31st Parliament, 4th Session

L105 - Mon 3 Nov 1980 / Lun 3 nov 1980

The House met at 2 p.m.



Mr. Isaacs: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege that I raised with you last Monday, October 27: It was concerning a written reply that I had received from the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Parrott), and some information that had been provided in a way I felt was inappropriate. You said, and I concurred, it would have been better to raise this matter when the minister was in the House, and of course at that time he had just stepped out.

The minister and I have been to the House at the same time on numerous occasions since last Monday and the minister has not yet responded to that point of privilege. I am most anxious to get a reply before the minister is moved to other responsibilities and is succeeded by one of his Toronto colleagues, and I wonder if you could assist me in that regard.

Mr. Speaker: It is normally common courtesy to provide a minister whose actions have been called into question with an opportunity to respond. I must apologize and admit it had slipped my mind. I will ask the Minister of the Environment if he does have a response and see whether we can’t expedite the whole thing.


Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, a few moments ago the Professional Association of Internes and Residents of Ontario assembled before the Legislative Building and there seemed to be some very considerable confusion about the circumstances under which some of their representatives would be allowed to enter the precincts of this building.

I am quite concerned, sir, and I would appreciate very much knowing at your earliest convenience if you or your staff have made a ruling about the conditions under which they or their representatives might enter the assembly.

Mr. Speaker: As you know, all of the space in the public galleries is available to anybody who wishes to come in and observe our proceedings, as long as he or she abides by the general rules of decorum required of any of our visitors. The only constraint we do put on anybody coming in is that they not be a visible part of a demonstration that is going on outside; that is, if the apparel or anything they are carrying can be readily identified and constitute a demonstration, that has to he done outside. If they want to divest themselves of any of the tools or any of the apparel they are using to identify themselves with the demonstration --

Mrs. Campbell: Did you say “apparel,” Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Speaker: That is right. We have had occasion when there have been affixed to T-shirts and such like, things that identify them with a specific cause, which is quite legitimate outside but would not be appropriate inside.

I understand we do have some interns in the gallery who are at liberty to be here. They have every right to be here and I understand they are here. That is about all I can say.


Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, on the west side of Queen’s Park property for the last little while there has been a snow fence erected which cordons off a section of the lawn. Ordinarily this shouldn’t be a problem, except that yesterday it prevented a number of youngsters, including some in wheelchairs, from having an unobstructed view of the Santa Claus parade.

I would ask the Speaker to take appropriate action so that this unfortunate incident does not recur at any future Santa Claus parade in the city.

Mr. Speaker: I would like to remind the honourable member that anything outside this building is not under the jurisdiction of the Speaker and I suggest he take that up with the Minister of Government Services (Mr. Wiseman).


Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, on Friday, October 24, during the question period, the leader of the third party rose and questioned the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) concerning some potential layoffs, referring to spinoff effects of the closure of the Bendix plant in Windsor.

The leader of the third party is quoted in Hansard as saying, “This also threatens jobs at Charles Laue in Windsor and at the SKD plant in Amherstburg.” I have had the opportunity to speak with the union plant chairman at Amherstburg representing the United Auto Workers’ local at the SKD plant. He has informed me that there have been no layoffs at the plant due to the closure of Bendix and that none is foreseeable. I have also had the opportunity to speak with the assistant plant manager at SKD, who has informed me of exactly the same thing.

I am highly offended that the leader of the third party would intimidate the workers by forecasting layoffs which are not in the offing. I would suggest that he instruct his research staff to spend less time on the Toronto Stock Exchange prices and more time on facts and figures about layoffs.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, on the point of privilege --

Mr. Speaker: That wasn’t a point of privilege. It was merely a matter of correcting the record in the eyes of the honourable member who raised it.

Mr. Cassidy: If I may raise a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, my name having been raised, we understood jobs were threatened at the SKD plant in Amherstburg. If they are not going to be taken away, then I would share with my colleague from the Liberal Party his pleasure at the fact there is not going to be any shutdown or problem.

2:10 p.m.

I would, however, point out to the member that too often in the past, assurances have come from companies that nothing is going to happen, only to be turned around the week following, and that is one of the concerns we have in this party.


Mr. S. Smith: If I ask where the cabinet is, would that be my first question, Mr. Speaker? I would have thought the cabinet would want to be here to bolster the spirits of the Premier after yesterday’s football game in Hamilton. Leaving a man alone when he is in acute grief is never a good idea, but maybe next year. I hope the Premier will not hold this against us when it comes to our new stadium and arena. I trust that bygones will be bygones.


Mr. S. Smith: I would like to direct a question to the Premier in the absence of the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell). This is again a question we have asked before, but I think it deserves an answer.

Given that the clear result of every study into the matter has been to indicate that to be a resident and an intern in our teaching hospitals is a combination of a status as a giver of service and as a person learning for a future occupation, and given that that is the result of every study into the matter, what conceivable reason is there for the government to deny compulsory arbitration to these people as a way of determining those aspects that have to do with the service-giving portion of their work? What conceivable reason is there to force these people to do something which is very much against their nature and against their professional calling and force them to strike in a situation which surely nobody can be happy about?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, obviously no one is happy about it. No one likes to see this sort of difficulty. I understand the minister is meeting with representatives right now. In fact, I expect he may even be appearing at the front door.

The problem for the government, of course, is that there is not unanimity within the profession, within the hospitals and, I guess even more particularly, within the universities. The member is a doctor, I am not. I know that in the legal profession articling students are still learning, although I hear from the odd one that they feel they are sufficiently knowledgeable to start to practise. Whether they have the same views as people in the medical profession, I cannot say from any personal experience.

I would say to the Leader of the Opposition and to the public that this is a situation in which the government is endeavouring to resolve a problem where, among the profession itself, there is less than unanimity. What the ministry has been attempting to do is to sort it out in a way that is relatively acceptable to all of the participants, I am told, particularly the universities.

Mr. S. Smith: Would the Premier not agree that the apparent position of the ministry seems more to support the viewpoint of the universities and to a lesser extent the teaching hospitals? Would the Premier not agree that in a situation of this kind, where time and again the matter has been studied, there really cannot possibly be another mechanism by which a reasonable way of settling differences concerning salaries, hours of work, conditions of work -- things of this kind -- can occur?

Would the Premier keep in mind that most of these people put in many more years than the average articling student, provide very long hours of service, very useful service, which would have to be obtained in some other way? Perhaps articling students also provide services, but this matter has been studied very extensively in every province of this country and the conclusion is always the same. Would the Premier therefore intervene, give them compulsory arbitration and get this very unfortunate situation dealt with as rapidly as possible?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health is now here. I just emphasize to the Leader of the Opposition that my understanding of the situation from any discussions I have had with the minister, who may wish to add something to this discussion, is that it has not been a question of the ministry being in support of or opposed to. The ministry is really not directly involved, other than through the funding to the hospitals. The situation is a debate or disagreement among the members of the profession, the interns, the residents, the hospitals and the universities.

I would certainly not want to speak on behalf of the legal profession, except to point out that the length of time involved is very comparable. One could argue the value of service given by a member of the legal profession vis-à-vis a member of the medical profession and I will not get into that sort of debate. I realize the professions are very different. I cannot make a judgement.

I am not prepared to say how much of an intern’s time is educational and how much of it is in providing a service. I certainly would not debate the number of hours. But I think there is an acceptance that a part of what they are experiencing is in the form of education. What the percentage is I cannot make any judgement about.

I am just saying to the Leader of the Opposition the government’s function has been and still is to try to bring the various groups, including members of his profession, into a form of consensus that can resolve this problem. We are not taking one side or the other, as I understand it. It is a question of trying to find a solution acceptable to all those involved, because we are not one of the main participants; we really are not.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Would the Premier not accept that the real difficulty is the lack of unanimity among the ministers of the crown who have engaged themselves in this dispute? The dispute would have been resolved by now if the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) had not injected herself into it and had not insisted that the universities take part in the discussions. The universities’ hidden agenda is to impose a contract on the doctors that would be a medieval type of stipend rather than treating them as workers.

Does the Premier not understand that however one cuts the educational component, the doctors are working for 70 to 90 hours a week in paid work and they should be treated as employees of the teaching hospitals? Will the Premier not tell the three ministers either to get their act together or get out of this dispute completely so that the Premier himself can intervene and get a settlement between the teaching hospitals and the interns and residents without the intervention of the universities?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, as is so often the case on these sensitive issues, the leader of the New Democratic Party is totally wrong. The Minister of Education and Minister of Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson) has not injected herself into this in any negative sort of way. There are very few people I have known in terms of government responsibility who have a greater awareness or sensitivity. She also happens to be, in this case, a member of the medical profession and, I think, brings an awareness that a lot of other people perhaps could not appreciate.

I would also say that any intervention has not in any way inhibited a desirable result. The fact is the parties have not agreed.

The leader of the New Democratic Party -- and this is a breakthrough -- missed something on Friday. I am delighted he is back. His colleague the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) had him at world price in his energy policy --

Mr. Speaker: That is not part of the question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: He did; he is smiling because he knows --

Mr. Renwick: I really got to you, didn’t I?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I remember it, Jamie --

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am not quite finished.

Mr. Speaker: Are you going to talk about oil prices?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will not get into oil. But what I sense from the question from the leader of the New Democratic Party is that he is now, unlike the traditional philosophy of the party, in favour of compulsory binding arbitration as a method of settlement. That is exactly the inference he is creating and what he is trying to say to the interns who are with us.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege -- .

Hon. Mr. Davis: It is what he said.

Mr. Cassidy: -- the Premier is distorting what I had to say. What I said is that if he would intervene and get the universities and medical schools out of this dispute, the teaching hospitals and interns could and should come to an agreement.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am not distorting it at all; you are trying to have it both ways.

Mr. Speaker: A new question.


Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, the other day the Minister of Education suggested that if the board and the teachers in Norfolk county do not act in some way that is more acceptable to her, she might change the present way of dealing with teaching disputes -- or words to that effect.

Can the minister tell us what action she is prepared to take, given the fact that those schools remain closed, that the students are still doing without their education and that there are strikes in two parts of the province at the moment? Will the minister tell us whether she is now prepared to take what I suspect is going to be her position by the time the next election comes anyhow, and propose binding arbitration of a permanent type to supplant this business whereby children are shut out of the classrooms while boards and teachers argue?

2:20 p.m.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am delighted that the honourable member is aware of the fact that within the Matthews commission report there is a very straightforward admonition to the parties to collective bargaining within the school system. I was attempting to repeat that admonition as clearly as possible the other day, that if the responsibility which devolves upon those parties as a result of Bill 100 is not assumed and discharged by the parties, there would be a very great move in this province to some other means of resolving the problem.

The Matthews commission has recommended that we retain the present system with some slight modifications, which the commission hopes would reduce the period of time. The major players within this situation most certainly have supported that position in their submissions to the Matthews commission. When that report was delivered in late June, it was made freely available to the public and I committed myself to hearing responses from a number of groups -- those who had submitted briefs to the commission and those who had not, and from members of the public -- those are coming in.

It was my hope that those responses would be available and collated by mid-November. Unfortunately, one of the major groups has not as yet responded and says it will not be able to, with a slightly modified position, before the first of the year. I am committed to awaiting those responses before any major change takes place.

I do want to remind the honourable member and all those who are involved in consideration of this matter that the right that was granted in Bill 100 was not granted lightly nor was it granted frivolously. It was granted on the basis of consideration of the fact that this specific group within our society should have rights relatively equal to other groups. I do not think one can remove that right without careful and critical assessment and consideration of the entire matter. That is what we are attempting to do at the present time.

Mr. S. Smith: This is obviously an historic climb-down for the minister. She now says she is prepared to remove the right to strike with careful and critical consideration. That is what she said and she can certainly deny it if she wishes to stand and do so.

Since it is obvious that the government is now preparing to climb down on this issue and substitute compulsory arbitration -- probably by the end of the year, certainly by the next election -- for the right to strike, why does the government not adopt that position right now and stop the farce of pretending it needs some kind of public response to the Matthews commission or some other excuse? The minister knows she is changing her position. Let her change it now and get the present strike settled.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: The Leader of the Opposition has two of the most delightful faculties I know: that of putting both feet in his mouth, and tunnel vision, which allows him to see only what he wants to see.

There is no implication within my remarks that any position has been changed. We are trying to be rational, logical -- unlike the Leader of the Opposition -- and sensible about the route that has to he taken in dealing with this matter. The concern about children is uppermost in my mind at all times in relation to the school program, but the school system is one that must be dealt with on the basis of logic and rationality. I would hope the Leader of the Opposition would change his usual illogical frame of mind and think seriously about what he is suggesting.

Mr. Nixon: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I wonder if the minister is aware of how wrong the Premier (Mr. Davis) is again. The only time he resurrects his selective memory is when he is standing on particularly weak ground, as he is now.

Would the minister not agree that the situation in Norfolk is a special one, since the chairman of the board has been hospitalized, the member of the board who has been chairman of the negotiating committee has withdrawn her nomination for election, and the elections are going to he held a week from now?

It is going to be practically impossible for any meaningful negotiations to take place under these circumstances, particularly since the Education Relations Commission, following the mandate dictated to it by the former Minister of Education, the present Premier, is simply never going to recommend that the children’s education is in jeopardy, which speaks volumes for the education system the minister is in charge of.

Would the minister not consider this a special case and take the moves necessary to reopen the schools, since they are now entering their sixth week of closure?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, that is incorrect; they are not entering the sixth week, they are beginning the fifth week at this time.

Mr. Bradley: That is all right, then.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: No, it is not all right.

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to hear that the gentleman who provided the real foundation for this legislation is questioning whether it was appropriate. I would remind him that the Premier was not the Minister of Education at the time this bill came in, so the honourable gentleman opposite has a little difficulty with memory as well.

I think all strikes and lockouts in the school system are unusual and all specifically difficult. I would like to find a way to solve them all in a hurry. There is a specific problem related to the items the honourable member has suggested, about which I received the information at the end of last week. We are looking at this at the moment to see if there is some way we can be of greater help to that board and that group of teachers to try to establish a negotiated settlement in Norfolk to resolve their difficulties.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question to the Minister of the Environment and I wish to send to him an affidavit we have received from Mathew Edenson of 33 Maplecrest Avenue in St. Catharines. Mr. Edenson’s affidavit states:

“I worked for Woodington Systems Incorporated, Niagara Falls, Ontario, from November 7, 1979, to May 15, 1980. Be it known that I am personally aware of hundreds of full drums systematically being trucked into, deposited and covered up in Walker’s west quarry dump in Thorold without testing or investigation of the contents of the drums by Woodington or by Walker Brothers Quarries.”

The two companies work closely together and the contents of the drums were apparently liquid waste. In view of the fact we understand the site is being excavated and the liquid waste in drums is being trucked away with as little control as was exercised when they were trucked into the Walker’s quarry dump, will the minister now reverse his refusal to put a 24-hour ministry inspector on that site? Will he thereby act to prevent further illegal disposal of liquid industrial waste in the Niagara Peninsula?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, in response to that question I will again say that if anyone is engaging in illegal practices of receiving waste, he too will receive the same harsh treatment anyone who is in violation of that process is subject to right now, and it is harsh.

The honourable member posed two points. One was, what will be done with the waste that somebody supposedly is taking some place else? May I remind him that this must only be done at approved sites; surely that point is obvious to him. He therefore asks that we have 24-hour inspectors put on all liquid waste receiving facilities, which is precisely what we are planning for and precisely what we want.

We think two, three or four facilities in this province will be able to handle all the liquid waste in Ontario, whether it be in solidification, incineration or even storage. We think we should have those facilities licensed and that on a 24-hour basis we should have people not only testing what comes in but making sure the samples taken are submitted to the ministry for full approval before disposal is done.

2:30 p.m.

That is precisely what we are hoping to do. But, in the interval, to have every site on 24-hour inspection is impossible. It would take literally thousands of people and therefore would be impossible to do. I am not about to put 24-hour inspection on every waste site in Ontario that has a liquid waste certificate. It is that simple.

Mr. Cassidy: I would like to redirect my supplementary to the Premier, Mr. Speaker, who is responsible for overall government policy. In view of the fact that the Minister of the Environment has just rejected prima facie evidence that liquid industrial waste is being illegally taken from a site that is not an approved depository for industrial waste and that it is going somewhere else across the province, and in view of the continuing evidence that the Minister of the Environment is incompetent to tackle this problem where there is very clear evidence that liquid waste is being mishandled and people’s health is being put at risk, will the Premier step in personally? Will he accept the resignation of the present Minister of the Environment and put somebody in to do the job of cleaning up the waste at the Walker Brothers dump and across the province?

