31st Parliament, 4th Session

L108 - Thu 6 Nov 1980 / Jeu 6 nov 1980

The House met at 2 p.m.




Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am tabling today for the information of the members and the citizens of Ontario a copy of a telex which I sent to Prime Minister Trudeau one week ago related to the ongoing national debate on the constitution.

As the telex clearly indicates, Ontario’s support of the constitutional package is a matter of conviction and principle. We believe that moving ahead now, with the Queen as our head of state, with protection for mobility rights -- the rights of Canadians to move and seek opportunity from province to province -- with protection for basic human, political and legal rights and with adequate guarantees for minority rights in the area of education, with a constitution which can and will be patriated, all this is of critical importance now.

The Business Council on National Issues, representing major investors and employers at the heart of our economy, wrote to all first ministers before the September conference urging resolution of these matters in the interest of economic stability and climate. We agree with their concern and conviction that the sooner we can resolve the constitutional debate the better.

If one examines the reasoned opposition to progress now, typified by the concerns of the Premier of Saskatchewan and many of the concerns expressed by Premier Hatfield, opposition leader Clark and others, it often centres on the amending formula, the use of a referendum and the issue of appropriate parliamentary debate. Matters of resource ownership are not a problem for this province, as we agree with the proposed changes to the resolution which would protect provincial resource ownership.

Our telex to the Prime Minister suggested changes that we believe would broaden the base of support for the proposal in an overall sense by:

1. Limiting the unilateral capacity of any federal government now, or in the future, to call a referendum prematurely;

2. Ensuring provincial involvement in the questions placed before the public in any ultimate referendum.

As I indicated in the telex, we suggest these changes in a spirit of conciliation with other constructive forces in the provinces and elsewhere who seek legitimate progress but are deeply concerned with the referendum procedures. I stress, however, that we continue to support the ultimate role of a referendum, provided it is used in a fair and balanced fashion.

When politicians appear perpetually unable to reach any agreement, the ultimate right of voters to intervene on matters of constitutional significance is, in our view, beyond reasonable challenge. Those who negotiate in good faith have nothing to fear from the ultimate assertion of the will of the people. For those who would approach all negotiations with a will to frustrate national progress, the referendum would be a helpful reminder of the public’s right to reasonably balanced negotiations.

The telex also makes our government’s views known on full and appropriate debate in the House of Commons after the report of the joint committee of the Senate and the House of Commons is received. The integrity of the entire process would not be enhanced by undue limitations on parliamentary debate.

Ontario has made these recommendations in the hope of contributing in a positive sense to broadening the consensus. The Prime Minister’s response, which I am also tabling today, indicates support for our concern on limiting the right to introduce a referendum; the federal government has undertaken to introduce an amendment to that effect. There is also acceptance of the need for some mechanism to ensure balance in the drafting of any referendum question.

The government will monitor progress on these and other issues at the committee very closely, and keep under active consideration the question of having provincial representatives advance concerns before that committee. The process of negotiating must continue in good faith, and flexibility on all sides will continue to serve the national interest.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, today I would like to table the agreement that has been reached by the Professional Association of Interns and Residents of Ontario and the Ontario Council of Administrators of Teaching Hospitals. I am sure all members are aware that an agreement was reached yesterday after a series of long negotiation sessions.

I would publicly like to thank the members of the interns’ and residents’ association for the responsible way in which they conducted themselves during the strike period. As the House knows, they maintained essential services in the hospitals and were prepared, of course, to assist immediately if some disaster or other emergency arose.

I would also like to thank their executive, who represented them forcefully and fairly at the bargaining table. In addition, I would like to thank the executive of the Ontario Council of Administrators of Teaching Hospitals who, in addition to carrying out their responsibilities for administering major hospitals in the province, spent many long hours working out a settlement.

Finally, I wish to thank the administrators of all hospitals affected and the staff of those hospitals, who worked very hard to ensure adequate service levels were maintained throughout the strike period.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I have a second statement. As many of the members will already be aware, my ministry has traditionally promoted immunization awareness during the month of November. I would once again like to bring Immunization Awareness Month to the attention of the members, and to outline briefly some of the steps my ministry is taking to ensure that Ontarians are both informed and protected.

Monitoring the incidence of communicable diseases in Ontario and developing guidelines for their control are part of the critical role played by the communicable disease service of the ministry’s public health branch. Through this monitoring process, it has become evident that serious increases have occurred over the past year in the incidence of measles -- a disease that, although regarded as trivial by many Ontarians, can lead to very serious complications. It must, therefore, be a major focus of our attention.

As a result, we will be making a concerted effort during Immunization Awareness Month to inform the public about the incidence of the disease, its seriousness and the ease with which Ontarians can avail themselves of protection.

Although my ministry’s communications activities will play an important part in this educational process, we are also fortunate to have the full co-operation and support of the public health units across the province, which will be spreading our message at the local level where we believe it to be most effective. At the provincial level, we will be using newspaper advertising in all dailies and weeklies across Ontario to remind our citizens about the importance of immunization. Locally, all health units will be receiving posters, pamphlets and advertising which they can use in their own communities.

I am pleased to report that a new vaccine, providing protection not only against measles but against mumps and rubella or German measles, is in excellent supply and is being supplied to physicians, clinics and public health units at no charge.

2:10 p.m.

While focusing attention on the need for each Ontarian to take a greater interest in his or her personal health, we will take advantage of the opportunity to introduce Ontario’s new immunization record card. The card is the result of careful study not only by staff of my own ministry but by representatives of the Society of Medical Officers of Health, the Ontario Medical Association and the Association of Nursing Directors and Supervisors of Official Ontario Health Agencies.

The new record card is designed for use by Ontarians of all ages. It provides a lifetime record of immunization and provides all Ontarians with a simple means to ensure that they are fully protected against diseases such as diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps and rubella.

The immunization record card is designed to fit easily into a wallet or purse. We will be urging all Ontarians to obtain a card from their physician or local health unit and carry it with them at all times. Health units have been asked to order the number of cards they will require.

The promotion of immunization can never be considered fully completed, as new families are formed and children enter school each year. Additional steps will be taken in the months ahead to maintain and further improve the level of protection for Ontarians.

In January, for example, we and the Ministry of Education plan to install a program to collect immunization data from parents of children entering the school system for the first time. This will assist medical officers of health in setting up the appropriate clinics, attendance at which is, of course, voluntary.

In March we hope to distribute an immunization promotional kit to health units and possibly launch an advertising campaign next fall to encourage immunization of both children and adults.

This November it is our aim to make every Ontarian more aware of the seriousness of communicable diseases, the protection available to all of us as an OHIP benefit and, most important, the role each of us must play to ensure that epidemics remain a thing of the past.


Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, on July 1 I enacted regulations to the Liquor Licence Act to ensure that there --

Mr. Cassidy: Mel Swart has won!

Hon. Mr. Drea: If the leader of the third party wants to ride on my coat-tails, that is fine by me.

On July 1 I enacted regulations to the Liquor Licence Act to ensure there were no abuses of special occasion permits issued for social or nonprofit functions. To make sure there would be no profit to the individual operating the event, price ceilings were established. Since fund-raising by special-occasion-permit evenings is an integral part of the financing of community organizations, it was clearly understood these organizations would continue to operate without any price controls or other restrictions.

The intent was to eliminate the abusers so that the fund-raising organizations could maximize the profits from their evenings. The regulations did eliminate the abusers but, because of the confusion and a delivery system that cannot cope with the complexities of the fund-raising organizations, a severe burden was put on these organizations.

The new regulations are revoked. They will not be enforced from today onward. Formal revocation will take place in the next few days. Also revoked is the regulation limiting the number of permits issued in any one year.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, I believe I have a legitimate point of order. I believe the rules require that a minister table a compendium of background information when he makes a statement. I would ask that you direct him to do that and we will know the large number of letters he has received which caused this flip-flop.

Hon. Mr. Drea: If the honourable member will say that one more time, I will not revoke them; I will let the formal revocation process keep going. Were I to wait until the formal revocation process could take place, many people would be adversely affected. I have said I will not enforce the existing regulations; they are revoked. I am not going to file anything else.

Mr. Speaker: Does the minister have any background information that he might wish to table with the policy statement?

Hon. Mr. Drea: I read it.

Mr. Speaker: There is not any other?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I read it.


Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, one of the keys to Ontario’s continued industrial strength is our large and diverse inventory of reasonably priced, serviced industrial land. For the past five years our government has been instrumental in stimulating economic growth in the northern and eastern parts of the province through the mechanism of the Ontario industrial parks program. This program has assisted local municipalities in developing the serviced land necessary to attract new industries and create new jobs.

This afternoon, I would like to make two announcements relating to this initiative. First, the industrial parks program, which has been in effect since 1975 and was scheduled to expire this year, will instead be extended for one more year. Second, the program will be expanded to cover all regions of the province, with the exception of the Metropolitan Toronto and region area where large amounts of fully serviced industrial land are already in place.

Some areas of the province have been limited in their ability to capitalize on industrial opportunities. By both extending and expanding our industrial parks program we have an opportunity to assist those communities in developing to their full potential. The program, which is administered by the Ontario development corporations, provides loans to both municipalities and the private sector. The loans, which extend over a 15-year period, offer an interest forgiveness feature and a partial deferral of principal repayment.

During the five years the Ontario industrial parks program has been in place, approximately $4 million worth of loans have been extended for nine industrial parks. These loans will result in the development of 422 acres of land and the creation of more than 800 new jobs. We anticipate that with the extension of the program and its expansion to other regions of the province, especially areas such as the Niagara Peninsula and other parts of southwestern Ontario, our government will continue to participate fully and effectively in the development of industrial parks.



Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism. Could the minister explain why the Ontario Development Corporation, and apparently indirectly the government, is putting Ontario Worldair Limited into receivership and, in effect, putting the company out of business, when it appears a further line of credit to meet unforeseen contingencies would keep the company operating until next summer, at which point the company’s contracts for tourist traffic will turn its financial situation around?

In particular, does the minister recall his release of August 18, “Trillium Wings It to Europe,” explaining the great potential of this company? Why would the ODC not take into consideration the unforeseen circumstances and allow this company to keep going until the point where I think even the minister’s own officials believe tourist traffic will turn the financial situation around, given that there are some 170 jobs at stake and about 20,000 tourists who will be coming to Ontario on this airline, according to its present bookings?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I would point out to the House that my own officials do not believe the situation can be resolved in the next little while, or they would have recommended to ODC that financing to Ontario Worldair continue. It was, in fact, a difficult decision for ODC to take, but it was faced with approximately this situation: The current loan available from ODC to Ontario Worldair was about $1 million. It was the estimate of all of those involved with Ontario Worldair, including other financial institutions, that in order to get Ontario Worldair through the next year or so, approximately $2 million more would be required.

Ontario Worldair was unable to raise that elsewhere. It essentially put the proposition to the Ontario government that to ensure the survival of that company it would need us to participate to the tune of $2 million, in addition to the $1 million already outstanding. Even on that basis it was quite doubtful that the company would survive in the longer term.

2:20 p.m.

In essence, we indicated we would be willing to continue to keep our support out there, provided Ontario Worldair might find some new equity rather than looking to the government of Ontario for $2 million more of equity to keep the company not afloat, but in the air.

Mr. S. Smith: The company has contracts in hand to bring in approximately 25,000 European tourists to Ontario next summer, which would mean expenditures in the province, according to the minister’s own spinoff figures, of about $40 million. The company claims it needs $1.2 million rather than $2 million, and the suggestion is that it has to go out and get equity capital for the Ontario Development Corporation to continue its debt capital.

Given these facts, does the minister not accept that it is unable to raise any equity capital in the circumstances in which ODC is unwilling to continue more assistance with debt capital? It is impossible for the company to get equity capital as long as the bank is calling its present loan. Nobody is going to put any equity into it in its present situation.

This means a large amount of money to Ontario. It is not as large a company as Massey-Ferguson or Chrysler; none the less 170 jobs are indirectly involved. Would the minister look at this matter himself and see whether it might be possible for the ODC to take some equity or, at least, to continue the line of credit until the company has tried to get equity capital?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I am sorry if my first answer was not as complete as I thought it was. ODC has a $1 million loan out to Ontario Worldair. Ontario Worldair itself acknowledges that extending a line of credit, a larger loan in other words, does not solve the problem. It cannot afford to carry more debt; it acknowledged it does need equity. The company approached ODC and asked if it would acquire up to $2 million worth of equity in exchange for owning 50 per cent of Ontario Worldair. ODC indicated it would leave its loan out there and perhaps even consider extending it if some new equity could be brought into the company which would solve the company’s debt equity problem.

No equity was out there. No private investor saw Ontario Worldair as having a secure enough future. Therefore, Ontario Worldair came back to ODC and asked if, given the lack of confidence the private sector has in the future of the airline, the Ontario government would buy 50 per cent of the airline for $2 million worth of equity. In simple terms, to protect its mandate with the public and in trying to expend its $37 million annual budget, ODC had to decide whether a $2 million investment in this airline was to the benefit of the people ODC is trying to serve.

We should remember that those tourists coming to Canada will undoubtedly find alternative ways of getting to Canada. Ontario Worldair, by its own admission, essentially went after a healthy tourist market, where there is a great demand for tourism to Canada, and essentially undercut its competitors to get that business. The net effect is that those tourists will find a way to get to Canada. There is lots of space available. They will end up spending a little bit more money on other airlines, but they will get here and the taxpayers of Ontario will not be putting $2 million into a company that most experts believe -- in fact I believe all experts agree -- cannot make it.


Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. The minister will recall that when he detached his ministry’s support from Walker Brothers he made quite an issue of the fact. I quote from his letter: “It was my staff’s understanding that the transport of the sludge,” this is the Ford Motor Company sludge, “would cease early in September 1979.” He protested the innocence of his ministry and the guilt of Walker Brothers with that statement.

Is the minister aware of the letter sent by the company to Mr. Caplice of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment in August 1979, stating very clearly that these, sludges would continue to be taken at the quarry? I now read the operative paragraph: “Unless we have written notification that we cannot accept these wastes, we will continue to do so until January 1, 1980, by which time we hope to have further direction from the Ministry of the Environment as to the disposal of these wastes.”

May I ask, first, was such written notification ever given to the company that it was not, in fact, to continue disposal until 1980, as it had said it would do without such written notification?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Yes, I was aware and we are now aware of that letter. I think the important thing to consider in this regard is the fact that the new certificate of approval, which has been issued since that date, does not permit that activity at this time, nor will it in the future.

Mr. S. Smith: Since the company wrote to the ministry and said very plainly, “Unless we have written notification otherwise, we will continue to put the sludge in the quarry until January 1, 1980,” and since no such written notification was ever received by the company, does the minister not accept some responsibility on behalf of his ministry? How can he justify a letter saying, “It was our understanding that it would cease early in September 1979,” when he had a letter on record saying it was not going to cease until January 1980 unless written notification was given by his ministry?

Why does the minister not realize that his ministry gave permission to the company by its agreement to this? This was received by his ministry; there is a proper stamp on it and so on. It was even discussed in his ministry, as he knows, and there were some objections within his ministry but it was accepted. Why is the minister now rushing to blame Walker Brothers Quarries for having gone against the so-called understanding when it is obvious his ministry knew perfectly well what was happening?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I can do little more than repeat what I said on a previous occasion and indeed in the response here today. It was the understanding at that time. More particularly, the important thing to remember is that that practice has been eliminated by a written piece of material called a certificate of approval that denies that possibility --

Mr. S. Smith: When?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Now.

Mr. S. Smith: Now?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Certainly. That is not possible now. That is the important thing to understand. Is the Leader of the Opposition now defending the company, may I ask?

