31st Parliament, 4th Session

L098 - Fri 24 Oct 1980 / Ven 24 oct 1980

The House met at 10:04 a.m.



Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, on a matter of privilege, I heard a rather strange report this morning over the radio that the Honourable Robert Kaplan, Solicitor General of Canada, had written to each of the legislative assemblies, presumably to Mr. Speaker, about developing guidelines so that the RCMP may wiretap the phones of members of the assembly. This followed upon the clear breach of privileges which was established in the case of the Honourable Douglas Graham, a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Yukon. I would like to know whether or not that communication has been received by the Office of the Speaker and what you intend to do about it, sir?

The Deputy Speaker: To my knowledge no communication has been received. However, I will report back to the members if such a communication is received.



Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Premier and I were at the Ontario Correctional Institute in Brampton to acknowledge a major achievement in the use of solar energy.

Since March 1978, the institute has been experimenting quietly with a solar heating system to meet its hot water need of 2,600 gallons a day. The project is a $73,000 investment funded by the Ministry of Energy. With a life span of up to 20 years, it is expected to more than pay for itself within 15 years in terms of the energy it saves.

The project, which has become fully operational, is significant in several respects. First, it has enabled us to provide inmates with practical experience in solar technology. Inmates at the Maplehurst Correctional Centre actually built the monitoring equipment for the Brampton solar system, which was designed by the Ontario Research Foundation.

Secondly, it has become a practical testing ground in the solar heating field. Consulting engineers and construction companies have been able to develop their skills in assembling these units. Thirdly, the system is considered to be one of the most efficient, if not the most efficient, solar installations currently available. Fourthly, it represents another important attempt by the Ontario correctional system to improve its own energy self-sufficiency.

It might interest members to know that since Correctional Services launched its energy conservation program in late 1976 it has successfully reduced its energy consumption by approximately 28 per cent, for an accrued cost avoidance now totalling $3.4 million. Last year the cost avoidance at nine correctional institutions each exceeded $ 120,000. Much of this substantial cost-saving has been achieved through traditional energy conservation measures, such as adjusting thermostats, using lower intensity lighting and installing additional insulation.

Other measures, however, like the Brampton solar energy system, have been innovative and unusual. We are, for instance, studying the possibility of heating some of our buildings with wood chips fed into an automatic stoker. As members know, inmates cut wood by hand for this project and over the last year they have cut some 450 cords of wood at this one site. The study, being undertaken for us by a consulting group, is being carried out at the Monteith Correctional Centre. If successful, this new system will be considered for installation in other government buildings.

Next spring at the Maplehurst Correctional Centre we will launch a totally different kind of conservation initiative -- a hydroponic greenhouse that should enable us to supply enough fresh green vegetables during the winter to meet the needs of several institutions in the Toronto area. In other institutions, retrofit programs are under way or under consideration, such as replacement of steam boilers with hot water boilers and changes in ventilation and lighting systems.

Finally, I want to notify members that inmate labour has been prudently employed to carry out many of these energy conserving initiatives. This has not only assisted us in keeping down the cost burden on the taxpayer, but has also proved remedial to inmates. In fact, we have developed a solar energy course at the Guelph Correctional Centre, enabling inmates to earn a half credit towards their high school diplomas.



Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I would like to question the Premier on the rather remarkable evidence given to the public accounts committee by former Treasurer John White yesterday. I want to draw the Premier’s attention not so much to the Townsend matter, having made the decision to purchase Townsend for better or for worse, but particularly to the matter of buying the second parcel in South Cayuga, which has now cost the people $30 million or so.

10:10 a.m.

Is the Premier aware that the former Treasurer said he had ignored the advice of 12 senior civil servants who told him that one parcel would be sufficient for the town in Haldimand-Norfolk and that the reason he chose to purchase this second parcel for $30 million or so, even though it would plainly not be needed, was because he had a dream, he had some kind of vision, apparently, while in his limousine on the way home to London?

It is one thing for the former Treasurer to have had a dream or a vision in his limousine, but it is quite another to have been able to persuade the Premier of the province that dream was worth some $30 million of public money.

I would like to ask the Premier for his recollection of the time. How was he persuaded? Did he bother to look into the basis of the dream? Did he bother to find out where the Treasurer was when the vision came to him, what he had been smoking at the time perhaps, and in general terms whether there was any documentation upon which the decision was based?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I recall some of the discussions. I really don’t recall the former Treasurer having a dream in the car -- which would be comparable to the car the Leader of the Opposition has, so if he calls it a limousine I guess it is the same as his limousine. They are both limousines, except the member didn’t have a limousine at that time, I guess.

Mr. S. Smith: I didn’t have any visions in it, that’s all.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will never argue that the Leader of the Opposition is devoid of vision. His are hallucinations. The former Treasurer had dreams, I guess, I don’t know.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Isn’t that how Mackenzie King ruled for so many years, by ouija board?

Hon. Mr. Davis: By ouija board and his dog, as a matter of fact. The member would know Mackenzie King better than most of us. He is pursuing his philosophy, for all we know.

Mr. S. Smith: Talk about John White’s dream.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I will try to be serious on this matter. The Leader of the Opposition may not recall too specifically. Was he at McMaster at the time and perhaps not that involved in political life, or was he still in Montreal? I forget.

Mr. S. Smith: I was at McMaster. It was my money --

Hon. Mr. Davis: With the money the Leader of the Opposition earned at McMaster, it is only fair that he share in some of these things. He was probably earning a lot more at McMaster than the rest of us were here.

Mr. S. Smith: After two terms in office as Premier, I will be back there.

Hon. Mr. Davis: When is he going back?

The Deputy Speaker: Order. Back to the reply to the question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: He will be greyer than I am by that time, and thinner on top. Mr. Speaker, I was not at the discussions yesterday so I have only press reports to go by. I recall the discussions in cabinet. There is no question there was some debate among those who advised the government as to whether there was the need at that moment. I think the Treasurer felt -- and I would recall to the Leader of the Opposition some of the observations by members opposite as to the advisability of the province moving more directly into what was described then as land banking. I can recall some very encouraging words from a particular party as to the concept of the government of Ontario acquiring more sites in terms of the potential of housing. Land banking was one of their great themes. I can recall this very vividly. I might even get some quotes out of Hansard to support this. I may even find some quotes out of Hansard with respect to the Townsend site by the former leader of the Liberal Party.

Mr. S. Smith: We are speaking of South Cayuga today.

Hon. Mr. Davis: But the Leader of the Opposition mentioned Townsend and said he wanted to leave Townsend aside.

Mr. S. Smith: I mentioned cars, I mentioned limousines. What about South Cayuga?

Hon. Mr. Davis: With great respect, I listened to the question very carefully.

Mr. S. Smith: Answer it then.

Hon. Mr. Davis: All right. The leader of the Liberal Party said he didn’t want to talk about Townsend today, which means, I assume, he accepts the acquisition in Townsend.

Mr. S. Smith: Not at all, it’s just as bad, but today I am talking about South Cayuga.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The Treasurer was quite convinced, on the basis of projections at that time, that there would be an estimated population growth of 600,000 to 700,000 people in that general area. He felt it was advisable for the long term to add this acquisition in terms of land banking for Ontario. I think the former Treasurer made the point then, and I think he would make it today, that in terms of the public interest, in terms of the public getting back whatever investment it makes, that would still be a valuable asset to the people of this province.

During the discussions within cabinet -- and I am not able to recall all of the details -- the decision was made that there was a possibility of this being used at some point in the future for possible residential development, knowing the projected growth in that area. He thought it was wise to move this far in advance when land prices would be substantially lower than they would be in 1980 or 1990. It was a judgement call on his part, recommended to the cabinet.

Mr. S. Smith: On your part.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Sure, on the part of cabinet. Let’s not be cute. The former Treasurer came to cabinet and said in his judgement, on the basis of some advice he had -- and there was conflicting advice, as there is on all of these issues -- there was merit in terms of the public interest in adding Cayuga to the land banking program of Ontario.

Some of the member’s former colleagues -- not as it relates to this specific site -- were very much in support of the concept of land banking by the province for future residential requirements.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, and with great respect, the Premier knows the subject of land banking is not what we are discussing, nor even Townsend. Given that the options were taken out on South Cayuga as a means of bringing the price down on what was to be paid on Townsend, there was still, the Premier would surely agree, no compelling reason to exercise those options on South Cayuga.

I would ask the Premier, did he simply accede to the Treasurer’s view, which ignored the advice of 12 civil servants and which ended up costing us $35.6 million for land now valued at $16 million? We were told the idea came to the Treasurer in some kind of vision. Did the Premier accede to it without checking into it for any documentation? If he did, would the Premier now agree that was a great error? If he did have documentation would he kindly produce it for the public accounts committee?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I doubt there is any documentation. The former Treasurer made it quite clear there was some division of opinion -- as there was on Townsend and as there is on most significant issues with respect to whether a government should or should not move in directions of this nature. The former Treasurer’s judgement and point of view were conveyed to his cabinet colleagues. There were prolonged discussions. The decision was not made at one cabinet meeting; it was made over a period of time. There is no question that in the Treasurer’s mind there was merit in the public interest for the acquisition of the lands in Cayuga.

That was a judgement call made by the cabinet of this province. I would suggest that in the light of the circumstances that existed at that time it was not a bad judgement call. One can have a lot of hindsight. I would also make this prediction: at some point in the future the public interest will be served by the Cayuga land acquisitions.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Can the Premier explain the theory of public finance that would permit the Treasurer at the time to commit the government of Ontario to a $30-million expenditure on the grounds that, having a surplus, it was okay to put the, money there; the money had to go in some place or another? Can he explain the way the government has been exercising stewardship over the tax dollars of people in this province when one member of cabinet in effect can commit the province to a $30-million expenditure and present it to cabinet as a fait accompli?

Hon. Mr. Davis: With respect, Mr. Speaker, that is not the way it happened. No minister of the crown can commit the government to a $30-million expenditure or even a $3-million expenditure or even a $1-million expenditure. In fact, we have debated a $1,000 expenditure within the confines of the cabinet room and the cabinet makes that ultimate decision. The former Treasurer of the province did not make a unilateral decision to invest this amount of money without the acceptance of cabinet. I would say to the present leader of the Now Democratic Party, before he wanders too far into this area, he should check the record with respect to the pressures brought by his party with regard to the advisability of the government of this province investing more extensively in land acquisition or land banking in the public interest.

10:20 a.m.

The members of the New Democratic Party use the words “land banking.” The term “land banking” involves the investment of public funds in land acquisition that we all know is not going to be used in the immediate future; otherwise, why use the terminology? Just have a look at the record and see where the New Democratic Party stood then and I assume still stands.

Mr. Cassidy: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: The Premier says I should check the record. This party said there should be land banking close to the major cities. We think it is wrong that people should pay $40,000 for a lot in north Toronto and in Markham, while the government of Ontario and the taxpayers have lost $20 million in Townsend and Cayuga.

Hon. Mr. Davis: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: Let the member check the record. We know his party has said land acquisitions near some of the urban centres. Please check the record when we were discussing Townsend, even before the Townsend decision was made, with respect to the population projections. Also, calculate the mileage from some of the urban centres to the Cayuga site and see whether that doesn’t fall within the definitions that party has used. That party has never confined the question of land acquisition to North York.

The Deputy Speaker: Order. It doesn’t seem to me that is a point of order; those are points of view. This matter is being discussed before the public accounts committee and the Premier’s estimates are coming up later this morning.


Mr. S. Smith: I have a question for the Solicitor General. The Solicitor General and his leader have made quite a big thing about their tremendous support for police and law and order; in fact, they have even gone so far as to suggest that the opposition parties are somehow opposed to those concepts. In view of that, I would ask the Solicitor General how 29 towns in Ontario are now on a waiting list and have been left on that waiting list for some time, begging the province to provide them with adequate police force assistance from the Ontario Provincial Police? Why has the province had a report which has never been made public, though it was completed over two years ago, the report by Mr. Pukacz, which has indicated a number of ways in which the policing in this province needed to be improved but nothing has been done? How can the Solicitor General justify a situation where a town like Nepean, for instance, which is a pretty large place nowadays, gets only $10 per capita for its policing when regionalized forces obtain $15 per capita? Isn’t it time to remedy that situation?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I have to say, Mr. Speaker, that law enforcement officers across the province from time to time have expressed to me their disappointment in the lack of support they appear to receive for their very onerous responsibilities from the official opposition. We are concerned about their lack of understanding and their lack of support in this very crucial area.

Mr. S. Smith: They have never told us that.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: It is well known and there is no question about that.

With respect to the Pukacz report, this report has been made available to police governing authorities across the province. If the Leader of the Opposition would like an autographed copy from Mr. Pukacz, I could arrange it. The report is really quite a public document; it is just not accurate to say it has never been made public.

If the Leader of the Opposition is familiar with the report, he will be aware of the fact that there are a very large number of recommendations in it dealing with the criminal justice system, the utilization of law enforcement officers and some very worthwhile suggestions.

As for the municipalities which would like assistance from the province for policing, my first observation is that policing is primarily a municipal responsibility. Yet, having said that, we are very sympathetic to the requests of these smaller municipalities which would perhaps like to enter into policing contracts with the Ontario Provincial Police to take advantage of the services available from that great and distinguished police force. It’s my hope that we will be able to extend the resources of the Ontario Provincial Police to provide assistance to these municipalities.

In relation to the police grants, the discrepancy between the $15 per capita to regional police departments as opposed to the $10 per capita to municipal departments is a matter I am aware of and have discussed with the provincial Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) on a number of occasions. He has pointed out -- and I am sorry he’s not here today to explain it in greater detail -- that the municipalities which receive only $10 per capita for their policing do receive other grants from the province and other areas to make up for this discrepancy and these are unconditional grants. I think it’s important to appreciate that the net result is the municipalities are not prejudiced by the provincial funding arrangements.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, I hope the Solicitor General is not suggesting the various municipalities are receiving equal provincial share of the cost of policing, because they simply are not. Would the minister not agree this report indicates that the average provincial share of the cost of policing in 1977 in the regional police forces was 34.47 per cent, whereas in Ottawa, for instance, it is 16.19 per cent?