Hon. Ms. Davis: Mr. Speaker, there were two or three questions in the honourable member’s supplementary. I will deal with the latter part of the question first in my usual noncontroversial fashion.

The honourable member asked me if I would accept the Minister of the Environment’s resignation. The answer to that is a very simple “No.” He understands that. I owe the honourable member an explanation why I would not. It is because (a) the minister has not submitted it; (b) I would not accept it if he did, and (c) he happens to be one of the most competent ministers of the crown.

In terms of the environment, we have a record that is unchallenged. I have to tell the member that if he went out to Saskatchewan he would not find better environmental laws or better environmental protection there under his Socialist friends. He will not find that anywhere. The only thing I regret is that the honourable member quite obviously does not have within his own caucus a man of similar talents to the Minister of the Environment. No one over there is close. Not even the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) comes close.

What was the other question? I should also say, with great respect to the leader of the New Democratic Party, that he has an affidavit from somebody. I do not dispute whether it is a valid affidavit. He sent it by a page, in very dramatic fashion, across to the minister of the crown. He could have sent it more than an hour ago if he had wanted to. He presents it to the minister and says, “Here is prima facie evidence.” With great respect, that is not prima facie evidence, nor did the minister say he was rejecting it.

The honourable member is getting like his colleague the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart). I thought he might have had something more dramatic than that. I can only say that the Minister of the Environment has not rejected anything. If there are people breaking the law they will be prosecuted. I would assume the honourable member has, perhaps, other evidence. I am sure he will forward that to the minister as well. But in answer to the question, (a) he did not reject it, and (b) I do not intend to accept his resignation.

Mr. S. Smith: I have a supplementary for the Minister of the Environment. I am sure the minister is concerned about the demand for his resignation. Perhaps it means the NDP will vote against his estimates when they come up for a vote. We will have to wait and see.

May I ask the minister how it is that his officials in the Ministry of the Environment gave permission to have the sludge from Ford deposited in the Walker Brothers quarry, given the fact it contained chromium and that meant it simply could not qualify as an inert solid? Anyhow, does the minister honestly believe that by sprinkling some sand into a liquid poison he can say, “Poof, it is a solid,” and he need not pay any more attention to it?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: The last time I saw that advertisement, Mr. Speaker, was when the TV program “What’s My Line” was on. That was a long time ago. I do not know what the Leader of the Opposition’s line is these days. However, Mr. Speaker, I think what is important in this instance --

Mr. Speaker: Is what is happening to the question period.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think what is important is to try to determine what does happen when the rain comes into contact with that material. Does it leach out anything or does it not? There is no doubt in our minds that it is quite well within any limits -- indeed, considerably below the health limits. It is quite an acceptable method whereby the contents of that can be appropriately addressed. Whether the leader of the Liberal opposition likes it or not, that is the scientific fact.

No one in this House needs to question again how serious we thought this whole issue was. Long before the issue was raised in the House we had a police investigation and that is continuing now. We do not have the report from that investigation but are looking forward to receiving it soon. We consider it a very serious infraction; we consider it so serious that we suspended any possibility of dealing with that company until all allegations were cleared. So we did not take it lightly; we acted well in advance of the issue being raised in the House and will continue to consider it a very serious matter.

While I am on my feet perhaps I might respond to the point of privilege -- no? Okay.

Mr. Cassidy: I would say by the way, Mr. Speaker, I would have a lot --

Mr. Speaker: A new question.

Mr. Cassidy: I was going to give an endorsement to the member for Wentworth (Mr. Isaacs) as the next Minister of the Environment in Ontario. However, I had better not follow up with that.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. A week ago I asked the minister to step in and protect Ontario families from unjustified increases in the price of milk in the wake of the seven-cents-a-litre increase of which the farmers took only 2.8 cents.

The minister told the House the financial papers would show that dairies are in a very precarious financial position and he then said the milk price increase was therefore justified. We have found in the financial pages that Becker’s profits were up by 84 per cent last year, and Silverwood’s profits were up by 49 per cent last year and 97 per cent the year before.

The ministry’s own royal commission on discounting and allowances in the food industry established an after-tax return on equity for dairies of 15.5 per cent, which Judge Leach described as healthy. Will the minister reconsider his position and use his power to roll back unjustifiable increases in the price of milk in view of the fact that clearly the dairies in the province are making profits that are at least healthy -- in fact more than healthy?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, all of this was discussed in my estimates last Wednesday. I am rather amazed that such a jut-jawed leader would come back to be hit again.

However, when the leader of the third party talks about profits of the dairies, his own member in the estimates last week had to concede that Becker’s profit is a consolidated profit. It involves not only milk but stores which deal in other very profitable things. He also had to concede that the statement for Silverwood’s is not a Silverwood Dairies statement but a consolidated statement reflecting Mac’s and other operations.

I have no desire to deviate at all from the royal commission report which said it was healthy. In the financial pages I drew to the members’ attention it is a matter of record that, prior to the filing of that royal commission report, the industry as a whole had pointed out that dairy processors were in very substantial difficulty. I stand by that.

Since the honourable member has brought up the question of rolling back, I want to discuss some other things that reflect upon his research capabilities.

2:40 p.m.

Mr. Speaker: If it deals with the specific question that was asked, it is permissible; otherwise, it is not.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Yes, it does, Mr. Speaker. It was some kind of an estimate of some American, based upon a 1966 report and a 1975 report, which never discussed either Canada or Ontario, and that was admitted in the estimates, but it was extrapolated to show that in terms of milk and in terms of food the Ontario consumer was being ripped off. I would point out that Judge Leach of the royal commission on discounting found all of the matters to be perfectly fair, perfectly justified and perfectly healthy.

Mr. Cassidy: If the minister is finished his rant, let us get back to the question of whether or not consumers will be protected against unjustified increases in the price of milk. Will the minister tell the House how far the profits have to go in the dairy industry and in the milk industry before he will intervene to protect consumers and ensure that they get a fair deal?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Obviously the leader of the third party wants to remain in that category because he will not listen. I said a week or so ago that after looking at the price increases in milk -- at least the ones within my sphere, because I do not intend to look at the farmers’ end of it, which has been before a commission -- I did not find the increases were not justified. Now he is asking me about profits. I have no rule about profits. If I find that something is unjustified in terms of the consumer, I will act upon it. It is that simple.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, my supplementary concerns the pricing policies that are being used by the dairies. I would ask the minister if he is aware that over the past few years the dairies have forced the milkmen of Ontario to buy the routes they had established and to buy the vehicle they were using, and that after the dairies had forced this policy on their employees they set about a new policy which used milk as a loss leader in the grocery stores, therefore putting their one-time employees out of business? Since the royal commission did not look into that aspect of pricing, does the minister think this is fair? Would he check with the dairies to ensure that they stop this very unfair practice.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I will look into it. Although I had nothing to do with that particular commission, I am surprised to hear that a matter like that, which does reflect upon price or upon business practices and was within the scope of that commission, was not discussed. I will look into it.


Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, in view of the absence of the Solicitor General and the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), I have a question of the Premier.

In view of the statements made over the weekend by Sergeant John Luby, a 20-year member of the Metropolitan Toronto police force, seven years of which were spent in the morality squad, would the Premier name the hospitals that still refuse to do examinations for evidence of sexual assault, even though this question was raised by this member in February 1978 and again in December 1979; and the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) assured this House on December 4, 1979, that such examinations were given as a matter of policy?

Would the Premier instruct the Solicitor General and the Attorney General to improve the ways of eliciting more co-operation from doctors who are at present very reluctant to make examinations for evidence of rape, even to the extent of considering criminal charges of obstructing the administration of justice where the facts warrant.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would inform the House that the Solicitor General, in company with the Attorney General, is in either Victoria or Vancouver along with other Attorneys General and Solicitors General, resolving all the problems that confront Solicitors General and Attorneys General across this country, and will be there for the next two or three days.

I am not aware of the particular situation. I recall the honourable member raising it. If I happen to be talking to either the Solicitor General or the Attorney General in the next day or so before he returns from Victoria or Vancouver, I will get that information for the member. If I am not able to do so, I can assure the member I will get a copy of the question to the minister and he will have a full answer for the member on his return.

Mr. Stong: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Speaker: Obviously you are not going to get a response until the return of the Attorney General. When he responds to the initial question, if it is not complete you will be given an opportunity for a supplementary.

Mr. Stong: While he is speaking to his minister, perhaps he could instruct him on two other matters, if I may put them to the Premier.

Mr. Speaker: Including the five you have already raised?

Mr. Stong: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: It might more properly be an inquiry of the ministry.

Mr. Stong: I have just two more that perhaps could be included in the answer. Does the minister agree that the police and court system already poses a significant barrier to women reporting sexual assaults? Does he not think the police use of the lie detector test is a further affront to the credibility of women in this traumatic situation? Will the Premier instruct his minister to eliminate the use of such lie detector tests in such circumstances?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member might do me the service of just sending over a copy of the questions that he has been reading to the House here this afternoon, and I will take all of them up with the Attorney General. I am not in the habit of instructing ministers of the crown; I am in the habit of asking them, discussing issues with them. But I will be delighted to raise the new seven points contained in the questions. I would only ask the member do me one small favour, that is, send me a copy of that typed piece of paper that somebody gave him and that he read to me here this afternoon, and I will do my best for him.


Mr. Isaacs: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. Now that provincial offences officers or bylaw enforcement officers appointed by the township of Harwich have obtained search warrants to search files of the Ministry of the Environment, and now that those township officers have been given access to ministry files and have obtained information that will help the township protect its environment around that landfill site, will the minister open his files to Thorold and to Hamilton-Wentworth and to any other interested council or citizens’ group, so that those people can do what Harwich is doing in an effort to protect the environment around the landfill sites located in their municipalities?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: We have no reason to keep anything from the public record, Mr. Speaker. I think, if I can recall correctly, 95 per cent of the member’s questions result from asking questions of our ministry, obtaining information from that ministry and then framing questions around the information that we supply to him. We do it continuously, and we put the record clearly open to the public to see.

Mr. Isaacs: If that were the truth, why is it that the township of Harwich has gone to the trouble to obtain search warrants and has obtained information from those search warrants, or at least from the co-operation that it got only after it had search warrants, that enabled the council to demonstrate that industrial waste has been brought into that dump from the United States when previously the council had been told by the ministry officials that no American waste was going into that landfill site?

Mr. Speaker: That wasn’t a question.


Mr. Martel: On a point of order: Might I ask the Speaker why he has ruled that was not a question? The question is quite obvious: Why is it necessary to get search warrants to obtain material that the ministry won’t provide?

Mr. Speaker: It might have been obvious to you; it wasn’t obvious to me, I listened very carefully --

Mr. Martel: So did I.

Mr. Speaker: There was never a “when,” “why,” “where,” “what.”

Mr. S. Smith: On that point of order, Mr. Speaker: I must say I would like to support the member for Sudbury East in this regard because the question plainly was --

Mr. Speaker: Order. I listened very carefully. There was no question. It was a reaction to the initial response.

2:50 p.m.

Mr. S. Smith: On a further point of privilege, then, this minister has stood in the House, Mr. Speaker, and has said those files are open. I defy him again to produce the site inspection reports from Hamilton-Wentworth I have been asking for for over two and a quarter years now. If they are open, will the minister produce them; otherwise, will he withdraw his statement?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, in response to that, I have never said those were available for here. They were available to the courts and I think that is where they should be available. There is no record in this House that says they should be made available to the leader of the Liberal Party.

Just last week he promised on the record to send over the waybills. I am waiting. He cannot do it and he knows it.


Mr. J. Reed: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, who I see has just come into the House. I wonder if the minister is aware of the current financial deficit prevailing in the regional municipality of Halton which has resulted from the region’s administrative practices and fiscal management. Further, if the minister is aware of the situation, does he have any --


Mr. Speaker: Order. The idea of question period is to allow in turn, in the proper rotation, an opportunity for all members to participate. I suggest to all those who are barracking that they give the honourable member who has the floor an opportunity to put his question.

Mr. J. Reed: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The question is to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. I ask the minister, is he aware of the current financial deficit prevailing in the regional municipality of Halton which has resulted from the region’s administrative practices and fiscal management? Further, if the minister is aware of the situation, does he have any intention of investigating the reasons for such a deficit?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, the answer to the first question is, yes, I am aware of that; and to the second, no, I do not have any intention of investigating the reasons for it. I think the body that should investigate the reasons for that difficulty is the regional council itself. It should initiate an investigation.

We have indicated to that region, and in fact to all municipal governments in the province, that we do have a field service organization with people all around the province to assist them. They should be aware of good administrative practices in handling their financial matters. We will give them any assistance they want in carrying out these investigations as to why these problems have occurred.

Mr. J. Reed: Will the minister accept, as evidence of the deep concern of the citizens of Halton region, this petition from 166 residents of the former township of Nassagaweya requesting a commission of inquiry into the fiscal management of the region of Halton, pursuant to section 323(2) of the Municipal Act? Will the minister give this his very serious and deep consideration?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I would be happy to look at it. I just draw to the member’s attention that he is not bringing something new to my attention. I know the problem in Halton, and the responsibility is with the council, the people who employ the staff in the region, to find out why this deficit is suddenly there. I gather they did not expect or believe it was going to occur.

I am sure my friend is aware that municipalities do not have the right to deficit finance.


Mr. Swart: A question to the Minister of Housing, Mr. Speaker. Now that I have the 11 letters from his ministry, which were the basis of his transferring the 300-acre development on the Niagara Escarpment in the Beaver Valley area to the Ontario Municipal Board -- all 11 letters oppose it, and I have the minister’s letter transferring it -- does he not realize the referrals were requested only because the people do not trust the minister after Cantrakon and suspect he had approved the huge development on the escarpment?

Therefore, I now ask the minister specifically whether he will withdraw his request for a hearing on the issue by the OMB and give a commitment to this House that he will reject the amendment of the submission to him if all 11 objectors now withdraw their requests for a referral?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, the first part of the member’s question is, of course, the rhetoric he has used for the last year or two and so we will disregard it.

Regarding the second part of his question, if all of the parties, including the municipality, which have requested the referral to the OMB agree with the withdrawal from the OMB as it now stands, then obviously that withdrawal will take place. That includes all parties to the request. That is the simplistic way of handling it.

I referred it to the OMB at the request of 11 people -- not three, as the member once stated -- and if those 11 plus the municipality wish it to be withdrawn from the OMB, the simple way of doing it is by their request to me, unanimously.

Mr. Swart: May I ask the minister why he would write the following sentence in the letter of transferral to the OMB: “The public hearings on the proposed Niagara Escarpment plan are currently in progress. As it is clear that it will be some time before the plan is finalized, I consider it appropriate that the proposed amendment be dealt with by the board”? Why would he do that when the Niagara Escarpment Commission has asked specifically as its policy that no major development be dealt with until the Niagara Escarpment plan is finalized, and the chairman of the board asked in a letter dated September 22 that the minister not approve this particular proposal?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I have not approved of this particular proposal. Obviously the member does not understand. The municipal hoard will make the decision. That is an interesting situation. Members of the opposition, and indeed members on this side of the House, quite often want things to go to municipal board because they think that is where the fairest understanding of a situation will be dealt with, and that is the action this minister has taken in referring amendment number 33 to that particular official plan.

It has gone to the OMB for a decision. I have said clearly to the OMB -- and this is not the first occasion I have made this statement to the OMB -- that it should be dealing with this amendment at this time with some degree of consideration for what is taking place on the overall escarpment development, but this one should not be held pending the completion of the escarpment program.

Obviously the escarpment program and plan is going to be some two or three years down the way and not every individual, whether it be a single individual or a corporate structure, should have to wait for the conclusion of that particular plan. Certainly the OMB has the competence, capabilities and understanding of what is required in the economy of Ontario to deal with these requests by the municipality, by individuals or by corporations.


Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications. In view of the announcement by the Premier of Alberta last week concerning the cutting of oil supplies to the rest of Canada, and in view of the fact that the Queen Elizabeth Way is now for all intents and purposes a two-lane highway between Hamilton and Toronto because of the interruptions caused by maintenance and construction work, is the minister now giving serious consideration to extending the GO train services around Hamilton Bay as far as perhaps Stoney Creek?

