The House met at 2 p.m.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
DEATH OF DON O’HEARN
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, it was with deep regret and a sense of profound personal loss that I learned earlier today of the death of Donald O’Hearn, a gentleman and a journalist.
Donald was associated with Queen’s Park for more than four decades, earning the reputation of a distinguished political commentator. He was an observer but he was also -- and I speak personally here -- a participant in many respects. Through the years Premiers, Leaders of the Opposition, members of the House, civil servants and press gallery colleagues have turned to Don as a confidant, respectful of his wit and wisdom, his knowledge and his insight. To the thousands of faithful readers across Ontario, Don’s name was synonymous with Queen’s Park.
For those of us fortunate enough to know him personally, he will always be remembered as an independent and fiercely proud individual. For us, too, the familiar figure, the brown fedora always at the correct angle, on occasion the kid gloves and umbrella in hand, was very much a part of Queen’s Park.
Don preferred his earlier days here when life was somewhat less hectic and there was more time to devote to forming the kind of respect and friendships that survive partisanship and heated debate. Don used to say of the Legislature in recent years, “The fun has gone out of the place,” and perhaps there are some days when some of us might agree with that. Perhaps we could all take a lesson from our predecessors who knew somewhat better than us when to put our differences aside and when to stop taking ourselves quite as seriously as we do on some occasions.
He was every inch a newspaperman, often impatient with change brought about by the demands of electronic journalism. Don set some difficult standards and from among his peers only those who measured up qualified for his respect and friendship. Don O’Hearn has left behind enough stories and legends to fill a very large book. It is very sad that he did not write his memoirs, because he was somewhat of a legend himself. In the retelling of stories by colleagues from across Canada who mourn his loss, we will all be reminded that he worked hard and played hard. In many ways, Don was the last of an era in which he and his colleagues like Jack Pethick and Roy Greenaway left an indelible mark and were as colourful and well known as the people they wrote about.
Don was a wise man who never hesitated to share his wisdom with others, particularly young reporters and neophyte politicians taking their first steps through the maze of Queen’s Park. I can attest to this personally as can, I am sure, many other current members of the Legislature.
To his family I take this opportunity to extend, on my behalf and on behalf of his many friends and colleagues at Queen’s Park, our very deepest sympathy at this very sad time. Don O’Hearn will be missed.
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, my colleagues in the Liberal Party and I want to join in the expressions of sympathy put before the House by the Premier. We are very saddened at the news of Don O’Hearn’s death. He has been a fixture in the press gallery and in this building and in politics for many years. Probably he was well known and respected even before the Premier was elected. His record does go back.
He has not always been exactly prescient in his predictions. I recall at the beginning of 1962, as was his custom, he wrote an article picking out the man of the year. The choice was difficult in 1962. He had to pick two, Bob Macaulay and Bob Nixon. I think probably in his view we were both somewhat disappointments, but I can recall his active interest not only in reporting politics but also in politics itself.
We knew on this side that he had been very ill during the last few weeks. I know that many of his old friends were able to chat with him even, I guess, just a week ago. He was able to respond with much of his vigour and knowledge of the current scene. He will certainly be missed. I am not sure I agree entirely with the Premier, who was quoting Don, in his absence, as saying perhaps it wasn’t as much fun around here as it was. I think there is a tendency for people, as they grow older, to think things perhaps are less fun. It is sad and difficult to realize that happens when really the procedure here and, I suppose, the fun, if you want to call it that, goes forward. Don would be the very best person to observe that and write about it with feeling, prescience and humour. He certainly will be missed, and we will miss him.
Mr. Cassidy: As a former newspaperman, Mr. Speaker, I want to join in the comments made both by the Premier and the former leader of the Liberal Party and extend my condolences and the condolences of the New Democrats to Mr. O’Hearn’s family. I say, “as a former newspaperman,” because Don O’Hearn was one of a vanishing breed now of parliamentary reporters, both in this parliament and in the Parliament of Canada, who stuck to their craft as a lifetime career, rather than holding to it only for a period of years before going on into other metiers, such as public relations or, dare I say, such as politics.
I think the nation and the province is the poorer for not having had more newspapermen who continued to hold to that avocation, to that career for a lifetime, for being deprived of the kind of wisdom, knowledge and sense of continuity of events which only comes when a person stays in the newspaper field for a lengthy period of time as Don O’Hearn did.
In his latter years, when as a member I got to know Don O’Hearn for the last eight or nine years, he continued to have a strong influence in portraying what happened in this Legislature, particularly in the smaller communities of Ontario which carried his column through the Thomson press. He was here when my colleague the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald), who had not yet been elected to this Legislature, was working in the national office of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation. Don O’Hearn began his lifetime career in this Legislature back in the 1940s and had that continuity which too many of us too often don’t have.
I would like to say to some of the members of the gallery that I hope one or two of them will see fit to stick around to do to the Ontario Legislature what Don O’Hearn attempted to do and that men like Charlie Lynch or Bill Wilson have done in Parliament at the national level. It is an honourable calling. It is a craft and a calling which Don O’Hearn fulfilled with dedication, with zeal, with vigour, with a sense of fun. He always thought it was important and he was right to do so.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I will not ask the leader of the New Democratic Party to identify those journalists in the gallery that he would like to see stay here for some 35 or 40 years. I am sure one of them is the distinguished columnist for the Toronto Sun.
I assure the House leader of the Liberal Party that anything I might say would not reflect my own personal point of view. I really do have fun most days of the week in this Legislative Assembly, and I want to make that clear.
Mr. Nixon: I was detecting a certain deterioration.
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, no. Greying of the hair a little bit, but intellectual deterioration I have not yet experienced.
Mr. Nixon: No. It is the things that the Premier can’t help that I worry about.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I understand that, Mr. Speaker, and the next statement does give me a certain sense of satisfaction and I know that will be disturbing to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) and some members opposite.
URBAN TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a few moments to comment on Saturday’s announcement out of Vancouver -- it was early Saturday morning and some of us left there late Friday -- by the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Mr. William Vander Zalm, that British Columbia’s Urban Transit Authority has been given the green light to proceed immediately with the design and construction of a 22.4-kilometre, advanced light rapid transit system for greater Vancouver. The cost to the BC government will be, as reported, $650 million, a cost to be shared between the BC government, 66 2/3, and the municipalities, 33 1/3.
The Ontario Urban Transportation Development Corporation will provide the technology and assume responsibility for the implementation of the project as prime contractor.
I have not included in my statement some of the rhetoric used by some members opposite in days gone by. I have not even got a phrase in here to the Leader of the Opposition, saying, “I told you so.” That is not in my statement.
Mr. Kerrio: If the Premier keeps trying, he’s got to do something right.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I have to say to the member for Niagara Falls it is just one other clear indication of the foresight, the wisdom, the logic and the intelligence of the existing government and why we will be here for another 10 years in spite of what the people opposite do.
This, I am sure all members will agree -- I can see the delight opposite -- is a most important and encouraging decision; it is a decision that justifies the faith this government has maintained in the intermediate-capacity transit system development program.
Our aim has been to promote not just a superior technology that would satisfy the immediate future requirements of urban transit in Canada but also an industry in this country that would provide skilled employment opportunities and attract manufacturing investment dollars, as well as providing an affordable, innovative, efficient alternative to rapid transit for cities of all sizes.
Mr. Martel: Socialism is great, isn’t it? Too bad the Premier wouldn’t get a little more involved.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I have to say this to those in the New Democratic Party: They were not quite as critical in the development of this as others, but I can recall a few things said by that party too with respect to this.
Mr. Martel: Now if we could get some mining equipment for Ontario.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I have a bad cold today; don’t interrupt me.
For example, in the greater Vancouver region this technology -- designated as advanced light rapid transit, or ALRT -- will provide both regional and downtown rapid transit along routes that include underground, some at-grade and some elevated alignments, and will be served by short, compact trains, powered by linear induction motors which will provide fast, quiet, frequent, all-weather transit at all times of the day or of the night. It will go around corners, Mr. Speaker, and I am waiting for the Leader of the Opposition to find his way around this corner. I do not know how he is going to do it.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: He has already gone around one too many.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I would never say he has been around the bend.
The selection of Ontario’s ICTS technology by the BC government and its transit agency and planners leaves no doubt about the merit of this technology and the value of this government’s investment in this kind of industrial development.
Mr. Peterson: Why the money-back guarantee?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Just wait.
Mr. Speaker, further proof of this merit, if it is still needed, is the fact that the American federal government’s Urban Mass Transit Administration (UMTA) undertook an evaluation of UTDC’s capacity to supply and deliver equipment. Such an evaluation is a prerequisite to bidding for any major contracts in the United States. It was a 30-day evaluation; it was prolonged, detailed, exhaustive -- I could hardly stand the pressures -- and the UTDC qualified to undertake prime contract responsibility for delivery of complete rapid transit systems. As a result, we are currently negotiating with Los Angeles, Detroit and Miami for similar sales of similar systems. If we are successful, I will be delighted to take the House leader of the Liberal Party with me to either Miami, Los Angeles or Detroit to turn the sod.
Mr. Nixon: I’ve had these offers before. You always back out. You never deliver.
Hon. Mr. Davis: This is an offer I know he will accept.
Mr. Bradley: Has the Social Credit bailed you out again?
Hon. Mr. Davis: If anybody really needs bailing out, it is the member for St. Catharines. He should just wait some two months from now. He is in trouble. I am even prepared to lay a wager.
I am also happy to say that this first commercial application outside of Ontario of our transit technology is also evidence of its national scope involving, as it does, the cooperation of two provincial governments, a west coast municipality and even possibly the federal government, which recently stated it was prepared to consider participation in the Vancouver project as an industrial development initiative. To this end, because there will be joint employment benefits resulting from the construction and assembly of rolling stock and operating technologies, UTDC and the BC authority will work out suitable and equitable production elements. I would like to add that this kind of cooperation underlines that, despite political differences which all too often dominate people’s thinking, we in this country do have a real and working spirit of Confederation.
Perhaps one aspect of the agreement deserves particular attention since it has been a featured aspect of news reports. I refer to the so-called “money-back guarantee.” This is, in fact, a $300-million bond that will be posted by the government as a guarantee that the trains will perform reliably. It is, in the vernacular of the trade, very simply a performance bond such as is sought and given on all these undertakings. Such bonds, as members will be aware, are part of standard business practice for contracts of this type. In turn, that means the potential for the export of our technology and the growth of a national industry is within our reach, and that means jobs and investment, as I noted earlier.
In the meantime, the Hamilton rapid transit project, which was authorized earlier this year, is proceeding. If the regional municipality approves the design and the routes now under study, we shall be able to move into the construction stages within the next 12 months, and I invite the Leader of the Opposition, and one of the members opposite who has never been that helpful, to join me once again, he in his role as Leader of the Opposition, me as Premier of the province, when the sod or whatever is turned for one of these systems, in Hamilton, some 12 months from now.
I hope therefore, the day is not far away when this outstanding example of Canadian knowhow, development and technology will be in place in both the east and west of this country and available for export to many other nations of the world.
HEALTH PROTECTION LEGISLATION
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I would like to table today a discussion paper on the proposed Health Protection Act for the information of the honourable members. This paper is being circulated to local boards of health and municipalities across the province. It represents the second stage in the development of a new act to replace the existing Public Health Act, which was originally written approximately 100 years ago.
The proposed Health Protection Act also reflects my ministry’s policy of shifting emphasis from acute institutional care by developing health care delivery strategies focused on disease prevention and other programs based in the community.
As the honourable members will recall, my staff completed the first stage of the Health Protection Act project earlier this year, with the development of a package of core public health proposals to be included in the new act.
Incorporating these core programs into legislation not only will provide a clear legislative mandate for the delivery of public health services in the province but also will remove many of the existing inequities in program delivery. In so doing, it will provide access for all Ontarians to what public health authorities consider to be a basic level of service.
Following the development of the core proposals, a series of meetings was held across the province to introduce the concept to local municipalities and boards of health. These meetings were held in Toronto, Ottawa, London, Hamilton, Owen Sound, Trenton, Sudbury, Timmins and Thunder Bay. All the meetings were well-attended and, without exception, representatives of municipal authorities and boards of health members endorsed the concept of core public health programs. The distribution of this discussion paper I am tabling today marks another step in the consultation process which has been a vital part of the development of the new public health legislation.
Following consideration of the discussion paper, we will be holding a conference in late January with local municipal representatives and members of boards of health. At that meeting, we will not only receive their comments on the discussion paper but also discuss in detail the proposals for the new Health Protection Act. My staff will then be in a position to refine these proposals in preparation for the third stage, namely, the introduction of the new bill into the Legislature which, as I have indicated on a number of occasions, is planned for the spring session.
MINISTRY OF HEALTH ANNOUNCEMENT
Mr. O’Neil: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege. On November 27 of this year, the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) visited my riding to announce the expansion of the home care program to include the chronically ill. The announcement was made by him at the Belleville General Hospital, which is in my riding, and the announcement concerned a large portion of my riding which is in Hastings county.
The announcement reads: “Belleville, November 27: A program to enable the chronically ill people to be cared for at home will soon be expanded in the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward. The program was announced today by the Health Minister, Dennis Timbrell, Clarke Rollins, MPP for Hastings-Peterborough, and James Taylor, MPP for Prince Edward-Lennox.”
I would like to point out to the minister that, when fellow colleagues of his visit my riding, they usually have the courtesy and good common sense to notify me. They are also usually aware of whose riding they are in. When the minister uses an announcement such as this to play politics with the sick and elderly of my riding, I feel it is a real slight to the people of Quinte who have democratically elected me as their representative -- might I say by 700 votes in 1975 and more than 7,000 in 1977.
I find this announcement by the minister to be totally lacking in judgement, misleading and not becoming of a minister of this government.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for adding that extra emphasis to the announcement. When he joins the Progressive Conservative Party and is prepared to support the Ministry of Health, rather than always trying to cut it down -- at one point his party tried to slash our budget by $50 million -- then I will add the member’s name.
STATEMENT BY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: The Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) has a bit of the flu. I am very concerned. I am sure the Leader of the Opposition will either want to apologize for or perhaps alter what he is reported to have said on Friday evening.
I will just quote what he said; I am not going to fuss about it. Members can make whatever determination they want. He said: “While the possibility exists that the documents could be ‘laundered’ before the opposition sees them, he is maintaining a scientific scepticism” -- whatever that means -- “and won’t ‘blame’ anyone before the fact.”
I am not objecting to the Leader of the Opposition already having made up his own mind on this situation. However, I take issue with him on behalf of those public servants who have the responsibility for dealing with this issue that is before the committee. The suggestion by the Leader of the Opposition that these documents may be laundered before they reach the committee is a very questionable observation to make about the senior law officers of the crown in this province. I invite him to either say he did not make it or that he would apologize for it.
Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to have the opportunity to correct that. The question I was asked by a reporter was whether I was certain we would be getting all the documents or whether some would have been selected. The reporter asked whether some might be given to the police for their purposes and some given to the committee. I said I had no way of knowing whether --
Hon. Mr. Davis: You knew exactly what the arrangements were.
Mr. S. Smith: I am going to answer the Premier’s point.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Did the member use the word “launder”?
Mr. S. Smith: Yes, I am going to give it to the Premier in a moment. He should just listen for a moment.
I said it was always possible that documents could be laundered. But -- and the operative point is this -- I was making no accusations. I also stated that at no time was I suggesting this would happen. I was simply saying --
Hon. Mr. Walker: Withdraw it.
Mr. Wildman: Are you a psychiatrist or a lawyer?
Mr. S. Smith: If members want to hear it, they might as well hear it.
The question I was asked was whether they could be laundered. The answer was, “Yes, it could be, but I am making no such accusation whatsoever.” That is what the discussion was.
Mr. S. Smith: I may just add to that statement regarding the beginning of the conversation. The conversation was, “Are you sure you are going to get all the documents, because a certain minister of the crown” -- I am now quoting a journalist -- “is going around saying, ‘Those Liberals will be sorry they asked for those documents, because they are only going to find Liberal names and no Conservative names.’” That was the preface to the question: “Do you think they could be laundered?” I said, “Maybe they could, but I am making no accusations.” I just thought I would give members the full context. It was a certain minister of the crown.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Just to clear that up, Mr. Speaker, I did not say “Liberals.” I said “other parties.”
Mr. S. Smith: Other parties, yes. Now we have it on the record from the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations what he was brouhahaing to the press.
Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I will ask a question, if I might, of the Minister of the Environment. It has to do in particular with his interview on last night’s CTV News. In that interview he said, and I quote: “We have made a concentrated effort in the last year and a half for the hearing process to work and it has not.” He also said, “The greatest effort has been made to have the hearing concept work, and that concept has not worked.”
I ask the minister to recall that on June 5 of this year we had an interesting set-to in committee. He practically had apoplexy asking me to swear allegiance to the hearing process. He said, “Will you say that you believe in the board and its process?” Again, “Will you say that you believe that the process will do well, not only for the constituents of Harwich, but for the other hearings that are equally important?” I stated, “Yes, I believe in the board and its process.”
Mr. Speaker: Is there a question here some place?
Mr. S. Smith: Yes. Can the minister explain what has happened since June 5, 1980, when he believed so deeply in the process, and last night, when he said the process has been a failure and he no longer believes in hearings?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I think a great deal has happened in that time. On that occasion -- and I do recall it well -- the Leader of the Opposition eventually did say he believed in the process. What has happened in those five or six months is that he and the members of his party have consistently made a very conscious and significant effort to make it not work. That is what has happened in the last six months. It is that simple.
Mr. S. Smith: The minister not only has lost faith in the process of hearings, apparently, but now has given up, it would seem, on the judicial process as well. Browning-Ferris Industries in Harwich, which had its licence quashed in the courts, is continuing to operate with his permission under an expired licence which he now says the company should continue with even though the township went to court and won its case against the company. Will the minister explain what process he does believe in, if he does not believe in hearings and now subverts the judicial process as well?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think the Leader of the Opposition should take that back. It is not a supplementary by any stretch of the imagination, but let me address the question nevertheless, Mr. Speaker.
We will accept the decision of the court. I had a meeting with BFI this morning; the company will accept the decision of the court. It is that simple. Again, if the leader would only try to understand the issue rather than make all these accusations that sound so nice but have no foundation, it would help all of us understand the issue.
