31st Parliament, 4th Session

L099 - Mon 27 Oct 1980 / Lun 27 oct 1980

The House met at 2:04 p.m.



Mr. Speaker: On Friday, in my absence, the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) raised the matter of correspondence, which I have received from the Solicitor General of Canada, concerning wiretapping. I am tabling this letter along with my reply. Members should know that copies have been sent to the House leaders, the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), and the chairman of the procedural affairs committee. Through an oversight, these copies were not forwarded until today, for which I apologize, but they have been tabled for the edification of any member who might wish to peruse that correspondence between the Solicitor General of Canada and myself.


Mr. Speaker: Last Thursday, the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren) drew to my attention the fact that the Minister of Industry and Tourism had not complied with the provisions of standing order 26(c), which is as follows: “After any policy statement the minister shall table a compendium of background information.

In checking the records of the House, I find that no compendium was tabled, and I now invite the Minister of Industry and Tourism to do so at the earliest possible moment.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I will try to do that before question period is over today.


Mr. Speaker: The member for Kent-Elgin (Mr. McGuigan) rose on a point of privilege concerning the contents of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Discounting and Allowances in the Food Industry in Ontario. The honourable member objects to the commissioner’s use of the word “allegation” and the failure of the commission to call his son and a store manager as witnesses.

The proceedings of the commission of inquiry are in no way insulting to the member in the sense that his conduct as a member of this House is called into question. It does not appear to affect in any way his position as a member of this Legislature and is therefore not a point of privilege.


Mr. Speaker: I would also like to take advantage of the opportunity to remind all members of the points of order raised by the member for Downsview (Mr. Di Santo) and the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) which I heard last week concerning the continuing inability of members to gain the floor for the purposes of asking oral questions.

In checking the records and listening to the tapes I find that we have indeed spent an inordinate amount of time on questions from party leaders, in supplementary questions, and in very lengthy responses. It is not unreasonable that a question be posed without preamble and, similarly, that an answer be given with equal precision.

Members ought not to assume they will be granted a supplementary question, and I will make every effort to ensure that both sides of the House adhere to this policy. It is not for editorializing or giving something as a statement of fact when, indeed, it is just the opinion of the member posing the question. In essence of fairness, it is the responsibility of the chair to see that all members have ample opportunity to participate to the greatest extent possible in the question period. I would like to remind all honourable members of that fact.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I rise to express the sympathies and the sadness of the government and people on the passing of Judy LaMarsh. Judy LaMarsh was a political personality of great strength, presence and forcefulness and, on occasion, of some controversy, as are most politicians.

I will remember her as a very committed Canadian who felt deeply about her country and its people. I am very thankful that our paths crossed on a number of occasions, and I am proud to have been among the many who considered themselves her friend. Miss LaMarsh travelled far and wide but she always considered Niagara Falls, Ontario, her home and spoke fondly of her friends and supporters who today join Canadians across this nation in mourning her loss.

In sickness, as in periods of health, Miss LaMarsh exhibited great courage. In public, as in private life, she will be remembered for her warmth, sincerity and her absolute devotion and loyalty to the causes in which she believed. Judy LaMarsh never hesitated to speak her mind and one always knew where she stood on any given issue. Today, Canada has lost a great Canadian.

2:10 p.m.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I know that the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) will want to say a few words to the House on this occasion but, on behalf of the official opposition, I certainly want to associate all of us here with the remarks made by the Premier. All of us are saddened by the death of Miss LaMarsh who, I think, would be described as one of the most colourful and dedicated of all Canadians in our generation.

I remember hearing Miss LaMarsh for the first time. She had just entered politics. In fact, just before she decided to run, she was brought to a riding association as a brilliant lawyer. No sooner had I heard her than I came away with the feeling that, if she ever were to run, she would make a tremendous impact on Canadian politics. She certainly did so. She was witty, a fearless commentator on all the issues of the day.

Although I think her death was expected for some time, none the less we all feel bereaved, and I for one greatly admire the courage she showed during the latter days of her life. She has contributed a great deal to this country. All of us are very much in her debt. We are very lucky to have had Judy LaMarsh, a very great Canadian, with us, and we are saddened by her death.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I would like to join in the tributes being paid to Judy LaMarsh. Judy LaMarsh was not only an ardent member of her party who played an enormous role in the rebuilding of the Liberal Party of Canada after the dark days for that party from 1958 to 1962, but also a distinguished Canadian. She, as Minister of National Health and Welfare during the mid-1960s, was very much instrumental in great reforms of that time which I think have benefited all of us in Canada, including the Canada pension plan, medicare and the Canada assistance plan, all parts of a reformist drive which is not always present within the Liberal Party of Canada. She also helped us to identify ourselves to ourselves.

I can remember being on the steps of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa on New Year’s Eve, 1966 to 1967, at the inauguration of centennial year, when Judy LaMarsh was the minister responsible for the centennial celebrations. That was the first kind of time when a lot of people came together and began to get a feeling for what this country was really capable of. At the end of the speeches, the ceremonies and so on, for the first time in my knowledge, there was an outburst of fireworks from behind the Parliament Buildings that expressed that sense of joy and the wonder we all felt in Canada at that time and we all experienced later that year at Expo 1967.

Judy LaMarsh was at the time a rarity in politics, a woman who rose to the highest levels. She has been a distinguished representative of her sex, her party and of our country. We all mourn her death.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, I join with the leaders of the three parties in paying tribute to a dear friend who is now coming back home. She even planned this part of her life. Her friends will attest to the fact that those plans were indeed made by Judy.

In Niagara Falls, Judy LaMarsh has always been, and no doubt always will be, “Our Judy.” Other people think of this remarkable woman in terms of her public life as a colourful Secretary of State during Canada’s centennial year; as a first-class Minister of National Health and Welfare; as a capable, brilliant, persuasive and provocative politician; and as an articulate, warm-hearted and fascinating public speaker and radio personality. To us, the people of Niagara Falls, especially those of us who were fortunate enough to know her well, she was all these things and much, much more.

Judy was our friend and neighbour. She was our pride and joy. Although she travelled far and wide, achieving considerable fame throughout Canada and even beyond the borders of this country, she never forgot her roots. She could always be relied upon to be true to her principles, whatever the possible consequences. Her courage was enormous, her endurance and energy awe-inspiring. True to her beliefs, she did it her way.



Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. According to the document Proposals for Limited-Term Liquid Industrial Waste Solidification Facilities, submitted by his ministry to the Environmental Assessment Board in May 1980, the ministry recommended that Walker Brothers and the ministry become coproponents for a new solidification project in Ontario. According to this document, Walker Brothers has experience in liquid industrial waste management.

Could the minister explain how that could be, inasmuch as Walker Brothers has never been licensed to handle liquid industrial waste? Would the minister like to explain how that document came to refer to them as having experience? Did the people who made up this document know that, contrary to their certificate of approval, Walker Brothers has been handling tons of poisonous liquid industrial waste with virtually no control at all, totally against the certificate which the ministry has given them?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I think Walker Brothers has been handling non-hazardous liquid materials, and oily wastes were a part of its area of responsibility. They were using wastes that were not toxic; that is, road oils and those kinds of things. They were one of six or seven companies that made proposals to us on solidification. Their proposal was extremely important to us. In the final analysis we were looking at the quality of their proposal, and that is one of the major reasons why they were given the approval to proceed to an environmental assessment hearing on the concept of solidification.

They had an excellent proposal on the method itself. As the member probably knows, there are many different methods that are all somewhat similar but all somewhat different. They had one of the better proposals, and that is why they were made the coproponent.

Mr. S. Smith: The minister must have heard his own official say on W5 that Walker Brothers has never been licensed to handle so much as one gallon of liquid industrial waste. How is it that the ministry refers to them as people with experience in the matter? And -- how prophetic it was -- how is it the ministry allowed Walker Brothers to take in 34 metric tons of sludge, including toxic materials such as chromium and lead, completely in violation of the certificate of approval, and to receive $800,000 from the Ford Motor Company for handling that waste, completely against their certificate of approval? Would the minister care to comment on whether he has yet been able to find out the location of the very trucks full of liquid industrial waste that exist at that quarry?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Let me say a little bit about what actually was the process of that waste. There was waste at the Ford Motor Company. Sand was taken to the Ford Motor Company and mixed with that waste; then rather extensive tests were done for what might occur if leachate should evolve from the mixture. We were able to do those leachate tests. The results of those tests indicated that chromium would be present in the proportion of 0.1 part per million. Our guidelines would indicate it is acceptable to have one part per million for drinking water, say, of cattle. So that waste at Ford had a process through which it became an integral part of a solid material. It was mixed with the sand, as I explained, and the leachate tests done indicated it was well within those limits.

2:20 p.m.

Now, lest you think, Mr. Speaker, that I condone some of the things done by Walker Brothers, I would like to put on to the record exactly what I said to them nearly two weeks ago, long before this issue was raised here in the House. I will table this letter, as a matter of fact -- I will be glad to do so -- but I would like to read into the record the bottom paragraph, which says it rather well:

“In view of the seriousness of the allegations and the need for this ministry to give total assurance to the community for the safe operation of this site and the acceptability of your solidification proposal, I am suspending further activities with reference to the solidification project until these matters have been resolved.”

I would further say, having taken that rather direct and firm stand, we then referred the matter to the Ontario Provincial Police for a full investigation. I do not have the response yet from that provincial officer, but that too will be made public when we have it, as we want to know in no uncertain terms whether there is truth in these allegations. If there is, we will be the first to deal with them.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Could the minister share with the House what went on within the Ministry of the Environment when they decided to enter into a proposal with Walker Brothers Quarries Limited on the basis of their experience in liquid industrial waste management when it now appears that their experience was in illegal liquid industrial waste management? Is it to be the policy of the government in future that, even if experience is illegally acquired, it will count as a qualification for dealing with environmental problems in the province?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think the member is, obviously with hindsight, putting emphasis on the word “liquid.” We had contacted every single company that we thought was able to do a project of this size. It is going to take a company with some considerable expertise to handle a project of this size. Those companies said to us: “We think it would be unwise to have six or seven companies in the business. It would be far better to have two -- no more than two -- in the business of solidification and liquid waste treatment.” It seemed strange that they were agreeing to put more than 50 per cent of themselves out of business.

We were pleased to take that advice, because it gave us a great opportunity. As I said in response to the member’s question the other day, we therefore would be able to get rid of landfilling of untreated waste -- the member has heard me say that dozens of times -- and, more particularly, we would be able to have our people on site 24 hours a day. I think that is extremely important as we start to deal more effectively with liquid waste in this province. For 24 hours a day, on all sites that are licensed for liquids, we will have an inspector. We will have direct control over these accusations, unsubstantiated though they may be. We will know what is going into those sites, and nothing short of that will ever satisfy our ministry.

Mr. Speaker: New question.

Mr. S. Smith: He has not answered the question about the buried trucks.

Mr. Speaker: He answers it in any way he deems proper.

Mr. S. Smith: He was not responsive at all to the point that its experience was illegal.

Mr. Speaker: You have had an ample opportunity to put a full first question and a supplementary. We have spent eight minutes on this question and you still do not --

Mr. S. Smith: Six of it was listening to an answer that was not responsive to the question.

Mr. Peterson: Let’s go home and let the Speaker ask the questions.

Mr. Speaker: I do not need any smart comments from the member for London Centre. I have been charged with the responsibility of sharing the question period equitably.

Mr. S. Smith: I have another question for the Minister of the Environment. Fresh from this success and with waybills in hand showing that the ministry knew liquid waste was going into the Walker’s quarry all the time, does the minister care to make some comment on the subject of South Cayuga as a site in which the dream of John White now is to turn into a nightmare for the area?

Does the minister care to explain how he can expect the people of Ontario to believe him when he asks them to take liquid industrial waste when, instead of basing his choice of sites on a geological or ecological survey of Ontario, he goes to Harwich because there is already a dump, to Ajax because they have an old sewage treatment plant and now to South Cayuga because John White had a dream?

Will the minister please tell this House how he expects the people of Ontario to believe him when he asks them to accept liquid industrial waste when his criteria are based on political convenience rather than a geological survey of Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: It might be interesting for the member to turn around and look at the man in the far left-hand corner from where I sit. Indeed, I will be glad to supply for him a copy of Hansard where his member suggested that Cayuga might be an ideal spot for liquid waste. It is readily available. I am personally not going to respond to that question about Cayuga until such time as the MacLaren report has come to my hands and I have a much more complete knowledge of why they think it is or is not a good site.

There are many sites being considered at this time, and that is the way it should be. We have a large number of potential areas where we think there is a possibility that a site should be supplied. It would be a great help if the opposition leader’s colleagues were not always saying, “Not here.” They have always got a great answer to where it should be, but it is very seldom specific except in the instance I gave, and that was one that it should be in Cayuga.

As far as the first part of the question is concerned -- about whether we knew -- obviously we did not know, and we will not condone that kind of misinformation. As I have said --

Mr. S. Smith: I have the waybill with the minister’s approval.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I do not think the member does, but I will not argue that point. I think there is a piece of paper -- I am not sure it is a waybill -- but let me deal with that when the member supplies the evidence to me. Let me see that evidence, and I will be glad to view it. It does take some time from the moment it is filed at the site to when we have it; so I think the member should bear that in mind. But my staff did not know that liquid waste per se was going into that site. I think it is extremely important that this be clarified for the record.

Mr. S. Smith: I will supply the waybill for the minister on that matter.

On Cayuga: Since the minister says he wants to see the MacLaren report, I assume he is referring to the MacLaren report which surveyed all of Ontario to find the best sites. It contained a huge map of southern Ontario in which many sites were suggested, and South Cayuga was not one of them. Or maybe he is referring to the Dillon report, which is the one that Mr. Frewin referred to in the newspaper.

When the minister is represented by Mr. Frewin in the newspaper, is he referring to the Dillon report which said that South Cayuga might be considered for certain wastes? If so, is he aware that the Dillon report was on PCBs and not on liquid industrial waste? That is a totally different matter. As the Dillon report said on the subject of PCBs, “South Cayuga rated low in the land-use and public policies criteria.”

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Again, I think I should clarify the record. I think it is fairly clear that there are two reports expected from MacLaren. One did look at all of this province, and they did that with a knowledge of the soil conditions and a lot of various things they thought should be considered for a site. A second report is forthcoming; so there is no inconsistency in my answer at all.

The first report was one of a general nature and was intended to be just that -- a general view of the province and where sites might be located. The next report was to be much more specific in nature, and that is the one that is forthcoming in the near future.

I want to be clear that the ministry asked that the study consider not just Cayuga but all other areas where we have tracts of land that might be suitable for such a disposal site. It seemed reasonable to us that we should expect our own land might be a place, if the conditions of soil were correct, that a facility might be located.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Can the minister explain to the House how it is that with all of these potential areas across the province to choose from, the ministry is proceeding to test, and has consultants studying, disposal of liquid wastes on the lands at Cayuga? That violates a ministry guideline that says liquid waste dumps should not be located on the kind of prime agricultural land that is found in the Cayuga land assembly area.

2:30 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: If the honourable member reads those recommendations carefully, I think he will find that if he took each and every one of them and applied all of them to any particular potential site, they would rule out every site.

Mr. Swart: The book showed 50 sites -- 25 optimum sites.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Does the member want to just swallow it and have it magically disappear? Is that the way he would deal with it?

What we have to do is take that set of parameters and, based on what they have suggested, find which is the best site. We will have to put a priority on those parameters, and that is what we are trying to do. The forthcoming report is trying to do that. It would be nice if we could find a spot in the middle of nowhere to put these sites. Obviously we cannot, and everyone knows that. So we have a set of parameters and we will try to find the best site, all things being considered, and those parameters will be used as guidelines.

Mr. Breithaupt: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Mr. Frewin is quoted in the Globe and Mail as saying: “Consultants’ studies have recommended that site as a potentially good landfill site for liquid waste.” Since the earlier MacLaren study did not comment on this site and apparently the new study to which the minister has referred has not as yet been released, what studies have recommended that site? Or was Mr. Frewin not giving correct information with respect to liquid industrial waste?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: PCBs are a component of liquid industrial waste, and therefore the Dillon report deals with the specific components of it, not the total. The second MacLaren report has not reached my office as yet. I hope it comes very soon, because we desperately need these facilities here in Ontario.

No one can deny that in the last year and a half there has been a great deal of activity to find suitable sites to treat our liquid waste. It is perhaps the most pressing problem this province faces today and it is extremely important that we get on with the job.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the ministry about the price of milk, and I would like to start by addressing it to the Minister of Agriculture and Food. The minister knows that in August, when farmers got a 2.8-cent-a-litre increase in the price of their milk, the dairies and retailers took an increase of 4.2 cents a litre, to bring the overall increase to the consumer to seven cents a litre. At that time, the minister promised to discuss these unjustified price increases with the industry. Has the minister had those discussions with the industry and has he convinced the dairies to roil back their prices?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member is well aware that this ministry has no authority to ask the dairies to roll back their prices.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: I redirect this to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Since the Minister of Agriculture and Food says he has no powers to roll back prices, he should not have gone to meet with them in the first place.

