31st Parliament, 4th Session

L093 - Mon 20 Oct 1980 / Lun 20 oct 1980

The House met at 2:04 p.m.




Hon. Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Speaker, in response to your request of October 7, 1980, I would like to advise the members of the Legislature regarding the nature and significance of the system currently operated by the Ministry of Government Services to measure the effectiveness of the government intercity telephone network.

The government intercity telephone network is operated and funded by the Ministry of Government Services. The network consists of 383 telecommunication lines which link all the major communities in the province with Queen’s Park in Toronto. The network is used for the conduct of Ontario government business at a cost of about one third of the long-distance cost if direct distance dialling were used. The annual cost of the network is about $4 million and it handles more than eight million calls each year.

The government intercity telephone network has been in use for almost 20 years. In 1976, a system was installed to measure the telephone traffic volume on the 383 intercity lines. The purpose was to collect statistical information to measure the service levels and permit the effective management of this resource.

It is important to note that currently my ministry cannot determine the origin, destination or content of individual calls. We cannot determine who is using the network. We can only determine the cumulative traffic volume on any particular intercity line which is necessary for effective management of the network.

One of the initiatives of my ministry is to move in the direction of cost recovery from users of common services, wherever justifiable and practical. In this connection, my ministry is currently exploring the technology and feasibility of an information system which would permit cost recovery for the services of the intercity telephone network.

It is my expectation that, with the availability of improved technology, more effective modes of operating and measuring the network will occur. Such improved technology may have the capability of identifying the origin, destination and time usage of calls placed through the intercity network for the purposes of cost recovery as well as increased productivity and efficiency. Such a system would not, however, monitor in any way the contents of the calls, nor would I permit it if the technology were available.

I mention this potential development merely to advise the members of the future possibilities for improving the effective use of the intercity network by general government. Mr. Speaker, I would undertake to advise the House if, in the future, any significant change in the mode of measuring the network were to be introduced which would affect member’s telephones.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that the Ministry of Government Services does not currently monitor the origin, destination or content of any calls on the intercity telephone network.

Mr. Speaker: I want to thank the honourable minister for elaborating on his earlier answer and for giving the assurances that nothing untoward is going on within his ministry or within the system itself.

I would like to draw to the attention of honourable members the presence in the Speaker’s gallery of a distinguished delegation of parliamentarians from South Africa headed up by Senator the Honourable Geoffrey Hamilton O’Connell. Would you please welcome them.

2:10 p.m.



Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the minister associated with commerce and industry, I must put this question to the Deputy Premier. Can he explain to the House why the Ontario Securities Commission suspended trading in the shares of Massey-Ferguson at the opening of the Toronto Stock Exchange today? If he has no information about this, is he not aware of how important this is for the welfare of the company, I suppose, but more so in the minds of the thousands of people whose welfare and continuing income depends upon the company when it is facing bankruptcy within the next few days?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the honourable member that I can appreciate the concern he has just expressed. I really have no information that would be helpful by way of an answer at this point but if some information is communicated to me before the question period is over, I will be glad to share it. Otherwise, I will draw the question to the attention of my colleague.

Mr. Nixon: I appreciate the minister’s undertaking but if information is forthcoming and the question period perhaps has closed, would he undertake to see that the members from the area are at least informed as to the circumstances?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Yes.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Will the Deputy Premier tell the House to what extent the question of Massey has been discussed by the provincial cabinet, and has the cabinet made a declaration or a decision in principle in which Ontario is prepared to participate to protect the jobs and to keep a major Canadian corporation with substantial exports operating here rather than putting us at the mercy of imports of farm machinery from the rest of the world?

Hon. Mr. Welch: As the honourable member will appreciate, the decisions of cabinet, when they are made on any particular subject, are communicated by the appropriate minister in due course.


Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I direct a question to the Solicitor General. We were informed through the press that on September 30 the Solicitor General instructed the Ontario Provincial Police to undertake an investigation into the police affairs in the town of Tillsonburg and report within two weeks. Can he now indicate to the House the circumstances of that situation and what disposition has been made of it at this time?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, to be more specific, my instructions for the Ontario Provincial Police were not to investigate the affairs generally of the Tillsonburg Police Force but to conduct a criminal investigation in view of some of the very serious allegations that had been made. I did not tell the OPP to complete their investigation within two weeks because that is not the type of instruction I would give to any police force, obviously, knowing the extent of investigation that would be required.

I indicated that I wanted an interim report within two weeks, and I have received an interim report to the effect that further investigation is warranted. Substantial resources have been allocated to that investigation, and we believe it will be in everybody’s interest to have the criminal aspect of the investigation concluded as soon as possible. But as recently as Friday, the OPP assured me they were giving the matter very high priority.

Mr. Nixon: Is the minister aware, or was it part of the interim report he is referring to, that a former chief of the Tillsonburg police had submitted a critical report pertaining to these matters as long ago as three years and the Ontario Police Commission took no public action?

Can the minister explain both why no action was taken and why the Ontario Provincial Police lockup facilities in Tillsonburg evidently were the scene of one of the allegations of criminal activity wherein 18 young people were beaten in the OPP lockup? Is this a part of the criminal investigation the Solicitor General has ordered, and can he give us a fuller report on these matters?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I was aware that some of the allegations did refer to incidents that were alleged to have occurred in that lockup, and I am assured that aspect is one of the matters under investigation.

With respect to the suggestion that a former police chief had given a report to the Ontario Police Commission three years ago --

Mr. Nixon: Four years ago, I’m sorry.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- I am not aware of that, but I will certainly make inquiries in view of the honourable member’s question.

Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I wonder if the minister would reply to the concern I have that, if this was going on for four years, many of the 10,000 townspeople of Tillsonburg were put in the position of making a decision about some officers on the police force as opposed to others as related to their treatment of the public? Does he not feel that his lines of communication are somewhat lacking in getting the information to him, the first minister of the crown who should be looking into these matters?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: We do not know yet what has been going on for the past four years. Certain serious allegations have been made and, with respect, I think it would be very premature and unfair to make any statements of fact at this time.

Mr. Nixon: What is the responsibility of the Solicitor General when the Ontario Provincial Police lockup is being used by a municipal force? Does the OPP have the more important position as regards what charges are laid and what the disposition would be? Are they in a position to stop the municipal force from taking certain actions of which they might not approve?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: With respect to shared facilities such as that, the responsibility in relation to the processing of the charges and the disposition with respect to deciding whether any charges should be laid is the responsibility of the municipal police force involved. The Ontario Provincial Police would have no role to play in that regard.

On the other hand, if there were members of the Ontario Provincial Police who were present and if they witnessed a matter, for example, an assault, or if they witnessed any breach of the Criminal Code, even though it did not directly affect them, as police officers they would have the responsibility and the duty to act accordingly, in my view. If any such incidents did occur in their presence, it would be their responsibility to take such actions as might be appropriate, given all the circumstances, including the possibility of causing charges to be laid.

Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Would the Solicitor General advise the House as to the jurisdiction of the Ontario Police Commission? Should they have had the report from the former chief? Do they have the right and the obligation to take some action, or are they supposed to file such a report in some dust-collecting facility?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Under the Police Act, the Ontario Police Commission has a certain statutory mandate with respect to the proper management of police forces. If they are made aware of a report that relates to the effectiveness, if I might put that in a very general way, of the police force in relation to proper or improper management, given the nature of the report, they may have the responsibility of conducting an investigation under section 56 of the Police Act, which would be an investigation into the management of the police force.

I think that should be distinguished from the responsibility for any criminal investigation. in my view, it would not be the responsibility of the Ontario Police Commission to conduct a criminal investigation, because they are not a body that is constituted for that purpose. If information comes to their attention which would warrant a criminal investigation, it is their responsibility to hand that information over to the appropriate law enforcement body for that type of investigation, as opposed to an investigation under section 56 of the Police Act.

2:20 p.m.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, this week the New Democratic Party’s full employment bill is being debated in the Legislature, and I would like to ask the Deputy Premier a question about whether the government has any kind of commitment to jobs.

Could the Deputy Premier explain why, when we made a survey of supermarkets in Metropolitan Toronto this week, we were able to find that of the canned peaches available in Ontario, five brands were packed in the United States, two brands were packed in South Africa and one brand was packed in Australia, but we were able to find only one can of peaches that was produced by Canadian farmers and processed by Canadian workers?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I think that is a real shame. As a member coming from the Niagara area, and as one of those who has laboured long over the years to publicize the fact that the finest peaches grown in the world come from the Niagara Peninsula, I would share with the honourable member some concern that they are not readily accessible to the people of Ontario who, I am sure, would prefer the local peach.

Of course, this gets involved in marketing practices and all sorts of other complications with respect to the commercial area. I would be very happy to discuss my concern, as well as the member’s, with my colleagues in cabinet to ensure that, along with Ontario wine and other products from our area, peach producers are not ignored.

Mr. Cassidy: If this concern has been shared by the government, could the Deputy Premier explain why it is that over the period of that concern, the market for canned peaches in Ontario, which used to be met 80 per cent by peaches from Ontario, had seen the Ontario product’s share shrink to 30 per cent in 1976 and has got to the point today where you can hardly find a single can of peaches on our supermarket shelves that has come from this province? What does that mean in terms of jobs for Canadian workers and Canadian farmers? Does the government know how many jobs have been lost? If it does not know, why not?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I know my colleagues the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) and the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson) have been somewhat concerned with respect to the processing industry. Of course, that is what the honourable member is making reference to. I do not know whether he went to the supermarkets and did this personally, but certainly when I go with my wife I look at the labels. There is a tremendous power on the part of consumers to indicate their demand and preference for our own product.

Quite consistent with the member’s concern is this whole area with respect to the processing industry, which has been the subject of some studies. Certainly I will ask my colleagues to expand on that when they have an opportunity and they are back in the House.

Mr. Nixon: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Does the minister not agree that this is just an indication of the inadequacies of government policy over the last 20 to 30 years, if not 37 years? In fact, many of the processing facilities that were viable in the years immediately following the war have been allowed simply to crumble away and be lost because the government here has little or no interest in preserving that important aspect of the agricultural industry. The Minister of Agriculture and Food is not even here.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Now that the supplementary question has been raised, there is not a fruit grower in the Niagara area who would not join in the chorus to point out that the government of Canada, because of its tariff policies, has watched insensitively as this very important area of commercial activity has gone down the drain. This does not overlook, of course, the tremendous demand that is increasing every month down our way for the fresh product. Indeed, that has to be a part of this whole policy as well. As he looks at the briefs of the Niagara fruit growers’ associations, the honourable member will see their consistent concern with respect to the lack of protection their members have had under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.


Hon. Mr. Welch: As the member knows, as far as the processing industry is concerned as it relates to beverage alcohol, the grape growers have some advantages in our area because the processors have some obligation to use the local grapes. But in this case we are talking in terms of the processing industry, and its products have to compete with respect to these imports. That is where the growers down our way have felt there has been some unfair advantage.

I would not presume to talk on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Food or the Minister of Industry and Tourism, but I do talk on behalf of the fruit growers of the Niagara area joined, as I am sure I would be, by all members regardless of party affiliation, when we turn the spotlight on the government of Canada as being one of the problems in this particular matter.

Mr. Cassidy: I think it is about time somebody started to talk on behalf of the farmers and the food-processing workers of Ontario rather than shoving it off to some other minister. Does the Deputy Premier not know that just in the last five years, while his Rip Van Winkle government has been asleep over the issue, the production of peaches in Ontario has fallen by half?

Does he not know that, since Del Monte took over Canadian Canners more than 25 years ago, they have systematically shut 30 of the 37 plants they took over for processing food in the province and are replacing those Ontario products with products they bring in from outside of the province?

How are we going to regain self-sufficiency in the peach industry and in the processing industry in this province, and how are we going to regain the jobs that are lost when the major company in the industry has been systematically working against the interests of Ontario workers and Ontario farmers?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I do not have the figures before me, but the honourable member makes some pretty sweeping statements with respect to the production of peaches. In fact, from some of the information I have -- and that does not take into account the fresh market -- I think he will find there is fairly substantial production.

This does not minimize the point the honourable member has made with respect to the importance of the processing industry. I will tell the member that one of the easiest ways to ensure that the fruit growers of my area -- just to name one area, because there are one or two other areas -- keep in that particular business is to make it economically viable. The processing industry is very important to that business, and that particular industry is going to need some protection from unfair competition from other parts of the fruit-growing world.

Mr. McGuigan: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Does the Deputy Premier realize that part of the loss of peaches on the shelves is due to the very bad winters 0f 1977 and 1978 in which a number of trees were lost? One of the specific things the government could do to bring growers back to planting peaches again would be to include peach trees under the crop insurance program as a specific item to encourage production of peaches. Would the Deputy Premier look into that?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I will pass that suggestion along to my colleagues.

Mr. Swart: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I would like to ask the Deputy Premier, inasmuch as the land that can grow peaches has decreased from some 13,000 acres to less than 7,000 acres, largely because it has been paved over -- and that is a matter over which the government has control -- and inasmuch as at the present hearings, where there is an attempt being made to preserve fruit land, the government has totally opted out and has not made any representation there, what plans does the government have to see that the land base does not disappear entirely with the result that we will never be able to have a peach industry in the Niagara Peninsula?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I am glad the honourable member has raised that particular point because, as he rants and raves around the Niagara Peninsula with respect to this issue, he avoids one very basic principle. One of the most effective ways with respect to the preservation of agricultural land is to ensure that those people who labour long hours on the land get a decent return for their investment and for their labour.

The member is not going to go around his riding talking in terms of paving over and irresponsibility. Most of the people down there understand that particular problem and realize that the problems with respect to the processing industry, particularly in competition and in world trade, rest with these particular agreements under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and that there has been a consistency at least in pleading with those who have those particular negotiations as their responsibility, to keep this in mind.

Look at what is happening with the growing of grapes down our way. Why is there such an expansion of that? Because there is a market. The economics are in place and people can make a decent living. The same thing would apply for other commodities.

2:30 p.m.


Mr. Cassidy: I have a question for the Minister of Labour, Mr. Speaker. Could the minister say what the layoff package he announced last week will do for some 80 workers at the Huntsman piano factory in Hanover, Ontario, who went on temporary layoff last June 30. They have now learned the Huntsman company is disappearing and they are unlikely to be called back to work. My reading is that the layoff package will do nothing for those workers at all.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, the contents of the labour proposals I referred to last week are pretty clear in their outline. As I mentioned on Friday, we have taken step one with the appointment of a co-ordinator, and I expect very shortly to be introducing the other amendments as I referred to them in that statement.

If the leader of the third party wants to know exactly what effect they will have on a particular closure, I will be pleased to explore that and report to him, but I cannot tell him right now what effect it would have.

Mr. Cassidy: Given that Heintzman is a company that has been operating in Ontario for 120 years and has a name with great repute right across this country, can the minister explain why it is that his Ministry of Labour has not yet been seized of the problems of the 80 workers involved in Hanover? Why are they meeting this week with the federal Minister of Labour, while the provincial Minister of Labour has not been involved at all in trying to protect those workers’ jobs or to ensure they have a future elsewhere?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I can only presume, as the member said, that workers were laid off under the temporary layoff section, and we would not be advised of that. I have no personal awareness about any change in that status, but I will be pleased to explore it.

Mr. Cassidy: Does the Minister of Labour not think it is shabby treatment for workers who have been in a town for 18 years, long-service workers with a high degree of skills, now to be faced with the fact that the temporary layoffs they accepted last June have broadened into something that may mean they will never get their jobs back? Does the minister not believe, on behalf of the government, that workers who are treated that way at least should be entitled to severance pay to give them something back for the years or decades of service they have put into high craftsmanship, the making of a quality product, and the making of Ontario’s name in the world of music?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: As the owner of a Heintzman piano, I have a great pride in that piano and in that company. Let us not pretend we are in a battle for who cares the most. There is no doubt about my concern for laid-off workers or about this government’s concern. We have introduced what we consider to be a rational and responsible package.