We will not be appealing that decision. When I have a chance to see that particular decision in writing, and we are pressing to get that particular decision, we will abide by that decision.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary to the Premier on the question of hearings: Since it was the Premier a week and a half ago who said there would be hearings in connection with the South Cayuga dump, and since we have been unable to determine from the Minister of the Environment what the nature of any hearings would be, could the Premier perhaps share with the House what will be the nature of the hearings with respect to the proposed liquid waste facilities in South Cayuga? Will they be carried out by some independent body or tribunal, and what access will the public have to all the material on which any hearings will be based?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I will go back to what I said to the honourable member a few days ago. I will only recall for his purposes the fact that the Minister of the Environment has undertaken certain conversations with Dr. Chant, who has assumed the responsibility. Part of those discussions, although I was not privy to them, related to the fact that some of the technical aspects would be available for public discussion. I am not sure I am right in this, but I think the Minister of the Environment and I are meeting Dr. Chant this afternoon, when I expect this matter will be further explored.
The point that has to be made is that the hearings as envisaged by the act will not be proceeding, but the opportunity for the public to have an awareness of the technology, the information et cetera has never been in any doubt.
I know the position of the honourable members opposite with respect to this issue, but I remind them of something else. I will restate it, in case they did not hear it from either the minister or me. This facility will be the finest anywhere in the world. It will not be an environmental hazard to anyone, whether 50 feet away or two miles away. It is the most creative and imaginative solution to a problem that is besetting all of North America, and this province will be in the lead. When we are finished, we will have a plant here that will be an example for every other jurisdiction in Canada and in the United States.
Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker; perhaps I might ask it of the Premier because of his comments just now: Since SCA also says that its plant is the most modern and will be an example for all of North America, and since there will be hearings there, will the Premier admit that the reason the Minister of the Environment has not gone to those hearings to represent the interests of Ontario is that he would be awfully embarrassed if, while he was on the witness stand, SCA were to say, “Are you not doing the same sort of thing on your side of Lake Erie, with the effluent going into Lake Erie, and can we come to your hearings to make objection or to raise questions just the way you have come to ours in New York state?” Would the minister not look just a little foolish trying to protect Ontario’s interests in New York state when we do not even have hearings when we are proposing the largest toxic facility of this kind on our side of the Great Lakes?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I will answer only one part of the question, and the honourable member can redirect the more technical aspects to the Minister of the Environment.
I must say to the Leader of the Opposition that I have yet to find him in a position where he can at any time say the Minister of Environment is caught in an embarrassing position. If anyone is caught on issue after issue, in embarrassing positions, changes of positions or laundering documents, it is the Leader of the Opposition in this province and not the Minister of the Environment.
URBAN TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a question to the Premier on the subject of the sale by the Urban Transportation Development Corporation to British Columbia. We are pleased to see this sale taking place, but we are a little concerned that the mayor of Vancouver was on the radio today saying he feared they are buying a pig in a poke. Since it does appear it took a $300- million performance bond to get this sale, will the Premier kindly table in the House the exact conditions of the contract and the exact conditions of this performance bond so we will know what the taxpayers of Ontario are going on the hook for? In particular, since the Premier refers to this as simply standard business practice, does he remember it was not standard business practice in dealing with Babcock and Wilcox?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I had a note from somebody in the press gallery about that latter matter, and I do not think the two are related. I say that with great respect to the gentleman who sent me the note. Perhaps he also sent it to the Leader of the Opposition. I do not know.
Mr. S. Smith: No, he did not.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I do not care whether the member gets his notes from Harold or Jimmy or whoever he gets his notes from. I do not care.
I can only say that the provision of a performance bond for a contract of this nature is standard within the industry. We will be delighted to table it when the bond is formalized. I will even support the establishment of a select committee of the Legislature to determine that the bond was not laundered before it was signed, if it will make the Leader of the Opposition happier.
Mr. S. Smith: The Premier might do well to talk to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Drea) and ask him why he told the press the documents will all have Liberal names and not Conservative names. He might just ask the minister what he meant by that comment. The Premier might launder his mind when he comes into this place and makes his own statements in this House. It is a bit like brainwashing but slightly different.
May I ask the Premier whether he knows if UTDC, which will act as a contractor and will subcontract out the manufacture of the various components of this system, will be receiving from the various subcontractors a performance bond so, if it is found that the reason the system may have some difficulties is a problem with one of the subcontractors, the people of Ontario will not end up on the hook for money and the money will be recovered from the other manufacturers?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I can only make one observation. I understood it was the Leader of the Opposition’s profession that did mind-laundering, not mine. I will not pursue that any further here this afternoon. I sense his embarrassment.
Mr. Speaker: I think that has been washed long enough on both sides.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I will bow to your total wisdom on most issues.
Mr. S. Smith: You and your innuendos.
Hon. Mr. Davis: It is there in print. The member had a chance to apologize and he would not. Here it is. I will send it over to him to read.
Mr. Speaker: Order: Does the Premier have a reply?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I do have an answer to the question.
Mr. Van Hone: You are boring.
Hon. Mr. Davis: If the member for London Centre has the gall to refer to -- London North? Who said I was boring?
Mr. Peterson: I think you are boring.
Hon. Mr. Davis: If I am boring, where does that put the member? Worse, I know.
Mr. Speaker, I can assure the Leader of the Opposition that this contract entered into by UTDC with, I assume, the greater municipality of Vancouver or whatever authorities, probably the government of British Columbia, which will contain a performance bond where obviously some of the work will be done by firms in other parts of Canada, that those firms will follow the normal business practice.
I know it bothers the honourable members to see this thing succeeding. It upsets them; I know that. Here we have the member from a riding -- and I will not refer to the member, because he will not apologize either -- who refers to this as a great turkey. I have to say, this great turkey has emerged as one of the great economic pluses of this country. Are the honourable members going to change their minds? Yes, we will make sure the interests of the taxpayers of Ontario are well protected.
Mr. M. Davidson: Mr. Speaker, can the Premier confirm newspaper reports that in addition to the $300-million performance bond, there is also a commitment on his part that certain component parts of the Urban Transportation Development Corporation rail service will be manufactured in British Columbia? If this is true, does he not feel the performance bond is greater than the $300 million, given the loss of jobs that will create in this province?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the honourable member learned his arithmetic, but there will be an agreement or an understanding with the government of British Columbia. Obviously the guideway system is going to be built in British Columbia, because that is where it is geographically located. Certain other aspects of the vehicle itself may be assembled in British Columbia, but I have to say to the honourable member, if he starts from zero and if this means X hundred jobs in Ontario and X hundred in British Columbia so that there is a net plus of several hundred jobs, how can he say this leads to a loss of jobs?
I took the old math, and in the old math that sounds to me like a plus, not a diminution. I say to the honourable member that there will be a plus in numbers of jobs. Because it is the person or the group putting up the money where the facility is being built, it will be another province in Canada where a certain amount of the work will be done. That is how we get these things accomplished, and I do not think it diminishes the obligation for or the practice of the industry to provide a performance bond for the total facility.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Yes, the honourable member should get his colleague out of the way. How can I talk to him when he is interrupting and ignoring these pearls of wisdom as I speak?
Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary. Given the fact that $100 million of Ontario taxpayers’ money has been spent on this, do we recover our development costs with this sale?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have checked the rules very carefully. I am not going to be provocative this Monday, but I would just say to the member who asked the question that there is nothing in the rules that obliges a member of this government to answer. I would be delighted to answer if the honourable member would do himself and this House a service first; if he will make a very simple apology to the member for Oriole (Mr. Williams), I will be delighted to answer his question.
Mr. Cunningham: I have nothing for which to apologize whatsoever, and I ask the Premier to answer that question.
PLANT CLOSURES AND TERMINATION ENTITLEMENTS
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Premier in respect of severance pay for workers who are affected by layoffs and shutdowns over the course of this winter. Since the recommendation of the select committee on plant shutdowns and employee adjustment was unanimously endorsed by the Conservative members as well as the Liberals and the New Democrats; since that was seen as an interim recommendation to take us over the winter to protect workers, and since the government has repeatedly said it is not opposed in principle to the idea of severance pay, will the Premier now undertake that the legislation for severance pay will be brought forward by the government this week so it can adopt it before Christmas to protect workers this winter?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the government’s position is quite clear. As the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) has said and as I have said, we do not have a philosophical or ideological problem with the principle of severance pay. My recollection of the discussion and the understandings that were reached was that we appointed a committee of this House with specific responsibility to deal with this particular issue and associated issues.
We have had an interim report, and I am not being critical of the committee except to make this observation, that there are yet a number of groups who have points of view to express, concerns to be registered and perhaps constructive suggestions to be made as to how this might best he dealt with. The government’s preference, quite obviously one that will be maintained and I think is the wise course to follow, is to have the committee continue to deal with this situation. The committee is going to finish its hearings by February 5, and the government will then have the report from it dealing with these issues.
I have discussed this with people who have conflicting points of view. Once again, it is not a straight philosophical problem. The problem is in developing a solution that is workable and does not have an inhibiting effect on the growth and investment in industry in this province. We saw that coming out in the committee’s deliberations. That is still, by far, the preferable route to go.
Mr. Cassidy: Can the Premier then explain why it is the government is acting in such an inconsistent way? Last Thursday it was prepared to bring forward proposals for pension protection of workers, inadequate proposals but proposals none the less, which have had no more discussion within the select committee on plant shutdowns and employee adjustment than the question of severance pay. Why is it he is prepared to move on the pension proposal in the next week and not on severance pay? Is it the fact that government has caved in to the representations being made by the business lobby and the chambers of commerce?
Hon. Mr. Davis: The New Democratic Party may cave in to representations made to it. We do not work that way on this side of the House.
Mr. Breaugh: Oh, come on.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I say to the member for Oshawa that he is one of the greatest cave-in artists I know.
I say to the leader of the New Democratic Party that in the minister’s opening statement we made it very clear that the pension bill that would be brought in is an interim solution. We also made it quite clear that, while we were not objecting in principle to the concept of severance pay, we saw a workable solution to the pension issue but we wanted the general community to have an opportunity to discuss the question of severance pay with the committee. That was clearly understood at the time the committee -- which, incidentally, the member insisted be structured and which we agreed to; that was the understanding at the time the committee was structured.
Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question of the Premier. Is he considering the date on which the House approved the severance pay and having it made retroactive to that date rather than having it set up from some date in the future?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think that is one of the considerations that I would hope the committee in its wisdom would give us some advice on. During the intervening period of time -- and we are not talking of a very long period of time, when the committee can complete its activities; we are talking of some two months, by and large -- I would hope the committee might have some recommendations, in the hope that the actual problem in that period of time would be very limited in any event.
Mr. Cassidy: Can the Premier explain to me and to workers across the province, since there is a strong likelihood there will be some plants that will be shut down by their owners over the course of the next two or three months, there will be workers who will be put out in the street with notice but no other means to look for another job at a time of unemployment running at seven per cent or so, can he say how those workers will meet their bills, buy their Christmas presents, pay their food bills at Dominion Stores, pay their mortgages or their rents on the basis of promises and declarations in principle from the government if those promises are not backed by the interim solution of legislation proposed by the select committee on plant shutdowns? Why is he not prepared to bring in that interim solution now?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Once again, I will not repeat all that I said, which I thought was fairly clearly understood some six weeks ago when the committee, which I think by and large at the suggestion of the member and some other members opposite, was appointed to deal with this issue. The principle of pensions has always been with us. The short-term solution for the pension situation is easier to determine.
The question of severance pay as a statutory requirement is a new principle here in this province; I do not say it is a negotiated agreement. I have to tell the member it will be new when it happens in any jurisdiction in North America. With great respect, the member can shake his head but I have not learned of any others that have it.
I say to the leader of the New Democratic Party, it is an issue where we were quite genuinely anticipating the constructive advice from the select committee.
Mr. Cassidy: You have the advice. They say to do it now.
Hon. Mr. Davis: With great respect, the member has talked to me about hearings; he has made a great issue of South Cayuga. I have to tell him, if that is the kind of hearing he envisages the select committee to have, then he is just contradicting whatever he has said about South Cayuga.
I have to tell him, there are individuals, small businessmen, small companies -- I am not talking about the multinationals, the chamber of commerce or the Canadian Manufacturer’s Association -- who have been told and who are most anxious to acquaint the members of this House with their concerns. They were working, I guess, under the misguided feeling that the members of this House were fair-minded, objective and trying to treat it responsibly. Now he is saying those people will not have an opportunity to express a concern or a point of view. All I am saying to the member is there is a distinction.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour about the standards for exposure to asbestos in work places which were published the other day and are now going before the advisory committee for consideration.
Will the minister tell the House how he can justify proposing a standard of one fibre per cubic centimetre for work-place exposure to chrysotile asbestos, in the light of the ministry’s own admission in the report on asbestos in public buildings last spring, that “as with all other carcinogens, safe levels of exposure to asbestos are unknown”?
If there are no known safe levels of exposure to asbestos, why is he proposing a level of one fibre per cubic centimetre?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I think the member should have acknowledged that even the two-fibre standard we have today is the lowest in North America. Indeed, it is quite a bit lower than that of our neighbour to the east, the province of Quebec. In spite of that, we have evaluated the evidence, accepting that we just do not have the scientific evidence -- and the member knows that -- to know what exactly is a safe level. Nevertheless, we are making a move towards a reduced level -- not without a lot of objection, I have to say, including objections from some of our neighbouring provinces. But we have made that decision and we are proceeding with it.
Mr. Cassidy: Can the minister say whether there is any scientific basis for the finding his ministry is proposing that there is somehow a safe level of exposure, particularly in the light of the opinion of the British advisory committee on asbestos that a one-fibre level of chrysotile asbestos would mean an excess number of deaths, and in the light of the US National Institute on Occupational Safety and Health, which reported last April, “There is no level of exposure below which clinical effects do not occur”?
If those are the findings of the most eminent British and American authorities, what is the scientific basis for the minister’s findings that a one-fibre standard is adequate?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: I am really surprised that there is some suggestion we are not acting appropriately. We are moving ahead with the reduced standard in the face of the Royal Commission on Asbestos sitting to review this very matter in very broad ways. In spite of the fact that there is a royal commission sitting, we are nevertheless moving to reduce the level of asbestos in the work place.
Mr. Mackenzie: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The minister is proposing a different standard for chrysotile, amosite and crocidolite. Can the minister explain why he is proposing a different standard for these three different kinds of asbestos when the evidence we have from Dr. Selikoff, the most renowned expert on asbestos in North America, is that there is no difference in the hazards from these three major types?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I confess I do not have a deep understanding of the scientific basis for the difference. But the member knows that, in every country’s standards, there is a variation in the levels with different types of asbestos because of the perceived difference in the hazard of different types of material. That is the basis upon which we are proceeding. I hope he will agree we are proceeding in the right direction.
Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Colleges and Universities. Given the minister’s statement of a few weeks ago that there was no significant decline in the funding-support for universities and colleges in this province; given the well-known fact that there is a tremendous shortage in this province and in the whole country of people in the areas of economics, computer science and commerce; given the University of Toronto has indicated it is going to have to reduce its enrolment in these very high-demand courses because it cannot afford to teach the students wanting to enrol, and it was not optimistic that other universities in Ontario would be able to absorb the students because they have the same financial problems the University of Toronto has, will the minister not now agree in the universities of this province we have a significant underfunding problem with respect to accessibility and enrolment in those very courses where there is the greatest demand?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I think the word I used was “dramatic,” rather than significant. There is at this time -- and the honourable member is very well aware of it -- a committee that has been established to examine the ways in which our universities in this province may more appropriately meet the perceived needs of our society and its students over the next decade, in the relatively short term, the medium term and the long term.
In addition to that, the Ontario Council on University Affairs will continue in the very short term to discharge its responsibility in making recommendations to the minister regarding levels of funding and the distribution of those levels of funding that are made available.
Mr. Sweeney: Given that the report and brief given to the minister shows on page two, with respect to student enrolment and accessibility, the current public policy concerning accessibility to universities appears to be that all residents with a secondary school honours diploma -- that is an average of 60 per cent -- would have accessibility; given those figures plus the fact that the University of Western Ontario is now going to put a 4,000 limit on first year and Queen’s University is going to put a 10,000 limit; given that the minister has said herself that the first two purposes of her study were to get a public statement of objectives and then to relate the costs; and given that the minister is going to have a broadly based committee --
Mr. Speaker: There are a lot of “givens” in there.
Mr. Sweeney: -- given all these problems and that the minister says we are going to get the answers to them, how can she exclude, for example, from that committee faculty members and students to help to solve these very clear problems?
Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the committee that has been established has a major role to assume at this time, and that is to examine the overall position of the university system within this province and its relationship with government. Those are the areas in which I, as minister, have some responsibility. There will be opportunity for full and detailed discussion of that committee’s report throughout the entire university community. I anticipate that will be done.
There is no doubt in my mind there are representatives on that committee at present who are very sensitive to student positions. There are representatives with current particular relationships to faculties within the province. There is no one appointed to represent a specific constituency within the educational system. The members of that committee are to provide a broad view of the university system and government’s responsibility within that university system.
SUPERMARKET PRICING SYSTEM
Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. The minister will recall that he rejected legislation announced on August 1 of this year; that he had come to an agreement with the supermarkets and the retail council to keep price tags on individual products in the supermarkets. But the minister will also recall that he found out in his food monitoring program for August, the month after this commitment was made, that the percentage of items without prices, tags or designation went up from 12.2 per cent to slightly more than 15 per cent.
May I inform the minister that last Thursday evening eight members of Consumers in Action did a survey in Loblaws on Main Street in Brampton and found more than 50 per cent of the products without individual price tags. They included such things as soup, cat food, tomatoes, Kleenex, pasta, cornflakes, all cereals, et cetera. Does the minister not realize that supermarket chains are thumbing their noses at the minister and removing prices by attrition? What is he going to do about it?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I have yet to see a supermarket chain that thumbed its nose at me.
Mr. McClellan: They are laughing too hard.
Mr. Peterson: Take them out to lunch.
Hon. Mr. Drea: I might go to lunch with them. At least it is an improvement. At least it is Canadian, instead of helping Buffalo.
