31st Parliament, 4th Session

L122 - Tue 25 Nov 1980 / Mar 25 nov 1980

The House met at 2 p.m.



Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, on the point of privilege that we were discussing yesterday regarding the defamation of my character, I see the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid) and the member for Wentworth North (Mr. Cunningham) are now in the chamber. You wished to give the latter an opportunity to respond.

Mr. Speaker: I am quite capable of looking after the affairs of the chair myself.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, this is the first occasion I have had to respond to the member’s matter of privilege raised on several occasions in the House. I have read with some interest the article which appeared in the Toronto Sun of November 19 and to which the member for Oriole has referred on a number of occasions. To the best of my recollection, the facts as stated in that article in the Toronto Sun are accurate.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, in view of these recent events, I feel it incumbent upon myself to relate certain incidents that happened in the last week and make a clean breast of things here in the Legislature.

On Friday last, I went downtown to have lunch with a number of other people to what I considered was a respectable place. I was in a room with a number of other people waiting for lunch to begin, and it looked like a fairly respectable place. I was sitting there minding my own business when all of a sudden these people in funny white suits came out. I was not sure whether they were some rejects from the Gong Show or some people auditioning for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, because I thought I saw Sneezy and Dopey and Sleepy in the crowd.

They had some entertainment that I was not aware they were going to have. One fellow got up and did his old imitation of Ed Sullivan, and then we started to have lunch. At that point, some ladies in various states of dress and undress got up and started dancing and, I think, singing. I can report to you, Mr. Speaker, that I do not think any of them was my waitress because my waiter had a moustache and I do not think he was among those on the stage.

In any case, I was quite surprised to be innocently involved in such a display, and I said to my companion, Chesty Morgan: “That is enough of this nonsense. This is shabby. Let’s get out of here right after this performance is over.”

I say to you, Mr. Speaker, that in view of the recent events, I wanted to put that on the record before it appeared in the National Enquirer or anywhere else.

Mr. Speaker: I have heard the explanation of an alleged breach of privilege by the member for Oriole. We had an earlier denial of that by one of the accused, namely, the member for Rainy River, and we have now heard from the member for Wentworth North, who confirms that what was in the newspaper story is an accurate reflection of what transpired between the member for Wentworth North and the person who is responsible for the article that was written.

The communication that no one seems to deny was not a part of the record of this House. That is, I am in no position to say what was in the article or what was not in the article; therefore it was not a part of the official record of this House, and therefore it is not something upon which the chair can rule. Never at any time was the communication aired in this House, other than portion of it referred to by the member for Oriole.

Under the circumstances, I feel there is nothing that transpired in this House that can be seen as a breach of the member’s privileges as a member of this House. While one always regrets it when something of this nature arises, when it does cast some reflection upon the conduct of a member of this House, erroneously or otherwise, it is most regrettable that something like this involving members of this House should have to arise

The member for Oriole has asked for an apology from the member for Wentworth North. The latter has not tendered such an apology. I am going to give him an opportunity to do so if he so desires. However, if he desires not to, I would have to inform the member for Oriole that he will have to take whatever action he deems proper, in consultation with others more knowledgeable in this field than I am, outside this House.

Mr. Cunningham: I have nothing further to add, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: There is nothing further I can add to this incident. I have said all I am going to say on it. I declare the matter closed unless I get some direction from this House to the contrary, that is, other than what I have already stated.

Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Speaker: Really, I have given you ample opportunity to discuss this thing. I have consulted with my advisers. Will you please take your seat. I have gone over the record on numerous occasions since the honourable member raised the matter last week. I have discussed it with my advisers; I have studied it on my own. I have come to the only conclusion I can reach, given the information that has been placed before me. I consider the matter closed.



Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, later this afternoon I shall be introducing a bill entitled, An Act to revise and extend Protection of Human Rights in Ontario. It is in substance and effect an entirely new human rights code and represents the culmination of the work begun some four and one half years ago by the Human Rights Code Review Committee under the able chairmanship of Thomas H. B. Symons.

While I do not wish to over dramatize the situation, I believe this is an especially important occasion, not only for those who have worked so tirelessly for human rights reform in Ontario, both within government and elsewhere, but also for the people of the province as a whole who, because of their tolerance, basic decency and respect for the rights of others, contribute so significantly to the quality of life in Ontario.

Before turning to the highlights of the bill, I should like briefly to review the history of human rights legislation in this province. Ontario was the first jurisdiction in Canada to enact a comprehensive code on human rights some 18 years ago. Important revisions have been made from time to time, but until now there has not been a comprehensive review of the code.

In its report, Life Together, delivered to my predecessor in August 1977, the Human Rights Code Review Committee urged that such a comprehensive revision be undertaken. The committee’s specific recommendations, which resulted from meetings and deliberations with groups and individuals across the province from all walks of life, covered a broad range of issues.

2:10 p.m.

The bill I am introducing for first reading today addresses most of these issues, as well as some others’ not included in the committee’s report. Apart from important structural changes to the code, which now establishes in part I a clearly defined charter of rights, there are some 23 new provisions falling into three broad categories: first, expansion of the code to cover new groups or classes of persons; second, expansion of the code to protect against types of conduct not previously prohibited, and third, miscellaneous provisions relating in the main to the administration of the code. Some of these are procedural, some have to do with the structure of the commission and some are related to expanding remedies for contravention.

If I may, I should now like to turn to the highlights of the bill. As to the expanded coverage, the following additions are being proposed:

Protection in all areas -- employment, accommodation and the provision of goods and services to mentally and physically handicapped, and that is very broadly defined in the act. This will also protect the victims of past injuries, including those who have received workmen’s compensation benefits;

Alteration of the lower limit of protection from discrimination on the grounds of age from 40 to 18 years of age -- and I shall return to the question of age later in my statement;

Protection in all areas of coverage to persons because of their family status, subject to certain exceptions in the case of accommodation to preserve legitimate lifestyle preferences;

Protection in employment to those who have been convicted of offences under the law, but who have been rehabilitated, subject to certain bona fide and reasonable qualifications;

Protection on the basis of marital status, broadly defined in all areas, subject to certain exceptions in the case of owner-occupied and limited-size accommodation;

Protection in accommodation for those in receipt of public assistance, and

Protection in employment for domestic workers.

Turning to the second category, that is, the added areas or activities that will be governed by the new code, the following are the highlights:

Protection against discrimination in the equal enjoyment of goods, services and facilities is broadened by removing the limiting phrase “available in any place to which the public is customarily admitted.” Protection is added against discrimination in contracts, including the buying and selling of property. Protection from sexual harassment is made explicit.


Hon. Mr. Elgie: Thank you very much.

Reprisals by persons in authority against those refusing or rejecting sexual solicitations is prohibited. Tenants and employees are given specific protection against harassment because of any prohibited ground of discrimination by landlords, fellow tenants, employers and fellow employees. Indirect or constructive discrimination is expressly prohibited, and discrimination because of association with members of a protected group is also prohibited.

The third miscellaneous category covers a number of significant administrative, procedural and structural matters. For example, the human rights code will bind the crown and will have primacy over all future legislation and over existing legislation two years after the new code comes into force, unless the legislation expressly states that it excludes the application of the code. Provision is also made to exempt public or private affirmative action plans or programs legitimately designed to benefit particular classes of persons.

The commission’s powers are expanded and clarified. In particular, the commission will have the power to recommend the implementation of affirmative action plans or programs to rectify systemic discrimination. Recognizing the need to continue to promote racial harmony, the new code creates a race relations division of the commission, headed by a race relations commissioner.

The commission will be given the power to refer complaints to boards of inquiry for resolution, with the responsible minister having authority to appoint such boards. The commission will be required to give written reasons where it determines that a board will not be appointed. In addition, persons whose complaints are rejected by the commission will have the right to request that their complaints be reconsidered.

Provisions are included in the new code designed to expedite hearings by boards of inquiry. Under the new provisions, proceedings must be commenced within 30 days of the board’s appointment and decisions must be issued within 30 days of the completion of hearings.

The remedial powers of the boards are expanded to permit boards to issue orders requiring landlords and employers to take appropriate action to prevent future harassment of tenants and employees by fellow tenants and fellow employees; to award damages for mental anguish in appropriate cases, and, in appropriate circumstances, to make orders for access to premises and facilities following findings of discrimination contrary to the code. The new code makes it a condition of every crown contract and subcontract that the contractor or subcontractor will not discriminate in employment.

I believe the bill addresses the major human rights issues fairly and compassionately. It does not represent the end of reform, but rather a new beginning. It will be apparent that some substantive issues discussed in Life Together have not been dealt with.

One that has given me and my colleagues particular difficulty is the upper limit of the definition of age. Members will recall that the member for York West (Mr. Leluk) recently introduced a private member’s bill dealing with this issue. The government appreciates that there are persuasive arguments for raising the age limit to 70 or beyond and is very sympathetic to the concept of extending the age of mandatory retirement. We have great sympathy for the views of those who contend that healthy and able-bodied employees should not be forced into retirement against their wishes simply because a particular employer may have rigid, inflexible and universally applicable rules for the retirement of all employees.

On the other hand, there are arguments against appearing to encourage personnel policies and practices that would delay the benefits, financial and psychological, of retirement for our older workers. In addition, there are other complex labour market ramifications of extending the definition of age under the code, including the effect that might have on younger members of the labour force, where rates of unemployment are chronically the highest.

The findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Status of Pensions in Ontario, which I believe will soon deliver its report to the government, I hope will shed some light on the effect of a change in the age at which employees may be compulsorily retired. I think it would be unwise to propose any change on the eve of the royal commission’s report on this important topic, but the government wishes to make it very clear at this time that pending further discussions of the issue before the standing committee, where it should be given first priority, it is prepared to introduce appropriate amendments.

In addition, following receipt of the royal commission’s report, I will be announcing the appointment of a special adviser or advisers to review the entire matter and to make recommendations to me. An informal consultative process similar to the one adopted by Professor Weiler in his recent workmen’s compensation study may be appropriate.

As I have said, in the evolving field of human rights there can never be an end to reform. I have characterized this as a new beginning in both substantive and symbolic terms. I have described the substance of the proposals. The symbolic importance of these revisions cannot be overemphasized. I hope the people of Ontario will recognize that the new code represents this government’s rededication to the elimination of the corrosive effects of discrimination in our society.

Ultimately, of course, the success of laws, especially in this sensitive area, depends on the goodwill, tolerance and maturity of our people. While human rights laws are essential, we are dealing in the profoundest sense with matters of conscience and of the heart, some of which will always remain beyond the reach of any man-made law.

The other day I had the privilege to hear a distinguished visitor from the United States speaking about a related topic. He referred to the words of the ancient philosopher Mencius, writing 2,500 years ago to the following effect:

“The men of old, seeking to clarify and diffuse throughout the empire that light that comes from looking straight into the heart, first set up good government in their own states. Desiring good government in their own states, they first organized their families. Wishing to organize their families, they first disciplined themselves. Desiring to discipline themselves, they first rectified their hearts.”

2:20 p.m.

I hope that as we deliberate on this important bill in the weeks ahead we can maintain this sense of perspective, and appreciate that whatever we finally enact will depend for its effectiveness on the rectification, as Mencius so eloquently put it, of our own hearts.


Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated in the House two weeks ago, I have received the MacLaren report, which recommends options on permanent liquid waste treatment facilities. I have had an opportunity to examine the recommendations thoroughly and I would like to table this report at this time. The appendices will be tabled as soon as they are printed.

As the members will remember, I referred the issue of liquid industrial waste to the standing committee on resources development in November 1978. As a basis for discussion, I put forward a seven-point program which represented our plan of attack on the liquid waste problem. After an intensive review of our proposals and the problem it would address, the committee submitted its report. At this time, I would like to remind the members once again how closely we have taken their advice in implementing our seven-point program. It is part of the addenda to our report.

There were 47 recommendations by that committee in that report. A total of 38 of those 47 either have been completely implemented or are in the planning stages of being implemented. The rest are under active consideration. Obviously the committee’s report was of great assistance to us and we have taken great direction from it.

There were five specific options proposed for establishing facilities. In the initial stage of our plan for short-term facilities, we accepted the third option -- joint public-private ownership of sites and facilities. We accepted the committee’s view that we assist companies to establish new technology.

We have accepted its views and yet it is with concern and regret that I find deliberate attempts to halt implementation of those options. I need not outline for this House the litany of events which have frustrated our efforts to proceed with rational hearings. Certain actions have only intensified the public’s focus on the not-in-my-backyard syndrome. Lost in that approach is the very crucial argument that the treatment proposed is the only way to guarantee the safety that the public so earnestly desires.

It is obvious from the amazingly consistent response we have received in every location, and experience throughout North America demonstrates, that we are encountering a kind of social phenomenon. My one goal is to stop the landfilling of untreated liquid waste. That is not only a strong commitment from me, but of this government. But quite frankly, the controversy surrounding each proposal has meant it has taken too long to implement what I am sure everyone agrees is a legitimate objective.

However, that interval has been used productively. There has been time for the completion of the MacLaren report, and it clearly indicates the pressing need for an immediate solution. Two weeks ago, I announced the freeze on ministry activities and participation in our short-term proposals. I wanted time to assess our other options and to weigh MacLaren’s recommendations. In reaching today’s decisions I have relied heavily on the standing committee’s option of government ownership and control as well as on the MacLaren report.

In its first report, MacLaren outlined basic criteria for assessment of site. It was apparent there would be extreme difficulty in obtaining one site to meet all criteria. One MacLaren engineer said: “Under the criteria agreed on, we eliminated all areas in southern Ontario within five miles of any city, town or village, provincial and urban parks, all Indian reserves, conservation authority land, flood plain land, ecologically sensitive land and class one and two agricultural land. When we got through there wasn’t much of the province left.”

In early June I requested MacLaren to assess two additional sites: crown land in the South Cayuga area and land at Camp Borden previously suggested by the federal department, Environment Canada.

Besides a lack of suitable sites, it was clear that the public, as well as members of the House, feel that only government control and ownership will guarantee the safety of those facilities. Today’s report recommends the province acquire one or more sites on which it would be possible to construct waste management facilities. It concludes that land in South Cayuga and five other areas has potential for such a site; those are in Huron county, Lambton county, Bruce county and two locations in Simcoe county.

The two sites preferred by MacLaren are the one in Huron and the one in the South Cayuga area. Both are considered “viable locations for the proposed facilities, subject to their geological suitability being confirmed by field studies.” MacLaren states Cayuga offers an additional advantage because it is close to waste generators. I believe the fact that the government already owns much of the land is another major plus. This allows adequate government control of the site, a buffer zone can easily be achieved and there will be a minimal disruption in terms of existing land use and to any residents as well. The assembly of privately owned land in the other areas would result in massive expropriation and considerable cost to obtain the needed properties.

Before a decision could be made, we carried out soil tests in Cayuga. The engineering firm of Morrison Beatty Limited was retained. Its report states “the site appears to be ideally suited?” for what we propose. Based on these factors, I have decided that land in the South Cayuga area will become the province’s permanent liquid industrial waste treatment facility. It will have the best available technology and operate under the highest standards.

One important aspect of the government ownership means we can and do fully accept the responsibility as a government for the operation of such a site. The site itself will be run by a newly formed corporation with a board of directors of two representatives from the general public, two members from the local community, two technical experts and a chairman appointed by the government. They will he responsible for overseeing the development of the facility.

Called the Ontario Waste Management Corporation, this company will be incorporated immediately. I will shortly introduce legislation to set up a crown corporation and it will assume management and development responsibilities. To handle short-term needs, construction will begin as soon as possible on the secure landfill site, a solidification plant, a complete lab and special storage facilities. The site will ultimately contain an incineration unit and other treatment facilities.

