31st Parliament, 4th Session

L073 - Thu 12 Jun 1980 / Jeu 12 jun 1980

The House resumed at 8 p.m.

House in committee of the whole.


Consideration of Bill 89, An Act to amend the Labour Relations Act.

Mr. Chairman: Are there any questions, comments or amendments to any section of Bill 89?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, would it be appropriate if I made a few remarks before we commence with this legislation?

Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Chairman, you asked if anyone would like to make any comments on a particular section, and I believe that the minister indicated general comments. Is he going to indicate to us that there will be specific recommendations or comments on each section as we go through?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, if the member does not wish me to make some general comments at the start, I shall make them on the appropriate section.

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Chairman, for our part I think we would be grateful if the minister could make his statement at the outset, and I would ask you to make that accommodation.

Mr. Chairman: I will have to ask the committee. The usual procedure is to discuss the bill section by section. Do I have the agreement of the committee to allow the minister to make some comments?

Some hon. members: Agreed.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, on Tuesday there was considerable discussion about one aspect of section 34(e)(1) of Bill 89, the section that deals with a ministry-directed vote on an employer’s last offer.

Some concern was expressed about the determination of the appropriate voting constituency in such a situation, and the member for London North (Mr. Van Horne) indicated he would be moving an amendment. The effect of it would be to limit voting entitlement in strike situations to those persons in the employ of the employer on the date the strike commenced.

In the last two days there has apparently been some uncertainty in some quarters about my position on the matter, arising partly, I take it, from press and other media reports which were either unclear or incorrect. In the light of this uncertainty I should like, with your permission, to clarify my position before we proceed to clause-by-clause debate.

The government does not believe that the amendment to which my friends in the Liberal Party referred is either necessary or desirable; therefore, we cannot support it. As I said the other night, the proposed new section 34(e)(1) was deliberately drafted in general terms to avoid the undesireable or unfair consequences of the type of rigid and inflexible codification proposed in the amendment.

Under the language of section 84(e)(1) of the bill, the Minister of Labour is required to direct a vote on such terms as he considers necessary. This broad language entitles me to respond to any concerns that may be raised or disputes that may arise concerning all aspects of the vote.

Specifically, if objections are raised concerning the effect to be given or the weight to be attached to the votes cast by replacement employees, that language would entitle me to direct that the balance of the disputed persons be segregated by the Ontario Labour Relations Board, whose staff would be called upon to supervise the ballot.

Let us then assume that the ballots of the replacement employees were relevant to the outcome of the vote and that their inclusion in the overall tally resulted in a majority voting in favour of acceptance of the last offer. The bargaining agent might then contend that the overall vote did not truly reflect the interests of those employees having a continuing or permanent interest in the outcome of the dispute.

In that situation, the validity of the union’s position might depend on a variety of factors, each of which could vary in important respects from case to case; for example, the relative number of striking employees versus replacement employees; the duration of the employment of the replacement employees; the timing and circumstances under which the replacements were hired; the numbers of strikers who had resigned during the strike; and the provisions of the last offer concerning the recall of striking employees. I fully expect that these and other factors would be weighed by the board in any proceedings brought before it to determine the consequences of such a vote.

As I have said, no two situations will be precisely the same; that is why the substance of the proposed Liberal amendment is, in my view, far too simplistic. For example, there may well be cases where replacement employees have a legitimate continuing interest in the outcome of the vote. In other cases it may be apparent that their wishes should be given little, if any, weight. I simply do not see how one could work out a single test that is universally applicable to every situation that would not run the risk of wrongfully enfranchising or disfranchising replacement.

The bill as drafted leaves determinations of this sort to the labour relations board, a tribunal with special expertise, which is in the best position to hear submissions and make judgements on a case-to-case basis in accordance with the labour relations realities of particular fact situations.

Although I have described how a contested matter might conceivably arise and have outlined the mechanisms available for resolution, I hasten to add that I believe the concerns expressed by honourable members opposite are more theoretical than real. Where a significant number of replacement employees have been hired it is extremely unlikely that the employer would wish to have a vote on the last offer --

Mr. Van Horne: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman: I understood through the question I asked earlier that the minister was going to make some introductory comments. In fact, as I interpret what he has just said, he is making specific reference to an amendment which I said I might introduce. I would think it would be far more appropriate for him, if I may offer this suggestion, to hold his comments until the amendment is introduced.

Mr. Warner: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman: At the outset there was a request for unanimous consent for a statement to be made by the minister, and that consent was given; so I would take it that the items raised by my friend from London North are not in order and that it is quite in order for the minister to continue since we gave him unanimous consent to do so.

Mr. Van Horne: My point again is simply this, Mr. Chairman: We were given to understand that the minister would make general introductory comments. In fact, he is addressing himself to an amendment which might or might not be made.

Mr. Chairman: The member for London North has raised a point of order, and I must say that any information presented to the committee prior to the introduction of an amendment is out of order, because that particular matter has not been put before the committee. If the minister wishes to continue with general comments, the committee gave him permission to do that.

Mr. M. Davidson: Mr. Chairman, on the point of order, if I may: I believe the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner) was correct in what he said. There was unanimous consent from this House to allow the minister to make his statement. I do not believe that what the minister is saying is out of line.

Mr. Chairman: Order. The minister may continue.

8:10 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, if I may proceed, although I have described how a contested matter might conceivably arise and have outlined the mechanisms available for resolution, I hasten to add that I believe the concerns expressed by honourable members opposite are more theoretical than real. Where a significant number of replacement employees have been hired, it is extremely unlikely that the employer would wish to have a vote on the last offer, unless of course the hirings had been part of a deliberate scheme to artificially influence the outcome of the vote, in which case a finding of bad faith would surely ensue.

The point is that, whatever the facts, proper procedures are available for all affected parties to have the issue resolved in a fair manner. It is easy for opponents of the bill, and I gather there are some, to raise the worst-case hypothesis and argue that the provision is undesirable and unfair. However, I want personally to assure members that if abuses do occur and the labour relations board remedies to which I have referred prove to be ineffective, neither I nor this government will hesitate to change that law. Members have my firm assurance on that point.

In closing, may I simply reiterate that I cannot for the reasons indicated, which I believe to be valid, proceed with the bill if it is altered in accordance with the amendment which I understand will be proposed by my friend, the member for London North.

Mr. Chairman: Are there any comments, questions or amendments to section 1?

Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Chairman, again I have to rise to make a point -- I would have to assume at this time it would be a point of privilege. As I understand it, in the debate we had on Tuesday evening, the minister indicated in his concluding comments that my remarks were noted. By the way, I want also to make a point so I might clarify what I perceive to be a correction in what was answered by the minister on Tuesday evening. I want to make the point that in my opening comments I made it clear to the minister that I was concerned about this bill as it applies to the construction industry. I think I made it clear in my comments that, as we read the bill, sections 1 and 3 do include the construction industry, but section 2 does not.

I understood the minister to say in his concluding remarks -- I have the Instant Hansard here, but I won’t take the time to search for it -- that my comments were noted. He gave credit for those comments to the member for Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie), but the fact is that I made the observation and he indicated that was under consideration.

In his remarks this evening he made no reference at all to that, and I can only assume he is going to ignore the construction industry as we proceed through this bill this evening.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, I will have an amendment to section 1 dealing with the construction industry.

Mr. Chairman: I understand that there are amendments to section 1. Does any member wish to move an amendment?

Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Chairman, again on a point of privilege: As we began this exercise on Tuesday evening in the inimitable fashion of the minister, to proceed with critical labour legislation in a hurry-up, run-it-through, last-minute process, we understood -- and the minister did not deny this when I made the allegation -- that there was some kind of agreement made between the government and the third party that this bill would go as is or it would be withdrawn.

If the minister spoke in language that I can understand, I understand that he is prepared to make concessions or amendments to this. If that is the case, I would have to submit to the members that the statements he made on Tuesday evening, or that he did not reply to on Tuesday evening, whichever is the more appropriate way of putting it, may be interpreted as misleading.

Mr. Chairman: Order. I believe I understand the member to state that another member made a statement that was misleading.

Mr. Van Horne: The point was, Mr. Chairman, I indicated to the minister that was my understanding. There have been sufficient references made in the news media that this was the understanding between the government and the third party. I would seek clarification if I cannot make any other point.

Mr. Chairman: As I understood the honourable member, he accused another member of making a misleading statement, and I would ask him to withdraw.

Mr. Van Horne: If he was not misleading me, perhaps I could submit that I did not understand his words. In the language of the --

Mr. Chairman: Are you withdrawing?

Mr. Van Horne: Yes, I am. Then I will ask you, Mr. Chairman, if the minister would like to elaborate.

Mr. Chairman: Order. I must inform the member for London North that it is not the purpose of this committee for another member to ask questions of the chairman.

Mr. Van Horne: I intended to ask it of the minister.

Mr. Chairman: Order. The purpose of the committee is to consider this legislation clause by clause.

On section 1:

Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Elgie moves that section 84(e)(1) of the act as set out in section 1 of the bill be amended by adding after the word “shall” in the sixth line the words “and in the construction industry the minister may.”

Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Chairman, it is my understanding that the amendments we proposed were distributed to the Clerk’s table and to the members of both other parties. If they have not received them, would they indicate so that I could give them to them? I don’t seem to have a copy of this amendment. Is this something that is not normal procedure?

Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Chairman, I think it is worth putting our position on the record, to the extent that we can, both in terms of this amendment and some of the dialogue that went on from the member for London North over what was or was not agreed. I went to great lengths on Tuesday night, with some pain, to point out exactly the kind of proposition that was put to us. I wanted it on the record in terms of getting this legislation through, in terms of the union checkoff.

