31st Parliament, 4th Session

L095 - Tue 21 Oct 1980 / Mar 21 oct 1980

The House resumed at 8:02 p.m.


Resuming consideration of Bill 59, An Act to amend the Game and Fish Act.

Mr. Foulds: In the interval, the legislative counsel was able to enlighten me, where the parliamentary assistant was not, in terms of the validity and whether or not the amendments that are before us are in order. I do not now challenge whether they are in order or out of order. I accept them as being in order.

However, as to the substance of the amendments before us, aside from the fine reading from the Ministry of Natural Resources scripture that the parliamentary assistant gave us before supper, I would like him, if he could, to indicate to the House just how widespread chases are and under what conditions the ministry proposes to license these things. Do you propose to require a licence in every case and thus prosecute when chases take place without a licence?

Mr. Yakabuski: It is my understanding that each chase would be dealt with individually and the minister would give authority for such a chase to take place. If there were chases taking place without that authority, they would be running afoul of the law and would be dealt with accordingly.

Mr. Foulds: Will the regulations for each of these types of chases be published fully in the Ontario Gazette? Is that the intention of the ministry, so we would know the regulation, and therefore, the law regarding these chases ahead of time, as this is a new departure for the ministry? Would those regulations be circulated to the members of the Legislature who do not assiduously read their Gazette?

Mr. Yakabuski: Yes, I understand they will be published.

Mr. Foulds: That goes a good way to satisfying some of the concerns I have on this section.

I must say, just in an anecdotal way, Mr. Chairman, that I have never belonged to a hunt club. I personally find the idea of chases unsavoury. However, I can understand those people who engage in the activity. I must say I have no idea what the law was in 1944 when I was nine years old and I myself engaged in a fox chase.

Mr. Cunningham: You were never nine.

Mr. Bolan: Did the fox chase you?

Mr. Foulds: No, no. Unlike most members of the Legislature, I have actually lived in the bush. I have actually hunted and trapped and snared and shot at fox, all before I achieved the ripe old age of 16. I have no idea what the law was in 1944 when I first consciously remember engaging in this activity.

The chase has traditionally had some unfortunate barbaric overtones to it. If I may digress for a moment philosophically, that was never more graphically depicted than in the film Tom Jones with the destruction of farms, fowl and livestock in the course of the chase. In those days the lord had absolute right over the tenants’ property. I was glad to hear the parliamentary assistant agree that there would be none of that kind of allowance in the regulations.

If, as a society, we are going to allow such an activity, as a matter of conscience I am going to vote against the sections as an individual. I would like to make it clear that is not the position of my party, but I can understand and to some measure applaud the steps the government is now taking to have control of this activity at least so that it will be under strict supervision and therefore have to conform to the laws of the province.

The Deputy Chairman: Is there any other discussion in regard to section 9? I understand the committee wishes it placed in two votes, the proposal dealing with the new section 24a and the proposal dealing with the new section 29a.

Section 9 agreed to.

Sections 10 and 11 agreed to.

On section 12:

Mr. Foulds: I am just curious about why it is felt necessary at this time to include elk as a separate species. They have not been so included in the past. Is this because we have been able to define the species more closely, or is it because of the migratory habits of the species?

Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Chairman, my understanding is the elk herd in Ontario is in need of protection and this has been inserted there to cover that.

Mr. Foulds: It has previously been assumed to be covered. I understand the elk herd needs protection. I gather they are relatively small herds of 25 to 50 at the most. I am curious why we felt it necessary at this time to define them specifically in the act, delineating them apart from deer or other species.

8:10 p.m.

Mr. Yakabuski: I understand elk are included with deer in this.

Mr. Foulds: That does not answer my question in that previously elk were included with the deer, but now you have defined them separately. Is that because you expect to have to make separate regulations or a separate designation of them as a herd? There must be some management reason for this, which I am curious about; that is all.

Mr. Yakabuski: There is a growing concern about the elk herds in the province. These are additional steps to make sure the elk herds grow rather than diminish. I am told there is a separation now in order to give them special protection.

Mr. Foulds: I am just curious. Have there been any cases in which elk have been shot and the person has been found not guilty, or where there has not been a prosecution because of the ambiguity of this section? Does the parliamentary assistant know if there has been any record of that?

Mr. Yakabuski: I understand there is no record of that.

Section 12 agreed to.

On section 13:

The Deputy Chairman: Mr. Wildman moves that section 13 of the bill be amended by adding thereto the following subsection:

“(3) Section 42 of the said act is amended by adding thereto the following subsection 3:

“‘Subsection 1 and 2 do not apply to an Indian as defined in the Indian Act who hunts black bear, polar bear, caribou, deer, elk or moose on lands subject to a treaty.’”

Mr. Wildman: Mr. Chairman, I will not go over the whole debate we had this afternoon in relation to the issue of Indian hunting and treaty rights. However, in anticipating some of the questions that might be raised about the amendment I will say this is different from the amendment that was introduced and ruled by the chair to be out of order this afternoon in that discussion of section 42 of the act is opened by Bill 59 and, therefore, the argument that was raised on the other amendment I placed this afternoon does not apply.

Secondly, the suggestion was made by the minister in his statement at two o’clock and subsequently in the debate this afternoon that we should not be proposing in this assembly amendments that deal with Indians because the Indian Act and the British North America Act suggest that only the Parliament of Canada can pass such legislation.

In relation to that argument, I would suggest that by not specifically stating that treaty Indians are exempt from the Game and Fish Act we would be legislating for Indians because we would be legislating for all individuals living and hunting in Ontario, which would include treaty Indians. In that sense, we would be contravening the provision of the BNA Act. By specifically exempting treaty Indians, we are leaving it to the federal government to deal with this issue, which is quite right and proper since it is their responsibility under the treaties and the Indian Act to deal with the rights and privileges of treaty Indians in Canada.

The statement has also been made that this might be redundant since the provincial ministry already recognizes treaty hunting and fishing rights and takes a lenient attitude and does not charge treaty Indians who are hunting without a licence in their own treaty area.

In fact, there have been a number of cases where this has happened. There was a case in the Spanish area in the past couple of years where three treaty Indians were charged by the conservation officer for hunting moose and bear. There was quite an issue made of the fact that they were hunting in this area.

Again, I will not reiterate the arguments made this afternoon, except to say I think it is incumbent upon us in this Legislature to recognize in legislation the policy to which the minister has committed his ministry, which is to recognize once and for all that the issue of Indian hunting and fishing rights must be resolved. It is incumbent upon the federal government to become active finally in that area and to resolve the whole matter.

Mr. Bolan: As indicated this afternoon, Mr. Chairman, we feel it is within the jurisdiction of the federal government to define the rights of the Indian people of this province and, as such, we feel the amendment as presented -- for the same reasons which I advanced this afternoon -- would be out of order.

Mr. Warner: We are not out of order. You guys want off the hook.

Mr. Bolan: Furthermore, in spite of what the Socialists to my left may say and think, the fact still remains that we are trying to do something for all of the people of Ontario. It is my position and the position of my party that the action the third party is trying to bring forward right now is something much deeper than a mere amendment to this particular act. It involves a considerable amount of discussion. The minister himself and his ministry are involved in trying to resolve many of these issues. An amendment at this time would be frivolous and inopportune. It may be opportunistic for the members of the third party; but that would be about as far as it would go. We will not be supporting the amendment.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, I must say I am not convinced by the previous speaker. I think the amendment is a good one. I will read section 42 of the present act, so those members who are not familiar with the act will be. It says very clearly:

“Except under the authority of a licence and during such times and on such terms and conditions and in such parts of Ontario as are prescribed in the regulations, no person shall hunt black bear, polar bear, caribou, deer or moose.”

Mr. Wildman: That is legislating for Indians.

8:20 p.m.

