31st Parliament, 4th Session

L137 - Wed 10 Dec 1980 / Mer 10 déc 1980

The House met at 2 p.m.



Mr. G. I. Miller: I want to bring to your attention, Mr. Speaker, that the apples are simply a Christmas gesture. I had the opportunity of distributing them last year and this year. They come from my riding of Haldimand-Norfolk and are grown in the fine little village of Vittoria. They are a fine example of the fruit we can grow in that particular part of Ontario.


Mr. Cassidy: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: Yesterday in the House the Minister of Health suggested the New Democratic Party was misleading this chamber with respect to statements I made about the proportion of specialists who are opted-out in the province.

Since the allegation by the Minister of Health was not accompanied by any figures and since the statistics we put in the House specifically used tax statistics of full-time doctors and compared them to the honourable minister’s own declaration about the number of opted-out specialists in the province, I would suggest the minister either withdrew his allegations against the NDP or produce the correct figures on the number of full-time specialists compared to the number of full-time opted-out specialists in the province. He should withdraw his remarks.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I believe the point has been covered in a variety of questions, particularly Notice Paper questions, over the last 18 months or so. We are working on some answers to questions right now, as a matter of fact.

The fact of the matter is that the honourable member’s researchers have taken selective data from three years ago and applied their own criteria to extrapolate those data. If one wanted to take the number of left-handed, blue-eyed, blond-haired specialists of Icelandic descent one could get another figure. It depends what one wants to prove.

I know what the member wants to prove and he is not interested in the facts.

Mr. Speaker: I am not convinced that the word “misleading” was used and attributed to any particular member of the House. If the minister used the word “misleading” in describing a member of the House, I am sure there are many other words he could use to reflect what he feels about the material that was put before the House.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I do not believe I did, but if I did use it, and the honourable member took it in that way, I withdraw it. The fact of the matter is that somebody, some creative individual in the research branch of that party, has taken selective data from Revenue Canada and applied his or her own criteria or factors to come up with an answer that the leader wanted.

Mr. Cassidy: Just to conclude the point of privilege, the minister --

Mr. Speaker: I have heard your point of privilege, and the minister has responded and withdrawn the implication that any member of the House was misleading the House.



Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, as Minister of Culture and Recreation, I rise to express my profound sadness and my dismay at the senseless murder of John Lennon.

John Lennon was unusually gifted, and his gifts made him a transcending influence on the global culture of our era. He perceived many of society’s strengths and weaknesses and addressed them with an irreverent wit. He was a fearless and incisive poet. He and his lyrics spoke to and of particularly one generation, but as a father of three teeny-boppers of the 1960s and early 1970s, and as a person who listened to and appreciated Mr. Lennon’s music, it is clear to me that he spoke for more than one generation.

There are millions who have never understood John Lennon; there are millions who have misunderstood John Lennon; but ultimately there were many more millions whose frustrations, fears and hopes were captured by his work and by his wit.

Today, throughout the world, they mourn his sudden and tragic departure from the human scene. Mr. Speaker, John Lennon is dead, but his thoughts and ideals, and his uniquely riveting expression of them, live on.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I might just add a word to that. I think a good many of us have been thoroughly shocked to see how a genius of the capacity of Mr. Lennon could exist one moment and then be wiped out the next by the action of a clearly twisted human being. One has to reflect on what that means for people who come to public attention in almost any endeavour, be it in achieving greatness in the arts or fame from being in movies, or in becoming even well known in polities or any other field of human endeavour. It is a dreadful reflection on the direction in which things are going around us when you can see such a fine person, such a fine mind and such a fine soul ended in its earthly form in this way.

I know all of us would want to add our feelings of dismay at the murder of John Lennon and also at some of the directions in which our society seems to be moving. It is a very upsetting time, and a time for all of us to take some stock of just what it is we are creating in this society.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I want to propose something which I regret the federal House was not prepared to do, and that is that perhaps on behalf of us all, the three leaders could send a message of condolence to John Lennon’s widow as an expression of sympathy, as well as an expression of understanding for what John Lennon represented, not just to a small group of teenage rock music fans but to people who, I confess, include me.