The other matters the member has referred to I have quite willingly said are difficult matters, but we think they should be considered by a committee of the Legislature, and that is being arranged.

Mr. Sargent: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Does the minister not agree that there are going to be a lot more plants of this nature go down the way because of the technology they have? They cannot compete with the Japanese. They cannot sell pianos as cheaply as the Japanese or others abroad. Does he not agree that it is the fault of this government if we do not help them with new technology to fight the foreign competition?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I think the evidence presented through the Ministry of Industry and Tourism statistics clearly showed the government is concerned about improving and upgrading and bringing new industry into the province, and it will continue to do so.


Mr. Gaunt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. I wrote to the minister several weeks ago and asked him to provide the ministry’s priority list of pulp and paper mills which should be awarded grant money under the employment development fund to modernize and more particularly to clean up environmentally. The minister wrote back a few days ago and said, “The distribution of grant moneys to specific mills is not public information.”

Am I to assume, first, that no such priority list exists and, second, will the minister explain why the distribution of public moneys in Ontario is not public information? Would the minister not consider this to be a violation of the government’s new policy on freedom of information?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, may I make one point on this question? There is a list but it is not a priority list relative to companies in which their pollution problems would rank from the most severe to the least severe. We compiled a list because we wanted to know if there were to be limits on the amount of funds that we could supply relative to the number of requests we received, and how we would dispense those funds most equitably and to get the greatest environmental good. There is that kind of a list, but it is not a list that is to be construed as a ranking of the most severe pollution problem-causing mills.

Second, the amount of money to the companies is public information, but not the amount going to the specific mills within those companies.

Mr. Gaunt: How does the ministry, in co-operation with the other ministries involved, decide who gets the money and how much? Second, the ministry now allows for public meetings if mills ask for extensions or exemptions to the ministry’s cleanup orders. How can members of the public be expected to attend one of those meetings and participate in them in a meaningful way if they do not know the extent of the government’s involvement by way of grants to these mills?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: We have some broad parameters for how we give money to these mills. For instance, one is that there must be a minimum three-to-one contribution. For every $1 the government might supply, there must be at least $3 from the company. Of course in reality that is often exceeded. I can give the member several illustrations of where $1 of government subsidy on the paper industry was met by $10 or more; so that was the minimum -- not on a one third basis. That is one type of parameter.

Basically, the discussions occur primarily with the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) and the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) with our ministry adding the technical expertise for the severity of the problem and what is required. It is a matter of consultation between the three ministries and then the company. I do not think our policy need always require that when there is a grant to a company there must be an open meeting where the company must put forward their case as to what they are doing and why that time is required to do whatever cleanup is being required of them.

Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Does the financial position of the company have anything to do with the size of the grant? In fact, could a company that does not need the help financially and could be one of the greatest polluters get the largest sum? Is that possible?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I do not think that point is at all made. If the member wants the parameters for the financial considerations, then I think he should be turning his question to the Treasurer. It is he and his staff who determine the amount of grant that will be paid to a specific company. Our input is to make sure that the required cleanup, which is part of that program, is enforced and is part of the commitment that we receive from the company before any grant money is given.

2:40 p.m.


Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Deputy Premier. Is he aware of the extent of the concern of the citizens in Hamilton and employees at the Stelco steel mill over the large volume of trading in Stelco shares over the last period of weeks and the more than 2,300,000 shares that traded hands in the last week? Can he give his government’s commitment that a takeover will not be allowed? Will he further investigate and monitor the extent of sales of Stelco stock outside of Ontario or outside of Canada?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I will be very pleased to communicate the concern of the honourable member to my colleague the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman), and perhaps he will have some comments to make on that when he returns tomorrow.

Mr. Mackenzie: It seems to me there is a major government responsibility here in that this is one of our few industrial success stories. Given the statements of the acting director of the manufacturing branch of the federal Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, that they would not look into or monitor the situation until such time as it appeared that a takeover might be imminent, which seems to me to be a total cop-out, will this provincial government respond with the leadership to guarantee the people and the workers that we are not going to see this success story jeopardized in Hamilton?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I cannot add any more to what I said by way of answering the main question except to assure the honourable member that I will draw both the main question and the supplementary question to the attention of the Minister of Industry and Tourism.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, recently the leader of the New Democratic Party and the member for Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie) asked questions pertaining to incidents on the picket line at Maple Lodge Farms and I undertook to report further to the Legislature when I had additional information.

Investigation by the complaints bureau of the Peel Regional Police is now complete, and I might add that the investigation was ordered by Chief Douglas Burrows even though no formal complaint was received from the union or its members.

Firstly, the leader of the New Democratic Party indicated that four women pickets involved in the October 6 incident were taken to hospital. In fact, only one requested such treatment at Peel Memorial Hospital. The woman had no hesitation in authorizing the release of the hospital emergency report relating to her injury, and it reads in part: “Small abrasion left knee; examined and discharged.”

Second, another women who was alleged to have been punched in the stomach stated that she did not wish to be interviewed by police and that she had neither complained nor wished to complain of the actions of the police.

Third, other allegations of police misconduct during that incident simply do not check out, and a careful study of the videotapes and news films, while inconclusive in themselves, reveal no examples of police misconduct.

Fourth, the videotapes did reveal, however, that the number of uniformed officers on the scene, which was increased from 10 to 23 as the situation escalated, was justified to control the situation. Ten plainclothes officers who were there in an investigative capacity were wearing identification bands.

Fifth, the member for Hamilton East asked how many officers were hurt during the incident, which incidentally lasted about 90 seconds. The answer is none, but two policemen were hurt on previous occasions; one was pushed into a car and one had an automobile run over his foot.

Sixth, there were 27 charges laid during the course of the strike, which happily has now been settled. Charges were laid against persons involved in both sides of the dispute.

Seven, I would like to emphasize that to this date no formal complaint of improper police behaviour has been made by union members to Chief Burrows, the Peel Regional Police Commission or my office.

I am satisfied from all the information that we have been able to obtain that during the dispute the Peel Regional Police officers conducted themselves with the high standards of professionalism that we have come to expect from that force.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Would the Solicitor General tell the House whether he has had the incidents investigated by the Ontario Provincial Police? Would he also tell the House whether in his opinion, as the Solicitor General responsible for policing in Ontario, it is acceptable that when plainclothes police persons go out in rough clothes they have to be asked to put on identification by people on a picket line? Does the minister not feel those police officers should have been uniformed from the very beginning if they went out to keep order on the picket line?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: It depends on the circumstances. As I reported to the House earlier, Mr. Speaker, the police officers mostly were not in rough clothes, as suggested by the leader of the New Democratic Party; they were there in an investigative capacity only.

With respect to the suggestion that this matter should be investigated by the Ontario Provincial Police, nothing has come to my attention to date that would warrant such an investigation. I repeat, Mr. Speaker, no formal complaint has been lodged either with the Peel regional authorities or with my office by the union or any of its members.

If they wish to launch a formal protest or wish to adduce additional information that might warrant an independent investigation, we are quite prepared to consider that at the appropriate time. Certainly, nothing has come forward from the members of the New Democratic Party that would warrant any additional investigation at this time.

Mr. Mackenzie: May I ask the Attorney General why he stated in the report he just gave to the House that the plainclothes officers wore identification when in fact that was not true and the union had to request identification of those officers? I really wonder whether that was the same strike situation that I attended to. Has he not seen my letter? Has he not had a couple of the comments I passed on to him that came to me from officers involved at the scene? Would he not have an independent look at the situation, because the letter he has sent to me is an absolute total whitewash?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that the description of the incident as given by the member for Hamilton East certainly is not in accord with the description given by any other individual who was there, many of whom were not associated with either side in the dispute and were not associated with the local police force. As a matter of fact, at one time the member for High Park-Swansea (Mr. Ziemba) actually complimented senior officers of that police department for the manner in which they were handling a difficult situation.

Again I repeat, to my information, the description given to the members and the allegations made by the member for Hamilton East certainly are not supported by any other individual who was there.

Mr. Cassidy: How do you know when you have not investigated?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: A number of members of the media were present and, to my knowledge to date, none of the members of the media who were present has supported the allegations made by the member for Hamilton East.

I reiterate, certainly nothing has come to my attention that would warrant any further investigation. But if the members opposite are so interested in prolonging this matter, I assume then at least they might advise the members of the union who may be concerned about this to make a formal complaint. I repeat, Mr. Speaker, to date no formal complaint has been made by any member of that union.


Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Revenue: Could the minister apprise this House as to the procedures for processing the applications of senior citizens where there has been a change of address? Why are they set aside and delayed? Where there is a direction given simply to send the cheque to a bank, why is that application set aside for further consideration?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Mr. Speaker, if the honourable member has a particular case in mind, I would be happy to look into it.

Mrs. Campbell: It is the one you know about.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: If that is the case, I already did look into it and the cheque has been forwarded to her bank. I do not know what the meaning of the member’s question is. It has already been looked after.

Mrs. Campbell: Why was it delayed?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: It was delayed no longer than any other cheque. She has received her cheque at the same time as many others are receiving theirs.

2:50 p.m.

Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary: Why was she told and why are others told that where there is a change of address the application is set aside for further consideration? What kind of classification does the ministry have for the people working in this sensitive area that it does not seem to be able to process applications quickly, but has to set aside application after application for further consideration?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: At the moment we have 283 people employed in processing these applications. Most of them are temporary staff because when the applications are processed and completed we will not need them any longer and they will be gone again until the next time the applications have to be processed. We do not have permanent civil servants except for the people in charge. We have what is commonly called GO Temp staff processing the applications. When the applications get to the final stages, they are finalized by civil servants.

Ms. Bryden: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister aware that seniors all over the province are complaining that they cannot get through to the phone numbers that are advertised in the booklet for the seniors’ tax grants? Will the minister consider installing additional lines or some sort of holding system so that they do not have to wait two and three days to get through, as they are reporting to me?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Mr. Speaker, this has been a problem. We did increase the phone lines in our guaranteed annual income system branch that looks after this. According to the last report I had, we have something like 23 people answering telephones and they are averaging about 195 calls per day each.

Mrs. Campbell: Why?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Simply because it is a new program. People have questions and we must be there to answer them. We have made an effort to accommodate these people. We have suggested that if they would call a little later in the afternoon rather than in the morning, the lines then are not quite so busy and there aren’t quite as many calls coming in.

Again, as I say, it is a temporary situation. Once they become familiar with the program and how to fill out the applications, we do not anticipate that this will continue during the time the next applications are processed.

Mr. Eakins: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Since my office receives calls almost daily, can the minister tell me how many applications are still waiting to be sent out?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: From the last report l had, I think something like 440,000 cheques had been mailed.

Mr. Conway: Are you telling them, “The cheque is in the mail, dear”?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Yes. I think we have something like 100,000 more applications that are being processed at the moment. Most of them are the ones from recipients of old age security and the Canada pension plan. We are dealing with them after we have dealt with the original list. They come in different groups from the OAS files of the federal government. We have dealt with the first group and we are now on the OAS and CPP files. Then we still have to deal with those people who will be applying individually. I am referring now to the people who are landed immigrants and so on and who are not on the OAS list. In some way or other we have to get to those people because we do not have a list of them.


Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister of Housing if he has received or has before him now a proposed official plan amendment from the township of Euphrasia for the purpose of permitting a 300-acre residential and commercial development on the Niagara Escarpment natural protection area on the slopes of Beaver Valley.

Is it not true that the Niagara Escarpment Commission rejected the same proposal under its development control policy because “it is contrary to the purposes and objectives of the Niagara Escarpment and Development Act,” and that on appeal by the developers the rejection was upheld by the hearing officer and by the minister? Is the minister going to be consistent and reject this new manoeuvre, if he is not part of it; and if not, why not?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I will answer the first part of the question in a very positive way. To the best of my knowledge, it has not appeared on my desk at this point. Until it does and I know the background of it, I have no intention of offering any further answer to the question.

Mr. Swart: By way of supplementary, Mr. Speaker, I am surprised at the arrogant attitude of the minister, when this was dealt with before. In view of the fact there are only three requests that this be referred to the Ontario Municipal Board, and they are from persons who are concerned about the preservation of the escarpment and are willing to withdraw them if the minister will give a commitment that he will not approve of this, especially as the Niagara Escarpment Commission has as its policy that there should be no major development until its plan is finished, will the minister now give that commitment to this House if they withdraw their application for referral to the OMB?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I shall review the case and report to the House.

Mr. J. Reed: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: How is it that an application of that nature takes three or four months to process through the ministry and get on to the minister’s desk? My information is that the township made that submission at least three months ago, possibly four months ago.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, speaking not just to this case but in a very general way to the policy, quite often when a municipality or region makes an application to the ministry we do not try to process it immediately as it requests. We try to find a compromise to the situation. Quite often, and very beneficially to the taxpayers of that community, and indeed to the taxpayers of Ontario, we are able to resolve the problem rather than send it to the OMB or some other authority. That is really why the Ministry of Housing tries to find some understanding, some acceptance to some adjustments to the plan, that accommodates not only the municipality but is in keeping with the principles of Ontario and on some occasions might even find a degree of acceptance by the applicant.


Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, on Friday the member for Nipissing (Mr. Bolan) asked the Premier a question, the essence of which was, could the Premier tell us why this exemption order was given and what he is going to do about the fact that the plant is about to close. I will try to make this brief. The question is difficult to answer in the words “yes” or “no,” but I will do my best.

I may say that concern has been expressed in other quarters over the fact that Teck Corporation, Silverfields Division, which operates a silver mine in the Cobalt area has been granted an exemption from the provisions of section 113(1) of the Mining Act. Let me first emphasize that this exemption is with respect to flotation concentrates only and is on a temporary trial basis for one year from July 1980.

The effect of this is to allow Teck to ship only these flotation concentrates to a European refiner for a limited time, instead of to Canadian Smelting and Refining (1974) Limited at Cobalt, which has hitherto enjoyed an almost exclusive market position and claims it must continue to have that market position to survive. At this point I want to stress that Teck still ships its bullion and gravities concentrates to CS and R.

I understand and appreciate the concern of the employees of CS and R, just as I do the concern of the employees of Teck and other silver mines in the area, but I do not feel that rescinding the exemption would allay their concerns.

This whole unfortunate situation arises basically from disagreements between the silver mines on the one hand and CS and R on the other over substantial increases in charges which CS and R has levied, which they feel they cannot negotiate and which are considerably in excess of those applied elsewhere in the world. They deny to the mines -- which are Canadian owned and operated -- realistic payment for their silver, especially the silver contained in their flotation concentrates.

Over the past two years, I and officials in my ministry have initiated various attempts to mediate in the disagreement, but unfortunately matters came to a point where the government had to make a decision. Regrettably there is no decision that will satisfy all parties. Let me briefly set out what the alternatives are:

3 p.m.

The apparently simple solution of rescinding the Teck exemption is almost certainly not the best one. First of all, there is no onus at all on any producer to provide all or any of his production to any processor. It is therefore not true to assume or imply that a denial or rescinding of an exemption ensures that his production will be made available to CS and R.

In the present situation I am advised that the mining companies, as one of them already has done in the past, might find it expedient to stockpile their flotation concentrates in anticipation of a better future, rather than to release them now to CS and R.

A further possibility, should the exemption be rescinded, would be for the mine to discontinue operations. Also, as I said or implied, CS and R’s process appears not to be competitive with those of certain refineries in Europe. CS and R acknowledges this and has itself applied for and been granted a section 113 exemption -- again, also on a temporary trial basis -- to allow its flotation concentrate process residues, which still contain 80 to 100 ounces of silver per ton, to be sent to a European refiner for processing.

It is because certain impurities in the original ores, including arsenic and mercury, remain in the concentrates and residues that older Canadian-established smelter refineries, which have been faced with stringent emission controls, are unable or unwilling to offer their processing services. This is why CS and R has an exclusive market situation.

I will leave out some of the further explanation. I think I have covered in essence what might happen.

