31st Parliament, 4th Session

L077 - Tue 17 Jun 1980 / Mar 17 jun 1980

The House met at 2:05 p.m.



Mr. Speaker: I beg to inform the House that I have today laid upon the table the individual members’ expenditures for the fiscal year 1979-80. Honourable members will find them in their postal boxes.


Mr. M. N. Davison: Mr. Speaker, I rise to correct the record regarding a story that appeared in this morning’s Toronto Sun. The article, entitled “Cops Blame Mafia in Bomb Wave,” alleges that a Mafia extortion ring is operating in the city of Hamilton.

The article offers absolutely no evidence other than quotations from Staff Superintendent Keith Farraway of the Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Police suggesting that 18 people have been targets of violence in that city for failing to pay “protection money.” The staff superintendent states, as is quoted in the article: “It’s based on fear. (The victims) all immigrated from Italy and grew up with a fear of organized crime or the Mafia, whichever way you wish to express it.” But the staff superintendent himself admits that there is no evidence. He is also quoted as saying: “We have strong suspicions about who has been doing it but we have no evidence.”

This story, based on Staff Superintendent Farraway’s comments, offers no evidence to support the allegation of an Italian criminal conspiracy in the city of Hamilton. I resent the unfounded allegations in that article. Hamilton’s Italian community is a decent, hard-working, law-abiding and integral part of our society, and I feel that the record should be corrected in this matter.



Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, this afternoon I would like to detail a new program being undertaken by my ministry to assist Canadians in buying foreign branch plants that otherwise would close down or be sold to foreign investors. This program was initially indicated in the speech from the throne. This initiative is the key to increasing Canadian participation in the economy and to maintaining viable manufacturing operations in Ontario.

We continue to seek necessary new international investment in this province, provided that investment offers secure, high-quality jobs, increased technology or otherwise enhances our manufacturing base. At the same time, we are looking to help Canadians exercise increased control over their economic affairs by acquiring and owning a greater share of our manufacturing sector.

This government has always responded positively to requests for assistance in buying out foreign companies where we felt the operation was viable and that government involvement would be economically productive. We now want to establish an identifiable and regular, rather than ad hoc, program making it clear to all Ontarians that this kind of assistance is available. Our program will place high priority on proposed investments by employee and management groups.

Under the basic program, our government will make available up to $1.5 million in loans and loan guarantees. This will consist of $500,000 in direct loans and $1 million in loan guarantees. Where circumstances warrant, however, these amounts can be increased or varied. Funds will be available through the Ontario Development Corporation, the Northern Ontario Development Corporation and the Eastern Ontario Development Corporation.

To qualify for assistance under the program, the buyer must be Canadian -- a Canadian-owned or controlled company, a Canadian investment group or a Canadian employee-management group. Buyers must also be prepared to make a sizeable investment of their own -- at least 10 per cent of the purchase price.

For a variety of reasons, there may be an increase in the number of foreign operations available for Canadian acquisition. Some foreign companies are attempting to cut back their operations in Canada for reasons that have nothing to do with the viability of the Canadian plant. For example, a number of international firms may decide to withdraw from certain areas of production. Others may require to sell their Canadian plants in an effort to liquidate assets at a time of tight money markets. As trade barriers come down, additional foreign companies may no longer feel the need to operate branch plants in Canada.

2:10 p.m.

Our buy-back program will ensure that Canadians have every opportunity to see that these foreign branch plants become healthy Canadian companies. In doing so, we are offering a Canadian alternative to the current policy of the federal government’s Foreign Investment Review Agency. We are offering a positive incentive to Canadian ownership rather than a negative impediment to responsible foreign investment.

As the members are aware, FIRA now reviews foreign purchase bids of companies operating in Canada, but FIRA does not yet become involved until a buyer and seller have agreed to terms, when it is often too late for a Canadian company to bid. Our buy-back program may provide potential sellers with an alternative buyer by making purchase funds available from institutions where security and creditworthiness may not be adequate for conventional lenders.

I want to specify that this program is not designed to assist Ontarians in purchasing outdated or uneconomic branch plants. It is not designed to “pick up the losers.” It is designed to permit us to retain sound, economically viable plants which otherwise would be closed or resold to other foreign owners. We have not used and we will not use public funds to support unprofitable operations or provide foreign sellers with an easy way out of their financial problems.

The buy-back program will be highly selective and will apply tough commercial standards in assessing any potential applications. All applications for assistance will undergo extensive examination for market potential, long-term viability, technological competitiveness and management capabilities. Given these criteria, I am confident that this program will represent an important mechanism in providing Canadians with an opportunity to compete for viable companies and obtain more control over our manufacturing sector.

Ontario’s nationalism in economic and other areas has always been a positive statement of our belief in Canada and our confidence in Canadians. This nonrestrictive step stresses positive Canadian opportunity without impeding continued international commerce.


Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I am tabling today the discussion paper on interest rate policy prepared by the government for the information of this House. This paper is an interministerial one, prepared through the co-operative efforts of the ministries of Treasury and Economics, Agriculture and Food, Industry and Tourism and Housing. The purpose of this discussion paper is to assist members to identify the sources and consequences of the recent unprecedented high interest rates and to examine policy issues raised by these events.

At the outset, I would like to emphasize that the responsibility for securing lower and stable interest rates in the future must lie with the federal government. Provincial jurisdictions have neither the fiscal nor monetary levers necessary for pursuing an independent Canadian interest rate policy.

In this paper, in order to examine the causes of the recent upsurge in interest rates and the historically high level of rates of recent months, an assessment is made of the requirements for capital financing in Canada and the availability and source of funds. The paper discusses Canada’s current policy dilemma: that high interest rates induced by policy decisions of the Bank of Canada and the federal government treat the symptoms, not the disease. In particular, high interest rates help finance Canada’s current account deficit, but they do nothing to help reduce it.

The paper indicates that control of domestic inflation is essential to achieve lower interest rates and to restore the strength of the Canadian dollar. An effective, national anti-inflation strategy could create the proper environment for a strengthened Canadian dollar. The paper discusses the relationship between nominal and real rates of interest and reviews the impact of high levels of inflation. The capacity of each sector of the economy to adjust to high inflation is discussed. Options and mechanisms available to the government to assist the most affected sectors are presented.

Included among the options available to assist home owners are support of private sector initiatives, subsidies based on ability to pay, direct rate subsidization, mortgage interest tax credits and supply side measures, such as tax-exempt bonds and direct intervention in capital markets. The paper stresses that any action to offset the impact of rising rates carries with it costs which most be paid by taxpayers either immediately or in the future.

Because of the immediate needs of Ontario’s farmers for capital to begin the spring planting and because of the lack of action on the part of the federal government, the government implemented the farm interest assistance plan in advance of the release of this paper.

It is hoped this paper will assist the members of the Ontario Legislature and other interested individuals to assess the scope available to borrowers and lenders to adapt their activities in a period of temporarily high interest dates. It is clear that there is no substitute for tong-term economic policies aimed to stabilize interest rates at lower levels in the future. Temporary, Band-Aid measures are not viable in the long run. Lower inflation, enhanced productivity, more balanced industrial development and a resolution of the problem of growing fiscal imbalances in Canada are essential aspects of any lasting solution to Canada’s economic problems.


Mrs. Campbell: If I might crave the indulgence of the House at this time, I want to pay tribute to a great Canadian and a fine Metro Toronto statesman. I am referring, of course, to Edwin J. Pivnick, QC, who was the reeve of Forest Hill. I served with him on Metro council, Mr. Speaker, and I found him to be a man of great character.

It is easy to judge a person in moments of triumph, but I served with him at the time when he had the difficult and, to him, very sad task of discussing the mechanics of the transfer of the political bureaucracy from Forest Hill to the city of Toronto during that amalgamation.

Mr. Pivnick was a man of great character. He was a man of concern and a gentle person. I would say of him that probably he was one of the last of those politicians of whom it could be said that he was indeed a courtly gentleman. I would ask the House to join with me in expressing to his wife and to his family our deep sympathy at this time.



Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a question of the Treasurer that bears indirectly on some of this economic nationalism the Minister of Industry and Tourism is belatedly discovering.

Is the Treasurer aware of the situation at the Rockwell International of Canada Limited plant in Chatham where Local 127 of the United Automobile Workers of America has been on a legal strike for three months? In particular, is he aware that production machinery -- bores and dies for producing stabilizers -- has been removed from the plant and sent to Rockwell plants in the United States?

Given the experience in Windsor, where pieces of equipment wore removed from plants there and sent to their American masters across the border, would the Treasurer answer the following question: Since most machinery of this kind would undoubtedly have been purchased using depreciation allowances, including rapid depreciation write-offs which are available in this province and this country, does Ontario make any effort to recover its share of those depreciation write-offs when the machinery is shipped across the border?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, the answer would be yes. If the transfer price of any machinery exceeded the book value, there would be a capital gain on the company’s books, and therefore it would be taxable.

Mr. S. Smith: Will the Treasurer tell us exactly how many dollars and cents Ontario has ever recovered from companies that ship equipment to their masters across the border? Can we have a listing of those instances where Ontario has recovered as much as five cents in these circumstances from the depreciation?

Will the minister not agree that removing production machinery from Ontario to the United States, in the midst of a strike in this situation, could have the effect of prolonging the strike, or possibly even have a very devastating effect on Canadian workers on a permanent basis?

What is the minister going to do to ensure that companies set up in this country do not simply act as agents to ship machinery back to their home companies across the border whenever things get rough in Canada?

2:20 p.m.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I do not think any plant normally ships machinery back and forth just because of a strike. I do not like the removal of any production facilities from our country whenever the economics and the market justify their location here.

Most of the details of the member’s question are best answered by my colleagues in either the Ministry of Industry and Tourism or the Ministry of Labour, because they relate to those ministries more than to mine. The tax question was quite properly mine.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, I presume the Treasurer will be pursuing this question to some extent; will he check to see whether that company received a sales tax exemption on the purchase of that machinery in the first place as a result of the sales tax exemption passed by his government?

Hon. F. S. Miller: If that machinery was purchased since sales tax exemptions were permitted, I would assume they got the exemption. It happens that also becomes a part of the value of the machinery from a book point of view, whether one pays the tax or not. As the member knows, sales tax exemptions on machinery in Ontario equal roughly half the purchase price of machinery in Ontario. It depends on the particular type of machinery. If it is used directly in the change of the shape of the product, it is entitled to a sales tax exemption. If it simply transfers the product, it is not.

Mr. S. Smith: With regard to the tax matter, which the Treasurer accepts is within his purview, in the case of Rockwell and in the case of the automobile company in Windsor where this is alleged to have happened, will the Treasurer check to see whether rapid depreciation did take place and whether the company has obtained any benefit from the rapid depreciation? In the case of Rockwell, I gather the actual owners of the equipment were the auto companies, but will the minister check into that and see to it that if that did happen, if they obtained the benefit of rapid depreciation in Ontario, the province would recover that amount of money immediately? Will he also introduce the kind of legislation necessary to make sure this kind of transfer of equipment does not further occur?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I am not sure I could agree to the latter part because, in fact, we often get equipment from the United States. I am sure the honourable member is aware of that. It is not always new equipment. Used equipment has to be transferable or saleable.

I will be quite pleased to check into the details of the transfer to see what the actual pricing mechanisms were.


Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Treasurer, Mr. Speaker: Since it now appears that the government will be implementing its new pensioner tax grants, even though there are thousands of people who will receive less the new way than they did the old way, will the Treasurer undertake to correspond with a Mr. J. Moreton, at 101 Humber Boulevard in Toronto, and explain it to this gentleman, whose total income is very small indeed? I can give it to the Treasurer in exact terms: his total income is $388.52 per month.

Will the Treasurer please convey to Mr. Moreton his reasoning as to why Mr. Moreton must now receive $113.90 less under this new system in order that the government can give $550 more to someone like Harold Ballard, who apparently stands to make $1 million just in dividends from his shareholdings in Maple Leaf Gardens? Will the Treasurer please undertake to tell Mr. Moreton what I cannot tell him, which is why he has to get $114 less so that Harold Ballard can get $550 more?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, the member is extrapolating the truth, as he always does. He is assuming that I did one for the other. That is not true. A great many Ontario senior citizens will show their appreciation this fall when we will see literally 700,000 people benefit from what is a very fine program.

The fact remains that $388 a month is less than the minimum guaranteed income, as of July 1, for any citizen in the province: so, if the member will send me that piece of information, I will be glad to correspond with him. Like it or not, between the federal government and the Ontario government, we have raised the basic minimum incomes for all people by $540 a year; so his minimum income must be at least $5,200 a year as of July 1.

Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, perhaps after the Premier has written to Mr. Moreton in Toronto, he can write to one of my constituents, Mr. Marsh, who currently resides in Huronview, a home for the aged, and explain to him why he will not receive either the $110 pensioner tax credit or the property tax grant this year. This is a pensioner whose Ontario tax credits last year totalled $371.51. This year, he will get the $50 sales tax grant, period.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I do not know what the gentleman’s income is, but obviously he has to be above $5,200 a year in income, or else he would have received the $120 a year through the guaranteed annual income system alone.

Mr. Speaker, you know Ontario has one of the highest availabilities of institutional space in the world for people over 65. Our average cost per person in those facilities, I think, is something like $6,300 of taxpayers’ money. My program was aimed at supporting people who are not subsidized in institutions and who, in fact, are faced with the cold, hard realities of living in the outer world where they want to be. That is the kind of people who deserve the support. Those are the ones who got the support.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, does the Treasurer not understand that the real inequity in his pensioner tax credit system concerns those people who are on disability pensions, many of whom have children still at home, and who have very high expenses? That is where the inequity in his system really is. Will he make a commitment to this chamber to do something about that?

Hon. F. S. Miller: There certainly are very real problems for people under 65 in many categories, including the disabled. I have never tried to deny that. My program at this point was aimed specifically at the people over 65, and I know my colleague the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton) has expressed that concern and is doing his best to make sure our programs reflect their needs.

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, could the minister suggest to me how I can respond to 150 residents of the Sunnyside Home in Kitchener who have indicated to me that they have calculated they are going to lose in excess of $100, which they would have used in the past to buy shoes and clothes that they cannot buy with the monthly comfort allowance? These people are going to be definitely disadvantaged under his program. How can I respond to them?

Hon. F. S. Miller: The monthly comfort allowance so far has been increased by $120 a year.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Treasurer about the belated statement on interest rates which he has brought down today. Clearly the timing of the statement indicates that the government will not bring in legislation before the end of this week. Could I ask the Treasurer what the government’s intentions are on the proposal which the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett) has taken to the federal government, which would, in fact, provide mortgage rate relief for people who roll over mortgages and who have a gross debt service ratio exceeding 30 per cent of their income? Is it the government’s intention to bring in that scheme, or to bring in a similar scheme proposed by the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren), two months ago, whether or not the federal government refuses to act?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, this is one of those cases in which we clearly said the interest rate policy is a federal issue and Ontario had a role to play. At the time we started this, the interest rates at the central bank were 16.2 per cent. They are 11.2 per cent now. They have dropped five full percentage points since this paper was introduced. That is good luck and to some degree an indication of the stability of the Canadian dollar in world markets in the interim, because our dollar has stayed up; in fact, it has increased in value, I believe, since the mid-March figures, when interest rates were at their historical high.

We have suggested a two-stage program in that paper. The federal government would be the first in, with a $500 loan -- and I believe it is interest-free, as proposed -- to anybody who is paying more than 30 per cent of his gross family income; should that leave them still above 30 per cent, a second sum of up to $500 a year would be granted by Ontario to those people. But we do feel it is essential that the federal government be willing to lend money; we, in turn, are willing then to grant money. I think there is a great difference.

2:30 p.m.