There is a tremendous discrepancy between the share the province accepts to pay for policing in regionalized police forces versus those that are not regionalized forces and yet the costs of policing are just about equal in the two situations in most of these cities. Would the Solicitor General not agree there is a discrepancy, that this report has been sat on for two years and virtually nothing has been implemented from it? If he is interested in law and order and a decent share for the policing, then isn’t it time to treat all the municipalities on an even-handed basis?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, it is not true that the report has just been sat on. Some of the recommendations have already been implemented. The whole matter of funding municipal police forces as compared to regional police forces has been under review for some time. I mentioned the discussions I have had with the Treasurer. To be totally accurate, I should say the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) is directly involved in these funding arrangements. I can’t provide the member with the details other than to make this statement: It is my desire to improve or to assist in the enhancement of police resources across the province, be they municipal police forces, regional police forces or the Ontario Provincial Police.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Could the Solicitor General explain the catch 22 into which all municipalities in the province are put with regard to directing the police forces in their areas? Why does the province continue to insist on having the direction of local police forces through its appointments to the local police commissions and yet is only prepared to come up with funding that amounts to around a fifth of the cost of local policing?

10:30 a.m.

Why should the municipalities which pay the piper not also be allowed to call the tune and in fact manage the police forces, in order to make sure they provide the service they need in the most efficient and best way possible?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I do not think that is a supplementary. I believe it is an entirely different issue. There is some relationship, and I would be happy to address myself to the issue of the composition of boards of police commissioners.

The make-up of boards of police commissioners is not related solely to the issue of funding. In my view, that is only one of a number of considerations. Quite frankly, in my opinion it is a lesser consideration, because what we are concerned about is the relative appearance of independence in so far as the individual police department is concerned. We think it is vital to the interests of all our citizens for them to believe, as I am sure all of us in this Legislature believe, that the responsibilities and the often very sensitive duties and challenges faced by police forces on a day-to-day basis are carried on in a totally nonpartisan manner.

If it is a five-person board, of course, there are three appointments from the province, and usually one of those appointments is a judge. In Ottawa, as the leader of the New Democratic Party appreciates, one of the three members of that board of police commissioners is the senior county court judge, who obviously is quite independent of both the province and the municipality. Although it is a provincial appointment, in my view it certainly gives the necessary appearance of independence that is very vital to the effectiveness of that type of administration.

I would remind the honourable member that notwithstanding the fact that we have delegated much of the day-to-day administrative responsibility to the local boards of police commissioners, we do have the overall responsibility for the effectiveness of policing in this province. In our view, the present make-up or composition of the boards of police commissioners enables us to carry out that responsibility, to recognize that accountability.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary. I am sure the minister would agree the city of Windsor is in a unique situation. Because of its location adjacent to a community equivalent to the population of the city of Toronto, it would have added responsibilities as a result of the not too law-abiding element that may come into the community from the city of Detroit and its surroundings. As a result of all those added responsibilities, there should be an extra responsibility on his ministry to provide at least the funding equivalent to that provided to regional governments.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: We are quite aware of the additional problems that are often presented to our border cities and throughout the country, but I would just remind the honourable member that the Ministry of the Solicitor General does not provide the funding.

Mr. Wildman: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The minister has stated that he would be prepared and would like to provide additional assistance to the small municipalities for policing by the Ontario Provincial Police. Is he not aware that many of the small municipalities in northern Ontario have objected to the minister’s policy of centralizing the regional policing by the OPP so that the local communities, Kapuskasing for instance, do not get full-time policing, but have to refer to Hearst, over 70 miles away, after a certain time at night?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I am quite aware of that issue in northeastern Ontario, and I might say the concerns expressed by the member are by no means uniformly held throughout the municipalities. Many of the municipalities In the Hearst-Cochrane-Kapuskasing area are very happy with the arrangement and believe the system that has been implemented is providing the most effective use of OPP resources in that area.


Mr. Cassidy: I have a question which affects several ministries on the consequences of shutdowns and it arises out of last July’s shutdown of the Bendix plant in Windsor. I will start with the Minister of Labour.

Does the minister consider it appropriate for Bendix to have refused to participate in a manpower adjustment committee because it had hired a private consultant to provide outplacement counselling which included hotel room courses on resumé preparation, job and company research, personal marketing strategies, interview techniques, government assistance and financial alternatives? Was it appropriate for Bendix to refuse to participate in the manpower adjustment committee, and if not, what is the minister going to do on behalf of the workers who could not get that committee going?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, one of the matters I referred to last week in my statement was that I would be introducing amendments to the Employment Standards Act which would give the minister power to require that a manpower adjustment committee be set up.

Clearly, one of the decisions one would have to make, even if one had that power, is whether or not a suitable alternative way of placing displaced workers was in place. I have not had the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of that particular committee, but clearly the issue of whether or not companies take part in manpower adjustment committees is on my mind and I propose to introduce legislation which would give me the authority to require that they take part.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: There is no committee and the minister’s powers will do nothing to protect the workers right now.

I would like to redirect a supplementary to the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) also arising out of the serious consequences of the Bendix shutdown. Can the minister tell us what he is doing in order to stop the negative spinoff from the Bendix shutdown, specifically as a result of Bendix moving its sourcing of parts from Canadian plants to the United States, which has already led to the loss of 30 jobs at Central Stampings and National Auto Radiator in the city of Windsor and also threatens jobs at Charles Laue in Windsor and at the SKD plant in Amherstburg?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: In each case, we work with the companies that have had closures to see if their sourcing requirements can continue to be met from within Canada at an economic and competitive price. Obviously, when a plant closes down and the product being made in that plant begins to be made somewhere else, it very much changes the economics of the sourcing.

Presumably, the auto pact is in place to make sure they continue to play their role in providing the auto parts necessary to allow the Big Three or Big Four to meet their commitments under the auto pact.

Mr. B. Newman: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Will the minister consult with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce at the federal level to see to it that any auto trade agreement where the sourcing is Canadian at present remains Canadian even though the industry itself may transfer its operations from Canada to the United States, specifically Bendix?

Just as the leader of the third party has made mention of the loss of certain jobs, I would assume there may be substantially more spinoffs --

The Deputy Speaker: The question has been asked.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Yes, both the federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Commerce and ourselves are looking into that problem and I believe that is forming part of the discussions under the auto pact.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, if I can return to the Minister of Labour, the minister knows that many of the Bendix employees have had their health affected because of asbestos conditions at the Bendix plant and the Bendix employees have been pushing for an epidemiological study to be carried out by the ministry. Is the minister aware that their concerns about health have been heightened because now they are looking for other jobs and other employers do not want to take workers whose health may have been affected because of the conditions that prevailed at Bendix?

10:40 a.m.

Why will the minister not give an unequivocal commitment that the health study will be carried out by the Ministry of Labour, as the workers have requested? How does he expect the workers to put their confidence in a study which is financed by Bendix when this company, for more than 20 years, has been refusing to clean up the conditions which endanger the workers’ health?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: First of all, Mr. Speaker, the Bendix Corporation did, as I am sure the member knows, propose to carry out such an epidemiological study at its own expense, and the physicians who were to be in charge of that program were fairly eminent and well-known ones. One was formerly a professor of occupational health and safety, I believe, or of public health, at the University of Toronto. In spite of that, however, we have been in touch with the company indicating that even if it is to pursue this type of study we would like to have a very active role in it.

Quite frankly, I do not have the information available to me at the moment as to what their response to our request was, but clearly we have the same interest the honourable member has. If it is going to be done, it has to be done properly and there has to be some independent assessment of it carried out by someone from our ministry.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question to the Minister of the Environment about fluoride pollution in the area that surrounds the Brampton Brick plant in the riding of the Premier (Mr. Davis). Since the Minister of the Environment is no doubt aware that his ministry’s test showed that the monthly fluoridation rates for the Brampton Brick plant routinely exceeded the ministry’s guidelines by as much as 75 times and as long as five years ago, can the minister say why the ministry took no action, particularly when this brick plant was in a builtup area?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, fluoride has been of concern to the ministry for a long time, but I do not think it is quite correct to say there is no action taken. This matter was brought to my attention again not too long ago, and I asked for a whole report on the present situation. I do not have that report yet, but I have asked for it. It will be available very shortly, and I will share it with the honourable member.

Mr. Cassidy: These reports have been coming into the ministry for five years now, and the minister says he is just beginning to have a look at it; the matter was raised and brought to his attention in the Brampton newspapers, and that is why he is looking at it.

Since the subdivision applications to the government are routinely taken before the Ministry of the Environment, can the minister say why it is that, having reports of fluoride deposition so high over the ministry’s guidelines over such a long period of time, no action was taken by the Minister of the Environment to stop the construction of new homes in the surrounding area until the problem was cleaned up?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think the honourable member has it backwards. Indeed, I suspect he asked his question because it was in the headlines, but we acted before it was in the headlines, I would like him to know. As I said earlier, we will share the report with him.

There has been an attempt on the part of the industry, and certainly at the insistence of our ministry, to address the problem. I think you would agree, Mr. Speaker, it is not an easily resolved problem. It is a very difficult problem to solve, as I think the honourable member knows, but we will share with him what changes are being contemplated when they are available.

Mr. Isaacs: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Given that in estimates last October the minister’s staff promised my colleague, the member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes) that there would be a health study of children coming from the subdivisions close to the plant, can the minister explain why there is no indication at all that the health study is under way, when the effect of fluoridation on children can be to cause mottling of teeth, weakening of bones, hardening of joint ligaments, loss of weight and impairment of growth? Why is the health study not --

The Deputy Speaker: The question has been asked.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: The honourable member makes the case for what could happen, not what has happened, and there is quite a distinct difference. As I said to his leader, we will share that information with him when it becomes available.


Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Health concerning district health councils and their future. In view of the fact some of the councils have expressed very strong views about their advice being ignored by the ministry, particularly at a meeting on Wednesday of the Niagara District Health Council, where council members expressed their frustration over the minister’s penchant for giving the advisory body the terms in which to offer advice and then changing the terms and ignoring the advice; and in view of the fact that on many occasions the minister appears to be ignoring the advice of these district health councils and making decisions based on political considerations, does he intend to continue the system of health councils or is he going to abolish them?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, the usual criticism I get is just the opposite, that such considerations are not taken into account. I have not seen the article but I should tell the member that at the meeting of all the health councils in Sudbury about three or four weeks ago there was certainly no indication of any such sentiment from any of the health council chairmen present at that meeting, including the chairman of the Niagara District Health Council.

Secondly, I would invite the member to examine the record and look at the list of recommendations that have come from all of the health councils in the province. By and large, if one wants to put it in World Series terms, the ministry has a very high batting average when it comes to accepting the advice of the health councils.

If the member cares to be specific on the reports that have been submitted or that are under consideration, I will be glad to deal with them, but his generalization is totally unfounded in fact.

Mr. Bradley: There are some people in the province who would contend that the purpose of having district health councils is to have someone to blame when the provincial government has a very difficult decision or unpopular decision to make. In view of the comments of one of the health council members, I would like to know how the minister squares his answer with one of the comments with respect to a 1971 submission to his ministry. It is from John Pennachetti of the Niagara District Health Council, who says: “It makes me wonder why the hell we are wasting our time sitting around this table.” He added if the ministry did not change its attitude, “We might as well go home and stay home.”

The Deputy Speaker: Does the member have a question?

Mr. Bradley: Yes. I am asking how the minister squares the apparent calm that existed at the meeting he attended a couple of weeks ago with the comments that are now coming from the Niagara District Health Council suggesting he is ignoring their advice and making decisions based on political considerations only.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: With respect, the honourable member still has not said about what. If I remember correctly, that council consists of 17 or 19 people. From what the member has just told me, I do not know what is the cause of this person’s frustration. I would be glad to know. But I can assure the member, my experience after four years in this portfolio is that as sure as hell the district health council is not going to save this minister from any criticism.


Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Premier. On Tuesday evening, October 21, during the estimates of the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, I asked the Premier’s colleague if there was any evidence of a takeover bid at Stelco because of the heavy share trading; whether he was prepared to prevent such a takeover bid and whether the stock transactions indicated sales outside of Canada. He indicated he would not allow such a takeover but did not respond to where the sales were being made.

The Ontario Securities Commission has now stated there is no takeover bid under the technical rules of the commission. However, in view of the trading of one third of the total common shares of Stelco since June -- as many as one million in a single day and almost 10 per cent in less than a week -- will the Premier reply immediately in this House as to the number of shares whose ownership has moved to the United States or other countries as of this date and whether anyone or any group is now in control of or in a position to control as much as 10 per cent of the issued common shares of the company?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I thought the honourable member was at the root of all of this share activity and that he himself has been buying these large numbers of shares. The Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Drea) will be here on Monday. I will ask him to see whether he can get some of that information for the member and the House on Monday afternoon. Personally, I do not have it. I am not sure how much of it would be available, but anything we can get for the member, the minister will have here on Monday afternoon.

10:50 a.m.

Mr. Mackenzie: Will the Premier instruct the Ontario Securities Commission to report the trading in Stelco stock since June and to continue to monitor the trading and report regularly to this House, as well as providing the information we specifically asked for? A number of people, including high people on the corporate ladder, do not seem to be able to get the information as to what is happening with the stock.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would assume the Ontario Securities Commission would be monitoring it in the normal sense of the word. I am not sure this information is available. I assume the honourable member has talked to some of the senior people at Stelco and they themselves, I understand, do not know who may or may not be acquiring some of these shares. I will ask the minister to get as much information as is available for the public domain and have it for the members of the House on Monday.


Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, I have a question to the Premier on the subject of government advertising. When the minister responsible for freedom of information reported to the Legislature on the implementation of freedom of information and protection of personal privacy, he advised the House that the Premier had written ministers encouraging them to “conduct an open and responsive behaviour among public servants in their daily dealings with the public, particularly members of the Legislative Assembly” -- and the press, I believe.

In view of that, I wonder whether the Premier can justify the reluctance on the part of the government to answer questions placed on the Order Paper with regard to advertising expenditures on the part of the province from the years 1973 to 1980 and tabling of information with regard to guidelines for government advertising as well as what agencies are currently involved. I would have thought those matters would have been a matter of public record --

The Deputy Speaker: Order. The questions have been asked.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would like to know what evidence the honourable member has as to any reluctance. The government has answered some of the questions that are on the Order Paper relatively expeditiously.

I think the honourable member might be interested some day in asking one of the ministers of the crown just what the cost is for the preparation of some of these answers. The member would be quite surprised. Perhaps one should do a cost-benefit analysis of the time and effort required to satisfy what is, on occasion, a rather personal whim on the part of some members opposite.

I would say to the honourable member, we are in the process of answering most of the questions on the Order Paper. Most of the questions have been answered; we are in the process of answering the others. I do not sense any reluctance.

Mr. Cunningham: It was through my interest on behalf of the public with regard to expenditures that I placed a question on the Order Paper on October 9. I received an answer on October 21, indicating that the answer would be forwarded to the member as it becomes available but it would require some considerable time and effort.