However, what we have done is to provide both Silverfields and CS and R with the exemptions they requested, but on a temporary trial basis only, so that facts rather than conjecture can be used in determining the overall benefits likely to accrue in each case. I am requiring each party to present to me a report and review of their progress at the end of this year.

Furthermore, through the Ministry of Natural Resources the government has already contributed a significant sum of money for research into a supplementary process that should enhance CS and R’s metal recovery, including the cobalt in the ores, and lead to increased returns to the mines.

We did this through the Ontario Research Foundation, and it was made available to CS and R in either June or July of last year. So far we have had no report from them as to their expectation of having it on stream, although it had been anticipated by them, I understand, to have been done by March 1981.

With respect to breaking the law by shipping concentrates outside the country without an exemption, it has been alleged that a 20-ton quantity of certain mineral material was exported. Let me report as follows;

During one of the earlier mediation meetings at which Teck agreed to ship certain stockpiled concentrates to CS and R, it was mutually agreed that a quantity would be withheld for testing purposes. While it has not been specifically stated that such testing might involve a foreign plant, neither was there any specific indication that it would not.

Under section 113, the Lieutenant Governor in Council has the discretion as to whether or not to initiate proceedings. Since in this case Teck may well have misunderstood the discussions, I feel such a course would have been inappropriate. However, in the event of such a course being followed, I would have expected a recommendation of similar action against CS and R. This expectation is on the basis of a letter from them to me, dated March 31, 1980, in which it is stated, “Samples of our residues have been sent to many refineries throughout the world.”

Regarding the observation on limitations in connection with such proceedings, it is quite correct to point out that there is a six-month time limit applying by virtue of the Provincial Offences Act, section 76. I quote: “Proceedings shall not be commenced after the expiration of any limitation period prescribed for the offence or where no limitation period is prescribed after six months after the date on which the offence was or is alleged to have been committed.”

I have no doubt that the honourable members will agree with me that little is to be gained by becoming involved in antagonisms and recriminations. I hope this can be avoided.

Mr. Speaker: I am glad the honourable minister made every attempt to be brief. I will add another five minutes to the question period, which will mean it will terminate at 3:13 p.m.

Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Our northern member raised the question and I think it is only just that we follow it up. Does the minister encourage sending this particular product out for processing? Is he not encouraging the continuance of something that should be stopped immediately, if not sooner? Should he not encourage people to do the processing and keep it in Ontario? Is that not a commitment of his government? When he is going to follow it up?

Hon. Mr. Auld: I thought I had covered that, but perhaps I was a little brief on page eight.


Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs or the Deputy Premier (Mr. Welch), whichever one wants to field the question. As the number of Windsor and area individuals registered as unemployed and looking for work rose again in September, according to figures released last week by the Canada Employment Centre, and as 22,352 people were registered for work at the end of September, an increase of 726 over August of this year and 10,228 over this time one year ago, and as 18 per cent of the estimated 124,000 in the work force are now seeking work, what job-creating plans has the government to alleviate the job situation in the Windsor and Essex county area?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, if I recall the debates we have had in this House since the House came back on October 6, I think the honourable member has been told the general thrust of all the programs of this government is to create more jobs in this province. Indeed, there are more people working in this province today than there were at this same time last year. I know that does not help those who are unemployed in the Windsor area.

I cannot give the member a list of all the job-creation opportunities that are there, but, as I think about them, it comes to my mind that the government, as part of a partnership with the private sector, is engaged in a number of things in the Windsor area that I hope are creating jobs. I think of the E. C. Row Expressway, which is a major commitment and has created jobs and will be creating them over the next couple of years. There is other infrastructure that is going on to provide for some of the new plants that are being established there.

My colleague the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman), who has dealt with the troubles of the automotive industry, has indicated that as those companies begin to turn around, and we know they will, the job prospects for people in that area will turn around.

I am sure my friend would agree that the government has been playing its part in the developing job opportunities, particularly in the Windsor area of this province.

Mr. B. Newman: Supplementary: Is the minister aware that there are 22,352 people, 18 per cent of the work force, now unemployed, in spite of the fact there are certain job-creating projects going on in the city of Windsor? It is the highest unemployment of any part of Canada. We are probably even higher than some parts of Newfoundland.

The city of Windsor has itemized 39 different municipal works projects that could help our serious unemployment problem. Will the minister review this list and make appropriate provincial and/or federal-provincial assistance available to the community to alleviate some of the unemployment?

3:10 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the problems in Windsor; if I was not before, I certainly am today because the member has reminded me of them again. I certainly think my friend knows that the thrust of this government, through its employment development plan and others, is to create jobs and to create jobs in those areas where they are needed.

Windsor is probably on the minds of many people. Certainly it is the home area of the federal Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce and I can’t believe that he, certainly with the co-operation he will get from this government, does not have Windsor on his mind all the time as he embarks on the kind of programs he is thinking about.

Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, obviously the minister doesn’t understand the real problem in the auto industry. Does he not realize that while he is hoping there will be a recovery in the automobile industry and while sales for some types of models are up so far in this model year, we don’t produce the right kinds of cars in this province? in particular, the layoffs announced a week ago of 600 more auto workers at Chrysler resulted because we don’t produce the K car in Canada -- the only car that is selling for Chrysler. Instead, we produce the Cordoba and Mirada, and those cars are not selling at all.

Does the minister not realize that? When are he and his government going to say to the automobile companies that we have to produce the small cars in this province along with parts for small cars so that we will get the jobs, or else we will never benefit by the recovery that we hope will come in the automobile industry shortly?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I realize all those things about the automobile industry. That is not really the responsibility of this portfolio, but, as I indicated to the member for Windsor-Walkerville, it is the responsibility of this government and I know this government realizes and is well aware of those problems and challenges in the automotive industry.

We are talking about other job-creating things. I think my friend basically is talking about what this government can do to create jobs right away. I indicated a couple of things concerning works projects, particularly highways and some other infrastructure in the Windsor area, which we are pushing ahead with at great speed and which is helping with the job situation in Windsor.


Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications arising out of the coroner’s inquest into the death of Linda Ann Pyke who, according to the inquest, died as a result of head injuries sustained while falling from the passenger seat of a wheelchair-carrying van last November 29.

I want to ask the minister if he is aware of the recommendations made by the coroner’s jury, specifically that there be amendments to the Highway Traffic Act covering six points but particularly to introduce licensing standards for all companies operating transportation services to the handicapped and dealing as well with safety devices. Is the minister aware of those inquest recommendations? When can we expect the amendments to the Highway Traffic Act that were recommended January 29, 1980?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, it is some time since I have seen the report of that particular coroner’s inquest. Certainly, certain action is being taken on some of these recommendations and certain actions were in the mill of my ministry being developed.

For instance, we are developing standards for safety devices through the Canadian Conference of Motor Transport Administrators -- this was discussed at our meeting of CCMTA ministers about two weeks ago -- safety standards for special van-type vehicles for transporting the physically handicapped. We are also preparing special guidelines for the training courses for drivers for this type of vehicle. These things are all being worked on at present.

Mr. McClellan: By way of a supplementary -- and I didn’t hear the answer with respect to the amendments to the Highway Traffic Act -- let me ask the minister, with respect to the service provided by Wheel-Trans here in Metropolitan Toronto, a service provided by Allways Transportation under contract to the TTC, if he can advise the House, in the light of the latest summary of vehicle inspection reports which indicates that the ministry has had to remove the licence plates from four more vehicles being run by Allways, under the Wheel-Trans contract, what action he intends to take to protect the riders of Wheel-Trans, who are clearly at risk because of the defective vehicles being provided by Allways here in Metropolitan Toronto?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Other than the safety inspection of vehicles of this particular company, as we do safety inspection of many types of vehicles including regular transit vehicles run by the TTC and others, we have no direct contact with this particular company. This company is under contract with the TTC, which is acting on behalf of the council of Metropolitan Toronto to supply this service. My ministry supplies funding to Metropolitan Toronto to assist it in the supply of this service. The letting of the contract is within the jurisdiction and the responsibility of Metro and the TTC.

We have been monitoring safety aspects with regard to these vehicles very closely. As we all know, the TTC and the contractor, however it is arranged, have purchased a number of brand new vehicles that they have put on the road recently. We are still watching very closely the safety standards of these vehicles, whether they be old or new.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day I would like to table the answers to questions 262 to 265, 269, 273 to 274, 278 to 279 and 297, and the interim answers to 287, 268, 271, 277, 280 to 282, 285 to 288, 296, 298, 309 to 333, all standing on the Notice Paper.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, there is a change in the order today. We will not be proceeding with the estimates of the Office of the Premier. We will be proceeding to the first order.



Resuming the adjourned debate on the amendment to the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government.

Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to continue my dissertation from a week ago on Tuesday, when I discussed a number of problems affecting Ontario, particularly as they related to the budget that was brought down in the spring of the year.

We all recognize that the budget debate is considered to be of prime importance by members of this assembly; it is easy to note that by the attendance in the Legislature this afternoon. But I was looking at the legislative program for this week and, for a government that is confronted by a number of problems in the health care field, the employment field and a variety of other fields, it is significant that one of the most important acts being brought before the Legislature is one to repeal the Warble Fly Control Act. I understand that, because of representations made, an act affecting the vicious dogs in Ontario has been postponed another week.

One really has to look at the priorities this government has established in terms of its budgetary policy and in terms of its general legislative policy when there is so little on the plate of members of the Legislature in terms of the legislation that is brought forward.

It is a clear indication that the government that sits across the floor from us was intent upon having a provincial election in the fall and had cleared the decks in terms of legislation. What we are having now is a hotchpotch of acts that are of a housekeeping nature, so that members of this Legislature, except during the question period and on other special occasions, are not really being permitted to deal with those items which those of us in particular who represent communities where unemployment has been a major factor, feel are of great significance.

3:20 p.m.

An item that has come up that is of particular interest because of the number of people who re adversely affected, although it is one which has been with us for a number of years of course, is that of plant closings. When I was speaking the other night in the Legislature in the budget debate, I indicated that we in the official opposition had brought forward a number of suggestions to the government that we had hoped the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) and other members of the cabinet would be prepared to adopt as government policy. We consider this to be something of a minimum in terms of serving the interests of those workers adversely affected by layoffs, particularly when the plant itself is shut down.

I indicated at that time that I was hopeful the members of the New Democratic Party would be joining us in demanding of the government that we have this kind of legislation and would be joining us in establishing the fact that if this government wasn’t prepared to bring forward such legislation we would be prepared to defeat this government and replace it with a government that would be prepared to do so.

Last weekend we had a gigantic demonstration here at Queen’s Park. Labour councils from across the province, the Ontario Federation of Labour and specific union locals assembled a large number of their members who were genuinely concerned about layoffs. Certainly, in the Niagara Peninsula we recognize that in the automobile industry there has been a significant problem. The spinoff from that has been great. It has had ramifications in other areas and there have also been people adversely affected in industries where we would not expect to see slowdowns, layoffs and plant closings.

The indication in the newspaper is that some 10,000 workers were at this rally to protest job losses. I can recall seeing on television the president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, Mr. Cliff Pilkey, calling for immediate action, suggesting that constitutional matters were not of prime importance and that matters of jobs and long-term security were of importance.

I will not dwell on this at great length, simply because I did speak the other night about our proposals. I would say the Minister of Labour has gone at least part-way to attempting to solve this problem but a long way from what we in the opposition would consider to be reasonable. I am not privy to the deliberations that take place within the cabinet but I would suggest to the House -- and I won’t ask the minister to comment, because it is unfair to ask him to let us in on the secrets of the cabinet -- that the Minister of Labour probably was unable to get the full package that he would like to have seen brought before this House. That’s part of the deliberations of cabinet. That’s something that a minister has to accept.

Because of some of the pronouncements that he has made in the past and some of the actions that he has taken in other areas of labour legislation, one would anticipate that he would have wanted to see a more meaningful package--perhaps one, if I can use the word “radical” in a sense without appearing to be revolutionary, that would be somewhat more of a radical departure from what has emanated from the government benches in the past -- and that he would have been happy to bring before the Legislature.

I recognize there are forces within that party which may not see this as being necessarily progressive legislation and would see it as having a detrimental effect on business activity in the province, so I can understand that the minister might not have received the kind of commitment and support from cabinet that he would have hoped for.

This is the minister’s problem in his fight with his cabinet colleagues, if that’s what we can call it, and we in the opposition can say we are simply not satisfied with the package he has brought forward, although those areas where he has moved indicate that he, at least, is hearing from the grass roots in the province that they are concerned.

We saw assembled before us on Saturday, and we have seen assembled in the past, a large number of people whom one might say are from organized labour. They are people whose job it is to represent the employees across this province. So they may have perhaps a political motivation, some would say. Nevertheless, I think if one were to tap the grass roots of this province, one would find the labour leaders are speaking for those whom they represent in this particular issue, if not for those in the party that they recommend to be elected as the government of this Legislature or the individual candidates. I do not think one could quarrel with the fact that they do at least speak for the workers in that item.

Once again I urge the Minister of Labour and the government to re-evaluate that package in light of what they have heard from organized labour, in light of what they are hearing from average citizens in this province and in light of what they have heard from members of the official opposition and the third party.

I would also like to discuss another item of particular interest in Ontario since the beginning of this summer. These are new regulations that were brought forward by the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations, specifically by the branch that is responsible for liquor permits in this province, the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario.

Members will all be aware, particularly those of us who have received representations from service groups and ethnic groups, that this is a very important issue. The Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Baetz) during his estimates no doubt will talk, as he has talked in the past, about the fact that this government is supposedly interested in fostering multiculturalism in Ontario and encouraging people to preserve those things in their ethnic past which are worth preserving and sharing those with the people of Ontario and Canada and, if we want to be specific, with the people in their own communities. Yet we find this government now embarking upon a liquor control policy which is having a very adverse effect on the fund-raising activities of those groups and other groups.

Last Sunday I had the opportunity to attend a very important meeting of the Folk Arts Council of St. Catharines. One of the largest groups ever to assemble in terms of a meeting of this kind was present. The reason this group was present was to hear about these new regulations and to protest and determine future action about these regulations.

Members of this House will recall that the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart), after a similar meeting with people in his constituency representing the Welland Heritage Council and multicultural centre, raised in the Legislature this particular matter with the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Drea). I think it is rather significant that the minister’s response was somewhat less than adequate, certainly in the opinion of the member for Welland-Thorold, certainly in the opinion of members of the opposition and certainly in terms of the opinion of those who are adversely affected by it. I would like to quote from the record as it relates to this.

“Mr. Swart: I have a question of the Minister of the Consumer and Commercial Relations. Does he not now realize that his new regulations pertaining to special occasion permits are going to dramatically lessen the fund-raising of many ethnic, sports and other worthy community groups and, as a result, substantially damage those organizations and the communities where they are? Will he consider rescinding these regulations?

“Hon. Mr. Drea: The answer to everything, Mr. Speaker, is no.

“Mr. Swart: As a supplementary, I will ask the minister if he does not think there is a problem, and if he does not think there is a problem, how does he explain away the interpretation of his own director of special occasion permits, Mr. W. D. Rolling, to our meeting of the heritage council in Welland last Tuesday evening? Mr. Rolling’s presentation so perturbed the 20-plus ethnic groups that the president immediately wrote a letter to me which said, and I will quote a couple of sentences from it:

“‘We would ask that you do everything in your power to bring to the attention of the Ontario Legislature that the new regulations, as presented, are totally unacceptable to the culture groups because of the following: fund-raising not allowed for sustaining cultural facilities, such as halls; the price fixing is unreasonable; the people most affected are legitimate community volunteers who shared the advancement of cultural activities over the years.

“Will he now take his head out of the sand, realize there is a problem and resolve it?

3:30 p.m.

“Hon. Mr. Drea: When dumber questions are made, buddy, you will ask them. Just cool yourself. I draw the honourable member’s attention to the Hansards of the procedural affairs committee where his colleagues were complimenting me and patting me on the back for the very intelligent approach I was taking on this problem.

“Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, I want to object to that. There was no patting on the back and no complimenting going on. There were some questions and answers.”

No doubt this kind of answer sometimes comes about in the House because there are exchanges of this kind between a critic and a person who has been under considerable fire. The member for Welland-Thorold has taken it upon himself on many occasions to question price increases and to ask some rather embarrassing questions of the minister. So it is understandable that the minister might well be annoyed when he sees the member for Welland-Thorold stand to ask a particular question. If one had been as much a thorn in the side for the minister as the member for Welland-Thorold, one could anticipate that might be a reaction.

We in this House know, however, that it is unsatisfactory, regardless of the personalities involved, for a minister to say in reply to a question, ‘When dumber questions are made, buddy, you will ask them.” That is a totally unsatisfactory answer to what I think is a legitimate question, and a question that has arisen not out of members of the Legislature wishing to drum up some issue, but members of the Legislature reflecting a viewpoint expressed within the community, by members of the community who are doing their part to better it.

We find regulations being brought forward that are going to limit the number of fundraising permits allowed in a particular year and that are going to limit the number of special occasion permits. As devastating as that are the price limitations that have been placed on the special occasion permits.

These groups -- and they do not qualify under this -- must maintain on an ongoing basis the buildings that they construct. They qualify for capital grants from the Ministry of Culture and Recreation and are encouraged to open up these facilities and to share them with the communities in which they are located. Then we find out they are thwarted in trying to maintain them -- and we all know that maintenance costs are very large costs, often over the long run greater costs than the capital costs -- through fund-raising activities.

Both the member for Welland-Thorold and I have found this, and I am sure other members of this Legislature have as well, in meetings with different heritage and ethnic groups across this province and other groups who are affected as well. I should not limit it to them alone, although they have been the groups which, to this point, have been most vociferous in their opposition. They are now being limited in the opportunity to continue the kind of fund-raising activities to permit the ongoing maintenance of their particular buildings.

What we are going to have is this situation. The government across the floor likes to say it does not want government intervention. They like to be characterized as the government that is going to free the people of Ontario from regulation and to encourage the private sector and the volunteer sector to carry on the kind of activities many people would like to see transferred to government.

If they want to do that, if they want to avoid budgetary expenditures in the form of substantially increased grants, then they must permit these people to raise their funds in a manner to which they have been accustomed in the past. That is going to be limited by the kind of pricing policy we are talking about.

The government either has to increase the grants to these organizations -- and I say increase them significantly and substantially -- or it is going to have to allow these people to operate in the private sector as it is and in the volunteer sector. I am sure most of those people would prefer to raise their own funds if given the opportunity to do so.

Yes, they do need some government funding because the kind of activities they are carrying out now are activities which perhaps were not contemplated in the past. We have had an influx of people from other countries who are unable to speak our language, many in the refugee situation from Asia, refugees from the Vietnam war and from Cambodia. These are people who require special assistance, people who came here with largely no assets.

If we are going to ask multicultural centres across this province to contribute to blending these people in with our population, allowing them to learn some Canadian ways -- language, for instance, and everyday practical things involved with living in our society -- then we are going to have to provide reasonable funding in the form of grants. We are also going to have to allow them the opportunity to participate in fund-raising activities.

The new regulations are pretty devastating in the limitation on what can be charged. I would make this prediction in the House today: with the kind of pressure that is being exerted by these groups and by members of the opposition, we are going to see an increase in the prices allowed to be charged. There just has to be and that is a prediction that is pretty easy to make.

At the present time, for instance, except for events conducted under permits issued pursuant to section 35 and 36, the maximum price at which liquor may be sold at an event under a special occasion permit is: for draft beer, five cents per ounce; for beer, 65 cents per 12-ounce bottle; for imported beer, 20 cents per bottle in excess of the purchase price from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario store; for spirits, 80 cents per one-ounce serving, $1 for a one-and-a-quarter-ounce serving, or $1.20 for a one-and-a-half-ounce serving; for wine, a price per glass or bottle that does not yield more than 50 per cent in excess of the total price paid per bottle to the LCBO.

One can understand where the lobby is coming from. The hotel associations apparently are seeing a threat to their businesses. They are making the argument that they are subjected to certain restrictions by the LLBO, they have to pay taxes, they have to fit into all the government regulations, and so they deserve some protection from the provincial government.

Also, if one were to investigate the records at the Commission on Election Contributions and Expenses, one would see that significant amounts of money over the years have probably gone into the Tory coffers from these people who have felt it is in their interest. Or perhaps they just believe in the philosophy of the Progressive Conservative Association; I will be kind enough to say that might be the motivation they had.

But no doubt since they are regulated by the provincial government through the LLBO and the LCBO, it might well be that at least some of them have made their contributions in the past on the basis that regulations might be enacted which would be favourable to them.

Some people have the wrong idea that all members of this Legislature have been able to pass judgement on these regulations. I think it should be pointed out these are regulations that have been implemented within the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations without the assent of this Legislature, because the assent of this Legislature is not required. I think that is an important point, because some of the people we represent are saying to us, “Why are you people in the provincial government doing this to us?” Members of the opposition have to explain, “We are not the ones who are implementing it; we didn’t even have the opportunity to comment upon it when these regulations were being brought forward internally.”

No doubt there are some members of the governing party in this province, the Progressive Conservative Party, who are feeling some heat and who might well disagree with these. One has to wonder whether the backbenchers have ever seen these regulations before they were implemented. They too represent a significant portion of the population in Ontario and no doubt would feel the same concerns that we in the opposition have.

I would hope the provincial government, through the LLBO, would be prepared either to get out of the business of regulating the prices or place the maximums somewhat higher than they are now. One might well ask, “Why not let the market set the price?" We keep hearing about the free market over there and we in the opposition, when we talk about regulation, are chastised for our contribution to a debate when we talk about limiting prices here and there.

3:40 p.m.

We do not have wage and price controls at this moment in this nation or in this province, and one might well ask, in keeping with the philosophy of the government, why they do not let the market set the price. Some might suggest there should be some controls. But why should we select prices at the low end of the scale? The answer is obvious. The heat is on from the Hotel Association lobby, and that is why the prices are being held down.

Another factor that must be taken into consideration is that the people who are going to the events sponsored by ethnic and service organizations are not, generally speaking, the people who are going to participate in activities within a licensed beverage room in a hotel. They are not going to be pouring out of the beverage rooms and into the ethnic halls of Ontario and into the service-club balls of Ontario because of any particular regulation. If I or another member of this Legislature or a member of the general public happened to go to one of these events, I have the opportunity to purchase or not, regardless of the price.

It is very likely that the consumption of alcoholic beverages will increase substantially because of the low prices charged. Therefore, those on the government benches who are interested in preventing alcoholism or excessive consumption of alcohol at a particular event are really working contrary to that by suggesting the prices must be held so low. If I or any other member of this Legislature or any member of the general public wants to pay $1.50 for a bottle of beer or $2.50 for a shot of whisky, that is the prerogative of the individual. I do not have to purchase it if I do not want to at that price, if I do not like the price. Therefore, the free market in this case seems very reasonable.

I really do not see the necessity of the government intervening in this particular place to set specific prices that may be charged at these events. The individual has the opportunity to decide whether he is going to purchase. It is not an essential product, so it is not as though they are allowed to gouge the public for anything that would be absolutely necessary to health, happiness and prosperity.

There is another aspect of this policy which is of great concern and which I heard through the grapevine -- I guess it is reasonable to say when we are talking about liquor legislation and the importance of the wine industry in Ontario that one would hear it through the grapevine: It is said that the government would save or be ahead by some $500,000 by the new policy that has been brought about. Effective immediately -- and this was July 2, 1980 -- the levy charged on sale permits, except for weddings, has been increased as follows:

On each bottle up to and including 18 fluid ounces of spirits, 75 cents; each bottle over 18 fluid ounces and up to and including 30 fluid ounces, $1.50; each bottle over 30 fluid ounces, not exceeding 50 ounces, $2.

On wine, each bottle up to and including 40 fluid ounces, 75 cents; each bottle over 40 fluid ounces, and up to and including 80 fluid ounces, $1.50; each bottle over 80 fluid ounces, $3.

For beer, each case of six 12-fluid-ounce bottles, 35 cents; each case of 12 12-fluid-ounce bottles or cans, 75 cents; each case of 24 12-fluid-ounce bottles, $1.25; each case of 12 22-fluid-ounce bottles, $1.25; and each keg of 12.5 gallons, $9.

The levy has increased once again. The amount people have to charge to make any kind of profit has to be increased. We also find out that anniversaries are now to be adversely affected because of changes in the legislation. Only weddings are going to be exempted from certain aspects of the legislation.

Surely it is not necessary in Ontario for changes of this kind to be brought about merely in response to complaints from a vested interest and a lobby which has long supported the governing party in this province, both in terms of manpower at election time and in terms of financial contributions. The time is past, surely, in 1980 for these kinds of favourable regulations to be granted because of a powerful lobby which adheres to the governing party.

I implore that government, specifically the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, to relent to the representations which are being made by well-meaning people across this province, by people who have made a contribution in terms of the cultural and heritage life in this province, and in terms of service to their communities. I implore that he will relent by abolishing any particular limits on prices to be charged, that he will not gouge them with these new levies, and that he will not demand the collection of the sales tax up front.

Many organizations do not have that kind of money to put out up front before the event has taken place. It is my hope that the people who were assembled at the meeting of the Folk Arts Council of St. Catharines and who were assembled in Welland at the Welland Heritage Council will recognize that members of the opposition have fought for them and I hope the government is prepared to respond. It only awaits now the contribution of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations in the form of an announcement to this House that he is prepared to abandon what is essentially a bad policy.

I would like to go on to certain other areas of interest to members of this House. These are items which I think are very important to the people of Ontario in terms of health, for instance.

Over the years, because of the large amount of money that is spent on health in Ontario, many questions have emanated from opposition benches about the health care system in this province. At any hospital at the present time, one need only talk to the staff who are on duty to hear how they feel. I, for one, talked to the doctors and I must say that in the past the doctors have not been those in the forefront of those being critical of the provincial government over anything other than salaries and certain other specific policies relating to the medical profession. The doctors have never been particularly enamoured with members of the opposition who have spoken on health care problems in the past.

But they recognize, and the nurses and the other professional and nonprofessional staff in hospitals recognize, that the cutbacks are now having an effect on the quality of medical care available to the citizens of this province. There is a revolt building in this province over hospital bed closings.

Instead of the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) saying we are going to cut down from these prescribed figures we talked about -- say, four per thousand, 3.5 per thousand, and so on -- I suggest there is a need for an increase in the number of active treatment beds. We can walk into an emergency department and an admitting department of a hospital and find people now on stretchers, I do not like to say out in the hallway, but certainly in rooms which do not hold hospital beds. These people are there for emergency purposes yet there is not room in the hospital for them.

There are many people who require elective surgery which has been postponed for a good period of time. They may make arrangements, for instance, in terms of time off work, in terms of their family obligations, and so on, so that they can be admitted to a hospital, only to find out at the last minute that they must cancel their operation. This is a great inconvenience to the public. It may have a detrimental effect on the health of that individual person.

Hospital bed closings are not popular with this province. I will say again, as I have said in this Legislature on many occasions, it is my belief that the people of Ontario are prepared to pay for good medical care. You are not going to hear an outcry about an increase in taxes when it can be seen that increase is going directly to the provision of adequate medical care.

The Premier (Mr. Davis) and the Minister of Health extol the virtues of the medical care system in the province of Ontario. Indeed, in the past, one could probably say that we had one of the best medical care systems in the world. At least, I finally believe that after having heard it in Tory advertisements year after year. I think if one were to investigate the system, one would find that was probably true in the past. With the change in priorities, with the new movement towards efficiency -- and I think we all want efficiency -- we find some of the things we do not consider frills but essential items in the health care system are being pushed into the background.

We find whole wings of hospitals are being closed. In smaller communities -- and that has been an issue for some time now -- this is pretty devastating, but even in the large urban communities this is having a significant effect. I implore the Minister of Health not to be closing down hospital beds that are required for active treatment purposes. We find the food and services available to hospitals have to be diminished because of cutbacks in funding.

It is not the fault of the personnel who are there; many of them are very much overworked. I think of some of the nurses on duty at times who have so many patients to look after, many of whom are patients who may require emergency care from time to time. These people find themselves in the position where they have to carry on where two or three people might have been available in the past. We worry very much when we see cutbacks there. There are layoffs in food services, cleaning services, laundry services -- all services essential to a hospital. Not only are we concerned that the health care system is adversely affected by that but also that the employment situation, which is not particularly good in this province, is also adversely affected.

We have within the health care system a number of people who are very good. I am sure we would all commend those doctors, nurses and other personnel who have done such a good job over the years. It seems to me that these people require the best up-to-date equipment available to carry out their duties in an appropriate manner. There are many doctors whom we call family doctors, the old GPs, who are doing yeoman service on behalf of their patients but who are met with frustrations with bed closings in hospitals and other cutbacks in the medical care system.

I think of my own doctor in St. Catharines, Dr. James Wright, who certainly is a fine example of an individual who has dedicated his life to the service of people in terms of the medical care he renders. There are Dr. Wrights all across this province who are doing the same thing. Surely, in fairness to the kind of job they want to do, it is necessary to provide adequate funding for the medical care system.

I think of another doctor, Dr. Joel Cooper, who is at the Toronto General Hospital. He is also a man who, through the auspices of the University of Toronto teaches those who want to enter the medical profession. Dr. Cooper is a surgeon in a thoracic care unit at Toronto General and is an individual to whom I personally am indebted for an operation he performed on a member of my family

-- a very miraculous operation.

When I look at the work that a gentleman of this nature is doing on behalf of medical science and medical care and on behalf of individual people in this province, I think it Is mandated that members of this Legislature provide the facilities that an individual of this kind requires and the kind of climate required in this province for a person of that nature to practise the kind of almost miraculous medicine he does.

We have people such as Dr. Cooper who are going out and raising funds in the private sector and who are doing a good job in that regard but who no doubt would like to see the necessary facilities available to the population. There has been a great controversy over the CAT scanner unit which is available in some hospitals. The capital funding is provided, the unit is purchased and then the funding for the ongoing operation of this unit is not available. I am sure members in Metropolitan Toronto recognize it is a problem, as do members across this province.

I think we have come to a pretty good consensus in this Legislature and in this province that medical care personnel should be paid properly and commensurate with what they have in the past. Their economic position should not be reduced in terms of what it was in the past. Once that goal is met, once we have fine-tuned the payment system for the Ontario health insurance plan to the extent that it is satisfactory in terms of the time at which they receive their payments, the method in which they receive their payments and the level of those payments, when we have reached that particular juncture I think we will find we will have very few doctors who are choosing to opt out of the program that has been so successful over the years known as the Ontario hospital insurance plan.

We should as well be attacking, and we do through funds from the Provincial lottery, many of the dread diseases that face us. Over the years in this province, in this country and in the world, we have wiped out some of the diseases which had such a devastating effect on the population in terms of leaving people either dead or maimed for life or sick in a chronic way for life. Because of the expenditure of funds, because of the commitment of individuals, because of the talents that have been possessed in the medical profession and ancillary professions, we have been able to wipe out many of these diseases.

A young gentleman who received the highest order in Canada, Terry Fox from British Columbia, set a prime example for all of us in terms of wanting to fight disease, particularly the disease afflicting Terry Fox, the disease of cancer, which has affected our own families, our friends and the general population. This disease has taken a tremendous toll and has left many people maimed and many people very ill on a chronic basis.

I think we as individual citizens have the opportunity to follow the leadership of a person such as the courageous Terry Fox in providing private funding. But in addition to this, it seems to me that government funding is necessary if we are to carry out a real war on disease.