Mr. Foulds: That is legislating. There is no definition in this act of “person” and in the Interpretation Act it still is not clear what “person” is. I suppose we simply go on the common definition of human being. To the best of my knowledge in this province that includes all races, colours and creeds. Therefore, this law and this section in particular applies legally to native peoples, to status Indians. There is no exemption in this act to native peoples and to status Indians. I submit the amendment put forward by my colleague from Algoma simply tidies up and clears up what could be a legislative intrusion by the provincial government in an area that is not within this jurisdiction. I fail to see why the government, why the parliamentary assistant and why the minister, who is still not in his place, would resist this amendment.

I can understand why the Liberal Party would resist the amendment, because they simply don’t know what to do with it or they don’t understand it. But when the minister said very clearly in his statement, “It is our approach that status Indian people can legally hunt moose, deer and other game animals within their own treaty area, at any time of the year, without a licence and without a limit on the number of animals they take,” then I fail to see what the objection is, because that is exactly what my colleague is trying to achieve -- to give the legislative guarantee and the legislative strength to the minister’s statement, because this minister, good fellow though he is, and his parliamentary assistant, good fellow though he is, they too shall pass away.

What we need for the native peoples of this province is a legislative commitment that is in keeping with the language in their treaties. The language in their treaties was that they should have the hunting and fishing rights as long as the rivers flowed and the sun shone, which is to say forever.

I just de not understand why this Legislature is so chicken-hearted. I do not understand why a government is afraid to give legislative sanction to a ministerial commitment. Is it because they do not intend to live up to that ministerial commitment? I would hope not. The reason I would hope not is that the minister in his statement has outlined in a very poignant way the difficulties he has had in negotiating agreements with the native communities.

Put yourself in the place of those people. Put yourself in the position of being betrayed time and time again when there was no legislative commitment. Put yourself in the place of the harassment and charges that have been laid by Ministry of Natural Resources officials under the Game and Fish Act and you will understand, I think, why we at least feel it is necessary to have the legislative commitment outlined by my colleague from Algoma.

Mr. Charlton: To carry this discussion just a little bit further -- and perhaps for the benefit of the member for Nipissing, who is a lawyer and who should be soundly ashamed of himself as one member of this House who has had considerable experience with provincial statutes that contradict and contravene federal statutes, although I am not a lawyer, I want to say to the member for Nipissing and to the government, it is not a frivolous action on the part of this Legislature to deal correctly and specifically with the laws we pass and their relationship with the other laws that govern this province and this country.

For the member for Nipissing to suggest we should pass a law so general in its nature and so all-encompassing in its nature that it will offend both the BNA Act and the treaties legislation as well as a number of the treaties that exist in this province, is frivolous.

We have a number of general statutes in Ontario which have done precisely that in the past, which has caused average citizens of this province no end of heartache, frustration and dollars in trying to establish in the courts which of the particular statutes has precedence. We do not, or we should not, want to put any more citizens of this province in that situation, whether they be status Indians or whether they be steelworkers or whatever else. The challenge in the court will not come if whatever statute we pass here respects the BNA Act and respects the federal statutes that govern Indians in this country.

My colleague from Port Arthur made it very clear when he read the wording that from the way the bill is at present worded it covers everybody in this province, including status Indians. That is offensive to the BNA Act, the treaties legislation, the Indian Act and the treaties that exist in this province already. It is not our responsibility in this Legislature to offend existing statutes and to offend existing rights in this province. That is what we will be doing by passing the legislation as it stands at present.

Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Chairman, I would say probably over and over again that under section 88 of the Indian Act all provincial laws are subject to the rights of Indians under treaties and, therefore, we haven’t got the power to deal with it. Furthermore, section 91 of the BNA Act provides that only the Parliament of Canada may legislate in so far as Indian matters are concerned.

Mr. Bolan: They can’t read over there.

Mr. Wildman: Just to respond, Mr. Chairman, as a northern member I deeply resent the comment made by the member for Nipissing that this party was being opportunistic in introducing this amendment.

As he should very well know, and as I am sure all members in this Legislature are aware, treaty Indians are a very small minority in this province. For a northern member to suggest that an amendment that is introduced to protect their rights is opportunistic, I think is completely offensive.

It is offensive to suggest that there is any kind of opportunistic approach here. If one were being opportunistic, one would say, “Let’s deal with the majority and forget about the minority.” One would just go ahead, pass this bill and completely ignore the fact that this bill and the former act unilaterally abrogate the rights under the treaty.

There may be an argument that under the BNA Act this proposed amendment may be ultra vires. It may be, but I would suggest with respect that it is not within the competence of this assembly to decide that. To argue that because of that possibility, which has not yet been tested, this amendment is out of order is ridiculous.

The other suggestion that was made by the parliamentary assistant, that under section 88 of the Indian Act all provincial laws are subject to the terms of any treaty, is quite right. I would like to know what conflict there is between the amendment I proposed and that provision of the Indian Act. As far as I am concerned, this amendment to section 13 of the bill is quite literally in agreement with section 88 of the federal act.

8:30 p.m.

Mr. Bolan: That was done by the federal government. Can’t you understand that?

Mr. Wildman: I am quite aware the Indian Act is a federal piece of legislation. It says that all laws must be subject to the terms of any treaty.

Mr. Charlton: This doesn’t contradict the federal act.

Mr. Wildman: What I am suggesting is that we make this law explicitly in agreement with section 88 of the Indian Act. If we do not explicitly protect the rights of treaty Indians, then we are implicitly denying those rights. In passing a piece of legislation that requires every individual in this province who is hunting to obtain a licence. I am no great authority but I would think every individual includes a treaty Indian or a member of another race. In my view, that kind of legislation would be in conflict with section 88 of the Indian Act.

Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Chairman, the member for Algoma is quite right but we cannot get by subsection 91(24) of the BNA Act which states that only Parliament may legislate. That stops us dead in our tracks. There is no way around it.

Mr. Foulds: Does the parliamentary assistant intend to withdraw the bill?

Mr. W. Newman: No.

Mr. Foulds: How do you answer the question about the wording in section 42 where it says, “No person shall hunt black bear, polar bear, caribou, deer or moose”? How do you justify that inclusion in contradiction to the section of the BNA Act just cited?

The Deputy Chairman: Any further discussion? The chair has a bit of a problem in that I am not clear whether the Game and Fish Act applies to Indians or not. I gather in the past the government has issued permits to Indians to do certain of the things dealt with in this act. In the present case, I would think perhaps the act may apply to them. As I see it, the most we could be doing if we vote on this section and the section passes would be to put in something that is redundant or ultra vires.

It seems to me it is not up to the chair to make rulings as to whether this is or is not ultra vires. Apart from the BNA Act and the Indian Act, it would be all right, and it seems to me it is not up to the chair to make that kind of a legal decision. I am going to state the motion is in order and, of course, the committee can do what it wishes with it as far as the vote on it is concerned, or it can challenge my ruling that it is in order.

All those in favour of Mr. Wildman’s amendment will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the nays have it.

Motion negatived.

Section 13 agreed to.

Sections 14 and 15 agreed to.

On section 16:

Mr. Bolan: Mr. Chairman, some concerns have been expressed to us with respect to the provisions of section 16. What section 16 does is add to the existing section 47 of the act.

Section 47 of the act reads, “Except under the authority of a licence and subject to the regulations. no person shall sell, offer for sale, purchase or barter or be concerned in the sale, purchase or barter of a game animal or possess a game animal for sale.”

What section 16 does is add subsection 2 to section 47 to provide that, “Except under the authority of a licence and subject to the regulations, no person shall propagate a game animal or possess a game animal for propagation.”

As I indicated earlier, some concerns have been raised by some people with respect to this whole question of the propagation of a game animal, and in particular the regulations that would affect the keeping of such an animal. For example, what provisions would there be for inspection of the place where the animal would be kept? What provisions would be made for health factors, for the safety of people in surrounding buildings or in surrounding areas where such an animal would be kept?

