negotiations, this Legislature will appoint a select committee of the House on constitutional reform, whose mandate will be to consider and report with dispatch on ways to achieve this objective. I suggest to members of this House, with respect, that in view of the rest of the timetable, the words “with dispatch” mean probably by the end of the summer.

At the same time, of course, this government will play its full part on behalf of the people of this province in all ongoing discussions that will take place. The first of those, I expect, could occur very soon. In doing so we shall adopt a flexible and openminded position to ideas, aspirations and calls for change that will come from all parts of this nation.

Nevertheless, I would not be responsible if I did not indicate at the outset those principles upon which we will be firm. These principles are not new and we have reiterated them on many occasions. They have to do with the maintenance of our parliamentary, democratic and federal system of government.

As their implementation is essential for the eventual success of the endeavour on which we are about to embark, I shall briefly list the key principles that Ontario will seek to achieve in any new Canadian constitution. These are not all-inclusive; I think it would be unwise to start drawing up complete lists at this stage of discussion, but they do highlight some of the basic principles we think are fundamental. They are:

First, patriation of the constitution and a relatively flexible formula for constitutional amendment;

Second, provincial participation in the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court of this nation;

Third, reform of existing national institutions such as the Senate -- I use that as an example -- to allow for the fuller expression of regional or provincial interests, while keeping the Queen as head of state;

Fourth, recognition of English and French as the two official languages of Canada, including the proposition made at the last meeting of first ministers calling for the entrenchment of the right to minority-language education across this nation;

Fifth, provisions that will allow for more flexibility in certain areas of jurisdiction so that some provinces, such as Quebec -- but I emphasize it would also apply to other provinces -- could take on more responsibilities than the others if they so desired. In other words, the constitution should be so drafted that if there is to be paramountcy or a sharing of fields, the government in any province of Canada can assume that additional responsibility, at least have the right to assume, but not necessarily decide to do so. This should be available to every province, not just to a single province;

Sixth, greater consultation in areas where the federal spending power could be exercised in areas directly affecting the provincial jurisdiction;

Seventh, entrenchment of the fundamental and democratic rights of Canadians;

Eighth, a precise definition of the essential powers needed by the federal government to run the national economy. I think it is important, as we embark upon this period of constitutional discussion, that we recognize from the perspective of this province any proposal whereby the government of Canada -- I don’t like the phrase “central government”; I refer to it as the national government -- must have not only the responsibility but the power to discharge that responsibility to deal with national economic issues. That, to me, is fundamental and a point of view we will maintain.

Ninth -- a principle we think is fundamental, and I think increasingly fundamental -- there must be measures to eliminate barriers to the free flow of people, goods and services across this country so as to enhance the economic ties within Confederation. In my view it must be part of the constitution, a principle that is fundamental, that Canadians must be able to work, travel, invest and conduct business throughout this country.

Tenth, a clear commitment to the fair distribution of economic opportunities as a goal of Confederation and as a test of national policies.

I share this very personally, that it is a matter of immense disappointment to me at least and I think to all who have worked for the desired reform -- and we worked very hard at it during certain periods -- that the piecemeal approach to constitutional negotiation over the past, really now 15 years, has not achieved what we have sought.

Now, however, we have a rare and a fresh opportunity to do a major work of this generation for this country. Let us not allow our vision of the future to be narrowed by the failures of the past. At first ministers’ meetings we could all dwell on why things didn’t happen, why we didn’t achieve success, and what were the limitations. I am suggesting, with respect, Mr. Speaker, that this provides us with a fresh opportunity to look down the road at what we want in the future for our constitution without being limited by the debates of the past 10 to 15 years.

I think we must build. My own perception is that these opportunities don’t come that often. There must be a sense of urgency -- I happen to believe this -- and we must seize the opportunities now, not six months from now or a year from now. We should build upon this sense of urgency at this time. I think it is also important for us to tap the energy, the feeling, the commitment that all of us sensed Tuesday night and that has been demonstrated by so many from all parts of this nation.

I don’t think we should minimize it: it will be a very tough task indeed. It is easy to discuss these issues in isolation. It is easy to expound upon the principles, but I think it is also fair to state, having been a part of this process for a number of years, that it is a very difficult task.

It is now the vital interest, I think, of all Canadians in every province, in every region, whether they be French-speaking or English-speaking, our native people, our new Canadians, young like myself or more mature like others, to refashion, to renew, to strengthen our Canadian Confederation. Now, as I believe we would all agree in this House, we must immediately get on with this task.

Mr. Speaker: In view of the unanimity expressed earlier, can I assume that if we go over the 30-minute time restriction, it will be waived on this occasion?

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I certainly want to thank the House, first of all, for the unanimous permission to make a statement at this time. I want to thank the Premier for his statement, which I thought set the right tone and I think represented well the feelings of the people in Ontario at this time.

We certainly welcome the vote in Quebec. I think all people in Ontario were relieved, full of joy, full of optimism about the future when we saw that vote. The vote was of greater proportions, I think, than many of us would have been ready to believe and it was most heartening to see that.

I think it’s important that we now recognize that there are people out there who will need to be convinced about the need for constitutional change. I think the Premier is working on this. I pledge myself to work in the same interest and to try to bring about the same result.

I think it’s very important, as we discuss constitutional change, that we find some way to involve a good many of our citizens, other than the political leaders, and, for that matter, find some way also to involve other political leaders apart from the first ministers. There are some real difficulties with the usual first-minister approach. I confess right now I don’t have the answer to this, but I put the question anyhow for the consideration of the Premier and other members of the House.

The federal government is formed by a party that has virtually no support in the House from western Canada, and that is a very real problem when it tries to put the federal viewpoint at a first ministers’ conference. Similarly, the present government in Quebec which would be represented at a first ministers’ conference, in that way would not have the point of view of the side that has just won the referendum and there is a difficulty there.

In this House, without in any way becoming political about it, we do have a situation where the government party, although it speaks for all the people, has been elected by less than a majority of the people and would be good --

Hon. Mr. Davis: It is very broadly represented.

2:20 p.m.

Mr. S. Smith: Yes, it is probably a representative party.

Hon. Mr. Davis: All areas of the province.

Mr. S. Smith: I am trying, Mr. Speaker, to make a statement that is reasonably non-political. I hope the Premier will permit me to do that. The Premier recognizes that a good many people in Ontario would want their views represented. I take it he would agree that the select committee, at least in Ontario, might be one way that the members of other parties, and certain invited people from the community at large, might be able to contribute to Ontario’s position to be taken in front of any eventual constitutional conference, be it of first ministers or any other kind.

I hope the Premier will put his mind to this task. I shall be glad to assist in any way I can to find some way to make sure that representation occurs from more than just the government party in Quebec, the government party in Ottawa, the government party in Ontario, and elsewhere. We have a very important responsibility in this House.

We, certainly, are prepared to work on a select committee. We would like it to start right now, and we would like to work not only on the principles outlined by the Premier but on other principles that other people might wish to bring forward

The second point I would like to make is that Ontario should state, as clearly as possible, that we are certainly not of the view at present being advocated by the Premier of Newfoundland. I was somewhat concerned about that gentleman’s view of Canada in which he stated that the federal government was really the agency of the 10 provinces and governed by the will and the permission of the 10 provinces, as I understood him. I do not see that. I believe the federal government governs by the consent of the governed, meaning all the people of Canada, and that is how it should be.

It is also important that we not agree with that gentleman’s view that this is a time for a common front of all provinces, in a sense, against the federal government. I am very concerned that there is going to be a meeting, as usual, this summer -- in August, I believe; the Premier could correct me if I am wrong -- of the first ministers of the provinces. I would think it would be very important for Ontario to make clear that that should not be a meeting at which the first ministers of the provinces get together to form some kind of common stand with which to confront the federal government. This is not the time for that kind of common front or confrontation.

The federal government is the government that has very great responsibilities in these matters and should not be regarded in any way as the enemy of the provinces or some kind of outside force. We should all work together and there should be no private attempts to set up a common front against the federal government. I trust the Premier of Ontario will carry forward that particular viewpoint to the meeting this summer.

Je veux saluer très sincèrement M. Ryan. Je pense qu’il a conduit une campagne électorale qui était remarquable. L’organisation dans chaque circonscription électorale était quelque chose merveilleux et en général je pense que c’est l’image de M. Ryan comme un homme de fortitude et d’intégrité qui a assisté avec le résultat que nous avons reçu.

Je veux aussi féliciter M. Trudeau. Je pense que notre Premier ministre a fait une intervention très importante, très puissante et je pense que c’était quelque chose qui a aidé beaucoup la cause fédéraliste juste au moment où on en avait besoin.

I also want to pay tribute to the federal opposition leader, Mr. Clark. I thought his speech saying the Canada they were objecting to in Quebec was a Canada of the past put it very well. He also deserves our commendation for the role he played.

I want, therefore, to summarize by saying this. While we can endorse the principles outlined by the Premier, we want to participate not just as politicians but as Ontarians and as people who represent many viewpoints in the province. We want to participate in the select committee and we want to get on with that as rapidly as possible.

We want to participate in any way possible and reasonable in the eventual constitutional discussions, although we recognize that being at the table might not be the necessary answer to that. There may be other solutions, and I look forward to discussions with the Premier about them.

We reject the idea of a common front of the provinces against the federal government, and we hope that does not happen at the meeting of first ministers this August.

We look forward to constitutional change. We feel Ontario should present what it wants, as a province, at any conferences which occur. We assume there will be preliminary meetings before we actually get to a first ministers’ conference, and we would recommend such preliminary meetings, especially as they sort out in Quebec exactly what attitude they intend to take towards these constitutional discussions.

Ontario has a great challenge in front of it; it has a great opportunity. The way in which we treat the forthcoming negotiations may well determine whether Canada survives and, if it does survive, the kind of country it will be.

We endorse the Premier’s statement. We look forward to working with him and with other Canadians of goodwill to reformulate the country we all love.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, we in the New Democratic Party welcome the statement of the Premier today as far as it goes. I have one or two other points I would like to make in a moment.

One of the commentators observed with regard to the referendum vote in Quebec that what it did in effect was to give a suspended sentence on Canada. In other words, we are not yet convicted; we have a job to do. The Premier has many times said we must get on with that job. He is willing to go anywhere at any time to pursue the issue of constitutional reform, and he has reiterated that and elaborated on it in his statement today.

However, there are two areas I would like to touch upon by way of going beyond the Premier’s statement today. One is in reference to what I would describe as the substance of constitutional reform. The second is in reference to the whole process we might be following.

Up until now, as the Premier has noted, this ad hoc, piecemeal approach to reform has not been successful. What the Premier has done today is to move away from the ad hoc listing of reforms that might be achieved at any given time, as was done, for example, by the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs in a statement last December, to enunciating a statement of principle.

As far as those principles go, I think we would agree that they spell out the guiding principles we wish to pursue. But what is the exact position of Ontario now? That is what I want to speak to for a moment.

Ontario’s position in the Confederation of today and tomorrow is going to be fundamentally different from Ontario’s position in the Confederation of yesterday. Ontario’s position in the Confederation of yesterday was that we were the almost automatic beneficiary of the whole system. As has sometimes been described, we in this province were the honest brokers of differences that may have emerged elsewhere.

Things have changed. The whole thrust of economic development in this country is moving west. Ontario, as a have-not province, on as vital an issue as energy supply, for example, finds that it is dependent for 80 per cent of its energy supply from outside the province, either from other provinces or outside the country.

Therefore, in constitutional reform we have to be more in the role of the west and the Atlantic provinces in terms of attempting to restructure Confederation so that it can specifically meet the needs of Ontario, because those needs will not be met automatically from the Confederation setup as they have been in the past.

Therefore, I would like to plead with the Premier to move as quickly as possible to assisting us in the House, and those outside the House who now are interested in this topic, in presenting what Ontario’s views are.

It is true, as has been pointed out by a number of columnists in the last few days, that Ontario has put on the table a number of things throughout the last 10 years, and this has been used as an argument that Ontario was not locked in and satisfied with the status quo.

But many of those things have not necessarily been commitments. They have been reports, for example, from the advisory committee on Confederation, which may or may not have been accepted totally by the government. Indeed, in one instance, the Penetanguishene issue, it was not accepted for quite some months. What is the government’s commitment?

A week or so ago, the Premier made a very interesting statement, at least in terms of its media coverage, in which he said that Ontario was now putting the finishing touches on the Ontario package, the Ontario position. What is the Ontario package? What exactly is the Ontario position?

2:30 p.m.

The Premier has spelled out certain guidelines. We all agree that we must have a viable national government. On the other hand, we all agree that there are certain powers that the federal government has had in the past which may be decentralized to the provinces. Where do we draw the line in that division of powers so that we have a viable national government and yet we transfer certain powers, which might be exercised more effectively in meeting people’s needs, to the provinces?

It seems to me that is the nub of the whole constitutional reform issue. If the government is, as the Premier seemed to suggest last week, putting the finishing touches to a package, when is that package going to be revealed? Then all of us in the Legislature who want to be part of this process would be working with something of substance instead of something that is straight speculation.

Let me move to the second part -- the Leader of the Opposition has spoken to some of this already: the process by which we are going to operate. Interestingly enough, Ontario today, in one sense, is a step ahead of all other provinces. We have now, by that resolution that was passed unanimously a week or so ago, agreed to the establishment of an all-party committee. This will be a forum in which we can work out what is Ontario’s approach and Ontario’s needs as we move towards the whole issue of constitutional reform.

We do not have comparable committees in other provinces so we are left with accepting the views of the provincial governments, which do not necessarily represent the total view of the whole Legislature. I do not know if there is any government in this country, with possibly one or two exceptions, that really represents the majority of the people as reflected in their last electoral votes.

We are going to set up a select committee, and that select committee is going to tackle the job of working out the Ontario package. If the Premier has a fairly definitive statement on which he is putting the finishing touches, can he not give that to the Legislature? Can those who are preparing themselves for work on the legislative committee not then be in a position to work with the substance of that proposal and have their input in terms of where they think it can be improved or where modifications can be made?

I think it is legitimate that governments will have to take the initiative in this whole process of constitutional reform. But I join with the Leader of the Opposition, at least to this extent -- particularly as one is shaping a constitution to serve the needs of this nation for the next 100 years or more -- that it is necessary that other people in this Legislature in the opposition parties, and other people on the outside, to the extent that they can make an input, should be involved in that process.

I was interested to learn from Ottawa yesterday that the Prime Minister has indicated he is open-minded to the idea that there will be all-party delegations at the constitutional conferences. I understand that Allan Blakeney of Saskatchewan, on behalf of the province, has indicated they are willing to move in that direction. I hope that here in Ontario we will be willing to do that, so that at least we will bring all parties into the picture. In bringing all parties into the picture, the government will be opening the doors more widely to bringing all different points of view into it.

We are all aware that outside of parties we have groups in this country that have very legitimate claims to having an input in constitutional reform. I think partly of the native peoples who were here before either of the founding nations that we speak so much about.

I want to emphasize another point. I think it will be tragic in the whole process of constitutional reform if we do not do something to dispel that sense of frustration -- of being forced to the sidelines -- on the part of that growing third of the Canadian population that is neither French nor English. This nation was founded initially with the French and English partnership. That basic dualism is inescapable. One of the messages that came out of the referendum vote in Quebec was a willingness to work out a new arrangement for a modern restatement of that dualism, but we would be making a very great mistake if we did not move beyond that. I do not presume for a moment to suggest how it should be done, but we should reflect the legitimate role, the place and the contribution of a growing third group, the new Canadians who have come to this country and who are playing such a major part in its development.

We welcome the statement of the Premier. We join with the Leader of the Opposition in giving him our assurance that we will work towards the fulfilment of the principles which have been enunciated there. But I note in the Premier’s statement that he referred to the select committee as being faced with the task of preparing for renewed constitutional negotiations. I just raise with the Premier, if that is the case and if the time frame in his own mind at the moment is for his operations to be ended by the end of the summer, that it may well be necessary that we should move that legislative committee even before the beginning of the summer.