Five years ago, the government received an inquiry report which showed that retailers were overcharging Ontario’s consumers between $8 million and $17 million a year for milk. Since the farmers’ milk prices are controlled and they have to justify every increase they receive in their fluid milk prices in the province, and since the minister has had the evidence of overcharging by the retailers and dairies for five years, why has he not used his powers over consumer prices to control excessive milk prices and milk price increases by dairies and supermarkets?

Hon. Mr. Drea: First of all, Mr. Speaker, I am blissfully unaware of the report the honourable member is talking about. Secondly, I do not think the present price of milk is not justifiable.

When the leader of the third party talks about the increase, he gives the impression that the farmers received the lower end of the total cost. The truth of the matter is that the farmer got 55 per cent, based upon the raw milk cost.

I think there is something else that the leader of the third party should be aware of: This has been a rather dismal, and continues to be a dismal sector for the dairies. I don’t think one has to read any more than the financial pages to see the very precarious position that dairies, not just in Ontario but indeed across the country, are in. I have looked at --

Mr. Peterson: If the Tories started drinking milk, it would help them out. It would really help them out.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Is the minister finished with his answer?

Hon. Mr. Drea: No, I am not, Mr. Speaker; I have one sentence.

The present price of milk, based upon a number of factors including energy and warehousing -- particularly the labour agreements in warehousing -- does not seem unjustified.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that the minister is not aware of that report, but let us come back to the reality at the moment: the farmers got 2.79 cents, the dairies raised it to five and the supermarkets raised it to seven, so that 60 per cent of the increase went to the dairies and the supermarkets. Is the minister aware of the fact that the Ontario Milk Marketing Board at its recent meetings in Geneva Park reiterated once again its claim that the dairies and the supermarkets should be made to be publicly accountable for their increases, just as the farmers have to be publicly accountable? How does the minister know whether they are justified, because he does not know any of the facts?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I have looked into this matter since the increases were announced, but let me just draw to the attention of the honourable member who asked the question that the increase to farmers, expressed in terms of quarts, amounts to 9.6 cents for the three-quart size. Supermarkets increased the price of a three-quart pouch pack of homogenized and two per cent milk by 17 cents, which means the farmers get 56 per cent of the latest price increase and the processors and retailers get 44 per cent.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, in June 1979, the Minister of Colleges and Universities assured the Legislature that the employer-sponsored training program would increase the number of women receiving skills training. Can the minister explain why this year there are four women and 1,500 men in the employer-sponsored training program, as opposed to five women and 605 men a year ago?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: No, Mr. Speaker, I can give no specific rationale for that. The employer-sponsored training program is open equally to women and to men. The agreements that have been signed have been related to specific industries in which, at the present time, there is not a great preponderance of women looking for upgrading of their skills. We are attempting through community industrial training councils to broaden the base of employer-sponsored training right across the province, and, as I said, there is a full openness in that program so that it is equally applicable to both men and women.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Since the statistics contradict what the minister keeps on telling us about the programs being equally open to women as well as to men, will the minister say what steps she and the government have taken to ensure that women are adequately represented in the employer-sponsored training programs and apprenticeship programs in this province, specifically since a week and a half ago she signed an agreement for 186 new training places with the auto parts industry? Can the minister say how many women will be guaranteed places in that particular program, and if there are no guarantees, why not?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: It is my understanding that the agreement we signed last week is for 356 new training places in the automotive parts manufacturing area, and there is no specific guarantee that there will be a number of places held for women; there is no quota established at this point. If, indeed, there are women who are interested in being involved in that kind of training program, the program is as open to them as it is to any male applicant.

2:40 p.m.


Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, the Solicitor General has probably heard the comments made by the Minister of the Environment as they relate to an OPP investigation into the solidification process by Walker Brothers Quarries Limited as a proposal to the ministry. Is there anyone else who participated in initiating this investigation as well as the Minister of the Environment?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I am not aware of anyone else, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary: Is the minister proposing a full investigation into the staff of the Ministry of the Environment as well as into what are considered to be breaches of the licence by Walker Brothers? Can we get an answer pretty soon because this thing has dragged on for a long time and we would like some answers?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: What we are interested in is an investigation in relation to any issues of criminality. As far as I know, that will be the scope of the investigation.

Mr. Isaacs: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of the Environment: Can the minister explain how a TV crew, in a few days of research, was able to turn up this evidence of problems going into that dump site when his own staff, who had been aware of the dump site for a long time, and who as recently as June 23, 1980, issued a new certificate of approval for that site, were apparently in ignorance of all the problems? Why does the minister’s staff not investigate before they issue new certificates of approval?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, the announcement of last week addresses the answer very well. Precisely what we needed was the enforcement team we announced last week. It will give us this kind of expertise, this kind of searching out of those who are doing something illegally.

I find it rather interesting that in this morning’s press, the haulers themselves indicated they very much think the idea is an excellent one and they are going to assist it. It is that kind of assistance the Ministry of the Environment needs and, in my opinion, deserves. We cannot be every place in this province all the time. We never will be; that is an impossibility. But I am not going to take a thing away from W5 for having brought something forward. I welcome that; I would welcome it if anyone else who knows of illegal dumping would bring it to us.

Now that we have this team on stream that will let us take these investigations to the fullest, and now that we are going to bring in fines and strong prosecutions against those companies using their equipment for burial, we will come at last, with the support of the people of this province, to a full understanding and we will destroy any possibility of illegal dumping.

Mr. Isaacs: I would like to ask the minister whether he will make the producers of these hazardous wastes responsible for their safe disposal so that companies such as the Ford Motor Company cannot pay off a haulage company to do their dirty work for them. Will he make the producers responsible for ensuring the waste is properly disposed of?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Of course we will, Mr. Speaker. That is what it is all about.

Mr. Warner: When?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: We have said over and over again that the disposal of untreated wastes or landfill must stop. It will stop as soon as those facilities are in place. It will he fully paid for, 100 per cent, by the producers of those wastes. Indeed, the waybill system will be a system whereby the producers must be in full knowledge of where that material is going, how it is being destroyed, how much it is costing them, and they must take full responsibility. Those are the facts. The members may not like to hear them but they are the facts.

It is also a fact that Bill 24, passed by this Legislature in the last session, made the person who owned or was in control and possession fully responsible if a spill should occur. That is the kind of positive action that this government, my administration, has taken on liquid industrial waste. As I said the other day, there is no other jurisdiction that comes close to us.

Mr. Peterson: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister prepared to commit himself now to a search by his ministry for those allegedly buried tank trucks in the Walker Brothers quarry in order that he can do a chemical analysis? According to Mr. Walker, only a visual inspection was done of those toxic materials.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Sneaker, I do not have to promise we will do it; we are in the process of doing it right now.


Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) my question will be to the Minister of Colleges and Universities. It concerns the reports in today’s press about a strike by the Professional Association of Interns and Residents of Ontario on Thursday of this week. Can the Minister of Colleges and Universities indicate to this House whether or not it is her understanding that there was an agreement arrived at between the Ontario Council of Administrators of Teaching Hospitals and the interns and residents association in the summer? If it is not her understanding, can she give this House some indication of what the government proposes to do to avert what would be a very serious disruption of our hospital services on Thursday of this week?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that at a meeting between representatives of OCATH and PAIRO in the summer there was not agreement except about the level of remuneration that would be provided to interns and residents for a retroactive period and the current period. I was not aware there had been even a suggestion of an agreement until I read that in the newspapers, as a matter of fact.

There have been discussions among the three ministries with involvement in this area. As I am sure the honourable member knows the entire matter of that report has been referred to the clinical education committee of the Ontario Council of Health. I am aware that committee has met with PAIRO within a fairly recent period of time and discussions are going on about the entire matter.

Mr. Conway: In view of the fact that 23 teaching hospitals in this province would presumably be affected by this withdrawal of services -- services that are vital to the provision of institutional health care in this province -- and in view of the fact that withdrawal is threatened in about 72 hours from this moment, can the minister indicate what the government’s position is with respect to this proposed withdrawal of services and what concrete steps her government is taking to ensure that the people of this province, who require those services, will not be without them in two or three days’ time?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, since that is a matter which falls under the direct jurisdiction of the Minister of Health, it would be much more appropriate to discuss that matter with that minister. I have no immediate knowledge of the position which that minister has taken as of today.

Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Health, could I redirect that to the Premier, who must surely speak for the entire ministry. Can the Premier indicate what involvement he has had and what specific proposals he has taken to these very critical negotiations which threaten this province with a strike on Thursday of this week?

Mr. Speaker: Does the honourable Premier have any additional information to add to the supplementary?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, not in the context of being an expert on the subject, but I do understand the Minister of Health is with the Ontario Hospital Association at this moment and the ministry, of course, is concerned. There have been some discussions. I think the feeling of the ministry is that the actual care of any of the patients in those institutions would not be prejudiced in the short term.

The ministry has made it quite clear that it is prepared to meet with both sides; there may even be three sides to these negotiations, but at the moment the ministry is quite sure that the care of the patients will not be affected, certainly in the short term.

Mr. Mackenzie: Final supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Will the Minister of Education tell us how -- following the ratification of the interns as reported in the Medical Post on August 12 -- the head of the OCATH team could state, as reported, “‘We have not ratified the agreement but I do not foresee any problems,’ said Boyd McAulay, OCATH president.” If that is not an agreement or close to it, I do not know what is. Was there a third party intervention that has brought about the obvious collapse of what seemed to be a firm agreement?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, to my knowledge there never was a firm agreement and I am not at all aware of the procedure that Mr. McAulay might have been alluding to in that article.

2:50 p.m.


Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, does the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations know and does he care that the price of Prestone has increased 75 per cent in the last two years; that the major increase took place in 1979 because of underproduction of ethylene glycol in Canada at that time, and that although the production is now adequate, the ripoff continues?

Is the minister aware that the ethylene glycol market in Canada is controlled by only two multinationals, Union Carbide and Dow Chemicals, and that their profits have been enormous in the last two years and are going up dramatically? For instance, Union Carbide’s profits went up from $20 million in 1978 to $58 million in 1979 and by a further 150 per cent in the first six months of 1980. Has the minister looked into this and can he justify this set of circumstances?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I will consult with my colleague, the federal minister, on this matter. Excuse me, what is your problem today?

Mr. M. N. Davison: You don’t know, but do you care?

Hon. Mr. Drea: My friend, I care about a great number of things.

Mr. Swart: May I ask a supplementary?


Mr. Speaker: Order. Just ignore the interjections. The minister has taken your initial question as notice. He will check with his federal counterpart and, at that time, the member will have an opportunity to explore it further.

Mr. Swart: I have further evidence.

Mr. Speaker: Why didn’t you put it in your initial question?

Mr. Swart: You have said on occasion not to make questions too long and I wanted to shorten it, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: That is a risk the member takes. He can’t automatically assume he is going to get a supplementary. The minister has taken your question as notice. When he reports back to the House, you will be given the opportunity for a supplementary.


Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, on Friday last the member for Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie) asked a question concerning stock activity regarding the Steel Company of Canada. In answer to his question, I am informed by the Ontario Securities Commission that as of today there is no information that insider positions are being accumulated -- by insider, I mean 10 per cent -- or that any takeover bid is in progress.

In response to another part of the question, I would draw to the member’s attention that Stelco stock has always been relatively widely held in the United States. One of the reasons for that is that of all the steel company investments available to the public in North America, Stelco is the best.


Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, the member for Sarnia (Mr. Blundy) asked a question regarding special occasion permits. May I say initially that a great deal of misinformation has been circulated regarding this subject. I welcome the question because it is an opportunity once again to state clearly what has taken place.

The concerns of the member are inappropriate because the maximum price that may be charged for alcoholic beverages applies only to social-sale, special-occasion-permit functions. The social-sale events are held only by groups or organizations that have no charitable and/or community objectives. The regulations under the Liquor Licence Act have always stated it was illegal to make a profit from this type of permit. Therefore, no change has been made to the policy, but just to the manner in which it is controlled, to ensure that the policy is enforced.

Charitable service, ethnic and/or community organizations are entitled to apply for fund-raising permits which are not subject to any price controls. Therefore, these types of groups or organizations may raise as much money as they wish, provided they have the proper type of permit. I would caution the members, however, that many individuals object to the new system because it was designed to impede, and it does impede their ability to make an illegal profit.

I also assure the members that no legitimate organization should be affected by the new regulations.

Mr. Di Santo: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister aware that there are hundreds of ethnic clubs that have no charitable or, as he defines them, community objectives? They are local clubs for small groups of people with no possibility of fund raising but they need the money they get at the bar for their survival.

Is the minister aware that these regulations have raised such an uproar that 120 clubs met in Guelph on October 23, and that the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario had a special meeting on the minister’s regulations and was told an outright lie, that this Legislature changed the regulations? Does the minister not think, because there is such a widespread uproar in the province, it is only wise to go back to the regulations as they were before July? How many Conservatives does he need to dissatisfy in order to provide the fall of the government?

Hon. Mr. Drea: First of all, no ethnic club will suffer from this.

Mr. Di Santo: Yes, they will.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I would ask the member to name me one. Every ethnic or social organization that obviously raises funds to do something for the community will have no difficulty whatsoever getting a permit. The only time they might have some difficulty is when they want to use the money for their own hall and will not admit the public. If they admit the public or if they put the money into parts of the hall used for cultural or community purposes, then there is no problem whatsoever.

Mr. Di Santo: The minister will have a big fight.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I will not have a big fight, I say to the honourable member.


Hon. Mr. Drea: The Legion feels quite good about the act.


Mr. Speaker: Order. The Minister of Industry and Tourism would like to comply with a request made earlier.


Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, while I don’t necessarily agree with your ruling that a compendium is required to my statement last week, I am more than delighted to table now with the Clerk, the compendium showing 307 new plants or expansions, $7.4 billion worth of new investment and 25,000 new jobs in Ontario in the last 20 months. I am very pleased and proud to table that on behalf of this government.


Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, I would like to read to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, as the minister responsible for matters of landlord and tenant and as the minister responsible in the field of false advertising, a promotional brochure that is in my hands, and ask for his comment.

“If you are an Ontario resident 65 years of age or over, you are eligible, regardless of income, for the property tax grant if you pay property tax on your residence or rent for your accommodation.”

Has the minister altered the definition of “tenant” under the legislation? If he has not, would he have his consumer protection branch direct the ministry responsible to ensure that it will see that all tenants 65 years of age or over in this province are, as his material says, eligible for the property tax grant?

3 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member has made a mistake, and a quite common one. I am not the minister in charge of the Landlord and Tenant Act; it is my colleague, the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry). I will refer the matter that has been raised by the member to the Attorney General. The reason for the mistake is that when the new Residential Tenancies Act -- which is now in limbo before the Supreme Court of Canada -- was passed in this Legislature, there was a transfer of jurisdiction. With that bill in hiatus, the Attorney General is still responsible for landlord and tenant matters; I have only rent review.

Mrs. Campbell: Does the minister, having this expertise in the past, know whether there has been a change of definition of “tenant” under the landlord and tenant legislation? Also, I understand in the first instance it is up to this minister to look at the matter of false advertising.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I said I would look at the matter. I just want to point out to the honourable member that I am not the minister responsible for landlord and tenant procedures.

Mrs. Campbell: We have difficulty finding the other minister.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I will be very pleased to look into the matter, but I will also have to consult with the minister under whose primary jurisdiction the definition of “tenant” is. I will look into the matter about the false advertising. I presumed that was known when I answered it.


Mr. Makarchulc: Mr. Speaker, in view of the uncertainty that exists regarding White Motor Corporation in Brantford, can the Minister of Industry and Tourism indicate to the House what action he is contemplating at this time to preserve those jobs? Is he prepared to bring in legislation similar to legislation that exists in European jurisdictions, which more than likely would prevent the closure of this particular facility and the loss of 1,700 jobs?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the question. May I say, to answer the second part first, I do not know what specific legislation the member is referring to in Europe that would save jobs, which have been affected by a lot of things, including market, but if he wants to send over a copy of the legislation, I will look at it and no doubt reject the request.

With regard to the White farm equipment firm, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the statement I made here last Thursday or Friday in response to a question from, I think, the same member. I indicated at that time that I was fairly optimistic. I believe Hansard and others recorded that as “very optimistic.” In fact, I remain fairly optimistic. The receiver called us on Friday to point out to us that as of last Friday some of the recalls from layoffs that were anticipated: earlier, that is, at the time at which the mayor of Brantford and others came in to see me, had not yet occurred. As of today’s date, the matter is still being reviewed by the receiver.

Mr. Makarchuk: In view of the fact that the market conditions have improved dramatically with the American sales to China, and also in view of the fact that there is a possibility of an imminent takeover at White, is the minister prepared at this time to seek or negotiate some guarantees with the new people, to ensure the continuation of that operation and the jobs?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Obviously, if there is a takeover involving a FIRA application, my ministry will have input and will be making input which will try to reflect the goals the member stated.