In view of the fact that the proposed legislation does refer to the regulations, I would like to know if there are regulations now which cover the keeping of such animals, and if there are no regulations, what was in effect with respect to section 47(1) where again it talks about no person being able to keep animals or game animals for sale, except with a licence and subject to regulations?

Were the regulations in effect with respect to the old section 47, and if so, are they the same regulations that are in effect with respect to the new section 16 of the bill, which would be section 47(2) of the act?

I would like to have some answers to these questions, if I may.

Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Chairman, the new subsection prohibits the propagation of a game animal, except under the authority of a licence and subject to the regulations. The present Game and Fish Act states that a person is required to have a licence for the propagation of game birds only.

The new subsection to section 47 of the act is to extend this requirement to game animals, and will enable controls to be exercised on private zoos, potential game farms, pet stores or individuals who may have interests in propagating game birds or game animals for any purpose that is not in the interests of the species or wildlife management in general. The reason for adding the new subsection was to cover game animals.

To answer the member for Nipissing who raised some questions regarding, I believe it was, the Essex County Humane Society, the ministry recently went to the public and wanted to know the views of people on keeping wildlife in captivity. The ministry is bombarded on a continuing basis with requests for placing Ontario wildlife in zoos and taking wildlife as pets. We want to determine, on a broad basis, what the public wants in this regard. A recent news release asked that the public write in its views.

8:40 p.m.

The Essex County Humane Society, which has been referred to, has equated this initiative with some part of this bill. That is really so. In fact, the bill does not relate to this aspect. The clause under which the authority might be granted is contained in section 79 of the present act -- not any section of this bill at all.

We have extended a sincere thank you to the manager of the society for bringing his observations to our attention on the basic issues, but our assurance that the exercise has nothing to do with this bill has been accepted by the Essex County Humane Society.

Mr. Foulds: I have three points I would like to make. The parliamentary assistant was quite right in pointing out section 79 of the present act, which is not amended by this bill, as the appropriate section that deals with zoos and the keeping of animals. However, he introduces the topic in this section to a certain extent and I think that is something to which the ministry is going to have to give serious consideration. Some municipal zoos that have been licensed have not been all they should have been.

Members may find this strange coming from a member of the Socialist hordes, but I have seen one or two private zoos and game parks that were absolutely super. They were very well run by people who knew animals and were concerned about them. The animals had a natural habitat with lots of space. I would not want to discourage that. But I think what we need to seek in this section is some commitment that we have the regulations public before this section of the bill is given royal assent or proclaimed so that we know exactly what it is that is being proclaimed at the time of proclamation. I do not know if that is possible but it is certainly a request I would like to make because I would assume the ministry, with its expertise, has the regulations almost ready.

There may be a technical difficulty in this section about proving whether or not the person is instigating the game animal to engage in the activity that results in propagation. There is a lot of animal instinct going on there. From time to time during the appropriate season it is going to be hard for anybody, even with the best of intentions, to curtail it. I think there will be some difficulty in the observance and enforcement of this section, well-intentioned though it may be.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Chairman, I want to speak to this section also. Apparently the minister has not received the follow-up communication from the Essex County Humane Society. He simply makes mention of the letter of October 2, 1980, to the minister. I would like to read the letter and then the follow-up letter, which indicates that section 16, as it is written here, makes no mention whatsoever of household pets and wild animals that are kept as household pets.

The letter dated October 2, 1980, to the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Auld) from Mr. Michael O’Sullivan, general manager of the Essex County Humane Society, reads as follows:

“Dear Sir: I have read a letter of reply from Mr. J. D. Rosborough dated September 16, 1980, as it concerns regulations and licensing under Bill 59. In answer to his statement concerning the fact that definitions of wildlife under the Fish and Game Act are ‘legal and not biological’, as you are undertaking a massive overhaul of the Fish and Game Act via Bill 59, perhaps some consideration should be given to having animals defined zoologically rather than legally.

“It would appear from comments contained within the letter and the accompanying news release dated August 25, 1980, that your concerns as they concern wildlife kept as pets are primarily aimed at seeing that wildlife populations are not harmed. Secondarily, the welfare of the animal, despite your statement, has not received close consideration.

“In a licence issued to a people or group, the licences would have merit only if annual inspection of facilities, capabilities and records were conducted. The inspection prior to issuance of a permit would be vital. See the enclosed reprint from the Humane Viewpoint, volume five, number one, winter 1978, for an indication of the great diversity of wildlife that can be received and require care. Many groups have neither the time, knowledge nor facilities. A permit merely to keep wildlife would be a grave mistake.

“Propagation of game birds would presumably facilitate hunting purposes, due to such populations declining in southern Ontario townships mainly because of an environmental change or stress -- evidently not a problem in Essex county, as last year your ministry halted a 35-year tradition of feeding hundreds of Canada geese that were overwintering because food was too costly and too many were staying the entire year.

“As for permitting private ownership of a wildlife pet, how will you publicize what is endangered and what is not? It is clearly likely that even now the public keeps a mixture of endangered and other species as pets. Squirrels, raccoons, foxes and other animals are some of the wildlife commonly kept as pets, so that warnings to the public will go unheeded in any event.

“I do not believe you have any intention of warning them in any event. Recently your Chatham [office] discouraged a Windsor resident by telling him that if he played with a young raccoon when it was young it would be friendly when it grew up. The bylaw enforcement officer with the Windsor police department took a dim view of your stand and warned the owner that he would be legally liable should the animal bite anyone. I am following the case closely and should anyone be bitten by the animal, then I intend to contact their solicitors and forward this information to them and in turn they can decide your liability for such advice.

“To be aware of the problem of ownership of wildlife as pets, merely contact the Metro zoo to see how many maladjusted pets are offered as zoo specimens. By encouraging keeping native wildlife as pets, you further encourage by your actions the importation of exotic pets into the country. As for other zoos, perhaps breeding native stock presently in zoos would be more beneficial than capturing more animals. This would stimulate inter-zoo trades of animals. I would issue permits only to accredited zoos and research institutions, and not to roadside affairs or circuses.

“You must be aware that at a local level, wildlife kept as pets is a community problem. Thus section 354(1)(l)(ii) of the Municipal Act permits local councils to pass bylaws prohibiting the number and class of any type of animal per dwelling unit (in this case ‘animals’ includes mammals, birds, reptiles). Surely you are also aware that your provincial amending legislation might well override the local bylaw passed by councils of municipalities. I am rather certain that this will in no way meet with favour of the local level of government.

8:50 p.m.

“A question arises in my mind as to whether or not people and small zoos are not presently holding wildlife illegally, and it is easier to relax regulations than enforce existing ones. If this indeed is the case, then your ministry is committing a grave error in judgement.

“In light of this information I must ask that you send me the proposed details of your trapper education program before I commit my support to that effort.”

Then he says:

“I withdraw in its entirety my letter of support for Bill 59 dated July 21, 1980. If you have mentioned this letter as being supportive to Bill 59 either in private or in the Legislature, then I insist that you withdraw the letter formally wherever it is presented.

“I will, of course, be forwarding my concern to the local MPs, municipal governments and other humane societies.

“Awaiting your reply.”

Apparently the minister must have replied because on October 17, in a fairly short letter, the Essex County Humane Society writes once again to the ministry. The letter is dated October 17, 1980:

“Dear Sir: The enclosed letters represent correspondence between our office and that of the Honourable James Auld, Minister of Natural Resources. They arise from our concern for proposed regulations that would be enacted if portions of the Fish and Game Act are amended, (that is, Bill 59 presently undergoing reading).

“I believe that this correspondence adequately outlines from a factual standpoint our opposition to the minister’s proposals (which have been stated in the press) that the Ministry of Natural Resources relax regulations to permit members of the public and organizations to own wildlife as household pets.