Allan Blakeney has suggested on behalf of Saskatchewan that we should be moving within a three-week period with the first meeting of at least the intergovernmental affairs ministers to work out the agenda to start the whole process so that it can be picked up by the first ministers at a later date.

If this Legislature, through its select committee, is going to have an input in that and that process is to start three or four weeks from now, I suggest it is necessary that steps should be taken as quickly as possible to establish that select committee so that it can become the vehicle or mechanism for that broader input beyond the government alone, and I would like to believe that the Premier has no objection to that broadening or that open process.

We welcome the statement and we look forward to sharing what the Premier has described as a creative, exciting process for building this nation for future generations.


Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, in recent weeks some members have expressed their concern about the mothballing this month of the iron ore recovery plant of Inco Limited at Sudbury and the implications of this action on those engaged in the iron ore industry in Ontario.

Although I described in this House only a few months ago the problems encountered with some iron ore pellets produced in our province and their unsuitability for steel plants in the major markets, it may be useful to provide an informational report on the situation.

First, it is worth repeating what the Premier (Mr. Davis) has already told this House on May 8, that Inco advised us it intends to absorb into other operations the 200 employees affected by the mothballing of the iron ore recovery plant at Sudbury.

In the iron ore industry, a serious oversupply and overcapacity has existed since 1974, not only in this country but throughout the United States and the rest of the western world.

The primary cause was the expansion of the iron ore mining capacity in the mid-1970s to meet forecast levels of steel demand which never materialized -- and I do not mean forecasts made by this government. This expansion was followed by very low demand for steel from the end of 1974 to the beginning of 1978. At the start of 1978, iron ore stocks in the western world were estimated to be in excess of 200 million metric tonnes, which was the equivalent of 38 per cent of the iron ore production in the western world during 1977.

Turning to the iron ore pellets produced by Inco in Sudbury, the problems are (1) the presence of higher amounts of alkalis, potassium oxide and soda ash than are contained in the average iron ore pellet, (2) Inco pellets contain some nickel as an impurity and (3) there is pellet dusting during handling, such as in the unloading at steel plants.

The alkalis attack the refractory lining of blast surfaces and shorten their working life. The dusting creates poor environmental conditions for workers. As for the nickel impurity, the majority of steel produced in the world does not contain nickel and the presence of nickel is undesirable.

For some time, Hanna Mining Company, a major iron ore company in the United States, was able to market pellets for Inco by wide distribution among its own and other iron ore inventories. The blending of other ores in the refining process minimized the effect of the contaminants but resulted in added costs of handling. But that market came to an end as stocks built up.

2:40 p.m.

Producers of specialty steels that contain nickel, such as stainless steel, cannot use iron ore pellets because those steels are produced in electric furnaces that require the use of scrap steel or pre-reduced iron ore, which is called sponge iron. In an attempt to overcome these problems, Inco, along with Allis-Chalmers Canada Limited and the National Steel Corporation of Canada Limited investigated possibilities of producing sponge iron in the non-operational SL-RN kiln owned by Falconbridge Nickel Mines Limited in Sudbury.

Although a good product was obtained, the costs were too high for the present and this sponge iron cannot compete in price with scrap in the currently depressed steel market. As further illustration of the effect of this depressed market, Stelco Inc. owns a facility to produce pre-reduced iron pellets at the Griffith iron mine in northwestern Ontario, but that facility has been mothballed since 1976 because scrap steel is much less expensive than sponge iron.

From these facts, it can be seen that marketing Inco pellets is extremely difficult in the present state of oversupply in the iron ore industry. The only exception would be small amounts of the pellets for trial purposes or for special needs. Also, marketing problems with Inco pellets are affected strongly by the fact that all major North American steel companies have their own captive supplies of iron ore.

As for the outlook for the future, the potential for marketing of the Ontario iron ore pellets will be affected to some extent by the current world change in regional patterns of steel production. The growth is happening away from the traditional major steel-producing areas, such as the United States, western Europe and Japan, and shifting towards the emerging countries.

The traditional three areas together produced about 47 million metric tonnes less in 1978 than they did in 1974. Meanwhile, the emerging countries, including the Soviet Union, produced about 51 million metric tonnes more in 1978. What the impact of this worldwide change will be on future markets for our iron ore is difficult to gauge. It is an area that the government of Ontario and its staff, along with the federal government, are watching closely, with the hope of anticipating iron ore needs that our provincial sources can supply in the years to come.

It is natural enough that some concern should be expressed about the 200 lost jobs in Sudbury because of the mothballing of the Inco iron ore recovery plant. But, as I have mentioned, the company has said those workers will be accommodated in its other operations. The iron ore mines in Ontario that have shut down in the past two years either ran out of ore or were small, uneconomic operations compared to the newer and larger mine developments in Quebec, Labrador and Minnesota. In general, it may be said that those mines are more efficient because they enjoy economies of scale.

As further evidence of the current drop in demand for iron ore, I would inform this House that on the day before yesterday, a 15 per cent cutback was announced by the Wabush Mines based in Newfoundland. The reason given was lack of demand from its largest customers, Dominion Foundries and Steel Limited and Stelco. Even that large and efficient operation apparently cannot be completely sustained in today’s declined markets.

Each year about 60 million metric tonnes of iron ore are produced in Canada. Of this total, 62 per cent or 37 million tonnes are exported. Imports of iron ore into Canada are about four million tonnes per year, primarily from the United States, while 17 million to 19 million tonnes of Canadian iron ore are shipped to the United States each year -- that is to say, four to five times the amount we import. Constitutionally, Ontario cannot interfere in international trade. Also, any such moves could cause great risk to our own export markets.

It has been suggested that the government should force Ontario steel companies to consider processes that would allow the use of the less desirable Ontario ores at the expense of the imported ore from the United States. Such an action could well lead to reprisals by the United States. The results may well be that more Ontario jobs would be endangered than we would stand to gain -- jobs in such centres as Hamilton and Sault Ste. Marie. That is why it is the government’s conclusion that it would be unwise for Ontario to intervene unilaterally in that aspect of the international marketplace.

More than 80 per cent of all steel produced in Canada is produced in Ontario. The steel companies in our province are highly efficient and competitive, and have been leaders in steel-making technology in North America. An estimated 90 per cent of Canadian steel exports to the United States are produced in Ontario. In 1979, exports of Ontario steel producers to the United States were estimated at 1,289,000 short tons, whereas imports from the United States into the whole of Canada were estimated at only 500,000 short tons.

Faced with this market situation, the way to stimulate the increase of employment in our province in this industry is to build on the strength of our steel-making expertise and capabilities. We must build on this strength by encouraging company decisions to expand, modernize and remain competitive and by this means increase employment in Ontario. That is what this government is doing.


Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the members of the House of the latest developments in the extremely serious forest fire situation in the province. Conditions across northern Ontario are critical because of extremely dry conditions. Three regions, the northwestern, northern and north-central regions, have been declared restricted fire zones; that is, all open fires are banned because of the high risk of forest fires. It is anticipated that before this afternoon is out, all of the northern parts of the province will be declared a restricted fire zone. This is an almost unprecedented move which emphasizes the extreme severity of the conditions.

The weather is not helping the situation. Temperatures in the north are in the 30s, relative humidities are extremely low and winds remain strong at 20 to 30 kilometres per hour. Unfortunately, there is no change or relief in sight so far as the weather is concerned.

During the past 24 hours the situation has worsened considerably in the Kenora and Red Lake areas. At Red Lake, hospital patients and senior citizens have been evacuated by float plane. The rest of the 3,000 people in the community stand ready to be evacuated, if necessary, because a fire is burning out of control in the vicinity. Two other serious fires are out of control in the Kenora area.

Further to the east, the community of Fort Hope is being evacuated. Two Canadian Armed Forces Hercules aircraft from Trenton and three aircraft from Austin Airways have moved about 400 people from Fort Hope to Geraldton, which is 145 miles south. About 100 residents have volunteered to stay behind to fight the fire that threatens their homes. Four Canadian Armed Forces helicopters have been sent to Dryden and Thunder Bay to assist evacuations wherever they may be needed.

Currently there are 31 fires burning in the northwestern region. Approximately 62,000 acres of forest have been burned by these outbreaks. In the Kenora area, a previously held fire, Kenora-23, has again flared up to spread about 25 miles and forced the evacuation of the community of McIntosh.

Trans-Canada Highway 17 has been closed between Vermillion Bay and the junction of highways 17 and 71 at Longbow Lake. The CPR main line has been closed. Also, highway 105 between Ear Falls and Red Lake has been closed until further notice. The main power line to Red Lake is down and telephone service is disrupted. In the resort area between Kenora and Dryden, an area equal to 17 townships has been declared an emergency area by my ministry to facilitate the protection of human life and private property, and to provide for the orderly evacuation of tourist camps, lodges and private cottages as well as the previously mentioned village of McIntosh.

2:50 p.m.

The overall forest fire situation is critical throughout most of the northern regions of the province, and we have moved in reserve manpower and equipment, especially from the south, to do battle on other fronts as fires break out. But because there is a general shortage of aircraft and equipment at the moment, we are negotiating with the United States Forestry Service at Boise, Idaho, to supply us with additional firefighting equipment and aircraft.

Our staff and volunteers are working around the clock to keep losses and damage to a minimum. To give an example of the measures being taken, all Ministry of Natural Resources staff in the northwestern region have been put on standby for auxiliary fire duty or support work, and all normal operations have been halted until this emergency situation is resolved.

To get a firsthand look at the situation, I and my colleague the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier), with my deputy minister, will be flying shortly to the northern areas affected. We plan to fly over Fort Hope, visit the threatened community of Red Lake, as well as fly over the Kenora to Dryden area. This evening at the Dryden regional fire centre, we will be holding a news conference to update the many news people who are already on the scene or are on their way at this moment.


Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, in all the talk about the Olympic Games in the summer of 1980, many people have overlooked the fact that there will be two sets of Olympic Games. Canada may not be going to the 22nd Olympiad in Moscow, but it is definitely going to Arnhem in the Netherlands from June 21 to July 5, to take part in the 1980 Olympiad for the Physically Disabled.

I am pleased to announce today that the people of Ontario through their government and the Ministry of Culture and Recreation, will be assisting financially the Canadian mission to the Sixth Olympiad for the Physically Disabled. We will be granting the mission $1,000 for each Ontario participant, and we anticipate that 40 men and women from Ontario will be on the Canadian team.

This support of the Olympiad for the Physically Disabled is only one manifestation of our growing support for disabled athletes, The Ministry of Culture and Recreation is heavily involved in the annual Ontario Games for the Physically Disabled, which this year will be taking place in Sault Ste. Marie. In addition, we are helping regional games de signed to ensure that, whatever the physical capabilities of the athletes, there will be an opportunity to participate for those who wish to do so.

The extent of activity surrounding sports for disabled people emerges as nothing less than dramatic when one considers there were no formal organized competitions for these men and women anywhere in Canada prior to 1967.

Since then, Ontario athletes have demonstrated conclusively that they can be the best in the world. A few weeks ago we honoured some of the province’s outstanding athletes at the annual sports award dinner. Among them were 17 amputee and blind world champions -- world champions, not simply provincial or national champions. No doubt the Arnhem Olympics will add to the list of Ontario’s world champion disabled athletes.

I am sure all honourable members will want to join the government and the Premier, who has a strong personal interest in disabled athletes, in wishing all Ontario participants going to the games at Arnhem good luck and Godspeed.



Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Minister of Energy, if I might, regarding the remarks made by his parliamentary assistant on Tuesday, speaking as the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Energy. The minister will know he made statements saying it is time for us to take a serious look at building nuclear plants in Ontario specifically to export power to United States markets.

Would the minister not agree that would seem to be a change from the government’s policy as enunciated in February 1979 and before then, which said, “While our policy not to build generating capacity solely for export markets has not changed...” then went on to discuss other types of exports? Can the minister explain to us why his parliamentary assistant took it upon himself, on behalf of the minister, to enunciate a new policy in this regard? Is it, in fact, government policy? What is the exact viewpoint of the government of Ontario on this matter?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, the member for Durham West (Mr. Ashe) spoke to the Toronto branch of the Canadian Institute of Energy on May 20; it was a fairly extensive paper. During the course of his address he volunteered some personal views on this particular subject and, perhaps unlike other caucuses, we do not discourage personal views being expressed from time to time. I would perhaps underline at this time that those views do not necessarily reflect the government’s position on that subject.

Mr. S. Smith: Since the minister says it does not necessarily reflect what the government’s position is, perhaps the minister would be kind enough to respond to the question which I just asked him, which is for him to tell us what the government’s position happens to be in this mailer. When he is doing it, would he also tell us whether the government has looked into any other alternatives to this, such as working with the federal authorities to sell the Candu reactor to the Americans and have them buy our reactor and produce the electricity there?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I thought I had made my position quite clear. The Leader of the Opposition made some reference to some earlier document that purported to represent government policy. There is no change. This government is not contemplating the construction of another nuclear generating station exclusively dedicated for export. In fact, the nuclear program and the commitments of that program were quite clearly set out in the Energy Security for the 80s paper last September, which was released within a few days of my appointment to this responsibility. There is no change in that.

I am sure the member for Durham West would be pleased to send a personally autographed copy of his speech over to the Ontario Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. S. Smith: I have a copy.

Hon. Mr. Welch: It’s not autographed, though, is it? It is not autographed yet. He spends a great deal of time in the paper talking in terms of how anxious we are, and Hydro would be, to work along with the federal authorities in promoting the sale of the Canadian technology, which is recognized throughout the world for its safety.

Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, the minister tells us that it is not government policy to build additional nuclear plants specifically for the purpose of exporting power to the United States. Can he tell us if this is part of a government gambit that is going to lead us into a rationale for finding a market for the excess power we are going to have when the Darlington reactors are ready to run?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, it is one thing to ask, as the Leader of the Opposition did, with respect to some specific comments made by the member for Durham West, and certainly my response stands there. The nuclear construction commitment is already set out and clearly understood, I am sure, by all members of this House.

As far as the question of export itself is concerned, we are involved in the export of electricity in this province and we are not ruling out the question of the export of electricity. Indeed, I would be very surprised, as we proceeded to discuss this whole question of energy and the sharing of energy and the possibility of interconnections and so on, if there were not a great possibility with respect to including this as part of that program.

Mr. J. Reed: Would the minister then direct his parliamentary assistant to issue a public refraction inasmuch as he was speaking in an official capacity at an official function?

Hon. Mr. Davis: If the members opposite had to retract everything they said all the time, they would be in trouble.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Including what the Leader of the Opposition said to the businessmen at Port Credit. Does he want me to read it to the House?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, unlike the other parties, there are no muzzles on this side of the House. If the honourable member who has just raised the supplementary were to take the time to read the speech and would look at page eight, the member for Durham West says quite clearly: “In my view, it might even be time to be taking a look...” Now, that’s a very personal comment.

Mr. Isaacs: Mr. Speaker, does the minister agree with the comments attributed to his parliamentary assistant that anti-nuclear sentiment is higher in the United States than in Ontario? If he does, how does he justify that statement given the results of the recent Ministry of the Environment Decima poll showing that 50 per cent of people in Ontario are opposed to the building of more nuclear plants?

3 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member now leads us into some other comments which are attributed to the member for Durham West. Whether or not they are his statements is something this member might well want to have a conversation with him about --

Mr. Foulds: We want to talk to you about it; you are the minister.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Just wait a minute. I am answering the member for Wentworth.

The studies to which the honourable member makes reference would indicate that there is general public acceptance with the current building program in so far as the nuclear generation aspects of Ontario Hydro are concerned. There are some questions raised about the future. There are some questions raised as to whether the people are supportive beyond the present commitments. Those facts are set out in those studies.

I repeat that the only commitments at the moment are those that have been quite clearly understood, that were set out in the paper Energy Security for the 80s and those take us up to and including the Darlington project.