I draw the Premier’s attention to Order Paper question 276, wherein basically I am asking questions that should be strictly an accounting proposition -- asking what our total budget expenditures were and who the agencies were involved. I would think the Premier would have to know who the agencies were, because I think he would have to know who those big cheques were sent to.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am sure the honourable member is more aware than he lets on as to the actual routine that is followed with respect to “government advertising.” The member talks about the agencies; there is no question, the government uses agencies, the member’s party uses agencies and his federal colleagues use agencies very extensively. They always do it on a totally objective, nonpartisan basis. The member has a great deal of research money provided by the public for his caucus. Most of it can be found in public accounts in terms of “the agencies.”

If the honourable member wanted to spend an hour or two this weekend, I am sure he could elicit on his own a great deal of the information. But in terms of the numbers and the time frame for which he has requested it, it does require a fair amount of time. We are not reluctant to answer the questions, but it does take time.


Mr. Isaacs: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. My question is about the IBT scandal and about the fact that the minister’s Pesticides Advisory Committee and his staff have known for almost three years that some commonly available pesticides have been approved on the basis of falsified or fictitious test results from Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories in the United States.

Is the minister aware that several of the IBT-tested pesticides are known to cause serious health problems under laboratory test conditions? What is the minister doing to investigate the problem? And will the minister place these essentially untested pesticides in a restricted-use schedule until their safety or otherwise has been established?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, we have been in touch with the Department of National Health and Welfare in Ottawa. I think they are actively considering this matter. I want to tell the House, in those cases of pesticides, under no circumstances was a recommendation made based solely on the results from that laboratory.

I think the member has terribly overstated the case, which he is apt to do on many occasions. He has made a very poor choice of words. It is not a scandal. I wish the member would use his words more carefully. It would be more conducive to understanding the complexity of dealing with these chemicals. They serve a very useful purpose but we do have to monitor their uses and adverse effects carefully. Indeed, that is being dlone. The Department of National Health and Welfare in Ottawa is making a very comprehensive review, and it never did put those on a list based solely on the results from one laboratory. That would have been unwise.

We have asked the Pesticides Advisory Committee to look at these particular products. There is a large number of them. That takes a lot of research and it is all being done, both by the federal government and by us.

Mr. Isaacs: Is the minister not aware that under the Ontario Pesticides Act he is empowered to investigate problems relating to pesticides, to conduct research relating to pesticide safety and to conduct studies of the effects of pesticides? Is the minister not aware that a pathologist has said a Manitoba farmer who died in May would be alive today if he had not used one of the pesticides on this suspect list? Does the minister not think his staff should have acted a lot more quickly to ensure that the pesticides allowed to be used in Ontario are as safe as they can be?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Again, the Pesticides Advisory Committee is one of the most respected committees one can possibly find. The member asked us to go to the academic community and find the best. I don’t hear the member complaining about any individual on that committee, just that collectively they are no good. That does not make a lot of sense. They are respected people in the academic community. Collectively and individually they are competent. They have acted. They are reviewing that literature and have clone so at great length. It is not just, as the member would have it, a matter of saying to ban everything. The world must go on. It is not really a legitimate position to take.

I think that committee is an excellent one. Immediately upon notification from me that they Should look at it, they have acted quickly and responsibly.


Mr. Blundy: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of several ministers, I would like to ask the Premier a question, if he is available for questioning.

A short article in the Toronto Star on Wednesday points out that the top profit producer in the retail field is, as usual, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, with profits of $407 million on sales of $1.8 billion at the end of March.

In view of those statistics, how does the Premier feel about the liquor control board’s dictating to the charitable groups, the athletic groups and the ethnic groups of this province how much they must charge for a bottle of beer, or saying to groups putting on affairs for the children’s centre in Sarnia that they must pay $1.40 for a bottle of liquor? These groups are trying to do something for our community. How does he equate that system with the profit picture being shown here?

11 a.m.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, just to deal with the preface to the honourable member’s question when he observed the absence of several ministers: If the member were being fair, he would know the question should be directed to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, who is not here. But in my rough calculation, there are more ministers of the crown here this morning than there are members of the Liberal Party. I think the record should show that. Pardon? What did the member for St. George say?

Mrs. Campbell: We are not supposed to be here to answer questions.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Of course not. That is one of the great advantages of being a member of the Liberal Party of Ontario: they never have to answer questions or be accountable for the things they say. I understand that. The member will have to get up a little earlier in the morning.

Mr. Bradley: Now back to the question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I just want to make it very clear: As long as members of the opposition insist on having preambles of a semi-provocative nature to their questions, then they can expect some modest reply. I mean, that is only fair. I know the member for Sarnia (Mr. Blundy) wants to be fair, particularly in the last months of his tenure here in this Legislature. He certainly would not want to create the opinion that he was anything but fair and objective. We have enjoyed his presence; we really have. I say that quite sincerely.

Mr. Blundy: I expect to be here for a while yet.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I see. The member is hard at work.

Mr. S. Smith: He will be here and you won’t.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I see. I am not a betting man, but --

Mr. Cunningham: Except during the Argo season.

The Deputy Speaker: Order. Will the Premier please answer the question?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the member for Wentworth North is being very provocative.

There has been some discussion of this issue; we had a discussion yesterday. I would say to the honourable member that the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations will have not only an answer but also a very detailed answer for him on Monday at two o’clock.

It is not the intent or the practice to limit in any way the capacity of these institutions or organizations to raise funds in a proper fashion for charitable purposes. The minister will explain it to the member in great detail. If the member is having any problems the minister will sort them out for him, as ministers of the crown are always sorting out problems for the member for Sarnia, including his support of the multinationals, which is contradictory to the position of his leader.

Mr. Di Santo: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Since these new regulations are affecting many ethnic organizations which are really in a bind now because they cannot survive -- they usually do no fund-raising for charitable or cultural purposes except to survive as organizations -- and since those organizations are vital to the communities, does the Premier not think that the only sensible thing to do at this point is simply to cancel the regulations and go back to the status quo previously acceptable to everybody?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the honourable member, there has been some confusion with respect to the interpretation of the regulations. I happen to know there has been. If the member has a problem and wants to have a discussion with the minister, I am sure the minister or the ministry can sort it out for him. The minister has been able to do so for many members, including those opposite. I suggest the member address this question to the minister on Monday and he will explain it to him.


Mr. Bounsall: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Labour. The minister has announced that 11 more employees will be hired by the Ontario Human Rights Commission, with half of those working in the educational field only, which is laudable in that regard. However, does the minister really believe that the other five or six left to be assigned to case work in the field are in any way sufficient to clear up the backlog of cases, let alone give these field workers the opportunity to initiate cases?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, if I could just correct the figures, what I said yesterday was that there will be nine new field officers, with a lawyer to act as counsel to them, to deal with day-to-day problems and facilitate the work of all the field workers. In addition, there will be five support staff. We are talking about an additional staff of 15. Five of the field officers, as the member has rightly said, will be going to the race relations division to deal with preventive roles in certain sectors of society. I think the member will agree that is a very good and very needed move.

The other problem the member has raised is the problem of the number of cases that have been presented and the backlog that has built up. That is true. The complexity of cases has changed over the years, as he knows, and an element of natural justice has been introduced into the process which is more time-consuming. I recognize there is a need to deal with those backlogs, and we are currently trying to put together a group of people on a contract basis who can help resolve the backlog problem and get caught up.

Mr. Bounsall: Will the minister involve himself now, directly and immediately, in the administration of the Ontario Human Rights Commission to ensure that they will investigate all cases, but particularly those involving sexual harassment, with all possible speed and efficiency and in a much less time-consuming way than they do now -- handling each case in isolation as if they have never heard of a similar case before -- and with an attitude of enthusiasm and encouragement to the claimants rather than with what has become a well-known litany to any claimant of the problems involved by the human rights commission in even taking the first step in their claim --

The Deputy Speaker: I think the member reached the question a while ago.

Mr. Bounsall: -- a problem raised two weeks ago by Ms. Rosenberg in the sexual harassment of herself and her successor in that particular job location?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I do not intend to get into the administration of the human rights commission. I have every confidence in the executive director, Mr. George Brown, and I assume the member does too. If he has reason to suspect otherwise, let him say so publicly, because he would be wrong.

I am surprised the member would bring up the question of sexual harassment, because there is no area that has been of greater concern to the commission than that area. The number of cases that have been investigated has been increasing rapidly and the number of inquiries that have been ordered has increased dramatically. It is through the ingenuity of that commission that this particular problem is being dealt with very ably at the moment.

I recognize there are problems. If the member wants to sit down with me some time and talk about the facts of individual cases and why they were delayed, I will be glad to, but in my personal review of individual cases there is usually a reason for any delay.


Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Industry and Tourism. In view of the mass unemployment in the Windsor area and the need for more economic activity, will the minister consider opening a branch office of the Ontario Development Corporation in the Windsor area so that those interested would not have to communicate with the London office but could expedite matters at the local level?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, we have been trying to work out that problem. We have been covering it in the interim by having more of our staff spend time in the Windsor area. I think the member would find they have been there a lot more often in the past year than was previously the case. We are currently looking at our array of ODC offices in the province to see whether some relocations or new offices might be possible. If the funds become available, Windsor will be very high on our priority list.

11:10 a.m.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answers to questions 275 and 302 to 305 standing on the Notice Paper.


House in committee of supply.


On vote 201, Office of the Premier program, and vote 301, Cabinet Office program:

The Deputy Chairman: I believe the member for Ottawa Centre had the floor when the committee rose.

Mr. Cassidy: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Last week I was out talking to people from the Ontario Federation of Labour about adequate day care. The Premier may be aware of the visits by a number of people from the day-care community out here yesterday. I hope he has a paternal word with the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton), who has not had the experience the Premier has had of raising children. Perhaps he would suggest to the minister that it is not a traumatic experience for kids to take part in a demonstration where Salome Bey is singing and they are dancing and having fun as well as making a political point. Why do we not get a Minister of Community and Social Services who will start to protect children rather than trying to put them down and boycotting any occasion when kids come to the Legislature to see him?

I do regret not being here last week, but I am here now and have a chance to talk to the Premier. A couple of hours is too little time to talk about the problems of the whole government, but none the less that is what we have got.

I am concerned about the way the government is handling Ontario’s economy. I make no bones about that, but I want to make a few comments about some other issues before I get to that. Then I would like the Premier to give us some response on what he and the government will do on the issues that New Democrats think are important; that is, to create jobs, to protect women and provide them with economic equality, and to bring full employment into this province instead of the situation we have right now.

In response to the Premier’s comments from last week when he suggested that “Bill” is a household word in the Italian community and that “Michael” is not --

Hon. Mr. Davis: I didn’t say that.

Mr. Cassidy: It was something like that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order: I did not say that. The member was not here. What I said was that it was interesting that at the opening the honourable member wanted me to make sure that I said “Michael Cassidy.” That is all I said.

Mr. Cassidy: I do not recall seeing that in words my Italian friends would understand. [Translation from Italian]

Last Friday, the Premier referred to the official inauguration of Columbus Centre, the new recreation centre realized by the Italian community.

The Premier would have us believe that the Conservatives have the Italian community in their back pocket. It seems he wanted to make believe that I was not well known simply as Michael, or “Michele,” among Italo-Canadians. Perhaps the Premier does not know that a “bill” is something you pay, for an Italo-Canadian.

I take this opportunity to correct this misunderstanding and make known to the Premier that the NDP, my party, has not one, not two, not three, but four Italo-Canadian members. I believe this to be plenty of recognition towards my party.

I have undertaken to learn Italian, because this community is very important to the NDP. This my party shows with action, not words.

I can guarantee the Premier that during the next election campaign, I as leader and all members of my party will do our best to make him less well known.

[End of translation]

The Deputy Chairman: May I remind the member that the languages of this House are French and English. I do not know just what he is reading there, and I am in no position to pass comments since I don’t understand Italian, but I do point out to him that the languages are French and English.

Mr. Cassidy: With great respect, Mr. Chairman, I distinctly heard Italian spoken, because I spoke it myself, in the course of the debate on the constitution. If one can talk about the constitutional future of this country in another language, which is spoken by more than half a million residents of Ontario, I am sure we can do that on the Premier’s estimates.

The Deputy Chairman: One of the purposes of this House is to exchange views and to understand. If you come in here and speak a language that the majority of us do not understand, it is not serving the purposes of the House. However, I am not making the rules. The rules are there and they were waived on that occasion, I understand, by consent of all parties on the debate.

Mr. Cassidy: Are you making a ruling, Mr. Chairman? Are you suggesting that it is not possible to talk in words that would be understood by many people?

The Deputy Chairman: I am just saying that the two official languages of the House are French and English.

Mr. Cassidy: I will just conclude by saying that in Italian a bill is something one pays. I would suggest as well that if one wants to look at the way the Italian community supports the various parties in this province, one has to look at the fact that the member for Dovercourt (Mr. Lupusella), the member for Downsview (Mr. Di Santo), the member for Oakwood (Mr. Grande) and the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) are four members of the New Democratic Party elected by the Italian community and people who are themselves legitimate Italo-Canadians elected here. They represent the whole community, but it is the support of the Italian areas of this community that comes to the New Democratic Party because of the work we have done on behalf of working people, including people from the Italian community.

I would like to bring the Premier up to date on an issue that affects Ottawa Centre, before turning to questions on the economy.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Where do you stand on section 133?

Mr. Cassidy: I will come to that in a second. On Monday, I will be in Ottawa for an important meeting in Cartier Square on the new courthouse project, in which the city, the province, the National Capital Commission and citizens’ representatives will be present. A model of the new building will be shown at that time which, if it corresponds to what I saw in August, indicates that we now have the possibility of a building of some character and distinction for the new courthouse in Ottawa.

I want to point out, though, that just under a year ago the government finally announced the plans for the new courthouse, which we had been seeking in Ottawa over the previous decade and a half. I supported both the need for the courthouse and the site that was eventually chosen for the courthouse in Cartier Square, but the way in which it was put forward was a bad decision. I want to tell the Premier that decision has been turned around now, and the responsibility lies in the way in which the city, local representatives and people in Ottawa have participated and turned a badly conceived decision into what can now be a good one.

If the province had had its way, we would have had the US Embassy, the courthouse and a teachers’ college used for national defence purposes put side by side in a way that none of the buildings could have adequately served their own needs or the people of Ottawa. They would have been lined up all in a row on Elgin Street, almost totally closing that area off along Cartier Square to the use of the public.

Architects could not have rescued it, and it was one of the factors that eventually caused the Americans to recognize they should accept an alternative site. But the issue about the site of the US Embassy alongside the courthouse was raised only because people in the area raised it. It was not raised by the province, and we would not have had a good courthouse had we tried to crowd it into the site originally accepted.