“In addition to the points covered in the letter, there is also the fact that at the federal level Canada is a signatory to an international convention on endangered species. At a federal level the government indicates concern to a degree for wildlife of other countries, and yet at a provincial level such concern for our wildlife is sorely lacking.

“To clarify the matter of public health hazards that such close contact with wildlife a household pets represents, the danger is twofold: injuries from bites or scratches in addition to zoonotic diseases.

“A legal point arises as to whether or not this provincial legislation would overrule local bylaws at a municipal level to prohibit citizens from owning wildlife. If so, the problem lands in the laps of local governments, and I sincerely doubt that they will appreciate this gesture.

“The specific sections of Bill 59 that would permit the minister to pass such legislation are sections 47(2), which we are dealing with now, as it governs propagating of a game animal; section 58(4), the sale of fur-bearing animals, and section 74, the sale of reptiles and amphibians. In a letter dated July 31, 1980, from the minister he admitted that the ‘precise regulations, licences and conditions with respect to sections 58(4), 47(2) and 74 are not written.’ However, from his comments in later letters, and in public, his intentions are obvious.”

This is almost the total text of the letter of October 17 indicating the concerns of the Essex County Humane Society. As we are dealing with section 16, they pertain directly to that section in one small measure of the criticism. I would like the comments of the member piloting this bill.

Mr. Yakabuski: I still feel the member is confusing two things. One is the feelers, if you want to call them that, that were put out with regard to this matter, and the fact he may be confusing them with the bill itself.

Section 91(1) of the act gives the Lieutenant Governor in Council authority to make regulations imposing the terms and conditions of every licence issued under the act. Accordingly, any licence could be subject to terms and conditions respecting the manner in which these animals are kept -- standards such as the types of cages, whether the licence could have a male and female, a male or female, et cetera. So, under section 91(1) the Lieutenant Governor in Council has wide powers to make regulations respecting the keeping of animals.

Mr. Bolan: Mr. Chairman, I have a very simple question which I hope will not be confusing. What regulations govern the propagation of a game animal? Now that is fairly simple. Do you have regulations yet? If you do not have regulations for this, what regulations did you have with respect to the keeping of a game animal for sale under the existing act?

Mr. Yakabuski: I am told there are none.

Mr. Foulds: Does that mean there was sufficient definition and clarity in the clause in the bill in the legislation itself or was the section of the bill simply inoperative -- never enforced in any way, shape or form?

Mr. Yakabuski: Under the present act no game can be kept in captivity and, therefore, there were no regulations. Regulations have not been developed to this point, but now with this section going into the act, regulations will certainly have to be developed.

Mr. Foulds: What I would like to know is what you did when this was first enacted. Presumably, someone somewhere in this province -- since this was first enacted in the 1940s, was it not? -- brought it up then. What did you do? Did you never enforce it? Were there never any charges laid? I mean, what happened?

Mr. Yakabuski: Keeping game animals was not really allowed -- only wolves and bears and you could only keep one of either and not a pair.

Mr. Wildman: What if somebody had an ocelot?

9 p.m.

Mr. Bolan: What criteria have to be met for a licence to be issued? You are talking about a licence and regulations. We know there are no regulations, which means, I suppose, there are no licences. Has a licence ever been issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources for one of these game animals?

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order, might it be more expeditious if the parliamentary assistant could move to the minister’s seat by agreement of the House and have the officials at a table in front of him so that we could more expeditiously deal with the bill? That is allowed under the new standing orders of the House.

Mr. Chairman: That certainly is in order according to the standing orders, if the parliamentary assistant so desires.

Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Chairman, I don’t think we have lost that much time because of the shuffle, so to speak.

There are no regulations. No regulations have been developed. Although that might appear a little embarrassing, it is a fact of life. With this section now in, regulations will have to be developed. I think that is what you wanted to hear. We have had it and we have to live with it. That is the way it was, and we are tidying up the act now. It is part of the purpose.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr Chairman, may I ask of the member piloting this bill through, can the public have game animals as house-hold pets?

Mr. Yakabuski: The answer is no.

Mr. Bolan: There are some municipalities that pass bylaws with respect to the restriction of animals. Does this provincial legislation supersede municipal bylaws that may be passed? I see the parliamentary assistant nodding his head. Is it to the exclusion of municipal bylaws that are passed for the control of game animals? Who issues the licence?

Mr. Yakabuski: This legislation would supersede municipal bylaws. The licence would be issued by the ministry.

Mr. Foulds: Up until this time, if I am not mistaken, a person could not undertake the activity outlined in the section of the bill before us. We are now allowing him to do so with a licence and with regulations.

I do not think it is too much of this Legislature to demand of the parliamentary assistant that before proclamation of this particular section, which carves out uncharted waters and new territory, the regulations and the licence be printed and published, drawn up publicly and detailed to the Legislature. I think that is a fair request and a fair demand. We will then know what the terms and conditions are that are going to be operative in this section of the bill.

There could be abuses under the new section. I think the concerns of the member for Windsor-Walkerville are valid, although I think the parliamentary assistant is right in that there is some confusion between different sections of the act. It is well to get those clear and straight before we actually declare this final section law in the province.

Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Chairman, I think it would be an affront to the Legislature to ask civil servants to do that without authority. First of all, we must have that added to the act; then they can develop those regulations that are so necessary. Without the act, I don’t think they have the authority to develop the regulations, but with the act, they have that authority to proceed full speed.

Mr. Bolan: I have a question about a little article that appeared in the Toronto Star today. The headline is “Cougar Leaves Cops Catatonic,” and it says:

“Two Metro policemen on foot patrol in North York were startled when they came across a man taking his pet cougar for a walk on Yonge Street this morning. They quickly radioed headquarters for instructions but were told there was nothing they could do. ‘It is not illegal to have pets like that,’ a police spokesman said.

“Last month police in Scarborough spent two days searching for a pet lion cub that wandered away from home. It eventually returned on its own.”

Are there any regulations to cover this kind of activity?

Mr. Yakabuski: I am assuming that with the new Ford line out, that was a Ford dealer. The Game and Fish Act does not cover so-called exotic species, and a cougar would fall into that category.

Mr. Foulds: I really do not wish to prolong the discussion unduly, because like other members of the Legislature, there are other activities that many of us want to do. We want to watch the baseball game too. However, there have been cougar sightings in Ontario. I am surprised that the parliamentary assistant says it is not covered by the Game and Fish Act. Under what act of the many under the ministry’s aegis are cougars covered, or are they covered at all?

Mr. Yakabuski: It may be that there have been cougar sightings in this province, but that doesn’t necessarily make them a native species. They could be escapees. They could come from various sources.

Mr. Wildman: Just as a matter of clarification, is the reason we are now prepared on some occasions to license people who wish to have game animals for propagation, the dwindling numbers of wild game in this province?

Mr. Chairman: Would the member for Algoma pose the question again?

Mr. Wildman: Is it because there are so few wild game now that you are ready to have people start breeding these animals?

Mr. Yakabuski: I would not say that, because I think this act is going to go a long way to manage our game and bring the herds up to good levels. This act will go a long way to achieving that. The sooner we get this act passed and the people can get into action, the sooner it will happen.

Section 16 agreed to.

Sections 17 and 18 agreed to.

On section 19:

Mr. Foulds: I would just like to know the reason for this section.

Mr. Yakabuski: The reason for section 19 is to amend section 58(4) as enacted to prohibit the sale of live fur-bearing animals or wolves, except under the authority of a licence and subject to the regulations. The proposed amendment would prohibit the sale, purchase or barter of live fur-bearing animals except with the written authority of the ministry, and limit the sale to the carcass, including the pelt, of a fur-bearing animal.

9:10 p.m.

