31st Parliament, 4th Session

L126 - Fri 28 Nov 1980 / Ven 28 nov 1980

The House met at 10:02 a.m.



Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: I have in front of me an invitation given to members of the press gallery by the member for Brantford (Mr. Makarchuk) concerning visitors, here from the Soviet Union. It raises in my mind two concerns regarding the Legislative Assembly. The concern is not whether the member for Brantford has the right to have visitors. He obviously has the right to have anybody he pleases visiting him and that is certainly not at issue.

The issue, as I see it, is twofold. In the first place, a couple of weeks ago we welcomed in this assembly a dissident from Lithuania, who had escaped by means of almost miraculous undertaking and had made his way to freedom. I would point out that the government of Canada does not, in fact, recognize the annexation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union, and that de jure officially the Lithuanian representative in Canada is, in fact, not the Soviet ambassador.

I would, therefore, given the fact that a member of the Legislative Assembly has welcomed a deputy from the Lithuanian Supreme Soviet, if, in fact, that is the Parliament of Lithuania in which that deputy operates, wish to make it very clear that the government of Canada does not recognize that Lithuania is anything other than a captive nation. I certainly do not recognize Lithuania as being anything other than a captive nation annexed by the Soviet Union. I, therefore, wish it to be very clear on the record that any reception given to such a deputy here in her official capacity is given by only one member of the Legislature and does not in any way represent the view of recognition by the Legislature itself.

Secondly, in view of the comments made yesterday by the member from the same party, the member for Parkdale (Mr. Dukszta), who said we will not tolerate in this Legislature intimidation of Poland by Soviet tanks or the present situation, the occupation and struggle in Afghanistan, it seems to me very important that the Soviet delegates not be able to go back to the Soviet Union and say, “That may have been said in the Legislature and may have had apparently unanimous support, but really we had a warm official reception from one of the very important members and do not worry about.”

I as a member feel my privileges are involved here. It is my view that the Legislature made it very clear we do not in any way support the Soviet intimidation tactics with regard to tanks on the border of Poland, nor do we support in any, way the invasion of Afghanistan, nor do we recognize Lithuania as anything other than a captive nation that we all hope will one day have self-determination.

Therefore I want to make it plain, I want the assembly to make it plain and I want you, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the assembly to make it plain that the invitation by the member for Brantford is strictly his own doing and in no way does it represent the feeling of anyone else in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, methinks the Leader of the Opposition protests a bit too much about what is, as he has said a private visit to a member of this Legislature. It is not one that has been at the invitation of the Legislature or of any specific political party.

The Leader of the Opposition will have noted as well that yesterday one of the members of our caucus got up in this Legislature to ask the government House leader, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells), whether the government would agree to a unanimous, resolution by all parties in this House supporting what is happening in Poland. The resolution expressed concern about the possibility of Soviet intervention and indicated that we in Ontario believe everything possible should be done in order to allow the continued development of the Polish society without outside intervention from the Soviet Union or any place else.

As a member of this Legislature, I signed a statement last night, which was also being signed by a number of my colleagues in the New Democratic Party caucus, that communicates to those visitors from the political level of the Soviet Union, our feelings about what is happening in Poland. It expressed our fears about what might happen and our very earnest and strong request that they take back to their country our views here in Canada that we do not want to see the development of independent trade unionism in Poland interfered with by the Soviet Union.

It seems to me it is wrong to suggest, as the Leader of the Opposition seems to do -- at a time when there have been great efforts at détente in western Europe and when at the same time we are very concerned about the actions of the Soviets in Countries like Afghanistan -- that there should be an iron curtain erected by the western countries in blocking any kind of communication between individuals on one side and the other. This merely contributes to a heightening of the kind of tensions that all of us in this country should be trying to resolve.

Mr. Speaker: I want to advise the House that a call came into my office, either yesterday or the day before, indicating a group from the Soviet Union would be visiting the Legislative Assembly and asking if they could be accommodated in the Speaker’s gallery. We did agree to have five seats in the Speaker’s gallery set aside for the delegation that was to be here this morning. I do not see them in the gallery at the present time.

I do not know whether the assembly would want the chair to be selective in the kind of people we welcome here to view the proceedings of this Legislature. It has been left to the discretion of the Speaker’s office. I did make some inquiries about this group and found that there was an elected member of the Supreme Soviet, a deputy from Lithuania.

Hon. Mr. Drea: An elected member?

Mr. Speaker: That is what I was told. If the assembly wants the Speaker to be selective in the kind of people we do welcome here, I will be guided by whatever instructions I receive from the House, but I must remind all honourable members that if somebody represents a government and wants to come to view parliamentary democracy in action, I see no reason why I should deny him that right. I do not know of any incident that the Leader of the Opposition speaks of. It was certainly not done under the auspices of this assembly or the Speaker’s office.

10:10 a.m.

As I say, I will be guided by whatever the House wishes me to do but, if that delegation should appear, I had intended to draw the attention of the House to the fact it was there and to name the leader of the delegation, who is a young lady by the name of Gie Artmane. That is what I intended doing and what I will do unless I hear otherwise.



Hon. Mr. Maeck: Mr. Speaker, today I am pleased to announce to the honourable members a significant undertaking by my ministry to help ratepayers better understand their 1980 property assessment. Beginning the first week in December, immediately --

Mr. T. P. Reid: Better understanding -- they will understand.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: The people understand; some members opposite do not.

Beginning the first week in December, immediately after the mailing of assessment notices, assessment offices will be conducting a series of open houses in each of the 837 municipalities in Ontario. These open houses will give property owners and tenants the opportunity to discuss their assessments with assessment staff to gain clarification of areas of misunderstanding and generally to acquire a clearer picture of what the assessment process is all about. As well, these discussion sessions will allow the correction of minor information, such as municipal addresses or the spelling of surnames, without the filing of a formal complaint.

Some members will recall that the Ministry of Revenue has conducted open houses in the past in those areas of the province where reassessments have occurred under section 86 of the Assessment Act. Public response to these open houses has been consistently favourable and I am therefore very pleased to introduce this open house concept on a province-wide basis.

Ratepayers will be notified of the times and locations of open houses in their area by means of newspaper advertisements and an insert to be included with their assessment notice --


Hon. Mr. Maeck: -- and a personal letter from the Premier. No, strike that last part, Mr. Speaker!

I would also point out that these assessment open houses are yet another clear indication of this government’s firm commitment to improved public access to government programs and services and enhanced customer service. My ministry has previously announced a number of significant initiatives in this area and I believe these assessment open houses will be an important addition to Revenue’s customer service program.


Hon. Mr. Maeck: Mr. Speaker, I have a further statement on another matter. Last week, in response to questions from the members opposite, I stated I would be meeting with my staff to discuss my ministry’s requirement of Indian merchants selling tobacco to become registered under the Retail Sales Tax Act. As a result of that meeting, I have decided to delay the implementation of this proposal to February 1, 1981. This action is in response to requests from several groups representing certain sections of the Indian population. I hope that in recognizing the seriousness of the situation they will suggest viable alternatives to stop the illegal sales of tax exempt tobacco.

I will be inviting comments and suggestions between now and January 31, 1981, from the various groups known to me to be acting as spokesmen for Ontario’s Indians and, as well, any other groups who wish to meet with my staff to discuss the problem.

For the benefit of those members who are not familiar with the issue, let me briefly review what has happened up to this point. On November 1, 1980, the tobacco tax ruling, effective since 1968, allowing Indian merchants on reserves to purchase tobacco without a retail sales tax vendor permit, was changed. The change required them to obtain the necessary registration as is the case with all other tobacco retailers in Ontario. I emphasize that this change in no way infringed upon the Indians’ right to tax exempt tobacco or imposed any tax burden on Indian merchants.

It does, however, enable the ministry to identify those few individuals, whether they are Indians or non-Indians, who are taking advantage of the situation for their own financial gain. This change involves approximately 94 of the 121 Indian merchants selling tobacco on reserves. The other 27 Indian merchants are already registered as vendors under the Retail Sales Tax Act.

Because of the timing of the letters, and the delay in notifying the Indian merchants due to insufficient and inaccurate information as to their addresses and businesses, the effective date was initially delayed until December 1, 1980.

Since 1975 there has been a marked increase in the tobacco claimed to be sold by Indians. For example, in the 1975-76 fiscal year, 34.6 million cigarettes were sold exempt to Indian merchants. In 1979-80, this figure rose by 762 per cent to 297.9 million cigarettes. The projected sales for the 1980-81 year, based on sales of 248.2 million cigarettes for the first six months of this year, are 508.2 million. This represents an increase of 1,370 per cent over 1975-76. In September of this year alone, 48.3 million cigarettes were claimed as sold exempt to Indian merchants, which is considerably more than the whole year of 1976.

Further, when looking at the apparent consumption of tobacco on reserves compared to the rest of Ontario, it appears inconceivable that such consumption is realistic. The per capita consumption of tobacco per annum in Ontario is approximately 2,500 cigarettes. Using the statistics we have of claimed exemptions from tax, the per capita consumption on one reserve alone for fiscal year ending March 31, 1980 for example, was 132,867. This equates to 14.6 large packages per day for every man, woman and child on that reserve. On another reserve the purported per capita consumption increased from 3,100 in 1976 to 18,121 in 1979.

Not only are these statistics indicative of a substantial tax loss for Ontario, but also a substantial loss of income for more than 100 wholesalers not involved with these exempt purchases. Clearly, the tax system must remain equitable while preserving individual’s rights. In this vein, I have two responsibilities: First, to protect the right of the Ontario Indian population to the consumption of exempt tobacco on reserves; and second, to ensure that all consumption of tobacco by non-Indians is taxed under the Tobacco Tax Act.

In closing, I would like to reconfirm that in response to the requests we have received we will further delay the implementation of the proposed enforcement of the registration requirement of Indian tobacco retailers under the provisions of the Retail Sales Tax Act. Those interested in presenting alternatives to eliminate this tax evasion are invited to do so. As always, I and my ministry are open to suggestions of alternatives, and remain willing to consult with those who feel our actions will unnecessarily have a negative impact on their operations.


Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, as honourable members know, the federal Minister of Employment and Immigration, Mr. Axworthy, has denied, for the time being, the application for a work permit by John Dexter. Mr. Dexter, of course, is the eminent theatre director who had been invited by the board of governors of the Stratford Shakespearean Festival to become the artistic director of that outstanding festival.

Mr. Axworthy stated yesterday that the Stratford board had failed to carry out a thorough and reasonable search for a Canadian artistic director before Mr. Dexter was offered the position. Obviously, it is very important to Stratford, the province and the country that the festival have a full and fruitful season in 1981. The clear responsibility for ensuring that Stratford has such a season lies with the festival’s board.

As Minister of Culture and Recreation of the province of Ontario, I would expect the board to press on, with dispatch, in its search for Canadian talent and I would encourage it to do that. I would also note that I have been in constant contact with the Ontario Arts Council concerning the Stratford situation. The sentiments that I have expressed here reflect the sentiments of that council.

In the parlance and spirit of the theatre, the show must go on.

10:20 a.m.


Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, I would like to read a statement this morning on behalf of the Minister of Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson).

“Further to my announcement of last week that a committee will be formed to study the future role of universities in Ontario, I am pleased to report that the terms of reference as well as membership of the committee have been worked out.

“There are five areas the committee will consider. These are: To develop a public statement of objectives for Ontario universities in the 1980s expressed in operational terms; to relate the cost of meeting these objectives to funding levels; to consider modifications to the funding mechanism which would provide appropriate processes to encourage voluntary institutional adjustments and inter-institutional co-operation to meet these objectives; to define more clearly the appropriate joint roles of the individual institutions, the Council of Ontario Universities, the Ontario Council on University Affairs and the government of Ontario; and to recommend such other policy changes as are judged likely to improve the ability of Ontario universities to meet the agreed-upon objectives.