At the present time we have a war going on in Iran and Iraq. The billions of dollars being spent on armaments and on the mobilization of troops, if devoted to a war on disease, would have a dramatic effect. Yet we in the human race seem to be prepared to spend money on armaments, on those things which are destructive of mankind to a far greater extent than we should and we tend to neglect on many occasions those things which are essential to the future betterment of mankind.

I call upon members of this Legislature, the government opposite indeed of the federal government and the population as a whole to begin a concerted war on the major diseases that are affecting mankind today. It is my hope that the government will play the role it should be playing in this regard.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: We have been waging that war for some time now.

Mr. Bradley: I recognize that there has been some progress. I think I paid tribute to those in the medical profession and others -- I even mentioned the Provincial lottery -- where this war has been going on. At least certain battles have been taking place. I am calling for a major war on it, an increased effort, which I am sure the Minister of Education would agree is necessary.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: I would agree wholeheartedly, if you will persuade your federal colleagues to devote more money to research in that area, which they have been niggardly about for at least 35 years.

Mr. Bradley: I am very happy to hear that the Minister of Education, a person very familiar with the medical profession, is prepared to lend her support to that, and no doubt she has on many occasions spoken out in the past on that. It is a team effort, and I recognize also that whenever there is a role to be played by the government that governs all of Canada, that it is the federal government, members opposite will be more than happy to counsel us in the opposition to counsel the federal government to do its part.

However, as I have mentioned in the past, I am elected as a member of the Ontario Legislature by the people of the provincial constituency of St. Catharines and so at the present time at least, in my budget speech, I will call upon the government to take actions which I feel are necessary in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

Since the Minister of Education is here, it seems appropriate that I should speak for a few minutes about the education system in this province and the state of affairs we have reached. I think we have so many dedicated individuals across this province. Education has come under a lot of fire and it is a logical target because everybody is involved in education. As I mentioned in the Legislature the other day, I have been involved in the past as a teacher on the front line of activities that take place.

4 p.m.

The overwhelming majority of teachers and those in administration and parent groups and people within the Ministry of Education are dedicated to providing quality education in the province. This does not mean we have reached a state of perfection or even near perfection. We have seen certain trends that some of us disagreed with over the years.

For instance, if we look at the problem of discipline in the schools today, the former director of education in Lincoln county, who now has a position with the Education Relations Commission, Mr. D. Rodger Allan, in many of his public speeches stated it is difficult to run a hard school system in a soft society. Some would say that this is a very realistic approach to take. Others would say it is a cop-out for the education system.

I am inclined to believe that education would be bucking a trend if it were to retrench in the way of the very old disciplinary methods. Nevertheless, I took a survey. We all send out newsletters, I am sure, to our constituents. In the last one I sent out I asked this particular question, and I realize it is straightforward and perhaps would be inclined to evoke a particular answer: “Would you support stronger discipline in our schools?” Of the 10 questions I asked, that one received the highest affirmative vote. Some 92 per cent of the people asked, talked about the need for more discipline in the schools.

I don’t want to sound as if I am going back to the Middle Ages in terms of the kind of discipline that should be meted out. But it seems to me when we are enacting legislation favourable to children in this province, favourable to civil rights in this province, we have to be very careful that, when applied to the education system, that kind of legislation is not going to bring about chaos. We know south of the border that certain court cases, certain legislation and certain policies of boards of education have almost resulted in anarchy in some of the schools. There are some people in this province who advocate transferring that nonsense north of the border.

The Minister of Education would be well advised, as no doubt she is, to resist the counsel of those who would want to bring about anarchy in the classrooms and the hallways of our schools. Indeed, as a member of this opposition, I asked questions last year about the Petty Trespass Act in regard to violence and vandalism in the schools. As a result of, I believe, a committee report that came forward from secondary school headmasters in this province and representations made by the members of the opposition -- and I think the feedback received by members of the ministry -- certain representations were made to the Ministry of the Attorney General to have the Petty Trespass Act changed and those changes have been very favourable.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: It was a tripartite committee, not a committee of headmasters.

Mr. Bradley: The minister corrects me. It was a tripartite committee. I know the headmasters had made representations in the past but I appreciate that clarification.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: They participated.

Mr. Bradley: I think what is positive that has come out of that is the kind of changes needed to put some teeth into legislation necessary for principals, vice-principals and teachers to get rid of those people who come into schools, who have no business being there and are often the cause of the vandalism and the violence that does exist, and indeed some of the other illegal activities the public is so concerned about.

I look at situations, and I am going to be critical of the courts in this case, where teachers have taken it upon themselves to take certain actions -- not necessarily under the Petty Trespass Act. A lawsuit comes forward or there is a charge of assault laid against that teacher. I wonder whether some of the judges really know what they do when they allow that charge to go through. When a teacher is charged, it really places the teachers of Ontario in the position of saying: “Why the heck should we enforce these laws if we are going to be called before the courts, if our teaching position is going to be placed in jeopardy, if our position of prestige” -- if there is that position of respect within the community -- “is to be sustained? How is it going to be sustained if judges are going to render decisions against us when we are trying to carry out what the people of this province say they want in terms of discipline?”

So when many parents say the teachers are not disciplining any more -- I realize that is a general statement -- in some cases it is because they have not received the backing of the courts or perhaps certain individual boards of education that may be reacting in the wrong way. Every time a decision of this kind is rendered by a court, the discipline in the province’s schools is diminished considerably and the incentive to discipline is diminished considerably.

There is a saying that the judges in the United States read the Gallup poll. I am hopeful the judges read the speeches that take place in this Legislature, that they listen to the representations that are made by parents’ groups across this province. They should recognize that if they are going to allow the troublemaker to lay the charges and get convictions on very questionable evidence, they are going to encounter in this province in the years to come severe discipline problems.

I think we are also concerned, because we are talking in the budget debate, about finance in education and the fact that the provincial share in terms of percentages in most forms of education has been reduced. We recognize the province wants to cut back its expenditures to meet its oft-stated goal of balancing the budget, but the cutbacks have been at the expense of local boards of education, which then have to make choices.

I was talking to the Minister of Education the other day about universities, specifically Brock University. I talked about the program where grade 12 students over a very intense summer course were able to enter university after that and mentioned that this was a popular program. I know the minister said the funding is going to end, but these programs have been implemented by the Ministry of Education over the years. When the funding is withdrawn, the local boards then have to make a decision whether or not a popular program is to be continued. In this case a university has to make the decision whether it must take its funds from somewhere else to pay for this program.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: That’s not so. Name me one in which the funding has been withdrawn.

Mr. Bradley: I am just stating one -- the Brock University situation where the funding has been --

Hon. Miss Stephenson: That’s the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, not the Ministry of Education.

Mr. Bradley: I recognize that, but that is a good example. I will provide examples during discussion of the estimates of the Ministry of Education which I know she is very anxious to have. I can go way back to when her boss was the Minister of Education and some of the programs were ones he implemented.

Now we have boards of education facing a situation where the province is assuming a diminishing percentage of the cost of education within communities. Therefore, the regressive property tax must take up the slack. It works to the convenience of the provincial government because the local people are the ones who have to accept all the flak from the electorate.

I would hope the ministry would take another look at that aspect of financing, particularly with a provincial election coming up, and might be more generous to the local boards.

We also have talked about the need for more technical education or at least a reemphasis on it. I think all in the education profession, parents and the Ministry of Education, share a situation where, for the past 10 years or so, it was accepted that the so-called best kind of education was academic education where someone went through and ended up in a university with a university degree; that was the ultimate to be sought. Therefore, there was somewhat of a de-emphasis by our society on the requirements for technical education.

This is showing up now in the fact that we have a deficiency in the number of young people available to take jobs in the skilled trade areas. We have been very negligent in this province, and I think in many parts of this nation, in implementing the kind of apprenticeship program that is necessary to attract young people to it and prepare them for the work world.

Now we are seeing a movement in this direction, but it is still very frustrating for many of our young people. They are the ones who are unable to enter these apprenticeship programs, because they are not there in sufficient numbers or the programs are not particular to their interests and aptitudes.

I think we are seeing a movement back towards the re-establishment of standards. I could see the changes in my 10 years in education. What was expected of students 10 or 15 years ago in terms of their academic standards and what is expected now are two different things. Some would say what the minister is advocating is an elitist education. That is the counter-argument that is made, that it is an elitist education: make things as hard as possible and only a few will survive the competition.

4:10 p.m.

I am not suggesting we do that. However, I am suggesting we take a good look at standards, and perhaps that will come out of this secondary education review project. One of the things the public will react to, at least those members of the public who are there, are the standards that are there to be judged.

Look at the universities. Many of them in the last few years have placed somewhat less of an emphasis than they did in the past on what a student has achieved in grade 13 as being important for entrance.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Did you read Harvey Currell in the Sun this morning? I would suggest you read it.

Mr. Bradley: No, but I did cut it out and I will be reading it later on. I caught a little bit of it where he said the universities should look at themselves and not admit those students. That is a problem for the Minister of Education, but I am asking that we look very carefully at the standards that are accepted in this province.

Talk to the individual teachers. They know the standards are down. The top students are still top students, I accept that fact. We have some excellent students still going through the system who are subjected to a very good education system in areas of this province and very good teaching techniques. But there is a feeling among teachers and parents that the general standards that are being enforced or accepted are somewhat down from what they were 10 or 15 years ago. The minister can quarrel with me on that.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: In what areas?

Mr. Bradley: In terms of what a student has to do to achieve a certain mark today. One of the reasons is because of declining enrolment.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: That has nothing to do with it.

Mr. Bradley: That certainly does have something to do with it.

I used to have the secondary school teachers come in at the end of the year to the elementary school and they started this program of having to sell their subjects to the students. “We go on 15 field trips. We. have fun, fun, fun.” If they did not come in and sell that teacher’s particular area -- let us say Latin, for instance, which is one area where the number of students has diminished -- they would not have sufficient students taking that subject and therefore that job might be placed in jeopardy. So it was to be made a fun project and an area where the student could get high marks, where the marks were not too hard to get.

I attribute part of that to declining enrolment, to the fact that there are so many teachers in the system and a diminishing number of students. Therefore, I express concern about that and I think if the minister really talked to the front line people she would find that out.

The people over there, when they do a project, are too busy talking to the principals, vice-principals and consultants and all the upper echelon of education to talk to the classroom teachers who have to face the day-to-day problems.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: I have three in my own family, for goodness sake. I hear from them daily.

Mr. Bradley: One would think that the minister would accept their counsel. Perhaps it is the officials of her ministry who do not listen, rather than the minister.

I spoke about the Duncan Green commission and the fact that I felt there was lack of adequate representation from those in the Ontario Public School Men Teachers’ Federation and the Federation of Women Teachers’ Association of Ontario. The minister denied that was the case.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: No, I didn’t.

Mr. Bradley: Well, she did deny --

Hon. Miss Stephenson: No, I said I was aware there were teachers there, and they were primarily from OSSTF.

Mr. Bradley: The minister seemed to imply -- and I think if we got the Hansard out we would find it -- that things were all right, that the elementary panel had representation which was enough to satisfy the minister.

Also, I brought out the fact that the average classroom teacher in the secondary school system did not have representation on that committee. I am talking about the front line, full-time teachers. This was told to me by a principal and I went through the list.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: They had lots of opportunities for participation through submission of briefs.

Mr. Bradley: Submissions are not as important as having the front line position on the committee.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Oh really? Well, you are wrong.

Mr. Bradley: That is right. If the minister really felt those people could make a contribution she would have put them in front line jobs, and she didn’t do that.

I won’t harangue the minister further with matters of education because I know the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner) is waiting patiently to make his contribution. I was under the impression that he would arrive somewhat later and I was prepared to speak until such time as he arrived, but he is here at the present time.

Another item I would like to deal with involves the constitutional question before us. The money that is being spent by the provincial government for the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs really relates to the constitutional question. Therefore, I think I am justified in speaking on it. I commend the member for Humber (Mr. MacBeth) who, as chairman of a very important committee dealing with constitutional and national unity matters, has exercised the kind of judgement and concern over national unity we feel is quite necessary.

I would like to say that we in the opposition -- and I think all members of this House are pretty well united in this -- with certain reservations accept the official position of Ontario which has been enunciated. We speak with one voice on most constitutional issues. When the Premier, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and other cabinet ministers were at the conference with invited guests or observers from the opposition parties, it was good to see that we were of one voice and that we weren’t dickering about an item so important as national unity and the constitutional changes that would result from this debate. The Premier is unable to portray the opposition as being unpatriotic in this regard. We see a situation where the Premier, speaking on behalf of members of his party and I think of most members of this House, is supporting the position enunciated by the federal government in terms of the constitutional package it has talked about.

I can’t speak for individual members of the committee, except that I notice a couple of things that always concern me. The Premier is a statesman at these conferences. He says he speaks for the people of Ontario, that he has no significant opposition among the opposition parties, and that he is prepared to look at things in terms of a national viewpoint. Then when it comes down to the crunch we always have to get the words “institutional bilingualism” in this Legislature. We have the Premier pointing at the opposition benches saying, “Unlike the opposition parties, our party and our government does not favour institutional bilingualism,” as though to crack the wrists of any members of the opposition who might be able to speak for any significant change in those rights which should be accorded to the francophone minority in this province.

Recognizing that in terms of an election, the overwhelming majority of people in this province might express or might have in the back of their own mind a concern about this vague thing called institutional bilingualism, something that is supposedly going to force them to speak French, I think what detracts from the Premier’s speeches in the House is the fact that he has to make this aside to the members of the opposition every time we are talking about constitutional packages or the constitutional debate.

We have seen in the committee itself, I understand -- I have not had the opportunity to be in attendance -- seemingly somewhat of a split between the government members of that committee and the Premier. The Premier enunciates a position in favour of francophone rights, educational rights where numbers warrant, that is, generally stating the federal government case and the case that has been supported by the Premier of this province.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: That has been the Ontario position.

Mr. Bradley: That has been the Ontario position, as the minister has suggested, except when we get into committee and we start to listen to some of the individual members of that government talk about this. One would find it hard to believe those members of the committee are on the same wavelength as the Premier or as the Minister of Education, who says this has been the government’s position all along.

4:20 p.m.

Perhaps in the councils of the Progressive Conservative Party and the Conservative caucus there might well be another discussion of this issue to determine whether the individual members are speaking for the government or only for themselves when they deviate from what is the stated policy of the government of Ontario in this regard.

As a member of this Legislature -- in terms of the national debate a rather insignificant individual, representing 52,000 eligible voters in my constituency; perhaps more now -- I have a feeling that we in Ontario have adopted the right viewpoint. I recognize it is in our vested interest to have a strong national government because we have enjoyed the benefits of one. I feel that because we are central to Canada economically, politically, geographically, we can still maintain a federal system with a strong central government that still reflects regional points of view.

I would hope the federal-provincial conference does not completely supplement the meetings of the federal cabinet and of the House of Commons as a place where policies which affect all provinces or all regions are discussed and where policies are actually put into effect.

I would hope we do not end up with 10 fiefdoms across this country. That is easy for a person from Ontario to say. But I am concerned when I hear some of the bitter statements that are made -- I think members of the select committee on constitutional reform encountered this, and some of them might have been surprised and perhaps some not -- the hostility that was encountered in certain parts of this country against people who happen to be members of this Legislature, who aren’t anti-western, or anti-eastern, or anti-Quebec. The feeling of animosity towards Ontario is something that concerns me very much. I think our people, and members of our Legislature, are people of goodwill, people willing to share their resources. I think they agree to policies which are going to help and strengthen other regions. I’m hopeful this can be broken down.

I don’t have any magic answers. Members of the committee who dealt with this on a firsthand basis perhaps have some of the answers. I will be interested in hearing them when that debate actually takes place in the House when the report is presented. I’ll be very interested in the contribution made by those members at that time.

It is my feeling that if we are to allow the federal government to be emasculated in any meaningful way we are really going to terminate this nation as we have known it. We are going to have regional economic units which might well be strong, and certain regions stronger than others, but the meaning of nationhood is going to be completely gone if we are allowed to go in 10 different directions, or if we break down into four or five different blocs.

