31st Parliament, 4th Session

L076 - Mon 16 Jun 1980 / Lun 16 jun 1980

The House resumed at 8 p.m.

House in committee of the whole.


Resuming consideration of Bill 71, An Act to amend the Municipal Elections Act, 1977.

On section 2:

Mr. Chairman: Prior to the dinner recess the member for Waterloo North (Mr. Epp) placed an amendment. After that the member for Wilson Heights (Mr. Rotenberg) rose on a point of order stating that the amendment was out of order and the member for Waterloo North replied.

I am sure all the members who were present will remember the Chairman said that he would leave the chair and consider the matter during the dinner recess. This has been done. In reviewing the amendment, it certainly appears to me that the amendment deals with section 9, which is not under consideration. Section 2 deals with the administration of oaths not the term of councils. Therefore, according to section 88, as this matter is not relevant to the subject matter, I must rule the amendment out of order.

Section 2 agreed to.

On section 3:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Epp moves that section 3 of the bill be deleted and the following substituted therefor:

“3. Section 12 of the said act is repealed and the following substituted therefor:

“12. A person is entitled to be an elector in a municipality if he is not disqualified under this or any other act or otherwise prohibited by law from voting in the election, and if at any time during the period commencing on the Tuesday following the first Monday in September in an election year and ending on the Wednesday in October that precedes polling day by 19 days, he (a) is a resident in such municipality; (b) is a Canadian citizen, and (c) has attained the age of 18 years or on or before polling day will attain the age of 18 years.”

Mr. Epp: Mr. Chairman, I moved this amendment because I think it is very important. I think it is a very relevant amendment, one that we have brought to the attention of the House on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, the members across the way and some to the left have not seen the wisdom of it. I hope tonight they have their glasses on and they can see clearly enough to support this particular amendment.

I certainly hope it will get the support of this House because it is a good amendment. It is reasonable amendment and progressive and I would think, if it is progressive, the members across the House should be able to support it. Of course, it is also a very much needed amendment.

It is needed because there is not obviously a good reason why anyone should want to vote against it. When people come to this province and want to vote in a municipal election, and we have people coming from a multitude of countries, there is no particular reason why people from Commonwealth countries should have any particular preference over those from the United States, which is a very close ally of ours, or over those who come from some other country.

Mr. Mancini: Or from Italy.

Mr. Epp: Or from Italy, as my colleague from Essex South says. There is no one who should have a particular privilege, aside from Canadian citizens.

I want to emphasize that one should be a Canadian citizen in order to be able to vote in municipal elections in this province. The federal Parliament has seen the wisdom of this. Only a few years ago they amended their legislation to restrict people voting to those who had been in Canada for three years, as members recall. They amended the three years from five years. Also, they have to attain the age of 18 years.

It is my feeling that anyone who wants to stand for office, anyone who wants to vote someone to office should be an Ontario citizen and have been here for three years. As it is now, if one wants to become a regional chairman, if one wants to become an alderman in the great regional municipality of Niagara, or the great municipality of Muskoka, or if one wanted to become a mayor of Parry Sound, for instance, or Mississauga or Barrie, or Shelburne, or any of those other great municipalities, one could be elected a member of those councils after one year. It is my feeling that one should have to be a Canadian citizen, be here three years and subject to qualifying under those other two conditions.

Mr. Chairman, I hope everyone will certainly find it possible to support this very important amendment which, I think, will set us on a new course so far as municipalities are concerned in this province.

Mr. Isaacs: Mr. Chairman, I was impressed by the member’s arguments in favour of his amendment -- that it is good, reasonable and delightful and something that no doubt everybody could agree with -- except that unfortunately not everybody in this House can agree with that amendment.

We agree and accept that the way the act is worded at the present time is completely inappropriate. It is something that was appropriate 50 years ago, but today in Canada we should not be giving preference to one particular group of citizens, notably British citizens, British subjects, over all the others who make up this great country of ours.

8:10 p.m.

When we have disposed of this amendment, Mr. Chairman, as you are aware, I will be moving a counter-amendment because we believe very strongly that citizenship per se should not be a requirement for selecting electors in a municipal election. If we were to have strictly citizenship as a requirement, there would be taxation without representation at the municipal level, and that goes against the grain in free societies around this world.

Comparing it with the federal level, I believe, is comparing apples and oranges. Electing a federal Parliament is presenting to other countries an image of Canada, is managing national defence, is being involved in things that are very fundamental to the structure and society of this country as a whole. But when you are dealing with municipal governments, you are dealing with the provision of municipal services.

I was hoping the member for Waterloo North would give us a rationale this evening as to the purpose of his amendment. I hoped he would say why he believes that citizenship is a necessary qualification for voting in municipal elections any more than any one of a number of other characteristics of human beings might be a criterion for selecting electors in a municipal election. We suggest at the municipal level it is perfectly appropriate for everyone who has been resident in the municipality and in this country for a reasonable length of time to be an elector and to have a say in the way the municipality is run.

I am amazed that the member for Essex South, who is so involved in this, of all people, would see it as appropriate to select individuals for voting qualifications in a municipal election based on the criterion of Canadian citizenship. It seems to be perfectly appropriate that those who pay municipal taxes should have a say in how the municipal government spends those taxes. Unless the member for Essex Sooth is prepared to say that persons who are not Canadian citizens should not be required to pay taxes. If that is the approach he wishes to take, then I would challenge him to say that clearly. But if people are to pay taxes in this country to the municipal level of government, then they should be allowed to say how those tax dollars are to be spent.

We cannot accept the amendment that has been placed by the member for Waterloo North.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Chairman, I was most interested to arrive on the scene and hear the comments by the member for Wentworth with respect to this amendment that is before the House.

Perhaps one of the happiest days I will ever have in this Legislature is when the term “or other British subject” is removed from every bill in Ontario. I believe the requirement of citizenship is the one that is the only appropriate circumstance in every item of Ontario legislation, whatever its background. For those who have not achieved that distinction, or do not choose to, they are allowed, I should think, to enjoy the government of the province, to pay their taxes and to abide by the laws as they are made by Canadian citizens.

It may surprise you, Mr. Chairman, or some of the members of this House, to learn that I am, without question, a complete monarchist. I believe in the crown in Canada, I believe in the whole circumstance of this form of government, but I believe even more so in the particulars of Canadian citizenship.

Some honourable members may recall a few years ago I brought forward a private bill that would have set out this circumstance and would have made it somewhat more precise even than the amendments that have come to legislation since then. I believe the payment of taxation can be allowed and indeed presumed on the basis of residency within a municipality and on the basis of age. But I also believe the matter of Canadian citizenship, if we have any pride in this country at all, is one whose time has long since come.

Next year, Mr. Chairman, we will have the 50th anniversary of the statute of Westminster whereby this nation became a self-governing dominion under the crown and with the connections we have grown to cherish -- and enjoyed cherishing -- over these last 50 years. The whole idea of a commonwealth of nations is something new to the history of mankind. We have enjoyed this benefit, and we have also enjoyed the opportunities given by the traditions we all share.

I placed a question on the Order Paper some time ago with respect to the definition in Ontario of the term “British subject.” I received an answer at some length from the ministry that set out the repetition of the Citizenship Act, 1974, which recognizes the expression “citizen of the Commonwealth.” As a matter of general interest, in case anyone in the province wonders, there is no such thing as a British subject. The term no longer exists. It is meaningless; that is to say, it has no meaning. Whether it should have a relevance or an involvement or a tradition is all very interesting, but the term as such has no meaning.

Every person who is a citizen or national of a Commonwealth country under the federal statute is said to have the status of a citizen of the Commonwealth. I believe the term “British Commonwealth” is also passé because that does not exist either. But the Commonwealth of Nations exists and the citizenship in which we are all involved has a certain prominence and reflection on that theme.

The amendment my colleague from Waterloo North has moved is one I agree with entirely. I think it is time, if this nation is to mean anything, we stand up solely, responsibly and clearly on the basis of Canadian citizenship. I recognize the problem that there are those who say if persons have entered the nation and taken up residency, they should have some say in what goes on. Well, I am prepared to draw the line. I am prepared to say the benefit of government, the benefit of involvement in the community, the benefit of paying taxes, indeed, is a reflection of their residency here in Canada. If a line must be drawn, I am prepared to draw the line on the statement that I do not think a person who is not a Canadian citizen has achieved the responsibility and opportunity for voting in any level of government.

It is a difficult decision to make because, as we look around the city of Toronto, the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, indeed throughout the entire province, we find many thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of persons who are moving to the stage of taking up the opportunity of Canadian citizenship. I think it is perhaps satisfactory that it be a goal and a challenge for persons to achieve that distinction.

This is not to denigrate in any way the homeland from which any one of these persons may have come to join us in Canada. It is no denigration any more than it was for my great-grandfather to take a boat from Germany and spend 40 days or so at sea before he finally landed here. And so it is for all of us because, whatever our roots are, they go back to some connection with persons who have chosen to come to this community, to this province, to this nation because life was going to be better here.

8:20 p.m.

We have all had that relationship. We have had the relationship from almost every nation under the sun, as persons have chosen to come here, have had the opportunity to come here, have rejoiced in the fact that they could take on a lifestyle here in Ontario, in Canada, and would join the rest of us who really came only a bit earlier, in this whole task. I believe this amendment is a most worthy one. I believe the time has come and it is important, as I said some time ago, to set out Canadian citizenship.