Mr. Cassidy: Since I have no particular confidence that the federal Liberals will do anything better than the provincial Conservatives, can the Treasurer restore my faith in the government -- what little faith there is -- with an assurance that, if there is a no from the federal government, this government will bring in a loan grant system or some other means of relief for home owners who were hit by the cost of excessive renewals? In particular, will the Treasurer assure the House that an Ontario provincial scheme will be backdated to the late winter and spring of this year when home owners were particularly hard hit by the cost of those rollovers and not be backdated only from June 1 this year?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I certainly think we need to encourage our federal government, which has stated it will act; it came out very early and said it would. In putting forward our paper, I intend to take that as a given; that their intention to help people in real need, as stated early by Mr. MacEachen, I believe, and Mr. Cosgrove, was genuine. I am beginning to worry about it.

I am beginning to think they are beginning to shuck a number of their promises made in the heat and the pressure of the winter. But Ontario stands ready to co-operate with them, as we should in a federated country.

Mr. Peterson: Could the minister enlighten me, please? What is the possible purpose of this discussion paper except as a sop to the New Democratic Party? What is he accomplishing by tabling an academic discussion paper of the possible options of this House? Why did he waste the taxpayers’ time preparing it, and what is he going to do about the real problems that he has not faced yet?

Hon. F. S. Miller: The fact is it was suggested that a study be made. This government accepted that suggestion and we did it. We are always accused of being insensitive to suggestions from the opposition; we accepted one.

Mr. Cassidy: The member for London Centre was so exercised over this very question that he proposed a motion of no confidence in the government just seven weeks ago over an issue which he now says should not even have been studied in a paper. I do not know how inconsistent they can get.

Mr. Speaker, since neither the Treasurer nor myself has any confidence in the ability of the member for London Centre or the member for Hamilton West (Mr. S. Smith) to get the federal government to intervene to protect home owners, can we have an assurance before this House rises -- can we have it today -- that if the federal government will not co-operate in this venture, there will be a scheme from Ontario to protect those home owners who had to renegotiate their mortgages this spring and who were having to pay renegotiated mortgage rates of 16 or 17 per cent? Why should they be made victims?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I would hope, rather than trying to lay it on me, the member would co-operate with this government to get the federal government to do what it should do. The federal government is in control of monetary policy, and the federal government should act with us.


Mr. Cassidy: I have a new question for the Minister of Labour which also concerns this government’s passing the buck to the federal Liberal government, in this case with relation to the protection of the health and safety of uranium miners in Elliot Lake.

Is the Minister of Labour aware that contrary to his statements in the House a few weeks ago, throughout negotiations with the federal authorities the steelworkers were told by lawyers from the federal Justice department that referencing Bill 70 to the Canada Labour Code will still mean that federal law will take precedence over Bill 70 whenever there is a conflict between the two statutes?

If so, would the minister not agree that the recent move by the federal Department of Labour in referencing Bill 70 under the Canada Labour Code is simply inadequate and that it will not afford the uranium miners the protection of Bill 70? What is this government going to do in order to get the uranium miners that protection?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I think this government has made its intentions very clear. It was those very intentions that initiated the Ham commission, which was brought about by the very issues the member is talking about -- health and safety in relation to uranium mining.

I take some degree of concern with the statement the member made that we have done nothing. As he knows, I have reported to this House on many occasions that we have been taking the aggressive lead in trying to get the federal government to adjust its legislation so that it complied in some way with the legislation we have in Ontario. The most recent suggestion made to us is the one the member has reported -- that they will incorporate by order in council Bill 70, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and the mining health regulations.

I know there is some legal opinion that there still remains a conflict as to which legislation prevails and we are in the midst of discussions with them about it. Our position has been made clear all along. We prefer the legislation that we have and we will continue to pursue that avenue.

It is not easy for inspectors to make this differentiation, so the member is not pointing out problems of which I am not aware. Inspectors are up there acting as agents on behalf of the federal government and it is difficult for them to draw these distinctions. The clearer it can be made, the better. I do not argue with the member about that. We have been involved in negotiations about those very matters now for several months.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Will the minister tell the House unequivocally that the federal Minister of State for Mines, Hon. Ms. Erola, is misleading the miners and misleading the people of Ontario when she says those miners are getting the protection under Bill 70? In fact, the miners are getting inadequate protection with particular regard to the right to refuse and the operation of the health and safety committees.

Will the minister also indicate clearly on the record that there are going to be severe problems with the proposals of the federal government, because it will take up to a year or more to get the right to prosecute under the Canada Labour Code, when under Bill 70 here in Ontario prosecutions can be decided upon and undertaken within a week or two?

Doesn’t the minister agree that the miners of Elliot Lake should get the same protection as minors in every other mining operation in Ontario? Will Ontario ensure that those uranium miners get that protection?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I have made very clear over the past months my position with regard to the health and safety of miners. It is expressed in the Occupational Health and Safety Act and in the regulations.

The facts of life are that there happens to he a jurisdictional dispute ever authority in these areas. I have made our position very clear; I will continue to do so. The member knows very well that the federal government has claimed it believes its order in council gives those miners the same protection other Ontario miners have. We will continue to have discussions with them about that. I believe, if I am not mistaken, that there was an indication in one statement that if that did not seem to be so, they would take further steps. Certainly we are continuing to have discussions about it.

Mr. Martel: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Has Ontario put forth the position that the province is the authority that would prosecute rather than the federal authorities? If the federal authorities do not grant that, should we not simply opt out and tell the federal authorities they should look after that situation rather than have Ontario be the football in the game between the miners and the federal authorities, who seem to be getting away scot-free in this whole discussion?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I understand the point the member for Sudbury East makes. He knows very well it would be very difficult for one jurisdiction to grant its legal capacities to another. Once they have made the declaration, as they have in the area of uranium, I do not think that constitutionally they can give away such things as that. It has to be incorporated in their own legislation and that is a matter that will have to be discussed with them.


Mr. Peterson: I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, Mr. Speaker. I would like to ask about the Argosy Investments Limited affair.

Is the minister aware that on December 10, 1973, under the hand of J. C. Horwitz, chairman of the Commercial Registration Appeal Tribunal, the following order was issued: “That the continued registration of Argosy Investments shall be subject to the condition that John David Carnie shall forthwith surrender and give up share or shares of Agrosy Investments Limited”?

To the best of my knowledge, that was not done and he was still the president and involved at the time of the bankruptcy.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, there is no question that that order was issued on December 10, 1973, and there is no question that that order was complied with.

Has the honourable member read the order? I would suggest that he read the order because the order was applicable only until December 31, 1974. All those terms and conditions were complied with from 1973 through 1974. Indeed, it is my understanding that the firm was under monitorship right up until 1977.

2:40 p.m.

It would be helpful if I read a synopsis of that decision. The registrar of mortgage brokers proposed to revoke the registration of Argosy Investments Limited in 1973 as the result of a number of complaints. Argosy appealed to the Commercial Registration Appeal Tribunal. The tribunal ordered the registration renewed, subject to terms and conditions, for a period of one year.

These terms and conditions included a requirement that John David Carnie not be employed by the firm and that full disclosure be made to borrowers. The registrar monitored the operations of the firm and there was no indication after expiry of the terms and conditions that further administrative action was necessary.

Mr. Breithaupt: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Were any further comments or complaints made to the minister with respect to the operation of Argosy Finance Company Limited that would have occasioned the requirements of supervision, or possibly the issuance of a new order that may have helped avoid the problem many investors became involved in?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, not to the best of my knowledge in that regard. I take it when the honourable member is talking about Argosy Finance Company Limited the question pertains to Argosy Investments Limited. It was another company.

In connection with a related company not involved in the present matter, there was a significant form of monitorship over London Loan Limited from approximately last fall until its sale to outside parties. That involved, in the view of the executive director of financial institutions, Mr. Thompson, a considerable amount in syndicated mortgages. The monitorship was to bring down -- and it did -- the amount in syndicated mortgages. But that is the only monitorship of a Carnie firm, or one that was related, until the time of the bankruptcy.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, how could it transpire that in following the order of the Commercial Registration Appeal Tribunal -- and obviously Mr. Carnie’s personal relationship with this company was in some sort of question at the time the order was given -- he could end up back as president and in fact be president at the time of the bankruptcy of that company? How could that transpire under the minister’s direction?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, so far we are up to the third company involved in this. The particular application involved Mr. Carnie and Argosy Investments Limited, and Mr. David A. Walker, also known as Dawaca Holdings.

In 1977, Mr. Carnie came not before the registrar of mortgage brokers but before the Ontario Securities Commission. It is a matter of record at that time that the director refused him registration. A full hearing was held by the commission where Mr. Carnie was allowed registration.


Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Culture and Recreation. I would like to ask him what steps his ministry is taking to rectify the situation involving a trail of debt and destruction left by the national Canadian Ski Bob Association as a result of its international meet in Thunder Bay after receiving a grant from the Ministry of Culture and Recreation of $30,000. Why has the Ski Bob Association not paid its outstanding bills of $15,000 to the Alpine Inn, $5,000 to various ski clubs and moneys to individuals?

Further, is he aware of a letter written by his colleague the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman), on “We Treat You Royally” stationery, indicating that his officials in the Ministry of Industry and Tourism were fully aware of it and that along with the officials in the Ministry of Culture and Recreation they were going to rectify the situation? That was over six weeks ago. What is happening?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, we are still looking into this. When I get a full account of it I will be prepared to report to the House.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister aware of the seriousness of this outstanding debt in that the government of Ontario, through the Northern Ontario Development Corporation, is the first-mortgage holder on the Alpine Inn in Thunder Bay? Is he aware that lack of payment of this outstanding bill has at least contributed to the temporary closing of the hotel and the temporary layoff of 35 of its employees? Can he explain why one of his own ministry officials who went up for the meeting has not yet paid his hotel bill?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I do not know what happened to my own employee, but I do know that we are looking into this. I do not think it would serve any purpose at all to comment in a very fragmented way at this time. I will be getting a full report on the whole matter. When that is complete, I will be pleased to report to this House and any members here.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary --

Mr. Speaker: The honourable minister has taken it as notice and he has committed himself to giving a detailed response at a later date.


Mr. Blundy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Community and Social Services. In view of the recommendations of the coroner’s jury into the death of training school ward Paul Marling that there is an urgent need for more secure treatment units in Ontario; in view of last summer’s sudden closing of the juvenile secure treatment unit at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre and in view of the loss of the Royal Ottawa Hospital adolescent service, which has been in chaos and I believe is now nonoperational, can the minister explain why he has let the care of our more disturbed children lapse into this state of virtual nonexistence in the province? Can be tell me how many bona fide secure treatment beds for severely disturbed children currently are operational in the province?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member ought to be very cautious about taking some of the statements made by certain individuals who have a vested interest in particular programs -- I am thinking of places such as Ottawa -- and accepting those at face value. There are some internal political situations within some of the healing professions in this province as well that may not be before this Legislature. That has been characteristic of some of these professional groups for some time.

We have been moving over the past couple of years, as I have indicated a number of times, from a primarily residential-based treatment model to more of an outreach program for supportive treatment for children in their homes or in community settings.

It is true that the coroner’s jury in the case of Paul Marling did make recommendations which are quite consistent with what I announced to the Legislature some two or three weeks or so ago -- I have forgotten the exact date. That is the announcement that during the course of this year we would be opening, the first as early as this summer, four additional secure treatment units for children or juveniles across the province. One of those will be in the Metropolitan Toronto area, another in London, and one is to he in Ottawa.

Some of the recent publicity in Ottawa generated by one of the doctors of the Royal Ottawa Hospital was mistaken. He was talking about an 18-year-old who was not a juvenile and who was referred to the service by the adult court. The doctor, mistakenly I think, had said it was through lack of juvenile services that he was unable to deal with that 18-year-old individual. That was incorrect, I believe. Furthermore, he did not happen to mention that he had recently received $500,000 from the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) for the provision of services to people such as that 18-year-old.

2:50 p.m.

There are, as I say, some very real, professional politics being played in that situation because we have had negotiations with the Royal Ottawa Hospital. They have been very difficult negotiations and I have indicated in my announcement that it would not necessarily be at the Royal Ottawa Hospital where that service will be located in Ottawa, unless they indicate some willingness to comply to a degree that they have not done as yet. We are at present considering other agencies in that community as well.

Mr. Blundy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The minister did not say how many beds are currently in use in the province for adolescents. In addition to obtaining that answer, I would like to ask the minister how many children or adolescents are now in adult psychiatric hospital secure treatment centres in the province?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, the specific figure in respect of either of those two questions I cannot give the honourable member off the top of my head, but I will certainly undertake to try to have those figures for him by Thursday of this week before the House rises.

The number of children who might be in what was described as adult psychiatric facilities would really be very small. There are some psychiatric units for juveniles that are still located within the same building as the adult psychiatric services. We have an arrangement with the Ministry of Health at the moment to maintain those under a common administration, but the program that is available to the juveniles is still under the direction and control of my ministry. I will try to get specific figures for the honourable member.


Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Energy concerning the monthly survey of petroleum product supplies and projected demands. The minister informed the House on December 20 last that the National Energy Board had made a commitment at the federal-provincial energy officials’ meeting on December 12 that this data would he publicly available on a regular monthly basis, starting January 1980. Is the minister aware that the survey was released for January 1980 but not since, and that the National Energy Board has once again retreated into secrecy as far as this important information is concerned?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, whatever the commitment was, I assumed it was being honoured on behalf of the board with respect to any request coming from members. I will be glad to check into that, of course. We have been in receipt of all this information and are attending meetings in Ottawa on a monthly basis. Now that the honourable member has drawn that to my attention I will be glad to follow up on the matter.

Ms. Gigantes: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Considering the fact that it is absolutely ludicrous we enter this fall season without the public of Ontario having information available as we did last fall season, what will the minister do to ensure the public of Ontario will have access to this information as we start into the heating season?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, as I have already indicated, and as the honourable member will recall, last fall we had an exchange of questions and answers in this House and information was provided to the people of Ontario upon which they could base their decisions and come to their own conclusions with respect to that particular question. I have no reason to believe we will not have access to all the information we require in order to make our own judgements with respect to the upcoming heating season.


Mr. Sterling: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Government Services. For the past couple of months we have been talking about a very favourite project of mine, the Ottawa courthouse. I understand the minister had a meeting last week with the head of the National Capital Commission and the mayor of Ottawa. Before the House rises for the summer, I would like to know the state of this project and when we can expect it to be finally resolved.

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Speaker, to answer the honourable member, last Thursday my deputy and I were asked by the chairman of the National Capital Commission, Bud Drury, to attend a meeting to look at the overall site plan. As the member knows, there is quite a large site plan for Cartier Square. Attending that meeting, as the honourable member has said, were the mayor of Ottawa, one or two councillors and a couple of planners, as well as three people representing the Cartier Square Citizens’ Committee and I think the full slate of officers of the National Capital Commission.

At that meeting their planners showed us the overall plan for this large parcel of land and particularly how it would affect our new Ottawa courthouse. I believe we all came away from that meeting feeling it was a good site plan. However, the mayor wanted to take it back to her council, as did the citizens’ committee, and there will be a meeting in two weeks’ time at which time I am hopeful they will come back and say they approve of it and we can get on with the drawings with their architect.

I am as interested as the member for Carleton-Grenville in seeing this courthouse completed and I am hopeful we will be able to meet the time frame of 1985.


Mr. Ruston: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Natural Resources with regard to a letter he sent to the Sandwich West township about an earth berm dike being constructed by Allied Chemical.

The Minister of the Environment (Mr. Parrot) also sent a letter saying that the Ministry of Natural Resources was responsible for any upstream flooding. The Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) sent a letter that said everything was in order. In the minister’s letter, though, he says, “It is my understanding that plans for the project were reviewed and found acceptable by the Essex Region Conservation Authority, who have made a mandate to control river flooding.” The Essex Region Conservation Authority, in its letter to the township, says, “The Essex Region Conservation Authority therefore have no existing legislative basis for regulating placement of fill, such as the reference to the above.”

Can the minister tell me who has jurisdiction when the minister tells the township that the conservation authority has jurisdiction and the authority says it does not have jurisdiction? Has the minister approved it? Who has to approve it?

Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, I will have to look up the file on that because I recall the correspondence and I recall some fairly extensive coverage in the press. We were in touch with the conservation authority which indicated -- as I recall without checking the file -- that it did not feel the berm, which was being constructed, would have any effect on flooding. Consequently it had no objection to the work being done.

The most direct authority that the conservation authorities normally have is the so-called “dump and fill” regulation. I assume the authority has those regulations, although I could not quote them from memory. I will he delighted to find out.

Mr. Ruston: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister not aware that there must be a bylaw passed naming the flood plain area before the conservation authority has an authority to go in and put on its rules and regulations? Is the minister aware that it takes a bylaw by the municipality to give it the authority?

Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, my understanding is that on occasion, under the official plan, this may be designated. Where there is no official plan, the authority passes its own regulations.


Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism. It concerns the construction of the Ford Motor Company engine plant in Windsor. I would like the minister to confirm or deny a lead story on CBC in Windsor last night that the Ford engine plant will be retooled for four-cylinder engines before it is even opened and that the plant will not open for another three years. Could he confirm that?

If in fact that is true, could he tell us what talks he plans on having with Ford Motor Company in order to maintain some of the existing facilities in the interim, for which they have already announced closure?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: No, Mr. Speaker, I cannot confirm that story. I have heard about it and we checked it out with Ford. Ford does not confirm that to us at this time.

Mr. Bounsall: Mr. Speaker, if Ford cannot confirm that at this time, will the minister continue to have talks with Ford to ensure that delay, as a result of retooling, does not take place? If they are contemplating a different product there than planned, what employment programs or benefit programs will this government put in place for those 2,400 workers whose jobs will therefore be delayed by those production delays?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I can only assure the member that we will be monitoring the situation and having continuing discussions with Ford if we ascertain that they are reconsidering exactly what products should go into that plant. I would emphasize at this time we have no information that indicates they are going to change the product in that plant. If they are, we will deal with the matters the member has raised at that time.

3:00 p.m.


Mr. Hennessy: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Labour in regard to the mediation meetings to be held between Hawker Siddeley Canadian Car division and the striking United Auto Workers of America, Local 1075 in Fort William and Thunder Bay. I understand there was no agreement. I would like to know if the minister has decided on what steps be will take now.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, it is true that mediation efforts did not bring about a resolution. They were successful, however, in convincing both parties to change their position slightly. I am advised the mediator involved is keeping in touch with the parties and will continue to do so. If there is any indication of a willingness to resume negotiations, he will do so.


Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food. Could the minister inform us why the consultative task force on the processed fruit and vegetable industry of Ontario has never prepared a final report? This task force was formed through the Premier’s advisory committee on the economic future. In view of the fact it issued a progress report to the minister on July 27, 1979, for him to asses and respond to prior to reconvening in the fall of 1979, where is that final report?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, last Friday I responded to this honourable member on the work that went on and the amount that the different marketing boards have done to implement the recommendations of that particular task force.

Mr. Riddell: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: With due respect, we did not receive the report. The minister simply tabled recommendations. In view of the fact that the recommendations of the progress report were identified for the purpose of preliminary action by the government to determine the extent to which the task force views and those of the government may coincide, does the absence of government action on this report indicate the government’s disagreement with the task force or the belief that there is no problem in this most vital Ontario industry, which has seen the loss of more than 40 fruit-processing plants since 1960?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, if it be your wish, I could read the answer I gave last Friday again.

Mr. Speaker: That is not necessary.

Mr. Swart: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In view of the critical state we have now reached with regard to the loss of the processing plants and the canning factories and the increased importation of processed foods, fruit and vegetables into this country, is the minister planning on tabling in this Legislature in the near future a plan for reversing this situation? Will the government take action to ensure we are going to replace many of these food imports?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, again I could go to some statistics if it be your wish. But in regard to the imports the honourable members refer to, if my memory serves me correctly, last week the figure was $800 million. Am I wrong in suggesting that? One item alone, bananas, oranges and other fresh, frozen and dried fruit came to $192 million, one quarter of that $800 million. They are products we do not grow here.

I have to apologize. On Sunday afternoon I saw a small orange tree from which I picked an orange. It was growing in a livingroom. So we do grow some oranges here.

I could take up an hour on reading these. I am trying to pick out some of the larger items.

Mr. Speaker: Perhaps the honourable minister could just table them?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Yes, I would be glad to table them if that be your wish, Mr. Speaker.


Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations.


Mr. Speaker: Order. I can’t hear the question.

Ms. Bryden: Three weeks ago in an open letter I drew to the minister’s attention the fact that the Residential Tenancy Commission had ruled that the more than 1,000 apartment units in the Main Square complex in my riding are not covered by rent review. When will the minister respond to my letter which asked him to meet with representatives of the tenants to discuss the possibility of an amendment to the act in order to provide these tenants with the benefits of rent review which are enjoyed by other Ontario residents in privately owned buildings?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, that isn’t exactly an accurate description of that particular project. The ruling by the rent review board was that it was exempt under the act because the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation was administering it.

The member knows very well that in the whole length of the very lengthy hearings which went on and on and on over the residential tenancies bill, which is now before the courts, one of the final determinations was that we weren’t going to change any of the rules in the middle of the game. It is that simple.

Ms. Bryden: Supplementary: I understand the building is not administered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation but is administered on its behalf by Victoria Wood, a private development company that owns the building. I ask the minister why should a building, which is very similar to privately owned limited dividend buildings, be exempt from rent review when such limited dividend buildings are subject to rent review? It seems discriminatory against those tenants.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I draw the attention of the member to the fact that the present Residential Tenancies Act in its origins and with its exemptions was the will of this House away back in 1975.


Mr. Sweeney: I have a question for the Premier, Mr. Speaker. I am referring to the Hill report that was released yesterday. Given the specific examples of abuse that are listed in the report, given the Attorney General’s (Mr. McMurtry) comment that some of his officials actively participated in gathering that evidence and, finally, given the Attorney General’s comments that cabinet would make a decision as to what to do with this, can we be assured that charges will be laid where evidence of specific abuse has been identified?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I don’t like to give people assurances that charges will be laid before investigations have been made. I would say to the honourable member just what the Attorney General said yesterday. I haven’t had an opportunity yet to read the report. The report will be assessed by the minister. It will be coming forward to cabinet with whatever recommendations he has and we will deal with it. I think it would be very premature to speculate on what might or might not happen as a result of Dr. Hill’s report.

Mr. Sweeney: Supplementary: Is it reasonable for us to believe that if the existing legislation, which Dr. Hill says is sufficient, proves to be insufficient, new legislation will be brought forward?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I guess the honourable member is suggesting he disagrees with Dr. Hill’s observations that new legislation is not required. I don’t want to be repetitious, but I haven’t yet read the report. I don’t think the Attorney General is ready yet to bring it to cabinet with recommendations. To speculate on what might or might not happen is really premature. I am not saying that to be difficult or provocative, but I think we should have an opportunity to read through and assess the report.

3:10 p.m.


Mr. Martel: A question of the Minister of Labour, Mr. Speaker: The recent report of the Advisory Council on Occupational Health and Occupational Safety has a section concerning occupational hearing loss, prevention, compensation and rehabilitation. In part it states, “In simple terms, an 85-decibel exposure level protects about 92 per cent of those at risk, while a 90-decibel exposure level protects only 82 to 85 per cent.” Is the government prepared to introduce changes that would reduce the exposure level to 85 decibels?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated to the member for Hamilton East. (Mr. Mackenzie) last week, those particular matters, including the loud noise levels, will soon be published and gazetted. Whatever the government’s determination is with regard to an appropriate noise level will presumably he influenced greatly by the recommendation of the Advisory Council on Occupational Health and Occupational Safety.

Mr. Laughren: That is a terrible answer.

Mr. Martel: A supplementary: In view of the shortage of speech therapists -- there are 373 and some 460 are required -- and in view of the shortage of audiologists and particularly in view of the poor distribution of these services, what does the minister intend to do to guarantee that adequate aural rehabilitation services will be provided to those workers in the province who are suffering industrial hearing loss, and in particular to those 800 or more cases in Sudbury who do not have any services whatsoever?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, in all fairness, the member and I have talked about this in the past. It was as a result of discussions he and I had that the very issue of occupational hearing loss was referred to the advisory council.


Hon. Mr. Elgie: There are some rowdies around, Mr. Speaker.

It was referred to the advisory council. The Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) and I will be meeting with the chairman of the advisory council to discuss the need for technologists in the province, after carrying out an assessment of what our capacity is now. The appropriate provision of rehabilitation services is clearly another matter that came out of that report, and to which we are going to be directing our attention. I agree with the honourable member. This is why I initiated that whole study.


Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Provincial Secretary for Justice. Does the minister endorse the use of lie detectors in the investigation of certain rape complainants, and for what use would he sanction them?

Hon. Mr. Walker: The matter relates to the newspaper story involving Peel region, and I understand in that particular case the permission of the individuals was garnered. In that case, I would find it very difficult to object to it.

Mr. Stong: Is it a policy of the ministry to endorse the use of lie detectors for rape victims across Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Walker: I think the member would have to re-read what I said to find I did not say that.


Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Education: As a follow-up to the statement made by the minister last Monday in this House that capital allocations for 1981 will be known within the next week by all the boards except those in Metropolitan Toronto, which still have some questions to be resolved before a final decision can be made, can the minister inform the House what these questions are that must be resolved, and when the boards of Toronto, such as the separate school board, can know when final decisions are to be made so that construction can be undertaken for September openings?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: No, Mr. Speaker. The allocations that are related specifically to September 1980 openings were made quite some time ago. We were talking about allocations for 1981, and I cannot give details at this point. I would hope that by the end of next week we will be able to be in touch with the metropolitan school boards of all kinds to provide them with information.

Mr. Philip: By way of supplementary: Can the minister explain to the House why it is that she has offered four deadlines and has broken each of them? I am concerned about the need for construction at Don Bosco secondary school. Can the minister ensure the decision will come down so that they will know, because they still don’t know that they cannot construct before September?

Can the minister confirm or deny the rumour that she is shopping around to try to make a deal for one of the public schools, which can be substituted for the construction of the new extension that they and the separate school board have been requesting for these people?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I would remind the honourable member that I do not think it is possible to construct a school at this time of the variety suggested by any of the boards in Metropolitan Toronto for September 1980 and, indeed, these allocations are not for that period of time, as I suggested to the honourable member.


Mr. Blundy: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch), I would like to ask the Premier a question. In view of the fact that the Chippewas of Sarnia have been attempting for the past two years to get gas service to their light industrial park, and in view of the fact that for the last six months I have been corresponding with the president of Union Gas and more recently with the Minister of Energy, will the Premier look into the possibility of assisting the Chippewas of Sarnia in getting gas service to the light industrial park, which happens to be right across the road from two chemical plants that are served by Union Gas?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would assume that any industry locating in that industrial park would not be of a branch plant variety because the member’s leader then would not agree to us helping in that sort of development --

Mr. Laughren: The Premier says there are no more branch plants.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, they could all be branch plants. Why does the member not talk to him and suggest that there is really no consensus over there on just what might be done?

Mr. Laughren: I thought there were no more left.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Have I touched a sensitive nerve over there?

Mr. Speaker: I think the question had to do with electrical hookups.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, I think it actually had to do with gas, Mr. Speaker, about which the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid) is an expert.

I will take it up with the Minister of Energy.

Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: If the Premier would recall the promise that he and the Minister of Energy made in response to a question that I raised about piping gas everywhere we could to displace imported oil, is he going to keep that promise and see if he cannot expand the pipelines and get natural gas wherever we can to displace oil brought from the Middle East?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, for the majority of consumers in the province, the source of crude oil happens to be the great provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, not the Middle East -- that is the majority of consumers in Ontario including most of those who are resident in the great city of Niagara Falls. Their access is really --

Mr. Kerrio: Limited, because of inadequate pipelines.


Mr. Kerrio: We bring in 25 per cent with your help.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have to tell the member that the 25 per cent we bring in primarily goes east of the mythical line in the Ottawa Valley. They are about --

Mr. Kerrio: To the east coast, I understand that --

Hon. Mr. Davis: No. With great respect there are 600,000 Ontarians east of that particular line who in fact use imported crude. If the member would just check his facts carefully, he will find that to be the case.

However, I really do not quite understand. Mr. Speaker, the relationship between the first question and the second question. I will get an answer to the first question from the Minister of Energy for the honourable member as long as it does not include branch plants. No, we would be delighted to have those included. For the member for Niagara Falls, yes, we are enthusiastically supporting the substitution of natural gas for crude in any way we can.



Hon. Mr. Gregory moved that the subcommittee of the standing committee on public accounts be authorized to meet in camera today following routine proceedings.

Motion agreed to.



Mr. Kennedy moved first reading of Bill 130, An Act to provide Parking Facilities for Physically Handicapped Persons.

Motion agreed to.

3:20 p.m.

Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, this bill is designed to give both permanently and temporarily physically disabled persons greater and more convenient parking access not only to provincial and municipal buildings and facilities, but also to all public parking areas. Not only are designed spaces to be clearly marked, as can now be arranged by municipal bylaw, but also permits will be available to any handicapped whether they themselves drive or are transported by others. Permits will be valid anywhere in Ontario.

I would urge the government to adopt this bill without delay, and I invite comment on it over the summer.

Mr. Speaker: Order. That is superfluous comment.


Mr. Breaugh moved first reading of Bill 131, An Act to amend the Judicature Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the bill is to provide for full access by news reporters to court records.


Mr. Philip moved first reading of Bill 132, An Act to amend the Residential Tenancies Act, 1979.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Philip: The purpose of the bill is to amend the exemption provision of part XI of the act, rent review, in order to eliminate the exemption for buildings occupied after January 1, 1976.


Ms. Bryden moved first reading of Bill 133, An Act to amend the Residential Tenancies Act, 1979.

Motion agreed to.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to amend the exemption provision in part XI of the act, rent review, in order to eliminate the exemption for buildings operated or administered but not owned by the governments of Canada or Ontario or an agency thereof. It will bring under rent review buildings such as Main Square in Toronto which are privately owned but administered by or on behalf of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation or any other government agency,


Ms. Gigantes, on behalf of Mr. Cassidy, moved first reading of Bill 134, An Act to amend the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Act.

Motion agreed to.

Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the bill is to amend the ward boundaries for election of public school trustees to the Ottawa Board of Education as requested by the board on March 26, 1980.


Mr. Philip moved first reading of Bill 135, An Act to amend the Residential Tenancies Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to provide authority to the Residential Tenancy Commission to order a reduction in the rent charged by a landlord where the landlord’s financial costs are reduced as a result of lower interest rates.


Hon. Mr. Gregory: I would like to table the answer to question 219 standing on the Notice Paper. (See appendix, page 2964.)



The following bills were given third reading on motion:

Bill 48, An Act to provide Property Tax Assistance for Pensioners in Ontario;

Bill 50, An Act to provide Incentives for the Exploration of Mineral Resources in Ontario;

Bill 51, An Act to amend the Small Business Development Corporations Act, 1979;

Bill 55, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act;

Bill 60, An Act to require the Registration of Non-resident Interests in Agricultural Land in Ontario;

Bill 69, An Act to amend the District Municipality of Muskoka Act;

Bill 71, An Act to amend the Municipal Elections Act, 1977;

Bill 74, An Act to amend the County of Oxford Act, 1974;

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


Hon. Mr. Bernier moved resolution 14:

That Mr. Speaker convey to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba the sincere thanks of the members of this House and the people of Ontario for the warm and generous hospitality of the people of Manitoba to the residents of northwestern Ontario who were evacuated during the recent forest fires.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, if I may, I would just elaborate with a few statistics. Most of the members realize that the forest fire situation this year has been the worst in Ontario. To date, there have been something like 934 fires this spring; more than 500 were in northwestern Ontario, and 43 are still active at this time.

About 811,000 acres have been burned to date, mostly in northwestern Ontario: 780,000 acres are still considered active but being held. Kenora 23 is the largest of the fires still burning and accounts for about 278,000 acres active right now but, again, being held. Red Lake 14 accounts for another 108,000 acres.