Mr. Foulds: I can read the legislation as well as the parliamentary assistant, I think, without being immodest, and I can read the explanatory notes, but I just want to know why there is this prohibition and what is the reason for the section. Why do you implement this prohibition and under what conditions do you expect to give written authority that would allow the sale or barter of a live animal in this section?

Mr. Yakabuski: This is to manage and control the fur-bearing animal, which is quite a resource in this province.

Mr. Foulds: With due respect, I don’t find that a satisfactory answer because the particular prohibition is against the purchase or barter of a live fur-bearing animal or a live wolf.

First of all, I want to know why there is a prohibition against that. I think I can guess. But given that there is that prohibition, I want to know why the ministry is now considering giving exemptions to that prohibition by written authority of the minister. Under what conditions would you allow barter and exchange of live fur-bearing animals? Are we going to have a Kensington market north in the food terminal proposed by the Minister without Portfolio?

Mr. Yakabuski: The present act permits the sale of live fur-bearing animals by trappers. The proposed section would place this activity under control in order to control the placement of such wild animals into fur farming operations and so on.

Mr. Foulds: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Section 19 agreed to.

Sections 20 to 24, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 25:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Wildman moves that section 25 of the bill be amended by adding thereto the following subsection:

“(4) Said section 69 is amended by adding thereto the following subsection 4:

‘“Subsections 1 and 2 do not apply to an Indian as defined in the Indian Act who takes a smallmouth bass, a largemouth bass, muskellunge, brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, Aurora trout, yellow pickerel, pike, lake trout, sturgeon or sauger from Ontario waters subject to a treaty.”

Mr Wildman: Mr. Chairman, the reason I am putting this amendment is similar to the reasons outlined on the previous two amendments with regard to Indian hunting and fishing rights and I won’t go over all that argument again. However, I do want to refer to the comments made by the minister specifically in regard to fishing rights in his statement this afternoon, when he said that at a meeting on June 18 with the treaty organization he made a proposal for the Indian food fishery in Ontario and that proposal, which entailed the provision of permits for fishing for food, was rejected by the Indian organization. The reason it was rejected was because, just as agreed on the requirement for licences, it would be an admission by the treaty Indians that they were, indeed, subject to regulation under the Game and Fish Act by the provincial authority. So would the agreement to apply for and accept permits for fishing for food. That is why they rejected it.

In the compendium of the material provided with the statement, as the minister points out, under section 69 of the act, treaty Indians are exempted in practice from the fishing regulations of the Game and Fish Act in terms of possession of fish for food, subject, of course, to the federal Fisheries Act, which the courts have found takes precedence over the treaties.

All I am attempting to do in this is to have the legislation read in such a way as to spell out clearly in legislation the policy as it now stands. Again, this would not prohibit the negotiation of co-management by the ministry of the enforcement of the regulations under the federal Fisheries Act and the preservation of the fish stocks through that kind of method.

I would hope the member for Nipissing will consider this in regard to the negotiations he is probably aware of that have been taking place between the ministry and the treaty Indians on Lake Nipissing over the very serious drop in the fish stocks in that body of water. This might be a step towards forcing a swift move by the two levels of government to deal with the matter of co-management.

Mr. Foulds: While the parliamentary assistant is getting instructions, I might as well fill in the time. I would simply like to endorse the amendment put forward by my colleague from Algoma for the same reasons that have been outlined on the previous amendments he has introduced. It is obvious from the previous ruling of the chair that this amendment is in order.

I believe it gives a legislative basis for the guarantee that is needed in this area, and I believe that it can serve as a symbol of goodwill by this ministry. This ministry needs a symbol of goodwill with the peoples of Treaty No. 3 and Treaty No. 9 In particular, I believe then it can do no harm and it would provide the concurrent legislation --

Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Chairman, I can only repeat my argument under section 89 of the Indian Act and section 91 of the BNA Act, which again applies.

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

All those opposed will say “nay”

In my opinion the nays have it.

Motion negatived.

Sections 25 and 26 agreed to.

9:20 p.m.

On section 27:

Mr. Foulds: I have a question that I am sure will get the same fruitful answer we have had to questions raised on legislation in the past. I do not want to be critical in a personal way of the parliamentary assistant, but I do think when we have a bill of this nature, which amends so many different sections of an act, we in this Legislature deserve fuller and more complete answers than we have received. I have found the answers less than satisfactory. A number of members have raised legitimate questions to which we have not received satisfactory answers.

I would like to ask on this section why the ministry now feels it necessary to have authority to license amphibian and reptile hunts and under what conditions it would license such hunts.

Mr. Bolan: While the parliamentary assistant is trying to find an answer to that, I just want to follow up on what the member for Port Arthur said. Frankly, I think it is an insult for us to go through this clause-by-clause reading of this bill and get the cavalier answers we have received from this ministry with respect to some very substantial questions.

Are we to treat the legislation as frivolously as what it is made out to be by the parliamentary assistant and by the Minister of Natural Resources? I think his absence is indicative of his contempt for this House. This is especially so after he gave a long statement this afternoon about what he was doing to protect the rights of people and what his ministry proposed to do about getting together with people to try to resolve these problems. Wherever he is I do not know, but he should be in this House. I think it shows a very cavalier attitude for the Minister of Natural Resources to come in here to put forward legislation which has not had any changes since 1961 -- it is the first time in 20 years that this bill has come forward for any significant changes -- and to throw us a bunch of rags. I suggest that things should be put into better shape if you propose and carry on with this kind of legislation.

Mr. Yakabuski: This section is there because it is revised to apply to any amphibian or reptile. It is because we are determined to control the harvest of a whole series of amphibians and reptiles that would be covered in this section.

For example, there is the common snapping turtle which is extensively harvested by residents and nonresidents. Studies are needed to determine impact on population, regulations are needed to establish a licence system to control harvest -- and you can go on down the list.

Let me pick out another common snake which has adapted to many habitats. Butler’s garter snake is rare in Ontario owing to restricted distribution. Then there is the eastern spiny soft shell; the status report currently under review recommends it be designated a threatened species. Going further down the list, we have the timber rattlesnake -- that sounds good -- officially designated as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, 1971, possibly extirpated in Ontario.

That is the reason for section 27 which will apply to any amphibian or reptile. There is a great need to accumulate more data and make sure that these rare species, some of which are coming close to’ being endangered already, are protected. ,’

Mr. Foulds: Why is that not under the Endangered Species Act? What I want to know is why you are putting it under this act. What you are doing under the Game and Fish Act is supplying licences so that you can hunt the amphibians that you decide to designate.

Mr. Bolan: Again, it is a question of the regulations of this. According to this, it is with the authority of a licence and under certain terms and conditions as prescribed by regulations. Do you have any regulations with respect to the taking or the hunting of amphibians or reptiles and, in particular, bullfrogs?

Mr. Yakabuski: There are regulations with regard to the taking of bullfrogs, and there have been for many years.

Mr. Foulds: How did you do it without this section?

The Deputy Chairman: Any further questions?

Mr. Foulds: I want an answer to my question, Mr. Chairman. It was not a frivolous question. The parliamentary assistant indicated that there have been regulations regarding bullfrogs for many years without this section of the bill.

The Deputy Chairman: We can delay in putting the question and allow the parliamentary assistant an opportunity to reply.

Mr. Foulds: Under what authority were the regulations with regard to bullfrogs in place when you did not have this section that is at present before the House in place? How were they defined?

Mr. Yakabuski: Bullfrogs were mentioned specifically in the other act.

Mr. Foulds: This act?

Mr. Yakabuski: In section 92.

Section 27 agreed to.

Section 28 agreed to.