We have seen in this last while through the referendum circumstance in Quebec, through the desire of various of our other provinces to have changes within our society, the bubbling up of a ferment which is going to involve us all, probably more than we wish, in this next several years. We have ways of dealing with the framework in which our society exists. One of those ways is to champion Canadian citizenship. In my respectful submission, nothing else is good enough.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, I am delighted to speak briefly on this important amendment. It is not the first time it has been debated in this House, and I don’t want to detract in any way by my comments from the excellent statements made by the honourable member who proposed the amendment and my colleague the member for Kitchener, who have stated our position very well and very clearly.

I believe we should offer every possible encouragement to those people who come to Canada to live here, to make their way here, to raise their families and take part in the life of our nation, to become Canadian citizens. If we were to accept the suggestion made by the member for Wentworth and extend the municipal franchise to those people who are here for a period of time and may or may not stay, then I submit that in fact we take away not only the responsibilities of citizenship but those attributes that really make it worthwhile.

For many years, there was no such thing as a Canadian citizenship and I am very glad that the wisdom of Parliament some years ago established this very important designation. Those of you who have a Canadian passport in your possession might be surprised when you open it and read the small print, even in the most modern passports, that all of us are still designated as British subjects. I don’t think it is any particular racial prejudice on my part when I say that I deeply and personally resent this.

I believe the Parliament of Canada, in its wisdom and power, should certainly have by now designated all of us, who are citizens of this nation, as Canadian citizens and nothing else. The allegiance we owe to the monarch is as Queen of Canada. My colleague the member for Kitchener has expressed his views and in so doing expressed mine better than I could have done so myself. Our allegiance to the monarch is without question. We don’t perhaps parade it quite as prominently as some members of the Legislature do from time to time, but that is getting to be a bit of a political joke as far as that particular honourable member is concerned.

I do believe, however, that the present municipal election statute is extremely misleading. The member for Kitchener indicated that an answer officially given to him, when he questioned the significance of the present wording having to do with British subjects, was that the meaning was unclear. I, too have inquired of our newly expanded library staff, in preparation for the brief debate tonight -- I believe it will be brief -- and I am informed that residents and citizens of a very large number of countries have the right to vote if they are 18 years of age and have lived in a municipality for a year.

It includes 11 of Her Majesty’s dominions. It includes 16 republics which are part of the Commonwealth. It includes four monarchies, including Western Samoa, Malaysia, the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Kingdom of Swaziland. It includes 25 of Her Majesty’s dependent territories and the protectorate of the British Solomon Islands and the Anglo-French condominium of the New Hebrides. That means that these people, who are welcome to our shores, have the right to vote under the terms of the statute we are attempting to amend.

I would hope the House leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, who is even now reluctantly joining us, would give his support to this amendment whose time has come. Surely it is important for all of us as members of this House once and for all to commit ourselves to the importance of Canadian citizenship and see that the amendment put forward by my honourable friend is carried.

I have a good deal of interest in and some sympathy with the amendment that may or may not be proposed later in the evening by the member for Wentworth. But I simply say again that immigrants have been welcome in Canada since its inception and in many respects their talents are essential to us even yet, as we see the numbers that must be brought in, in spite of our levels of unemployment, in order to do certain professional jobs, technical jobs and even hard hand-labour jobs that we seem either unable or unwilling to do with our present work force. If we are going to give Canadian citizenship a value, at the very top of that list must be the right of citizens to vote and the inadmissibility of others to take part in the democratic process at any level in our country.

I would submit that the time for passage of this amendment is here, and we would certainly expect the support of all the right-thinking and progressive members of this House.

Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Chairman, briefly, I support the amendment before us. I just want to take a moment to make the observation that while we are discussing an amendment to the Municipal Act, I do not think that anybody in this chamber -- certainly I do not -- sees this amendment and this whole discussion in isolation from those other matters that we have talked about at some length.

Very recently we spent what I thought was an important week in which 60 or 70 MPPs made a contribution to a specific resolution before us, with the background of the Quebec referendum about to come. During the course of those comments and contributions that other members made, there was at least a common strain throughout the speeches that we all had great pride in this country and a great hope for the future in this country.

It follows that we had great pride in Canadian citizenship. It seems to me it is important to carry forward that same attitude to this discussion on this particular bill and not to sever it off as something separate and apart from the other matter that faces and confronts us all as concerned Canadians. I do think it is time to make this appropriate change. It is my intention to vote for it. By doing so, I think that there is absolutely no reflection upon the term British subject and what it has been in the past. I think that goes without saying for every member in this Legislature.

There are times when one approaches discussions like this by looking at one’s own personal background. The fact that my wife’s family, being European born, arrived in this country from the Netherlands and did not have precisely and identically the same opportunities to vote as an arrival from the British Commonwealth of Nations is a great concern. I could not justify that to myself. I think the common thread of citizenship is the one we should honour.

I compliment the member for bringing in this amendment and I intend to vote for it.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Chairman, I will make my comments short as several members have also spoken on this very important amendment put forward by the member for Waterloo North.

I would like to echo the support that has been mentioned by many members of the House and say that I am very pleased this amendment has been brought forward. I, for one, am very proud I am a Canadian. I can recall that when our family came from Italy, at that particular time we had to wait five years in order to become Canadian citizens, a time which then was probably too long. The three-year time period is much better.

8:30 p.m.

I want to tell the member for Wentworth that we were honoured to go to the citizenship court and to become Canadian citizens. There should be no embarrassment for anyone to walk down to the citizenship court and to swear allegiance to his country. We came to Canada to become Canadians.

In closing, I would like to say it is just not fair that people who will not become Canadian citizens should have that ultimate right in our society -- that is, to elect their governments.

Mr. C. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, I too am pleased to stand in support of this amendment. Although I am sure we have a feeling for this subject, had we known this amendment might have come earlier, we might have had a full-fledged caucus on it and spent some considerable time on it.

The words of the member for Kitchener were put eloquently, as only he can in this chamber. They brought back to us that we do not have those many items that we get, and they are so simple to get, yet so cherished by so many people throughout the world.

It takes so very little to become a citizen of this country. One can have it by birth or one can earn it. I am sure if many people could see what we have in this great land, and particularly this great province, there would be a greater beating on our doors to become Canadian citizens.

Once here, whether he or she is a British subject, why not accept that challenge to become a Canadian citizen? It is so little trouble to do so.

The member for Essex South (Mr. Mancini) mentioned that he has attended citizenship court. This forthcoming Monday, I will again have the honour of attending, in my riding, a citizenship court where there will be some 100 people acquiring that thing we call Canadian citizenship.

I am sure when we attend the sports events of the world, when we watch our armies go forth, our politicians, our diplomats, we take great pride in being Canadian. We look to them and our hearts beat rather rapidly, the goosebumps come up and that shivering feeling goes through us. That is being a Canadian.

I think if one wants to become a Canadian and participate in the governing feature of this great land, one should be a Canadian. I do not want to say anything less of those people who are here who may have the label “British subject” upon them, but it takes so very little and yet means so much to change that from British subject to a Canadian -- that which we are all proud to be.

We can also say to ourselves that being a Canadian is much more than a birthright, it is much more than being able to cast that vote, it is much more than being able to pay taxes here, it is much more than all of those things. It is difficult at times to measure it. Yet it is that feeling, that supreme greatness of being a Canadian, one which I have been proud to be when I have travelled on behalf of this government and on behalf of myself, travelling about the province and about the world.

Mr. Chairman, it is so very important that we do pay allegiance to this amendment and possibly that long-awaited amendment will come to the Ontario act. Although I am sure it was with some political reluctance, the federal government also took the step and made voting in the federal area contingent upon being a Canadian citizen. Possibly Ontario will be the next, even though we will possibly have that step in between. The municipalities now are doing one thing, the federal government is doing another and the province is doing another. Possibly they will all get into line at some point.

I’m sure this side of the House hasn’t done it, and the members opposite I’m sure haven’t done it. When we look at the reverse situation, at those people who are pleased to be here from other countries, I’m sure if we were to look at those countries -- and I’ve heard the member for Wentworth challenge that this is wrong -- if we were to look at those countries, where many of those people were from that we welcome to our shore, and we were to do the reverse, I’m sure the same opportunities would certainly not be available to us, if we were to go to those countries without going through the stages of citizenship and maybe even more stages that we have here.

I think it’s so very little to ask of those people who wish to participate in our governing operation, that we at least ask them to be Canadian citizens.

Mr. Epp: On a point of order: Mr. Chairman, I respect the remarks of the member for Simcoe Centre. He did point out that the caucus didn’t have an opportunity to discuss the amendment. I just want to point out to the House that this amendment was shared with the other two parties two weeks ago, and both parties could have had an opportunity of discussing it in their caucus last Tuesday. It was shared with the parliamentary assistant and with the critic from the NDP.

Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Chairman, we have an amendment and a notice of an amendment before us, both of which have been debated several times before in this Legislature. They were debated in May 1972, in May 1974, and in November and December of 1977. Most of us were present for those past debates and have somewhat of a feeling of déjà vu because all the rhetoric before us this evening is basically the same we had from the same people several years ago.

The amendment proposed and the amendment before us are really diametrically opposed. The amendment proposed by the member for Waterloo North would restrict the number of people who would be able to vote in the forthcoming municipal election. The amendment that will be proposed by the member for Wentworth would allow more and more people to vote in the forthcoming municipal election.

Mr. Bradley: And where do you stand?

Mr. Rotenberg: I’m standing in my place at the moment.

Right now the act provides, and has for all the history of the province and the history of all the municipalities of this province, for Canadian citizens or other British subjects to be allowed to vote. As one of the members opposite has indicated, “British subject” is now and is still a legal designation within the country of Canada and within the province of Ontario. But I was impressed by some of the things the member for Kitchener had to say, that there are a number of acts in which the term “British subject” is used and he indicated they should all be done in a package.