The total losses estimated for the forest fires, when we extend the timber loss over a period of 80 years and include some property damage and the estimated damage to the tourist industry -- this is a Ministry of Natural Resources guesstimate only -- are in excess of $640 million, The exact amount of personal losses, including property damage, have yet to be determined.

About 2,000 men were used in fighting the fires in northwestern Ontario alone. As many as 10 water bombers were used at one time during the height of the firefighting exercise, and up to 79 helicopters. This is a record in the province’s history. As many as 33 fixed-wing aircraft were also being used to fight the fires.

Nearly 5,000 people were evacuated in northwestern Ontario during the past few weeks. The evacuation from Red Lake, which saw 3,624 people evacuated to Winnipeg, Gimli, Rivers and Brandon, Manitoba, constituted the largest air evacuation in Canada’s history. Approximately 2,000 of these people were billeted in private homes right in the Winnipeg area.

It was interesting, during my visit to Gimli, Rivers and Brandon, to note the warmth that was being extended to those evacuees by the people of Manitoba. In fact, in Brandon I was warmly invited to join the evacuees at a barbecue that had been arranged for our evacuees by the Kinsmen Club of that particular community.

The city of Winnipeg today opened its heart; I have to say that. The social activities that normally go on in the St. James Civic Centre were severely disrupted to look after the evacuees from the Red Lake area. Also in Winnipeg, emergency offices were set up right in the legislative building. I was heartened to meet the Premier of Manitoba and members of his cabinet who met every day during that fire crisis, including on the weekends, to deal with the evacuation and to plan for evacuation in case the 16,000 people from Kenora would need to be moved to Winnipeg. Even the Winnipeg pharmacists helped to fill prescriptions and supplied pills to those evacuees who had left their drugs behind. Many of the medical evacuees were extremely well looked after in the hospitals in Manitoba.

Truly, the people of Manitoba have lived up to their province’s slogan when they refer to it as “Friendly Manitoba.” I know that all members will join me in extending our very sincere thanks to the government and to the people of Manitoba.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, as a neighbour of the Minister of Northern Affairs, I am happy to stand in my place and support his resolution and to pass on my thanks to the government and people of Manitoba. In fact, what we have gone through -- and we do not always realize these things at the time -- is something extremely dramatic and certainly historic in the province.

We have been very fortunate in all these fires we have had this year that we have had no loss of life. I think it is because of the co-operation between all levels of government and provincial governments and the federal government that this has happened. and that the evacuation ran as smoothly as it did.

I have only third-hand information through my brother, who is a federal member. From the comments he has received from the people of Red Lake, they could not have been treated any better than if they had been taken into their own relatives’ homes. The Manitoba people are to be congratulated and thanked profusely and from the bottom of our hearts for the assistance they provided under very trying and very urgent timetables because of the possibility of Red Lake and other communities being burned.

I am extremely happy on behalf of my party and on behalf of myself, as a former resident of Manitoba when I went to university there, to support the resolution of the Minister of Northern Affairs.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and make support of the resolution unanimous. Those of us who live in northwestern Ontario are constantly aware of the threat of fire. We were made aware of it even more strongly than usual this year, very early in the fire season. I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the fine work done by the ministry officials within this province and to the co-operation extended by other jurisdictions.

This was not an easy year because other jurisdictions, such as Alberta and Saskatchewan, had to use their equipment to fight their own forest fires. It is a mark of the awesomeness of a fire that it transcends political boundaries, whether they are political in a party sense, or in terms of provinces, and we have this exchange of equipment.

Surely the evacuation was one of the very finest peacetime evacuations. The hospitality shown by the people of Manitoba was touching for those who received it, but also it was touching for those of us who were not recipients directly, but only indirectly, because we are members of the area.

We should also pay a little tribute to the people in Geraldton, Nakina and Longlac who hosted the people from Fort Hope who had to be evacuated. Some of the special difficulties involving language were ironed out there.

All in all, I think the motion is appropriate. It is very appropriate that it be an expression from the Speaker of the House on behalf of all parties and all people in the province. It is also a fitting reminder to all of us that the fire season is not yet over. We would be glad to extend the hospitality we received to people in Manitoba should -- we hope not -- circumstances at some time in the future be reversed.

Resolution concurred in.

Mr. Speaker: I will be happy to convey those sentiments to my counterpart in Manitoba.


Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, since I made a relatively lengthy introduction when this bill was introduced in the House, I shall not make a statement at this time, but will await the opportunity to respond to concerns expressed.

Mr. Speaker: Would you like to move second reading?

Hon. Miss Stephenson moved second reading of Bill 82, An Act to amend the Education Act, 1974.

Mr. Sweeney: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That is the second time I almost got caught that way.

It is my understanding that there has been general agreement that this will go to committee and we will have an opportunity to deal with the specific elements of the legislation in greater detail. Therefore, other than monitoring a very few specific ideas, I will try to deal with the more general nature of the legislation.

3:40 p.m.

I would begin by pointing out to the minister that I, on behalf of my party, receive this legislation with very distinctly mixed feelings. In the first place we are very pleased to receive it. Second, we have some genuine concerns about what might flow from it and what perceptions we might be giving to people. Third, there are certain areas to which we will make some objections and request that amendments be accepted. With that general overview of mixed feelings, let me begin.

We are pleased because the legislation is finally before us. The minister will recall that the first intimation we had that such legislation would be coming in an official way, that is -- was in the February 1978 throne speech. Next we heard from the minister herself in December 1978, when she indicated she would be bringing forward special education legislation which would make some rather dramatic changes in the province. I believe that was the first time she used the term that it would become mandatory in the province. I understand that word has been somewhat softened in the intervening period.

Given the last three or four delays, we were beginning to wonder whether it was going to come through in this session. At least we have the opportunity to deal with it in second reading.

Speaking on behalf of my party, I am pleased at the two basic principles which this legislation enunciates. Those principles were very clearly spelled out in the minister’s own remarks on May 23, 1980, to which she has already alluded. Those principles are that every child in this province now has the automatic right to be admitted to a school and has the automatic right to expect that a program meeting his or her special needs will be prepared for him or her.

As an aside, my colleague the member for York Centre (Mr. Stong), back in 1976 and 1977, was the first one -- at least as long as I have been in this Legislature -- to bring forward a private member’s bill specifically calling for those two principles. For that reason there can be no doubt in the minister’s mind that the members of this party support the principle of this legislation; there is no question of that.

I am also pleased because for the first time specific provision will be made to allow separate school boards in this province to educate their own children who are mentally retarded or mentally handicapped.

For many years, and specifically going back to 1969 when the provision for responsibility for children also are mentally handicapped was given exclusively to the public school boards of this province, the trustees and the teachers of the separate school boards made it very clear they believed it was their responsibility to educate the children of their ratepayers who had this special need. I can assure the minister once again that we will give own wholehearted support to that principle.

I am pleased to note in the legislation that there is clear provision for the inclusion of parents on the advisory committee which will be set up as a result of this legislation -- for the inclusion of parents who are members of local associations that are affiliated with provincial associations. At some later time, probably in committee, I will try to get some assurance from the minister that other groups of parents who somehow do not quite fit that description might either be assisted to better fit it or might come under it in some other way. But the general principle involved here, that parents -- particularly the parents who have children who will be most affected by this legislation -- will be represented on that advisory committee, is an important step forward.

The minister will realize that there are a number of school boards in the province which in an unofficial capacity, even though it is not required of them by legislation, already allow the parents of their students to participate in that kind of an advisory capacity.

I am pleased that the legislation makes very clear reference to the fact that special education will now be made available to all students who need it in their own language of instruction. Once again I am cognizant of the fact that there are many boards that already make this provision, but I do not have to advise the minister that there are a number of areas in this province where, because of their geographical location, children of either of the two official languages of instruction groups in this province do not have that provision made available to them. This legislation will now do that.

Among the parts of the legislation of which we are very definite supportive and pleased with is the statement in the minister’s opening statement of May 23 on the guaranteed long-term funding commitment. The minister and her predecessor (Mr. Wells) will recall that on numerous occasions I and other members of both opposition parties have frequently asked for some long-term funding commitment to programs like this. In each of those cases, we were advised that was extremely difficult for the government to do because it could never be sure of its own revenues.

I am pleased to note that the minister has heeded the requests of the teachers, trustees and administrative officials of the province who jointly approached her on this particular problem and has now made at least within her statement, a provision for a five-year funding commitment to carry this program out. I am sure the minister would expect there would be some objections as to the actual amounts of money involved. There might be some objections as to the procedures and the process by which it will be passed on to boards, but I can assure the minister there should be no objections as to the commitment itself over a long period of time.

Therefore, I would like to begin on the very supportive and positive note that there are many things in this legislation and in the minister’s opening statement that we can support very strongly.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: So it is downhill all the way from here.

Mr. Sweeney: No, not at all. I think the minister is going to find, generally speaking, that even when I raise objections they are going to be in as positive and as constructive a manner as I can possibly do so. I do not want to do anything whatsoever that will endanger this legislation. The only purpose of the comments that are to follow is to make the legislation even a little bit better and to clear up areas where I think some of the definitions are not as good as they could be and where there are a couple of proposals in the legislation that I think they can be phrased in ways that will make them more productive and more effective.

I want the minister to be very aware of the fact that I am not being destructively critical in the words that will follow. Rather, I hope that all three parties in this Legislature can jointly emerge with a piece of legislation that will truly be the finest piece of special education legislation that there will be anywhere on the continent of North America.

I would like to move now on to a slightly different point, namely, to share with the minister some few concerns I have. These are mainly concerns of perception that we as legislators have to be at least conscious of in terms of what we say and what we do in this assembly and how it is perceived outside of the assembly.

The first one I want to deal with is the raising of expectations, which I sense already are beginning to move out of this assembly and into the minds of many parents, particularly those parents of children with special needs. We have to be very careful to recognize -- and this view was put forward perhaps more strongly than even I can do it by members of the provincial trustees’ association -- that in times past and in issues past the school boards of this province have been perceived to have been given a mandate and a level of responsibility which they could not under human terms possibly fulfil to the level that was expected of them.

3:50 p.m.

The decade of the 1970s is probably the clearest period of time when that became so very clear. As a result of that, the credibility of the school system of this province was seriously damaged. We were telling people: “If you give us enough money, if you give us enough people, if you give enough buildings, we can solve all the problems that exist in this province; we can solve the economic problems and we can solve the social problems and we can solve the morality problems.” That was foolish. On and on it goes, and the minister and I both know that was a foolish level of expectation to have ever been suggested in the first place. It may not have even been suggested as clearly as that, but surely the minister is aware that was the perception out there.

I have the same concern with this kind of legislation. I think the minister, and everyone who speaks to this legislation, has to be very clear in pointing out that it does have limitations. Any legislation we will bring forward will have limitations, because we are dealing in human terms; we are not dealing with robots, or computers, or machines.

One of the first concerns I have in this area is a perception that somehow we can identify all the problems. When we speak in terms of early identification, which becomes the responsibility of all boards under this legislation, let us be very sure that we understand that even though the very best possible job will he done that we are capable of doing, or that our teachers are capable of doing, or our administrators are capable of doing, we are not going to identify every single problem of every child. A couple of the parents’ associations which have submitted briefs to the minister have made this very clear in particular: We will not always identify them early. With the best will in the world and the best techniques in the world and the best materials in the world, we are not going to be able to spot all the problems. Therefore, two or three years down the line, when we do find out that there is some child in this province who wasn’t identified, or who wasn’t identified early, we want to be very sure the people are aware of the fact that does not necessarily mean this legislation is inadequate or did not do its job.

We have to be very sure we understand that we simply do not have the human capabilities to do it. I do not know of anyone who has. If the minister can share with me some wonder woman or wonder man she knows about, I would certainly be pleased to know of them. It is not my perception or my experience that the teachers, the trustees and the administrators of this province have this wonderful magical skill that they can always find the problem that exists.

The second part of that expectation is that all the problems we have identified can be solved -- and in the schools. I think that is another perception we have to clear out of the way. We are going to find that there are some problems; but we are going to find also that the nature of those problems, whether they be a matter of heredity, whether they be a matter of family concerns, whether they be a matter of social concerns, whatever they may be, will mean there will be certain aspects of those problems that the school by itself cannot solve. Here perhaps is my greatest concern, that the school will somehow be perceived as that place where all those problems get solved.

I am not suggesting, by the way, and I hope I did not indicate this at the beginning, that the minister is saying this. All I am saying is that I sense it is my responsibility, and I rather feel that perhaps the minister shares this, that it is our responsibility to make very sure we understand these limitations.

Finally, there is considerable reference in the legislation to children who are retarded, who have a special kind of mental handicap. I think we have to be especially careful here, when we are talking to the parents of these children, that once again we do not unduly raise their expectations. I say that in the light of the recognition that we have been able to assist retarded children in this province to raise their level of performance far beyond what I, as one parent and as one legislator, would have thought possible 10 or 15 years ago.

We are beginning to learn that many of the retarded youngsters of this province who are in our schools and who are in various developmental centres in this province now have demonstrated to us that their capabilities are far greater than we thought they were. That is also being demonstrated when we look at what our retarded adults are doing. I am clearly cognizant of that, and I would be the last one to say that we should put any defined limits on what we expect our retarded people to be able to do. I recognize that. But, at the same time, we also have to be careful in what we say not to suggest to parents in particular that their retarded children are going to be able to go far beyond where they are going at the present time, or that somehow by the introduction of this legislation and by the processes that will be put into motion, we are going to solve problems we are incapable of solving. Therefore, that whole area is of concern to me. I repeat that I am not suggesting the minister has made these kinds of promises.

Secondly -- this is something I have discussed with the minister a couple of times in the past -- now that we specifically have in legislation the requirement that boards do early identification, I would want to have some protection built in. I was going to use the word “assurance,” but I know that is not possible. Some protection should be built in so that the danger of early labelling will be reduced to a minimum. Having spoken to a number of special education teachers in various parts of this province, they have advised me that simply to say it is not going to be done is not enough. Once again, with the best will in the world, these things just tend to happen.

I would hope we would be aware of the dangers of early labelling, From my own experience I can say that these labels tend to stick with young people long past the time when they have any application whatsoever, if they ever had. Therefore, I would like some kind of provision built into the legislation. Quite frankly, at this time I do not know how, but at least in the discussion stage in committee we can explore that to some depth and see whether any kind of wording can be put in there. At this point all I am doing is raising it as a continuing issue of concern. Given that it is now going to be part of legislation rather than a memorandum coming out of the minister’s office, it is more important we give it that kind of attention.

My concerns continue to the gifted of the province. Once again the minister will recall, as will her predecessor, every year we have a discussion about the provisions made for the particularly gifted in Ontario. I know it is the intention of the legislation, of the ministry and of the government, that the gifted will be included under the general headings of exceptionality, of special education and of children with special education needs. I understand that.

As I talk to many other people outside the Legislature, I cannot help but get the sense the more likely practice will be that they will continue to receive short shrift. Let me put it in very precise terms. It is my understanding that in the province right now there have already been identified, or are in the process of being identified, something in the neighbourhood of 80,000 to 100,000 children who have special learning needs above and beyond any who could be described as gifted. It is a sense I have, with the amount of time available to us, with the number of trained teachers we have, with the amount of money available, that it will simply all be used up in dealing with those children who have special learning needs or learning disabilities. Therefore, the gifted will simply be put at the end of the list once more.

It is also my understanding that, although we have a considerable number of trained teachers in Ontario with special skills to deal with those who have learning disabilities, we have very few teachers in the province who are trained in any way or who have the specific skills required to deal with the gifted. I do not need to tell the minister that she can go into almost any school in Ontario and hear from the teachers themselves: “There are children in the schools who are gifted, but we simply don’t know what to do with them. We don’t have the human resources on our staff to enable us to give those children what they really need.”

Like most other people in our society, I recognize the tremendous contribution these gifted young people in our schools today can make to our province. With the kinds of economic and social problems facing our society, we desperately need the intellectual and moral resources these gifted young people can bring to bear on possible solutions to those problems.