I have accepted the MacLaren recommendation that the site itself will be 100 acres in size with a buffer zone of 640 acres. Additionally, we are developing a further control zone of approximately one mile on all sides from the boundaries of the facility. Within the buffer zone around the site no residence will be permitted. In the outer control zone we will welcome farming on a leaseback basis to demonstrate the suitable co-existence of the site and the normal activity for the area.

I have advised the co-proponents at Thorold and Harwich that we are withdrawing our participation from the short-term proposals. This new site will replace the interim storage proposal for PCBs in Middleport as well. We are, of course, prepared to meet all our legal obligations. The South Cayuga site will be designated to handle the bulk of Ontario’s liquid wastes.

2:30 p.m.

Other points I would like to draw to your attention for this new facility are:

First, the waste management corporation will assist and supervise around the clock; that is, 24-hour-a-day security.

Second, with the lab facilities in place, no wastes will ever enter that site before the contents are fully known.

Third, there will be no radioactive material accepted.

Fourth, the province will assume the cost of upgrading and/or construction of the necessary roads to reduce transportation risks to the absolute minimum.

Fifth, the Ministry of the Environment will continue to fund research into alternative technologies, these to be incorporated within site when appropriate.

Sixth, the site will be operated on a break-even basis. The user fees will act as an incentive to encourage industry to reduce, recycle or reuse their wastes. The board will also investigate other ways to reduce waste volumes and encourage waste exchange programs.

Let there be no doubt of the urgent need for this facility. Our health and that of the environment depend on it. Because of that need I have come to another difficult decision. Since the final decision on site location and initial solidification technology is made, no hearing will be held under the Environmental Assessment Act or the Expropriations Act on the few properties the government does not yet own.


Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I will make only one interjection in my statement to reply to all those from the other side. It is rather interesting that the complete attempt to destroy the hearing process has gone on now for nearly a year. The decisions have been made on those sites well in advance of the hearing process. There is absolutely no one on that side of the House who can wave a finger at our not doing the hearing process. They have shortchanged it on every possible opportunity.

Much work must still be done to develop this facility, but I felt it was necessary to inform the public as soon as it was possible to do so.

The cost of this facility is estimated at approximately $60 million. That is certainly high, but the government feels cost should not be the limiting factor when what we need is the best technology it is possible to establish.

Unfortunately, we are not able to look to other jurisdictions in Canada for any guidance whatsoever, because there is no facility. There is no plan in any other jurisdiction in Canada. However, as soon as the board is in place, I intend to tour the facilities in Europe with the board so that it can copy or, where appropriate, improve the facilities, so that Ontario will have the best facilities in the world.

It is with some pride that I note the leadership role Ontario is taking in tackling this serious issue, and I fully intend to keep it that way.

Mr. G. I. Miller: On a point of privilege: is the minister telling the House today that he is going to go ahead with this project without a hearing before the province --

Mr. Speaker: Order. That is not a point of privilege; it is a question and you will be allowed to put it at the appropriate time.




Mr. S. Smith: A question on the South Cayuga matter for the Minister of the Environment, Mr. Speaker: Does the minister not recognize what a farce is being made of his own environmental assessment process, if he is willing to apply it for a number of important but relatively minor situations, and yet unwilling to apply it to what is to be, in his view, in many ways the most important environmentally sensitive project, a matter that will include all the liquid waste generated in the industrial portion of the province? Does he not recognize he is making an absolute farce and a travesty of his own otherwise reasonable legislation, in trying to exclude a hearing process in this very important matter?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I recognize that two years ago the opposition critic on that occasion made what was an obvious and clear commitment that this was a matter of crisis importance. I recall that discussions and I am sure he does as well. I do not think anyone questions the amount of activity the committee has put forward and how it has suggested what we do.

Mr. Gaunt: Not only did I say it, the NDP critic said it and so did the minister.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: No one has argued that. I was not putting it forward as an argument. I simply put it forward as the member’s statement, which I agree with. It is a matter of great urgency. This committee report makes that same point.

We have attempted with a great deal of effort, and rightly so, to follow those recommendations. As I said in my statement today, we are now in the process of implementing 38 of the 47 recommendations. I think if the members of this House would take this statement, the committee report -- it is rather a small one -- and read that report in detail, and I hope they will, they would find that an unbelievable number of accomplishments have occurred in two years.

I am glad to recite that, but when the Leader of the Opposition says to me that somehow or other we have short-circuited a system of hearing processes, I know place after place in this province where the members opposite have consistently refused even to let the concept go to a hearing. They have made their decision before the hearing. They do not even want to hear the review. They make their decision and as soon as there is a bandwagon on which they feel comfortable to hop, they hop on to it regardless of whether or not they come to grips with the very urgent problem of treating our liquid waste.

It is extremely important that we do so, and I make no apologies whatsoever for attacking what is one of the most serious social problems in this province and getting on with the job. We are protecting the area residents by putting them on the board. I think that is the way to go and I am proud of taking that forceful action.

Mr. S. Smith: Does the minister not recognize that without a proper hearing under his own legislation it is going to be very difficult for him or anyone else to convince the people of Ontario that South Cayuga turns out to be the one most suitable site in this entire province for liquid industrial waste, when it was not even one of the 17 sites looked at originally by the MacLaren people when they did their interim report, and when it is obvious and well known to everyone that the main reason South Cayuga is being used is because it represents a huge political embarrassment in the fact that the government finds itself in possession of that expensive land at this time?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think there are many things that recommend the South Cayuga site. I will be glad to discuss those in detail any time the House should so wish. More particularly, I think we should recognize that a $425,000 report was presented to the House just this day to outline, to inform, to tell as much as is humanly possible about why a site is chosen and what is necessary for this province. That, I say, is what the report is all about.

I must conclude that comment by saying there has not been one, not one, positive, constructive suggestion by the members opposite of where a site should be located; not one on the basis of any recommendation whatsoever except perhaps a casual remark, “Why don’t you locate it in South Cayuga.” That happens to be the recommendation of one of the members of the Liberal Party in our committee hearings. They have not addressed the problem; the MacLaren report has, and I think we should act on it.

2:40 p.m.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Could the minister now explain how the people of the province can have any hope of believing that the minister believes in consulting the public, when the announcement that the South Cayuga site was being considered came only on October 27, just under a month ago, and yet the minister says in this statement that since that is now a firm decision there will be no further opportunity for the people in the area or the people of the province to consider whether that is an appropriate decision or to know whether the South Cayuga site is acceptable on environmental grounds? When the people of the province have the MacLaren report, which says it is neither an optimal nor a minimal site, why should they put credence in the word of the Minister of the Environment who issued a political dictate to the MacLaren report?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: May I remind the leader of the third party that the crown corporation is being established. This facility is not going to be run by the Ministry of the Environment, nor by the province; it will be run by a crown corporation. Two out of seven of those people on that crown corporation will be from the local community itself, a rather unusual but, I think, justifiable decision to make, so that the local people will have tremendous input into how that site is run. I think it is extremely logical and appropriate that the local people will have that kind of input.

I think it is also the guarantee the people of this province want, that a crown corporation will run the facility, because I know the people of Ontario are saying: “We want a facility and we want it now. The health of this province, the health of the people of this province are dependent upon having it,” and they don’t want the procrastination the member seems so interested in.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The report to the government, Treatment and/or Disposal Sites for Liquid Industrial Wastes and Hazardous Wastes, dated August 1979, indicates that using criteria, candidate regions were identified in figure two, with the optimal areas, shown in dark green, excluding agriculture land in classes one to four; and in the map that is provided in that report there is no indication that South Cayuga was even identified. Can the minister explain to this House how he can select it at this time, how he can justify using class one and class two land?

Of that 12,503 acres, 90.8 per cent is class one and class two under the old classification, and, under the new classification, from class one to class four is 93.3 per cent. Can the minister justify using good agricultural land for this type of use? What is the policy of this government as far as agricultural land in Ontario is concerned?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I think there is a slight distortion of the figures on the amount of land that will be used.

Mr. G. I. Miller: The distortion is not there; it is in this book.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: There will be a site using 100 acres of land. There will be a buffer zone around that using --

Mr. J. Reed: Just another 100 acres, so don’t worry about it.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Read the report. I do not know whether the member has had a chance to do so yet. He has had it all of 20 minutes. If the member will look at the report he will find 100 acres for the site, 600 acres of a buffer zone around it --

Mr. G. I. Miller: Six hundred.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: That’s right. It can and will be used for farming.


Hon. Mr. Parrott: Will be used for farming.

Mr. Riddell: Why don’t you give up 100 acres to be a horse pasture?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Will be used for farming, let me repeat as often as necessary. Last night I went to the community of South Cayuga and explained this concept --

Mr. Roy: You didn’t explain. You dictated to them.


Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, it is a little difficult to be heard. Last night I went to the area of South Cayuga and explained to the people of that community how the buffer zone around it will not only be used for farming, but will also demonstrate the coexistence of farming and other activities. Indeed, the council asked whether other activities would be possible and of course they will be. We will use all of that land. We intend, with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, to demonstrate that not only can the land be used for its normal activity of farming as it is now, but that it can also be enhanced and improved. This will be a very modern facility that will coexist very well in that farm community.

Mr. Isaacs: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Given that the Minister of the Environment is claiming he is providing the best facility to the people of Ontario, why has he ignored the statement on page 3-17 of the MacLaren report that says Huron is preferable to South Cayuga environmentally? Why has he allowed political considerations to get involved with his selection of the best possible environmental site?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I am not quite sure whether the members for Huron-Bruce (Mr. Gaunt) and Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell) want to associate themselves with that remark. But let me treat that comment rather seriously.

Mr. Gaunt: The going price is $100,000 an acre.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: You mean there is a price you would accept? Is that what you are saying?

Mr. Speaker: Would you get on with your answer?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Yes, I would like to, Mr. Speaker. I think if the member would do the House the favour of reading on, and putting it on the record, there were some other rather significant circumstances the report also talks about

One of those is the fact that it will reduce the transportation mileage a great deal -- a very significant factor to be considered when we choose between two sites. I would not argue for a moment that the Huron site was declared environmentally preferable to the South Cayuga site. But to counterbalance that and indeed add to the advantages of South Cayuga, there is a much reduced transportation distance; that is a very significant factor. Also, if we went to the Huron site it would mean we would have to disrupt hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people, which we will not have to do in the South Cayuga site. When you put all the factors together, there is no doubt in my mind that the South Cayuga site is the best possible site in this province.

Mr. S. Smith: A new question on the same topic to the same minister, Mr. Speaker: Would the minister explain why it is he feels confident to choose this site without a proper environmental assessment hearing, when in fact the Dillon report, in looking at the same site for the possibility of disposal of PCBs, pointed out that the site is adjacent to an ecologically significant area along the Grand River, pointed out that instead of minimizing surface water or wetlands at risk that site crosses Holmes Creek, and pointed out that instead of minimizing incompatibility with surrounding and adjacent uses that site is “not compatible with agriculture and scattered residential surrounding the site”?

Given that the Dillon study found this was not a suitable place for PCBs, why has the minister now decided, without benefit of a proper hearing, that this is a suitable site not only for PCBs but for all the liquid wastes in the province?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, the MacLaren report is very comprehensive, and it deals with all those factors. I think, in summary, it does say the South Cayuga site, all things considered, is the best site. It also makes it very clear, as I said in my statement, that no one site meets all the parameters. We are well aware of that. One cannot find the perfect site, so one chooses and uses the best site it is humanly possible to find in Ontario. The $425,000 the government spent to do that search, I think, has answered the question in full detail. They conclude the South Cayuga site is by far the best.

Let me refresh the member’s knowledge of this particular survey, all things considered. The original MacLaren report was done from a map survey; no one set foot on any land. Indeed, sites were chosen -- and I think the critic for the Liberal Party on one occasion drew to my attention where a site, supposedly a good site, really was not. I know the member for Chatham-Kent (Mr. Watson) identified the same kind of error in the first MacLaren report. The reason was that no one went out and did field tests. They took a survey of the province and tried to generalize about the areas they should look at in greater detail. I do not think MacLaren would argue that they did more than that.

2:50 p.m.

On that basis, we then did the obvious thing -- narrowed it down to fewer sites. The executive summary is a very small part of this comprehensive report. The total amount of work that has gone into searching for this site is enormous. The most exhaustive search that is humanly possible has been carried out by this government.

Mr. S. Smith: Is the minister now suggesting there will be no need or any project anywhere to undergo an environmental assessment hearing as long as there are one or possibly two reports done by some consulting engineers? Is he saying that as long as those reports are presented there is no need to go through the process of cross- examination of other experts with contrary opinions presenting their point of view? Will local citizens have no opportunity to question the findings of given consultants, wise as those consultants might be? Is the minister now suggesting there is no need for that cross-examination and presentation of contrary evidence, which is the basis of the appeal process, on any further environmentally considered site? If not, why has he chosen this one to eliminate this all-important concept?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: There is no doubt that is not the precedent being established here today at all. I think it has been said by many in this House that the matter of dealing with liquid wastes in this province is of great urgency. I accept that. I think it is important for all of us to understand how important that is, not only to protect our environment but to protect our health.

So often the statement has been made, “Not here.” Around the province, one finds it is always the answer, “Not here.” As I said in my statement, that misses the very significant point that as long as we keep saying “Not here” all of us have a real problem. We are living in jeopardy. We must treat our wastes and we must do it immediately. The urgency of this matter cannot be underestimated; we must proceed. Today I have outlined what I believe, and I think this government believes, will provide the greatest protection to the people by establishing a crown corporation that will have one purpose in mind. It will not only see that site is extremely well run but that the controls on it are extremely tight, that we get on with the job and we do it immediately.

Ms. Bryden: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The minister stated the opposition had opposed environmental assessment hearings and I would like to ask him to document any instance in which the opposition has opposed the application of the Environmental Assessment Act to waste disposal sites. Also, he says that not one constructive suggestion has come from the opposition, but he has adopted 38 out of the 43 recommendations of the committee, including our proposal for a crown corporation.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I am glad to know the member has recognized that I have accepted a lot of the recommendations of that committee, and I appreciate having that on the record. But where the committee has not been positive, where it has not made any constructive suggestions, is where to locate the site. It is great to go through the rhetoric that we need one, but the bottom line is where it will go. The committee has never indicated that it feels MacLaren has done a good job on that search, nor has it said anything to indicate it has a better knowledge of where to locate a site.

It is easy to talk about it, but on this side of the House we have to do something. That is why we are on this side of the House and why we will stay on this side of the House -- because we will do something.

Mr. Kennedy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Could the minister advise when he anticipates work might commence on this project, when it might be fully operational; the order of the receiving and some order of the waste products it will handle?


Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I did not hear quite all of the last part of that question.


Mr. Speaker: Order. I can fully understand why the minister would not have heard all of it. I did not myself. Would the honourable member like to repeat it?


Mr. Speaker: Order. Everybody has to have ample opportunity to be heard in this House. It is just a common courtesy. The member for Mississauga South.

Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, the minister said he would be doing some studying with this commission in preparation for the commencement of the development of the site. Would he advise when he expects development to commence, when it might be partially operational, fully operational; and what the order of the receiving of the various waste products might be?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I will be pleased to try to do that. Obviously, some of these dates are the tentative dates we hope to be able to meet. First of all, we would expect the corporation to be formed early in the new year and the appropriate director to be named. Once they are named then I think the only place the corporation members could go to view the appropriate facilities would be to Europe. I expect they will do that early in the new year.