As I say, we have these two amendments before us. I think I should indicate to the Legislature I will not support either of these amendments this evening. I would say to the House, however, that in my opinion the amendment put forward by the member for Waterloo North at least has some merit and is worth looking at, whereas I don’t think there is any merit whatsoever in the amendment from the member for Wentworth.


Mr. Rotenberg: I must be getting to them because they’re rambunctious this evening.

This has been the situation for years. There are people in this country and within this province, both provincial and municipal electors, who have been voting for years as British subjects. It would seem to me that to disfranchise all of these people, to deprive them of their vote some five months from now when the municipal election takes place really is not fair.

If the people who are British subjects did not now have a vote, I think there would be merit in saying, “Don’t extend the vote to those who are not Canadian citizens.” But because these people have had a vote for so many years, for over a century, I think it would be wrong to take it away from them at this time.

In the second last federal election there were so many complaints, as I’m sure all of those who worked for federal candidates found, and we on this side worked for our federal candidates. I am sure there were many complaints.

8:40 p.m.

Mr. Breithaupt: Are you bragging about that?

Mr. Rotenberg: Yes, there were many complaints.

Mr. Nixon: What a disappointment the member is, parroting the old line they feed him through the back door.

Mr. Rotenberg: There were many complaints from many people who had voted for years in this country, who have lived in this country for years who, from their point of view, without notice from the federal government, suddenly had their vote taken away from them. I do not think we should do it.

Mr. Breithaupt: That was done in 1970 to be in effect after 1975. The 1979 election was the first occasion.

Mr. Mancini: Let them become Canadians.

Mr. Chairman: Order. The member for Wilson Heights has the floor.

Mr. Rotenberg: Having said that, and I do not want to go into all the ramifications because anyone who wants to can read the Hansards from 1972, 1974 and 1977. As I say, I think there is a point that has been made by the member for Waterloo North and other members of the caucus that this matter should be reviewed. It is my personal opinion that we should be taking a look, not at this one section of the Municipal Elections Act -- I am sure if the section carried the member for Waterloo North would move an amendment on the next section -- but I think there is merit in having a look at the whole subject of British subjects within our general legislation.

I am not saying we should do it, but I am saying that we should at least have a look at the legislation and whether or not we should change it. Certainly, there is no way we can condone taking the municipal franchise away from British subjects unless we also do it for provincial elections. All this should be considered at once, and all this should be considered as a package.

Having heard the points raised by the members of the Liberal caucus this evening, I think we should at least have a look at this at some time in the future, but I do not think we should be amending the legislation this evening.

Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Chairman, I want to speak very briefly in support of the amendment put forward by my colleague from Waterloo North and, as a preface to these very few words, suggest that the member for Wilson Heights cannot have it both ways.

Mr. Nixon: On a point of order: Just before the honourable gentlemen leaves the gallery, I want to bring to your attention, Mr. Chairman, that our good friend, my favourite former Liberal, the member for Humber (Mr. MacBeth) and his wife are celebrating their 35th anniversary today and we want to wish them the best. What better place to celebrate than here, the best show in town.

Mr. Van Horne: I was going to submit to you, Mr. Chairman, that the member for Wilson Heights could not have it both ways, but in deference to my colleague from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk who made reference to the member for Humber as being a former Liberal and who also is celebrating his 35th wedding anniversary here with his wife, it would seem that he is, in fact, having it both ways. I would also like to offer my congratulations to him.

Very briefly, Mr. Chairman, in reference to the remarks made by the member for Wilson Heights, I do not see how he can follow his argument through because in fact we either snake the point or we do not. In my view we make the point very nicely because in essence this amendment says, “Look, in obtaining my Canadian citizenship I am prepared to prove some kind of desire or willingness to be a part of this community. I am prepared to do something for the privilege I am about to receive. I do not want to be a part of a handout society, a part of a society that can get something without any kind of effort in the getting.”

What the amendment speaks to is that kind of willingness which the people coming into our country are prepared to present and that they should want to do something for the privilege they are to receive.

Mr. Isaacs: Mr. Chairman, it has been suggested to me that the orderly business of the committee of the whole House might best be served if the amendment I was intending to move in a moment be moved as an amendment to this amendment.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Isaacs moves that the amendment be amended by striking out all the words after “therefor” and substituting therefor the following words:

“12. A person is entitled to be an elector in a municipality if he is not disqualified under this or any other act or otherwise prohibited by law from voting in the election, and if at any time during the period commencing on the Tuesday following the first Monday in September in an election year and ending on the Wednesday in October that precedes polling day by 19 days, he (a) is a resident in such municipality; (b) has been a permanent resident of Canada for a period of at least three years; and (c) has attained the age of 18 years on or before polling day.”

Mr. Isaacs: Mr. Chairman, I think the debate this evening is an important debate. Given the comments from the other side of the House, I was wondering whether it would be productive or useful to move this amendment at this time because I am gaining the impression that the amendment moved by the member for Waterloo North may carry this evening. We have discussed this matter in caucus and I have reviewed the past debates on this matter.

I think there are two important concepts that are worth taking into account. The first is the matter of who should be allowed to vote in a municipal election. I want to remind members that at the present time people who own residential property in a municipality, but are only temporary occupants of that property, are entitled to vote in municipal elections.

That is the thing we had to deal with last year when we were discussing the pattern of voting and the structure of local government in the Georgian Bay archipelago, which the member for Parry Sound (Mr. Maeck) is very familiar with. The key issue behind all that was, do we allow people who don’t live in the area to carry the same weight as those who do? After some debate in this House and some discussion as to appropriate amendments, it was, in a sense, decided that all those who live within the municipality should be given the opportunity to vote, even if their residence in the municipality is for only a few days or weeks out of the 52 weeks in the year. We have accepted the concept that one doesn’t have to have a commitment to the municipality as a permanent resident in order to be able to vote in that municipality. I may have some disagreement with that in the long term, but for the time being that has been the decision of this House.

The other matter that is being discussed is the concept we have of Canadian citizenship, the purpose of citizenship and the responsibility of people who come to this country to take out citizenship. I want to say I concur entirely with the comments of the member for Essex South in terms of encouraging people to take out citizenship and of doing everything we can to persuade those who come to this country to take upon themselves the responsibility that goes with Canadian citizenship.

I think one has to step hack for one moment from that position and ask oneself what steps it is reasonable to take to encourage a person to take out Canadian citizenship. One could take much more extreme measures than denying an individual the right to vote. In the United States it is impossible to become President unless one is born in the United States. We could have similar legislation here, but we do not. I am all the more proud to be a Canadian citizen because we do not go in for that kind of thing they have south of the border.

If we want to go that one step further and say to people, “You shall have no say in any government in this country until you become a Canadian citizen,” then I think we are moving a little toward the American view of citizenship, which is not the view that is held universally around this world. There are countries where citizenship is desperately important to the people of that country. There are other countries where citizenship is something that is acquired almost in a casual kind of way and where it is not relevant for any material purpose as to whether one is a citizen or whether one is not a citizen.

8:50 p.m.

I think it is a worthwhile debate that we are having here tonight. I respect the view on the side of those who are saying we should apply that extra pressure to encourage people to become Canadian citizens. But I still feel very strongly that when we are dealing with municipal elections and the grass-roots level of government, that is not a criterion it is appropriate to apply.

The member for Armourdale said, “Why not accept the challenge?” There are people who have lived in this country for 10, 20, 30, 40, and some for more than 40 years who have chosen not to take up Canadian citizenship although their commitment to this country in every respect is as great as the commitment I know every single member of this House has. For their own reasons, those people feel there is something about their birthland, about the country from which they came to this country, that is important to them and that they would lose if they were to take up Canadian citizenship.

The unfortunate part about it, as the member for Kitchener just pointed out, is that some people in this world can have it both ways. There are people who are allowed to hold dual citizenship. I submit to the minister that for people who can hold dual citizenship, taking out Canadian citizenship is not nearly the experience it is for those who are not permitted to take out dual citizenship.

We have to have respect for the views of the people who have been long-term residents of this country, who do have a commitment to this country and who, for whatever reason, have decided they, at least at the present time, do not wish to become Canadian citizens. I would join with everyone who would want to do everything possible to encourage them, except I would not deny them the franchise in municipal elections for the level of government closest to the people.

I want to wind up with one final comment, Mr. Chairman. That is about the comment from the member for Wilson Heights who suggested my amendment has no merit in his view. In my view, the argument he put forward for the status quo is totally, utterly and completely without merit. I hope very sincerely that tonight this House deals with this matter one way or the other rather than maintaining the status quo as the member for Wilson Heights has requested.

Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Chairman, the member for Wentworth has now placed his amendment of which he gave notice as an amendment to the amendment. I would simply repeat, as I indicated a few moments ago, I will not support the amendment to the amendment as put forward by the member for Wentworth, because I feel there should be, as someone said, a commitment to this country for those who vote.

One other point: The member for London North indicated something about us over here not being able to have it both ways. The members of the Liberal Party have been talking about people coming into the country who should make a commitment. I cannot disagree with that. But what worries me, and the point I was trying to make and possibly did not make all that well, is there are people who have been in this country for many years; who are quite loyal to this country; who came to this country at a time when there possibly was not even the availability of Canadian citizenship; who came under the rules of the time as British subjects and who have full complete rights within this country. I would submit those people who have voted in this country, some for 30, 40 or 50 years, should not be disfranchised.