However, what the honourable member says is true. I believe in the month of August there was a commitment from the supermarket industry not only to keep the prices on but also to put the prices that had been taken off back in the five or seven test stores. We do get some queries or concerns from time to time about people finding prices not on. We draw it to the attention of the supermarkets and, in all fairness, I must say they have been putting them on.
Unfortunately, I did not hear the name of the store. If the member wants to give it to me, I would be very glad to do so.
Mr. Swart: May I send over the documentation on this in that store from the survey being made?
Hon. Mr. Drea: He can distribute that to somebody. I don’t need it. I’ll take the member’s word for it. Just tell me the name of the store.
Mr. Swart: The minister says to the best of his knowledge they are putting them back on. Why has he refused to meet with Cathy Farrell of the CBC who is investigating this matter? She has repeatedly asked to meet with the minister. She has documentation from all over the province with more than 1,200 signatures.
Is it not true that the minister agreed to have certain products, such as these, without price designations on them? When is he going to stop being a flunky for the supermarket chains and bring in legislation to require the chains to price each individual item and retain price consciousness and price awareness for the consumers?
Hon. Mr. Drea: If only I could live this well at the racetrack, I would be a man of independent means. It just so happens that I have with me a little document concerning the letters Cathy Farrell of the CBC got and which she was good enough to hand over to me. Out of the first 500, only 19 had specific references or complaints concerning a price not being on. The rest of them were general letters that said, “I don’t like the universal product code.” The UPC really has nothing to do with whether prices are on or off.
Mr. Swart: It has a lot to do with it. That is why they are taking them off.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Out of the first 500, only 19 were specific. The stores involved in those 19 matters have received letters concerning the individual complaints. I compliment the honourable member for what he has done today. If he would do as much in pointing out to the world that that commitment has been made, I think it would go a long way towards reassuring the public. One of the problems in most of the letters we received is that the writers are unaware that the commitment has been made.
Mr. Swart: You are the one who is supposed to enforce it. That was your opinion, not ours.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Even the member’s buddies in Saskatchewan, the Sweden of the north, are coming to see me as to how we did it when they cannot with all their legislation or their proposals.
Mr. B. Newman: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister aware that the use of the computerized checkout saves the store 1.2 per cent in its labour costs, that within three years those savings would pay for the computerized checkout and for that the retailer certainly has an obligation to keep the individual price tag on?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, over the past year or 18 months both the ministry and other organizations have done some very exhaustive analyses. I would like to correct the honourable member when he referred to labour costs, because the concept is that the big saving is not on labour in the store, but on labour in the warehouse and by inventory.
There is no question it lead’s to the more efficient utilization of labour. That is why in the work we did we insisted that whatever the expansion of that technology -- certainly we have no quarrel with it being used in the warehouse and so forth -- up to the checkout counter, not only must it be apparently beneficial to the consumer but also the consumers must want it. As a result of the very exhaustive survey this ministry did, which was tabled at the end of June, we pointed out the consumers did not want it and the industry has acted accordingly.
EMPLOYMENT IN LIQUOR STORES
Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations regarding how to get a job in the liquor stores of Ontario. Will the minister inform the House when he is going to implement a policy in his ministry whereby individuals who wish to obtain employment in the liquor stores of the province may do so by being hired through Canada Manpower rather than having to go through the local designator of Tory patronage in the ridings of Ontario?
Hon. Mr. Drea: First of all, Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Makarchuk: The minister would like to protect the consumers the same way.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Why is the member always asking for a favour? Ha, ha, ha.
Mr. Makarchuk: The favour asked was for guys in the region.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I tell you, the next person who comes here on Friday around my seat, I am calling Wally, the policeman.
Mr. MacDonald: Is that a threat?
Hon. Mr. Drea: No. But it should produce interesting results.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, the application forms are on file in the liquor store. A person walks in, gets one, fills it out and sends it to the personnel department in Toronto.
Hon. Mr. Drea: If the member for Niagara Falls is accusing me of allocating jobs in the liquor store, let him stand up and say so.
Mr. Kerrio: No.
Hon. Mr. Drea: If the member for St. Catharines wants to say I do it, let him stand up and say so.
Mr. Bradley: Is the minister denying to this House that the local person who dispenses patronage on behalf of the Progressive Conservative Party in the ridings across Ontario has no say in who is hired in the liquor stores in this province?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Yes.
Mr. S. Smith: Your nose is getting longer by the minute. His nose is going to hit the microphone.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, if some of the buffoons will he quiet, I will elaborate.
The first jobs on a permanent basis now go to temporary employees as a result of the labour agreement with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario employees’ union. Secondly, applications for temporary employment are obtained in the local liquor store and are processed through. If anybody has an allegation in here that somebody interfered with the hiring process since I have been the minister, I would like him to table it.
FOOD INDUSTRIES PRACTICES
Mr. MacDonald: Some five weeks ago, the Premier was in receipt of a letter from Ralph Barrie, the president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, dated October 7, with reference to the Leach commission and its report into discounts and allowances. One paragraph of that letter stated: “The first step is that the federation wishes to request you, the Premier of the province and the leader of the government, to refuse to accept the report of the said Leach commission.”
Since most people have condemned this report as inadequate and since the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson) copped out totally in commenting on it and the criticism of it from the opposition parties during consideration of his estimates, saying the matter now rests with the Premier, would the Premier mind informing the House as to whether he replied to that letter? If he did, what was said? Specifically what was said to Mr. Barrie with regard to his proposal that, instead of accepting the Leach report, he should respond to five specific recommendations they made?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think there are actually about a dozen questions there.
I will check to see whether I have as yet replied. It is a fairly large report. I must confess I have read some of the highlights but have not totally digested the report yet; so I may not have replied to Mr. Barrie as yet. If I have, I will be delighted to share that reply. If I have not, I shall be doing so and when I reply I will share it with the member for York South. At that time I will share with him whatever observations I have shared with Mr. Barrie.
Mr. MacDonald: May we have some assurance we will have that sharing process engaged in before the House lifts?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I have never seen this House lift, but before the House prorogues, if I am in a position to share and join in the sharing process, I will be delighted to do so. If I am not in a position to share prior to the lifting or proroguing of the House, then I will personally undertake to share with the member whenever I do it. If I have to travel far afield to find the honourable member between Christmas and New Year’s -- up at York University or wherever be is doing his sabbatical -- I will find the honourable member and share the information with him.
PUBLIC SERVICE GRIEVANCES
Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Chairman, Management Board of Cabinet, with a request that the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) listen too, because both of them may wish to get involved with the answer.
Can the Chairman of Management Board say whether it is true that his ministry recently investigated the financial effects of the Graham Cook forgeries only to find that, in addition to almost bankrupting some companies, the forgeries have increased in number from 55 to 169?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, I am sorry but I missed the first part; the reference to what?
Mr. Van Horne: I am trying to determine whether it was Management Board that further investigated the Graham Cook forgeries in the light of the fact that the employee in question was a member of the public service when he ran into some difficulty. There were violations of the Construction Safety Act. I put the question, in the chairman’s absence, to another one of the ministers last week and was told by the Minister of Labour the case had been investigated and the employee in question was reinstated.
My question is not so much about the reinstatement but rather about the forgeries themselves and the investigation by Management Board or another ministry. Have these forgeries been investigated? Has the number of forgeries reported grown to 169 rather than the 55 that was originally indicated?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I will answer that question to the best of my knowledge. First of all, the facts should be clear. There were some allegations against an employee at the ministry in the construction safety division in Windsor. It was investigated and, as a result of that, he was discharged. He grieved at discharge before the Crown Employees Grievance Settlement Board, the board appointed under my colleague the Chairman of Management Board, and it overturned the dismissal. That decision was appealed by my ministry to the Supreme Court, which upheld the decision of the Crown Employees Grievance Settlement Board and the employee was reinstated.
As to whether there are any further investigations going on, I am not at liberty to reveal that and I have no personal knowledge of them. I will be pleased to look into it. I will not assure the member I will report to the House, because it depends on what stage the investigations are at -- if they are going on; I do not know that they are.
Mr. Van Horne: While the minister is doing that, will he attempt to determine whether the fatal accident involving a 16-year-old volunteer worker on a construction site in August 1977 was related to one of those forgeries? If that was the case, can he come back to the House and give us some indication as to what his ministry might do to preclude this sort of thing happening in the future?
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Just so we get the air perfectly clear here, the particular gentleman the honourable member referred to was discharged by my ministry; he was fired. He grieved that firing and the decision of the ministry was overturned by the Crown Employees Grievance Settlement Board. The decision of that board was upheld by the Supreme Court of Ontario. Let us not leave any slight suggestion that there is anything improper going on here. He was discharged and that decision was overturned at two levels of appeal.
I am not aware of any further investigations going on in that case. Certainly they could not go on with regard to events that preceded that particular charge, since these had been dealt with. If there is anything going on, whether or not I report to this House will depend on the stage things have reached. I can give the member no other commitment than that.
OHIP BILLING BY PHYSIOTHERAPISTS
Mr. Isaacs: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Health concerning the problems facing certain private physiotherapy clinics. Can he indicate why his ministry, after 15 years, continues to deny Ontario health insurance plan billing privileges to new private physiotherapy clinics when the Workmen’s Compensation Board is granting billing privileges? Will the minister indicate to this House what he intends to do about it?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, my answer may be a little lengthy; so I warn you in advance.
First of all, let us look at the background. Until the mid-1960s, the only insured service at all was in the hospitals under the original hospital insurance plan. In the mid-1960s, it was the decision of the minister of the day, Dr. Dymond, to allow for some billing by private practices to relieve the pressure that existed at that time on some hospitals in some areas of the province. Even those practices that are allowed to bill OHIP directly today, are allowed under the existing policy, which is basically hospital-oriented.
Second, it was the Ministry of Health that recently reopened the discussions with the Ontario Physiotherapy Association with a view to trying to resolve, after admittedly many years, the question of whether there should be more or whether there should be any private practices billing OHIP directly.
The honourable member knows I met earlier today with representatives of a group of physiotherapists. I pointed out to them that we are meeting on Wednesday of this week -- and when I say “we,” I mean representatives of my ministry staff -- with representatives of the Ontario Physiotherapy Association. I have frequently stated it is my hope we can bring these matters to a head by the end of the calendar year and resolve, one way or the other, where we go from here in the future.
I also indicated to them that as far as I am concerned the range of options is as wide as one can imagine. They submitted to me that every physiotherapist should have the right to bill OHIP on referral from a physician. I indicated that is one extreme. The other extreme would be that perhaps we would move towards having no physiotherapists billing OHIP directly, and instead, like co-operative services and many others, they would all be based in hospitals, particularly in outpatient clinics.
The negotiations are continuing, and I hope it will be possible to resolve this matter by the end of the calendar year.
Mr. Isaacs: Given that this is a matter of public access to the health care system, does the honourable minister not think the public should be involved in the discussions? Does the minister not think he has a responsibility to state government policy on these matters rather than holding closed-door negotiations with one of the groups involved?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: There is one group involved, which represents all physiotherapists in the province. Even the group with whom I met today made it very plain it was not asking to meet with me to embarrass the Ontario Physiotherapy Association or to usurp its efforts. They wanted to make it very plain that they see we must negotiate with one body, namely, the Ontario Physiotherapy Association. That is what we are doing and that is what we are going to do.
Mr. Nixon: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I wonder whether the honourable minister can tell the House if it is his intention, in preparing budgets for the coming year, to remove the inequities that have been referred to in the original question so that he will be able to deal with the physiotherapists on a uniform and just basis, recognizing the concept that their requirements are uniform and they should be under OHIP in a uniform way?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I pointed this out to the group of physiotherapists, and I remind the honourable member that basically whatever evolves as new government policy must be based on public need and the assessment of the public’s needs. I pointed out to them that because one has the ability to operate a laboratory, one cannot set up a laboratory anywhere in the province and demand we accept the billings. I pointed out to them that just because they have the ability to operate a private hospital, nursing home or whatever, they cannot just set it up and demand that the government pay them. Any question with respect to the provision of physiotherapy services, laboratory services, hospitals, nursing homes must be based on an assessment of public need.
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I want to direct my question to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Is the minister considering withdrawing or amending the regulations which have been uneven over the last two years and which have so seriously disrupted the fund-raising operations of a number of service clubs across the province? I am referring particularly to the uneven application of the rule that says one cannot take a drink to a gaming table. The honourable minister smiles, but it was raised last week when he indicated he was afraid they were going to spill their drinks on the gaming table.
I would ask the minister if he is not aware that what he designates as Monte Carlo nights are okay out in Scarborough, where he and his friends attend in white tie and tails, but in the rest of the province, where they are referred to as turkey rolls, the regulation appears absolutely preposterous and ridiculous and is bringing his regulations into disrepute.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, that is the same as the silly letter the honourable member wrote to me the other day and I thought I explained it to him.
Mr. Nixon: I want an intelligent answer.
Hon. Mr. Drea: The member got a very intelligent answer, if he would only --
Mr. Nixon: It has not arrived.
Hon. Mr. Drea: I gave the member a very intelligent answer the other day.
Mr. Nixon: That the minister was afraid they would spill their drinks on the table?
Hon. Mr. Drea: I did not say I was concerned about the spilling of drinks, I said we had a number of complaints. The application is even across the province. I have spoken to the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario about the interpretation of the things we want. I spoke to them on Friday. Did it go well on Friday night, I ask the member for Brantford, who was over here hustling on Friday?
Mr. Makarchuk: I was not there.
Hon. Mr. Drea: He was not there.
Mr. Speaker: I do not know whether that word is unparliamentary or not.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, the application is very even. I took steps on Friday, particularly at the liquor licence board, with individual inspectors, which I think indeed has been some of the problem. It is very clear that the bar, or the place where the drinks are being sold, is to be physically separated. That does not mean a partition or whatever, just a physical distance.
There is another reason for this, and I am not talking about anything in the member’s area when I say this. One of the problems when we first introduced Monte Carlo was that some hall operators attempted to put an admission fee in both for a bingo and for a Monte Carlo and to run a bar somewhere else in the building, keeping the bar proceeds for themselves. It is government policy that if one has a Monte Carlo and a liquor licence, the proceeds from the bar must go to the same place as those from the Monte Carlo.
The reason for the physical separation is because of a number of complaints. We also want to make sure that the bar proceeds -- in the member’s area there has never been an abuse but there has elsewhere -- go to the same charity the proceeds from the Monte Carlo are supposed to go to.
Mr. Nixon: Is the minister not aware that the abuse does not come from the community to the ministry, but from the ministry to the community? That is a fact, and these people who have operated very well and accepted individual turkey rolls and Monte Carlo nights for years, have all of a sudden had the minister’s people come in and disrupt them and stop them. It is extremely embarrassing, and if the minister thinks he can fix up one for my good friend the member for Brantford he had better fix them all up.
Mr. Makarchuk: Two.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Two.
Mr. Nixon: That is what I mean, it is uneven. If the minister is interested, it is okay.
Hon. Mr. Drea: They were in your area.
Mr. Nixon: You have already closed them down.
Hon. Mr. Drea: I have not. Mr. Speaker, this is a little bit silly. The two places were Branch 90 of the Legion and Norbrant Optimists Club. If the member was not at both, I guess he was at home and I cannot help that.
The application of the law is uniform. It is in terms of community betterment. The member says it has been going on for years, but we have not had Monte Carlo under licence in this province for more than two years.
Mr. Makarchuk: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: As much as I appreciate the honourable minister’s involvement to resolve the problem for the two clubs in question, can he at this time give some assurance that his officials will stop acting in the arbitrary way they have in the past and allow the veterans’ service clubs to operate as they have done in the past without bringing the society down and without corrupting the community or without creating any problems whatsoever? Why does he allow his officials to persist in harassing them? If it is not one damned thing it is something else from day to day.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, my officials do not harass anybody. As a matter of fact, it is a matter of record, and this comes from the United States so it must be true, that we have the best control, the best mechanisms, the best programs for social gaming in this province that exist anywhere in North America. Would the honourable member believe that last year between $135 million and $145 million, because our figures are not yet up for the fiscal year, were donated to charity by those devices?
OHIP BILLING BY PHYSIOTHERAPISTS
Mr. Isaacs: Mr. Speaker, I wish to table a petition signed by 1,120 residents of the province of Ontario addressed to the Legislative Assembly:
We, the undersigned residents of Ontario, have had occasion to utilize physiotherapy outpatient services as a part of a prescribed medical treatment program. Each of us has reason to believe that the OHIP insurance coverage, as it pertains to physiotherapy outpatient services, is failing to serve the citizens of Ontario in a reasonable and responsible manner. We submit that it is our personal experience that OHIP has failed to meet our essential needs in one or all of, but not necessarily limited to, the following situations:
1. In certain circumstances we have been caused to pay from personal and means other than OHIP for medically prescribed treatments which are within our rights to have within the terms of the OHIP plan. The reason, as we understand it, is that although any registered physiotherapist may treat a patient on referral from a medical practitioner, only a very limited number are allowed to bill the OHIP plan on our behalf in terms of regulations made under the Health Insurance Act.
2. In certain cases, because we had no personal means of payment outside of OHIP, we have been caused to attend treatments at facilities which were, in our opinion, overcrowded and which were probably not conducive to earliest recovery as a result of overcrowding. This overcrowding is present, in our estimate, only because other physiotherapy practitioners available within the community are prevented from billing OHIP on our behalf.
3. In certain cases, we were caused to travel past one or more available physiotherapy clinics at significant personal cost and hardship in time and travel in order to reach a clinic approved for OHIP billing.
4. In certain cases, we have been caused to accept treatments from persons who at least failed to inspire our confidence while professionals of equal standing were available within the community but could not bill OHIP.
In view of these points, we respectfully request attention by the Legislative Assembly towards resolutions to these failings of the health insurance plan which affect our physical welfare and inhibit freedom of choice as to the practitioner we might utilize.
Mr. Speaker: That was a very detailed explanation. I will have to look at it to see whether it falls within the four walls of a legitimate petition.
Mr. Speaker presented the annual report of the director of the legislative library research and information services for the fiscal year 1979-80.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
NURSING HOMES AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Warner moved first reading of Bill 218, An Act to amend the Nursing Homes Act, 1972.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the bill is to establish statutory fire safety requirements for nursing homes. The bill requires the licensee of a nursing home to ensure each room in the home is equipped with a heat- and smoke-activated fire detection device, a warning light and a sprinkler system.