Mr. S. Smith: A question to the Treasurer, Mr. Speaker: the Treasurer will recall a few days ago I asked him to call in the heads of the chartered banks to seek a lower interest rate for small businesses such as exists in British Columbia with the Bank of British Columbia. His answer began this way, “Ontario does offer lower-interest loans to small business through the Ontario Development Corporation. The current rate is in the range of 10.5 to 11 per cent, I believe, on eligible loans through that route.”

Would the Treasurer kindly correct the impression he left, because some business people heard that statement and called the Ontario Development Corporation. There was a firm in Hamilton, for instance, that did that. The answer was very blunt, to the effect that the ODC simply does not make such loans. Other business people have called and were told that if they could get an 18 per cent or 20 per cent loan anywhere else, they were obliged to take it. It was only for firms that could get no loans anywhere else at any rate that the ODC financing might then be made available. Would the Treasurer care to correct the misleading impression which he inadvertently left with the House?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition asked what rates we gave small businesses and I pointed out that we do give loans at those rates. I think that is still accurate. I will be glad to have the actual figures verified for the honourable member. The ODC is the lender of last resort by definition and always has been.

I might point out to the honourable member that the news today, for example, was that the bank rate dropped to 11.83 per cent. That’s a drop --

Mr. S. Smith: No thanks to you.

Hon. F. S. Miller: No thanks to me. But if other governments ran their business as well as this government does, the rate never would have gone up.

The honourable member is fully aware that the inflation in this country is a major function of the poor fiscal management of his federal Liberal friends. The media call that the central government.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. S. Smith: The question originally asked on May 13 plainly requested the Treasurer to call in the chartered banks and ask them to give a favourable rate to small business as the Bank of British Columbia did. Since the answer to that had to do with the availability of loans here in Ontario, and it turns out that those loans are not available here in Ontario, would the Treasurer be good enough to recognize that he has inadvertently misled some business people in this regard?

More than that, will the Treasurer now agree to call in the heads of the chartered banks and ask them to do exactly the same thing here in Ontario that has been managed by the Bank of British Columbia in western Canada?

Hon. F. S. Miller: The rates will drop at least 1.5 per cent by Monday morning. The honourable member knows that; that is not good enough. There is a price for that commodity. We do offer those loans for small businesses. The rate does vary, but I am told that one can get those loans; they are being given every day of the week. I will be glad to get the details from three ODCs for him, either directly or through the minister responsible. Those loans are being made.

Mr. S. Smith: This company phoned the ODC, asked for money, and the ODC said, “Can you get any anywhere else?” Would the Treasurer not agree that in these circumstances, when the answer was, “Yes, we can, at 18 or 20 per cent elsewhere,” the ODC said, “Well then, we can’t lend you anything.” That being the case, does the Treasurer not think he should go to the chartered banks and ask them to give special consideration to small business?

Hon. F. S. Miller: The Ontario Development Corporation and the Federal Business Development Bank were set up to add to the lending powers of the general banks simply because they would not cover some of the high-risk situations. That is exactly the area we cover and exactly the function. We are not a general bank. We are there to assist specific industries with specific loans.

Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Speaker, exactly because the ODC is a bank of last resort, does the minister not think that at this point in time, when especially the small businessmen in the manufacturing sector in Ontario are faced with a recession, the government should undertake an effort such as it did with the Employment Development Fund?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I am not quite sure I understand that question, Mr. Speaker. Through the EDF, we give specific assistance to companies: sometimes a grant, sometimes an interest subsidy, sometimes a loan guarantee, as properly befits the case before the board.

When I see the central bank rate drop to below 12 per cent today -- it is 11.83 --

Mr. Kerrio: The feds are doing that.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I have never denied whose responsibility it was. I have never denied it was theirs when it was up. I will not deny it now it is coming down.

Mr. Kerrio: Joe Clark was there.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Joe Clark was there. Probably the fact they copied Joe Clark’s budget is one of the reasons it is starting to drop now.


Mr. MacDonald: A question of the Minister of Health, Mr. Speaker: While the number of opted-out doctors in Ontario appears to have stabilized at about the 17 per cent level, the number of specialists in Metropolitan Toronto, where 55 per cent of the specialists for the whole province happen to practise, has risen to 36 per cent, and in the region of York it has risen to 57.8 per cent, according to the latest figures. Does the minister not consider that this kind of opting out in a very important aspect of the delivery of medical services deserves his attention?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. MacDonald: What is the minister going to do about it?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: First of all, I am glad to have the opportunity to put on the record the fact that the level of opting out has declined. It has declined every month for the past five or six months, which is quite contrary to some of the predictions that came from the other side of the House a couple of years ago, that 35 to 40 per cent of all the doctors in the province would opt out.

As I acknowledged to the House several months ago, the biggest difficulty we have is with anaesthetists. That is one group for whom we have designed a particular response which now is being discussed with several large anaesthetic groups and which we hope, quite frankly, will have a beneficial effect in providing an alternative to the existing system.

I am not totally satisfied with it. I am satisfied, though, that trying to work out problems addressed to the individual specialties and to the particular regions of the province is far better than using some kind of wide scythe across the whole system.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the minister if he kept his promise at the time that a petition was filed in this House by the NDP with 250,000 names. Did he write to all those 250,000 people? If he did not or he changed his mind, would he write to them now and tell them that the same people who were criticizing him are now in bed with him?

3:10 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I can assure you that there is only one person in bed with me.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Is that one at a time?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, my colleague the Minister of the Environment is interrupting.

As a matter of fact, I felt the media gave such thorough coverage to my response that I decided not to spend the money in that way. What I did instead was to spend the money on a research project on the question of the donation of blood in the province, which is an ongoing concern to us, considering that only four per cent of the population gives blood. I think that research project should be completed within the next month or so. I hope it will help the Red Cross and the government beef up the donation program.

Mr. MacDonald: I appreciate the Minister of Health acknowledging that the efforts of the New Democratic Party last fall have stabilized or fractionally reduced the overall number of doctors opting out. However, my supplementary question to the Minister of Health is this: Why does he continue to flout growing public concern, particularly with regard to specialists, when the government’s own polls a few months ago, now confirmed by a Toronto Star poll a day or so ago, indicated that 69 per cent of the people feel that the government should prohibit doctors from opting out, and 75 per cent feel that doctors who have opted out should be charged for using hospital and treatment facilities?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: My response might be a little longer than normal, Mr. Speaker, so I will understand if you add a few minutes to question period.

First of all, let me correct the record. Going back a couple of years ago, when the Anti-Inflation Board program ended, we forecast that we were going to see, because of the pent-up frustrations and pressures during the AIB period, an increase in opting out

The members opposite will recall that they predicted we were going to see something in the order of 35 to 40 per cent -- some even predicted 50 per cent -- of all the doctors in the province would be opted out. If we had followed some of the advice coming from that side at that time, we would have seen figures of that order.

This is not a problem that is exclusive to Ontario; it is a problem that is confronting every single province. You can go to any province today and find, especially in the records of the Hall commission, that there are tensions that exist between organized medicine and the governments of the 10 provinces. The question is, what do you do about it?

I don’t think the way to resolve the problem is to use the heavy hand of government regulations; for that matter, neither has any other provincial government, and I think that is significant. Regardless of political stripe, every other provincial government has realized that this is going to be resolved only on a national basis. That is why all of us welcomed the appointment of Mr. Justice Hall to review medicare and to make his comments on whether the principles of universality and accessibility are being threatened -- there are a lot of us who do not believe they are -- and if he does believe that, what he would recommend as a national resolution to the problem.

It is interesting to me that when I walked in this afternoon I was handed a copy of a Canadian Press wire story from Alberta. The province of Alberta has had a balance billing system for several years, I guess for as long as they have been in medicare. The Minister of Health of Alberta announced today that they are going to introduce a system identical to Ontario’s to answer their concerns about balance billing.

Mr. McClellan: That is no surprise. They are as stupid as this government.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Let’s talk about the others. Let’s talk about Saskatchewan, where almost 40 per cent of the doctors are on balance billing for some of the patients some of the time. Let’s talk about the fact that in this province we have contained the problem to a peak of 18 per cent a year ago February -- not last fall, when the New Democratic Party was tabling petitions -- and it has come down steadily ever since.

I am not satisfied that we have the problem licked, but it is not going to be resolved by an earth-shattering confrontation that would only destroy the health-care system that people of this province enjoy.


Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, I accept that the Minister of Health says he is going to continue to flout public concerns, as reflected in his own polls.

My question is to the Attorney General: Is the minister aware that registry offices in this province stipulate that all documents must be in English only and that any other document in a foreign language, including French, must be accompanied by a certified translation? Does the minister not consider that this situation, which has been drawn to his attention for many years, is in violation of the government’s assurance of providing services in French?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of the Attorney General does not administer the registry offices in this province. They are administered by the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations. All I can tell the member is that I know some initiatives are being taken by that ministry to resolve this issue.

Mr. MacDonald: I will redirect my question, by way of supplementary, to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. When are we going to have some action to acknowledge government assurance of delivery of services in French and the recognition of French as part of the language of this Legislature, for example, by amendments to the Registry Act which will not declare French to be just another foreign language?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, we are working towards that goal. There will be amendments to the Registry Act and the Land Titles Act very shortly.

I want to draw the member’s attention to some of the inadequacies of his presentation. One of the difficulties in providing a registry in the French language alone is that there are a number of technical phrases in conveyancing descriptions that are not easily translatable into the two languages.

Ms. Gigantes: What are they doing in Quebec?

Hon. Mr. Drea: The member for Carleton East asks what they are doing in Quebec. They do not have a similar registry system. They have an entirely different one. My task would be infinitely easier if Quebec had a registry or land titles system comparable to that of Ontario. I want to proceed in this direction and I intend to, but I am not going to raise certain expectations. What we are looking for is the right of a Franco-Ontarian -- or indeed anybody else, but particularly a Franco-Ontarian -- to do a conveyance bilingually in which, for the record, because after all it is land conveyancing, the official language will be English. The reverse side of the document or, perhaps, even a separate document can be filled out in its entirety in the French language.

I have talked to solicitors across this province and, as a first step, this is considered to be very practical and very desirable.

When dealing with foreign languages -- that is, languages other than French or English -- and the ability for someone to come in with information in a foreign language other than French or English, that would be a convenience but there must be a translation into the English language because it is land conveyancing; it is permanent. The next person who comes in to buy that property may not know that foreign language.

I am very hopeful that by the end of this year the program for the filing of a bilingual document -- that is, in English and French -- will be available in many of the registry offices across the province.

Mr. Swart: After 37 years --

Hon. Mr. Drea: What is the member for Welland-Thorold’s problem?

Mr. Swart: I said after 37 years of government you are about to take the first step.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I will tell you, that man knows as much about land conveyancing as he does about toilet paper.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. MacDonald: Since the minister’s statement is really a rationalization for maintenance of the status quo and says in effect that it is impossible to make a precise statement in legal terms within the French language -- which is surely fatuous; there is a fair portion of the world that is doing it now -- would the minister not at least accept a document for registration which is acceptable to the partners involved?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Obviously the member does not understand land conveyancing. It is not necessarily for the partners involved; it is for 10, 15 or 25 years down the road.

Mr. MacDonald: They could get a translation.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Oh well, the member wants an orderly land registration and an orderly land title system. We are taking a first step. I take responsibility for it. It is a very practical and desirable first step. It meets with the approval of the Franco-Ontarian solicitors in areas where this type of conveyancing would be very desirable. But I want to be very honest with this House: It is not yet practical for a person to come in with a French-only document; it must be a bilingual document.

3:20 p.m.


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

Mr. Roy: We haven’t had a chance to ask a supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: You had an opportunity right after the second and third supplementaries over there.

Mr. Roy: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Speaker: There is nothing out of order.

Mr. Roy: There was only one supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: No, there was not; there were three.

Mr. Haggerty: My question is to the Minister of Energy. Has the memorandum of understanding between the Minister of Energy and the board of directors of Ontario Hydro, which is to define the respective roles and responsibilities of the two parties, been finalized yet?

In view of the fact that this sort of agreement was recommended by Task Force Hydro as far back as 1972, and since we were informed more than a year ago that this agreement was being developed, and since it has also been recommended by the Porter commission, will the minister table the memorandum of understanding now?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, the memorandum has not been completed yet. Discussions are still under way. As soon as those discussions are completed and the various approvals obtained, it is my plan to table the memorandum in the House.

Mr. Haggerty: Can the minister give any indication whether it might be two months or six weeks when it will be completed?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I cannot be any more specific than that as there are still a few details to be worked out.

Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, while the minister is working on agreements, I wonder if he would consider working out one with his parliamentary assistant while he is at it.


Mr. Bounsall: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Although I applaud the Minister of Labour’s very belated conversion to enforce and make known to women of Ontario the equal pay for substantially the same work provisions under the Employment Standards Act, would the minister very carefully scrutinize the newspaper ads currently being placed by the Minister of Labour, with a view to prosecuting that ministry for misleading advertising?

I am not referring to the subway and radio ads, which are okay. But in that newspaper ad, in the section where they attempt to clarify the definition of substantially the same work, they imply that a composite of skill, effort and responsibility will be used. This can be accomplished only by the passage of my private member’s bill on equal pay for work of equal value, and cannot be accomplished under the present legislation.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, in an effort to have uniform standards, the prosecutions and the investigations on that form of advertising are handled by my friend and colleague, the honourable Andre Ouellet, the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs in Ottawa. I would be very glad to convey the question to him.

Mr. Bounsall: I hope he is not going to do that, under the new constitution.

Is the minister not concerned that a colleague of his is placing advertisements which are, by the implications made therein, not correct with the legislation we currently have? They are implying something which this House and the government over there have decided they are not going to pass because the time is not yet right for such legislation.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Not being a devotee of the advertising field -- and, as a matter of fact, feeling intruded upon since I cannot even get the ball scores in the morning from Wally Crouter because of all kinds of government advertisements -- I would like to leave it to the federal minister, who can look at it impartially.


Mr. Ashe: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Health.


Mr. Ashe: It is nice to know that I gave such an excellent speech that it has this House so enthralled with it.

The district health council in the regional municipality of Durham recently commissioned Peat, Marwick and Partners to do a hospital needs study. Out of that study there was a recommendation relating to a considerably changed use for the Doctor Joseph O. Ruddy General Hospital in Whitby, which is in my constituency. I must say I have had quite a number of concerns brought to my attention.

Mr. Speaker: Can we have the question?

Mr. Ashe: Is the minister in a position to respond as to his views on the changed role proposed for that hospital?

Mr. Bradley: The minister just happens to have the answer.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I had the answer when the member got up on his ill-fated question about ambulance attendants, as a matter of fact.

Mr. Speaker, for the record, the draft report prepared by the consultants for the health council on the hospital role study has said they feel the Doctor Joseph O. Ruddy General Hospital should form the core of the rebuilt Whitby Psychiatric Hospital; that is, the report would put it out of active and/or chronic care. I do not agree with that recommendation and I will be so indicating to the health council in the not-too-distant future.


Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Agriculture and Food, and it may also interest the Minister of Energy. Now that the absolute worst fears of Ontario Greenhouse Growers have come to pass as a result of the report in today’s Globe and Mail with headlines that say, “Radiation Rate Is High in Tomatoes,” would the minister now consider abandoning the nuclear agripark projects at Bruce and Pickering, even though the minister may have felt at one time he had some considerable support in trying to promote these projects?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: No, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Mancini: Does the minister not feel at all concerned that the consumers who must buy these greenhouse tomatoes may not be able to differentiate between the tomatoes that are being grown on a project basis at the nuclear plants and the ones that are produced for sale by Ontario greenhouse farmers? Does the minister not believe this type of publicity is going to be harmful to greenhouse growers? Since he has not seen fit in the past to assist the existing industry, why is he taking steps now to help with its destruction?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Maybe the Minister of Energy can help me, but within the past two weeks we had the opportunity of meeting with the greenhouse operators. They are equally as interested in the Bruce agripark as we are. They want the research work done. They want to know what can be done to reduce their energy costs.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, since the level of radioactivity in these nuclear tomatoes is less than one millirem when the permissible level is five, would the minister investigate whether the radioactivity of that tomato is any more than the radioactivity of the member who asked the question?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, we will be glad to research that.