“As far as the makeup of the committee is concerned, I have chosen persons with both system-wide and institutional knowledge and experience to serve as members’. They were chosen on these grounds rather than to represent special interest groups. The members of the committee will be:

“Mr. R. J. Butler, secretary, Management Board of Cabinet; Dr. G. E. Connell, president, University of Western Ontario; Professor J. S. Dupre, University of Toronto; Dr. H. K. Fisher, deputy minister, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Colleges and Universities; Miss M. Hamilton, executive vice-president, Thomson Newspapers Limited; Dr. G. A. Harrower, president, Lakehead University; Mr. A. R. Marchment, chairman, Guaranty Trust Company of Canada; Mrs. M. S. Paikin, director, Southam Incorporated; Professor M. L. Pilkington, York University; Mr. R. P. Riggin, senior vice-president, corporate relations, Noranda Mines Limited; Dr. R. L. Watts, principal, Queen’s University; Mr. B. A. Wilson, assistant deputy minister, Ministry of Colleges and Universities; Dr. W. C. Winegard, chairman, Ontario Council on University Affairs.

“Dr. Fisher will serve as chairman of the committee. In addition, Dr. E. J. Monahan will serve as a resource person to the committee, and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities will provide a secretariat.

“I am sure honourable members will agree that these members have the expertise to provide the government with sound advice about the future of our universities. I am looking forward to receiving a preliminary report from the committee by February 28, 1981, so that discussions can be carried out with the university community and the public at large. I expect the final report will be completed by June 30, 1981.”


Mr. Speaker: I would like to draw to the attention of all members the presence in our gallery of a delegation from the Soviet Union, headed by Miss Gie Artmane, who is a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of Latvia. She is the leading actress of Latvian state drama theatre.

Would members please welcome them to the Legislature?



Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Premier on the subject of interest rates. The Premier is aware, as is the Treasurer, that interest rates have now risen to a level as high as or higher than they were last spring when we had our previous discussion in this House.

Given the hardship this will undoubtedly mean for home owners and also for small businesses which are already facing very grave difficulties in Ontario, would the Premier tell us whether he has any plan, either in concert with the federal government or on his own, to adopt either a plan which is similar to that which we suggested in the spring or a plan of his own to help home owners and small businessmen cope with the high interest rates which seem to be upon us once again?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, obviously we are quite concerned about the question of interest rates. We had a discussion last spring on this very issue. I do not want to be provocative here on a Friday morning and point out that the government of this province has no control over interest rate policies of the government of Canada; nor will I repeat at length our suggestions to the government of Canada that, in fact, we can divorce ourselves and our view from the interest rates charged in the United States.

I think it is fair to point out, though, that at this moment the prime rate is still well below that of the United States, which is somewhat unique. We could argue that we could still have a more independent policy with respect to interest rates but that, of course, does not at this moment solve the problem.

I have not had the opportunity to discuss it with the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) since the Bank of Canada increased the rate yesterday. We have been monitoring it very carefully in discussions with a number of people who have some knowledge of this, including some information from the United States where -- not in any way to minimize the difficulty -- there is some expectation that perhaps interest rates now, in fact, have plateaued.

Whether this will turn out to be the case or not and at what rate they may start to diminish, there is some expectation of this on the part of some, not of everybody. I noticed in the news this morning an economist from one of the banks suggested that the diminution in rates might be fairly slow. There are other economists who suggest it may happen more rapidly. I would say to the Leader of the Opposition that we are keeping a very careful eye on it but I would point out to him that while we were having our debates last spring, shortly after those discussions, interest rates did in fact decrease rather substantially in relative terms. I think perhaps it would be somewhat premature to --


Hon. Mr. Davis: Well the Leader of the Opposition would say it is because of that enlightened government in Ottawa, I understand that. If they were responsible for their diminution, then one also has to assume their responsibility for their increases. I know the member for Brant, Oxford, Haldimand, St. George and all of those places would understand the logic of that observation, but I assure the Leader of the Opposition we will be monitoring it over the next period of time to see whether or not they are stabilizing, and whether perhaps there is some potential of them being diminished. We will certainly keep the House informed as we gather this information.

Mr. S. Smith: Since the Premier’s response seems to be essentially that the last time we had this problem he waited and it went away, therefore maybe we ought to do the same thing again this time, may I ask what he intends to do to assist those home owners who have to renew mortgages now or to assist those small business people who are now at the margin where they might find themselves going out of business and creating more unemployment this winter?

Even though he and I agree that Canada could adopt a more independent policy -- in fact, I tried to urge it on him some time ago -- the fact is that Ontario businesses and home owners are going to be suffering. Why is he not prepared now to bring in some measure of relief for these people so that we can keep up employment in small businesses and can keep as many people in their homes as possible? Why can the Premier not introduce some measure of relief now, rather than waiting to see what happens in the future?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think there are two issues. One is the rate being charged the small businessman, which is obviously of concern to the government. It does create certain hardships; no one is minimizing that. At the same time that increased cost in doing business can, in most businesses, be passed on. I do not say that is healthy or wise, but that is an avenue for them.

With respect to mortgage interest rates, I think that is a more complex issue in terms of how one approaches it. I think it is fair to state the government has been keeping a very close eye on this. A number of mortgage companies have, in fact been reducing the term of the mortgage to allow home owners a greater degree of flexibility to adjust if interest rates happen to decrease. I can only say to the Leader of the Opposition we are concerned about it, we are keeping a careful eye on it and the Treasurer and I will be reporting to the House over the next period of time as we try to determine what route interest rates may take.

10:30 a.m.

Mr. Mancini: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The Premier will recall in 1975, approximately, when interest rates were not nearly as high as they are at the present time, his government was prepared to take action to subsidize interest rates if they were over a certain percentage. Would the Premier now reconsider that same policy he was ready to put into place then?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, again I am going strictly by memory, but I would say to the member for Essex South my recollection is that the prime rate was as high, if not a shade higher last spring when we were debating this than it is at present. Our prime rate is about 13.5 per cent. The bank rate is around 14.5 per cent. My recollection is it was somewhat higher than that last spring. I do not think we have passed the point that interest rates were at in this country last spring. We are fairly close to it, but I think he is in error in suggesting the rates are now higher than they were last spring.

Mr. S. Smith: There was an election then, you may recall.


Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Education I have a question for the Premier on the subject of the Norfolk secondary school dispute. Is the Premier aware the strike has now resulted in the loss of 40 school days? The strike itself has been going on for some months and the mediator has now come to the conclusion the parties are at an impasse. The mediator has recommended binding arbitration in the matter. This has been accepted by one party to the dispute but not the other.

Given the fact things are at an impasse and given the fact the students are obviously suffering, having been out of school now for 40 school days, is the Premier prepared to take action to get the children back in the classrooms?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the Minister of Education is under the weather this morning. I will be communicating with her later in the day to suggest she become involved over the weekend, if there is merit in doing so.

My understanding of the issue at the moment is the Norfolk Board of Education is saying nothing today. They are meeting this evening. Until they have had that meeting it is perhaps wise not to commit ourselves to any particular course of action. That is the information I have as of about 15 or 20 minutes ago. I say to the Leader of the Opposition that the minister or I will be quite prepared to discuss this on Monday but we think it is wise to wait until after the Norfolk board has its meeting, which we understand is this evening.

Mr. S. Smith: Is the Premier ready to recognize, as the members of his own party have recognized and certainly as many other citizens have recognized, that a system which keeps children out of school and away from their education for 40 school days, over eight school weeks, is a system which is taking away the fundamental rights our young people ought to have? Is he ready to recognize there has to be a better way to settle disputes between teachers and boards, no matter who is at fault, and that Ontario should forthwith adopt a system of compulsory arbitration by a court of appointed arbitrators who would be assigned on a rotational basis, so that we could stop making the children the victims of the labour disputes going on in our school system?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Memories are very short on this issue. I can recall the discussions with respect to the presentation of the present legislation in this House. I can recall vividly --

Mr. T. P. Reid: I can remember when the Premier did not support Joe Clark.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the gentleman who interrupted that my position over the years of supporting our national leader is far superior to the position of his leader in supporting his national leader. The member did not find me --

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- wandering around and hiding behind every potted palm out here saying to others how much I disliked our federal leader and that I probably was not going to vote for him. I have been with our federal leader in every election. Where has the member’s leader been in every federal election?

Mr. T. P. Reid: The Premier buried the hatchet right in the back of his leader’s neck.

Mr. Speaker: Order. I wonder how much interest there really is in the basic question of the school issue. Will you address yourself to that please?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I will address myself to anything you say. I am quite prepared to do that, but the member for Rainy River always wants to put his foot in his mouth and I am always delighted when he does it, because it gives me an opportunity to remind him about the Ontario Liberal Party, which totally dissociates itself from the federal Liberals until the polls improve and then embraces them once again. He knows that is what happens.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, getting back to the school issue --

Mr. Bradley: Hear, hear.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am glad the member for St. Catharines is interested in it. His colleague was not. Mr. Speaker, our memories are very short on this issue. No one is arguing that it would be more desirable if we did not have these problems but I recall the debate in this House when Bill 100 -- whatever the number was, I can never remember numbers -- was passed.

Mr. S. Smith: Your hands are tied.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Whose hands are tied?

Mr. S. Smith: Yours.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Do you know where it happened? Do you know the creator of that bill? I want to give credit where credit is due. It is the Nixon bill. It was the Peterborough policy. It was the Magna Carta enunciated by that distinguished member in Peterborough some years ago when the Liberal Party of Ontario said the way to solve the problem was to give the teaching profession the right to strike. It was his bill. I give him credit. I want to share this with him, the same way as I will give him credit for regional government, county school boards, whatever, I have got it all as a matter of history.

Mr. S. Smith: What are you going to do about it?

Hon. Mr. Davis: As I say, memories are very short. A lot of members forget. I do not happen to forget because we had situations in my own home constituency --


Hon. Mr. Davis: Let me finish. You are embarrassed.

Mr. S. Smith: I am embarrassed you are Premier. Yes, that is an embarrassment.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I know.

Mr. Speaker: Order. A supplementary? The member for Haldimand-Norfolk.

Mr. Nixon: That was the answer we are supposed to get to that question?

Mr. Speaker: Members are not interested in listening anyway.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In regard to the welfare of the students of Ontario and particularly the students of our ridings, why was it we could resolve a strike in the Premier’s riding a few years ago in 15 days and it takes 40 to 50 days in other ridings? Why is Bill 100 not really working?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, that gives me an opportunity to finish the answer to the question asked prior to this.

Ms. Gigantes: Spare us.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the member for Carleton East, we nominated a candidate the other night --

Mr. Speaker: Order. This question really has nothing to do with Carleton East. Does the Premier have a response?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I certainly do, Mr. Speaker. I would just point out to the honourable member that we must recall the situation before Bill 100. I can recall very vividly the problems created within our own school system where the teachers at that point did not have the right to strike but where they did have the legal right to work to rule. Some members will recall just how difficult this was within the school system and how prejudicial that approach was with respect to the educational programs of the people within the system when it was not working even though the teachers were not out on strike.

I would remind the honourable members that this creates in itself a very significant problem. It is very easy for the Leader of the Opposition, in the simplistic fashion in which he approaches so many issues, to say let us eliminate this without finding a better alternative. This government always seeks better alternatives to every single issue.

10:40 a.m.

We do not have a closed mind to improvements to any legislation, but I would point out to the member that there have to be better solutions. It is not just a question of saying let us do away with this. This government is concerned about the education of the young people in the member’s constituency. The member has raised it with me on a number of occasions. I understand why, and I expressed to him my concern for his constituents, but I say to the Leader of the Opposition the time has come for him to avoid simplistic -- and what he thinks are politically attractive for the short term -- solutions to very difficult problems.

Mr. Nixon: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I wonder if the Premier is not aware that his original answer, indicating we should wait for further word from the Norfolk board, really seems to be irrelevant since the government-appointed mediator has gone public with what is inherently a criticism of the system. The ball is in his court. The mediator said that since he can no longer negotiate with any thought of getting an agreement, he is now calling for arbitration.

On that important point, would the Premier, as leader of the government, if he is so fond and susceptible to the kind of leadership I gave and my leader continues to give in these important matters, not consider the time has come to accept a better procedure than that which we were able to work out in this Legislature six years ago and move towards the courts of arbitration, which is a part of Liberal policy and which will give the answers to the problems that have plagued this government for too long?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I know just how consistent the two members opposite are, the leader of the Liberal Party and the House leader, and how they have attempted to reconcile their policies over the years, but we all know the differences that exist, and we understand that, we appreciate that. The member is smiling because he happens to know they exist, too. I am aware of it.