The bill also requires that fire safety and fire evacuation procedures be developed for each nursing home. Members of the staff of the nursing home are required to be trained in these procedures and residents of the home are required to be provided with information setting out the procedures to be followed in case of a fire.
Mr. Breaugh moved first reading of Bill 219, An Act respecting Representation in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the bill is to increase the number of members in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 125 to 180. The bill provides for the establishment of a select committee of the assembly to consider and make recommendations concerning electoral districts for Ontario.
FIRE DEPARTMENTS AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Breaugh moved first reading of Bill 220, An Act to amend the Fire Departments Act.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the bill is to enable full-time firefighters to bargain with municipal councils on behalf of retired firefighters with respect to pensions, pension increases and other benefits for retired firefighters. The current provisions of the act do not provide any means for negotiating the pensions and benefits of retired firefighters with municipal councils.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
House in committee of supply.
ESTIMATES, MINISTRY OF REVENUE (CONCLUDED)
On vote 804, municipal assessment program; item 1, administration:
Mr. Charlton: Mr. Chairman: I have a number of things I would like to raise quickly with the honourable minister under this vote.
First of all, we have had a number of discussions over the last couple of years about policy matters in the property assessment area. I suppose I should say that at least on a number of issues, the minister has been particularly receptive and I think we have actually worked out some accommodations and some changes have occurred.
But I want to raise a matter with him that has been of concern to a number of us for a fairly long time now. I think it was first raised in this Legislature in 1974. It is the matter of what happens with the small commercial tenants in shopping malls. The assessment that is placed against their premises in the mall quite often puts a hardship on all small tenants that is, in many instances, unbearable, and many have gone under as a result.
I do not know how familiar the minister is with exactly what occurs but he knows what happens in large malls. The developer of the mall looks for a couple of major anchor tenants -- Woolco, Loblaws, Eaton’s, Dominion or whatever the case happens to be -- because they will attract people to the mall. The owner of the mall will rent premises for $3, $3.50 or $4 a square foot to those large anchor tenants because he desperately wants them. On the other hand, the small tenants who are occupying the smaller premises throughout the rest of the mall are paying prices anywhere up to $30 a square foot and in some instances, probably here in Metro where I am not quite as familiar with the rents, even more than that.
The minister is also aware that in rental malls like that, the mall is being valued economically based on the rents. What is happening is that the small tenants who are being forced to pay $30 a square foot to get in there are also paying business taxes and, through their rents, realty taxes that reflect the $30 a square foot. In very pure economic terms and in terms of the theory of how those assessments are developed, the assessment division is probably correct in the pure sense, in the appraisal sense and in the value sense.
I want to suggest to the minister that in the same way, when we are talking about retail sales tax, income tax, corporations tax or any other kind of tax, this government has a responsibility to look at the tax systems it sets up, to look at their impact and where the incidence of their effect is occurring. It should attempt to see that the taxes it levies and the taxes it causes to be levied, since it is actually the municipalities in this case which levy the tax, are fair and in the best interests of the whole society -- those minorities in society -- and of the development of the economy in this society.
We have seen it in other taxes where certain tax breaks are given for specific sectors of the economy because that tax would cause a particular hardship. There are all kinds of ways of dealing with this kind of problem, and, as I say, it is a problem that has been around for a number of years now. It is a problem that was originally raised in this Legislature, to the best of my knowledge, in 1974 and is a problem that this government has to deal with at some point in some kind of effective way. The minister knows as well as I do that the real backbone of the economy in this province is the small business sector. This government should he doing everything in its power to see that the small business sector is treated as fairly as possible and encouraged as much as possible.
I have a letter here from a Mr. Donald S. McKechnie in Ottawa who wrote to his own member of the Legislature and has not receive any satisfactory response yet. I will send the minister a copy of his letter, but I want to suggest to the minister that the complaint he lays out are very real and have to he dealt with. I would like to suggest to the minister that in order to deal with this problem we need to sit down and carefully look at, not so much how one comes up with the total market value, the economic value for a mall, but how one spreads that assessment across the various tenants in that mall.
I do not think it very fair for the minister, his ministry and the people in his assessment division to take the same attitude and the same approach as a mall owner takes to determine the distribution of costs within the mall.
The minister’s people know very well from the analyses they do that what I suggest about the rent differential between the large anchor tenants and the smaller tenants is a very true and real economic fact of life out there. That does not suggest that the minister has to follow the same discriminatory game. The large anchor tenants who have the rent of $3 and $3.50 per square foot do not need additional encouragement from the minister to be there, but certainly the small business tenants of that mall do.
We have to find some way of distributing the assessment of mall properties and the like that is better than the present pure-economic, tied-to-rent approach to dividing that assessment once you have come up with it.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: Mr. Chairman, I cannot disagree with some of the points the member for Hamilton Mountain is making, but I would remind him that attempts have been made to get some agreement among the tenants in these shopping malls. The House might recall that before I was minister a committee was formed to try to discuss this matter, as the honourable member perhaps has indicated in a round-about way. He is saying something should be done. We took that approach, but we could never get that committee to come to any sort of agreement. We were never able to get anything out of that committee, other than a lot of discussion.
I am told by my staff that rents are set by the owners on the basis of bargaining, as I am sure the member is aware. It really boils down to whatever the traffic will bear in that situation. But the allocation of assessment among the tenants is calculated on the basis of fair market value -- not necessarily totally on the rent, as the member’s remarks would indicate. We feel this has the effect of evening out, at least to a certain degree, over the complete shopping centre.
There is another thing one has to take into consideration. We have talked about anchor stores and so on, the major stores such as Eaton’s and Simpsons and all of the large ones. The reason they get the deal they do obviously is simply because they are the star attractions. If they were not there, the smaller stores would have very few customers to deal with I am sure the member is aware that is how they get that advantage with the developer. Without an anchor store or a large chain store of some kind, the other small centres just would not exist because there would not be enough traffic created. It is the large department stores that create the traffic that the small stores take advantage of.
The member knows we continue to look at these situations and try to rectify them. I don’t know if we can go much further, unless we get back into the committee type of discussion whereby we can get some sort of agreement. Staff advise me they feel the way it is set up at the moment is as fair as they can get it.
Mr. Charlton: If I could just comment further on that, Mr. Chairman, the minister is correct: the rents do not exactly reflect the assessments, but the differential between the rents the small tenants pay and the large tenants pay is not adequately, not completely, dealt with in the approach to fair market assessment of each unit.
My point is simply this: The minister has just admitted quite clearly, as I suggested in the first instance, that the landlord, the owner of the mall, the developer, is offering the low rent to the anchor tenant as a benefit. He has to make that up somewhere else in the rents to the small tenants. Being next door to the anchor tenants has some advantages to the small tenants.
On the other hand, because you have admitted that those rents do not necessarily in any way reflect the real value of the space, because there is an economic consideration being made here in terms of who would get in as opposed to the value of the property, I am suggesting to you that you should be ignoring who paid the rents.
You have to use the rents to determine the total value of the property, but you should be ignoring the deals that landlords make in order to get certain people in there. You should be dealing with the total value of the property and breaking up the total assessment that you come up with, based on what people actually occupy in the mall, as opposed to this supposed fair market value. The fair market value is being distorted by the deals that are being done by the landlords, the developers, in order to suit their economic needs, not the needs of the tenants necessarily at all.
I am suggesting to you that if the landlord feels the need to give an advantage to the large tenant in order to get him there, then, based on your committed support of the small business sector in this province, the first thing that should be popping into your head is that since the landlord is giving an advantage to that big tenant, how can you help some assistance to flow the other way. I am suggesting to you that if you ignore the economic deals made in the best interests of the landlord and just look at the total value of a mall and break it up, based on what people actually use in occupying that mall, you will be doing a great service to the small business community in the malls across this province.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: What you are suggesting to us then is we should be doing it by the square foot rather than taking into consideration any rent at all.
Mr. Charlton: Square foot and an appropriate amount of the common area.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: My staff tells me that we still work out a fair market rent for the anchor tenants. We do not accept necessarily what they pay in rent as their portion towards the taxes.
Mr. Charlton: I understand that but the differential does not get totally taken care of in the adjustments.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: The point is well made.
Mr. Ruston: Mr. Chairman, I know the minister has had some problems in assessing apartments with regard to the time that elapses until the time the house is occupied. Some of the municipalities have complained considerably over this as they want to be able to collect taxes. People move in and might be there for nine months or something, whatever the case might be. Then they would get a notice later that their taxes were due for nine months or whatever, where normally a lot of the places would get a tax demand every three months. They get this large tax demand all at one time because the assessment was far behind for the municipalities to get out their notice.
I was wondering if you have that problem. 1 know I received a letter from you which, I think, you sent out to most of the municipalities with regard to that matter. I do not have it before me now. What is the status of that now? Are you getting caught up with that, or does it have to do with the amount of building that is going on?
Hon. Mr. Maeck: In the letter I wrote to you, I said the process that we will be following within the ministry now is that it will be updated four times a year. I do not think they will run into the period of nine months any more. When we are doing this additional assessment that we pick up as we go along, if we do it four times, I think it will resolve most of the problems you have been referring to.
Mr. Ruston: Do you make up the voters’ lists for all the municipalities? I noticed in some of the voters’ lists -- we get a copy, of course, from each municipality -- some will have a very correct and precise address, but other municipalities will really have hardly any address at all on the list. I am wondering whether that is because of the way the enumerators fill it out. It is very difficult in some rural areas or where they might have a number, but it does not mean too much because there might be a box holder or something. Being in a semi-rural area, I notice in some of the municipalities there was quite a difference in the actual addresses. If one wants to send a letter to someone it is more difficult to do this with some municipalities than with others.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: I believe the cause of that would be the difference in the enumerators. They are supposed to provide us with a proper mailing address because, obviously, we need to know exactly where they live. Some of them will go to the extreme and put down the lot and concession number if it is a rural area. But that does not help much if one wants to send a letter to them. If there are municipalities where the address is not sufficient to receive a letter, I would like to know about it because the address should be sufficient so they could receive their mail properly. I know some enumerators take down considerably more information than others. Some of them go to extremes and take down information that is not of much value, but as long as the addresses we get are sufficient for those who receive mail, we are rather happy about that.
If there are some municipalities in a riding where the address is not proper, there could be another reason. Our enumerators, on the average, miss about five per cent of the people. I am talking about personal contact. They go back once or twice or three times. I forget what the procedure is. If they are not there on that last visit they leave the enumeration information and ask them to fill it out and mail it in, so some of those addresses could be given by the people themselves. There could be some mistakes there.
Ms. Bryden: Mr. Chairman, I would like to congratulate the minister on his announcement about holding province-wide assessment open houses to demystify assessment notices sent out to taxpayers and tenants. I would like to ask him if he might not also be prepared to explain to taxpayers and tenants when the property tax credit, which is needed to give tax relief to low- and middle-income earners, will be revamped. It has not been changed in the past five years and it is now largely eroded by inflation. Has the minister considered indexing that property tax credit and has any work been done on bringing forward a new proposal for a property tax credit to present to the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller)?
Hon. Mr. Maeck: We have long passed the section of the vote that deals with property tax credits. However, I think the member knows that in the past it has not been the policy of this government to index. We do not anticipate we will be doing any indexing unless there is a change in policy across the government. We have not been indexing. It has not been our policy.
We look at the Ontario tax credit program from time to time. If there is a change in that and I presume the member is referring to whether it is going to be raised rather than any other change --
Ms. Bryden: The flat rate, Mr. Minister, plus the percentage increases.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: But you are really talking about the funding.
Ms. Bryden: It doesn’t take account of the tax increase.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: The Ontario tax credit is based, as you know, on income so it does change with the person’s role in society. If he starts to make more money, of course, he gets less; if he is in a poor position where he is making less this year than he was last year, obviously he will get more help. There is a fluctuation there. I presume the member is talking about the overall injection of additional funds into that program. That would be a decision the Treasurer would necessarily take rather than the Minister of Revenue. When it is budget time, he would decide whether there are additional funds that should go into that particular program.
Vote 804 agreed to.
Mr. Chairman: This completes consideration of the estimates of the Ministry of Revenue.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Wells, the committee of supply reported certain resolutions.
CONCURRENCE IN SUPPLY
First Clerk Assistant: Mr. Edighoffer from the committee of supply reports the following resolutions:
That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the government ministries named be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1980.
Mr. Speaker: Dispense?
Reading dispensed with. (See appendix A, page 5055.)
Resolutions concurred in.
BUDGET DEBATE (CONTINUED)
Resuming the adjourned debate on the amendment to the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government.
Mr. Gaunt: I am indulging in a bit of last-minute preparation. Perhaps my speech will sound like it, but that has never deterred me before and it is not going to deter me this time.
Mr. Speaker, I want to say to you that it is a pleasure to participate in this debate once again. I commend you for the way in which you conduct your onerous responsibilities. I do not always get recognized for a supplementary in question period, but I recognize full well that is right and proper. I really have no complaints and I commend you for the excellent way in which you preside.
There is always a good opportunity for me to advance some of my pet peeves and theories, either in the throne debate or in the budget debate. I am participating now in the budget debate and I have a brief commentary on the province’s budgetary management. It seems to me it is not getting any better. Of course, the honourable members would not expect me to say anything else, would they?
I know when Mr. McKeough was the Treasurer he said he was going to balance the budget. We were going to have a balanced budget in this province by 1982 or 1983, mark you. As a matter of fact, we are getting further away from it. We are going into hock this year for just a shade over $1 billion. It is hard to say what will happen next year, but since Mr. McKeough made that promise, the budgetary affairs of this province have not got any better. Indeed, I think in many respects they have got worse.
I am going to talk in very brief terms today about an industry that I consider to be very important. I also want to deal to a greater extent on the topic that was going to be my subject had I been able to participate in the private members’ hour. Since we have had two emergency debates on two successive Thursdays, that means I am going to be bumped from that opportunity. If one cannot do it one way, one does it another and that is exactly what I am going to do.
I want to mention the province’s worsening position financially and the energy problems that we face in this province, which appear to be -- and I think are, in reality -- much more severe than in many other parts of the country. Because we are the most industrialized province, energy impacts on this province perhaps more than any other when the world price for oil shoots up as it has been doing in the last five, six or seven years.
First, I want to speak about the dairy industry because in my part of the province the dairy industry is very important. In my riding of Huron-Bruce, I have a lot of good dairy farmers who are top producers in their field, and I think it is only fitting I should put on the record some of the facts related to the dairy industry in this province. The dairy industry is economically and politically important in all the provinces, obviously, but especially so in the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.
Just to give the House an idea of its magnitude, the dairy industry directly has sales of $2.5 billion, which is about one per cent of Canada’s total gross national product. Milk and dairy beef represent the single largest section of the Canadian food system and direct employment in the dairy industry is estimated at 145,000, which is 1.3 per cent of the total Canadian work force.
A dollar of gross sales in the dairy industry generates $3 of sales in the economy. In comparison, $1 brings only $2 in the motor vehicle and aircraft industry. A dollar of net income in the dairy industry generates $5 of income in the economy. When one compares that with the motor vehicle industry and the aircraft industry, the comparison figure is $1 generating $3.60 in the economy.
I think the dairy industry is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, sectors in the Canadian agricultural picture at the moment. We, of course, do have supply management in the dairy industry which has brought a great deal of stability to it. I would certainly say that back in the early 1960s and mid-1960s it was obvious something had to be done, and I think the supply management program has been very successful. Undoubtedly there are problems, but there always will be with these things. Obviously, up until now, they have been worked out rather well.
The Canadian dairy farmers are among the most productive and efficient in the world. Forty-six per cent fewer dairy farmers now produce virtually the same volume of milk as was produced in 1971. On average, Canadian milk producers now produce enough milk for 215 consumers compared to only 60 in 1961, an increase in productivity of 460 per cent, which I think is a credit to the dairy industry and a credit to the agricultural industry.
I want to turn now to the subject of my resolution on the Notice Paper, Mr. Speaker, if I may do so. I put a resolution on the Notice Paper which, in the normal course of events, would have been debated last Thursday, but, because of the emergency debates we have had in this House, it is now obvious that it will not be debated in private members’ hour. Hence I am going to deal with it today in the budget debate.
I indicated that I feel this province should move forward immediately to implement a policy of cogeneration to make use of the waste byproduct power from our nuclear plants and all thermal generating plants. It is disturbing that six years after the industrialized nations of the western world received clear warning that the days of plentiful and cheap Mideast oil were ending, neither the United States nor Canada has taken any significant steps towards domestic energy self-sufficiency.
At the national level the energy issue has become so embroiled with the constitutional debate that one tends to treat them as one and the same. Moreover, there is a feeling that if the domestic price, along with the problem of revenue-sharing between the producing companies and the two levels of government could be settled, then the constitutional debate could be resolved quickly. That is not necessarily so, and I doubt it would happen that way. Unfortunately, however, the two issues have united to develop a serious confrontation between east and west, and between the federal government and Alberta.
I say “unfortunately” for a number of reasons, one of which is the fact it has tended to cloud the energy problem with which we are faced in this country. Here in the east we take a look at the Alberta heritage trust fund now totalling $6.4 billion, growing by $2,000 a minute and reaching $35 billion by 1990, just 10 years hence. Actually, if Alberta deposited all its oil reserves in the fund instead of the 30 per cent, the province theoretically would be able to buy the assets of General Motors of Canada in 188 days. We in the east look at that and say there must be some mechanism to share that wealth with the rest of Canada, and we look to a new constitution as one way to achieve this. This, unfortunately, has deflected our discussion and efforts from energy self-sufficiency.
Aside from the strictly partisan, political aspects of the issue, one of the problems is that half of the people in this country do not believe there is any real energy problem, at least not to the extent they are prepared to make any significant changes in their lifestyle for the purpose of conserving energy. They believe the present situation is an artificial shortage engineered by the multinational oil companies for the purpose of increasing prices.