Hon. Mr. Snow: No, Mr. Speaker, we are not.

Mr. Bradley: In view of the potential shortage of fuel that we may experience here in the east, is the minister then prepared to provide for the residents of Durham East the kind of service from the bus to the GO train that is available to the constituents of Oakville and Brampton, as was promised by the member for Durham East (Mr. Cureatz)?

Hon. Mr. Snow: We seem to be jumping from east to west and from west to east.

Mr. Breithaupt: And you are in the middle.

Hon. Mr. Snow: That’s all right; I always am.

If the city of Oshawa were to approach the ministry, we might very well consider the same type of service. If Oshawa Transit wished to engage in an experimental program similar to that being administered by Brampton Transit and Oakville Transit, we might consider that, but not the program that I read about in the paper, which would be the same as giving all the people in Hamilton and Burlington a free bus ride to Oakville. May I just say one has to understand what one is talking about before one knows what one is saying.

3 p.m.


Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Education. I presume that the minister is ashamed of the results of the partial enumeration of voters for French-language advisory committees of boards of education. How does she justify finding only 1,526 French-speaking electors in the three FLAC areas of Metro when the 1971 census showed that 103,000 French-speaking people lived in those areas? In Scarborough she found 76 fewer voters than the Scarborough committee had already found on its own.

How many electors in total responded in the 39 FLAC areas around the province? Was it the same one per cent kind of response? How much money did she spend on this farce rather than undertaking a full enumeration, as we all asked?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, in the first place this was a considerate and, I think, a very thoughtful exercise to attempt to assist the members of the French-language community to find those who were potential electors for French-language advisory committees.

There were very few problems with the method used. Indeed, the method was considered to be a useful project this year in an attempt to be of that assistance. All the figures and all the information are not as yet within the ministry. I have made a commitment to the French-language community -- to the five French-language associations -- that none of the information will be retained within the Ministry of Education, and I am living up to that. As the information is developed for each board, the board and the French-language advisory committee are provided with that information, and no record is kept within the ministry at the request of the French-language associations.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: May I redirect this to the Premier, Mr. Speaker? Last June I asked the Premier whether he would do a full enumeration and be gave me an equivocal answer. Will he now unequivocally commit himself and his government to making the enfranchisement of French-speaking electors of French-language advisory committees a right and not a privilege, as it is now, and guarantee a full enumeration of those voters as early as possible?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I do not recall just how one would describe the answer I gave last year to the question from the honourable member. I sense the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) -- from St. George, or whatever -- that’s where he lives; the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell) shouldn’t get excited.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: It’s my question. Answer me.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I indicated to the honourable member, when he asked this question in April, May, June, or whenever, that the government would be assessing various recommendations as to how we might best assist the francophone community in the determination of those who would be making their views known to the FLACs.

We developed a program which in some communities apparently has not produced the numbers or the kind of results that normally could have been anticipated. When we have gone through the experience of this year, we as a government will be prepared, as always, to review how we might improve these situations; so I will give the member an unequivocal answer that we will be looking for ways to improve it. That is unequivocal.

Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: While the Premier is investigating this situation, would he care to look at the enumeration in ward 10 of the city, where my French professor lives? She saw the enumerator and the question about her mother tongue was never asked of her. I wonder how many times that happened in ward 10.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I cannot guarantee the member for St. George a thorough investigation into ward 10. Certainly, if she will have her French professor call me, I will try --

Mrs. Campbell: I will be delighted.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Do that. Is it a he or a she?

Mrs. Campbell: A she.

Hon. Mr. Davis: A she; I will be even more delighted.


Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I would like to put a question to the Minister of the Environment having to do with the $400,000 grant he announced in July, payable to the scientists at the Royal Military College to complete their investigations into a plasma arc to burn PCBs.

Does the minister need any help in moving aside certain intransigent federal officials so that money can be properly paid and the research go forward without abandoning the gains that have already been made, and so we can have a high-temperature furnace alternative to burning the PCBs, rather than going forward with the minister’s program to store them at much greater expense in my constituency in the beautiful village of Middleport?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I think it would be appropriate to have some assistance in that regard. The member and I have corresponded on it, and I know he and I are disappointed in the speed with which those problems are being resolved. I think he would agree there is nothing more we can do, sitting here. I would be more than prepared to go with the member to Ottawa or have him come with me, whichever would be appropriate --

Mr. Nixon: Can we go in the executive Concorde?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I usually take commercial air flights. If a delegation of two would do it, I would like to see it done. The member and I agree it is one of the things that must be done. I am going to Ottawa soon. Would the member like to join me?

Mr. Nixon: Although the minister refers to correspondence, I have not been informed what the delay was other than some rumour that there is a fiddling patent we cannot set aside to get this high-temperature furnace operating. Because of that, the minister’s plan to spend $5 million in my constituency for this temporary storage continues. I would like that plan abandoned since there is such a good alternative.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: There are good alternatives, not only in the plasma arc but also in cement kilns. There are all kinds of excellent ways of destroying PCBs. We certainly concur with him in that we would far rather see them destroyed than stored; there is no doubt about that.

The problem exists between the researchers in the federal government and the patent rights being American-held. We feel it is a bit much for us to spend all that money, prove the technology and then find ourselves needing to buy that technology back. We are reluctant to do so, and I think that is understandable.


Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. From the statement by the president of Canadian Blower, Mr. J. R. Adare, that, “Anyone who refuses to answer a medical questionnaire would not be hired, because it would be presumed that the applicant had something to hide,” is it not obvious that this document is not used for medical purposes but really for hiring purposes? It infringes on the private and personal lives of people and should not be tolerated as of today.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I have very little to add to what I said the other day. I read the form and found it outrageous. The Ontario Human Rights Commission officer from Kitchener is investigating that particular firm to see if there is any discrimination being perpetrated at the present time under the existing code. They are also conducting an informal investigation.

I have indicated to the member I have every reason to believe the amendments I have proposed to the Human Rights Code will correct this situation.

Mr. Martel: I appreciate what the minister is doing with respect to this matter, but does the minister not believe that, as of that questionnaire becoming public, not one more citizen in Ontario should have to fill out that type of form? Is the minister not prepared to bring in an amendment immediately, either to the Human Rights Code or to the Labour Relations Act, which could be dealt with expeditiously to prevent this from going on any longer?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: As I said, I have every reason to believe that very amendment will be coming in very shortly. At that time, if the member wishes to talk to me about some expedited passage of that particular portion of it, I will be pleased to do so.

3:10 p.m.


Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health and concerns the report of the gerontological task force of the Ottawa-Carleton district health council.

We are all aware of the great burden that the ageing population figures will place upon our health care delivery system in the last two decades of this century. In the national capital region the number of elderly will almost double in the next 14 years -- and Ottawa-Carleton already has an above-average percentage of its elderly institutionalized -- and there is an above-average migration of the elderly into the national capital region.

In view of those facts, how is it that the minister, in eight pages of ministerial mush in his letter of October 17, can deny the priority suggestion that an 18-bed short-stay geriatric assessment unit should be created immediately, probably at the Ottawa Civic Hospital? How is it that he can further suggest the geriatric day service at Queensway-Carleton Hospital, while being a good idea, cannot be extended because there is no money, in view of the fact that Ottawa-Carleton is 135 beds below the active treatment bed formula he has forced upon the province?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member will know, from the source of his material, that health council has frequently indicated that the Ottawa area could function quite nicely with considerably fewer beds than our planning guideline shows for Ottawa.

Second, the member will know we have approved the conversion of the old Ottawa General Hospital to a 200-bed chronic care facility. He will also know that in the recent past we have extended the chronic home care program into Ottawa-Carleton.

If the member has read the entire letter, he will also know I am not rejecting it; I am saying a number of those ideas need further study. This late in the current fiscal year, I cannot approve some of the ideas, but certainly they all have merit for consideration for the coming fiscal year.


Mr. Speaker: On Thursday last, October 30, the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) raised what he at least alleged to consider a matter of privilege in that he had received in his electoral district a copy of what he considered to be political propaganda by the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Baetz).

An examination of the material indicated it was in fact the minister’s constituency newsletter, and of course all members are entitled to distribute such newsletters. Further investigation indicates that such mail is distributed by the postmen in their “walks.” These walks have nothing to do with the boundaries of electoral districts, and it is usually necessary to furnish this material to a number of postmen whose walks may be wholly or partly within a given electoral district. In this way, a newsletter such as the one in question may very well be distributed outside the bounds of the member’s electoral district. In fact, I recall the minister saying last Thursday that he very often receives material from the neighbouring electoral districts, including that of the member for Ottawa East.

It is obvious, therefore, that no privilege of the House has been breached and no action is required of me. I do have a copy of the walks, provided to me by the post office, if the member for Ottawa East would care to look at it.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciate the manner in which you have dealt with this subject. On one of the rare occasions when the member for Ottawa East attends this House, I wonder if you, Mr. Speaker, would give him an old-fashioned dressing down for introducing such crass political partisanship in here.

Mr. Speaker: No, I will not. It is the right of every member to raise what he considers to be legitimate in nature. My investigation has proved that not to be the case; it was not a prima facie case of privilege.


Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I believe the member for Wentworth has asked on a point of privilege, not only today but also previously, whether his rights had been abused by not receiving information.

In the response to the member, I made it very clear to him that I was sending all the communications to the date of his request, and I think that is exactly what we did. What surprises me, and I am genuinely surprised, is that the member should feel his privileges were abused when I made it my business to table that letter here in this Legislature and sent copies of the letter in question, not only to the leaders opposite but also to the critics and to the members of that area. It seems to me that I have made every effort to make sure that communication was in his hands. I fail to see how any privileges were abused.

Mr. Isaacs: Mr. Speaker, I might respond very briefly to inform you as to the time frame: My question was tabled on Thursday, October 9. The letter in question was sent on Thursday, October 16 -- or at least it was dated that day. The answer to my question was tabled on Friday, October 24. In the answer to the question was a clear statement that the answer was right as of the date of the placing of the question.

I tabled a similarly worded question about another landfill site, with regard to which there has been no correspondence subsequent to the date of the placing of the question. That statement about the answer being correct as of the date of the question was not contained in that other answer. I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that the minister’s response to my question is rather like saying “Yes” when the real answer is “No” and justifying the yes answer by saying that the answer would have been yes two weeks ago.

I suggest to you that my privileges have been abused if the answer to the question is backdated to the date of the question and does not contain information which was clearly available to the ministry at the time the answer to my question was received and tabled in this House. I would ask you to look into this matter, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: The longer the honourable member talks about it the more confused I become. He is obviously talking about two separate inquiries of the ministry. I want to remind him that the minister can answer in any way he chooses. Of course, if the member is not happy with that answer, he can draw whatever conclusions may come to his mind.

I will look at it again but, unless the conditions are different than I perceive them at the present time, a further response may not be forthcoming from the chair. But I will look at it.



Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the subcommittee of the standing committee on the administration of justice be authorized to sit tomorrow morning, November 4, to consider its report on its review of Ontario Housing Corporation.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the select committee on plant shutdowns and employee adjustment be authorized to sit today, November 3, tomorrow, November 4, and Wednesday, November 5.

Mr. Isaacs: Mr. Speaker, I might respond very briefly to inform you as to the time.

Motion agreed to.



Hon. Mr. Timbrell moved first reading of Bill 177, An Act to provide for the Safe Use of X-ray Machines in the Healing Arts.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I am sure the honourable members will recall that we established last year an advisory committee on radiology, headed by Dr. Brian Holmes, the then dean of medicine at the University of Toronto. Its task was to study the issue of X-ray safety in Ontario. The committee presented its report in March of this year, and at that time I announced that I accepted in principle the report along with its recommendations.

Among the committee’s recommendations were that a healing arts radiation protection agency should be set up to oversee and coordinate an X-ray safety program for Ontario; that new legislation should be introduced requiring a safety code for all X-ray facilities and equipment as well as registration of all facilities; and that mandatory peer review programs should be established for all groups of operators.

The committee also said it could find no scientific studies that could answer the question of whether chiropractors should take X-rays. The committee recommended that a scientific study on the subject should be commissioned by the healing arts radiation protection agency.

3:20 p.m.

The report has been widely circulated and comments have been received from the major interest groups as well as individual practitioners. Although a few specific concerns were expressed -- having to do with the composition of the proposed healing arts radiation protection agency and concerning costs of implementing the program -- all agree with the principles set forth in the report and with the thrust of the recommendation.

The government accepts all of the recommendations contained in the report and these form the basis for the new legislation I have introduced today.

The proposed healing arts radiation protection agency will replace present legislation covering X-ray safety. These matters are now covered, only in part, under regulation 721 of the Public Health Act. Regulation 721 was designed primarily for the protection of X-ray workers. It does not, for example, set standards for the training of all X-ray operators.

The Healing Arts Radiation Protection Act will establish the Healing Arts Radiation Protection Commission. The commission is to consist of five members, none of whom will be health professionals, but it will be supported by professional and technical committees. The responsibilities of the commission will include developing an X-ray safety code, approving courses in X-ray safety for X-ray operators, undertaking appropriate studies and advising me on all matters pertaining to X-ray safety.

The new legislation will also provide for registration of all medical X-ray equipment and its owners as well as provisions to ensure compliance with the act. Regulations under the act will establish qualifications for medical X-ray operators, set standards and procedures for minimizing X-ray exposure to patients, and establish standards for the design and construction of facilities and the operation and performance of medical X-ray machines.

The draft act has been reviewed by the major professional and technical groups which will be affected by it. I am pleased to report that, as a result of this consultative process, there is general agreement with its content.

I would ask the honourable members to give speedy and early consideration to this important legislation so that action can be taken in the very near future to improve the level of X-ray safety in this province.


Mr. Stong moved that Bill 68, An Act to protect the Reputation of Innocent Persons from Untimely Publicity, be withdrawn.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Stong moved first reading of Bill 178, An Act to protect the Reputation of Innocent Persons from Untimely Publicity.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, since I introduced Bill 68, which I have now withdrawn, I had occasion to speak to the Ontario Community Newspapers Association. I was advised of two legitimate concerns that attack the principle of the former Bill 68, and I have written those into the new bill I have introduced.

The purpose of this bill is to protect persons who have been charged with an offence from adverse publicity until such time as a court begins to hear evidence in the case or the person enters a plea of guilty to the offence.

The exceptions to the principle are occasioned when a person holding public office is accused of committing a breach of public trust or a person accused of having committed an offence cannot be located and publication of the name of the person can be reasonably expected to assist in finding the person.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answers to questions 171, 176, 271, 353 to 355 and 358, and the interim answer to question 367 standing on the Notice Paper. (See appendix, page 4025.)


House in committee of supply.


On vote 701, ministry administration program:

Mr. Martel: Mr. Chairman, I want to continue from where I left off last time we met.

Mr. Ashe: Complimenting the minister.

Mr. Martel: This must be happy day or funny hour or something like that. In fact, I was not going to continue until the minister mentioned he was going to speak about Sudbury 2001. That prompted me to continue.

Mr. Haggerty: The minister is prophesying.

Mr. Martel: Yes. In fact, I think the minister said he was going to do me in on account of the 2001 project. He provoked me to talk about 2001. As members know, 2001 is the Conservative answer to the 2,400 people who were laid off.

Mr. Haggerty: That’s like the promise to plant two trees for every one they cut.

Mr. Martel: It is even better than two trees for one, because it is even skimpier than that. The 2001 project was the $600,000 contribution that was going to replace some 2,400 jobs lost at Inco and some 400 or 500 jobs lost at Falconbridge. Most members in the House are not aware that all that separated us from having those roughly 3,000 jobs and not having a layoff was merely $600,000. That is all that it took. The seed money provided for 2001 was going to resolve the problems of the Sudbury basin and the loss of 3,000 jobs. I did not realize that conditions were that good. I would have hoped the seed money would have prevented a further recent loss of 120 jobs when Inco could no longer sell its iron ore pellets to Stelco or Dofasco and they were forced to dump something like 500,000 tonnes of iron ore into the tailings area.

Lo and behold, all that was needed to save us was $600,000. That was a real stroke of genius. We are going to replace those jobs with a cottage industry in the Sudbury basin. When is that going to come to fruition? I hope the people who are receiving unemployment insurance after that layoff will have been able to survive waiting for that $600,000 over three years.