I commend the Premier of Saskatchewan on the stand he has taken. He has been hardline in terms of certain issues he feels very strongly about. I always listen with a good deal of interest to his comments because I think he is a committed Canadian, and a Canadian first. That seems to me, as an outsider, to be a difficult position to hold in western Canada. Yet he was one of the Premiers who refused to agree to take the federal government to court, who preferred negotiations, who preferred compromise, who preferred consensus to confrontation of a legal or political kind.

He is a man who has resources. He has oil resources within his province -- not the kind of oil resources available to Alberta but nevertheless oil resources. The position he has taken has been significantly more moderate than that of the provinces to the west of his, and more moderate certainly than the position taken by the new Premier of Newfoundland, who apparently now, with the smell of oil off the shores, has decided offshore resources should be exclusively under the powers of the provincial government except when it comes to environmental concerns such as spills.

Perhaps I am being, as the Premier would term it, provocative or not speaking in national unity’s best interests when I pick out these positions. But I would hope that the moderates of this country -- the moderates in the federal scene, the moderates in the provincial scene, such as the Premier of Saskatchewan and apparently the Premier of New Brunswick, and certain others who, upon reflection, could be moderates -- will win out in the debate and we will stay together because there is a will in this country to stay together, because there is a feeling that we have more to gain, not only in concrete terms, not only in material terms, but also in emotional and patriotic terms, in staying together as a nation.

I commend those members who served on the constitutional committee. I look forward to their contribution to the House when the actual debate takes place. I think they have provided a service to members of this House and to the province by investigating the problems that exist across this country and by attempting to develop a consensus by members of all parties on what we feel the future of this country should be.

I thank the members of this House for their tolerance at the length of this particular speech, particularly the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere, who is next on the list and always has an interesting contribution to make to the debates of this House. I just ask that the provincial government, the Premier, the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) and the other ministers respond favourably to the representations I have made on a number of issues and to the representations made by members of other parties.

Mr. Warner: Before I begin it is, as you know, Mr. Speaker, customary for speakers on the budget and throne debates to pay some respects to the chair. In this instance, it is more than a custom because the guidance you provided in that position is certainly respected and deeply appreciated by many members of this House.

I think we are fortunate because we had a number of them. We have had the Speaker (Mr. Stokes), the Deputy Speaker and Chairman (Mr. Edighoffer), and the Deputy Chairman of the committee of the whole House (Mr. MacBeth), who have provided some very solid leadership in terms of the House and the committees. I appreciate it.

I did get the message. As you know, we were slated to deal with the Premier’s estimates this afternoon and I got a message to hurry down here. There were obviously two errors in the message. First, I need not have hurried down and, second, I understand the Premier is ill and we were not changing the order of business because he resigned. So those errors have been corrected. I certainly wish him a speedy recovery from his illness and trust it is not particularly serious.

I welcome the opportunity to speak this afternoon because it comes on the heels of a unique and one of the largest demonstrations that has occurred in the history of this province. It occurred on Saturday outside this building, where some 10,000 very frustrated, angry and bitter residents of this province gathered to show their displeasure with this government. They came from every corner of the province. They brought with them the symbols of what this government is all about, caskets.

Mr. Haggerty: It was almost in the same category as the Labour government in England -- all this protest by union members.

Mr. Warner: There is no reason why the member for Erie cannot wait for his opportunity to make inane remarks, although if he wishes to make them out of order that is fine.

4:30 p.m.

Symbolically, of course, the people who gathered here on Saturday were talking about the greatest threat residents in this province have had since the Depression. It would appear that, because the government stands idly by, we are going through a deindustrialization period.

The plants that close are so numerous it is difficult to keep up with the numbers. Workers are thrown out of work. Since the beginning of this year, 1980, more than 65,000 people in this province have been thrown out of work due to plant closures and layoffs. The number increases daily. There seems to be no end to it; and this government sits idly by.

There is a reason why they sit idly by. They are now reaping the results of their policies over the last several decades. What else could we expect but that plants would close in Ontario when we do not control our own economy. Our economy is manipulated by companies which reside outside of Ontario; in fact, outside of Canada.

I find it interesting that while there is all this talk about repatriating the constitution -- while it is important and necessary, I guess there are a few members of this Legislature who would condemn the act of repatriating the constitution -- the government cannot find any time to discuss repatriating the economy. Surely that is essential to the people of Ontario. Surely we should be directing our economy, not the boardrooms of offices in New York City, Chicago or any other place. Those decisions belong here in Canada and, of course, wherever possible in Ontario. We now inherit the end results of decades of those decisions being made elsewhere.

There are so many examples one could use. But the one that comes immediately to mind is the Houdaille bumper company in Oshawa, a company that for more than 50 years -- half a century -- was keeping hundreds of people at work on a regular basis, was producing profits, was highly competitive, was in every sense a very good company. It was the kind of company that represented stability, the kind of company the workers felt secure working in. Suddenly came the announcement -- no explanation, no reason given, very short notice, no severance, no pension -- they were going to close the doors.

Unfortunately for that plant, the workers had a collective agreement and they were organized. The workers decided they were not going to take this lying down. They were not going to simply roll over and play dead. They eventually ended up occupying that plant and the message was clear, “At least give us some decent severance pay and some pension for the years of work we put in, for all our efforts to turn high profits for the owners.” The company pleaded poor, and said they were closing the plant because they could not make any more money out of it; they were having economic ills and they had to sell the plant; they were forced to do that. None the less, they came up with a deal which guaranteed better severance pay and better answers on pensions.

Lo and behold, a few weeks later we learn this same corporation, headquartered in the United States, can now invest something in the neighbourhood of $600 million in other enterprises in the United States. Obviously, we were hoodwinked; the government was hoodwinked. Houdaille could do what they did because there are no laws. A foreign-owned company can do what it wants. We have learned that. I do not know how much more blatant an example you require, Mr. Speaker, than Houdaille. A foreign company can toy with the lives of workers in this province.

Perhaps members might want to think about it for a moment and follow that through. An individual perhaps has spent all his working life with one company in a specialized job -- he has put in 25, 30, maybe even 40 years. If that person is suddenly thrown out of work with only a few weeks’ notice, where does he go to find a job? His age will be against him. The fact that he has worked for only one company will be against him. In this case he can seek employment only in the bumper industry, a very selective industry, very small in Canada.

Chances are he will be thrown first on to the unemployment lines and when that is exhausted on to the welfare rolls. With his family and a mortgage, he will be destitute. Unless he is extremely lucky, he will likely lose his home. For all the years he invested, during which time he helped the company make large profits, he has no reward. The foreign company which closed that up can take its money and reinvest it somewhere else and the same procedure will be repeated somewhere else at some other time.

Oddly enough, we are one of the few jurisdictions in the entire industrialized world that would accept those conditions. Offhand, I can’t think of another country in the industrialized world that would accept that situation. In West Germany for example, it is very common practice that foreign-owned companies must give three years’ notice of intent for their plans if they intend to either cut back or to close a company. During that period of time, they must actively be involved in searching for new jobs for their employees and in retraining, so that someone isn’t thrown out on the street with no new skills or no new job to apply for. If the company has any clever ideas about trying to get around that, there are severe penalties. Companies often are required to put up bonds as sureties so that they can’t just suddenly leave, otherwise they lose their investment.

There is protection for workers in West Germany, as there is protection for workers in most of the European countries -- in fact, just about all industrialized jurisdictions outside of Ontario. Ours is a very sad and sorry state indeed.

The government sits idly by and is not ready to intervene in any meaningful way. In fact this government, through the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, went so far as to add insult to an already injured work force when the minister brought in his glossy $31 per package production which basically says, “Let’s sell Ontario.” That is what that booklet was all about. There were terrific little lines in there about how we really don’t ask very much of you, you can take high profits out of Ontario, our taxes are low -- in fact, they are the lowest in Canada for companies -- and you can come in and pillage. In fact, that probably should have been the title of the little book, “Welcome to the Land of Pillage; come in and help yourself.”

The minister is content to sell Ontario rather than develop it. That is very clear, and a real insult to the people of this province. I was most pleased to return my book, along with the rest of our caucus. Our Treasury critic returned all of the booklets to the minister. It was nothing but an insult and a pretty expensive one at that -- $ 170,000 was spent on that trash. Yet we do next to nothing about apprenticeship training, about trying to guarantee severance pay, portability of pensions, no efforts to keep the doors of our factories open and the wheels of industry turning.

4:40 p.m.

If we want some dramatization that goes even beyond that and becomes deeper and worse, this government which passively watches the plants being closed, then turns around and attacks people for being on welfare, saying they are lazy and don’t want to work. If anybody wanted proof about the ridiculousness of that kind of approach, all he had to do was to take a look at the picture and the story that went with it in the Globe and Mail when General Motors in Windsor made the announcement it was going to start rehiring.

The line-up went literally for miles. Within a matter of minutes, as soon as the news hit the streets, men and women formed a line for several miles in an effort to wait for an application form. When the doors opened, the story in the newspaper tells about the young man who, after hours and hours of waiting, was absolutely ecstatic and came racing across the parking lot, waving an application form in his hand. He said, “I got an application form” -- not even a job; he was thrilled to think that he had an application form for a job.

In case the minister has some otherwise perverse ideas, people in Ontario do not like to live in poverty. They do not like to be without work. They do like to feed their families. They do like to have a roof over their heads. They do like clothing on the backs of their children. They don’t like selling their homes because they have no other choice. This government has a responsibility to try to solve the unemployment problem.

I would start by saying it was a moral responsibility. I don’t know how any government could sit idly by and watch the unemployment rolls rise month after month. Surely, if nothing else, it is morally wrong. I will move from that and talk about the one thing which the government seems to understand, money. It makes sense in dollars and cents to have people working because, as we have more people working and fewer on the unemployment rolls, we reduce welfare payments, unemployment insurance benefits and all the social costs that are involved. I am talking about the hard dollars of social costs. In money, it makes sense to have people working.

I guess what is so frustrating and annoying to me is I know that in many countries in this world if unemployment were to reach two or three per cent it would be a national outrage. It would be a scandal. In some countries, people would simply turf out the government because unemployment had reached three per cent. We will tolerate eight per cent. Is it not important to the government? So what, if eight per cent of our work force is unemployed? So what, if 65,000 people, our residents, have lost their jobs through plant closures during the first nine months of 1980? The whole year hasn’t been exhausted yet. What will be the picture for next year? I suggest that unless something drastic is done those figures may double or triple.

This province economically and industrially is on the brink of a disaster. No amount of prattling on that side of the House will erase those figures, and the government knows it full well. They grasp at straws. The Minister of Labour, who is now taking his place in the House introduced some flimsy piece of paper last week that was totally meaningless.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: It’s quite heavy.

Mr. Warner: It may be heavy -- this government is heavy; it is a heavy burden on the people of the province -- but that piece of paper the minister introduced will not save one job in this province. It will not provide any better protection to the workers of this province. It is useless.

Mr. Renwick: Nor will it help anybody hurt.

Mr. Warner: That is right. It is not going to help the workers from Houdaille. It is not going to help any worker who has been thrown out of work because of plant closures. We have not even talked about runaway plants; we will get to those in a minute. In my own area I have one of the most sorry examples of a runaway plant that one could ever think of.

What I am driving at is that at some point in time this government needs to make a commitment to repatriate the economy. Quite frankly, I do not believe they will ever do that. I do not think they have the desire or the political will to do that. They will not repatriate the economy. They will not even make full employment a target, a goal, something to work towards. This government has never once said, “The goal of this government is to try to reach zero unemployment.”

Mr. Haggerty: Darcy McKeough did that about four years ago; raised it from three per cent to 5.5 per cent. Now they may well raise it to 8.6 per cent.

Mr. Warner: The member for Erie raises a very interesting point. I remember, as he does and I guess all the members here, when Mr. McKeough was the Treasurer, during the budget statement he tried to explain away unemployment by raising the figure. He said we now have an appropriate level which was almost double what it was the year before. Suddenly it was not a problem because we had doubled the acceptable figure. If that is not an insult, I do not know what is.

What should be acceptable to this government is nothing less than full employment. Every month we do not reach that, we should feel ashamed of ourselves and we should double our efforts. Maybe the government does not have the same respect for the work ethic that I have, but I happen to know from my experience, not just as a member of this assembly but having lived and worked in the community for a long time, that work is important to people. They do get a certain sense of meaning out of their life because they can go to a job. They like to have meaningful work, full-time work and some sense of security. They like to build up a little pension for when they retire. They like to have good working conditions, a healthful environment, a pleasant task, an hour for lunch, if possible, and a health plan. But most of all they want to work, and they wish to receive a decent wage for their work.

In every one of those things I mentioned, Mr. Speaker, you can find individuals in this province who do not accrue those benefits. There are people who work in unsafe conditions. We have miners dying every month in northern Ontario because Inco does not care; they could care less how many people die in the mines. The Minister of Labour knows that. We have people who are working in unhealthy conditions; Johns-Manville is a perfect example. The members of the government party would love to forget Johns-Manville, but I will not let them, ever. Those workers died because this province was negligent

There are workers who would like to have a decent wage, and many of them do not. Try to live on $3 an hour -- just try. I had a woman come to me just the other week. I could not believe it, but I checked it out and it was true. This woman was being paid $4.75 an hour. She was a sole-support mother working in an office downtown. She had one child who was four years of age and required day care. Do members know how much money she was paying for day care -- $47.50 a week. Because of an unfair policy of Ontario Housing where she was living, where they take 25 per cent of her gross income right off the top, plus almost $50 a week off the top for day care, she could barely buy enough nutritious food for her and her child.

4:50 p.m.

That story in dollars and cents is not even addressing the other very real problems she had of having to get up in the morning, take her youngster by public transit down to day care and then spend another ticket on the transit to get to her office downtown by 8 a.m. She started work at eight o’clock and it would be six o’clock in the evening before she would return to her apartment. She worked long hours under strenuous circumstances for very little pay and could not get her child the subsidy which was required because, as we know, this province does not believe in day care. The best we have from them is the window dressing.

I would like to talk for a moment about the runaway plant, particularly since the Minister of Labour is here. Does he remember the ESB battery plant located in Scarborough? Many individuals who live in my riding have worked in that plant for 25 years. It is a specialized kind of work. There are not many battery plants in Ontario. The place was organized under the united electrical workers, the union the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) likes to attack from time to time, and the workers were receiving a reasonably decent wage. They were not unhappy with their employer. I do not think they had had a strike in 25 years.

One day the company announced it was closing up shop and moving, lo and behold, to another location in Ontario. When we investigated, we found that ESB was owned by Inco. Can members think of another word that strikes more terror into the hearts of civilized beings than the word Inco? I guess it epitomizes just about everything that is evil about corporations. That is, without a doubt, one of the most vicious, meanest companies that has ever existed in this province.

There was only one reason why they were closing the doors in Scarborough and putting 115 men out of work. It was because they wanted to escape the union and they could move to a location near Woodstock where there would be no union and they could pay lower wages. They were able to do it, but I understand the steel workers have been able to move in quickly and they will likely gain a certification. Thank goodness there is a steel workers union and it can move so quickly.

The fact still remains that 115 workers in Scarborough, many of whom live in my riding, are out of jobs and there was no other place for them to go and work. Not only that, but to add insult to it, the company would not guarantee them a job in the new place, nor the seniority, nor the pension or anything else.

Mr. Haggerty: They were not included in the rolling stock.

Mr. Warner: That’s right, you can move the batteries but not the people. I had two men come to my office and they were in tears. They said: “This is the only thing I have ever done in my life. There are no other battery plants around. What am I to do? I have a mortgage on a modest home, I have three or four children. I would like to buy food.”

The government’s answer was nothing, no answer. There is no protection. Companies can close up their doors and move wherever they want, whenever they want. They do not have to give reasons, they can do as they please. This government will never do anything in my opinion. It is not in their interest.