Mr. Mancini: Unlike the New Democratic Party, I am concerned about the greenhouse industry. It is very important in Essex county.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Mancini: In view of the fact that the greenhouse industry has basically asked the Ontario government for assistance in ensuring that the existing type of industry remains viable and has passed resolutions as such, which I forwarded to the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman), surely the Minister of Agriculture and Food knows that the agripark research being done at the nuclear plants can in no way assist the existing industry; and since the minister has already had his kick at the can in trying to promote these nuclear agripark projects; and since we can now see the failure of these projects, why does the minister not move to try to assist the existing industry? Why does the minister take such an unreasonable position?

3:30 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Again, I must respond to the honourable member that the greenhouse growers themselves appear to be much further ahead in their research and the work they have put into this than is the honourable member. The growers themselves are equally interested in this research. When up to 37 per cent of their cost is energy, and down the road a year from now it looks like it will be 45 to 47 per cent, they are ready to use waste heat or waste energy and put it into operation. Some of them are even ready to move wherever this waste heat or used heat might be to make use of it. They are requesting that we proceed along the lines we have been following.

Mr. Mancini: That is absolutely false and the minister knows it.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: I would ask the honourable member if he would repeat what he just said and ask you to rule on it.

Mr. Speaker: I did not hear it. Would the honourable member like to repeat it?

Mr. Mancini: The minister’s statement is absolutely false, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Would the member like to substitute a more acceptable word?

Mr. Mancini: The minister’s statement is factually incorrect, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Attorney General. Has he rejected the proposal I made to him last week with respect to the exercise of his authority under section 508 of the Criminal Code in relation to the death of Albert Cecil Johnson? Does the minister now understand fully and clearly that the community will never know all the circumstances leading up to the death of Albert Cecil Johnson on August 26, because the Ontario Provincial Police investigation report will never be available; and because that Attorney/Solicitor General did not see fit to direct a coroner’s inquest to be held? Is he not aware that the failure to provide the venue by which all those circumstances will be known is a matter of deep concern within the community? Will he, therefore, reconsider his position with respect to the exercise of authority under selection 508 of the Criminal Code?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, it has never been the practice in this province, for very good reason, to have an inquest conducted when there is the possibility or, as occurred in this case, the actuality of criminal charges. In this particular case, as the honourable member knows, two police officers of Metropolitan Toronto have been charged with manslaughter. I do not intend to comment one way or the other on the nature of the evidence that will be introduced as a result of the OPP investigation.

I would think the member for Riverdale might want the trial to have taken place, as the criminal charges have not been dealt with, before engaging in any discussion as to what else might be considered, if anything, in relation to what he refers to as “the circumstances leading up to the death of Albert Cecil Johnson.”

Mr. Renwick: Has the Attorney General read and studied the transcript of the evidence given at the preliminary inquiry and the matter of the indictment of the two police officers?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: No, I have not read the transcript of the preliminary inquiry.

Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, in the light of the answers of the Attorney General to the member for Riverdale, is the Attorney General now in a position to advise us whether he is prepared at least to make available to me and to the member for Riverdale that OPP report so we may be in the same position to understand exactly what we are about in this particular case?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: No, not at this time, Mr. Speaker. I would be quite prepared to pursue this conversation privately, but I cannot make any public commitment at this time. I would like to know a little more of the purpose for which the honourable member wishes to have access to this report. Police reports are generally treated as confidential. Whenever possible, I like to share the contents of these reports with members, particularly Justice critics, privately. It has occurred in the past and it will occur in the future, but I am very concerned that nothing take place that in any way might be even perceived to be improperly influencing the outcome of these very serious charges.

Mr. Renwick: Will the Attorney General take the time, along with his senior law officers, to read and study the evidence given at the preliminary inquiry in the base of the indictment of the two police officers?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: In view of the great interest demonstrated by the member for Riverdale, I am quite prepared to review the matter. As to where this will lead, I do not know, but I am quite prepared to do that.


Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, the member for Windsor-Sandwich (Mr. Bounsall) asked a question about filling five-gallon containers with gasoline and the safety hazards in and around the city of Windsor. First of all, the ministry is quite aware of some difficulties that service station proprietors have had in insisting that any container that is filled with gasoline be the container approved for use in this province.

We have had great co-operation from the state of Michigan. We have had co-operation from the media in the state of Michigan, as well. There is a widespread information campaign on the fact that only the approved container will be filled because, as the House will recall, the service station proprietor or the person at the pump is forbidden to put gasoline in other than an approved container. Much of the difficulty is as a result of the lack of knowledge by non-residents of this province.

Where the gasoline goes really begs the question. There are a number of Americans who reside in that area during the summertime. That gasoline can be used for power mowers, for boats or for a great number of things.

The purpose of the approved container in the province is to make the transportation of the petroleum product, whether it is in the back of a vehicle, in the front of a vehicle, by hand, in a wheelbarrow, or whatever, as safe as is possible.

Mr. Bounsall: Mr. Speaker, is the minister saying to us that the transportation of gasoline in those approved containers in the trunks of cars and in vans is a good and valid highway safety practice, which is where the concern is coming in? The firemen and those involved with highway safety in Windsor are saying that is much less safe than even the old Pinto design in terms of a rear-end collision. Is the minister saying that is not correct?

Hon. Mr. Drea: First of all, if a person goes to a central place to obtain a petroleum product, he must have some method of transporting it home. Whether that container was looked at in terms of safety, it was introduced in this province, it was phased in. There was a lot of resentment in Ontario by Ontario residents that they could no longer use a plastic milk jug, a paint can or something they had purchased some years ago.

3:40 p.m.

The problem in Windsor, as I understand it, is that people from outside of this jurisdiction want to use a container that is acceptable in the state of Michigan, the state of Ohio or some other place. The service station proprietors are complying with the law and saying they will not dispense gasoline into those containers. That is leading to some difficulties and some arguments. The service station proprietors in Windsor, as well as other authorities, want an information campaign. I agreed to go there last week and would have been there except that, unfortunately, I had a medical appointment that precluded it. I will be there myself.

How one gets gasoline from a service station to one’s power mower or boat without transporting it, I do not know. If the member is going to tell me that he does not want gasoline transported for a boat in any kind of public vehicle, then I do not know how people are going to get fuel to operate any kind of power boat in this province, in the majority of cases.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I think the minister has failed to answer the question I put to the Minister of Transportation and Communications yesterday which was in the case where there are add-on tanks to private cars, but generally to mobile units, which are simply welded on and give the vehicles additional mileage capacity by carrying more gasoline.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, there are two courses of action in that regard. As members know, there are standards at point of sale for a new vehicle. If those things are added on or modified prior to point of sale, then obviously they are covered by federal standards. They may be modified after the point of sale; I do not know whose jurisdiction that is in formally, but I have asked our director of energy safety to look at auxiliary devices.

It seems to me a very practical consideration. If only an approved container, other than a gasoline tank which is already approved as a national standard, can be used to hold gasoline, obviously we should be looking at either a standard or an inspection or a declaration that there are additional tanks.

As I said, the jurisdiction may be somewhat vague but we will take the responsibility of attempting to sort it out.


Mr. Bradley: I have a question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications, Mr. Speaker. In view of the considerable alarm that has been raised amongst a number of residents adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Way where it proceeds through the city of St. Catharines, could the minister assure the House that his officials will set up a public information meeting to explain all of the details of the proposed widening of the Queen Elizabeth Way? Would he also assure us that his officials will meet in the very near future with officials of the local municipalities to explain fully the plans for his ministry, particularly in the light of the fact that the population growth patterns in the peninsula have changed considerably and that vehicular use of the highway may not increase at the anticipated rate because of the energy crisis?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I can say that the normal procedure followed by my officials on every construction project of any significance is to meet with the elected councils of the municipalities involved where the highway is passing through. Also, when the plans are developed to the appropriate stage, public information drop-in centres are established. These are well advertised and everybody is invited to come in and look over the proposed plans. I am not aware of any particular plan for the widening of the Queen Elizabeth Way in the St. Catharines area that has reached the stage where we would be in a position to present plans.

What the member may be discussing is the plan for the highway 408 connection with the Queen Elizabeth Way. I am not sure.

Mr. Bradley: Could the minister indicate to the House why his officials apparently have eliminated all alternative proposals to the widening of the Queen Elizabeth Way? I am talking about the long-term plans for the area probably between Stoney Creek and Fort Erie. It appears from preliminary plans that have been presented to St. Catharines city council that they have eliminated any alternative, for instance, of going across the southern part of the Niagara Peninsula, which would be in keeping with the announced plans of the provincial government to preserve as much of the prime agricultural land in the province as possible.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I am somewhat confused as to what plans the honourable member is referring to. It is my understanding that the Queen Elizabeth Way can be widened from Hamilton to Fort Erie without any acquisition of new property or without any effect whatsoever on farm land as far as the actual Queen Elizabeth Way corridor is concerned.

However, additional land will be required for any arteries taking off from the corridor. This is certainly so for the highway 406 connection to the Queen Elizabeth Way at St. Catharines, once it leaves the existing right of way.


Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations -- and I hope he will note that we got the terminology right.

Does the minister recall that almost two months ago I asked him to intervene and advise Miracle Food Mart to rescind its new pricing policy whereby it was retagging and marking up the goods on the shelf as soon as the price on the new stock from the supplier increased? The minister will recall also that I reported they were instituting removable, come-clean tags. He said he would look into it and report back to the House. Apart from wanting to let this issue die, can the minister explain why it has taken all this time to get an answer and can he now report to the House?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I thought I made it abundantly plain subsequent to that time that the issue was part of the ongoing deliberations into the whole question of electronic scanning with or without prices. I said I intended to report on the two of them together as soon as all of the surveys were in on the electronic scanning.

Mr. Swart: I don’t think there was any such statement made by the minister in this House. But when he does report on this, will he make an investigation into the additional cost to the consumer by this marking up of goods on the shelf, not only by Miracle Food Mart but also by all the major supermarkets in this province? And will he table the results of such an investigation?

Hon. Mr. Drea: That was why I wanted to tie it in with the electronic scanning without prices. The only reason a store does it is to facilitate electronic scanning without prices. There is to be no --

Mr. Swart: No, they are removing tags --

Hon. Mr. Drea: Oh, please. If there is going to be electronic scanning without item pricing, then that would become the most expensive thing ever foisted on the supermarket. People will never hear of it again.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, has the minister set a deadline as to when the committee is supposed to report on the survey that is being conducted at the present time?

Hon. Mr. Drea: It really is not a committee. It is being done in the ministry. As the member will recall and as the House will recall, it employed a great many surveys into particular areas. We are only short about one.

I have put a deadline on it -- I really want to table it before the House adjourns. I would like to have the matter settled by then. I am waiting for one piece. It is not from the government and it is not from the consumers’ association; it is from a segment of industry. That should be forthcoming very quickly, because the survey was done in the first three months of the calendar year.


Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I want to ask a question of the Minister of Education pertaining to questions I have asked her before. It concerns the problem of the high-technology industries in Ottawa getting enough people to fill those 800 jobs that are apparently vacant at this time and their great concern for the future.

I would like to ask the minister whether she is aware of the comment made by the president of Algonquin College, Dr. Isabelle last week? He stated that there are some 2,000 Ottawa area students who are deprived of a higher education each year while remote area community colleges sit empty. Algonquin College has satellite campuses, for instance, in areas such as -- is it Timmins? Is it Cornwall? Apparently there are heavy vacancies in those areas, whereas in the Ottawa area there is a shortage. Something like 14,000 students apply and 10,000 are rejected.

Are there any plans in the ministry to change that as there would not be this situation where there is a lack of space in the Ottawa area while at the same time there are apparently many vacancies in some of the other campuses?

3:50 p.m.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the registrars of the community colleges this year have developed a program of pooling information regarding applicants in order to better share that information so as to provide potential students with all the information about alternative courses or similar courses in other institutions if they cannot be admitted to the first institution of their choice.

It is hoped this will encourage many of the young people, who apply for a specific course at one institution and cannot be admitted there, to seriously consider going to the other area where that course is being provided in order that they may not be deprived of the educational program they want.

Mr. Roy: Following up on Dr. Isabelle’s comments that out of the 10,000 who will be rejected because of lack of space in the Ottawa area, some 8,000 will apparently get an education elsewhere, his estimate is that 2,000 young people in that area will not be able to get in anywhere and will not be able to get that education.

In view of the very special situation involving high-technology industry in the Ottawa area, which we should do our utmost to encourage because in the Ottawa area there are not many things going well besides that particular industry, would the minister agree with her government’s policy, which states that the funds for institutions like Algonquin will not increase until the smaller schools are full? In view of the problem in the Ottawa area, does the minister think she should continue that policy?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: I am not sure where that quotation came from. I doubt that it was Dr. Isabelle’s statement, because Dr. Isabelle knows well there were additional funds provided last year, which will be continued this year, specifically for the introduction of new programs related to high-potential employment opportunities. The community colleges took great advantage of that last year. In fact, they did not meet the quota set for them, but, I believe, it is their intention to do that this year.

I think it would be well to reiterate that in my conversation with Dr. Isabelle, which took place on Tuesday, May 20, he informed me the information related to this high-technology program, which had been publicized in the Ottawa Citizen, was entirely erroneous; that the Community Industrial Training Council, in which he or members of his staff participate, had been very actively pursuing the matter; that there was a survey going on at this time; and that Algonquin was quite prepared to be of great service in the development of programs for the young people who might consider entering such high-technology programs.



Mr. Villeneuve from the standing committee on resources development reported the following resolution:

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

Ministry administration program, $28,395,000; planning, research and development program, $12,839,000; safety and regulation program, $45,130,000; provincial roads program, $455,742,000; provincial transit program, $74,159,000; air program, $4,411,000; municipal roads program, $419,902,000; municipal transit program, $156,318,000; communications program, $2,162,000.


Mr. Cureatz from the standing committee on general government presented the committee’s report and moved its adoption:

Your committee begs to report the following bill with certain amendments:

Bill Pr26, An Act respecting the City of Brantford.

Mr. Speaker: Those in favour will please say “aye.”

Those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the ayes have it.

Report adopted.



Mr. Wells moved that any subcommittee consideration of the annual report of the Workmen’s Compensation Board committed by order of the House on Tuesday last be concurrent with sittings of the standing committee on resources development.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the select committee on Ontario Hydro affairs be authorized to sit from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28, 1980.

Motion agreed to.



Hon Mr. Wells moved first reading of Bill 74, An Act to amend the County of Oxford Act, 1974.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, this bill proposes to alter the method of selecting the city of Woodstock’s representatives on county council. It also proposes to authorize the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs to defer applications for change to wards or to council composition in Oxford, to allow county council to provide insurance benefits to members of council, to remove the requirement that county council consolidate its roads bylaw every five years and to permit county council to purchase and rent machinery for the municipality’s purpose.


Hon. Mr. Wells moved first reading of Bill 75, An Act to amend the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, this bill would add two members to the regional council, one each from the city of Nepean and the township of Gloucester. The proposed amendment also provides for the method of selecting the representatives from Nepean and Gloucester who would sit on regional council and deletes reference to the position of deputy reeve in Gloucester.

It also includes a number of amendments affecting regional powers and responsibilities. It would add permissive powers to enable the region to enter into agreements with respect to commercial development over or under regional roads. Further amendments would enable the region to pass bylaws implementing an honour transit fare system. Another important provision of the bill would add a section to the act, enabling the region to undertake responsibilities with respect to a regional convention centre.

As requested by the region, there is also a provision in the bill to enable regional councils to require in its debenture bylaws that any currency premiums or debenture issues in foreign currency be paid into a special reserve fund and not be used for other regional purposes before the debt has been repaid in the foreign currency concerned.

Certain other amendments in the bill are similar to those proposed for other regional acts. These common amendments include benefits to councillors, road consolidation bylaws and homes for the aged.