I don’t know whether the member for London North forgets -- I think he may have raised it as well -- but I asked if the minister would clarify that the construction industry was exempted from the dues part of it. That has to do with the kind of arrangements they have in terms of the dues payments and the membership fee that may be there and the fact that they were included under other sections. I asked whether that is a substantive amendment or housecleaning, because we seemed to have them both in and out of the bill. It may be a moot point, but we asked for that kind of clarification.

We have that clarification now in this amendment. To some extent it puts it back to where it was before the bill in terms of the old 34(d). It is now “the minister may,” or “ministerial discretion,” rather than “the minister shall” in the case of a vote.

My own inclination would have been to have removed them entirely. That apparently would have meant a substantive change, which I understand the government is not willing to do.

The minister made it very clear that if the bill was not working, if they had trouble with some of the other sections -- I appreciate that he clarified it to some extent in terms of shenanigans in a vote, but I am asking him, if we find there are problems with this section, is he willing in a reasonable period of time down the road to look at one or two options? One might be to complete the exclusion of those involved and a second might be to go the other route and include them totally if they see some benefit in that move. I am not sure that the building trades and the construction industry are totally certain which way they would end up in the best position.

8:20 p.m.

My own feeling is they are probably better off with this amendment. They will find out whether some of their fears develop over the next few months. I would like to know at that point in time whether there will be any flexibility, if we find we have troubles with the bill, that would extend to taking a look at this particular section as well.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, I think the member knows there have been certain representations made to many of us about peculiar factors that relate to the construction industry bargaining. There is pattern and coalition bargaining, and there are matters of timing in certain votes in the construction industry. I recognize that by making it, as the member says, discretionary. But he and this House have my undertaking that if legitimate problems arise with the application of this section, I will review it.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Chairman, I have read the Instant Hansard from Tuesday night very carefully. I would like to hear again from the minister what he means by the last part of subsection 34(e)(1), when he states in the bill that a vote of such employees to accept or reject the offer be held and thereafter no further such request shall be made. Does he mean that, once an employer has requested the minister to direct that a supervised vote will not be held, thereafter not one other vote can be called for by the employer? No other vote can be called, whether that occurs before or during a strike?

I know we are not allowed to impute motives, but the outrageous manipulation of the minister on labour matters leads me to be very suspicious of his comments in this regard.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, I am soothed and comforted by the remarks. I am quite relaxed now. I think the section is self-explanatory. It says, as the member says, thereafter no further such request shall be made. That is what it means.

Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask the minister, in the light of the concerns expressed, would he simply reconsider the amendment he is suggesting and add a fourth part? That would simply read that this section does not apply to the construction industry. That ministry seems to have a penchant for bringing in amendments to the Labour Relations Act which are poorly thought out and which have to be brought back to us for further amendment. That was witnessed at Christmas with Bill 204.

If I can get one further little dig in, I would like to add, had we brought this to the light of some committee as opposed to committee of the whole at the last minute, we may have been able to come up with an amicable settlement. Would it not simply be better to add a further subsection that this section does not apply to the construction industry?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, I think the member understands the meaning of the words quite well. The only thing I think this does that the government deems to be of some importance -- but again, as I have undertaken to the member for Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie), I am willing to review it if it seems to be presenting a problem -- is to give the clear opportunity for such a vote prior to the calling of a strike. Surely that is a desirable thing should there be a situation where one might avert a strike. I think it is a pretty logical thing to suggest. I would submit that is why the government has taken the step it has.

Mr. Nixon: I would like to ask the minister about the procedures for votes in which he is the legal supervisor. Are they all secret ballots?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: The Ontario Labour Relations Board, as I am sure the member knows, conducts the balloting in certain instances. They are secret ballots.

Mr. Van Horne: With respect to the history of the Ministry of Labour in the province in this past year, is the minister satisfied that what we are suggesting as an alternative to the amendment he is making would have the support of the Toronto Building Trades Council? They seemed to have considerable concern about the construction industry.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, with the greatest of respect and all the University of Western Ontario strength I can muster -- my friend and I happen to share the university in our background -- it’s because of the representations of the building trades council that I think we are being very legitimate in introducing this change. The principle of being able to hold a vote before a strike is important and that’s why it’s inserted.

Mr. M. Davidson: Mr. Chairman, I have a question relating to the vote, originally asked by the member for Hamilton East. In my view, the minister was a little fuzzy in his answer. I would like to ask him directly, under this legislation, does the employer have only one opportunity to request a vote through him either during the course of negotiations or after the strike? All I want is a yes or no answer.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Yes.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, subsection 2 needs to be clarified so that matters of timeliness are not interfered with.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Elgie moves that section 34(e)(2) of the act as set out in section 1 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor: “(2) A request for the taking of a vote or the holding of a vote under subsection 1 does not abridge or extend any time limits or periods provided for in this act.”

Mr. Mackenzie: As I understand it, this simply makes the point that if such a vote is held, it will not delay a no-board report or a time when a strike would become legal, the normal procedures that might apply under the act. Is that correct?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: It’s exactly why it’s inserted. The no board can proceed and if a strike is voted upon by the members, they proceed with it.

Mr. Van Horne: Our understanding is the same as that of the member for Hamilton East, Mr. Chairman, and I have no further comments.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Van Horne moves that section 34(e) of the act as set out in section 1 of the bill be amended by adding thereto the following subsection: “(3) Where a vote pursuant to subsection 1 is held after the commencement of a strike or lockout, only those employees who were employed in the bargaining unit before the commencement of the strike or lockout may vote.”

8:30 p.m.

Mr. Van Horne: I would like to highlight briefly the few comments I made on this on Tuesday evening, which I submitted to the chair the same evening and to the minister and to the members of the third party. We as a caucus had a concern in spite of the veiled threat that any amendment would see this bill withdrawn. The member for Nickel Belt is again suffering from the schizophrenic syndrome becoming more and more apparent in his party. They have some kind of determination to be on both sides of the House at the same time by periodically aligning themselves through prior information with our friends, colleagues or opponents, whichever, depending on the circumstance in the government.

The point is simply this: In spite of the comments or the interjections, there is a concern that the members of the third party agree to in principle, that because they basically have no principles, they are saying they cannot support it, and they are supporting --

Mr. Makarchuk: Are you going to cross the picket line?

Mr. Van Horne: Would Mr. Makarchuk please float his yacht into Lake Erie so the Socialists could wave at him from the shoreline? Would he simply let me make the point to the minister that as we perceive it, the amendment we are offering would preclude any opportunity for workers who are hired after a strike has begun to take part in the vote provided for in the legislation he is presenting to us.

This, in our opinion, would preclude strikebreakers from being employed indiscriminately, unfairly or in any other way. This amendment is worthy of the consideration not only of the government, but also of the members of the third party who again are extremely schizophrenic in this instance.

Mr. Riddell: They don’t want to hear the truth.

Mr. Chairman: Order.

Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Chairman, members of this party have some principles and agonize over something like this. I am not sure whether a jackass does or does not.

We in this caucus and this party have agonized over this bill, but unlike the Liberals, we aren’t just brave when we know what is going to happen. Before I make my points, let me make it very clear that we will be voting against the Liberal amendments.

Mr. Nixon: You are in favour of strikebreakers.

Mr. Riddell: You couldn’t stand up for what is right. You don’t know the differences between right and wrong.

Mr. Martel: Would you tell Jack Fleck to keep quiet?

Mr. Chairman: Order. Would the member for Huron-Middlesex control himself? Order.

Mr. Mackenzie: If we accept the proposition, and I made no bones about this when the bill and the conditions on which it would go through the House were laid out to us --


Mr. Mackenzie: It might be nice if the Liberal members would be honest with themselves for once. They are dealing with an issue that means something to people, but to them, it means absolutely nothing, whether the checkoff is there or not, and that is the difference in the intensity of our feelings.

Mr. Roy: You are embarrassed by the amendment, that’s what your problem is.

Mr. Chairman: Order.

Mr. Mackenzie: It was not a question of what we wanted, since it is not our bill. It is a Tory bill, Mr. Chairman. It is simply a question of whether or not we felt the Tories were being honest and meant what they said, for their own reasons, which I do not agree with, or were doing a con. A con is always the kind of risk you take in a bill like this. The difference is, we were not prepared to sacrifice, or take a chance on sacrificing after all the years we have fought for it, the checkoff provision. For that reason we took them at face value when they put that kind of proposition to us. It is one, which I made clear in this House on Tuesday night, we were not going to have any part of from this point on.

We decided the principle that was involved was too important to let go and on that basis we would agree this bill should go through. It is easy to be brave when there are people who do have guts and will take a position in this House, and who are concerned with whether or not we have a bill that provides union security in this province, the checkoff. If they used their heads and thought for just a minute, they would understand.

When a member who should know better, such as the one for St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley), I think, throws a name out -- Dave Patterson -- he should understand the wide diversity of opinions and the kind of factions that are strongly present within the trade union movement and the fact that people in the trade union movement have a right to make those kinds of arguments and state those kinds of positions. Because they do, or because there are differences over a bill as important as this, the ones who have to face facts are not the Liberals.

They are not going to find votes on either side of this issue. No matter which way that debate goes, they are not going to gain a vote out of the trade union movement. We are the ones who have to face that kind of an argument.

Mr. Van Horne: Point of privilege, Mr. Chairman: If the member is suggesting that we won’t find for either side of the point, or of the issue, in fact --

Mr. Chairman: Order. He is expressing a point of view.

Mr. Mackenzie: I simply want to make it very clear that it is that kind of understanding, that kind of argument and pressure, that mean something to us and mean nothing to the Liberal Party. We have had to look at this, and very clearly --

Mr. Van Horne: That is not true.

Mr. Mackenzie: I hear the interjection that it is not true. It is the last one I will respond to.