On section 29:

The Deputy Chairman: Mr. Yakabuski moves that section 29 of Bill 59 be deleted and the following substituted therefor:

“29. Section 77 of the said act is repealed and the following substituted therefor:

“‘(1) No person owning, claiming to own or harbouring a dog shall allow it to run at large during the closed season for deer, moose or elk in any locality that deer, moose or elk usually inhabit or in which they or any of them are usually found, and a dog found running deer, moose or elk during the closed season for deer, moose or elk in such a locality may be killed on sight by an officer without incurring any liability or penalty therefor.

“‘(2) No person shall use or be accompanied by a dog while hunting deer, moose or elk in any part of Ontario that is designated in the regulations, and a dog found running at large in such a designated part of Ontario may be killed on sight by an officer without incurring any liability or penalty therefor.”

Mr. Foulds: Why did the amendment not include “bear”?

Mr. Yakabuski: We are just adding moose and elk to the present section. I guess “bear” was forgotten in the process of drawing it up.

The Deputy Chairman: Mr. Foulds moves an amendment to the amendment that the word “bear” be inserted in the proper places.

Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Chairman, the use of dogs while hunting bear we can control under section 91 in the regulations.

9:30 p.m.

Mr. Foulds: Which part of section 91?

The Deputy Chairman: We seem to be losing our place here a little bit. The suggestion was that we add to the amendment the word “bear.” I gather that the parliamentary assistant accepts that or do you figure that it is covered by section 91?

Mr. Yakabuski: We felt it was adequately covered in section 91(1) of the present act so we did not feel there was a need for it.

On the other hand, if the members opposite would sleep more easily, we could find a way of inserting that word “bear” in there.

The Deputy Chairman: I believe the member for Port Arthur is in the process of writing out an amendment we can place.

Is there any further discussion on the proposed amendment? I think we all have the gist of it.

Mr. Foulds: I apologize, Mr. Chairman, for the delay.

The Deputy Chairman: Mr. Foulds has moved that the word “bear” be included after the words “deer, elk or moose” in section 29(1) and that the section be amended as needed.

I gather that is in every place where the words “deer, elk or moose” appear. Is that correct? Shall Mr. Foulds’ amendment to the amendment carry?

Motion agreed to.

The Deputy Chairman: Is it the wish of the committee that Mr. Yakabuski’s motion, as amended by Mr. Foulds’ motion be carried?

Motion agreed to.

Section 29, as amended, agreed to.

On section 3o:

The Deputy Chairman: Mr. Yakabuski moves that section 78 of the act as set out in section 30 of the bill be deleted and the following substituted therefor:

“78(1) In this section (a) ‘field trial’ means an activity the objective of which is to test the hunting skills of any dog; (b) ‘training’ means the process of teaching a dog, (I) hunting skills, or (ii) such skills as are necessary for participation in a field trial;

“(2) except with the written authority of the minister and subject to such terms and conditions as he may impose, no person shall conduct (a) a field trial, or (b) training that involves a game animal or a game bird during any closed season thereof.”

Mr. Yakabuski: The minister may authorize during the closed season, field trials for dogs on game birds and game animals upon terms and conditions as he considers proper.

Motion agreed to.

Section 30, as amended, agreed to.

On section 31:

Mr. Foulds: Does the discretionary power end with the deletion of section 87? Is the discretionary power of the ministry that is at present in effect in section 87 deleted with the repeal of this section, or have you re-enacted that discretion with the amendments in section 4 of the bill?

Mr. Yakabuski: It is all under the new section 16. If the court orders forfeiture, the minister can dispose of it as he sees fit.

Mr. Foulds: The court must order that first?

Mr. Yakabuski: Yes.

Section 31 agreed to.

Section 32 agreed to.

On section 33:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Yakabuski moves that section 33(4) of the bill be deleted and the following substituted therefor:

“4. Paragraph 16 of the said section 91 is amended by inserting after ‘deer’ in the third line, ‘moose, elk or bear.’”

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Foulds moves that a new subsection 9 be added to section 33 as follows:

“All regulations made under the said section 91 of the act shall be published in the Ontario Gazette 120 days before they come into effect.”

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, I am quite flexible on this matter. I can see the necessity for a movable feast if you like. I mentioned this in the discussion of second reading of the bill. The parliamentary assistant indicated that my proposal at that time, which was 90 days, would be unworkable.

Surely the people of Ontario do have a right to know what the regulations of the law are some period of time before they come into effect. You should not be able to implement the regulation one day and have it come into effect the next day without there being some possibility of it being widely known.

Maybe 120 days is unreasonable. Maybe 90 days is unreasonable. Maybe 60 days is unreasonable. But I think the ministry and government should be willing to give us some figure -- maybe 30 days. When we give so much power to a minister as we do in this act and there is so much power in regulation -- power of forfeiture and power that amounts to seizure of property -- that we have a right to expect that those regulations be published some minimum stated period of time before they come into effect.

9:40 p.m.

I am quite open to suggestions from the parliamentary assistant. We could take 30 days. I don’t know, but I would like to have an intelligent and decent recognition of the principle which I have tried to embody in my amendment, imperfect though it may be.

Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Chairman, I wish I could accommodate the member for Port Arthur. When we saw the proposed amendments requiring the regulations to be posted 90 days and then 120 days in advance of their coming into effect, we gave the matter a lot of consideration. We went over and over it and tried to determine if there was any way we could compromise on the original suggestion.

I think the amendment he is proposing is prompted by some of the problems we had during the present year. As he knows and we know, this has been a year of transition in the ministry so far as game management and the regulation of hunting are concerned. There have been some problems. Perhaps some of the regulations didn’t appear to be out in sufficient time to give someone planning a holiday or planning a hunt or planning something else enough time to do that. These are all concerns we have too.

In many ways we tried to see what could be done to accommodate this amendment. After turning it over, twisting it around and looking at it from all sides, we had to come to the conclusion that there was not any way we could accommodate that because things can happen very fast in the management of the resource.

I think I mentioned earlier, perhaps during second reading of the bill, we have to have a winter under our belt when we are talking about the animals we hunt in the fall. Sometimes we have to wait until the winter is over to see what kind of winter we had. We have to assess the situation in the months of April or May. By the time we get a regulation together, we could not do it in 60, 90 or 100 days. These are the kinds of things that turn up.

We might go along for two, three or four years when it would be practical and we could have our regulations out in plenty of time. We incorporate in our hunting regulations the seasons for migratory birds; they have to be approved by the federal government. Sometimes we are held up by those and cannot have that regulation printed as early as we would like to. There are many factors that enter into it.

As I said at the outset, I certainly wish we could accommodate the concerns of the member for Port Arthur in some way, because I am sure they are genuine concerns. They are concerns that many of our hunters and sportsmen have year after year, and in certain years especially, this year being one of them. But it is highly impractical. I am told by our people who work in this field day after day, week after week and year after year that it would create complete chaos if they were fenced in by a regulation of 30, 60, 90 or even 100 days.

I think we have a good bill in front of us. We have given it second reading and approved it in principle. We have gone through it clause by clause. I think it would be just awful if we had to put it on the shelf and leave it there because the honourable member insisted that he needs regulations 30, 60, 90 or 100 days, because we certainly could not accommodate him. If that were the case, we would just have to not send the bill to third reading.

Mr Bolan: Mr. Chairman, I feel there should be some kind of lead time on .this. I think the number of days proposed by the member for Port Arthur is excessive. I have spoken to him; he is prepared to modify his position on the lead time.

We are dealing with some very wide, sweeping powers here under this act -- the confiscatory powers alone, the powers to go in and to have regulations passed which affect property rights. I think the public are aware, and they should be given some lead time to say there are regulations that will be in effect by a certain date with respect to this type of activity. For that reason, I think there should be a reasonable lead time on it, and I understand such a proposal will be put forward by the member for Port Arthur.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, I would withdraw the amendment I put forward and substitute a new one.

Mr. Chairman: Let’s check just to make sure the committee is agreeable that this motion be withdrawn. I gather they are.

Motion withdrawn.