Hon. Mr. Wells moved first reading of Bill 76, An Act to amend the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, this bill allows for an increase in membership on Metro council by the addition of one more representative each from the city of North York and the borough of Scarborough.

Also included are amendments common to other regional acts concerning a number of items. An important one also, in this act is that there is a provision that will provide that Metro will have the power to reclaim, recycle and incinerate its solid waste and sell and distribute the resulting materials or energy.

4 p.m.


Mr. Leluk moved first reading of Bill 77, An Act respecting the Age of Mandatory Retirement.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Leluk: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the bill is to ensure that no person shall be required to retire before reaching the age of 70 where the person is willing and capable of performing his or her job.


Mr. R. F. Johnston moved first reading of Bill 78, The Ontario Wilderness Guides Association Act, 1980.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, first let me apologize for having written it out, because I left my cover sheet upstairs.

Mr. Speaker: It was barely legible.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: The purpose of the bill is to provide for the establishment of standards for wilderness guides and leaders and standards of safety applicable to outdoor activities that relate to the wilderness.

The bill provides statutory recognition to the Ontario Wilderness Guides Association as an association established for the purpose of promoting and maintaining standards of professional guiding. The bill further provides that the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting standards of safety applicable to wilderness activities by adopting all or part of the standards established by the association.


Mr. Van Horne moved first reading of Bill 79, An Act to license and regulate Wild Animal and Reptile Sanctuaries.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, this is not intended to regulate in any way the NDP caucus room. The purpose of this bill is to provide for the licensing and regulation of wild animal and reptile sanctuaries. The bill prohibits the operation of a wild animal or reptile sanctuary in Ontario except under the authority of a licence issued by the Minister of Natural Resources.

The bill provides that a person who is licensed to keep a wild animal or reptile in captivity must comply with certain safety and health-related requirements, including the requirement that the pens in which wild animals and reptiles are kept be constructed in a manner that will prevent such animals and reptiles from escaping.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I was glad to hear the member for London North indicate that the bill was not for the New Democrats. In fact, it was for his own party.


Mr. Martel moved first reading of Bill 80, An Act to amend the Family Benefits Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Martel: The purpose of the amendment is to remove any reference to the sex of the parent, thereby enabling either the mother or the father of the child to be eligible for benefits.


Mr. Speaker: Before the orders of the day, as is customary when we have a group of pages leaving us, as they will tomorrow, we like to take advantage of a time like this to read their names into the record, namely, Jennifer Anderson, Cambridge; Ian Bird, Frontenac-Addington; Brian Byers, Lambton; Lisa Dent, Essex South; Judi Dickens, Wentworth North; Scott Dunville, Lake Nipigon; Dawn Elliott, Victoria-Haliburton; Adrian Foster, Halton-Burlington; Stephanie Gaunt, Huron-Bruce; Allan Hansen, Oxford; Michael Hearn, Eglinton; Darlene Kelly, Leeds; Elaine Kleine, York Centre; Aart Kraay, Carleton-Grenville; Philip Lee, Windsor-Walkerville; Laurianne Mackey, Timiskaming; Malcolm McKay, Ottawa South; Heather Morrison, Muskoka; David Rowe, Sarnia; Brenda Scully, Kitchener; Carol Stevenson, Middlesex; and Bobby Williamson, Kenora.

Will you join me in thanking them for their services to this House.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Before the orders of the day, Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the answers to questions 122, 157 to 159 and 168, standing on the Notice Paper. (See appendix page 2108).




Mr. Young moved resolution 18:

That in the opinion of the House, Canadians who served as members of the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion of the XV International Brigade and as members of other units in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) are recognized veterans with all the dignity and rights of other Canadian veterans of the Second World War.

Mr. Young: Mr. Speaker, on July 1, 1936, Francisco Franco landed his Spanish Foreign Legion and Moroccan troops on the mainland of Spain. They were ferried from Africa by the navies of Hitler and Mussolini and protected by the air power of these unsavoury dictators.

It was in 1931 that Alfonso XIII of Spain was forced into exile. A provisional republican government was set up. It began a series of desperately needed reforms: breaking up of feudal estates, more autonomy for the provinces, free elections, free press, universal free education and so on. That meant Spaniards, under the new government, were to acquire rights and privileges long taken for granted in most western democracies.

These measures were bitterly opposed by the aristocracy, which saw its privileges threatened; by the church, which at the time was a spiritual bulwark of the old regime; and by the professional army, which still believed in imperial Spain and hated the new republic. So, from 1931 to 1935, Spain found itself in the throes of bitter, often violent battles between the new democracy struggling to emerge and the old tyranny trying to retain its ancient power and privilege.

A general election in 1933 resulted in stalemate. By January 1936, the various groups of the political centre and left formed their Popular Front, and they were faced in the election of that year by a right-wing coalition of generals and landowners, among whom was Francisco Franco. After a violent and extremely tumultuous campaign, the Popular Front won a majority and proceeded to carry out its program of reform.

4:10 p.m.

I want to put on the record how that election turned out. The People’s Front won 277 seats in the Cortes. The right group won 196. In other words, 277 for the government; 196 for the opposition at that point. More than that, I want to point out that the People’s Front was a liberal coalition. There were no Communists in it. There were not even any social democrats. It was a liberal popular-front government. I think that is very important for our understanding of the situation.

An article in the Globe and Mail of October 8 points out that the new government stepped up land reforms and banished men like Franco to hold posts in the Canary Islands and Morocco. But on July 18, 1936, the Spanish generals counterattacked and asked Franco to come across and help. Franco, of course, tried to cross the Straits of Gibraltar but he was prevented by the Republican navy, which was loyal to the government at that time.

Then, of course, the other cities threatened by the generals built their fortifications and did their best to turn back the threat.

Of course, Franco did not cool his heels very long in Africa. Hitler and Mussolini sent their ships and their planes. They landed Franco’s army in Spain and the so-called Spanish Civil War was on as the new democracy fought to hold against the Fascist invasion and to continue the mandate it had won at the polls.

This war was, in fact, the opening of a violent phase of a world-wide struggle. On the one side, was the rising right-wing force of fascism represented by Hitler, Mussolini and Franco; on the other were the democratic centre and left, ultimately to be buttressed by the totalitarian left of Russia.

Unfortunately, men like Britain’s Chamberlain could not or refused to understand the nature of the resulting crisis. Too many European leaders saw in Hitler a bulwark against the Communist threat from the east. They also listened when Franco branded the new Spanish government as Communist.

In 1933, there were only 3,000 Communists in all of Spain. As I have pointed out, none of the new Spanish government elected in 1936 was Communist -- not one. But the western democracies listened to the siren song of Hitler and Franco and set up a non-interventionist policy towards the Spanish struggle. This simply meant they would sell no supplies to the Spanish government and would give them no official help of any kind. At the same time, Hitler and Mussolini poured in troops, tanks, air power and supplies in unlimited quantities.

Under these circumstances the Spanish government welcomed aid from any source, including Russia. There is no doubt that sympathy for communism grew in Spain as outside Fascist intervention intensified, as western democracy stood aside and as Russia tried to counteract the Fascist threat -- not too successfully as it turned out. Russia was too far away and the Fascist naval blockade of Spanish government ports was too effective for Russian ships.

Then, too, because of the non-interventionist policy of the democracies, including Canada, it was left to Russia and to the Communist parties of the various countries to fill the gap and try to mobilize help for the Spanish government. They could see what was happening. They thought that since Hitler and Mussolini were deeply involved in Spain it was the place to stop them, if at all possible. So they helped to raise manpower and aid for Spain.

What no one seemed to realize at that time was that once Hitler had honed his war machine razor sharp in Spain, he would first try to destroy the democratic centre and then go after the Communist left. But it was not only the Communists who saw the danger. Believers in democracy everywhere were concerned over the destruction of democracy in Spain and they began to organize assistance.

In Canada we were at the very bottom of the Depression then. The unemployed were riding the rods looking for work they could not find. Frustration deepened when they were herded into unemployment relief camps with poor food, useless work and 20 cents a day. Many of these men were ready when the appeal came to go to Spain to fight fascism. Perhaps the challenge was only intensified when the government which had failed to provide them jobs passed Bill 23, the Foreign Enlistment Act, which in effect provided a $2,000 fine and two years in prison for anyone enlisting for service in Spain or elsewhere.

In addition to the unemployed here and in other countries, the Spanish Civil War drew the adventurers, the idealists, the intellectuals, the trade unionists, the students -- 40,000 from across the world made their way to Spain and formed the International Brigades. Among them were 1,239 Canadians, 114 of them from the city of Toronto and the largest group from the province of Ontario. They went first into the Washington and Lincoln Battalions of the United States. Then, in September 1937, they became the Mackenzie-Papineau Canadian Battalion.

It is not my purpose here, and I haven’t the time either, to detail the agony of the Spanish war in which the Mac-Paps played vital and heroic roles. War is hell under any circumstances, but in Spain the government forces were denied the right to buy equipment or even food from those who should have been their friends. They made do with what they could manufacture, grow or smuggle past the blockade. Against them were the superbly equipped and trained armies of Franco, Hitler and Mussolini. The Fascists were trying out their new weapons, new tanks, guns, aircraft and techniques for the war against the democracies which they were already planning. In all this, the Mac-Paps fought and died before Madrid, on the Ebro, at Tervel and in countless other blood-drenched areas in Spain.

Only 639 Canadians returned to Canada, many of them wounded and disabled for life. When defeat seemed inevitable, the Spanish government sent the International Brigades to France. They made their way back home from there. As far as the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion was concerned, the Canadian government refused to arrange to pay for its passage home. Private appeals were made and money was raised. Interestingly, Garfield Weston contributed $1,000 to this cause. Greg Clark, the Star columnist, met the first group in Halifax and accompanied them across Canada, writing their stories and building up public support for them.

At Toronto a huge crowd met the train and Reverend Salem Bland, one of the saints of the past generation, whom some of us knew and who certainly was not a Communist, said: “Canada didn’t understand at first what you were doing, but understands now. As time goes on, you will have more friends, more honour, because you have done one of the most gallant things done in history.”

That night there was a great rally in Massey Hall and a drive was launched there to pay for medical bills and rehabilitation for the Mac-Paps. This was February 3, 1939. The RCMP urged that the government of Canada prosecute the Mac-Pap survivors under Bill 23. But the government took no action against them; neither did they take any responsibility for the veterans nor help for them in any way.

Meantime in Spain, Barcelona and then Madrid fell. A week later Chamberlain signed the Munich agreement. Within the year, Hitler had launched his attack on the rest of the democratic world. Many of the Mac-Paps enlisted in the new war to fight Hitler. Most of them quietly tried to resume civilian life. The new war gave them jobs. Many of them have played important roles in the economic and community life of Canada.

Recently, the survivors of the Mac-Paps have initiated a move to have their services in Spain recognized by the Canadian government. Ross Russell, a machine gunner in Spain, is chairman of the committee. He re-enlisted for the Second World War but, when they found Spanish shrapnel in his lungs, they discharged him. He and many others in the Mac-Paps would have been in the gallery today, but they have a convention in Ottawa and could not be here. There is representation which will be introduced later.

Several cities have already endorsed the resolution I have introduced today. Among them are Toronto, North York, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver. The committee is anxious that Ontario, from which the largest group enlisted, set the pace at the provincial level. These men, down to about 200 now, fought the first battles against Hitler. They suffered and died in the same fight against fascism as did those who went overseas a little later.

The Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion was a Canadian unit and is universally recognized as such. Its members deserve to be recognized as men who fought for Canada in the war against fascism. The survivors should be allowed to march proudly with other veterans on Remembrance Day. Their dead should be included in Canada’s honour roll.

Bill 23, the Foreign Enlistment Act, under which they are still branded as criminals, should be rescinded. As far as veterans’ benefits are concerned, the grim reaper has already taken care of most possible claims.

4:20 p.m.

Ross Russell says this in a letter: “We suffered the highest losses of any modern war on a pro rata basis. Today less than 200 are still alive. We consider it important that we be recognized while some of us are still alive, recognized as patriotic Canadians, so that our children and our children’s children can be taught this in the schools. We want recognition now.”

The argument is that Communists played a large part in the Spanish Civil War and that with that kind of association, the Mac-Paps cannot be recognized. As I pointed out, if the Communist influence grew in Spain it was because the democracies adopted a non-interventionist stance and left the field wide open to the left. More than that, to say that the Communist association condemns the Mac-Paps means that we completely ignore the fact that we fought the Second World War with the Russian Communists as our allies, that we supplied them with war material -- just as they tried to supply the Spanish government a few years earlier -- and that we shared a common victory in 1945. If that does not brand our Second World War troops as Communists, why do we do that sort of thing to the Mac-Paps?

Last year, 40 of the Mac-Paps went to Spain for a reunion and to look over the old battleground. In September 1979, the 40 visited Spain. The National Film Board gave them a copy of its award-winning film Los Canadienses to present to the Film o teca Español in Spain.

Ross Russell states: “In Madrid, the officials at the Canadian Embassy held a reception for our group. More than 100 persons were present at the home of the Canadian Ambassador. Mr. Emile Martel, the chargé d’affaires, spoke glowingly of the Canadians who fought in Spain, calling us heroes. We presented the film....It might be said this was de facto recognition by the Canadian government.

“Another indirect form of recognition...” from the Canadian government is that in 1979 they gave to us, as a New Horizon grant, $16,000 for us to write the story of our fight in Spain in book form.” Ross Russell says that book is now being written.

One argument remains. The church in Spain stood steadfastly behind Franco against the government. Many devout Canadian Catholics justify their stand against the Mac-Paps for this reason, but perhaps they do not realize what happened in the Spanish church itself.

Let me quote Francis Allen in the Montreal Star, October 9, 1971. This, it should be noted, was before Franco’s death and before the end of his regime. To quote a section of this: “Bishops and priests in Spain have drastically redefined their relationship to Spanish society and the regime of General France.

“A joint assembly of the hierarchy and clergy of all the dioceses in the country -- the first of its kind -- approved a series of resolutions recently in Madrid calling for an end to the traditional links between the Spanish church and the government, and for the establishment of human freedoms, and social and economic justice.

“In what was perhaps the most dramatic and historically significant moment of the assembly, held in Madrid, [was this resolution]: ‘We humbly recognize, and ask pardon for it, that we failed at the proper time to be ministers of reconciliation in the midst of our people, divided by a war between brothers.’

“The significance of the event has been recognized by the Vatican, which has worked quietly to bolster reform in the Spanish church.”

The name of the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion stems from two Canadians, Mackenzie and Papineau, who were ahead of their time and who fought the reactionary Family Compact in this land. Those two men were reviled and persecuted, but today they take their rightful place in the Canadian struggle for freedom, and they are recognized. It took a long time.

The Mac-Paps will eventually be recognized for their part in the struggle against Hitler’s tyranny. Let’s do it now while some of them are still with us.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The honourable member has three minutes in the allotted time. Do you wish to reserve that?

Mr. Young: No.

Hon. Mr. Urea: Mr. Speaker, I will make my remarks brief because of the unfortunate shortness of time both for this and for the subsequent private member’s bill.

What we are being asked to consider today is the urging upon the federal government to bestow an extraordinary recognition upon a certain category of Canadians. That is, the recognition of having participated in the Spanish Civil War on one side, and the accordance to that person of all the dignity and rights of other Canadian veterans of the Second World War. I am not going to go into the causes of the Spanish Civil War or any of the activities during it. I am not going to romanticize one side or the other. I want to look at this very logically and very plainly.

There are a group of Canadian veterans in this country who responded to an international call in 1950, 1951 and 1952. They volunteered their services, they trained, they went and fought in the Korean conflict.The federal government does not recognize those Canadians. They still do not have a service medal for their participation in an international event that was sanctioned not only by the federal government of this country but indeed by the United Nations.