We have already taken one member from our ministry staff who will be available on a full-time basis to assist the members of the corporation. That having been said, I would believe all of the necessary expropriation procedures can be completed, because they are very few in number, by the end of June. That means we feel we could start on this facility in early fall of 1981. We would like to get on with this facility immediately. I think it will take that much time to give the appropriate notices to the present tenants to acquire the options on the land, but I do believe we will be partially operational in the fall of 1981 and certainly fully operational in the year 1982.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question for the Minister of Energy with respect to the disposal of nuclear waste in northern Ontario, a matter which seems to be handled almost as irresponsibly as the disposal of liquid industrial waste in southern Ontario.

A few months ago, before embarking on its program of nuclear waste disposal research in the area of Forsberg Lake, the joint Canada-Ontario committee sought and got approval from the nearest organized municipality, the municipality of Atikokan, before it could go ahead. In comparable circumstances at East Bull Lake near Massey, that prior approval is neither being sought nor being given, but the research into nuclear waste disposal in the area is already under way.

Does this mean the procedure for approving research on sites as nuclear waste dumps in the north has been changed so it no longer requires approval from the local elected people in the nearest organized area? If so, has that been agreed to by the provincial government through its membership on the joint committee?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, just to clarify the issue, with respect to the particular interest of Massey, there was some correspondence when the announcement of the Atomic Energy Control Board was made with respect to the flyovers and the walkovers of five particular unorganized areas. There was an inquiry from the town which I felt was satisfied when they were assured at this stage of the game that all that was being done at this time was the flyover and the walkover.

I think the member perhaps exaggerates the matter. At the moment, that is all that has been done. It was quite public; there was consultation -- in so far as those five particular areas were concerned -- with the elected members, both federal and provincial, at this stage for the flyover and the walkover. The town of Massey, if that is the particular municipality in which the member is interested, was provided with the information which it requested for purposes of clarification with respect to that activity.

Mr. Cassidy: Are we to take it that the joint committee, of which Ontario is a member and which in the past worked by unanimous decision, has abandoned its policy of seeking municipal approvals prior to undertaking research on nuclear waste disposal sites in northern Ontario? If the minister has abandoned this approach, why is he no longer carrying out the commitment to ensure that northerners will be consulted before decisions are made as to where nuclear wastes will go in their areas?

3 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Welch: As I said in response to the comments of the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) yesterday, we will have an opportunity to discuss the report of the select committee on Ontario Hydro affairs with respect to this subject. It is unfair and unreasonable to assume the consultative process has been abandoned. We are talking, at this stage, of walkover and flyover. As to the process and all other steps that will be taken before any final determination is made with respect to the disposition of waste, that is another matter. On the basis of that, as the member knows, the area has been confined to those five sites.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Would the minister not give us a commitment that local residents in a place like Atikokan for instance, where Atomic Energy of Canada Limited is already doing test drilling, will have the final say as to whether they will accept nuclear waste in that community or in any other community across the province? Are we going to find ourselves in the same situation where the ministry is going to go through the process and, at some point, the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Parrott) or this minister is going to say: “You people are going to get it. Never mind the environmental assessment, never mind what the local people want, you are going to be stuck with it”? Will the minister give us the commitment that the local people will have the input and will make the decision as to whether they accept this stuff?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned when I was before the select committee, I have no difficulty in assuring there is a full consultative process in place with respect to these sites. I stop short of indicating there is going to be any veto on the part of any particular community. That was addressed to me at the time of the hearings. Certainly, there has to be a full consultative process and, ultimately, a decision will be made taking into account all the facts that are made public during that process.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Does this in effect mean the provincial government and the Canada-Ontario waste management committee has determined that the waste management disposal site will be in an unorganized territory? Second, is the minister not aware that AECL has given a guarantee to a municipality in Manitoba that the emplacement site for waste disposal will not be put there just because that municipality has agreed to research at that site? If that is applicable to Manitoba, why is the Ontario government not fighting for the same kind of application in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, it is too early in the process to indicate a final decision has been made with respect to any of these five sites. That is the whole point of doing the experimentation and studies on site suitability. How would the member, at this stage of simply a flyover and a walkover, jump to the conclusion that any decision has been made with respect to any particular site?

Mr. Foulds: You are changing the rules. You are weaseling out of the commitment.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I made no commitment and you know it. Let the record show that is incorrect.


Mr. Speaker: Order.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Labour. The minister is aware of an Ontario Labour Relations Board decision early this month which upheld the right of the owners of the Kennedy Lodge Nursing Home in Toronto to contract out housekeeping and janitorial services even though 16 members of the service employees’ union at that nursing home lost their jobs as a result. Does the minister not agree that the right of employers under the Labour Relations Act, as it now stands, to decide unilaterally to contract out and lay off workers as a consequence is a fundamental threat to the job security that workers should have when they have a collective agreement? Will he, therefore, undertake to make that kind of action by employers illegal through the Labour Relations Act?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, what the decision dealt with at the Kennedy Lodge Nursing Home was partially what the member reported. What the Ontario Labour Relations Board said was that following a long line of National Labour Relations Board hearings and decisions in the United States and, indeed, in this country, the practice of contracting out was acknowledged to be a usual and conventional business practice in North America.

What it then went on to say was that if there was evidence of activity that this was being used to discriminate against the union or to escape the union in any way it would have come to a different decision. But in the absence of such evidence it did not feel that such an approach was inappropriate in the light of the practice in North America.

Mr. Cassidy: Given the fact that 16 workers have been put out of work in that particular case because of contracting out at the Oakridge Villa Nursing Home. St. Raphael’s Nursing Home and Heritage Nursing Home in Toronto, does the minister not agree that to give an employer the unfettered right to lay off organized workers through contracting out at a time when the workers have no remedy, either through the arbitration route or by exercising the right to strike, is a one-sided application of the labour law, that it is wrong to have the law so one-sided and that it is time we ensured through legislation that employers cannot take workers’ jobs away and lay them off by use of this process of contracting out during the life of a contract?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, first of all, the member knows full well that the issue of contracting out comes up in many contract negotiations, so the parties do have an option to discuss this issue well beforehand. Second, I can only reiterate that contracting out of business is a normal business practice in North America. If the leader of the third party is saying to this government that we should change that practice in North America, I have to tell him that is not something we can do. But the Labour Relations Board clearly says --

Mr. Cassidy: In the middle of a contract, when the workers are defenceless --

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Just listen for a minute. The labour relations board clearly said that if there was any evidence that a company is doing this to escape its union then it would find differently.

Mr. Cassidy: Does the minister not understand that his function as the Minister of Labour, among other things, is to review the decisions of the labour relations board, to review the way that case law and practice develop with respect to the rights of employees and employers and, where a situation emerges which is one-sided or in which the workers are as defenceless as the workers at the Kennedy Lodge Nursing Home have found out that they are, to even the balance and to come in with legislation that protects those workers? Why should workers be compelled to try to negotiate a contract which their employer will not grant them, and why can they not have protection under the law so they are not put into the impossible position of these 16 workers who have lost their jobs through the negligence of this government and the Minister of Labour?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I do not accept that nonsensical statement about negligence on the part of this government. There is a practice of contracting out in North America, and that exists in this province. The mere fact that there was a case before the OLRB confirms the fact that in some instances, namely in the instance of trying to escape a union, redress is possible.


Mr. McGuigan: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of the Environment. I would like to ask how he could make a proposal for Harwich township based on the report that, by his own admission, there were no visual inspections of the 17 sites, and cause the Harwich township council to spend an estimated $100,000 in defence of this ill-conceived proposal? Is the minister willing to reimburse the taxpayers of the township of Harwich for up to $100,000, as he was willing to do for Browning-Ferris Industries?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, again I think I covered that point relatively well in my statement. I said we would accept all legal responsibilities.


Mr. Di Santo: A question to the Attorney General, Mr. Speaker: Is the Attorney General aware of the letter he received on October 20, from driver-owners who are working for Nelson Crushed Stone, in which there are very serious allegations against the management? Will the Attorney General tell the House if he is taking any action?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member delivered a copy of a document dated October 20 to me yesterday, which indicated that a number of driver-owners in the service of Nelson Crushed Stone believe their rights have been infringed. They are alleging discrimination, instigation and provocation and abuse of power and management. There are no particulars of the allegations whatsoever.

3:10 p.m.

When I received this yesterday, I asked my staff if they had any information in the ministry to assist me in knowing what the allegations are. I have not had a report back from them so I simply say to the member, if he has any additional information which particularizes the allegations not particularized in this document, I would be happy to have it.

Mr. Di Santo: I am amazed that the Attorney General asks me to initiate an investigation. In view of the fact that the Attorney General received the letter on October 20, in view of the fact the practices of the employer in question were questioned in this House during the strike that occurred last June, in view of the fact the allegations are most serious, and in view of the fact the Ontario Provincial Police have been involved, will the Attorney General --

Mr. Speaker: Please put your question.

Mr. Di Santo: If the Attorney General had the decency to listen, Mr. Speaker, I would go ahead with my question, but since he does not want to listen, I refuse to go ahead.


Mr. Ashe: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications relating to a rather lengthy story in yesterday’s Globe and Mail entitled “Ottawa Always Shortchanging Ontario on Transportation Aid.”


Mr. Ashe: Keep it up, you are using up the time.

Mr. Speaker, knowing that sometimes the press takes a little poetic licence, could I ask the minister to substantiate whether it is fact that the federal government has reneged on a commitment for transit aid funding previously made to the minister, and whether it is fact that the federal government is committed to spend $40 million additional funding over and beyond the urban transportation assistance program in the Montreal area? Is it fact that the Liberal government in Ottawa has been shortchanging Ontario on its transportation assistance needs?

Mr. Eakins: I am glad you asked.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I was surprised someone from the other side of the House did not ask a question about this yesterday. Obviously the members of the Liberal caucus would not be interested in Ontario being shortchanged by the federal government.

I will try to recall the questions in the member’s question. I would have to say the federal government definitely reneged on numerous commitments for transportation assistance within the province. I read a press clipping this morning relating to questions in the House of Commons in Ottawa yesterday where Mr. Pepin stated Ontario was getting $68 million a year in transportation funds and could do with it what it wished. I believe he would be fairly correct if he said the $68 million was over a five-year period. Under UTAP, Ontario gets about $16.25 million per year, which has to cover grade separations, railway relocations, transit and such. If Mr. Pepin wants to increase that to $68 million a year instead of $16.25 million, perhaps I can withdraw some of my criticism.

There was a commitment received. Mr. Pepin in a telex says there is nothing in his files to indicate a commitment by Mr. Mazankowski of the Clark government to additional funding to assist in the Milton-Streetsville-Mississauga GO line. Unless my filing system is a lot worse than I think it is, I am sure I can find a copy of the telex that was received from Mr. Mazankowski.

Mr. Kerrio: He was out of office when you got the answer.

Hon. Mr. Snow: No, he was not out of office when I got the telex, but very shortly after he was out of office, Mr. Pepin sent me another telex which I am sure I can find a copy of.

Mr. S. Smith: He sent it to you at Fort Lauderdale, if I am not mistaken.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Nothing wrong with Fort Lauderdale. A beautiful place; I wish I was there.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Snow: In fact, about 32 days from now, I hope to be there.

Mr. Speaker, I guess the part of the situation that I feel most annoyed about is the fact that although Ontario has been turned down in every instance for funding of Union Station, and the Bathurst Street grade separation project where there was a $35-million commitment, and although the additional $30 million promised by Mr. Mazankowski was withdrawn by Mr. Pepin, now a commitment of $50 million has been made for the transit system in Montreal.


Mr. Speaker: One of the members who does all the yakking about wasting time in question period is the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway).


Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, the thing that concerns me the most is something in addition to the special $50 million over and above UTAP funding that Mr. Pepin has promised to Montreal and the province of Quebec. He has also said that if Quebec will assign, say, $20 million of UTAP funds for transit -- remember these are federal funds to start with -- he will double that in addition. So he says, in other words, “If you will use $20 million of my money to build transit, I will give you another $40 million.”

Mr. Breaugh: How come you can’t get a deal like that for Ontario?

Mr. Wildman: How come Levesque gets more money than you do? Is he a better negotiator?

Hon. Mr. Snow: That is worse than playing the slots. It is difficult to understand the rationale in the decisions that are made out of Transport Canada.


Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of the Environment. Could the minister advise us, having in mind this government’s often-repeated commitment to local autonomy, what was the result of the discussion in the ministry when the communication was received from the special studies branch of the Ministry of Labour? It recommended no changes or additions to the existing air quality lead criteria regardless of the recommendations made by the Toronto board of health in this area.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Perhaps the question might be more appropriately directed to either the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) or the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie). We do look to those two ministries for the expertise in making decisions on health matters. I thought the question was, what was our internal response. I will be glad to get that and reply to the member more fully on a later occasion.

Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I wonder if the minister, when he is looking into the matter, would table in this House all the pertinent information upon which any decision to ignore the Toronto board of health was taken with reference to lead criteria?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I will look at all that information and I will make a further report. I am not prepared to say any more than that at the moment.

3:20 p.m.


Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Attorney General and Solicitor General, in his capacity as the cabinet minister responsible for laying charges under section 402 of the Criminal Code of Canada which deals with cruelty to animals: Is the minister aware that certain pet shops are selling training collars, which really could be called torture collars? These collars have prongs on the inside which dig into the animal’s skin. The one I have was purchased by Tom Hughes of the Ontario Humane Society. Does the minister feel that shopkeepers who sell these devices might be charged under section 402 of the Criminal Code of Canada?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I note the member for Etobicoke is holding a device in his hand. On the basis of his question and on the basis of what I am able to see from this distance, quite frankly, Mr. Speaker, I am really not in a position to judge whether or not this would warrant a charge under the Criminal Code.

Mr. Foulds: If the minister promises to wear it, he will send it across.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: That sort of instrument might be appropriate to keep the member’s colleague, the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner), under control.

I assume and I appreciate the question has a serious motive, and I will certainly discuss the matter with Mr. Hughes of the humane society.

Mr. Philip: Since, it is very difficult, as the minister would admit, to successfully obtain convictions under that section of the Criminal Code, and since it is the opinion of the Toronto Humane Society that a majority of cases of abuse with this collar go undetected, and assuming he comes to the same conclusion as the Toronto Humane Society that this is a cruel device which is not needed for training purposes, will the minister, possibly in co-operation with the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations, consider banning these hideous torture devices from sale in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I am not just sure at this moment what avenues may be open to us in this respect and what might be required legislatively or otherwise to ban the sale of such instruments, but I will certainly look into the matter and advise the member accordingly.


Mr. Cureatz: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Minister of Energy: Is the minister contemplating the possible stretching out or the possible stopping of the construction of the Darlington Generating Station, which I know the mayor of Pickering and the new mayor-elect of Oshawa support, and which I am sure the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) also is supportive of?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, there certainly are no plans at the moment to alter the construction schedule as far as Darlington is concerned.

Mr. Nixon: The minister has indicated no change in the timetable is expected. Is he not aware that the predictions of energy load increase from Ontario Hydro have been completely thrown into a cocked hat, since the load has not grown in 1980 and it appears that instead of Darlington not being needed until the year 2000, it may very well be a decade later than that before Darlington’s output will be needed, unless it is the intention to phase out the coal-fired burners?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I can only repeat that there are no plans for changing the timetable. Certainly it is too early to come to any conclusions with respect to some of these preliminary figures. I am sure the board will want a little more time to consider some of the long-term implications.

As far as I am concerned, I am getting plenty of advice and encouragement from people who can resist the temptation of partisan opportunism to encourage this government to become very positive with respect to the tremendous opportunities this province has with respect to its energy future because of its electrical capacity, and we should see this as a plus at the moment.


Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. It has recently been reported that 10 hospitals have been selected for toxic hazard testing by commercial firms which will report directly to the ministry. This seems to be a little bit of a breakaway from the intent, as I understand it, of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and I am wondering if the hospitals’ joint health and safety committees will be involved in this process. Also, other than the air testing, which apparently is the only thing that will be done, will the minister consider testing in such other hazardous areas as radiation and chemicals?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, we are beginning some studies in the area of the hospital industry. Radiation, as it relates to workers in the exposure area, is already dealt with under the radiation protection branch of the ministry. As to the details of exactly what stage that program is in, I would be glad to look into it and advise the member.

Mr. Van Horne: I am wondering if the minister would inquire at the same time if the occupational hygienist newly retained by the Ontario Hospital Association might also be involved in such a study.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: That will be up to the occupational health and safety division to decide whether there would be any assistance rendered by such persons.


Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Natural Resources. Can the minister confirm reports of the Thunder Bay media that he has now had in his possession for 10 days the Hughes report, a review of the past disastrous forest fire season in northwestern Ontario? Can he tell us when he plans to table the report in the House and make it public? Can he tell us if he has read it, and can he assure us that he has not locked it in his safe in order not to spill the beans?

Hon. Mr. Auld: Yes, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: That is the shortest answer on record from the Minister of Natural Resources.

Mr. Speaker: The supplementary is supposed to be the result of the answer to the original question.

Mr. Foulds: Now that the minister has confirmed that he has had the report in his possession for 10 days, can he tell the House why he has not made that report public to this House and when he will do so?

Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, I think I may give the same answer I gave to Mr. Baughman of the Lakehead newspaper: that I wanted to read it. I have read it. I want my staff to comment upon it and I want to make a statement when I release it, which I hope will be in the next couple of weeks, indicating those recommendations we propose to follow and any other comments that seem appropriate at the time.


Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Is the minister aware that it was almost one year ago that the matter of the Fort Erie racetrack was debated in this assembly, and that the Ontario Jockey Club has indicated that if there is no A meeting in August 1981, there will be no B spring meeting, which essentially means the track will be closed, causing severe economic hardship in the community? Has the minister or the cabinet arrived at a decision as to what financial assistance is to be generated to enable the Fort Erie racetrack to remain in operation for the 1981 meet and the ensuing years?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, first of all it is a misnomer to say the Fort Erie racetrack issue has ever been debated here. I welcome the honourable member’s interest in the future of the Fort Erie racetrack. It is encouraging that someone from the area other than my colleague, the member for Brock (Mr. Welch), is interested.

I am relatively confident and optimistic, as I always am, that the Fort Erie racetrack will function in 1981 and in 1982, in regard to both a B meet and an A meet. But unless the mountain comes to Muhammad -- and I have a communiqué from the mountain, Mr. Whelan, which I have not been able to read yet; I do understand he wants to meet with me, which is an unusual change of events and not his normal attitude towards me -- beyond 1982 there is no one who can guarantee the fate of Fort Erie because the only way that track will be viable is through offtrack betting.

3:30 p.m.

Mr. Haggerty: I believe the date would he December 13, 1979, when the matter was debated here in a dialogue between the minister and myself. I am well aware of the minister’s long-term solution of offtrack betting, but my main concern is inter-track betting by telephone from one track to another. Can he assure me that the Fort Erie racetrack will remain open under the federal scheme for thoroughbred racing?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I cannot speak for Mr. Whelan’s proposals. I suppose the best description of what he has proposed would be a form of offtrack betting that will be of no benefit to the racing public, because one would have to put amounts one could draw upon into a non-interest-bearing deposit account all over the place. Personally, knowing something about the racing industry, I do not think the federal government intends to proceed with what it has outlined. Rather, I think this is a preliminary offer to provide for offtrack betting.

Coming back to the business of Fort Erie, I want it very clearly on the record, because I answered it, that I am optimistic Fort Erie will open for the B meeting and then the A meeting in 1981. It opened in 1980 because of the minister. In 1982, the same thing will happen. But beyond that, it is all in the hands of the mountain.


Mr. Germa: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Health. Now that the nursing home inspection branch has confirmed that at least on six occasions Sudbury Nursing Home had breached the regulations, a fact he is aware of, is it his intention to lay charges against Sudbury Nursing Home as contained in the regulations?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, the member will acknowledge that I sent him a very lengthy letter as a result of inspections at the nursing home. It is my custom to send members full reports. It was based on the infractions or deficiencies noted and the action taken to date to correct them. There are no plans to lay charges.

On the question of the making of monthly charges for laundry services, as a result of that inspection an audit is being made of all 15 Extendicare nursing homes to see if that practice is current in their entire chain. If so, measures will be taken that are appropriate to the degree that it is happening.

Mr. Germa: Is the minister not aware that the same situation has pertained at Sudbury Nursing Home in the past and that without getting their attention and putting a penalty on them, the situation is not going to be corrected on a permanent basis?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I have no qualms about using the prosecution tool where that is appropriate. We have used it in my time as minister probably as frequently as or more frequently than at any point in the past. All I am saying is that where that is appropriate and where we cannot get cooperation in any other way, we will use it. In this particular case we got co-operation and got the correction of deficiencies, and it is not appropriate.

Mr. Conway: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker. For the information of the members, can the Minister of Health indicate in his three years and some odd months as Minister of Health how many times he has initiated prosecution and legal action against offending nursing home licensees?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Off the top of my head, no. In some cases, just calling in the owners to meet with the administrators and our legal branch is sufficient. Threatening is also very effective.



Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the standing committee on general government be authorized to sit on Monday night, December 1, 1980.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells moved that Bill Pr48, An Act to incorporate Redeemer College, be transferred from the standing committee on social development to the standing committee on general government.

Motion agreed to.



Hon. Mr. Pope on behalf of Hon. Mr. Elgie moved first reading of Bill 209, An Act to revise and extend Protection of Human Rights in Ontario.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Isaacs: Before the orders of the day, Mr. Speaker, I have already given notice to you of my intention to move that the regular business of the House be set aside in order that there be a debate on the matter of industrial waste disposal.

Mr. Speaker: Proper notice has been given. I will listen to the reasons why the honourable member thinks the ordinary business of the House should be set aside for up to five minutes.

Mr. Isaacs: Mr. Speaker, in view of the minister’s statement, I believe it is very important that today this House engage in a full and open debate of the matter of industrial waste disposal and, in particular, the unacceptable approach that has been put before us today by the minister.

The minister is blaming the people of this province for their opposition to the ministry’s previous ill-conceived programs. He is attempting to punish the people of this province by totally eliminating the public participation process on the South Cayuga proposal.

The news is not all bad and that is why I think it is important that we have a debate today. We welcome the principle of a crown corporation; we welcome the concept of finding the best possible site for a liquid industrial waste treatment facility, and we welcome the minister’s acceptance, at long last, that the site should be fully in government hands. But we condemn the political interference we have seen so blatantly in the site selection process.

This afternoon we cannot comment on the matter of the disposal process because the second volume of the MacLaren report, or at least the executive summary we have been provided with today, leaves more questions unanswered than it provides answers to, as to what is going to happen on the site that is finally selected by whatever mechanism.

The minister has his approach totally wrong. I want to cite two examples to illustrate why that is the case.

In February of this year, a report prepared by the hazardous waste management committee in Alberta put, as its number one recommendation, that any proposal to build a treatment and storage facility should be accompanied by a comprehensive public involvement program conducted by the proponent, and approved and monitored by Alberta Environment The minister has totally and utterly ignored his own legislation, his own boasting about public participation, in coming forward with the proposal today.

The second example I wish to mention is a paper presented by David Estrin, a prominent environmental lawyer, to the twenty-seventh Ontario Industrial Waste Conference on June 16 of this year. The paper is entitled Siting Hazardous Waste Disposal Facilities -- How to Prevent Lawsuits and the Not-in-My-Backyard Syndrome. The paper is full of excellent proposals the minister could have followed to avoid the not-in-my-backyard syndrome.

Unfortunately, the minister has gone about this initiative in a manner that totally ignored the challenge that he himself recognized last year, and that is the need to gain widespread public acceptance of the existence of disposal facilities and the great need for new facilities.

3:40 p.m.

The minister has implied that we face a crisis, but he has chosen the approach that makes the crisis worse. He has chosen a site before all the facts are in. The Morrison Beatty report he tabled today makes it very clear that the safety of the South Cayuga site for a liquid industrial waste facility has not yet been established according to engineering standards. Twelve months more work is needed before we know whether it is a suitable site.

If we have this debate this afternoon, I believe we can put proposals before the government which will help get us on the right track instead of up a dead-end siding that will lead to more problems sooner or later. The government has cut out the public participation process. We need a full and open debate of this matter in the House today so that we can try to prevent further waste of time and money on inappropriate proposals and so that the minister might be able to come back within days with a revised proposal that meets with approval from all sides of the House. I hope there will be support from all sides for just such a debate because it is a matter of overwhelming public concern in this province today.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, we support the need for a debate at this time on the matter. Surely it must be apparent that what is happening today is the repudiation by the government of its own highly trumpeted legislation, the Environmental Assessment Act, which has been hailed by many, especially by members of this government.

I can understand why the minister would want to leave at this time, I can well appreciate it, but given the way in which he has trumpeted the Environmental Assessment Act as the leading act of its time, today is an historic occasion. Today we heard that the act is to be set aside because of the alleged urgency of a problem which the minister himself has apparently been resolutely unable to deal with over the past many years. Members on this side of the House perceive the problem. Today we are told its urgency is of such a kind we can set aside the legislation of Ontario, we can set aside the Environmental Assessment Act so that the minister can go ahead and place a liquid waste disposal facility in a publicly owned area.

It is very interesting, when asked why he wants to set aside the Environmental Assessment Act, he tells us it is because of the urgency of the matter, because of the delay of the other procedure. The reason for the delays in the other procedures has been that the other sites selected by the ministry all turned out to be selected for reasons that were ill-conceived. Presumably, the minister himself is admitting that by withdrawing those applications. It was not a geological survey that decided on Harwich township; it was the fact those poor folks did not complain about an existing dump, so maybe they would not notice a slightly different kind.

The same goes with most of the selection procedures. Walker Brothers Quarries is another example. Maybe since they are already letting waste into the place, nobody will complain too much if some more gets in there. Because the government has adopted those criteria, the local people have understandably demanded the full due process of law and have received that so far. Similarly, I point out that one of the reasons things have taken so long is that the ministry itself has been so long in recognizing the problem.

When Colin Macfarlane, who has now been made head of the entire waste management branch of the ministry, was told of the waste being imported into the Upper Ottawa Street site in Hamilton, he chose to do nothing about it, saying the evidence came in Coke bottles. That was four years ago when much could have been done. So the delay of which the minister complains, and which he claims is the one reason for setting aside the legislation of Ontario, is of his own making. It reminds me of the person who kills his mother and father and then throws himself on the mercy of the court on the basis he is an orphan. The delay which is being used by the minister to justify this extraordinary move, this amazing and dismaying move to set aside the Environmental Assessment Act, was all of the ministry’s own making. If people did protest, it was because they did not trust the ministry, the same ministry that presided over the magic box in Hamilton, the same ministry that pretended it knew nothing of what was going on in the Walker Brothers Quarries and then said a week later, “Oh, sorry. Yes, it does appear as though we did know what was going on in the quarry.”

No wonder people have objected. There is no reason at all to set aside the Environmental Assessment Act. In addition to that, the people of Ontario are not stupid. They know perfectly well that it is too much to say a coincidence has occurred by which the very piece of land which is a huge political embarrassment to the government just by chance turns out to be the one place that is optimal in the whole of Ontario to put liquid waste into.

Nobody could believe a thing like that, and certainly the MacLaren people who did the report do not believe it either. They didn’t even choose it as one of their 17 sites to look at. The ministry is fooling absolutely no one. Because the ministry is constantly putting these liquid wastes and PCBs in places like Middleport in Brant-Oxford-Norfolk riding, Smithville in Lincoln riding, Harwich township in Kent-Elgin, South Cayuga in Haldimand-Norfolk and also in Walker Brothers Quarries in St. Catharines riding -- or at least partly in that riding -- and because the second choice, if we reject this, is in Huron-Bruce riding, I am not going to suggest that they were chosen because they are Liberal ridings. I would merely point out that the chance of all those ridings being chosen just at random without political consideration at all is one in 16,000.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, the remarks of my friend the Leader of the Opposition have helped to substantiate the case that this debate should not proceed this afternoon. While he may feel his remarks are well meaning towards some subjects, exception can be taken to them and exception will be taken to them by the minister. They do not deal with the substance found in this report. I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that rule 34(c) says, “The matter proposed for discussion must relate to a genuine emergency, calling for immediate and urgent consideration.”

I think all of the procedures in this House are geared towards meaningful debate and to make this House a meaningful institution. That meaning is achieved by notice being given and people being able to prepare. Let me state first that no notice was received of this particular motion by this party and by the government until about 1:50 p.m. this afternoon.

I would submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that is not the kind of thing that most of us would see as an emergency in the sense of something that is gripping the minds and hearts of the people of this province immediately through the media and elsewhere, or as one of those kind of matters they would believe should be debated in this Legislature as is the case of the special education bill which was due to start at this very time and which is not now going to proceed because I assume we will proceed on this particular matter.

To protect the integrity of this House all I am saying is that a report has been presented, an appendix has been presented and other appendices are still being printed. Moreover, we are being asked to engage in a special debate on a subject which has been debated in this House. It was debated for half the question period. It has been debated in the estimates. It is a subject which is of concern to the people of Ontario but which is not of an emergency nature that it needs to sweep aside, without adequate notice, the business of this House, particularly important business such as the special education bill which was due to be debated this afternoon.

Mr. Speaker, I merely put that case to you. We have a rule that calls for emergency debates, and that is a very necessary procedure. Believing in the rules and standing order of this House and believing in meaningful debate for all members, I would have to submit that to proceed with an emergency debate of this nature now, with most members not even having a copy of these reports, is not a meaningful discussion. While this is a very important matter, it is not the kind of emergency matter the people who struck these standing orders saw in rule 34(c).

3:50 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Order. I have listened with great interest to the presentations made by the three members. I would have thought the motion put forward by the member for Wentworth (Mr. Isaacs) was based on some information, anxiety or apprehension he had prior to the introduction of the comprehensive and detailed statement made by the minister, so I would have to say his request for an emergency debate was based on other considerations.

On that basis, I know of my own knowledge this matter of the disposal of liquid waste has been discussed over the past several months on many occasions by the Leader of the Opposition and many others in the House. By the minister’s own admission it is of great urgency and it is something that obviously affects a good many people, particularly in southwestern Ontario. However, the motion, which I was given notice of at 10:15 a.m., obviously did not take that into consideration. It took into consideration the general problem with regard to the disposal of liquid nuclear wastes. I would have to say on that basis, it does not fit four-square within the rules of standing order 34.


The following bill was given third reading on motion:

Bill 167, An Act to amend the Chiropody Act.


House in committee of the whole.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Chairman, on a point of privilege, I would like to correct the record, if I might.

Mr. Chairman: In what regard?

Mr. S. Smith: Earlier this afternoon I stated the chances of a Liberal riding having been picked at random for some of these environmental matters was one in 16,000. On closer calculation it is approximately one in 4,000. The odds are about 4,000 to one against it happening by chance. I wanted to be correct in my figures.


Consideration of Bill 82, An Act to amend the Education Act.

On section 3:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Sweeney moves that section 3(1) be further amended by adding after “pupils” in the seventh line “with provisions for parents or guardians to appeal the committee decision.”