As a result, there was a 3.4 per cent increase in demand for oil products in the first nine months of this year, while gasoline consumption was 4.3 per cent higher for the same period. Based on the current usage projections, Canada’s imports of foreign crude by 1985 are expected to be in excess of 600,000 barrels a day compared with about 270,000 barrels a day at the present time. By 1985, less than five years away, price predictions indicate a price of more than $42 per barrel, which would mean that Canada’s annual bill for imported foreign crude would be more than $9.28 billion. All of this is assuming, of course, that foreign oil imports will still be available at that time.
The instability in the Mideast and the possibility of an attempt by Russia to shut off the Persian Gulf, through which most of the Mideast oil moves, suggest that foreign oil will not be available at any price in the not too distant future. At least that is a possibility. Given those circumstances, we have to do whatever is necessary to attain domestic energy self-sufficiency at the earliest possible date. Not to do so would indicate we are living in a fool’s paradise. Our governments at all levels must recognize and acknowledge the reality and seriousness of our energy position.
Conservation is one of several approaches, and while there have been some positive developments in this respect the current waste of energy in this country is alarming. It goes without saying that Ontario must secure an affordable supply of fuel for most of its industry. If it does not we will continue our decline in industrial growth, with severe dislocation in terms of unemployment and rampant inflation.
We cannot escape the tragedy of a world that continues to rely on a diminishing resource, namely oil, to feed and fuel its people and its industry. In terms of oil, Canadians consume 9.3 tons per person per year, and we consume it at half the world price. That will require a government subsidy of $1.5 billion this year alone. Obviously we cannot continue on this self-defeating, self-destructing energy path. We must move to alternative energy sources.
It is against this background and because of my concern that I have placed before the House the particular resolution to which I made reference earlier, for the purposes of discussion at that time and now for the purposes of debate. I did so because of my interest in cogeneration, because of the fact that I have the largest nuclear generating plant in the world in my riding, and because along with that goes the largest steam plant in the world. Those things can and should be very positive ingredients in the energy picture, but so far their potential has not been adequately tapped.
The resolution on the Order Paper deals with all nuclear and thermal plants in the province, but let me just take as an example the Bruce nuclear station to show the tremendous energy potential. Obviously it is the one with which I am the most familiar. Daily electrical production at the Bruce complex corresponds to the energy equivalent of 115,000 barrels of oil or 23,000 tons of coal. The complex will raise a power equivalent to 300,000 barrels of oil a day.
The nuclear process, when used exclusively for electrical production, is only 30 per cent efficient. The other 70 per cent is wasted. It is in this so-called 70 per cent that there are some exciting possibilities. Part of that waste nuclear energy can be used in the form of steam for industrial processes. Using the Candu reactors and Ontario’s indigenous uranium for purposes other than electricity offers both long-term security of supply and relatively inflation-proof energy costs. It is an exciting opportunity for industry and agriculture.
The Ontario Energy Corporation has determined that a thermal resource equal at least to Syncrude, Hibernia or Cold Lake can be made available at Bruce for industrial purposes. That is where the cogeneration comes in. Cogeneration describes the dual production of heat and electricity from a single energy source. Cogeneration supply simply refers to the process of combining the generation of electricity with the production of process steam for industrial purposes. This combination doubles the efficiency of the fuel used to generate electricity because it eliminates much of the energy wasted when electricity is produced independently from process steam.
Cogeneration saves at least 50 per cent of the fuel that is needed to make a kilowatt of electrical power. With regard to the fuel needed to produce both steam and electrical power, cogeneration saves 27 per cent of that fuel that is necessary to generate steam and electricity independently.
Cogeneration is not new. However, in North America it is a developing concept, a concept whose time has come. California has the most aggressive cogeneration program at the moment. How can this be applied to the Bruce nuclear power development? Bruce has the largest steam generating station in the world. The steam generating capacity at Bruce is equal to 36 per cent of all installed steam capacity in the province. It can produce 80 million pounds of steam per hour when completed. Each reactor generates 10 million pounds of steam per hour which, if it had to he raised conventionally, would take between 40,000 and 50,000 barrels of oil per day per reactor.
Just to give some perspective to the potential energy waste at the plant, the energy equivalent of 20 Niagara Falls is being wasted each day. That is the bad part. The exciting part is that it need not be so, indeed should not be allowed to continue any longer. It can be harnessed and used for very productive purposes. The opportunities are almost limitless.
Industries that use large quantities of hot water or steam, such as plastics, pulp and paper, food and beverage, steel, glass and cement refining industries, should be sold on the idea of taking part in what could become the world’s first nuclear steam-powered industrial energy park. Hydro is now agreeable to selling processed steam to industrial customers at a price ranging from $1.50 to $1.90 per million BTUs depending on the overall demand and load factor.
Put another way, the first 250,000 pounds for 1982 employment will sell for $1.50 to $1.90 per million BTUs. The price of nuclear steam is therefore about half the price of natural gas. No other nuclear plant can match the existing capacity of the Bruce plant for the dual production of process steam and electrical power, although other plants have considerable potential in this respect as well. That is just the beginning.
Hydro is lamenting the fact that by 1983 it is going to have power from the first unit of Bruce B bottled up because there is no twin power line out of Bruce and no likelihood of getting one fast enough to get the generated power to the consuming public. I strongly suggest to Hydro it dedicate the first unit of Bruce to hydrogen production.
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and is one of its more promising fuels. On top of that, the unused electricity during the night, which is one third of the 24-hour generating capacity, could also be used for hydrogen production. By locating electrolysis plants beside the Hydro generators, we can use hydrogen to store power, not use the peak times, and use that for other purposes, making the entire electrical production system more efficient.
Moreover and more importantly, hydrogen can be used as a transportation fuel. People often forget cars ran on all sorts of things before gasoline was invented, and they will again. An official of General Motors has said, “Whatever fuel is available in the future, General Motors will have cars that will run on it to the public satisfaction.”
That statement is being proved at the Provo, Utah, plant where the Billings Energy Corporation is leading the world into a brand new energy age. The Billings people have converted everything they can think of to clean-burning hydrogen. They have converted camp stoves, big cars, little cars, trucks, buses -- the whole works -- and are in the process of converting a transit bus for a major US city. They then intend to convert the whole urban fleet for Pittsburgh.
Hydrogen is really the master fuel. Experiments with the fuel were carried on in the late 1880s, again in 1900 and then in 1930. General Motors did some work with the fuel but lost interest because fossil fuels were so plentiful and cheap. Hydrogen, as a fuel, has many advantages. It is the safest form of energy we have. It is clean burning. It creates only water vapour, which returns to the ecosystem immediately. It is the most powerful fuel known to man. Gasoline is a very poor fuel compared to hydrogen. As a matter of fact, there were many people who watched the launching of the US Saturn rocket several years ago. It was powered by pure, raw hydrogen. It is powerful enough to take a rocket to the moon and it is certainly powerful enough to take one’s car anywhere one wants to go.
The exciting part of all this is that since water is two thirds hydrogen, one can separate the two by running an electrical current through water to get hydrogen and oxygen. This is the most logical way of getting hydrogen and if we use off-peak or surplus power we can get it at very little cost. At Bruce we have both an abundance of water and plenty of off-peak and surplus electricity. It is an ideal combination to produce massive amounts of hydrogen, which can also be used in airplanes and railway engines as well as cars and trucks. It is an opportunity we should not miss. Further hydrogen can be the primary element in producing nitrogen fertilizers and in methanol production. The former would allow us to move away from natural gas to produce nitrogen fertilizers, which could stabilize the price and give us more stretch.
Then there are promising possibilities in combining energy production and agriculture by the production of ethanol. Sixteen million gallons of alcohol blended with 160 million gallons of unleaded regular gasoline will give a total of 176 million gallons, but the combination of the two gives an additional eight million gallons of equivalent combustible power for a total combustible power equivalent of 184 million gallons. That 16 million gallons of ethyl alcohol would require 80,000 acres of corn at 90 bushels per acre. This would produce byproducts amounting to 2.4 million bushels of distilled spent grain at 35 per cent protein, plus 160 million pounds of CO2 or carbon dioxide.
If one were to add 50,000 acres of corn silage and corn stover and mix it with the spent grain, it would finish 120,000 head of cattle at a 600-pound gain. At the present time one third of Ontario’s beef cattle are finished within a 50-mile radius of the Bruce nuclear plant so the potential to increase that exists and should be harnessed.
The massive amounts of CO2 generated in the production of ethanol can be moved into greenhouses at 1,800 parts per million enrichment and that will increase photosynthesis by 20 per cent, which means that plants grow much faster and produce more prolifically. The greenhouse aspect seems to have attracted most of the public and press attention at the Bruce because there is a prototype at present being operated there on five acres of land consisting of eight tenths of an acre of greenhouse production. Interestingly enough, they are heating that greenhouse operation with oil, but we hope we can get away from that. Plans are currently under way to expand that to 380 acres; however, the potential is much bigger than the greenhouses. Actually the greenhouse portion of the project is a very small part in the overall picture.
Fish farming and agriculture are logical developments as well. Fish grow and do their best when the temperature is between 56 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The embryo stage of a fish farming operation is already going at Formosa, which is some 40 miles from the plant in which my friend the former Minister of Agriculture, the member for Durham York (Mr. W. Newman), has an interest. The potential for producing a high quality protein food such as fish for human consumption is exciting and can be done more efficiently through fish than livestock or poultry. Fish grow faster and are better feed converters; hence they are more efficient protein producers.
The area is an excellent one for growing alfalfa as a cash crop. With the available heat and steam, an alfalfa palletizing plant would be a natural. The availability of raw material and the process steam certainly would make such a plant affordable. The possibilities are extensive and exciting.
There are a number of things Ontario Hydro and the federal and provincial governments should be doing to utilize this resource to its fullest potential. Ontario Hydro should abandon its flat rate across the province, which encourages companies to locate in the large urban centres of the province so that the big get bigger and some experience rapid growth, while other communities stagnate, thus compounding many of our social and economic problems. Instead it should develop a differential rate to encourage high energy industries to locate near power centres such as the Bruce.
This would also encourage development of northern Ontario, particularly if the North Channel plant goes ahead, although it is shelved for the moment, I understand. It would encourage growth near all nuclear and thermal plants in the province because of the viability of energy from various sources.
The provincial and federal governments should build a deep water port, which four industries say they need in order to locate at or near the Bruce. A preliminary survey of Lake Huron’s depths indicates the lake deepens close to shore and depths in the prospective harbour area are equal to the depth of the St. Lawrence Seaway. A deep water port is a necessity.
This is not a visionary’s dream of what might happen. All this can happen in the next two or three years if the government has the will and the leadership to see it through and put it into practice. The economic and energy wealth of our province depends on us finding and using new energy sources and lessening our dependence on oil. Oil and energy are not necessarily synonymous. There are other ways and we should pursue them with all our strength and political will.
Before I close, I want to say that I recommend to all honourable members, and particularly our friends to the left, the fact that they should support the motion as proposed by my friend and colleague the member for London North (Mr. Van Horne). We will be voting on that motion later on in the week, presumably Thursday or Friday. I commend it to my friends to the left.
I think this is an opportunity to give the people in this province a chance to speak. What better opportunity can we have than to do it now? We can start the new year off right. Let us do it. The saying from my friend the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren) was, “Move over, the NDP are coming through.” This is the chance for them to come through, at least to the extent that they join us in this motion. I commend it to them. We will be looking forward to their support.
Mr. Ziemba: Mr. Speaker, last May I said the member for Armourdale (Mr. McCaffrey) and the member for Wilson Heights (Mr. Rotenberg) both bought their seats. At this point I withdraw that remark.
Mr. Speaker: Since the member for High Park-Swansea (Mr. Ziemba) has withdrawn the offending remarks, the privileges and the rights accorded all members of the House are restored to him. Do you wish to participate in this debate?
Mr. Ziemba: I do.
This speech is about patronage, Mr. Speaker. The dictionary defines patronage as the power to make appointments to government jobs on the basis of other than merit alone. I see patronage as using government office for party and personal advantage. When public office is not awarded on the basis of merit alone, the public interest suffers. Patronage tends to exist under cover like a skunk in a hole: We know it is there, but few people want to disturb it.
The provincial Tories have been dispensing patronage to their friends since before I was born. In 1923, Premier Howard Ferguson boasted that Conservatives held power in Ontario because of patronage or the hope of patronage. These days we have come to accept patronage as a way of life here in Ontario. It is the modem version of the Family Compact.
There is a story about an all candidates meeting in the country. The young upstart politician is trying to knock off the old campaigner. He criticizes the incumbent for arranging to have his private road paved at taxpayers’ expense. In the audience one farmer turns to another and asks, “What do you think? Are you going to vote for the old campaigner after that or shall we give the young fellow a chance?” The other farmer thinks for a minute and says, “No, as far as I am concerned, I will vote for the old boy; he has already had his road paved.”
This story might apply to the member for Hastings-Peterborough (Mr. Rollins). He has certainly been around a long time, but the member did not get around to getting any paving until this year. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications finally paved both road shoulders outside the member’s farm in L’Amable on Highway 62, south of Bancroft. The work took two months and cost $50,000.
It does not appear in the ministry’s contract bulletin which lists tenders, contracts and so on because it is considered a small job. Fifty thousand dollars is a lot of money to ordinary working people in this province. Of course, this paving job is the talk of the local farming community. The road shoulders outside the local farms are not paved in this way, but apparently nothing is too good for the local Tory member.
I first started paying close attention to the whole question of patronage during the brief Joe Clark government. The federal Progressive Conservatives made patronage a priority. They were trying to imitate their provincial cousins. One of the first things they did was cancel all government advertising in the ethnic press, in order to assess who were Tory supporters and who were not. Their friends were going to be rewarded at long last. As it turned out, the election caught them by surprise and they never did get around to starting up the government advertising campaign. This hurt them badly in the ethnic community. To this day, even the right-wing press is angry over this.
Mr. Clark even had the nerve to designate certain “ministers of patronage.” Do you remember the defeated Tory Mrs. Pigott? Many newspaper reports described Mrs. Pigott sitting beside her china cabinet full of little china pigs. We are told how Mrs. Pigott would open up her big green book, how she would pore over the names of the Tory faithful and finally she would pick out some lucky Tory hack and reward him with a patronage appointment.
Do you remember Mr. Ron Atkey, the former Minister of Employment and Immigration? Mr. Atkey was the one who took the credit for the ill-fated bid to move the Canadian Embassy from Israel to Jerusalem. You will recall that he was also declared the minister of patronage for Ontario. Imagine making a virtue out of such a sleazy practice. Imagine appointing ministers of the crown to dispense patronage and being so blatant about it. Of course the Tories’ blatant appointment of a minister of patronage followed a quieter Liberal practice. Even if both old parties use patronage, the practice still stinks. It is a rotten way to run a government.
Sure, many people read about government patronage and get a little chuckle out of it, like the item about the member for Renfrew South (Mr. Yakabuski). The member is facing a tough fight in the upcoming election. He won his seat by only 1,000 or so votes in the last one. The Tories are not taking any chances. They spend $700,000 of taxpayers’ money to pave every street, every lane, every alleyway of Killaloe in Mr. Yakabuski’s riding.
Here is a recent item in the Whig-Standard. Datelined Oshawa, it is headed “Politics Implied in Free Bus Rides.” I am going to quote directly. “The Ontario government was criticized by one of its Tory back-benchers today for setting up a free commuter service in the riding of Premier William Davis and Transportation Minister James Snow. Sam Cureatz, member for Durham East, said in an interview that the experimental project which gives passengers free bus rides to the government of Ontario rail terminal in Oakville should be extended to other areas. ‘What about the area east of Toronto? What about Oshawa and Bowmanville?’
“The program encourages commuters to use the government subsidized GO system to get to work in Toronto from the Oakville-Brampton areas. Snow represents Oakville and Davis is the member for Brampton in the Legislature. Cureatz suggested politics was involved. ‘I have to get re-elected too,’ he said.” The member for Durham East was not objecting to this dual-purpose program to carry passengers and to get votes; he was simply objecting because it did not benefit him as well.
The $17.7 million spent on government advertising this year has to be the most arrogant and most blatant perversion of public funds. Most of the money was funnelled through two Tory advertising agencies, Foster Advertising Limited and Camp Associates Advertising Limited. The money was spent to promote the Conservatives in the upcoming election. This is not advertising at all but propaganda. What else can you say about “Preserve It, Conserve It”?
The Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) comes on the radio with a pitch to buy Canadian, complete with jingles. When he was shopping for a nanny, he did not buy Canadian. The Tories can find $17.7 million more to spend on a “We Treat You Royally” campaign, Mr. Grossman’s “Shop Canadian” campaign, a “Happy Hospital Day” campaign, a nuclear energy campaign; $17.7 million more for “Preserve It, Conserve It” advertising, yet there is no more money for adequate services to help seniors stay in their homes, no more money to provide needed day care spaces to ensure equality of opportunity for women and proper care for the children of working parents, no more money for preventive health programs, and no more money for preventive services for children to forestall future problems.
The pork barrel is quickly rolled out for leaders in the ethnic community, leaders who are willing to serve as shills for the Conservatives. There is Mr. Rocco Lofranco, one of the organizers of the Bill Davis visit to Italy in 1975. Mr. Lofranco went from a $30,000 a year job as a co-ordinator in the PC’s west-end community office to taking charge of government propaganda for the Workmen’s Compensation Board. He has a regular feature on CHIN radio. He shills for the Tories in every nook and cranny and at every ethnic function and activity.
For example, the First Portuguese Canadian Club applied for a $40,000 Wintario grant. When the grant was approved, they decided to sponsor a dinner for the presentation of the money. The Portuguese committee met with Mr. Lofranco and went over the list of invited guests. Mr. Lofranco suggested to the committee that certain names be deleted. The names of the two members representing that area, a Portuguese community in west Toronto, my seatmate the member for Dovercourt (Mr. Lupusella) and the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) were removed from the list.
Testifying before a parliamentary committee, another long-time Tory booster, Mr. Joe Forrester, adviser to the Ministry of Culture and Recreation, admitted Mr. Lofranco removed the names from the list. It is going to be a strictly Tory bash.
Conservative Frank Kowalski has a real scam going for him. He operates Lingua Ads Service. Lingua acts as a representative agency for the ethnic press and media. Mr. Kowalski receives a 15 per cent finder’s fee for every advertising dollar he is able to get for them. Mr. Kowalski wears two hats, representing the buyers as well as the sellers and getting commissions from both. He started out working for the information department of the Ministry of Industry and Tourism. His job was to select which ethnic papers were to receive government ads.