When we look at the bestowal of this title, that rather pre-eminent group of veterans known as the Royal Canadian Legion has not taken a stand as such, but its officers convey a less than enthusiastic response for this proposal. They point out that in the Spanish Civil War there were Canadians who intervened on the other side and that the recognition of one side for very special status in this country obviously is only going to lead to difficulties.

When Canadians decide to intervene in other civil wars, no matter how meritorious those wars may be, and no matter for what reason, there is inevitably going to have to be a subjective judgement as to whether the cause the person intervened and fought for was indeed the right one, which is hardly the position on trying to judge the status of a veteran.

The great failure of the Spanish Civil War was that the politics of non-intervention, which would have kept it to a localized disturbance in much the same way as many of the African civil wars and some of the Asian civil wars we have witnessed, simply were not present.

It is all very well to fault the United States, Britain and France for saying they should not intervene. I am not going to get into the question of intent, because intent covers a lot of ground. For example, I worked with the late Hugh Garner, and he had a far different interpretation of why he went to the Spanish Civil War than that conveyed in this resolution today. People went for a great number of reasons. I am not going to get into each and every one of those reasons, but we are being asked to convey a status that we have not conveyed on those who responded to the call for the Korean conflict.

Mr. J. Reed: That is not so.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Yes, it is. There is no service medal. Obviously we are creating not only somewhat of a precedent, but somewhat of a double standard.

4:30 p.m.

In the matter of a person who goes to serve abroad in a conflict that is not for king and country, the person may want recognition -- the person may deserve recognition -- but surely the recognition comes from the locale or the country for which the person fought, not from Canada. The very basic and fundamental characteristic of a veteran in Canada is one who responded to king and country. The Boer War was not an internal conflict; that was in part of the British Empire. The First World War was again for king and country. The Second World War was again for king and country.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: The Tory view of history.

Hon. Mr. Drea: It’s a little bit more accurate than the highly romanticized one that there was a moment ago. I am quite sure that the member has 15 different versions which will make his ideology prevail in the end.

They went for king and country, and part of the reward of a grateful nation for the response to king and country was the bestowal of veteran status.

There are specialized benefits. If these people from this conflict are disabled and are in need of assistance, then perhaps there can be some form of assistance through either the federal government or the provincial government. I have no quarrel with that. But bear in mind at the moment that the legion itself is having the greatest of difficulty in convincing the Department of Veterans Affairs that more aid should be provided, particularly for the old sweats of the First World War. They are now in their 80s and going into their 90s, and they are being told there are not funds, or there are not services or what have you. Here we are being asked to put another group in when we cannot even deal with a recognized problem with our own from the First World War.

There is getting to be a very concerted effort by the Korean veterans as they get older, not just to get the recognition of a distinctive service medal, but to get many of the benefits they do not have. Even a Canadian veteran who by luck of the draw was not sent overseas in the Second World War has not had the full range of veterans’ benefits. Here today we are being asked to confer that on those who chose, for whatever reason, to participate and to intervene in a civil war in another nation.

For these reasons, and recognizing the good intent of the mover of this resolution, I do not consider that it is practical or realistic. Until we have met the problems of the Canadian veterans, I don’t think we should begin bestowing the particular dignities, rewards and benefits upon those who participated in a foreign conflict.

One thing that I think can be achieved very readily is removal of the legislation that still prevails from the 1930s about their enlistment and the penalties that would apply to them when they came back. That would be very easy for the federal House to remove. It is a stigma that prevails and was, I suppose, a deterrent that really was not a deterrent. I would think the removal of that alone would bestow the recognition, but it is far too premature and far too unfair to bestow veteran status.

I am sure, had we more time, I could go into more of the lack of logic and the lack of fairness in this but, in order that more may participate, I will confine myself to those remarks.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, the resolution before the House this afternoon is of great interest to me. I have been a reader of military history and I have become somewhat familiar with the events in Spain which followed the military rebellion on July 18, 1936.

I have taken this occasion to reread the history of the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion which was written by Victor Hoar in 1969. Those 1,200 Canadians who served in the battalion came from a variety of backgrounds. Yes, there were some Communists and there were many Socialists. There were also those who sought adventure and others, perhaps without a job or prospects, who just joined up. And there were those who also saw the menace of Adolf Hitler and who were prepared to start their war against him in Spain. While there were many atrocities committed both by the zealots of the Republic and by the Fascists of the Falange, it is my clear view that in no case was there ever any involvement of Canadians in such events which, unfortunately, are too often a commonplace occurrence in a civil war.

As we all know, the German dictator sent the Condor Legion of the Luftwaffe and certain armoured units to Spain, and the soil of Spain became the testing ground for the tactics of 1939. In support of the Republic, the government of Russia, as well as Communist and Socialist leaders from Europe and America, joined the fray. Looking backwards, it is certainly much easier today than it was at the time to see the events in Spain as the first act of the Second World War.

I have considered at length the intent of this resolution. I have reviewed the contents of the resolution with senior officials of the Ontario command of the Royal Canadian Legion. The opinion which I have received from them sets out two particular themes. As the volume to which I referred mentioned, in 1937 the government of Canada passed an act respecting foreign enlistment which is still on the books. The comment with respect to that legislation from the officials of the Royal Canadian Legion is as follows:

“It would be our opinion, prior to any representations made on their behalf, that this legislation would be required to be deleted. In any case, it is our indication that since Canadians served on both sides during the Spanish Civil War it would be difficult to differentiate.”

The second theme is set out in the following two paragraphs which I will also quote briefly:

“We have discussed this matter with elected officials of the Ontario command and it is their opinion that former members of the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion are not veterans of Canada’s forces, nor of an allied force, and therefore would not be entitled to benefits under the Canadian veterans’ charter. We might add that veterans of World War II who served in Canada only are not entitled to benefits under the War Veterans Allowance Act unless they are in receipt of a disability pension.

“If one were to accept the principle proposed, it would seem imperative that those Canadians who volunteered and served with the forces of the United States of America in Vietnam and those who voluntarily fought in Israel to gain the independence of that nation would require inclusion. One could probably cite several instances that would require the same consideration and, simply stated, it does not appear to be practical.”

I know the member for Yorkview (Mr. Young) means well to bring this resolution before the House. I sympathize very much with the concerns that he has expressed as we look into the history of involvement by a group of Canadians who were involved in some of the most bitter fighting of the Spanish Civil War.

I regret I cannot accept at this time the view that those to whom the resolution would apply would have all of the dignity and rights of other Canadian veterans of the Second World War. To achieve that result, the Parliament of Canada alone can decide. I hope that the Parliament of Canada will fully consider the situation and it may be that the member’s views will be accepted there at that point.

Mr. Germa: Mr. Speaker, I am proud to associate myself with this resolution, and I am more proud to associate myself with the members of the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion and those Canadians who served in other units in what has come to be called the Spanish Civil War but which I choose to call the beginning of the Second World War.

4:40 p.m.

I submit that the only crime these men are guilty of is that they had too much foresight. They were exactly three years ahead of people such as myself -- I am old enough to remember those days -- such as my Prime Minister at the time; such as Neville Chamberlain; such as all the leaders of the western democracies. These men, who volunteered to go and defend the world against what they saw to be a threat -- the growth of fascism -- I think have to be considered heroes. The resolution asks not that they be heroes, just that we lift from their shoulders this weight that has been burdening them for some 45 years.

Contrary to what the member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea) implied, the resolution was written very carefully; I had input into the resolution. It makes no demands upon the federal government whatsoever; the federal government is not mentioned. We are not looking for medals or monuments. There was no monetary consideration whatsoever when the resolution was drafted. Dignity and rights are all we are asking. We are not requesting any other person to take any other action.

I am just asking this House to make a simple expression after 45 years, and in retrospect, looking back at the events as they have unfolded since 1936, whether they were wrong or right. I submit that they were right.

Documentation of the role played by the more than 1,200 Canadians who went is very difficult because of the position of the federal government. There is nothing in the archives, and the libraries are empty. It is very difficult even to know exactly how many Canadians ended up in Spain, because they went by various routes. They were undercover at the time. Some of them were breaking the law and some of them were not breaking the law.

I would suggest that of the first 600 who went, approximately half of the group were in Spain before the Foreign Enlistment Act came into effect 1937. They cannot retroactively be called criminals, because those people who went between 1936 and 1937 were breaking no law. The first half of them are not even technically guilty.

The lack of documentation makes things very difficult to put into perspective. We have to rely on various sources. There have been various books written describing the formation of the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion, describing the horrors of civil war and describing the heroism of civil war.

I would like to introduce to the House, Mr. Speaker, a person in the gallery whom I consider to be one of those heroes, in the person of Jimmy Higgins from Peterborough. I would ask Jimmy Higgins if he would like to stand and be recognized.

Let me just tell members a little bit about Jimmy Higgins and why he is recognized in a book that just came out, entitled The Tall Soldier. It is a wonderful story of a Canadian who came upon an 11-year-old Spanish boy who had been hit with a bomb and had two broken legs and a broken arm. Jimmy Higgins, this Canadian, carried this 11-year-old boy on his back to a first-aid station. The boy would surely have been swept into the river in the torrent of water had Higgins not picked him up.

To this day, Manuel Alvarez is alive and well and living in Canada, in Vancouver. He has paid tribute to the Canadian soldiers, and particularly to the man who saved his life.

I would like to read what Manuel Alvarez has to say about the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion and those Canadians. I won’t read the whole epilogue.

“The nightmares dwindled slowly and eventually departed. Then I knew I was truly a free man. For this, and all the blessings and privileges I have received in Canada, I am grateful. I am grateful, as only a man can be if he has known life without freedom, but this gratitude does not lessen my abhorrence of the attitude of successive Canadian governments to the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion. Those men who fought fascism in Spain, while the democracies deluded themselves with appeasement, deserve the country’s recognition. And I, a Canadian now, am cleansed of nightmares. I can say in me you see a living testimony to your courage and ideals.”

That is a Canadian citizen alive and well and living in Vancouver who has paid tribute to the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion from first observation from the age of 11. It took Manuel Alvarez 40 years to find Jimmy Higgins. He searched this world and, because of lack of documentation, he could not find him until 1978. Lo and behold, this man was living quietly in Peterborough.

There are many stories that can be put together, but the official documentation will never come together. To some degree, what this resolution is trying to do is correct history, to put the thing in perspective, to recognize that these people, far from being criminals, are heroes, as some of us recognized in 1939 when we realized that Hitler had honed his machine, as was enunciated by my colleague, in Spain. Hitler perfected his 88-millimetre rifle in Spain. Hitler perfected his Stuka divebombing attack technique in Spain. That is what the Canadian troops had to face in 1939 when Canada and the rest of the western world realized what they were really facing.

In order to respond to the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt), in his response from the Royal Canadian Legion that there were Canadians on both sides of the confrontation, I have tried to find out if there were any Canadians serving on the Fascist side. I have been unable to document any evidence that any Canadian fought on that side. But even if there was, Mr. Speaker, let me remind you what the Spanish government has done on behalf of the veterans on both sides of the confrontation.

I am quoting now from a letter from the Spanish embassy in Ottawa addressed to Mr. Russell, the chairman of the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion (Eastern Division): “By decree of March 5, 1976, the Spanish government established the granting of pensions for Spaniards who were left handicapped in the civil war while fighting on the Republican side. A royal decree of March 6, 1978, establishes pensions for the military professionals who took part in the civil war on either side. A royal decree of November 16, 1978, establishes pensions for the families of those who died as a result of the Spanish Civil War whether fighting in the National or the Republican zone.”

Surely if the government most concerned and closest to the problem, the Spanish government, can recognize both sides of the confrontation, I see no reason why this resolution could not apply to all Canadians, despite the fact I have not been able to document one on the Fascist side.

We are not alone in asking for the support of this Legislature.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The honourable member’s time has expired.

Mr. Germa: I will close by saying that the city of Glasgow has recently erected a memorial to the International Brigade volunteers who fought fascism in Spain over 40 years ago. Along with the councils in other countries, I think we would be justified in supporting such a resolution.

4:50 p.m.

Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, the resolution we are debating here today is one of these heartfelt, emotional questions of principle. The eloquence of the previous speakers certainly testifies to that.

The question of the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion is one of typically divided principles, and both pro and con have strong cases to make. These days the former members of the battalion are often seen as heroes. They opposed fascism when democracy still believed in appeasement, and isolationism was in vogue as well.

The cause has been taken up by many notable Canadians, as was mentioned by the member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea) and others -- Hugh Garner, Dr. Norman Bethune, Eugene Forsey, Greg Clark and Dick Beddoes. In other words, there is no shortage of praise and honour for members of that battalion. All of us can salute their courage and admire their dedication to what they believed was right.

Praise and honour are not the point of this resolution. We are talking about recognizing as veterans the Canadians who went to Spain between 1937 and 1939, with all the dignity and rights of other Canadian veterans of the Second World War, as is stated in the resolution.

I took the time to look up some of these dignities and rights of Canadian veterans. Most prominent is the bewildering array of benefits administered by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs, including the Veterans Land Act, war veterans’ allowance, treatment benefits for medical expenses, medications, glasses, prosthetics, disability pensions, allowance for veterans’ children and many other benefits. All these depend on the veteran’s age, income and length and theatre of service.

They are available to Canadian veterans who served overseas during the Boer War, the First and Second World Wars and some in respect to Korean wars. Allied veterans who have lived at least 10 years in Canada also qualify, but veterans of the Spanish Civil War do not qualify.

Obviously these pensions and allowances are important in dollars and cents for those veterans who need them. If the issue were merely one of pensions for surviving veterans of the Mac-Paps, I would not be opposed, because no one wants to see people in need, whether they are veterans or whether they have any other background.

But these are not the only things the members of that battalion desire. They want to be allowed to march with other Canadian veterans on Memorial Day. They want the names of their dead inscribed on the honour roll of Canadian dead. They want to receive Canadian Second World War honours for participating in what many historians have dubbed the prelude to the Second World War.

I, for one, think that the veterans of the Spanish Civil War -- while I acknowledge their courage and dedication -- should not be granted these rights and dignities. I base my objection on the belief that Canada should not grant official recognition to men who engaged in what are essentially their own private wars, noble and dedicated as they were at that time. Canada, neither as a people nor as a state, participated in the Spanish Civil War. The men who went to Spain did so as individuals, without any sort of encouragement from the Canadian government. Indeed, as was mentioned, the government went out of its way to hinder their going on this principle of non-interventionism.

It is quite a contrast to situations when Canada was officially at war. In the First and Second World Wars alone, millions of Canadians volunteered for or were conscripted into the armed forces. The government threw itself into the huge task of mobilizing and directing the Canadian war effort. In one case the relatively small number of individuals joined the cause for reasons of conscience or in search of adventure. In the other case an entire nation mobilized itself for total war against worldwide threat to the democratic way of life.

If we were to grant the Mac-Paps what they want, what else might be demanded with respect to rights and privileges of veterans? Vietnam was mentioned. There are many other revolutions and conflicts in which Canadians participated as individuals. But I think in saying this I have pointed to a major problem in granting official recognition to those who fought their own private wars.

I salute the courage of the members of that battalion, but at the same time I must oppose the resolution. I can do this because I believe that only those who fought in Canada’s own wars should be officially recognized as having a claim on the dignity and rights of Canadian veterans as expressed in the resolution.

I do acknowledge the sincerity and interest of the sponsor of this resolution. The Spanish Civil War was not a war in which Canada as a nation participated. Therefore, recognizing the factor they have brought forward, I regret I must oppose the resolution.

Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak briefly. I realize that time is running out. I just want to say that in my mind what is at stake here is a fundamental principle: the definition and status of a veteran. I do not believe that principle can be altered or dealt with very lightly.

This status has always been reserved in the past, and it must be in the future, for those who responded to Canada’s call in a war recognized by Canada and in which this country would be involved. The veterans of Canada who responded in the past are special, very special indeed, and this must never be forgotten. It is my feeling, therefore, that this special category must not be altered and legislators should tread lightly when endeavouring to widen this definition.