Mr. Bolan: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Minister of Culture and Recreation regarding the delay in providing TVOntario service to the Nipissing area: In the light of the fact that the government has committed itself for several years to full Ontario coverage of TVOntario services, and considering the fact that the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Maeck) himself has confirmed that the needed capital funding is at present available, when can the people of Nipissing, as well as those of Parry Sound and Muskoka, expect the operating funds to be provided for the service for which the taxpayers in the north are already paying?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, as I reported to this House a few weeks ago, TVOntario and my ministry and our government are certainly aware there are still some areas of Ontario that are not being covered by TVOntario. However, right now, 87 per cent of the population is receiving TVOntario service. The area just alluded to, the Nipissing-Parry Sound district, is one to which we wish to extend our service and plans are under way to do that.

We have not made any final plans. If the capital were available -- and the member has indicated it likely is -- I would remind all members here that the capital really represents the smaller part of the cost of extending TVOntario to a new area. The operating funds that follow thereafter are 15 or 20 times higher than the initial capital investment. In spite of that concern, we are still very actively looking at the possibility of extending the service.

As we look at the expansion of TVOntario and as we look at the traditional methods of expanding our service, we are at the present time perhaps the world leader in experimenting with satellite broadcasting. As the member knows, 40 remote areas in northern Ontario for the last 18 months have been getting TVOntario signals bounced off Anik B. We want first of all to be sure we know fully what those implications are for the conventional systems. In spite of waiting for that, I am still very optimistic, as is my colleague, the Minister of Revenue, that TVOntario will be expanding into the member’s area.

Mr. Bolan: In other words, the minister does not know when this service is going to be provided. Is that right?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: No. That is not right. If the member would like to know at which hour and which minute, the answer is I would not know -- but certainly it is imminent.

Mr. Kerrio: How about the month?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Right after Kingston gets it.

Mr. Wildman: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Since the minister has mentioned his satellite program, and I understand it has been extended for an additional 19 months, could he indicate how many of those sites are in the Nipissing-Muskoka- Parry Sound area? If there are not very many, is he willing to extend the program into that area?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: There is a program that receives signals bounced from the satellite Anik B, which is very much in the experimental stage. We only have 40 so-called dishes, which are the receiving part of it, in people’s backyards. We do not intend under Anik B to extend that much beyond the 40. We are already making plans through TVOntario -- again the world leader in this field, I might say, that when satellite --

Mr. Bradley: Don’t hurt your hand patting yourself on the back.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: The members over there don’t like to hear the good news -- great news: TVOntario is the world leader in satellite broadcasting. When Anik C goes up, we will be there with it and we will probably be able to reach all the people of Ontario at that time.


Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier. Last week, in responding to a question from the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) with regard to the apparent failure of Ontario Hydro to respond to the government’s new policy of removing differentials between rural and municipal residential rates, he referred to a document that is now circulating among the Ontario Municipal Electric Association and the major power users. I think I have a copy of that document in my hand.

I wonder whether the Premier is aware that the framers of the new policy -- which they say is going to be based on government objectives and policies -- state that the switch from the current to the proposed new rate structure will result in $33 million less being charged to the municipal bulk rates. That will be met by an increase of $8.8 million to the direct major power users and an increase to the rural users of $24.4 million. Is the Premier aware that is the framework of the new policy that is now being fleshed out and will arrive at his office some time soon? How can that conceivably meet the objective of removing the differential for rural consumers?

3:10 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am not familiar with that particular report.

Mr. MacDonald: This is the report.

Hon. Mr. Davis: With great respect, we have had no report from Ontario Hydro. Now whether there has been a circulation from the Ontario Municipal Electric Association, which has had consultations with Hydro based upon the statement we made, I do not know. All I can say to the honourable member is what I said last week, which is that we are anticipating the report from Ontario Hydro to recommend to us the various options that might be available in terms of the reduction of the differential in rates between the rural and urban customers. I have not had that report. My advice is that report is not yet ready.

Mr. MacDonald: The report is a report of Ontario Hydro. It is dated August 1980. It states in the latter portion that it is now being circulated to the OMEA and the major power users. This undoubtedly is the report that ultimately, in its refined stage, will be sent to the Premier. I repeat that what that report envisages is a cut of $33 million to the municipalities, an increase of $8 million to the major power users and an increase of $24 million to the rural direct retailers. Is the Premier not aware of that? Why is it generally available to the OMEA and he does not know they are moving towards a violation of what he states is government policy rather than the fulfilment of it?

Hon. Mr. Davis: With great respect, there have been discussions with the OMEA; I was a part of them. The OMEA, as I mentioned to members here in the House, are less than enthusiastic -- that is a moderate way of describing it -- with respect to the policy we enunciated last April. There may have been discussions with the OMEA based on some hypothesis; whether that is a part of it, I do not know. I just point out to the member for York South, I was talking to the chairman of Ontario Hydro just a few days ago, as has the Minister of Energy. We do not have the report from Ontario Hydro.

Mr. MacDonald: It has gone out to the OMEA and the major power users.

Hon. Mr. Davis: With great respect, it has not gone out to everybody in terms of the recommendations they will be making to us.

Mr. Conway: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: This is, I think, a good opportunity to ask the Premier a question, since he says there are some reports that he does not have in this connection. I suppose I am properly assuming that he agrees with the published report in the Ottawa Journal of some months ago which indicated that the former Minister of Energy, the member for Prince Edward-Lennox (Mr. J. A. Taylor) indicated that tens of thousands of rural hydro users in this province were “being ripped off by the provincial utility.” Surely he does agree with that and that is why he is moving in this direction to correct this “ripoff” that has taken place over these many 37 years.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The member should live so long.

Mr. Kerrio: He will.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I hope so. I wish him well. I expect he will live to a ripe old age, but not necessarily as a member of this House.

Mr. Speaker: Order. The question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Was I departing -- you have handled the question period very well, Mr. Speaker; I will not --

Mr. Speaker: It has nothing to do with the age of the member who asked it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: He mentioned something about age; I forget what it was.

Mr. Conway: When the member for Prince Edward-Lennox was the Minister of Energy, he said tens of thousands of rural hydro users had been ripped off.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will just repeat what I said; I know it takes a minute or two to sink in.

The policy enunciated last April, which Ontario Hydro will be recommending to us as to how it might be accomplished, is to reduce the differential between the urban and rural rates. As I pointed out to the members, part of the complexity of this, which may or may not show in the report or whatever document the member for York South has, is that there are some situations even now where the local municipal rate is higher than the rural rate because of the involvement of the local municipal utility.

It is not just a case of saying all the municipal rates are at X, and so all we have to do is reduce the rural rate by a percentage, because we could then widen the differential in another sense between the urban and rural rates. It really is rather complicated. This is one of the reasons the OMEA, including, I am sure, people from the member’s own riding, are less than enthusiastic. None the less, the commitment remains.

Mr. Conway: However, the Premier does agree with the member for Prince Edward-Lennox?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I try to be as agreeable as I can with everybody, including the member for Renfrew North in those circumstances when he can divorce himself from his partisan instincts.


Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Culture and Recreation. In view of the fact that during his estimates he told the members of the committee that his ministry is designed to promote multiculturalism, ethnic organizations, heritage groups and recreational groups; and in view of the fact that his government likes to indicate it is in favour of deregulation and allowing individuals to do things for themselves, does the minister not feel that the new regulations announced by the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations through the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario are going to have a confining effect on the ethnic and other organizations across Ontario in terms of their ability to continue the ongoing operation and routine maintenance of their buildings if these regulations are left the way they are?

Mr. Speaker: The member must realize and will agree that the same question was already asked of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Drea). it was a supplementary put by the member for Downsview (Mr. Di Santo).

Mr. Bradley: I recognize that, Mr. Speaker. The reason I directed it to the Minister of Culture and Recreation is that it is his responsibility. I am asking for his comment as the Minister of Culture and Recreation and not from the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations.

Mr. Speaker: Does the Minister of Culture and Recreation have a response to what he has heard up to this point?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I would simply like to say, Mr. Speaker, that we over on this side of the House and I as the minister responsible for multiculturalism have a far greater interest in the ethnic groups than anybody else over there. That is all.


Mr. Speaker: Pursuant to standing order 28, the member for Downsview has given notice of his dissatisfaction with the answer given by the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations to his question concerning liquor regulations. This matter will be debated at 10:30 tomorrow night.


Mr. M. Davidson: Mr. Speaker, I rise to correct the record. During the answer by the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations to a question from the member for Sarnia (Mr. Blundy), and again on the supplementary being raised by the member for Downsview, the minister indicated that ethnic halls in this province would have no difficulty in getting fund-raising permits if they had something to do with community betterment. He put somewhere in that response that that meant as long as they opened up their halls for --

Mr. Speaker: What is the member’s point?

Mr. M. Davidson: My point, Mr. Speaker, is that I am correcting the record, if I may. In the Hansard report of the standing procedural affairs committee meeting of Wednesday, October 1, the minister said in response to a question: “People look at community betterment and they say, ‘But we have been running an ethnic hall.’ We say, ‘That is community betterment because it is something that is in the community.’” Nowhere does it say that it has to be for any purpose.

A weak ago last Friday, I approached the minister regarding a special occasion permit for the Holland-Canada Club in my area. Granted, he phoned someone down at the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario. He then told me all that was required was a letter from this group indicating how they disbursed their funds. I went back to that group, I got the letter and I personally met with Doug Rolling, the director of special occasion permits, on Monday morning.

Mr. Speaker: None of that is on the record; so you are not correcting any record that I am aware of.

Mr. M. Davidson: I am correcting what the minister said in response to a question. He said they could get one. I am suggesting they cannot.

Mr. Speaker: That is a difference of opinion; it is clear and simple.

Mr. M. Davidson: It is not a difference of opinion; it is a matter of fact. He is contradicting himself.

Mr. Speaker: It is a difference of opinion.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, while I was answering a question a week ago Friday, the member ducked behind my seat here and asked me to expedite the issuing of a permit. I went out to the phone and told them what had to be done. The permit will be issued.

Mr. M. Davidson: They have not got it, and the event was Saturday night.

3:20 p.m.


Mr. Isaacs: I have a point of privilege on a different matter, Mr. Speaker.

On October 9, I asked the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Parrott) to provide copies of all agreements and correspondence between himself or his staff and Walker Brothers, or the proponents for that solidification plant. I received a reply to that question on October 24. Today the minister tabled a letter dated October 16 which was not included in the response I received from the minister to that written question, nor was there any indication in the response to my written question that the minister was withholding information in his reply.

I wonder whether you would investigate, Mr. Speaker, because I believe my privileges have been breached.

Mr. Speaker: It would have been more appropriate if the honourable member had raised that while the minister was here. I will await the other side of the question.



Mr. Swart, in the absence of Mr. Philip, from the standing committee on administration of justice, presented the following report and moved its adoption:

Your committee begs to report the following bills without amendment:

Bill Pr33, An Act respecting the Estate of Mary Agnes Shuter;

Bill Pr34, An Act to revive Theatre Passe Muraille;

Bill Pr35, An Act to revive Gould’s Drug Store Limited;

Your committee recommends that the fees, less the actual cost of printing, be remitted on Bill Pr34, An Act to revive Theatre Passe Muraille.

Report adopted.



Hon. Mr. Gregory moved that the subcommittee of the standing committee on administration of justice be authorized to sit next Tuesday following routine proceedings to consider its report on its review of Ontario Housing Corporation.

Motion agreed to.



Hon. Mr. Welch moved first reading of Bill 175, An Act to provide for Municipal Hydroelectric Service in the City of Sudbury.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, as members of the House will recall, this bill establishes a new municipal hydroelectric commission for the city of Sudbury. It is a first step towards the total restructuring of the municipal electric commissions in the regional municipality of Sudbury. In taking this interim step, the government is responding to the wishes of the people of Sudbury and following the recommendations of the local study team report.

No later than January 1, 1980, all customers in the city of Sudbury will be supplied with power by the new commission. This bill does not affect existing agreements for supply of power by private companies.

This bill has been reviewed with members of the Sudbury council, members of the Sudbury Hydro Commission and indeed those members of the Legislature representing the Sudbury area.

On behalf of the government, I wish to commend the Sudbury local study team, Ontario Hydro and my colleagues of the Legislature for their efforts to establish a more rational and responsive electric power service for the people of the city of Sudbury.


Mr. Speaker: Before the orders of the day, I would like to remind all honourable members that there will be an investiture of the Ontario Medal for Firefighters Bravery and the Ontario Medal for Police Bravery, which will take place on the lower steps of the main lobby on the first floor. The stairway will be closed, and the investiture is to take place at six o’clock; I mention that so there will be no surprises when we rise at six.


Hon. Mr. Gregory: Mr. Speaker, I am tabling the answers to questions 307 and 308 standing on the Notice Paper.


House in committee of supply.


Mr. Chairman: When the committee was last discussing these estimates I believe the member for Algoma had the floor.

Mr. Wildman: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to indicate to the committee my appreciation of the minister’s giving me a ride downtown today from the airport. I hope he left that rifle he had in the trunk at home before he came to the estimates.

When we were last considering these estimates, I was raising the matter of clarification of the ministry’s role and indicating the difficulty we sometimes have in getting a definitive statement of what that role is from this minister or his colleagues.

We are told the Ministry of Northern Affairs is not a line ministry but, rather, its mandate is to co-ordinate the provincial government’s response to the needs of the north. But whenever one tries to obtain clarification of exactly what that means -- that is, the responsibility of the Ministry of Northern Affairs, or the ministry’s relationship to the so-called line ministries -- one encounters difficulties.

I would expect that a ministry charged with ensuring the provincial government responds to the needs of the north should be able to influence line ministries’ policies regarding the north. But, no, this is not the case.

For instance, when I raised the question of Ontario health insurance plan coverage for non-emergency medical transfers with the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier), he expressed some sympathy in this House but referred the matter to the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell), who apparently has no sympathy.

If I could digress for a moment, I have with me a copy of an editorial which I read this weekend. It was printed in the Kapuskasing Northern Times on Wednesday, October 22, and refers to this particular matter. The heading reads: “Timbrell Has No Problems Now but May When the Polls Open.”

The editorial begins by saying: “Practically everyone in the north is complaining these days about inadequate air ambulance service. Hospital administrators suggest it is lacking the most fundamental policy. The municipal leaders are working to make it quicker and more comfortable and patients are being victimized.”

I emphasize “victimized” is the word used.

“Yet, despite all of this, Health Minister Dennis Timbrell recently stood before his colleagues in the Ontario Legislature and said no problem exists.”

Further, it says:

“Why the minister would condone a policy which is so bent on supporting only those residing in the southern half of the province is difficult to explain unless one appreciates Mr. Timbrell’s political aims.

“What is unfortunate in all of this is the basic vehicle for service exists.” I will give the minister credit for that; there is a basic vehicle for the service. They go on to say: “Many northerners simply do not know of its workings. It is such people who become snarled in bureaucratic red tape and are the victims of the government paper shufflers.”

They finish off by saying:

“Perhaps Mr. Timbrell doesn’t believe a problem exists now. He may think differently when the Tories come to the north looking for support in the next provincial election.”

That particular problem is an example of what we consider to be the ineffectiveness of this ministry in influencing the policies of other ministries in delivering services to the north.

Mr. Martel: He is good at delivering cheques, though.

Hon. Mr. Bemier: I haven’t delivered a cheque.

Mr. Martel: Oh, yes. In Alban -- for $23,000 -- personally.

Mr. Willdman: Did he deliver a cheque for $23,000?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: That was one of the many things I did on that particular trip.

Mr. Wildman: Despite the claim that the Ministry of Northern Affairs had a responsibility for co-ordinating all developmental activities by working with all ministries and agencies, let us look at exactly what the policies say.

3:30 p.m.

The policy for development paper published by this government states that the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs continues to provide the broad, regional economic development direction.

This geographic ministry has failed to wrest the authority to direct economic planning and development for the region for which it is responsible from the ministry whose former head predicted in 1977 the continuation of the status quo in northern Ontario for at least a generation.

Mr. Bolan: Who was that? Darcy McKeough?

Mr. Wildman: Yes, I think that was his name. The Duke of Chatham-Kent.


Mr. Wildman: Last week in the resources development committee during consideration of the estimates of the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, which is also responsible for economic development, I attempted to find the guidelines for defining whether that ministry or the Ministry of Northern Affairs was the lead ministry in proposing and/or funding feasibility studies for economic development projects for northern Ontario. That minister could not explain them very well, other than to say that it depended on the project and that both ministries, as well as others, were often involved.