4 p.m.

I recognize that we are going to have to find some way to identify more clearly those young people in our province who are truly gifted. We are going to have to have a better definition of them. We are going to have to have identification models that are able to help us pick them out more precisely. We are going to have to have teachers in the province who truly do have the skills, and to have them in sufficient numbers, to help these gifted children. I can only say, as so many others have said before me, that the wastage, in human terms, caused by our not identifying and not meeting the needs of these gifted children is probably one of the greatest lacks of most educational systems in North America, not just this one in Ontario.

I would want somehow to find a way to find a place in this legislation to deal specifically with that, because I sense that we are going to say, “Yes, they are covered,” and “Yes, their needs should be met,” but five years from now we are going to discover that very little has been done.

I am a little concerned about the timing, or at least I was a little bit more concerned before I found out that we would be going to committee. I want to include a concern that was expressed to me by representatives of a number of school boards; I am sure the minister herself received these comments back in February 1979 when she sent out her proposed legislation and indicated to the members of the school boards that they had only two weeks in which to make a response. I noticed on the back page of the material which the minister provided to us a statement to the effect that many of the briefs came in after the deadline.

I put that in context only because I again sensed that there was this long wait to get the actual legislation but, once it arrived, there seemed to be almost an obscene rush, somehow to push it through. I am quite conscious of the fact that, besides the pilot boards which have been identified, there may be some school boards in this province which would want to take advantage of some of this legislation more quickly than others, and that the minister would like to have something in place for September 1980.

It would appear now that it is not going to be possible. But I want to be very clear that I would consider myself as one of those who is quite prepared to hold up this legislation for a little while longer, given the long period of time we have waited for it and its dramatic importance. I believe the minister himself used the term “an historic occasion,” and said that it is part of the evolutionary process that has gone on for more than 100 years.

Mr. Conway: If Bette said that “himself,” it is indeed historic.

Mr. Sweeney: Oh, very well; I thank my colleague the member for Renfrew North.

I simply want to put it in that context. I think I have indicated to the minister on more than one occasion that I will not be a party to undue hastening of this legislation, because I agree with the minister; it is of historic significance, and it is going to make some major changes in this province. Using the minister’s own figure, possibly up to 100,000 students, who are not receiving the kind of attention that they should be getting at the present time, could benefit from this legislation. Therefore, I think it is well worth our while to take that little bit of extra time and to do it right, or at least to do it to the best of our human ability at this particular time.

My next concern -- and this again is not a new one -- is the adequacy of the provision for teacher training. I recognize the fact that the minister has provided a five-year phase-in period. I recognize that there are quite a number of teachers in the province right now who hold at least some partial training, and I am as hopeful as the minister is that during the next five years we will be able to catch up to the need.

However, as I speak to various representatives from the teachers’ and trustees’ associations, I cannot help but sense that there will be a shortage of trained, properly skilled personnel to deal with this growing and, now, this more specific, mandated need. I would hope that in her remarks today, or if we get an opportunity to discuss this issue during the committee hearings, the minister will draw to our attention exactly what provisions are in place or are about to be put in place to meet this need.

I have to question the minister’s statistics when she says there are X thousands of teachers in this province who hold a special education certificate. I happen to know that very many of those teachers hold certificates which do not qualify them to deal with the kinds of needs and programs that are going to emerge from this legislation. They may have taken one or two courses in special education at one time or another, but I am too familiar with the content of many of those courses. I am also too familiar with a large number of teachers who have come back and said to me -- even five or 10 years ago when they took these courses -- that the material and the instruction they received, the skills they were supposed to acquire, simply were not sufficient even at that time.

Using those large statistical figures simply is not enough. We have to have much more precise data. I would hope, if it has not already been begun, the minister would very soon be getting somebody within her ministry to go back and look at those figures and to assure herself and the teachers and parents of this province that the need in that area will be met.

Finally, under concerns, I want to briefly touch on the whole funding mechanism. I complimented the minister for preparing, on behalf of the government, to make that five-year funding commitment. I was quite pleased to note that she even went a step further and said it would be in constant 1980 dollars. That is recognition of the growing inflationary factor that has to be built into the funding of education in this province.

I am not sure -- and I would like the minister to explain it at this time or in the committee stage -- about the extent of local school board involvement. For example, the minister is saying that over the next five years the provincial government is going to commit $75 million to the increased special education programs. Given the roughly 50-50 split between provincial and local sharing of educational costs, does that also mean that over the next five years local school boards are going to have to find an additional $75 million as well? Does it mean that? Or does it mean that the provincial ministry, for the next five years, is going to totally fund the needs as it sees them arising over the next five years? I would like that clarified.

Second, I recognized in the minister’s speech of May 23 the reference that what will probably happen by 1985 is that the entire funding mechanism will be folded into the grant system. It will become part of the overall grant system rather than being a specifically labelled add-on to the grant system. I would like to have the minister explain to me -- and I am sure there are many trustees in the province who would also like to know -- whether the local boards will be required at that point to take on additional funding responsibilities.

There have been situations in the past in which the school boards of the province have had the sense -- whether the minister agrees or not -- that they have been drawn into special programs of many different kinds, new initiatives by the provincial ministry, and then a few years down the road they were left holding the bag to fund themselves.

The minister knows as well as I do that is a concern the trustees have. If that is the perception they have, I think it is incumbent upon the minister and her government at least to recognize the concern and, to the best of her ability, to speak to it as early as possible. The willingness and the energy with which local school boards will move into this could be limited to a certain extent by the fact that they may have some hesitation with respect to future funding commitments. All I am asking at this time is that the minister recognize that perception and speak to it as far as she possibly can.

4:10 p.m.

That concludes the so-called concerns side of my comments. I want to move into another area now to discuss some very specific objections I have to the way in which the legislation is worded at the present time. First and foremost, I want to come to the heart of what I think this a major problem with this legislation, namely, the wording of section 34, which includes the exclusion principle. I would put the minister on notice that that is one area in which I fully intend to bring in an amendment. I do not believe there should be anywhere in this legislation an exclusion principle.

As we are speaking about the principle of the legislation, I feel it most incumbent upon me to say that as clearly and as early as I possibly can. What I believe that particular section should say is that it is the responsibility of the board to provide services, not to exclude children, from within its own jurisdiction or to purchase services from some other jurisdiction, whether it be from a public board or an independent board in Canada or the United States or wherever.

When I look at the wording of section 34 in this bill and when I look at the wording of section 34 in the existing legislation, I find there is no fundamental change. There are two small changes I recognize. One of them is that exclusion can be done not solely for physical handicaps but for a combination of mental and physical handicaps. I also recognize the change which says that, if the board excludes, it has the responsibility to assist the parent to locate. That is not much of a change, I can tell the minister.

At the very heart and soul of this legislation we are allowing the same kind of exclusion we already have in existing legislation. I will agree that the fact that the mental and physical are put together is an important step and that the minister is going to make it necessary for school boards to assist a parent to locate is also an important addition.

I would suspect, however, that if the minister were to examine the practices of many boards in this province, she would find they are already doing those things anyway. The fact that it is now going to be mandated strengthens it. That is true. But it does not get at the heart and the soul of the legislation.

As a matter of fact, one of the heads of one of the children’s services put it best. She may have said it to the minister as well. If I can paraphrase what she said, she said if all we were given were the minister’s remarks on May 23 we would have been much happier than we were when we got the bill itself. The minister’s remarks very clearly said two things. First, they said that we are now going to make provision for all students; in other words, there will be no exceptions. Second, the minister’s statement said that all taxpayers in this province have the right to have their children supported and funded when they have special needs.

Those were the two key ingredients of what we understood this legislation was going to do, but the legislation does not say that. The legislation does not say that all children in this province who have handicaps and who have special needs are going to be dealt with.

If this is the minister’s intention and if the legislation can be reworded to make it very sure that is what will happen, then that is fine. I need not remind the minister of the number of times that legislation has been put forward by this assembly and has been shot down by the courts. As a matter of fact, a couple of years ago something like four pieces of legislation were shot down by the courts in about three or four months. What the courts said in each case was: “We cannot be concerned with your intentions. All we can deal with is the wording of your legislation.” And those judges of the Supreme Court said: “The wording of the legislation means this. In law this is what it means. It does not mean what you say it is intended to be.” That is what we are concerned about here.

The least of my objection to this bill is that we cannot use, we should not use, and I would strongly urge through an amendment that we do not use that word “exclude”; that we say, “provide” -- within their own jurisdiction or provide somewhere else, because I can well understand there are some school boards in this province which, because of geographical location or resources that are available in their general area, may not in their own area and of themselves he able to provide that need.

I accent that premise. I would like to hope there will be fewer and fewer boards all the time in that situation. Nevertheless, I accept the premise that they are not going to be able to provide it locally, and they may have to get it somewhere else. But I am not prepared and will not be prepared to allow them to exclude; to allow them, in turn, to hand the problem over to someone else so that, from then on, their only responsibility is to check once a year to see how it is going. Checking once a year to see how it is going does not mean that anything is going to happen.

I am quite sure it is the minister’s intention that something will happen, but all I can say to her is that this is one professional educator who can see a loophole which you can drive a truck through. I do not think that is the minister’s intention, which is why I think it is so vitally important that we must change it.

Let us go on to what the legislation actually says: “assist to locate.” That does not say the board is responsible to ensure that a program is made available. That could just as easily be interpreted to mean that the board will say: “Okay, we happen to know these five schools that have a program which could meet your child’s needs. We will give you the name of the headmaster or the principal, their phone number or address, and you go. We have assisted you to locate.” The parent and the child may never actually get into the program. What does the word “assist” mean? I do not know what it means. It is open to numerous interpretations. What does “locate” mean?

The thing I find most surprising is that there are officials within the ministry who, from a practical implementation point of view, would have allowed this to get through. Second, I am quite surprised that the minister, as a politician, would not have immediately recognized the problems inherent in here.

For example, it is my understanding that the existing legislation, and I just checked it again a couple of days ago, only permits a publicly funded school board to purchase services from another publicly funded school board. Yet through the many discussions we have had, the many questions that have been raised regarding the provision of educational opportunities for children with severe learning disabilities, we have found in many cases that they are not available in another publicly funded school board.

In a large number of these cases, and I would even go so far -- and I am open to being corrected if I am wrong -- as to suggest in the majority of cases we have discussed and of which the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton) has spoken, and the cases that I took before the appeal board for vocational rehabilitation, in none of those cases was there a publicly funded school board in this province that could provide the program that child needed.

Therefore, if the local board is responsible to assist the parent to locate, does that also mean the board is responsible to fund it? It does not say that.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: There is an important phrase there that you have forgotten: “unable to profit by.”

Mr. Sweeney: In that board. That is what it says. This is such an important principle that I am quite willing to hear the minister’s comments on it, because I think I made it very clear that it is my major objection to the legislation as drafted at the present time. But certainly my interpretation, and the interpretation of everyone I have questioned on it, including professional educators, psychiatrists and psychologists, is that it is the availability of program in that board’s jurisdiction by which that child is able to profit. That is the interpretation.

4:20 p.m.

As a matter of fact, I have asked two lawyers who deal almost exclusively in children’s affairs, and they both said, “Yes, that is the way I would interpret it as well.” The legislation, as I understand it, is not saying that child is not able to profit by any instruction anywhere. I do not see how one could possibly interpret it that way. I do not see how that could possibly be the interpretation.

If that is what the minister means, then she had better word it that way, because that is not the way it has been interpreted by most other people to whom I have spoken. As a matter of fact, I have not spoken to anyone else who has given me that kind of an interpretation. Therefore, perhaps the minister can understand my concern.

I have to come back to the question I asked last, which is: If the board cannot provide the needed program itself, and it has to assist a parent in locating a program some place, dues that assisting to locate mean that the board actually has to be assured that the child is in another program? It may be that what we need is a definition for the word “locate.” Does “locate” mean the board has to carry through its assistance to the point in time when that child is in another program, and not simply give somebody a name or an address and location? I hope it does not mean that, but that is one interpretation.

I do not think it is a good idea, quite frankly, to have the Ministry of Education funding it in this case. I think the local board should fund it, and I think they should be given sufficient funds to do it. That is their responsibility, and I agree with the minister when she would rather use the word “responsibility” than “mandatory.” I think it is a more powerful word, a more morally binding word, but it says to me that they should also be responsible for the funding aspect of it and that the parents of children who have those kinds of needs should not be responsible.

I am trying to suggest to the minister that there is going to have to be a change in other parts of the Education Act which will allow a board to buy services from a board that is not publicly funded, whether that board be here in Ontario or outside Ontario. As the minister knows, that is not possible at the present time.

My second major objection is with respect to the provision for parental appeal. I would draw to the minister’s attention that the legislation as worded is almost identical -- in fact, I think it is identical -- to the present act in terms of the provision for parental appeal. The legislation reads something to the effect that, if a principal determines that the child is not able to profit, he can make it known to the board. If the parent feels the child is not able to profit, the parent or guardian can make it known to the board. That is how the legislation now reads.

Need I tell the minister that there are many cases across this province right now where parents -- again, I can use the specific ones, and they are chapter and verse -- have had to come before the vocational rehabilitation board? In every case, the argument they have used was that the board was saying: “We have a program in place to meet that child’s needs.” The parents said: “No, you haven’t. The needs of my child are not being met by that particular program. The needs of my child are such that they have to be met someplace else.”

I do not think I have to tell the minister that the evidence that the needs of those children were met in other locations now is fact. It is no longer a perception; it is fact. I can give the minister three or four cases from my own constituency alone, and I am sure she can get them from almost every other member in this House.

There is no provision in this legislation to give parents a more powerful, productive or effective appeal mechanism than what they have at the present time. The present system is not working. The minister does not have to take my word for that. She can ask those parents themselves, and they will tell her over and over again. So we have to build that in.

I would require in this legislation some descriptive adjective with respect to the adequacy or quality of the special education that is going to be offered. Simply to say we are going to offer special education is not enough.

I would remind the minister, if it is necessary to do so, that on October 25, 1979, over the signature of Dr. Bergen, a number of proposals in terms of wording legislation were prepared. On page six of appendix (a), with regard to a suggested change in paragraph 6a of section 146, the recommendation was that “adequate” special education programs and services be made available. That is not in the legislation. It would seem to me we need a word like that. I can appreciate there may have been reasons why the minister, the officials and the government did not like the word “adequate.” I can accept that, but something else must be put in its place -- some word or description that says it is not enough just to have special education; it must be of a particular quality. If the minister does not like the word “adequate,” then she can put something else in. But there has to be something in there.

I want to come back to a point I was raising earlier in terms of a real concern. That is the minister’s reference, in her opening statement, to the needs of all students in Ontario being met. Yet I notice she refers in her legislation to resident students. Basically the objection I want to raise -- which I am sure has already been raised by a number of others -- is that there are a number of potential students who would not necessarily fit under the definition or designation “resident.”

For example, there are those students -- whether the minister wants to call them children or students is a matter of semantics, and I have to put it that way -- who do not come under the direct jurisdiction residency requirements of a board; for example, students who are in various institutions around the province. To what extent -- perhaps I am asking a question as well as making an objection -- does this legislation speak to them at all? If it does not, how are their special needs going to be met? It was certainly my understanding -- and the way anyone would interpret the words in the minister’s opening statement -- that the needs of all special kids in this province were going to be met regardless of where they were.

As was brought to my attention, what about the kids who have dropped out of school for any number of reasons or, if they did not drop out, who were eased out in some unofficial way? The minister knows, as well as I do, that is happening across this province. How many times it is happening, I do not know, but it is happening. Do they still come under the jurisdiction of resident students? There is a difference of opinion, legally as well as professionally, as to whether they do. I think the minister should speak to that.

Finally, under this general heading, I want to raise some concerns about secondary school students. I do not see anything in the legislation that in any way speaks specifically to secondary school students, and I think it is necessary. The minister is probably as aware as I am that at the present time the needs of nearly all special education students at the secondary level are being met in vocational schools. That is clearly not satisfactory.