I became a Beatles fan back in the early 1960s when I was in England and they were still not heard of here in North America. Like so many other people of my generation, I grew up with their music speaking to my condition, as well as the condition of young people who traditionally listen to popular music. I, along with many others, at the age when presumably we were beyond the stage of that kind of music, found myself listening to and enjoying Sergeant Pepper and Abbey Road and the great series of albums that came out from John Lennon and the Beatles, realizing that they were talking very much about the modern situation. This was a kind of poetry of the people which expressed a great deal of what we were striving for and hoping for.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono, in their bed-ins for peace, their efforts on behalf of the peace movement, used unusual techniques to try to bring to the attention of young people and people across the world their concerns to do more, to reach out to be more than just a traditional rock music hero, pop star and that kind of thing.

2:10 p.m.

John Lennon went to India to meditate for months. Over the last five years he has chosen to be a house husband looking after his young son while his wife, in a reversal of traditional sex roles, took on their business dealings. The man who had sprung from the slums of Liverpool, who had come from the most unlikely background, has been quite an extraordinary figure in the history of the western world for a very long time.

When I went home yesterday in the evening, I found the teenage boys who share my home had been up almost all day and some of them half the night listening to the Beatles’ music, which was on every station. They were shocked and they could not understand what a senseless kind of world it is we live in that somebody like John Lennon, who was considered to have a contribution to make, could suddenly have been shot so senselessly and so tragically.

I want, therefore, to join in the words of condolence since they have come from the Minister of Culture and Recreation, and I will consult with the other parties in order to have a joint message of condolence go to Yoko Ono on behalf of everybody in the Ontario Legislature speaking for the people of Ontario.


Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to table with the Legislature today copies of a letter addressed to Ms. Inger Hansen, privacy commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: I am afraid I do not have a copy of the statement the minister is making and I would be grateful if I could have such a copy.

Hon. Mr. Pope: I understand the copies are there. Someone has them.


Mr. Speaker: Is everybody satisfied?

Hon. Mr. Pope: I would like to quote from that letter: “The government of Ontario will limit and control the use of social insurance numbers in its operations under the following guidelines:” -- this is page four of the letter --

“The social insurance number will continue to be used in connection with any government inquiry, request, transaction, record or operation which directly and specifically pertains to the income of an individual (these are hereafter called ‘income related programs’);

“Where a file, record or data bank includes the SIN as the unique personal identifier in connection with an income related program, the same identifier may be used to identify the file or record;

“Because of the potential for life-saving actions, hospitals and other medical data banks will be permitted to use the SIN as a patient-file identifier pending a decision to establish a unique personal identifier for health programs;

“All other requirements to use the SIN as a unique personal identifier in a record, file or data bank will be discouraged and eventually prohibited;

“Access to personal data in all records, files, data banks, whether or not identified by or containing the SIN number, especially where computer-based, shall be effectively controlled and restricted and appropriate penalties and/or deterrents shall be legally established to discourage violations.

“The implementation of these policy guidelines will require some adjustment of administrative practices by some ministries and agencies of the government of Ontario, and no doubt will involve some alterations in established routines and procedures of some businesses and institutions within the province.

“However, the restriction of the use of the SIN to income-related data files (with a temporary exemption for hospital files where the SIN is currently in use) is deemed to be a rational solution to a problem where the mutually conflicting demand for citizens -- the demand for privacy and the demand for efficient government -- must be recognized and addressed.

“The government of Ontario intends to implement the guidelines on governmental use of the social insurance number on June 30, 1981.”


Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, on a point of personal privilege: Yesterday I rose to ask the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) a question, and in her absence I directed the question to the Premier (Mr. Davis), regarding the comments made by the chairman of the Toronto Board of Education on a community television program.

The interviewer, David Shanoff, asked Mrs. Irene Atkinson the following question: “How do you raise the achievement levels of immigrant children and children of low socioeconomic background?” The response from Mrs. Atkinson was, “Well, I am not so sure that you can because I think genetics play a very large part in determining the potential of students.”

Since we have not heard a reaction from the Minister of Education on this important matter, I asked, “Are we to understand that the Minister of Education is in agreement with the position expressed by the chairman of the Toronto Board of Education that workers and immigrants are mentally and/or intellectually deficient and that they pass on their deficiency to their children?”

The Premier began to answer the question by saying: “Seizing the opportunity to reply to that question, and not having heard all of it except the member’s concern about his intellectual deficiency, I could answer and comment on that.”

I feel the Premier chose to answer a serious question in a flippant, thoughtless manner that does not do justice to his station as Premier of this province. The Premier chose instead to attack my personal intelligence. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I demand that the Premier withdraw that unfortunate remark and I will entertain an apology from him when he is in the Legislature.