It seems to me to be very ad hoc which is the lead ministry on Minaki or, for that matter, on a less controversial topic that the minister mentioned in his leadoff, the King Mountain project. In a wider aspect in terms of tourism for the north, who is responsible for negotiating the tourism agreement for northern Ontario with the Department of Regional Economic Expansion? Is it this ministry or is it some other ministry?

If we look at the relationship between this ministry and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications or the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the lack of any real new initiative by the government in establishing a ministry of northern Ontario is evident. The staff and programs of those other two ministries continue to be operated by them. It is true the money that is budgeted to pay for their programs is voted in the estimates of the Ministry of Northern Affairs, but the planning of programs, as well as their delivery, as far as I can ascertain, remains with MTC and OMAF.

For example, MTC continues developing its five-year construction plans, but now there is one more step added to the process before a contract is awarded. MA staff must also give it their stamp of approval. This is hardly what we in our party consider a serious attempt to ensure that government programs respond more adequately to northern needs. At present, MA is without the power to direct the budgetary expenditures of other various line or implementing ministries. As such, the ministry is not able to deal with the economic problems that have plagued the north for so long.

Of course, the reason for this is the complete lack of commitment on the part of the government to deal with those problems anyway. Northern Ontario has enormous potential but for 37 years the Tories have failed to turn it to our advantage. The north contains 85 to 90 per cent of the province’s land mass and 10 per cent of its population. It is rich in natural resources, supplying more than $2.03 billion worth of minerals in addition to supplying the raw materials for Ontario’s $5.7-billion forest products industry. In spite of this tremendous resource wealth, northerners have never enjoyed the advantages taken for granted by southern Ontario residents. Wages are lower and jobs are insecure, health and social services are less available in the north, and little has been done to ensure economic stability.

To a very great extent the economy of northern Ontario remains dependent on the extraction and export of primary mineral resources and forest resource products. In northwestern Ontario, logging alone provides some 40,000 jobs. Logging, sawmilling and pulp and paper production account for more than 60 per cent of the total employment in the region. In the northeast, logging provides about 3,400 jobs, and the forest industry accounts for about 32 per cent of the region’s manufacturing employment. In the northeast, some 16.2 per cent of the work force is employed in the primary resource sector, while 79 per cent of manufacturing jobs are related to natural resource-allied products.

Even though the north contains 15 per cent of Ontario’s productive forest, and more than 90 per cent of the annual ore tonnage is extracted north of the French River, much of the wealth and job creation potential of the north’s resources is lost to southern Ontario and other metropolitan centres. A striking example of this is to be found in the regional distribution of forest-based manufacturing activity. While the north produces virtually all of the province’s timber and pulp, fully 60 per cent of the jobs involved in processing these raw materials are located in southern Ontario.

This northern economic role as a hinterland for the southern metropolis is also reflected in the structures of northern communities. We firmly believe that in order to understand and bring about solutions --

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Doom and gloom -- same as you said 10 years ago.

Mr. Wildman: Yes, nothing has changed.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Rodriguez was giving this speech in the House of Commons. Look what happened to him.

Mr. Wildman: The minister never looks at the problems to figure out how to resolve them. He would like to sweep them under the rug instead of dealing with them.

My colleague mentioned one-industry towns. Ontario has 115 single-industry towns, of which 65 per cent are based on the mining or forest industry, and 60 per cent of those communities are located in northern Ontario. These towns exist only as long as companies find it profitable to exploit the resources in the area.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: What have your brothers in Saskatchewan done?

Mr. Wildman: They are doing a great deal. The minister himself mentioned what the Department of Northern Saskatchewan was doing in his leadoff.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: That’s right. They are changing to our system.

Mr. Wildman: I will deal with that in a moment.

Hon. Mr. Walker: We are again providing the lead.

Mr. Wildman: The problem is the government is not providing the lead. It is the private corporations that are providing the lead in terms of development of the north. That is one of the reasons for the problems.

While resource corporations can and often do thrive in this economic environment --

Mr. Martel: When this government was involved, it wiped out the fourth-largest employer in Sudbury.

Mr. Chairman: Order.

Mr. Wildman: While the corporations can get along well in this kind of environment, undiversified communities and the residents do not fare so well. We can look at the examples of Atikokan and the Steep Rock Mine, Capreol and Marmora. In these communities iron ore mines closed down, as the minister well knows. A major factor in the decision to close down the mines was the acquisition of interests in American iron ore mines by Canadian steel companies which had formerly sourced most of their iron ore in Ontario.

In Atikokan people who had worked for 30 years in the same mine were suddenly out of work. Many of the workers were highly skilled but now must move hundreds of miles to get new jobs. Owing to the physically demanding nature of the work, miners over 40 have great difficulty in getting new mining jobs or in switching occupations.

The economic decline in Atikokan also means that workers who were forced to leave are unable to get back their life savings which they have invested in their homes. Because no alternative industries are developed during the years of prosperity and because Ontario has no means of enforcing the obligations of multinationals which should make the communities and their workers prosperous, mine closings inevitably impose severe hardships on miners, their families and the entire community.

The instability of family and community life in northern Ontario is dramatically reflected in the region’s migration figures. The ups and downs in the economy, frequent layoffs and the relative absence of alternative job opportunities have forced people to look elsewhere for employment.

3:40 p.m.

Ideally, an economy should be built in such a way that it can provide secure employment and a stable tax base to support the essential social and physical services to the community. The problem is that the economy of northern Ontario has been allowed to develop in such a manner that it cannot possibly provide a secure foundation on which stable communities can be built. As is stated in the government’s own paper Northwestern Ontario: A Policy for Development, the dependence on resources makes the regional economy subject to the uncertainties of world markets -- the government has at least recognized that much -- but, for obvious reasons, resource corporations are able to insulate themselves from the booms and busts resulting from the business cycle through their widely diversified interests.

The shareholders will still get their dividends, even though a mill upon which a whole town depends has been idled for lack of demand; but what happens to the employees, the small businessmen and their families in the community? Even in good times, northern resource-based economies offer fewer job opportunities than the provincial average.

Because of fewer job opportunities, young people, and women in particular, experience higher levels of structural unemployment, or move elsewhere, as my colleague the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) referred to in regard to some young people from Hudson. Statistics Canada census figures for 1971 show that northern males had a minimum of 3.2 per cent lower participation than the provincial average, while northern women had a participation rate varying from 5.2 per cent to 8.7 per cent less than the provincial average. No wonder the north has suffered net outmigration.

Lack of a balanced economic development also makes it very difficult for single-industry communities to provide the amenities enjoyed by most southern Ontario residents. Dependence on a largely residential tax base means it is very difficult to provide even the basic municipal hard services without levying very high property taxes and obtaining substantial provincial subsidization -- unless, of course, the community endures that love-hate feudal relationship towards the company of a company town where the services are provided and owned by the employer. The current financial problems facing many northern towns like Hearst, Chapleau and Hornepayne certainly attest to this.

Even if the capital expenditures for educational, social and cultural amenities are carried out to provide facilities needed and to improve community life, it is very difficult to attract the professionals we need to provide health and social services that are taken for granted in southern Ontario communities. As a result, for example, a recent Lakehead Social Planning Council studies found that a shocking 22 per cent of the children in northwestern Ontario had never received dental care. The shortage of dentists, doctors and especially medical specialists in many northern communities means residents are obliged to travel hundreds of miles for needed medical services, usually at their own expense unless it is in an emergency, thanks to the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell).

While the government does have, I will admit, a bursary program and a placement subsidy program to try to attract professionals to northern communities, the problem has not been solved.

Mr. Martel: A faculty of medicine in northern Ontario would do that.

Mr. Wildman: It would certainly help, because one of the major problems we have in attracting professionals to the north is not only the lack of amenities in communities in the north but also the tremendous distance doctors find themselves from their professional colleagues and the way they feel so cut off from new developments in their field.

The dependence of the north on resource extraction also means the north is dependent upon the outside metropolitan areas for a wide range of goods and services. In part because of the long distances from the metropolitan areas, northerners have to pay a great deal more for those goods and services.

For example, the food monitoring report of the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations for August 1980 shows that virtually every northern community surveyed has substantially higher food prices than those experienced by Torontonians. By contrast, most southern communities surveyed experienced prices lower than the prices paid in Toronto and the situation has not been improving very much. In some of the communities the differential has come down, whereas in others it has gone up.

It is fine for the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations to survey it and tell us about it. That is useful, I will admit, but what is being done about it? Obviously, if these problems are to begin to be resolved, the provincial government must become involved in a diversification of the economy of the north. This is where we get away from what the minister likes to refer to as gloom and doom and we start talking about resolution.

The need for diversification is even admitted by the Tory government. Its policy statement indicates that, but unfortunately the Conservatives appear to remain unwilling to do more than mouth platitudes such as: “It is proposed that the government continue an economic development thrust, emphasizing diversification of the regional economy, primarily in activities directly related to the natural resource base. The central economic development objective is to maximize employment and income growth by obtaining greater economic value locally from resources by both upgrading and utilization of these resources and, where economically feasible, further processing.”

That is a quote from a paper on a Northwestern Ontario policy for development, but the ad hoc case-by-case provincial response to northern needs has done nothing to alter the fundamental structural weaknesses of the northern economy, which even the Tories can’t deny. The outflow of jobs and badly needed capital investment continues. The Conservative government backs away from doing what it knows is necessary because it simply does not have the political will to intervene.

The northwestern Ontario policy for development contains the following admission: “While economic diversification is a central policy objective, it is difficult to foresee a rapid diversification of the region’s economy away from its natural resource base unless very extensive and costly interventions were to be made in the market economy.”

They recognize that something has to be done to diversify. They recognize the government would have to intervene, but the Tories can’t bring themselves to do it. They continue to genuflect before the altar of noninterventionist free enterprise by further saying: “It must he kept in mind, however, that while governments can do much to facilitate development in the region, the extent to which such development is realized will depend very much upon initiatives taken in the private sector.”

Who is ideological? The Conservatives continue to accept the cyclical boom/bust nature of the northern economy where investment decisions are private rather than public, and undemocratic rather than democratic. Development is to be left to the large private corporations, the very institutions that have perpetuated the structural weaknesses of the northern economy. A careful reading of that last quotation will reveal that the Conservative government not only pays homage to the private sector, it is also prepared to pay tribute with our money.

3:50 p.m.

Intervention for the Tories avoids costly expenditure on diversification that they admit is required, but it entails handouts of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money in incentives, grants and loan guarantees to the corporations. They have a laudable purpose. They are trying to encourage the companies to do what they should have done in the past but failed to do. Why the government feels that they are now suddenly going to turn around and do it is beyond me.

The recent round of grants to the pulp and paper companies under the employment development fund is a case in point. The extension of the grants, which are expected to total $140 million and result in a net loss of about 600 to 800 jobs, was made necessary because, in the words of the government’s own task force headed by the Ministry of lndustry and Tourism, “Over the past decade the investment to modernize these plants and achieve productivity gains has been clearly inadequate.”

Where have the Tories been for 37 years? The pulp and paper sector is very important to Ontario’s economy, but it is even more important to the northwest. The lack of vigilance on the part of the Conservatives in ensuring an adequate amount of reinvestment in this industry belies their oft-spoken commitments to the towns depending on the pulp and paper industry.

A recent study that has caused some controversy and was done by the economics and forestry faculties of Lakehead University has concluded: “The significant margin between operating costs and projected prices for newsprint, together with the favourable rate of return analysis on new capacity, strongly suggests that this sector is capable of undertaking modernization in northern Ontario on a profitable basis without the support of the taxpayers in the form of the recent modernization grants which were offered jointly by the provincial and federal governments.”

The Premier (Mr. Davis) gets very upset when we quote that statement. He tried to argue that we were opposed to assistance to the pulp and paper industry. He ignores the fact that the vice-president of Spruce Falls Power and Paper said more than a year ago that they did not need any of these grants but, if the other pulp and paper companies were going to get them, then his company had better get them too in order to remain competitive.

Mr. Bolan: He said that again this morning on a CBC radio interview.

Mr. Wildman: My colleague from Nipissing says he still confirms that they did not need the money. I think my colleague would agree that you cannot blame him for saying, “If they are going to give it to us, we are not going to refuse it.”

Mr. Bolan: You can’t blame them.

Mr. Wildman: No. It appears that the government’s negligence is only exceeded by Tory gullibility when dealing with the private sector. The $140 million could, for example, have gone towards the establishment of a crown forestry corporation to begin redressing the reforestation backlog, which represents the real long-term threat to the forest products industry. Alternatively, some of this money could have been used to develop secondary industries.

Basically, the Conservatives do not really believe that the lack of diversification of the northern economy can or should be changed. The Tory view, as stated by Darcy McKeogh in Sudbury in 1977, is that northerners are not being realistic if they want diversification for at least a generation. In the words of the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, the provincial government’s strategy “can best be characterized as the colonial exploitation of the natural resources of the north for the benefit of the south. It views the north as the supplier of raw materials for the Golden Horseshoe and as a market for its manufactured goods and services.”

In the final analysis, northern under- development has both economic and political causes. The unplanned exploitation of resources by private corporations is assisted by a government whose ideology prevents it from playing an active, constructive and direct role in the management of the region’s economy. Forest and mineral resources are publicly owned for the most part, and yet the Ontario government has chosen to develop them by selling or leasing them to the private sector.

This total reliance on private enterprise has resulted in far too much of the wealth created from the development of the north’s resources being siphoned off by the private sector and used to finance projects outside of northern Ontario, the province and even the country. One only has to think back to Inco’s purchase of a battery plant in Pennsylvania as an example, or their investments in Indonesia and Guatemala. Where did that wealth come from? It came from the north.

The establishment of the Ministry of Northern Affairs by this government has done and will do nothing to change this situation. In fact, if anything, it is reinforcing it. The New Democrats believe that the future of northern Ontario will and can be built on the mining and forest resource industries, but that future is in jeopardy unless these resources are developed to spur diversification to provide for economic security for northern Ontario communities.

It is not only New Democrats who are coming to the realization that economic planning and direction by government is required if a stable economic future for the north is to be established. That former noninterventionist and private entrepreneur, Commissioner J. E. J. Fahlgren, has come to the view that: “The importance of ensuring that northern development takes place in an orderly manner should not be underestimated by anyone. Today we must all face the fact that some of our northern resources are under extreme pressure and that, if economic development is not planned and properly managed, then there will not only be damage to the land but to the people who live there as well.”

Apparently as a result of his work as a commissioner, Mr. Fahgren has come to understand that northern economic development in the past has been characterized by opportunism -- which is the word he uses -- and that that cannot continue. He is no longer willing to leave the economic development decisions only to those in the private sector but emphasizes that all northerners must be involved in economic decision- making.

It is interesting to read Mr. Fahlgren’s news release on the next phase of his study, because he admits that after 50 years’ experience in lumbering, transportation and mining, he has changed his opinions as a result of his studies on the commission. He now believes that economic development must be controlled and based on sound planning. He points out that he has come to the view that “economic development can be handled in more than one way.” He is no longer stuck with the ideological blinders that this government seems to be wearing, that there is only one approach to development and that is through the private sector. Mr. Fahlgren defines development control as “being able to change the conditions which promote or discourage different economic endeavours.” One of the conditions he points out is the factor of supply and demand.

I urge the Tories here and this minister at Queen’s Park to consider very carefully what the commissioner is saying, since his is not a spur-of-the-moment conversion but obviously a seriously considered change of opinion based on thoughtful analysis of the potential and problems of the north.

Like Mr. Fahlgren, we in the New Democratic Party believe that economic planning and control are required if we are to stabilize northern economic growth. The overall goal of the Ministry of Northern Affairs in an NDP government will he to diversify the northern economy by building a much- strengthened secondary manufacturing sector while solving the problems of one-industry towns in the process.

4 p.m.

By achieving this goal, we would flatten the peaks and valleys of the boom-bust cycle and eliminate the economic and social disparities within northern Ontario and between northern and southern communities. Northerners would gain control over their economic and social future, a control they have never had and still do not have.

New Democrats are confident in the north and in northerners. We have such wealth; we have many skills now and they can be developed further. I only wish the Tories could share this confidence in northerners.

In acting to achieve economic diversification, an NDP government will be guided by a number of general principles:

1. The benefits of northern development must accrue primarily to the inhabitants of the region.

2. Priority must be given to developments that will help make Ontario generally, and northern Ontario in particular, less dependent on outside imports.

3. Special assistance will be extended to locally owned businesses.

4. Meaningful local input into planning decisions will be required.

5. Development, particularly in the area north of the 50th parallel, will emphasize the benefits to northern native people and the recognition of the traditional lifestyles and development goals of the native people.

6. Government will assume a direct, positive and aggressive role in northern development via comprehensive planning, public ownership, crown corporations and joint venture projects with the private sector.

All the economic tools I just mentioned have been utilized not only by that Socialist government in Saskatchewan, but also by the government in that Tory bastion, Alberta. Why can’t the Tory government in Ontario use them all as well?