I do not believe that will resolve our problems, the minister does not believe it and neither does anyone else. The 2001 project was the creation of the local residents up there in an effort to try to entice or bring in some secondary industry to offset some of the shocks that continue to happen with the peaks and valleys of the mining industry.

Unfortunately, that group continued to hold its meetings on Monday nights, and on Monday nights I have an obligation at Queen’s Park. I do not have a plane at my disposal as some of the executives do. They hold their meetings on Monday nights, and I was here and my friend the member for Algoma-Manitoulin (Mr. Lane) was here with me.

The 2001 project got itself in a lot of trouble. I want to say that what those two or three people in the organization did was unbelievable. These big businessmen opposite tell us that none of us is in business and we do not understand how it works since we have never had a payroll. I say to the minister that I would not have given $100,000 to Ernest Schaffernicht to be deposited in a bank in the United States, without some type of agreement or some type of collateral. That is what occurred, as the minister knows full well.

3:30 p.m.

I am not embarrassed by what they did. I was not party to it. I was party, though, to trying to get it cleaned up, because there was our friend Ernest with $100,000 sitting in Texas buying goats. In fact, he once made the claim that he was going to produce so much goat wool he would make Inco look like small potatoes. He was going to produce wool like you would not believe. We could have clothed the entire world, if not the universe, with the amount of wool that Ernest was going to produce.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Was this the sheep farmer?

Mr. Martel: No. Goats.

Mr. T. P Reid: There’s the goat right over there.

Mr. Martel: My friend got involved in the act.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Remember the board of directors?

Mr. Martel: Yes, and I didn’t get a vote on it. That’s what irritates me no end: it was all the businessmen who voted.


Mr. Martel: I am coming to the Liberals. The gentleman who obtained the cheque from the region and passed it on to Mr. Schaffernicht without any type of agreement was close to being the Tory provincial candidate. He was being wooed by the Tories. Last November he was in Toronto meeting with the Tory hierarchy. He was going to become a Tory candidate. But he is an ambitious young fellow and, when Mr. Speaker Jerome decided to retire, regional chairman Fred abandoned the Tories and jumped back in bed with the Liberals. He ran for them.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Minister of mines.

Mr. Martel: He thought he was going to be Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources. He did not quite make it. I do not know why, but that is the friend of 2001 who gave the money away.

Then he came to the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier) and said: “Look, Leo, old buddy, will you give me the $100,000 so I can put it back in the bank.” To his credit, the minister said no. I think I told the minister to say no because it was crazy. If that is the kind of antic that is going to go on in 2001, it is in trouble.

I well recall spending hours doing research on mining equipment, making a presentation to them and encouraging them. We brought over Mr. Letts from North Bay to try to encourage 2001 to move in that direction. They did not have time; they were goatherding. In fact, I hear that the regional chairman went to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to see if they would establish a course either at Laurentian or Cambrian on goat shearing. That would fill part of the void. With the industry there, we could have a course at Laurentian or Cambrian on goat shearing. He thought it would make a prime course that would really solve the problem.

That is the problem with 2001. They will not get serious in the areas where there are weaknesses in the area’s economy. If a group ever had a mandate to try to entice Jarvis Clark to come to Sudbury, it was 2001. And where is Jarvis Clark going? To Burlington. In fact, Jarvis Clark has bought into a couple of small operations in Sudbury, I am told.

It would be my hope that this government would say to Jarvis Clark, “Look, we will help.” We have a university that has an engineering course -- one that is four years now. That was a major battle, as the minister knows, to get Laurentian to move from a two-year course to a four-year course. We have the greatest laboratory in Ontario within a 150-mile radius of Sudbury. One could go to the uranium mines at Elliot Lake to test equipment, to the gold mines in Timmins, or to Kidd Copper in Timmins. We have a natural laboratory, and that is the sort of thing 2001 should be involved in. Instead they got into goats and a lot of nonsense like that.

I lent my name to that group. I did not believe they would succeed -- I say that sincerely to the minister -- but, because I represent a large constituency up there, I tried to give it some credibility. The nonsense that appeared over the goat fiasco did not help anyone. It was the single most destructive item. That we could get a regional chairman transferring money without legal documents blew my mind. They came to me in July and said, “You have got to help us get this sorted out.”

My colleagues the member for Sudbury (Mr. Germa) and the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren) and I went to those meetings in the summer and on into the fall to try to resolve it without its hitting the press. We were not trying to cover up, but we knew we had to get some agreement on the goats. We knew we had to save the credibility of 2001, but that was impossible. They asked for what they got. I ask the minister, if Sudbury businessmen operated in that kind of cavalier fashion, my God, who would want to come there?

We helped to straighten it out, and we had nothing to do with its creation. Most of the stuff was done without the majority of the board of directors even knowing what was going on. I did not have a clue. I was amazed this could occur. They wanted to bring in volunteer lawyers. There was a lawyer who volunteered his service free. When a lawyer volunteers free service, that service is worth what it cost: zilch. One cannot protect one’s interests that way. One has to hire a lawyer, pay him and be in a position where somebody is held accountable for what goes on. That was not the case and it was a fiasco.

I will go on and look after the minister’s other interests here in a moment, but I want to tell him that $600,000 and 2001 are not going to resolve the problems of the north. That is going to take economic planning, not only in the free enterprise sector but also with government involvement. They have had 75 years in the Sudbury basin to do something beyond exploitation, and no one has seen fit to do it. We have tried everything, as the minister knows.

There have been federal grants to northern Ontario for small industry. In North Bay a whole series of companies opened up and shut their doors, from Levi jeans down. We have to do something with the material that is there. It is not a case of bringing material from southern Ontario, manufacturing it in northern Ontario and then sending it back south as a finished commodity. The minister and I both know that is too costly. There is no competitive advantage to doing it. That sort of suggestion, that sort of development is not going to help the north. We have to utilize what is in the north. My colleague said it; the minister scoffed at it, and called it Socialist hotchpotch, but we see it is not.

We have to take inventory of what is in the north and of what we are not producing. I have hoped the private sector would do it. The private sector failed and they had 75 years. That is the frustration. They have had time over the years to locate secondary industry related to the resources area. My colleague indicated that, aside from cutting, 60 per cent of the jobs created in the woods industry are in southern Ontario. There are reasons, but to reverse it the government has to get involved. It is no great Socialist plot. It says very simply that, if we are going to keep our young people in the north, there has to be a change in philosophy.

3:40 p.m.

In 75 years in Sudbury, the richest ore body in the world has not created jobs related beyond the extractive industry. I can never engage this minister by saying to him’, “Okay, it has not.” He simply says, “You are talking doom and gloom.” It is not doom and gloom. We have been extracting nickel for almost 100 years, going back to just before the turn of the century, and no one has started an industry related to it. We cannot go on forever hoping that someone is going to do something. They have had the time. I see the former minister of mines here as well. He has an area that is exploited, as the minister’s is and as mine is.

If the private sector was going to do something, it has had eons to do it. If we talk about government involvement, it is because the private sector has deigned not to come there. We have an option. We can have the minister’s option, which is to continue to allow it to happen and which is mere exploitation. I am not saying we should not exploit the resources -- we have to -- but it is what we do with them after we have exploited them. To continue to ship them out is to continue to ship our kids out, nearly every last one of them unless they are in a profession or they work in the mines, and the minister and I know they do not even want to work in the mines.

I know they held a big conference in Sudbury recently about why youngsters do not want to work in the mines. Would the minister? Would he work in a mine such as the small iron mine in Capreol which has another 25 years of life expectancy? They made $6 million the year they closed and almost that the year before, but they will not put in $2.5 million to do the appropriate screening to bring the dust count down and improve the Q factor.

Would the minister go into mining knowing that tomorrow his home and his investment will not be worth a cent? We are still trying to sell 50 or 60 homes in Capreol two years later. The effects on that municipality have been devastating. We built a new arena and we added a subdivision less than a year prior to the mine’s closing, because they wanted workers. And who is paying for it? We are. They just packed their bongo balls and went home.

When we talk about that sort of thing, why would a young man or woman go into mining? Government is the only answer. It is not some great Socialist plot. I was in Kapuskasing recently. I drove through Moonbeam and I went to see the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Brunelle). I called on him but he was not home. He knows it.

What have we done beyond pulp and paper in northern Ontario? Where are the factories producing the furniture? We have a deficit of 400 per cent annually. We take the wood from here, ship it to Taiwan and it comes back as furniture. What is wrong with a system where there is government involvement because no one else is going to do it? Surely the rape of the north has to terminate. Surely we have to have jobs for our young people. Surely we cannot have the type of economy where there are very young and very elderly, because the elderly have the tax burden and the young are too young to pay taxes.

The minister has done nothing. He has helped to find more minerals, he has helped to exploit them and he has helped to cut more trees, hut it is beyond that step that this government has refused to get seriously involved. It is not just a case of grants; it is a case of sound economic planning which says in Hearst, if it is having a rough time, instead of importing 90 per cent of our hockey sticks, much of them from Finland which has an economy equivalent to ours, we are going to produce some there. We will assist someone or we will do it ourselves as a last measure, but we are going to have jobs for young people.

We move to furniture and we say, rather than have a deficit every year of 400 per cent on furniture, we are going to try, by bringing businessmen together, to entice them to locate plants in the north. It is not enough to purely exploit any longer, and that is how this government has to change. It talks about us having tunnel vision; what about the tunnel vision of free enterprisers simply looking through their tube at a buck, or of this government saying it has to be left solely to free enterprise? What has it done for the appropriate development of northern Ontario? It really has not done much.

History will record that this Tory government, after 37 years, had tunnel vision with respect to secondary industry in northern Ontario. They stand condemned because, as a result of that, we do not have adequate health services compared to what the south has. In the municipalities, we do not even have the hardware services.

I was in Hudson this summer and when I dropped in to see the minister, he was away.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Working.

Mr. Martel: I was working too; I was up there doing a survey, because I wanted to find out what was in Hudson. I am not being critical; the minister knows. It is desperate; those people need the types of services that are commonplace in southern Ontario. There is no tax base, and the minister and I both know that. Three of us were on the committee when we first looked at Bill 62 on unorganized communities many years ago.

We still do not have a tax base sufficient to provide even the hardware and, although we have moved ahead with a bill that went through here a year ago -- I do not care if the government brings in 50 bills -- things will not change until there is an adequate tax base. Those people work in those industries to meet the needs of the industries, because without them the industries could not function. There is so little in tax that they had difficulty until recently even getting a light bulb, and they still do, because there is an inadequate base to provide the hardware.

It is just a legacy. We can look at health; we can look at municipal services; we can look at secondary industry; we can look at tax; and what do we have? Not very much. We stand up here and implore the government to start to look to secondary industry utilizing the resources that are there and to look to mining equipment, which has a trade deficit of more than $1 billion annually.

We are the third largest producer of mineral wealth in the world and we are the largest consumer of imported mineral equipment. Does that not say something for us and about what is lacking? In the examples I gave, whether involving hockey sticks or anything related to the forest industry, or whether involving furniture or mining equipment, those operations will not occur on their own. It does not necessarily mean that governments have to start the operations. It means governments have to bring pools of people and cash together. There is the expertise in the work force up there to do this sort of thing.

I say to the minister, as I prepare to depart, it is his responsibility to make it happen; he is the Minister of Northern Affairs. We have to go beyond what we have done, and in a much more forceful fashion, to ensure that our people have work and that we can help to develop some of the native people’s communities appropriately so they can live with dignity and have jobs. But the way we have gone for 65 years does not do it.

3:50 p.m.

Whether or not the minister likes it, we have to do something else. It might mean infringing a little. It might mean talking a little tougher. But further exploitation of the resources without any related industry to it has to stop. The last grant the ministry gave last year was a disgrace. To allow Falconbridge to write off its cost of production in Norway against its Ontario tax base is crazy. If I were management at Falconbridge, why would I ever consider a refinery in northern Ontario when I can have one in Norway and I can write off those costs against the Ontario tax? Why, in God’s name, would I even consider locating anything in northern Ontario or in Ontario?

That sort of proposal, which this minister used to espouse when he was in northern Ontario, is in the final analysis the death knell to northern Ontario and northern development. It has to change. I am hopeful that even he will see it is not bringing anything to the north, and that we will cancel some of those silly tax breaks that see refining carried on abroad. As I say, to do less means that history will record that this government gave the store away and in its place received very little outside of a minuscule amount of tax and a few temporary jobs.

Mr. Lane: Mr. Chairman, I would like to take this opportunity to make a few remarks on this vote, not to find fault with the quality of service the ministry is providing but maybe to find a little fault with the quantity. Maybe we should have a little more quantity in some cases than we have at present.

The service offices across the north are doing a tremendous lob. In my riding I am lucky, because I have three offices there. Two are manned by a man and one by a young lady, and they are all doing a great job. But as I travel farther north, where the distances get greater, I sometimes find the service officer is 100 miles or so away from people who need his or her service. I am wondering whether it would be possible to find finances so that maybe we could have some satellite offices and a few more bodies around to help those senior citizens fill in those tax credit forms and other things they seem to rely on the people who man the service offices to do for them. I think it is good that they do.

The other thing I would like to mention is the need for the Ministry of Northern Affairs to be a data bank for the government of Ontario as far as information relating to the north is concerned. I see so many programs in which various ministries are involved in the north taking far too long to mature. They should rely on the ministry for a great deal of the information we already have, and with a few more service offices across the north we could have the rest on file.

I think a lot of programs the government would like to carry out could be speeded up a bit if they would just rely on the Ministry of Northern Affairs for information rather than getting it themselves. We have people following each other around at quite a high cost today with the cost of travelling. I think it could be eliminated. We have a greater role to perform in that area than the one we are currently performing. However, I think members from all sides of the House would agree that over the three years the ministry has been around we have done tremendous things for northern Ontario.

I was amazed when I heard the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) indicate that if he were the Premier of this province he would get rid of the Ministry of Northern Affairs. I can recall when I was promoting it, one of the first supporters I had was the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid). He said it was a vehicle we needed.

Mr. T. P. Reid: He meant we should get rid of the present minister.

Mr. Lane: Yet I remember the day the Premier advised the House that Bill 21 was going to be introduced. It is in Hansard, on page 274, for April 7, 1977. The Leader of the Opposition says, “What about a ministry of southern affairs?” That goes to show how little he knows about the problems in the north. Now he is saying that, if he were the Premier, he would abolish the Ministry of Northern Affairs.

Mr. T. P. Reid: On a point of privilege, Mr. Chairman: Since the member obviously intends to keep pounding on that drum, I think the record should be corrected. I spoke to the Leader of the Opposition. He did not say he would do away with the Ministry of Northern Affairs. His comment was that it was unfortunate the other government ministries have not responded to northern Ontario in the past and that the government itself felt it necessary to set up a ministry to pressure the other ministries to take cognizance of northern Ontario. He did not, at any time -- according to him and other people who were there -- say he would do away with the Ministry of Northern Affairs.

He may have indicated he would do away with the present minister, but that goes without saying.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: You should not do the apologizing for him.

Mr. T. P. Reid: The Minister of Northern Affairs will be very sensitive to the fact that a comment was taken out of context or a headline was put on a story that was untrue and misleading. That very Minister of Northern Affairs was quoted in his own local paper -- one would think the minister owns it, they are usually so good to him there -- he was quoted as saying, “We should accept nuclear waste in northern Ontario.”

The minister got up in the House last week and said that was not what he said. We accepted that he did not say that. The minister may not be the smartest man in the Legislature, but he is not that stupid to say something like that. I would hope the member who has just spoken would accept my explanation of what was said by the Leader of the Opposition, that he did not say he would do away with the Ministry of Northern Affairs.

Mr. Chairman: I think we are stretching the point of privilege here a little. The member for Algoma, very briefly, if I perceive it as a point of privilege.

Mr. Wildman: Mr. Chairman, in relation to the comments made by the member for Rainy River, the statement the member for Algoma-Manitoulin referred to was widely quoted in the press in northern Ontario.

When I raised it during discussion of the estimates of the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, in the standing committee on resources development, the colleagues of the member for Rainy River who were present in the committee did not deny it. As a matter of fact, they supported it and argued that the Ministry of Industry and Tourism should be doing what this ministry is supposed to be doing in northern Ontario.

I would hope the member could prevail upon his leader to come before the Legislature stating publicly what he did say so that his position and the position of the other members of the Liberal Party could be clarified.