Mr. Nixon: A strong united front is not a good alternative. You must be in worse shape than even we imagined.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Yes. We were in such bad shape that the Liberal Party got fewer votes a week ago yesterday than in 1975. That is what weak shape we are in. Mr. Speaker, all I attempted to say was --

Mr. Nixon: We were able to pick up 35 per cent of the electorate.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, sure, but what did you get in 1975? You did better under your leadership then.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. S. Smith: The Premier has no intention of answering.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I do have an intention of answering if the member would not interrupt.

Mr. Speaker: I really do not think the person who asked the supplementary wants an answer. He is carrying on a private conversation.

Mr. S. Smith: Oh come on, Mr. Speaker, the Premier does this every time he gets up.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: If he would not interrupt me, I would answer. I really gave my answer to the member’s leader a few moments ago.

We understand the seriousness of the situation. We know the mediator’s report is in. As I have said, the Minister of Education is under the weather this morning. I will be discussing it with her, but I also informed the members that the Norfolk board, for its own reasons, is not discussing it, I am told, so far today. They are having a board meeting this evening, and I think there is some merit in letting them have that meeting to see what may or may not emerge. We have never shirked our responsibilities, as the members opposite will understand.


Hon. Mr. Davis: While I am on my feet, Mr. Speaker, I was not aware of this and I offer no observations with respect to who may be guests in the gallery. My views on these issues have been made public on many occasions. I understand that whoever you invite into your gallery is a matter of your discretion, but I think you know that such guests are not the guests of the government.

Mr. Speaker: I think that was made quite clear before you arrived.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question to the Premier about the arrogance and the insensitive decision of the government, of the cabinet, to declare a vote of no confidence in the Environmental Assessment Act of this province, an act which was ushered in with great fanfare just five years ago. Can the Premier explain how we in the Legislature can demand that industrial polluters like Inco, a major source of pollution that leads to acid rain, should clean up their act when the government is not prepared to abide by the provisions of the Environmental Assessment Act and have an environmental assessment on the South Cayuga liquid industrial waste project, with all the very serious consequences that project may have?

Hon. Mr, Davis: Mr. Speaker, I really think there is a very significant distinction. Unfortunately I was not here yesterday to listen to the discussions because I was in Ottawa. I do draw a distinction between Inco, say, and the crown corporation that will be established to develop what will be the finest system of liquid waste disposal that is available in North America.

I think it is fair to state that the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Parrott) enunciated the position of the government. No one is debating a hearing with respect to the technical aspects of the facility that will be developed. But in reply to questions both from the Leader of the Opposition and from the leader of the New Democratic Party with respect to the need to move expeditiously to resolve what is a provincial problem, no one disputes the concern expressed by the member who represents that area and the citizens in that community.

I think the minister has made a singular effort to minimize the concerns of these people. I do not say for a moment there are not problems inherent in the process -- I do not mean in the technology -- but the process of how these decisions are arrived at. The government made a singular effort once again to obtain the services of Dr. Chant, who I think most members in this House would acknowledge is one of the foremost environmentalists in this province, to be responsible for the agency during the development of this process.


Hon. Mr. Davis: All right. If you do not think he is any good, say so. I happen to think he is most highly qualified, and I think he will do a first-class job.

What has to be emphasized is that the government made a very calculated decision to locate this in a way such that the land which would be affected would be in government ownership and so there would not be people on the periphery who might sense they would be adversely affected. There is no question that with respect to the technical and geological aspects of it, this will be subject to a hearing. That has been determined.

This government is as interested as is the leader of the New Democratic Party or anyone else in seeing that this is environmentally safe for the people not only in the vicinity -- and I would remind the member it is not in close proximity -- but for people generally in this province.

We want to have -- and I am sure we will have -- the finest system for liquid waste disposal available anywhere in North America. That is the objective, and I can assure the leader of the New Democratic Party it is an objective that will be realized.

Mr. Cassidy: The Premier is saying the technical processes that will go on at the South Cayuga site will be subject to a hearing, but all that we have heard in the Legislature so far is that there will be some form of informal hearing process. It has been talked about in a vague way with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture but until now it does not include the regional municipality, which has voted unanimously to seek an environmental assessment; it does not include citizens or farmers in the area; it does not include concerned groups like Pollution Probe. In short, it does not include all those interested parties who could take part in a hearing if one were to occur before the Environmental Assessment Board.

Even though the government has agreed not to refer that matter of the selection of a site to the Environmental Assessment Board -- we disagree with that decision -- is the Premier prepared at least to respond to public concerns about this proposal by ensuring that the hearing and the technical processes go under the Environmental Assessment Act and are heard before the Environmental Assessment Board?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member the hearings on the geological and technical aspects of the proposed facility will be heard in a way that will be consistent with the desire of informing people and giving people an opportunity to make representations.

It is also the hope of the Ministry of the Environment and the government that this new crown agency will have representation from people within the community. I think it is fair to state that we will have representation from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture on that agency. I think that is important.

Before the leader of the New Democratic Party gets too excited, let us see how this process develops. We are to a certain extent pioneering. No one is minimizing that. But the commitment of the government --

Ms. Gigantes: Pioneer by using your Environmental Assessment Act. That would be pioneering.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the member for Carleton East, if the NDP would stop objecting to everything that goes on in this province, we could make some economic progress that was environmentally consistent. We are prepared to do it, and we are going to do it on this issue.

Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege --

Mr. Speaker: Order. There’s no point of privilege here.

Ms. Gigantes: The Premier has suggested, by naming me, that I am opposed to every project this government undertakes. I have a suggestion --

Mr. Speaker: Order. The Leader of the Opposition.

10:50 a.m.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Can the Premier clarify for this House the nature of the hearing that will go on -- whether it will be under the Environmental Protection Act, the Environmental Assessment Act or some other ad hoc arrangement? Also, is he aware that Dr. Chant has said there are two conditions on his serving? The first is that the technology to be used in the waste disposal would have to undergo a public hearing, and the second is there must be further extensive geological and hydro-geological studies of the site as recommended by MacLaren.

Can I ask the Premier, therefore, whether these additional studies which will be done will be subject to the same hearing process? This would accommodate those who might wish to bring competing experts, those who might wish to cross-examine the consultants to find out exactly how the studies were conducted and so on. They would have the opportunity normally provided in the environmental assessment process. Could he answer as to the nature of the hearing, not only as to the technology, but whether the further studies required will also be subject to that hearing?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would hope that at least some members opposite understand the complexity of this issue and the need to move ahead with it expeditiously. What the ministry was and is concerned about is that if we went through the longer process -- let us be very realistic: there could perhaps be a three to five-year --

Mr. S. Smith: No.


Hon. Mr. Davis: I wish it were not so.

Mr. S. Smith: That is not so. You show me one that has.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The Leader of the Opposition should show me one that has not.


Hon. Mr. Davis: I will get him many. I was not -- let me finish --

Mr. S. Smith: It could be finished in one year.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It would not finish in one year. The member knows it and I know it.

I was not part of the discussions with Dr. Chant but I understand the discussions between him and the minister included discussions of further geological surveys, questions of the technology and questions of the physical location of a plant on the site. As these are more properly defined during the course of these discussions -- not only with Dr. Chant but within the ministry -- we will inform the House. Any surveys or studies done will be for public documentation.

We are as anxious to have people satisfied as to the environmental aspects of this plant as anyone else. We would take no pride in developing a significant facility if it were not environmentally sound. Where is the logic in it? I know the politics in it and I am not being critical of the politics.

Mr. S. Smith: You only understand the politics in it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Certainly I understand the politics in it.

Mr. S. Smith: I am asking you a technical question. Will there be a cross-examination and competing witnesses?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am giving an answer. There is no question that the discussions with Dr. Chant and the reason one of the -- not conditions because he is not that kind of person, but one of the understandings --

Mr. S. Smith: He said they are conditions.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I do not put them as conditions. One of the understandings for his assuming this responsibility was that there were to be hearings with respect to the technical and geological aspects, not with respect to the decision as to it being Cayuga, Huron, Hamilton West or in Brampton.

Mr. Speaker: New question.

Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: There were two questions from the Leader of the Opposition, two supplementaries from the leader and I believe a total of three or four supplementaries by members of the Liberal Party. In the case of my first question you have allowed one supplementary after my second supplementary from the leader of the Liberal Party and no further. Could the member for Wentworth (Mr. Isaacs) not at least have a supplementary and could you not seek to deal equally with the two parties?

Mr. Speaker: I think the member for Ottawa Centre knows full well the question we are discussing now has occupied more time -- it is a very important issue, but how many different ways can you say the same thing?

I think I am doing a disservice to all the other members if I allow an inordinately large amount of time for one issue at the expense of all other issues in Ontario.

I defy the member to name one topic that has received more time than this one. I think in the essence of fairness to other members, we must get on to another topic.

Mr. Cassidy: I accept your judgement, Mr. Speaker. I point out the parties do have the choice of the issues they wish to raise and there should be some balance between the two parties in terms of treatment.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question for the Premier with respect to the announcement by the federal Minister of National Health and Welfare a few days ago that she is now prepared to make an initial and very hesitant step towards providing adequate pensions for women. Will the Premier assure the House that he is no longer philosophically opposed to motherhood as he was in 1976 and, specifically, that the government is now prepared to withdraw Ontario’s objections to the opting out provision which was put into the federal law in 1976? That was supported by eight provinces but cannot be implemented because of Ontario’s and British Columbia’s opposition.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am not familiar with what the Minister of National Health and Welfare said. I will have one of the ministers deal with this on Monday. I would just make it obvious to the leader of the New Democratic Party that this government and this Premier in particular have never been opposed to either motherhood or fatherhood.

Mr. Cassidy: Given that ringing endorsement, will the Premier undertake to do two things on behalf of the women of Ontario, both those who work and those who are at home? First, will he undertake to ensure that, in future, women who work will not be penalized with respect to the benefits under the Canada pension plan because they are the ones who bear children and may spend a certain number of years out of the work force caring for young children, as was proposed four years ago by the federal government?

Second, will the government undertake not to block Madame Begin’s proposals, but to take a role of leadership to ensure that not only middle class housewives can contribute to and benefit from the Canada pension plan, but that there is adequate provision so that housewives from families of modest incomes will be able to benefit from the CPP as well?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I hope I made it clear in my answer to the original question, but I will repeat it. I am not familiar with what the minister said or what tentative steps she may have suggested. I said I would look at it. I will discuss it with the ministers responsible for the policies of this government and I will have some observations for the leader of the New Democratic Party next Monday.


Mr. Ruston: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Provincial Secretary for Justice. Since many people in Ontario are concerned about the nondeterrent penalties imposed by judges for crimes against people and property, has the minister taken any steps to ensure that judges toughen their stand with regard to crimes against people and property?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I have not taken any steps to advise judges of that. If anyone did, it would have to be someone other than this minister. I suspect it is not the role of the elected representative or the role of the minister to direct judges on how they might deal with cases.

Mr. Ruston: I realize the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) does the appointing of provincial judges and the federal government appoints the county court judges. Is the minister not concerned that many people are coming back and committing these offences for the second and third time? Previously they were either given probation or very minor sentences. Somebody should take a little action on this.

Hon. Mr. Walker: I can definitely say the whole matter of recidivism is a sincere concern in the justice field.


Mr. Bounsall: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Provincial Secretary for Social Development concerning the composition of the university review study committee she announced on behalf of the absent Minister of Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson) this morning. From the announced composition of that committee, are we to assume the minister and this government will not be taking the study or its results at all seriously and have only set up this review committee as a crumb to the executives of Ontario universities, whoever they are, who asked for this review, particularly inasmuch as there is no representation from or chosen by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations or the various faculty associations of Ontario on this review committee and no student representation at all nor representation from the university support staff?

11 a.m.

Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, as indicated in the statement I read on behalf of the minister, these people were chosen for their expertise in the various fields necessary to bring some decisions to the questions at hand. I would suggest the whole thrust of the appointments of these particular people was not to represent special interest groups, but to use people with the expertise required to bring some decisions in this very important area.

Mr. Bounsall: May I direct my supplementary to the Premier because it is very clear from the statement and the supplementary they did not want a representative committee? Could I ask the Premier why this government has not constituted a committee in the same way as the broadly based, fully representative way in which the secondary school review project committee was structured? That involved, on every committee, representatives of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation and its symposium involved the input of high school students in Ontario.

Since it has chosen not to do so, why has this government decided that the university sector -- with problems similar to the secondary school situation in declining enrolments and serious disadvantages with respect to cut back funding -- is so much less important than the secondary school sector by the very way this review committee has been constituted?