In a manner consistent with the above principles, NDP strategy will use public ownership of the natural resource base to develop the means for further processing of the north’s forest and mineral wealth. At the same time, secondary industry, such as mining and forestry machinery, related to the resource sector, would be created in the north.

New Democrats believe the social consequences of northern underdevelopment are so important that the government must use all the means at its disposal to eliminate them. Public sector development of our publicly owned resources is a natural way for the community to assure advancement of the interests of its members.

To reject the use of public enterprise to bring about a self-reliant northern economy is to perpetuate the north’s role as a resource colony. The New Democratic Party rejects any such self-imposed limitation. Total reliance on incentives to the private sector, as Liberals and Conservatives have done, has maintained an economy in the corporate interest and failed to develop a diversified and stable economy in northern Ontario.

Our strategy for northern development would have two thrusts: regional and community development aimed at achieving economic self-reliance. Regionally, the first priority is to bring about stability in the resources sector by ensuring the planned development of renewable and nonrenewable resources. Planning agreements would be negotiated with private companies, with reinvestment in job creation targets required. Crown corporations would be created, patterned after Petrocan, as a window on the private sector so that the government has a role and knows what is going on in those areas. In these ways, the government could gain some control of the pace of development and integrate into overall investment and manpower policies.

A publicly owned mining development corporation with the responsibility to explore and develop mineral resources could have ensured that Bending Lake iron ore deposits were developed, rather than the passive weak-kneed approach of this government to the fate of Atikokan at the hands of the private sector.

By the way, I wonder if the minister can report on the progress of the cabinet committee on the future of mining towns. Whatever happened to that committee? I do not think this minister is the chairman. I think the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Auld) is supposed to be the chairman of that committee. It would be interesting, though, if this minister could report on how many times that committee has met, what progress it is making, what new initiatives it intends to take to try to resolve the boom-bust cycle in northern mining towns.

Since both the private sector and the Progressive Conservative government have failed to adequately regenerate much more than one third of the cut-over area, and while it is anticipated that another one third cannot regenerate in nature, we are now faced with an enormous backlog of barren land.

The recent Lakehead University study for the royal commission, which I referred to earlier, stated: “Fibre supplies are inadequate to support existing manufacturing capacity without major improvements in utilization or the return of large areas of forested land to industrial wood production.”

Obviously action has to be taken. An NDP government will establish a crown corporation to redress the current legacy of Conservative neglect and ensure a wood supply sufficient to guarantee the future of northern Ontario’s forest industry and the towns dependent upon it.

The second priority is to diversify the regional economy through the creation of a secondary manufacturing capability. First, planning and development agreements with the private resource sector could ensure Canadian content requirements for resource extraction, machinery and parts. This would encourage firms such as Jarvis Clark, our one ruining machinery manufacturing success story. It would be interesting if the minister could explain why Jarvis Clark’s planned expansion is going ahead in southern Ontario instead of the north.

Our great potential for import replacement in mining machinery provides us with a very high job creation opportunity. We could provide 4,580 direct jobs in the mining machinery industry with the potential of 9,160 spinoff job opportunities. The crown- owned mining machinery corporation would begin the task of turning around our trade deficit and creating badly needed secondary manufacturing jobs in northern Ontario.

Other import replacement opportunities exist in household furniture manufacturing and in the utilization of wood waste for energy, such as methanol fuels. It would be interesting to see why there has not been the kind of regional economic thrust directed by this ministry that would help to bring about the development 0f those kinds of industries in northern Ontario.

To develop self-reliance through local linkages and import replacement at the community level, the ministry, under an NDP government, will assist in the development of local inventories of potential and needs, in conjunction with the local communities and other ministries and agencies.

As the technical resources available to small northern communities in any drive to become self-reliant are limited, there is an urgent need for an agency to provide advice and assistance and to determine appropriate technologies for new enterprises. To this end, the New Democratic Party will establish a northern technological research and development institute similar to institutes that have been set up in a number of American states by the governments there. The emphasis of such an institute would be on local control and local resources.

I wonder whether the minister could explain why his ministry rejected such a proposal last summer. Is his assistant Deputy Minister, Mr. Aiken, correct in stating that MNA’s mandate does not provide for the establishment or the operation of such institutions? If so, which government agency has such a mandate? We think the MNA should.

In our view, an initial study by such an institute would come up with the most obvious areas of import replacement at the community level, such as food production and small energy generation, to provide jobs and lower price differentials in these northern communities.

4:10 p.m.

Such an active role in economic development, rather than the present passive one, is not pie-in-the-sky; it can be realized and financed. The stimulation in the mineral sector would contribute to increased revenues resulting from increased production while all existing provincial development expenditures would be redirected.

Also, an NDP government would move to capture a higher rate of return for exploitation of the province’s resources by the private sector. The Saskatchewan experience easily dispels the old argument that to do so would scare off investment. Saskatchewan tax revenues from mineral production -- excluding oil and gas, I emphasize -- are much higher than Ontario’s, something like 13 times as high. Mining expansion there is booming, while the industry here is stagnating.

The increased resource revenue would be used to create the Northern Ontario Tomorrow Fund modelled along the lines of the Saskatchewan and Alberta heritage funds, which this party has proposed in the House in the past. The expenditures from this fund would be directed exclusively towards northern economic and social development programs. An active development role, such as the one I have outlined, would require a complete reorganization of the Ministry of Northern Affairs and its relationship to other ministries to parallel much more the development of the Department of Northern Saskatchewan.

The minister mentioned the Department of Northern Saskatchewan in his leadoff and again today. He argued they were coming closer to the present situation we have today in northern Ontario in the Ministry of Northern Affairs. The leader of our party and a number of other colleagues, including myself met with the Minister of Northern Development in Saskatchewan last March -- among other ministers of that government and the Premier -- and we had some very interesting discussions.

As the minister knows, the Department of Northern Saskatchewan is a line ministry, one that not only co-ordinates government response to the northern part of that province and the communities and residents there but also does the regional and local planning, with input from the local communities. It designs programs to bring about economic and social development for that part of the province.

It is true that the Department of Northern Saskatchewan is moving to allow for more community and local input. That is more akin to a municipal component or a local services board component than it is to bringing other ministries of other departments of the government of Saskatchewan into delivering services.

Mr. Haggerty: Are the fire trucks red or yellow now?

Mr. Wildman: The fire trucks are yellow, and so is this ministry when it comes to dealing with the private sector.

Much has been written about the problems of the north, and there is substantial agreement about the nature of those problems. I think we all recognize the great potential we have in northern Ontario. However, very little action has been taken to actually redress the fundamental structural barriers to the development of a more self-reliant society in northern Ontario. The New Democratic Party proposes a northern development strategy that will help northern Ontario to move from its role as a resource colony and build a more equitable, stable and just social and economic environment for its people.

The necessary human and material resources exist to make a self-reliant northern Ontario society possible. The missing ingredient is a government with a political will to make available resources work for the people of northern Ontario rather than for the benefit of outside investors. This party has that will. When we become the government of this province, the Ministry of Northern Affairs will become a vehicle for the economic and social development of a self-reliant economy and society in northern Ontario.

The Deputy Chairman: Does the minister wish to make any reply at this time?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Yes, Mr. Chairman. I have a few responses that I am sure the members would want me to give them. I must begin by thanking my critics for their strong support of the concept of the Ontario North Now pavilion established at Ontario Place. The support they have shown for the concept is most encouraging. I think we all agree that in Ontario North Now we have a permanent northern showcase that can truly put the case of northern Ontario before the people here in southern Ontario. It is an educational process, one we know will educate the people of southern Ontario in the way which the members have addressed themselves in the last couple of hours of this debate.

I want to refer to some editorials which I am sure the members have read and which they would want me to put on the record with respect to Ontario North Now. I refer to the editorial that was in the Sault Star. It said: “Algoma views the establishment of this type of permanent exhibition as a very positive development for northern Ontario and northern industry in particular. It will afford the north an opportunity to break down some of the misconceptions that exist in southern Ontario and provide a chance to have exhibits in our major marketplace. As a major employer in the north and in Ontario, we view this as being a good opportunity for us to work on behalf of the region and our employees.”

There is an interesting comment from the little paper up in Ignace. As members know, we brought down the media from northern Ontario so they could have a first-hand look at the pavilion, see for themselves what it was all about and report accordingly. The editor of the Ignace Driftwood newspaper in a story dated August 20, 1980, went on to say: “I want to go on record as saying I appreciate the effort made by the Ministry of Northern Affairs. I have some criticism myself about certain aspects of the thing, but then why not? You think of something that was dreamed up and created in such a short period of time that would not have bugs in it or invite criticism. This is going to be a permanent thing, and the years will iron out the bugs and the creative input of the public here and in southern Ontario will fill in the gaps.”

I think the editorial in the Daily Press in Timmins was one I am sure all members read with a great deal of pride. The headline was: “There is Unity in Strength.” It went on to say: “Something significant has happened in the past nine months, a development of importance to every resident in northern Ontario. The power groups actually got together and worked towards a common goal. What this means is there existed, only for a short time and only because of special circumstances, a common front with dimensions merely dreamed about in the past. The lesson to be learned is that what happens once can occur again. The project which brought about this minor miracle was Ontario North Now. It is called a pavilion. It is really a cluster of nine structures of Ontario Place, the exhibition and recreation complex which sits above Lake Ontario adjacent to the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in Toronto.”

In the Dryden Observer, a very well respected paper in northern Ontario, the final paragraph of its editorial dated August 20, 1980, said: “Ontario North Now portrays northern Ontario as a land of opportunity, a vast, diverse area in which there is room to develop the economy in many directions and in which people can grow. As a means of providing knowledge and stimulating interest, the theme park is a worthwhile investment.”

That was the general theme and general thrust of the reaction to the pavilion. It is something that will be with us for a long time and, of course, will give us an opportunity to put our best foot forward in the months and the years ahead.

4:20 p.m.

The member for Nipissing (Mr. Bolan) made the comment that there was no consultation with the people of northern Ontario, and he made reference to the requests, I believe from the city of North Bay, for some financial assistance. He is wrong on both counts, because there was extensive consultation, and that consultation went on with various people in the municipalities. In fact, there is an alderman from North Bay who was on the committee that worked with the Association of District Municipalities, an association that takes in representation from the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities in the northeast and the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association. As the member knows, they were partners with us in the development of that northern Ontario showcase.

But at no time -- and this was one of the things we made absolutely clear -- were municipal taxation dollars to be used in the development of this showcase here at Ontario Place. We made it very clear that we needed the support of the municipalities. They would have the responsibility of making sure that the northern thrust and the northern displays were to their liking. They would, with our assistance, go to the private sector and obtain funds from the private sector to display their side of the story -- and they were very successful, I might say.

So to say that there was no consultation and that municipal tax dollars were used in the development of Ontario North Now is not correct; in fact, it is entirely wrong. I want to make that very clear, and I want the record to show that this was a joint effort by this ministry and this government and the people of northern Ontario, both the municipal leaders and the private sector.

There was some question as to the development of the pavilion itself. We did call for proposals for the concept of Ontario North Now. Some five were submitted. The most interesting one, which was selected by the Association of District Municipalities, came from a firm in London that had some knowledge and experience in northern Ontario. The proposals received from northern Ontario -- I think there were two or three -- did not really meet the requirements and expectations of the Association of District Municipalities so we went along with their selection of the firm from London, Ontario.

The member for Nipissing also questioned why we would develop such a tremendous showcase here in southern Ontario and invite people from all over the province to come and see that particular northern Ontario showcase. I say to you, Mr. Chairman, that to develop a showcase like this in northern Ontario would have been absolutely ludicrous, because the converted people are already in northern Ontario. There is no need to convince the people of northern Ontario where to live or what to do, or of the potentials of northern Ontario, because they are very familiar with what goes on. They live there because they want to live there. They want to be part and parcel of that very large, growing and expanding area of this province.

To have developed a showcase in Cochrane, Moosonee, North Bay or Sudbury would not have fulfilled the desires or ambitions of the people who live in northern Ontario in trying to change the attitudes and the misconceptions some of the people in southern Ontario have about the north. Our approach is obvious to get the biggest bang for our buck -- and we got a big bang for our buck, because well over 80,000 people visited Ontario North Now in the short time it was open. Of course, next year we will go on to attract even greater visitations from all across the province and the United States and around the world.

Sure, there were weaknesses in our presentation but, as I have said so many times, we invite constructive criticism with regard to the displays in that pavilion. We know there were gaps; we know there were weaknesses. We have received many complimentary remarks with always a little suggestion as to how we can improve, and we are accepting this with a great deal of enthusiasm. The special review committee on the thrust of Ontario North Now is meeting on an ongoing basis, reviewing all the criticisms and suggestions that have come in. We are having a post-mortem, so to speak; thus, many of the suggestions to which the honourable members have made reference will be incorporated in the displays next year.

Recognition of the trappers is a typical suggestion we received from other areas; while they were not present or were not displayed in the manner that they or the member for Nipissing would have liked, I can assure him this ministry is cognizant of the contribution that the 10,000 trappers of this province make to the economy of northern Ontario.

It was our ministry, in co-operation with the Ministry of Natural Resources, that developed a more humane trap, something we have been striving to obtain in this province for many years. The Ministry of Northern Affairs showed an interest, put its money where its mouth was and got on with the job of finding one. Now we have one that I am sure will be used by the trappers of this province. So, in all likelihood, they will share in a greater way in the display we will have in Ontario North Now next year.

The member for Nipissing made some reference to section 113 as it relates to Silverfields in Cobalt. The Minister of Natural Resources, as all members are aware, is down in committee at this time defending the spending estimates of his ministry. 1 strongly suggest the members go down and ask the question. They are free to do so.

Mr. Bolan: What is your policy? What did you do in cabinet?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I would like to tell the honourable member what I did in cabinet, but what we do and say in cabinet is confidential. I can tell him that the Minister of Natural Resources can defend his policy. Certainly I was part and parcel of that decision; so I would encourage him to go down and ask the question of the minister who is directly responsible for that issue. While I had input into that decision, the decision was made and I make no bones about it.

Mr. Bolan: What was it? Why don’t you speak on it?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Go down and speak to the minister. He has made several statements in this Legislature, and the honourable member is trying to use it for political purposes. He is trying to bend and twist arid whipsaw one minister against another, and he is just not going to do that.


The Deputy Chairman: The Minister of Northern Affairs has the floor.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: The honourable member also raised the question of the Ontario home renewal program. He was very complimentary to that program, and certainly I appreciate his comments on that.

Mr. Bolan: It was complimentary to the government, not to your ministry.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Wait until I finish. The member is not going to get away that easily. I think he is not aware of what my ministry is doing in northern Ontario as it relates to OHRP. We, in the ministry, who are very efficient, have had 29 northern affairs officers administering many parts of OHRP throughout the north. We are very much aware of the need to continue that program and to improve it. I can tell my friend right now that I will support any request the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett) makes with respect to expanding OHRP for this province, because I agree with the member for Nipissing that it is a very worthwhile, positive program, and I can support with enthusiasm anything that will improve the housing stock of our province.

4:30 p.m.

The member mentioned deregulation and the high freight rates in northern Ontario. He is aware that my colleague the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) tried for some time to bring in deregulation in the trucking industry. However, because of the pressure from the opposition during this minority government, that was not possible. The thrust and the urgent desire of that particular minister and that ministry to do something about the trucking rates in northern Ontario were thwarted by the opposition members, The people in northern Ontario are aware of our efforts to do something about freight rates. At one time, as members are aware, we did bring in an 18 per cent reduction in the Ontario Northland Railway freight rates.

Mr. Wildman: It did not do any good.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: It did not do any good. The member for Algoma recognizes that, and I appreciate that.

Mr. Bolan: It didn’t do you any good. Why didn’t you make a better effort?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: The thing is, we made an effort. It cost this government and the ONTC several million dollars, but it was not passed on. It is all right to criticize, but we also need some constructive criticism and some ideas.

Mr. Wildman: Why didn’t the federal Liberals lower the CN and CP rates?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: You cannot do that. If the member for Nipissing were really sincere, what he would be saying to the federal government is that we in north --

Mr. Bolan: Talk to the issue.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: if I could get his attention, what the member for Nipissing should be saying to his kissing cousins or his brothers in Ottawa is that we should have --

Mr. Bolan: You had your chance, but you jokers over there blew it. Your cousins blew it.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: -- a special Crowsnest type of agreement for northern Ontario. The member for Algoma agrees with me. If the federal government were interested in doing something about freight rates in northern Ontario, then it should look at northern Ontario as that region that really needs some special attention -- something like the farmers in western Canada received years ago.

Mr. Bolan: Did you approach Clark on that when he was in office?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: If the Liberals had left him there long enough, we would likely have had something.

Mr. Bolan: He was there too long.

The Deputy Chairman: The member for Nipissing will have his opportunity to ask questions in a few moments.

Mr. Wildman: We have the highest rates in Canada, between Sudbury and Thunder Bay.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: That is right. The federal Liberals have now elected 15 members in northern Ontario. I can say right now that we will not see changes with regard to those freight rates. They will sit idly by for the next four years.