Possibly one of the ways of solving this problem -- I say just “possibly” -- might be some form of grandfather clause that those who are in the country, who have been British subjects before, should be allowed to continue to vote, and those who come in from now on would have to be citizens. That is one possibility. There may be others. As I say there is merit at least in looking at those things.

To the member for London North, I am not trying to have it both ways. I am saying that people who have voted in this country for years should not be disfranchised. People who come into this country anew, I could possibly agree, should have to make a different commitment because that commitment is available now.

Mr. Chairman, as I say, I will not support the amendment of the member for Wentworth, and I will not support the main amendment.

Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Chairman: I think perhaps it should be brought to the attention of the government that there are many other situations in the world where at the municipal level people are allowed to vote regardless of their citizenship. A prime example is Belgium where for the last 40 years people who have been a resident of a municipality have been allowed to vote. The concept is that when one votes at the municipal level one votes to elect representatives who look after one’s immediate interests and deal with problems that do not become entangled with the security of the state, foreign policy or defence. They look after immediate problems -- roads, sewers, garbage collection -- which affect every resident regardless of his citizenship.

I think that in countries or in political settings that are different from Canada, such as the European Economic Community, this is becoming the rule. There is a very large movement of workers and their families from one country to another over there. While on one hand it is made clear that they cannot decide on the general political direction of the country, they are allowed to vote at the municipal level -- for the school board, as a matter of fact.

In Canada we have a very special situation: we have people coming from all over the world, immigrants from the British Isles the Commonwealth and other countries, to make Canada their permanent residence. In some instances there are countries where the law does not allow citizens to acquire Canadian citizenship unless they give up their original rights in their homeland. Therefore there are situations that we should look at very carefully: where we have people who would like to become Canadian citizens but could only do so at the risk of losing their rights in their country of origin. They would lose not only their political or social rights but also their properties or houses. In many instances they lose their status and therefore their rights.

Canada has a very liberal citizenship law and I think it is the best in the world. In fact, it is the only country in the world where once one becomes a Canadian citizen he is always a Canadian citizen, unless he gives notice in writing that he no longer wants to be one.

I think that liberality should be expanded to elections at the local level -- allowing all those people who are loyal to Canada, who come to this country and give their contribution to living in this great country and in this great province -- but who for political reasons in their country of origin cannot give up their citizenship.

We should allow them to vote. I think the government should look very seriously at this. It would be a very symbolic gesture on the part of the government. On the other hand it would allow many residents of Ontario to take part in the political process at the local level without endangering the integrity of the country or its foreign policy or its defence.

Mr. M. N. Davison: Mr. Chairman, I intend to support the amendment put forward by my colleague for Wentworth. Part of the reason for my support comes not because I only believe intrinsically and inherently in what is the purpose of the bill, but also because I represent one of those communities in our province that has large numbers of immigrants coming to it on a regular and frequent basis.

9 p.m.

My riding is the centre of immigration in that region of the province. These then are people who are my neighbours, people I deal with on a day-to-day basis. That is what is at the heart of this. People who have not yet become Canadian citizens, or for one reason or another may not become Canadian citizens, although they remain for long periods of time as residents in Canada, should have some say in the day-to-day life of our community.

I was rather struck by the argument put forward by the member for Downsview in speaking about the situation in Belgium. It was quite interesting. We are not asking that these people be voting on matters of national defence and such, but on matters such as neighbourhood and community planning and garbage collection. I think it is a useful addition to the laws in this country that our cities be communities, that they be communities of all their citizens, communities of all the people living there.

As long as we continue at the municipal level to draw distinctions, whether it is because one is or one is not a British subject or one is or is not a Canadian citizen, we hurt ourselves and we hurt our own cities and our own communities because we exclude from full participation in the communities a certain number of people. I think that is an error that we can correct. If there is some sense in the Conservative Party that some change will be made tonight, I would suggest that change not be simply to limit voting at the municipal level to Canadian citizens, but to open it up and realize that our cities should be complete communities, communities of all their residents.

The member for Wentworth has put forward a good amendment. I think that at the municipal level people can become involved in the political experience in Canada. Perhaps that will lead to some more of them becoming Canadian citizens after they have had a chance to involve themselves in that process. It is a good amendment and I recommend it.

Mr. M. Davidson: Mr. Chairman, I too would like to rise and speak in favour of the amendment placed by the member for Wentworth. I do so because, like my colleague from Hamilton Centre, I have within my community 11 different ethnic communities, the largest of which is a Portuguese community that numbers approximately 12,000 people.

I would like to point out that within this amendment the member for Wentworth has taken into consideration the qualification period for attaining Canadian citizenship, that is, a period of three years. He has included in his amendment that one must be resident within that municipality and must have attained the eligible voting age.

For the life of me, living very close to the Kitchener-Waterloo area and knowing full well the number of ethnic people who live within that area, I find it very hard to understand the Liberal amendment, given the fact that they are saying in effect one must be a Canadian citizen before one has the right to vote. I would like to point out that within my community there are many of the people who, under the provisions of the bill presented by the government and under the amendment put forward by the Liberal Party, would be disfranchised from participating within their municipality -- and I want to emphasize that -- in terms of who would represent them, particularly in a ward system.

I would further point out that it is from these same people both the government and the Liberal Party apparently would like the municipalities to claim taxes. In many cases they are, and have been since their arrival in this country, home owners, and, like any other members of our community, they are required to pay income tax, municipal tax and whatever else there may be. In other words they pay the same shot as anyone else living within a municipality. They pay it, they maintain their homes and in many cases they upgrade their homes. Through that upgrading, taxes on their homes are increased.

I do not know why the government side or the Liberals would want to disenfranchise these people from having a right to elect someone within the ward in which they live to represent them at the municipal level of government.

Mr. Kerrio: To pick up the garbage.

Mr. M. Davidson: Basically we are talking about -- and the member for Niagara Falls is absolutely right -- how and who and why we pick up the garbage, whether it is picked up, and various other things. We are not talking about their right to participate in provincial or federal elections. We are talking about their right to become full partners within the community in which they live, full partners in the sense that not only do they have to pay the same as everyone else living within that community, but also they have the right to choose who should represent them in the area in which they live.

Many of our ethnic groups within this province and within our municipalities already have far too much taken from them. I think it is time we in this Legislative Assembly started to give a little bit. By giving a little bit, maybe we can create a better community, not only for those who have newly arrived and taken residence within our communities. Perhaps we can create a better society for each of us, including myself and many others in this House, who were born and raised in Ontario. We are talking about human beings and their right to have representation. I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, if people are paying the portion of their dues to live in a community, they surely should have the right to choose who will represent them in that community.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Chairman, I rise to vote against the amendment for a very simple reason.


Mr. Kerrio: The members of the Socialist party have stood up one after the other and suggested the tasks performed within a municipality are very menial. They pointed to picking up garbage and other things they figure anyone should be able to vote about.


Mr. Kerrio: There is a very significant involvement at the municipal level that they have failed to bring to this table. That is the education of our children. If that group over there thinks that picking up the garbage and educating our children are on the same plane, that tells us the kind of mentality that prevails.


Mr. Deputy Chairman: A little order, please, for the member for Niagara Falls.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Chairman, I hear that kind of noise in the front row every day at the works at my son’s factory. It does not disturb me at all.

The members to the left talk about the fact people should be entitled to come into our country and not play the kind of role our people here, in the amendment we presented, are suggesting is a vital role. That is akin to having someone come as an invited guest to one’s home and participate in everything that happens. At some juncture, if they are going to live there permanently, they should have a larger stake.

We have been very remiss in the federal and provincial governments in that we have not decided long before now if an immigrant comes to this country, he is very welcome, he is going to have everything this great country has to offer, but at some juncture he is asked to be a proud Canadian by applying for and getting Canadian citizenship. I do not think we would lose too many immigrants coming to this country by doing that.

9:10 p.m.

I happen to have had a unique experience as it relates to my own family. My father was an immigrant from Italy at the turn of the century. He married a lady from England before he acquired Canadian citizenship. She had to go and get a passport to go back to England to visit her motherland. I want to tell you that’s the kind of involvement we have in citizenship that really has never been meaningful or set up in such a way that everyone understands it.

I would have to think they would be more than willing when they are asked to come to migrate to this country to take a very responsible position at the federal level and at the provincial level. I tell those people over there that there is more than garbage picked up at the municipal level. That is where our children become educated and it is a very important part of their life. I would like to see Canadian citizens making those determinations.

Mr. Wildman: Mr. Chairman, I wasn’t going to participate in this debate but I was provoked by the member for Niagara Falls. It just seems to me very unfortunate and somewhat tragic that a party which at least professes to follow the philosophy of John Stuart Mill would be now advocating disfranchising a number of people in this country. They are actually trying to contract the franchise and to make it smaller. Surely a party that believes in democracy believes in giving the right to vote as widely as possible, especially in municipal affairs, which are not menial as the previous speaker said.

Mr. Kerrio: No they said it was menial.

Mr. Wildman: We did not. We said they were immediate.

Mr. Kerrio: You said it was menial. I didn’t.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: The member for Algoma has the floor.

Mr. Wildman: The point we were making is a point that completely passed the member --

Mr. Kerrio: Those Socialists want world citizenship.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.

Mr. Wildman: I believe in world citizenship. I don’t believe in war. I agree with that. The point is that the member for Niagara Falls missed the point completely. He said himself that certain things that are done at the municipal level, such as education, are very important. We agree with that and they are very important to everyone who lives in that municipal jurisdiction. That is why the people who live within that municipal jurisdiction should have a say in what is done in things like education and should have a say on how their tax dollars are going to be spent in order to provide education for their children.