The only Liberal member for Toronto, the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell), who had some understanding of the problem, was the last Liberal speaker of the other evening. She was saying that they did support this bill and they would not risk it. The fact that he might risk it never even entered the so-called labour critic’s mind when he moved this particular amendment, because that would have been the issue that would have brought it out.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Oh, baloney. You are so full of baloney, it’s sickening. You are so sanctimonious when it pleases you that it is sickening. You give in to the blackmail of the Minister of Labour.

Mr. Chairman: The member for Rainy River does not have the floor.

Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Chairman, if a little bit of sanctimoniousness gets us the union checkoff in Ontario, then yes, I am going to be as sanctimonious as hell. Is that clear?

Mr. Riddell: You are not surprising us at all.

Mr. Mackenzie: I’m glad I’m not surprising the member because I never want to be on the same side of an issue as him. I want to make that clear, and that is all I have to say on it. We do not like it, and it would not have been our particular amendment. We figure it was the tradeoff. We know we are negotiating for this darned bill, and for that reason we will not support the Liberal amendment.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, of course I am speaking in favour of the amendment which will come to a recorded division later this evening or whenever the debate on the bill concludes. I believe it is a very sensible one and I am surprised the minister himself did not put it in the bill originally.

8:40 p.m.

I feel the reasons given by the official spokesman for the third party for not supporting the amendment are completely insufficient. It is clear the Liberal amendment put forward by my colleague from London North simply means any vote prescribed under the section of the bill already referred to should not include those who are brought in by management to carry on the work of the company after the strike is called. It is very clear, it is easily understood and it is really unthinkable that the NDP would not support it.

However, I would say this to you, Mr. Chairman, that if there is a villain in the piece, it is the Minister of Labour. I do not know of any instance in the history of this Legislature when a minister brought forward a bill of this importance -- it is important to everyone, that is certain, but of special importance to a group that is closely associated, or feels it is more closely associated than any other, with the group specifically referred to -- and said, “If you offer an amendment I will withdraw the bill.”

I have a feeling that the Minister of Labour is much too smart, too whole a person, too full of integrity to have come up with such a formula himself, that this certainly smacks of the kind of direction he would get from his cabinet colleagues and, probably, from the head of the cabinet himself.

I am deeply concerned that this should be put forward in this democratic chamber which, in fact, muzzles the NDP in a situation such as this. All of the arguments have been put forward. It is an important bill brought into this House in the dying hours of the session, one that is supported on all sides, but I do not recall a situation where any member of the cabinet would be so ill-advised, whoever his adviser is, and, I have to use the word, so arrogant that he would say to the House, “The bill passes the way I put it forward or I withdraw it.”

I say to you, Mr. Chairman, that is not an acceptable democratic procedure. I feel it brings discredit on this House, and it has to bring discredit on the minister. I say that most sincerely.

Mr. Riddell: It is far below the minister’s dignity.

Mr. Nixon: I will tell you that there are many jokes in this House. The minister knows in his heart that I am right, and the day will come when he will regret having taken this position. The amendment is certainly an acceptable one to a minister who would bring in this amending legislation and has gone through what must have been a rather uncomfortable time at the annual meeting of the Progressive Conservative Party in the luxurious surroundings of downtown Toronto and been criticized. The Premier (Mr. Davis) would come forward and be his trusty shield and protect him from those criticisms. But then, to come forward with this sort of unreasonable, undemocratic and positively unhealthy procedure that in fact muzzles a part of the Legislature is a very bad day for the Legislature.

I have regrets on more than one level. I believe the amendment should be supported by parties of all sides. I regret statements made by the labour spokesman for the NDP during second reading. I indicated my resentment that night, Mr. Chairman -- I do not believe you were in the chair as Mr. Speaker at the time -- that they were not forced to withdraw certain statements they made about members of the Liberal Party, including myself. I say to you, and to the honourable member who is still in the House, although the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) is not here, that I resented it then and still do. But I think I can live with that just as the honourable member has to live with his decisions expressed a few moments ago to vote against our amendment.

There is no way that the moral condemnation that must flow to the NDP for not supporting our amendment is alleviated in any way. I would suggest that they are paying too high a price for the luxury of getting one of the principles of the bill forward. They will find, when you talk to their friends in labour, and we have friends in labour who have said these things to us, that they are paying too high a price, and the people who are giggling in the cheap seats will come to the point when they will realize that as well.

I return to my original point. I am deeply disappointed that the Minister of Labour, who may, at one time, have contemplated a career in this Legislature that would transcend perhaps all others, is taking a step that he should regret tonight and will regret in the future.

I want to end by simply asking for reconsideration by the Conservatives and the NDP and for the support of the amendment put forward by my colleague from London North. This would make it clearly understood that it would bring an ingredient of justice to this bill which it now lacks.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Chairman, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind, I don’t think, that the amendment being put forth by the member for London North is an amendment that is attractive to all of us in this party. What is so terribly offensive is the minister’s behaviour here. I hope the minister, when he responds to this amendment, will stand in his place and tell us all exactly what this amendment means. I want him to say that this is an amendment to kill the automatic checkoff in labour disputes.

If I understand the minister’s position correctly, what he is saying is that if you want the automatic checkoff, then you must accept in return something offensive to the trade union movement and to us. He is saying that if you support the Liberal amendment, he will withdraw the bill and will not proceed with it further.

I hope the minister does not mince his words when he stands to respond, because we in this party are getting a little tired of the minister’s behaviour in the way he introduces legislation in this chamber. Everything is the last minute. I recall the amendments to the Ontario Human Rights Code. I recall the amendments to the Workmen’s Compensation Board last December, and it smacked of the same kind of behaviour as what the minister is showing here. We find it terribly, terribly offensive.

I find it unacceptable that in 1980 the working people in this province and their representatives, the trade union movement, would have to accept something offensive in order to get something to which they are entitled and for which they have fought for very many years. That is fundamentally wrong. The minister did not have the courage to introduce a bill in two separate amendments. One could have dealt with the automatic checkoff and one with something to satisfy his friends in the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association.

The minister could not do that. Why not? I want him to tell us why. Could he not get it through his caucus? Would the manufacturers’ association all have voted New Democrat in the next election? Is that what was bothering the minister? Surely he was not worried about the support of the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party is not going to challenge the minister on labour matters.

Mr. T. P. Reid: We just have and you backed down from it.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Chairman, any political party whose leader just this week, with two other members of his caucus, was walked through a CUPE picket line in Stratford need not worry about defending the rights of labour in Ontario. I want the minister to stand and state very explicitly what the effect of the Liberal amendment is on the legislation.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Chairman, I want to reiterate and support the comments of my colleague from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk and make certain comments about what the minister is doing here this evening. As I understand it, he is trying to force, through blackmail and intimidation, the bill through as it is without any further amendments.

8:50 p.m.

I think there is no doubt, after listening to the member for Nickel Belt and after listening to some of his colleagues, that the NDP certainly is in favour of this amendment. I do not think there is any doubt that the -- as they call them -- scabs should not have a right to vote. That is what this amendment does.

There is no doubt they are in support of this. The minister was able to extricate from members of that party an agreement that the bill would not be touched, would not suffer any amendment, on the basis that it must go through as is or it will be withdrawn As the member for Nickel Belt said, we have seen this minister procrastinate for some time before the legislation came in.

As my colleague from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk has said, of all the members who would take that approach in bringing forth legislation, I would have thought the minister would be the last one. We used to see it when Eric Winkler was House leader in this place. He cut off debate and brought in legislation at the last minute.

Mr. Nixon: Those were the bad old days of majority government.

Mr. Roy: Exactly. This minister was able to say to the NDP that no matter what amendments are brought forward, no matter how the legislation may be enhanced by any amendments, the bill is a package. Not only that, but he spread the fear of the Lord so badly among NDP members and among part of the labour movement that the members of all parties, certainly members of the Liberal Party, were asked outside of this Legislature by some of the people who are here in the gallery not to bring forward any amendments. “Please do not bring forward any amendments,” they said.

What the hell kind of process is this, Mr. Chairman? The minister accepted the verdict of the people in 1977 that we had a minority government and that this place was going to work. If this place is going to work, it is on the basis of democracy, not on the basis of blackmail.

Mr. Breithaupt: No cosy deals.

Mr. Nixon: Behind the scenes.

Mr. Roy: Exactly. Mr. Chairman, what is even more annoying about the fact that the minister will not tolerate any amendments is that he just brought forward two amendments himself. If this bill was a piece of draftmanship, a jewel, something that could not be amended, the best, the latest thing that could not be touched unless the whole thing came down, why has the minister already brought forward two amendments?

How cynical it must seem to the people who are here this evening who see a process whereby the minister comes along and brings forward two amendments on the very first section of this legislation. But he says to the rest of us, “You bring forward an amendment and you are going to kill the bill, if you dare support this amendment.”

Say what you will, this party will not submit to this type of blackmail. He can try to intimidate --

Hon. Mr. Gregory: Stop grandstanding.

Mr. Roy: Stop grandstanding. Yes, I know it’s embarrassing. It is embarrassing to the people here, what the minister is attempting to do. It should be embarrassing to some of the minister’s colleagues. This place has worked since 1977 because they have compromised, they have allowed amendments. We are all prepared to compromise. He knows us to be reasonable people.

Hon. Mr. Pope: How did the Liberal Party compromise on the police bill?

Mr. Roy: The member should ask his colleague. He failed to compromise.


Mr. Chairman: Order.

Mr. Roy: I am enjoying this because I know I hit a raw nerve. When I wake up the trained seals on the other side I know I have hit something pretty good, and that is what is happening here this evening. I want to support what my colleague from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk has said. The minister should be ashamed to treat the members of this Legislature with contempt. That is what he is doing, telling people, “You bring forward an amendment and I withdraw it.” It may work with some people here but it will not work on this side.

Mr. M. Davidson: Mr. Chairman, I have had -- well, I am not exactly sure what to call it -- after listening to the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk and the member for Ottawa East.