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Chairman, this is to correct an oversight in terms of our discussions last week on the appeal mechanism. It was drawn to my attention that the appeal procedure is restricted or -- maybe this is a better way to put it -- could be interpreted to be restricted to a student whose placement was in question. Of course, we have to realize that initially a decision has to be made by the placement committee to identify a child as an exceptional pupil. The only purpose of this amendment is to provide a parent or a guardian with the opportunity to appeal a committee decision which may or may not have identified the child as an exceptional pupil.

It is fairly clear that until that particular decision is made the rest of the legislation does not have any impact on a particular pupil. Therefore, it is important that we provide the parents, right at the beginning of the activity, with an opportunity to say whether they agree or not with the committee decision, and that the minister make provision, as in my amendment, for the parent or guardian to appeal that committee decision.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Chairman, is this an amendment to subsection 1 or 2 of section 3?

Mr. Chairman: Subsection 1.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Where is it to be placed?

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Chairman, I just used the line numbering. If we refer to the printed version of the bill, then we just simply count down, as I have in my amendment, to the seventh line of section 3(1). It is the first line of paragraph 5(iii). The amendment would then read: “committees to identify exceptional pupils with provision for parents or guardians to appeal the committee decision and to make and review placements of exceptional pupils.”

In other words, the inserted clause would relate to the committee’s task of identifying the exceptional pupil. The rest of it would flow from that.

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Chairman, once again we are in the realm of the bizarre because the bill, as it is before us and as it came out of the social development committee, already has a comprehensive appeal procedure in it, and that comprehensive appeal procedure is section 7.

Section 7 of the bill, as it stands now and as it was passed in the social development committee, contains provisions for appeals against the three statutory powers of decision-making of a local board of education placement committee. Those three areas of decision-making are to review, first, the decision of whether a child is an exceptional pupil and, secondly, what specific special education program or special education service an exceptional pupil shall receive from the local board of education. The third area of statutory power of decision with respect to this bill has to do with the designation, hard-to-serve child, and whether a board is able to provide a service for a child so designated.

The appeal procedure in section 7 of the bill, as amended and as before us, covers all those three powers of decision. Why the Liberal Party is now moving amendments dealing with material already covered in the statute is beyond me. Well, it is not really beyond me; it is because they want to eliminate section 7 as it stands now and replace it with something that is substantially weaker. What they are doing here is saying, “We will add a section to the regulation that will empower the minister to set up some kind of appeal procedure with respect to the first of the statutory powers, the designation, exceptional child.”

4 p.m.

I made the arguments last week and I do not intend to repeat them at length. The point is very simple. When an act confers a statutory power of decision on some other body, the statute should also spell out what the appeal procedures are in the statute. It is not the minister that is giving the statutory power of decision to a local board of education; it is this Legislature. It is our responsibility to give the appeal procedure in the act and not leave it to the minister through regulation.

Finally, if I may say why I am unwilling to leave the development of an appeal system to the minister by regulation, I would simply refer to Ontario regulation 704-A, which is the existing regulation that gives the so-called appeal to parents against decisions of the local placement committee. It is not an appeal system. During the hearings the minister was calling this an appeal procedure, an appeal mechanism, but it is not.

Let me read the operative part of the regulation that the minister characterizes as an appeal system. “The parent or pupil may at any time apply in writing to the chief executive office of the board,” that is, the local board of education, “or to the secretary of the board for a review of the placement of the pupil by a committee, and shall state in his application the reasons for requesting the review.” All that happens is the matter is reviewed.

That is the kind of appeal system the Minister of Education has put into regulation now. I say it is utterly irresponsible to place the appeal procedure into the regulation section of the act. It has to be spelled out in the statute. As a matter of fact, it is spelled out in the statute in section 7.

I want everybody to be very clear about this. I intend to vote against any and all amendments to Bill 82 this afternoon because, in so doing, I am voting for the bill as it was passed by the social development committee. That is the procedure we are required to go through here this afternoon. In order to vote for the victories that were obtained in the social development committee, we have to vote against the minister’s amendments and the amendments of the Liberal Party. In so doing we are voting for a comprehensive appeal system that covers all the areas of decision-making without any fudging or fooling around. It provides a remedy if somebody wins an appeal, rather than the kind of nebulous, go-back-to-square-one proposals we have had before us.

Before it is too late, I wish my colleagues in the Liberal Party would stop what they are doing this afternoon and go back to the position they took in the social development committee with respect to special education -- in fact, with respect to all decisions of the local boards of education placement committees. Theres need to be an appeal procedure enshrined in the statute. It is there now. Let us please keep it in the bill.

Mr. Stong: Mr. Chairman, I would like to address this section. I suppose if Bill 82 is reduced to its most basic fundamentals, there are three actions. One, there is the identifying of an exceptional pupil. Two, there is the placement of the exceptional pupil and, three, there is the service of the hard-to-serve pupil. This section, as amended by my colleague from Kitchener, does nothing more than clarify a situation that is already existent in the act. Should our amendments not pass and should the bill as it came from the social development committee pass in this House this afternoon, then the most that could happen and the most that could be said about my colleague from Kitchener’s amendment is that it is redundant or superfluous, but it is not inconsistent. In fact, if our amendment should pass, then it is necessary to indicate as early as possible in this bill, as was done in section 2, that the appeal procedure be set out.

The minister has powers under regulation to set procedures. The purpose of the regulation is to administer, to organize and establish. The power to appeal comes from another section of the act later on. But the section, as it reads in Bill 82 now before us and before amendment by my colleague from Kitchener, indicates the committee can identify exceptional pupils but, in dealing with placements of exceptional pupils, this section allows the minister to set up a review procedure.

This section can be interpreted as being silent in view of the sections that are to come later on and with which we will be dealing, particularly section 7. This section is silent with respect to the review of the identification process. My colleague from Kitchener addresses himself only to that and it is only with that we are concerned at this time -- that the identification process be subject to review and that the placement be subject to review.

Should this section be subject to interpretation in a court of law some day, it could easily be read that the identification process is not subject to review as is set out. We are addressing only that, and it is important later on perhaps. If it is not important later, it becomes superfluous but not inconsistent with the tenor of the bill.

Mr. McClellan: If the member had not deleted the statutory rights provision last week --

Mr. Stong: You did not vote for that, you clown.

Mr. Chairman: Order.

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Chairman, would you ask the member to withdraw the unparliamentary remark?

Mr. Stong: I withdraw, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman: The honourable member has withdrawn it.

Mr. McClellan: Yes, in such a graceful manner too.

The point is that under section 2 of the bill, which was changed last week, there was a very tough statutory rights provision that would have been the basis of any litigation beyond the appeal tribunal, so the member is simply backfilling.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, let us be very clear about what is happening here. Last week this bill was gutted and the strong provisions in the previous clause were watered down so that the bill no longer is a bill that ensures the rights of children to a mandatory education commensurate with their abilities.

In the subparagraph we have before us in section 7, we have an attempt to establish a wishy-washy kind of appeal rather than the appeal system that is already strongly built into the bill in this section. Perhaps the introduction of the amendments by the Liberal Party last week and the amendment that is before us is unparliamentary in the sense that we already had that provision in the bill. It happened to be numbered 7 rather than 2 or 3 but it was there. It was a very strong and tough legislated appeal procedure.

It was clear that under that appeal procedure in section 7, just as in all legislation, there would have to be some regulations devised. But those regulations would be dependent entirely upon the statutory authority embedded in the bill. What we have here is an attempt to recover some weak ground that the Liberal Party threw away last week.

I regret that because I think in the long run -- certainly in the short term but in the long run as well -- what we are doing in the House now is scrambling to find a modified appeal procedure that will not, unfortunately, serve the disabled learning children of this province as well as the provision that had been passed and well thought out by the social development committee previously. Therefore, I will join with my colleague from Bellwoods in voting against this provision. By the time we get to section 7 of the bill, the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party will ‘have built their case for gutting the bill once again and weakening it by deleting section 7 or some such action.

I cannot in conscience vote for a weakening of the legislation as it was initially presented to the committee of the whole House.

4:10 p.m.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Chairman, it was my understanding that last Tuesday at the suggestion of the member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney) we passed an amendment to section 2, which enshrined in that section a mechanism for appeal of the actions taken within the function of a committee. That was in addition to an amendment that had been introduced during the hearings of the social development committee, introduced by my colleague, the member for Mississauga South (Mr. Kennedy), which is section 3(2) and is numbered 5a in the reprinted bill. I am sorry that there isn’t a date on it, but it was reprinted as amended by the social development committee. It does outline that there will not only be an appeal mechanism, but there must be regulations developed in order to ensure the participation of parents and guardians in that appeal mechanism for the placement of children.

I can easily accept the amendment that the identification process be a part of that review and appeal mechanism most wholeheartedly, but I am wondering whether it is appropriately placed, as the member has suggested, in section 3(1) as paragraph 5(iii) or whether it should be in section 3(2) as paragraph 5a as in the amendment introduced earlier in the committee.

Mr. Grande: Mr. Chairman, I would simply like to make two points regarding this amendment. The minister states this is not an appropriate place because it was placed under section 3(2) last Thursday. I suggest to the Liberal Party and the Liberal member who got up a few minutes ago and said this amendment was redundant and superfluous -- those were his words -- if the section 7 we already have in the bill stands, that we in the Legislature, both opposition parties, have the power to ensure that section 7 of the bill stands. All we need to do is vote against the amendment to section 7 that the minister will bring forth in this House. Vote against it and we have section 7 of the bill as it came out of the social development committee.

Therefore, since you strongly believe that section 7 should stand and if this amendment is redundant and superfluous, I don’t understand why you are putting it forward. May I suggest to the Liberal member for Kitchener-Wilmot and to the member for York Centre what they need to do is withdraw the amendment. It is indeed redundant and superfluous. Withdraw the amendment and then stand firm on section 7 as you have done in the social development committee. Anything less than that is going to be seen to be what it is, a watering down of the position you as a party took in the social development committee.

Let’s stop playing games. We know what the legislation is about. We know what the minister intends to do through this legislation and by gutting this legislation. Don’t be accomplices to what the minister wants this bill not to be. All we are saying to you is to stand firm. We have a good section in this bill which will ensure the right to an appeal procedure at all the different levels where decisions are made, whether it be a decision on programs, or a decision on whether a child is going to be called an exceptional child, or whether it would be obviously a decision to a tribunal, to the Ontario special education board. We have the best appeal system that can be set up. Take heart on that side of the House. We have a good appeal process. Let us not try to water it down by adding redundant and superfluous clauses to this bill.

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Chairman, the minister suggested that the spirit of my amendment might perhaps be better placed in paragraph 5a of section 3(2) of the bill. When I was considering the amendment, I realized it could have been put either place. If it were to go in 5(a), we would probably have to put the word “identification” either before or after “placements” on the second line so there would be no doubt whatsoever that the right of appeal would be at both the identification and the placement level.

As I indicated at the beginning of my comments, I am attempting at this time to leave no doubt in the mind of anyone who has to interpret this legislation that it is at both those levels we want the right of appeal. I can accept that it would be equally effective in 5(a) and, if that is what the minister is suggesting, I am quite prepared to agree to that. I will write that out unless we can accept it simply on a voice vote.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: It is simply the addition of two words so that it would read, “governing procedures with respect to parents or guardians for appeals in respect of identification or placement of exceptional pupils in special education programs.” That is inserting “identification and/or.” It could be both.

Mr. Sweeney: If the minister is prepared to make that amendment, I would be prepared to withdraw my amendment.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: I would be willing to move that amendment.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Sweeney has withdrawn his amendment. Any further comments on section 3(2) of the bill?

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Chairman, what is the amendment that has been withdrawn and removed? Would you read it back to us please?

Mr. Chairman: I can read what has been withdrawn but that is all that has taken place so far. I have nothing in writing before me. The member for Kitchener-Wilmot has withdrawn the amendment.

Mr. McClellan: I had one question that does not have to do with the amendment. I am sure the minister can deal with it. It is simply a question of factual information. I had inquiries from a number of local associations for the mentally retarded asking if it is possible for a local board of education to purchase service from an association for the mentally retarded developmental centre, either under the existing provisions of Bill 82 or under regulations that would be promulgated, presumably under this section.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: I would have to clarify that specifically but I believe it is possible at the present time and should continue to be possible although there is a great deal of activity going on in discussions with the Ontario Association for the Mentally Retarded at the present time about the way in which those programs will be provided.

Mr. McClellan: If I could just pursue this point I am anxious to have the power in the bill that a board of education could purchase service from an association for the mentally retarded developmental centre. Would the minister undertake to have her officials advise us where that power rests within Bill 82 so that we can be reassured on that point.

4:20 p.m.

Mr. Stong: Mr. Chairman, in keeping with the withdrawal of the motion by my colleague the member for Kitchener-Wilmot, and in view of the remarks of the minister, I had tabled an amendment to this subsection earlier this afternoon that is in keeping with what the minister had said. So I move that section 3(2) (5a) be amended by adding --

Mr. Foulds: We are still on section 1.

Mr. Stong: I am sorry. I am moving an amendment to subsection 2, if it is in order.

Mr. McClellan: Rather than hold up proceedings, I am quite willing to return to the question, if I can have an assurance from the minister that if that power is not in the bill, whatever action is necessary to put it in would be taken.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: I was concerned about the amendment which we were --

Mr. Chairman: This is on subsection 2.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: That is what we were discussing.

Mr. Foulds: We have not reached the introduction of that yet.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Pardon me. Yes.

Mr. Chairman: Shall subsection 1 carry?

Mr. McClellan: Subject to coming back to that one point, yes.

Subsection 1 stood down.

On subsection 2:

Mr. Chairman: I have two amendments. I think they are very similar. One is by the member for York Centre and one is by the minister.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: In response to the question of the member for Bellwoods, while there are co-operative activities that go on voluntarily, at present boards are not able to purchase services from an association for the mentally retarded under the act. There is now much discussion being carried out in order to determine the most appropriate ways in which co-operatively to provide services, and I cannot at this time define the capability of a board to purchase a particular service from a voluntary agency.

Mr. McClellan: This represents a major problem then. I think a number of people, myself included, and certainly a number of the people within the associations for the mentally retarded, are really concerned about the capacity of local boards of education to develop programs for developmentally handicapped children. Secondly, a great many local associations for the mentally retarded have developmental centres in place and are providing a very excellent program for developmentally handicapped children.

Our concern is that this bill not place things in a state of confusion or jeopardy. It seems to me it would be sensible for the minister to remedy what I feel is a defect in her policy, and to make provisions, even if it is on a transitional basis, so that a local board is able to purchase service from the local branch of the OAMR. Are there policy objections to the purchase of service from the local OAMR branch, or what?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Chairman, the policy at present is that the service is purchased or is provided by the Ministry of Community and Social Services programs which are available within those communities, and which may co-operate and work with the OAMR, but not through a specific institution established by OAMR. In fact, most of the co-operative service carried on is in the opposite direction; that is, that educational program is provided through a local board to an OAMR facility through agreements which are reached under the Education Act.

Mr. Foulds: I think we do need to clarify it. Is there a statutory inhibition in the present Education Act that prevents a school board from purchasing services from a local association for the mentally retarded? Do they have the authority at the present time to purchase such services? If that is in the present act, then I think we do not have difficulty. If it is not in the present act, then I believe my colleague is asking that an amendment be put in this bill, which is simply an amendment to the Education Act, so that authority clearly is in the Education Act and in this bill.

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Chairman, if I may, I would submit that the authority is probably in the act under a broad interpretation of the regulation sections and it becomes a policy decision and, in a sense, an administrative decision as well for the ministry to decide whether it will permit that to happen in those circumstances and situations where it is warranted.