Hon. Mr. Davis: With great respect, Mr. Speaker, I think the functions of the two are really quite different. I was involved in one or two discussions with the representatives of the presidents of the universities of Ontario that led to this particular decision and the establishment of this committee.

I think it is fair to state that this is partly as a result of a request from the committee of presidents of Ontario universities. As I understand some of the discussions, while enrolments are obviously a part of the concern with respect to the universities at this moment, what I think is of greater concern is redefining the role and the functions of the university within society today. It is not a question, as it was at the secondary school level, of frying to develop a policy or an approach that related to a diminution in enrolment. Here we are attempting, through the committee, to analyse or assess and to provoke some discussion as to the function or the role of the university.

Is it an institution that should be committed more to research? Should there be a greater increase in funding for research? Those will be two of the questions asked. To what extent do universities conflict with or duplicate the role or the function of community colleges? Is there a growing expectation that the general arts, as distinct from the liberal arts, are diminishing within the university community? Is there a growing emphasis, or should there be, on the professional or practical aspects of a university education?

Very many important issues are being questioned not only in Ontario, but throughout North America, with respect to the function and the role of the universities vis-à-vis government and vis-à-vis the private sector and society as a whole. This is not a case of studying the secondary school program relative to declining enrolment. This is a different kind of study.

Mr. Bounsall: The faculty of students had no input into it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Let me finish. The member, as an academic, should have some modest insight into this.

Mr. Speaker: Order. You are into a philosophical dissertation on education now.


Mr. Epp: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Northern Affairs. Given that the Elliot Lake community has had discussions with the Ministry of Northern Affairs with respect to the construction of a sewage treatment plant in addition to a water plant, and given the fact there has been a delay in the approval of this plant, which is causing some ill effects on the establishment of some housing in that municipality and on the environment as far as the polluting of a number of lakes is concerned, will the minister indicate to this House what conditions have to be approved between his ministry and the municipality and the mining companies before the go-ahead is given to this project?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, this particular question was discussed in detail with members of the community, with the mining company, with Hydro officials and with people from the various departments of governments as late as yesterday. I believe my colleague, the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Brunelle) made a commitment at that meeting that the entire issue would be reviewed and that he would get back to them as quickly as possible.

Mr. Epp: Supplementary: In view of the fact there is an estimated cost of $22 million, and in view of the fact the cost is escalating daily and the municipality has suggested it is going to assume about $11 million of this cost, can the minister inform the House whether the ministry, together with the mining companies, would assume the additional costs over and above the costs that the municipality has presently assumed, rather than unload additional costs on the municipality of Elliot Lake?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, this is one of the issues we will be reviewing in detail. I would remind the member that one of the causes and one of the urgencies of coming to a decision has been the federal government’s decision to refuse any further application under the community service contribution program, which could mean a loss of about $4 million to the community of Elliot Lake. If he has any influence with his cousins in Ottawa, I would ask him to get in touch with them and to encourage that particular authority to continue that assistance to the municipalities of this province. It would help us tremendously.

Mr. Wildman: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister not aware that this has been ongoing for over a year and that one of the problems that has been raised in the past by the mining companies is they are awaiting authorization from Ontario Hydro for up-front money? Is that correct or not? What is being done to expedite that?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, I was not at the meeting yesterday so I am not aware of that particular issue. I am sure that would be one of the areas we will look at very carefully.


Mr. Isaacs: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Premier with regard to the report of the Environmental Assessment Board on the proposed Ajax liquid waste treatment facility that was released today. In that report, the board admits it has varied the report prepared by the panel that sat through the hearings and heard all the evidence. Does the Premier think it is consistent with our system of justice that board members who were not at the hearing can have a say in the final decision that is rendered to the ministry, to this House and to the public?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I understand the board’s report came in at 8:30 this morning. While this government does move expeditiously, rapidly, enthusiastically, and always pragmatically and logically, I must confess to the honourable member I have not yet seen that report nor discussed it with the minister. I know he will have a reply to the member’s question on Monday afternoon at two o’clock.

Mr. Isaacs: Supplementary: Perhaps even without having seen the report, but with his background as a member of the legal profession, the Premier could comment on the issue of whether or not board members who did not sit through the hearings and who, therefore, did not hear all the evidence should have a right to participate in the decisions that are rendered by the board?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think one has to look at every situation on its facts. I learned some 20 years ago not to express any legal opinion, drawing on my vast experience in the practice of law which was for about three years. I have never done it since I have been a member in this House and I will not presume to do it this morning.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Does the Premier not recognize the harm that is being done to the environmental assessment process when his government has circumvented it in the case of South Cayuga, while in the case of Ajax the process has proceeded with the people giving testimony, the panel making one decision and a board of people overturning that decision? Can he comment on the fact the chairman of the panel that heard the case has just resigned? Does he consider that a mere coincidence, or does he see it as a protest against the way in which things are structured under his government?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have not talked to the chairman and, as I say, I have not read the report. I know it came in around 8:30 this morning. I am sure the minister will be delighted to comment on it on Monday afternoon.

11:10 a.m.


Mr. J. Reed: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Energy. Considering that many people in Ontario are becoming very uneasy about the future of environmental assessment and the application of the Environmental Assessment Act, could the minister tell us what the state of progress is regarding construction of the second 500 kilovolt line necessary to bring power from the Bruce B generating plant which will be coming on line in a few years?

Will the minister assure this House that project will follow Ontario Hydro’s own new policy of subjecting all its projects to environmental assessment? Will he assure us that practice will be adhered to and the government will not exempt this project from environmental assessment because of the urgency of time, which is the excuse that has been used time and time again regarding these projects?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, we will be making some statements in connection with the matter referred to by the honourable member before long. Briefly, I can assure him there is no plan to ask for an exemption of that particular project from the process.

Mr. J. Reed: I wonder if the minister could then communicate to us how he plans to get the power out of Bruce B, understanding, as the Premier concurred with a little earlier in this question period, that the environmental assessment process does take some time and that the first unit of Bruce B is scheduled to come on line in 1983, I believe?

Hon. Mr. Welch: This matter was deferred to provide some time for Arthur Porter and the Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning to discuss the matter of power planning. That report has been made public. We will be tabling the government’s response with respect to that report very shortly. Following that, there will be some indication as to the procedures to be followed with respect to possible and alternative routes, following which there will be the whole process.

I agree with the honourable member that this is a time-consuming process, but it is one we want to address as quickly as we can, subject to providing the opportunity for public input under the act.


Mr. Dukszta: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Health. There is an urgent situation in Parkdale and Dovercourt, where upwards of 1,500 psychiatric patients are currently living in inadequate boarding houses without appropriate aftercare, a situation, incidentally, greatly worsened by the closure of the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital, a decision of the minister which was supported by the Liberals.

Will the minister indicate what action he intends to take based on the Metro report entitled, “Adult Residential Facilities, Final Report and Recommendations,” which he has had since September 6 and which recommends better licensing of such homes and special funding and programs for such ex-psychiatric individuals?

Will he, as a member of cabinet, take the necessary action to see that the government of Ontario commits itself to changing the Planning Act in order that ex-psychiatric patients who need domiciliary care are housed and treated in the area of Metro they come from?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I believe in the opening preamble to the member’s question he referred to 1,500 psychiatric patients. That is not correct. They are former patients.

Mr. Dukszta: I said “ex.”

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: No, I am sorry, I am sure he meant “ex” or discharged patients.

Mr. Breaugh: You are the only man I know with marbles in his ears.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I see. The member is so witty on Friday mornings. He really is.

In regard to the last part of the question, I have taken the position in my own constituency, which embraces two of the metropolitan suburban municipalities, that we should have more enlightened policies in the suburbs with respect to group homes and with respect to being able to look after our own in the suburbs. I support the move in that direction.

In regard to the Metro report, as I recall, the final report is either out or about to come out. It recommends using the full powers which exist under the Public Health Act and the Municipal Act to license, inspect and generally supervise boarding homes, rest homes and group homes. I fully support that. My position has been all along that for members of the general public to supervise these facilities who happen to be former patients all the authority needed rests now in the Public Health Act and the Municipal Act. It should be completely and fully utilized.

Mr. Dukszta: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Has the minister seen the supplementary report forwarded by the Toronto city planning department on the same subject which suggested there should be two levels of boarding homes established? One would be for the residents who need extra levels of care and one for just the regular residents. The extra-level-of-care homes would be formally licensed and moneys equivalent to the domiciliary care program, which is $15.75 per day, should be forwarded as such.

Since the minister is committed to it now, I would be pleased to hear when he will introduce the changes. Will he ask the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett) to introduce the changes in the Housing Act so that we can set up group homes all over Metro and not necessarily in the area of Dovercourt and Parkdale? If the minister is committed to it, can he do this immediately?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, my colleague the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) wrote more than a year ago to all of the municipalities urging them to reconsider their position with respect to group homes. We have not taken the position that we are going to force a uniform policy on every single municipality. We do believe it is better to work with the municipal governments and not to use a heavy hand on them.

Granted, that leads to a variety of policies, some of which I am not entirely happy with. But I think most of the municipalities, including the two I represent, are giving the issue a fair hearing and are prepared to move significantly in the direction of the provision of services in their own municipalities for their own people who happen to be former patients or former clients in a variety of government institutions.

Regarding the first part of the question on the supplementary report, I am not sure we are talking about the same one. I will check it if we are talking about people who are former patients, then that is one thing; if it concerns people who are in need of continuing care, then we are probably talking about possible changes to our homes for special care program. As the member knows, this is a program which is now under review as to its future.


Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Industry and Tourism. Realizing the importance of tourism to the economy of Ontario and realizing that the threat of acid rain can greatly affect this tourism potential, would the minister comment on a story in the Toronto Sun of last Wednesday? I quote:

“Swimmers risk the possibility of blindness in waters dying from acid rain, according to researchers at the University of Toronto. They found that dangerous bacteria immune to antibiotics proliferates in acidified Ontario lakes.” It goes on to say that “their findings could signal the end of enjoyment in the Muskokas and Haliburtons, which are favourite recreation areas.”

Apparently these studies were carried out in the Sudbury, Muskoka and Haliburton areas. I would like to ask the minister to what extent tourism has been affected to date by acid rain in Ontario. How seriously does the minister treat this latest report or does he consider it alarmist? A representative of Resorts Ontario has been quoted as saying that “probably walking down University Avenue in Toronto does more harm to a person than jumping off his dock at a summer cottage.” How seriously does he see this problem?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: In the longer term, Mr. Speaker, this is a very serious problem and we are concerned. I think this was reflected in Resorts Ontario’s comment, although I did not see their response itself. I think Resorts Ontario and Tourism Ontario and all those in the tourist industry are expressing some concern over the degree of understanding of the present state of the problem in Ontario throughout the United States. It seems that as the discussion quite properly gets to more prominence, we are concerned and obviously Resorts Ontario is concerned that the American tourist will believe the situation at the present time is a whole lot worse than it is.

The vast majority of our lakes are still healthy, as healthy as they ever were, and the vast majority of our lakes still provide the best fishing found anywhere in the. world. Resorts Ontario and Tourism Ontario are quite properly concerned that as the issue reaches greater prominence, as we continue to press the Americans, somehow they will develop a perception that the situation is a lot worse than it is.

11:20 a.m.

As we speak to the people in the industry and we reflect upon this past season, we see that we had our best tourism season ever in the province. The resorts in Ontario were literally packed last summer and tourism from the United States was up again in 1980, as it was in 1979, for the first time since 1973. All those would be indicators that at the current time it is not affecting tourism from our major American markets and, as the member knows, tourism from Europe and Japan is up about 15 to 20 per cent. All those are positive indicators.

May I say as Minister of Industry and Tourism I am more than satisfied, and indeed gratified, with the leadership being shown in North America by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment in solving the acid rain problem so that this does not grow to a state in which the tourism industry is in difficulty by 1990. They have to do that and do that in the context of the sometimes overstated and hysterical views brought to this Legislature by the member and his party. In point of fact, he should be applauding the leadership of the Ministry of the Environment.

Mr. Speaker: Order. The minister is too long-winded.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: If all jurisdictions were doing what our Minister of the Environment (Mr. Parrott) is doing, we would have no problem whatsoever.