Mr. Lane: Mr. Chairman, I did not intend to cause any excitement across the way when I made those comments. Certainly I am personally prepared to accept the statement of my friend the member for Rainy River. The minister may have something further to say on that later.

I point out to my friend the member for Algoma that his party’s hands are not altogether clean either as far as this ministry is concerned. I can recall here in this House, on April 5, 1976, the then leader of the NDP, Mr. Lewis, heckling me as I was making one of my biannual statements in the House regarding the need for a Ministry of Northern Affairs. I said to him at that time, I could not understand why it was we had not heard more about the Department of Northern Saskatchewan. That ministry was established by an NDP government. Mr. Lewis replied: “Yes, but there are a million people involved.” I might add there are a million people in northern Ontario too.

4 p.m.

I replied to him that I had the report and commenced to read the report from the Department of Northern Saskatchewan. He said many new and innovative programs had been implemented and improvements had been made to existing ones. Advancement was far beyond any level previously contemplated in the north. Now I find out that that ministry which was doing so well way back there in 1976 has decided to pattern itself after our Ministry of Northern Affairs. That speaks for itself. It just goes to show that, as usual, the government is right and the members opposite are wrong most of the time.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Chairman, can we speak about any of the items under this vote, or are we going in order?

The Deputy Chairman: Under the main office vote we have been giving wide range.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I have a number of questions to ask the minister. No doubt as usual it will come as a bit of a shock to him and his officials, because I want to talk about the actual money that is in these votes.

The Deputy Chairman: On actual money, the minister may wish to have his officials before him.

Mr. T. P. Reid: That was what I was going to suggest.

The Deputy Chairman: We will leave it up to the minister to decide.

Mr. T. P. Reid: First of all, I notice that under the 1978-79 estimates, under main office the estimate was $852,000. Under the 1979-80 estimates, it is $1,149,000. Salaries and wages are the largest component of that figure. I wonder if the minister can tell us particularly how the salaries and wages break down, how many people are involved and what exactly they do in the ministry.

We have been through this before, and I will not extend it unduly, but it seems to me we have a Ministry of Northern Affairs, a Ministry of Natural Resources and a Provincial Secretariat for Resources Development, all of which are doing relatively the same thing -- when we can figure out what some of them are doing. I should amend that to say they say they are doing the same thing. All three ministries are resident in Toronto with the exception of the minister’s assistant deputy minister who is in Kenora. I would like to know how many of those people who are drawing salaries totalling $684,060 are in the minister’s office and what their classifications and salary levels are. That is the first question I would like to put. Perhaps the minister has that information in his briefing hook.

The second question I would like to relate to concerns analysis and planning, which is $323,000. I would like to know specifically what analysis and planning is going on in the head office; what exactly the projects are or the areas that are undergoing this analysis and planning and what the procedures are for that; who is in charge of that particular function and who is involved in it; how many people, their names and their titles.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Chairman, if I may respond, I have a very lengthy response with regard to the other members who did put some questions.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I am not finished with my remarks on this first vote, but perhaps the minister would like to respond to those questions.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: It will be some considerable time, if the member would like to go on.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I can make some other remarks as well then.

The Deputy Chairman: Are the member’s questions still on vote 701?

Mr. T. P. Reid: Yes, they are, Mr. Chairman. They relate to head office activity. I should point out, with no buts involved but perhaps some qualifications, that on Friday last the Minister of Northern Affairs, the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) and myself, along with Mr. Charlton, the assistant deputy minister, and others, were at a road opening; it is pretty well all, I might add, in the Rainy River riding. It was the opening of the new road between Fort Frances and Dryden. The minister is no doubt aware that the road is totally in my riding, because I take in all the area south, east and west of Dryden where the road runs, and, of course, I have Fort Frances in my riding.

It was a gala occasion. I am not sure that more effort did not go into the opening than into the actual construction of the road. We opened the road at least three times and perhaps more after I left. But it is going to be of benefit to the people in northwestern Ontario generally. It is going to provide much easier access for people in Dryden, Sioux Lookout, Wabigoon, Barclay and so on to get to Fort Frances and vice versa. It is going to have, I believe, a great effect on commerce in the area. It is going to have a great effect on the social intercourse, as I have said, with people travelling back and forth. It will improve the school competition in our area, and it will have a very great effect on tourism as well.

I said at the opening, and I did not mean to inject a discouraging word into the otherwise optimistic day we were having, that any road anywhere, but particularly in northern Ontario, brings with it its own set of problems. That particular road goes through a very environmentally sensitive area in terms of the geography of the area, in regard to the timber and in regard to the lakes in the area and in terms of its effect on fish and game. My concern and that of others is that road may very well wind up, if we do not control it carefully, having a wasteland, a desert, on both sides of it extending from the Fort Frances cutoff right up to Dryden. There are some very environmentally sensitive lakes, for instance, in regard to the lake trout population.

The easier access allows a great many fishermen and hunters into this area. It allows our nonresident friends, particularly from the United States, a vast area to hunt and fish. These people have not been controlled in the past and they probably impose a heavier burden on the area than almost anybody else because they are avid fishermen and hunters. Under this present government, they are not restricted as to where they go. They can bring their camper-trailers, and they can get to these lakes and fish and hunt to their hearts’ content with only the purchase of a fishing or hunting licence. They are not to blame for all the problems but, if we do not do something about controlling these areas, it is going to wipe out the fishing and hunting. I think the minister should be aware of that. He has a responsibility to ensure that as little as possible of the environment is affected by the road. So I leave that with him.

I would express one other concern that has been put to me by people, particularly on Manitou Lake. I could not help but notice that the brochure provided at the opening talked about the Manitou Road. The people in the area do not wish to have the road referred to as the Manitou Road, because that is going to attract a lot of hunters and fishermen who are going to be and already have been all over the place. We are trying to keep it as much a wilderness as possible. I pass on to the minister that I think the road should be signed as Highway 594, is it?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Highway 502.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Sorry; 502. If he is going to advertise this road as a large tourist attraction, he should have in place controls on the pork-and-beaners -- let’s face it; that’s what we call them -- before he goes out and has a full-scale advertising program to promote the road.

4:10 p.m.

That is one item. The other item -- I won’t speak at great length about it, because I know what the minister’s answer is; we went through this in the estimates last year -- is the Rainy River district land clearing and drainage program.

The minister and his compatriot the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson) told me as recently as a week ago that this program, which was first put to them in 1977 and for which we have not seen anything concrete in terms of a program policy and the money to back it up, is waiting on the signing of the Department of Regional Economic Expansion agreement in Ottawa, and that money freed up or made available through the northern DREE agreement will be made available for this land clearing and drainage program in the Rainy River district, at least for a fairly major pilot project if we cannot get everything we would ask for.

I have spoken to John Reid, MP, about this matter. He is working on it from that end. I do not know why the Minister of Regional Economic Expansion has not signed the agreement. The Minister of Agriculture and Food has indicated to me that, within two months of the signing of that DREE agreement, there will be a policy and a program available for this land clearing and drainage which, as I say, was a product of local initiative and was started more than three years ago. Yet there has been a lot of foot dragging and a lot of confusion, and I have a lot of concern about the minister or his ministry and the other ministries that are supposed to be co-ordinating with him in programs of this kind. It seems to me that the ministry should be prepared to go ahead with their own program if the federal government does not move pretty soon.

I note in the estimates that there is $900,000 for agricultural development, presumably for all of northern Ontario. This is a drop in the bucket when one looks at all of northern Ontario. There is great opportunity, great potential for agriculture in northern Ontario, particularly in the area I represent.

It is perhaps a coincidence that last Friday morning I had some young people from around London in southern Ontario come to see me in my office; they were interested in purchasing land in northern Ontario, particularly in the Rainy River district, because the land down here was too expensive for them to buy.

There has been great interest shown in our area by people in southern Ontario. There has been great interest shown by non-residents as well. Apparently somebody from Germany recently was prepared to spend upwards of $1 million and has brought two or three farms in the west end of the district. That particular individual, I understand, is going to become a landed immigrant and not an absentee landlord, but foreign ownership is a problem that concerns us up there.

If we could get this program in place, we could free up -- and the estimates vary -- a minimum of 100,000 acres that are now covered by trees or that need drainage.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: It’s all peat.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Some of it is peat as well, but a land clearing and draining program would provide thousands of acres that could be used for young people who wish to get into farming and expand the agricultural base of the Rainy River district. It is going to happen. The local people had this initiative, they prepared a number of briefs and there have been numerous studies, and it seems to me that kind of initiative and enterprise on their part should be rewarded and not stifled. They are frustrated.

I am sure the minister knows they threatened at one point to come down and picket the opening of Ontario North Now at Ontario Place. I wish they had. I wish they had seen what the minister built there, but that is another story. They are frustrated because it has been more than three years now and it seems to me that the minister particularly, because of his responsibilities and that great speech he makes about being a spokesman for northern Ontario, should be there with the policy and everything in place and say, “Look, we are prepared to do this.”

The minister nods that they are. We have waited for three years; so he will pardon us if we are getting a little impatient. I presume in his remarks to me he is going to lay the whole thing out. Is he?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: You do not even know what I am saying. I am saying to get your brother off his butt.

Mr. T. P. Reid: That is not the way I read the minister’s lips. I will not go into it as extensively as I did last year, but I hope the minister will have some comments.

With regard to analysis and planning, we are faced with a number of problems that are simple; the solutions are difficult and complex. One thing that bothers me about this ministry and about the Provincial Secretariat for Resources Development is the fact that there does not seem to be any grappling with those problems; there does not seem to be any priority given to them. I will be interested to hear the minister say what his analysis and planning branch is doing.

We had a shutdown in Atikokan, and I will give the government credit for doing a few things. I do not think there is any doubt that the Ontario Hydro plant is there because of the difficulties of that town.

For years I have been making this speech to the Ministry of Labour, to this ministry and to the Provincial Secretariat for Resources Development. There has to be some kind of analysis and looking at one-industry towns specifically. It should also be done in the context of automation and mechanization, because the government has embarked on grants to the pulp and paper towns, for instance. Let us not kid ourselves: If we are spending $100 million on machinery, we are going to wind up displacing jobs. People are going to be out of jobs and those jobs are not going to be there.

We may have an initial flurry of contractors, labourers, millwrights and so on for a couple of years, all that sort of thing while the plants or machines are being rebuilt, but the bottom line as far as those communities and the workers in them are concerned is that there are going to be fewer jobs at the end of it for them and their families. It is a problem we have to deal with, and we should be up front in spelling out just how many jobs are going to be lost and what these communities can expect. Those three ministries should be tying together some kind of coherent program for one-industry towns.

As I say, the problems are simple but the solutions are complex. We know what the problems are; we know the problems of underserviced areas in terms of lack of medical and educational facilities so that we cannot attract the industries we would like to have in northern Ontario. Obviously one of the largest problems is transportation costs in and out of the area. These problems have been dealt with in a piecemeal fashion. It does not seem to me that there is any coordinated approach or attack on them.

I was very interested to read the report of the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce, a body that was set up in relationship to the minister and the northwest chamber to look at specific regions and problems and how to deal with them. I was quite impressed with a couple of things they came up with, particularly the matter of machine parts for mills and mines which to a large extent, are all imported. They have not looked at this superficially, but they have come up with some specifics on the types of things that could be done with a little assistance from the government in terms of supplying the equipment replacement and machinery parts that are used, particularly in the mines and forestry industry. They were very specific about that.

4:20 p.m.

It seems to me this is where we have gone wrong all these years. We have all kinds of studies that look at things in the broadest of terms but without any specific projects such as suggested by the northwestern chamber in regard to this kind of specific area. That is the kind of thing I am interested in -- the minister telling me about what plans he has for providing assistance by way of grants, loans or whatever and technical advice from his ministry or some other section of the government so that some of these things can become a reality.

I am an incurable optimist, but we face grim times in northern Ontario in the next few years. I have gone through it myself in Atikokan where I was raised. When you fly in or drive in there and see those big holes without the trucks winding up those roads and see the plant shut down, it is disturbing. It is disturbing that people who have spent a good part of their life there no longer have a job to go to. And we are going to see more of that in northern Ontario. We are going to see that in regard to the pulp and paper and lumber industries as they become exceedingly more mechanized and automated.

I recall when Boise Cascade was preparing to build a kraft mill in Fort Frances. They took myself and some of the town fathers down to De Ridder, Louisiana, and it was disturbing to see the setup they had there. They had a mill about three blocks long, and they had eight people running that mill. It was completely mechanized, completely automated. Somebody pushed a button; the wood went in one end and came out paper the other. The people were there only to make sure that if something went wrong they could shut down the machines so they would not blow up.

The other disturbing thing down there was that they are growing trees on a 40- to 45- year cycle. They just drive off their highways and they are planted there like corn fields so they do not have the expense of going literally hundreds of miles into the bush to haul wood all the way back to the mill. Their raw material product is cheaper and their automation gives them a leg up on us in terms of competition.

We are facing problems, and I would like to hear from the minister what he intends to do about them. I want to hear what he intends to do about the one-industry-town syndrome and all the ramifications of that. I am interested that we have a select committee on plant shutdowns and employee adjustment. It is annoying and sad that when Steep Rock, Caland and Capreol shut down, there was not this hue and cry. As usual, it is a matter of impact; as these things grow, enough people get disturbed and the pressure mounts.

We have had these problems in northern Ontario for some time, and I realize there is no easy solution. I, and I think the people I represent, would like to know that somebody is at least working on the problems so there may be some solution at the end of it. The problem is, we have been studied to death in northern Ontario. My God, we could fill this Legislative Building with all the reports that have been done on northern Ontario, but we cannot fill the room with many of the solutions that have been arrived at.

I think it is going to require a lot of cooperation with this government and with the federal government as well. They too have a large stake in this and a responsibility.

I will end there for now, Mr. Chairman, but I will have other things to say.

Mr. Wildman: Mr. Chairman, I would like some direction. I have a number of matters I would like to raise under this vote but, if the minister prefers to reply to the former speakers now and me to go on after him, I am willing to yield him the floor and come back to it later.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Yes, Mr. Chairman, I have a number of responses to questions that were asked.

The Deputy Chairman: If you will proceed with those then, we will try to get to the itemized votes in the manner we should be doing.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I will respond first to the member for Nipissing (Mr. Bolan) who, during the last course of our debate, filed a number of questions. There was one in particular dealing with the Ontario home renewal program grants in the unorganized areas of North Bay and Sturgeon Falls. He asked me to get the specific number of applications and the number that were approved. I regret he is not with us today, but I am sure he will be able to read the response in Hansard.

In 1979-80, North Bay submitted 16 applications under OHRP and 16 were approved. Sturgeon Falls submitted 18 applications; 16 were approved and two were refused. I think that is an excellent record for that particular program. I know the member is very supportive of that program as are all of us who live in northern Ontario. In fact, he has made it clear he would like to see that vote expanded considerably under the Ministry of Housing.

I want to say for the record that the northern affairs officers throughout northern Ontario act as a clearing house for OHRP, particularly in those areas that are not serviced by and do not have a representative from the Ministry of Housing. Our relationship with the Ministry of Housing is exceptionally good, and the co-operation we are getting from it is very gratifying. It reflects the number of approvals that have been received for those applications in the North Bay and Sturgeon Falls areas.

The member also questioned the transactions of the northern affairs officers, asking how they arrive at a number, how they tally the number of transactions that are recorded on a day-to-day basis, a monthly basis and, hence, on an annual basis. The transactions are very simple. If there is a personal visit, or if there is an inquiry by telephone or correspondence, that in essence would result in a transaction. However, I would point out, as I just mentioned, in OHRP there may be as many as 10 or 12 phone calls or various actions with respect to a specific application, but they are recorded as only one transaction.

To give an idea of the transactions in the North Bay and Sturgeon Falls areas, from April 1979 until March 1980, during 250 working days the North Bay office recorded 10,026 transactions, or an average of about 40 per day. Sturgeon Falls recorded 8,292 transactions, for an average of 33 per day for that same period. From April 1, 1980, until September 1980, we have records for 125 working days. The North Bay office recorded 5,548 transactions, or an average of 44 transactions per day, which was up from the previous year. A similar occurrence has taken place in Sturgeon Falls, where we had 4,994 transactions, for an average of 40 per day. That gives members an idea of the number of transactions that have taken place through the northern affairs officers throughout the northwest.