I have talked to numerous secondary school people -- principals, vice-principals, guidance people, special education people, vocational school people -- and they all say to me that if, when we are finished, the secondary school students of this province are still going to continue to have their needs met only in the vocational schools, it is not good enough and there will be no significant change.

4:30 p.m.

Therefore, I would like to see somewhere in the legislation -- and if the minister is not prepared to bring it forward, I can advise her that it is my intention to do so -- a particular and very specific reference to the needs of secondary school students.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: It is inherent in it.

Mr. Sweeney: Okay. Let us talk to it in a more specific way rather than in just an inherent way. Once again, the feeling is that it is not good enough. In the present practice across this province, the needs of elementary school students are met in a much more diverse, individual and specific way than those of secondary school students. That is what is happening in the province right now, and there is nothing to suggest under this legislation that things are going to change. Let us spend a little bit more time on that.

I want to move on to a couple of factors dealing with the wording in this legislation. It is not my intent to try to circumvent the clause-by-clause study of the bill at a later date, but if we are dealing with the principle of the legislation there are three or four references in here that I think clearly speak to that principle and I would hope that the minister might find some way to change them between now and when we discuss it again.

The very first one is on page one, section 20a, which deals with the definition of an exceptional pupil. I would draw the minister’s attention to the proposed legislative wording that was sent out to the school boards of this province on February 14, 1978, in which the term “exceptional pupil” was defined. The distinctive difference between what the minister proposed and what is in the legislation are these words, “considered to be suited.” I do not think I need point out to the minister that this leaves a very wide gap between what will he done and what may not be done. I would have to say to the minister that, if I have the choice between the wording in the legislation right now and the wording that she proposed on February 14, 1978, I will take the latter one. I think the wording in the proposal was a better wording. It was tighter and clearer and there was less opportunity for the needs of students not to be met. I am genuinely concerned about those particular words. Of course, that ties in with the whole question of the parental appeal which I raised before.

In the very next paragraph special education programs are mentioned. The words that concern me are, “or is designed to meet.” I guess the fairly obvious question is, why do we need those words at all? It seems to me that the wording without that phrase means an instructional program that meets the needs of an exceptional child. That is what should be there if the minister is saying the board has to do it and is responsible. If she is saying that the board has to provide it, then surely a special education program is one that meets the needs. To suggest that it is designed to meet them but may not meet them is a very key, significant distinction. The minister may disagree with me, but I can tell her, in my judgement there is a key distinction there and I do not think we should have these words in there. I am talking to the principle of the legislation when I say that; I am not talking to clause-by-clause consideration.

I am at a loss, quite frankly, to know why another section of the bill is in here at all. Perhaps the minister in responding to my remarks or at some later time can tell me, because I cannot see any need for it and I do not know why it is in. I am looking on page three at the reference to the Provincial Schools Authority. The wording is, “a demonstration school referred to ... that is established by the minister before this section comes into force is deemed not to be a school ...” The rest of the wording is there, and I am not going to read it, but I have to ask why. What is the purpose of that? Quite frankly, I do not understand it.

Let me make a point very clearly. I was not asked by anyone, including any member in the Provincial Schools Authority, to make mention of this. Maybe that says something. Maybe they are not worried about it; I do not know. It concerns me that would be in there, because I cannot see any need for it. Quite frankly, I would have to say to the minister if she cannot give me at least a valid and significant reason as to why it is in there, I am going to have to ask that it be taken out, because I cannot see why it is there.

I would ask one final question in this area. I appreciate there is no significant change between the existing legislation and the present one. There is a reference at the bottom of page three to the committee which the board sets up to review. It refers to the third party of that committee as being “a legally qualified psychiatrist.” I would ask the minister why a psychiatrist only; and why not a psychologist? I make that observation primarily based upon my own experience that in many cases the kinds of needs that I understand we are talking about here, unless the minister has something else totally different in mind, are often better understood by a good child psychologist or a good educational psychologist than they are by a psychiatrist.

That is why I often wondered under the old legislation why that was there. Since this bill provides me with an opportunity specifically to put the point, perhaps the minister could tell me. It would certainly be my professional opinion that in many cases a psychologist could be even preferable to a psychiatrist, but I would like the words “or psychologist” in there. Perhaps the minister could address herself to that particular point.

I have taken considerable time. The minister will recognize, however, that the particular points to which I have addressed myself are those where I think the bill can be strengthened. I have tried, as I said in the beginning, to indicate the ways in which I think this new legislation can be improved. The opening remarks of the minister have been very positive and will be supported. I have tried to indicate that the changes which I am recommending, in my judgement, should not be considered by the minister to be destructive criticism, but rather constructive criticism. I have also attempted to put the minister on notice of those areas in the legislation where, if she chooses not to take some action prior to committee, I intend to bring forward amendments.


Mr. Deputy Speaker: Before I recognize the next speaker on Bill 82, I beg to inform the House that in the name of Her Majesty the Queen, the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor has been pleased to assent to certain bills in her chambers.

First Clerk Assistant: The following are the titles of the bills to which Her Honour has assented:

Bill 42, An Act to amend the Legislative Assembly Act;

Bill 43, An Act to amend the Executive Council Act;

Bill 48, An Act to provide Property Tax Assistance for Pensioners in Ontario;

Bill 49, An Act to authorize the Raising of Money on the Credit of the Consolidated Revenue Fund;

Bill 50, An Act to provide Incentives for the Exploration of Mineral Resources in Ontario;

Bill 51, An Act to amend the Small Business Development Corporations Act, 1979;

Bill 52, An Act to amend the Retail Sales Tax Act;

Bill 53, An Act to amend the Corporations Tax Act, 1972;

Bill 54, An Act to amend the Gasoline Tax Act, 1973;

Bill 55, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act;

Bill 60, An Act to require the Registration of Non-resident Interests in Agricultural Land in Ontario;

Bill 61, An Act to amend the Tobacco Tax Act;

Bill 62, An Act for the making of Additional Provisions for the Levy and Payment of Succession Duty by or in respect of Property or Persons to whom the Succession Duty Act remains Applicable;

Bill 69, An Act to amend the District Municipality of Muskoka Act;

Bill 71, An Act to amend the Municipal Elections Act, 1977;

Bill 73, An Act to amend the Labour Relations Act;

Bill 74, An Act to amend the County of Oxford Act, 1974;

Bill 81, An Act to amend certain Acts respecting Regional Municipalities;

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

Bill Pr4, An Act respecting the Midland Young Men’s Christian Association;

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

Bill Pr13, An Act to revive Can-Con Enterprises and Explorations Limited;

Bill Pr14, An Act respecting the City of Toronto;

Bill Pr19, An Act respecting the City of Stratford;

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

Bill Pr27, An Act respecting the City of Hamilton;

Bill Pr29, An Act respecting the Town of Grimsby.

4:40 p.m.


Mr. Bounsall: Mr. Speaker, I must say that my opening remark will be that this bill is long overdue. I was not here to witness it, but I am told the present chairman of the Ontario Arts Council, the former president of Ryerson and the former member for Peterborough in this House from 1967 to 1971, spoke from time to time of the need to have special education a full responsibility of the boards of education with programs developed and funded by the ministry.

When the Education Act, 1974, came in and debates took place and the clause-by-clause consideration occurred, I recall that the then Education critic for our party, the member for Thunder Bay (Mr. Foulds), spoke at some length on various occasions on this very topic: the need to have special education and in what form. He followed that up with the first private member’s bill in this Legislature on special education. That bill, in the old form of private members’ bills that we bad and the way we dealt with them, was not debated.

The Education critic who followed the member for Thunder Bay, the member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes), introduced a bill respecting special education programs in November 1977 which was debated in December 1978. We have a beg history of support for the whole principle.

Throughout all the discussions I was party to, listening to those suggestions in 1974 and the debate on the private member’s bill in 1978, it never occurred to us that this would not be fully funded by the ministry. We assumed special education for all pupils in Ontario who needed it would be provided as a routine matter through the boards of education and would be fully funded by the province. Only now do we realize that, although we may give the responsibility to the boards of education to achieve what we have been talking about for years, it may well come in such a form that boards might feel they must shirk their responsibility, keeping in mind their taxpayer base. I think they are wrong to do that, but that is a very recognizable occurrence across the province and we are very much concerned by the prospect.

In the discussions during the estimates of last year and this year, and in the minister’s statement, one might have looked forward to a bill establishing special education programs as a responsibility of the boards to be a piece of legislation we could all applaud, apart from the funding. But when this legislation was tabled it came as an unpleasant surprise that the bill did not live up to the minister’s statements. It does not even live up to the statement she made on introduction of the bill when she said the passage of the bill would ensure that all children who have a right to attend schools in the province would receive an educational program designed to meet their needs, interests and capabilities, and would guarantee the rights of all children, conditions notwithstanding, to be enrolled in the school. Those are very laudable statements.

But looking at the wording of the legislation, it does not come close to achieving that, in my opinion. This is one of the reasons we clearly must go to committee: to ensure the minister’s recent statements are achieved in the wording of the bill. In many instances I feel very strongly it is not achieved.

This bill as written does not appear to be universal, or compulsory or mandatory on boards to ensure special education will be given to all those children who need it. In summary, we could say this bill is totally discretionary on boards. There are enough loopholes in the legislation as written.

I am prepared at this point to say to the minister that I think her intent was quite clear from what she has been saying, and that she may well want to achieve the things she has been saying of late. I do not know who in her ministry is involved in the drafting of this, but when one gets to look at the legislation, one sees that it does fall short of what the minister is saying she is trying to achieve.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Are you talking principle, or what?

Mr. Bounsall: For example, and I do not want to get into a clause-by-clause discussion of the bill -- what was the comment?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: I said, “Are you talking principle or clause-by-clause?”

Mr. Bounsall: I do not want to get into a clause-by-clause discussion of the bill at this time, although there are various parts of it which it is almost inevitable one must mention. Although the minister has made herself clear on various occasions that this will not happen, it has been of recent concern to our party that the gifted child may be left out. The minister has indicated this will not be the case, but the wording of the bill does not particularly reassure us. I refer to the bill tabled and spoken to by my colleague the member for Carleton East, a section of which bill said: “establish special education programs to provide special education services to gifted pupils who require such services in order to realize their full learning potential.”

A phrase of that sort does not appear in the government bill that is before us; I assume it is all covered in the definition section 1(1) 20a of the bill, under the word “intellectual.” The use of that word is, I think, an unfortunate one.

We may well want to get a better definition when we get to the committee stage on this bill, but “intellectual” has the connotation of an IQ measurement, which does not take into account the gifted nature of many of the pupils in our province. One can be gifted in many ways other than those measurable by IQ tests, and the minister’s bill therefore does not take into account the provision of services to those gifted pupils who should and could, under the terms of the bill from the member for Carleton East, be enabled to realize their full learning potential.

As I say, there are certain sections that almost cry out for comment, as if we were already entering a clause-by-clause stage, and I hope to avoid that as much as possible.

The definition of a special education program as “an instructional program that meets or is designed to meet the needs of an exceptional pupil” causes me the same concerns that were mentioned heretofore. “Designed to meet” to my way of thinking, provides an enormous loophole that could permit the ministry or the boards to get around the section and not provide the special education which they should be providing.

Again, in the same section on exceptional pupils, we have the words, “those considered to he suited for placement in a special education program by a committee of the board.” The minister, by that actual working, as I see it, is qualifying the principle of universal access. The board can find a particular student who is not suited for placement in a special education program, as they do so frequently at present, and therefore fully escape the duty.

At this point in my remarks I will not get into the exclusion section and whether we should have exclusions, although I have very strong thoughts on that. That whole section of the bill should be reworded. You do not take a child into a system, find the child has a problem, decide to exclude the child and then go to a committee process. That child should continue to be dealt with, and not ever be thought of as being out of the normal educational system of that board.

4:50 p.m.

Here again, I speak to the drafting of the bill. I do not know why it is that the Ministry of Education, presumably having people who can put sentences and paragraphs together -- I might expect that this expertise would be within the Ministry of Education -- comes through with some of the things it comes through with. I say that because the notes of explanation under that section contain the items which should actually be placed in the wording of the bill.

There is provision for a committee to be formed by a supervisory officer, a principal and a legally qualified psychiatrist. The comment I have about that part of the bill is that that locks it in through legislation, even though a psychologist may be more appropriate. But when I turn to the explanation section, I see that it goes on to say that they break it up into two parts: If there is not a psychologist or psychiatric problem, “a legally qualified medical practitioner, where the pupil allegedly has a physical handicap,” may be used. That is outlined clearly in the notes.

That should be part of the legislation so that it is made very clear what this committee may or may not do. One should not have to look to the explanatory notes to see how the committee must or can be composed; that must be put in the legislation, with at least those (a) and (b) clauses, and with further rewriting to allow other qualified persons, such as a psychologist instead of a psychiatrist, to be on the committee, where it is a case of a psychiatric, emotional problem or one that involves a multiple handicap.

In this case, it is the drafting of the wording of this section that causes me to wonder how it possibly could have come out in this way. That can be taken care of at the committee stage, and we must do that.

To turn to the matter of exclusion, which I just mentioned in passing: It concerns me that we would go through this mechanism, because when boards exclude entire groups of pupils, they may not have the facilities within the pupils’ own board to meet that special need, and the pupils are excluded.

That section goes on to say that, after one has gone through this committee stage, the committee will assist the parents or guardian to locate services to suit the pupil’s needs. All of that has to be changed; it has to be strengthened materially. That assistance can be as little as a phone call. There is no real mandate in this section that says to the board, “when a committee makes a determination” -- the minister disagrees? I think the time to disagree is in the committee stage.

There does not seem to be an indication anywhere throughout this that, when a child is excluded, to use the present wording, and the committee makes a determination of the need, they are going to provide for that need. How complete is that assistance going to be? Will it be a phone call to the parents, saying: “Look, here are five places that you may look. We do not have it in our board. We do not know of any other boards that have it. We have heard that” -- and they might mention a board 200 miles away -- “has something”? Is that the extent of the assistance that is going to be tendered?

If I were an administrator on a board in our province and were not committed to seeing that the children in my school system received all the assistance they should be getting to realize their full potential, I could look at section 7 and do a minimal job of assisting the parents to see that the pupils receive that assistance. There is no mention in that section as to who pays the cost. It is hard to read the rest of the legislation and see where that tie-in comes.

It is well known that there are placements in the United States to which it would be appropriate for pupils to go. Again, we can clear this up in committee, but I would assume that if those pupils are sent to the United States, the cost of transportation and the full cost of the pupils being in those placements will have to be paid for. But there is nothing in this legislation to indicate that is what will occur.

Although we have put the responsibility on boards to educate students according to their special needs, we in Ontario do not yet have those places. We are going to have to use those other places. Yet in any mind there is a very great concern as to the costs and payments to meet those programs.

There are some positive steps taken in this bill. For instance, the right for separate school boards and those in the French-language system to have their own facilities for the trainably retarded is something we have spoken in favour of over the years, and was the subject of a private member’s bill from the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) at one point. That is certainly a step forward. It is a positive step and is an area they have been wanting to get into for quite some time.

It is not without its drawbacks, though, their not having been able to do this in the past. Perhaps the only positive aspect one can see of it taking until 1985 before this legislation will fully cover all boards in Ontario is the fact that it will give a period of time during which the special education teachers in those other boards can be integrated into the separate school board system, if that is where they wish to go, and there will be no dislocation of those special education teachers in the system at present.

Here again, it should be made absolutely clear, either in the bill or in regulation, that teachers in this transfer situation -- which is what we have -- will not lose any benefits, and that they will take their full benefits with them. That is a concern of the teaching profession in the province, and it should be made very clear in this bill that the full benefits will go with all these teachers who may be affected by the trainably retarded people now being integrated in the French-language or separate school board.