Mr. Eakins: Supplementary: Could the minister tell us in dollars how tourism has been affected to date? Could he tell us dollar-wise just how this has been affected and what input he has from the areas affected? Does he have meetings with these people? According to the people I talk to, tourism has been affected to some degree. Could he give us a dollar figure on that?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Our tourism deficit for this province in the past two years has been reduced from about $600 million to $380 million. Tourism this year is up about five per cent in the province and our revenues are up 15 per cent. I speak to the people in Muskoka, as does the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller). I speak to the people in Victoria-Haliburton and the people all through the resort areas. I spent a lot of time with the Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters this week and all of them report this year was the best year they have ever had.

Mr. Eakins: That was not the question I asked.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: It is not the answer the member wanted; that is what he means. If he sends over the answer he wants, I will see what I can do.


Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Speaker, would you keep the minister under control? I have a question for the Minister of Labour. The minister is aware of the case of Terry Ryan, a 23-year-old former employee of Westinghouse in Hamilton, who was blinded in an explosion on November 29, 1979. The United Electrical Workers and the Ontario Federation of Labour are concerned that the ministry is not taking its enforcement and prosecution responsibilities seriously under Bill 70 in regard to this case for two main reasons. First, the ministry originally refused to lay charges in the case and only changed its mind after the union produced a detailed 45-page report documenting a history of unsafe practices in the plant. Secondly, when the charges were finally laid, they contained four errors of substance, including the dates of the accidents, which were only corrected at the insistence of the union. Can the minister explain how it is that the prosecutor in this case, a Mr. Jan Dolezel in the legal services branch, made such serious errors in the charges, originally laid on August 13, 1980, that new ones had to be laid on November 17, 1980?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I will have to take the specific issue as notice and report on it later, but on the general issue, I think an implication is being made of some reluctance to lay charges. I have to tell the member that is not so. He and I have talked about this in committee and the member reads the papers, as I do. He read yesterday or the day before that one of the major companies in this province claims we are so vigorous in enforcing our legislation that it is having trouble getting people to accept jobs as foremen. Let there be no doubt that the government and this ministry takes health and safety seriously. I will look into the specific issue and its details and report to the House.



Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present to you a petition which has come to me from the chief of the Whitedog reserve. It is from the band council and various residents on that reserve and indicates that these people are not in favour of the construction of a certain road from Redditt to Sydney Lake and are supporting their chief in doing whatever he can to prevent that from happening. It is my honour to present this to the assembly.


Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege, the events of earlier this morning, particularly the dilemma that it placed upon the chair, seemed to me to be an occasion which is intolerable. We must avoid repetitions of this morning which placed a member like myself and, I am sure, other members in a position where, to express our concerns and beliefs, we would have had to be rude. That is intolerable in this House. It placed you in a position, sir, where you had to decide between the responsibilities of your office and the sensitivities and the beliefs of many millions of Canadians. Acknowledging with the greatest of respect your position, that, again, is intolerable to me.

On the other hand, we have to face the realities of the situation. What happened in the gallery this morning will undoubtedly be a form of propaganda coup in another land by publication or verbal description that none of us in this House will ever see or hear. Indeed, what happened here will be very difficult for individual members to explain when they are questioned.

In a country where the pride of young people is such that at the express wish not only of this Legislature, but the federal House, they gave up the high point of their athletic careers and made sacrifices because of a principle, I believe it will be very difficult to explain to them, if questioned, why something here today was, unfortunately, treated as business as usual.

I do not believe it is the position of members of this House to play boy diplomat. I am not naive enough to believe that by being nice to people we are going to make them nice people. As a matter of fact, if we are going to be nice to them, we will wake up one day and they will be at the doors of the Legislature.

Sir, I deeply regret you were put in the position you were today. I deeply regret that the obvious course for many members would be, unfortunately, to show very visibly their feelings by walking out. I don’t really think the people of Ontario, particularly in regard to this institution and to this chamber, would really have understood that.

By the same token, I understand the position you raised, which is that it should not be left entirely in your hands and entirely at your discretion, even though I personally feel that you are more than capable of handling it, as to just who is admitted into the Speaker’s gallery. I would hope members of the House could communicate to you that while, on the one hand, the admission to the gallery may be something that really must be done, on the other band, the introduction of persons in that gallery is surely a matter of profound discretion.

It may be that the Al Capones of this world have the right to sit in that gallery, but I do not believe that you should be put in the position where they have to be introduced before the House. I sincerely hope that members of this House will rise and be helpful to you in allowing you to perform the duties of Speaker of this assembly, as you do so well, and not again place you in what I regard -- and I regret very deeply -- as a very horrendous position on a Friday morning.

11:30 a.m.

Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Speaker, speaking to the point of privilege, I was the one who invited the Russian people to visit us in the Legislature. I wish to commend you on your sense of fair play, in the fact that you did acknowledge their presence here, in the same way as we have in the past established as a practice acknowledging the presence of various people here.

If the member opposite wishes us to get involved in making those ideological decisions as to who is acceptable to be in the gallery, perhaps we should do it that way. I will be prepared to fight that battle, any time, any place, on any ground.

There is nobody in this world who walks around with clean bands, I want you to understand that, Mr. Speaker. I want you to understand that in this world if we are going to resolve some of the problems that plague us, that terrify us, and perhaps even reap some of the economic benefits that understanding brings about, we will have to talk to people like the Russians, just perhaps as the member says he will have to talk to the South Africans or the Fascists from Argentina. I don’t mean the member in particular, but we have had those people in the gallery.

What I want to say is this political party, the NDP, has concerns about Poland. Those concerns were raised by my colleague in question period yesterday, and this morning we raised the concerns with the people who are directly responsible and the people who can take the message to the people who will be able to do something about it.

I want to read into the record exactly what we presented to them: “We, the undersigned members of the provincial parliament of Ontario, New Democratic Party, do hereby request the visiting members of the Supreme Soviet to convey in strongest possible terms our indignation at any possibility of USSR intervention into the internal affairs of Poland. We request that you convey the following on our behalf: Respect the just demands of Polish workers for democratic trade unions -- ”

Mr. S. Smith: What about Afghanistan?

Mr. Makarchuk: Perhaps we should send the Leader of the Opposition to Poland as the Minister of Labour. He would fit in very well there. To continue, “ -- to honour the obligations under the Helsinki accords; respect the territorial integrity of Poland -- ”

Mr. S. Smith: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I would ask the member for Brantford to withdraw any statement concerning the Leader of the Opposition in that particular context, and to do so immediately.

Mr. Makarchuk: Further, the report reads, Mr. Speaker: “Should the USSR intervene in Poland, the New Democratic Party will do everything in its power to ensure that the provincial and federal governments exercise whatever political, economic, and other sanctions against the USSR.”

Mr. S. Smith: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: If the member for Brantford is going to persist in suggesting that somehow or other I, as a member of this House, can be referred to as a person who might be associated with a totalitarian regime, I say to you that is unparliamentary behaviour on his part, and he should be required to withdraw that comment.

Coming from him especially, it is awfully ironic, as well as unparliamentary, but it is still unparliamentary, and I would ask you to demand that any reference of that kind be withdrawn from the record of this House.

Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Speaker, I have the right to an opinion in this House, as does any member. When a member gets up in this House and says we should eliminate strikes or put people to work, then perhaps if we look at the situation in Poland we could see the parallels. That was the basis of my opinion.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, are you prepared to rule on this matter and to demand the member be brought to order and conduct himself in a parliamentary manner? If not, I shall attempt with the help of the assembly to take the matter to the standing committee on procedural affairs.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

You are placing the chair in a very difficult position. The original point of privilege raised by the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations is quite knowledgeable about what went on before the delegation in question was about to arrive here. When it was raised by the Leader of the Opposition, I told him what little I knew of the incident and said that unless I had some direction from the House, I would simply introduce the leader of the delegation and the House could do what it wished.

They did arrive and it was made quite clear by the Premier (Mr. Davis) they were not here at the invitation of the government. I made it clear to the assembly, in advance of that, that they were not here as guests of the assembly or of the Speaker.

Now the minister has arisen and said the House should give me some direction as to how I should be governed when certain groups visit this assembly. The member for Brantford has suggested there should be an open policy and any member should have the right to invite a delegation of whatever sort or variety.

I am not in a position to indicate or to anticipate how the House might wish to handle situations of this kind. I am not Solomon and, in the absence of any direction from the House, I suppose I am going to have to be selective. I do not know that anybody wants to be in that position.

With regard to the immediate problem, when the member for Brantford suggests the Leader of the Opposition go to Poland and become Minister of Labour, I think that is something that is uncalled for and, in keeping with the sense of fair play he is speaking of in giving equal time to visiting people, I would ask him to withdraw that comment.

Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Speaker, I will withdraw that remark. I sort of wonder if they would accept him.

However, I want to point out to the House that in the statement I have just read, we were the only political party to come out with a statement on the Polish matter and the concern about the workers in Poland. The others have not. We also took the message to the people who can directly transmit that message to the people in power in the Soviet Union.

Mr. S. Smith: You have had some comments on Afghanistan, haven’t you?

Mr. Makarchuk: I will discuss Afghanistan with the honourable member.

I want to conclude that if we are going to draw guidelines, then we will live with the guidelines. I am prepared to live with them, but I feel you are going to find it a difficult process to say who can, or who cannot. I think the understanding is that an elected member of whatever parliament has some right to be introduced here. I am not sure exactly where you draw the line and I am prepared, and I am sure other members of the House are prepared, to make your life a lot easier.

However, if we want to go into decisions, I am sure the people selected as suitable for the galleries over there or over here probably would not be suitable for sue and vice versa. Therefore, in order not to have that difficulty, I suggest we continue the same policy.

11:40 a.m.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, on the general point, it does seem to me this places you in a very difficult position, as the minister has suggested. I think there would obviously be certain persons whom no one would wish to have recognized as being in our galleries and certain others who, although we might accept that they be recognized as being there, we would not wish to have welcomed in the sense of putting it on the record that we welcome them. If I remember correctly, that may have happened here today.

I recognize the difficulty of your position, Mr. Speaker. I suspect there are some persons we would all immediately agree should not be allowed here and others where there might be some difference of opinion, depending on the extent to which our country recognizes their countries and that sort of thing.

I would think perhaps we need a procedure for these matters. When he is in some doubt, the Speaker, in his wisdom, might consider the possibility of consulting with the three House leaders and receiving advice that he, in his own position, would either take or not take. It does seem to me that the Speaker should feel free to ask for that kind of advice from the three House leaders when it is a ticklish matter or when he is not too sure whether the House would like to have those people here or not.

In general, I think our galleries ought to be open. That is a general matter. I feel the Speaker has the right to say, “I draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of a certain person.” I am not sure I would like to hear the words, “I want you to welcome a certain person” because that does have certain other connotations. I for one feel there are certain people I would not even want to recognize as being here, because I would not even want to be in the same room with them. On the other hand, I do not wish to be sent out of my own House because of their presence.

I would think this is not something that is subject to a black and white, yes or no answer, but something where you need a process to assist you in certain borderline situations. I do not know if the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations would agree with that. I would be interested in the minister’s view. I think it might be reasonable for the Speaker to have some ability to consult in these ticklish situations. That is just a suggestion I would make to you, sir.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I think there is great merit, now that this event has occurred, in considering the remarks that have been made by my colleague the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, and the Leader of the Opposition to see if there is some way others in this House might assist you in the development of a policy. I am sure we will put our minds to it because the problem that has come up today is one we would all like to avoid.

On a point of personal privilege, I would like to draw to the attention of the member for Brantford -- and I would be happy to check Hansard -- that I believe I put our position very clearly yesterday in so far as any Russian involvement in Poland was concerned. For him to say that his is the only party that has made any statement, I would only say that in answer to the question I indicated very clearly that we would certainly view any involvement with great alarm, and felt that through all proper channels of the Department of External Affairs, the government of the USSR should be made aware of our feelings. I think I also reiterated the things we and the Premier had said and done in regard to Afghanistan.

Mr. Speaker: We could continue with this indefinitely.

Mr. Dukszta: I would like to speak on a further point of privilege and my own point of privilege.

Mr. Speaker: Is it related to this?

Mr. Dukszta: Very much related to this, Mr. Speaker.

The Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations brought up the question of who comes to our gallery and it is of some importance. We do relate to a number of countries with whom we have major disagreements. There is a value in having a contact with the USSR in terms of what we can do to affect them.