That was two years ago, before the Globe and Mail blew the whistle on him. These days he does the same thing for Foster Advertising. For this, Foster pays 17 per cent commission to Lingua Ads Service. Lingua, in turn, charges 15 per cent to the ethnic pres that receives the ads. The ethnic press is being blackmailed by this shakedown artist. They must belong to his representative agency in order to get these government ads and must accept 60 cents on the dollar or do without. On an average yearly expenditure of $400,000 of taxpayers’ money, Mr. Kowalski’s cut would be $140,000, leaving an average advertising income of $4,300 for each of his clients. The Conservatives know all about Mr. Kowalski’s scam but they go along with it.
Mr. Kowalski’s federal counterpart is Liberal Stan Martyn. Mr. Martyn operates New Canada Publications. On December 18, 1978, Prime Minister Trudeau was the guest of honour at a Liberal fund-raising dinner held at the Sheraton Centre Hotel. Two thousand tickets at $150 per plate were sold for this event. The regular press and media were invited to cover this event and there was no charge for them, but Mr. Martyn pressured representatives of the ethnic press to pay the $150 a plate, in his words, “to show respect for the Prime Minister.” In fact, he offered an easy instalment plan. The ticket money could be deducted in three payments as their advertising cheques from the federal government came in. Like Lingua Ads Service, Mr. Martyn’s New Canada Publications skims 35 cents off every dollar the ethnic press receives in advertising from the federal government.
Then we have Mr. David Carmichael, the director of the citizens’ information branch of the Ministry of Culture and Recreation. Mr. Carmichael is paid $37,575 annually. One of his jobs is to hire translation companies. Mr. Carmichael likes to keep the business in the family. The ministry’s books show that an A. M. Carmichael received $4,434.98 for translation services. A. M. stands for Anna Maria. Anna Maria Castrilli Carmichael is the wife of director David Carmichael.
Italian Language Services received $3,203.27 from the ministry. This company too is operated by Mrs. Carmichael. Mrs. Castrilli Carmichael was also paid $4,000 in consulting fees on a Wintario project that studied Italian immigrant women. It was scrapped because of errors, including an interview with a woman who had been dead for seven years.
Government patronage is not just for big-time Tories. If you want to get a job at the LCBO, you do not go to a local outlet as the minister said earlier; first find a local president of the PC riding association and if you can get the Tory executive’s blessing, then you go to the liquor store and the job is waiting for you.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission has condemned this practice in Brockville on the ground that it appeared to discriminate against women. They said the hiring process kept liquor stores a long-time male preserve. On October 1, 1980, the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Drea) defends his ministry before the procedural affairs committee by stating: “I can assure you that since I have been the minister, which is since October 1978 -- I do not know what went on before that -- I can tell you that any liquor store manager -- that is where you get an application or you write him, or if you are in a local town, you go to the liquor store and get your employment application -- or assistant manager or clerk who tells somebody he does not get his application there, he gets it in the Conservative riding office, his employment is terminated, period.”
It is striking that the minister did not try to deny that this kind of disgraceful patronage was going on until very recently in the liquor control board. The whole business is an outrageous affront. There is absolutely nothing political or confidential about putting liquor bottles into brown paper bags. There is no reason why one has to be a Tory, a Liberal or a New Democrat to get this job, and it is a downright disgrace that people have to suck up to the local Tory bigwig in order to get honest work like this. This kind of dirty patronage really makes me sick.
The same goes if one wants to open a hunting and fishing outlet. You must first get the okay from the local Tory bigwig and then you go to the Ministry of Natural Resources. This is what Mr. and Mrs. Harry Courtnay learned the hard way. They operate a little tourist shop on St. Joseph Island. They sell Indian handicrafts and souvenirs as well as hunting and fishing licences. They used to sell about 1,500 licences a year until new people moved in next door. These new people had the support of the former Conservative MPP for the riding, Mr. Bernt Gilbertson, and they were able to get a licence franchise as well. Now there are six such licensed outlets on St. Joseph Island, all thanks to Mr. Gilbertson.
When my colleague the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman) complained about the location of hunting and fishing licence outlets in the standing committee on resources development on November 5, 1980, the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Auld), had this to say, and I am quoting from Hansard:
“We look at how much business they do. I can give you an example in my own area. There had been one issuer in Brockville for many years and there was a lot of pressure from a community just 15 miles away. I will be very frank with you. I have been writing to the Department of Transport for five years asking them to appoint somebody in Athens. There were three hardware stores there. I said, ‘I don’t care, toss a coin,’ because they were all Tories.” What the minister was saying was that all applicants are equal, but Tory applicants are more equal than others.
Getting back to St. Joseph Island, two men applied to the Ministry of Natural Resources for trapping licences. Everything is in order until the head biologist’s phone rings. In a few minutes he came back to tell them, “I am sorry you can’t have the licences. I have just received a call from Mr. Gilbertson and he is recommending someone else.” Mr. Gilbertson still calls the shots on St. Joseph Island, even though he no longer represents the area.
The Minister of Natural Resources has a policy of crown land sales at market value, but it appears to me that there are always bargains to be had for certain people. Mr. Harold Lapointe of Sault Ste. Marie was able to purchase 10 and a half acres of crown land in the township of Havilland for $10,000. The previous year, the Ministry of Government Services appraised the same land at $18,700. Mr. Lapointe had been a squatter on the property. Nevertheless, that is a tidy $8,700 profit for Mr. Lapointe. I say that is an $8,700 loss for the people of Ontario. Why did we get ripped off? Was it because Mr. Lapointe is a strong Conservative supporter?
I have tried to document a number of patronage situations. There is a clear pattern emerging. The first priority of the Davis government is to wrestle unemployment to the ground among Conservatives.
The Tory cabinet is always ready to overturn an Ontario Municipal Board decision when it comes to a development or a land deal that will benefit one of its own. The local PC riding associations are encouraged to rule their own little fiefdoms any way they see fit. There are cheap government loans available and a lot of them go to the party faithful. Ministers of the crown can be persuaded to issue licences by Tory hacks circumventing environmental laws. Government ministries patronize Tory establishments. Finally, because of patronage appointments, we have people involved in the administration of justice who owe favours to the Tories.
For instance, do you have a good barber, Mr. Speaker? Is he thinking of switching careers? Would he like to become a justice of the peace? If so, why not send him off to the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett). The Minister of Housing looked after his own barber in this way.
Why are there so many lawyers who contribute and knock on doors for the Tories at election time? Most of them do it for patronage or in the hope of patronage. They hope to get government work. They hope to get a QC after their names at New Year’s or a judgeship upon retirement.
I learned of a lawyer from a well known Tory firm who was found canvassing, not for the Tories, but for the Liberals in a general election. When asked about this he shrugged and said his partner was out canvassing for the Tories, as usual, but he was out working for the Liberals this time because he felt the Liberals had a better chance of winning and he wanted to be on the winning side. He wanted to be appointed a special federal prosecutor. This patronage was only available from the federal government.
Under this patronage system nothing is sacred. Even our justice system is treated like a milch cow. The winning political party grabs at the udder.
This is what happens. Joe Clark’s Tories win. All the special federal prosecutors appointed by the federal Liberal government were fired and replaced by Tories. In Hamilton, three Liberal prosecutors got their walking papers. Surprisingly, they were not bitter. One of them, an active Liberal, Mr. Stan Tick, simply said, “It was expected.” The second prosecutor who was fired was the former Liberal MP, Mr. Colin Gibson. The third was Mr. Milton Lewis, who had run for the Liberals against the Tory incumbent, Mr. Lincoln Alexander.
Mr. Alexander has no pity on them. He said, “I hope they were not counting on the jobs as a lifetime appointment.” Anyway, they were all replaced by Tories. In Leeds county, another long-time Conservative worker, Mr. Barr, a lawyer, finally got his reward. He was appointed crown prosecutor by the Joe Clark government. Then the Joe Clark government fell. Mr. Barr was fired. But he is philosophical about it. He is quoted as saying, “I knew I was expendable politically since the untimely defeat of the Tory government.” He went on to say, “To the victor goes the spoils, and that is as it should be.”
Our justice system was established to hand down verdicts, not to hand out slices from the pork barrel. I am not naive enough to believe lawyers are going to be entirely free of political leanings, but these appointments should be handed out on merit alone. Some would go to Conservatives, some would go to Liberals, and even some New Democrats would receive appointments. At present, they are nothing more than political payoffs. This is a damned disgrace and should be stopped.
Let me remind you what can follow from the political partisanship of these federal prosecutors. The former Solicitor General, George Kerr, got hauled before the standing committee on administration of justice. Mr. Kerr had been approached by a constituent who was down on his luck and had to appear in court on a number of charges. Mr. Kerr decided to help him out and telephoned the crown attorney on his behalf. This was a mistake. As Solicitor General he ought not to have done this, but he did. Another crown attorney overheard this call. This crown attorney was a federal appointee and of course an active Liberal. He was not above a little partisan politics given the opportunity.
So the story about Mr. Kerr’s telephone call to the crown was leaked to the press. When the provincial Liberals found out they demanded that Mr. Kerr resign -- until, that is, a member of their own party got caught. The next thing we knew a federal Liberal cabinet minister had called a judge. Member of Parliament John Munro had telephoned a judge on behalf of a constituent. This was a Tory-appointed provincial judge. I wonder if, after the outcry about Mr. Kerr, the Tories went on a head-hunting expedition of their own to get revenge. The rest is history. Both politicians resigned their cabinet posts, but of course Mr. Munro was soon rehabilitated.
The impression left in my mind is that Liberals and Tories may both be using their appointees in the justice system for partisan purposes. They may be trying to score political points at the expense of the administration of justice in Ontario. That is the sort of thing that can happen when patronage is brought into the courts.
Local PC riding associations jealously guard their authority. They must have their say in all appointments to government agencies, boards and commissions. How else can one explain the series of events that resulted in the mass resignation of the Windsor Housing Authority? This board is made up of members put forward by all three levels of government, but the provincial Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett) does the appointing.
The Windsor Housing Authority set a fine example for all the other boards in the province. It was one of the first to be established, and over the year attracted dedicated, hardworking people regardless of political affiliation. Ms. Karen Schofield was regarded as one of the most progressive members and was elected acting chairman. Ms. Schofield was also an active Liberal. That is all right with me, because as long as she was the right person for the job she should be there to do it regardless of her political affiliation.
However, the local PCs could not tolerate the thought of having a Liberal chairman. When that position became vacant and it appeared that Ms. Schofield was in line for it, the board’s problems began. Because she was doing a good job as acting chairman, board members requested that the Minister of Housing appoint her chairman. This did not happen. After consulting with the PC riding association, the minister appointed prominent Conservative lawyer Mr. Armando DeLuca as chairman. The board members were so outraged by this partisan political appointment they resigned en masse. Even one of the Tories, Mr. John Hrena resigned in protest. Mr. Hrena, who operates an insurance agency, risks losing government business as a result.
The Windsor PCs are a frustrated group of people. No provincial Tory has been elected in living memory. That must be why they get the Minister of Housing to give them public appointments to compensate for their election failures.
The Marentette brothers are well known Tories in the Windsor area. One of them ran as a Conservative candidate against New Democrat Fred Burr. The Marentettes are in the road building business. They also own a quarry on Pelee Island. Pelee Island is the most southerly part of Canada. It is eight miles long, 8.5 miles wide and served by a ferry from Leamington and Kingsville. It is a wildlife sanctuary, exclusive home of the Blue Racer snake, as well as several rare species of birds. Fishing grounds were established at Pelee Island in 1870 and are operated by the Harris brothers to this day.
Mr. Marentette’s quarry was not operating in 1974. At this time he needed to build a dock in order to ship stone off the island. He asked the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Bernier) for a licence to build this dock, as well as a licence to operate the quarry. Both licences were refused pending an environmental impact study. This study was completed, there were a number of conditions imposed, including guarantees that the dock would be constructed on pilings according to ministry specifications so as not to disturb the movement of fish or cause soil erosion.
Apparently Mr. Marentette could not be bothered with this. In August, 1977, quarrying was begun again with no licences issued. Workmen began drilling and blasting. The island’s official plan did not allow for a quarry. The matter was before the OMB at this time. Mr. Marentette used the excuse that he could start up his operation again because it was a nonconforming land use. In other words, because there was a quarry before the official plan was passed, he had squatter’s rights. In fact, he bulldozed a pile of rocks on another site that he owned on the island and tried to claim that quarrying had been going on there as well before the official plan was enacted. He got away with it since the Minister of Housing had conveniently not signed the official plan at this time.
This was the first in a series of lucky breaks Mr. Marentette enjoyed throughout this saga. At this time, a boyhood chum came to Mr. Marentette’s assistance. We hear more about him later, but after the intervention of this good buddy, Mr. Frank Miller, in 1977, the then Minister of Natural Resources, issued a licence for quarrying even though it endangered species which came under the Ontario Endangered Species Act and which the minister is bound to protect; but what are friends for? He did not even wait for the Ontario Municipal Board hearing.
However, the dock was not approved. The minister could not bring himself to do it. The dock licence was refused. So Mr. Marentette went ahead and built it anyway. The ministry staff saw that the work was going ahead without a licence. Eventually, he went too far and the ministry charged him with occupying crown land without authority. The crown land was a lake bed where he was dumping his dredgings.
This did not stop Mr. Marentette. He carried on with his project, sinking an old scow as well as three railway cars filled with stone 150 feet offshore to facilitate his loading operation. The scow is almost submerged and constitutes a hazard to navigation to this day. After laying the charge, the ministry took aerial photos to make sure that all work had stopped. They were surprised to find that the dock was finished and no further work was necessary. Coincidentally, this is when the ministry issued a stop-work order.
The illegal dock is there to this day hampering fish movements and limiting fish nests. This is in direct contravention of the ministry’s environmental study. In the spring of 1978 the ministry issued a quarry licence. A dock permit was also issued for the illegal dock on the condition that a new dock be built by 1980. So far this has not happened. Mr. Marentette got his way after all.
At this time he began dredging a channel 60 feet wide and 150 feet long without the necessary government permit. When the dredging was completed, the ministry ordered his company to stop work. This was the second time that a stop-work order had been issued after all the work was done. When the charge of unauthorized occupation of crown land came up in court, Marentette was fined a token $200. A $200 fine for sinking that old scow that is now a hazard to navigation as well as the three boxcars filled with stone is cheap rent for crown land, since the ministry did not even order it removed.
As I have said, the ministry ordered that the dock be built on pilings to be completed by the end of 1980. Again, Mr. Marentette just ignored this order. Local opponents of the quarry were amazed that Mr. Marentette could thumb his nose at the government with such impunity, though there were rumours that Mr. Marentette had friends in high places. One of the island cottage owners is the Provincial Secretary for Social Development, Mrs. Margaret Birch. Somebody put it about that she was so fed up by this time that she exposed Mr. Marentette’s government contact as Mr. Gerald Nori.
Mr. Nori was a good friend and former schoolmate who had been helping Mr. Marentette behind the scenes. Mr. Nori at this time was president of the provincial PCs. To the local people this explains everything. He had used his influence to help obtain two licences from the Ministry of Natural Resources circumventing the OMB. Mr. Frank Miller, the then Minister of Natural Resources, approved this without allowing an OMB hearing. The illegal dock and scow and railway cars were never removed and they were never ordered removed.
Mr. Marentette’s road building company has a terrible reputation with local towns and municipal councils. Just because someone is getting public contracts because of patronage is no guarantee they are giving good value for the public money they receive. He is known for his shabby work and constant squabbling. The local towns and councils want nothing to do with him. He built part of Highway 401 between Windsor and Chatham, and after a few years it turned into a washboard and had to be resurfaced. Yet, Mr. Marentette has no trouble getting Ontario government contracts. In the last five years Mr. Marentette has been paid over $24 million for road building. After all, what are friends for?
The Parkway Inn in St. Catharines is the local Tory’s home away from Queen’s Park. It is owned by Mr. Archie Katzman. Mr. Katzman is an influential Conservative in the area. He is the former secretary of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, local bagman and campaign manager for the member for Brock (Mr. Welch). For his efforts, Mr. Katzman has been appointed to the Niagara Parks Commission, a prestigious appointment. Also, as a little token of gratitude, Mr. Katzman was given a government loan to expand his Parkway Inn -- $400,000 at six per cent. Welfare for the rich, Mr. Speaker; $400,000 at six per cent is an annual saving of almost $40,000 if conventional interest rates were charged. The Parkway Inn consists of the Big Wheel Restaurant, a bowling alley, as well as an accommodation complex. Mr. Katzman’s bowling alley has a liquor licence, one of only a few in Ontario to have a liquor licence. I have never seen one. The Tories can always make an exception for one of their own.
In addition to Mr. Katzman’s Parkway Inn, he and his partner, Mr. Len Herzog, own the K-Mart plaza. Mrs. Herzog will be the Conservative candidate in 1981 and, as I say, the Katzmans and the Herzogs wield a great deal of influence in St. Catharines.
Following the unorthodox Ontario Provincial Police raid at the Landmark Hotel near Fort Erie, in which a number of young people were skin-searched for drugs, an inquiry was called by the government. Where were the hearings held? Not near the Landmark Hotel, where most of the witnesses lived. The hearings were held 30 miles away in St. Catharines -- at the Parkway Inn. Mr. Katzman must have made a lot of extra income from overnight accommodation as well as from rent for the hearing room.
Just last week, December 1, 2 and 3, the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) arranged for a presentation outlining the proposed widening of the Queen Elizabeth Way through St. Catharines. Where was the presentation held? Not in one of the free public buildings, the school auditoriums or even a church basement; not in the community centre which is right next to the proposed expansion. This presentation too was held at the Parkway Inn.
Just how influential Mr. Katzman is was shown during the controversy surrounding a fatal March 14 crash involving Toronto Maple Leaf coach Mr. Floyd Smith. On that day. as was his custom, Mr. Smith stopped at the Parkway Inn for a few drinks. Later on the Queen Elizabeth Way, just outside St. Catharines, Mr. Smith’s car mounted a three and a half foot median and crashed into another car, driving it back some distance. There were two people in the other car. The woman died immediately. The man died four days later in hospital. Mr. Smith was taken to hospital with a knee injury. On the way to the hospital the ambulance attendant noted that Mr. Smith smelled strongly of alcohol and put this in his report.