Mr. Speaker, I guess you are wondering what some of the solutions to this problem are.

Mr. Haggerty: You can support our no- confidence motion after that.

Mr. Warner: If the member for Erie would just hold on for a moment, we may get to that.

Mr. Bradley: Are you going to move one? Hear, hear.

Mr. Warner: Part of the answer is pretty obvious. We talked about repatriating the economy. I think that is obvious. We have to gain control over our industries here in Canada, in Ontario. Let us leave aside for a moment the argument about whether the industry should belong to the people of Ontario or just to an individual, and talk about whether the economy should be directed from Ontario and Canada or whether it should be manipulated by other countries, mainly the United States. I believe if we are ever going to have any economic stability in this country, in this province, we must have economic control here in this country and in Ontario.

Second, if we are going to do that, let us examine what is available in Ontario. Quebec has its hydro, Alberta has its oil, Newfoundland is going to have some oil I understand, and New Brunswick has its forests. What do we have in Ontario? We have some very good natural resources: iron ore and nickel, to name just a couple, and the forests, obviously. We have those resources, but who owns them? We do not. The people of Ontario do not. Citizens of Ontario do not. They are owned by foreign companies.

What happens when a foreign company owns the resources? They dig them out of the ground and there are a handful of jobs there. But for every job under the ground there are another four or five above ground when they process and refine and make products. Where are those jobs? They are in Norway, United States, Japan, just about every country you can think of outside of Canada. That is where those jobs are. Four or five to one, in some cases, depending on the resource, is the ratio of jobs we are talking about. Those jobs are outside of our jurisdiction; those jobs should be here.

I submit -- and here is the real crunch for the government, here is the part they can never accept -- in order to ensure those jobs are developed here the government must intervene in the economy. It has no other choice. It must intervene.

Let me tell you about intervention. Back in September, almost a month ago, I had the delightful opportunity of joining other parliamentarians from each province of Canada, the Territories, the Yukon, the Senate and the House of Commons in a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association tour of Alberta and Saskatchewan to help celebrate, in each case, their 75th anniversary of joining Confederation. It was indeed an enlightening experience and I enjoyed every minute of it. I was speaking with colleagues, regardless of party, who come from every part of our country. One learns something. I tried to learn and I hope I did. I presented some of my views in common discussion, in casual discussion, and I listened closely to the different members as they gave me their opinions.

It was a valuable experience. We talked about constitutional items. The member for St. Catharines mentioned earlier some of the bitterness and alienation of people outside of Ontario. It is very real. Whether it is justified is another matter, but it is real -- there is no escaping that. There is some very deep-seated bitterness, particularly from the western provinces, some from the eastern provinces as well, less from Quebec, interestingly enough, in my opinion. But the real deep-seated bitterness is from Alberta and British Columbia. Nonetheless, it was an interesting experience.

5 p.m.

During part of that tour we visited a potash mine in Saskatchewan. I’d never been down a potash mine -- nor any other mine for that matter. We went down some 3,300 feet and then laterally almost four miles into the earth, on a car and on a roadbed that was 20 feet wide and 12 feet high. At the end of that little journey we saw the mining machinery which extracts the potash and puts it on a conveyor belt, and then takes it eventually to the surface and into the refinery. From the refinery it goes to the storage bins and then to the trains and on to their markets.

We had ample opportunity to quiz the people who were running the corporation and the people who were there and get answers to our questions. To give a brief history, in Saskatchewan, potash is the major natural resource next to wheat.

Wheat is still number one. I didn’t realize until I got there that in Saskatchewan there is 3,000 years of supply of potash. That’s an incredible amount of that mineral.

A few years ago it became evident to the government and to the people of Saskatchewan that the potash companies, which were American-owned, were not paying taxes. Their argument was that they weren’t making money; therefore they couldn’t pay taxes. That claim however, had to be taken on faith because they couldn’t open the books. Opening the books would provide an unfair competitive advantage to their competitors. A terrific argument: the government should accept that they couldn’t pay taxes because they weren’t making money.

The province of Saskatchewan, unlike this government, not about to take a back seat, decided it was going to do something about it, and it did. The Premier of Saskatchewan went to New York and met the financiers. All of them totally disagreed with the Premier’s philosophy, but did agree with his balance sheet and said they would lend him the money. With borrowed American money the province bought out some of the Amen- can companies. They acquired somewhere between 45 and 50 per cent of the companies.

They then made sure it was really a corporation which belonged to the people of Saskatchewan. They went through the province and found residents to form the board of directors of the Saskatchewan Potash Corporation.

Here’s the little catch. Members will recall earlier that I said the American companies claimed they weren’t making any money. In the first year of operating the potash corporation turned a profit of $900,000. Four years later, they turned a profit of $68 million -- and that from half the industry.

So, obviously, intrusion into the marketplace by the government works, and it works very well. It benefits the people of Saskatchewan not just in taxes. The potash corporation pays taxes, as everybody else does, and at the same rate. But the result of that profit meant free dental care for the children of Saskatchewan. Every child up to and including the age of 12 receives free dental care in that province because the people own their resources.

That’s a very clear message. One can’t twist it; one can’t hide from it; one can’t get away from it. The message is clear: when people own their own resources they can provide the services to the people. That’s just one example. Since then, the government has been able to make sure that elderly people get free hearing aids, free prescription glasses, free prescription drugs, all of this in the so-called poor province.

I remember my history, or at least some of it. I can be accused of not knowing all of my history but I know some of it. In 1944, Saskatchewan was the second poorest province in this country. It could not borrow money, it was so badly in debt. But in that year, Mr. Tommy Douglas and the Commonwealth Co-operative Federation were elected as the government of the province. Amidst that poverty and that poor bank balance situation, they brought in medicare. I suppose it was the single greatest social program ever achieved in our country. They said it could not be done, but the CCF did it. Of course, we in the New Democratic Party are exceedingly proud of what our forefathers did. They introduced medicare to this country.

The point is fairly obvious if the government, or any government, sits back and says it cannot be done. “We cannot supply hearing aids, we cannot supply prescription drugs, we cannot supply dental care for children.” Of course this government cannot because it cannot take control of the resources. It is out of its hands. It is for the use and benefit of people who live in other countries. It is all part of the little book of the Minister of Industry and Tourism on how to pillage Ontario. And pillage the government does ad nauseam. The answers are fairly clear.

I would like to turn for a moment to another part. There are three major items which I wish to address. They all link to the economy and the economic failures of this government. The second area is health care. I mentioned a few moments ago I, along with my colleagues, am exceedingly proud of what the CCF did in bringing in medicare in Canada.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: With the money supplied by Ontario.

Mr. Warner: Oh, baloney, with respect. I may not be the only one in this chamber who can be accused of not knowing all his history.

At one time in the province, not that many years ago, Ontarians could be proud of their health care system. That is no longer true today. Our health care system is on the brink of disaster. I have switched from the Minister of Labour to the Minister of Colleges and Universities. I think the Minister of Labour is a bit more reasonable and knowledgeable on this situation. Having worked in the hospitals, he knows of what I talk.

This health care system is on the brink of destruction for a couple of basic reasons. The government cannot just simply ignore hospitals forever and think that the system will not buckle under at some point. It cannot simply put pressure after pressure on nurses, doctors and other staff in hospitals and expect that they can perform their duties properly without there being some serious problems.

There are obviously two very important sections to the health care problem. One is the hospitals and the other is the doctors. I will deal with hospitals first. I have visited the hospitals. I have done the shift in the hospitals along with the co-operation of the hospital staff. I remember spending an eight- hour shift in Northwestern Hospital in Toronto through until about 2 a.m. to confirm some of the accusations that people abuse the hospital system. It was incredible.

Eighty per cent of the people who showed up in the emergency ward were there because there was no doctor to go to. The doctor kept regular business hours. When the doctor closed the office at six o’clock, when one had a problem one had to go to the hospital. In some cases that was what the doctor advised the patient. “I’m sorry the office is closed,” would be the recording, “please visit the emergency ward in Northwestern Hospital.”

5:10 p.m.

In other cases, of course, there were the actual emergencies -- car accidents, that sort of thing -- where people are brought into the hospital. In some cases people didn’t have a family doctor and there was no health clinic in the area so they immediately came to the emergency department. There was one doctor on staff and he was kept very busy. There were a couple of nurses who were frantically trying to attend to the needs of the people who were there, but generally you could see it was quite obvious that people were not abusing the system. I know that was true before I went in, because I had seen the survey done of doctors themselves.

The survey asked doctors, “How many people abused the system?” The doctors responded, “About 10 per cent.” That was their guess of the number of people who came into the office who didn’t need to come in. The doctors also said, “About 12 per cent of people we see should have come to the doctor earlier than when they did.” They waited too long to come and see the doctor. The abuse is a figment of somebody’s imagination. In this case, unfortunately, it was the figment of the imagination of someone from the Ontario Medical Association who tried that one on the health care committee and they shot it down in flames.

The second stint of duty I did was an eight-hour shift in the Scarborough General Hospital. That was a fascinating experience. This is fairly close to the heart of the Minister of Labour, because he was chief of staff at the Scarborough General and is held in very high esteem by the hospital and people in the area, and deservedly so.

That hospital has tried its best over the years to meet the needs of people in the area. It has been transformed from what was a small hospital with minimal facilities into what I would classify as a city hospital. It is near Highway 401, so it is one of the closer points where they bring accident victims. It is about the only hospital available to hundreds of senior citizens who live north and east of Metropolitan Toronto and it is a focal point for our community.

It has one of the busiest emergency wards in all of Canada. More than 100,000 people go through that emergency ward in a year. The doctor will recall, as will anyone else who has visited the emergency ward, that it isn’t much more than an oversized closet. The facilities are inadequate. In fact, the supervisor of emergency services, a highly experienced and well respected individual, has her office in a closet -- a broom closet. She has a little tiny desk, the size of our desks here and one chair. There is room to hang up a coat. Facilities are clearly and totally inadequate.

That was recognized by the Ministry of Health staff because they okayed the plans for the extension and renovation of the emergency ward; properly so. One thing is missing: there has been no cheque. They don’t have the money. There is no money coming forth. The expansion will cost about $3 million, of which the province under its normal obligation will pick up $2 million -- two thirds of the capital costs, but we have not seen the money from the government. It is not forthcoming.

I had to resort to putting the question on the Notice Paper: When will the government come up with the $2 million? How much longer will the government deprive the people of Scarborough of proper facilities for an emergency ward? The depth of despair which people in the communities are feeling about their hospitals is endemic as hospitals become increasingly overcrowded.

The Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) seems to think it is quite all right that there are people lying on stretchers in corridors. His attitude was, as expressed in the question period a few days ago, “Isn’t it better that they are there than some other place?” Of course, it is better to be indoors than outdoors when one is ill. One does not have to be a Harvard Law School graduate to grasp that logic. But is it not even better to have an actual bed to be resting in when one is ill enough to be admitted to a hospital?

One of the things I found particularly sad when I was visiting Scarborough General Hospital was to find elderly people, who had been transported from as far away as Port Perry, lying on stretchers in the hallway, waiting their turn. The nurse told me they would likely be there all day -- someone 75 or 80 years of age lying on a stretcher in a hallway for six to eight hours, because the hospital does not have the staff to attend to the problems. This government, although it does not want to, must shoulder that responsibility and the shame that goes with it.

I do not know how the government could allow the situation to deteriorate the way it has. I do not understand that. Morally it is wrong. Our people deserve a first-class quality health care system. We paid for it over and over again. We are one of a couple of provinces left that pay premiums. We pay two and three times for our health care system. We pay for it through our provincial taxes. We pay for it in our premiums, unlike seven of the 10 provinces, then we pay again -- which brings me to the question of opting out and extra billing.

There is a very serious problem with extra billing. The opting out, in and of itself, is not necessarily a great problem for the people. One can opt out in Quebec, and some doctors do, but when one does, one receives no payments from the public scheme. So the doctor who, for sound philosophical reasons, wishes to opt out may do so and bill the patient 100 per cent. The members know, as well as I do, how many doctors in Quebec opt out -- not very many. Strangely enough, they like getting a regular cheque and they do not like having to act as a collection agency.

What situation do we have in Ontario? We have reached the extreme of insults, in that not only can some doctors opt out and charge extra, but they can charge above the OMA rate. They can do so and demand payment in advance and nothing will be done. “If you don’t like it, go somewhere else” -- that is the advice people are given.

My colleague from Windsor-Riverside (Mr. Cooke) brought in a fascinating example. He raised it in the Legislature the other day as a question to the Minister of Health, who really had no response. It was the case of an individual who was being charged by the doctor in excess of the OMA rate. The doctor wanted that money up front or else the patient would not receive the medical service. The Minister of Health’s answer basically was, “Well, there really isn’t anything I can do about it.” Is that how impotent this government has become? It will sit idly by and watch our health system being abused by a few greedy doctors. Is that what it has come to?

You and I both know, Mr. Speaker, that the vast majority of doctors in this province do not extra-bill. The vast majority of the doctors in this province support the plan. I doubt very much if the vast majority of doctors support the kind of doctor whose example was used in this Legislature a few days ago. That is despicable behaviour for a doctor, or anybody else for that matter.

5:20 p.m.

In other words, that doctor and a handful of others like him are giving a message to the public: Health care if you can afford it. Health care for the rich. Some members in this House are old enough to remember the bad old days of private insurance health care: If you could pay the premiums, you got the health care; if you could not tough bananas.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: That is not true.

Mr. Warner: That is exactly what happened. I have to tell the good doctor -- because I get a little excited about this one -- that I was going through our family Bible the other day, looking at some of the clippings, pictures and so on, of my family. My grandfather was born and raised in this city. My grandmother took seriously ill and was an invalid for 12 years. In the family Bible, which is more than 100 years old there are pages where you put family histories. There was an announcement of my grandmother’s death, and she died just two minutes before I was born. Included in the announcement of her death was the fact that she had been an invalid for 12 years. Underneath that announcement was pasted another announcement, of the bankruptcy sale of my grandfather’s house to pay the medical bills. He had to sell his house to pay the medical bills.

What I am saying to the government is, I do not want to see those days ever again, not ever in this province; and unless we are careful, those days can intrude upon us again. Where do we have to start? We have to start with what is acknowledged to be the backbone of our health care system: the doctors. We have to sit down and negotiate with the doctors. We have to negotiate fairly, reasonably and in good faith, and when we are finished the government signs, the doctors sign, and that’s it -- no mavericks.

I will use an example I use quite often, Mr. Speaker, because it fits very well. Just think for a moment if your youngster or my youngster came home from school with a little note saying his teacher did not like the settlement of the contract and wanted him to bring an extra dollar each day. What would you do with the notice? I will try to say in parliamentary language that I know what I would do with that notice. What colossal nerve! The teachers have a union. They. sat down and bargained with the school board. They came to an agreement. They signed a paper. Each teacher under that agreement will receive a certain salary. What nerve! A teacher asking for an extra dollar a day from each student! No one in here would tolerate that. Even the Minister of Education would not tolerate that -- she would go bananas -- but doctors can do that. A negotiated settlement does not mean a thing to them.

I understand the problem that the government has. This is the single most powerful union there is, but not all its members are unreasonable. The opted-in figures speak to their reasonableness. Roughly 83 per cent of the doctors are opted-in, 83 out of 100, and the majority of those are the general practitioners. I get complaints from the general practitioners, which I am sure other members do as well. The GP says, “I do not know whom to refer my patient to because most of the specialists have opted out of the plan and I know my patient cannot afford any more expense.” That is the GP speaking.

I suspect that if this government had the courage and the will to put an end to the opting out the vast majority of doctors, particularly the GPs, would applaud that effort. They would like some stability. They have some pride in their skill, in their trade, which is being a doctor. Most doctors like to try to get the very best medical treatment for their patients. That is the pride of their calling. That is what their profession is all about, and yet a lot of GPs know they cannot do that because of the opted-out specialists who will charge the sky as the limit.