I would like to suggest in starting that we on this side in the New Democratic Party are probably more aware of what the amendment means to the people who are in the labour movement than is anyone else in this assembly.

Mr. Breithaupt: I doubt that.

Mr. M. Davidson: I think it is also safe to say that when the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk --

Mr. Breithaupt: They voted for me. They don’t vote for the NDP in Kitchener.

Mr. M. Davidson: Mr. Chairman, could you restrain the member for Kitchener? I would like to suggest that when the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk was talking about the people in the cheap seats, he was talking about the working people in Ontario because that happens to be who is in the gallery tonight.

Mr. Breithaupt: The cheap seats are in the NDP caucus and nowhere else.

Mr. M. Davidson: That happens to be who is in the gallery tonight.


Mr. Breithaupt: He was talking about the NDP caucus.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order. I would remind those people in the galleries they are welcome here. We are pleased to have the people in the gallery here, but they are not participants in the debate. I would ask them to refrain from expressing either their approval or disapproval of what is said.

Mr. Martel: No, they can insult them though.

Mr. T. P. Reid: We didn’t insult them. We were referring to the NDP caucus. That is where the cheapest seats are.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: All right, members have made their points. If the member for Cambridge would please proceed.

Mr. M. Davidson: I would like to, Mr. Chairman, but I am being interrupted by those over there who don’t understand the labour movement in this province.

If I can, I want to re-emphasize what the member for Hamilton East has said. We, in this party, are not at all pleased with the way this section reads.

Mr. Breithaupt: Then why are you supporting it?

Mr. Martel: You are too obtuse to understand. It is either this or nothing.

Mr. M. Davidson: We are not at all pleased that we, in fact, have to --

Mr. Van Horne: He has not said that in the House. Where did he say it to you? Was it in your private room?

Mr. Martel: Are you so obtuse you want the bill killed? That is your trouble, you want the bill killed.

Mr. M. Davidson: We in fact have to support it in order to get something that the labour movement and this party --

Mr. Riddell: Those people will submit to blackmail.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order. I appreciate the interjections but --

Mr. Riddell: They will submit to blackmail. That is what I said. They have no intestinal fortitude.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: I don’t wish to adjourn the proceedings but if the exuberance of the members is not restrained it may come to that. Would the member for Cambridge please proceed and try not to be too provocative?

Mr. M. Davidson: Believe me, Mr. Chairman, I am desperately trying. If, in fact, it means that we in the New Democratic Party have to accept it for something the trade union movement wants, we will. When I say the trade union movement, I am talking about the majority of organized workers in this province. I understand there are others. There are others within this province who also have opinions. I grant there are those within this House who have the right to express the opinions of others, but I am talking about the majority of the organized workers within Ontario who have fought for God knows how many years to get this type of legislation on the books in the province.

Certainly if they, those people who work day in and day out in the plants, textile mills, steel mills, laundries and chemical plants, say to us, as they are doing here tonight by their presence, “Pass this legislation,” then my God, what kind of an answer are we going to give them? Are we going to run the risk that the Liberal Party is running tonight of having this legislation withdrawn and not passed? Are we to say to these people that we are, in fact, going to turn down after their many years of struggle an opportunity to get the dues checkoff on first agreement?

9 p.m.

I don’t think we should be saying that to these people. By putting this section in this bill the minister has insulted not only the members of this Legislative Assembly, he has insulted the entire work force in the province. They have organized and have worked for many years to get the key section of this legislation implemented.

Mr. Riddell: And you are going to support it.

Mr. M. Davidson: You are damned right we are going to support it, because we are not going to run the risk you guys are.

The amendment talks about scabs who cross picket lines -- not in those words -- and it talks about workers who have rights to set up pickets. But all I have to do is look at the Liberal record of many years -- not just since 1977. Let’s talk about what their role towards the workers in this province has been over the many years.

Mr. Riddell: Oh for the days of Stephen Lewis. Let’s get him back.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order. The member for Cambridge has the floor.

Mr. M. Davidson: Let’s discuss a little bit -- there is a fellow down there who is doing a lot of talking -- the member for Huron-Middlesex who during the days of the Fleck strike was standing up here and supporting the company’s position --

Mr. Breithaupt: What has that got to do with the bill?

Mr. M. Davidson: Let’s talk about the other evening when the Canadian Union of Public Employees set up a picket line about the Stratford Shakespearian Festival and about certain members of that Liberal caucus who had the intestinal fortitude to walk through that picket line without even taking the time to stop and talk to the people who were out there, to find out what they were there for.

Mr. Breithaupt: Just like the Labour member from Australia. He walked through too.

Mr. M. Davidson: My friend, we are not in the jurisdiction of Australia; we are in Ontario. If you don’t understand that difference, you had better get in your canoe and paddle over to Australia to find out what their role in life is.

If it is necessary to go before the working people in this province and defend the position of the New Democratic Party as it relates to Bill 89 and as our role in this Legislature relates to labour in general, we will have no hesitation to do so. We will be prepared to answer for the action we take on this bill, which is more than I can say the Liberals will be able to do.

Mr. Bradley: Mr. Chairman, it would be interesting to listen to the reaction of the New Democratic Party member if the positions were reversed -- if the Liberal Party announced it was going to support this legislation because it felt the bill would be withdrawn otherwise. I could just hear the chorus of cries from the members to the left, how we were selling out on principle.

When the present Minister of Labour was elevated to that position by the Premier, there were many of us in the official opposition and probably in the New Democratic Party who applauded that move. At least we were prepared to give the new minister a chance to prove that he could do an adequate or a very good job. In the initial stages, the Minister of Labour certainly indicated to my satisfaction that he had a genuine concern for the welfare of the workers of Ontario. His actions, as well as his speeches, gave us enough evidence to believe that was true.

I find it difficult to believe the minister has changed in any substantial way his viewpoint in that direction. It appears that his colleagues, be they in the Progressive Conservative caucus or in the cabinet, have forced the minister to insist that this bill go through as presented to the Legislature or not at all.

Although I can’t speak for the minister, I find it difficult to believe it is his opinion that there shall be absolutely no amendments to the bill except those he himself would suggest to the House. We have already heard from the minister and from representatives of the New Democratic Party that the bill cannot pass with amendments. Yet tonight, as other speakers have indicated, we have seen two amendments, albeit not substantive ones. We have heard amendments to the bill which we were led to believe would not be permitted if they were introduced by members of the opposition. There also was a suggestion the government itself was not prepared to entertain amendments that it would put forward.

We have seen these amendments and in this party we have now put forward an amendment that is not particularly radical. It is a very common-sense amendment, a very just amendment. We recognize it is unlikely that strikebreakers will be hired by those companies which have the benefit of a large and strong union -- they recognize the strength of the union. It would be very unusual for those companies to hire strikebreakers and so it is unlikely this provision will affect them substantially. Nevertheless, there are middle-size and particularly smaller plants in the province prepared to hire strikebreakers to replace those workers out on a legitimate strike. History has proved this to be so and there is no reason to believe the future will be any different.

Essentially, that means that under the present legislation as introduced, unamended, the company will have the opportunity at a time convenient to it to put a vote to the so- called membership at that time, augmenting it by a number of people who are obviously going to be pro company since they have attempted to break the strike by crossing the picket line to work. Those people will have an opportunity to vote on a proposal by the company. This is our concern about this legislation and this is why the amendment is being put forward.

As the House leader of the Liberal Party said, it is easy to point a finger at the New Democratic Party tonight and make fun of what the president of the United Steelworkers of America Local 6500 might have to say. If we want to be partisan, we have the opportunity to do so. As the House leader of the Liberal Party has done, I prefer to say the government has placed the party that prides itself on its support of the labour union movement in a very difficult position. I believe every member of the New Democratic Party would support the principle of this amendment if he could.

If the minister had not stated either in the House or in some private meeting with representatives of that party that he would withdraw the bill, I have no doubt they would be supporting this amendment or indeed putting this amendment forward as one of their own.


Mr. Bradley: We have the member for Brantford interjecting. I suppose if I were wise I would ignore the interjection and continue, but I do resent some of the members of the New Democratic Party suggesting they are the only party that has the interests of the working people of this province at heart. In the past I have commended the labour critic and other members of the New Democratic Party in this House for defending the viewpoint of organized labour and I am prepared to do so now. I am not being charitable; I am simply stating in the Legislature that which I think is a true fact. Some of us can sympathize with the party having been placed in the position of having to vote against an amendment that I think is reasonable.

Hon. Mr. Gregory: People do what they want.

Mr. Bradley: I hope the government whip who keeps interjecting has turned in his chauffeur-driven limousine. I am glad to see he is out of his government-supported and government-financed limousine and in the House this evening to interject.

9:10 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Gregory: On a point of order: I can appreciate the honourable member doesn’t appreciate my interjecting but I don’t think my limousine has anything to do with that. Would he stick to the principle of the bill?

Mr. Bradley: Mr. Chairman, I know you would be interested in having me stick to the principle of the bill, so I will make no more reference to the chauffeur-driven limousine of the government whip and I will continue with my comments on this legislation. It is my hope that the Minister of Labour will recognize that the majority of the members of this House are in agreement with this amendment, that it is not a radical amendment and, in the spirit of co-operation and in the interest of getting a bill through that all members of this House can then support, he will indeed be prepared to accept this amendment.

I resent the fact that certain members of the third party have stated the purpose of this particular amendment is to kill the bill; that the members of this party do not want to see this bill go through so the only purpose of introducing that amendment is, in effect, to kill the bill. Nothing could be further from the truth. I strongly believe, as do all members of the Liberal caucus, that this is a very positive amendment, one which will make the bill stronger, one which will be a good addition to the bill and not one designed to kill the bill. If it were a substantial change, if it were a complete departure from the spirit of the bill, I could understand it could be characterized in that way, but it is not.