Shortly after Mr. Smith was admitted to the St. Catharines General Hospital, Mr. Katzman, the proprietor of the Parkway Inn, arrived with his own doctor to see Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith was then placed in the hospitals intensive care unit where no visitors are allowed. How did Mr. Katzman learn so quickly of his customer’s accident?
I just have to tell “John C” of the CBC that I can’t make it now. His note says: “I know you have a lot of time to make up for, but we have to leave now to make deadlines. Is it possible for you to join us?” No, it isn’t possible, John, because I have only this opportunity and then the election will probably be called next year and that will be the end of it. I have to get all this on the record. I am sorry.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. MacBeth): Will the honourable member please address his remarks to the chair?
Mr. Ziemba: I am sorry, Mr. Speaker. How did Mr. Katzman learn so quickly of his customer’s accident? Did Mr. Katzman have anything to do with putting his customer in the controlled atmosphere of the intensive care unit? Of course, Mr. Smith’s knee injury had to be treated at once, but a nurse could not understand why he was taking up space in the intensive care unit. If Mr. Katzman did have anything to do with the decision to put Mr. Smith into the controlled environment of the intensive care unit, no wonder one observer described him as “walking around the hospital as if he owned it.”
Mr. Katzman was asked if Mr. Smith had been drinking at the Parkway Inn, since this was his favourite watering hole on the way through St. Catharines. Mr. Katzman said he had only one or two drinks and he definitely was not drunk. The Parkway Inn waitresses were ordered not to say anything, but before that one of them told a reporter that she had served Mr. Smith about six drinks and he was well and truly liquored up when he took off.
Normally a blood sample is taken for the police. For some reason this was not done. In due course, the crown attorney had to subpoena the hospital’s own sample. The accident was on a Friday night. The next morning local reporters went to the St. Catharines Ontario Provincial Police detachment. They asked if alcohol was a factor in the crash. They were stalled for the entire weekend by the OPP. Finally, Corporal George Adams made a statement to the press ruling out alcohol as a possible cause for the mishap. Corporal Adams said no charges would be laid.
In the meantime, the hospital reported that Mr. Smith was still in intensive care and there was no further information. On Wednesday, the driver of the other car died. On the same day, Mr. Smith was quietly released from hospital. By noon he was admitted to the Buffalo General Hospital. People who followed the case cannot understand how someone who had been kept in intensive care for four days did not even require to be transferred by ambulance.
Meanwhile back in St. Catharines, 12 days after the fatal crash, the crown attorney finally lays charges. He charges Mr. Smith with criminal negligence causing death. The crown attorney said he did not ask for a report from the OPP about their earlier statements because this would be casting reflections on the OPP and he did not want to do this. Eight months later Mr. Smith faces a preliminary hearing to decide if he should stand trial for criminal negligence causing death. This charge was dismissed. Mr. Smith was ordered to stand trial only for impaired driving.
Here we have a case where two people died in a highway accident. One of the drivers involved had been drinking in an establishment whose proprietor arrives at the hospital with his own doctor in tow, hard on the heels of the ambulance carrying his customer. There is some question as to whether this customer should have been placed in the intensive care unit. Later the police rule out impairment in explaining the cause of the accident, even though the customer was later charged with impaired driving. I cannot help wondering about these aspects of the case.
I would like to continue about St. Catharines. St. Catharines does not just have important Tories such as Mr. Katzman. In addition, it has a whole host of lesser Tories enjoying government patronage. They have local Tory activist Mr. Ron Zimmerman, who was awarded with a franchise to sell motor vehicle licence plates on Niagara Street, and defeated Tory candidate Mrs. Eleanor Lancaster, who was appointed vice-chairman of the Environmental Assessment Board. This was in spite of the fact that Mrs. Lancaster has never shown any interest in the environment. Her husband is Mr. H. H. Lancaster of the law firm of Lancaster, Mix, Welch, Thorsteinson and Edwards. Mr. Lancaster was appointed to the Ontario Municipal Board because of his Conservative connections.
This same law firm helped another Tory old boy, Mr. John Campbell, bypass a local bylaw. Mr. Campbell is the Niagara regional chairman. He wanted a second severance on rural property he owns in Niagara-on-the-Lake, even though the region’s and the town’s official plans state that only full-time farmers who have farmed their land for the past five years can sever a retirement block. In fact, Mr. Campbell is not a full-time farmer and he should never have been given permission two years ago to sever a two-acre lot, but he got the severance anyway. Now he wants a further severance, so he goes to the Tory law firm of Lancaster, Mix, Welch, Thorsteinson and Edwards. Mr. R. W. P. Welch, the son of the Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy, looks after him -- no problem. Mr. Welch contacts the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and is successful in getting the ministry to support Mr. Campbell’s severance.
At first, council turns down the severance, but Mr. Campbell uses his powerful public office and persuades council to approve the severance. Only one councillor dared stand up to him. Councillor Nellie Keeler objected to Mr. Campbell bending the rules. Councillor Keeler, acting as a private citizen, forced the issue to the OMB, but I do not think she is under any illusions. After all, Mr. Campbell can always go to his friends in cabinet if he does not get his way at the OMB.
There are Miss Mary Burgoyne, former owner of radio station CKTB in St. Catharines, a lifelong Conservative supporter who was appointed to the freedom of information commission, and Mr. Jim Allan, former provincial Treasurer who was appointed chairman of the Niagara Parks Commission.
Fellow New Democrat, the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart), has accused the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett) of being involved in a scheme with the developers of Epping Commons to bypass the Niagara Escarpment Act. His own ministry’s ruling was to permit a 305-acre commercial-residential complex on the escarpment in the Beaver Valley area. The minister pretends to support the escarpment, and turns down the proposal as premature and incompatible with his government’s objectives. Pious words. Behind the scenes he works with his developer friends to push the proposal through. After all, Maxtone Holdings and Cambray Investments are the government’s friends. The law firm for both companies is Goodman and Goodman. Mr. Sam Kolber, the president of both, is vice-president of Cadillac Fairview. Cadillac Fairview is always good for a maximum contribution to the Tories.
In the Welland area we have a well-known wheeler dealer by the name of Mr. Secord. Mr. Secord was the secretary-treasurer of the notorious Quinn Truck Lines. Mr. Quinn, the House will recall, is the fellow who ripped off the Ontario government for hundreds of thousands of dollars with a little help from his Tory friends. In any case, Mr. Secord, finding himself out of work after the Quinn fiasco, is given a job in the local liquor store. In the process of getting this job, Mr. Secord stepped over part-time employees who had long years of service, contrary to what the minister said today in question period. Another Tory hack is looked after.
Defeated Progressive Conservative candidate Maurice Carter of Hamilton was given $15,000 by the Ministry of Industry and Tourism -- I will not get into that now -- to race his car at LeMans this past summer. However, the minister did make a great fuss about getting the money back, because Mr. Carter’s car did not qualify for the race. But nobody in his office can tell me whether the money has been returned or not. This was another case of straight patronage.
I have placed several questions on the Order Paper that should have been answered by now. I asked for a list of all the former Tory MPs and MPPs, as well as defeated Tory candidates, who hold jobs in government agencies, boards and commissions and an indication of how much they are paid. There is also a question about ex-MPPs’ pensions.
A number of former cabinet ministers, not satisfied with a generous legislative pension -- as I said I would like to know the amount -- are pulling down big money by serving on some agency, board or commission. First, there is the appointment of Mr. Lincoln Alexander, the former Conservative MP for Hamilton West for 12 undistinguished years. He is getting $60,000 a year as Workmen’s Compensation Board chairman. Mr. Alexander succeeds another former Tory Labour minister. It is interesting that both former Tory Labour ministers got the job for the same reason. They were Conservatives and they were just straight patronage appointments. We needed somebody with some familiarity with the horrendous problems of the Workmen’s Compensation Board, someone with sensitivity to the problems of injured workers. This was an especially offensive appointment for New Democrats and the labour movement.
Then we see ex-cabinet minister Mr. John Yaremko appointed chairman of the Liquor Licence Appeal Tribunal at $51,000; Mr. Arthur Wishart, former Attorney General, appointed chairman of the Commission on Election Contributions and Expenses at $51,000, and Mr. Allan Grossman, appointed chairman of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board at $51,000; they all get $51,000. Mr. John White, former Treasurer, was appointed to the Ontario Heritage Foundation, but I cannot find out what he earns. Former Conservative MPP Judge Thomas Graham was appointed chairman of the Ontario Police Commission at $54,000. He is now retired.
Then we have the losers. I will start with my former opponent, Mr. Yuri Shymko. Mr. Shymko ran four times for the Conservatives -- twice provincially and twice federally. He served as Parkdale MP for six months. Mr. Shymko was appointed chairman of the Ontario Advisory Council on Multiculturalism and Citizenship at $40,000 a year. That is a big step up for a high school French teacher.
Mr. Lincoln Alexander is not the only Tory at the Workmen’s Compensation Board. There is also Mr. John Smith and Mr. Roger Regimbal. Mr. Smith, a former Conservative cabinet minister from Hamilton Mountain, was a disaster as a Correctional Services minister. When he was defeated in 1977, he was given a sinecure at the Workmen’s Compensation Board. A defeated Quebec Tory MP, Mr. Regimbal, was appointed full-time commissioner in February. Mr. Regimbal, together with Eddie Goodman, co-chaired the Progressive Conservative convention that chose Mr. Robert Stanfield as national PC leader in 1967.
Then we have the former defeated MP for Dovercourt, Mr. George Nixon. Mr. Nixon is really miscast as one of the chairmen of the Social Assistance Review Board. He was given the job when he was knocked off in 1975 by my seatmate the member for Dovercourt (Mr. Lupusella). I run into Mr. Nixon from time to time at west-end Polish functions. He always sits at the head of table and is introduced as the Hon. Mr. Nixon. I asked about this once and I was told the reason they do this and the reason they are all nice to him is they can always count on Mr. Nixon’s assistance in landing a job in a liquor store. There is only one problem. The jobs never lasted very long. They were all contract jobs, but they were better than nothing. While Mr. Nixon may not know very much about social services, he is a good ward heeler for the Tories.
There is the Conservative turncoat, Mr. Marvin Shore, who was given a job with the Ministry of Industry and Tourism for double-crossing the Liberals but losing as a Tory in 1977. There is the defeated Halton Tory federal candidate, Mr. Alan Masson, who was appointed Niagara Escarpment development control chief at $42,000. There is always a job for defeated Tories in Davisland.
Hon. Mr. Gregory: Don’t you wish you were a Tory?
Mr. Ziemba: I should not respond to that. I have also put a question on the Order Paper requesting a list of PC Party officials who were given government appointments. Of course, the Tories are not in any hurry to provide this list, but I think the question is long overdue in being answered.
Every once in a while the Premier and a bunch of the boys get together to dispense patronage. When he does this, the Premier reminds me of that TV character, Boss Hog. They call themselves the appointments committee. One of their recent appointments was Mr. Ward Cornell of Hockey Night in Canada fame. Mr. Cornell, a close personal friend and supporter of the Premier, had earlier been appointed Ontario’s Agent General in London. Perhaps he got bored after six years of glad- handing in London and wanted to come home. When there was a vacancy as Deputy Provincial Secretary for Social Development, Mr. Cornell got the nod. It is too bad he has no background and no expertise in the social policy field.
For me it is always a sad experience, representing someone before the Social Assistance Review Board. The questions are very personal and demeaning. It is a kind of inquisition conducted by the two board members. The applicant is often reduced to tears before the ordeal is over. I have yet to win one of these appeals. Who are these board members? I have here the curriculum vitae of all the present board members. These are the actual documents they submitted when seeking their patronage appointments.
First, we have Mr. Desmond S. Bender of Ottawa. Mr. Bender submits the following as his qualifications for the board. These are his words: “Mr. Bender has been campaign manager in three provincial elections for the Progressive Conservative Party and a fully paid-up member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario.”
Next we have Mrs. Joan Dool of Sault Ste. Marie. In her biography, Mrs. Dool lists the following: “PC committee room supervisor and organizer for Arthur Wishart’s two elections. Ross Ramsay’s two elections and John Rhodes’s first election.” She goes on: “Friends of Rhodes family, seconded the first nomination of John Rhodes for provincial election; Sault Ste. Marie riding executive and district women’s executive.”
She actually had the nerve, Mr. Speaker, to write all this down under the heading, “School and Church Activities.” Maybe that is what is meant by the expression praying for a patronage appointment.
Next we have Mayor Maurice Hotte of Cochrane. I understand Mr. Hotte may be asked by the Conservatives to run in Mr. Bernier’s place in the upcoming election. He is a good Tory.
Next is Mr. Manuele Gaetano of Toronto. Mr. Gaetano ends his curriculum vitae by stating: “I am also member of public relations of the PC community centre. In this capacity I frequently deal with the Toronto Italian news media: Corriere Canadese, Giornale di Toronto, Television Cable 10 and so on, preparing press releases and at times giving television and radio appearances.” This must be Mr. Rocco Lofranco’s old job.
Here is a good one, Mr. Speaker, you will like this one: Mrs. June Marks of Toronto -- do you remember her? She used to be an alderman here. These are her words: “In July 1974 I was the Progressive Conservative candidate for the federal riding of Spadina and was defeated. I continue to hold membership in six provincial and federal riding associations.” She did get the appointment, but surely she was overdoing it. One or two memberships should have been enough.
Mr. Donald Morrow states that he “served the people of Ontario for 20 years as the member for Ottawa West and was Speaker of the House from 1963 to 1967.”
Mr. George Adam Nixon: “First elected to the Ontario Legislature October 21, 1971.” I mentioned him earlier.
Next -- and this is interesting -- listen to what Mrs. Lamarche says about herself: “Mrs. Pierrette Lamarche of Timmins, court clerk, clerk typist, assessment clerk and saleslady.” Then she goes on to elaborate: “This type of work involves direct selling door to door, also calling on community groups to organize parties to which I was the counsellor in skin analysis and proper make-up colouring. This job was very good in meeting different nationalities and different cultures. I was able to dialogue with a lot of lonely people. The same type of work was done for a household product called Amway. Both of these jobs were done at the same time and in the same manner.”
Mrs. Lamarche goes on: “Also very active in provincial politics; vice-president on the executive for 10 years; organizer for three provincial elections.” In fact, Mrs. Lamarche did work hard in the French community to help elect the member for Cochrane South (Mr. Pope). A close observer of political affairs in Timmins told me it was well known that Mrs. Lamarche only got into PC politics to get a job as a riding assistant to the present Tory member, but apparently she was too abrasive for this job so he arranged for her appointment to the Social Assistance Review Board.
Then we have the Conservative riding activists, the organizers, the foot soldiers: Tory supporter Dr. W. C. Winegard is appointed chairman of the Ontario Council on University Affairs, $61,000; former secretary of the Elgin PC riding association, Mr. Eber Rice is appointed chairman of the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario, $53,000; Conservative campaigner Mr. Bruce Alexander is appointed chairman of the Ontario Highway Transport Board, $49,000; Conservative Party worker Mr. Henry Stewart, is appointed chairman of the Ontario Municipal Board, $61,000, even though he claims that he “didn’t do enough to be owed.”
Tory municipal politician from Peel, Mr. J. I. McMullin, is appointed chairman of the Niagara Escarpment Commission, $31,000. He always works for Mr. Davis when the Premier is running for re-election.
PC loyalist and former party executive director Mr. Ross DeGeer is appointed Ontario’s Agent General in Britain; former car dealer, backroom adviser and former executive director of Ontario Conservatives Mr. Hugh Macaulay is appointed chairman of Ontario Hydro.
There is a high-profile Cambridge Tory, Mr. Norman Morris, who was just appointed general manager of the Ontario Lottery Corporation with a big salary. What are Mr. Morris’s qualifications for this job? Well, he did have a car agency in Kitchener that went bankrupt, but his best qualification seems to be a membership card in the Conservative Party. It certainly saved Mr. Morris from the unemployment insurance line.
Another Tory good old boy who was helped when he fell on hard times was Mr. Bert Woodman of Wolfe Island. The Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) appointed Mr. Woodman sheriff of Frontenac county. Mr. Woodman, an active Tory worker, admitted that frankly he needed the sheriff’s post. His farm machinery business in Kingston township had failed earlier this year, so he was really grateful to the Attorney General for the appointment. Another Tory was saved from the ranks of the unemployed.
I have been speaking today about a number of despicable practices that make up the Tory patronage system in Ontario. We have seen government business for the boys, and I am referring to the vehicle and the hunting and fishing licence outlets, as well as fat contracts for friends of the Tories in advertising, consulting and road building. We have seen how some of our rules do not seem to apply as strictly to those with good Tory connections as they do to you and me, Mr. Speaker. We have seen jobs for the boys, big jobs for leading Tories as well as ordinary jobs in liquor stores for people who can get the stamp of approval from the local PC riding association. It is with this sort of patronage system that the Premier can wrestle to the ground unemployment among Tories.
I am not naive enough to think the Premier would appoint any but Tories as deputy ministers. But it is past time we had the merit principle apply to all but the most senior government appointments. My party believes in giving unfettered political rights to civil servants. Civil service jobs should go to those who can do them well, and those people should be free to work for whatever political party they choose or vote the way they like once they have gone home for the day.
We want to end the political restrictions that now apply to the liquor clerks and the snowplough operators, but it is time to start putting some restrictions on the blatant patronage system the Tories use to reward their supporters. We have to stop political patronage in order to stamp out waste, inefficiency and corruption. It is the ordinary working people in Ontario who are getting it in the neck when the Tories spend public money to interview dead people. It is the ordinary working people of my riding who ultimately are out of pocket when Mr. Lapointe of Sault Ste. Marie buys crown land at only half its market value.
In conclusion, I would like to comment on the item that led me to look into patronage in the first place. I have come across an awful lot more but I will save it for another time. The issue I am referring to was my charge that two Tories, the member for Wilson Heights (Mr. Rotenberg) and the member for Armourdale (Mr. McCaffrey), bought their seats. Since I have withdrawn this charge about the buyers, I would like to say something about the sellers. They are not protected by parliamentary privilege.