Another positive step forward is that the age limit for people in our province who may receive special education has moved from 18 to 21. But that brings up the question, why are we starting as late as six years old? We have kindergartens in this province; we have junior kindergartens in a few places in this province. I am a firm believer that education in a formal sense should start at a much earlier age in our province. Why do we leave it at age six in this bill? We have extended the age at the other end. Yet we have pupils within our school system whose identifiable problems can be catalogued at an earlier age than six.

I would suggest to the minister that we remove that lower limit, or I would like to understand clearly why we are not dealing with a child who has particular special educational needs before the age of six. We have many of those children in our educational system.

5 p.m.

I certainly do have a query on other parts of the bill as well.

If demonstration schools are developed within a faculty of education, or as an adjunct to a faculty of education, and the staff there is hired as full-time university professorial staff with whatever rank pertains to their education background, I can understand that staff would be part of the normal and, in many cases now across Ontario, organized work force of that particular university. When we do not have demonstration schools associated with a faculty of education, duly appointed by the senate of the university the faculty is concerned with, I cannot see why we have in the bill that the staff will be excluded from the Provincial Schools Negotiations Act.

It is very tempting in this bill, when we see the way various parts of it are written, to get into this very detailed analysis, which certainly should be left entirely to the committee.

Let me say that there are positive aspects of it. I am rather surprised at the seeming lack of strength in this bill in achieving the ends which I truly believe we all in this House would like to see. That relates to the matter of wording, and we are going to have to deal with that wording very carefully at the clause-by-clause stage. In terms of what needs to be added to the bill, which is a matter of principle that should be dealt with by the committee, the bill is seriously flawed until we have in it some appeal system that is made available to those parents or guardians who do not agree with either the decision made by the committees making the assessment or the speed with which, the need having been identified and the assessment having been made, the service is provided.

We need an appeal committee in the province. It may even be done regionally. We need an appeal committee for two very good reasons. The association of large school boards has indicated its concern to me about having an appeal body to which appeals can be made rather than these school boards finding themselves being taken to court. There is that concern, and there is the concern from the parents’ point of view. In many cases, they fear taking the school board to court.

We need an appeal committee to which those decisions can be appealed, reviewed and heard, other than the only recourse that is left in the bill, which is taking the matter to court. The school board does not want to be in court for obvious reasons. Parents are reluctant to take the school boards to court for equally obvious reasons; they may have other children in the school system who do not have a special educational need and, not that it will occur but in case there may be a spinoff effect upon their other children should they find themselves taking the school board to court, they will be very reluctant to so do, quite apart from the expenditure of funds and the expense that is entailed by taking any one to court, in this case, the school board. This is particularly true in relation to the delays that will occur in having a hearing when the hearing has to be before a formal court.

As I stand here, I am not sure what particular kind of an appeal committee should be formed to hear the decisions, about the lack of action taken by a particular school board with respect to the educational needs of a particular child, but it may well be an extension, for example, of the Education Relations Commission’s function. That may be the group, or it could be an addition to that group, that will hear those appeals.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: You have to be kidding.

Mr. Bounsall: No, I am not kidding. The minister may want to have a separate one. I hesitate to say it should be something like the Social Assistance Review Board, knowing who gets appointed to that board to hear those appeals. I would think it should he a body that has some expertise. The Education Relations Commission could be expanded to include the expertise to have these hearings. That is a body that already exists and it has a reputation in the province for being able to deal with situations adequately and without seeming to take sides.

Whatever form of committee we devise for ourselves, it must be in this bill. The final recourse resulting from a lack of satisfaction, in terms of the provision of the service or delay in the province of the service, cannot be left with the courts, which is the only way under the present legislation.

Finally, my major concern is the funding. I have read very carefully the questions which took place at the estimates this year, when I queried in depth exactly how much additional moneys was being put in and so on. That differs rather greatly from the minister’s statement, although as far as I can determine there were at least three contradictory answers over the course of that 15-minute exchange in estimates. I am quite in the dark as to exactly what year-by-year additional funding is being provided and the mechanism of that funding. I have read the minister’s statement again and I have read what took place in estimates with respect to the funding. None of it adds up.

The school boards are quite interested in this whole procedure too, if one talks to any school trustee. I have not gone out of my way to phone trustees. I bumped into several, and several have phoned me; they are extremely interested in exactly how this funding is going to take place. There is concern in both the small school boards and the large school boards. The small school boards hope there is enough funding so that, when they have their arrangements with large school boards to provide the services they cannot afford to provide, they will be met with a positive reaction from the large school boards, because they are receiving sufficient funding to meet and provide that educational need.

The large school boards are saying if the funding is not adequate, if they have to go to their taxpayers for increasing amounts of money year by year, then not only are they not going to be able to provide the special education needs this bill would have them take responsibility for, but also they will have to consider severing those relationships some of them already have with other board jurisdictions.

There is real concern as to exactly what is going to happen this year, next year and by 1985. Let me tie that in with what should be taking place at the committee stage where we get to it in August. For whatever length and number of hours or days it will take, someone from the ministry should fully explain exactly where the funds are coming from and the mechanism of providing those funds in such a way that all the committee members fully understand where they are coming from, all of the groups interested in special education understand where the boards can get their money, and finally the boards and the trustees understand exactly what kind of funding is coming to them and from where.

Whatever length of time it takes for that understanding to be reached, and it may involve an explanation of funding formulas, that should be taking place perhaps rather early on in the clause-by-clause committee discussion of this bill when we encounter it in August.

5:10 p.m.

Every school board I have talked to -- several have phoned, and I have phoned a couple -- and every trustee I have talked to has said, “If you know when that discussion is going to take place in committee, can you please let me know; that is one I want to listen to.”

I think the ministry owes the public a complete explanation of the funding mechanism, when there are so many people directly involved in the field who are wishing strongly to know the full details of it themselves.

We have until mid-August before we gather and enjoy each other’s company in the committee stage. We probably have enough time between now and then to complete the writing of any regulations that are required to accompany these amendments. I think the regulations should be tabled at the time of the commencement of that committee, and there should be a full explanation at that time of the funding program and of the 19 pilot projects that will be administered this year by the school boards. Those should all be nearing completion by then, because they will be starting in September.

For the purposes of the committee and the public, the full details of the kind of special education and the information on those 19 boards and their projects should be fully provided to the committee. Then everyone in Ontario will know exactly what is happening in the special education field this year.

Our party has no intention of opposing this bill. We are not anticipating any opposition at third reading stage or anything else. I hesitate to say we can wholeheartedly support this bill as worded. However, we support the principle that special education should be given by the boards across Ontario to all those pupils in need and that the cost of that should he funded primarily by the Ministry of Education. The boards should not have to go to the local taxpayer base to meet those additional educational costs which are going to occur.

The number of students we are dealing with in the province is now slightly more than some of the figures we have heard from time to time. One can define special education rather broadly. But following a very narrow definition, Colorado found that 5.8 per cent of their pupils qualified for special education. Applying that 5.8 per cent to the students in Ontario schools shows that we would have 140,000 pupils in need of special education either from learning disabilities or because they are gifted. That is a minimum figure, therefore, and does not include -- again this is based on enrolments -- all of those pupils who have been allowed to drop out at age 14 or 15 because the system has never met their particular learning needs.

In terms of the very strict definition applied in Colorado, and bearing in mind that it does not include the dropouts, we are talking of a learning-disabled need of an absolute minimum of 140,000 in the province.

Through our educational system, we have a duty to see that these children in Ontario are receiving education in the manner that they are entitled to according to their ability to take it and according to their disability. That is the minimum we can do for that tremendous resource which we have in the children of Ontario. We must provide that for them in the best possible way and in this legislation ensure that we leave no stone unturned, no “i” undotted in seeing that we fully mandate the boards of Ontario in seeing that educational need is met.

Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, my comments on this bill will be short because of the time constraints as the session ends. It is not only for that reason, but my colleague from Kitchener-Wilmot has covered many points and I do not intend to reiterate them.

However, as I rise to speak in support of the principle of this bill, I want it understood that I am in support of the vehicle created by this bill. We recognize that the bill needs to he overhauled in committee and perhaps very drastically in certain areas. That will be done during the summer, I understand, because both speakers before me have indicated that they want this bill to go to committee.

In speaking to second reading of this bill, I would like to say that any comments I will have to make specifically about the bill I will reserve until committee stage.

I might say that, in preparing myself to speak on this bill, I am very much indebted to organizations such as Justice For Children and more particularly to the Association for Children with Learning Disabilities. A constituent of mine who is present in the gallery this afternoon, Rosemary Underwood, has prepared a very detailed document correlating the relationship between the learning disabled and juvenile delinquency. I am very much personally indebted for this document, because it formed the basis of the first bill which was introduced in this House, and which was done by this member in 1976, requiring mandatory special education. My bill, however, went one step farther. It dealt with requiring the Education Act to be amended to guarantee the right of education to children. However, the minister has not found it sufficiently within her power to guarantee that right to individual children within our system.

Lest the minister suffer notions of superiority, I will refer to an answer she gave to the leader of the third party in this House on June 10. I quote from page 2682 of Hansard. She said, “Mr. Speaker, the government in this province has made a greater commitment to special education for every child in this province who requires it than any other government on this continent. We made that commitment earlier and more effectively than any other jurisdiction. That commitment will continue.”

May I just remind the minister of the Education For All Handicapped Children Act of 1975? It is Public Law 94-142 of the United States of America, which is still on this continent. If I may refer to the preamble of that act, it says: “The term ‘special education’ means specifically designed instruction, at no cost to parents or guardians, to meet the unique needs of a handicapped child, including classroom instruction, instruction of physical education

Mr. Speaker: It is all very interesting, but it is not a principle in this bill.

Mr. Stong: That is absolutely true, Mr. Speaker. It is not a principle in this bill, and yet the minister has indicated that her bill is far-reaching and leads every other jurisdiction on the continent.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: No, I did not say that. Re-read what I said. The member is misquoting me.

Mr. Stong: I am not. It is on page 2682 of Hansard, June 10. I will read it again.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: It says this province made a greater commitment and a stronger commitment.

Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, I quoted Hansard quite accurately in that regard.

5:20 p.m.

This bill is not mandatory. It leaves a discretion to the minister. What happens in the areas where the minister elects not to exercise her discretion? What happens in those areas? The bill also talks about resident pupils, which by implication leaves out such children as those in detention homes, those before the courts and those in mental hospitals.

The bill is deficient in many respects and must be amended in committee. The bill specifically leaves out and is silent with respect to the costs being borne by guardians or parents. The minister knows very well that is a very weighty and tremendously onerous burden on parents of children who suffer learning disabilities, particularly with respect to the assistance available to them in the present situation.

In my respectful submission the bill before us is a Band-Aid and conforms to a Band-Aid philosophy. It is welcome because there is nothing in the province to meet what it offers, but it is very deficient in many respects.

Not too long ago in this House, I asked the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) about the remedial aspect of learning disabilities. The bill that is before the House now is five years too late, and it does not go far enough.

Over the past five years more has been learned about the learning disabled than had been accomplished up to 1975. One of the aspects of learning disability is that more people are becoming aware of it. More parents are prepared to accept that their children suffer from a learning disability and are prepared to help their children. That educational factor has taken a long time to get through to parents. It is coming, but this bill does not meet the needs of those children.

If the minister would confer with the Minister of Health and if both ministers together would study facilities such as are offered by the Tomatis Centre in Scarborough, the surface of the remedial aspects of special education might be scratched.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: That is only one kind.

Mr. Stong: I am only using that as an example; I am not holding it out as the answer to all problems. But we know that for the learning disabled, or the mentally disturbed child, learning disabilities in that respect have very little or nothing to do with education. The learning disability is more than an educational problem. It is a physical, psychological problem, and that is a medical problem.

If this minister would confer with the Minister of Health and perhaps establish remedial programs in Ontario, instead of using Band-Aid solutions -- which are welcome because we do not have anything yet -- then, in turn, maybe we would start to get to the root of this problem.

There is no reason why programs such as the program being offered at Tomatis cannot be included under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan so that parents will not be burdened further with the costs of remedying a learning disability in a child. They are remediable if this government would turn its attention to them.

I am not going to go through all the aspects of this bill in detail. We will go through the bill at great length in committee, and we will revise it there so that it will begin to reflect the needs in the community.

I urge this minister to confer with the Minister of Health, who does not accept the program at Tomatis, pursuant to his answer. I urge her to study it, and perhaps she will begin to realize that there is an answer to learning disabilities. The answer does not lie in the minister’s bill. The answer lies in a combination of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health. She will begin to realize that the burdens and their costs can he alleviated with the proper program.

It is my respectful submission to this House that the approach taken by the official critic for education, that the matter go to committee to be revised, is one that is desirable, and I support that proposition.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, let me begin by saying to the minister that I am delighted to see this legislation. A number of years ago I recall being engaged in debate with her predecessor, the present government House leader (Mr. Wells). I indicated at that time I thought special education was the Achilles heel of the Ministry of Education. My reservations are founded in my dealings with children with learning disabilities over the past three or four years and in confronting both the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the board of education in Sudbury, to no avail, with respect to these children.

I intend to document quickly, and to try to elicit from the minister how we will overcome some of the reservations that I think school boards have and some of their reluctance to get serious about this problem.

Before I speak to section 7, I would say I am particularly pleased with the section concerning the separate school system being allowed to educate the mentally retarded. I recall, several weeks ago, discussing with the former Minister of Education when this bill would he brought forward. At that time he indicated it had been a long battle trying to bring about this particular change in the act. I guess I wrote my first letter concerning the educable mentally retarded in the separate schools about 1972 as a result of a meeting with the separate school board in Sudbury, which has a predominance of bilingual children. Ever since, it has been a constant aggravation to me to watch various boards circumvent the provisions of the act dealing with the education of educable mentally retarded, particularly in the bilingual or francophone sections of those schools.

As the minister knows, I have presented a private member’s bill for the past two years. I don’t care who gets credit in terms of what prompted the change; I simply want to say I am absolutely delighted. It makes a lot of sense to have the youngsters able to go to school, in many instances, with their brothers and sisters. It makes a lot of sense to have French-speaking children who are already handicapped, and who have several strikes against them, being allowed to attend a school system where they will be able to communicate in their mother tongue. I am pleased that section is in tile bill.

There have been objections. I recall putting in my newsletter that I had introduced a private member’s bill a year and a half ago. I had some feedback. There were certain people in communities in the area I represent who were hostile to the private member’s bill and made their views known, to which I respond, of course, in like kind. They did not write me a second time. I am always disappointed that they never write a follow-up letter.

5:30 p.m.

Having come from the teaching profession and having a wife who teaches now, I know that a number of teachers make referrals to the board even at this late date. I knew of a referral that was made last September with respect to a youngster in about grade four, and it is now June. Despite that referral, the teacher is still waiting for some sort of assessment on that child -- from September to June. The minister might wonder why I have some reservations about how wholeheartedly boards are going to accept this. When a teacher goes to a principal and indicates there is a child who needs some sort of testing and some eight or nine months later he is still waiting for the assessment to be done, it disturbs me to no end. For that child it is just another lost year.

I have reservations about the strength of the bill. When one looks on page two, for example, it says the minister may “require elementary school boards to implement procedures for early identification of the learning abilities and needs of pupils and may provide guidelines ... ”

That should say “must.”

Hon. Miss Stephenson: It will.

Mr. Martel: It will? I am delighted. I indicated my concern to the minister the other day. They must do it; I do not think boards should have any latitude in whether they provide services. I think it is a responsibility and, wherever we can, we must force them to the wall, if need be, to provide the services that are required. It may appear to be a minor amendment but when the word is changed from “may” to “must,” it makes a vast difference to what the obligations of the board are.

I also want to deal briefly with defining exceptionalities or developing definitions. What happens after the identification occurs bothers me. We can spell out that a child is gifted but, from there on, what happens?

I recall about a year and a half ago getting involved with a youngster whose name was George. We identified the problem. I went to the board and asked what it was going to do for the youngster. We went to the Minister of Community and Social Services and we got shot down. I was told they were providing special ed. I turned to a friend of mine who happened to be teaching in the Sudbury area and who had this youngster. He was in grade 11. He was getting 30 minutes a day of English in grade 11. He was at a grade one level. When a school board can mesmerize a person with that kind of nonsense, we have to make sure that after the identifications there are no loopholes whatsoever.