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary: In view of the fact the minister wrote the letter dated October 16, which stated the ministry had no knowledge of this chromium sludge being transported to the Thorold site after early September, am I correct in assuming, therefore, that no tests were taken on more than one million gallons of chromium sludge to see that it was within safe limits? In fact, it could have been hazardous sludge that was transported there in that three- month period.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, the member asked if he was correct in making that assumption. I say he is incorrect in making that assumption. Tests were made.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I did not take an extra supplementary on the last question but on this one I do really beseech you, sir. The point at issue, and I would ask the minister to address this directly, is that the minister has been taking the public position in this letter that his ministry has been innocent in all this and totally taken by surprise when it came out that Walker Brothers had been accepting this sludge and that it did not cease in September 1979 to accept the sludge. We have here clear evidence that the ministry was told that practice would continue until January 1980 and that it knew full well the practice would continue.

Mr. Speaker: That is repetition.

Mr. S. Smith: It is certainly a repetition. But I would ask the minister, will he now admit that instead of pretending that his ministry is shocked to learn of all this, his ministry knew precisely what was happening and his officials simply did not tell the minister what was happening?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: It really is hard for me to understand why the Leader of the Opposition now wants so desperately to defend that company. It is a rather surprising change for the Leader of the Opposition. However, I will repeat as often as is necessary, we think it is awfully important --


Mr. Speaker: Order. Do members really want an answer?

2:30 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: What we have is interim certificates of approval. That permits the ministry on every occasion to update the terms of reference on which sites can operate. I think this is a classic case of where the system is working so very well. We updated that system to stop a practice we think should no longer exist. That not only was done in this instance, but it will continue to be done in all kinds of instances across this province where we see new technology able to handle methods --

Mr. S. Smith: Withdraw your statement of October 16, 1980. Withdraw the statement; it is false.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: That is not true. That is close, Mr. Speaker, to making me ask you to make a ruling. I will not, but I thought I heard the word “false.”

Mr. S. Smith: Yes, it is false.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Well, that is not correct; I will put it that way.

Mr. S. Smith: On a matter of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I refer to a false statement that was issued to this House by the minister. I ask the minister to acknowledge that his statement was false. He says, “It was my staff’s understanding that the transport of this sludge would cease in early September 1979.” Here is a document showing clearly that his staff knew it would continue until January 1980. Let him stand and admit that his statement to this House on October 16, 1980, was in fact a false or incorrect statement.

Mr. Speaker: It is clearly a difference of opinion.

Mr. Cassidy: I might add, Mr. Speaker, never were more stable doors closed after so many environmental horses had bolted than by this particular Minister of the Environment.

I have received a detailed memorandum of the meeting between senior officials of the Minister of the Environment and 21 representatives of companies that are major generators of liquid industrial waste. The meeting was held on October 22 at the Park Plaza Hotel. I have a question for the Minister of the Environment arising out of that memo.

The memo indicates that the chief executive officer of Stelco, John Allan, tried to promote the idea of getting one new site for liquid industrial waste disposal approved through the medium of a combined industry government effort. In his view, we are told, this would provide a forum for clearing public resistance and would in effect produce a fresh start.

Could the minister tell us whether he supports the need for a fresh start in liquid waste disposal and whether he believes the only problem in disposing of liquid waste is getting rid of public resistance, as the memo suggests?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I had the pleasure of discussing this with my deputy. I could have saved the leader of the New Democratic Party a lot of trouble if he had simply asked us directly for not only the agenda but any memos that resulted before or after that meeting. He is welcome to all that information. I would be very happy to give it to him. Let me put that on the record.

It was very definitely a meeting held to try to discuss this major problem. If the honourable member thinks the deputy was in error in having a meeting with them he is dead wrong. I think it is absolutely essential that this ministry, myself, my deputy, whoever in our ministry, consult not just with the industry or the generators, but with the haulers, the environmental protectionist group, you name it. We are there and we are going to meet and we are going to understand their position and we are going to respond accordingly. It is that simple.

Mr. Cassidy: Since this is a ministry that meets on a cosy basis with the generators of liquid industrial waste, but then puts itself in a position of confrontation with citizens concerned about the environment and municipalities that are trying to protect the environment in their own areas, does the minister agree with the finding reported from that meeting that there are no technological barriers to disposal of liquid wastes, only political ones?

Does he believe that what is needed, in other words, is a public relations effort to persuade the public to accept liquid waste? If that is the position of the ministry, why has the ministry prepared draft legislation that would allow the provincial government to override municipalities when they seek to protect their own citizens from the bungling of this ministry in the matter of liquid industrial waste?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: The question is rather long, Mr. Speaker. Never has this ministry or this government said it believes in the dumping of untreated waste on the land. In fact, the member knows and I know that this jurisdiction is in the leadership position, the foreground, the cutting edge, however we want to express it, in the treating of liquid waste, and we will continue to be in that position and it requires that we consult with all of those groups.

There are some technical problems, but it is more than just a technical problem and the member can see that easily for himself. He knows how difficult it is, and I understand those concerns and we are trying to address them. Fortunately, in this province we have perhaps the most open process of any province to address those problems. The member is always asking for public consultation. I am absolutely amazed that when we go to that public consultation process, he finds something sinister in it. He should quit looking under every rock.

Mr. Isaacs: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: If the minister says it is a totally open process and his ministry is working to try to find solutions, why was the meeting told there are no technological barriers to the disposal, simply political barriers in that the public does not want waste disposal sites in its neighbourhood?

Secondly, why did the meeting close with an agreement that the present small group of senior industry executives would continue to meet with Ministry of the Environment officials, but it remains clear that initiatives were not mapped out at the meeting nor are they likely to be under the current environment? When is the minister going to come to grips with the problem and make the fresh new start on liquid waste disposal that this province so desperately needs?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I think the member has not been staying with it, if I can put it in those terms, to see and understand what has been done in the last year and a half or two years to deal with the treatment of waste.

He says there are no political considerations. I find that just a little hard to understand when I know that during this last weekend that particular member took a journey down to Harwich township and I did not find any increase in understanding because of his visit. Indeed, I think the member opposite made every effort to make it a political issue in a particular riding a long way from his own jurisdiction.

Mr. McGuigan: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Would the minister recognize that his bungling of his ministry has completely removed any trust the people of Harwich may have had in his ministry and he should now make a fresh start, take a set of criteria and search for a site on the basis of the criteria rather than on the basis that there is already a dump established in that area?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I would be more than pleased if the member who asked that question wanted to submit several letters from his own constituents who have indicated they have a lot of trust in my sincerity and my trustworthiness. It is rather an interesting comment from members of his own riding.

Indeed I had the privilege of being in Huron-Middlesex on Monday and the member for Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell), a member of his own party, made some very nice comments about myself and my ministry. It was rather interesting. My response was that he should inform his leader of that.

What I am trying to get at, and what I do want to say in a very serious way, is that the new start started two years ago with a declaration of war on the landfilling of waste. We made it very clear that it was going to stop and it is going to stop. Nothing is more important to this government than to stop the untreated waste going on to our lands and into our streams.

2:40 p.m.

Mr. Cassidy: When the Minister of the Environment declares war and then keeps dealing behind doors with the polluters, I have some questions about it.

Mr. Speaker: A new question.

Mr. Cassidy: I am sorry. Should I not have said that, Mr. Speaker?


Mr. Cassidy: I have a question for the Premier concerning the divisive remarks which were made by the Prime Minister of Canada last night at the banquet that was held here in Toronto, when he accused the Treasurer of Ontario (Mr. F. S. Miller) of parochialism and accused Ontario of objecting to economic growth in western Canada.

Can the Premier tell us if the government plans in the mini-budget to protect Ontario’s industrial heartland from the inadequacies of the federal Liberal government, inadequacies which have been supported by the Liberal opposition here in Ontario?

Can the Premier tell us when he plans personally to visit western Canada and sit down with Premier Blakeney and Premier Lougheed to seek to head off the energy crunch the Liberals have caused and to seek a co-operative relationship between the energy-producing and the energy-consuming provinces?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I tried to listen very carefully as the honourable member was reading that question prepared by somebody in the research staff who really hadn’t done very much homework, which is rather customary, although I always thought his caucus did a little better research than some others that I can mention but won’t.

I sense there were three or four questions inherent in what was to have been one question. The first question was really not a question, with respect; it was an observation made by the honourable member about remarks made by the Prime Minister of this country in an address to a rather partisan group, I gather, last evening, where I am sure all the members opposite were present.

Mr. Nixon: Mostly Tories.

Mr. Peterson: Only the Tories can afford those things.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Were you all there? Were you all there?

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am told that at the last one the members opposite were at with the Prime Minister they had to tell him to stop saying that --

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Foulds: The Speaker actually used the gavel.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I now know that if there is a shortage in one particular skill, carpentry, you have great skill with the equivalent of the hammer, and you would have that future career.

Mr. Sargent: Hit him over the head with your gavel.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Listen, at least if I were hit over the head I would feel it, unlike the member for Grey-Bruce.

Mr. Speaker: Back to the question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I didn’t mean to say that, Mr. Speaker. I really need some direction because I didn’t really sense a question in the large and lengthy preamble.

Mr. Wildman: Is the Premier going out west or not?

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, I haven’t planned to go out and meet with Premier Blakeney and Premier Lougheed, if that was the substance of the question.

Mr. Cassidy: Will the Premier not tell the Prime Minister of Canada that Ontario is sick of being used as a whipping boy, that we are sick of federal Liberal attempts to pauperize the economy of Ontario and that it is time we had some economic planning for Canada and not just for parts of Canada, economic planning that would do far more than the half-assed budget that we had from the federal Liberal Party and which has now been endorsed by the Liberal Party of Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I really didn’t hear all of the question asked by the honourable member. I heard one part of it and, knowing that he wants to maintain the dignity of this House, I won’t ask him to repeat it. Perhaps even Hansard won’t bother to record it, which would be a very good thing, it really would.

I have made my views known to the present Prime Minister, the former Prime Minister and the present Prime Minister who was the former Prime Minister once removed, in terms of federal --

Mr. Peterson: That is the most profound thing the Premier has ever said.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am just telling the member that all he has to do is read very carefully the presentations this government has made to all first ministers’ meetings related to the economy of this country. If he takes a look at what the Treasurer of this province said to the Minister of Finance, I think sometime in September, relating to the then proposed federal budget, he will find that the views of this province, very clearly stated to the government of Canada over a period of time, are that it should be giving far greater priority to the economic activities in this whole country.

What is unfortunate in terms of the first question asked is the fact that the Prime Minister of this nation misunderstood or did not read carefully what the Treasurer of this province said. No one is objecting on this side of the House to the economic development of western Canada. That is fundamental to our prosperity and it is fundamental to the future of this country.

What the Treasurer of this province indicated was, in that a portion of revenues would be flowing into the western development fund, consideration should be given as well to some of the same issues here in this part of Canada. I think he referred in specific terms to the improvement of the rail corridor from Windsor to Quebec. That would be far cheaper than building the double track mentioned in the last federal campaign by some Liberal minister who did not really understand what it meant to say there should be double tracks heading across the west.

I would say to the leader of the New Democratic Party that I am surprised that implicit in his question is a very real criticism of the Premier of Saskatchewan. What need is there for me to visit with the Premier of Saskatchewan? Is the member saying to me that he is opposed to some of the energy policies of the government of Canada? Is he by implication suggesting that he is being narrow-minded and parochial? I am surprised that the leader of the New Democratic Party of this province would be that critical of the Premier of Saskatchewan, because that is really what he is saying.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Has the Premier perchance received in writing from the leader of the New Democratic Party the viewpoint expressed by the acting leader of the New Democratic Party on Friday when he stood in this House and said: “Is the Premier prepared to recognize the fundamental inequity of the price at present fixed by the government of Canada for oil from Alberta when compared with the world price?"

Has he received any notification in writing from the New Democratic Party as to whether their official position has, in fact, been well stated by the acting leader of that party last Friday when he said that Mr. Lougheed had a justifiable grievance because he was forced to sell his oil at less than world price?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have received no notification from the official leader of the New Democratic Party. I pointed out to the leader of that party, I think on Monday, that it was fortunate he had returned to impress upon the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) -- the only thing I can say on this side of the House is, it is encouraging to find from our perspective that both opposition parties are now in favour of world price.

Mr. Cassidy: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, I would ask the Premier to withdraw his remark which is entirely in error. The Premier knows it and he should not play those kinds of games here in the Legislature or anywhere else across Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Speaking to that point of order, my only reply is to look at the member for Riverdale and see the smile on his face. He knows that what I said when he made those observations is abundantly true. But I am also prepared to say that the member for Riverdale is a very decent individual and if he wants to change his mind, I would be the first to accept whatever change he wishes to make.


Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary: Does the Premier not realize that by playing partisan and parochial games here in the House, he is creating a difficult situation in the country?

Mr. Peterson: And in your party.

Mr. Rotenberg: Who is playing parochial games?

Mr. Di Santo: In view of the fact there is a widespread hostility towards Ontario in every other region of this country, including Quebec where both the government and the opposition told the select committee that the relations between Ontario and Quebec had broken down mostly because of this government, does the Premier not think it is important for this province at this point to play a role in the interests of the nation rather than to play partisan politics here in this House?

2:50 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would say to the member for Downsview, and I hope he is listening very carefully, that in terms of intergovernmental relationships between this province and Quebec on those traditional matters where we join together in solving certain common problems, they are still moving ahead; there has been no alteration.

If the honourable member is saying to me that he does not agree with the position taken by the Premier of this province, which has been supported by his own provincial leader, in terms of our views on the constitution, then I say to him, if he wants to change his position, he should do so. But let him not put the onus on me to solve the problems the member is having to accommodate the New Democratic Party in Quebec or in Saskatchewan. That is not my responsibility.

I realize the positions we have taken are not totally acceptable in some other parts of Canada; I know that. I say to the honourable member, with respect, there is no easy solution unless one is prepared to flip-flop, as I guess he would, on something as fundamental as this constitutional debate. I do not intend to flip-flop as he would suggest.

Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Speaker, on a point of personal privilege: The Premier is imputing motives to me that I never had. What I said was that the province --

Mr. Speaker: I think the record will show what the honourable member said. I listened very carefully and nothing that was said would infringe upon his rights as a member. I want to remind the honourable member that it was just about 10 days ago that he complained about a lot of wasted time during question period. The record will show what was said.


Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. Considering that the International Year of Disabled Persons will be upon us in less than two months, and considering that the minister has been making promises about amendments to human rights legislation -- he made the promise in the throne speech in the spring, he made it hastily this summer before we broke off and he made it a few weeks ago this fall -- can the minister give us an unequivocal commitment that he will introduce this legislation so it can be debated before the Christmas recess? When can the handicapped of this province expect action rather than just promises from him?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I think the handicapped can have very little doubt about the commitment of this government. It was made clear in a statement in this House in June. Those amendments, covering more issues than the issues related to the handicapped, on which we place special priority, will be introduced within the next few days.

Mr. Roy: What has caused the minister’s delay in introducing this legislation? Is it concern on the part of some of his colleagues who are reluctant to see this legislation come forward? Can we rely on his statement today, more than we have been able to rely on the statements the minister made in the spring, summer and fall?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I expect the honourable member always relies on my statements, because that is the kind of person he is; he is a person with honour.


Hon. Mr. Elgie: Hang on; the member is still on the operating table. Those amendments will be coming in within the next few days, in plenty of time for this House to debate them, and I think we should debate them very sincerely.