Mr. Wildman: They sat idly by when CP took the Budd car off the White River to Sudbury run.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: That is right. They never said a word. There was more noise from this government than there was from the federal members up there.

Mr. Wildman: You were not successful either.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: No. But we tried.

The member for Nipissing made a plea for TVOntario to be extended into the Parry Sound-North Bay area. I am particularly pleased that he asked that question of the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Baetz) today, because it is an area where I know he and I would like to see service extended. There is no doubt that it is a question of capital dollars but, as the minister said during the question period today, it is more than just the capital dollars. it is the ongoing cost.

I am sure he has that in hand and is aware of it. I will be doing everything I can to lean on that minister and the government to extend at least TVOntario into those areas that are not now serviced in Ontario on a regular basis.

I was particularly pleased at the member’s comments with regard to the Field disaster and that he was very much aware of the input my ministry had there. The federal-provincial study, to which he referred, is something I have not made myself familiar with, but certainly I will. Nevertheless, with that behind us, I think we have the situation in hand and resolved as it relates to the many people in Field who, I am confident, have accepted the problems of moving and the upheaval they experienced and now are much more comfortable than they were in the past and are away from the fear of possible floods that may occur in the future.

As northerners, we can take pride in the manner in which that was handled. As I said in my opening remarks, I have to compliment the assistant deputy minister of the northeastern region, Herb Aiken. I am pleased that Mr. Aiken is with us today, because he did just an outstanding job in pulling that issue together and resolving it to the satisfaction of all the people. He went beyond the call of duty in many instances in doing such a good job.

It is always interesting to have the input of the member for Algoma. I have difficulty sorting out his position on some issues. I have the feeling that he was given a prepared text by the research staff, a document that sounded like the Regina Manifesto for northern Ontario. But it was obvious that his own feelings were seeping through at times, perhaps because he wanted to get his own blueprint and his own fingerprints on the record. I sense that he was forced to say some of the things he would not normally say if he were delivering a speech off the cuff, as the member for Nipissing did, without a prepared text. He went on espousing the NDP doctrine about crown corporations, planning and all the gobbledegook that is supposed to look after our problems from now to eternity. Nevertheless, the contribution is always appreciated.

Mr. Wildman: Even though you will pay no attention to it.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: It seems to me I have heard that speech before, I think from the member for Sudbury (Mr. Germa). Even the words were the same.

Mr. Wildman: Nothing has changed. Everything is the same.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: He could change the paragraphs a little and change the thrust every once in a while.

The honourable member in his remarks talked about regional planning. We have that in place now, but this ministry and this government are not waiting until all those plans are in place. My God, we can study the world to death. There are studies going on. The land-use plan is going on in the Ministry of Natural Resources. We have the Royal Commission on the Northern Environment which is looking at land north of the 50th parallel.

Mr. Wildman: Do you agree with them?

Hon. Mr. Bemier: I think we will wait for the recommendations to come down. I have great admiration for the commissioner himself. He hails from the great riding of Kenora, as the member knows. He has a lifetime of experience in northern Ontario; so I am sure he will have something very positive to say when these recommendations come down.

Mr. Wildman: He certainly sounds very positive right now.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Yes. He is on the right track as far as I am concerned. We have the municipal advisory committees that look after regional planning for the municipalities. We have the various task forces that will be established in northwestern Ontario and will deal with the specific issues of the northwest as related to those fundamental issues to which the member referred, like import substitution. I am sure the member is aware of the very broad studies we have in place at the present time with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food which relate to import substitution for fruit products across northern Ontario. I am anxiously looking forward to the report of that committee.

The member made reference to the lack of information as to the role of the ministry. He did not know exactly what we were to do, how we were to co-ordinate and just what we do outside of looking after the needs of all those people in northern Ontario, besides delivering fire trucks with the honourable member to Hawk Junction. When we were there he stood up beside me and spoke at great length about what a great ministry and what a great government we were, responding to the needs of that little community without any delay.

The member also was in Blind River just a few weeks ago with my colleague the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Parrott). They were opening up a $1-million treatment plant there. It was interesting to see and hear the reports I received about the member for Algoma’s extolling at great length about what a great minister the Minister of the Environment is and what a great ministry he has, looking after the pollution and sewage needs of northern Ontario. It was great. He was very complimentary because a $1-million development went into his particular riding. In fact, the $1 million came from the Ministry of Northern Affairs. We put up the money, and I was ‘glad that he recognized that.

4:40 p.m.

I want to get back to the role of the ministry. I want to read into the record six or seven paragraphs in the hope that the members will look at them and digest them as the report is in Hansard. It will be a guide for them for their future digestion or knowledge.

Mr. Wildman: I am sure we will all get indigestion.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: It will go down smoothly, really.

The role of the Ministry of Northern Affairs is:

1. To develop and recommend policies and programs that respond effectively to the priority problems, needs and opportunities of northern Ontario;

2. To ensure that the requirements of northern Ontario are considered and, where feasible, reflected in government policy development, program planning, priority setting and resource allocation;

3. To improve citizen awareness of and access to government programs and services in the north;

4. To facilitate citizen participation in the development of policies, programs and specific projects for the north;

5. To administer specific programs designed to assist the development of northern communities and regional facilities and services;

6. To co-ordinate government programs and services relating to northern Ontario;

7. To undertake projects into all aspects of the economic and social conditions of all areas of northern Ontario; and

8. To establish a stronger provincial government presence in the north through geographical decentralization of ministry program responsibilities and decision-making authority.

That lays out in clear, concise language the role of the Ministry of Northern Affairs. I wanted to put it on the record for the benefit of the members opposite so they can refer to it on a regular basis.

I was most pleased to listen to the member for Algoma and his dissertation about the great future there is for northern Ontario should the party of which he is a member come to power. I hope he lives long enough.

Mr. Bolan: Get the petition for bankruptcy ready.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: That’s for sure.

I was interested in the member’s comments about the long-term future. I would think that 40 or 50 years from now he might be around to implement some of those ideas. However, I am sure the member’s people from the Algoma riding will be disappointed that he did not use his opportunity during his opening remarks in questioning the estimates of the Ministry of Northern Affairs about the great development that has occurred in his riding. I refer to the Hornepayne town centre complex. He made no mention of that magnificent facility of which he and the people in Hornepayne are so proud. Not once did he mention it.

It is disappointing that the member would spend so much time expounding the NDP platform and the Socialist propaganda that would make a welfare state of northern Ontario, similar to what has happened in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan is just a haven for civil servants, and they are scrambling right now to get out from underneath. In fact, the Premier of Saskatchewan told the Minister of Northern Saskatchewan, “Look, change that system up in northern Saskatchewan; it has to change.” He made that point to him; it is a known fact, and he is working on the changes. He is looking at Ontario’s structure.

In fact, the minister -- Mr. Hammersmith, is it?

Mr. Wildman: Hammersmith.

Hon. Mr. Bemier: Mr. Hammersmith, yes; he was in my office a few months ago looking at our transportation system in northern Ontario.

Mr. Ashe: Looking for guidance.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Yes, he was; that’s right. He was very impressed with the air transportation services we have established in northern Ontario, and they want to model theirs after ours. It is that kind of soul-searching they are doing now in northern Saskatchewan, and we are going to help them. We think they need help; we know they need help. In the last three or four years we have had a tremendous amount of experience in how to deliver services to the remote areas of a great province like ours. We are going to exchange and share the experience and the knowledge we have gained in that short period of time. I am sure we are going to learn more.

I was also disappointed the honourable member did not make reference to the extension of the norOntair service in Homepayne, the new airstrip at Hornepayne.

Mr. Wildman: You mentioned it.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: My friend is the member for Algoma. I am sure the people will be disappointed to learn it was not even mentioned. Even the leadership role my ministry played in Missanabie was not mentioned -- that simple little thing.

Mr. Wildman: I am going to raise that. You better be ready for that one.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: It was a simple little thing. It was a small community we moved in.

Mr. Wildman: If I were you, I would not take credit for what’s happening there.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: We went in there. The member could not get any other ministry to move in. We went in there and assisted those people. We are going to assist them some more. But they will not go to a local services board. They are not interested in that. We think they should go to a local services board, because that would be the answer. But without any organization at all, just a community spirit, we went in and tried to pull it together. But there was no mention of that by the member. I am disappointed he did not bring it up. He did not even mention the assistance we gave to Hawk Junction.

Mr. Wildman: I mentioned that last year. Why should I mention it this year?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: But those little communities will look to the member’s party for the type of leadership the Ministry of Northern Affairs has given them. We should not be doing all these things. I mentioned, of course, the assistance we gave to Blind River.

I have a couple of areas I hope the member for Algoma will spend some time on, because I know the people back home will be reading these comments and will be looking for some recognition of their respective communities and at the advancements they have made with the co-operation and assistance of the Ministry of Northern Affairs, the improvements in the quality of life in the small communities of the member for Algoma’s riding.

Mr. Warner: It has been the best representation they ever had, and you know it.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I would leave that point with him. I am sure we will hear more as the estimates proceed.

The member made some reference about the financial assistance this government is making to the pulp and paper industry. I have no difficulty in joining with the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) and the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) in seeing what a great program it is for northern Ontario.

Seven years ago, when I was in the Ministry of Natural Resources, the pulp and paper industry was in tough shape. It is a cyclical industry. We have all heard that before. But they were in extreme difficulty because of the competition from the southern United States and other parts of the world. At that time, seven years ago, we commissioned a special federal-provincial study group. I personally went to Ottawa on a number of occasions to meet with the federal minister. Two or three of the Ontario cabinet ministers went to Ottawa to try to resolve this problem we knew was going to be before us in the not-too-distant future. We had to come up with some kind of a program that would make these pulp and paper companies comply with the environmental requirements of this province which are second to none on the North American continent. We wanted a clean environment.

Mr. T. P. Reid: You do not really believe they are doing that.

Hon. Mr. Bemier: We want a clean environment, we want the jobs in place, and we want those industries to be competitive on a worldwide situation.

Mr. Wildman: They can do it themselves.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: They cannot do it themselves. That was proven by the study. The study is there. In fact, my present Deputy Minister, Art Herridge, was a member of that study group. He recalls well the agony they went through in looking at all the plants in Quebec, Ontario and eastern Canada as a whole. So the money we are now putting into the pulp and paper industry is something we as northerners should take pride in. We should all be jumping on the bandwagon because it is bringing in millions of dollars of the private sector money. The job is being proven in northern Ontario. If you take what is going into the town of Dryden alone, there are 650 additional employees for the next three or four years in the development of a major new mill.

Mr. T. P. Reid: They could have done that without the grants.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: They could not have done that.

Mr. Wildman: The vice-president at Smooth Rock Falls said they would not need them.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Chairman, on this side of the House we have a certain responsibility to guarantee those industries will be in place --

Mr. Wildman: I think he is on your side. He certainly is not on ours.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: -- and those jobs will be in place. The only way we are going to do that is guarantee that we have mills that can compete.

Mr. Wildman: Are they going to have timber?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: They’ll have timber. I am not worried about that. That is secondary. That is not even a problem as far as I am concerned. I have said that many times. But the modernization of the pulp and paper industry in eastern Canada had to be acted upon; there was no question. The federal government recognized this because they are into it on a one-third basis with the provincial government. It is two thirds provincial and one third federal. So it is not something that was taken lightly. It was taken in the best interests of the pulp and paper industry and most of that industry is located in northern Ontario. Those jobs will be guaranteed; the people will be in place. They will have no fear of meeting their mortgage payments.

4:50 p.m.

I am pleased the member for Rainy River is with us. He will be there, I am sure, when the appropriate time arrives to compliment this government on what we are doing for the pulp and paper industry in his community. But the jobs will be guaranteed -- that is most important.

Go to the towns of northern Ontario -- Iroquois Falls, Dryden, Thunder Bay, Kenora, Fort Frances. If you had gone six months or two years ago you would have felt the uncertainty. There was a mood in the community that was difficult to put a finger on but it was there and it was uncertainty about the future of their jobs -- where were they going to be five or 10 years down the road. Now that future has been assured because of the actions of this government.

I did speak about the planning requirements of the government and what we are doing with regard to the royal commission and the Municipal Advisory Committee. I am particularly pleased that the member for Algoma recognized the faith and strength of northerners themselves to meet their problems head on to achieve the goals they want to achieve. it is because of that strength this ministry can move ahead and provide the answers to their long-term problems.

I did speak at some length about the Saskatchewan experience. I call it a total disaster in terms of economic development; there is no question about it. There are tombstones of disaster across northern Saskatchewan.

Mr. Wildman: Their mining industry is a lot stronger than ours.

Mr. Warner: Less than four per cent unemployed; balanced budget.

Mr. Chairman: Order.

Mr. T. P. Reid: And no people.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: And no people, that is right. A total disaster -- but they will change. I think they have seen the light now.

The member questioned the present position of the cabinet committee on single-industry communities. That question has been answered many times in the Legislature. I am certainly not going to stand in my place here and lead you to believe that I or anybody in this Legislature has the answer to the long-term viability of the single-industry community. There is just no simple solution. We are finding that out in the plant in Atikokan.

The member made the comment that “suddenly they found they had no jobs.” That statement is not factually correct. I happened to be there 30 years ago when they turned on the pumps to drain Steep Rock Lake. I was a member of the Hudson Chamber of Commerce. We were invited down for the big ceremony because it was a big event in northern Ontario. I heard the officials say, “We have 30 years of ore here.” They knew at that time. I am sure the member for Rainy River will agree with me the people knew the ore would finally be exhausted and accepted the fact.

Mr. Wildman: And why were you not developing something?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: We were working very closely with the community. We are still working. As a lead ministry we are working very closely with that community to try to attract new industry and to diversify the economy. I think those are the words the member has used so many times. But it is not easy, as we are finding out.

This government has moved in Atikokan. There is the road to Bending Lake, up to Ignace; the development of a new hydro project; the assistance to the industrial park area and the assistance to an industrial mall. In fact, last week I sat out here in the east lobby with the reeve of Atikokan along with his industrial commissioner, Brian Ross, to review at great length what they were trying to do. In fact, we are funding the industrial commissioner’s office in Atikokan and providing them with all the tools we have to attract new industry to Atikokan.

It is not easy; there is just no question. I am pleased the population of Atikokan has not decreased that much. It is down something like about 500, and out of a total of 6,000 or 7,000 it is not bad. Some of the people who left and went out to western Canada have since returned because they have their homes there and they will take a little less salary in other jobs. Believe me, there is no easy answer to the long-term viability of the single-industry community.

I think I spoke about the import substitution studies with relation to farm products, I do not want to repeat that. I think I have touched on most of the issues that the honourable members raised during the opening statements. If I have missed any maybe they can bring it to my attention and I would be glad to try to answer or provide answers.

Mr. Chairman: That completes the leadoff statements.

On vote 701, ministry administration program; item 1, main office:

Mr. Bolan: Mr. Chairman, I think in view of the fact that when we started doing the estimates last year the minister led off with a reading of his horoscope, and since I was kind enough to draw the minister’s horoscope to the attention of this chamber last Thursday, I think for the sake of continuity we should talk about today’s horoscope of the minister. It is very interesting and very appropriate. That is why I am sure it is in order. I am reading again from the Toronto Sun. It says: “Leo: Unfortunately, today you are apt to be more of a talker than a doer. Your conversations will be interesting, but actual results may be negligible.”

I am sure he did not write it, but in any event I just thought I would draw that to the attention of the chamber because I think it really is a good analogy between that and what the minister has been telling us today.

I just have a couple of questions under this item. There are two information officers in my riding.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Information officers?

Mr. Bolan: There is one in North Bay and another in Sturgeon Falls. Information officers, or whatever these people are called --

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Northern affairs officers.

Mr. Bolan: -- northern affairs officers. I call them information officers or spies, Leo’s spies.

I would like to know how many inquiries on a daily basis go through those offices. What is considered to be an inquiry? For example, if someone drops in and picks up a pamphlet on Ontario North Now or anything else which may be there by way of information, is the mere opening of the door, popping one’s head in and asking for a pamphlet an inquiry? Is a telephone call to get the weather report an inquiry? What amounts to an inquiry? What would be the average of inquiries which go through the offices in North Bay and Sturgeon Falls in a year? I realize we can’t have that answer right now. I am sure it can be obtained for us.

Aside from being in the offices on a regular basis and taking inquiries, what other functions do these officers perform? Do they go out and talk about programs of the ministry? Do they try to inform the people? Aside from when people go in to see them, do they try to inform people of what programs there are for northern Ontario and northern Ontario residents?

5 p.m.

Perhaps over the next few hours of these estimates this information can be provided for me. In particular, I would like to know the number of OHRP applications which were approved and completed out of the two offices in my riding, the office in North Bay and the office in Sturgeon Falls. I realize the office in North Bay takes in more than just the Nipissing area. It takes in part of Parry Sound, which has some unorganized townships, as well as points down as far as Algonquin Park. I realize the officer does have a large area, but I am interested in finding out the number of applications which were processed, approved and completed in 1979 and which ones to date could be placed in that same category.