I am an ordinary member here, but I am Polish-Canadian. I am concerned about what is going on in Poland and I do not see any other way of dealing with it except directly with people who are threatening my country of origin.

In the last 10 years, I have had intense contact with a number of people from the opposite side in connection with certain things I have done. I attempted to call the Serbsky Institute six years ago on behalf of Leonid Pluysch before he left, the Mr. Pluysch whom we welcomed once here in the Legislature. I did not get through to the Serbsky Institute, which is a forensic institute in which political dissidents are treated.

I was the chairman of the Chapter 77 Committee which sent lawyers to the trials in Prague and collected money in an attempt to influence directly the Czechoslovakian authorities on behalf of the people who signed Chapter 77. With Mr. Rotenberg I attended a vigil for the Jews in Russia in an attempt to affect -- Mr. Speaker, forgive me, but it is an important way of showing that only by direct contact with the people in power, with whom this country has official relations, can we affect and give our opinions and change their points of view so they do not attack Poland and other places.

Mr. Speaker: The honourable member has made his point.

Mr. S. Smith: We don’t have relations with Latvia, Jan.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: I will be very brief. I just want to say this: At the present time, Canada has normal diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union despite very grave disagreements by this country with the actions of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and fears of what might happen in Poland.

It seems to me that we in this province should not be seeking to conduct an independent foreign policy. When the government of Quebec did that in relation to francophone nations a few years ago, it created enormous difficulties for all of us in all the provinces in Canada. It seems to me that if the leader of the official opposition believes that representatives of a country with whom we have normal diplomatic relations should not be recognized, he should be urging the Liberal government of Canada to withdraw recognition from the Soviet Union. That is obviously preposterous and the proposal is too.

Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege: My name was mentioned by the member for Parkdale. He tried to associate me with his point of view because he and I did attend the same demonstration. That was a demonstration which had contact with and recognition of the authorities in the USSR, but it was a demonstration against those authorities.

Mr. Speaker: I just want to remind members, particularly the Leader of the Opposition, who raised it initially this morning, that he raised it on the basis of an invitation, as I recall. I was not aware of it until the honourable member raised it.

I apprised the House of what information I had: that my office had had a request to provide five seats in the gallery, which we had agreed to; that I did have the name of the leader of the delegation, and that unless I had some direction to the contrary from the House, I would simply recognize their presence in the gallery and name the leader of the delegation. I heard quite distinctly the Leader of the Opposition say, “That is not at question.” So he had full knowledge of what I was going to do this morning, which I said I was going to do unless I had some direction from the House.

Obviously in view of what has been said since then, I need some further direction, but I want to draw to the attention of the House the select committee on the fourth and fifth reports of the Ontario Commission on the Legislature where the recommendation concerning the introduction of visitors is as follows: “The committee recommends, in keeping with the recommendation on page 79 of the fourth report, that no announcements of visitors in the gallery in the Legislature be made, with the exception of heads of state, their representatives or distinguished parliamentary guests, as Mr. Speaker may decide, and such introduction should be made by Mr. Speaker.”

Other than that I have nothing else to go on, but in view of the strongly held convictions about this particular item, which gives us some concern and is going to give us more concern as time goes on, because there are a lot of single-party states even within the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, I would welcome any advice. If the honourable members want to refer it to a standing committee of this House, I would be more than happy to be directed by whatever they see fit.

In the absence of any direction, I will go on as I have tried to do in the past, the same way as my predecessors have tried to do. But in view of what has been said here today, if there are any strongly held convictions, I am the servant of the House and I will take whatever advice is given to me by the majority.

11:50 a.m.



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

Your committee begs to report the following bill with certain amendments:

Bill 118, An Act respecting the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario.

Report adopted.

Mr. Speaker: Shall the bill be ordered for third reading?

Ordered for committee of the whole House.



Mr. Rowe, on behalf of Mr. G. E. Smith, moved first reading of Bill Pr52, An Act respecting the City of Orillia.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the response to a petition presented to the House, sessional paper 297. Also, I wish to table the answers to questions 239, 343, 375 and 399 standing on the Notice Paper. (See appendix, page 4762.)


House in committee of supply.


On vote 502, provision of accommodation program:

Mr. Cassidy: I want to raise, under this vote, questions with respect to the courthouse and the progress of the courthouse project on Cartier Square in the great riding of Ottawa Centre, about which the minister and I have already had a fair amount of communication.

I think the minister will be aware that, had we had this discussion a few months ago, it might have been rather heated, but over the course of the last 11 months a number of decisions have been made which have been welcomed by the community in the process of planning for a courthouse which will be acknowledged as a fine building and a fine symbol for Ontario. Also, the worthwhile contribution to the urban environment in that area of Ottawa has been substantial.

I spoke at some length in the Premier’s (Mr. Davis) estimates about the bungling that took place with respect to the planning of the courthouse project prior to a year ago. As the minister knows, the Premier made his announcement just over a year ago that the courthouse would be built and would go into Cartier Square. At that time, there had been no effort to involve the city of Ottawa, the citizens of Ottawa or the people who would use the courthouse with the exception of the legal fraternity and the judges. That was wrong. The government has found out it was wrong, has had to backtrack and has had to put the whole procedure on a better basis largely because of the contribution made by those groups in Ottawa that I mentioned.

Among other things, we now have a much better site for the courthouse because the early decision to put it cheek by jowl with the United States embassy has been rescinded. A larger site has been found. It is now possible for architects to look at a better kind of building. What before would have looked like an enormous filing cabinet for justice in the middle of the block of Cartier Square facing Elgin Street now has some potential to be an adequate and attractive building.

The minister is aware, however, there are still concerns in the area over the plan. There are still difficulties, not entirely of the government’s creation, with respect to the way that courthouse fits into the entire Cartier Square complex because of the failure of the National Capital Commission over many years to make adequate plans for the future use of Cartier Square after the temporary defence buildings were taken down.

Some of the problems that exist are not of this minister’s or this government’s making. Some of the problems relate to the lack of resolution by the federal government about what it wants to do with the rest of the square.

When we met about a month ago -- the minister was there -- with the National Capital Commission and all the other government agencies involved, they made it quite clear they did not know what they intended to do, but they wanted some 600,000 or 900,000 square feet of federal government buildings to go in the area immediately behind the teachers’ college and the proposed courthouse.

Frankly, I think that federal proposal is a disaster. I am thinking with increasing strength that what we should be doing -- and I hope the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Baetz) might join with this minister and others in supporting it -- would be to urge strongly that the remainder of Cartier Square between the armouries and the courthouse be used as the new home of the National Gallery of Canada. It is an excellent site. It has a high degree of people traffic. It is a site that would be accessible to people from across Ottawa-Carleton. It seems to me it would do the country, the province and the city proud to have that particular facility in that place.

I want to raise two things with the minister. I would like him now to give publicly in the House an indication of how he and the government see the planning procedure now going forward with respect to the courthouse. I would like him to make some undertakings about the uses to which the public areas in the courthouse will be devoted.

We have two options. We can have a courthouse that dispenses justice and does nothing else. If the courthouse does only that, it is not going to be the kind of building that 95 per cent of the population of Ottawa-Carleton see as being particularly important to their lives. It will be a handsome white elephant on one of the most prominent sites in downtown Ottawa.

We have another option. There are the straight judicial facilities, the courts, the places for the crown prosecutors and judges, the lockups for prisoners and those kinds of things and the family court facilities if they go there. In addition to those, the concourse area and other contiguous or nearby areas can be used for a wide range of public services that come loosely under the heading of justice for Ontario and, in certain cases, might even be used for provincial services that ought to be accessible in a downtown location.

Let me give some examples. I have communicated these on many occasions to the minister and the Premier, and in letters to a number of other ministers of the crown. I am afraid the answers I have got have until now not been satisfactory. I am speaking in this regard not just with respect to the people of Ottawa Centre, but for all of the Ottawa area. It is appropriate to have a justice building which they see as sewing all their needs.

As a provincial legislator and representative of the area for several years, I think it is important as well that this province recognize that Ontario’s contribution to the quality of life in Ottawa is often ignored in Ottawa. People look to the federal government. They look to the municipal government, to what is happening at the regional and city of Ottawa level. The provincial level, despite its importance for people’s lives, often gets third place or is totally ignored.

One way of turning that around is to have a provincial presence. We have an outstanding opportunity with the courthouse building. That is why the design of the courthouse was important. That is why it was important not to have something taken out of some filing cabinet. That is why we want the best building we can get.

There is a wide range of provincial functions scattered across the city that could be located in the courthouse building. I think of the landlord and tenant function. I think of the rent review tribunal, the provincial agency. I think of the small claims courts; I have not had a guarantee those small claims courts will be located in the new justice building.

12 noon

I think of the offices of legal aid, not just the duty counsel office, which will be a little hole in the wall, but the place to go in order to talk about legal aid. I think of the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations, in so far as it respects consumer protection, as a judicial function as well. People have a right to expect to be dealt with justly in the marketplace. It seems appropriate that when they look for that justice they should be able to find it in the courthouse, in the palace of justice, in the justice building of the province of Ontario.

I have made a number of other suggestions like that. The various quasi-judicial and administrative tribunals of the province should, as a matter of course, meet in the courthouse building and there should be at least some information facility there which can tell people about their rights, for example, to appeal to the Ministry of Community and Social Services. These are a few of the suggestions that I think should be very seriously adopted.

I believe as well that the building is going to be the most tangible symbol of the Ontario provincial government in downtown Ottawa, and it will be there for the next 50 years, just as the present courthouse facilities and provincial jail -- the old Nicholas Street Jail -- are the most tangible evidence of Ontario’s presence and have been there for the last 50 years.

I think it is time that there was a place in downtown Ottawa where it was possible for people to be informed about provincial activities, to get information about Ontario programs and what they mean to those individuals and to have an opportunity to see exhibitions, displays and that kind of thing from time to time about the activities of the government of Ontario. I think all of that needs to be put in one place.

They need to have access to the publications of the province -- access to Hansard, access to the papers of this Legislature, access to all of the documents, books, reports and so on which are freely available for people in Toronto if they simply slip down to Bay Street to the offices of the government printer.

Ottawa is the second largest city in the province. Unlike Hamilton, which is the third largest, Ottawa is not a short hour’s drive away from the Bay Street information facilities. It is a long way. There is a psychological distance between eastern Ontario and here, as the minister representing Lanark county (Mr. Wiseman) is certainly well aware. One way to bridge that would be to ensure that when the people go into the courthouse because they have other business they would find that there was information about what the government was doing, and when people involved with the law -- who obviously have a need which is greater than most people for access to government information -- go in there, they can get that information. When citizens want to know what is happening, they should have a place in a convenient downtown location to get that information in a building which says “This is a provincial building.”

I noticed that the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) has just established a tourist bureau in the Eaton Centre. Why could something similar not be part of an information centre in the courthouse? It is close to high traffic areas in downtown Ottawa and it seems to me that information about how to enjoy holidays in Ontario could also be there.

I have to say that I am a bit distressed at the fact that when I have communicated these suggestions to the minister, he has said, “I am just responsible for the provision of accommodation. If those ministries want to do something like that, that is up to them but I am going to wait until I hear from them.” When I talk to the individual ministers, they say, “If the Minister of Government Services wants to expand the courthouse to do that for us, we will certainly have a look at it but we do not have a new budget at this time.” When I raise it with the Premier, he seems to take the attitude, “Some project up in Ottawa, 265 miles away, is not of any particular interest to me, so I will let the boys handle it. I am not going to get personally involved.”

Somebody has to take leadership. It seems to me that as a minister from eastern Ontario, this Minister of Government Services is in the position to do so, since he is also the responsible minister for the courthouse. If it is not he, then he should talk to his colleagues the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett) or the Minister of Culture and Recreation and suggest that one of the three of them take this ball and start to run with it; take it to cabinet and get cabinet endorsement even if it costs $500,000 or whatever it costs. It is not a large sum of money, it is not a great deal of floor space in the proposed building, so that it should be possible to bring in all the quasi-judicial functions of the various ministries.

It should be possible to have there an information centre where you can go and get information, the same way you can come to the Queen’s Park complex and talk to the citizens’ information branch here, which comes under the Minister of Culture and Recreation. It should be possible for there to be a display area that can show displays about the work of the province of Ontario.