Mr. McClellan: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The minister is aware that under his proposed Bill 188, a board of inquiry under the Ontario Human Rights Code can deal with the question of reasonable accommodation only after it has substantiated a complaint of discrimination. Will the minister not agree that his amendments to the code, which we now expect within a few days, should contain a reasonable accommodation provision that permits a board of inquiry to consider the denial of reasonable accommodation -- that is, access to a facility or premises or equipment -- as part of a complaint so that denial of reasonable accommodation can be considered discrimination itself?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I am not prepared to get into a debate on matters that are not before the House, but I hope to debate that particular issue very carefully and very fully when it is presented.


Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of the Environment. Is the minister aware of a document entitled Hydro-geological Study Report: Proposed Solidification Plant Environmental Assessment Component at Walker Brothers Quarry, which reports borehole results in the proposed Walker Brothers Quarry solidification project and which says about borehole number 14: “One foot plus seam of grey viscous liquid waste about six-foot depth. Borehole terminated in fill at 20 feet. On completion of borehole, grey liquid waste fills hole to about six feet”?

Is the minister aware there is no licence of any kind to dump any waste in that particular quarry, and is he aware that his ministry received six copies of this back in January of this year? In view of the minister’s knowledge of the breaking of his own environmental law, can we and the public assume that this is an indication of colossal indifference or even collusion on the part of his ministry when he continued to negotiate with Walker for that solidification project?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, that was not the easiest question to follow from beginning to end. Would you agree that I might be wise to take that under advisement and try to answer the question in detail tomorrow?


Mr. Gaunt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Education. Since this is the thirty-seventh day of the Bruce county teachers’ strike with no progress being made, since the parties to the strike are not talking, and since one serious roadblock to the resumption of negotiations seems to be the preconditions to bargaining and the setting of those preconditions, will the minister comment upon this and indicate what, if anything, she is prepared to do to see that the talks resume, because the parties have been negotiating since February 1979, there has been a factfinder’s report and two mediators have been involved, all to no avail?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I shall most certainly attempt to discover whether there are preconditions set for the resumption of negotiations. It must be obvious to any group of adults involved in collective negotiations or collective bargaining that it is entirely inappropriate -- indeed, bordering on the juvenile or even childish -- to set preconditions before any negotiations can resume. I shall explore this and if any such preconditions are set it is my belief that they must be removed, because that is an inappropriate way in which to approach collective bargaining.

Mr. Speaker: A new question, the member for Dovercourt.

Mr. Lupusella: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Labour --

Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary. We have a very serious situation in Bruce county and I demand a supplementary on this question.


Mr. Sargent: Why do we not stop playing games and all this phoney stuff the member is giving us and get down to business?

Mr. Speaker: Will the member please put his question?

Mr. Sargent: I would like to, if the interjections would stop.

Mr. Speaker, since the Minister of Education and the Premier do not have the political intestinal fortitude to bite the bullet and outlaw teachers’ strikes, being a totally essential service, why should not school boards collect their own taxes? Secondly, if a home owner is paying from $300 to $500 in the educational --

Mr. Speaker: Order. That is not a supplementary. I will accept the first part of your question. Does the minister have a response?

3 p.m.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I think the condition of my dentistry is quite adequate to bite a number of things, but I am not quite sure about bullets. I hope the honourable member is aware that this House approved a piece of legislation which guides and directs collective bargaining between teachers and boards. This piece of legislation is under review at the present time. I hope the honourable member will permit that review to be completed and the appropriate modifications, if necessary, to be drafted and brought to this House. I hope he will do this rather than suggesting that on the spur of the moment, related to one individual strike, a right which is enjoyed by a very large number of people within this province and this country -- and I might stress is enjoyed with equal responsibilities -- I believe very strongly that the collective bargaining process should be encouraged to continue in this situation. I hope to see all the force that can be brought to bear by the Education Relations Commission and others and the pressure which the local members can place upon those coming to the bargaining table. With this, a solution appropriate to that situation may be found.


Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Labour. Can he confirm that he has already received the first report from the Weiler task force on the Workmen’s Compensation Board? If so, can he inform the House when he will be tabling that report in the Legislature? Also, when can we expect the legislation to amend the Workmen’s Compensation Act?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I have not seen the report. I understand it is now being printed, and I hope to be able to table it in the House some time within the next two or three weeks.

Mr. Lupusella: In view of the great concern of many workers who are now under WCB pension and who have received their pensions based on a system that is full of inequities, will the minister assure the House that the new legislation which improved the act will contain clauses providing the same improvements for present pensioners? In particular, will the present recipient of permanent, total and partial disability pensions be covered by improvements in the new legislation? Since it is now more than 15 months since the last increases in benefits took place in the summer of 1979, can the minister tell us when there will be an increase so that injured workers will not continue to face the erosion of their standard of living?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I am sure the member does not wish me to comment on matters that are to be dealt with in the report. I cannot tell him at this time when new amendments will be submitted with regard to the Workmen’s Compensation Act pending the receipt of the report and comment on it.


Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Labour. Will he be good enough to bring this House up to date on the status of negotiations concerning the strike of drivers of the London Transit Commission, and what he is doing to solve it?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I understand negotiations have been taking place for some time. My recollection is that they broke down a week or two ago. The mediator is remaining in touch with the parties; if he has any reason to believe there is benefit in bringing the parties together, he does so at any time.

Mr. Peterson: Why is it when the Toronto Transit Commission drivers go out, the minister brings them back by legislation after one, two or three days, yet this strike has gone on for almost two weeks? Why does he view it so very differently?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I do not think there is any particular mystery about that. The member was here for the debate on the TTC situation. He will recall it was only because of the peculiar situation of a major metropolitan community, with the major problems it created economically, individually, personally and socially, that this government felt a need to intervene in that process.

Mr. Peterson: No wonder the minister does not have any able representation in London on his side.


Mr. Speaker: Order.


Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister of Health whether he has received my letter of October 27 with regard to one of my constituents, Mrs. Esther Brown. I raised this in the House last June. I wrote to him over the summer in regard to a hospital transfer. The woman was transferred back to the hospital in Thunder Bay. The ministry still refuses to provide that Ontario health insurance plan coverage as it should do, simply because Mrs. Brown was independent enough to be accompanied by her husband -- instead of a trained ambulance attendant -- although her husband had training; and because, although the hospital ordered an ambulance, she decided to take a taxi to the airport and went directly to a hospital back in Thunder Bay. When is the minister going to reconsider that decision?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: As soon as I see the letter.

Mr. Foulds: As a result of this case and many others, will the minister revise the unreasonable regulations that he now uses with regard to covering hospital services for specialist services, when people from rural parts of Ontario and northern Ontario are referred to medical centres such as Toronto for services not available in their home communities?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I have been discussing that matter with a number of different organizations. I have also mentioned publicly that we are looking at proposals to fund the travel costs of teams of specialists who would operate out of major centres like Thunder Bay and Sudbury and go out into the more remote communities. In that way, we could go further to keep down the numbers of people who have to leave small communities, whether it be the Ignaces, the Fort Franceses or the Sioux Lookouts of this world.

We are also moving to expand our work in the area of telemedicine which, as the member knows, has worked very well at Sioux Lookout and is now being developed between the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital and the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry as a further means of bringing specialist services into communities where they do not exist or do not exist in the numbers we would like. Yes, I am looking at that question to see if something can be done.


Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Premier concerning the distribution by hand of a two-page letter from him in the Carleton riding of an item called, The Ontario Premier’s Policy Survey. How many of these surveys are being distributed in Carleton and how many others are being distributed throughout the province? Are there any public funds being spent on this? Has the Premier now moved his office address to Suite 301, 180 Dundas Street West, as the reply envelope indicates? If not, whose office address is that?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I can answer that very simply. There are no public funds.

Mr. S. Smith: The Premier was asked how many he had sent to Carleton and how many elsewhere.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think quite a few have gone out in Carleton.

Mr. Breithaupt: Since the first question on the survey reads, “Is there any one thing you would like the provincial government to do that it is not doing or has not done,” will the Premier share the results of that survey with the House so we will know his policy priorities for the next year?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will be ready to share that information, which was obtained totally from nonpublic funds, as soon as the people opposite are prepared to share the information they have obtained by using the trunk lines of the public of this province to find out voter intentions.

Mr. S. Smith: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Since the Premier admits that this has been paid for strictly out of party funds and is strictly a party --

Mr. Speaker: That has been answered.

Mr. S. Smith: No. Since he admits it has been paid for strictly out of party funds, does he feel it is appropriate to be sending it out under the heading of the Premier of Ontario, Parliament Buildings, Queen’s Park, Toronto? Will he admit that this is not an Ontario survey of any kind but simply a piece of advertising paid for by the Conservative Party for the Carleton by-election?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Unlike the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Speaker, I never apologize for being Premier of this province. I do not try to be two people at once.

3:10 p.m.


Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Colleges and Universities. Can she respond to the concern of some of the employees -- she is aware of it, I believe, from a letter I sent to her -- in the Saltfleet campus of Mohawk College who signed up for industrial maintenance mechanic courses, 1,440-hour courses, on the clear understanding that at the end of the course they would have 660 hours credited towards their apprenticeship and who six months into the course were informed by an instructor that somebody had made a mistake and that they would not get the hours credited, only a recommendation?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, is the honourable member suggesting there is no credit at all for the course? When did he send the letter to me?

Mr. Mackenzie: The letter was sent to the minister on October 30.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: At this point, I do not have the answer to the question the honourable member has asked, but it most certainly will be developed and submitted to him.


Mr. O’Neil: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Culture and Recreation. Earlier this year the minister told us that during the latter part of the summer or the early fall he would announce the date that the Wintario capital grants program would be resumed and he would produce the new guidelines accompanying this program. Will he now share this information with the members of this Legislature?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, we had intended to complete our study and our survey of the needs for the future Wintario program by this time, but the study has been slightly delayed. I can point out one good reason why: The Leader of the Opposition instructed his caucus not to co-operate with the study. I think the Leader of the Opposition recalls that instruction.

As I indicated earlier, we have every intention of introducing the new Wintario capital program in the very near future along with the guidelines our study has indicated and the priorities we think are appropriate.

Mr. O’Neil: I do not accept that argument from the minister. We have heard it so many times before that he certainly has to be inept in the job he is doing. We have had this excuse too many times. Will he tell me the real reason why he has not been able to prepare these guidelines and get on with this program instead of giving us these continual excuses?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I remind the member opposite that, while we have been carrying out our study trying to set the new guidelines and trying to establish new priorities, we have continued to make grants under the old criteria. We have approved more than 30,000 projects to date and paid out more than $251 million. We have committed an additional $50 million. We are simply trying to move this backlog along. When that is complete, we will start the new program. I can tell the member we have not been sitting on our hands in this ministry; we have been working very hard. Very shortly we will start the new program.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, can I not ask a supplementary?

Mr. Speaker: No. The member has taken up five minutes of question period today just with his interjections.


Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Labour. In view of the fact that Lina Agostino, an injured worker now employed with an ability centre, has been found by the rehabilitation department of the Workmen’s Compensation Board not to be job-ready and therefore is kept there while the claims adjudication branch denies her supplementary benefits because in its decision of October 15 it said in its opinion her disability does not prevent her from resuming her job, and in view of the fact that this lady has been receiving $50.05 weekly since last year, does the minister not think this behaviour of the Workmen’s Compensation Board has nothing to do with the Weiler report or with the reforms he wants to introduce? It is only for better administration. People who are injured should not be shafted that way. What does the minister intend to do, and what does he suggest?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, the board endeavours to deal with each case very appropriately and in an honest and open way. If the member has a complaint about a particular case, if he will send me the details, I will be glad to review it and report to him in the House or privately, whichever way he wishes.


Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Education. Today I received a letter from one of my constituents with four sons in Valley Heights high school who are being denied their education. They have enrolled them in the Aylmer high school, which is 40 miles away, at a cost of $360 per month, plus gas and car wear, plus their school tax. In view of the hardship both parents and students are facing because of the Norfolk secondary school teachers’ strike, will the minister inform me if she is now prepared to intervene?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the member knows, because along with me he met the parents of students from the Norfolk area, that there is a procedure which must be followed at this point. I have to report to this House that while there are some boards which do levy charges for the educational program of young people who are not resident pupils within their jurisdiction, many boards do not. In a case where hardship is a matter of concern, I think the parents could very easily approach the board under whose jurisdiction the children’s education is being continued to ask them to please remove that levy at this time.

In many instances, the boards do just that. I am hopeful that the procedures being pursued at present to solve that strike in Norfolk will be successful relatively shortly.

Mr. Speaker: I would like to bring to the attention of members of the presence in our gallery of some distinguished guests who are here as guests of the Ministry of Labour. From the Tuscany region we have a delegation led by Mario Olla, president of the Regional Department of Immigration and mayor of San Marcello Piestaeisse. From the Umbria region we have a delegation led by Mr. Venanzio Mocchi, who is the minister responsible for the region of Umbria, and from the Lombardia region a delegation led by Mr. Sergio Moroni, the minister responsible for the region of Lombardia. Would you please welcome them to our gallery.


Mr. J. Reed: Last Monday, Mr. Speaker, I had a question of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells). It would seem that when Hansard was printed, on page 3994 reference was made to the good citizens of the former township of Nottawasaga. I should like to correct the record by pointing out that the question concerned the citizens of the former township of Nassagaweya.



Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to present on behalf of the residents of the Goulais River-Havilland Bay-Batchawana Bay area who are currently denied home health care because of the lack of professional personnel.

It reads: “We, the undersigned, petition the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario about home health care services. We live in an area where due to the lack of professional personnel these services are not available. We therefore ask that the Ministry of Health waive criteria service and provide ancillary services to patients who meet the criteria for eligibility” --

Mr. Speaker: Order. I am sure the member knows that is out of order because it prays for the expenditure of funds.

Mr. Wildman: No, it does not, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: It does not?

Mr. Wildman: No. It just asks the ministry to waive criteria service.

Mr. Speaker: Go ahead. I thought it called for an additional service.

3:20 p.m.

Mr. Wildman: No, Mr. Speaker. The purpose of the petition is to ask them to change their criteria. They can decide afterwards whether they want to provide the service.

Mr. Speaker: Go ahead.

Mr. Wildman: They ask that the ministry “waive the criteria service ancillary services to patients who meet the criteria for eligibility for admission to home care and who do not live in an area designated to become covered by home health care due to the lack of professional personnel; and, in conjunction with the district health councils, increase the ministry’s efforts to attract professional people to areas which at present are under-serviced.”



Hon. Mr. Gregory moved that next Thursday at 8 p.m. the House revert to statements by the ministry and that, following a statement by the Treasurer of Ontario, a representative from each of the two opposition parties may make replies, following which the House may adjourn.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Gregory moved that the select committee on plant shutdowns and employee adjustment be authorized to sit this afternoon and each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon, each Tuesday evening and each Wednesday morning, and that the committee’s subcommittee on agenda and procedure be authorized to sit as it deems necessary.

Motion agreed to.



Mr. G. I. Miller moved first reading of Bill 180, An Act respecting the Norfolk Board of Education and Teachers Dispute.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the Norfolk Board of Education and the Teachers Dispute Resolution Act, 1980, is to resolve the dispute between the Norfolk Board of Education and the secondary school teachers who are employees of the board. The bill orders an end to the strike that commenced on October 2, 1980, and establishes a final-offer selection procedure as a means of settling the matters in dispute between the parties.


Hon. Mr. Gregory: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answers to questions 361 to 363 and the interim answers to questions 368 and 369 on the Notice Paper. (See appendix, page 4144.)




Mr. Leluk moved second reading of Bill 77, An Act respecting the Age of Mandatory Retirement.

Mr. Leluk: Mr. Speaker, this is the second time in two years --


Mr. Leluk: Why don’t the members listen over there; they might learn something.

Mr. Speaker: Order. The honourable member has up to 20 minutes and if he wants to reserve any of it, he can notify the table officers.