It is inconceivable to me that the member for Niagara Falls would mistake the word “immediate” for “menial,” but he apparently has done that. It is exactly because it is important, and all of these matters are important, that we should be doing all we can to expand the franchise and to make our society and our municipal governments more democratic rather than less democratic.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Chairman, I have been similarly provoked by the member for Niagara Falls and I will tell him that while I reject his arguments, I share his conclusion.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Isaacs’ amendment to the amendment will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the nays have it.

Motion negatived.

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

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the ayes have it.

Amendment stacked.

Sections 4 to 12, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 13:

Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment to section 13 which adds a few words to the end of the clause.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Rotenberg moves that section 36(1)(a) of the act as set out in section 13(2) of the bill be amended by adding at the end thereof, “in the election to such office.”

Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Chairman, very briefly, the intent of the section is that a nominator must be eligible to vote for the office concerned. As I said, inadvertently those last few words were left off this clause. The way it is written now, in the city ward system, a person from any ward can nominate in any other ward. This is just to make it plain that to be a nominator one must be included on the list and entitled to vote for election of such office. That is, one must be able to vote for the office to which one nominates. This was the intention of the act but, as I say, the words were left out. I would ask for the support of the House for this amendment.

Motion agreed to.

Section 13, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 14 to 28, inclusive, agreed to.

On motion by Mr. Rotenberg, the committee of the whole House reported progress.

9:20 p.m.


Mr. Rotenberg, on behalf of Hon. Mr. Wells, moved second reading of Bill 69, An Act to amend the District Municipality of Muskoka Act.

Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Speaker, I would like to provide a brief summary of the various provisions of this bill which are basically housekeeping amendments.

Section 1 seeks to make section 390b of the Municipal Act, which was enacted last fall, applicable to the district of Muskoka. This will permit the district council to provide benefits such as group life, accident, medical and hospital care insurance to members of council and to the district chairman.

Section 2 proposes to delete the requirement that the district council pass a road consolidation bylaw every five years. The council will now be able to use its own good judgement as to when such consolidations are appropriate.

Section 3 proposes to delete one subsection of the Muskoka Act which is now redundant because it makes reference to provisions in the Homes for the Aged and Rest Home Act which no longer exist.

Section 4 seeks to make section 455 of the Municipal Act applicable to Muskoka which will permit district council to purchase or rent machinery in future. It will also validate all past purchases and rentals.

Mr. Speaker, all of these provisions have already been approved by this Legislature in various other acts. I want to ask the support of this Legislature for this bill.

Mr. Epp: Mr. Speaker, I just want to indicate that we will be supporting the various sections of this bill. These various items have been dealt with in similar form in other bills dealing with other municipal jurisdictions across the province and, obviously, we have supported them and we will also support them in this particular case.

Mr. Isaacs: My colleagues and I have reviewed this bill with our usual thoroughness and I want to concur with the comments made by my friend from Waterloo North that there has been adequate debate on these four provisions under other bills and we will be supporting this bill.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for third reading.


Mr. Rotenberg, on behalf of Hon. Mr. Wells, moved second reading of Bill 81, An Act to amend certain Acts respecting Regional Municipalities.

Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Speaker, I move for second reading today, An Act to amend certain Acts respecting Regional Municipalities. This bill proposes to confer on the regional council the legal authority to provide such benefits as group life, accident, medical and hospital care insurance to all members of council. Also, it seeks to eliminate the present requisite of regional councils to pass a road consolidation bylaw every five years.

With respect to the act for the regions of York and Niagara, it seeks to remove a provision that refers to a section of the Homes for the Aged and Rest Homes Act that is no longer in existence. These provisions are similar to those we just passed in the Muskoka bill.

There are several other amendments which are proposed to individual regional acts. One amendment would place the apportionment of general regional costs in the regional municipality of Niagara on the basis of weighted equalized assessment. This basis is at present used in most regions and in all counties in Ontario. A further amendment would provide the Sudbury regional council with the same flexibility in apportioning costs that counties have under section 507 of the Municipal Act. The bill also includes a provision conferring to the regional municipality of York responsibility for solid waste disposal in that region.

In addition, the regional municipality of Halton would be empowered to obtain land and construct or renovate buildings to be utilized by the Halton Children’s Aid Society and to lease such property to the society.

The bill proposes two minor boundary adjustments, one between the region of Hamilton-Wentworth and Halton, and one between the regions of Hamilton-Wentworth and Waterloo. With respect to the regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth, the bill seeks to clarify that senior police officers who are taken into the regional police force from the former city of Hamilton police force may retire on completing 35 years’ service or reaching 60 years of age, at their option, such provision being now available to all other members of that police force.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to indicate to you that if and when this bill receives second reading, I would ask that the bill go to committee of the whole House. I have one somewhat technical amendment with respect to the York regional waste section of the bill, which seeks to clarify how disagreements between various municipalities might be handled.

I would commend this bill to the House and ask for its support.

Mr. Epp: Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief. This bill, as did the previous bill, deals with a number of items that we’ve dealt with under different circumstances.

You will recall, Mr. Speaker, that last fall, in dealing with the bill concerning solid waste disposal in the region of York, there was some controversy because some of the municipalities in the region of York were not pleased with the amendment.

At that time it was suggested that the province deal with the region of York and try to iron out the difficulties associated with the bill. They have obviously done that. We congratulate the government on dealing with the region, as they should have done in the first instance, and resolving the problem with the region and the area municipalities before they brought the bill before the Legislature. That has now been done, to the best of our knowledge, to the satisfaction of the various municipalities.

The other particular sections in this bill deal with the police retirement age for the regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth, where there are, I think, five police officers who wanted to retire, as they could have in their former positions with the Hamilton fire department but they couldn’t under the new regional act. That is being corrected. As well, there are some items dealing with the children’s aid society in Halton, and various other items.

We will be supporting the principle of the bill and we will be looking very closely at some of the amendments later on.

Mr. Isaacs: Mr. Speaker, I, too, rise to say only a few words on this bill. The majority of sections are similar to sections we have discussed in other regional bills. However, there are a couple of provisions in here that are a little different and which I think are very worthy of comment.

I was hoping that in his opening comments the parliamentary assistant might explain to us the rationale of permitting the region of Sudbury to apportion regional costs on a basis other than weighted equalized assessment. In other words, it will allow the regional council in Sudbury to decide how to divide up the responsibility for meeting regional costs. At the same time, in regional Niagara, we are switching from equalized assessment to weighted equalized assessment with no opportunity for the region to divide the costs on a basis which it may see as being more fair and equitable than weighted equalized assessment.

The matter of distribution of regional costs, as you probably realize, Mr. Speaker -- though I know the regional government concept has not reached your area, and I’m sure you’re very grateful for that -- is one that is probably the most contentious issue within all 10 of our regional governments at the moment. I think the approach that is being taken in this bill for the regional municipality of Sudbury is a good approach and one which, at least on a short-term basis, may help to deal with some of the serious problems our regional governments are facing.

9:30 p.m.

I say on a short-term basis because I don’t think this provision will survive. I think if we move towards allowing regions to use any basis that seems to them to be fair and equitable for distribution of costs, if we allow that to continue, then in time we will see the dividing of the cost of regional services becoming the single issue that leads to the downfall of all regional governments. I think we have to face the fact that at the present time regional governments are facing a crisis. The approach that is being taken for Sudbury is a worthwhile approach, one that it will be very interesting to monitor and one that when we are looking at other regional acts seems to me to make sense to apply to those other areas, particularly when we look at the region of Niagara.

We have there a very large regional municipality with tremendous disparity of interests, disparity of service levels and disparity of desires of the residents of the various parts of the region of Niagara. We have an opportunity here to allow Niagara to follow the example which this same bill is giving to Sudbury. When we move to committee, I think it is very appropriate to discuss that aspect much further.

In addition, there is a provision in this bill for transferring the responsibility for solid waste disposal in the region of York from the lower-tier council to the regional council. I think that too gives us the opportunity to experiment in some rather innovative ways in terms of the provision of new garbage facilities in York as a model for the rest of the province. That is also an appropriate area for further discussion in committee.

In addition, there are some boundary changes involving my own regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth and two of its neighbours, the region of Halton and the region of Cambridge.

Mr. M. Davidson: Waterloo.

Mr. Isaacs: I am sorry, the region of Waterloo. I have to apologize to my colleague the member for Cambridge. It is of course the region of Waterloo. While those adjustments arise from particular problems that are affecting those two areas that are being transferred from one region to another, I do believe they are appropriate moves and something where we should be prepared to show some flexibility.

Of course other members might have argued that there are perhaps other channels for doing this kind of thing. In this instance, I feel it is quite appropriate that the Legislature itself be involved in moving municipal boundaries. I am sure there would be no objections from residents of the affected area or from residents of neighbouring areas to this boundary adjustment.

Finally, there is a provision in here which clarifies legislation for senior police officers in the Hamilton-Wentworth police force. That Is obviously something which was an oversight when legislation was put in place setting up the regional police force in Hamilton-Wentworth. it is something we welcome because it is not fair for certain people, who have transferred from one jurisdiction that has now been abolished to a new jurisdiction, to suffer because of that transfer. The principle is one we fully support.

We will be supporting this bill on second reading. I was pleased to hear that the parliamentary assistant has already requested that the bill go to committee. Had he not done that, we would have done so in order to move three amendments we feel to be very important.

Mr. Cunningham: Very briefly, Mr. Speaker, I would like personally to thank the minister on this particular occasion for his understanding as it relates to part of part VI of this particular bill. It was at my request that some reconsideration was given to the boundary of Burlington and that part of Hamilton-Wentworth that we refer to as Flamborough. The bill has been amended to clarify the boundary in order to facilitate a rather small residential development that a constituent of mine is contemplating.