People will say, “That’s propaganda for the Tory government.” I would hope it might become propaganda for a government, whichever political stripe it happened to hold. In fact, it is information about what Ontario is doing and there are times when we should not simply see that as being for one party; it is for a provincial government which does a damned important job in Ottawa and all across the province.

I would like the minister to respond to these concerns because there is time before the planning for that project gets too far advanced for the ministry to make a definite declaration of principle and then to implement that. I have talked with the architects who were involved with this, Mike Kohler and the other people, Harry Ala-Kantti. They are clearly very sympathetic and would like to have that leadership coming from the province and would be very happy to design that in the same way as they are trying to design a building which will be compatible with the neighbouring buildings, will work with the neighbouring buildings, will say to people in the area that justice is not something that is confined only to the elite. This is a building which is accessible to all of the community.

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Chairman, the other night we touched briefly on the Ottawa courthouse but I don’t mind going over it again. I think the honourable member may have been elsewhere. The member has sat in on most of the meetings we have had with the National Capital Commission, the planners for the city, the mayor, the citizens’ committee, members of the school board as it affects Lisgar Collegiate, and the member for the area, who happens to be the member for Ottawa Centre.

We have had many meetings on this topic, and, as the member knows, no one is rushing into any particular building on this site. Probably this building will be under more scrutiny than any other building that I have been associated with since I have been Minister of Government Services because of the responsibility that the National Capital Commission has for planning that area of Cartier Square surrounding the capital buildings in Ottawa.

We started off with one site, the site along Elgin, closest to the teachers’ college. When the United States decided it was going to locate its embassy some place other than Cartier Square, the restrictions put upon us by the National Capital Commission, the citizens’ committee, the mayor and her planners suggested that as you come down Elgin Street, two thirds of the teachers’ college be visible. We had to change the shape of the building or its location on the lot and look into the possibility of buying additional land, which was at that time going to be used for the US embassy.

Not only did we have to locate the building on the lot and show two thirds of the teachers’ college as you come down Elgin, as I mentioned, but we also had a restriction from the National Capital Commission that it wanted the building located on the lot in such a way that you could stand in the middle of Cartier Square and be able to see the Peace Tower. That meant we had to put the building on quite an angle.

12:10 p.m.

As well, we were asked, and it is not finalized yet, to stay back from Laurier Street because at some point in the future they may want to widen Laurier Street. I think there is the possibility of a one-way street there in the future. We should keep in mind that is a parade route along there, coming from the armouries up to the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa for the changing of the guard and so on.

We also were given a directive that they wanted as much open public space around the building as possible. We were told it just would not look right if we used up every bit of our lot, because right opposite it, across the street, is a park. There was some concern about that, so we tried to address that problem. As the honourable member knows, we also had a restriction as to height; we could not go over 85 feet. I am setting this background because we were trying to look into the possibilities of further public space in the building, keeping in mind the height restrictions and so on.

We do have a responsibility for the Attorney General and for the registry office. That is really why we are building the building. But we have given a commitment that we will look into the possibility of other uses, some of the uses the honourable member has mentioned and others. My staff are in touch with the ministries involved and we are waiting to get word back as to whether or not they are interested in it.

I just ask the honourable members to keep in mind that our space is limited. If all the ministries came back and said they were interested in doing some of the things the honourable member has suggested, we probably would not be able to do it on the site unless we got full co-operation from the city. At the present time we are above the guidelines laid out by the city. They are going to have to waive those, in any event, with what we are proposing at the present time.

One area the honourable member mentioned was the tourist information centre. At the time that was talked about, I don’t think we knew we were going to have a convention centre in Ottawa. I don’t know what will come back from the Minister of Industry and Tourism, but perhaps that would be something that would be better located -- I think the honourable member would probably agree -- in the convention centre, a place where perhaps even more people would make use of it. But we are working along and I think everything is working out quite well.

I believe I mentioned last Monday night during our estimates that we will have a model some time early in the new year. Then we can show the citizens, the mayor, the National Capital Commission and all people at that time what we have in mind, what the building will look like from the outside, how it will be situated on the lot. I would hope we would keep in mind the conditions the National Capital Commission has asked us to consider when we are designing the building. I hope the people, when they see the model, will have some clear understanding of what it will look like and how it will blend in with the other buildings in the immediate area.

Mr. Cassidy: Will the minister undertake that there will be open houses so that every aspect of the proposal, the model and everything else will be discussed with the public and that the public can be informed about what is going on? Will he also tell the House if the question about these other uses for the courthouse has been raised in cabinet and if the question of an information centre for the province, including information about services and access to government publications in a display area, has been raised in cabinet? If it has not, will he undertake to have the matter raised in cabinet so that there is a definite decision, rather than a whole lot of people saying maybe yes, maybe no, and leaving the whole situation in limbo?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Chairman, I thought I had made this quite clear as far as the public were concerned. I know the honourable member has a little different opinion on this, but I felt it would be hard to understand if we showed the general public what I and my deputy and all those at the last meeting saw, without having the experts -- the experts in this case being the architects -- to explain the drawings and sketches that were on the wall. For the average person coming in off the street, I think it would be very difficult to understand those.

It is my personal opinion that when they see a model of what it would look like, with somebody there to explain it a bit further, they will better understand it. That I have said we will do. At the same time we have to present it, as we always do, to the city officials, to the National Capital Commission, and to all those we have been meeting with over the months I have been associated with this project.

Concerning the other question the member raised, I think it is too soon to bring something like that to my cabinet colleagues until I am sure we have responses back from all those ministries to indicate a yes or a no about their interests. At that time I think Management Board and cabinet will have to make a decision as to cost and to things relating to anything additional we might want to put in that building.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, I will conclude without asking for a reply from the minister. The minister is wrong to exclude the public at this stage. There is a tremendous amount of information that can be put up on walls, into a display centre at teachers’ colleges and made accessible to the public.

The problem the minister is demonstrating is that he distrusts the contribution the public can make at this time. He is afraid of the public. I would ask the minister to take the public into his confidence. Let them get involved; let them make suggestions and explain to them what is happening. If that had been done a year and a half ago, the ministry would not have run into the difficulties they had at the outset because of the secretive way in which the initial planning for the courthouse was done.

I urge the minister -- he has come a long way -- to go all the way now and be prepared to put that information out and make it accessible to the public. He will have full co-operation from elected representatives and from the city of Ottawa. I urge him to take that step now.

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Chairman, I have had a little bit to do with small buildings. I have been in this ministry for about 15 months now. I am not discrediting any individual, but I do know that most individuals will not be able to understand it unless the presentation is put in the way we had it the other day.

I am sure the honourable member who just spoke would not have understood it nearly as well as he did if it had not been that our professionals were there. I am not saying the people of the province or the people in the Ottawa area could not understand it. But they can understand it a lot better, in my opinion, when they see the model and have it at that stage.

The member who just spoke disagrees with me, and that is his right. But I feel I should get it on the record that I am not saying anything against the people. They would have a better understanding and they would be able to see there would be very few changes to the outside after they saw the model. That is what I am concerned about: that they do not see something and then see a lot of changes later on.

If we stay pretty close to what the model is, the people won’t come back later on and say: “You’ve changed it completely. You sold us a bill of goods.”

12:20 p.m.

Mr. Ruston: Mr. Chairman, I have a couple of things I want to ask the minister on vote 502. I see in public accounts for 1979-80 amounts to the Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited of $851,000 and $9,270,000. I assume those are for buildings you are leasing in downtown Toronto in some areas; is that correct?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: Yes.

Mr. Ruston: So you paid Cadillac Fairview over $10 million for 1979-80 in Metropolitan Toronto. At some point, you might be able to give me the information as to how many square feet you are leasing from Cadillac Fairview. I would also like to have a verification of the amount of the property you have at the east of Bay project. I have a figure of 18,000 square feet. I would like to have that verified.

Under advisory services, there is an amount of $683,000, which is down from last year’s estimate. What is the main part of that spent on? On what facilities or for what is that money used?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Chairman, while I am waiting for the exact footage on the east of Bay project and how much square footage we are renting for that figure from Cadillac Fairview. I will try to answer the third question first. That is for services which we do for other ministries that cannot be charged to this particular vote. In a moment I will have the number of square feet and so on in those other two questions.

Mr. Ruston: Some time ago I had a question on the Notice Paper with regard to changing or adapting your buildings from oil heating to natural gas. What is the situation on that now? How many of the buildings you own are now heated with oil in areas where there is natural gas available? I realize, of course, in some areas it may not be available. Many people in Ontario would like to have it, but they do not have access to it. I wonder if you can tell me if you have any main buildings now still on oil, and when you expect to convert them to natural gas?

While your officials are looking these figures up, we could maybe get some other questions rolling. Another thing I wanted to ask was with regard to employees -- I understand the government now can pay employees directly through their banking system. Do you have that facility with your own employees or is that under Management Board? In other words, you can deposit their cheques in their banking system. Is there a facility available to have them deposited in credit unions, banks or trust companies, or is it only for banks and trust companies?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Chairman, I understand right now we have given our employees the option of whether they want their cheques deposited directly into the bank or whether they would like them delivered to them personally. There is still an option on that. In some of the other cheques, we do deposit them in the bank, like pension cheques and so on.

Mr. Ruston: Do you deposit into a credit union as well as either a bank or a trust company? Is that facility available? I know the credit union would be glad to have it. I am wondering if you have the power to do that?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: At the present time it is just into the banks.

Mr. B. Newman: In the trust companies too.

Mr. Ruston: Why would it not be available through the credit unions, since they are licensed under the province and have a deposit corporation where they are guaranteed? Since the credit unions put out the same service, could you not use them too?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: I am told that after January 1 they will be able to deposit cheques. Their cheques can be deposited with any branch that allows cheques to be written. I believe that would cover your earlier question.

Mr. Chairman: Do you have any further answers for the member for Essex North?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: If we could go ahead, Mr. Chairman, I will come back to them.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I want to ask a few questions about the east of Bay project. I gather a couple of general questions have been posed to you already by the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner). It is about a year now since I put a couple of written questions on the Notice Paper in terms of the specifics of what you are planning east of Bay.

Since you decided in your wisdom to cut off negotiations and interaction with the city of Toronto, and basically went against an agreement that was made by the Premier (Mr. Davis) with the city of Toronto in 1974 and decided to take over the role of sole planners of this particular block and take it out of the hands of the city, you have done a great deal of work on it. I am wondering if at this time you would be willing to give me some very specific information as to what the plans are and what the state of the east of Bay project is at the moment in your terms.

For instance, what is the square footage you are looking at in terms of government usage of towers onsite? What is the present status of discussions with the YMCA in terms of the amount of space it might have? Is there any provision at all for housing on that site, as was an integral part of the plan from the city of Toronto, in order to make it more of a community and keep housing in the central part of the city? When was the last time you talked to city officials?

I know you have been essentially boycotting the past administration of Mr. Sewell. It seems to me it was a general policy directive of the Conservative government, although the member for Wilson Heights (Mr. Rotenberg) may not agree with me. It seems to me interesting that a number of items were given very short shrift when Mr. Sewell was in power. A good example might be the plan to rationalize the steam plants, something on which you had all-party agreement in this Legislature way back before the summer, yet there was no announcement of it until after the municipal election was out of the way. I thought that was pretty interesting.

Mr. Rotenberg: That was in just beforehand.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I think you will find it was a day or two after the decision was already made that there would be a new mayor. Have you spoken to the new mayor, Mr. Minister?

Mr. Rotenberg: It has nothing to do with the new mayor or the old.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I am talking specifically about the east of Bay area -- I am referring to your general methodology in trying to undermine John Sewell over the last number of years -- but specifically about east of Bay. You have left out the whole city planning that has gone on since 1974 and you have not involved them. What are you doing now with the new mayor? Are you going to involve them? Are you going to allow them to play any part in turning that area into a creative development or are you just going to make it another huge bureaucratic enclave and extension of this place? I would like to hear some more specifics.

It is a year since I filed that question and I think it is about time we got some specifics and not just the generalities that were given to the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere earlier.