Mr. Leluk: I will take the 20 minutes, if the members opposite give me the opportunity to say what I have to say.

The idea of flexible retirement embodied in this bill is one whose time has come: retirement when necessary, but not necessarily retirement. The elderly of this province who want to work and are able deserve the opportunity to work. They should have this freedom of choice.

My bill is an important interim step towards what I hope will eventually be total abolition of the mandatory retirement age in this province.

Mr. M. N. Davison: Why did the member not move that?

Mr. Leluk: The New Democratic Party would not even support this bill. The members of the NDP are not the only ones in this province who are concerned about the welfare of our people. They are not only the ones concerned about human rights. Yet on this issue, one that involves the dignity and freedoms of us all, the third party refuses to get its collective head out of the sand to see what is happening in our society.

The leader of the NDP has served notice that his party will defeat this bill, as it did in the spring of 1978 with the help of some of our Liberal friends. He said in an interview on CFTO, “My party will not only halt the bill but also press its own party policy of exactly the opposite -- a reduction in the mandatory retirement age to 60.”

I would like to read into the record a letter I received, dated June 11, 1980, from Senator David Croll, who is the chairman of the special Senate committee on retirement age policies, in which he stated, “In the course of a debate in the House of Commons, all the political parties indicated their sup- port for flexible retirement” -- and that includes the NDP.

Mr. Di Santo: You do not understand what that means.

Mr. Leluk: It is my friend who does not understand. He should listen and he might learn something.

Some of history’s greatest figures attained their highest achievements late in life. I would like to give the example of a great Canadian, Dr. Charles Best, who died early in April 1978 at the age of 79, just about at the time we were debating this bill for the first time in this House. He did not think about retiring on his sixty-fifth birthday. For the co-discoverer of insulin, there was still too much to do, and his mind and talents were still capable of doing it. Too many other men and women with both the desire and ability to go on working are put on the shelf at 65.

For the sake of the record, I will not restate my position of April 1978 since my views and the facts speak for themselves. If anything, in the last two years my convictions have grown and strengthened. What I would like to do is outline some of the events that have transpired since I first introduced this bill and maybe in the process a few members of the third party will be brought to see the error of their thinking.

A major example of the growing awareness of the inflexibility of our present retirement policies was the creation in 1977 of the special Senate committee headed by Senator David Croll. I would challenge anyone in this House to stand up and say that Senator Croll, at 80 years of age, was too old for the task.

I would urge the members opposite, if they have not already done so, to read the report Retirement Without Tears as soon as possible. They will find this document to be very educational. For the benefit of the members who have not looked at the report, I would like to quote from the committee’s final conclusions:

“Those who believe that the costs of maintaining the elderly in the next 25 or 50 years will materialize out of thin air are deluding themselves. The money will come either from savings in this generation or taxes in the following generation, but it is clear that the wellbeing of the retired elderly in the future will not be without cost.”

The final observation: “The committee rejects out of hand the ideas that the solution of all our social problems lies in applying large amounts of government money to them.”

3:30 p.m.

I sense that in this House and in this country we are on the verge of some sweeping changes, changes which reflect not only the ageing of our society but the way that we perceive our elderly.

I would like to refer to a Gallup poll which was conducted in February of this year which indicates that a growing number of Canadians think compulsory retirement at age 65 is not a good idea. This poll showed even a larger number than the poll conducted in 1977 -- some 59 per cent of those people polled -- thought that forced retirement was a bad idea. In this study, 35 per cent believed that compulsory retirement is a good idea and another six per cent were not sure.

Interestingly enough, among both the young and the old, a majority believe that forced retirement is a bad idea: 65 per cent among those between 18 and 29 years; 59 per cent among those between 30 and 49 years, and 53 per cent among those who are 50 years and over.

One of the major concerns of the Senate committee was the role of women within the pension system as a whole. Senator Florence Bird, who is 72 years of age, was a member of the committee and expressed a great deal of concern about the financial difficulties faced by women over 65 who are trying to survive on a pension, if they have one at all.

In 1978, the average income for women receiving the Canada pension plan was $1,113 per annum. At the present time, housewives are excluded from contributing to the CPP. Since women live longer than men, we, as a society, are condemning them to institutionalized poverty. Flexible retirement will at least give women who are in the work force, on either a full- or a part-time basis, some obvious and necessary financial benefits. An additional two, three or five years on the job could make the world of difference to their financial security and independence.

Mr. Germa: Give my mother a job. She is 82. Make her work.

Mr. Leluk: There is a member sitting on that side of the House, the member for Yorkview (Mr. Young) who, according to the policies of the member for Sudbury, would have been out to pasture 15 years ago or 10 years ago. How did he escape that, I wonder.

We are finally beginning to come full circle in our understanding of the needs of the elderly. Our most fundamental need at any age is our need for human dignity. That need for dignity, for self-respect, for independence, that need to contribute to society does not suddenly end at 65. However, by forcing people to switch gears for no reason other than the fact that they have reached the magic age of 65, we are condemning them to be spectators rather than active participants in the mainstream of our society.

For some people, retirement at 65 is very undesirable and stressful. Studies done in the United States several years ago rank the major events in our lives that cause the greatest stress. At the top of the scale, the death of a spouse ranked at 100 points and being fired ranked eighth at 47 points. I think it is fair to say that for anyone who is 65 and who does not want to retire, being forced to leave the work force based on such an arbitrary decision is, for that individual, akin to being fired.

I would like to read into the record the testimony of learned Canadians in this field, in particular Dr. Laurence Wilson, who is president of the Canadian Medical Association, who stated in June of this year at the Ontario Medical Association’s meeting that: “Some ill health in the elderly seems directly attributable to mandatory retirement itself. Leaving the shop or office seems to unplug them, like lamps from their sockets, from their sources of interest and vitality.”

There are statistics that suggest retirement is a significant contributing factor in physiological and psychological disorders. A Statistics Canada study in June of this year, a preliminary research on people collecting Canada pension plan payments, showed a high death rate for men during the second year of retirement, perhaps because they suffered stress or depression after leaving their jobs. This study was conducted on a sample of some 21,000 men and women who retired in 1970 to collect Canada pension plan payments.

I would also like to quote from a statement made by Dr. Gustav Gingras when speaking to the Ontario Public Health Association annual meeting in November of this year. Dr. Gingras is the director of rehabilitation services for the Prince Edward Island Ministry of Health, and chancellor of the University of Prince Edward Island. He is also the retired head of Montreal’s rehabilitation centre. He states:

“Every day in this country we are adding, through forced retirement, to the number of handicapped persons. Loneliness, a sense of uselessness and idleness, is one of the greatest handicaps known to man. There will be, in the future, no need to make room for the young. There will be many fewer young people, and furthermore there will never be sufficient funds in the world’s treasuries to assure adequate pensions to a constantly increasing number of so-called older people.”

I wanted to get those quotes into the record, Mr. Speaker.

Further, I would like to quote from Dr. Colin Smith, who is chief of psychiatry at the Plains Health Centre in Regina. He commented in a brief to a special Senate committee on retirement age policies. He stated: “Ageism is a form of racism. This is the idea that people become members of an inferior race, or nonpersons, after a specified number of years, usually 65.”

Think of it for a moment. We do not have a set age for starting to work. There are no laws saying people must start working when they are 21. Yet at the other end of the scale we say people must stop working at age 65. The chief advantage of this type of legislation is that it eliminates the terrible inflexible barrier of age 65. One day you are a working member of society and the next day you are not. It does not make any sense from an economic point of view, from a human rights point of view or from a legal point of view.

We know for a fact that by the year 2001 more than 13 per cent of Canada’s population, or 3.4 million people -- of which 1.2 million will be in Ontario -- will be over the age of 65. We know for a fact that social services for the elderly are more costly than those for younger people. We know that the cost of food, clothing and shelter in today’s society is tough enough on a regular salary but much harder on a fixed income.

The question that arises from all this is who is going to pay for it? It is all very easy to say the taxpayers will, but the problem with that line of thinking is it is too simplistic. Quite obviously there are going to be fewer taxpayers in a position to be paying the money needed to keep our present federal system in the black. If we keep going along on our present course there will be no money left in the Canada pension plan by the year 2010. I would venture to say it will probably be sooner than that.

Where will that leave our senior citizens and taxpayers? There are several possible actions that could be taken. We could let the pension plan go bankrupt and, instead, rely on a combination of provincial, business and private pensions. We could increase the percentage contribution to the plan. A figure of three times our present 3.6 per cent contribution has been suggested in a study submitted to the Economic Council of Canada. Perhaps a system of increased tax credits or grants could be introduced as an alternative rather than an additional form of income supplementation. Of course, I am speculating as to what might happen. There is still time to make these decisions, and I hope they will be fair ones.

What our senior citizens represent is a vast pool of knowledge, experience and wisdom that we can all use. Somehow, though, we have been led to believe the newer approach is better and, in some cases, this may be true. However, in the rush for the great twenty-first century with all its marvellous innovations, we are going to have to come to the realization that the quality of our lives will have to be safeguarded and enhanced. If this does not happen we will have condemned our elderly to a very sad lot indeed.

3:40 p.m.

When I use the word “elderly” in the year 2000, I am referring to a great number of us sitting in this House today. What will we be doing in the year 2000?

I would venture to say that the concept of retirement planning is no different from any other life planning, whether it be for a career, family or children. These decisions are made on a very flexible time scale. Granted during the first years of our lives we do not have a great deal of choice in the matter, but from the age of 18 on we are all considered adults.

From the age of 65 on we are really not expected to do anything; we have paid our taxes and our social dues. Society says, “Thank you very much,” and gives us the golden handshake and possibly a watch -- the cruellest symbol of all, for the one thing they are likely to have too much of is time; that really is the reality of mandatory retirement. Fortunately, however, there are changes taking place in various locations throughout this country. I would like to outline briefly some examples of cases either decided by or before the British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Ontario courts.

In 1977 in British Columbia, Harvard Miller, a 65-year-old worker for a fishermen’s co-operative, was given his walking papers. Mr. Miller, backed by his union, went to court to fight his forced retirement. Ten months later Mr. Miller’s suit was upheld because the co-op had violated BC’s human rights code by discrimination on the basis of age.

In New Brunswick last February, the human rights commission ordered that a 67-year-old crane operator be reinstated at his old job with back pay because of forced retirement. People over there are fighting a losing battle.

In Manitoba, a university professor was allowed to continue teaching after 65, despite a union contract at the university that specified 65 as the retirement age. I understand that several retirement cases, somewhat like the ones I have just outlined, will be up before the Supreme Court this fall.

In Ontario, I have been following with interest several cases involving firefighters. I do not want to go into any specific details about these cases. However, I do believe that each case should be examined on its own merits. It may be that in some professions, such as firefighters or police work, a mandatory retirement age may well be in the public interest as well as in the individual’s best interests.

I do not know if one can take a retirement age and etch it into stone. Each individual is different. After all, many people retire before they reach 65. Why not have the same latitude on the other side? Since new legal ground in this area is being broken all the time, a lot of the cases therefore are precedent-setting. By including this flexibility for retirement in the Employment Standards Act, the Human Rights Code, the Pension Benefits Act and the Public Service Act, we as legislators are providing the basis for future legal judgements.

We have the opportunity today to make far-reaching and humanitarian decisions -- decisions that will benefit our senior citizens, ourselves and our children. What we are doing is responding to a complex social need and a right -- the need to be recognized, an integral part of society, and the right to the self-determination of one’s own life.

These are the larger concerns that have their roots in the proposals before this House today. I have discussed my concerns with the Minister of Labour on several occasions, asking that he amend the Human Rights Code to do away with the last frontier of discrimination in this province -- ageism. I am sure the minister will provide the same leadership this government has shown over the years in providing a quality of life for our citizens second to none.

I would urge all members of this House join with me this afternoon in supporting this bill. It is one that will give our senior citizens every opportunity to further enrich the fabric of Ontario society.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to rise to speak on this matter. I speak as an individual but probably also on behalf of a number of members of my party. I compliment the member who introduced the bill. I think he covered a lot of ground today and read a very well-written speech. I compliment whoever wrote that speech. Interestingly, when I was thinking about this bill today, I reread the debates of two years ago on an identical bill discussing the age of mandatory retirement. I also looked at the position of my friends to the left, the NDP. I must say I am quite surprised at the vigour, vindictiveness and meanness with which they approach this particular concept, because there are some people in society who felt the NDP, at least traditionally, has had some degree of humanity about it and cared about the welfare of the individual.

This bill is to a large measure about the mental and physical welfare of a number of people in society, an increasing proportion of those people in society. I was surprised at the viciousness with which they attacked not only the member for York West in this debate today, but which they showed in this debate of some time ago. As they did then, I expect they will stand up and block or guillotine the bill today.

It is interesting that these professed democrats, these professed believers in the free functioning of this chamber, stood up -- and I remember very well two years ago -- and prevented a vote from being taken on this bill. They are flaming hypocrites, because I have seen them stand up many times. I say with some pride that our party has never done that as a party. The Tories have done it and the NDP do it. When they stand up and rail against the government for guillotining a bill, Mr. Speaker, they should have no credibility with you or anyone else in this province. I just want to make that position very clear.

I do not think this bill should be as fearsome as they perceive it to be. All we are asking for in this bill is some flexibility. There are two strong movements afoot at this particular time in this area. One area supported by a number of authorities on geriatrics, the Ontario Advisory Council on Senior Citizens, and an almost endless group of people involved in working with the elderly, is the view that mandatory retirement at 65 is discriminatory; it is bad for the mental and physical health of people, like all of us, who need some sense of place, some sense of work in this world. In a large measure that is identified, at least in a lot of people’s minds, with some kind of work situation. Why should we deny those people who want that kind of identification and peace of mind, and the happiness that goes with it, the joys of working longer?

On the other hand, and I recognize it, there are other people who want to retire earlier. There are certain kinds of jobs that are, more physically difficult. There are certain kinds of jobs that are tedious and people want to get out of them earlier. I think a humane and flexible society would attempt to accommodate both of those groups. I do not think by supporting this bill we preclude the kinds of things that some of the more enlightened members of the NDP at least would like.

I want to make my argument on two levels. There is a humane and human reason for proceeding with this. I could cite countless cases of people over 65 who have made marvellous contributions. Look for example to my dear friend the member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent). There are few members of the Legislature who approach the service of the constituents and the service of the people of Ontario with the same vigour and vitality and energy as he does, and he will go on for a long time in the future.

The member for Yorkview is one of the most intelligent, humane, decent people in the parliamentary business today in Ontario. Would we deny him that? There are more. The member for York West quoted Dr. Best. He mentioned the name, and we can talk about, John Diefenbaker. There are many names of people who have made marvellous contributions at the age of 65.

On a daily basis I want to talk about how I got involved in this. I have had many people come to me as a member of Parliament in a constituency capacity saying they wished they did not have to retire, or at least could retire on some sort of flexible system. It does not necessarily mean one has to keep the same job after age 65. But a society that in eight or 10 years is going to have a shortage of labour and at the same time have increased medical care so that the average age expectancy is increasing and people are vigorous longer -- and there are lots of examples of that -- should be taking advantage of these people.

3:50 p.m.

I understand there are problems. One can talk about the ossification of institutions. They get all jammed up with people on the upper end, which prevent the vitality of young people coming in, but surely we can start to look at more humane concepts of order in society, such as work sharing. Why can’t the people over 65, for example, be on half pension and half work? They do not have to stay on in the same executive capacity or any other capacity, but we should be ordering our society in a way that takes advantage of all the talents and all the skills of all the people who want to contribute. This is one way of doing that.