The Premier was critical at the time about the fact that people in Ottawa felt they had a legitimate right to participate in saying how the courthouse in Cartier Square should be designed.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is not true.

Mr. Cassidy: I want to suggest that the Premier made bad decisions because of the fact that both the National Capital Commission and the province were working behind closed doors, and the Premier would not take the public into his confidence until he was compelled to do so because of the work a number of us were able to do to convince the province otherwise.

With the US Embassy moved, we have liberated the architects working on the courthouse to allow them to produce a fine building.

With the teachers’ college, which the province would have left to a use that was totally nonpublic, the city now has received more than 80 proposals for public uses, and it looks as though the teachers’ college now can be turned into an arts centre, which will have enormous importance at that location in Ottawa. I hope the province will participate and support that.

The National Capital Commission has been persuaded to bring in some new staff who are much more open to participation. I am glad to hear there is now talk -- and I trust the minister of Government Services (Mr. Wiseman) will see that Ontario participates in this -- of a series of public hearings and displays which will, as I suggested this summer, take place in the teachers’ college building adjacent to the site of the courthouse, to let the public know more about what is planned for the Cartier Square site.

All that is welcome. I suggest it should have happened one and a half years ago. I hope the province takes part.

11:20 a.m.

I want to make a final appeal in this issue to the Premier, since I have not had a positive response to the letters I have been sending on this subject over the course of the last two or three months. My appeal is this: Let us ensure that the courthouse is more than just a building that handles judicial and family court functions. Let us ensure that all the quasi-legal functions that could take place in that building are centralized there. I am thinking of such things as consumer protection, landlord and tenant information, and the rent review board, which is now on Bronson Avenue at Carling. I am also thinking of legal aid, which at this point does not plan to put its operations into the courthouse but only to have a very small office to serve people who are defendants before the criminal court.

Let us put the small claims court into that building and everything that can possibly have to do with court functions. Let us ensure that people can go and pay their traffic tickets there. Let us get the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, which does not have a vehicle and driver licence bureau in downtown Ottawa, to put its facility into the courthouse complex so that people will have a reason to go into the building for reasons other than that they are being accused of a crime or are involved in some form of civil litigation. Finally --

Hon. Mr. Davis: Finally, your constituency office.

Mr. Cassidy: No. I will keep that over with my people in Dalhousie ward.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You would get more visitors if you had it in the courthouse.

Mr. Cassidy: I get a lot of visitors where I stand right now because of the government’s programs. We are always cleaning up the problems created by the Premier’s government.

Hon. Mr. Davis: How many times are you there?

Mr. Cassidy: I am there pretty frequently. As a matter of fact, I am there as frequently as the planes go back and forth. Every year, we have to deal with more and more cases because of the cutbacks that are being imposed by the Premier’s government and because of the way they misadminister the programs that are meant to be for the benefit of the people of the province. That is true.

My final point to the Premier is this: In the responses I have had from the Minister of Government Services -- and I am glad to see he is in the chamber -- and from other ministers to my suggestion that this building be treated not just as a justice building but also as a symbol in Ottawa of the provincial presence, the response has always been: It is somebody else. The Attorney General says: “We are just simply a client. The Ministry of Government Services are the people responsible for the building.” The Minister of Government Services says: “I am just a service department. We just put the building up for the people who want to use part of it.”

I want to suggest that if the Premier, on behalf of the cabinet, undertakes that the building will include an information centre about provincial government activities, where there can be displays about Ontario government activities and access to Ontario government publications, only then will there be an attempt to have a presence, in the second largest city in the province, of the government of Ontario and not just of justice services.

People should be able to walk in off Elgin Street and find out that, even though the Community and Social Services office, or the family benefits office, may not be in that building, there will be a place where they can get information about that service. There will be a place where school children can learn about what goes on here so that people do not just have to come to the galleries that are on the first floor of this building to get some idea about what takes place.

Ottawa has been a federal town for a long time, and yet the provincial government has an important, albeit sometimes not too visible, presence in Ottawa. We should be ensuring that what is built is the finest building possible in terms of architecture, but we should also consider the function of the building and make sure it is a provincial presence and not just a glorified courthouse.

Finally, the National Capital Commission now is requesting that a portion of this courthouse building have public uses, such as pubs, cafeterias -- I am not sure what kinds of things they have in mind. I hope as well, because of its importance in downtown Ottawa, the province is prepared to go along with that.

The Premier mentioned section 133. I do not want to dwell at length on the question of the constitution as I would not want to embarrass the Premier because of certain dissention that I understand occasionally exists within his party over his support for Mr. Trudeau.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You guys have the same problem with Allan Blakeney.

Mr. Cassidy: Regardless of whatever problems the Premier has with Joe Clark, I stand four-square with Ed Broadbent. We are together on the constitution the way we are on every other issue connected with the economy.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You aren’t standing four-square with the Premier of Saskatchewan.

Mr. Cassidy: The Premier of Saskatchewan is standing three-square with us.

I would point out, among other things, that the New Democratic Party, long before some other parties in this country discovered the question of civil rights, was there fighting for them at a time when it was not always a popular issue. It was not popular to oppose the War Measures Act, but we did. It was not popular to fight for the Japanese who were interned during the Second World War. It was not popular to fight for the right of Orientals to vote in this country in 1948, but the New Democratic Party put itself squarely on the record as supporting that right after the shameful treatment of the Chinese people in this country between the First World War and after the Second World War.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: No government has a better civil rights record than this government.

Mr. Cassidy: What? Five years or four and a half years to implement the report on living together for the Human Rights Code? A backlog of 900 cases? Putting a civil servant in and putting her into total obscurity for three or four years.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Cite the government that has a better record. There is no government with a better civil rights record.

Mr. Wildman: Repeat it enough times and you will believe it.

Mr. Cassidy: I believe it is time to patriate the constitution of Canada. I know the Premier is probably in favour of repatriating the constitution to Canada. I would have more confidence in the future of this province, however, if we had a Premier who was as thoroughly committed to repatriating control of our economy as he is to repatriating control of the constitution of Canada.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Do you want that in the constitution?

Mr. Cassidy: I would suggest there are a few things his government could be doing to ensure that we control the economy, and not just control the fundamental laws of the country. Sixty per cent of the manufacturing industry of our country is controlled abroad. Even after we repatriate the constitution, we will not be able to say that we are truly maîtres chez nous.

I believe that the rule of unanimity in the amendment formula was threatening to fossilize the constitution and it was time to find a change. That change now appears to be in prospect. I share the reservations of Allan Blakeney, my friend from Saskatchewan, and of others, over the degree to which referendums could be used to go over the heads of provinces as an amending formula for the constitution.

Mr. Breithaupt: He stands three-square with his leader.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Three-square? Who is the leader of your party in Quebec? Because then you have to be four-square.

Mr. Cassidy: The Premier talks about the leader of his party. I just threw that one out.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I understood that the Liberal Party in Quebec was opposed.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Give me a dime and I will call to see who the leader is.

Mr. Cassidy: I would suggest the referendum technique should be used only as a last resort and there should be an assurance that it would not be used as a means to avoid dealing with the provinces. I think the Premier is probably fairly open to that particular suggestion. He knows it is being proposed by Allan Blakeney and others. I think that is something the federal government should have a serious look at while the resolution is in committee.

There are two or three other areas I want to comment on. I am proud of Ed Broadbent’s leadership in pressing for changes in the package that was announced three weeks ago by the Prime Minister to ensure that the package does have some balance with respect to the provinces in western and eastern Canada, specifically in regard to the question of resource ownership for the provinces, the question of indirect taxation over resources. We believe it should be included.

We think the commitment this province made and the resolution in the constitutional debate, that the status quo has to be changed and we cannot go along with the status quo, includes a recognition of the concerns of western and eastern provinces with respect to resources. I think the Premier is prepared to iterate, if not to reiterate, that the government of the province will make that commitment and is prepared to go along with the suggestion now being accepted by the Prime Minister.

I think as well that proposal is important for Ontario. We are a province in which resources are as important as in most other provinces in Canada. We are rich in resources, and resources are an essential tool for development of vast areas of this province. In fact, they are the only tool. I speak of the north in particular, but I join with my friends in northern Ontario in saying that in having control of the resources of Ontario we should make sure the benefits come back to us here in this province, particularly to the people of northern Ontario.

11:30 p.m.

On section 133, I do not believe the status quo is acceptable, and I am just looking for the reference in the constitutional debate. The Premier will recall the wording of the resolution in that particular debate which specifically rejected the status quo and indicated that Ontario also, was prepared to make changes. The western and eastern provinces, in some cases against their will, are now facing the situation where major changes in the status quo, including the unanimous amending formula, are being brought into Parliament in Ottawa and will be taken to Westminster.

The Premier has already taken some criticism from Premier Hatfield, who in other respects supported Ontario’s position on the question of section 133. Frankly, I am concerned over the fact that the Premier continues to express reservations. I know on a personal level he has always found it difficult to accept any enshrinement of rights that affect the other official language group in respect to Ontario. It is fine to express his reservations, but it could have been an act of statesmanship for the province to have indicated, publicly or privately, that it was not going to be business as usual.

I do not think the Premier should have gone with the warnings he made the day before the Prime Minister’s statement on the resolution on the constitution with respect to the question of institutional bilingualism. I think that was an instance where Ontario could, while expressing concern, have expressed a willingness to go along.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I want to remind the member of what the member for Riverdale said a week ago.

Mr. Cassidy: Let me finish; Mr. Chairman, I have the floor. I would remind the Premier that we are in the process of having the statutes of this Legislature translated into French; so the acceptance of an obligation to have the statutes translated into French, which is part of section 133, is simply a continuation of something that is going on already. People already have, and have had for a long time, the right to use French in the criminal courts in Ontario. The question has been the pace and the degree to which the courts become bilingual under section 133. There, again, it has not been a matter of practicality. It is a matter of the symbol that is being expressed.

I am afraid that when the chance came along for Ontario to rise to the occasion, to indicate to our friends in La Belle Provence du Quebec that we were prepared to see major changes in the status quo in this regard, bearing in mind their sensitivity about the treatment of French Canadians for so many years, we could not rise to that particular challenge.

I would also suggest there is an opportunity and a requirement for Ontario to rise to the challenge that is reflected in the part of the resolution that relates to French-language or minority-language education rights where numbers warrant. I have heard it indicated on behalf of the province -- and I hope the Premier repudiates it -- that this does not really change anything as far as Ontario is concerned, that putting minority language rights into the constitutional package does not have any effect in terms of policy or legislation in the province; it is all covered already.

Frankly, I am disappointed to hear that, because the Premier knows there are very real changes involved in Quebec’s school legislation under Bill 101 as a consequence of the resolution that will go to Westminster. They are being asked to draw back from something, portions of which I find unacceptable but which certainly were decisions that were adopted by a substantial majority of the political representatives of the people of Quebec.

On our side, it seems to me we have to indicate once and for all that the question of minority language education in Ontario is resolved, and that is the spirit with which we take the proposed amendments: the proposed right to minority language education where numbers warrant.

If we are serious about changing the status quo, I would suggest that the government should be announcing now how it interprets that particular section and the spirit in which we are going to handle it. When I hear there is a court case being decided -- I think it is today -- with reference to a proposal for a municipal referendum in the Penetanguishene area on whether Ontario’s commitment to French-language education in that area will be a reality or not, I am very disturbed.

I am sorry we have not heard up until now, from the government, an unequivocal statement that the municipalities have no call at all to put their oar into that particular area, that this is a decision being taken by the province and it is now up to local people to implement it. I am sorry it has to be that way. The Premier has gone through all of that, as we all have, for a long time. But if we have made the commitment, we cannot have exceptions in one area or in another.

The backing and filling of the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) over the question of enumeration of French-language electors for the advisory committees is something that should have been sorted out long before now, because the Premier will know that the present situation is unsatisfactory. The French-language school board in Ottawa-Carleton, a school board which, if it were together, would be among the seven or eight largest school boards for the French language in all of Canada and which, if created as a French-language school board, would be as large as all but seven or eight English-language school boards in the entire province, is something that the government should give a commitment to now if it is really serious about the commitment to minority language education that is being talked about.

We should have a decision by government to restore French-language, full-grade kindergarten in Ottawa-Carleton and other areas where it is so vital as a means of protecting the French-language community against the assimilation with which they are constantly threatened. The right to a school should be endorsed in Ontario law where the numbers of French-speaking students warrant and not just the right to a class. The powers of the Languages of Instruction Commission of Ontario should be tightened up to ensure that commission has the right to decide, rather than to recommend, where there are conflicts between a French-language advisory committee and a local school board. That is the way we see the government would put into practice a commitment to the minority language section as regards the constitution. That brings me to the question of the economy.

Hon. Mr. Davis: If the leader of the New Democratic Party will permit a question, I really am a little confused. Is he saying the government of Ontario should have accepted section 133 and be bound by that in a new constitution? I ask him just to give me a very simple yes or no. I would remind him that his colleague the member for Riverdale said no and the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) has said yes.

Mr. Breithaupt: That is correct.

Mr. Cassidy: The member for Riverdale discussed some of the points that were in the committee’s mind in looking at that. We understand that it will take time.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You are giving rather roundabout answers. I asked for a very simple yes or no.

Mr. Cassidy: All right. I will give the answer then. At its convention in Guelph the NDP looked at this matter with great seriousness. We decided the specific commitments that are required under section 133 should be enacted and should be here in Ontario. The answer, in other words, as far as we can see it, is a matter of saying yes. I cannot see why the Premier constantly backs and fills.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is not what the member for Riverdale said. And I do not back and fill.

Mr. Cassidy: Il doit savoir que la confiance de la communauté franco-ontarienne dans le gouvernement est toujours hésitante à cause du fait que lorsqu’il est question d’endorser les droits des Franco-Ontariens, le Premier ministre n’est pas prêt à faire le pas qui est nécessaire.

Voilà l’exemple de la section 133 de la constitution qui est en jeu. Anciennement c’était le projet de loi du député d’Ottawa Est (M. Roy) qui donnait un cadre de protection législative aux droits des Franco-Ontariens pour assurer les services en français, où c’est justifié.

Je ne sais pas pourquoi c’est toujours le cas que le Premier ministre de notre province résiste si carrément de faire les déclarations en principe qui sont recherchées par nos concitoyens de langue française en Ontario.

C’est le temps de résoudre cette question une fois pour toutes et malheureusement c’est quelque chose qui doit maintenant être résolu pendant le cours de la prochaine négociation sur la constitution.

We are going to have to come to this question over the course of subsequent negotiations on the constitution. Why the devil can we not get it solved right now?