The amazing and interesting fact is that for many years people thought that a certain piece of land, the piece that is outlined in the bill, actually belonged to Burlington when it did not. The confusion that has been attendant as a result of this has held up a very legitimate development for a period of two or three years and has been a great expense to a constituent of mine. I appreciate the minister’s considering it at this time.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I want to address myself to Bill 81, An Act to amend certain Acts respecting Regional Municipalities. I thought perhaps we would have individual bills as they related to individual municipalities -- for example, the regional municipality of Niagara.

I was interested in the explanatory note for sections 4 and 5. It was to the effect that these sections apply to the regional municipality of Niagara and to require the Ministry of Revenue not only to revise and equalize but to weigh the assessment rolls of the area municipalities and that part of the rolls relating to merged areas for apportionment purposes. The result of weighing is to discount residential farm assessment and thus moderate the burden of taxation on areas that have lower industrial-commercial assessment.

I can recall bringing to the attention of the Ministry of Revenue the problem that the township of Wainfleet had encountered a year ago, I guess it was. Equalization factors were weighed and applied to the regional municipality, and it had caused some severe difficulties with that municipality. Much of the increase in taxes was at this municipal level in Wainfleld and it was a cost that perhaps they could not bear.

It was the purpose of regional government to share the industrial and commercial assessment with the municipalities that do not have what one might call a reasonable tax base -- that is 60 per cent residential and 40 per cent commercial, or perhaps it could be reversed.

I think Wainfleet was going to make an amendment to its official plan so that they could open up the township for commercial and industrial purposes, and they would share in the prosperity in the community. Of course this would go against the principle of the preservation of farm lands.

So this is a good amendment and we can accept it.

I want to bring to the attention of the House another matter I thought the parliamentary assistant or even the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs would have given consideration to. That was a request from the municipality of Niagara to amend the Municipal Act as it related to representation on the police commission. There was a motion on August 2, 1979, endorsing a resolution from the city of Cambridge requesting that greater representation be given to elected representatives on police commissions, and that they form the majority of their membership. Commissioner Archer, in his report of March 1979 of the Niagara Regional Study Review Commission, recommended that the police consist of five people, two appointed by the province and three by the regional council, including the chairman of the council or his nominee. None of these was to be a member of the judiciary.

The report goes on to say: “Now therefore be it resolved that the council of the regional municipality of Niagara strongly affirm this position concerning representation on the Niagara regional board of commissioners of police and petition that the Regional Municipality of Niagara Act be amended to provide that the said board consist of seven members, four to be elected by members of council and three to be appointed by the Solicitor General.”

I notice they have written another letter to the Premier (Mr. Davis) on June 13, 1980, to bring it to their attention again that the cabinet had reviewed the question. Perhaps there had been no decision here to bring forward this amendment they are requesting.

Police costs in the Niagara region are one of the highest apportionment costs there. I think they outdistance many other areas, such as social and community services and health services. This is a costly item that is being borne by the ratepayers throughout the region and I see no reason why their resolution should not have been accepted and put forward in this amending bill. The police forces in the Niagara region are costly.

9:40 p.m.

I believe there was supposed to have been another study or report brought forward to members of the Legislature related to a study or a dialogue between the minister here and the federal minister about sharing police costs with the federal government. I suggested this on a number of occasions, but I see there has been no effort in this particular area to have the federal government share in the cost of policing.

Under the Niagara region bill, the police department does not now enforce municipal bylaws. They enforce federal and provincial legislation with the taxpayers carrying the biggest cost of providing this service.

Mr. Speaker: What section of the bill is the honourable member referring to?

Mr. Haggerty: I am coming to it, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: I am having difficulty finding it.

Mr. Haggerty: I think you will find it on the last page where it relates to the cost of pensions to police departments in the regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth. That is what I am coming to. It relates to the cost of pensions for policemen who will be retiring at the age of 60 or 65. Under this Hamilton-Wentworth bill, they are given an option to retire at the age of 60 or 65 or after 35 years of service.

As I look at this particular thing, this is going to open a door that other police departments are not aware of, namely, that they can have that third option to retire after 35 years of service. This means policemen could retire at the age of 55. It Is going to be pretty costly to the municipalities to carry those five or 10 years of additional pension for a number of years.

Sometimes it is unfair to those persons who have to take such a retirement because they do lose a good source of income for a period of five years. It does cause some difficulties because of inflation. The cost of living has gone up. I do not know if their pensions are indexed or not. Coming back to what I said before, I think it is time for the federal and provincial governments to get into a cost-sharing scheme on policing for local municipalities. That should have been included in the bill.

Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all the honourable members who expressed support for the bill. I would like to take a moment to answer some of the points that were raised which were either questions or disagreements.

First, the member for Wentworth asked why we were treating Sudbury differently from Niagara. The answer is very simple. The minister announced as a matter of policy about a year ago that certain options would be available to various regional municipalities upon request. Sudbury has asked to be included in this option, which the region of the municipality of Ottawa-Carleton already has. Because Sudbury has asked for this we are granting it to it in the Sudbury section of the bill.

I would point out, however, to the member for Wentworth that it does not allow the region on its own to do this apportionment. Any disagreement between the region and local municipalities must go to the Ontario Municipal Board. However, the region of Niagara has not asked -- I stress -- for any change and it will be put on the same basis as other regions and the various counties.

The member for Erie has raised a number of interesting points about police commissions. I would point out to him that request has come to the government. That request regarding the make-up of the police commissions is not dealt with by the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs, but is dealt with by the Ministry of the Solicitor General. I suggest that at the appropriate time he might address the question to the Solicitor General (Mr. McMurtry) as to just where that request for legislation is at the moment.

With regards to pensions, I would point out that all the other members of the Hamilton-Wentworth regional police force have those pension arrangements. There are six members of the old Hamilton force before merger who did not get the same benefits in the merger that were negotiated for all the rest of the police officers. There is total agreement among the union, the police association and the regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth. This is simply to facilitate the agreement so that all police officers in that region will be treated the same.

As far as the feds paying part of the police costs is concerned, I am in agreement with that, but the feds are more friends of the members on that side of the House than ours, so if the member can talk them into it, good luck to them.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.

House in committee of the whole.


Consideration of Bill 81, An Act to amend certain Acts respecting Regional Municipalities.

Sections 1 to 3, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 4:

Mr. Isaacs: I have just sent a copy of the amendment to you, Mr. Chairman, and it is rather a long amendment.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Isaacs moves that subsection 9 be amended to read as follows:

“(9) Where the last revised assessment of the area municipality has been revised, equalized and weighted by the ministry and has been appealed, the regional council shall forthwith after the decision of the municipal board on such appeal, amend, if required, the bylaw passed under subsection 2 so as to make the apportionments among the area municipalities according to the assessments as revised by the municipal board upon such appeal, or notwithstanding subsection 3 in Ontario regulation 167-80 according to any basis that is just and equitable and,

“(a) where the moneys levied against an area municipality are thereby increased, the treasurer of the area municipality shall pay the amount of the increase to the financial officer of the regional corporation; and

“(b) where the moneys levied against an area municipality are thereby decreased, the treasurer of the area municipality shall be liable to pay the financial officer of the regional corporation only the reduced levy or, if the original levy has been paid by the area municipality, the financial officer of the regional corporation shall pay the amount of the decrease to the treasurer of the area municipality.”

Mr. Isaacs moves that the following subsections be added:

“9(a) where the regional council makes an apportionment under subsection 9 that is just and equitable and that is not according to the assessments as revised by the municipal board, the clerk of the regional corporation shall within 10 days forward a copy of the bylaw to each area municipality.

“9(b) an area municipality that is not satisfied with an apportionment that is just and equitable and that is not, according to the assessments as revised by the municipal board may appeal to the municipal board within 30 days of the passing of the bylaw by giving notice in writing by registered mail to the municipal board, the clerk of the regional municipality and every other area municipality.

“9(c) upon receipt of the notice of appeal under subsection 9(b), the municipal board shall arrange a time and place for hearing the appeal and shall send a notice thereof by registered mail to all parties concerned in the appeal at least 14 days before the hearing and shall hear and dispose of the appeal.

“9(d) where as a result of a decision of the municipal board under subsection 9(c) there is an adjustment required to be made, the regional council shall forthwith amend the bylaws passed under subsection 2 so as to make the apportionment among the area municipalities according to the percentage shares as revised by the municipal board, and,

“(a) where the share levied against an area municipality is thereby increased, the treasurer of the area municipality shall pay the amount of the increase to the treasurer of the regional corporation and,

“(b) where the share levied against an area municipality is thereby decreased, the treasurer of the area municipality shall be liable to pay the treasurer of the regional corporation only the reduced levy, or if the original levy has been paid by the area municipality, the treasurer of the regional corporation shall pay the amount of the decrease to the treasurer of the area municipality.”

9:50 p.m.

Ms. Isaacs: Mr. Chairman, the impact of this amendment is to extend to the region of Niagara the same provision that is being extended in this bill to the region of Sudbury, that is, where to the regional council it appears that it is more fair and equitable to use a mechanism for distribution of regional costs other than weighted equalized assessment, then the regional council is given the power to implement that system which is more fair and equitable.

The result of this for the taxpayers of the region is very clear. If regional council is able to come to the conclusion that the taxpayers of a certain municipality should pay more than they would pay under weighted equalized assessment because they receive greater benefits from a particular regional undertaking than others in the region, then regional council is being given that discretion.