Mr. Rotenberg: The member for Scarborough West seems to indicate that I had some role in the planning of Bill 192 whose introduction, he seems to indicate, had something to do with the last municipal election. I can assure the honourable member and the House that that bill has been in process for a number of months. The bill was in process and consultation with the city of Toronto administration without regard to who was the head of that administration. Assurance was given to Mayor Sewell, who is still the mayor of the city of Toronto, that the bill would be introduced and that we would work with him and his officials. The bill was before this House during his administration.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I was not trying to impute any motives or give the member for Wilson Heights a role. I happened to be in committee a number of times with him when proposals brought forward by the city of Toronto were dashed down with some regularity. Let us make it very clear that the municipal election was over when the announcement was made about the steam plant. John Sewell may still have been the mayor but he was a dead duck mayor at that time.

12:30 p.m.

Mr. Rotenberg: A lame duck.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: No, he was a dead duck at that point, not a lame duck.

Mr. Rotenberg: With respect, Mr. Chairman, that bill was introduced on November 14 and whoever was elected mayor had nothing to do with it.

The Deputy Chairman: Order. Let’s forget the politics in the city of Toronto. If the member for Scarborough West wants to return to the estimates, all well and good. Is the minister ready with a reply?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: Yes, Mr. Chairman. The other night we did touch briefly on the east of Bay project, but I would just like to say that the YMCA will take over the property they have purchased from us around August 1, 1981.

I do not think the honourable member was here the other night when I mentioned we have three proposals for the Board of Internal Economy and the committee looking after space for the members. We mentioned at that time that the third proposal did take into consideration the possibility of building an office building to square up the balance of the land along Grosvenor and up to Bay, the part the YMCA is not taking. This is only a proposal and many of you heard some of the members saying they agreed with proposal number two, which is a large complex at the back.

The member mentioned what the city had done in this planning and some of the restrictions they put on the coverage east of Bay in their plan and some discussions that I had with the mayor then. We have, as I mentioned on Monday evening, an outside consultant who is bringing in a report after discussions with the city officials, planners and other people who showed some interest in the east of Bay, and we will be seeing that proposal soon. We are looking with interest to see what the planner has suggested. I hope to have the square footage that we own east of Bay in a few minutes for the member for Essex North as well.

I can answer one of the questions the member for Essex North asked about the number of oil-fired furnaces we have at the present time and how many will be changed over to gas. Right now, about 30 per cent of our buildings are heated with oil and the rest is natural gas and in some outside areas, perhaps a bit of hydro. Three hundred and thirty-eight buildings will be converted over the next five years from oil to gas, at a cost of $2.5 million. Based on today’s prices of oil versus natural gas, it would seem we will have a saving of approximately $1 million per year.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I am sorry, we moved away from east of Bay all of a sudden there. There are a couple of things I would like to follow up on. Who is the consultant you have preparing this report for you, and what are the parameters of his report? What kind of mandate has the minister given that consultant and what form, specifically, will discussions take between the city of Toronto and the planning department of the city of Toronto in terms of any of the work he might be doing? Is it all just in the formulation of his report, or does it come after his report? What kind of power does the city of Toronto have to have any input into what is going on there?

Second, whatever happened to the wonderful idea of the bus terminal at that location? Is that still in the plans anywhere? If it is, please get rid of it as quickly as possible. It is the most ludicrous place for a major bus terminal in the city of Toronto that can possibly be thought of. I would like some assurance that is nowhere in the plans at this point. As I said, a more sensible location some place in the Union Station vicinity is being considered and government support for such a project is being contemplated at this time.

In the matter of the Young Men’s Christian Association, how much space have you actually provided for the YMCA in terms of square footage or the actual site line? What is the size of the building they are now talking about? Is it still the much larger version that was planned in the city of Toronto’s initial proposal? What input from the city is being had in terms of the YMCA portion of the property there?

The east of Bay properties are under the ownership of the government, as I understand it. What is the financial status of those east of Bay properties? Are you making or losing money on our investment in that area at the moment?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Chairman, the planner is John Bousfield Associates. The only direction he got from us was to investigate the possible uses for that lot east of Bay. That would include, and I know has included, discussions with city officials and others. We hope he will bring back a proposal as to how he would see that land east of Bay being used. As far as the bus terminal goes, that was discussed a long time ago. That is not in the plan at this time as far as we are concerned. What Mr. Bousfield suggests, we do not know.

We will have the actual square footage the YMCA has purchased from us in a moment. As I understand it, though, it is the L-shaped piece of property we were talking about when the honourable member and I had some discussions on the subject in the Legislature about a year ago.

I understand the square footage is 51,810 square feet. That was sold to the YMCA for $2,582,300. Did you get those figures? I understand the YMCA now has an architect and the land has been sold to them. It will now be up to them to negotiate with the city. I know they had many discussions with the city before we sold them the land.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I have two other small matters and then I will move off this. You did not say whether, after the planner’s investigation, there would be any liaison with the city planning staff in terms of what final plan will be presented to you. I would like to know if that is going to be happening or whether we are going to be working in splendid isolation.

Has the idea of housing on that site been ruled out from your point of view? It certainly sounded like that to me last year. I want to know if the city’s idea of housing on that site might be a possibility.

The other thing I do not understand about all that is going on here is why the initial city plan could not have been adequate for our government’s needs. As I understand it, in the initial city plan there were at least two high-rise towers for commercial office space planned in the city plan in addition to the YMCA space, in addition to the housing space, in addition to the small park space and other kinds of facilities -- including a theatre as I recall.

12:40 p.m.

Why is it that the two towers that were planned in the city’s project were not adequate for any anticipated growth in government space that might have been required? The simple negotiation for that space could have gone on with the city’s plan instead of throwing out all that work done by the community and by the city itself on an understanding from the Premier in 1974. You throw all that aside and instead set up your own planner to go out and come back to you with a plan that has nothing to do with all that work that was done before. Is it not the case that any reasonable expansion of government space and government services could easily have been handled in those two towers that were in the initial plan?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: If we had had some reasonable working relationship with the former mayor, we would not have had some of these problems and probably would not have had to go to an outside consultant.

I thought things were going along quite well for quite a while. Anything I would say right now would be guessing on what the consultant or planner may come in with. I just ask the honourable members to wait and see, as we are, what will happen on his plan for the east of Bay. As far as ruling out some sort of housing over there is concerned, we have not done that. We never did it with the former mayor either. It was just the way he handled things that I think could have been handled a lot better in this instance.

The Deputy Chairman: I want to share the time here with the member for Windsor-Walkerville.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I have one last comment. I think it is unfair. I can pull out of the record the approaches to the minister to try to get meetings with him on this matter and they were unsuccessful in getting your co-operation in having meetings.

Has the minister met with the new mayor yet? When does he intend to meet with the new mayor? When does he expect to get in touch with the local authorities to involve them instead of taking everything out of their hands and putting it in the hands of his bureaucracy?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: The door is always open to my office and to my deputy’s office. It always has been; it was to the former mayor. But there is a limit when someone walks in and if they do not get exactly what they want they rush out in disgust and say, “I am going to the press.” That is what happened on a couple of occasions with the former mayor. I only hope the new mayor comes in. I am a reasonable guy, and my deputy is a reasonable person. We will sit down and talk about it in a reasonable way.

Mr. B. Newman: I wanted to raise a few issues which are local issues. I would like to solicit information from the minister.

First, what is the status of the old Essex county courthouse in the city of Windsor? Mr. Thatcher is perfectly familiar with it. I raised it some two years ago with him and he was most co-operative in providing information at that time. But it seems to be in a state of limbo at present. Could I have an answer to that, Mr. Minister?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Chairman, at the present time we are waiting for the city of Windsor to tell us about their interest in that building. As soon as we have that information I will relay it to the honourable member either by letter or personally.

Mr. B. Newman: Another matter: Would the minister please extend the parking for handicapped not only to his own ministry but suggest it to other ministries? The parking location for those who are handicapped should be as close as possible to the doors of the facility they are going to visit. I notice the tourist reception centre in Windsor could profit from that type of suggestion; likewise the provincial public building. To me the handicapped parking should be right at the east door of the building.

I do not necessarily want an answer from the minister, but I would suggest he extend that. Likewise, could he suggest that to ministers of other portfolios? Take the service centres on Highway 401. They do have parking for the handicapped but it is quite a distance to walk. It could be right next to the door even though it may cause some inconvenience to the bigger vehicles that may have to pass by in that area. To me the parking for the handicapped should be as close as possible to the building into which the handicapped are going to go.

The minister is aware of the employment problem in Windsor and the problems we have with the auto manufacturers and the problem Chrysler is having. I would suggest the minister show a little preference for purchasing vehicles from the company that has the greatest financial difficulty at the time -- I am suggesting Chrysler. I know he has to go by tender and things of that sort and there may be some drawback to implementing a suggestion like that.

Finally I would mention the walks around government public buildings. The space between the curb and sidewalk has cobblestones which are the hardest thing you can think of to walk on. I have seen so many ladies stumble as they are walking from the road over that. I suggest you get rid of those stones. You cannot push a wheelchair on that, or you push one with extreme difficulty. You will say there is a sidewalk fairly close by, which is quite true -- I accept that. But if you go to walk in there you stumble over all of those stones. A lot of the stones are substantially depressed. To me it looks like one heck of a mess in many locations.

I would suggest he tear that all up at some time in the not too distant future and replace it with the regular type of concrete. If he is not going to use concrete, if he wants to use something that is probably a little cheaper, maybe he could even use asphalt in that area. I am fortunate enough that I do not have a physical handicap; I might have another type but it is not physical.

Mr. Ruston: Like some other members here.

Mr. B. Newman: I am in good company maybe. But I certainly would appreciate if the minister would look into, on a program basis, eliminating that stone area between the sidewalk and the curb. Let the individuals be able to walk on, if necessary, a wider sidewalk, instead of almost falling into holes by the side of the sidewalk or walking on those cobblestones and running the risk of spraining an ankle.

I have made a few suggestions to the minister and I would appreciate a reply to some of them at least.

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: The member did mention one area with regard to the handicapped. We will look into that. A week or so ago, as I was shopping, I watched a young fellow, probably better on his feet than most of us in the Legislature, who drove into the space for the handicapped. I think we have an education job to do there to emphasize that they really are for the handicapped. Both of those parking areas were taken by people under 20 who had good legs under them.

You mentioned one area. If you have others we would be glad to discuss them with our colleagues. As far as the cars go, I think the member should know it is the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) who looks after the purchases. I am sure he will read Hansard with all our debate we have had this morning. If both of us mention it to him, it would be brought to his attention.

As far as the cobblestones are concerned, I have noticed those are a little rough myself and we will look into that and see what can be done.

12:50 p.m.

Vote 502 agreed to.

On vote 503, upkeep of accommodation program:

Mr. Ruston: Mr. Chairman, in your upkeep of accommodation program, are you under contract in the majority of the buildings that you own or do you still do some of it with your own staff with regard to maintenance, janitorial services and so forth?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Chairman, we use contract employees for the cleaning in almost all buildings except this building and some of our justice buildings downtown.

Mr. Ruston: In your repairs and so forth in the buildings in which you are making changes to save energy by replacing windows or putting in whatever windows are necessary to improve the efficiency of the heating system, are you putting in double or triple glass in older buildings?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: In all the renovations we are using double and triple-pane glass. In all the new ones, we are doing the same thing.

Vote 503 agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: The member for Essex North earlier asked for the leased square footage space of Cadillac Fairview. The leased space is 345,806 feet at an annual rent of $2,671,900. We also bought several million dollars’ worth of property from Cadillac Fairview for highway purposes in the parkway belt.

Mr. Ruston: A lot of that money in the public accounts would be for property, not just leasing. Thank you, Mr. Minister.

On vote 504, supply and services program:

Mr. Ruston: On publications and printing services, do you do any polling in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: No, Mr. Chairman. I am happy to say we do not.

Mr. Ruston: You do not have to see how popular you are in the decisions you make. That is good.

In collection services, is your ministry involved with collection services for other ministries, such as, I assume, the Ministry of Community and Social Services? I understand they have a number of problems with collecting from errant husbands. I guess most of them are husbands. There are not too many of the other sex not paying up. I was wondering whether you are handling the collections for them and whether you have any figures on your collections so far through your ministry and the Ministry of Community and Social Services?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: We do a lot of collecting for some of the ministries but that particular area is not part of our responsibility. That would be handled by the courts.

Vote 504 agreed to.

Vote 505 agreed to.

The Deputy Chairman: This completes the study of the estimates of the Ministry of Government Services.

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

The House adjourned at 1 p.m.