Hon. Mr. Davis: All I am pointing out is that I asked the member for Riverdale last Friday whether he was speaking for the New Democratic Party. My recollection of what he said was that he agreed that it should not be imposed through the constitution.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: He agrees to the principle of section 133, and that is what he spoke about when he was there.

Hon. Mr. Davis: All right; just check Hansard. That was the impression I got last Friday.

Mr. Wildman: He said he could understand your position.

Mr. Cassidy: He said, “We understand your position.”

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, he did not.

11:40 a.m.

Mr. Cassidy: I cannot understand why the Premier does not understand that at no political cost to him, if he is concerned about what he fears may be political backlash from western Ontario, he could have this done through the federal Parliament. There is support from the other parties. The roadblock right now is obviously in the Conservative Party of Ontario.

There may be a love match between the Premier and Pierre Trudeau over the question of the constitution. I suspect that, effective next Tuesday, October 28, the Premier is going to be backpedalling furiously to make sure he is not associated with the Prime Minister with respect to the economic policies of the government of Canada.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We have rarely been associated with any federal budget in the last 20 years.

Mr. Cassidy: We are in for a budget that could make John Crosbie look like Florence Nightingale.

After the unstinting praise the Premier has had for the Prime Minister over constitutional questions, I predict the Premier will presently turn on his present bedfellows to bitterly attack the management of the economy by the federal government. I am not one to refrain from criticizing, because I think the Liberal Party of Canada, equally with the government of Ontario, has been failing to do the job. They are failing to create full employment, to regain control of our economy and to ensure that we run this country for Canadians and by Canadians, rather than having it run for us by people and corporations elsewhere in the world.

Mr. Rotenberg: A lot better than you guys could do with your multinational unions.

Mr. Cassidy: The anti-union member for Wilson Heights is keeping on here. I want to suggest to him that the day the customers and people of this country can control the corporations in the way the workers who are members of the United Steelworkers of America, the United Automobile Workers or other unions that have international contacts control their unions here, we will have a heck of a change --

Mr. Rotenberg: Where is all the pension money going?

Hon. Mr. Davis: You are getting in a sensitive area.

Mr. Cassidy: I am not sensitive about that one. I am proud to work with working people in the province and to work with the trade unions that have been chosen by the working people in the province. I wish we had some decent labour laws in Ontario to ensure that every working man and woman had the right to have the union of his or her choice.

Mr. Rotenberg: Who are you trying to protect?

Mr. Cassidy: I am trying to protect the workers. I am talking about what this government is doing. I have talked to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) just today about whether he is prepared to protect the workers at Bendix, and what did he say? He said: “I am very concerned. I am going to seek legislation.” In the meantime, if the workers are sent off to a hotel room for half a day to learn how to write snappy resumés, that is okay for this government. That is all the job protection they will get from the Tories. That is not good enough, as far as we are concerned, within the New Democratic Party.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Is this the corporate part of it?

Mr. Cassidy: I think the Premier’s government, which claims to know about corporations, should perhaps get to know a bit better what multinationals have been doing to this country. As the Minister of Industry and Tourism points out, they move away from this country, they take the subcontracts with them and the jobs continue to disappear. They move from branch-plant to branch-warehouse operations. They are sending catalogues into this country rather than creating jobs, and the government is standing idly by.

This government opposed medicare. We would not have had medicare in the country if it were not for the work of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and the trade unions of this country and this province in showing that universal health care plans in places like Windsor and Oshawa could effectively protect the health of working people. Then they said, “What we desire for ourselves we desire for all.” As a consequence, they ensured at the political level that we got medicare for every person in the province.

The Premier keeps on trying to pass the buck to the federal government. Then he turns around and criticizes them for doing nothing, or doing the wrong kind of job. But when we come back to look at what is happening in this province, they have nothing to offer.

Yesterday we had the Full Employment Act debate. It is a good thing the Premier was not here, because in 1943 his government made some commitments about full employment. It was something every democratic government was doing around the world. Yesterday his members came into this Legislature and said, “We support the principle but we are not prepared to do anything about it in practice.” It was a shameful day for this Legislature to have 35 members of the Conservative caucus standing in their place and blocking that bill, a bill that simply would have required the government to have brought its plans for full employment here and would have established a standing economic development committee before which the government’s plans could have been assessed and measured, and before which we could have debated how to achieve full employment.

Mr. Rotenberg: You wouldn’t let the Minister of Industry and Tourism make a statement about all the new employment we got. You tried to block that.

Mr. Cassidy: The Minister of Industry and Tourism is grandstanding. He is not prepared to take action.

Mr. Rotenberg: Who was grandstanding? You were grandstanding in your whole bill.

Mr. Cassidy: The Minister of Industry and Tourism grandstands in this House. He does not poke his nose into the committee or into the private members’ debates at all. He stays absent and leaves it up to people who say: “We can’t have full employment" -- this is Conservatives talking -- “it is going to cause inflation.” They say they cannot have full employment; it is going to cost too much. The Tories say: “We can’t have full employment; it is an idealistic idea. Let’s be realists.” They say, “Let’s be realists: Unemployment is here to stay.”

That is the Conservative Party’s position, and it is about time that position changed. It is about time we got a government in this province that was committed to ensuring that in fact there is full employment.

The initiatives we have taken this fall have been very simple ones. We think every worker in Ontario who seeks work should have the right to a job. He should have the right to a government that will ensure a policy of full employment. We think workers have the right to job protection. If they invest their lives in jobs, they should not be in a position where they can be put on the scrap heap at almost a moment’s notice with no job protection, with no assurance that the companies they work for have made any effort to stay in business, and with every assurance in some cases that everything was done by the multinational owners to justify pulling out and taking the jobs somewhere else with no regard taken at all for the people in this province.

I am sick and tired of feasibility studies that are never released, as was done at Tung-Sol in the Premier’s own riding. This demonstrates to management that the plant should be shut down, but there is no effort made to ensure whether somebody else might be able to run the plant and there is no effort made to justify what is happening.

Surely, if workers invest their lives in jobs, they have the right to justification for the actions of companies in throwing them out of their jobs, in the same way that shareholders who invest dollars in a company have a right to call their management to account to find out whether the management is doing an effective job on their part as well.

I want to suggest as well that it is about time we saw the right to economic equality for women turned into a reality in Ontario. The provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) is here. On Tuesday in the Legislature, in response to the report of the Ontario Status of Women Council, she said categorically that the government is not prepared to act on the major recommendations of that council. How long can we go on with a government that refuses to recognize the right of women to equal pay for work of equal value?

How long can we go on with a government that thinks it is okay that women be treated as secondary earners in the work force, earning on average 58 per cent of what men earn? How long can we go on with women being compelled in some cases to work because of inadequate family income or because of family breakup but not getting access to day care?

How long can we go on with a situation where our society effectively says men have the right to choose to work, but women who happen to have children do not have that right since, if they have kids, they are going to be forced to stay at home because of the inadequate care that is available for those children in the community? How long do we go on with the scandal of sexual harassment being allowed to proceed and nothing being done?

How long do we go along with the Minister of Education, who is not prepared to open up training opportunities for women? How long do we go along with the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Industry and Tourism, who were not prepared to take any effective action to make affirmative action more than a slogan, to make affirmative action into a reality?

Mr. Rotenberg: You have said that all year. Do you have any new ones today?

Mr. Cassidy: Sure. And I am going to keep on saying it. I will say it right up until the election itself, because we believe women should be given economic equality in Ontario. We think that is an important enough issue affecting half of the electorate of this province that it should not be put under the carpet, the way the Conservatives have been trying to do.

11:50 a.m.

In the member’s own riding of Wilson Heights, there are probably 15,000 women who work. Does the member know how many of them have access to adequate day care? I suspect he does not, because it has not been a priority for this government.

Does the member for Wilson Heights know how many of the women up in that riding are forced to work at the minimum wage, or just above it, because they cannot get better jobs? Does the member for Wilson Heights, or any of the Tory members, know how many women have been deprived of opportunities, not because of a lack of intelligence, not because of a lack of education, but simply because of their sex? Does the member know how many women living in Wilson Heights and other ridings that the Conservatives represent are compelled to work part-time because they cannot get full-time jobs and still carry out their other responsibilities? It is far too high.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Or choose to.

Mr. Cassidy: Some women choose to; that’s right. But I suggest that, given a choice between a decent full-time job with a decent income or working at the minimum wage at a part-time job because that is all they can get, there are an awful lot of women who would take the decent full-time job if that decent full-time job were available.

Take the case of Stelco. It took the work of the leadership of Local 1005 at Stelco to demonstrate that over a period of almost 20 years that company had had applications and had hired close to 30,000 men but somehow had not got around to hiring a single woman for any of the production jobs in the Stelco plant in Hamilton. What a coincidence there was there. Where was this government with its commitment to women’s rights over all that period of time?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: How many applied?

Mr. Cassidy: Many applied. Many more are applying now because they are beginning to learn that women will be hired. But if one knows damned well there is no point in applying because no woman ever gets a job, then --

Hon. Miss Stephenson: The affirmative action group under Marnie Clarke in this government has done a great deal to persuade Stelco to move in that direction.

Mr. Cassidy: That’s rubbish, Mr. Chairman. This summer, 10 or 12 per cent of the people who were hired by Stelco at summer jobs happened to be women. That is not enough, but it is certainly a great stride forward. Would women have applied for the jobs there if they had known the situation continued to be as it was in the past? The answer, of course, is no. Why is it women cannot get access to skills training in Ontario? The figures are scandalous: one per cent of the women in Ontario. They cannot get access; there are all sorts of obstacles.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: They most certainly can. There is no obstruction whatever.

Mr. Cassidy: That is simply not true. The member is misleading the House.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: You should know I am not.

Mr. Cassidy: Bring the figures before the House.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: I am not. The opportunities are there.

Mr. Cassidy: Can the Minister of Education explain why so few women gain access to the skills training that would give them jobs in the $8, $10 and $12 category?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: They don’t apply.

Mr. Cassidy: In my own riding of Ottawa Centre, the British American Bank Note Company had women with 20 years’ service earning the same amount of money as caretakers who had six months’ service and a grade nine education, and the caretakers were then allowed to take training as --

Hon. Miss Stephenson: That has nothing to do with access to training. Access to training is there. You are comparing apples and oranges, and you know it.

Mr. Grande: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman: I do not know since when it has become the practice in this House to turn on the microphones for members to interrupt the speaker. I would hope, Mr. Chairman --

The Deputy Chairman: It is not usual, but if the interjection goes on at some length it is sometimes done. The fault is probably with the chair this morning. There have been a pretty fair number of interjections, but it has been happening both ways, and the chair has been lax. Some of the interjections have been provoked, but I will try to limit them.

I would remind the committee that we are looking at the estimates of the office of the Premier, not of the other ministries, although I realize the Premier has an overriding responsibility.

Mr. Grande: May I suggest, Mr. Chairman, if the Minister of Education wants to involve herself in the estimates of the Premier, she can have her turn, as well.

The Deputy Chairman: She has an opportunity, I will agree, but so far we have about one hour and seven minutes left, and I do not think many of the private members, or ministers either, will have an opportunity. However, the member for Ottawa Centre has the floor.

Mr. Cassidy: What do I say, Mr. Chairman? I agree entirely with my friend from Oakwood that it’s improper for the microphones to be turned on for the ministers but it’s such an unusual occurrence for the ministers to be present at the time of estimates being taken, including the Premier’s estimates, that obviously Hansard is marking the importance of the occasion. These people are never here after estimates begin.

It was a black day for the Legislature yesterday, Mr. Chairman, when the Conservatives rose in their seats in order to block the NDP’s full employment bill. I will predict that when our bill for economic equality far women comes forward, the Conservatives will block that one as well. I also predict that when our bill for job protection comes forward, the Conservatives will block that one as well and that’s a shame when there are 300,000 people unemployed in this province. It’s a shame when 46,000 people have been laid off permanently or indefinitely just in the first six or seven months of this year. It’s a shame when there is such a sense of insecurity in the province today and the government is not showing itself capable of responding and giving the kind of leadership that is required.

A month and a half ago the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) got up in this Legislature to say that what he saw for the province was good news. The good news, he said, outweighed the bad and then he turned around and said that if there is any bad news, the federal government should provide leadership. He told the federal government that it should stimulate the economy to create jobs but it should stimulate the economy without increasing the federal deficit.

The Treasurer suggested the federal government should move to expand rapid transit because it is essential to urban areas. I would like to know what the province is prepared to do in giving the green light to the transit authorities of this province. The Treasurer suggested unemployment insurance be used to set up short-term job creation projects. I would like to know what plans Ontario has for short-term job creation projects. Surely this is something that just isn’t left to the federal government. The Treasurer talked about a comprehensive federal program for research and development. I would like to know what Ontario has done in the last 10 years towards research and development.

These are not problems that have suddenly come upon us; nor are they problems that can be left entirely in the federal sphere.

The Treasurer had the chutzpah to suggest that the federal government undertake a major upgrading of Canada’s forestry resources. I ask myself, when forestry is such a matter of provincial jurisdiction, how is it that we don’t have a commitment and action by the government to implement what the Premier used to say was his commitment or his promise about two trees for one. A third of our trees are being cut down every year, a third of the acreage of forest is not being replaced and this government can’t turn to the federal government to bail it out of that one when that is a matter of provincial responsibility.

I want to express special concern over the Treasurer’s calling on the federal government to loosen the controls on foreign investment. I ask the Premier, is that in fact the policy of the government? Is it the policy that Canada should be seeking to attract large new enterprises to this country? Is it the policy that we cannot afford to erect any investment barriers according to the Treasurer, or to reduce our industrial competitiveness? Is it the policy that nothing is going to be done about the multinationals’ grip on Ontario? Is it the policy that nothing is done to check the irresponsible conduct of multinational corporations that are operating here in Ontario? I don’t know. Perhaps the Premier can give us some enlightenment on that.

I was embarrassed to find the Treasurer even talking in that particular vein. I am embarrassed at the vacuum in economic leadership in the government that exists right now as witnessed by the fact that yesterday it was the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) who got up to boast about what the private sector was doing and not the Treasurer. Is the member for Wilson Heights or the Premier aware of the number of officials who have bailed out of the Treasury to move over to the Ministry of Industry and Tourism? Is he aware that where Darcy McKeough strode the waves a few years ago in providing some kind of direction to the economy of the province, now the Treasurer has become an insignificant figure whom nobody even notices? Is he aware of that? That is the kind of situation we have in the province right now.

12 noon

We look to the government’s designing a plan for creation of jobs in Ontario. We get a government which, according to the debaters yesterday, only has the employment development fund to offer. I want to say a word about that, because I took the trouble to look at the slender document in which the government justified its grants to the pulp and paper industry. I want to repeat our case; those grants have to be justified on the basis of the independent documentation that we know is available despite statements from the Minister of Industry and Tourism to the contrary.