Conversely, if regional council comes to a determination that the taxpayers of a certain municipality, or of a certain number of municipalities in the region, should not pay as much as others because they do not receive as much benefit as others within the region who are being asked to contribute towards that regional undertaking, then regional council can make that determination. If the municipalities concerned at the lower tier are unhappy with regional council’s determination of the matter, then an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board is provided for, as is the case with the amendment that the minister is also moving for Sudbury.

It is consistent with the statements that have been made by the minister and, as the parliamentary assistant said earlier, or at least as I interpreted his remarks earlier, the only reason this provision is not in this bill is that regional Niagara has not asked for it. I would say to the parliamentary assistant that this is permissive legislation. They don’t have to do it if they don’t want to, but they can. It surely makes sense to turn around an argument we hear from the other side very frequently; it surely makes sense to give them this power so that they are able to make the determination that a particular distribution of costs would be more fair and more equitable than the use of weighted equalized assessment.

I would commend the amendment to the House, and I look forward to it receiving support.

Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Chairman, I will not support the amendment for two reasons. First, on the principle of the amendment: Yes, in a way it is permissive, but the amendment, if brought forward, really opens up at the regional council certain matters which now would not be. In effect, it would allow certain arguments which the different municipalities in the regional council could bring forward.

If the total regional council requests this -- and this is something the ministry has indicated -- it would be forthcoming to the area. The Niagara regional council, in its wisdom, does not want to have this power and does not want to open up this kind of argument within their council. That is in the principle.

Second, had the member for Wentworth wanted to give Niagara what he wanted to give Sudbury, why did he not use the same wording as in the Sudbury bill and the same wording as in the Ottawa bill? I don’t think it was intentional, but in the beginning he says, “Where the revised assessment of the area municipalities has been revised, equalized and weighted by the ministry and has been appealed.” There is a qualification in this section, I would submit to the member. Really, unless one of the area municipalities appeals, then this whole thing doesn’t kick in; that is the way we read it as he has written it. I don’t know if he intended it that way.

The point is, under the Sudbury act no one has to appeal it. The assessments may all be correct and the weightings may all be correct. It is simply a case that a municipality may not like the system of weightings as in Sudbury and, therefore, can look for a different system. The way the member for Wentworth has this drawn, a municipality has to really appeal the equalization factor before the thing kicks in. That is on the detail of the wording and I don’t know if the member intended it that way or not.

However, as I say, on the principle, we have passed it for Sudbury and it means that an individual municipality in Sudbury is going to be able to raise points, as has already happened in the region of Sudbury. This is why they have asked for this. The region of Niagara, in its wisdom, doesn’t want it, and frankly I do not think we should give a region legislation it does not want.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, I hadn’t intended to speak on this amendment, but I question the statement made by the parliamentary assistant that the region of Niagara doesn’t want this legislation. Does he have anything in writing they don’t want it? Has he discussed it with the people of Niagara?

The fact that they have not requested it to this time does not necessarily mean they don’t want it. They may not have been aware that this is available to them. If it is available to them I suggest there is real reason to believe they would want it. There has been no regional government where there have been more squabbles and differences of opinions about the levying of costs than in the region of Niagara. This is certainly true of the police force where there are a number of rural municipalities paying the full cost of the regional police force, and yet they have the service provided to them. The need for the service is not nearly as great as it is in the urban municipalities.

There has been tremendous conflict in the Niagara region with regard to the divisions of the costs for sewer and water. I would suggest the regional municipality of Niagara would very much welcome this. As my colleague for Wentworth has said, Mr. Chairman, it is only permissive legislation. If they do not want it, they will not use it. If this regional council wants it, or a regional council which may be elected in the coming elections this fall or two years from this fall wants it, then it will be there. It is not really accurate to state that Niagara regional council does not want this power, simply because they have not asked for it, simply because they may not have known it was there. That is no reason why anyone here should say they do not want this power.

Mr. Rotenberg: To reply, maybe my choice of words was not accurate. Certainly the regional council of Niagara has not requested this. The Niagara council, along with all the other regions in the province, was informed this option would be available to it on request. It was informed last fall. The regional councils of Sudbury and Ottawa took up the ministry’s offer. I assume the regional council of Niagara was informed this was available. It has not requested it. I think I can safely assume it does not want it.

Mr. Isaacs: Mr. Chairman, perhaps I can respond very briefly to the previous comments of the parliamentary assistant. It concerns me, first of all, that he feels regional governments have to be held together by big brother in the provincial Tory government and that it is inappropriate to give them optional powers that may give cause for debate in the regional council chamber.

As my colleague for Welland-Thorold has so ably expressed, if the provision is there and they do not want to talk about it, then nobody is forcing them to talk about it. But if they do want to talk about it and if this amendment is passed, then the provision would be available to them.

Mr. Haggerty: What about Hamilton-Wentworth region?

Mr. Isaacs: Comments are being made about other regions. If this is the direction we are planning to go, then it would be perfectly appropriate to extend this same provision to Hamilton-Wentworth. I would be in support of that action. However, the member should be well aware that for me to attempt to amend the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth Act in a section not opened up by this bill would lead the parliamentary assistant to suggest to the chairman my amendment was out of order. Deep down I would be forced to agree with the parliamentary assistant, even though the discussion with the chairman might take another tack.

In terms of the other point made by the parliamentary assistant, it is very deliberate that this is proposed as a mechanism following appeal for the same reason I have just explained in answer to the interjection from my colleague from Erie.

Had I brought in an amendment to do exactly the same as that set up for Sudbury, the parliamentary assistant would have told this House it was out of order, and it would have been out of order because that section is not being opened up by the amendments before us. But we do have the section being opened up that deals with the mechanism following an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.

If this amendment is dealt with this evening, I am sure it would be perfectly appropriate for the legislative counsel assisting the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs to come forward with an amendment that opens up the right section and cleans up the mechanism, so that it is indeed exactly the same as Sudbury. But sometimes we have to use these mechanisms in order to debate in this chamber the things that are so important to the taxpayers of this province.

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

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the nays have it.

Motion negatived.

Section 4 agreed to.

10 p.m.

On section 5:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Epp moves that the bill be amended by adding thereto the following section 5(a):

“1. Section 7(3) of the said act as re-enacted by the statutes of Ontario, 1978, chapter 33, section 15, is amended by inserting after ‘person’ in the fifth line ‘who is an elected member of the council of an area municipality.’

“2. Section 7(4) is repealed.”

Mr. Rotenberg: I still do not have a copy of that.

Mr. Epp: My apologies if you don’t.

Mr. Chairman: The table does not have a copy either.

Mr. Epp: I just slipped up.

Mr. Rotenberg: I wonder if I could ask the indulgence of the member for Waterloo North that we stand this section down until I have had a chance to look at the amendment. Maybe we could go on to section 9 which will take a while and come back to section 5 if that would be in order.

Section 5 stood down.

Sections 6 to 8, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 9:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Rotenberg moves that section 166(2) and (3) of the Regional Municipality of York Act, as set out in section 9 of the bill, be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

“(2) On or after the day this section comes into force, the regional corporation shall provide facilities for the purpose of receiving, dumping and disposing of waste and no such facilities shall be provided in the regional area by any person or any municipality, including a metropolitan or regional municipality or by any local board thereof without the consent of the regional council, which consent may be granted on such terms and conditions, including the payment of such compensation as may be agreed upon.

“(3) Where the regional council refuses consent under subsection 2 or the applicant therefor and the regional council fail to agree on the terms and conditions related to such consent, the applicant may appeal to the municipal board which shall hear and determine the matter and the board may impose such terms and conditions as the board considers appropriate and the decision of the board is final.”

Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Chairman, speaking briefly to the amendment, the way the bill is drawn now allows that where the regional council of York does not agree to enter into an agreement, such refusal is subject to appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board. However, the bill, as drawn, does not provide, where the region will consent to allowing waste to be dumped, that there cannot be an agreement as to the terms and conditions.

The way the bill is now drawn, that is not subject to appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board for adjudication. The simple case is that the region of York could agree to, say, Metropolitan Toronto using a dump and say they are going to charge them $1 million a day and that would not be appealable. That of course was not the intention of the act. It was not the intention of the agreement as between the two municipalities.

When this bill, after it had first reading, was circulated, this was picked up by the Metropolitan Toronto solicitors or their staff. They consulted with the staff of the region of York and both regions, both their staffs and their chairmen, have indicated to me that they are in complete consent to the revised wording, which is really the original intent of the bill.

I would commend it to members of the House.

Mr. Isaacs: Mr. Chairman, the principle, as outlined by the parliamentary assistant in his explanation, is one that we cannot quarrel with, although I must say I have some qualms about using the Ontario Municipal Board in this kind of situation to overrule what are likely to be the objections of the host municipality for the landfill site. However, in those circumstances where there is a dispute between two municipalities, that is the mechanism at the present time and we are prepared to go along with that.

However, the section, as worded, also deals with persons who wish to establish solid waste disposal sites. By the Interpretation Act, “person” also means company. The way the amendment has been presented to us, if I understand it correctly, if a corporation wishes to establish a solid waste disposal facility in the region of York, and if the corporation and the region of York are unable to come to agreement, then the Ontario Municipal Board would arbitrate that dispute.

I want to suggest to the parliamentary assistant that if my information on this is correct, then I cannot support the amendment because we should not have the Ontario Municipal Board able to overrule the wishes of a local municipality in terms of the establishment of garbage dumps by corporations within the municipality. Where you are dealing with corporations, the word of the municipality should be the final word, unless the corporation wishes to challenge it on legal grounds in the courts.