I know so many people -- for example, my own parents -- who are over 65 and vital and active and contributing on a number of levels. I can tell you that they take this kind of legislation as a personal insult. What’s to say that a person 65 plus one day is of less worth than a person who is 65 less one day? It does not make sense. A humane society would arrange for an orderly transition and would take advantage of those skills. My friend from York West laid out some of the demographic considerations. I can tell the House that this bill is going to come because we are going to be begging those people to work in five or six or seven or eight years when the labour situation changes in this province.

Granted, we have an unemployment problem in this country, but let us not let that overrule some of the long-term trends that we as legislators are charged with understanding and legislating for, and I just give that admonition to my friends to the left.

The financial considerations are also very profound. I have talked at great length in this chamber and other places -- anywhere else that people would listen to me -- about the virtual bankruptcy of a number of major pension plans. The Canada pension plan, for example, will be out of funds in the year 2000. There is no question about that. My friends to the left talk so facilely, with their voodoo economics, saying “Well, we will just pay everybody more and the reason for all of this stress is that we don’t give them enough money.” They feel if we just throw a lot of money at the problem, we would solve it. I can tell members some of the human problems and stress problems of old people have nothing to do with money. Some of them do, granted, and I am the first one to admit that, but some of them have a lot to do with the loss of identification and loss of something worthwhile to contribute in the world. If members go into some of the old age homes that I have been into and ask the people what their principal problem is, they say it is that they do not feel worthwhile or useful. That is the problem in many cases, it is not just the financial problems.

I want to talk about this financial problem for just a moment. We have a tremendous load of indexed pension plans that are totally underfunded that are going to require massive tax increases in the future as fewer people will be working.

Mr. Germa: The member is not qualified to talk about financial problems. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He likes the taste of silver.

Mr. Peterson: We are getting a lot of grumbling out of my friend from Sudbury and I know his typical response. He read it in the last debate.

Mr. M. N. Davison: What do you know about poverty? That’s the problem.

Mr. Roy: They get annoyed when you tell the truth.

Mr. Peterson: We get such hypocrisy from these so-called humanists that it is not even worth addressing.

Mr. M. N. Davison: Tell us what you know about the poor.

Mr. Peterson: I will just dismiss it as a general din in the background.

The financial considerations of this are profound and the longer people are working and contributing and being paid to work, the less pressure is put on some of those pension funds. We have the choice of massive tax increases in the future or running society into debt that at some point is going to have to be met without a collapse of the system. We now have about seven working people supporting one retiree. In 50 years that will be three people working to support one retiree.

The financial changes in this society are going to be profound and that’s why we have to address some of these things now. I would appeal to you, Mr. Speaker, and I appeal to my friends to the left for some degree of flexibility. Let us look at each job. Let us look at each individual on an individual basis and those who want to go on and continue to contribute should have that capacity and that ability and those who are in jobs that --

The Deputy Speaker: The honourable member’s time has now expired.

Mr. Peterson: -- are more tedious should have the right to retire earlier on pensions that are arranged to look after their future.

The Deputy Speaker: The member for Hamilton Centre.

Mr. M. N. Davison: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Peterson: Here’s a guy who worked his way up the hard way.

Mr. M. N. Davison: I certainly did. I oppose Bill 77 as we opposed Bill 47 back in April of --

Mr. Leluk: I expected that the member would.

Mr. M. N. Davison: What was that?

Mr. Leluk: I expected the member would.

Mr. M. N. Davison: I do not need lessons about problems of the aged. Let me tell the member that it was my father, the former member from this seat, who first introduced in this House legislation to end hiring on the basis of age and to end age discrimination in this province. It took him almost a lifetime in politics to drag his government along to that point of view, So I do not need to hear any Neanderthal nineteenth century analysis from the member for York West.

The Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. M. N. Davison: This second coming of the Leluk act to shaft the elderly has absolutely nothing to do with human rights and human dignity for the elderly or for anybody else in this province.

Mr. Leluk: The member should tell his constituents that in the next election.

Mr. M. N. Davison: I certainly will. This bill, Mr. Speaker, is simply the thin edge of the wedge, a wedge being driven into the very modest and insufficient kinds of statutory protections we have won for the elderly in Ontario. This legislation is representative of a type of nineteenth century petty and mean conservatism that has no place in the Ontario of the 1980s. This is the kind of legislation we will be seeing over the next four years in Ronald Reagan’s America with a k, and I would not want to be associated with it.

This is the first of a number of steps by people who adhere to that kind of a philosophy that we are likely to see over the coming tough years in Canada. This is the first step in the kind of attack we are going to see to rob Canadians of things like medicare, old age security, the Canada pension plan and the Gains program in Ontario.

The member takes great pride in associating himself with Prince Otto von Bismarck in these matters, and I suggest the nineteenth century is where this kind of legislation belongs. He and his ideological colleagues in this area are hiding behind a smokescreen when they talk about human dignity and human rights for the elderly. If the member for York West believed in human dignity, and if he believed people in this province should be allowed to work regardless of their age, why did he not bring forward legislation to end any kind of mandatory retirement? I will tell the House why he did not do it.

Mr. Leluk: You guys would not support this; this is an interim step.

Mr. M. N. Davison: It is not an interim step; it is a smokescreen.

Enough of quarter measures. If the member wanted to provide the elderly with an opportunity to have meaningful occupations beyond the age of 65, he would have brought in that kind of a bill. He did not for very good reasons that are fairly clear to all of us.

We in this party understand what age discrimination is about because we are the ones who have opposed it in this province over the last number of years. This fiddling with the mandatory retirement age is nothing but that, a fiddling. It is not a first step towards ending mandatory retirement, but a first step in a long series of policies to shaft the elderly in this province.

We believe in reducing pensionable ages. The member obviously does not have the first idea of what the difference is between a mandatory retirement age and a pensionable age. We do support the lowering of pensionable ages in Ontario, something that will help the elderly and something that the member for York West opposes.

The other thing that is important is that because his government has so shamefully failed to provide for jobs in Ontario, we have to realize that as long as we do not have jobs for our people we are going to have to recognize some forms of work-sharing in this province. That will not be corrected until we get a more far-seeing decent government in Ontario.

4 p.m.

The major problem for the elderly in Ontario does not have to do with their jobs or their work. It has to do with their lack of money and their lack of adequate financial support services.

Where does the member for York West stand on those matters of importance to the elderly? Where does he stand on the real issues for the elderly? Let me tell the House where he stands on those. Has he voiced his support for higher old age pensions? No, he has not. Has he voiced his support for a decent Gains level in Ontario? No, he has not. Nor has he voiced his support for increased levels of Canada pension plan funds for the elderly in Ontario and in Canada. That is where the real issues are and that so clearly shows why this is a smokescreen.

Does the member for York West argue in this House or anywhere else that we should be providing sufficient income to the elderly so they can have a decent and dignified life in their community? No. He says he cannot and will not give decent income levels to our elderly and points to that kind of statement with pride. He fundamentally believes that the elderly of Ontario are not entitled to decent levels of income.

What about other support services for the elderly he could have moved on in his private member’s bill If he was concerned about the elderly in this province instead of this shameful attempt to hurt them?

I support, as do members of this party, programs that would provide for the co-ordination of ministries such as the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community and Social Services to provide some sort of coordinated effort in delivering services of health, social services, labour services and housing services to the elderly. Did the member for York West move on that? Did he advise his colleagues on that? No, he came forward with this attack on senior citizens.

I believe we have a responsibility to provide proper housing for the elderly of Ontario. Did the member for York West move on that? No. He has no intention or desire to provide adequate housing for the elderly and the senior citizens of Ontario.

I believe it is time we ended the private ownership of nursing homes and other such health institutions that care for the elderly so that greed would not be involved in the ripping off of older people in this province. Did the member for York West move on that? No. Again, another failed opportunity which shows what he thinks about the rights and needs of the elderly in Ontario.

Mr. Leluk: Has the member read the bill?

Mr. M. N. Davison: I most certainly have read this reprehensible bill and it is a shameful right-wing attack on old people in this province. The central problem here is that we are not providing sufficient liveable levels of income for the elderly in this province. Instead of moving on that and a whole number of other problems faced by the elderly, the member for York West takes his hour in private members’ legislation to reintroduce this attack on older people in our province.

It is shameful and I will oppose this attack as I opposed his attack in April 1978.

Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join again in this debate and to commend my colleague for bringing his bill forward and his well-reasoned, logical arguments for doing so. I am not going to comment on the previous speaker. It is obvious that the impenetrable craniums over there cannot be reached, so I will get on with the objectivity of the bill.

I remind members it was two years ago when the bill was vetoed by the opposition and I hope, despite what we have just heard, they will reconsider.

This is not an employers’ bill that is going to downtread the poor working folk. It is an employees’ bill that will enable them to retain their place in the sun. As the member for London Centre said, I too have people who come to me saying that after all the years they have enjoyed working with a firm --

Mr. Charlton: I will arrange for you to meet with someone who was forced to retire.

Mr. Leluk: Nobody is forcing anybody to work. They can leave any time they want. What are you talking about?

Mr. Kennedy: Keep quiet over there. I too have those members who go through this trauma of retirement. They simply wish to change careers and to keep busy. Retirement is a tremendous shock to them. This bill will enable them at their own volition to continue to work.

It is a voluntary bill which these people opposite somehow or other twist around and turn into a slave labour bill. It is so far removed from this that I will respond by giving their remarks the attention they deserve, which is exactly zero.

I know that in the last vote, a couple of members from the Liberal Party joined with them in the veto. I hope they have reconsidered.

Mr. Roy: It is not our style to veto anything. We believe in votes and the democratic process.

Mr. Kennedy: That is the stuff.

I want to remark on two articles, one of which is from the Legion publication.


Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, could you have a go at keeping order?

The Acting Speaker (Mr. MacBeth): That is exactly what I would like. Could we have a little more order please?

Mr. Kennedy: I do feel I have a contribution to make and I would like the members to listen. In the Legion issue of February 1979, none other than Senator David Croll, in an article written by Helen Frayne, asks for a flexible retirement policy for Canadians so Canadians will feel free and be free to continue working after 65. It is a very objective article by a person who has been around for a while. In fact, as members will recall, he was in the Hepburn cabinet. He is from Windsor. This is why I was somewhat surprised that two members from the same area in the Liberal Party were in opposition to the bill at that time.

The other article is a very definitive one written in the service club journal, The Lion, in the January 1979 issue. It too gives some very objective reasons as to why these people shouldn’t be at work one day and the next day turfed out to pasture. Senator Croll mentioned that as of June 1, 1977, there were 2,069,100 Canadians aged 65 or over. Surely that growing work force could be accommodated in some flexible program that would enable them to continue to work or change careers if they liked.

Despite what has been heard opposite, because we on the government side are vitally concerned with every member of our labour force, we are supporting this legislation. Members opposite see fit to overlook the problems and issues of mandatory retirement. Every day Ontario loses a valuable part of its labour force to the ranks of the retired. Most members can’t wait to get out, which is what I like about the flexibility aspect. If they want to retire at an earlier date, let us accommodate that to the degree we can so that in the overall employment picture there will be no impact at all on new workers coming into the work force.

If the members would refresh their memories with the previous debate, they would appreciate that there are very few, relatively speaking, who would wish to continue on. This really isn’t an argument for not introducing this legislation. A great many people over 65 do not consider themselves old. Few are markedly different to a year or two before. It bas been said that through the loss of a job at 65 a worker in good health may face the rest of life unemployed and somewhat despondent. This places a great deal of stress on the individuals and on institutions which government and industry have established to support our senior community.

4:10 p.m.

According to the reactions of the third party, this kind of discrimination should be allowed. According to their rationale, old age is sufficient reason for dismissal. I cannot understand why everyone in this House cannot get together and recognize the bill for what it is.

As my colleague mentioned too, their party in Ottawa, along with the other two parties, supported such legislation. There is no coercion, with respect to workers, to remain in the labour force any longer than he or she may desire, but it would allow older workers who wish to continue working to do just that.

There are several reasons why mandatory retirement at age 65 is being challenged by this legislation. Among them are longer life expectancy, which we have now, and improved health care. The concept of discrimination because of age is a basic human right. The proposed legislation would allow these people to work until age 70 if they so desire. This is an additional five years in which our senior workers can contribute to business, industry and to government; five years to supplement income; five years to remain productive and choose the age at which to retire. There are a good many seniors who wish to continue at a job in which they are competent.

Under the current practice of retirement, a great deal of ability, commitment and productivity is lost due to mandatory retirement. This is a segment of our labour market which remains and lies untapped. A source of valuable skills is lying unused. It is an enormous waste of human talent.

Over the last 20 years an increasing number of older workers have willingly chosen to retire; most of them have. As I said, most cannot wait to get out, and we wish them well. The establishment of old age security, the Canada pension plan and Gains, and the growth of private pension plans have improved our senior citizens’ economic position. Contrary to the diatribe from the party opposite, my colleague from York West supports that, as does this government. In fact, this government has introduced those measures. So the members opposite should not say they have a corner on the market on compassion for the aged because they do not, they are followers, if they can unscramble their brains and see what the issues are.

Mr. Leluk: They are sitting on them. They cannot unscramble them.

Mr. Kennedy: The changes to the age of mandatory retirement will not result in the majority of our senior workers seeking to maintain their jobs. Retirement for most is an eagerly awaited day. The pattern of retirement in this country, and in the US, suggests that workers will continue to retire when they so desire.

The purpose of this legislation is to introduce a greater flexibility in choosing when one will retire. Retirement at age 65 is based on the notion that older workers do not perform as well as younger workers. Recent US studies have suggested older workers perform skills equal to and, at times, noticeably better than younger workers in attendance, punctuality, job safety and work performance. The American Medical Association suggests mandatory retirement has adverse physical and psychological effects.

The Acting Speaker: The honourable member’s time has expired.

Mr. Kennedy: Is there not one minute left? Would you check that time, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. M. N. Davison: Then why would you not abolish mandatory retirement?

Mr. Leluk: It is coming, just like it has in the US.

Mr. Kennedy: The NDP members have opposed this. I hope they will reconsider. I do not support their assumptions. Once again, the NDP have jumped, not on a bandwagon, but on a wagon and it is rolling not forward but backward into the nineteenth century and into the earlier part of this century. I have no hesitation in strongly supporting this legislation. I again commend my colleague for it.

Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, it is very obvious that the differing views we are hearing today are more or less reflective of what is going on out there in the community. The New Democratic Party members certainly feel they cannot support this because, obviously, they think they speak for all of labour here in Ontario.

Mr. Di Santo: This is a private member’s bill.

Mr. Van Horne: If one does not buy that argument and accepts what was just said as an aside or an interjection, that this is a private members’ hour, then surely the members of this House will use their good judgement and vote on this independently rather than following a party line.

If we go back to some of the debate in 1978 within our own party the member for London Centre spoke in favour of the legislation that was much the same as that in front of us today. On the other hand, the member for Essex North (Mr. Ruston) was not able to support it. That is how we are approaching this -- as individual members expressing our views.

To do that properly I would submit there are very few experts on retirement age or pension age or anything related to it. We should all do, if we have not, a little bit of research into the matter. I was able to find in a research paper that it is necessary to define retirement age and pension age. The definition I like to follow is: When people reach retirement age, they cease to work for pay. That is what retirement age means to most people, the age at which they cease full-time work for pay. But if they have any say on the matter at all, they will not cease working for pay before they have become eligible for a pension or some part that will replace their paycheque at least in part.

Such eligibility for either a publicly-provided pension or a privately-financed retirement pension is not acquired until they have reached “pensionable age.” Retirement age then is the age at which one ceases to work for pay. Pensionable age, on the other hand, is the age at which one becomes eligible for retirement pension.