I do not intend to belabour the point; I simply wanted to raise it and find out what the situation was. It would be a money amendment at any rate and not within the purview of the opposition to move, but I commend that particular course of action to the ministry so at least that capability is there. It may not ever have to be exercised, but on the other hand, it may, and that flexibility should be afforded the ministry.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Chairman, if the member is suggesting that a local chapter of the Ontario Association for the Mentally Retarded should be capable of providing educational program for handicapped children under the purview of a board of education, I would express to him my concern that the very purpose of Bill 82 is to ensure that school boards themselves will have the capability of developing and providing the appropriate educational or instructional program for those handicapped children. In co-operation with OAMR, through all of the discussions which are going on, I am sure that is what is going to happen.

If the member is suggesting that boards would not have to develop that capability but could rely on a local voluntary agency to develop an educational program, then I think you are missing the intent of the bill completely.

Mr. McClellan: That is not what I said at all and there is no possible way that anybody could take that interpretation from what I said. I am talking about transitional, and where circumstances warrant -- and I have no idea whether circumstances ever would warrant it. I am simply saying that is a flexibility that ought to be afforded and I am raising it at the request of a number of representatives from associations for the mentally retarded.

Yes, I understand the purpose of the bill. Thank you.

Section 3(1) agreed to.

On section 3(2):

Mr. Chairman: Honourable Miss Stephenson moves that paragraph 5a of subsection (1) of section 10 of the act as set out in section 3(2) of the bill be amended by adding the words “identification and/or” after the word “of” in line two and before the word “placements” in line two.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: The expert on legislative drafting in the Liberal Party has just informed me that one cannot use and/or with an oblique between them in legislation. I stand corrected. Whatever is the appropriate form to ensure that either or both might be included, I will accept.

Mr. Stong: I tabled an amendment this afternoon dealing with this very section, in keeping with what you are suggesting, using the words “identification of and” to be placed before “placements.”

4:30 p.m.

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Chairman, the amendment does not scan. It would read, “in respect of placements of identification and/or exceptional pupils.” Is that right?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: No, it is in line two, “appeals in respect of identification and/or placements of exceptional pupils in special education programs.”

Mr. Stong: In my respectful submission, the amendment as offered by the minister does not conform to proper drafting in the use of the words “and/or.” I would offer an amendment to the minister either using the word “and” or “or.” You have to use one or the other but you cannot have both. May I amend it to say “and”?

Mr. Chairman: Will the minister who made the amendment adjust that?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Yes. I have just been handed by legislative counsel -- thank you -- the appropriate amendment.

Mr. Chairman: Honourable Miss Stephenson moves that paragraph 5a of subsection 1 of section 10 of the act as set out in section 3(2) of the bill be amended by inserting after the word “of” where it appears for the first time in the second line, “identification and.”

Mr. McClellan: I again say how superfluous the amendment is. If you look at section 7 of the bill dealing with section

34(10)(a) of the act, it says very clearly: “The board shall hear and determine appeals by parents and pupils from any decision of the placement committee,” It is already in the statute. The game here is to move it into the regulation.

Mr. Stong: Lest by my silence I be read to acquiesce in my friend’s last comments, just let it be said it is not yet superfluous.

Mr. McClellan: It will not be superfluous once they delete section 7 and replace it by the Mickey Mouse, watered-down version.

Mr. Chairman: Order. Shall the amendment carry?

All those in favour will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the ayes have it.

Section 3(2), as amended, agreed to.

On section 3(3):

Mr. McClellan: Do the regulations require payment of the cost of education at elementary and secondary schools by pupils, or is it optional?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: I beg your pardon?

Mr. McClellan: We are talking about a number of children identified here. These are children admitted to a centre, facility, home or hospital. My question is what do the regulations require with respect to this group of children?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: I am not at all sure this is within the regulation, Mr. Chairman. It is my understanding that it is the responsibility that the provision of the educational program will be made under the Education Act, which means it is based upon a contribution of tax funds.

Mr. McClellan: This is the regulation section. This subsection permits you to make regulations with respect to the payment of the cost of education for these children.

My only question -- I am sorry I put it so badly -- is, is this optional or is it a requirement that the cost be paid?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: It is not optional in terms of the educational program for those children.

Mr. McClellan: So it does require you to make a payment?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Yes.

The Deputy Chairman: Any further discussion on subsection 3?

Section 3(3) agreed to.

Section 3, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 4 to 6, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 7:

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Chairman, last week I had introduced to the House proposed amendments to section 7 which would have deleted the entire section 7 as it appears in the reprinted bill and replaced it. I would ask the Chairman’s permission to do the same this week.

At this point, I should like to move that my previous amendments dealing with section 7 of the bill be withdrawn and the following inserted in lieu thereof -- thereafter follows five pages of amendments, which pages are in the hands of the members opposite.

The Deputy Chairman: The chair has no amendments before it at the present time. I think those amendments should be read into the record. You say that the critics have those. I think they should be read and moved.

Honourable Miss Stephenson moves that section 7 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

7. (1) Section 34 of the said act is repealed and the following substituted therefor:

“34. (1) In this section,

“(a) ‘board’ includes the Metropolitan Toronto School Board;

“(b) ‘hard-to-serve pupil’ means a pupil who, under this section, is determined to be unable to profit by instruction offered by a board due to a mental handicap or a mental and one or more additional handicaps;

“(c) ‘school’ includes a pupil or class for trainable retarded pupils.

“(2) Where a principal considers that an exceptional pupil who attends his school is, because of a mental or a mental and one or more additional handicaps, unable to profit by instruction, or where the parent or guardian of a pupil considers that the pupil is, because of a mental or a mental and one or more additional handicaps, unable to profit by instruction, the principal shall refer the matter to the appropriate supervisory officer who shall refer the matter to the board, and the board shall appoint a committee of three persons, consisting of a supervisory officer, a principal and a legally qualified medical practitioner who has expertise in respect of the mental or other handicap of the pupil, none of whom is a person to whom the matter has been previously referred.

“(3) The committee referred to in subsection 2 shall,

“(a) in accordance with subsection 4, inquire into the alleged inability of the pupil to profit by instruction;

“(b) determine whether the pupil can profit by instruction or determine that the pupil is a hard-to-serve pupil,

“and the committee shall make a written report of its findings and of its determination to the board and to the parent or guardian of the pupil.

“(4) The committee shall, for the purposes of its inquiry, study all existing reports in respect of the pupil, hear the teachers, the parent or guardian of the pupil, where reasonably possible the pupil, and any other person who may be able to contribute information bearing upon the matter and may, with the consent of the parent or guardian of the pupil, and of the pupil where he is an adult and capable of giving such consent, obtain and consider in respect of the pupil, the report of an assessment conducted by a person considered by the committee to be competent for the purpose.

4:40 p.m.

“(5) Any costs incurred in respect of an assessment or examination under this section, or in respect of the obtaining of other evidence required by the committee under subsection 3 or under subsection 6 shall be paid by the board referred to in subsection 2.

“(6) Where the parent or guardian of a person in respect of whom a determination has been made under clause c of subsection 3, or the person, where he is an adult,

“(a) believes that by reason of improvement in the condition of the person or other cause the person has become able to profit by instruction; and

“(b) furnishes to a supervisory officer of the board in whose jurisdiction the person resides, evidence or information to establish such belief,

“the board shall appoint a committee constituted in accordance with subsection 2 that shall review the determination in respect of the person last made under this section and confirm or alter such determination and for such purpose the committee has the powers and duties of a committee under subsection 3, which subsection applies with necessary modifications to such a review.

“(7) Where a committee under subsection 3 or subsection 6 determines that a pupil is a hard-to-serve pupil, the committee shall so notify the board and the board shall consider the recommendation and determine that the pupil is a hard-to-serve pupil or that the pupil is considered to need placement in a special educational program, as the case may be, and shall notify the parent or guardian of the pupil in writing of its determination.

“(8) Where the board determines that the pupil is considered to need placement in a special education program, the board shall refer the matter to the appropriate committee established under subparagraph (iii) of paragraph 5 of subsection 1 of section 10 that shall determine, designate or design an appropriate special education program for the exceptional pupil.

“(9) Where the board determines that the pupil is a hard-to-serve pupil and the parent or guardian of the pupil agrees with the said determination, the board shall assist the parent or guardian to locate a placement suited to the needs of the pupil and reimburse the parent or guardian for any expenses incurred by the parent or guardian in locating such placement.

“(10) Where,

“(a) the board determines that a pupil is a hard-to-serve pupil and the parent or guardian of the pupil disagrees with such determination and believes that the pupil is able to profit by instruction; or

“(b) the board locates a placement under subsection 9 and the parent or guardian disagrees with the placement,

“the parent or guardian of the pupil may, within 15 days of the receipt of the notice under subsection 7 or at any time prior to the implementation of the placement under subsection 9, notify the board in writing of the disagreement and the board shall forthwith refer the matter to the secretary of a special education tribunal establishment under subsection 1 of section 34a, by forwarding all the documentation outlining the special education programs and special education services that have been provided to the pupil and all existing reports and relevant material in respect of the pupil.

“(11) The board shall reimburse the parent or guardian for any expense he incurs in connection with the referral to and subsequent hearing by the tribunal referred to in subsection 10, provided that such expenses are approved by the tribunal.

“(12) The special education tribunal shall consider the referral and, after a hearing and review of the report of the committee referred to in subsection 3 and the determination of the board, shall find that,

“(a) the pupil is a hard-to-serve pupil;

“(b) the pupil is considered to need placement in a special education program; or

“(c) that the proposed placement under subsection 9 is or is not suited to the needs of the pupil

“and so notify in writing the parent or guardian of the pupil, the board and the minister.

“(13) Where the tribunal finds that the pupil is considered to need placement in a special education program, the board shall provide a special education program and special education services for the pupil and the board shall, within 60 days of receipt of the notice under subsection 12, inform the minister of the special education services that have been provided for the pupil.

“(14) Where, under subsection 12, the tribunal finds the pupil is a hard-to-serve pupil or that the placement under subsection 9 is not suited to the needs of the pupil, the board shall assist the parent or guardian to locate a placement or a new placement, as the case may be, suited to the needs of the pupil and reimburse the parent or guardian for any expenses incurred by the parent or guardian in locating such placement.

“(15) Where, pursuant to an application by the board or by the pupil or on his behalf for judicial review under the Judicial Review Procedure Act, 1971, the finding of the special education tribunal is set aside, the determination of the board under subsection 7 shall be referred to a special education tribunal for a new hearing conducted by members of the tribunal other than those who first heard the matter if the board or the parent or guardian of the pupil, as the case may be, makes application therefor to the secretary of the special education tribunal by registered mail within 15 days after the date of the order of the court setting aside the finding of the special education tribunal and the provisions of subsections 11, 12, 13 and 14 apply with the necessary modification in respect of a hearing by the special education tribunal under this subsection.

“(16) A placement of a hard-to-serve pupil under subsection 9 or 14 shall be made in Ontario, except where no placement suited to the needs of the pupil is available in Ontario.

“(17) Where a hard-to-serve pupil is placed under subsection 9 or 14, Ontario shall pay the cost, if any, of such placement.

“(2) The said act is amended by adding thereto the following section:

“34a (1) For the purposes of subsection 10 of section 34 the Lieutenant Governor in Council shall establish one or more tribunals known as special education tribunals and appoint a secretary of such tribunals.

“(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may by order,

“(a) establish the procedures that shall apply; and

“(b) authorize special education tribunals to fix and assess costs, with respect to matters dealt with by special education tribunals.”

Did the member for York Centre have a comment?

Mr. Stong: I was going to ask a question, Mr. Chairman, but the minister covered it by including in her amendment subsection 2.

The Deputy Chairman: May the chair ask two questions? If the minister would refer to page 3 of your amendments the last paragraph with the last heavy number of lines, after “subsection 7,” 10 lines from the bottom --

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Chairman, do you mean in section 10 at the bottom of page 3?

The Deputy Chairman: Yes, that is right.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Receipt of the notice under subsection 7?

The Deputy Chairman: Yes. Now what are the next two words after “notice under subsection 7”?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: “Or any time prior to the implementation of the placement under subsection 9.”

The Deputy Chairman: When you were reading it, you read, “or at any time.”

Hon. Miss Stephenson: I am sorry.

The Deputy Chairman: Then on page 4, in the third line of section 11, it reads, “to and subsequent.” Is that “any subsequent” or “a subsequent.” That is line 3 on page 4.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: It reads “with the referral to and subsequent hearing by the tribunal.”

The Deputy Chairman: All right, so “and” is correct there.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Yes.

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Chairman, in order to put our debate on this section in some kind of perspective, I must go back to the committee hearings of September 30, since our participation in those particular committee hearings has been referred to a number of times by other members of this House. I must say that the references to those committee hearings have not always been put in total perspective.

First of all, let us realize that right from the very beginning, going back to last May and June when this bill was first introduced, I have made it very clear that there were two aspects of the then current section 7 of the bill that troubled me greatly and that would have to be changed before it could get my support. I said we would have to eliminate the exclusion clause. I made it very clear that there was no way that we could say, on the one hand, that this legislation was designed to serve every single child or pupil in this province who had a special need and, at the same time, have an exclusion clause.

I made it very clear that, in my judgement, what we needed to say instead was that the school board had a responsibility to every single child admitted to its jurisdiction either to provide a program to meet that child’s needs itself or to find an alternative program someplace else. Quite frankly, it does not matter where else it is, as long as it meets that child’s needs. That was the exclusion concept.

4:50 p.m.

The other part of section 7 I insisted had to be changed in some way was to provide for an appeal mechanism for parents because we spoke at that time of the number of parents in this province with children, particularly with severe learning disabilities and the experience they had with their particular school boards. In many cases, they tried but simply were not able and, in some cases, in my judgement, they did not try hard enough. In many cases, they did try but simply were unable to meet the child’s needs, and we had to use such mechanisms as the vocational rehabilitation service of the Ministry of Community and Social Services. Those were the two essentials. There were a lot of other things we talked about, but they were the two essentials we still had to deal with.

Next I want to go to the standing committee on social development hearing of September 30, in which on at least three occasions I clearly indicated to the minister that I was still concerned about these two concepts. I introduced amendments which, in my judgement, would speak to that concern and would have corrected what I felt was a flaw in the legislation. For any number of reasons those amendments were not accepted.

I am looking at page 47 of the committee Hansard of September 30, in which I specifically plead with the minister and say in effect, “If you cannot accept my amendments and you know what it is that I am concerned about, please go back and make an amendment of your own that will speak to these concerns.” I note in here particularly, “that there are children who are capable of being educated but who are not going to get what they need, who are going to be shunted off and who are going to be excluded in other ways. That is my concern.”

On page 48, I refer once again to the amendment that was then before us which was presented to the committee initially by the Justice for Children association and then later, more directly, by the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) as an amendment of his own. I made reference to that and I said to the minister I felt this particular amendment was too rigid, just too tight. I used those exact words. I said I would hope that we could deal with this issue in some more moderate way.

I once again appealed to the minister to take the legislation back and to bring in an amendment that would speak to the concerns. I pointed out, however, that if the minister was unwilling to do so, then I would be left with no alternative -- and that was very clear from my words -- but to support the amendment proposed by Justice for Children. In fact, that is what happened on September 30.

We are now faced with a different set of circumstances and that must be recognized. We are now faced with an amendment to section 7 which the minister has introduced and in which she has made some considerable steps forward. I clearly indicated on September 30 that if the minister was willing to move forward on this, if the minister was willing to recognize the concerns that had been expressed and make some changes to the section, I would be prepared to cooperate and to make the bill on those lines.

We have not yet gone all the way, but we have come a long way. We clearly have eliminated the exclusion clause, and for that I offer my support and co-operation to the minister. That is what we were asking for; the minister has recognized it and it is gone.