I am particularly pleased to put those figures on the record, Mr. Chairman, because this is the tenth anniversary of the northern affairs officers. We will be recognizing that event in a formal way in Sault Ste. Marie on November 18.

Mr. Haggerty: Will we all get an invitation to it?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: If the member is in the area. I would love to have him around. It would be good to have the members who are interested in the work that those excellent people are doing on behalf of all the constituents of northern Ontario. If the member is in the area, I hope he will be my guest, because it is going to be a very pleasant occasion.

4:30 p.m.

I am sorry the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) is not with us. As you know, he made some remarks concerning the economic development of northern Ontario. He went to some length relating and reciting his theory as to how we should deal with single industry communities; how we should have a strategy; some long-term economic planning. I think we have heard that speech for 12 or 13 years in the Legislature. I will give the member some credit. His rhetoric is much better. The flow of his arguments is much smoother. His theatrical presentation is much better than it was some time ago. So I have gathered he has made the speech time and time again.

I am building up to pointing out there are certain weaknesses to the honourable member’s argument, weaknesses of which he knows and is very sensitive about. Of course, when I mentioned his involvement in the 2001 exercise, he became very exercised himself, to say the least, because he knows full well this government reacted to a response of that entire community.

The entire community of Sudbury gathered together at the height of some very serious problems when it was obvious the community would lose a large number of jobs in the Inco operation -- something like 2,400. There was a declining nickel market. There were some changes in their operation. A strike was bothering them. It really brought the city of Sudbury to its knees. They had a very exciting conference --

Mr. Wildman: You are really saying there is no solution.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I am just getting to that point. The city of Sudbury with all these very interested people -- I compliment that community -- brought people together who had, up to this time, never really sat down as a group to look at their community and how they could diversify the economic base of Sudbury, which everybody wanted to see happen. From the university president down through all the provincial members, to the federal members, to the community, to media people, people from all walks of life -- were involved in that conference.

A number of suggestions and recommendations flowed from that conference. The Premier (Mr. Davis) himself went to Sudbury. I was pleased to be able to introduce the Premier that night to that very large gathering. He spoke at some length about the desire of this government to do everything possible to protect those jobs and to diversify the economy. We responded that night to their request for a $800,000 grant, not to provide a scapegoat or some mechanism for the 2.400 jobs that may have been lost. The members of the community wanted an opportunity to look at their community themselves. They wanted to diversify.

I should read into the record the terms of reference of that particular group: “The purpose of the organization was to create economic activity and economic diversification of business and industry in the regional municipality of Sudbury.”

The local people put that together. They had very large and broad committees made up of people from all walks of life in the Sudbury area. They even had the member for Sudbury East, the member for Sudbury (Mr. Germa) and the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren) as part of the executive committee. The point I am trying to make, in a very small way, is that we had three members of this Legislature taking part in an effort to diversify the economy of their area.

We did bring people and money together. We gave them $600,000 with literally no strings attached. They could do what they wanted. They had the opportunity to do something in Sudbury that possibly we could expand right across northern Ontario because we were all watching, and they knew we were all watching because we said it is basically a pilot project.

Here were the people with the initiative and desire. They were creative and imaginative and they had people with responsibility, including the three members from Sudbury. I think the federal members were on that committee too. We remember the great Mr. Rodriguez. He would stand up in the House of Commons and recite exactly the same speech the member for Sudbury East did today. Rodriguez would do exactly the same thing. Here they had an opportunity to do something in a small way, exactly what they have been trying to do and what this government has been trying to do.

We know what happened to that committee. The member said it was a joke and he was appalled at what happened. Even though he was a member of that executive committee, he sloughs off the responsibility as to where and what happened to the funds and the exercise they had in goats and a few other things.

I have not lost faith totally in that committee. I have to say that. I think the nucleus is there and it can be pulled up. The city of Sudbury has to be given some credit for the effort. I think it is on the right track. Sure there were weaknesses.

Mr. Wildman: The minister is trying to say two things at once.

Hon Mr. Bernier: Yes, I am. I am trying to point out that those members who sit opposite me were on that committee and had the opportunity to do something, which they are saying this government should do, and they failed to do it because they said they could not be there because the meetings were held on Monday nights and so, therefore, it was not their responsibility. I do not think a member of that executive committee, a member who holds a seat in this Legislature, can slough off that responsibility that lightly.

I want to put it on the record that there is a responsibility there. When one accepts a position on the executive committee of such a group, then I think one has a responsibility to follow through and not slough off the responsibility or any weaknesses or problems on to those people who are left back home. I think that is a very weak-kneed approach and is abdicating responsibility.

There is still a very positive attitude in Sudbury. I have in my hand a copy of the Financial Post, dated October 11, 1980. The headline reads, “The New Sudbury, Ontario’s Best-Kept Secret.” I am going to make sure the members from Sudbury get a copy of this article. It is a very interesting one, eight pages in length, all talking about a new and exciting Sudbury.

The member has condemned me for saying that the members opposite in the third party continually talk about doom and gloom. I say that because that is the way it affects me and it must affect people in Sudbury when they hear their members condemning their community.

Mr. Wildman: They are not condemning their community.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: They are. You heard the member.

Mr. Warner: I heard him very clearly. Stop twisting words.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: You heard him say all we are doing is extracting the ore of Falconbridge and men. We are exploiting the resource. That is what he said. He said that is all we have in Sudbury.

Let me read some of the comments in this paper. It is very exciting. I will get each of the members a copy if they like, because it points out the feeling of Sudbury today, a positive feeling and a growing feeling. I would encourage members to read the article in this very interesting paper. There are great pictures in it too.

Mr. Haggerty: You know what happened to the federal member who preached doom and gloom.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Yes, exactly right. That is the point I am trying to get across to these members in order to change their attitude with respect to their communities and northern Ontario. Start talking positively and things will happen. It must be happening because this paper said so. “There is a new and exciting Sudbury.” On page two, it says, “People, Sudbury’s Greatest Asset.” The statistics here are just astounding. They talk about all kinds of things. “Mining, the Lifeblood of Sudbury.” Here is a nice headline on the fourth page: “New Jobs on the Way.” Look at this headline: “Sudbury, the Science Centre.”

4:40 p.m.

I will give the member for Sudbury East credit. He spoke of the laboratory facilities and the testing facilities at Laurentian University. I am glad he recognized that because it is really a fact. “College, Industry Work Together.” “Transport Connections Made Easy.” “Sudbury, Ontario’s Best-kept Secret.” That’s an interesting article. It’s a full page in length and they refer to Sudbury as northeastern Ontario’s headquarters. “Insurance Firm Takes on the Giants.” Then, of course, the big ad here by the Sudbury Regional Development Corporation, “Join Sudbury’s Growth.” “Construction Booms,” says a headline. “Laurentian University 20 Years Young.”

Here’s a good one right here; this is an excellent headline: “Sudbury Ships Food, Beer to the South.” How about that? Things are happening; they are doing it. It says so right here in big bold print: “Sudbury Ships Food, Beer to the South.” “Northeastern Ontario’s Health Centre.” There is real respect for the health services in the Sudbury area, and some social activities too: “Sudbury’s Cultural Success Stories”; “Sports Activities for Everyone.” In a special brochure, in a special edition of the Financial Post, where they point to all the positive things --

Mr. Warner: Did you print it yourself?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: It looked as if I did. Really, it is that good. I couldn’t have done a better job. I am going to make sure the members from Sudbury receive a copy of this. I know they will want to digest it and I know they will want to be good ambassadors not only for the city of Sudbury, for which we all have a great deal of respect, but northern Ontario as a whole and want to get off this bandwagon or this hoopla of continually tearing down and trying to wreck northern Ontario.

It is becoming exceedingly disturbing. As the member for Algoma said when he talked about 2001, he said the way it was operated they literally pulled the wool over those members’ eyes. I think that comment was right. I think that interjection was a good comment because they weren’t doing their job in that particular area.

There is a very positive and bright future for northern Ontario. There is just no question about it. We will continue working as we have in the past in trying to come up with answers to these single-industry communities and it is certainly not easy. Before I get into that issue I want to put on the record, now that the member for Rainy River is back, the comments made by his leader with respect to the Ministry of Northern Affairs. I think it is only right. This is an excerpt from a tape of CBQ in Thunder Bay and it said:

“Ontario Liberal leader Stuart Smith says that if his party is elected he would phase out the Ministry of Northern Affairs. Dr. Smith says the ministry is a monument to the government’s neglect of the north. The Liberal leader says northerners would be far better off if every ministry in the government were properly concerned about them.

“He says: ‘That’s the way a Liberal government would operate. I would hope that within two or three years every ministry would have it clearly understood that there has to be a particular group within that ministry, within every ministry of government, giving special attention to the needs of northern Ontario. Each minister would know he had better not present anything to cabinet which forgot the north. That’s what you really need. Unfortunately, by having a special minister, in a sense you are given a sort of colonial status. I suppose it’s better than being totally ignored as you were before, but frankly I would like to see it eventually made redundant.’”

That is clear and concise and positive and I say to the member for Rainy River he would do well for his party if he had the leader of his party retract that statement publicly and express an apology to this government for that type of irresponsible statement.

He made a statement, as the member for Rainy River knows, in the leadership race when he said, “I hope that I never have to come back to Sault Ste. Marie.” Remember that statement? That came back to haunt him.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Like Elie Martel when he said, “Where the hell is Red Lake?”

Mr. Ruston: Davis doesn’t know where Essex county is.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I say to you in sincerity, this statement will come back to haunt the leader of the Liberal Party for some time to come. I would just like to correct the record because I know there will be a lot of people going over those records who will want to hear the facts as they were announced on that black day in northern Ontario, at least a black day for the Liberal Party.

Mr. T. P. Reid: He has a point. If everybody else did their job we wouldn’t need a Ministry of Northern Affairs.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Are you supporting the Liberal leader in the demise of this ministry?

Mr. T. P. Reid: If every minister did his job, you would be redundant.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Answer my question.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I think if every minister did his job, this minister would be redundant.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: It is interesting that the former leader of the Liberal Party had a separate ministry for northern affairs as one of his party platforms. It was interesting that the great Bob Nixon -- a gentleman I have a great deal of respect for, I did then and I still have today, because he was a great leader -- said at that time that if he formed a government, he would have a ministry for northern Ontario. That was one of his party’s platforms.

Mr. Wildman: He also said he supported the teachers’ right to strike.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: The member for Rainy River talked about the Manitou Road. I was very interested in the member’s comments with regard to the Manitou Road and the official opening that took place on Friday last. It was, as he said, a very gala event, one that saw the participation of the community of Fort Frances and the community of Dryden, along with two ministries of the government, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Ministry of Northern Affairs.

I might say that was a joint official opening, because those communities shared in the cost of that official opening exercise, and it was one of excitement more of a historical nature, because here we saw a new connecting link connecting Fort Frances with Dryden. It is some 92 miles in length, a road that is completely built, completely paved, and signed. Even the centre line was in place when we drove over it on Friday.

In fact, one of the members whispered in my ear and said: “In the past we would have three official openings for such a road. Usually you would open it when the road was cleared; that would be an official opening. Then when you get the gravel down, that would be another official opening. Four or five years later after the road had been compacted and after the road was paved, you would have another official opening. But you have denied this to us now; we only have one official opening.”

So I think we can take pride that we are making progress, and it is an exceptionally well-built highway. As the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) pointed out, a large amount of the credit must go to his own engineering and design staff and, of course, the contractors. The contractors did an exceptional job and really cranked up their construction program this year to meet what we had set as an arbitrary deadline for ourselves so that it would be completed this fall.

I might say there was some urgency for that. We felt if we could officially open the road this fall, we would get the benefit of the tourist publicity through the winter months and, of course, direct traffic flowing around that circle route which will see traffic coming up from Fort Frances to Dryden, over to Kenora, then down Highway 61 back to Fort Frances, an excellent extension for the Great River Road.

As you know, the Great River Road is that parkway that is being developed from New Orleans clean up to Kenora. Some 40 million people use the highway on an annual basis, so I think it makes good sense that the Lake of the Woods Parkway Commission has some influence and is able to funnel off some of that tremendous tourist traffic that flows north and south on both sides of the Mississippi River and bring it into Canada through the Fort Frances and the Rainy River areas.

I mentioned in Dryden during one of the brief ceremonies we had that my ministry was working very closely and very diligently with the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, along with the town itself and with Boise Cascade, to do something about the entrance into Canada right at the mill site. We think we have a plan. We have a certain amount of funds available through some ministries. We have the enthusiasm of the Boise Cascade people and the support of the present council.

4:50 p.m.

However, I do not know what is going to happen after November 10. I hope the new council will support our efforts to date because I can assure the House there is enthusiasm within the government to get on with the job of improving that entrance. We will certainly be moving on that.

Mr. T. P. Reid: What about the environment?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I am pleased the member for Rainy River brought it up because I think it is a very important matter. He made reference to the sensitivity of the Lower and Upper Manitou Lake areas and he is quite right in pointing that out. There are a number of very sensitive trout lakes in that area, something that the Ministry of Natural Resources is very much aware of and very concerned about.

When that road was designed and the alignment was planned, the member will note from that trip on Friday that it passed very few of the lakes. That was done intentionally to keep the travelling public away from those very sensitive lakes. I think people see only two or three lakes in 92 miles. They are very few in number. The thought and concern were there and the Ministry of Natural Resources has already approved an interim Manitou area land use plan.

It has been in place for some time, and at present I am told it calls for the development of one or two service centres where warranted. Otherwise, the whole area will be controlled by this plan until phase one of the MNR district land use plan is in place, which should be by the fall of 1981. So we are one step ahead of what has happened in the past. We have a plan, the sensitivity is recognized by the ministries of the government and the member’s fears that we will damage the environment should be allayed. I share his concern, because I know the sensitivity of that particular area.

I do not know if I quite agree with the honourable member’s comments with respect to naming the road the Manitou road. If I was operating a tourist camp in that area, I would welcome the mass publicity and the coverage in the media that road will bring to that specific area. With it will come extra business. I again realize it is a very sensitive area and they may be satisfied with the size of their operations now. If anybody who is already there wants to expand, he should he capitalizing on the name that has been given to that particular road.

The member mentioned the land clearing and drainage program. As he has heard from my assistant deputy minister, Mr. Charlton, we are working very closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. We are anxiously awaiting the signing of the Ontario Department of Regional Economic Expansion agreement that will hopefully see some activity in the Rainy River area by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, along with the Ministry of Northern Affairs and, indeed, the Ministry of Natural Resources to a point -- I say “to a point” because many of the areas were bought up with Agricultural Rehabilitation and Development Administration funds and those areas have been planted for forestry, so there is some concern in the Ministry of Natural Resources about maintaining the reforestation program vis-à-vis the farming program. I think we can sort that out when funds become available.

I am particularly pleased that the member for Rainy River recognized our efforts in co-operation with the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce, whereby we will be establishing a number of task forces, only after the experts or the people in the respective communities and chambers, individually or collectively, have identified an area of concern, sat down and used their expertise to come forward with some positive recommendations and suggestions.

I resisted at some length the idea of establishing a development council to which we were subjected in previous years. With all due respect to Lackie Philips, who was the director at that time, he did a great job for northwestern Ontario. I guess he would be the industrial commissioner of northwestern Ontario.

I think in 1980, however, that is not the direction we wanted to move in. We wanted to be, as the member for Rainy River said, more specific. God knows, we have had enough studies; we have been studied to death in northern Ontario, so the suggestion from this particular group -- and it was a special committee established by the northwest chamber headed by Keith Jobbin from Thunder Bay; I believe Larry Fontana from Atikokan was on that committee, as was Don Sanders from Sioux Lookout --

Mr. T. P. Reid: Bob Cousineau from Fort Frances.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: From Fort Frances, yes. There was someone from Kenora too, I think Marsh Marcino was the member from Kenora.

They spent well over a year looking at a number of different proposals, but I think the one they came forward with, with respect to the import substitution or mining equipment, really has nailed down the issue in that area. They are not going to study the issue further; they are going to the mining companies and saying, “What do you import?” be it lag screws, be it bolts or be it parts.

They are going to the university to get the design people and the draughtsmen to design plans and actually have the facts and figures before them to take to the private sector, to take to these fabricating companies and say: “Here, this is what is needed in northwestern Ontario with respect to the development of this industry; this is what they are using. You may not be able to build electric motors in northwestern Ontario, but surely you can develop lag screws and drift bolts and a certain type of piping and all types of items used in large quantities in the mining industry.”