Perhaps the Premier is aware that the special task force says specifically at the very beginning of its report that it was given the assignment of designing a practical plan of government assistance to Ontario’s pulp and paper mills. This was not a conclusion from its deliberations; this was the assignment it was given.

The New Democrats are not against modernization of the industry that is so important to the economic health of northern Ontario in particular and Ontario in general. We have taken a clear position on the grants to the pulp and paper industry from the very beginning, however. If the financial assistance is necessary, we believe it should be extended in return for public equity in the companies, as well as very strict requirements for job creation and performance. The Premier knows the grants are leading to a reduction rather than an increase in employment.

The pulp and paper task force itself admitted the need for enormous capital spending but did not comment on the fact that this government, over the preceding 10 or 15 years when profits at times had been enormous, had failed to ensure that money was turned back into the industry here in Ontario to maintain a viable base. It did not comment either on the fact that adequate reinvestment in trees was not required of the companies, nor was it carried out by the government, which, since 1962, has been responsible for reforestation. That is why we think equity should have been taken by the government. It would have given a lever to ensure the means by which the profits are reinvested in Ontario and do not just simply go to enrich the owners.

We are against unnecessary grants going to the pulp and paper industry at the same time that the government is unable to finance a proper regeneration program. That is why we took so seriously this thick and carefully researched report on the pulp and paper industry, which was prepared for the Royal Commission on the Northern Environment and has been put out with the letterhead of that royal commission on it. We have not seen the published copy, but the final draft has that kind of imprimatur. Rather than looking at the contents, the Premier has chosen to try to question its credibility in the face of a document that says they were given the job of designing assistance and not in looking at whether or not $95 million worth of grants was justified.

I point out that the president of Spruce Falls Pulp and Paper has been publicly quoted as saying his company did not need or want a grant, but felt compelled to take one because the grants were being offered. I point out that Great Lakes Paper had already committed itself to a $200 million investment for Dryden, regardless of whether the government’s money was coming forward, and after an earlier application for money for Dryden had been turned down.

I point out that the most fundamental problem for the pulp and paper industry in northern Ontario is the lack of wood. The problems of regeneration have been elucidated by none other than the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Auld) himself in speeches that indicate at least 29 per cent of the forest area is still in need of attention, and he says we are no more than halfway to achieving our objective.

We simply want to know if the grants were unnecessary or not, and that is why we say to the government, table the material and justify that spending of $95 million worth of grants. Do not get into the situation we are in on land at South Cayuga. Let’s not look at these things five or 10 years down the line. Let’s see whether what the government is doing makes sense right now, because people want to know right now or want to see where else that money can be spent.

I am concerned, I would say to the Premier, about the Pollyanna approach being taken by the government, because apart from a small number of grants from the employment development fund, there is not an overall package of proposals or planning to create full employment in Ontario. There is a vacuum in the most powerful ministry, the Treasury. The Minister of Industry and Tourism’s statement talks about leaving things up to the private sector.

We are left, in other words, with the New Democrats prepared to put our plans forward, but we do not get a response from the government. We have been laying out our industrial strategy; we have talked about the jobs that can be created in the mining machinery industry, in the area of energy conservation and in the area of food processing, and we will talk about those areas, industry after industry after industry. We will keep on doing it from now until the next election.

Mr. Rotenberg: When the Minister of Industry and Tourism tells you of the jobs that have been created, you try to stop him.

Mr. Cassidy: I will give the member for Wilson Heights an example of the kind of thing that disturbs me. Last spring, the Minister of Industry and Tourism talked about establishing a task force on microelectronics. He said: “This is a matter of urgency. It is an area where we want to get involved.” Six months have gone by since then and that task force has not even begun its work. If I ask the minister on Monday what the government is doing about microelectronics, he will say, “We have got a task force.” It is no good having a task force out there in the private sector that is not doing the job and not doing any planning.

That is an industry that is important for my riding in Ottawa Centre and for the people in Ottawa. We may have an enormous increase in employment in that particular area. It is time the federal government, the provincial government, the trade unions involved, other representatives of working people, the companies involved and the municipal authorities in Ottawa sat down and started to plan co-operatively together in order to ensure the maximum advantage for this high-technology industry, which is one of the few bright spots in the industrial picture of the province.

I have come to the end of some of the remarks I wanted to put forward. I just want to ask the Premier, does he share the opposition of his party to the policy of full employment which the New Democratic Party has put forward? Is that what we are to interpret from the vote last night? Or would the Premier kindly indicate that somehow a dreadful mistake was made and he is now prepared to submit the government’s plans to a standing committee, and that the government is prepared to make a commitment to full employment that we thought it had made many years ago, and to act on that commitment?

Will the Premier tell the House whether we were hearing wrong when the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) rejected outright the report of the Ontario Status of Women Council on Tuesday on the questions of equal pay for work of equal value, of universal child care and of affirmative action? The provincial secretary does not seem to have changed her mind. Will the Premier not tell the House some dreadful mistake was made in communications and the government is now prepared to bring in economic equality for women as a policy and take all the necessary steps to achieve that?

Would the Premier be prepared to tell us that some awful mistake was made last week when we got that statement from the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie)? Does the Premier not recognize that the workers of this province are tremendously concerned over the insecurity they are feeling in the work place, sometimes when they have as much as 25 or 30 years of seniority?

Does he feel that the government is no longer going to be content with the half measures the Minister of Labour had to announce but that the government is now prepared to make a full and unqualified commitment -- not just to adequate severance pay, adequate notice and the protection of pensions, but that in future the investment of workers in communities, in companies operating in Ontario, will be recognized and that corporations that seek to shut down will be compelled to justify those shutdowns rather than being able to pull out of this province completely irresponsibly without even trying to justify their actions?

Mr. Chairman, I put those questions to the Premier. I have been deceived in the past, but I hope he will not disappoint me this time because the people and the workers in this province are looking for positive answers and if they do not get them from the Conservative Party, they are going to turn to the New Democrats for the positive answers we are prepared to provide.

Mr. Chairman: The members of the committee may like to know that there are 58 minutes remaining for discussion of the estimates of the Premier’s office and the Cabinet Office. Would the Premier like to reply to the leadoff speeches?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Chairman, I am ready to reply, but I really do not want to reply and then have other members make some observations to which I would then reply again. If there are other comments on these estimates, I would be delighted to listen and then I will sum up in my usual fashion in answer to the observations made by the members.

Mr. Breithaupt: We only have 58 minutes.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I could go on for quite a while.

12:10 p.m.

Mr. Cunningham: Earlier today, I asked the Premier a question regarding the Order Paper process and I must say I was attracted to his response. The question on the Order Paper I referred to was number 276 in my name. I haven’t looked today but I guess there are a number of questions there and I am sensitive to the cost associated with the tabling of these answers as requested.

When I contemplated the question, my original concern, sir, was that in Ontario I sense from the time that I watch television -- I am usually limited to Canadian football and the news -- that we are spending a lot more.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Why do you restrict your horizons so much? Why wouldn’t you sort of --

Mr. Cunningham: If I can respond to your interjection, sir, I am becoming less interested in Canadian football.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is your shortcoming, not mine.

Mr. Cunningham: We could probably talk about the shortcomings of the team here in this town. I won’t bore you with that.

Mr. Chairman: It really comes under this vote?

Mr. Cunningham: No, I guess it doesn’t.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You must be critical of your own team.

Mr. Cunningham: Not at all, sir, not at all. To get back to the point: We are spending a lot more, a horrendously larger amount, of public money on what have to be perceived to be quasi-political endeavours. I sense as well that we are expanding our expenditures in the context of not only government publications, house organs, propaganda items from time to time, but also in print and on radio and television.

It is just a hunch that I would publicly recant if the government’s public expenditures this year are less than they were last year or the year before, but my gut feeling is that they have increased tremendously. Having been in the advertising industry, I am not unaware of the incentive that exists for, say, the government advertising agency of record or some of the lesser lights, as they would be, that are involved in government advertising.

A lot of money is made in production; a tremendous amount of money is made in the commission fees they obtain by placing ads in the newspapers, on radio and on television. There is a built-in incentive for any government advertising agency to pursue actively and aggressively, communications programs. It is not always in the best interest of the company to suggest that program might be a little more modest. Hypothetically, a program could cost $200,000 and might well do. But when the agency is calling the shots, and there seems to be an open purse on the part of the government, there is no reason why the program doesn’t end up spending $750,000 or maybe even $1 million in advertising.

In view of the restraint program the government has been conducting, we are going to have to make sure in the future that every dollar that is spent by government, whether it is a government run by the Premier or by us, is going to be in the public interest and spent with far more consideration than we have seen in the last four or five years. We just don’t have the luxury of wasting money. And I sense that we are wasting literally millions of dollars through this government’s advertising programs.

The questions I asked through the Order Paper -- and I will submit them again and pursue them as vigorously as I can to obtain the information -- were not particularly complex and I regret if they were. I was asking what regulations or guidelines the government had with regard to the selection of its advertising agencies. I would think those guidelines are established and that they should be public knowledge. They should be, at least, for the advertising agencies that would like to do business with this government regardless of their political persuasions, if they have any.

I would hope the Premier would have such guidelines.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Like the federal guide.

Mr. Cunningham: You talk about it; I don’t see much change in your operation here. Our friends at Camp and Foster have been doing very well here for a long time.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Very good outfit.

Mr. Cunningham: Oh, sure they are. The government doesn’t offer any tenders or public involvement for other advertising agencies at all -- and there are hundreds of good ones, especially little ones. The Premier might consider putting a notice in Marketing magazine in Ontario to encourage and develop proposals from non-government-associated agencies and he might have a more open approach to dealing with advertising agencies across Ontario.

I would like to know what agencies the government is doing business with. I think the government would know that; I think that would be a simple matter because it sends them a lot of money. It sends them money, I think, on a monthly basis which they are all, I am sure, doing very well by.

I wanted to know as well, and the Premier will pardon my cynicism, what government agencies are involved actively on the part of the Progressive Conservative Party. I am wondering to what end they might be wearing the same hat. It is not an unusual question; I do not think it is an unfair question.

I wanted to know the advertising expenditures from 1973 to the current year, year by year. For historical purposes, we should well know what we spent in 1973, and each year thereafter. I know it is difficult to keep track of it all when one has a $15 billion budget, but I am sure we would know exactly how much has been spent. I would not think it would be too much difficulty for Mr. Campbell McDonald, or probably one of his junior assistants, and he probably has a number, to find out exactly what has been spent.

I wanted to know, frankly, what trends have developed within Ontario Hydro. I appreciate the Premier’s view with regard to the autonomy of Ontario Hydro and its ability to run its own affairs, but I believe it is accountable to this Legislature and it is accountable to the government; at least, it should be. I would like to know to what end Hydro is involving itself in massive and expensive advertising programs.

I wanted to know, as well, the guidelines and regulations with regard to government advertising in Ontario. In my view, sir, the Premier and his government have moved from what would be advocacy advertising, or the informative type of advertising, to the promotion of what has to be considered to be a point of view, a point of view that is generally supportive of the government. Frankly, Mr. Chairman, if you want to get right down to it, it cannot be considered to be a proper expenditure of public moneys nor, in the democratic sense, can it be considered to be appropriate, by any means, in the context of fair play.

I offer the House an example. The Minister of Industry and Tourism, almost on a daily basis, is reaching the saturation point on commercial radio with his own program. From a strictly nonpartisan point of view, how would it be possible to develop the name awareness of an opposition candidate, be it a candidate for the nomination for the Progressive Conservative Party in St. Andrew-St. Patrick, should we be fortunate to see such a contest, or a Liberal candidate or an NDP candidate? I see some laughing over there. I do not know whether it is wishful thinking on the part of the Premier’s staff, or if that was a reflection on a cabinet point of view. I have heard that.

Be that as it may, the Minister of Industry and Tourism is on the radio as often as any commercial performer. He should be a member of the Association of Canadian Television and Radio Artists.

Hon. Mr. Davis: He may be.

Mr. Cunningham: He may well be. The Premier is right. I hope he is not getting a commission. That is a tremendous advantage for him. Maybe I am cynical, but he is on day after day. That is our friend Larry creating new jobs. “This is what we have done for you.” I have some problem with the integrity of the program, and I have some very real difficulties with the idea of government ministers out personally involving themselves in what has to be an expensive self-aggrandizement at public expense.

I do not know whether they are anticipating the Premier’s retirement and they are anxious to get themselves a little better known across the province, or they want to get themselves a little better known across St. Andrew-St. Patrick, or wherever, but it is a tremendously expensive program and I do not think it is in the public interest.

I want to conclude my remarks by asking the Premier if he will direct his staff to live up to the intent of the letter that he favoured your cabinet with. Let me quote, because the Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Pope) made comments here in the House on October 9. He quoted the Premier’s letter and, basically, it said:

“Between now and the time freedom of information legislation is enacted, and the administrative apparatus for its operation is in place, there is a great deal we can do to give the policy of open government meaning and consistency. A step that can be taken in this interim period is to encourage open and responsive behaviour among public servants in their daily dealings with the public, particularly including members of the Legislative Assembly and representatives of the news media.”

I realize these questions may take some time. I was not counting in getting the information within a week, or even two weeks, but I thought that possibly it would be within the ability of the government, if it was truly sincere with regard to what the Premier has said, and what really is in the public interest, that this information might have been forthcoming within three weeks or a month.

12:20 p.m.

I do not make a habit of putting a lot of questions on the Order Paper. Probably in the course of five years, I have only put on five, six or maybe seven -- my memory may well be corrected; the Premier may want to correct it for me right now. I do not make a habit of it. Generally, I use the provision of the standing orders in a responsible way and in a manner that I would suggest is common to almost every member of the assembly. We do not abuse question period by asking highly technical questions or questions that require a lot of research. We certainly do not ask the Premier those questions because we know we have less than one hour once we are through asking the question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: They are always of urgent public importance.

Mr. Cunningham: Absolutely. I do not think it urgent and dire that we receive this information immediately but I suggest it would be in the public interest to table the information, say, within three weeks or as soon as the Premier possibly could. I cannot see any reason, in view of the fact that the questions to which I have referred are so straightforward, a matter of record, invariably a matter of budget record, why the information would not have been available within the confines of three weeks or one month.

I hope the Premier will have a discussion possibly, with our friend, Mr. McDonald, and his staff and we will see this information tabled as quickly as possible and thereafter we may see there is some credibility to what the Premier has said in the context of open government.

As I reflect upon the events we had earlier this year with the standing committee on public accounts pressuring the government to obtain the public opinion polls financed at public expense, I really see some improvements in the attitude of the tabling of that information.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Are you going to table your polls that were taken at some public expense?