I would suggest there are certain members of the Progressive Conservative caucus who might agree with it. I don’t expect them to rise this evening to say that but there may well be certain members of that caucus who are honest and sincere about getting a good bill through and who would agree that is a just amendment.

I find it difficult to believe that they also are placed in the position -- not just the New Democratic Party which has characterized itself as being the only party interested in labour but also members of the government party, some of whom I know have a lot of sympathy for the goals of organized labour -- of having to vote against an amendment which we think is a good one.

So I would ask that the minister withdraw the threat; not that he withdraw the bill, but withdraw the threat to withdraw this bill because of a very reasonable amendment, and I suppose we, both in the official opposition and in the third party, place ourselves at the mercy of the minister and his common sense.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, I rise to reiterate two or three points that have been made by my colleagues in this party.

I don’t think there’s a member in this party who would not like to see the Minister of Labour rise and say he would be willing to accept this amendment. We feel just as strongly about that as the members of the Liberal Party, in fact more strongly, but we know that is not going to take place as surely as they do.

Does anyone really believe the majority of the Ontario federation of the labour movement would be supporting this package if they believed the minister was going to change and permit this amendment? In no way. Does anybody really believe that we in this party would be supporting a package after the years and decades that we spent associated with labour if we thought there was any possibility this amendment would pass? Of course we wouldn’t. Of course the labour movement would not be supporting it.

We have before us an ultimatum that has been presented to this House by the people on that side. We have here the irresponsibility of a party moving an amendment which, if we supported it, could destroy the union security. It is willing to take the risk, the assured risk, of another Radio Shack and another Fleck and all those others where people have been out on the picket line. They have been forced to go back in some instances with some gains and in others with little gains.

Mr. T. P. Reid: It is relevant to the whole process.

Mr. Swart: So we have an ultimatum over there. I heard the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk say, “Oh for the good old days of majority government.” Maybe it is time the Liberals realized we do not have a majority government and somebody has to take a responsibility in this House, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. T. P. Reid: But we have got a minority, and we can force them to do it.

Mr. Martel: We cannot force them to do it. They will just withdraw the bill.


Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order. The member for Welland-Thorold has the floor. Will you all afford him the courtesy of listening to him?

Mr. Swart: So the onus falls on the members of this party to accept the responsibility of whether we are going to destroy the opportunity for union security, or whether we are going to include in this bill something of which we in the labour movement do not approve. We do not like having that onus put upon us; we are willing to accept our responsibilities and make the best of a bad deal, which is union security for the people of this province.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Chairman, it has been interesting to listen to the member for Welland-Thorold, who apparently would rather live on his knees instead of standing on his feet. He has come up with an attitude that suggests because his party is somewhat committed to the ranks of organized labour, it is prepared to compromise tonight in a way it would prefer not to do.

That is most interesting because those who are involved in organized labour will reflect upon the people who let them down, and the people who have let them down in this experience are those who are prepared to cave in, who are prepared not to stand up for an amendment whose time in this province has come.

It would appear that the deal between the minister and his colleagues in the New Democratic Party is such that it will not allow any amendment in this particular. We have seen before us a certain bill, that gives something to one side and certain things supposedly to another in this traditional conflict of labour-management relations within the province. More important, we have seen the relationship that has developed which would, I allow -- and indeed almost accept and praise -- the inability of the third party to stand up for organized labour in Ontario.

One of the things that may be of interest is the fact that my remarks, so far at least, have not been particularly interrupted. I presume that is because they are true and accepted. The situation is such that those who are prepared now to back off have in fact lost the commitment to which they have always presumed.

Mr. Warner: When was the member last on a picket line?

Mr. Breithaupt: I can assure the member that whether I have ever been on a picket line, the organized workers in my riding vote for me. I appreciate the support I have received for a dozen years. Without that continuous support from members of unions in a constituency that has a very large organized labour force, I clearly would not be the member for Kitchener. I am proud of the support I have been honoured to receive from those who have made that choice.

9:20 p.m.

The end result is that the amendment before us is a reasonable one. It adds strength to the system we are wishing to develop. The backing off by the New Democratic members, who are not prepared to force this to the sticking point, is regrettable.

We have all had to compromise during the years of minority government, that is true. We have seen, over these past three years, a variety of combinations and permutations on occasion. I just wish this was a different circumstance because I think we would have better legislation if we could have the support of the New Democratic Party.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: A comment before the member for Sudbury East proceeds: We are getting a long way, in our discussion, from the principle of the amendment. It may be a little unfair at this point --

Mr. Renwick: Perhaps if the minister would understand that this is an open debate and enter it, we might get on with the clause in the bill.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: That may be, but I would just ask you to look again at the terms of the amendment and try to tie in your remarks to the amendment.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Chairman, I will attempt to keep it all tied together. I will probably wander a bit, but keep tying it in to the principle at stake.

I am sorry the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk is not here. When he said the people in the cheap seats were smiling, I hope he was not referring to the people in the galleries tonight.

Mr. T. P. Reid: He was referring to the NDP.

Mr. Martel: I listened very carefully and if he wants to change his mind now and say it is us, that’s fine. We can take that type of snide remark. My friends to my right know that this amendment, which none of us particularly would like to see go down the tube, faces us with an ultimatum.

Before I get to that, let me remind my friends to my right who are such friends of labour, who are to the right of Genghis Khan when it comes to labour legislation, of their commitment to labour --

Mr. Roy: Talk about management.

Mr. Martel: Just shut up, Albert. I have the floor.

Let me tell them about Bill 70. When this party said all workers were going to be included under Bill 70 except agricultural workers, they then proceeded to decimate the bill, group by group by group, whether it was hospital workers, teachers, correctional services, you name it.

I saw your campaign literature in Sault Ste. Marie. I was there and I have a copy of it upstairs. That is what you promised in that election too. On the very day the by- election was going on, you beggars were in the House excluding group after group after group. If you want me to go and get it, I can sit down and get back in, because it is committee of the whole, and I will quote it to you word for word.

Let me remind you of a couple of other flip-flops, and there have only been 103 under Stuart Smith. I recall the teachers’ strike not too long ago in Sudbury. You remember, my friends, that dispute happened to be in my community. When it involved North Bay there was not a word, but when it was in my riding there was old Stuie standing in his place demanding that teachers be forced back to work. And that was not the first time.

Let me remind you of the number of people they forced back to work over the years. They voted with the government every time for return-to-work legislation. Be it transit workers, be it hydro workers, be it teachers, elevator workers -- just go down the list -- my friends deprive people of the right to strike, time after time after time.

I talked about scab labour.


Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.

Mr. Martel: Let me tell you something. I am talking about the principle of scab labour, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order. I know there has been a great deal of lenience given by the chair this evening as far as the principles of the bill are concerned. The member for Sudbury East indicated he would tie his remarks, in some way, not to the principle of the bill but to the particulars of the amendment. I have yet to see where he has done so. I would ask him to try to restrain himself and talk to the subject matter of the amendment.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Chairman, I have now come to the principle of the amendment moved by my friend.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: The principle of the amendment.

Mr. Martel: He talks about scabs not having the right to vote and scabs not having the right to work. There is another type of scab. That is the type who crosses the picket line. That is the type who crosses the picket line and does not give it the respect it is entitled to. Do you know who that was? Stuie, little Stuie, just a couple of nights ago.

Mr. Nixon: Did the deputy leader of the Labour party from Australia do that?

Mr. Cureatz: The member must be wrong.

Mr. Martel: Yes. That scab did not worry about that picket line, did he? That scab did not worry about that. He crossed it with impunity. Tell me about the scabs.

I have an option tonight. I can do what the Liberals want us to do --

Mr. Warner: Who want to kill the bill.

Mr. Martel: -- and that is to kill the bill.

Mr. Roy: It has worked. The minister has him on his knees. He is crawling now.

Mr. Martel: It would take more than the member for Ottawa East to make this man crawl.

Mr. Roy: That is what he is doing right now. He is crawling.

Mr. Martel: I have an option. I can accept this amendment, and I know full well --

Mr. Bradley: What does Dave Patterson say?

Mr. Martel: I will repeat that for the member. If I vote for this amendment, as I stand in my place, I will know full well that that bill will be withdrawn and union security will go down the tube.

Mr. Nixon: The Minister of Labour would never do that to the member.

Mr. Martel: My friend, the Minister of Labour, would do that to me. I want to tell members that I am prepared to stand here, as distasteful as I find that particular sector, to ensure that the people, particularly the small unions, survive. The member makes reference to the unions, particularly the small unions like Fotomat and Blue Cross, who will go down the tube because about 40 per cent of the strikes in southwestern Ontario, the area many of them represent, have been over union security. Those people are prepared to throw them out to the wolves.

Mr. Roy: No, no.

Mr. Martel: The member can say “no” till hell freezes over, but if that bill goes down the tube tonight, he and I know full well that union security for the very people who are in the galleries tonight will go down the tube. That party is prepared, with its history, in this province to see that happen.

Mr. Roy: The member has guts.

Mr. Martel: He calls it guts. I listened to the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) the other night. He said we consulted both sides on this bill. I want to say I did not. I did not consult with the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association or the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. I did not ask them for their opinion.

Mr. T. P. Reid: The member did not have to. He was told what to say by the Tories.

Mr. Martel: I did not ask them for their opinion.

Mr. T. P. Reid: The member didn’t have to go to them; he got it secondhand.

Mr. Chairman: Order.

Mr. Martel: Could you control them, sir?

Mr. Chairman: Order.

Mr. Martel: The day I am on the side of the Globe and Mail, the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce --

Mr. McClellan: And the Liberal Party.

Mr. Martel: -- and the Liberal Party, I know my usefulness is terminated.