The thrust is a positive one from which I hope we will see results very quickly. I might say the task force itself spent some considerable time looking at the question of tourism. It was obvious to me, and I know my assistant deputy minister, Mr. Charlton, shared my view, that it was such a large and complex issue the task force really hadn’t got its arms around the specific problem. Each member of the committee had certain biases and leanings and ways, and it was difficult.

One group was interested in the promotion of tour packages; another individual was interested in destination sites; another one was interested in the development of more camping facilities and roadside park development. They were all going in different directions. They have decided to go back to the drawing board and get their own thoughts in order, then come back to us at a later date when we can establish another task force in co-operation with others who may be interested in the tourist industry in that part of northern Ontario.

The question of responding to single-industry communities is not a new one; it has been around for a number of years, as all members have pointed out. They have all pointed out that it is a difficult situation. It is very easy to sit here looking at one another and say, “Come up with the answers.” There are no easy, simple solutions. Even the Premier has made that statement in answers to questions in the House during question period.

I had the pleasant opportunity of visiting Norway this fall and among a number of issues we discussed was that very issue. We were led to believe from discussions we had had here that Norway had the answer and had the solutions to the single-industry mining communities. They stated, in theory, they would love to diversify the economy of the small mining communities, knowing full well the nonrenewable resource would come to an end and they had to find job opportunities for the people who would remain. Their thrusts have been ongoing; their efforts have been ongoing; but they could not point to any real, positive solutions they could share with us.

5 p.m.

They are anxious to share them with us, or ask us what our responsibility and our reaction has been to some of our problems because it is obvious we had similar problems. We did not have any pat answers. We would deal with each community as it came forward.

Atikokan is a typical example. I think if we have made some headway in a single-industry community, at least in a mining community, it is in the lead ministry concept. I know the frustrations that the reeve of Atikokan had prior to the lead ministry concept being implemented. We accepted that challenge as a Ministry of Northern Affairs. I might say our staff has spent a considerable amount of time in Atikokan working with Atikokan and doing the leg work within the various provincial government departments.

I am pleased the member for Rainy River has recognized our efforts. They are not all glamorous results. I have to admit that. But at least there is a storefront operation. There is one point of contact, and we are giving answers to their questions.

I think the people of Atikokan have responded exceptionally well to the efforts of the local industrial commissioner. Certainly the reeve and council have. We all agree there is still a lot to be accomplished. It is no easy task to attract secondary industry to a northern community when there are something like 900 other municipalities in this province fighting for the same thing.

Listen to the various mayoralty candidates who stand up at their town hail meetings. The first thing they say is they are going to diversify the economy; they are going to attract secondary industry; they are going to do all these great things. They say that prior to November 10. Once they get into office and see the difficulty they have or the competition they have for those things, then they realize how complex the issue really is, as did the city of Sudbury find out when it established 2001.

They had that same thrust, that same concern, that same desire that all of us in this Legislature really have to diversify the economic base of every northern Ontario community, and not to rely totally on the exploitation of our resources but to broaden that exploitation and to utilize more resources locally to create more jobs, to create more economic activity and to build a better quality of life for all of us in northern Ontario.

The member for Rainy River wanted some information with respect to the main office and salaries. Are you interested in the salaries of the deputy minister and assistant deputy minister?

Mr. T. P. Reid: How many people are there?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: If you want to keep a tally, we have 29 in the main office vote. That includes the deputy minister, his secretary and executive assistant; two assistant deputy ministers, four executive assistants; executive director and secretary, and administration and support staff totalling eight. The minister’s office has three permanent secretaries, plus five on contract. The parliamentary assistant has two on contract. That is supposed to total 29.

Mr. T. P. Reid: What are the salary ranges?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: The deputy minister’s salary is $61,000; the assistant deputy minister, $53,000; the secretary to the deputy minister, $18,700; personnel administrator, $28,375; personnel administrator, $24,475.

Mr. T. P. Reid: The number is up over last year.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: No. There has been no increase in the total number on staff. Perhaps the member could ask me some specifics.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Chairman, there is an indication that is almost a 20 per cent increase in salary over the previous year. That strikes me as being a little much even for deputy ministers.

Mr. Warner: You are better off being the deputy than the Premier.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Yes, that is right. Did you not know that before?

Mr. Warner: You guys are in charge; do something about it.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: The member for Rainy River also questioned the analysis and planning branch. The policy development branch is located right here in Toronto. The task of this branch is to provide a service to the ministry by ensuring that at all levels of the government’s policy development and review activities the special problems and concerns of the north are properly considered before decisions are made.

This service is provided in concert with our regional offices and staff while in direct contact with northerners on a daily basis. Whether it be through the preparation of papers, commenting on proposed policy issues or through participation in interministerial review processes, it is essential that the Ministry of Northern Affairs maintain the capability to ensure the north’s views are heard at Queen’s Park. This has seven permanent people and one contract employee for a total of eight in Toronto.

As the member for Rainy River is aware, the Minister of Northern Affairs is a member of management board. He is also a member of the three cabinet committees: the cabinet committees on social development, justice and resources development. So we have an input into all aspects of the decision-making process within the government. Hence, there is a large amount of work that is involved to review all papers and to pass comment on the impact they will have on northern Ontario.

While this may be done in Toronto, I want to make it very clear that it is done only in conjunction and co-operation with input from the regional offices. We have a regional office headed by an assistant deputy minister in Kenora, and also an assistant deputy minister, Mr. Aiken, located in Sault Ste. Marie. They have branch offices in Sudbury and Thunder Bay. So the broad input of northerners is channelled through that system. Up until now, I think it is fair to say, it has been working exceptionally well.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Chairman, could I ask a couple of questions on that last aspect? If you take eight employees in the analysis and planning branch, that works out to about $31,000 a person -- and I presume a couple of those are secretaries. Can the minister give me a rundown on who the people are in that responsibility -- what their titles are and what their salaries are -- and whether or not they initiate anything?

The way the minister described the function, they were reacting to reports, studies or policies that were coming from elsewhere. I would like to know whether the minister has any specific initiatives they are working on, such as one-industry towns, diversifying the economy, transportation, and use of crown land.

While the minister or his people are digesting that -- it seemed that something was a little strange -- if you look at salaries and wages and employee benefits under analysis and planning, the employee benefits are about 16 per cent of the salaries and wages. I gather this is pretty well standard across our economy. But if you look at the main office, salaries and wages total $684,000 and employee benefits $103,000. That seems like an awful lot of money to be paying out in the main office although it comes roughly to the same 16 per cent. It seems like an awful lot of money. The percentage is the same but the amount of money, $103,000 as compared to $684,000, seems like an awful lot of money for employee fringe benefits.

5:10 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Chairman, the honourable member wanted some names and titles of those people working in the analysis and planning branch. Mr. John Hoicka is the director of that particular branch. His salary is $45,300. He has a secretary five, Julie Ruppel, whose salary is $16,223. We have an economist statistician, Mr. Eddie Robertson, at $42,650; an economist five, Ansel Garfin, at $38,800; an economist four, Pam Bryant, at $35,575; an economist three Dr. Fergal Nolan, at $29,600, and general administrator Dorothy Templeton, at $37,100. That makes up the total of seven. Paul Davoud is our air adviser. He is at a salary of $22,400, which makes up the total of eight.

I would point out to the honourable member the breakdown of that $329,000 figure this year and $323,000 last year: salaries, $247,000, which is about $1,000 lower this year than last year; employee benefits, $41,000, up $1,000 over last year; transportation and communications, $22,000; services, $11,000, and supplies and equipment, $8,000, for a total of $329,000.

Mr. T. P. Reid: My first question is, would any of these people like to trade jobs with me?

Mr. Ashe: The lineup is back farther.

Mr. T. P. Reid: They certainly do well by themselves, or we do well by them. Could the minister explain their function a little more fully? He has explained to us that these very well paid people accept reports, liaise with the regional offices, co-ordinate things with the management board staff and the resources development secretariat staff -- all things that most of us do every day for considerably less, but we will not go into that. My question really is, are they initiating anything; does the minister say to them, “Look at this problem”? Or are they in fact only reacting to things that are generated somewhere else, such as in resources development secretariat or in the Ministry of Natural Resources?

Could the minister provide a list of specifics they are doing such as the actual policies they are looking at or some of the reports they have done? It would be interesting to know what they are paid to do. I am sure the people under the gallery would probably in their heart of hearts say, “The taxpayers get their money out of these people; we are not sure about you.” They are certainly well paid. I would like to know specifically what they are getting paid to do.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Chairman, I think the honourable member has stated their responsibilities quite clearly. I would be glad to get him a list of all the various studies that have been going on. Many of them are initiated within the ministry itself and many we respond to as they flow through the system. I will make a commitment to get the member a list of those because it is quite lengthy and quite broad. It includes everything from communications to energy-saving devices, to windmills at a little town called Sultan. It goes through the whole gamut of issues and I will get those for him.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I would appreciate it.

Two things further: I won’t get into my speech about educational television in the north, but perhaps the minister might like to tell us what great things he has done to ensure that northern and isolated communities are getting educational television which I always understood was to he done. We were setting up educational television to provide a service to those people and we are the last to get it. We keep getting nonsensical answers and responses from the minister who has direct responsibility on this. Perhaps this minister could tell us what his ministry is doing to ensure that people in the north are going to get ETV.

Very briefly, I would mention peat. I am very interested in the development of peat. In the Rainy River district we have large peat areas. I got this great blurb and all the stuff the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch) sent out, but I did not see very much about the development of peat. We have a possibility of a peat plant in the Fort Frances-Atikokan area. I have written previously to the Minister of Energy and to Hydro, asking them if they would be able to use a product of this peat gasification in the Hydro plant at Atikokan. I wonder what this minister is doing in this regard. He also has some peat in his riding.

The other matter -- and the minister has provoked me to some extent on this and I am going to give a speech that some have already heard before, but is one that is very near and dear to me -- is in relation to what the minister calls the Manitou Road or Highway 502 between Fort Frances and Dryden. The minister’s response to me was that it is an environmentally sensitive area and he’s concerned about it, but on the other hand he hopes it will increase tourism in the area.

The minister has heard me speak on this before when he was Minister of Natural Resources and had some responsibility for it. The problem with the whole situation in northern Ontario as far as tourism goes is that we are giving the store away; we are giving away our natural resources of fish and wildlife, fish and game, to what we call the pork and beaners, nonresidents who come up and spend only the amount of money they need to go on a fishing or hunting licence. That is what we are afraid of particularly in the Manitou area. Unless we take action to restrict the use of crown land to nonresidents, they are going to fish and hunt that area out.

I remember being on the land use committee that passed the regulations saying that the roads would not go by any of these lakes that could be avoided. There would be no direct access to the Manitou, for instance, which is one of the best lake trout lakes left, but they can still get in there. The problem partly is the winter fishery on that lake. They can get in there with snowmobiles off that road much more easily now and they will kill that lake. The Ministry of Natural Resources has told me that they are not going to shut down the winter fishery this year on that lake. In another couple of years, they will have to. There will not be anything left.

I say this for the benefit also of the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development. This is something that really concerns me -- and I would like to know if his analysis and policy branch is looking at it -- that is, the use of crown land.

The minister talks about the tourist industry. I wonder if he would still be in the general dry goods business in Hudson if Safeway or Hudson’s Bay came along and planted a store right next to his, free of charge, if there was no charge for any of the services provided by Bernier water and sewer company or anybody else.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I have a water system, but not a sewer system.

Mr. T. P. Reid: We are killing the tourist industry, and we are killing the game and fish by allowing the unrestricted use of crown land by nonresidents. The essence of tourism is to pluck as many dollars out of the tourists as we can in such a way that they will enjoy their stay and come back. But what we have been doing for years is saying to them: “Come on in, the kitchen is open, the shelves are stocked full of fish and game. Pay a paltry sum for a fishing licence or a hunting licence and help yourself.”

5:20 p.m.

I think anybody who goes into the tourist business in northern Ontario is nuts. They can spend $1 million. You can do that in Minaki Lodge. You can pump $20 million in there and the people can go next door with their camper trailers and camp on crown land and they do not have to spend a nickle.

This is where the problem comes in with a lot of your programs. You are not dealing with one of the root causes. If you restricted nonresident tourists to a licensed tourist camp, a motel, a trailer park, a provincial park, then we can control them, we know where they are, we know what the numbers are. We do not have as many problems for the conservation officers because they can check them right at the establishment where they are staying. We are getting some revenue out of it. They are not parking in the bush wherever they feel like and getting what amounts to a free lunch out of the taxpayers of the province.

When is this policy going to end? When the minister was Minister of Natural Resources he will recall that one of the land-use committees I was on finally got a resolution passed to restrict crown land use. The minister was responsible, and after two years he did away with that program. He and his colleagues are embarked on selling us out and there is not going to be anything left for anybody, certainly not our children.

The Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters Association has passed a resolution in this regard. Last week the Northwestern Camp Owners of Nestor Falls passed a similar resolution. The chamber has been on this. When are you going to act to protect the resources in northern Ontario? If you had done that there would be none of this talk right now about the problem with the Manitou for instance, because you would have regulations in place that could control the whole problem.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Chairman, I would like to respond to the honourable member’s comments with respect to television in northern Ontario. I think he recognizes that is one area I am particularly concerned about. Frustrated, I suppose, might be a more suitable word. I am frustrated at the lack of improvement of television services to many parts of northern Ontario.

My ministry has taken on this challenge. We have worked very closely with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, with the Ontario Educational Communications Authority, with the Ministry of Culture and Recreation and the federal department in trying to come to grips with the situation as it relates to ETV. As the member is aware, we have provided financial assistance to this group for an experimental program that is now going on in 43 different locations in northern Ontario. This has brought ETV to many of the underserviced areas in the north. I think it was to end in February 1981. Discussions are moving ahead with that group and I feel certain the signals will continue well into 1982. At that time it is anticipated Anik C-2 will be operational to provide further signals on a permanent basis.

In addition to this, there was a Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission hearing held last year at Geraldton and my deputy minister, Mr. Herridge, made a presentation there on behalf of the Ministry of Northern Affairs. It was as strong as we could make it, and I am pleased to say that much of what he said at the Geraldton hearings has just been recently endorsed by the CRTC itself. We have made our input, but we are not satisfied with the thrust of the CRTC. I think if there is blame to be laid, it has to be laid at their doorstep. Thank God we had fellows like David Brough going around northern Ontario and providing --

Mr. T. P. Reid: What about ETV, a provincial responsibility?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I think you were talking to the member when I said ETV would be extended into 1982. We are looking for funds to extend it on a more permanent basis into other areas of northern Ontario. We heard the other day that Parry Sound and the North Bay areas are anxious to get ETV, as is the area west of Thunder Bay. In the interim, we will keep the pilot program going well into 1982.

In addition to our thrust at this level, I made sure that the issue of television services to northern Ontario and to northern Canada would be put on the agenda at the meeting of northern affairs ministers in Thompson, Manitoba, this year. The release we prepared in advance of that meeting was embraced by all the ministers at that particular conference. Copies of that brief have gone to Mr. Fox expressing our general dissatisfaction with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and urging him to get on with the licensing process so that we can provide the people of northern Ontario with the level and quality of television service that other people have been taking for granted for such a long period of time.

I share the member’s concern, I appreciate his bringing it up on a regular basis and I intend to do likewise, because I think a constant reminder such as this and discussing the issue at this level will bring pressure to bear on those people who are involved in improving the quality of service, that recreational opportunity we need so badly in northern Ontario.

The member made reference to peat as a resource. I am sure he is aware that up to now the economics for peat were not falling into place. They have not fallen into place until just recently because of the high and accelerating cost of oil, natural gas and other forms of fuel. Peat is now beginning to show some economic viability.

While overseas this fall, my assistant deputy minister and I made a point of visiting Ireland and looking at its peat operation. Next Friday I will bring samples of the peat I picked up in Ireland along with a sample of the pellets they make very successfully. As you know, they have been in operation for some 20 years now.

As a matter of interest, the people directly involved with the harvesting of peat were violently opposed to the extracting of that type of energy 20 years ago. They resisted overwhelmingly the suggestions by the government of the day to move in that particular direction. It was not until the government actually said to the electrical power people: “We need some economic activity in these specific areas of Ireland. You will harvest peat and you will generate electrical power.”