Mr. Cunningham: Sir, the difference between your polls --

Mr. S. Smith: No public expense at all, not one cent.

Mr. Cunningham: That is exactly right. The difference between your polls and our polls, apart from great public expense --

Hon. Mr. Davis: You mean you did not use the government’s --

Mr. S. Smith: It did not cost the government one cent.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Come on, Stuart, it is a pretty fine line.

Mr. Cunningham: We do not spend one tenth of what you do.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I can hear Jimmy Deeks, “This is your friendly Liberal pollster calling from Queen’s Park.”

Mr. Cunningham: Your light is on again.

Mr. S. Smith: Do not say it is a public expense if it is not a public expense; be accurate.

Mr. Cunningham: I will conclude my remarks because I know the Premier wants to get into his.


Mr. Cassidy: On a point of privilege, just before my colleague from Downsview has a word, in case there is any misinterpretation from the Premier or other members of his party, I want to make it clear from what I was saying before that I am proud to have four MPPs who are representative of the Italian community on the side of the New Democratic Party. They are, of course, representatives of all of the people in the ridings they represent.

Mr. Rotenberg: And I represent the Italians in my riding too.

Mr. S. Smith: Yes, you do; very badly, unfortunately.


Mr. Chairman: Order. The member for Downsview has been trying to get the floor since April.

Mr. Di Santo: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will be very brief. I understand that the more we go towards the election, the more every candidate in part will try to gain the ethnic vote because it is a crucial vote in many ridings; that is fine, but I think that should not be forgotten when the election has passed.

The remarks I would like to address to the Premier, through you, Mr. Chairman, are in relation to the patriation of the constitution. We accepted patriation and are also in favour of the approach taken by the federal government, as you know. But something disturbs me particularly as an “ethnic.” One of the Liberal provisions in the language rights is that minority-language education rights be extended to the French and English, except for the immigrants who go to Quebec who are compelled to learn French. That is grossly unfair. If education becomes a right, then it has to be universal. At the very moment when one tries to qualify and restrict a right, then it is no longer a right.

In the same context, I do not think this government has shown leadership in its own province in regard to what I think is a very important right all residents should enjoy, that is, minority-language education rights in languages other than French or English. During the summer the constitutional committee discussed this issue at length. We understand all the implications, political and otherwise. The committee came out with a proposal I think should be accepted and implemented by the government. We have examples in many other jurisdictions.

We were provided with an extremely interesting package of literature from Massachusetts where bilingual education is provided wherever the numbers warrant. It has not created any problem at all. Actually, it helped to solve the many social problems among the low-income groups and among the recent immigrant families, especially those from Puerto Rico. It helped to solve the problems they were having in terms of education for immigrants or children of immigrants and other social problems such as juvenile delinquency.

I would also like to bring to the attention of the Premier that in Alberta where there is a Tory government, and I understand at this point he is not very fond of them, they have set up a Ukrainian school from grades one to 12. The high school is also Ukrainian. The children are taught in Ukrainian. It does not create any major problem in Alberta.

I know the Premier will tell me his government has made a step forward with the introduction of the heritage language program, in the typical, traditional way of the Conservative Party in Ontario, but that is not good enough. The program is not compulsory. It is not part of the curriculum and in many instances, even here in Metropolitan Toronto where we have the largest ethnic group, the largest group of immigrants, we have boards which resist the institution of heritage language programs.

Unless this government gives leadership -- and at some point I hope the Premier understands that issue -- if he introduces this program he will antagonize only a small number of rednecks, people who are there and will be there and will oppose any progressive program, but the majority of the people of Ontario will agree with him.

It is only fair at this point, while we are discussing the new constitution of Canada, that this government give leadership and recognize the right of other groups to be instructed in their language without destroying the fabric of this country. It will actually help to build a stronger and better Canada.

12:30 p.m.

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Chairman, I will précis some of my concerns when the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton) returns at the beginning of the week. Really, I think the Premier should take that gentleman aside and try to calm him down. He is close, I think, to having a nervous breakdown. He is going berserk in public and making the most strange and unseemly comments for a cabinet minister to make. The kinds of remarks he made yesterday with respect to that very pleasant gathering outside the front of the assembly are in the order of frenzied nonsense. The Premier should take his hard-working colleague aside and try to calm him down.

He was concerned about the risk to children at the demonstration. Was he concerned about the risk to the children, perhaps from Salome Bey singing, “He’s got the whole world in his hands”? Was he concerned about the performers from the Sesame Street television program entertaining the children? He had threatened to call the children’s aid society to make sure no child at the demonstration was in need of protection. Did he notice that the executive director of the Children’s Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto was there in the crowd demonstrating? I think he was carrying a placard. I won’t say what the placard said. It was uncomplimentary to the Premier, I believe. That kind of thing is uncalled-for.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The placards were uncalled-for?

Mr. McClellan: No. The placards were obviously essential. Really though, I think it is regrettable when a minister who has the power of enforcing very tough legislation and the power of the purse over day care programs in the province makes those kinds of threatening statements because some people are gathering here who happen not to agree with his political views. It is totally uncalled- for to make those kinds of threats and use that kind of abusive language against members of the public who come down to Queen’s Park to redress their grievances, whatever their age. I will challenge anybody on that side to say that any child who was at that demonstration yesterday had anything other than a good time. I will pursue that directly with the minister, but I wanted to raise it to the Premier and to hope that he will try to calm his increasingly frenzied minister down.

One of the reasons perhaps that the Minister for Community and Social Services is so increasingly out of control is the fact that his government is making it patently impossible for him to fulfil his responsibilities. Let me refer simply to one instance, because it is something I feel very deeply about. When the government brought in the new tax grant proposal which replaced the previous senior citizens’ tax credit system, one group of people was particularly hard hit. I am not for the time being talking about seniors; I am talking about the disabled, for example, who live in charitable institutions.

They were previously eligible for benefits under the Ontario tax credit system. They are no longer eligible for benefits under the Ontario tax grant system. In my own constituency the residents of Bellwoods Park House, for example, were receiving on average $248 a year under the Ontario tax credit program. These benefits have been stripped away. So the only discretionary income these folks have, and others in the same group, is the $61-a-month comfort allowance.

I do not think it is an act of exceptional generosity to compensate for the loss of the tax credit. I raised this in estimates with the Minister of Community and Social Services. He did not disagree with me. In fact, I judged from the degree of embarrassment he showed on the issue that he had tried to take this to his cabinet and he had made representations to the cabinet not to penalize the disabled when the new tax grant system was introduced, but to adjust the comfort allowance to compensate for any loss under the new program. He did not say this, but I know the minister well, and I think I could tell from the expression on his face and comments he made that he had tried to take it to cabinet and cabinet had turned him down.

Let me simply ask the Premier to have a second look at that. I don’t think we are talking about a large amount of expenditure, I don’t think there are that many people who would qualify under the program. But surely simple decency would require this government not to strip away any of the relatively small amount of discretionary income that the physically handicapped have available to them. So I would ask the Premier and the Provincial Secretary for Social Development, who is here in the House, to have another look at that and see whether it isn’t possible to come up with an appropriate increase in the comfort allowance for the disabled who are living in residential facilities.

The Deputy Chairman: I think we should be looking at both votes 201 and 301 at this time.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Chairman, I will sum up very briefly. Perhaps I may not even take until one o’clock, and if we are finished at five to one we might presume that it is one o’clock. But I can also be provoked into going to 1:10, if necessary.

I regret -- I am sure he will be back very shortly -- the leader of the New Democratic Party isn’t here to --

Mr. McClellan: In one minute he will be back.

Hon. Mr. Davis: One minute? I guess I can sort of ramble around for a minute. I would like to take the observations in reverse order and leave my comments on the suggestions from the leader of the official opposition until the conclusion of my remarks.

In the interim, I might say to the member for Downsview, who has left -- I know to look after public responsibilities -- I made a note of what he said. I would say to the member for Bellwoods, I made a note of what he too said. I have made a note of what the member for Magna Carta said with respect to the question of the yards, and I have a copy of his letter here. We are pursuing it, of course, as I told him some months ago that we would.

I am still waiting. It is now 30 seconds.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Two minutes.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Two minutes. Listen let’s get started because I know that the members will convey to him the remarks that I have to offer, the overwhelming logic of the things I am going to say. I know they will be so totally convinced that they will be able to persuade their leader to reassess some of the things he said here this morning.

I don’t intend to deal at any length with the discussions that have already taken place with respect to the constitutional matters. The leader of the New Democratic Party did put on the record his point of view, his support for some things, his differences on some matters, which I still think were somewhat different from the things said by the member for Riverdale. I really do ask the members opposite to see if there aren’t modest contradictions and inconsistencies.

I also understand his desire to poke a little fun because my point of view isn’t shared totally by the leader of our national party. But as I pointed out in my interruptions, which I shouldn’t have made, I really do have to emphasize that there is not total unanimity among the New Democratic Party family of Canada. I think it is fair to state there is certainly less than unanimity, that there are some disagreements, and that is understandable. I don’t criticize it, I don’t quarrel with it. But please, people in glass houses really shouldn’t throw stones, and I think that --

Mr. Warner: They shouldn’t take baths, either.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Of course they shouldn’t. I agree with that.

The leader of the New Democratic Party, in his attempt to indicate to his constituents how active he has been in Ottawa Centre, really spent a disproportionate amount of his time explaining his involvement with the courthouse. I understand that, Mr. Chairman. He is the member who represents a part of that area and I understand full well why he would lead off for some 20 minutes on the Ottawa courthouse, before the constitution, before the economic situation, before the legislation that was debated yesterday afternoon.

I might even talk now for the next 20 minutes about the great riding of Brampton, that fine place -- growing community, stability, economic opportunities, all of those things. We don’t have a new courthouse to debate.

Mr. McClellan: Labour unrest.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We always have those things that are there to be solved. We do our best to solve them, and we have had some measure of success.

But dealing with some of the economic issues, because the leader of the New Democratic Party -- and I think he didn’t really mean to say it -- said he didn’t want to be deceived by, or that he bad been deceived by, the Premier of this province; was that not the word he used? I really don’t think he meant to use it. He said he hoped he wouldn’t be disappointed today, and I want the members to tell him I hope he isn’t disappointed. We do have a different approach to some of these issues.

12:40 p.m.


Hon. Mr. Davis: I listened to you very politely, attentively. I even nodded my head at one or two points you made. You don’t know which ones because you were so taken up in your own rhetoric you weren’t paying any attention to anyone else.

Mr. Warner: I thought you were falling asleep.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, could you blame me? I want to make it abundantly clear, the leader of the New Democratic Party attempted to paint a scenario in his observations because we did not support the private bill that was introduced, that philosophically we were opposed to full employment. That is totally, utterly ridiculous in any scenario he might want to paint.

This government has done more to seek employment, we have had a better record than any competitive jurisdiction and the figures are here to prove it. I will go through the whole litany for the members again if they want. We look at the situation today. We look at the economic problems here in this province and I listen to the leader of the Liberal Party and I say to myself are they living in, do they travel in the same province I know? Maybe they don’t travel abroad quite as often as I do although they do get to some other jurisdictions.

I have been to other parts of the world. I have been to other parts of North America. I listen to those two gentlemen opposite and I say to myself, are they doing anyone a great service by the totally negative approach they take, even the leader of the Liberal Party? I have to say to Dr. Negative, he is one of the most negative people in public life at this moment I have seen.

Does the member for Hamilton West know what he is saying? I have some of his quotes. I don’t mind his being critical of me. He is always so subtle about it. He is very gentle. He is very kind. He is very tolerant.

Here’s a great one: “Ontario has become the sick old man of Canada. We are led by a small-minded parochial individual.” I know those are priceless phrases but here’s the one that intrigued me: “We continue to have the crummiest manufacturing sector in the western world.” That’s the kind of thing.

I am trying to offer advice, as I do every year in my estimates, and I sense the Leader of the Opposition really has accepted some of my advice. He wasn’t quite as personal. Leadership wasn’t the main focus. That wasn’t going to be the main criterion in determining the next election. He stayed away from that and I know why. I happen to know what his polls revealed to him, the polls that were not taken at public expense but using government lines. Can you hear the conversation taking place, Mr. Chairman? “This is Mr. Deeks. I am calling from Queen’s Park. I just happen to work for the Liberal Party of Ontario and I wanted to assess up here in Thunder Bay what your view is on these certain issues. If there were an election tomorrow”-- Did Jimmy do the phone calls for the member, or how was it done? I am not being critical. I am just having a little fun. I can picture it all happening.

But what the Leader of the Opposition is saying, and indirectly in some respects so was the leader of the New Democratic Party, when he says we continue to have the crummiest manufacturing sector in the western world -- it is time to be critical of the government and yes, we have a responsibility; it is our task to provide certain incentives, to provide a climate -- and I gather he has been making those statements all over Ontario, he is saying to the workers and the people at Stelco that they don’t know what they are doing, that they are running a crummy establishment.

I happen to believe that Stelco, Dofasco and many industries in this province are run by competent people with qualified work forces who are competing on an international basis without any hesitation, and this is true of so many of the manufacturing sectors.

Mr. S. Smith: Not enough of them.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, come on. All right, fine. Let’s start enumerating. Why doesn’t the member go around this province talking to those individual manufacturers and the workers and saying, “You people are doing a crummy job”? Why doesn’t he have the intestinal fortitude to do that? He makes these overwhelming generalized statements. He is doing himself no service. He is doing the people of this province no service in making that overall condemnation of the men and women who work in the manufacturing sector in this province, because the reality is they can compete, the reality is they do a good job.

Mr. S. Smith: An $18 billion deficit in international manufacturing and trade.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, come on. You play with figures.


Mr. S. Smith: The branch plant economy is dragging this country down and you know it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is utter and total nonsense and you know it. Don’t glance up into the press gallery to see if any of your friends are watching.

The Deputy Chairman: I think the members can follow it, but Hansard has a hard time getting it, when more than one member is speaking at the same time.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Yes they do. I apologize to Hansard because the Leader of the Opposition --

Mr. S. Smith: Would you yield the floor for a moment?

Hon. Mr. Davis: You made your speech, it’s my turn. Your pathetic performance is --

Mr. S. Smith: You have looked on while the manufacturing sector has deteriorated very badly.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Chairman, I just challenge the Leader of the Opposition to make those statements right in the plants, right to the workers. You may have no feeling for them --

Mr. S. Smith: There is nothing wrong with the workers. It’s the branch plant management.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- you may think they are totally incompetent. We do not run the manufacturing sector in this province.

Mr. S. Smith: Are you going to give me the floor a moment?