We clearly have a defined appeal mechanism. As the minister will note in some further amendments my colleague and I will make, we want to go a little bit beyond it. But the situation we are dealing with here today is it significantly different one than what we were dealing with on September 30. We now have a version of section 7 of this bill which is clearly different, which is clearly an improvement over what the minister had presented to us on September 30 and prior to September 30. To suggest that the only version of this bill we are looking at or that we should look at is the amended one that came out on September 30 is a distortion of the possibilities that are available to us.

First of all, I want to draw to the minister’s attention a comment she made at a public forum to the board of education for the borough of York on Thursday of this week. There are a number of very good comments in that, but there is one in particular I would draw her attention to on page 8, and the minister will recognize it. She is referring to the new legislation and she says: “Many exceptional children with special needs just have not been able to have those needs met adequately in our publicly financed schools.”

That was another way of the minister saying we needed something like Bill 82 to meet that very obvious need. She was saving that to the extent to which school boards in this province had done as much as they could, to the extent that school boards in this province have the financial and the human resources to meet all the needs of special education children in this province it was clearly not effective enough. She was saying we needed a piece of legislation that was going to do that, and we have come a long way in that.

Last week I introduced four amendments dealing with the broader interpretation of hard-to-serve pupil in this legislation. Instead of limiting the hard-to-serve pupil to “one who is unable to profit by instruction,” I added words to make it read “unable to profit by instruction offered by a board.” That was done with care and consideration. The point I want to make here now is that we have under the jurisdiction of the boards of this province children who, for whatever reason, simply are not getting an adequate education as offered by their boards.

The implementation of this bill over the next five years will go a long way towards believing that. If the implementation of this bill goes, as the minister has stated it should and as she believes it should go, then we will probably be in a situation where every single school board in this province will meet the needs of every single student in its jurisdiction. That is the hope; that is the promise; that is the vision. I sincerely hope the minister is right, because that would be my promise. It would be my vision as well that we could in the public schools of this province meet the appropriate needs of every single child.

5 p.m.

However, despite our best intentions, despite our best efforts to put enough money into it and to put enough human resources into it, there is the distinct possibility there may still be some children whose needs cannot be met under the jurisdiction of a board. Those children are going to be defined as hard-to-serve children. Section 7 speaks to them. By adding the words, “offered by a board” after “instruction,” what I am clearly referring to is any child for whom the board has done the best it can, but for whatever reason is simply not able to meet that child’s needs, whatever those needs might be, whether they may be needs of care or educational needs. Therefore, that is the specific purpose of adding those words. I would suggest it is a significant addition. It is not just put in there for fluff.

The other amendments I had proposed previously concerned two different places -- subsection 9 and subsection 14. In both cases, in the version the minister gave us last week, those sections did relate to placement of a child someplace else, either by a board or by the tribunal. The purpose of my amendments was to clearly indicate that either the board or the ministry would have to fund those placements. In the amendment the minister has given us today, she has responded to that in section (7) 17. It now says: “Where a hard-to-serve pupil is placed under subsection 9 or 14, Ontario shall pay the cost.” I am pleased to see the minister has incorporated that section of my amendment.

A third point I attempted to make in my amendments was to draw attention to the fact that a child’s needs may not be able to be met within the province. Therefore, I asked that the words “in Ontario” in subsection 9 and in subsection 14 be deleted. The purpose of that was to allow the child to be placed outside Ontario if the best efforts by school boards, the tribunal and the ministry could not meet the particular needs of a child within Ontario. Under this legislation, the tribunal or the board would not be prohibited from going outside the province to find what the child needs.

I notice in the minister’s amended version in subsection 16 that she speaks to this as well. The minister says in the amendment: “Where a placement of a hard-to-serve pupil under subsection 9 or 14 shall be made in Ontario except where no placement suited to the needs of the pupil is available in Ontario.” That speaks to the same point I am making once again. I will indicate clearly to the minister I will support that.

I made a fourth amendment with respect to the rights of the tribunal. Here I was referring to subsection 10, in which case it was not just the determination of a hard-to-serve pupil, but also the decision by the board to place a hard-to-serve pupil and that the parent or guardian, through the tribunal, would have the right to appeal both the identification of a hard-to-serve pupil and also the right to appeal the board’s decision to place that pupil.

The minister, through the amendments given to us today, has made that change in subsection 10 of this section where in 10(b) the minister now has “the board locates a placement under subsection 9 and the parent or guardian disagrees with the placement.” Once again, the minister has recognized the amendment I placed last week and has incorporated it into her own legislation.

I can say that the amendments I made available to the minister which were intended to broaden the definition of what a hard-to-serve pupil is and clearly to indicate who was going to pay the cost, where the service could be obtained and, finally, to insist that the placement decision of a hard-to-serve pupil should also be open to appeal, and not just the identification of the hard-to-serve pupil, have all been brought forward. I will most certainly support those sections of the amendment.

In the interval, as I read over the version of the amendment the minister made available to us last week, I realize there was an internal inconsistency by adding the words “offered by a board” in subsection 1, but not also adding them in subsection 2 and 3 where they appear again. Therefore, at this time I am introducing a further amendment which I believe the Chairman has in front of him. Actually, it will be an amendment to my amendment because part of it has already been done.

What I am referring to is my first amendment under section 7. I had moved that the minister’s amendments be further amended, as she has done, by adding “offered by the board” after “instruction” in the sixth line of section 7(1) of the bill being section 34(1)(b) of the act. That has already been done. I would then go on in the fourth and seventh lines of section 7(2) and in the fifth and ninth lines of section 7(3).

I would draw to the attention of the Chairman and the minister that those are added only to be consistent with the change the minister has already accepted in section 7(1) of the bill. There is no hidden intent there whatsoever. I am assuming that since the minister has accepted the concept in section 7(1), she will equally accept the same concept in subsections 2 and 3 of adding “offered by a board.”

At this time, I would like to state an understanding and to have the minister, at some point before the afternoon is over, assure me that my understanding is correct. We are speaking here of a piece of legislation which is not intended to be fully implemented until 1985.

First, it is my understanding the minister made known to us that school boards across the province would be expected -- and there would be some kind of monitoring going on -- to be implementing in a phased-in procedure as much of this legislation as they are able each year between now and 1985. In other words, between now and 1985 we are talking about a transitional period before the bill becomes fully implemented and fully effective. However, during that period of time, school boards do not have the choice to ignore this legislation. The school boards are bound by this legislation to the degree they have both the financial and human resources to implement it. The minister is going to monitor it to be sure they do that. That is my first understanding, if the minister would confirm it.

Second, my understanding is during that transition-implementation period, the provision now available to parents and guardians in this province to go before the vocational rehabilitation board and ask for assistance for their children with special needs will be continued. As part of it, I would understand that any child who by 1985 was in the process of being assisted by the vocational rehabilitation board would certainly have that continued understanding, if the minister would clearly identify that.

5:10 p.m.

At this point, I will let my amendment stand. If the minister wishes at this time to correct anything I have said or to add to it, then I wish she would please do so.

The Deputy Chairman: I would direct a word to the member for Kitchener-Wilmot. The clerk has before us some amendments which I think you tabled some time ago. You have not moved them yet. Since this is such a long and rather complicated amendment that the minister has put forward, my proposal would be to move it section by section.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: If I may, the member for Kitchener-Wilmot had produced some subamendments to the amendments which I introduced last Tuesday. In discussing these, it was felt it would be less confusing for the members of the House if those areas in which we could agree were incorporated into an entirely new amendment. This was the reason I suggested earlier that it would be my position that I would withdraw the amendment I introduced last Tuesday and introduce the new amendment to section 7 which incorporates all but one of the amendments the member for Kitchener-Wilmot suggested. He suggested this afternoon that his were additions, made after perusing the new amendment we introduced, in order to provide for consistency.

The Deputy Chairman: Since we did not get to section 7 last week, your amendment was not formally put. Therefore, there is no need to withdraw it. I simply have before me now the amendment you put today.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Chairman, if I may, the list of amendments which the member for Kitchener-Wilmot introduced last week no longer applies because they have been incorporated into the amendment which I introduced this week, except for the additional words, “offered by a board” in two other places.

The Deputy Chairman: I don’t know whether the member for Kitchener-Wilmot agrees that this is the case. If he does not, I am asking him to hold the amendments he may want to make until we come to the appropriate sections of this amendment.

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Chairman, it might be simpler for everyone if I made it clear, as I attempted to do in my overview of what has happened in the last couple of months, that I now recognize that the second, third and fourth amendments I have before you are no longer applicable because the minister has included them in her new amendment. Therefore, I withdraw those three.

However, I have indicated that the second and third parts of my first amendment are still applicable. I think the simplest thing for me to do for your benefit is to cross out what is no longer applicable, and to leave what is applicable there. I will do that now.

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Chairman, while the honourable member is writing, I would like an opportunity to speak both to the amendment and to any subsequent subamendments. I will concede that the Minister of Education has moved a considerable distance with respect to the so-called hard-to-serve child who is unable to profit by instruction. When we were in committee, the Minister of Education: was insisting that the language of the old section 34 of the Education Act be retained and that children not able to profit by instruction would be excluded and virtually dropped.


Mr. McClellan: I interpret the language; “the board will assist to locate” as meaning “dropped.” The minister has moved some distance and, regrettably, so has the Liberal Party but in the other direction.

Mr. Foulds: The minister’s advance is the Liberal Party’s retreat.

Mr. McClellan: That’s right. We have an amendment before us and, regardless of what the member for Kitchener-Wilmot will do, it only deals with one particular situation. That is the situation of the child who is designated a hard-to-serve pupil who, because of a mental handicap or a mental or one or more additional handicaps, is unable to profit by instruction. We are still talking only about one group of children; we are still talking about those children who used to be excluded under section 34 of the Education Act. That is all we are talking about. We are not talking about a comprehensive appeal system that covers all areas of decision-making of a local board of education placement committee. We are only talking about decisions that are made with respect to children who are designated hard-to-serve pupils.

I will concede that the refinements that have been made in the area of an appeal procedure for hard-to-serve children have been substantial, so that we appear at this time to have an appeal mechanism that could result in the end in a child actually getting a program. I still have concerns that the procedures aren’t spelled out with respect to what happens when one goes before this tribunal, but at least most of the areas that were silent have been filled in so that the dots have been completed.

The main problem for us remains that it is an utterly partial appeal system. There is still no appeal provision within the amendments being put forward by the Liberals and Conservatives that deals with the question of who is an exceptional pupil and who is not. There is still no appeal provision in the statute as proposed by the Liberals and Conservatives with respect to what kind of special education programs and special education services an exceptional pupil will get.

All we have is an answer to the question of what happens to the hard-to-serve pupil who is unable to profit by instruction because of a mental handicap. That is what it says and that is what it is. Don’t try to pretend it is something it isn’t. That is the game that is being played here this afternoon and it is absolutely infuriating because a fraud is being perpetrated when you try to say an appeal system covers everybody when it doesn’t. The reality is in the language.

Before one can appeal under what is before us, the board of education has to determine that a pupil is a hard-to-serve pupil. That is the only group of children that can appeal under what is in front of us, that is, children who have been designated by a board of education as hard-to-serve pupils. That is the reality. That is what the statute says, and a hard-to-serve pupil is defined. It is not an exceptional pupil and it is not an exceptional pupil who is entitled to special education services. It is a pupil who is determined to be unable to profit by instruction offered by the board due to a mental handicap or one or more additional handicaps. That is a very restrictive definition. It is very clear what that will mean in terms of the operation of the appeal procedure. Let us not have any nonsense about this being comprehensive or universal because it isn’t. It is restricted to that one group of children.

It is important that at least that replaces the old exclusion provision and, as I said, I am pleased that the minister has moved that far. But she has not moved to provide an appeal for the question: “Who is an exceptional pupil?” The local board of education will define that.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Sections 2 and 3.

Mr. McClellan: Those are regulation sections. If you don’t understand at this time the difference between an appeal procedure that is in the statute and one that is left to your discretion through regulation, I don’t intend to go through it again. I have gone through it three or four times already.

5:20 p.m.

We have seen your appeal procedure in regulation 704-78 under the Education Act I referred to earlier. You called it an appeal procedure when we were in committee. You did not call it a review procedure; you called it an appeal procedure. You insisted it was an appeal procedure until it was pointed out to you what a sham it was.

I think it is our responsibility to put a genuine appeal procedure into the statute. That is precisely what the existing section 7, which we passed in the social development committee, does. It covers all three areas of decision-making: who is an exceptional pupil, what kind of special education programs and services a child should get and, finally, how to deal with the so-called hard-to-serve child. We have covered all three areas of decision-making in the bill. It is right in front of us. It is eminently supportable.

I regret very much the other two parties do not intend to support section 7 as amended by the committee. Rather, they intend to try to pass off this very limited appeal system as somehow covering all of the areas which require appeal. If we in the Legislature are prepared to give such enormous powers of decision-making to any outside body, we have an obligation to provide a means of redress to the citizen against wrong decisions. Surely we can all accept that principle.

We say simply that human beings are not infallible. Bureaucrats are not infallible; they make mistakes. They are likely to make a mistake with respect to whether some child in this province is an exceptional pupil or not, and if they make a mistake that child will not be eligible for special education. Some official of a local board of education may make a mistake with respect to which special education program a particular child should be receiving and, unless there is an appeal procedure, that mistake cannot be corrected. It is as simple as that.

As I said, we have dealt through the amendment and the subamendment with hard-to-serve kids, but in the process we are wiping out the appeal system on the other two questions. It is a nonsensical retreat on the part of my colleague the member for Kitchener-Wilmot, however nicely he wants to put it. The minister simply is as intransigent as ever.

Mr. Stong: Mr. Chairman, when Bill 82 was originally introduced in the House, it was debated in principle. That principle was to meet a need which existed in society and that was a need which existed in children who had special needs in the educational process. In addressing that principle, this entire House unanimously passed Bill 82 in principle. In other words, we wanted to come up with a bill which met and satisfied the special needs known as exceptional needs in this bill.

The committee was set up and the bill was sent to committee. The committee reviewed the bill clause by clause. In committee, amendments were made to the ‘bill as an indication to the House what the committee wanted and as a direction to the House. The matter is now back before the House for reconsideration on a clause-by-clause procedure.

Last week we considered the rights section. The rights section, as it has been dubbed by the party on the left, dealt with issues concerning all children. This was clearly inconsistent with the principle of the bill because the bill was passed in principle to deal with exceptional children with exceptional needs. So the rights section was amended by this House in committee of the whole last week to meet and satisfy the principle of the bill. In fact, written into that rights section was that the bill dealt with exceptional children. We as a House on the whole met with the principle and reviewed and amended the bill to conform to the principle that this House unanimously passed.

Not only that but last week, pursuant to the amendments by this party, we included words such as “appropriate program.” We included the fact that there should be no extra cost to the parents for the appropriate program and we also enshrined in that rights legislation a guarantee of an appeal, which I might say without referring at great length to it, the party on my left voted against.

We now have before us section 7. An amendment to section 7 was moved by the minister. At the outset, in recognition of the need that existed in society, and perhaps because of the lengthy delay and the problems parents of children with exceptional handicaps were experiencing, confidence probably was eroded and parents no longer had the same trust or expected the same treatment. They did not enjoy the same confidence in the ministry as they would otherwise have done.

Now we have a bill before us in its present form from the committee that deals with three fundamental procedures. Number one is the identification of a student as an exceptional student, and we also have a definition in the present bill of what an exceptionality is. Not only does the present bill from the committee deal with identification, but it also deals with placement in section 7. Not only that, but it deals with the hard-to-serve student whose needs cannot be satisfied in the present system.