It is proper that we are debating this issue in this Legislature and it would be a shame to see it blocked by any one group. In so far as jurisdiction in this area is concerned, and the federal role versus the provincial role, constitutional allocation of powers limits the federal government’s potential for action in the field of retirement-age policies. All matters relating to employment conditions, including collective bargaining and private pension plans, fall within the responsibility of the provinces -- except for the Canada pension plan and the old age security program. Again this is a very good reason for us debating it here in the Ontario Legislature.

I pointed out at the outset that there are varying opinions on retirement age. Some experts feel it should be gradually changed from the accepted tradition of 65 being that age. One expert in Toronto said in the past year that a gradual switch to older retirement would be for the best. He went on to say that a change in the normal retirement date is going to be forced upon us at some time in the future. It is better that we provide now for a gradual transition, which would be as little as three months each year, with the additional benefits of significant contributions to the control of government expenditure and the proportion of gross national product absorbed thereby.

He went on to say there is great merit in a gradual moving of the minimum mandatory retirement age from 65 to age 70, extending perhaps over a 20-year period, with a similar increase in the age at which old age security and Canada pension payments would begin.

There are members of the labour force who feel very strongly the day may come when their pension would not be adequate for them to survive if they were to take it and simply quit at age 65. To quote a Boeing plant employee, “If inflation keeps eroding my insurance and pension, then I will have to work. What I really want is a choice.” As I perceive this bill that is in front of us, Bill 77, the member for York West would be giving such people a choice if we were to accept this legislation.

4:20 p.m.

Further, if statistics are accurate, there are growing indications that many Canadians may have no choice but to work past the age of 65 before this century is out. As the population over 65 rises, payouts from Canada’s pension system will rise and become progressively more difficult to finance by a young but shrinking population. What is more, the Canada pension plan, an inflation index system that is supposed to pay contributors money they put into the fund, must now depend on current contributions to pay current benefits. One third of Canadians 65 years of age or older are now entitled to draw CPP benefits.

Faced with this impending situation, Canadian employers and employees may have little choice but to allow workers to stay on past 65. There are already indications that many in the work force will be willing to stay at their jobs rather than at home. A recent survey by the Department of National Health and Welfare of many broad areas of labour indicates that 50 per cent of Canadians surveyed would like to work at least part-time after age 65.

Finally, ending the dilemma of the involuntarily retired worker will not happen overnight and it will not happen without a struggle. The important goal which we as legislators, and the business and labour world too, will have to achieve is greater democracy in the work force to end discrimination against the elderly. Though the younger worker may have to pay a price in terms of slightly reduced work and promotion opportunities and may even have to pay higher taxes to finance public pensions, there is no doubt that Canada’s present retirement system, and Ontario’s too, will have to adapt to meet the needs not only of the elderly but of the younger workers following in their footsteps.

In conclusion, it is a pleasure to support this bill.

Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this bill. I think that ideally in a world where everybody is free to do what he or she wants to do there should be no retirement age at all. I think that the rationale given by the member for York West is just preposterous, because I want someone to convince me that the age of 65 is discriminatory but the age of 70 is not discriminatory.

That is a specious argument that we cannot accept. I am really shocked by the fact that the member for York West, having had two years to think about the bill, did not choose to address the real issues that the senior citizens of this province are faced with.

The real problem for the workers of Ontario is not the mandatory retirement age. The real problem is the pensionable age, because we have workers who are employed in the construction industry, workers who are employed in very heavy industries who cannot even work until the age of 65. Our party is in favour of lowering the pensionable age to 60, giving an option to the workers if they want to work after the age of 60. But by imposing a mandatory retirement age at 70, the problem is not solved for the old people.

I was really amazed by the rationale given by the member for York West. On one hand he complained because the poor pensioners have pensions on which they cannot live, and on the other hand he said if we forced people to retire at 65, in the year 2010 we would not have money to pay for their pensions. That is sheer hypocrisy, because he knows well that the problem he raised with this bill is a problem for which the pensioners have concern because they cannot live on the pensions that the federal government and the provincial Conservative government are giving them.

This government has always opposed increasing the guaranteed annual income system to a level that would make the lives of pensioners decent and dignified. It has embraced and supported the policies of restraint and that’s why the pensioners are suffering, not because they retired at the age of 65.

Work is not the only activity in the life of a man or a woman. There are many people who can decide to spend their time after the age of 65 in a most meaningful way if this government and the federal government were able to provide them with dignified and adequate pensions. That’s the problem. What they on that side of the House and the speakers for the insurance companies in London want to do is to protect the interests of the big insurance companies, such as Royal Trustco. They have $26 billion of workers’ pensions invested. That’s what they are doing by proposing to remove the mandatory retirement age, to enlarge the portfolio of the insurance companies but they are not doing anything for the workers.

In these last two years they did not even think of lowering the pensionable age to help those older workers who cannot work because of the type of jobs they perform. This would also help the economy of the province, because we have in this province, between the ages of 16 and 24 years, the largest group of unemployed. I think there are many workers in this province who would like to retire at age 60.

Mr. Leluk: They can if they wish.

Mr. Di Santo: They cannot right now. The member has not even read his own bill because the age of retirement is 65 now. I am shocked that this proposal comes from a person like him whose father was an immigrant and was forced to work until the age of 70.

Mr. Leluk: He died at 65. How could he be forced to work at 70? The member does not even know what he is talking about.

Mr. Di Santo: That, Mr. Speaker, adds to my argument because if his father died at 65 then he should at least know that life expectancy in Ontario is 69 for men and 75 for women. Since that is the case, he is excluding with his bill the majority of the people of Ontario from enjoying a year or so of retirement on pensions to which they have contributed.

Let’s not forget that if a person starts working at the age of 20, that at the age of 65, he or she has contributed for 45 years to the pension plan. The average life expectancy in Ontario is four years past retirement. He does not want to address this issue in this way because he has the mentality of the eighteenth century. He mentioned Bismarck, but Bismarck was more advanced than the member because he introduced the pension in Germany at that time.

With the excuse of raising the mandatory retirement age and with the excuse of discrimination and human rights, what the member is really protecting is a capitalistic system which has always exploited the workers and is intended to exploit the workers. For these reasons, we are opposed to this bill. As I said at the inception, if they were not hypocrites, they should have introduced a bill abolishing the mandatory retirement age, but they do not want to do that. They should be ashamed because this is a piece of hypocrisy and that’s why we are voting against it.

4:30 p.m.

Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, could you indicate how much time I have left?

The Acting Speaker: Seven minutes.

Mr. Williams: I am pleased to rise in support of the legislation being proposed today by my colleague the member for York West. I had a similar opportunity in 1978 when the member brought this legislation forward in essentially the same form as it is today. One might say that nothing has changed as far as the drafting of the legislation is concerned, but a great deal has happened in the interim period and all to the good.

The things that have occurred in that short period of time are impressive in respect of the enlightened thinking that has occurred in various jurisdictions where the democratic process is carried out. I would point out that one of the significant areas in which a full recognition of the dignity of the right to work should be maintained, regardless of age, has occurred in the United States. The federal authorities in that jurisdiction enacted legislation in late 1977 or early 1978 which provided that there would be protection from mandatory retirement to the age of 70, not only in the private sector, but within certain areas of the public sector as well.

It is interesting to note that the very strength of this province and this nation is founded on its people. It is people who have had individual worth, aspirations and initiative who have brought this country to the place that it is in world society today. Part of that initiative and individual worth is found in the dignity of work. It seems in some sectors that the right to work and the dignity found in work is frowned upon. I can assure members, however, that it is fundamentally important that this right be preserved and that no citizen in our society be discriminated against with regard to that person being given that fundamental right. For this reason, there should be no law which would in any way take away or diminish one of our most fundamental basic rights.

There has been a great deal of talk in recent times in this Legislature and elsewhere about our fundamental basic human rights. We have enshrined in the Ontario Human Rights Code the fact that there shall be no discrimination in the work place as it relates to people because of race, creed, colour, nationality, ancestry or place of origin.

I would suggest that one of the other basic conditions of man is related to age. I can foresee the day when, if there are to be amendments to our Ontario Human Rights Code, that it will incorporate some of these additional basic conditions of man. I hasten to add, not some of the behavioural activities of many but rather his basic conditions. No man can prevent ageing; no man can avoid the possibility of being born with physical or mental handicaps. These are basic conditions to which our human rights legislation will address itself in due course. Certainly, in the area of ageing, there should be no discrimination in our laws that would prohibit or minimize the right of individuals, if they so wish, to pursue a work activity throughout their careers.

The fact of the matter is that this bill, as the sponsor has stated, is one whose time has come. The fact that this bill may be vetoed by opposition members today because of their convoluted thinking, misunderstanding and dark-ages thinking with regard to this legislation will not discourage this government from continuing to pursue this matter. If we lose a battle today we have not lost the war.

Enlightened thinking throughout this country will show that the thinking expressed by some of the opposition members today will soon be discarded. The laws throughout this land, provincially and federally, will in the very near future incorporate this type of enlightened thinking that will respect and recognize the rights of people of all ages to enjoy full employment and fulfil their initiatives throughout their lives as they see fit.

In no way does it prevent a person from retiring early from gainful employment if he so wishes. By the same token, there should be no law that would prevent us, as individuals, from working as we see fit according to our own free choice and desire.

We are entering into a leisure age in which fewer people are working to maintain our standard of living and there will be more frequent situations where people will not have the need to work. In a way, this is a dichotomy to what is being asked for here, but I think one can rationalize this situation. Because of advances in medicine and industrial technology, people are living longer and fewer people are needed to do the jobs, but this should not in any way give encouragement to those who would try to restrict the period during which a person can work gainfully.

While recognizing that, we must not carry out any acts that would detract from the fundamental principles contained in this bill. For these reasons, I support the legislation before us this afternoon without hesitation.


Mr. Speaker: Notice has been given by the honourable member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart) under standing order 28 of his dissatisfaction with a question directed to the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Parrott) concerning chromium sludge. This matter will be debated at 10:40 tonight.


Mrs. Campbell moved second reading of Bill 161, An Act to amend the Ontario Heritage Act, 1974.

Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, in introducing this bill I am very much aware that it does fall far short of constituting what in my opinion is required, and that is a total revision of the Ontario Heritage Foundation legislation.

This bill provides three things. First, it gives to the Minister of Culture and Recreation the authority to designate -- and it is only confined to designating buildings at this time -- across the province.

Second, it has to be permissive -- I would like to have made it mandatory -- that he may supply funds or financial assistance for this purpose as a minister of the crown.

Third, it does seek to address the very real problem of the act as it applies to demolition of designated buildings.

4:40 p.m.

On September 24, 1977, there was a meeting convened at Victoria College by the Ontario Historical Association to which persons interested in the subject were invited from all across the province. At that meeting, Dr. Margaret Angus of Kingston, Gerald Killan and Frederick Armstrong of London were requested to draft resolutions as a resolution committee to bring forward some supposed amendments to the legislation. I would like to point out that at that time it was resolved that the Ontario Heritage Act should be amended to provide for designation of outstanding heritage properties by the province through the Ontario Heritage Foundation.

I gave a great deal of consideration to that resolution, and the reason I did not move in that direction is that all too often we may set up foundations, committees or whatever, but we need the impulse of the funding to make them operate. Therefore, in my bill I have proposed that the minister designate the property, and I am sure no minister would designate without considering very carefully recommendations of the foundation. I would otherwise have supported that resolution.

One of the other points made was that the Ontario Heritage Act should be amended to incorporate the principle of permanent demolition control. I recognize that under the uncertainties of our present legislation that kind of permanent demolition control might be deemed by some to create inequities for those who own properties. May I say that if one is considering true heritage buildings -- and I am only addressing the question of buildings here -- it seems to me that our children and our children’s children should be considered as parties in the deliberations about these buildings.

All too often the buildings are lost because of the lack of appropriate funding. I would like to give one or two examples of the problem. During the sixties, I was concerned in trying to protect what was colloquially known as the Tree House in Toronto. It was named the Tree House after the names of the families who had owned the property. I consulted with Professor Eric Arthur as to its architectural qualifications. He stated there were two such buildings in Toronto. He thought the second one had greater architectural integrity for the period.

The reason I chose the Tree House was that it had been acquired, ironically, by the city parking authority, and therefore it was to that extent in the public domain. Secondly, it was one of those buildings, of which there are several, where Sir John A. Macdonald resided for a period of time. There was a room in that house which was designated as the railway room. You yourself would have a particular interest, Mr. Speaker. I was deeply appreciative of the attempt of Mr. Eddy Goodman to protect at least the furniture there. I believe it was acquired either by him personally or by the province. But I do not know where the furniture from that room has gone.

It seems to me the difficulty at that time is the difficulty which remains today, and that is the use to which a protected building of this kind will be put. I think the city had taken the position for some time that it would like to preserve its heritage buildings in an active fashion so those buildings would be continued in usefulness other than to be designated for museum purposes.

I can recall wracking what brains I had to try to come forward with proposals. One of the proposals was that since the city wanted to encourage more hotel accommodation for itself as a convention city, perhaps a cordon bleu operation there with the building itself, and its very spacious lawns, would be a service to the industry, to the citizens and to all of the people interested and concerned in historic matters. I even envisaged strawberry festivals on those lawns. That building today, I say sadly, is a parking lot.

Another building which is a heritage building is St. Andrews on the Lake. I attended the one hundredth anniversary celebration of this old Anglican church on Toronto Island sometime after I was first elected here in 1973. If the city wanted to protect that building, it would have to acquire it from Metro. Metro has an obligation to keep it in repair but, for some reason, has not met that obligation. It may well be that the building will die as a result of neglect by the Metropolitan Toronto council.

There is a third building in my riding known as Rose Cottage. It is a unique cottage in its architectural design. There has been a very real attempt to preserve it because it was the home of Sir Wyly Grier. While I understand that Sir Wyly Grier is not as popular today as he was in the past, he was knighted for his service in the arts field.

I mention these because in the final crunch under our present legislation it is up to the municipalities to find the funds, and in these days it is very difficult to sort out their priorities in the allocation of funds. As our municipalities are ageing, more and more of these buildings become eligible as heritage buildings. I am not for a moment suggesting just because a building is old that therefore it qualifies as a heritage building.

I want to make that point clear. There are some old buildings I think we could do without. But when any government, or any people serving government -- such as the heritage foundation and others -- are desirous of preserving the heritage of this province for its future, it seems to me a pity that the act really does not give sufficient financial relief to those trying to preserve these buildings.

4:50 p.m.

It is my hope that this bill will pass as a first step towards protecting our heritage in Ontario in the same way as the people of Quebec have moved proudly and successfully to protect their history and those buildings which are so much alive and a part of that community in our sister province.

Mr. Lawlor: Mr. Speaker, if this bill goes any further, then it certainly should be taken into committee. I have listened to the introducer of the bill and I am still not quite certain why it is here or what it purports to do. In other words, is it necessary? While I am prepared to give this particular member the benefit of these doubts, I would still like to have them resolved somewhere along the road.

The reason I ask the question is that there are elaborate provisions at present under part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act reposing in the municipalities: the supervision, jurisdiction and control over matters of demolition, removal and alteration of old buildings of historical or architectural interest. So be it. It has been there for at least a decade.

It puzzles me on the basis of pure ideology among the parties as to the steps being taken within this legislation by the member. The Liberal policy is well known as being a grass-roots one, having Jeffersonian background and being very much interested in local community and the self-determination at the most microscopic level possible of human affairs, perpetuation of early 19th century ruralism into contemporary civilization, totem worshippers or mound builders or whatever it is we are concerned with here.

Nevertheless, in face of that basic thrust, the member proposes to move to the ministry and, as second tiers, what is already within the jurisdiction of the local municipalities. The superimposition puzzles me as to what flows from a possible conflict in this particular regard.