The other thing I would like to talk about is a question of health, which I think properly comes under this vote. I want to know how your ministry co-ordinates with the Ministry of Health to provide medical services and facilities in remote areas of northern Ontario or areas which are removed from a medical service centre.

I think the best way to exemplify this is to relate to you a situation we have in my part of the riding. We have a small community which borders on the Ontario-Quebec border called Thorne. Some three years ago, these people approached me to try to get some form of medical service for their community. Their problem was getting into North Bay to see a regular doctor. We made a survey of the area and we found that 45 to 46 per cent of the residents of that community and another community nearby were senior citizens; so there was a definite need for them to see a doctor in North Bay on a continuing basis.

The problem was one of transportation. Thorne is 40 miles from North Bay. The only means of public transport they had was a bus which passed through Thorne at three o’clock in the afternoon. There was another bus that left North Bay for Thorne at 3:45; so it was impossible to do the trip in one day. Some of them had to take taxis while others formed other forms of pool transportation. Basically as a result of the problem in getting to North Bay for medical attention, the matter was brought to my attention.

I contacted Dr. Copeman, who immediately came up. We organized a meeting which was held at the school in Thorne. He set about a course of action which has turned out to reach a certain point where somebody else’s help is now needed. He approached St. Joseph’s Hospital which agreed to set up a medical service in Thorne. The doctor would be provided from the air base at North Bay and would go to Thorne once or twice a week. He would co-ordinate with St. Joseph’s with respect to nursing staff and coordinating that end of it.

Where we ran into the problem was in finding a building or a place where the service was to be carried out. The sad part about it is that once a place is located, once the services can be held in a certain building, then the entire cost is paid for by the Ministry of Health. What we have right now is for all intents and purposes a system which can be put into effect tomorrow, but we don’t have a place. I wrote to the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) about it. He wrote back to me and said it is up to the local community to find its own place.

The northern affairs officer in North Bay is well aware of this as I have discussed it with him. Basically what I would like to know is whether or not your ministry can do something to alleviate this problem. In view of the fact that it has Ministry of Health approval, the project is sound. The project is feasible. They are to pay the entire operating costs, everything. What we are asking of your ministry is to co-ordinate with the Ministry of Health to get some kind of a building there. Whether it will be a portable, I don’t know, but we need some kind of facility in that community so that the service which is very badly needed can be effected. I would ask you to look into that because it certainly is something which is deserving of your immediate attention.

The other thing on health which I would like to discuss very briefly is the question of air ambulance service for northern Ontario. I think the tenders are out right now. They have been out for some time for the air ambulance service. Don’t turn this into political opportunism. I say that because you will understand exactly what I am talking about. In August, when it was thought that a fall election was imminent in Ontario, there was a flurry of activity to get these tender calls in real fast so the Minister of Health, or whoever, during the campaign would be able to point out that government is providing another excellent service for the people of northern Ontario. You haven’t done it to date and you haven’t done it to date because of political opportunism, but let me tell you this, you are playing with the lives of people.

Number one, you acknowledge that a northern Ontario air ambulance service is necessary. We have seen the tragedies which took place in northwestern Ontario. There have been at least three deaths in the past year in northwestern Ontario associated with poor air ambulance service. You recognize that and it would appear to me at this time that you are now playing politics and holding back making an announcement of an air ambulance service for northern Ontario until next spring. I hope that will not happen. I hope your government will have the guts to stand up and make an announcement now.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: It’s totally irresponsible for that member to stand up and to charge that politics are being played with regard to an air ambulance system to be established in northern Ontario. It’s absolutely irresponsible.

Mr. Bolan: It is the truth, Mr. Chairman. It is the truth.

The other thing is this: When you decided to look into air ambulance service you didn’t ask any questions or make any inquiries of the existing provider services. As a result of this the Ontario Hospital Association, region number 11, submitted a brief. You received a copy of this brief. You are here, right underneath Mr. Havrot’s name. That’s right. Mr. L. Bernier, Minister of Northern Affairs.

This brief set out for the government or for the Minister of Health what should be done to provide adequate air ambulance service. The chairman of this association is Mr. G. J. Gagnon of Hearst, and I would like to read to you the letter which he wrote to the Minister of Health on September 12:

“Dear Mr. Minister:

“We have attached herewith a brief which summarizes the concerns and recommendations of the providers in OHA region number 11. The brief outlines some of the common problems experienced with long distance transfers and provides suggestions and/or recommendations that may serve to alleviate and hopefully eventually eliminate similar problems in the future.

5:10 p.m.

“The main reason we come to you, Mr. Minister, is simply because we have been unsuccessful after numerous attempts to obtain concrete results of any kind through normal channels. Since the matter is of utmost importance to the welfare of all the people of northern Ontario, we felt we had no other recourse than to appeal to you directly in order to seek your personal intervention. We would have preferred to deliver this document to you in person. However, our efforts since July 12” -- exactly two months preceding the delivery of this letter -- “to arrange an interview with you have been unsuccessful, leaving us no alternative but to forward you a copy by mail.”

The brief goes on -- and I just want to read the preamble, which will take about two minutes -- it is a brief which was submitted to the Honourable Dennis Timbrell, Minister of Health, by the Ontario Hospital Association, Region 11, Northeastern Ontario:

“We firmly believe that the province of Ontario is justified in its statement that the health care system in Ontario is among the best in the world. This assessment is based on the fact that the vast majority of Ontarians receive the ultimate in health care services. They have ready access to regional, district and provincial level facilities providing a full range of high quality diagnostic and treatment services.

“Unfortunately, the secondary and tertiary level services are not, nor can they ever be fully, equally distributed throughout the province. As a result, the residents of relatively sparsely populated northern Ontario are in large measure dependent on services centralized in the more highly populated southern parts of our province.

“This fact creates the need for an efficient, comprehensive and responsive patient air transfer system to ensure that northerners have the same access to the full range of health care services enjoyed as a matter of right by southern Ontarians.”

My reason for mentioning this brief to you -- as I say, you have a copy of it -- is the fact that the Ministry of Health, when looking into the question of air ambulance service for northern Ontario, did not consult the existing provider services in northern Ontario. They did not go to the hospitals and say: “How would you co-ordinate a transfer? How would the nurse get down there? How would she get back from there? Who would pay for her if she were to stay overnight in Toronto?” -- all these many things which really would be essential to create an efficient and sound air ambulance service.

I suppose, as usual, it was left to some bureaucrat down in southern Ontario who has never been north of Finch Avenue to prepare something on it. In any event I would urge you to speak to your cabinet colleague and to point out to him the necessity for an immediate air ambulance service for northern Ontario. We are aware of the problems, we have seen tragedies and fatalities occur over the past year in northwestern Ontario as a result of poor air ambulance service, and I would think it is incumbent on this government to try to narrow the gap in services as much as it possibly can. It certainly should be done in this particular area.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Chairman, I neglected to make reference to the member for Nipissing’s remark with respect to the pronunciation of my name. During his opening remarks, he made some snide remarks about my Anglo-Saxonizing of my name. I am going to send the honourable member a copy of the speech I made in this Legislature in connection with the Quebec referendum. I will send it to you in French and in English so you will have it for your perusal. It makes excellent bedtime reading --

Mr. Wildman: Puts you to sleep, does it?

Mr. Bolan: You might also give it in French one of these days.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Yes, if I could, I would. I regret that I do not speak French as fluently as I would like, but when I hear some people trying to speak French I am glad I do not even try, because they really murder the language. I must admit I spoke nothing but French when I was a young preschooler, but not since moving to northern Ontario shortly after coming from Quebec and living in a community that is 99.9 per cent English.

I suppose those people did call us Bernier in the French way. My daughters like the French Bernier; they think it has more of a ring to it and sounds much more pleasant than the English Bernier. My voters -- and there are something like 54,000 of them in the Kenora riding -- all know me and refer to me as Bernier in the English manner. That pronunciation of the name was not my choice. I suppose as a French-Canadian I would sooner have the French Bernier than the English Bernier. Nevertheless, I make no apologies for the way my name is pronounced. My voters know me, and in a bilingual and multicultural society I assure you I have no difficulty moving around.

The member has asked some very interesting questions about our northern affairs officers and the role they actually play. It is broad and very encompassing. I am going to get the terms of reference and have them sent over to you. I will also get some information as to the number of inquiries they receive. I think we were sending these to the members several years ago. It was all documented and numbered, but we felt it was a waste of time giving you a monthly report as to the number of people who visited a northern affairs office. In the role of the ministry which I put on the record, there is a paragraph there about it. Many of those paragraphs do give directions to the northern affairs officers. They have the responsibility to be broad, to be all-encompassing as it relates to the delivery of Ontario government information and programs.

I would invite the members to visit their northern affairs officer and discuss his role with him. He would welcome you to his office.

Mr. Bolan: Mr. Levis is a personal friend of mine; I visit him all the time.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: We have excellent people and they are hand-selected. As I said in my opening remarks, this year marks the tenth anniversary of our northern affairs officers in northern Ontario.

Mr. Bolan: Dick Smith got him the job.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Yes, that could well have been. He is an excellent choice. He would certainly be glad to give you any information you would like on the numbers and how he reports them. I will also try to obtain for you the number of applications that were processed in your two offices. That will be forthcoming to you as soon as we can get to it.

The question concerning the co-ordination of health services in northern Ontario is something we in the Ministry of Northern Affairs are very much aware of. It was one of our priorities shortly after becoming a ministry, because we recognized this as one area that we could immediately embark on and get some results in answer to the many requests and requirements of the far-flung reaches of northern Ontario.

I might say the co-operation we are getting from the Ministry of Health is second to none, from the minister right down through the whole staff. They are very responsive and very receptive to the suggestions we make with respect to the better delivery of medical services in northern Ontario. We have the bursary program, the mobile dental coach program. The member made reference to medical clinics and his desire to see one established in the small community next to the Quebec border. I am not sure if that is an organized or an unorganized community.

Mr. Bolan: Unorganized.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: That will present some problems for us.

Mr. Bolan: That is why we are coming to you.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Yes, I know. We will deal with those problems. There is not a problem in northern Ontario we do not try to put our arms around and try to resolve.

Mr. Bolan: That is what you are saying; now here is the test.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: We will do it, but we have to have some organized body or some group we can work with. There has to be some cohesive group there that has some desire to do something for itself too.

We have a medical clinic assistance program in northern Ontario now where the community will come forward, after they have had some consultation and support from the Ministry of Health to establish a medical clinic, and we will assist up to two thirds of the cost.

5:20 p.m.

Today, I should be and would like to be in Rainy River, and I regret the honourable member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid) is not there to share with the community the joy and excitement of the official opening of their new medical centre.

Mr. Wildman: So you do like the local member to come?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Oh yes, by all means we invite the local members, because I know they are supportive of what we do on behalf of their constituents and their people.

We do have an assistance program for the development of medical clinics where there is local initiative and some ongoing body to accept the responsibility; that is what we need.

Mr. Bolan: There has been one for 20 years. They are incorporated and everything.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: We will be glad to look under the isolated communities assistance fund. We will look into that suggestion very carefully to see if there is some way we can assist the local people, because that is certainly our role.

The honourable member made reference to the air ambulance service that was announced in the throne speech. I have to take strong exception to it, as I find it very distasteful that he would make any reference to the establishment of an air ambulance system relating it to any political motives. I find that unbecoming for a member of this Legislature. We are dealing with people’s lives and we are moving as quickly as we can to come up with a dedicated air ambulance system, second to none on the North American continent.

We have a service in place. Nobody in northern Ontario can be denied air ambulance service at this time, but they are not dedicated aircraft like the ones announced in the throne speech. We want to improve on what we have and I think there is room for improvement. We have been getting advice from all over northern Ontario, believe me, it has been coming in in reams because the private sector has been involved up to this point and everybody seems to be an authority on the development of an air ambulance system.

We are working out the criteria now with the co-operation of the Ministry of Health, which is the lead ministry. We will be seconding some of our key people in the Ministry of Northern Affairs to the Ministry of Health to make the final decisions and to be there for a period of time to make sure the thrust of the desires of northern Ontario are answered. I think that is very important.

I can assure the honourable members from northern Ontario that the Northern Affairs ministry will be actively pursuing all aspects of an excellent air ambulance system, one that will not just move people to the major medical centres in Toronto or Winnipeg. I think the minister made it clear the other day when he said, “If we did that, the long-term results would be no specialists and a poor medical delivery system in northern Ontario.”

We have excellent hospitals in Timmins, North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay. We have many specialists located there. People from my area go to Thunder Bay and that could be increased, so those major areas have to be strengthened. If that delivery system can deliver patients and people in need to those areas of northern Ontario, then of course we will strengthen our entire medical delivery system.

I was particularly pleased that the honourable member made reference to that brief, delivered to the Minister of Health and me. He read the very interesting paragraph which recognized the tremendous health care system we enjoy in Ontario. I say it across this province and you are saying it now because it is a fact. We have a health care system that is second to none. There are improvements with regard to the air ambulance system, but I can assure the honourable members that when we put something in place it will be something we will all be proud of and will provide the services we require and are entitled to as northerners in this province.

Mr. Wildman: Mr. Chairman, I would like to pick up on the comments just made by the minister in relation to item I, which deals with co-ordination and liaison with other ministries. I also wish to raise a couple of things which I mentioned in my opening remarks, and which I assure the minister I wrote myself. That is one reason they were not as eloquent as they might have been, I suppose. The minister did not respond to them.

In dealing with the air ambulance matter, which I raised in my opening remarks as well, I wonder if the minister might comment on the statements made in the brief that our friend from Nipissing mentioned. The Northeastern Ontario Hospital Association stated in it that the air ambulance service suffers from a group of co-ordinators at the centre who do not understand northern Ontario geography, who do not have a good enough knowledge of the weather conditions and the distances involved, and who make arbitrary decisions as to who is eligible and who is not.

Could he relate that to the whole issue I have raised a number of times, and others have raised as well, about the OHIP coverage? I know the minister said the position of the Minister of Health is that if they were to change the OHIP legislation it could create a problem. If it were changed so that non- emergency referrals might be covered, and return trips covered so people would not have to pay their own expenses for these long trips -- not only to Manitoba or southern Ontario but in some cases even from remote communities to larger centres like Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie or Sudbury -- it could make it more difficult than it is now to attract medical specialists to the north. Frankly, I do not see it as an either/or matter. I think they can be complementary. We are having difficulty attracting specialists even into the large centres of the north -- into places like Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay.

As a matter of fact, the chairman of the Cochrane District Health Council mentioned to me once that it was not too hard to get an orthodontist to come to northern Ontario because they tend to be macho, he-man types who like hunting, fishing and the kind of outdoor recreation we have in northern Ontario. But it is another matter when you are trying to attract a psychiatrist, who may have other kinds of interests.

Mr. Young: There is no work for psychiatrists in the north. Everyone is sane up there.

Mr. Wildman: They could be. I am being quite sincere in this. Right now in Sault Ste. Marie -- we will use that city as an example -- I think there are three psychiatric specialists. According to the Ministry of Health’s own guidelines they need 11 psychiatrists to serve Sault Ste. Marie, the Algoma district and the immediate area there. That is not a unique situation. Anaesthetists and gynaecologists are also in short supply even in the large centres in northern Ontario.

So I do not see it as an either/or situation. I think we have to be doing all we can to attract the specialists. I realize you have the bursary program. I rea1ize you have extended the underserviced areas program to the specialists. It may have some effect. But I do not think that necessarily means we do not have to go the route of dealing with the OHIP coverage problem as well. We have to deal with both because we are going to be transporting people from remote communities to the larger centres, at least if we are able to provide all of the services we need in those centres at some future date.

I think the minister would agree it is completely unrealistic to say we are going to have a Princess Margaret Hospital in every large community in northern Ontario. In some very serious and rare diseases we are going to have to continue transporting people into the large metropolitan areas. So that question of OHIP coverage and an adequate air ambulance service has to be dealt with.

5:30 p.m.

I wonder if the minister might also comment on the proposal made by the Hornepayne Community Hospital and myself to the Minister of Health, which he has finally agreed to, that is, a visiting clinicians program. I think the minister would agree that one of the problems we have in attracting medical doctors to the small communities of northern Ontario is not so much their income -- I do not think it is a problem; most of them make a very good income because there is a need for their services -- and I do not think it is necessarily the lack of amenities in the community. It is more often the feeling of isolation, of being cut off from the rest of the profession and not being able to keep up to date in new medical developments.