Mr. Roy: It is working. He is on his knees.

9:30 p.m.

Mr. Martel: I have seen the last four editorials from the Globe and Mail and I said to myself, “There has to be a little good in that bill because otherwise the Globe would not have blasted it.” Was it four editorials?

I don’t mind the minister getting blasted, but the Globe and the chamber of commerce are not my friends. When the members opposite come to Sudbury, they come to visit with Inco. They were in Sudbury recently, and who did they meet with? They did not meet the steelworkers; they met with Inco. Not me. I didn’t go and consult both sides, and I have no intention of consulting the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association. The honourable members to my right might well, but not us.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Who wrote this speech? Bob Elgie?

Mr. Martel: Unlike the honourable member, who has never seen a day’s work in his life, I am not prepared to see people thrown to the wolves.

Mr. Nixon: How long were you in the classroom?

Mr. Martel: I had my years before my time in the classroom.

Mr. Roy: By the look of the pot on you, you haven’t worked hard in a long time.

Mr. Martel: That might well be. When you have to get personal, I know I have got you. It shows how --

Mr. Chairman: Will the honourable member direct his comment to the chair?

Mr. Martel: Mr. Chairman, it’s time you ruled your boys out of order, because that is where they have been all night.

Mr. Swart: How come you’re here tonight, Albert? Why aren’t you out practising law like you do most of the time?

Mr. Roy: I’m not afraid to stand up to that government.

Mr. Chairman: Order.

Mr. Martel: Again, Mr. Chairman, he is on his feet.

I hope the minister will change his mind, because we find it distasteful, To ensure the rights of workers and the security that is necessary, particularly in the smaller unions, we are prepared to go along with this bill, but we are not happy.

I want to suggest to my friend, as I did the other day, that I do not want to see another bill come in at the 11th hour, because it does not give us the opportunity to get the assessment. I know there have been objections to this bill. In fact, Dave Patterson happens to be not only in my riding, but also on the executive in my riding association; and we agree to disagree. So don’t tell me about Dave Patterson; I know him much better than anyone on that side of the House. When they start quoting him, they shouldn’t come and tell me about it; I know him full well. He’s not happy; he has expressed his concern. I am not happy; I have expressed my concern.

But I will not be involved in the flip-flop that has gone on -- and I think there have been 103 of them under the member for Hamilton West -- I will not take the type of --

Mr. Roy: You’re going to have to go back to school, fellow.

Mr. Martel: Do you want me to name them?

Mr. Chairman, as distasteful as we find it, we are going to support this bill. But for that group to my right to pretend they are the friends of labour on every piece of return-to-work legislation -- Bill 70, you name it -- is the biggest sham going.

Mr. Cooke: How about the right to strike for teachers?

Mr. Martel: It was only a couple of weeks ago that the member for Hamilton West wanted the right to strike for teachers removed. Who will it be next week?

Mr. Chairman, as I take my place I tell you that we will support the bill, unacceptable as it is, to ensure that workers in this province have union security, because to them that is paramount.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Chairman, as I listened to the member for Sudbury East, I could not help but think of a cartoon that might or might not appear in one of the news media, where the Premier picks up the end of his blanket and looks under it to see who is in bed with him. That, to me, would be one that would be worthy.

On Tuesday night I spoke to some of the people who are in the gallery tonight. I see Ron. I don’t see Charlie, but he may be --

Mr. Chairman: Would the honourable member address his remarks to the chair?

Mr. T. P. Reid: Yes, Mr. Chairman. I said then that I would not allow this bill to go down the drain; in fact, I would do the best I could to ensure that union security in a first contract was maintained. I said that for a number of reasons, one of which was that I went through a strike in my riding in which that was the issue. The union lost on that particular occasion, and I do not think it should have.

Unlike my friends on the left, I believe that most members should be neutral in a labour-management dispute, because we are here and it is our responsibility to pass laws that as equally as we can balance out the power on one side and the other. Then those forces that come into play should resolve the dispute one way or another. The compromises that we in this chamber are supposed to deal with, whether it be a minority or majority government, should come into play so that while everybody is not completely satisfied and happy, at least we arrive at a solution everybody can live with.

I am disappointed in one sense that the Liberal Party has been feuding with the NDP in this matter when the real villain is across the road. I pay tribute to the Minister of Labour for having come this far with his colleagues to be able to present Bill 89 in the form that it is. But the dispute is with the governing party, not with the members of the NDP, who have thrown aside their principles and their credibility to accept the bone that is thrown from the Tory cabinet table in this regard.

I alluded to it Tuesday night and I checked my correspondence. I had written a letter last fall to the Minister of Labour, saying I would support him on legislation of this kind to guarantee union security in first contracts because I believe that if the union has gone through the process of getting the union cards signed, gone through the Ontario Labour Relations Board and been certified, then it is entitled to a contract. There may be those who are concerned about how that process works, but that is not what we are dealing with in this bill. If they get to that point, then they should have the security of being able to go on.

There is a cliché that we in this chamber do not think of, but there is not one of us to whom it does not apply, no matter which party we are in, Conservative, NDP or Liberal, namely, that the basic thing we operate on in here is credibility. If we do not have credibility with the people who have sent us here in the first place in our own constituencies, if we do not have continuing credibility with them and, secondly, in this chamber, we do not have much of an effect in what we do.

I am disappointed and concerned that the NDP has been prepared to submit to what it considers and has stated in this chamber, on Tuesday night and again tonight, is blackmail from the government side. I have been here for 13 years, and all I have ever heard from those people on the left is the great thing about principle and how they stand on what they believe in. They say: “We are not prepared to compromise one iota. We are going to ram it to the end. And if we do not get what we want, then we would rather go down the tube than give up our principles.”

I remember Stephen Lewis. He was that kind of person.

Mr. Samis: It is funny that he does not remember you.

Mr. T. P. Reid: He would not remember whoever’s voice that was. He did not even remember the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) on Tuesday night when he was celebrating 25 years in the Ontario Legislature.

Mr. Samis: That’s a cheap shot.

9:40 p.m.

Mr. T. P. Reid: If my friend wants to play that game, I have been through that. If he wants to play that cheap-shot game, I am prepared to be just as personal as he is -- just so we all understand what we are about.

It is amazing to me -- I could not believe it, Mr. Chairman -- that in question period today the leader of the NDP, who has made some of the crassest, meanest and most personal comments and has distorted the position of everybody else in this party, rose to the bait the Premier offered. Some of us in this place are fishermen, and if one has ever seen a trout rise to a fly, one has never seen a more perfect example than the way the NDP thief was hooked today.

Mr. Chairman: Order. Would the honourable member return to the amendment?

Mr. T. P. Reid: I return, Mr. Chairman, to the essence to the amendment. My friends on the left are always accusing me of stealing the Liberal-Labour banner in the Rainy River district. They get quite incensed not over what I say and do, but over the fact that I happen to call myself Liberal-Labour.

It was my suggestion in our caucus that we put this amendment, and it was supported wholeheartedly by my caucus. We in the Liberal Party feel there has to be an equation and an equilibrium and a balance in labour- management relations so that each side is dealing from relatively the same amount and principle of strength. So we have this amendment today.

I find it most repugnant to my Liberal principles, as a person who believes in balance, that the Ministry of Labour, and the government in particular, should consider allowing people who are not permanently employed -- who will not be members of the permanent bargaining position or group -- to have a vote on the final contract. Why should that be? I can tell members that in the particular instance I was involved in, had that been so, the vote probably would have been lost. I can ask the people in Fotomat, some of whom are here tonight, about those people who replaced them. If each and every one of them is allowed to vote, as they are by the provisions of this bill, what is going to happen?

Hon. Mr. Pope: No, they are not.

Mr. T. P. Reid: They will be. There is nothing in Bill 89 that says they cannot vote when the final offer is laid down.

Hon. Mr. Pope: No, they will not. The member should have been here for the minister’s statement. He missed something.

Mr. Chairman: Order.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Chairman, I return to the fact that for 13 years in this chamber I have listened to my sanctimonious friends on the left talk about principle and ideals. It is like a religion with them.

Mr. Wildman: The member would not know about that.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Their federal friend, Mr. David Lewis, did the same thing in minority government a few years ago. He agreed with everything the government of the day said. He sold out all his principles; he sold out all his idealism. In the end nobody believed in what that party stood for. I could have understood it perhaps, when we look at this amendment, if the NDP had at least said we were not blocking. But they used that very term in the debate; they were ready and willing to accept that threat by the Minister of Labour in regard to the amendment proposed by my colleague from London North.

I say to the people in the gallery through you, Mr. Chairman, that they have the opportunity of a no-confidence motion, if they are dissatisfied or if this government withdraws this bill, to do something about it. They have that opportunity, if they believe that the very principle and guts of this bill is so important, to stand up in their place and put that, and then we will let the democratic process decide.

Hon. Mr. Pope: You want an election, do you?

Mr. T. P. Reid: We are ready for an election. We think the Tories have been in power much too long, and we are prepared to get rid of them. We are prepared, but those people of conscience, those people of principle, those people of the ideals, those people of the labour movement, are prepared to sell everything out so that they can stay a few more months in the Ontario Legislature.

Mr. Bradley: It’s pensionable time.

Mr. T. P. Reid: My friend says pension time; it is all pensionable time. I don’t know about that. I make no comment at all about whether they want their pensions. I think it is much more realistic and basic than that. They know that if there is an election within the next 37 days in Ontario under the leadership of the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) they will be practically wiped out. That is why they haven’t got the guts to stand up against the Minister of Labour and the Tory government, and not because they are afraid of this bill being withdrawn.

Through you, Mr. Chairman, I say to the people in the gallery, we have not been told, we have not been threatened and, perhaps because we are principled, we will not stand for that kind of nonsense.

Some hon. members: Ho, ho, ho.