Suppose a local municipality, with or without a review board, comes to a certain determination, say, of consenting to the demolition of a building and the ministry then is invoked, comes into play and reaches an opposite conclusion with respect to the matter. Of course, by the very fact of government I would assume the provincial minister would override and have superior jurisdiction to the local representatives. Surely that is not what the member seeks, looks forward to or in any way wants but rather the contrary. It is a question of local power being called into question to some degree in this regard.

Is it because in some instances the localities -- the municipalities or the regional governments in this case -- are not exercising their jurisdiction in an intelligent way, not even setting up review boards but being sufficiently disinterested in the whole process as not to invoke the plenitude of the legislation as it stands and are abnegating areas of responsibility which have to be sustained and filled in by the provincial government? If that is the case, I would like to know. I confess ignorance in this regard. But it seems to me it probably must be an element in the engendering of the legislation; otherwise it would not be here.

Just a word on the Ontario Heritage Foundation generally. There is a Spadina house that recently came into the possession of the ministry up near Casa Loma. In the past few years a very considerable number of different properties -- 30 or 35 -- have fallen into provincial hands. The government works through the Archives of Ontario and through the administration under the terms of the legislation in its preservation.

Sometimes I think there is no more endemic form of selfishness than philanthropy. When largess is given to the public, there is almost always, under our system, a nefarious motivation behind it. In other words, it is a tax incentive, an alleviation of debt. But I suppose one could say it is better that these ancient and sometimes venerable properties come under provincial control. The maintenance of them would tax the beneficiaries of the estate and they would not be able to preserve them or keep them up in the way they should be.

I do not think it is so much in the area of real property that the problem arises. Certainly under the old Succession Duty Act, and the federal estate tax legislation, upon death it was always wise and advisable -- at least lawyers thought it so -- to make certain gratuitous, open-handed and what appeared to be generous donations to the public realm to get the tax advantages.

The tax advantages were not simply the valuation of the article. The problem was that when it came into public hands there tended to be an inflation of the actual value. In other words, at the public end of the thing, the assessment of valuations et cetera tended to be larger than what they might have got on the private market. Why that should be so puzzles me.

A former member of the House -- I will mention his name: Dr. Morton Shulman -- although he did not make any filibustering attacks on the issue, made mention of that facility and abuse in this House.

On a purely technical point -- and I suppose if it gets to committee we can take it up -- I do not know why the substituting section, which brings the ministry into operation under this legislation, is called part V-A. It seems to me it should have a different part number completely, because part IV is concerned with granting the plenitude of these powers to municipalities, as I said earlier. Part V goes off into a totally different subject matter; it deals with heritage conservation districts. That is a minor and almost silly point, but I suppose it is better to keep these things straight.

5 p.m.

There are three areas that are concerned in the legislation. One is the business of imposing the restrictions, or the designations as they are called, initially, and the process and procedures, appeals, hearings, notices, time intervals, et cetera, elaborated under that. What the member has done is she has set it up within the provincial jurisdiction and directly under the minister and so on, retaining the procedural matters and the many sections almost word for word -- and there is nothing harmful about that; it is all to the good -- with a 90-day period. What she has done is she has eliminated the 180-day period with respect to refusals and so on that under the present legislation was delimited.

The member for St. George wants to give plenary powers in this instance in an amendment not just to the ministry but also, as I read the legislation generally, to the municipal realm. She wants to cut down some probably unnecessary language in the whole process by simply saying they may consent to the application or refuse the application, remove the property. It is fairly innocuous stuff, and I am the last one in the world to fight innocuity.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend the member for St. George for her initiative in presenting this bill. It is obvious that we have a shared concern for the province’s heritage.

Nevertheless, the member would have us introduce provincial designation, and to do so would represent a fundamental change in approach from our current legislation. We have here a philosophical difference. Our approach has been to build from the bottom up, not from the top down. We have tried to work with and through the local level, through the grass roots, to build an appreciation of heritage by undertaking public education, by providing some expert help and by rewarding local communities with financial assistance.

We feel that this tender flower, planted only six years ago, is now coming into full bloom, and to transplant it or to change the environment radically would be premature.

Mr. Lawlor: Oh, my Lord. How flowery can you get?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I follow my friend’s example. Our present act has been highly successful. It is working well, and has not outlived its usefulness. To date, the Ontario Heritage Act has a fine record of success, and to bear this out I would ask members to consider these figures. Since its proclamation, local architectural conservation advisory committees have been established in 112 municipalities, 1,030 individual properties have been designated and work is at various stages in almost 50 heritage conservation district studies.

It was the intention of the act to give power to individual municipalities, and we believe this has been successful. The very number of LACACs established and the amount of activity is testimony to the broad base of grass-roots support generated. Where local commitment to a heritage conservation project has been strong, we have responded with financial assistance. Since 1975, more than $17.5 million has been spent on heritage projects through our Wintario capital program and the Ontario heritage architectural conservation grants.

Local commitment is important to the conservation of heritage buildings. If a heritage building is to survive in the long term, we believe it must have a viable use; local commitment is often essential to finding such an use.

Only yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting the community of Exeter. I was there to reopen the historic Exeter town hall, which has recently been renovated to become a multi-purpose building serving community and commercial needs. More than $66,000 of Ontario Heritage Foundation grants and a Wintario grant of $29,500 went into this project.

True, there was great debate locally as to whether it should be torn down or restored. But yesterday in a great state of euphoria even the mayor, who had originally opposed it, admitted to his faults and his mistakes and everybody thought it was an enormously successful project. Frankly, I feel there is far more community acceptance there and recognition of the valise of the restored town hall than if some remote minister had designated that property as a heritage building.

The program is working. In the honourable member’s own riding, I might point out that more than $2 million in Wintario and Ontario Heritage Foundation money has been spent in restoring heritage buildings there. The Adelaide Court; the Bank of Upper Canada; the exterior restoration of offices of a privately owned complex at 49 Front Street East, restoration of cast iron front; the Pauline McGibbon Cultural Centre; the Gooderham Flatiron building; the Toronto Free Theatre; Young People’s Theatre Centre; Dundas-Sherbourne project -- these are but some of the projects that have been restored in the honourable member’s own riding.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to meet a number of times with ministers from other provinces who also have the responsibility for heritage, and a number of them look with envy on the success of our approach here in Ontario. In some other provinces where provincial designation exists along with municipal designation, there has been very little activity in either sphere as each level of government waits for the other to act.

There is no doubt that in some instances provincial designation has inhibited the growth of a grass-roots commitment to heritage conservation. We feel at this time it is important to continue to develop and strengthen this grass-roots base of support for heritage conservation at the local level.

Notwithstanding our successes, we know there are still many buildings to be protected. More municipalities should establish LACACs, and we are encouraging them to do so, and they should be working on heritage conservation at a very early stage. Some municipalities are still wary about exercising the powers vested in them under the act --

Mr. Wildman: Wary or weary?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Wary; there’s no “e” in that.

Mrs. Campbell: They do not have the money.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: They are wary about exercising the powers vested in the act because they are concerned about the reaction of property owners. It is not only a matter of not having the funds.

I am not in favour of the introduction of provincial designation at this point in time, because I am concerned that municipalities might see the introduction of a provincial designation as overriding municipal programs and rendering them redundant. What is suggested by the bill to be a residual role, I feel, would very quickly end up being a primary role; and while this would not necessarily be the case, I would prefer to see the municipal movement solidly established before considering the introduction of provincial designation.

We recognize that the bill reflects some valid concerns, which we share, and certainly nothing is etched in stone. However, for the reasons I have stated, we strongly feel it would be entirely premature to introduce changes to our legislation at this time and in all likelihood to destroy what we feel is a genuine grass-roots feeling about conservation, a groundswell that is going on across the province, and a feeling that is going to be far more important in guaranteeing the success of preserving our heritage buildings than a program which inevitably would end up here at Queen’s Park and which would not have the support of the communities across this province.

For the reasons I have stated we will not be supporting this bill.

5:10 p.m.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I regret not only that the minister has indicated he cannot support the bill but also that he is apparently speaking for his whole caucus. I thought these matters were to be debated and decided on their merits by the individual members rather than to come under the whip of the minister in a matter such as this. Surely the bill is in no way critical of what has been done. This bill is not a tremendous step in the direction of the centralized powers the minister would be able to wield. It simply recognizes that many communities have not responded to the rather weak stimulus the government’s legislation has provided.

It was in the centennial year of 1967 that we first dealt with the legislation. It lay fallow for a long time, until 1974, when some provision was made for some statutory powers and some money to spend. What has been accomplished is commendable. We are not here to be critical of that. However, I think it is true to say that most other jurisdictions do not place so many preconditions on the designation of an historic site or an architectural structure to be conserved. We have been very careful that delays and powers at the municipal level are such that no one can complain we are moving too quickly.

I suppose it is difficult to balance all these pressures, but I do want to mention specifically that in my own municipality of South Dumfries the council in their wisdom -- and I use that word appropriately from my judgement -- decided to abandon a relatively new but inadequate structure for their municipal offices and persuaded the local citizens to support them in the purchase of a grand old building. It was built in 1880 and was the doctor’s residence in our community. Fortunately, it was kept in good repair but the council feared, since it was passing out of a function as a nursing home, that it would be lost to the community and realized with some imagination that it would make good municipal offices. They purchased the property and, with a good deal of local labour, including the members of the council themselves, they have made it into a superb municipal office.

I wish I could convey to you, Mr. Speaker, the excitement and enthusiasm of the community when we were there for the inaugural meeting and the opening of the office. Certainly, that community accepted the local leadership very well indeed. However, my problem is that there was little or no support from the minister’s officials in this connection. They were repeatedly informed of the council’s plans, but we had to bring the matter to their attention repeatedly before there was even an inadequate acknowledgement that this was going forward. If the minister is going to save all his funds and initiatives for those communities that are dragging their feet, it does not seem fair to those who are taking the initiative. They see the funds being spent in other areas when the disposition of them might be more judiciously entered into.

I am talking about a situation in my community where there has been something less than complete satisfaction expressed. I live in an historic site myself. The designation there was a great honour. It does not carry with it anything particularly advantageous. If the minister wants to pay my taxes, I would be very glad to negotiate that with him. I should say I mean the half of my taxes that remain for me to pay, because as a farmer I get the advantages that other farmers have, at least for part of that tax bill.

One of the advantages -- and it was entered into rather late -- was that in a designated historic site it is not legal for hydro towers to come within half a mile. Unfortunately, we had nine of those towers within half a mile before the wisdom of the government led them to make that regulation. I wish it could be made retroactive, but that would simply mean they would be on somebody else’s property. As the former member for Brant used to say, “You cannot stand in the way of progress, electrical or otherwise.”

One of the things we look forward to as far as the foundation is concerned is that it appears the government is moving to change the chairmanship. Frankly, I have been very satisfied with the present chairman, Professor Wise of Carleton University, who has given eminently successful leadership and certainly enjoys the confidence of the members of the board that I happened to be talking to. He also enjoys the confidence of the community, particularly the local architectural conservation advisory committee, which is so useful at the local level, as the minister has already indicated.

The appointment of John White as vice-chairman is an indication that the government is going to reassert its interest in this matter. I am not sure whether they appointed John White because of his well-known propensity for visions and dreams, but I suppose leadership in the Ontario Heritage Foundation should go with a visionary person. It perhaps should go with a person who is not as concerned with conservation of dollars when he sees they can be spent with a long-term view to conserving our architectural and historic heritage.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: You overlooked the illustrious Mr. Wise, the present chairman.

Mr. Nixon: That is the man I am referring to. He is the present chairman; I hope he continues. But as I see John White moving in there, and knowing his tremendous success in convincing the government of his abilities in the past, I feel the future is fairly clear when we look at the senior administration of the group. While I am not prepared to argue here the former Treasurer’s abilities in this connection, since he is not in the House and we used to have some exchanges of that type, frankly I, for one, am satisfied with the administrative leadership.

I do think, however, that if we are going to increase the powers, either of the municipalities or, as this bill would to some extent, the powers of the minister, we might as well face the fact that the costs are going to increase as well. Frankly, I think we have provided for the administrative costs rather well. Perhaps a rather larger proportion than might otherwise be the case has gone into administration, rather than to the provision of seed dollars for LACACs and others.

I should not complain about this because the heritage foundation was good enough to provide me with some money to do some research on my illustrious father, the former member for Brant. I know the minister is holding his breath, but I hope there will be some publication resulting from that research that will reflect the usefulness of that assistance. I do believe it is essential not only that we encourage local communities but also that we accept some responsibilities here as members of this House. Particularly we have some responsibility in those communities where LACACs have not been formed and the municipal officials have shown little or no interest -- even a negative approach -- to the prospect of saving a good many of these buildings and other facilities of architectural importance.

There is not a tremendous outpouring of interest in the debate on this bill, and it does not presume by any means to solve all of the problems that have been faced by the foundation or will be faced by it in the future. But it is an important step, emphasizing the concern of the members of this House and the fact that we believe the minister should have some additional responsibilities. I for one -- and I believe the member for St. George would agree -- feel we should not simply depend on Wintario revenues in this connection. This is not that I think that money is tainted exactly, but I do feel it ought to form a broader basis of the policy of the government, or reflect the views of this House, rather than just throwing a few lottery dollars towards this program.

I know the minister’s sensitivity; he gets very defensive. I hope I have indicated in my remarks that we feel a good many things that have been done have been useful. As the minister has said, and I support him in this, it has stimulated a good deal of grassroots interest which may very well falter unless there is more support and leadership given by the ministry and the foundation itself. By this I mean the provision of dollars. Without that, we are not going to be able to preserve the heritage that we all agree is of such great importance.

5:20 p.m.

Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise this afternoon in support of the bill before us, the bill that has been drafted by our colleague the member for St. George.

It seems to me that over the years we have taken far too lightly the protection of our heritage. The history of our province and the heritage of our people are, in part, found in the buildings and the landmarks around the province. I am sure just about every member in this assembly can recall at least one or two buildings in his own area which have disappeared suddenly, old buildings that were perhaps an integral part of the history of the area. Suddenly, for whatever reason, they have disappeared.

In my own area in Scarborough, for example --

Mr. Wildman: Is there anything old in Scarborough?

Mr. Warner: Oh, yes. The member for Algoma, my good colleague, asked if there is anything old in Scarborough. In addition to some Tories there are some other old things in Scarborough.

Mr. Williams: Just the ideas of the sitting member.

Mr. Warner: No, not at all. The good borough of Scarborough, as many members know or should know, was first visited by David and Mary Thompson. They were the first white pioneer settlers in the area. Later, Governor Simcoe arrived, and he and his wife found Scarborough to be enchanting.

Mr. Nixon: Enchanting? Is that the word they used?

Mr. Warner: Enchanting, yes; delightfully so. She was particularly intrigued with the bluffs along the south part of Scarborough. They felt this would be a lovely place for people to settle.

Mr. Wildman: He was quite a bluff old chap.

Mr. Nixon: Did you know they had seven children in six years?

Mr. Warner: Is that right? He was also an active fellow.

What happened is that many people came to settle in Scarborough. We have been able to retain David and Mary Thompson’s original homestead. It is now very pleasantly situated in a park, David and Mary Thompson Park, which happens to be in my area. It is in a lovely setting and contains an enclosure for the farm animals, the actual log cabin and some of the history there. On occasion, they are able to have little receptions, serve tea and so on. It is a little step back into our history and a reminder of our past.

I suppose the more famous buildings downtown that we recall, which have been saved, are the Campbell House and the Mackenzie House, both of which are visited by the public and are retained as reminders of our past. What disturbs me is that over the years it has been far too easy to simply push the buildings aside, demolish them and say we have to make room for a new building, for some modern skyscraper, with very little consideration that we are removing a part of our past. If we remove the past, the chances are we will forget it entirely. I think then we will have a very shaky foundation from which to build a good future.