Mr. .Chairman: Mr. Foulds moves that a new subsection 9 be added to section 33 as follows “All regulations made under the said section 91 of the act shall be published in the Ontario Gazette no less than 30 days before they come into effect.”

Mr. Foulds: Believe it or not, I actually read over section 91 from the original act. I fail to know, and I would like the parliamentary assistant to indicate to me, which of the paragraphs in section 91 is unworkable to have a 30-day notice on. I really do not know why it is unreasonable to expect a 30-day notice for establishing classes of licences, requiring and prescribing the issue, form and duration in terms of coupons or tags. Surely we have to do that 30 days in advance or we are never going to get them out to the province where they are necessary.

As I go through each of those paragraphs, I do not know which ones the ministry finds it difficult to implement this rule about. If it is reasonable to have 30 days on certain paragraphs and 14 days on other paragraphs, I would be glad to do that.

In a bill of this kind, where so much authority is given to the government, it is absolutely essential that this Legislature extract the vestige of its parliamentary power by insisting that those regulations be published for the people of Ontario some time before they come into effect. If that is not done, one conceivably could have a regulation published one day in the Ontario Gazette, have it come into effect the next day and three days later a conservation officer out in Winisk, Ogoki, Kenora or wherever, could be making an arrest or laying a charge under a regulation that the offender is not aware of and has not had a fair chance to be made aware of. I think it is just common sense and common decency in that we have some lead time in legislation.

I am sympathetic to the Ministry of Natural Resources officials’ difficulties, but they have had some warning that this amendment or an amendment similar to this was coming forward. They have not supplied the parliamentary assistant thus far with the arguments against them. They have not given concrete examples, and the parliamentary assistant has not given concrete examples to this Legislature, that would convince me I should totally withdraw the amendment.

9:50 p.m.

Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Chairman, I do not want to seem repetitious. My arguments remain the same, and I have little to add to them. We have had long discussions on these very points and have tried to think of ways and means whereby things could be different. The people responsible for putting together regulations informed me that it would be impractical and chaotic and they could not live with it. The honourable member might pick out some example where a regulations 30 days or 14 days in advance is practical, but there are many other instances where it is not practical at all.

This is a good bill. Many people out there, the people who go to the outdoors for recreation -- to do their thing, so to speak -- are depending on this bill and want it. It has been put together as a result of a lot of discussions with the anglers and hunters and many other groups in this province. It is good legislation and it would be a crying shame not to send it for third reading because of a dispute over lead time on regulations. Our people say they just could not live with that, because things can change rapidly in the management of our outdoor resources. They could not live with having to work under regulations within such a time frame. There is little I can add to that, unfortunately. I would not want to see it happen.

I hope the member opposite can see our point of view, discuss it with our people if he wishes, and agree that this is a good bill. It should be in the statutes. Certainly we would not want to hold it up or shelve it because of a little dispute over these regulations and lead time.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, if it is a matter of such importance, I agree the bill should be got through. But I have yet to hear a concrete example or reason given by the parliamentary assistant. As a legislator, I am afraid I would be negligent in my duty if I did not insist on a good reason for withdrawing my proposed amendment.

I also must say with perfect candour to the parliamentary assistant that I object to the kind of parliamentary blackmail and intimidation he tries to engage in. If the matter is of major concern, perhaps we should adjourn the clause-by-clause debate at this stage, and we could iron out our differences on these last few clauses. But, as a legislator, I do not feel at this time that I should withdraw the amendment. I do not appreciate the kind of twist the parliamentary assistant has given to the debate thus far. It has been an amicable debate even though there have been differences of principle here.

Mr. Bolan: Mr. Chairman, I would like to make one or two comments with respect to the remarks of the parliamentary assistant. I, as one member of this Legislature, resent the threats that the parliamentary assistant made a few minutes ago. Basically his threat is that if we do not play ball with him, he is not going to pursue third reading of this bill. That is exactly what he is saying, and as an individual I resent that. If this bill were as good as the parliamentary assistant makes it out to be, and if this bill were wanted by the people of Ontario so badly, he would have come here a bit better prepared to answer some of the questions that were asked.

Earlier this evening I spoke of the cavalier attitude of the government with respect to this bill, and that is exactly what it is. A good point on that is when we were talking about including elk and moose. The member for Port Arthur asked “What about bear?” The parliamentary assistant said, “Oh yes; we forgot that.”

After 20 years of not bringing any amendments forward in the bill, the ministry finally has the guts to put something together and the parliamentary assistant cannot even present it properly. I suggest that it is a parliamentary disgrace.

Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Chairman, I too resent some of the remarks, because in no way is that a threat or any form of blackmail. It is a statement of fact. I could go on and perhaps say some unkind things, but I do not think it is warranted. I do not think I can answer that.

Mr. Foulds: Just one final comment, Mr. Chairman: The parliamentary assistant said his officials could not live with the amendment. I think that is what he said. But he has not offered us an alternative that his officials could live with. That is what I find objectionable as a legislator.

Although it is important that officials of any government ministry, including the civil service, be able to carry out their duties honestly and well -- and I recognize that right -- maybe we have to recognize the fact that legislation is enacted for the benefit of the people of Ontario. Quite frankly, I approach it from the populist viewpoint rather than as a bureaucrat. It seems to me that, if the legislation is for the benefit of the people of Ontario, they should have some notice of what the legislation is under which they are living.

This bill is a particular kind of bill. It is a bill that gives enormous and sweeping powers to a minister and to the Lieutenant Governor in Council. What we are seeking in this section is simply that the people of Ontario have some notice of what the regulations are that are going to be the law under which they live. I think it is a fundamental human right to have the opportunity to know what the laws are under which one may be charged. Unless there is a provision, such as the one I submitted the people of Ontario will not have that right.

I am unwilling to withdraw the amendment at this point.

Mr. Yakabuski: If I may continue, it is not a matter of not wanting to give any lead time. Whenever this is possible, it is done. One of the prime examples was the regulations pertaining to bow hunters. They passed almost a year ago but went into effect September 1, 1980. They were new, different and affected rights et cetera; so as much lead time as possible was given. But to put every regulation in a straitjacket is just impossible.

10 p.m.

I think everyone is willing to co-operate and get those regulations out as quickly as they can and with as much lead time as is humanly possible. Sometimes there are printers’ errors, and I can think of various things that have happened over the years, but to stick everyone in a straitjacket is not workable. It is not that anybody has dug in or is stubborn about this item or situation; it is just a fact of life. I just want to make that point clear. Wherever it is possible, it is being done.

I have the feeling, because of the discussion that has taken place here tonight about regulations and lead time, that if there has been some tardiness in the past, the responsible people certainly will have gotten the message and there will be improvements. There have been times in the past when things could have been done at a better pace, and sometimes there were factors beyond the control of the people responsible that caused this, such as printers’ errors, printers not delivering on time or whatever.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, I understand that regulations normally are drafted approved by the minister in cabinet and become effective at the time they are registered with the registrar of regulations. It is then imperative that, even though they go into effect at that time, the registrar must make them public in the Ontario Gazette within one month.

It simply means, as has been pointed out by the members who have already spoken on the amendment, that it is quite possible for the government to impose regulations that no one knows about except themselves and the registrar and they become law at that moment.

Obviously it is a very weak point in our democratic process and it is one to which we have objected in the past. I do not recall an occasion when an amendment has been put to a bill which would enforce that the regulations have one month’s notice.

The unreality in this particular situation is that all this is being done in the absence of the minister. There is no doubt that the parliamentary assistant, with the very best of intentions, has received instructions from the minister and others that he is to take a particular position. He has announced to the House that, if this amendment carries, the bill cannot go forward, which he has said -- and we would agree -- would be a real tragedy.