There are problems associated with that. One only has to visit the operation to see that they have maintained it as a labour-intensive operation. There are no economic considerations given. They are there to provide jobs in a very crude way. Where one person could do the job, there are as many as 10 or 12 people doing it. They wanted to create jobs, and it is working. Those costs are being passed on to the electrical power users. I make that point because they resisted it. They thought it was not feasible or economical and they are not sure that it is at this point, but it is getting very close to it now. They are not subsidizing it as highly as they were in the past, but they are using it as an economic development tool. That is the point I am trying to make.

We were most pleased and excited in our ministry to learn of the preliminary surveys done by the Ministry of Natural Resources and others interested in the development of peat as an energy source for this province. About 67 sites or locations have been identified in northern Ontario having an estimated 30 billion tons of peat resource that could be developed as a source of energy in northern Ontario.

5:30 p.m.

There is no doubt in my mind, and I am speaking as a layman now, that the use of peat for the generation of electrical power is still some distance off. There is no question in my own mind, from my own experience and observations, that because of the availability of wood fibre which is so easy to harvest and because we still rely on the fossil fuels of western Canada and the crude oil reserves we have there, the economics are not right yet for the generation of electric power with peat.

Mr. T. P. Reid: If we had it going, we could threaten to cut off their peat.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: We might, but the economics are just not there. In my opinion, further studies should be done with respect to the gasification of peat. I think there is a great market for peat to be used as a horticultural commodity. There is no doubt that is a tremendous market. When I learned that, and saw bags of Irish peat go as far away as Australia, South Africa and India, the thought came to me, “Why can’t we do that in northern Ontario?” It does not make sense.

Mr. T. P. Reid: We have a plant in the Rainy River district.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: That is right, and that is something we will be looking at very carefully. As the honourable members are very much aware, there is interest in the private sector. We have had a number of discussions with them and they are anxious to start some preliminary surveys and studies. We think some pilot projects should be undertaken and a little more research should be done with the type of peat we have in northern Ontario.

I was interested to learn that the BTU content for peat in Ontario is considered to be a little higher than Ireland’s. In fact, the moisture content is about the same, about 85 per cent, so there is no problem there. We were also pleased to learn there is no pollution problem in Ireland from the use of peat, absolutely none, and --

Mr. T. P. Reid: No sulphur content.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: No sulphur content at all and very little ash, which makes it very attractive indeed. I can assure the honourable members that this is one area that we will be intensifying our interest in.

Mr. T. P. Reid: The way you were handling that chain saw --

Hon. Mr. Bernier: What paper is that in? I won’t read that into the record, it might come back to haunt me.

Getting back to peat, Mr. Chairman, it is a resource that this government, and certainly this province, has to look to, maybe not tomorrow morning but certainly the day after. It is an energy resource that up to now we haven’t even thought of or looked at along with the tremendous development of lignite. I am pleased the member for Cochrane North (Mr. Brunelle) is here because he has been advocating the use of that particular energy source for a number of years now and he has been instrumental in getting some --

Mr. T. P. Reid: Every election it comes up again.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I think he is closer today than he has ever been.


Hon. Mr. Bernier: It will be called the Rene Brunelle generating station when it is built, because it has been a result of his tenacity and his belief in that as a source of energy. I do not want to put words in the honourable member’s mouth, but I am sure he would want me to say that not only does he believe there is a tremendous resource there in lignite, but I share his view that there may well be a source of oil in the lower James Bay area. That too may be an area in which we should be intensifying our thoughts and our direction.

It is quite possible this province could be self-sufficient in energy as we develop our massive resources of peat, lignite in the lower James Bay area, and possibly with some very intensive research we may even turn up additional gas and oil wells in that exciting area which up to now has not been examined.

Mr. Haggerty: They have some test holes up there.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Yes, there are a few minor test holes. I guess the industry would call them surface wells. But there has to be some in-depth study made. I think the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch) is seriously looking at that possibility at present. Those are areas we will be looking at very carefully as we move ahead into the 1980s.

The honourable member questioned our involvement with regard to the use of crown land, or the blatant misuse of crown land as it relates to nonresidents. I share the member’s concern. He recalled that as the former Minister of Natural Resources, I did implement a pilot project of crown land camping control. I remember the Speaker of the House was a member of that committee when we discussed bringing in some type of pilot project. We looked around northern Ontario and made the suggestion that we would try an area. All the northern members at that time said it was a good idea but not to put it in their area.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Oh, come on now. I never said that.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: No, you did not but the others did.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I did not say that.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I said you did not but others did. So I said to the members at that time, “Fine, I believe so strongly in it I will put my area in that experimental area.” We took the member for Rainy River’s area from Atikokan to the Manitoba border and we put it into a three-year crown land camping program that cost the ministry about $250,000 a year. It was very disappointing. The support the industry received was absolutely nil. It was a bit of an employment project. There is no question about that.

But the program had been nonexistent for a year or two before we got a reaction from the tourist industry saying: “Where is that program? It is gone.” We made a very intensive public relations project out of it when we dropped it because we felt it was not being accepted by the industry at large. Certainly, it was aggravating some of the local residents and, as the honourable member has pointed out, perhaps the time has come to restrict our nonresidents from south of the border. I do not think I could support a crown land camping control program that would deny Canadians the right to use our crown land. If we are going to apply it, it may have to have three levels, the Ontario resident, the Canadian resident and a nonresident type of operation.

I am sure the Ministry of Natural Resources will want to look at that very carefully. I know they have the results of that three-year experiment. I would hope the member would make his views known to the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Auld) as he is familiar with my own feelings.

I want to reassure him that we will do everything we can to co-operate and work with the Ministry of Natural Resources in this regard because we share that concern for the sensitivity and the blatant misuse of our crown lands in northern Ontario.

Mr. T. P. Reid: That is the most positive thing I have heard from you in that regard. I hope you will push it with the Minister of Natural Resources.

Mr. Wildman: I may say, in beginning, that is the last time I will yield the floor. It does not pay to be nice and polite around here. What was intended to be yielding the floor to the minister so he could reply to the member for Rainy River turned into an all-afternoon dialogue between the two of them on matters which had little or nothing to do with this vote. So it obviously appears that what we are intending to do here on the first vote is to deal with everything.


Mr. Wildman: All along, the gentleman here, who is from southern Ontario and knows nothing about it, does not realize we just began these estimates and just before this the minister finished his opening statement. In that case, Mr. Chairman, I will deal with everything. I have a lot here and I am sure I can take all day Friday as well.

5:40 p.m.

The Deputy Chairman: Let me ask you, is there anything more on main office?

Mr. Wildman: Certainly, Mr. Chairman, I have a lot, as did the member before me who was given full rein.

I listened very closely to that dialogue and I tried to analyse what, indeed, the minister was saying, I will tell you, it was difficult. I will use the example where he talked about the peat development, a matter I raised with the Minister of Energy during his last estimates in the last session. He seemed to be saying in that case that the only way it got going in Ireland was through government involvement, something which he seems to have been shying away from. He sort of justified that by saying, “Yes, but the government was looking at it as an employment generating approach.” In itself, that is not necessarily wrong because there are certain areas in the north where we could use some job creation program, but he said it had to be subsidized and was not really economic.

I ask the minister if he hasn’t just looked at Ireland but if he has also looked at Finland, where they have been using peat for the generation of electricity for some years with great success. I admit there are some differences because Finland, of course, does not have any domestic oil like Canada does, so the economics are somewhat different.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Are you suggesting I go to Finland?

Mr. Wildman: The minister has been to Greenland, Iceland and Norway, he might as well go to Finland. The one thing I want to point out in this regard is that unlike this province and this government, the province of Quebec has moved faster. I understand that Quebec -- after studying what has happened in Ireland and Finland -- is looking very closely now at the development of a pilot project for the generation of electricity using peat.

I understand Quebec may have some greater peat deposits than we have but we have extensive peat deposits throughout northern Ontario. I do not know why this government does not become involved but just depends on the private sector. Why wouldn’t they become involved in looking very closely at a pilot project to see if it is feasible? If it is shown to be feasible, they could move it to the private sector. That is the kind of thing we believe this ministry could be doing, especially when one looks at the problems the minister has admitted exist in one-industry towns.

I listened very closely to his response to my colleague from Sudbury East (Mr. Martel). On the one hand he seemed to be saying that to deal with the need for diversification of one-industry towns, is a very complex problem. We do not debate that. We agree it is a complex problem. It is one that the private sector has not been able to resolve in the last 50 years or so.

The minister pointed to the Sudbury 2001 project and its problems and all of the difficulties and lack of success on the part of 2001 on the one hand and then tried to have it both ways by saying, on the other hand, “I have confidence in them.” I would like to know what --

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Without a local member.

Mr. Wildman: Oh, that is it, you have confidence in them without the local members. My colleague pointed out that their decision to give this $100,000 to this character who was going to buy goats in Texas was done without his involvement. You cannot have it both ways.

One thing I want to deal with in a serious vein though is if you look at Sudbury, Atikokan, Wawa, Elliot Lake or any other mining community in northern Ontario, no matter how great the diversification that is in place, and the minister referred to the Financial Times article, the fact still remains, and we all admit it, that just like the gold mining communities of many years ago those towns exist where they are because of the mine and mineral resource there. That is the reason they are there.

Mining is, as the minister said, the lifeblood of Sudbury. There is no question about that. The problem is that the minister seems to stop there. The reason we do not want to stop there is we all admit, as does the minister, that minerals are a finite resource. Eventually those minerals are going to run out, as happened with the one operation at Atikokan.

The minister said the other day that the people of Atikokan knew 30 years ago they had only 30 years of ore. He then pointed to Wawa in my riding and said the people in Wawa know, as Algoma ore division says, they have 25 more years of ore and they are now concerned about that and want to look at ways of diversifying the economy of that community which is there because of the iron ore deposits and because of the iron ore mine, although they also have tourism as a major industry. I agree with all that. That is all true. The problem we face is not that we are concerned about the people of the community not taking this situation seriously. We know they do. The problem is we do not have a government that seems to take this thing seriously.

How can the minister stand before us and say that 30 years ago they knew in Atikokan they only had 30 years of ore and then say, “Well, that is the way it is”?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I didn’t say that. We are in there pitching now.

Mr. Wildman: The private sector had 30 years and the private sector did not do it. The government depended on the private sector and so nothing happened. The same thing will happen in Wawa unless the government takes a positive, aggressive, active role in the development of those communities. It is obvious, as the member for Rainy River pointed out, that those resources provide us with opportunities.

The minister talked at length about the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce proposals with regard to mining machinery. That is a topic this party has been talking about in a positive way, not in a negative way as the minister tries to point out. This is a great opportunity for us in northern Ontario. As my colleague for Sudbury East pointed out, we have such a market. We are the highest consumer of mining machinery in the world, the second highest importer of mining machinery and the third largest mining industry in the world.

The private sector has not done it. We have Jarvis Clark in North Bay. Jarvis Clark is expanding now, not only for the domestic market but for the export market. They are expanding in Burlington in southern Ontario.

All I am saying to the minister is if we remain solely dependent on the private sector this whole thing is going to be perpetuated. Then 25 years from now we or other members will be standing here and saying, if we do not discover more iron ore in the area, “Why is it that Wawa does not have anything to turn to after 25 years? Why is it that there is not something else there?” They will be in the same position as Atikokan. Then I suppose the minister or his successor or whoever happens to he the minister at the time will scurry around and try to find some additional industry for Wawa so that the people there will not have to sell their homes and leave.

That is not good enough. The minister may think this is gloom and doom. It is not. We believe we have tremendous resources in the north. We have tremendous potential and opportunities there. We have the people who are willing to take those opportunities and who have the skills to develop them. We have the confidence that it can be done. It hasn’t in the past and it should be. If that is gloom and doom, I really do not understand the minister’s position. I have tried to understand it, but I cannot.

One of the problems the minister pointed to is that there is a tremendous amount of competition between municipalities. I think he said there are 900 municipalities all wanting secondary industry. That is true, that is the problem and that is why regional planning and leadership on the part of the provincial government is so necessary, so that those municipalities are not all competing with one another but are acting as a team from the northeast to the northwest and so that they all can work together to bring development to their area which will benefit them all. To suggest that someone who proposes that is somehow wrecking the north I think is not worth even commenting on.

5:50 p.m.

We understand that the problems aren’t easy, that they are difficult problems. But we also recognize the potential. What we believe is necessary is a government with the political will to take the potential and to resolve the problems. I won’t go into that any further except to say I would hope the minister would take these comments -- which have, as he said, been made over and over in this House many times -- in the positive vein they are put.

I asked specifically during my leadoff statement what ministry had the mandate to set up a research and technological institute for northern Ontario to look into ways to bring diversification to the north. What ministry has the mandate to assist the communities that don’t have the expertise themselves to do the kind of research into what the potential is in their area, into what the needs are and how to bring them about?

I referred in my leadoff to the comments made by Assistant Deputy Minister Herb Aiken with regard to this proposal and I believe the minister has not as yet responded to that. I have a copy of a letter written by Mr. Aiken to a Mr. Hunnisett in Porcupine, dated July 29, 1980. In this letter, the assistant deputy minister says:

“As I indicated during our meeting last month, the idea of a northern-oriented research and development facility with a capacity to address northern needs and problems is attractive. To avoid any misunderstanding, I must reiterate that present commitments and priorities do not permit the ministry to endorse or sponsor a northern institute of technology. The ministry’s mandate does not provide for the establishment or operation of such institutions.”

Then he goes on to say: “There is, however, reason to be optimistic that the increasing interest in research and development by various levels of government may provide some opportunities for northern Ontario in the not too distant future.”

As I asked before, if the Ministry of Northern Affairs, the ministry responsible for bringing about development and co-ordinating government activities in the north doesn’t have the mandate, which ministry does? If American states can establish this kind of institute to help bring about development and to research new methods of providing diversification in their areas and the technologies necessary to use the resources they have in their areas, why can’t we? Or are we dependent on the private sector?

Let me be clear, Mr. Chairman. I am not necessarily saying the Ministry of Northern Affairs has to do this. If another ministry is better equipped or ready to do it, that’s fine. All I want to know is which one has the mandate to do it. Perhaps the Ministry of Colleges and Universities could do it in conjunction with one of the institutes of higher learning or schools of technology in our area -- for instance Laurentian or Lakehead or the community colleges. There should he some sort of system where we could draw upon the expertise from all of those institutions. But if Mr. Aiken is correct that this ministry doesn’t have the mandate, who does? Do we have reason to be optimistic, as Mr. Aiken indicates?

I have some specific questions to raise regarding the ministry’s co-ordination and liaison function with other ministries, which I believe is under item 1 of this vote, but perhaps I could leave that until next time if the minister can respond to the specific question I have raised.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Chairman, I might inform the member for Algoma that my assistant deputy minister, Mr. Aiken, and Dr. Austin Lupton will be meeting with the reeve in Wawa on December 4 to discuss the work of the economic development committee as it relates to the long-term liability of that particular community. I think that is a good indication that our efforts and our direction are right. As he correctly pointed out, we have time on our side and we can certainly start the process working in that particular direction.

I am not sure which of the questions the member wanted me to respond to. There were so many there.

Mr. Wildman: The institute.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I think the institute is basically on the funding aspect, as the assistant deputy minister pointed out. There are all kinds of research possibilities going on in the two universities we have. I want to make it very clear that the Ministry of Northern Affairs does have a commitment. I have personally made that commitment to Dr. Harrower of Lakehead University and to Dr. Best of Laurentian University to use their facilities and strengthen their base, both at Thunder Bay and at Sudbury. They are desirous of the extra work, they have the expertise and it is incumbent upon us, if we want to do things for northern Ontario, to use those facilities already established by the very able Minister of Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson). There is no doubt -- and she whispers in my ear on a very regular basis -- that if one has some requirements in one’s ministry, one should use the expertise within Laurentian University and Lakehead University. It makes good sense, and that is the direction we will certainly move in. I hope to be entering into some agreements in a number of different ways with both those facilities.

Mr. Wildman: That is quite a legitimate response by the minister, but I wonder if there is going to be any attempt in the future to somehow bring together all the studies -- I know the various institutions, such as Laurentian or Lakehead, might be doing studies in various fields -- so that there is a pool of expert information available to both the private and the public sector in terms of regional development in the north.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I think it is correct to say we will be developing a mechanism where all that can be brought together in the interest of what happens right across northern Ontario.

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

The House adjourned at 6 p.m.