Whether in rural Ontario or urban Ontario, we have an opportunity to preserve our buildings and to blend them into our modern buildings. For example, I have had an opportunity to visit Boston on a couple of occasions. I was struck by the way in which the city of Boston has managed to put its new buildings in conjunction with the old buildings in a blended way. It does not appear unusual. One can visit the old buildings. They are there and they have plaques on them. Yet the modern architecture has been designed in such a way as to accommodate the older buildings. I think they have done a marvellous job in Boston.

In Toronto, in the last few years we have managed to hang on to a few of the old buildings. For example, I have a picture in my office, and the member for St. George may have as well, of the Gooderham Building on Front Street. I wonder how long it will be before that building is destroyed. It is a beautiful old building that should be preserved.

We have had great debates in our city over the retention of the old city hall, the Union Station and other buildings. I feel there is not sufficient protection for those buildings. What the member for St. George has done is to provide an excellent framework within which we can operate as the assembly of Ontario, to ensure that our buildings which reflect our heritage can be protected and will be protected.

I am not entirely sure what the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk was getting at when he referred to Wintario funds, but it seems to me that if we have something as important as buildings which reflect our heritage and background that we should not rely simply on the lucky draw as a way to protect those buildings.

I say this because I have had the good fortune to visit my wife’s aunt and uncle, who live in the small village of Groombridge in the county of Kent in England. They live in a house that is 450 years old. It is designated as an historic site. That means that no alterations to that main structure can occur without the express consent of the historical board or society, whatever it is referred to as. What that means, of course, is that building has retained the very flavour and nature with which it was built some 450 years ago. The original beams exist on the inside, and the outside facing is still as it was in that era. When you are inside the building you get the distinct feeling that you are stepping back to that era. It gave me a very warm feeling and the sense of roots, because that is the area from which my ancestors came.

They have done a marvellous job in England of being able to identify their historic buildings and they have found a legislative way to hang on to that, retain it and ensure the building cannot be altered in some cavalier fashion or even destroyed. I think that is essential. It seems to me that we are very new at that game. We have a long way to go in learning what that is all about. The first step or one of the steps involved is, quite frankly, this important bill which is before us today.

In closing, I wish to commend the member for St. George. As usual, she has taken the time and care to draft a very important piece of legislation. I hope it will receive unanimous approval, as it deserves, and that we in Ontario will take another step forward in ensuring that we will protect, for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, a part of our heritage, our roots so we can provide the most stable kind of society that is possible.

Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have an opportunity to rise and participate in the debate on Bill 161 this afternoon. I must say, on the basis of all the debate that has come forward so far this afternoon, at least we are unanimous on one thing; that is, the Ontario Heritage Act, 1974, is fulfilling its intended purpose. It is not often that one hears members from all sides of the House being complimentary with regard to existing legislation and conceding the fact that the legislation is fulfilling its designated purposes and fulfilling them well.

5:30 p.m.

I must say I was somewhat surprised to hear the extent to which the province has financially participated in the program since its inception. The member for Lakeshore (Mr. Lawlor) at the commencement of his comments suggested he could not understand why the member for St. George was bringing this legislation forward today; he did not see any real need for it. I found that to be all the more the case when I found out from the minister in his comments that more than one ninth of all the money funded by the province, some $17.5 million, has found its way into the riding of St. George. I recognize, however, that we are in the central core of one of the older cities of the province, and for that reason I suppose it is understandable that some of the older edifices would be found in that sector of Metropolitan Toronto,

I might digress for a moment and suggest to the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner) that, if he had done his homework, he would have found that the Gooderham Building to which he referred has already been designated under the program as one of the heritage buildings. So his concern about its perhaps being demolished overnight behind someone’s back just has no basis in fact. I think it reflects the enlightened thinking of this province that buildings of that nature have been protected by this program.

The member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) expressed some scepticism and wondered whether there was a concerted effort to take issue with the member’s bill, and what I am going to say would suggest that the minister had taken some of the comments from my speech when he expressed concerns and reservations about the bill. The fact is, I have no prepared text but really am proceeding on the basis of what I feel to be two real concerns with regard to being able to give support to this type of legislation.

Before I address myself specifically to those two concerns, I want to highlight again the success this legislation has had as it has affected my own community in the city of North York. We have a number of very successful heritage sites that have been established under the auspices of the act through the initiative of the local municipality.

I refer in particular to five specific locations that have been proclaimed as sites under the heritage program. There is the historic Thomas Clark House. There is the Michael Sheppard House, after which Sheppard Avenue has been named. There is the well-known David Gibson House, which is probably the leading historical site in North York and which attracts thousands of people, not only from within our city but also from beyond, each and every year. I would say it is one of the outstanding historical buildings in Metropolitan Toronto outside of perhaps the Grange itself in the inner city.

Then, too, there is the historic and most attractive St. John’s York Mills Anglican Church, which has been designated as an historic site. It is a beautiful structure overlooking the Hogg’s Hollow area, and so it should have been preserved and designated. In the northeast sector of the city, in my own area, we also have the Zion Primitive Methodist Church and the Zion school, which again are noted historical buildings that are steeped in tradition. These are examples of how the program has worked and has worked well.

I must say that I commend the member for the manner in which she has endeavoured to bring forward legislation that in her mind she felt would perhaps improve upon an already good system, one that has been so acknowledged this afternoon in the Legislature. However, I have two main concerns, and I think they are reasons that prevent me from supporting the concepts that have been put forward in the legislation. The sponsor of the bill has spoken to them herself.

The first principle that I find difficult to support is the provision that the 180-day time period would be excluded under her proposed bill. She suggested at the outset of her remarks that it might be deemed by some to create inequities for those who own property. With respect, I think that is an understatement. It would do more than possibly create some inequities.

People who have the good fortune to own property that could conceivably be designated historical would be put in an untenable position. They could have their property tied up for an indefinite period of time by any municipality that might want to act in a frivolous way on any suggestion that might come from any direction. It would, in effect, sterilize the property for a period of time without any suggestion of fair compensation being provided while the person’s property is being held in limbo, so to speak.

That is a provision that disturbs me because I think, first and foremost, over and above the rights of the individuals that we discussed earlier this afternoon when dealing with the mandatory retirement age legislation, one of the other fundamental democratic principles that I think we all respect and adhere to is that of the right of private ownership. While it was a bold step when the original Ontario Heritage Act, 1974, was enacted, because it did transgress to some extent upon that principle, it was well understood that it did essentially preserve those rights of private ownership because it imposed very specific and brief time limitations.

To remove those protections would give a whole new dimension of encroachment upon the rights of private ownership. For that reason alone, I cannot subscribe to the legislation that is before us today. It is just too fundamentally opposed to the principles that I and, I am sure, many of us in this Legislature uphold.

The other consideration is the one that gives direction to the move from the area of municipal responsibility into the area of provincial responsibility. I find this rather interesting, because it seems that for the sponsor of this bill to bring this concept forward today is so much in contradiction to the principles that she has enunciated on so many occasions in this House, along with her colleague the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk. They have always championed the cause of the municipalities and have always accused this government, in its legislation, of coming down heavy-handed upon the municipalities and depriving them of their rights and opportunities to make decisions at the local level where so many of these things happen. Yet we see the member going contrary to this very concept. I do find an inconsistency there that rails against her own beliefs and certainly against the principles that I would uphold.

Mr. Cunningham: I will speak very briefly, Mr. Speaker, in the event that other members would like to participate. I sense the opposition from the other side to this legislation is based more on narrow partisan considerations than on logic. Certainly across Ontario we have had dozens of historic sites preserved by local architectural conservation advisory committees, by well-meaning town councils, by citizens and even by the province.

Surely the member, especially since he is a lawyer, would realize the extreme financial pressure put upon municipalities for assessment and the pressure put on municipalities by very wealthy developers to level historic properties and put in their place something that would be financially more beneficial to them. Such is common sense, I suppose, from a business point of view, but that kind of thing is not going to guarantee the preservation of buildings that would be in the public interest today and in the future.

5:40 p.m.

I know the minister and his staff have been contacted by people from the town of Dundas who are concerned about the destruction of the Grafton Building in my own constituency. If this legislation, as amended by the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell), were in place and the minister were prepared to show leadership, especially in the context of the provision of money, then this facility might well be retrofitted, improved and strengthened, and they might find some practical use for it.

In the absence of any of that, the town council by law has no other choice but to allow a demolition permit to go forth. The Ontario Supreme Court has directed that, and in a matter of a month or so this building will be torn down. This, in my view, is somewhat regrettable but, unfortunately, that is the harsh reality, given the lack of financial support from the province.

Well-meaning citizens in Ancaster, Dundas and Waterdown -- all in my constituency -- have saved and preserved all of our town halls. The old Ancaster town hall is a meeting place that dozens of individuals now use at a very low cost. In Dundas, they have made an addition to the old town hall and have improved it, and it stands as a monument to the foresight of the people who were involved in that centennial project. In the village of Waterdown, where I reside, our old town hall has been turned over to the municipality as a library and is being preserved. But this was done without a great deal of support, in my view, from the current minister, who of course was not here at the time, or by the government. It was through the foresight of the citizens in the area.

I do not think we should be put in a situation where we have to rely so casually on the good intentions of some people who may reside in a municipality. The member for Brantford-Oxford-Norfolk and the member for St. George have articulated very clearly the primary problem here, and that is money. The minister should use what little clout I think he has in cabinet to direct a small fraction -- one per cent maybe -- of the land transfer tax to be set aside for the purchase, subsidization or assistance for heritage buildings across Ontario.

Members of all parties have made reference to a number of the heritage facilities we have saved in Ontario. I am proud of my wife’s family, descendants of a tavern keeper in the riding of Humber, a fellow named Montgomery. That fine facility, Montgomery’s Tavern, has been preserved.

But many of these buildings, without direct government intervention in the near future, are going to be subjected to the bulldozer, and the minister knows that only too well. The economic pressures placed upon councils to obtain assessment are far too great. The time has come, I believe, for the ministry to take some real leadership. It should get in there and help those municipalities, provide guidance with regard to architectural support and design, and provide leadership long before they are put in a crisis situation where they are called to respond to a demolition permit that has been required by law by a municipality.

Mr. Speaker: I would remind the honourable member who is speaking that the member for St. George has reserved seven minutes.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, I will conclude right now and implore the government members to reconsider their collective opposition to this and recognize what is a good piece of legislation, what really is in the true spirit of private members’ hour today.

Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, I will try to respond to some of the remarks which have been made.

The member for Lakeshore is quite correct. In the normal course, I do support local initiative, without any question. The difficulty is that since 1977 the various local architectural conservation advisory committees and other groups have requested that the municipalities be given the authority to designate provincial buildings -- those of provincial agencies within their boundaries and others. They really do not have that authority.

Second, there are many municipalities that have not set up committees. I think it is a pity that we might lose very important historic buildings because of either a lack of enthusiasm or the very real concern that they do not have the money to be able to purchase the building. The bottom line is really the ability to purchase.

It is true that there have been many renovations in the riding of St. George. I attended the occasion of the designation of the Royal York Hotel. I did not think even the city of Toronto would try to acquire that. I am pleased that the city of Toronto will likely not be required to acquire Osgoode Hall and some of these other historic places in this capital city of the province.

Mr. Eaton: Hogtown.

Mrs. Campbell: I see. May I just say that the Premier of this province (Mr. Davis), in the presence of the former Lieutenant Governor, confirmed that it is still the capital. Surely a capital city has some place in this country, be it Ottawa, Toronto or whatever. By very reason of the fact that that is its position, it does have historic monuments and buildings, as indeed has Kingston. As I pointed out, it was Dr. Angus from Kingston who brought forward the resolution I referred to.

I would like very much to see every municipality suitably funded to be able to exercise that bottom-line position of purchasing those properties which, in the opinion of the municipality, are important as heritage buildings. I have no hope that can be done; so it was my earnest concern to bring the province into an active participation in the whole designation process. A commitment from the province is what I am really seeking in this legislation.

I have been in correspondence with the minister as he is studying the way in which the revised capital funding from Ontario may be used for the preservation of historic buildings. But how long, O Lord, how long? The buildings are coming down. There is no question that we are losing historic buildings. Once they are pulled down, the tragedy is there is nothing one can do to help our children understand that which is our heritage.

I would infinitely prefer to see the municipalities given the authority to hold up demolition, the authority not to be under a gun, the authority to have the funding they need. I would be quite happy with that. If that kind of authority, even over provincial buildings, could be granted to them, I would not even seek to have the minister designate anything.

Because I do not see a way out of this impasse, I felt the next useful thing to do was to bring the ministry into a commitment, not encouragement, to the preservation of our heritage.

5:50 p.m.


The House divided on Mr. Leluk’s motion for second reading of Bill 77, which was agreed to on the following vote:


Ashe, Auld, Baetz, Belanger, Bernier, Breithaupt, Brunelle, Campbell, Conway, Cunningham, Cureatz, Drea, Eakins, Eaton, Edighoffer, Elgie, Gregory, Hall, Havrot, Hodgson, J. Johnson, Jones.

Lane, Leluk, McCaffrey, McCague, McGuigan, W. Newman, B. Newman, Nixon, Norton, Parrott, Peterson, Pope, Ramsay, Rotenberg, Roy, G. E. Smith, Sweeney, Taylor, Turner, Van Horne, Villeneuve, Walker, Watson, Williams.


Bounsall, Charlton, M. N. Davison, Di Santo, Foulds, Germa, Gigantes, Isaacs, R. F. Johnston, Kerrio, Lawlor, MacDonald, McClellan, McKessock, Philip, Ruston, Swart, Warner, Wildman.

Ayes 46; nays 19.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.

6 p.m.


The following members having objected by rising, a vote was not taken on Mrs. Campbell’s motion for second reading of Bill 161:

Auld, Ashe, Baetz, Belanger, Bernier, Brunelle, Cureatz, Drea, Eaton, Elgie, Gregory, Havrot, Hodgson, J. Johnson, Jones, Lane, McCaffrey, McCague, W. Newman, Norton, Parrott, Pope, Ramsay, Rotenberg, G. E. Smith, G. Taylor, Turner, Villeneuve, Walker, Watson, Williams -- 31.


Hon. Mr. Gregory: Mr. Speaker, pursuant to standing order 13, I wish to indicate to the members of the House the business for the rest of this week and next week. This evening we will continue the debate on the report of the select committee on constitutional reform; tomorrow we will resume consideration of the estimates of the Ministry of Northern Affairs.

On Monday, November 10, the House will not sit since that is municipal election day.

On Tuesday, November 11, the House will not sit because of Remembrance Day.

On Wednesday, November 12, three committees may meet in the morning: general government, resources development and plant shutdowns.

On Thursday, November 13, in the afternoon we will consider private members’ ballot items 33 and 34, standing in the names of Mr. Charlton and Mr. Williams. In the evening we will have the statement by the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) and replies.

On Friday, November 14, we will complete consideration of Bill 168, the Juries’ Amendment Act, and Bill 19, the Dog Owners’ Liability Act, third readings of bills on today’s Order Paper, and concurrences in estimates of the following: the Ministry of Culture and Recreation, and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

Mr. Foulds: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I was listening very carefully to the acting government House leader. I believe two items were omitted: the committees that are sitting on Wednesday afternoon and the request from the effervescent Hydro affairs committee for its sitting time on Wednesday.

Hon. Mr. Gregory: Up until now, Mr. Speaker, we have never specified those committees in the statement because it is on the same schedule as the rest of the weekly schedule; so we are following the regular schedule as we do every other week.

The House recessed at 6:03 p.m.