While the actions and deeds of those who served in foreign conflicts for a principle they strongly believed in are most commendable, we must not dilute the definition or status of our Canadian veterans. As I have said, our veterans are very special indeed, and therefore I cannot support this resolution.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The time for debating this item has expired.


Mr. J. A. Taylor moved resolution 21:

That it is the opinion of this House that Ontario Hydro should commence a program to develop and demonstrate the positive benefits to the people of Ontario of electric hybrid heating, and that this program include an appropriate public awareness component.

Mr. J. A. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, there have been a number of matters that have concerned me in the field of energy for some years. One is the mandate of the minister himself; that is, to ensure a secure supply of energy for the people of Ontario. That is a very serious and onerous commitment. It is a very strong responsibility placed upon any minister of the crown.

5 p.m.

I remember looking at this some years ago myself. In reviewing Ontario’s resources in terms of energy, it seems we were very restricted. It was said that 80 per cent of the energy used in Ontario was imported from either foreign jurisdictions or other provincial jurisdictions within Canada. There was this dependence on foreign supply. How could we as a province feel comfortable with that? I say that especially in terms of what has happened. We know something of the problem in depending on nations of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

There was another aspect of this that concerned me, namely, the federal government’s commitment on an international basis with the International Energy Agency to commit Canada to certain maximum amounts in terms of imports of crude oil. Those commitment were made without provincial involvement. The effect could very well be the rationing of fossil fuels within Ontario. I wondered how Ontario could respond to that type of exterior control. If our resources are limited, we must take up the slack in some way. We must put into place mechanisms that are going to introduce more efficiency, economy and conservation.

Another factor that troubled me was that we depend on the private sector to ensure a secure energy supply in this province.

Mr. Foulds: That is our first mistake.

Mr. J. A. Taylor: How would the member know if he were the Minister of Energy? I put that to him in a very hypothetical and unrealistic way.

Mr. Foulds: You put it to us in a very practical and real way.

Mr. J. A. Taylor: I am not inviting response. We can all dream. How would the member be able to ensure a secure supply of fossil fuels -- for example, natural gas and oil -- to the people of Ontario when he traditionally relied on the private sector to ensure that the oil was in his oil tank when he needed it for his furnace or that natural gas was in the pipe?

I throw that out as a challenge to the private sector. I am not suggesting that the mechanism has not worked well to date. What I am saying is that people are looking for more comfort in terms of the long-term guarantee of energy supply.

Mr. Foulds: And more security.

Mr. J. A. Taylor: We are dealing with the question of security.

That was a question that an admiral of the British fleet dealt with when the conversion was made from coal to oil for the British navy. Those were the days when Britannia ruled the waves. I am sure you remember that, Mr. Speaker. I see you as you smile and reminisce that you are mindful of that great day of the British Empire. That was another form of security. It was the security of the Empire that was at stake in terms of dominance on the seas. If you do not remember that -- and I am not commenting on your age -- you may have read that it was because of this concern of security of fuel supply for the British Navy that the British Petroleum Corporation was established. There was not much oil in Britain in those days.

I am going to put these problems together in a moment and get directly into my resolution and the reason I am promoting it. But another question that concerned me was the inefficiency of a gigantic hydroelectric generating capacity. That inefficiency seemed to be magnified as the years went by -- just tremendous capital costs.

I made a note on some of Ontario Hydro’s capital expenditures of fixed assets from 1968 to 1978. The investment in fixed capital assets went from $329 million in 1968 to $447 million in 1969, to $511 million in 1970, to $507 million in 1971, to $576 million in 1972, to $890 million in 1974 -- I am sorry, I missed out 1973. It wasn’t because I couldn’t read my writing. I think it is $497 million, but it could be $997 million. Maybe it is because I can’t read my writing.

Mr. Foulds: What’s $500 million?

Mr. J. A. Taylor: What’s 500 million, my friend says. In 1975, it went to $1,441,000,000; in 1976, to $1,326,000,000; in 1977, to $1,425,000,000; in 1978, to $1,694,000,000. Those are tremendous capital investments.

I also saw plants that were idle for so much of that time. I remember so well a plant in my own riding that was working to approximately 26 per cent capacity. I wondered whether business could function that way. Could the system that we on this side of the House subscribe to so fervently and sincerely really argue that with that kind of a capital investment we could afford to keep on producing? We have to use that plant.

When I saw these two factors -- the unused capacity and the need for more security in terms of supply and conservation of our fossil fuels -- it struck me that there had to be some combination that could make some contribution to the people of Ontario.

Mr. J. Reed: You are not going to start up Lennox again?

Mr. J. A. Taylor: I do not have to suggest Lennox; and the member knows I don’t. I think he realizes just what some of that unused capacity is, and I think he knows that it has been argued we could increase that unused capacity by about 40 per cent.

With an electrical generating system, if one is talking about using electricity for heating, one has to develop a system that is going to cope with extremes. It is like building a highway for July 1 or a sewer pipe for Hurricane Hazel; we do not do those things in terms of that kind of service. With electrical service we do, and we have the problems of the peaks and the valleys. I think members are familiar with that. If there is going to be economy and more efficiency, we have to level out those peaks and valleys and we have to make use of the system we have.

5:10 p.m.

At present, in my view, the utility looks at overcapacity as a matter of fact. It is there to meet the sudden demand. It is viewed as simply a part of the cost of doing business. It is simple from an accounting point of view to factor in this cost and pass it along to the consumer. In my view again, it is easier than sponsoring change. What I am suggesting by my resolution is change.

What is hybrid heating? Maybe I should have called it dual heating. It is a dual heating system in which electric space heating provides base-line heating but is supplemented or replaced entirely by fossil fuel heating as other demands on the electric power system dictate. I have another point that I come to. With a dual system, with the backup, we have the advantage of heating reliability.

One may ask, what is the price of this? Everything costs something and there is going to be a consumer outlay. I know we are in times of economic constraint and accountability. A consumer needs some incentive. He is not going to speculate on his saving. He wants to have his financial gain guaranteed in some way. I am advancing a suggestion which members may want to consider. I am not the author of the thought. I have not developed hybrid heating as a concept.

It has been used in industry for some time. I do not think it has been really utilized in terms of the householder. In that regard, I think credit should be given to Richard Clayton, who is a policy adviser with the Ministry of State for Science and Technology in Ottawa. I think he should be given credit for the work he has done on it.

I want to bring members to this thought of incentive. Ontario Hydro could offer a space heating credit to the amount of a retrofit cost. When this is consumed, a special off-peak rate for hybrid heating could be made applicable. I throw that out because I feel that if something is going to get moving, there has to be some incentive. I think that might be an appropriate incentive, because in this way we can utilize that surplus off-peak electricity we are having so many problems with now.

In the question period today, my colleague across the floor from Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes) was concerned about the export of electricity to the United States. We have looked to the United States as a purchaser of surplus electric power. I am suggesting we have demand for that electricity right in our own province if we want to utilize it.

I am suggesting the generation of electrical energy is becoming more expensive all the time. The capital outlay is accelerating very quickly. I will not get into the arguments in regard to nuclear energy, but I think we all agree the capital cost of generating electricity by nuclear energy exceeds any other method.

I throw this out to the House and seek the members’ support of my resolution. I will sit down to give other persons an opportunity to say something on this motion.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The member for Prince Edward-Lennox has about two minutes left. Do you wish them reserved?

Mr. J. A. Taylor: Yes.

Mr. J. Reed: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to be able to address an issue of energy in the Legislature. In the last few months we have not witnessed very much action on one of the most vital economic topics in Ontario.

I have read and studied this resolution, and I am really torn, because I believe I know what the honourable member is getting at here. He is fundamentally trying to get at the optimization of the electric utility in Ontario to move towards utilizing that ungenerated electric power.

However, when I read his resolution and when I look at the actual nuts and bolts of the thing, I think he has taken a shot at it and missed the target. I sympathize in spirit. In reading the press release along with the resolution, I can understand what he is driving at. But if anyone in future years reads this resolution, they will wonder seriously just what we were trying to get at.

The other interesting thought that came to me is that the honourable member, being a former minister, may know something about the electric power system that the rest of us do not know. If we look at the capacity of electric power generation in Ontario, we find that more than 6,100 megawatts is hydraulic, non-fossil, as the resolution addresses. About 5,000 megawatts currently is nuclear, which is non-fossil. The rest, 10,000 or more megawatts, unfortunately is fossil. This is where I am concerned with the premises he puts forward in this resolution because the non-fossil areas are the areas of base load that currently are mostly running flat out, with the exception of some hydraulic plants.

In order to function properly, the nuclear system has a great limitation on it: it runs on a flat framework, on a base-load frame. The hydraulic system can be more flexible, but most of it is used. What I do not understand is in the wintertime, at the time when we presumably need this heat, how much of a dip in that hydraulic capacity is available to take that up without having to fire up base-load fossil stations.

5:20 p.m.

I am particularly intrigued in the light of a newspaper article the other day which talked about the shutdown of Pickering and the very high cost of supplying that base load with fossil fuel which is apparently going on today. Maybe the article is not correct. Maybe we are not using fossil fuel to provide base loads at this time of the year.

The article -- I believe it was in the Star, but I stand to be corrected on that -- had a statement that it was going to cost additional moneys, after shutting down Pickering, to supply the power that Pickering is supplying. And that is base load, regardless of how you look at it.

There are some other interesting things, too, which the former minister talks about in his debate, and very valid things. He talks about mechanisms for efficiency. He talks about levelling out the peaks and valleys, and I think I have addressed that. He says the consumer needs incentive; Hydro could offer space heating credits. In other words, he presents some sort of possible mechanism.

Yet the resolution as printed on the Notice Paper does not address those very obvious parts of this scenario. The resolution says: “whereas Ontario is dependent on uncertain outside sources of fossil fuel, and whereas the province has a surplus non-fossil-fuel generated electrical capacity, it is the will of this House that Ontario Hydro commence a program to develop and demonstrate the positive benefits to the people of Ontario of electric hybrid heating...”

What it is saying is that we do have a surplus of non-fossil-fuel-generated electrical capacity. Perhaps the honourable member would delineate for me just what that is, and how much of that is in place as available capacity in January during the peak months.

It is also obvious that Ontario Hydro has never accepted recommendations that have been made by this party for years that the pricing system be changed. One of the options we have presented time and time again in estimates, and wherever we get the opportunity, is that peak and off-peak incentive pricing be considered. I understand that it is being done experimentally at present, but there is no mechanism to provide an incentive for anybody to go in this direction.

The other thing is that he talks about mechanisms for efficiency. I do not know whether the hybrid system he describes includes heat pumping, but it seems to me that for us to promote a concept of simply increasing the demand for baseboard or resistance heating in Ontario is the least efficient way to utilize that energy. I can think of other far more efficient ways. I can think of the heat pump that can be utilized in a hybrid system, and I can think of the potential for hydrogen production that there can be for off-peak power in the years to come.

All of that, to me, has a ring of validity to it. But to promote straight-on baseboard or resistance heating is something that I am going to continue to question until it is proven to me that it is an economic route to go.

In terms of practicality, how can Ontario Hydro commence a program to develop and demonstrate the positive benefits when there are no mechanisms in place to demonstrate any positive benefits? The only thing Ontario Hydro could do would be to expand its advertising program and tell us all how lucky we are to have a surplus of 4,000 megawatts in the system, how we can use it in the most inefficient way from here on, and continue to convince us that it is the only way to go.

Let’s look at the cost. One wonders how much incentive could be given in this kind of situation. I spoke to the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch) during his estimates a few weeks ago, and the ministry and Ontario Hydro have been looking very hard at the feasibility of utilizing more electric heat. Some statements were made which got to the public that pretty soon electric power would be competitive with fossil fuels.

I asked the minister to expand on that during estimates and he said that in the future he expects electric power to be competitive with oil. I said: “Mr. Minister, what year do you expect those lines to cross?” He said, “Our studies show 1991.” I said, “All right, what do you expect the price of oil to be in 1991 that will make electric power at that time competitive?” Do you know what his answer was? “Eighty-two dollars a barrel.”

Mr. Speaker: The honourable member’s time has expired.

Mr. J. Reed: Mr. Speaker, I understand the honourable member’s intent, but I do not see him targeting on his intent with this resolution.

Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, to begin, I just want to note for the record that I believe the figures just quoted by my colleague from Halton-Burlington are not an accurate reflection of the information we were given on the crossover point for the competitiveness of electrically generated space heating.

If he will recollect, I believe he will remember the Minister of Energy and the deputy minister telling us that the crossover point for oil would be in the mid-1950s according to their projections, and the crossover point for natural gas in terms of competitiveness of electricity for space heating would be in the early 1990s.

Mr. J. Reed: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege, in response to the honourable member. I will now go and try to get the Hansard as quickly as I can, and I will stand corrected if what I said was not the case, but my recollection is that 1991 remains with me in the case of oil, and $82 a barrel for crude.

Mr. Speaker: There is obviously a difference of opinion.

Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, as long as we have warned the unwary reader of Hansard that this may be a point in doubt, I am quite satisfied.

I think I should explain that when I first looked at this resolution I was irritated. I thought, what a resolution for this particular member of the Legislature to be putting forward; this member, who was the Minister of Energy, who suffered greatly as Minister of Energy and had the sympathy of many of us as Minister of Energy, who after he was placed in forced retirement from the role of Minister of Energy talked about how he had been mugged in the corridors of power -- mugged by Hydro, presumably.

I believe that to have been an accurate description of what happened to him. It could happen to the best of us; I think we all recognize that.

I thought, when I looked at this resolution, what is happening with the member for Prince Edward-Lennox these days? Is he now being mugged by the Canadian Nuclear Association to come forward with such a resolution? But as I listened to him speak to the resolution, my heart went out to him. I cannot support the resolution, but it is clear to me that he has put it forward with the best of intent. The intent he has placed before us and explained to us today is that this proposed hybrid system would be a system which would allow nuclear energy to become an efficient mechanism for safe heating.

That is his intent. It is an honourable intent. But it leads me to think one can paraphrase that old rhyme, somewhat along these lines: Oh what tortured plans we meet when first we invest in nuclear heat.

5:30 p.m.

The extent of the convolutions of logic and financial consideration that one has to go through in order to be able to justify the use of nuclear-generated electricity for space heating purposes is indicated in the attempted defence by the member for Prince Edward-Lennox of this resolution now before us.

I want to say quite clearly that I consider it yet another scheme by which proponents of nuclear power within and without Hydro are attempting to justify to us the kind of overexpansion of the electric system we have seen in the nuclear expansion plan. We have had one scheme after another. It runs the whole gamut now, from talk of how the electric car would justify the nuclear expansion system to how we are supposed to be using electric power in the near future to be electrifying our railways for transportation purposes to how we would see a massive expansion in the heating demand for nuclear electric energy.

One of the latest schemes is the whole notion that we can turn to what is called by some of these proponents a hydrogen-based energy economy -- the hydrogen, of course, to be produced by nuclear electricity. We also have this scheme suggested of a hybrid what the member calls surplus non-fossil- fuel-generated electrical capacity. What a euphemism! Why does he not say surplus nuclear capacity? Why do we not talk about the system as it actually is? Why do we not face the facts of the system as those facts actually sit before us?

As the member for Halton-Burlington (Mr. J. Reed) pointed out, one of the basic tenets of this resolution is inaccurate. The resolution as printed on the Notice Paper states that the province “has a surplus non-fossil-fuel-generated electrical capacity.” We do not have that at all. In a system which counts 24,000 megawatts of potential capacity and provides us with the 17,000 megawatts we use on the coldest day of the year in Ontario, our nuclear capacity currently is about 5,000 megawatts. There is no surplus of nuclear capacity. If we add together those two elements that Hydro melds in order to build the base load for our electric system in its day-to-day planning of which plants are up and which plants are down, the 5,000 megawatts of nuclear capacity and the 6,000 megawatts of water power capacity, we still do not have a surplus. There is no surplus in nuclear capacity in this province.