It is also a fact that all the other regulations having to do with the statutes we have passed recently and for the past 113 years have been brought forward and promulgated in the way I have described. I think it is unfair and undemocratic, but probably the most frustrating thing is that the parliamentary assistant, not being the minister, cannot take the responsibility the minister would have and say that under these circumstances and pertaining to this statute, we are prepared to accept the one-month notice, which does not seem to be unfair.

I suppose we have to accept as bona fide the statement -- which he says is not a threat but simply a statement of fact -- that the bill will not proceed if the amendment put forward by the member for Port Arthur is carried.

Having put those facts on the record, I suppose it is my responsibility on behalf of my colleagues to say that we feel that, while the principle is an extremely important one having to do with this bill, we cannot support the amendment on the basis of what is a clear threat. I regret it very much, but under these circumstances we are prepared to allow the bill to go forward and give notice to the minister, or his surrogate spokesman here tonight, that we are completely unsatisfied with the regulation provision.

Mr. Watson: Mr. Chairman, I have been listening with interest to the debate on this particular subject. I think there are a few practical things we could take into account with regard to any notice that will be given. In hunting wild animals, for example, at some point technical staff may discover a disease and it may be necessary to change some hunting regulations to effect whatever control is deemed to be necessary.

The government would find itself in a very embarrassing situation if it had the technical knowhow to correct a situation and could not move for any period of time because of a regulation that said it had to have notice printed in the paper. I would agree with the principle that the ministry should give all the lead time it can; that is only common sense. But there could be circumstances -- and the one that comes to my mind is an emergency that arises in the health of wild animals

-- where all of a sudden we have to change that because of the necessity of the situation.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, the point the member for Chatham-Kent (Mr. Watson) makes is a good one, but none of the regulations that are devised under section 91, to the best of my knowledge, covers that contingency.

The Deputy Chairman: My draftsmanship experience tells me that the motion would be more proper if it added a subsection 2 to section 91 of the act if this amendment is to carry; so I will put it in that way, if the member for Port Arthur agrees.

Mr. Foulds moves that subsection 91 is further amended by adding thereto the following subsection:

“(2) All regulations made under the said section 91 of the act should be published in the Ontario Gazette not less than 30 days before they come into effect.”

Motion negatived.

Section 33, as amended, agreed to.

On section 34:

The Deputy Chairman: Mr. Foulds moves that section 34 be renumbered as section 34(1) and the following subsection be added:

“(2) All regulations made under the said section 92 of the said act shall be published in the Ontario Gazette not less than 30 days before they come into effect.”

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, I think this amendment is even more important, and I appeal to the members of the Liberal Party to support it.

Section 92 of the act has only six paragraphs in it, but those six paragraphs allow the minister to make regulations specifically prescribing open season for fur-bearing animals for hunting; prescribing open seasons for which rabbits, black, grey or fox squirrels may be hunted or trapped; setting apart waters for the conservation or propagation of frogs; regulating or prohibiting the placing of huts on ice for the purpose of fishing and regulating their use and their removal. Section 40 is the section of the act dealing with guiding, designating parts of Ontario where no person shall act as a guide. Paragraph 6 designates parts of Ontario as areas in which no nonresident shall hunt deer or moose without employing or being accompanied by a licensed guide.

Those six paragraphs outline specific powers to the minister that have to do with hunting and fishing seasons and, dealing specifically with those sections, I see no reason why it is impossible for the ministry to prescribe regulations dealing with those six topics and have those published 30 days in advance.

10:10 p.m.

It may be that the government does not want to concede a principle here, but it is for that very principle I am fighting. In this particular section I do not think we could carry out the regulations describing those activities unless they were in effect 30 days before the season to which they apply.

I must say, if the parliamentary assistant and the government do not accept this amendment at this stage, I will find them very wrongheaded unless they can give me what they failed to give me in the previous section, a concrete example. I am willing to grant they may have had a better case in the previous section, but, if they cannot give me a concrete example on this section of where it would be impossible to devise a regulation that far in advance for publication and for the knowledge of the people of Ontario, I must stand by the amendment.

I appeal to the Liberal Party to support me in this case. I can understand the very difficult position that the House leader for the Liberal Party found himself in on the previous section. Frankly, it was a position in which I felt some awkwardness. However, I think this amendment is a little bit clearer. There is greater validity in the proposed amendment, because there are not the difficulties hinted at darkly by the parliamentary assistant associated with this particular section as there were in section 191 of the original act.

The Deputy Chairman: The chair has some clarification for the member for Port Arthur. The amendment that I have before me still reads “120 days”.

Mr. Foulds: It was substituted for “120” in that line. That is why I was going to pass it to you.

The Deputy Chairman: At least 30 days; is that it?

Mr. Foulds: After the words in the amendment you have, Mr. Chairman, it would be, “shall be published in the Ontario Gazette not less than 30 days before they come into effect.”

If it happens 60 days in advance and they want to publish them, that is all for the good.

Mr. Yakabuski: The same principle is involved here, Mr. Chairman, and I am afraid I cannot accept it.

The member for Chatham-Kent gave a shining and prime example of why the lead time the member for Port Arthur asked for in these regulations very often cannot be done. That is the kind of protection the ministry has to have.

Section 92 contains another example. Section 92(4) refers to the ice huts.

Mr. Foulds: The what?

Mr. Yakabuski: The ice huts. There are varying kinds of winters. There might be one winter when we get a breakup late in March -- maybe around March 20. The normal time for the removal of ice huts is March 31. Looking at weather conditions, looking at what is happening out there, a regulation might have to be passed very quickly whereby these ice huts might have to come off the ice by March 20 rather than March 31; so it is impractical. We would not know that in January or February; it could happen in only a few days. For the same reason, we cannot accept the amendment by the member for Port Arthur.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, for reasons previously stated we will not support the amendment.

Mr. Foulds: I would be quite willing to go so far as to say, “except for paragraph 4 of section 92, all regulations made under the said section 92 of the said act shall be published in the Ontario Gazette not less than 30 days before they come into effect.”

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

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the nays have it.

Motion negatived.

Section 34 agreed to.

On section 35:

Mr. Foulds: In section 35 there is a blank, “The Game and Fish Amendment Act, 1980, being chapter , is repealed.” What is it going to be?

The Deputy Chairman: That depends on the time it receives royal assent. The editor will put the proper number in there at that time depending on the order in which it gets royal assent.

Mr. Foulds: No. It says, “The Game and Fish Amendment Act, 1980, being chapter , is repealed.”

The Deputy Chairman: Maybe my information should be improved a little there.

Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Chairman, it should read: “The Game and Fish Amendment Act, 1980, being chapter 4, is repealed.”

The Deputy Chairman: I apologize for the inaccurate information I gave the member. Are we agreed that chapter 4 is correct there?

The proposed section 35 now reads: “The Game and Fish Amendment Act, 1980, being chapter 4, is repealed.”

I am informed that the first information I gave you may be correct.

Mr. Foulds: Why don’t we stand down section 35 and deal with sections 36 and 37?

The Deputy Chairman: I think we can clear it up in a hurry.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, section 37, which we are coming to, says, “The short title of this act is the Game and Fish Amendment Act, 1980.” Section 35, which we are talking about, says the Game and Fish Amendment Act, 1980, is repealed.

Mr. Foulds: Is it all going to go for naught?

Mr. Nixon: Did we do another one earlier? Is this an earlier act? A private member’s bill?

Mr. Yakabuski: No. This is the previous bill that is repealed, being chapter 4.

The Deputy Chairman: We have to get the information here.

Mr. Foulds: What we are referring to in section 35 is the Philips bill. Is that right? All right; fine.

The Deputy Chairman: We have that now. So we do not know which number the Philips bill will be given. When we know that number, it will go in there. At the present time we have to leave it blank. Are we all clear on that?

Section 35, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 36 and 37 agreed to.

Bill 59, as amended, reported.

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

The House adjourned at 10:19 p.m.