Both Mr. Givens and Mr. Singer sold their seats to the Tories for $50,000 a year each, plus a chauffeured limousine for Mr. Givens. Here is how they did it. They are both well liked, high profile Liberals. They could probably have held on to their seats as long as they wanted to, and the Tories knew this. But just before the 1977 election writ was issued, both those fellows abandoned ship. At the last minute they announced they were retiring from politics and left their riding associations surprised and unprepared to fight an election. No replacement Liberal candidates had been groomed to take over, and it was too late to start.
In other words, Mr. Phil Givens and Mr. Vernon Singer took a dive. They threw the fight. They pulled a Duran. Like Duran, they laughed all the way to the bank. The Tories bought those seats. Those seats have been bought and paid for on the instalment plan, which adds up to $100,000 a year. In fact, a cabinet minister boasted about it. The Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson) boasted right outside this Legislature that the Tories bought off Mr. Singer with an appointment to the Ontario Municipal Board. Coming from him, I believe it. Before he became Minister of Agriculture and Food he had the unofficial title of minister of patronage. He is known for his famous line --
Hon. Mr. Gregory: On a point of privilege, Mr Speaker: Despite the fact the honourable member has deigned to apologize and withdraw his remarks, he is now saying the same thing again. This is a very cute little game they played in order to give him a chance to spout this nonsense all afternoon. It was a very cute trick to withdraw his remarks, make his speech and then make the same remarks again. I would suggest to you the member is out of order.
Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, speaking to the point of privilege, the standing orders are clear. They forbid allegations against another member. The member for High Park-Swansea has withdrawn the allegations against other members. He is making a series of remarks identical to the remarks made this afternoon during question period, having to do with Tory patronage appointments to jobs at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. He is talking about the activities of the Progressive Conservative Party, not about the activities of any specific member of this assembly.
Mr. Speaker: I have listened with great care to all the remarks since the member for High Park-Swansea has again been recognized. I do not know of any instance where he has accused a member of this assembly of wrongdoing. If he had, I would have been the first to bring him to order. If the honourable member can point to any such instance, I will listen to him, but I have listened with great care and I find that not to be the case.
Mr. Ziemba: Mr. Speaker, I was going to quote the Minister of Agriculture and Food’s famous line, “Me and the Premier brung you this cheque.” Remember that one? Mr. Givens was made a judge in order to be installed as chairman of the Ontario Police Commission. He gets $50,000 a year and a chauffeur-driven limousine. This is the Tories’ economic strategy for Ontario. When they say they will buy back Ontario, they want to buy it back one seat at a time from the Liberals.
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I would like to take part in the budget debate and deal with a few matters I think are probably of greater pressing interest to this House and to this country and province than the kind of drivel we have just heard.
My friend has dealt in a lot of innuendo and accusation without really knowing what most of these situations are all about. He has in this House perhaps cast aspersions on the names of people who are serving this province well and on the citizens of this province in many capacities. I hope he will think sincerely about that and consider that when he makes speeches like this.
As my friend the chief government whip said, perhaps he would like to make his speech outside where those people who have been talked about would have a chance to take any action they might wish to take against him. But I do not really want to descend to this kind of tack. In fact, I really find it very difficult to be in a House with a member like the member for High Park-Swansea because I think his general actions tend to lower the status and quality of members of this Legislature, and for that I am very sorry.
I would like to talk this afternoon about the constitutional debate in this country today, about the position we find ourselves in, and about the reason Ontario has taken the positions it has in the constitutional debate and why we have taken these positions with a great deal of vigour.
The first thing I would like to deal with is the question oft put to me: “Why are you worrying about the constitution? The issues that really matter in this country today are economic issues. They are matters concerned with inflation, jobs and the economy. These are the things government should be spending its time debating and should be directing its attention towards. To be spending the effort and energy that it is on the constitution is really not very productive in these times.”
The answer I would like to pose to these people, an answer I think is a very relevant one, could best be summed up in a letter which the Premiers of this province and of all the other provinces received from a group called the Business Council on National Issues. This is a group of prominent Canadian businessmen, presidents and chairmen of the boards of prominent companies like Honeywell, General Electric and so forth -- companies that are most concerned about the economic issues of this country.
This group said they “hoped that the Premiers would come to some conclusion or at least the beginnings of some conclusion on the constitutional question because the fact that it is unresolved is having an effect on the economy of this country.” In fact they went so far as to say, “The fact that we have not solved our constitutional problems is costing us jobs and costing us investment.”
I can believe that, Mr. Speaker. I can believe the fact that we have not been able to resolve, at least in some small way, the renewal of our constitution as we promised during the referendum debate last May in the province of Quebec is having an unsettling effect on the business community and such an effect that it is causing them not to create the jobs and carry out the investment that we know needs to proceed.
The fact that we have not arrived at oil pricing agreements between the government of Canada and the province of Alberta, I would submit to members, is partially because we have not been able to come to any conclusion to our constitutional problems. The fact that we do not have those oil pricing agreements in effect is having a disturbing effect on the economic climate of this country.
Therefore, the premise that I am putting to you, Mr. Speaker, and to this House today is that the constitutional issue is very directly connected with the whole issue of the problems we face with the economy in Canada today. The need is for some kind of log-jam breaking, deadlock breaking action to get this matter on the road to bring some beginning to a resolution of our constitutional problems, because that will have an offshoot effect on our economic problems. That, I would submit, is the kind of action that the present government of Canada is contemplating in its constitutional package.
My feeling is that it has looked at this problem. I have to say I believe we all sincerely worked throughout the summer on the committee that I was a part of and that the Attorney General was a part of and that had on it ministers from all the provinces and the federal government. We sincerely tried to come to some conclusions, to some resolution on 12 constitutional issues and to move from there to implementing and presenting to the first ministers some package of constitutional reform that could be put into effect because that would mark a beginning and would get us out of this deadlock situation that we are in where nothing appears to happen. That did not happen.
The first ministers met in September and they tried but came up with no agreement. Hovering over that meeting was, of course, the implied suggestion that there would be unilateral action by the federal government; that a constitutional package would be presented. I do not believe that hindered or helped the kind of discussion that went on.
Many people will be trying to analyse why, after a summer of work and a first ministers’ conference in September, we did not come to some agreement; but I think the bottom line to it all is that for many years -- perhaps 50 years now -- we have not been able to come to any agreement on anything concerning the constitution. The question then is, shall we allow this indecision to forever stop us from taking action? Shall we forever allow this indecision to prevent us from achieving the kind of economic goals that we need in this country because we cannot come to any agreement on issues concerning our constitution?
I believe the answer has to be that we must move and we must, this one time, take the kind of action that has now been proposed for this country.
It is not right to call it unilateral action. In essence, it is supported by this province, it is supported by New Brunswick, and it is probably half supported by Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, so it is far from unilateral action. But it is certainly opposed vigorously by six provinces. There is no question those six provinces are opposing it to the extent that they are going to court and through various routes to try to prevent this package from happening.
The constitutional package and its perpetration are being held out as one of the further causes of western alienation. There is no question there is an alienation on the part of people in some of the western provinces, particularly towards central Canada -- Ontario and Quebec -- and the central government. As the Premier said in his speech in Vancouver on Saturday, it is an issue we must come to grips with. We must be ready to make some accommodation to bridge this alienation. One of the ways suggested to bridge this alienation is to accept the premise put forward by six of the provinces that one of the major causes is the unilateral action on the constitution.
My premise is that there is no question it is an immediate impediment to establishing better relations between the central government and the western provinces, but I view it a little differently from the way I am sure it is viewed by many of the western provinces who are opposed to the package. Distasteful as it may be to those provinces, we must take this action, perhaps being able to accommodate some of their views as the constitutional resolution moves ahead, but we must take this dramatic step and break the deadlock that we are now in. Once this is done, we must work to build the bridges that have to be built across the country and which I firmly believe are there to be built.
In other words, my premise is that what we need to do now is bring our constitution home to Canada -- patriate it, as we commonly say -- with a charter of rights that will guarantee basic fundamental rights to Canadians, democratic rights, mobility rights, minority language education rights; we must bring that constitution home with provisions that will guarantee equalization payments, and we must bring it home with an amending formula. If we do that and if this country takes that dramatic action, even though it is not being taken with a degree of unanimity and even though it is causing rifts in our country, once that action is taken, once this constitution with these amendments arrives back here and we have our own Canadian constitution, we then will better be able to build the bridges.
What is the alternative? The alternative is to take no action, to accede to the demands of provinces and groups that are opposing the action being taken by the federal government, and to sink back into the whole realm of indecision and nonagreement. If we sink back into that, we will have still worse economic problems. We will not be getting any agreements between provinces on oil pricing. We will not be making the kind of progress on division of powers and readjustments in the constitution that has to be made. We will not be making any progress on those things that Quebec wants. I know they are very much opposed to the action currently being taken, because the government of Quebec says: “These are not the things we really want. The things we want, such as communications and other divisions of power and rearrangements in the constitution are not here.”
I am convinced those things are not going to happen at the present time, but I am also convinced that they can happen if we can take this present step, bring the constitution back with those things that are now suggested within it and then move from there. I think the goodwill of Canadians is such that, having taken this step, we would then be able to sit down and come to some better agreements on those things I know we must be able to come to agreement on.
In other words, what I am saying is it is better to take this very tough, drastic action right now, recognizing that rifts are being caused, get it over with and then start to build the bridges. Those bridges can be better built and the new division of powers in this country and the new kinds of agreements that are going to be necessary can be better taken.
If we do not take this action now and we allow this opportunity to slip through our fingers, we will find 10 years from now we will still be arguing, discussing and trying to come to some agreements while the country will have suffered. We have a far better chance to make the 1980s greater for this country by taking this action now than by not taking it.
Let me just deal with a couple of things in the constitutional package. One of the things in the package that is greatly disturbing to some provinces is the amending formula. I recognize that. I recognize that the Victoria formula basically suggested, as my friends know, the procedure that for two years unanimity be the rule. In other words. for any amendment to the constitution there must be unanimous consent of the provinces and of the federal government, the federal House and the Senate. After that, the Victoria formula with a referendum takes effect.
The Victoria formula was a formula supported by all the provinces at the Victoria conference in 1971, at which time they arrived with the Victoria charter. My friend the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) -- we should fix that name when we get the 180 members -- remembers because he was there. He will recall that amending formula was agreed to. In fact, the whole charter was agreed to. The province of Quebec, for reasons known only to them, chose not to approve it afterwards, but here was an amending formula which was agreeable to people then.
The problem with that amending formula, in the eyes of those provinces out west and some of the maritime provinces, but particularly those provinces out west, is that formula gives a veto to the province of Ontario and to the province of Quebec. Under that formula, an amendment would have to have the approval of Ontario and Quebec to be passed. I hear them say that creates two first-class provinces and eight second-class provinces. I do not think that is quite correct, but I am willing to agree with their suggestion that there is perhaps in their eyes a problem with this kind of formula.
What is the answer to that? The answer is we have two years under unanimity for all of us to sit down and come up with a better formula. As far as this province is concerned, we are perfectly willing to do that. We tried during the summer and were not successful, but we came up with a lot of variations.
Mr. Nixon: You are not willing to give up the veto.
Hon. Mr. Wells: We looked very carefully at the so-called Vancouver consensus. I guess if all the provinces and the federal government had been agreeable to that, we would have accepted that too. That does not have the veto in it.
It is not fair to say we are absolutely not willing to give up the veto. I think we are willing to sit down and look at a formula, but we think that can be done in the two years when unanimity is the amending rule. When we have this dramatic deadlock-breaking patriation of the constitution achieved, we can sit down and then work it over. The first thing to remember is that we do have that two years when unanimity is the rule to work out a formula which could take the place of the Victoria formula with the referendum that is suggested here.
We also have to remember there is a provision for a referendum on amending formula within that two year period. If eight provinces come up with a formula and the federal government or the central government and several provinces still want the Victoria formula, those can be put to a referendum of the people of this country. I do not say that is a satisfactory way of solving it, but I think it shows there are mechanisms there to allow us to arrive at new amending formulas after this patriation and the present amendments are concluded.
I sometimes get the feeling, talking to some people, that we are doing something that is going to be forever done and which will never be able to be touched -- that once we do this, that is it. But that is not so. People should look at the kinds of things that can happen in the process after the constitution arrives back in Canada.
The other matter which has troubled some people in some of the provinces has been the referendum. I think the referendum can be used as a deadlock-breaking mechanism in the amending formula -- although we are not particularly enamoured with referenda. We hope -- and I am led to believe the present resolution in the House of Commons and Senate will be amended this way -- the referendum will only be used after there is a deadlock. In other words, the regular process of provincial legislatures, House of Commons and Senate must be used first and then, if there is no agreement, the referendum can be used.
We have further suggested the referendum could only be used not just on the initiative of the federal government but with at least four provinces also agreeing that a referendum should be held. I think that is a very reasonable position. It suggests the referendum, as a deadlock-breaking mechanism, is not there for only one government but for several governments, and that could be very helpful. I am sure those kinds of amendments to hone down the Victoria formula with those changes will be coming forward as the House of Commons-Senate committee proceeds with its work.
There are two other things I would like to mention today. There is not much time left. Rather than get into a long discussion on the charter of rights, I would recommend that members who are interested in this subject -- as I have done on many occasions over the last few months -- should get out the Right Honourable John C. Diefenbaker’s speech of July 1, 1960. He was Prime Minister at that time and I guess he decided there should be a special sitting of the House on July 1 -- Canada Day, Dominion Day, or whatever they were calling it then. At that time he was bringing in his Canadian Bill of Rights.
It is very interesting to read the language that he used, talking about why we needed a bill of rights. Many of the reasons are the same reasons that we use 20 years later to support an entrenched Canadian charter of rights. He also says in his address at that time he would have liked to entrench this in the constitution, but he could not because he could not get the agreement of the provinces. Therefore, he would not do it. That was his position. I suppose it also is the position --
Mr. Nixon: That is when he had 208 seats.
Hon. Mr. Wells: Yes, but he still wanted to respect the agreement of the provinces.
But here we are 20 years later with a bill of rights, much of it now being transferred into the Canadian charter of rights and still we do not have the agreement of the provinces. I guess the question is, do we go on forever not having a Canadian charter of rights, something that I think can be substantiated and proven by the many instances he refers to and that others of us have heard over the years.
That brings us to the position of some other inclusions in the constitution. There has been much discussion about section 133, which is the section of the present British North America Act that says the statutes of a province -- and it says now the statutes of Quebec and New Brunswick -- “shall be in both English and French and they shall have equal authority” and so forth.
Mr. Nixon: Don’t give us the Davis line on this one.
Hon. Mr. Wells: I know my friend would want to hear the line. We would say that by including that kind of thing for this province, where five per cent of the population is francophone, we would be accepting the idea of official bilingualism.
Mr. Nixon: Hatfield is the only one who wants that in.
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Hatfield has suggested that. I think it is a red herring that he casts across all these discussions. He is really in favour of the federal proposals, but people forget that he is in favour of them because he spends so much time Ontario-bashing. It is about time he went home and looked after New Brunswick.
Mr. Nixon: I am going to send that one to him.
Hon. Mr. Wells: Send it to him. I said that on Canada AM the other morning and I have said other things. The thing that surprises me about the Premier of New Brunswick is that he says all these things away somewhere and yet he comes down here to the meetings and never says anything about that to us when he is face to face with us. I want to say there is no need for section 133 to apply in this province.
I want to put on the record and share with my friends something I know they would want to share in, particularly if they are looking for a good Christmas present to buy for a friend, a relative, their wife, or a member of this Legislature. There is a very fine book out called The Northern Magus by Richard Gwyn. It is on the Prime Minister of Canada. Mr. Gwyn is someone who has studied the Canadian scene very extensively. I think he brings a pretty good perspective to a lot of these things. I want to read a paragraph from that book. He says:
“Ontario, for a francophone minority that, after all, constitutes no more than five per cent of its population, does now provide most government services, including legal services, in both languages. Franco-Ontarians fill their full five per cent of civil service posts against only an equivalent two per cent by anglophones in Quebec.”
Hon. Miss Stephenson: It is 17 per cent in the Ministry of Education.
Hon. Mr. Wells: It is 17 per cent in the Ministry of Education. I will remember that.
“TVOntario broadcasts one fifth of its programs in French. Premier Davis has done as much for Franco-Ontarians as he could have accomplished through a bilingual law, and probably more since he has managed to avoid a backlash.”
I think that is a very interesting quotation.
Mr. Nixon: It’s a special favour and not by right.
Hon. Mr. Wells: No, it is not as a special favour, it is because we firmly want to provide the services to the Franco-Ontarians in this province. The member just said a minute ago he was in favour of what we are doing. That was what he said, was it not? We believe those services have better been able to be provided. Believe me, I know because I stood up here and moved a bill to cause a French-language school to be built in an area of this province where the local authorities did not want that school built and on which the members of the Liberal Party stood up and voted against in this House. You both remember that, and are probably the only two people in this House who voted against that school
Mr. Conway: I remember Carleton.
Hon. Mr. Wells: There is nothing inconsistent with what I have said and what has happened in Carleton or what was said in Carleton. I gather my friend is going to make a speech about what has happened in Carleton. He would like nothing more than to get us into a great squabble so that we could not provide French-language services and would have a backlash and disaster.
Mr. Nixon: You are courting a backlash by your actions in Carleton.
Hon. Mr. Wells: No, we are trying to prevent a backlash and I think that is the kind of thing we have always done in this province.
As I said, Mr. Speaker -- and I would just like to conclude with this remark -- the road to complete constitutional renewal is going to be a very long and difficult one and it is going to take a lot of energies on all our parts, but this province is committed to moving ahead and finishing that job and we hope that the central government and the other provinces will continue to work with us for what we know is going to be for the best and the betterment of all Canadians.
On motion by Mr. Ruston, the debate was adjourned.
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, before I move the adjournment of the House, I wonder if, with the consent of the House, we could revert to motions. I understand one of the committees needs authorization to meet tomorrow morning and does not have the authority to do so.
Mr. Speaker: Do we have unanimous consent to revert?
Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the subcommittee of the standing committee on administration of justice be authorized to meet on Tuesday morning.
Motion agreed to.
The House adjourned at 6:02 p.m.