With a visiting clinicians program, specialists can come in on a regular basis from southern Ontario or from the larger communities in northern Ontario to the small community hospitals and provide upgrading programs for the staff there and the doctors in the surrounding communities, so that they feel more in contact with new developments in medicine. Also, of course, it gives opportunities for patients, who might normally have to be transported, to be treated locally. If a specialist who can deal with particular problems patients have is coming in, they will not have to be moved. The specialist can use a patient’s case as a way of not only upgrading the local staff but providing a practical learning experience for the medical people in the area.

Also, the minister did not react to the comment I made about the lack of dentists in northern Ontario and the serious shortage in the northwest particularly. I understand the ministry has made funds available for a dental clinic in Chapleau. I also understand the serious financial problems of that town. I am wondering if this is something that will be expanded to other communities which need to attract dentists and what is being done in the ministry in that area. I understand Dubreuilville in my riding has asked for some dental assistance as well.

In that vein, I want to make clear to the minister that I purposely did not dwell at great length on my own riding in my leadoff because I see my role here as the critic for this ministry in a wider sense than that of simply the local member dealing with local concerns of the communities in his riding. I think it is important for us all, not just the minister, but all members in this House, and particularly members from northern Ontario, to have a wider view of the needs and potential of northern Ontario and not just to be parochial in dealing only with their ridings.

Do not worry -- as we go through the votes I will have lots of local concerns I will raise. They will involve the meetings I have had and I think the minister’s staff will acknowledge I have tried to be helpful in dealing with certain questions regarding the local input and development at Hornepayne. I mean that sincerely. I have tried to be helpful. I would also like to congratulate the minister’s staff on their attempts to resolve some of those problems.

You mentioned specifically Missanabie. I will leave that to the later vote, but will say to the minister right now that I would not count Missanabie as one of his great achievements. I realize it is a complex matter and that the local community must do something. They want to be organized as an important district and there are some questions in the government about that. To point to a situation where you have a whole lot of pipe you paid for -- and paid substantial amounts of money for -- sitting there over a year after we first arranged the meeting -- and I want to point out to the minister I arranged the first meeting and invited staff in. Again, I think the ministry tried to resolve the problem and I would like to deal with it at greater length later on.

There are two other specific questions which I raised in the leadoff, to which the minister has not yet had the opportunity to respond. One was the question of a backup for the local community in providing the kind of planning expertise, research expertise into technologies and so on that would be useful in bringing about economic and social development to a region of northern Ontario or to a local community, specifically through the proposal for a northern technology research and development institute, which I understand the assistant deputy minister for the northeastern region stated was not within the ministry’s mandate. My question was which ministry has the mandate if any, because as far as we are concerned we believe the Ministry of Northern Affairs should have that kind of a mandate.

The other question is one I raised last Thursday when I began my leadoff towards the end of the evening session, and it was about the question of the transportation of nuclear waste and the whole question of the safety of that kind of a project. I believe my colleague from Nipissing also raised a very brief question about the nuclear waste issue with the minister. I may be wrong, but I do not think he responded at all about that in his response to us. All we have to go on are the statements he made last week in the House, which did not deal with the issue I raised about transportation. I would hope the minister could respond to those questions.

I had one other specific question which the minister did not deal with, and that was, what, if anything, has happened to the cabinet committee on the future of mining towns?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Chairman, in response to the honourable member’s questions concerning the air ambulance service, I want to repeat what I stated to the member for Nipissing. My ministry will be involved very closely with the Ministry of Health in the development of strategies and will offer some technical advice and certainly monitor on behalf of northern Ontario the role that the air ambulance service will play. The selection of aircraft, the specifications that will be required, and even the dispatch or organization to which the member made some reference, will be looked at very carefully from an overall northern point of view.

In fact, the gentleman we are seriously thinking about seconding for a period of time or maybe on a partial basis to the Ministry of Health is Don Wallace, who was very successful as you know with the norOntair operation. He has a tremendous background in co-ordination and a history of long standing in the aircraft business. I don’t think you can find a better person. He will, of course, be supported by other people in our ministry as we go through this exercise.

The exercise is not one of delay, but as I said earlier, there is advice coming in from all directions and everybody seems to be an expert in air ambulance delivery service and the type of aircraft. It is a new service, so of course everybody wants to get into the act. We are looking at a number of ways to go. I think the feeling at the present time is that it would go to the private sector.

There has been some thought that maybe the Ministry of Natural Resources, because it operates a large number of aircraft in this province, or maybe even the norOntair operation could be taken into an air ambulance system. I think we feel the private sector has done an exceptional job up to now. With some guarantee of service and of course with some improved specifications, I think the whole system can be improved tremendously. The idea of having dedicated aircraft is something that we all look forward to.

The honourable member made some considerable comment about the transportation of those people in northern Ontario requiring or desiring medical attention. I am working very closely with the Minister of Health, my colleague, with respect to a brief that has been submitted by a Dr. Remus from Thunder Bay.

5:40 p.m.

Dr. Remus, as you know, is a specialist in Thunder Bay. He has a long history of service to northern Ontario. He met with me about a month ago and explained that there are a number of specialists in Thunder Bay who would be acceptable to the idea of moving around on a regular basis, taking in the Geraldton and Pickle Lake areas and over into Red Lake and the whole area on a regular basis, if their accommodation and transportation could be arranged.

Co-ordination with the local GP would be very necessary because the GP would identify the problem and make the necessary arrangements for the specialist to come and which one to come. The specialist would arrive and not only give the patient the attention and service he requires, but would support the GP. The member made some reference to the fact that they dislike operating in isolation. I think we accept that, and that is one of the very severe problems in northern Ontario because the small hospitals and the small communities can support only one doctor. Some are working seven days a week, as we saw in Manitouwadge. He got burnt out; he just couldn’t hack it. It was too much for him. I can assure you we are working on that issue as expeditiously as we can, pulling the whole program together. I think the suggestion Dr. Remus makes is an excellent one and we are going to follow that through.

The lack of dentists in certain areas of northern Ontario is something we have been trying to rectify for some considerable time, as the member is very much aware. It is not the lack of dentists in this province but the lack of dentists in specific spots and specific areas. I certainly do not want to suggest we do what they did in Norway. When I was in Norway, they pointed out to us they had extreme difficulty getting doctors and dentists, particularly doctors, in the northern part of Norway. The parliament of that country passed a piece of legislation that when doctors graduated from the medical schools -- I think there are two or three in Norway -- by law they would have to spend three years in northern Norway. The profession is really up in arms about that kind of attitude. I put that on the record because I think the association and the college do have a responsibility.

I have made this point many times to the Ontario Dental Association. The president, Dr. Brad Holmes, is from Kenora, and knows the situation. He is very much aware of the situation as it relates to the lack of dentists in some areas. He is working very closely with the local health unit and with the health council and is in touch with the Ministry of Health and myself on a very regular basis.

Mr. Martel: There are two orthodontists for all northern Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I know. That is one of the problems, and there are lots of them down here. I was told in Peterborough there are so many dentists there that when they had a decline in population and a few plant closures some of the dentists went to each other and shared their practices so that they wouldn’t have to move. I think it is totally unacceptable in this society. Where the needs and the requirements are in some other parts of the province, then surely they have an obligation to answer to that particular need if only on a rotation basis. I am not saying they have to go to northern Ontario and take up permanent residence for the rest of their lives.

Mr. Wildman: If they did, a lot of them would stay.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I am sure they would. I have said many times that once they move up there and buy a fishing pole and a skidoo and get their lungs full of that good, fresh, clean air of northern Ontario, that’s it, they are hooked. That is one area where we share a common concern. There is no question about that.

I want to get back briefly to my other comments about the future of northern Ontario in the single-industry communities. I am not sure but I will find out exactly what has happened to the cabinet committee on mining communities. I think it has been wound up.

Mr. Martel: It has been disbanded.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Right.

Mr. Martel: Without a recommendation.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: There were a few recommendations but, as I said earlier, there are no easy solutions. I want to make the point with regard to Atikokan and the single-industry communities. In the honourable member’s riding, the town and the community of Wawa, identical to Atikokan, has already approached me and spoken to me about what its future will be, because it sees the end of that iron ore body.

Mr. Wildman: They have only 25 more years.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: That’s right and I was impressed with the people of Wawa, who 25 years in advance are coming together and at least are thinking about it. I think that’s important because once they become aware of their future --

Mr. Wildman: Thirty years ago, Atikokan thought about it.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: That’s right and there is no easy solution. You just can’t sit in your seats, wave a magic wand and industry will move in there. It won’t happen. You can develop all the crown corporations you want, get all the government direction you want, but certain things happen in our society with which philosophically you don’t agree but --

Mr. Wildman: If they won’t do it, then why won’t you?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Chairman, the problems are very real. We have been creative enough in the past to achieve the standard of living we aimed for in northern Ontario, and it will increase.

The portion about nuclear waste and the transportation of that product will be debated and will be under some very careful study by the Ministry of Energy and this government. We have a considerable amount of lead time, something like four or five years. I know four or five years go by relatively quickly. The select committee has been dealing with this issue and it’s something we will be looking at very carefully. When the government makes its policy decision it will be in keeping with the requirements of the public at large. There’s no question about that. We are not insensitive to their concerns and the fears they may have. I am sure that will flow out from the discussion we will have in the weeks and months ahead.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Chairman, let me deal first with uranium. I am intrigued by what the minister said last week and I am more intrigued by what he said today.

I am wondering if the minister is prepared to insist that Atomic Energy of Canada Limited do some of its drilling in southern Ontario. I spent only three weeks on the select committee, filling in for my colleague from Thunder Bay, but I was amazed to learn it was this government and the federal government who set poor old AECL up and here they were taking all the blame for wanting to drill in northern Ontario when your government and the feds had determined there would be no drilling in southern Ontario and all the drilling would be done in northern Ontario.

They wanted two different types of rock to be drilling in and you beggars said, “No.” I would like to know why you, coming from northern Ontario, would not say, as you did the other day, “We recognize we have a problem but you should drill if you want in the shale,” where they wanted to drill. Why did you say no, you of all people? I don’t expect any more from the member for Durham West (Mr. Ashe) because he was scared they were going to drill in his backyard, but why would you hide behind AECL and not say, “It was a determination of this government that there would be no drilling in southern Ontario”?

I find that offensive and 1 am sure my colleagues from northern Ontario find it offensive that you would at least not let the drilling go on here in the south because AECL is telling us in northern Ontario they are drilling.

5:50 p.m.

It is just experimentation to determine what the bedrock is all about and if there is any seepage in the rock. Why could we not do that in southern Ontario too? Why would you oppose it? Why would you not get up in cabinet and raise absolute hell and say it will be done in the south because AECL wants to do it in both places? Why should we be the receiver-general of the garbage?

If you were as anxious to get into some economic planning for northern Ontario as you are to see the wastes come north, I would be delighted. I listened as my colleague spoke, but then I had to go to the House leaders’ meeting, and I understand you said that what we were saying was just Socialist gobbledegook.

When a municipality like my home town loses jobs, the workers have to walk away from their investment -- their whole investment is their home. They go down to the bank and drop the keys on the banker’s desk. Young people of 25, 28 and 30 and older people who are 53, 54 and 55 cannot go and get another job and cannot, as in southern Ontario, commute to another municipality to find a job. And you say, “The industry will not come there.” What you are telling me then is you let the town down, aren’t you? That is Socialist gobbledegook?

You are not prepared to do an inventory of what is around there to see if we can establish something else. I was told recently by some retailers of hockey sticks that 90 per cent of them are now imported. We do not have any wood in northern Ontario, do we? Maybe it is not the right kind of wood. I did not think we were that short of timber reserves, although I realize up around Thunder Bay you have a bit of a problem. When I listen to the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Auld) say there could be a shortage up there in six years, I guess it is, I understand there are certain areas that do not have the inventory of wood.

But what are you doing to prevent a disaster when it hits a small community? Have you established a fund of any sort based on the taxes that we get out of the resource sector? Then when the inevitable comes in a one-industry town, and there are about 70 of them in northern Ontario, we would have some funds to try to establish something there after taking inventory of the stock.

I witnessed in Blind River the problem of no money and no gas. They did not have the appropriate gas and had to haul everything over to North Bay. By the time they got it to North Bay and dried it out, there was so much loss because of the weight factor they could not remain viable. If you had accepted a New Democratic pie-in-the-sky proposal at the federal level in 1965, 1966 and 1967, that we bring the pipeline down the North Shore, we might have been all right.

But what is your answer? “It is complex and it is difficult, and we are concerned, but we are not going to get involved.” You say to those municipalities and to the workers, “Sorry, fellows, your life investment goes down the tube and you are out of luck.” Nothing ever happens. Tell me what the answer is.

You have an option. You can plan, take some return on the tax dollar and keep it for assisting those municipalities, or do something. Or you can take your way out. If the private sector will not do it, to hell with it, it can go down the tube as one town after another does in northern Ontario -- and you and I know it. You can say we are gloom and doom boys, but some day maybe one of you will be in the unfortunate position of having to walk away from your home and not be able to sell it. I wonder if you would be so hep then to say, “Too bad, fellows. It’s your life investment, but go somewhere else because the system has not made any provision for tomorrow.”

Then I listen to the “Duke of Kent” during the last provincial election tell me that northerners were expecting too much too soon. You have been extracting nickel from the Sudbury basin for 80 years or more. We do not have an industry there that is totally divorced. We do not have a secondary industry.

Consider the fact we are the third largest producer of mineral wealth in the world and we import more mining equipment than any other country going and we have a trade deficit of $1 billion a year in mining equipment. Jarvis Clark is going to locate its next factory in southern Ontario, in Burlington, a natural ally to the mining industry, and you sit helplessly back and say “Ha, ha.” The free enterprise system does not want to do anything about it.

What are we supposed to do, wait? We have waited for 80 years in Sudbury for somebody to come there. We had 95 per cent of the world’s nickel out of the Sudbury basin. What did we do with it? We allowed them to take it down to Huntington and build a plant there. We said to Inco, “Take your $245 million and buy ESB.” The one thing we never said to them was, “You will invest something in Canada.” Then you tell me it is Socialist gobbledegook?

There is something sick about a government that will allow a community to die without even raising a finger. We know in the town of Capreol why that mine closed down. Your fellow can get all the information he wants from George Jewett, but the top people in Canada from that company came to me and said, “For $2 million we could have made that a viable product, except that the steel industry decided it was going to invest in the United States.” We now import nine million tons and we watch at least four mines go down the tube.

We hear from George Jewett, again through the minister, that the Inco product is no good, and that is 120 jobs. Heaven help that I should defend Inco; my track record does not indicate I have ever supported them. Only 120 jobs are involved, but in the north you know as well as I do what that means. Isn’t it strange that up until a year ago Inco could sell its iron ore here? The people we checked with in the mines department in Ottawa say the product is good; there is a little too much nickel in it, it might become a little brittle, but in stainless steel and a whole series of things, it is outstanding.

The real hooker is that these companies have bought into the United States and they are committed to a certain percentage every year. They are going to take that percentage and be damned Ontario, be damned the one-industry towns in northern Ontario. We will, in fact, purchase from the United States nine million tons coming into Ontario this year, and we see four mines go down.

You have the nerve to say that is Socialist gobbledegook! What are you prepared to do to protect those one-industry towns in northern Ontario? What are you prepared to do to protect the workers, to protect their only investment, their homes? What are you going to do to guarantee or provide adequate employment for kids in northern Ontario, because the decline is there? All Ontario is growing except for northern Ontario.

I have listened to you for 13 years and you have handed me the same line of junk and you have done nothing.

Mr. Mancini: Why do you bother listening?

Mr. Martel: You would think even somebody as obtuse as that could learn. You get up and tell me, “Don’t worry about it; you are doom and gloom.” Do you have no empathy, no sympathy for the people who lose their homes, their jobs and their investment?

Hon. Mr. Bemier: What do you do with 2001? You are a total failure yourself.

Mr. Martel: We are going to get on to 2001. I am glad I have provoked you. Maybe we could sit until 6:30, Mr. Chairman, and the minister and I could engage on that topic.

The Deputy Chairman: Do you want to have more discussion?

Mr. Martel: With that interjection, I have decided I will come back for the next session. I will be here.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Chairman, before we recess tonight, I want to answer my two critics.

In my opening remarks I spoke of an experiment we have going in northern Ontario. As you know, my ministry is co-operating with Northern College and TransCanada PipeLines in developing an experimental greenhouse at Raymore. We have taken off one crop of trees already for the Ministry of Natural Resources and we hope to grow three crops of trees on an annual basis, with a fall crop of fruit and vegetables.

This is the first vegetable crop to come off, and to recognize the event, I have a case of tomatoes for the member for Nipissing and also a case for the member for Algoma. I am sure members of your caucus will want to taste these, because they are grown in northern Ontario using surplus heat from TransCanada PipeLines. You will notice I brought them out at 6 o’clock because I did not think you would start throwing them at me then. They are beautiful tomatoes, as you can see. They are exceptionally fine tomatoes, the first crop to come off and they are being sold to the retail trade in northeastern Ontario. Gentlemen, I hope you enjoy them.

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

The House adjourned at 6:02 p.m.