The minister has moved an amendment to that section which, in my respectful submission, is almost a 180-degree deviation from what the committee had recommended for this House’s passage in committee of the whole House. In so far as that deviation occurred and in so far as the amendment we are now considering deals with the one problem that is before the House, that is, setting up an appeal mechanism for the hard-to-serve children, the amendment is acceptable and applaudable, but it is lacking in two very significant areas.

First, it is lacking in the area of identification, setting up an appeal procedure and guaranteeing that appeal procedure, independent of the minister’s discretion, for the parents of the child who are not satisfied with the placement. Second, the section, as amended by the minister, does not deal with the placement and the review of placement of any other child except the hard-to-serve child. The hard-to-serve child is looked after very well and the bill is extremely fair in that regard. Because this amendment is a matter of a complete turnabout, so to speak, we almost have to deal with it in principle as opposed to going through it section by section and clause by clause.

In the light of the remarks that were made by my colleague from Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney), I have amendments I want and intend to offer to this clause. As the clause is set up, it deals with and serves only the hard-to-serve pupil. The thrust is directed toward that segment of our school population that falls within this definition. It sets up identification; it sets up a committee for review; it sets up going back to the board; it sets up a special educational tribunal. Even from the educational tribunal, one can appeal to a judge who can refer it back to the tribunal for reconsideration. This is all to deal with the hard-to-serve pupil. Nothing is said in this section about the placement or the identification in terms of review. It is because this section is silent in those two regards that I have amendments to offer to the minister.

5:30 p.m.

As have other members, I have been deluged by mail, by phone calls, by telegrams. I have met with the York County Board of Education which has expressed its concerns to me. Their first concern is that in its present form Bill 82 is overbearing, unwieldy and perhaps unworkable. This is as it came out of the committee.

I accept the observations given to me by expert educators. I accept what they say about its implementation. It has also been brought to my attention that the appeal procedure, as set up in Bill 82 from committee, overrides the responsibility and takes away the responsibility from the Minister of Education for providing education and providing special programs. I accept that as an observation as well.

First and foremost, I accept the statement made in a letter that was written to me by the chairman of the York County Board of Education. She said: “Let me make it clear that the York County Board of Education is not opposed to the idea of universal accessibility to an appropriate education for every child.” I accept that. I accept the fact that this bill is necessary because it meets a need in society, but the form in which the minister has introduced her amendments is not acceptable to this member.

I might say that at the appropriate time -- and I need guidance on this -- there are two principles that section 7 does not cover that we intend to offer as amendments. We will offer as an amendment the right to appeal the identification. We will offer as an amendment the right to appeal the placement, and there is already written into this section, a right to appeal for the hard-to-serve pupil. The appeal mechanism is important. The hard-to-serve pupil, under the present amendment offered by the minister, can go to a committee, can go to a board can go to a tribunal and can go to a court.

I accept the observations of educators and those in the boards of education who fear an onslaught. I accept it in this regard only as an onslaught of litigation. I accept it in only where the exceptionally gifted child’s needs are not met. Perhaps that will be the source of most of our appeals; perhaps it will not. It is conjecture and a projection, but I accept the observations of educators when they tell me that is the quarter from which they fear the most appeals.

It is very important that the appeal mechanism for the hard-to-serve child be maintained, but it is equally important that appeal mechanisms be guaranteed and set up independently at the discretion of the minister with respect to identification and placement.

My amendments to this section, which will be tabled at the proper time, will set up an appeal procedure so that in the case of identification and placement the parent, guardian or student -- the person affected if he is an adult -- will have the right to appeal to the minister, will have the right to appeal to the board and will have the right to go to a tribunal. At that point, his appeal depends on leave given by the tribunal to go further only in relation to the identification and the placement of individual exceptional pupils.

I realize we cannot take out of the hands of the boards or the ministry the right to educate, the obligation to educate and the responsibility to set up appropriate programs. We do not intend to do that. Also, it is my respectful submission to this House that it is distinguishable; that in terms of the identification and placement process there is a distinction between that process and the process of satisfying a child or pupil who is hard to serve. A pupil who is hard to serve can eventually go to court as a right to determine his rights under the present amendment. It is far-reaching and the minister has come a long way. She is to be congratulated for that.

I am not proposing that a parent or a child who wishes to appeal his identification or placement be given an appeal to the court as a right, but that when the appeal procedure goes beyond the board or the committee set up by the board, it be determined by granting of leave by the special tribunal which is already set up.

It seems to me that the aspect of an appeal from identification and the aspect of an appeal from placement should be written into this section. I happen to agree with the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) -- unbelievable as that is -- that the sections we have passed now are procedural only and that the appeal mechanism must be set out in this section. It is my intention to move at the appropriate time those amendments to the minister’s sections to guarantee the right of appeal along the same terms that she has set out already with respect to the hard-to-serve student.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, I rise in some perplexity because of the previous speaker.


Mr. Chairman: Order.

Mr. Foulds: I do not know why “perplexity” is such a provocative word in this Legislature. Over the past few days we have seen a lot of provocation dealing with other matters.

First, I sympathize with the previous speaker and wish him luck in his endeavours. Regrettable though I find it, I think the easiest solution would be to vote against the minister’s amendments and stick with section 7 as it exists in the bill. That is the easiest and most straightforward solution to the problem. That may very well happen.

I hope the member for York Centre (Mr. Stong) has persuaded himself to come that far because his amendments, as he is proposing them, do not really meet the needs to which he is speaking. I glanced at those amendments quickly and, although they broaden the appeal procedure, the amendments, as we have received them, do not tell us what happens with that appeal procedure. They do not tell us what recourse the parent has if he or she is dissatisfied with the placement of the child.

However, I think the previous speaker has done the House a great service because he has eloquently pinpointed, as has my colleague from Bellwoods, the very grave weakness in the legislation as the minister is now proposing it. This is that the appeal system that is a right for the parent on behalf of his or her child is only for the hard-to-serve pupil. The principle we supported on second reading -- all parties in this House -- must be maintained in this legislation and must not be gutted by the minister’s present amendment. That principle was that all exceptional children -- gifted, mentally retarded, hard-to-serve pupils and those many pupils across this province that suffer from the many, many, different forms of dyslexia -- would have the right to appeal. They do not have that right at the present time. They will not have that right if the minister’s amendment is carried.

5:40 p.m.

The amendment the minister proposes is weak in one important section in legislative terms even as it refers to the hard-to-serve pupil, because, in subsection 16, it is pure hope that is to be legislated that the hard-to-serve pupil will receive a placement. There is no guarantee in the legislation that if the placement is not in Ontario, the child will be placed some place outside Ontario and the cost borne. As I read subsection 16, “a placement of a hard-to-serve pupil under subsection 9 or 14 shall be made in Ontario except where no placement suited to the needs of the pupil is available in Ontario.” It is absolutely silent on where and how we place that pupil. As the minister amends the clause, it does not even legislatively guarantee an appeal procedure and a placement for the hard-to-serve pupil.

Therefore, I cannot in any conscience support the amendment as proposed by the minister because it fails in two important aspects. It fails to serve the specific needs of the specific pupil defined in the section and, secondly, the appeal system in the bill fails to guarantee legislatively the appeal for all the children this bill was meant to serve in the first place.

I would plead with my friend, if not my colleague, the member for York Centre (Mr. Stong) to realize the importance of what he said and to consider whether or not the minister’s amendment, no matter how it is amended, can serve the purpose he desires it to serve because the purpose he desires it to serve is good, worthy and laudable. Frankly, I don’t care about the politics of the situation. I don’t care about alienating the vested interest groups in education across the province on this issue. I don’t care which political party in the province gets the benefit or the credit for introducing the amendments or the bill that serves exceptional children.

I don’t want to sound particularly righteous about it, but what we should be concerned with as legislators is whether the bill serves the children we say it will serve. I don’t care who gets the credit, but it is important when we are passing a piece of legislation, and it is important when we are debating the clause-by-clause sections of the bill that we stick to the purpose, as enunciated in the minister’s statement when she first made it before the House and as enunciated in the principle most of us debated on second reading, that it supports the principles the social development committee argued, formulated and forged during the summer, and that it supports the rights and aspirations of the parents and children who have not been served by the educational system of this province for far too long.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Chairman, the amendments which were introduced to section 7 provide for a very important activity within this bill. The purpose of Bill 82 is to guarantee an education program for all children within the province. If a child is found not to be profiting by instruction, it is absolutely essential that the rights guaranteed under this act be protected as fully as they possibly can.

I think we have moved a very great distance in the provision of an appeal mechanism for that section of the bill which is something all of us consider extremely important. But we have already introduced in three places, in section 2 and in two places in section 3, the provision of an appeal mechanism for identification and placement of all exceptional children.

It is my understanding that the legal strength of a program, policy or mechanism established under a regulation is equal to that which has been established under an act. It is my understanding that the appeal mechanism will be just as strong established under the regulatory capacity which is provided.

The member for York Centre (Mr. Stong) has made some very interesting suggestions which I think we should consider incorporating. The appeal mechanism, which truly bears no relationship to the review mechanism, which was established in regulation 704 and which I have promised to introduce to all of the members of the House at the time of royal assent to this bill, will provide for three stages of review and appeal of the identification and placement of all exceptional children. I mean all of them, not just those who may move on to the stage which is set out in section 7.

I think this is an appropriate mechanism because it does fully involve at the very initial level the parents or guardians of the child and the child himself in the provision of information and in the provision of opinion and concept about both identification and placement. It does involve those who are responsible first at the local level for the delivery of education and establishment of educational program, and it provides for a mechanism for agreement if that can be reached. If no agreement is reached, the mechanism will ensure that the director of education, with the approval of the board, must refer that case to a further appeal mechanism at the regional level.

There is an additional interesting thought which the member for York Centre introduced this afternoon and is proposing in an amendment. I would ask him to hold that and permit us to incorporate into the regulated structure as best we can, through some consultation, to see if we can’t strengthen the appeal mechanism as established in sections 2 and 3(1) and 3(2) within the bill which we have already passed.

Mr. Foulds: Why are you twisting in the wind like this?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: I am not twisting. I am perfectly comfortable with the concepts that have been introduced. I am indeed happy that the members of this Legislature are supportive of our very strong feeling that Bill 82 is an important piece of legislation which does require introduction but, in addition, requires the full co-operation of all those who have responsibility under legislation for the development and the delivery of educational programs for children.

There is no doubt in my mind that there isn’t any one group within this House that has a monopoly on concern for children with exceptionalities, indeed for any children. I think that concern is shared equally and probably as deeply and is accepted by all parties in this House. But I would remind the members of the House that we do have an educational system which does, in many instances, provide a very superior program. We need to ensure that educational system will function in co-operation with the legislation in order to ensure that those exceptional children are well served.

From all of my consultations over the past two and a half years, I feel very strongly that the kind of bill we introduced and the kind of amendments we have proposed will not in any way diminish the absolutely essential cooperation we require for the delivery of that educational program through all of the agencies involved in the educational system in this province.

5:50 p.m.

Therefore, I would ask the member for York Centre (Mr. Stong), rather than introducing his amendments, to hold them, to allow us to participate in examination of the principles included in that in order to strengthen the kind of appeal mechanism we shall be introducing in regulations and which this House will see before this bill receives royal assent.

Mr. Chairman: Before I recognize another member of the committee, we have a very extensive amendment before the committee and I have listened carefully to them. Some members are referring to amendments they are planning on placing to certain subamendments. I believe other members have suggested they may vote against the complete amendment. I just wonder if I could have some guidance from the committee as to how they would like to handle this, whether they would like to commence the amendment section by section or still continue with general debate on the overall amendment.

Mr. Stong: Mr. Chairman, may I just ask the chair a couple of questions for clarification? Bill 82 came from the committee. The minister has offered amendments. We have amendments to the amendment by the minister. I understand that ours are voted on first. We must have, reserved for us, the right to turn down the minister’s amendments if we don’t agree with them, in so far as they don’t meet what we feel should be in this bill.

The difficulty is that if we go through this particular section clause by clause and one section passes, it could very well be that another section of the minister’s amendments will not pass and we will be left with a hotchpotch. Because the amendments the minister has introduced are such a deviation from what the committee said and are completely acceptable, in so far as they go, it seems to me that this member at least needs some guidance as to what procedure we should follow so that we will not end up with an amendment partially acceptable and passed and partially not acceptable and failed.

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Chairman, we are ready for the vote on the amendment from the minister, if that is all that is before us. If the member for York Centre has an amendment to the amendment, then he should move it. Otherwise, I think we should proceed with the vote. I have indicated what our position is. We intend to vote against amendments or subamendments in order to protect what is in the bill now in section 7.

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Chairman, I believe it was you yourself, at the beginning of this discussion this afternoon, who indicated that section 7 of this bill is such a long, complicated one that it should almost be taken as a bill itself.

At this particular time, the minister has indicated that she is prepared to take my colleague’s amendments and to determine the extent to which she can incorporate them into her own amendments and come back to us with an amendment which has already incorporated some of my amendments. We don’t know at this time the degree to which the minister can do that. I think what the minister has said is that she is prepared to look not only at this section, but also to go back and take another look at sections 2 and 3, unless I am misunderstanding her.

Basically, I am suggesting that since it is so close to recess time now we provide the minister with the opportunity of looking at the amendments my colleague has proposed and letting us know at eight o’clock the degree to which she is willing to accept those amendments. If she means something other than that, I would be willing to bear what the minister is saying.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: I am sorry I obviously did not make myself clear. What I was suggesting was that we had already introduced in section 2 and in section 3(1) and (2), of this bill provisions for the development of an appeal procedure for both identification and placement that would follow the introduction of the act.

I was asking the member for York Centre to give us the opportunity to look at the ways in which we could incorporate into the regulations, which would govern that appeal mechanism, the kinds of suggestions he was making, because it is my understanding that a mechanism established under regulation has strength equal to that which is established under legislation.

Because we have introduced that requirement in sections 2 and 3, I believe there can be no doubt -- and I have committed myself to the members of the House -- that those regulations will be available before this bill receives royal assent in order to ensure that the appropriate mechanism -- at least a two- staged and probably a three-staged appeal mechanism for identification and placement -- would be introduced. It was not that I was suggesting I could incorporate them into my amendments at this stage. I am sorry that you misunderstood that.

Mr. Chairman: I have listened carefully to many of the members. I get the feeling from what has been said that we should go through it section by section. That gives all members the opportunity to vote against, make amendments or vote for it. If the committee is agreeable, we could now start going through it section by section. If the committee is agreeable, I will call the amendment to section 7 of the bill, dealing with section 34(1) of the act. Are there any comments on section 7(1)?

The committee divided on Hon. Miss Stephenson’s amendment to section 7(1) of the bill dealing with section 34(1) of the act, which was approved on the following vote:

Ayes 53; nays 25.

Section 7(1), as amended, agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Gregory: Mr. Chairman, before we adjourn for dinner, I am wondering if we could have some kind of agreement from the House that after eight o’clock we stack votes until 10:15?

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, for procedural reasons we are willing to stack the subsections of section 7, but section 7 in total must be voted on whenever that comes before we can proceed with the rest of the bill.

Mr. Stong: Mr. Chairman, in order to make sense of what we are doing here, that would be a reasonable suggestion that we do stack them until 10:15 tonight, dealing with section 7 only.

Mr. Warner: No, Mr. Chairman, that is not agreeable to this caucus.

Mr. Foulds: We can only stack the subsections in section 7 until we get to the end of section 7.

Mr. Chairman: There doesn’t seem to be unanimous agreement. I wonder if there could be some consultation over the dinner hour and I will ask the committee for a decision when we resume.

The House recessed at 6:17 p.m.