Mr. T. P. Reid: The seals over there say “Ho, ho, ho.”

The Minister of Labour did not go to my colleague the member for London North and try to blackmail him, saying, “If you don’t keep your mouth shut, this bill won’t go through.” The Minister of Labour did not go to the House leader of this party and say, “If you don’t keep your members shut up, this bill won’t go through.” The Minister of Labour did not come to the leader of this party and say, “If you don’t shut up, this bill won’t go through.”

Who the hell are the members on my left in bed with? We know who they are in bed with: those people who are prepared to sell out every basic principle that they supposedly stand for in this Legislature.

But this amendment is more important, because it is equitable and it is balanced. What bothers me, as a member of this Legislature, is the kind of intimidation tactics that are being used by the Conservative government to get legislation through. The Tories have threatened them. They have said it; they have been blackmailed. The member for Hamilton East, their labour critic, went on at great length about that on Tuesday night and again tonight. It makes one wonder what the whole democratic process is about.

Quite frankly, I am not sure whether the Minister of Labour has been able to rape or seduce the New Democratic Party. There is a subtle distinction. As my friend the member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent) said once, the difference between seduction and rape is salesmanship. But I gather this is not seduction; it is rape.

This is one of the most antidemocratic things I have seen in 13 years in the Ontario Legislature. The government has been holding the people on Fotomat as hostages in this whole scheme, which is going to affect everybody in the province.

9:50 p.m.

I can only say that we support this amendment. We think it is fair. We think it is equitable. We think it gives some balance to both sides. And I hope, as others have expressed, that the Minister of Labour will rise and say: “Yes, indeed, it is a reasonable amendment. People who are not permanent members of a bargaining union really shouldn’t have anything to say about the ongoing negotiations and bargaining situation as far as the union goes.” I don’t think any reasonable person can quarrel with that position. I hope the minister will find it within himself to rise and say that. Had he said that earlier, we could have avoided this long and acrimonious debate.

Mr. Riddell: Mr. Chairman, I am going to speak very briefly. I cannot believe what I am hearing tonight. I am hearing the NDP suggest that we are dealing with a government that governs by ultimatum and by threat. I cannot believe the Minister of Labour would ever suggest he would withdraw the bill if the opposition parties introduced any amendments. If indeed he did say that, I cannot believe he meant it.

I am sure he came into this business as I did, believing that it was government of the people, for the people and by the people. We have a minority government. We have a government which I would hope would govern its affairs according to majority decisions that are made in this House. I am serious when I say if I have to go back to my people and tell them I had to cave in to the government because of threats they made, then I would hope they would be prepared to tell me it is time we had an election and got a government that governs the way it was supposed to and not by so-called ultimatums and threats.

Ms. Gigantes: Would you like an election on the Rand formula?

Mr. Riddell: They can talk all they like to the left, but I cannot believe they feel the minister is prepared to withdraw the bill because of the very reasonable amendment we have introduced. I do not believe he would withdraw the bill, and I would hope he would give consideration to this amendment. It is an amendment with which all parties on this side of the House agree; I don’t think there is any doubt about that.

Surely we are not going to have to vote because of the threat that the bill will be withdrawn. Those are not the principles upon which the government in Ontario was founded. I think it is time we paused to remember which country we live in. I cannot believe I am living in a country governed by threat and ultimatum rather than, as Lincoln said, “a government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, I am constrained to take part somewhat briefly in the debate with respect to the amendment the Liberal Party has put before us tonight. I have listened to most of the debate this evening, and I suppose the course has ranged very broadly under the usual gracious latitude permitted by the chair, which I think on this occasion has allowed the debate to proceed much too long and over much too great a range, bearing in mind the very specific amendment the Liberal Party has put before us tonight. But within that framework it is essential we talk a little about what our colleagues on the right have said to us, what the Liberal Party’s understanding of the reality of Ontario is today, what our understanding is, and what reality is so far as the Minister of Labour is concerned.

I am going to back up a little bit because, when we are talking in these terms about the fundamentals of the relationship of this party and the organized labour movement, I think a little instruction is required for the Liberal Party and, I believe, for the Conservative Party, but certainly for my friends on the right. We are not fighting for labour’s vote. We are fighting for labour. Let’s get that distinction clear.

In 1958, there were two resolutions passed, one at the Canadian Labour Congress convention in April in Winnipeg, and one at the national convention of the CCF in Montreal in July. So members will begin to understand the kind of party this caucus represents, I am going to refer to the terms of the founding of the party.

Mr. Roy: We are on the principle of the bill now.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Don’t forget who introduced the bill.

Mr. Renwick: I am glad the Premier is here. He sometimes needs a little instruction on fundamentals.

The Canadian Labour Congress said in 1958: “The time has come for a fundamental realignment of political forces in Canada. There is need for a broadly based people’s political movement.”

Mr. Roy: It’s working, Bill; you’ve got them on their knees.

Mr. Renwick: I always understand when I am getting to the Liberal Party, because the member for Ottawa East engages in cross-chatter with somebody in the Conservative Party; it’s a sign that he is edgy.

Mr. Roy: I’m sorry I interrupted the member.

Mr. Renwick: I’m sorry too. Let me start again, now that I have his undivided attention.

Mr. Roy: I am taking notes.

Mr. Renwick: I’ll send the member a photostated copy.

“The time has come for a fundamental realignment of political forces in Canada. There is need for a broadly based people’s political movement which embraces the CCF, the labour movement, farm organizations, professional people and other liberally minded persons interested in basic social reform and reconstruction through our parliamentary system of government. Such a broadly based political instrument should provide that labour and other peoples’ organizations may, together with the CCF, participate directly in the establishment of such a movement, its organization, structure and basic philosophy and program, as well as in its financing and choice of candidates for public office.”

At the national convention of the CCF in July 1958, a companion resolution was passed that speaks to the fundamentals of the party -- now I am faced with the government House leader talking to the Minister of Labour.

Mr. Chairman: Is there any other member wishing to --

Mr. Renwick: No, I will resume. I don’t know what has come over the House. In committee of the whole House, one usually speaks and has an interchange, but apparently tonight the Minister of Labour is going to sit in his seat and pretend he has the last word. He will not have the last word on this amendment until we understand what it is all about. He should have spoken to the amendment earlier. It is about his bill; not about our bill.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I did speak.

Mr. Renwick: Yes, but I want a little exchange in relation to what has been taking place.

Mr. Roy: The minister has had the member’s reaction. He is with the minister. He is afraid of the minister.

Mr. Renwick: There is no question whatsoever that the price the Tory government is extracting is the introduction of clause 1 in the bill for the provision related to union security, but the unreality of the Liberal Party’s position is unbelievable to me. Clause 1, as the minister introduced it in the bill, is a basically flawed provision. They cannot improve a basically flawed provision by moving an amendment. My friend from Rainy River indicates that it is a very reasonable amendment. How in God’s name can they have a reasonable amendment to an unreasonable clause? The clause should not be there in the first place. We understand that. I just want the Minister of Labour to know that we can play hardball. We know how to play it.

10 p.m.

The last few days in the Legislature, with the Liberal Party on the city of Toronto bill, on the police complaints bill and now on this bill, have been like playing three-handed bridge with two dummies.

Let me talk a little bit about the clause as it was actually introduced by the minister and which he is going to amend. The reality of clause 1 is that it is unreasonable. From our point of view, it is basically and fundamentally flawed. We have two fallback positions with respect to that clause. Fortunately, the legislative draftsman has left it open for a very clear understanding that persons hired after a strike and lockout will not necessarily be included in the vote.

Mr. T. P. Reid: But may well be.

Mr. Renwick: Not “may well be” at all. It is good for my profession; they will be able to earn a few more dollars because of a certain ambiguity in the language. But if one compares clause 3 with clause 1, anybody who reads the two clauses will understand very clearly that if one is going to have the employer given the right to put his last offer to those employees in the bargaining unit, presumably one has to give it as the last offer to the employees who were in the bargaining unit at the time.

A very real argument can be put to indicate that there is a subtle distinction in language between clause 1 and clause 3. If anyone reads them carefully and understands the distinction, he will say -- and I trust that the Ontario Labour Relations Board will say -- how ridiculous can a provision be if it is interpreted to mean that, for the very people who are employed after the members of the bargaining unit have withdrawn on a strike or are locked out, their vote is going to determine whether the offer of the employer is accepted.

I am not a labour lawyer. I’m like the Premier; I don’t practise law any more. I used to; he never has.

Hon. Mr. Davis: On a point of personal privilege, Mr. Chairman: For two years and four months I did my best. It was never as good as the member for Riverdale, but I tried very hard. The reason I am here is the same reason he is here: He did not succeed that well at the law; so he decided to go into politics. So did I.

Mr. Renwick: I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to offend the Premier. I had always thought that on all occasions he had stood up and said he really was not a lawyer; he was just the --

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Chairman, I have never said I am not a lawyer. I have stood up on many occasions and said politics is my profession; the law was really a hobby for a short period of time.

Mr. Renwick: All I am saying is that there are labour lawyers who will be acting in any of the cases which are involved in it and who can very clearly argue the proposition that persons hired after the strike and lockout are not included in it. That is one argument; it is a very good argument. I would accept a modest fee to argue that case on any occasion before any one.

Let me put the reality of the hardball to the Minister of Labour; he knows it as well as I do. Organized labour is not nearly as powerful in this province as it should be in relation to organised capital, or as powerful as the relationship of organized capital to the Conservative Party as distinct from the integral relationship of working people with this party.

If an employer exercises the privilege, subject to the minister’s consent under clause 1 in this bill; if by any chance the last offer of the employer were to be made by some ill-conceived decision of the minister or the Ontario Labour Relations Board to include persons employed after the strike or lockout had begun; and if that so-called last offer was accepted in numbers, including a number of people equal to or less than the number who were employed after the strike or lockout took place, the Minister of Labour knows very well there would be an uproar in organized labour that even this government would have to listen to and that clause would be removed.