While I support the intent of the amendment as it deals with disputes between municipalities, if my interpretation of it is correct, I cannot support the amendment because it allows the OMB to overrule the wishes of regional council in a dispute regarding garbage dumps with a local contractor or industry.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I hope the parliamentary assistant will respond.

Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Chairman, yes, that was the intention of the bill, because sometimes other municipalities apply to be able to have garbage dumps, and sometimes it is “persons.” I would point out to the member for Wentworth, this is no different from a “person,” being a corporation or person, who may apply for a change in zoning, a change in the official plan or certain other changes to a municipal council and who has a disagreement with municipal council and who also has the right to appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board. It is really the same principle of where an individual or a corporation makes an application to a municipality, in this case a regional municipality, for a matter which is in the municipality’s discretion. The precedent is set in so many other acts where one can appeal to the OMB. This is similar.

Mr. Isaacs: Mr. Chairman, I understand the argument that is being presented but I want to suggest to the parliamentary assistant that to liken a garbage disposal site or a landfill site to a rezoning application for development is not at all the same situation. We are dealing with something which is, in almost everybody’s view, unpleasant and undesirable, but necessary. To allow the OMB to force upon a regional municipality the garbage that is coming from outside the region, perhaps even ultimately from way outside the region of York from other parts of Ontario, and perhaps from other parts of Canada and to allow the OMB to overrule the wishes of the local council regarding that kind of garbage disposal set up is something which I just cannot accept.

I feel and have expressed on many occasions before that solid waste disposal in that form is something the provincial government has got to come to grips with, and that we cannot get away with dumping it on to the hands of regional councils and saying it is their problem as the Tory government has consistently done in the last five years.

Until we change the approach that the government takes to solid waste disposal, which will probably only change by changing the government, then we certainly cannot allow the OMB to allow garbage to be dumped in the region of York simply because of the dispute between the region and a private hauler or a corporation which wants to bring garbage and dump it someplace in the region of York. If that is the explanation, we will be opposing the amendment, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of the amendment will say “aye.”

All those opposed will say “nay.”

In my opinion the ayes have it.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Chairman, I would like to go back, although we are still on section 9, to the amendment placed by the member for Waterloo North on section 5, if that is acceptable.

Mr. Chairman: Do you wish to revert to section 5?

On section 5:

Mr. Epp: Mr. Chairman, the amendment in essence is that --

Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Chairman, I would submit that the member for Waterloo North has put in section 5(a) a reference to section 7(3) of the said act which is nowhere else referred to in the bill before the House. Similar to a ruling you made a little earlier in the evening, under section 86 of our standing orders, I would submit that this amendment is out of order.

10:10 p.m.

Mr. Epp: Mr. Chairman, you will respectfully appreciate the fact that we are dealing with section 5 and this is 5(a) of section 5. The chair might rule in favour of dealing with this particular amendment because it is an important amendment which I think this House should have an opportunity of discussing.

Mr. Chairman: I appreciate the member’s point of order and the comments made by the member who placed the amendment. I appreciate we are dealing with section 5 of this bill. However, section 5 deals with section 120 of the act. It does not deal with section 7 of the act. Therefore, I have no other course but to rule it out of order.

Mr. Epp: I regret your decision very much.

Mr. Chairman: Do you wish to appeal that, yes or no?

Section 5 agreed to.

On section 9:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Isaacs moves that sections 9(8)(a) and (8)(b) be amended as follows:

“8(a) No facility shall be operated under subsection 4 except under the authority of a certificate of approval issued pursuant to the Environmental Assessment Act, 1975.

“8(b) Subsection 8(a) does not apply to facilities which are in operation at the time of coming into force of this section.”

Mr. Rotenberg: Again, this is another amendment which has been brought in from left field which has no relationship to clause (a) which is under discussion. There is nothing in the bill which in any way refers to the Environmental Assessment Act. I wonder whether this also would be in order.

Mr. Isaacs: I naturally do not accept the parliamentary assistant’s remarks. The entire subsection 8 of this bill deals with the establishment of new and existing landfill sites by the regional municipality of York. The bill is full of conditions. We are suggesting that there should be one other condition that goes along with the setting up of landfill sites in the region of York. Surely that is appropriate and in order.

Mr. Chairman: Just looking at subsection 8, it appears to me that it would be an extension or condition under which an approval would be for acquisition of land and, therefore, it seems to me it would be in order.

Mr. Isaacs: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your ruling and obviously concur entirely.

We have heard on numerous occasions from the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Parrott) how the Environmental Assessment Act is the most progressive piece of legislation on environmental matters anywhere in the world. I am inclined to agree with him, though of course I would like to see it go a little further. But on a world standard it is a very good piece of legislation. The problem is that it is not being used and that new landfill sites are still being established under the Environmental Protection Act, 1971, which is not nearly as good a piece of legislation as the 1975 bill.

We have had promises and promises from the Minister of the Environment that the 1975 act will be brought into effect for municipal projects of the impact of landfill sites. Indeed we heard from the minister the other day that regulations to effect that are imminent. We have not yet moved into that phase, however, and we have an opportunity here in the region of York to ensure that any new landfill site established by the region of York is set up under this far-reaching legislation Ontario has in place, and has had in place since 1975, but which has not yet been used.

I realize the parliamentary assistant is going to suggest the region has not asked for this provision. The Environmental Assessment Act is provincial legislation, and we do now have a commitment from the Minister of the Environment that it will be imposed on municipal projects I do not believe it is relevant whether the region of York has or has not asked for this particular legislation.

However, we recognize it might not be appropriate to have to submit every existing landfill operation in the region of York to an Environmental Assessment Beard hearing. Therefore, the proposed subsection 8(b) is a grandfather clause that allows all existing landfill operations to continue without having to go through the environmental approvals process. But we have the opportunity in the region of York to impose the Environmental Assessment Act, 1975, the wonderful act of the Minister of the Environment. We should put it in place here as a first step towards extending it to the rest of the province.

I commend the section to the House.

Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Chairman, I would point out to the member for Wentworth and other honourable members that the Environmental Assessment Act, 1975, does now, and will apply to all new solid waste disposal sites. It is not a certificate under this act. The Environmental Protection Act issues the certificate. Under the Environmental Assessment Act, it is simply an approval.

I would also point out that under the Environmental Assessment Act, 1975, as it is now written, as I have indicated, all solid waste disposal sites will need approval, except in those situations where the Lieutenant Governor in Council exempts them from the requirements under the act.

The effect of what the member for Wentworth would be doing is really to take away from the Lieutenant Governor in Council, that is from the cabinet, the power to make exemptions where deemed necessary for new sites. The act is in force and does cover these sites at the present time. The act now gives power to make exemptions, and we think that should continue. Therefore, I would ask that this amendment be defeated.

Mr. Gaunt: Essentially, Mr. Chairman, we happen to agree with the parliamentary assistant on this particular point. The parliamentary assistant has made the point that all solid waste sites will now come under the Environmental Assessment Act I agree that the amendment should not pertain in this instance.

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

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the nays have it.

Motion negatived.

Mr. Chairman: I would like to draw to the attention of the committee that previously it was agreed to hold a vote on another bill at this time. If there is considerable further discussion on this bill, maybe it should be stood down until a later time.

Mr. Rotenberg: I would request the consent of the House. The member for Wentworth has one more amendment, and that’s the last one. I think we possibly can deal with it very quickly, and wink at the clock for a few moments.

Mr. Isaacs: Mr. Chairman, I do not know what winking at the clock entails, but I am certainly happy to move my amendment.

10:20 p.m.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Isaacs moves that subsection 9(8)(a) be amended as follows:

“8(a) The regional council shall, by bylaw and upon request, provide financial assistance to objectors who intervene before the Environmental Assessment Board on any matter which comes before the board under the Environmental Protection Act, 1971, or the Environmental Assessment Act, 1975, as a result of actions of the regional council under subsection 4 or subsection 5, and the total amount of such financial assistance shall be specified in the bylaw but shall be not less than 25 per cent of the gross cost to the regional municipality of the presentation which it is making to the board on its own behalf and in support of its own position on the matter.”

Mr. Isaacs: The amendment seeks to implement something which has been discussed in this House time and time again and which, I must say, I was pleased to hear the leader of the Liberal Party advocating at a meeting in Ancaster just a few days ago. That is, that there should be financial assistance provided to people who object before the Environmental Assessment Board.

Naturally, it is not within the power of the opposition to move an amendment that the provincial government provide that money because, of course, it would be a money bill. But we are suggesting, through this mechanism, that the regional council be required to provide the money, and we would sincerely hope that the provincial government would see fit to provide the regional council with a grant to match the amount of their contribution to the objectors.

I want to suggest that it is very important that we get into a position where objectors before the Environmental Assessment Board have the same resources available to them as proponents of operations like solid waste disposal sites.

I look forward to the response from the parliamentary assistant. I hope that the government will see fit to accept this amendment as a first step and, perhaps, as a trial in terms of providing assistance to objectors before the board. Given the comments of the leader of the Liberal Party, I feel certain that the Liberal Party will support this amendment.


Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Chairman, very briefly, I will not support this amendment. I think it is somewhat unreasonable to expect a municipality to have to support financially every person who comes before a board.

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

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the nays have it.

Motion negatived.

Section 9, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 10 to 32, inclusive, agreed to.

Bill 81, as amended, reported.


Resuming consideration of Bill 71, An Act to amend the Municipal Elections Act, 1977.

Mr. Chairman: One vote has been stacked.

The committee divided on Mr. Epp’s amendment to section 3, which was negatived on the following vote:

Ayes 21; nays 52.

Section 3 agreed to.

Bill 71, as amended, reported.

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

The House adjourned at 10:37 p.m.