There must be no more extra billing. It simply must end. Stop playing silly games, because these games are inflicting injury on the people of this province. If the government can ever get a handle on that problem of extra billing and start funding the hospitals properly then maybe it will address itself to preventive care, the forgotten element of our health care system, and home care for elderly people so that they can remain in their homes and try to live a life of dignity for their remaining years. It is not available in most areas of this province.

There is no reason why free dental care for all children up to and including age 12 cannot be provided in this province. This health care system of ours is in a perilous position, and this government is not about to rescue it. They do not believe in it. When the crunch comes, there is a greater allegiance to the insurance companies, which I guess are just sitting by with their talons sharpened, waiting for that one little section to be lifted from the Health Insurance Act.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: You have been smoking peculiar stuff again.

Mr. Warner: No. I have had too much experience with those companies. They would love the opportunity to move back into the profitable area which they exploited a few years. Decent health care should be a right in this province and not be determined by how much money one has.

The third major area I wish to speak about is a situation in which many women, particularly working women, find themselves in this province. I do not know when the discrimination is going to end. The government has had its opportunity. My colleague from Windsor-Sandwich (Mr. Bounsall) introduced a long time ago Bill 3. Bill 3 was equal pay for work of equal value.

Mr. Speaker, you will recall it well as you were one of the many members who supported the bill, as did all members of this assembly on second reading. It was a terrific bill in principle. We all support that bill in principle. It went to committee. We had presentations made in committee and some very forceful representations were made by a variety of groups in our society. Then the government started to get cold feet. My goodness, there were actually people out there who wanted this bill. There was lobbying going on.

5:30 p.m.

This bill was going to become very popular and, lo and behold, the traditional allies of the government, the manufacturing associations, the business organizations, the insurance companies -- usually the worst exploiters of women in the work place -- were saying: “It is going to cost us. We do not want this bill. Do something.” So the government did something; it killed the bill. So much for equal pay for work of equal value. This government has killed that and working women are left unprotected and unrewarded for the work they do.

One cannot talk about women in the work place and being treated equally without talking about day care. The Minister for Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton) talks glibly about sole-support mothers. These are women, whose husbands have deserted them. The husbands not only desert their wives but the payments they neglect to make every year reach somewhere about $60 million, a huge financial burden because of their irresponsibility.

This woman has been left with a couple of children and wants to work. I get calls all the time, and I know other members do as well, from someone who desperately says, “I do not want to go on welfare; I want a job; I want to work.” She will get a job at minimum wage with terrible hours because she is a woman.

I had a woman come in to see me who had three children and we chatted for a while. She told me she was earning $3 an hour and when she worked more than 48 hours a week she was paid an extra dollar an hour. She worked 55 hours each week. I told her the 55 hours was illegal -- the 48 is not. We are still living in the Dark Ages on that one in this province. I told her it was illegal, that she did not have to accept that. I said, “We can go to the Ministry of Labour and lodge a complaint, first on the hours and second on the pay.” She replied: “I do not want to do that because I would be fired. Although this is a crummy job, it is the only job I’ve got.” So she continues to work 55 hours a week at $3 an hour, plus an extra dollar an hour for every hour over 48, and attempts to feed three children.

That is the cruelty of this system in Ontario. She needs day care, she needs universal access to that day care, but there is none that is any good for her, none that is appropriate. Then the government puts a freeze on the subsidy list so there will be people, if they cannot make the payments for the day care facilities, who will simply have to give up their jobs and go back on to either mothers’ allowance or welfare. What a system. I fail to understand why the government has given up on the work ethic, but obviously it has.

Lastly, something I think has been overlooked for a long time is the subject of sexual harassment on the job. That is something we do not talk about very much in here, but women do fall victims to sexual harassment in the work place. There are no laws against it. I suspect the government has known full well the extent of the problem for some time but chooses to do nothing about it. Again, that is a very sad commentary on this government.

Women in this province, particularly women who are working outside the home, deserve the same pay as men. Some day I hope they will get it; they certainly will. We are committed to the member for Windsor-Sandwich’s bill and, given the opportunity, it will become law.

They deserve day care so they can work productively and can feel they are supporting their families, because they are supporting their families as best they can. They need job protection so when they find those jobs and they are in the work place they are not going to be harassed or exploited by men.

Last, I wish to touch on a couple of other subjects, one of which is a little bit annoying. I put it forward as more of an annoyance than anything particularly significant, and that was the little vote-catcher $500 item that was floated around in September. That was a gem. There were nice little ads with some smiling elderly person saying, “This is the world’s greatest place to live,” and so on. It was a terrific little con job.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Only because it was true.

Mr. Warner: Even the Minister of Colleges and Universities can’t say that without smiling. I guess the tipoff to it was the other day in the House when the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Maeck) was being quizzed about it and he said, “You know, there are 800,000 seniors in this province.” I said, “A hundred thousand of them will get less this year than last.” He was annoyed at that and blurted back, “No, it is only 95,000” -- I stand corrected if he has the figures -- it is only 95,000 seniors who will receive less money this year than they did last year. Many of those will be at the bottom of the economic scale. They are not paying enough property tax. Why aren’t they paying enough property tax? Because they are living in poorhouses. If they live in a poorhouse, they don’t pay much tax, therefore, they don’t claim back as much money on the giveaway scheme.

Isn’t it nice, though, to have those pictures of the smiling seniors saying, “This is a wonderful place to live.” I guess the rumour is not true that the Treasurer sent those cheques out with his picture on them. None the less, the message really is there that all those senior citizens should be grateful to the government and they should vote for the government.

I have a little sobering thought before the government members get too carried away with their euphoria over the giveaway program. Here is a survey. I run these surveys regularly in my riding and they are responded to in very large measure. In answer to the question: Should pension levels for senior citizens be increased? 7.2 per cent of the people were undecided; 7.4 per cent said no, and 85.4 per cent said yes. Despite the government’s little scheme and the giveaways, the people out there are not fools. They know there are thousands of seniors living in poverty in this province, some of whom are lucky to get enough food each day, right in the city.

I would be quite happy to take any one of the Tory members on a little walk between here and the Wellesley Hospital and I will find senior citizens who are barely surviving nutritionally, let alone in any other way.

I want to also add a little sobering note to those on the government side who think that equal pay for work of equal value is not important. Do they know how many people in Scarborough-Ellesmere responded to the question: “Should our labour laws require employers to pay equal wages to women for work of equal value?” Eighty-seven per cent said yes; and 7.2 per cent said no. People out there know the issue is important and their voice will be heard.

5:40 p.m.

I guess the twist to that $500 giveaway which bothered me was that the people were residing in nursing homes which pay property taxes. The person is paying $600 a month, and the home is paying anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000 a year in property taxes.

Members would think that person, who is paying out rent every month, would qualify. Six hundred dollars a month is pretty steep rent. The nursing home is privately owned and it is paying a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year in property tax. But the person does not qualify. The government says it has given a subsidy of somewhere around $500 a month. But one cannot escape the fact that the person paid $600 out of his or her own pocket and the home is paying property taxes. Let members try and figure it out. Nobody out there can.

Finally, one last note -- the situation with the Ku Klux Klan disturbs me. It disturbs me for one simple reason. It does not appear to me the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) is taking this matter at all seriously. He dismisses the Klan as a handful of lunatics. They may be a handful only, and they may be lunatics, but they now have three offices. They have one in Toronto, one in Kitchener, and one in Ottawa. They are running someone for mayor of Toronto. Their next plan is to run someone for the House of Commons.

Just in case someone has forgotten who these gentle folk are, would members please remind themselves what has been happening in Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Atlanta. The Klan is on a very aggressive program to incite racial hatred, to incite violence. They are not to be taken lightly.

Of course, anyone is entitled to live in our province, provided they live up to the laws, they do not break the laws. The Klan has broken the laws on hate literature, and it has broken the very spirit and intent of our human rights legislation.

I believe what the Attorney General should do, as I suggested on June 26, is make sure the Klan is closely monitored, that information is collected, and then, when it breaks the law, criminal charges are laid. Do not give us this silly nonsense about using the Petty Trespass Act. I have never heard such patent ridiculousness in my life.

For starters, the Attorney General should know, if he does not -- I knew and I do not have any police force; he has a huge police force -- the Klan did not hand out the material on the school property at Monarch Park Secondary School or any other school. It was handed out off the property. In one case where it was handed out on the property, it was done by a student of the school. He cannot be charged with trespassing. Patent nonsense.

It is one of two things. Either the Attorney General does not know what he is doing, or he has taken this matter far too lightly. I wish he would take it more seriously.

I apologize to the member for Prince Edward-Lennox (Mr. J. A. Taylor) who waited patiently. I thought I was going to speak a bit earlier. I did tell him I would try and reserve half an hour for him. I will try to conclude in a couple of minutes.

We have a province which now faces the most difficult times it has faced since the Depression. Our economy is crumbling; plants are closing; jobs are being lost to other jurisdictions. It is not just a matter of a job going somewhere and later there will be another one.

The Premier is very fond of saying that Ontario is Canada’s industrial heartland. Our heartland has had a coronary. Unfortunately, the doctor over there is a quack. This government has no remedies for the illness. Very clearly, there are two basic things that must be done in order to ensure that we remain as an industrial province. If we do remain as an industrial province, we can deliver the health care that the people of this province deserve. We can provide free dental care for children. We can boom again. We can have all our people working. There are two things to be done. One is to repatriate the economy and the other is to bring the natural resources of this province under the ownership of the people of this province. This government will not do either of those two things.

I look forward eagerly and with great anticipation to the next election, whenever it comes. Frankly, I do not care when it comes. Whether it is tomorrow, a month from now or three months from now is immaterial. This tired old government is on its way out, and I look forward to being one of the replacements.

Mr. J. A. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, as you know, my Premier is ill this afternoon. He had expected to be in the House to discuss his estimates. I was asked if I might participate in this debate as a supporter of his government. I may say I am happy to assist him in his constitutional problems.

As a Canadian, I do have some concern with regard to Ontario’s position in this great country of ours. When I speak of that position, I am speaking both in a political and an economic sense. Mr. Speaker, you will understand that. You have travelled this land of ours from coast to coast as I have. This past summer I had the opportunity under the chairmanship of the member for Humber to travel from the Yukon to Newfoundland and to discuss with the people of those provinces in between their concerns for their country and their bewilderment on occasion at Ontario’s stance in the constitutional talks. I concluded that if Ontario is playing a role it must surely be the role of a unifier, because there seems to be a common dislike for this province and that, if nothing else, would bring the rest of the country together.

I did not stand today to discuss a report which will be filed with the House from that committee on constitutional reform. I came to support the budgetary policies of this government. I think it is difficult to find fault with those policies.

5:50 p.m.

I’m listening attentively this afternoon to the deliberations of the members from both the Liberal Party and New Democratic Party. It seems to me it is a simple thing to criticize. Sitting in opposition it is easy to find fault with anything. I suppose the longer one is in opposition the more expert one becomes in criticizing and finding fault, but sometimes it is necessary to think positively. I think the budget of the government was a positive budget and I combine that spirit of being positive with the spirit of constitutional reform.

In travelling to the west I found there was a concern on the part of those provinces rich in resources. The same sense is developing in the east. There is criticism of the spending mechanisms of the federal government and the sizeable deficit that has accumulated. There is a concern about the current deficit. We read about Alberta’s Heritage Trust Savings Fund. It is sizeable but it probably amounts to one Syncrude plant. It is simple for the federal government in a single year to accumulate a deficit of three Syncrude plants.

The concern is over the ownership of those resources -- both in eastern Canada and western Canada. In Quebec the concern is to ensure the integrity of their heritage -- their language and their culture; the concern of being assimilated, of being threatened in an English-speaking North America.

I believe it is essential to solve those two basic questions before we resolve the whole issue of constitutional reform in the context of the economy because I have heard today so much about unemployment, plant closings, inflation and difficult times. If one travels our land and other lands, one will quickly realize that in Ontario we have everything going for us. We seem to be outstanding in every field. We have the majesty of the mountains, the tremendous geography, the resources so vast. The people with so much initiative and energy. We have people who want to work, who want to get on with the job of building this nation. But for some of us it seems we are relegated to bickering about constitutional reform.

If we want to generate more job opportunities, we should get on with the business of developing our resources. Premier Loughheed in Alberta cannot get on with his arrangements with the energy industry because he cannot come to any conclusion with the federal authorities. In the meantime we are in continual peril of suffering an energy crisis.

It takes billions of dollars to develop our resources. We have the people and the resources; surely we have the energy, the efficiency and the dedicated people to get on with that job. In my view, it is essential that we resolve the question of energy pricing, cost sharing, taxation and royalties, and develop our own resources. That will put all kinds of people to work. That will keep Ontario prosperous as well.

In Ottawa we seem to have too many little men in lofty places who cast long shadows because the sun is setting.

There is also the corporate responsibility. I have heard the corporations criticized. I think they have to get in tune with the reality of the present-day work place; some of them are and some of them are not. They have a responsibility and the sooner they recognize that responsibility and commitment to the workman, then so much the better for their organization, the province and the country. The government has a responsibility, but not a responsibility to take over every industry that happens to get into trouble.

May I say that I am not in favour of the government’s bailing out inefficient corporate enterprises. I listen to the members of the opposition wanting government involvement and interference and regulation every time there is a problem anywhere. I would like to see them in power just for a year or two -- not longer, because I am afraid of the chaotic conditions they would create. I would like to see them grapple with the real problems, with the real people, with the real industry, and see what they would do in terms of the policy of homogenizing this land of ours and more free stuff.

I heard this afternoon about the condemnation of our health care program. I challenge the opposition to go anywhere in this universe and find a health care program that is better than the one we have right here in Ontario. We should be proud of it and we should not be hanging our heads in shame and saying we are leaving people to suffer in the halls. That is sheer nonsense, and the members opposite know it. They should be proud and hold their heads high, because we in Ontario are leaders in that field. If they want to bankrupt the province and the country the way to do it is to get into more and more government involvement and free stuff.

Mr. Young: Nothing is free.

Mr. J. A. Taylor: Now my friend has said it. He has realized that nothing is free; someone has to pay the price. We cannot consume unless we have someone producing. And we cannot put everybody on the government payroll.

Mr. Young: Nobody ever said we should.

Mr. J. A. Taylor: No. But all the policies of the member’s party dictate that. That is the inconsistency of his party and the criticism of his party: they are so contradictory. If one got into that much more, one would need the professional services of the leader of the Liberal Party who is the champion of inconsistency.

Mr. Warner: Go ahead, I’m all ears.

Mr. J. A. Taylor: I don’t want to get into personalities because I could talk for a half an hour on the problems of that particular person. I will refrain from doing so, especially as he is not in the House. I am delighted that there are so many people in the House as there usually are to hear the debate on the budget, but in the absence of the leader of the Liberal Party, I am going to refrain from an objective analysis of that particular individual and his leadership or lack thereof.

In the few minutes remaining to me, I would like to express my concern in regard to an item that I read in the newspapers recently about rural hydro rates.

Mr. Haggerty: Aren’t they high?

Mr. J. A. Taylor: They certainly are.

Mr. Haggerty: Too high.

Mr. J. A. Taylor: They are too high, and as long as the member is thinking on that wavelength, I have his support and I think probably he has my support as well. I was delighted in the spring when the Premier (Mr. Davis) announced that he had asked the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch) and Ontario Hydro to make recommendations to him and to government as to how we might reduce the inequities between the urban and rural customers.

The Deputy Speaker: Before the honourable member gets too deeply into that subject, I might say it is six of the clock. Would you like to adjourn the debate?

Mr. J. A. Taylor: Yes. I was just going to say in conclusion that I hope that adjustment of inequities will not be to raise the rural rates so they equate with the urban rates. I have some apprehension in that regard and I want to register my concern now.

I appreciate the time and I will complete my remarks.

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

The House adjourned at 6:03 p.m.