I want to discuss one case in not too much length to show what happened as recently as within the last year. I and a lawyer represented a youngster who was 19 years of age and, fortunately, he had a super set of parents. The father was a geologist and the mother worked for the ministry -- ironically, she worked for the Ministry of Community and Social Services -- and those parents were outstanding.

They had identified, as the bill says, the problems. I have the assessment. It says:

“His records indicate, with the exception of a remedial reading course which he took in 1975-76, this boy has not received any remedial help. Discussing this fact with nor Mr. Dewar, guidance department head, there does not seem to be any particular need or request for additional remedial assistance.”

At this time he was in grade 12. He had not acquired a math credit anywhere. His math level was at grade two. At the end of the eighth month, he had successfully completed grade 12. I will send the minister a copy of his writing in a few moments to indicate what it is like.

What bothers me is that we are talking about 1979. The boards knew this was coming. The boards of education should have had the foresight to worry about it.

This is the assessment of the vice-principal. He says: “Earlier testing suggested that this boy possessed an average IQ.”

Obviously he had a learning disability. His reading level was judged to be at grade five. I suspect that, but that is what the board says. He got one bit of remedial assistance from grade one to grade 12.

We then decided that was the assessment of the school and we were taking it to the Ministry of Community and Social Services. This is what the superintendent of special education said: “A program could be provided at one of our other schools; however, I believe that the family are looking to other resources. The community colleges have carefully structured courses meant to assist adults in the area of stated need.”

That is the superintendent in 1979. He said the community college can do it and they can provide it. They gave the youngster a remedial course in grade five for a little while. He was at the grade two level in mathematics at the end of the eighth month. At the end of grade 12, he was perhaps at the end of the grade five level. It was about a year ago that this assessment came down.

We then took an appeal to the Ministry of Community and Social Services. I want the minister to hear the result of this appeal. It blew my mind, because the character who adjudicated this should have been ousted. Listen to what he says: “The vocational rehabilitation services branch has accepted the fact that Mr. B has learning disabilities but is of the opinion that the Sudbury Board of Education is able to provide him with programs which it feels will meet his academic requirements.”

He goes on to say that we could send him to a community college. He had accepted the board of education’s assessment. The board of education said, “We can do it.” I do not know why they did not. The decision at the hearing was, “Well, we won’t send him there.” It goes on to say: “The position of the vocational rehabilitation services branch is that, although the young man may need some additional help in order to move into the labour market, he does not have to go out to Gow School in New York to obtain it as there are certain remedies and solutions available to him in various schools in the system in Ontario.”

Nobody told him where. My colleague said we must know where to direct people and the minister shook her head. She was not sure that we would adequately advise parents where they can take their children. We do not get it. It is not forthcoming. It is with such reluctance that boards deal with this problem that it boggles the mind.

This was lost. It goes on further to say: “I take judicial notice of the fact that, with the diploma, he is able to enter a community college program.” I wrote to the community college because the board of education said he could go to the community college. The board that made the decision, the Social Assistance Review Board, said he could go to the community college.

I wrote Cambrian College in Sudbury and said, “What have you got to offer this young man?” This is final assessment from Cambrian College: “I would hasten to caution, however, on two points. First, while our faculty are readily accessible, increasing class sizes and their lack of specialized training in dealing with learning disabilities will limit and qualify their accessibility for special assistance. Secondly, where we might be able to offer a few programs that would prove suitable, the specialized training and excellent success record of the Gow school might greatly expand the options open to him and enhance his career opportunity.”

5:40 p.m.

The community college says: “No, we do not have anyone trained. We cannot accept him. Send him to Gow.” The school board says, “We have programs.” We send him to the community college. The community college says, “No.” We take it to the Social Assistance Review Board, and that board says, “Send him to the community college.”

That is a 1979 case. When my colleague gets up and says, “Parents do not know,” I wonder what in God’s name is going on when we abuse youngsters in that fashion. That is why the act must be toughened up.

I will take it two steps further. I was working then with a group called the Activity Learning Centre at Laurentian University. I wrote to them and said, “Could you find out for me what the board of education has to offer kids with learning disabilities?” I got a letter from Gundi Sheppard, who is on staff there, and the director. I met with them and she said to me, “On calling the school board trustees recently with regard to this question, Mrs. Payne was directed to make an inquiry to the board of education offices. There she met a dead end, because there seemed to be much uncertainty as to the definition of a qualified teacher for the learning disabled,”

I thought I had better go to the board of education and I went to the board of education. I wrote; I did not get a reply. I wrote again; they called me. I told them I wanted to know the qualifications of the staff to deal with children with learning disabilities and special education, and I wanted to know the ratio of students to teacher.

I could provide to the minister, if she would like, the gobbledegook that was sent to me. I do not know how many times I have gone through it. I am still trying to figure out what it means. It has such little niceties in it with little blocks showing that this school has something there.

Listen to this. What does this mean? Name of the school, Adamsdale; special-ed teacher, one; special-ed self-contained students, 14; special-ed resource teachers, 0.5; resource withdrawal students, 21. Maybe I am obtuse, but I do not know what it means. If they are telling me there is one and a half teachers for some 35 students, I say it is too high; that is too many students for that number of teachers, in my opinion. But I do not know. That was more of the gobbledegook surrounding this one case.

I went to the Ministry of Community and Social Services, I went to the board and I went back to the board. I requested the assistance of everyone. I went to Cambrian College. Does the minister know what happened when all was said and done? This youngster is out in the cold. The ministry would not fund him. Cambrian College could not offer him a course and the education system which he was in for 12 years got him to the end of grade 12. He has a maths level of 2.8 and a reading level almost of nil.

I am going to send to the minister a copy of this young man’s record. This was after he went to Gow. There was some improvement and some effort. These two parents really worked with their youngster. I give them total credit for what they did. But the obstruction in that case was unbelievable. How the Social Assistance Review Board and Peter Crichton of the Ministry of Community and Social Services who were involved in making a presentation, could shoot down getting that young fellow sent to the United States is unacceptable. Surely that is not what it is all about, Surely we are helping people who need help. The Social Assistance Review Board said he could find a system in Ontario. I do not know where.

When I look at that section of the bill that gives me definitions and talks to me about such things as course offerings and so on, I have to say there must be a change in attitude by school boards. I do not know why they were protective. I do not know why they were defensive. My God, we were trying to help a young man, and there are thousands in the province. It is as though we need a sledge hammer or something to indicate we are not asking the boards to go on the defensive or anything. We are all here to try to do a job to help young people. That is what the bill is about. Why is there opposition in a case like that? It boggles the mind.

Let me tell you what else we have to do, Mr. Speaker, in respect to this bill. I liked the suggestion the minister has. I am hopeful that she can prevail upon, coerce, kick, beg, or whatever, the universities to put into place a system across this province, something like what Dr. Griff Morgan had in Guelph. There is another disgrace in this province. The dismantling of the system in Guelph was not nearly as neat and education-wise as people want to imply. I suggest it was one of the quietest blood-lettings that went on.

We first got involved with Dr. Griff Morgan in Sudbury three or four years ago when I was asked to speak to the parents of children who had learning disabilities. There was some ambivalence in the parents as to whether they should tread softly and approach the board in a genteel fashion. I am not one to tackle problems that way. I encouraged them as much as I could to go after the board with a vengeance.

It was strange; within a year and a half, eight students were sent to the United States, paid for by the Ministry of Community and Social Services. I would never make the suggestion they were hand-picked, but what it succeeded in doing was getting rid of those parents who were front and centre in the fight to get the kids special education. They neatly plucked them up and sent them off. I could not understand getting seven or eight funded by the ministry in one year. It boggles the mind.

Mr. Foulds: That the ministry could be so generous for a change.

Mr. Martel: Yes, that they were so generous. The parents of nearly every one of those kids who were accepted were heavily involved, front and centre, in demanding that the board provide services for all kids. Mrs. Lefebvre, her son went off; Mrs. Conron, her son went off; the people I am speaking about, their son was sent down. It boggles the mind.

We called on the services of Griff Morgan then. We tried St. Michael’s Hospital and a couple of other places. There was no place where the parents could get involved or get the type of assessment they wanted done and the type of program that would serve the needs of children.

I understand the Ministry of Education played some role in getting Dr. Morgan over to Canada -- I might be wrong -- and they suddenly soured on him. I find that strange. Certainly it was not in this minister’s time, but there was a souring of what Griff Morgan was doing in the Ministry of Education. It almost came to blows, because at one time he was going to sue. That is how upset he became at some of the comments that came out of the Ministry of Education about four years ago. There was a dislike for what he was doing.

5:50 p.m.

I have never been able to understand it. He is a kind, dedicated person. Some people might disagree with me. He is tough; however, it is a tough field we are in. But the ministry did not like Griff Morgan. I recall talking to the wife of the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie). She is involved in this field rather heavily and she thought Dr. Morgan’s program was absolutely superb. He took time. When the parents in Sudbury needed some help, he came. Youngsters were brought to Guelph and they were tested.

I hope that the minister, when she talks to the presidents of the various universities, will look to Dr. Morgan’s program as it was before it was emasculated. I know the minister sent a letter off to the president as a result of a letter I wrote her. I received an assurance yesterday from the president that Dr. Morgan was not going to be heavily involved in anything. I must say that in my communications directly with Dr. Morgan, that is not quite cricket. I know what a blood-letting is at a university. I recall a number in my own community. I watched a president get the axe. We think politics around here is rough; that is the real politics. They could all teach us something when they get involved at the university level. That is genocide; I know no other word for it. But when they go after each other they do it with a subtlety to start with that is --

Hon. Miss Stephenson: You do not realize you are bleeding until it dribbles down your legs.

Mr. Martel: That’s right; the minister is right on.

Mr. Foulds: The Ministry of Education is a bit like that, actually.

Mr. Martel: But she comes on pretty front and centre. I have never seen her go out the back door.

But a blood-letting is going on there, I would invite Griff Morgan to come to Sudbury tomorrow to institute the type of system he had in Guelph. I know of nothing that compares at the present time with the program that was dismantled. He took time with the parents, and it takes a lot of time.

I do not know how well boards are going to do when they are assessing. I hope they take the time to test the child -- one or two of them if need be. I hope they take the time to have full consultation with the family, to find out the educational background, and the immediate presentation of provisional results to the parents with a final interview. I hope there will be follow-ups with the parents later on and consultation in some cases with the parents and the schools combined.

I just do not see the boards of education offering that. That is why I am dubious when I see this part of the bill that says the minister can pen up some schools, or the universities could do it and the province would fund it. I hope she takes a positive, strong lead.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: We have done it. Trillium and Leger are two current examples.

Mr. Martel: I know. But which model is the minister using?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: No model gives --

Mr. Martel: I know. But heaven forbid that I would want one single model. It has to be, either in a demonstration school or in a university, the type of system that would provide some of the testing. In fact, we could bring in some of the teachers who could have it as a learning experience.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: That is what we are doing.

Mr. Martel: I look at Laurentian University and I do not see an awful lot in place. I think there is going to be one course offered next winter at Laurentian.

Mr. Foulds: How many people go to Trillium?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Teachers or students?

Mr Martel: Teachers.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: They have been going weekly this year. It was booked until March.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. Martel: But one cannot bring teachers from all over the province to Trillium.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Yes, we can.

Mr. Martel: One can get them there for a while, but I do not mean just a learning experience in the sense of a trip or a tour and spending a week. I am talking about educating the educators, who will then take it back to the classrooms.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: That is exactly what it is all shout.

Mr. Martel: I suspect they will not learn it in a week.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: They are not people who are just starting from scratch.

Mr. Martel: Well, I happen to have spent a couple of days in the classroom --

Mr. Foulds: A lot of teachers are starting from scratch when it comes to the learning-disabled.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. Martel: Having spent the odd day in the classroom, I do not think I could learn all I would have to learn in order to --

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Of course not.

Mr. Martel: That is what I am saying.

What I am saying is I would hope that the minister would see to it that she would -- to quote the bill -- “enter into an agreement with a university to provide for the establishment, maintenance and operation by the university, under such terms and conditions as the minister and the university may agree upon, of a demonstration school.”

If the minister were wise, and she is -- see, I am being flattering now --

Mr. Foulds: The member for Sudbury East will stoop to anything.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: To get one in Sudbury, he will.

Mr. Martel: -- she would put one in Sudbury; would put one in Thunder Bay -- in fact, she would put them across the province strategically located so they can get there in a hurry.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: We have to know we are doing the right thing first.

Mr. Martel: That might be the case, but this has been coming for a long time. Surely we can try to locate those demonstration schools in strategically located areas so teachers who come from Thunder Bay do not have to take an airplane to fly to Toronto and over to Milton, and do not have to spend half their time in the air or be gone a month. We should locate them strategically, pick out the areas wanted, and provide them across the province so people can get there with a couple of hours of travel and spend some time there. In fact, they should be able to get there on a regular basis during the year for a course so one could get involved. In that way, a teacher in my community of Capreol could drive to Laurentian University and take that type of required course.

It might take three or four years to finalize it. That is fine. But they could implement what they were learning as they went along. That is my hope for that section of the bill. I hope that will occur, because I think to do what we have to do we are going to have to play catch-up ball. We are behind and, if we want to move ahead, one school in the province is not going to do enough for us. If we want to put all of this in place by 1985 we are going to have to do a lot more than we are doing.

As I said, I hope the minister is prepared to kick, scratch, enforce, coerce -- I am not sure; any type of word one wants to use -- to get the universities to go along. I know all about their autonomy. I hear it all the time except when they want a handout.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: The boards of education are autonomous.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. Martel: Let me say as strongly as I can, that is what I would like to see the ministry do with respect to that section of the bill. I want to say that without that we are going to have some difficulty in getting the type of qualified teachers we want into the classrooms starting now and gaining the experience and the knowledge necessary to implement this program in its entirety by 1985. If the minister does not do that, I suspect we will be in serious trouble. Although the bill will be in place, we will not have the personnel in place to do that. That is one of the concerns I have.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: You are telling me teachers aren’t wise enough to see the handwriting on the wall?

Mr. Martel: Strangely enough, when I was in the teaching field I always felt that, as a teacher, I did not have a hell of a lot to say about education. Most teachers today will still say they do not have a lot to say about what is going on in the field of education. They do not. Under the larger boards I think they feel more isolated than ever.

6 p.m.

My wife came home last year, so help me God, with a pile of directives so high. I mean, they spend their time writing directives. There is a directive for everything. What initiative is left for teachers? I do not know. I have friends who quit and said, “Look it is no longer fun educating kids.”

The directives are mad. I say that with sincerity to the minister. I am not talking about one or two teachers; I am talking about teachers. As I say, my wife is in the field, and I was a principal in the system. The teachers I talk to tell me that it is absolutely nuts; they have no say.

The directives that come are stacked up. I know they do not come from the minister, but they come from the director of the board, and he passes them on. It is nuts. Teachers do not have much say. Over the weekend, I talked to a teacher I know well who was looking for --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Perhaps the honourable member would refer to the directives which may pertain to this bill.

Mr. Martel: Right on, Mr. Speaker. I am talking about section 3 of the bill which deals with what the universities are offering.

Let me conclude by saying that I hope the minister will seriously review what Morgan was doing. I say that, because I know there has been some little disdain over the years by certain people in the ministry with respect to what he was doing. But I have never found a more sensitive, sensible, dedicated, quiet-spoken man in my life. My colleagues would agree, whether it be the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan), the member for Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie), my colleague from Thunder Bay, the former leader of this party. Whenever we spoke to him, and we dealt with him extensively, we were terribly impressed by what he was trying to do. And, I tell the minister as I stand here, he has been axed.

With those few words, Mr. Speaker, I will take my place and let someone else adjourn the debate.

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

The House recessed at 6:02 p.m.