Let me make another point about clause 1 in the bill, without this so-called ridiculous amendment of my friends on the right --

Mr. T. P. Reid: You just said five minutes ago that it was reasonable.

Mr. Renwick: -- without that so-called reasonable amendment to an unreasonable clause, to use the words of the member for Rainy River.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I never knew what a whirling dervish was before.

Mr. Renwick: Let me just say to the Minister of Labour why we think he is very unwise to extract this price. What he has done with clause 1 is to toss a wild card into the collective bargaining process. In the province at this time in its labour history, he shouldn’t do that.

Clause 2 of the bill is not a wild card. Clause 2 of the bill has been around. Had it not been for the defeat of the CCF in 1945 in this Legislature, in 1946 when Mr. Justice Rand made his decision, later on in that same year, this government, a Conservative government, would have enacted it into law. We have waited 35 years.

I was a student at law school when the Rand decision came down and, personally, long before I joined this party, I waited for 35 years for that provision of union security. It was not the provision the United Automobile Workers asked for during the strike, but Mr. Justice Rand’s version of union security. The checkoff was adopted, and we have waited that long for it to be legislated into law.

Under some short-sighted view of what this government’s basic intentions are, we are not about to miss out on the opportunity to have that principle enshrined in law. This government knows and that party knows -- and God help us if they were ever the government of the province -- that clause 2 will never be revoked and will never be withdrawn once it is introduced.

Clause 1 is the wild card tossed in by the Minister of Labour for whatever reason, and I do not impute motives to the Minister of Labour or to the Premier. I think about them occasionally but I never impute audibly to anybody what they may be about.

The minister knows and everybody else knows that if the consequences of that wild card are in any way inimical to the rights of labour in this province, in due course we will see clause 1 withdrawn. We are prepared to take that risk. The Minister of Labour knows it. I say it because it appears difficult for my colleagues in the Liberal Party to understand that.

Mr. Roy: Keep apologizing.

Mr. Renwick: That is known as minority government in operation. Stick around a little bit.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Where you get intimidated and blackmailed. Do you call that minority government?

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Will the member for Rainy River please restrain himself?

Mr. Renwick: I sat in the standing committee on general government the other day as a voting member on two provisions related to the city of Toronto. They were basically very important to the city of Toronto. The four members of the committee from this party and the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell) voted for them. The four members of the Conservative Party and the member for Waterloo North (Mr. Epp) voted against them; so they were lost.

10:10 p.m.

So a couple of nights later, what happened? The member for York Centre (Mr. Stong) stood in his place and said, “We are going to vote for this bill,” and he explained to the House what they are going to do. One week later, the House leader of the Liberal Party stood up and signalled the switch.

In this strange game they are playing tonight, they know nothing about collective bargaining. They know even less than I know about the collective bargaining process. If they think they can tamper with a poor clause and improve it they are incorrect.

I am going to finish with the Minister of Labour. I want him, at least during the summer recess, after this bill is passed into law, to consult a little bit about clause 1. Consult with the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association and ask its members if they have thought through the consequences of an employers’ last offer being accepted on a vote where the scab labour was part of the majority for the adoption of that contract. Ask them whether they want to face those consequences. Let me not kid about it. These are not any threats. This is organized labour from its terribly weakened position in this province and in the country getting an opportunity, as Mr. Justice Rand has said, to redress the balance of social justice.

We think the balance under clause 2 in favour of social justice is much greater than the balance under clause 1 in favour of social injustice. In due course, we will see clause 1 repealed. We intend to vote against the amendment. We intend to support clause 1 of the bill. I trust the bill tonight will be passed out of committee, pass third reading and, perhaps even tonight, we could wait around for Her Honour to come in and give it royal assent.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Chairman, I want to address myself to the amendment moved by my colleague: “Where a vote pursuant to subsection 1 is held after the commencement of a strike or lockout, only those employees who were employed in the bargaining unit before the commencement of the strike or lockout may vote.”

I sat here tonight and listened with interest to both sides of the House -- I should say to three sides -- in relation to who is really supporting labour. My background is that I am still in good standing with a labour union. I sat on a negotiating team and bargained for a first contract, and I can tell of the difficulties we had at that time trying to even get the Rand formula into a contract.

I support the principle of the bill. It is a good piece of legislation because it will remove, I hope, confrontation from the streets. That is the most important thing about this particular bill. I have heard my colleagues to my left who are deeply concerned about this. The member for Welland-Thorold is comparing apples with oranges in a sense to say it is a bad deal.

If the Minister of Labour had called me in to discuss it with him I would have suggested this proposed amendment. Perhaps the member for Riverdale is quite correct. If you look at section 4 of the bill, subsection 63(4a) says, “All employees in a bargaining unit, whether or not such employees are members of the trade union.”

In the Bell Canada strike they were able to continue to operate with engineers and other staff. It also happened at Fleck Manufacturing Company, for example. Even now under this bill, when a union wants to organize, get certified and get the first collective bargaining unit going, it still permits management to hire outside employees to come in to carry on and operate that industry.

Tonight Fotomat was mentioned. This is what is taking place there.

As I interpret this bill, and looking at it from the labour side sitting at a bargaining table, it does not give them coverage. Those employees who are working there now will be considered part of the bargaining unit under section 4 of the act.

One of the things that really disappoints me most is that the Minister of Labour is using a loaded shotgun in this Legislative Assembly. It is either we do as he wants us to do or he will withdraw the bill. To me that is unparliamentary procedure. I think it goes beyond the rules and principles of the parliamentary system in Ontario when the ministry can use that guillotine or shotgun and say, “You either come my way or there will be no way at all.” I had greater confidence in this government until I read that article in the paper and heard it in the chamber here -- it is not proper for the government to use that as blackmail.

The member for Welland-Thorold is right when he says it is a bad deal. They made the deal with the minister. But we are dealing with the principle of this bill here tonight. Section 1 is good, but when one gets into it, it is not going to provide for those persons there. I think we are still going to see confrontation on the streets, and again the police will be brought in. Surely they have enough difficulties now, when one thinks about the police bill that was here? I don’t want to get into that but I had some strong reservations about it.

I think the principle of this bill is related to the summation of the Ontario Federation of Labour this year. Number one on it was that dues checkoff must be granted with certification. I think it is a great move by the Ministry of Labour to move in this direction. I understand the minister had some difficulties within his own party on this. I have to give him credit, because I think of all the times the minister has actually looked at the needs of labour in Ontario.

I know the NDP have been very critical of the Liberal Party in saying there is nobody here who actually represents labour. I could go back to the Mining Act in 1970 when I was sitting on that committee and moved an amendment that would give employees in the mining industry the right to engage in safety and occupational health committees within the mine. They did not support it. I have had a private member’s bill here for years suggesting that we should have a new occupational health and safety act and I did not get much support from them.

Like other members, we have some disagreement. The Liberal Party labour critic a few years ago suggested we should be moving to do away with that confrontation in the streets when there is a strike or a union-established certification. I suggest we have looked at labour seriously and we have tried to improve, by amendments to legislation, workmen’s compensation and dozens of things I can name. I am sure my colleagues over there know this.

I regret we have to get into a hassle on a bill like this, but they brought it on themselves. They are in bed with the Minister of Labour over there, and the minister is using a shotgun against them. It is a bad deal -- no doubt about it -- but they will have to live with it.

The more I look at this bill -- looking at it from my side as a person who used to represent labour at a bargaining table -- this is not going to solve all the problems. Section 4 says you do not have to be part of the bargaining unit -- as long as you are considered as an employee of that industry you will have the right to vote. Those persons who belong to the union will be denied that right, and that is what is going to happen at Fotomat.

I support the amendment put forth by my colleague, and I think it is a reasonable amendment, coming under either section 1 of the bill or under section 4. There is a loophole there and the intent of this is to plug it now. The minister surely should have learned this long ago; bringing in his bills at the last moment, then without proper consultation with all members of the House or labour or management, he has to bring in additional amendments in a hurry. It has been the same time and time again with this minister. I think he has moved a little too fast but I think it is in the right direction.

The minister should have just taken a little more time.

10:20 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Chairman, I would just like to respond to a couple of remarks.

I want to make it very clear that in spite of all of the variety of things that have been said, many accurate and most inaccurate, this bill is seen by me and by this government as a fair, balanced and equitable bill which will improve industrial relations in this province and that is the purpose of it.

There has been a lot of talk about credibility and the sanctity of the Legislature. My father shared this Legislature with the father of the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk. I cherish those memories of sanctity and I am not doing any disrespect to them here in this House today, because the member and everybody in this House knows the commitment I have to improve industrial relations in this province. This legislation is further evidence of my commitment and of this government’s commitment.

The member for Nickel Belt asked me to put in very precise terms what would happen if this amendment was approved. I will do that and I will repeat it for him as I said at the outset. I cannot, for the reasons indicated, which I believe to be valid, proceed with the bill if it is altered in accordance with the amendment proposed.

I think it is an unnecessary amendment. I think it would be an inflexible codification which would not take into account the fact that there can be variations from time to time and place to place. For that reason I ask for support in opposition to that amendment.

Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Van Horne’s amendment will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the nays have it.

Amendment stacked.

Sections 2 to 5, inclusive, agreed to.

The committee divided on Mr. Van Horne’s amendment to section 1, which was negatived on the following vote:

Ayes 22; nays 69.

Section 1, as amended, agreed to.

Bill 89, as amended, reported.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Wells, the committee of the whole House reported one bill with certain amendments.



The following bill was given third reading on motion:

Bill 89, An Act to amend the Labour Relations Act.

The House adjourned at 10:37 p.m.