Hon. Mr. Davis: No.

Mr. S. Smith: You do not want to yield, you do not want to --

Hon. Mr. Davis: No. I just want to get finished here.

Mr. S. Smith: There is nothing wrong with the workers at all.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, and there is nothing wrong with the management. The only thing that is wrong, of course, is government. You are selling them short.

Mr. S. Smith: I am not selling it short. They have a truncated purpose --

Hon. Mr. Davis: Truncated purpose, what utter hogwash. You use the $18 billion trade deficit figure, sure, that is one figure. Do you have the fabricated trade figures? Do you know what they offset in terms of the total manufactured goods? Are you telling the people of Ontario that $18 billion is the national figure? Are you telling them that now?

Mr. S. Smith: Yes, I am.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Of course not. You put it in the provincial context.

Mr. S. Smith: On a point of privilege, Mr. Chairman. I made it very plain --

Hon. Mr. Davis: I know how plain you made it.

Mr. S. Smith: I made it very plain that the $18 billion deficit in international trade and manufactured end products is a national figure, and I make it very plain that it is offset by certain other figures whereby the balance of trade eventually comes almost into balance and sometimes even into better than balance. I have made that very plain, but I also make it plain that our role in this country is by and large as the industrial heartland of this nation, and if there is such a large discrepancy and it gets larger year by year, such a large deficit in international trade terms in manufactured end products, that is a bad performance by Ontario. I say it has nothing to do with the workers and nothing to do with the Canadian-owned industries. It has to do with our branch plant manufacturing sector which is largely not doing the research and you know it is not, and is largely, with certain exceptions, in fact --

Mr. Rotenberg: You have made your point of privilege.

Mr. S. Smith: You do not like to hear it, do you, David? Poor fellow. Just listen to the truth from time to time.

Hon. Mr. Gregory: You are an utter stranger to the truth.

Mr. S. Smith: Your function is not to compete internationally and that is why they are not doing so.

The Deputy Chairman: I have been trying to listen to the point of privilege and I do not think --

Hon. Mr. Davis: I just quote from London, Ontario, September 8, and if the quotation is wrong, fine, but I tell you I know how you deliver the -- I don’t know how you deliver them because I am not there when you do.

Mr. S. Smith: Read the quotation and I will tell you if it is right or wrong.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The quote is here and it may be wrong, "The province now has an international trade deficit in the manufacturing sector of $18 billion.”

Mr. S. Smith: That is a wrong quote. The reporters don’t understand what I said.

Hon. Mr. Davis: In other words, what you are saying is the reporters do not understand you. I have got news for you, I do not understand you some days either, but I come back to this point because I think it is very fundamental and it really relates to some of the things that you have been saying on behalf of your party around the province.

No one is saying the economy of this province is as good as it should be at this moment, but I --

Mr. S. Smith: Larry Grossman said it first.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No one is saying it. He is not saying that. It is going to improve. It has to improve, but do not go around saying that we are dragging down the national economy. You people talk about the multinationals, you talk about the United Auto Workers, you talk about all of these things, and you compare our performance in terms of those competing jurisdictions. Do not tell us all about Sweden, West Germany or Japan. Take a look at the states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, those states that really combine in an economic sense to be our real competition in terms of our economic performance. Look at the figures there. Look at what we have accomplished and look what is happening in those jurisdictions.

Mr. S. Smith: Look in the parking lot and you will see Japan is our competition.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Sure we know it is our competition, but I will tell you something else. Look at the 10-year record, look at the gross national product development in Japan compared to ours. I will tell you something else, I would be very careful if I were you wandering around the province saying that we should impose here the kind of social structure in the order that they have in Japan.

Mr. S. Smith: I have never said that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You have been making some very interesting comparisons.

Mr. S. Smith: I am saying that we should use their industrial policies.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Sure, their industrial policy. All right, you relate it to me. I happen to know what it is and if that is what you want to have here, if you want to have massive government involvement in terms of dictating exactly some of the activities of the private sector, fine, but I have to tell you this, they are not opposed to the multinationals. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. In fact, they are one of the greatest multinationals in terms of trade and industrial development. You always try to have it both ways. I do not say that unkindly, but it is true.

12:50 p.m.

You talk about research and development. This government has been promoting more research and development. We have pressured the federal government and it is beginning to pay off. You talk about high technology. I have to tell the Leader of the Opposition in a very friendly fashion, it is great to come into this House and talk about high technology and research and development when you have been -- along with the member who sits behind you, one seat to the other direction -- so totally negative on one of the truly Canadian and Ontarian developments in technology in the transportation field. Certainly you have been supportive. You are just delighted it is going into Hamilton.

Mr. S. Smith: That is massive government involvement. Make up your mind. That is massive government ownership let alone involvement.

Hon. Mr. Davis: But you are having it both ways. You are negative about it.

I am going to make this commitment here in the House today. When that new transit system opens in the city of Hamilton and when the Leader of the Opposition is back on academic staff at McMaster, I am personally going to invite him to attend that opening and share with the rest of us one of the great days for the city of Hamilton and the surrounding communities.

You go around knocking work done by Canadians. The business community and the labour force are beginning to understand some of the things you are saying. They are beginning to understand you are being critical of them. They understand you are, in fact, being critical of the working men and women of this province, the managers in this province. Go up to Kitchener.

We share one or two mutual friends -- your friend on my right and I, and I will not even name them -- who happen to be in the manufacturing sector. They are even in his constituency. I have to tell you, they do not like what you have been saying. They may still vote for him unfortunately, but they do not like what you have been saying because it is a reflection on their capacity.

I happen to have a greater measure of confidence in the people of this province in terms of our ability to compete. I think we have done darn well and we are going to do better but do not twist it.

Mr. Cunningham: You have not balanced the budget in 10 years.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We have not balanced the budget in 10 years? Your leader says things are so bad. I defy any of you to look objectively at any other jurisdiction of a comparable nature and tell me they made greater progress in economic development, their employment figures are any better, their standard of living is any better, their opportunities are any better. You will not find it. And do not tell me about Japan.

Mr. S. Smith: West Germany.

Hon. Mr. Davis: They have a certain luxury in West Germany and you might even endorse this sort of policy. When they run into economic difficulty, when they run into a surplus in the work force, what happens? You know and I know that a goodly number of the work force return to other nations of the world. You know that has happened.

Mr. Cunningham: That is what Alberta is going to do to you.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Don’t be childish. This province has assimilated people from all countries and sister provinces over the years. Without question, it has one of the highest standards of living.

Mr. S. Smith: We have shipped a number of our young workers out to Alberta. Our figures would be worse if they didn’t go.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Certainly there are some young people out in Alberta. You talk about me being parochial. Don’t you be so parochial. Why shouldn’t a young Ontarian go to Alberta to seek an opportunity? Certainly they should.

Mr. S. Smith: Then why shouldn’t somebody leave West Germany and go somewhere else?

Hon. Mr. Davis: You know the point I am making. West Germany is a country. Canada is a country. Ontario is part of Canada. Don’t talk to me about being parochial, you are so parochial in economic terms you really don’t know where it is at. You go to various parts of the province, you talk about the multinationals --

Mr. S. Smith: You are worried, aren’t you?

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, I am not worried at all. I can live with my own conscience. I heard your observations about polls when you made them in Ottawa. I think I have a better knowledge of what is in your polls. Who is doing them, somebody from McMaster? I have a better understanding and I happen to know why leadership has not become a matter of debate in my estimates this year like last year. Why don’t you tell your friends in the party how far you are running behind in the Liberal Party of Ontario? Why don’t you level with them? You try and con the press into thinking how much progress you are making. I know how much progress you are making.

Mr. S. Smith: I have told them you are running well ahead in that regard, but your party is now behind.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh come on, that is utter nonsense and you know it.

Mr. S. Smith: We will wait and see.

Hon. Mr. Davis: But of course we will wait and see, but you know --

Mr. Cunningham: Rotenberg is dragging you down.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Do you know what you are doing for your party? I won’t say it. I was really coming back to the Leader of the Opposition at the end instead of at the beginning.

Mr. S. Smith: You are listening for a change.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Listen, I am one of the best listeners in public life I know; I really am.

Mr. S. Smith: If you could hear as well, we would all be better off.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I can hear. I listen, I hear and believe it or not I understand. Those are three attributes you might, on some occasions, follow. The last one I never expect you to understand and that is a bit of humility or modesty. That will never be a characteristic, and I don’t say that is all bad.

The leader of the New Democratic Party made some references to where we stand on certain issues. You are asking me, and I am saying this to some of your colleagues, that you had been deceived before. I really don’t think you meant to say that, did you?

Mr. Cassidy: Say what?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Say deceived, that you had been deceived before and you didn’t want to be disappointed today?

Mr. Cassidy: I have been here for nine years and my capacity for hope remains, but I want to say, Mr. Premier, that you dash it constantly.

Hon. Mr. Davis: If I dash some of your expectations, then I feel that in some respects I really am doing the job relatively well. But I don’t say that about all of your expectations.

Mr. Cassidy: Or the expectations of a vast number of people in Ontario.

Mr. Rotenberg: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman --

The Deputy Chairman: I think we are all enjoying this this morning.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Chairman, I wanted to get around to one of the observations made by the leader of the New Democratic Party. I know the fun and games you like to have over there, but you are very vulnerable. You really shouldn’t, particularly in his absence, start to attack the Treasurer of Ontario, saying, “Where is this strong voice?" I can recall you and so many others saying that Treasury should have some of its activities performed by other ministries. Intergovernmental Affairs has assumed some, and Industry and Tourism others.

Be very cautious, I say to the member for Ottawa Centre, about trying to suggest that the Treasurer is less than adequate for his responsibilities. I have been associated with a lot of Treasurers and they have been very competent people, but none has been any more competent than the present Treasurer of Ontario. When you start questioning his talents --

Mr. S. Smith: Dreams and visions --

Hon. Mr. Davis: A little vision is good for everybody.

Mr. S. Smith: Thirty-seven million dollars’ worth of dreams.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is all right; a little vision is good for everybody.

Mr. S. Smith: It is a nightmare, not a dream.

Mr. Cassidy: When Frank Miller speaks, he speaks with the voice of William Davis.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I always speak for myself.

Mr. Cassidy: So you endorse Miller but not what he says.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I certainly endorse what he says, but I always speak for myself, like the leader of the New Democratic Party. However, I am never sure whether he is speaking for himself or whether he is dictated to by his annual meeting where the party faithful say, “Mr. Cassidy, these are the things you will say; these are the polices you will follow; this is what hour you will get up in the morning; this is when you will go to bed at night” -- a truly democratic system of party politics where their leader is told directly what to do and you better not think for yourself, act for yourself, or --

Mr. McClellan: As opposed to your trained seals.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is a slight exaggeration.

Mr Cassidy: Didn’t you go for four years without an annual meeting?

Hon. Mr. Davis: We have our annual meetings every two years. You will not get me saying we have it every four years.

Mr. S. Smith: They eliminate teachers’ strikes and threaten never to meet them again.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I never said I wouldn’t meet them again; I don’t act in that sort of way. I will meet anybody, anywhere, any time, with one or two exceptions.

Mr. Chairman, I was going through some of the economic --

Mr. Cassidy: The only one that exceeds your kind of party democracy is Mrs. Thatcher.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I don’t know, Mr. Chairman, what Margaret Thatcher’s concepts are. I can only say I have enjoyed a very pleasant relationship with the members of the Progressive Conservative Party of this province now for some 21 years and, tomorrow, 18 years as a member of the executive council of this province. They have been very supportive of me. I am delighted, and I would like to put it on the record.

Mr. S. Smith: They will buy you a nice retirement present in February.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, of course. The Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Chairman, would love to see me retire -- I understand that. Actually I wasn’t feeling well the first couple of days of the week, but these past two days I haven’t felt better in a long time. I like the stimulation of the House; I like the enlightened provocation that comes from across there, knowing full well they do not believe half of the things they feel they have to say, some of which I heard here this morning.

1 p.m.

I will deal with one or two other issues that were raised. We are talking about job security and plant closings. We are concerned. We do not know that, in fact, one can legislate solutions to all of these problems. There is a far better and long-term answer, and I happen to think and know that some of the member’s colleagues -- not here in the House, but elsewhere -- share this point of view. The best way to resolve the issue is to have the economy moving ahead so that the issue in itself disappears. That is the best answer. There is no question about it.

It is not a philosophical hangup. It is not a matter of ideology with respect to severance pay or no severance pay. It is there in a number of contracts. It is there as a matter of procedure in a number of organizations. I said this when Mr. White was in with his group last summer. I said it as it related to pensions. I think we can solve a good part of the problem, not totally because it is very complicated. But it is a question of how you do this in a way that does not deteriorate, or make more difficult, the investment climate and the economic climate here in Ontario.

I am prepared to be a leader in the sense of having provincial legislation. That is not the inhibiting factor. But what we have to be very careful about, and I think what the committee has to assess, is that we do not put ourselves in a position where in the longer term we are doing the working men and women of this province a disservice. I think we have to approach it with very real care and a great deal of logic.

On the question of the amount of notice, tell me a province in Canada that has a longer notice period? Tell me of any state of the union? In terms of so many of our statutes, we have a degree of worker protection, not perfection but, nonetheless, comparable to any place in North America, which is by and large the area where we have to compete economically.

I know there are four minutes left to go, and I also would like to get away at one o’clock.

Mr. Cunningham: On a point of order, there is only one minute left.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, there are four minutes in the estimates and one minute on the clock. I know you are anxious to get back into your riding.

Mr. Cunningham: Then respond to my questions.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Listen, I listened to you very pleasantly this morning. You did not hear me interrupt you. I gave you my response in question period. If you want to reiterate all the things you said here you will get the same response. You will get the information as soon as we can give it to you.

I want to thank the members opposite for their constructive and helpful advice in the estimates of the Premier’s office and the cabinet office. I will say in conclusion, Mr. Chairman, sure, there is give and take here in the political process. I understand that, I enjoy it, but please just remember one thing, when you are as critical as you are of the economy of this province please understand that government has a responsibility. I never minimize it. I will never try to evade it. But the reality is that the economic future of this province depends very directly on the working men and women, the people in management, the risk takers, the entrepreneurs, the corporations. That is really where it is at.

You do no one a great service by suggesting that they happen to be a part of, how did you phrase it, the most underrated, the most whatever it was, crummiest manufacturing sector in the western world. It is not true, it is not fair, it is not factual, and I know that over the weekend the Leader of the Opposition will want to reassess it and perhaps explain it in some other fashion.

Votes 201 and 301 agreed to.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Wells, the committee of supply reported certain resolutions.

The House adjourned at 1:04 p.m.