In order to make the tenet of this resolution true, in order for us to have a surplus of nuclear capacity, we would have to engage in a nuclear generation program even beyond the magnificent scope of Hydro’s current program. I am sure that is not the intent of the member for Prince Edward-Lennox. I do not understand how we can have it proposed to us that we should be engaging in efforts to put a dual system of heating into Ontario homes so that once demand for electric heating was high, one could switch to gas or some other form of energy and thereby relieve the peak of the electric demand so that it would not be so expensive to operate the nuclear system.

We have this proposed to us here. We have it proposed to us by the member for Prince Edward-Lennox that there should be incentives brought forward by Hydro in order to demonstrate and develop this hybrid, double-barrelled system, and we do not have any system here. We do not have any incentive program from this province or from Ontario Hydro to help people to cut back on heating demands, to lower the basic heating demands on the electric system, on our oil supply and on our natural gas supply.

Instead of going through the convolutions of a hybrid, double-layer heating system for

Ontario homes to try to make nuclear- generated heat look efficient and economic for heating purposes in Ontario, why do we not provide incentives for people on a pay-back-as-you-save-energy basis for insulation?

Why is it that we go through these enormous, sophisticated systematic shifts and programs and grant schemes and new justifications and rationales for ever and ever to justify using nuclear-generated electricity for heat? Why do we not forget nuclear-generated electricity for heat? It is not an efficient way to produce low-level space heating; it is a very expensive way. It is, as the member recognizes in his very proposals, a demand that, if it grows on the electric system, is going to produce even greater inefficiency.

Why, instead of fooling around with all this sophisticated jazz --

Mr. Speaker: The honourable member’s time has expired.

Ms. Gigantes: -- do we not put the money where it should be going: in energy efficiency, on the development of alternative renewable sources of energy?

Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, I rise in full support of the resolution under consideration. I can see any number of good reasons for it.

Essentially it is my feeling that Ontario Hydro is a publicly owned company, mandated to supply the people of this province with electrical energy in the cheapest and most reliable ways it can. I believe it is incumbent upon the provincial utility to seek maximum flexibility and diversity. In this way it can best serve Ontarians over the long run.

It shocks me to realize that something in the order of two thirds or more of the homes in our province depend on uncertain, out-of-province sources of fossil fuels for their home heating needs. As things stand, the resources of oil and gas we depend on come from sources over which we have no control.

I am not a strong critic of the oil and gas companies. I am not one who accuses them of ripping off the public to make so-called windfall profits. As a general rule, I think we are served well by the businesses which provide us with our fossil fuels.

I have to confess, though, that it bothers me to see the people of Ontario being forced into filling the coffers of other governments. Those governments rarely do the work involved in bringing new sources on stream, considering the generosity with which Ontario has supported the concept of fiscal equality in Canada’s Confederation. It also seems unfair that we should now find ourselves unjustly penalized for being good customers of products that come from other jurisdictions, but that seems to be the case. That is why I strongly support the measures taken over the past few months by our Premier (Mr. Davis) and the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch), as well as other officials of this government, to negotiate a fairer settlement of oil and gas prices and revenues.

It is also one of the strongest arguments I can find for supporting any possible measures that might be undertaken by our province’s electrical utility to maximize our control over our source of energy for such basic needs as residential space heating. Certainly the incentive is there for our consumers to be open to new and more flexible ways of fulfilling their heating requirements. There is no abatement in the pressure on the federal government to let Canadian-produced oil go to world price.

5:40 p.m.

As a nonproducing province, Ontario must therefore do all it can to move away from the relentless dependence on oil and gas. Electricity is a very versatile form of energy. Ontario at present generates a substantial surplus above peak load requirements. This is a very valuable asset to the province. It provides us with a strong selling point when we encourage capital investment both from indigenous and outside sources. This is because we can assure energy consumers that they will experience none of the so-called brownouts that plague utilities in neighbouring jurisdictions.

At the same time I support the resolution of my colleague from Prince Edward-Lennox because I truly hope that we are not overlooking any possible avenue of improving our direct service to householders in the province. By using offpeak power as a source of home heating fuel, I believe we can move the province closer to our stated goal of security of energy supply.

No one is suggesting a large-scale move to replace other sources of home heat by electricity in a total way, although I understand that more and more new homes in the province are being equipped with electrical heating. Rather, it is a question of gearing ourselves to an energy mix at the point of application. Electrical hybrid heating is feasible for both new homes and existing residences at a relatively low cost that surely can be amortized over a relatively few years. The payback period will, of course, decline as the cost of oil goes up.

A great quantity of the energy we use in Ontario comes from beyond our borders. We are very vulnerable to fluctuations in price and supply. These factors, though of primary significance to our economic and physical wellbeing, are beyond our control. It is only common sense for us to do all we can to maximize the use we make of our own resources. Every $1 increase in the price of a barrel of oil costs Ontario something in the order of $300 million a year. Our electrical generating capacity is a high-performance engineering achievement. It is a solid foundation on which we can build.

I am well aware of past controversies surrounding Hydro’s so-called surplus generating capability. As I mentioned, I do not believe this is a weakness or a miscalculation. What surplus there is, is there to ensure full service and future security. In fact, it is not that backup generating capacity that is at issue today but rather the valleys in demand. The generating capacity is that drawn off the system only during peak periods when people are using their stoves at suppertime, for example.

The demand for oil is going to put greater and greater pressure on producers as time goes by. We are not the only people who want to continue to consume it. While we are prepared to pay a fair price, others are too. That means we are competing with some pretty high-powered customers for a diminishing resource. There are some pretty important strategic considerations that have to be factored into this equation as well.

How much will we be able to spend on supplies from the Middle East, given the increasing instability in that area? What kind of deal will officials of the Canadian government and oil refining companies be able to strike with suppliers in Mexico and other regions? What is the potential of the east coast offshore oil fields? How long will these and Arctic sources take to come on stream? What will be the impact of down-sized cars on our fossil fuel consumption?

These and a host of other factors remain unresolved. The situation is fraught with uncertainty. It is as critical as anything else facing us. It may be five or more years before we can reasonably expect to be able to plan with any more predictability than at present.

Ontario has played a leading role in the overall Canadian effort to work out a fair pricing and distribution scheme. Perhaps now that the Quebec issue has resolved itself, or at least begun to resolve itself, energy security can assume a higher place on the federal list of priorities. As a basic element in our lives energy in one way or another will undoubtedly be part of the agenda in any forthcoming constitutional talks.

The debate over energy has been a highly visible public issue for quite some time. People have become very attuned to such energy-conserving measures as car pooling. In residential construction and retrofitting, it is quickly becoming standard practice to incorporate very high insulating standards. Undoubtedly, many Ontario home owners would welcome the opportunity to retrofit existing oil or gas furnaces with an electric unit that would permit them to serve the public interest while economizing on their own fuel needs.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Niagara Falls for about three and a half minutes.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, most of the speakers on the government side believe the propaganda Hydro has been pumping out. It is obvious they have them all convinced that they have a good cause. I have to suggest that if this kind of resolution were to pass and be put in place, we would encourage Ontario Hydro’s bureaucratic monster to continue running away with itself without being able to put any kind of brake on it.

I could support such a resolution if we had done many things that would have some kind of priority with this government and with Ontario Hydro. The first priority is to develop every bit of hydraulic power we have in the country. Then we should talk about the management of the hydro electric system itself. The schedule of rates is absolutely ridiculous. It costs some poor retired couple more money to fry an egg than it does some person who has a lot of bucks to heat his swimming pool. That just isn’t right and shouldn’t wash with the public out there. Unless we turn that around, this kind of inefficiency is going to continue.

There are so many things we could do. We talk about peaks and valleys in the system. With good management we could cut the peaks off and fill in the valleys. We could do things about insulation that would see to it that would happen. We could also go on a grand program that would take Canadian gas into Ontario with a pipeline built using Canadian ore, a Canadian smelter, a Canadian pipe plant in Welland, Ontario, and with Canadian labour to put the whole thing in. That is the kind of management we need over there.

We are one of the few countries in the world that is self-sufficient in fuel if we stop wasting our energy. But there is nothing coming from this government that would suggest that if their friends in Alberta could compromise and make decent agreements with us here in Ontario we could burn natural gas in place of imported oil. We could put our government to good use, take this great overbilled system of ours and use the capacity from Niagara where God puts the water there day after day. We would not be going this route then.

Mr. Speaker, I can see by your actions that my time must be nearly up, or is it just your unwillingness to stop me in mid-stride here? I suggest there has been a long overdue time in technology across this great province of ours when we should have built smaller nuclear plants so we would not have transmission lines all over the place. Perhaps the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson) would understand that if we had small nuclear plants across the province instead of these huge monsters we have built, we could grow food with the waste heat. We would not have the farmers chasing the plant. We would have the plant where the people are, where we produce our power. For many years in Europe, they have put the power where the people are and used the waste energy for heating where it is required.

Mr. Speaker: Now the honourable member’s time has expired.

Mr. Kerrio: Ontario Hydro must be slowed down. We must put the brakes on. If we do not, we could pile resolutions like this to the ceiling and it will not get any more efficient.

Mr. J. A. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, I am going to ask the members of the opposition to get off their political pogo sticks and think positive.

I am going to list some of the benefits. In two minutes I am going to tell them some of the benefits. Number one is increased energy efficiency. Number two, we have the technology now in Ontario and the productive capacity for the retrofitness necessary. All of the materials can be made in Ontario. We can make a large saving in oil and natural gas consumption. That is conservation. I say to the members opposite, commit yourselves to conservation, support this resolution.

Ontario would not be as dependent on fossil fuel and would have this additional backup system with the additional security. Even members opposite deserve that kind of comfort. It would smooth out the peaks and valleys. We know all about the peaks and valleys and the base loads. We could lower that out. It is not a big cost to the consumer. It could provide a big saving for the consumer. Don’t members opposite like the consumers? Why don’t they protect the consumers and support this resolution?

5:50 p.m.

Hydro could set up an off-peak rate structure and the members opposite know it could. I am asking them to support that kind of proposition as well. If the growth forecasts are off, and we have had some experience in that, then the system is much more adaptable and we could go with a cheaper source of energy.

The off-peak electric heating in a dual or hybrid system is unquestionably an economic, simple and secure means of maximizing the people’s investment in our electric supply system.

Mr. Speaker: I am required to put the question at 5:50 p.m. If the member has a brief comment.

Mr. J. Reed: Just a very brief point of information, Mr. Speaker. During this debate, there was a question brought up as to some times and dates. I have a note signed by the chairman of the standing committee on resources development, and I will read it into the record. It says: “Julian, you are right -- 1991 oil per barrel projection, $82.”

Mr. Speaker: I know the member for High Park-Swansea has what he thinks is a point of order. I will hear it after I put the vote, as I am required to do.

6 p.m.


The House divided on Mr. Young’s motion of resolution 18 which was negatived on the following vote:


Bounsall, Bryden, Charlton, Cooke, M. Davidson, M. N. Davison, Di Santo, Foulds, Gaunt, Germa, Gigantes.

Hennessy, Isaacs, Kerr, Lupusella, Makarchuk, Mancini, McClellan, Roy, Swart, Warner, Young, Ziemba.


Baetz, Belanger, Blundy, Bradley, Breithaupt, Brunelle, Cunningham, Cureatz, Drea, Eakins, Eaton, Edighoffer, Epp.

Gregory, Havrot, Henderson, J. Johnson, Kennedy, Kerrio, Lane, Leluk, MacBeth, McCaffrey, McCague, McGuigan, McKessock, McNeil.

W. Newman, B. Newman, Norton, Peterson, Ramsay, J. Reed, T. P. Reid, Riddell, Rowe, Ruston, Scrivener.

J. A. Taylor, G. Taylor, Van Horne, Villeneuve, Walker, Watson, Wells, Williams, Wiseman, Worton.

Ayes 23; nays 48.


The House divided on Mr. J. A. Taylor’s motion of resolution 21 which was agreed to on the following vote:


Baetz, Belanger, Blundy, Brunelle, Cureatz, Drea, Eaton, Gaunt, Gregory, Havrot, Henderson, Hennessy, J. Johnson.

Kennedy, Kerr, Lane, Leluk, MacBeth, McCaffrey, McCague, McKessock, McNeil, W. Newman, Norton, Ramsay.

Rowe, Roy, Scrivener, J. A. Taylor, G. Taylor, Villeneuve, Walker, Watson, Wells, Williams, Wiseman.


Bounsall, Bradley, Breithaupt, Bryden, Charlton, Cooke, Cunningham, M. Davidson, M. N. Davison, Di Santo, Eakins, Edighoffer.

Epp, Foulds, Germa, Gigantes, Isaacs, Kerrio, Lupusella, Makarchuk, Mancini, McClellan, McGuigan, B. Newman.

Peterson, J. Reed, T. P. Reid, Riddell, Ruston, Swart, Van Horne, Warner, Worton, Young, Ziemba.

Ayes 36; nays 35.

Mr. Ziemba: I have a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker. One of your recent rulings caused me some difficulty this afternoon.

A friend visited me this morning. His name is Gian Singh. He is a Sikh who feels very badly about what has happened to the Sikh temple. He was demonstrating, or he had prepared to demonstrate, this afternoon in front of this building and he was observing a fast until he could get justice or until his case was dealt with. He had been in and out of the building. He had been to visit me and I had taken him in to see two of my colleagues.

Somewhere along the line we had a phone call this afternoon from security. They wanted to know if we gave this man permission to enter the building. We said we certainly did. However, shortly after that he was asked -- and I have the police statement -- according to the police, if he had an appointment with me, and he said no, he did not have an appointment.

The security then told him that he did not have the right to enter the building because, according to your ruling, Mr. Speaker, demonstrators were not allowed into the building.

At this point, he asked permission to enter the public gallery and again he was refused access to the building because of your ruling.

Then there was a shoving match, one thing led to another and my constituent was charged, by the security, with assault. The police at Number 52 station were called and arrested him. He is being held in custody at this very moment.

This is a man who is under a great deal of stress, and he was demonstrating for what he believed to be a just cause, and he was just one man. I would like to know what gives you the right, Mr. Speaker, to deny my constituents access to my office?

Mr. Speaker: This has a number of points. I had delivered into my mail box, just before the incident, something that was sent from the gentleman you referred to. He lives in Mississauga. He is seeking redress and he was, in every sense of the word, demonstrating. He was allowed in. He did meet with you personally earlier today and tried to get in again under the guise of having another meeting with you when, in fact, he didn’t have another meeting with you.

Mr. Ziemba: That was no guise, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

You have asked me by what right I had to have this person ejected because he was actively demonstrating in this building. Demonstrations are quite legal as long as they are done outside of the barrier. This gentleman chose to forcibly make entry into here and start demonstrating out in the foyer. That is clearly illegal. I am just carrying out the wishes of the majority of the members of this House and that I will continue to do.

Hon. Mr. Gregory: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, just to correct the record: The honourable member is in error. The person, Mr. Singh, is a constituent of mine at 3315 Fieldgate Drive in Mississauga.

Mr. Ziemba: I consider him to be my constituent.

Hon. Mr. Gregory: The member should check his records.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, pursuant to standing order 13, I would like to outline the business for the rest of this week and next week.

Tonight, we will continue the budget debate. Tomorrow, we will consider the estimates of the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs.

On Monday afternoon, we will continue consideration of the estimates of the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs.

On Tuesday, in the afternoon, the House will do legislation -- Bill 73, a labour relations bill, followed by the adjourned debate on Bill 47, the police review bill. In the evening, if necessary, we will continue with Bill 47, followed by Bill 46, then Bill 62 and, if time permits, Bill 43.

On Wednesday, the resources development, general government and justice committees may meet in the morning.

On Thursday, in the afternoon, there will be private members’ public business, with ballot items 17 and 18. In the evening of Thursday, the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs estimates will be considered, and they will be considered by the House on Friday.

Mr. Speaker: It being after six o’clock and, since tonight we are having a little party for the pages and we have taken from their time, we will resume at 8:15 p.m.

The House recessed at 6:10 p.m.