Mr. Speaker: It is customary for a member to wait until the person he thinks has offended his sensitivities is present. I will await the return of the Premier to see whether he has a response to that.



Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and it concerns the matter of measures to be taken in view of the Italian earthquake and the need to resettle its victims.

The honourable minister will know that I went to the federal Minister of Employment and Immigration, the Honourable Mr. Lloyd Axworthy, yesterday with the suggestion I have made in this House that we should open our borders for victims of the Italian earthquake to come here on an extended visitor status, whereby, under special arrangements, they could stay for two or three years and then go back to Italy once their villages or areas have been rebuilt and resettlement plans have been made. The Minister of Immigration expressed considerable interest, approved the idea in principle and is having his officials work on it. As I expected, he did say he would need co-operation from the provincial government.

Following my question of December 1, has the minister had a chance to reflect on this? Is his government prepared to accept the educational costs, the health care costs and so on that would have to be extended to these visitors if they were permitted to come here on a temporary but extended visitor basis?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, let me answer the question in two parts. First, we would certainly co-operate with the federal government in any program to assist in relocating and in measures that would help to overcome difficulties for families who have suffered great hardship in this disaster.

In so far as the specifics are concerned, we have not had an opportunity to discuss those in detail and I could not comment on those at this time.

Mr. S. Smith: Might I ask if the minister and the government would take into consideration the idea that people might come here on a temporary basis? Perhaps these might be cousins, aunts, uncles or more distant relatives of people already here. They would come under a less stringent form of sponsorship requirement and then have the choice of going home or applying for landed immigrant status, in which case all the usual rules would have to apply.

2:20 p.m.

Under these circumstances, since the province would have to pay for the schooling of the children, the hospitalization of the ill and that sort of thing, would the minister be good enough to give his consideration to this and to get back to the federal Minister of Employment and Immigration as soon as possible, since the federal minister would be very happy to hear what the opinion of Ontario and other provinces would be in this matter?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I would certainly be happy to consider this. I do not recall, but I would want to check my correspondence and that of other ministers, that we have had any communications from the federal minister yet on this particular matter. I would think it might be a good idea, if they are thinking of some special program, that they devise some form of temporary landed immigrant status that would then guarantee these people the rights that landed immigrants have for the time they are going to be here, which would probably simplify a lot of the legal problems for all of us.

However, I would be happy, and I am sure this government would be happy, to consider any measures that can be helpful to the community and the people in Italy in overcoming this disaster.

Mr. Renwick: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Perhaps the government House leader will recall that in the early days of Tory administration in Ontario, it was in the selfish interest of Ontario to arrange an immediate airlift for people from Europe when the government was under the leadership of the late Honourable George Drew. Perhaps the minister would recall those days and recognize when it is in the unselfish interest of Ontario to take an individual initiative on matters on which it has shared constitutional responsibility. The time is now.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I would just like to correct the honourable member, Mr. Speaker. We have never assumed that Ontario really has shared constitutional responsibility in regard to immigration. I think Quebec is the only one that has really taken the full legal meaning of the term “shared responsibility.” We have always accepted that immigration is a federal responsibility.

Mr. Renwick: Does the government House leader remember the George Drew airlift?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Of course, I remember the George Drew airlift very well. I would just tell my friend that I joined the Conservative Party because of a man called George Drew, who I thought was one of the finest Conservative leaders this country ever had. Of course, he was the man who, standing over here in these benches, laid the foundation for 37 years of Tory government in this province.

I recall well that immigration airlift of people from Britain to this country after the war, and the immense contribution those people made. I would be glad to look into the suggestion along with all others that are being made at this time concerning this disaster.


Mr. S. Smith: I would like to ask a question of the Minister of the Environment, Mr. Speaker. The honourable minister said on television this morning, concerning the South Cayuga matter, that there will be hearings on the appropriateness and suitability of South Cayuga as a site for this proposed facility. May I ask the minister who will conduct those hearings and under the authority of what statute will those hearings be carried out?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, those hearings will be carried out with the co-operation of the board and of an appropriate hearing officer. The terms of reference I suggested yesterday could easily be put to the standing committee on resources development for discussion.

Mr. S. Smith: The minister misunderstood. I asked him under what statute; that is a law of Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: By an order in council.

Mr. S. Smith: That does not answer the question.

Since the minister is apparently unaware of these matters, could he please explain who will make up the group, in addition to an unnamed hearing officer, which under order In council, will be designated to carry out the hearing? That is the first simple question.

The second simple question is, under what statute will the group carry out its duties? Will it be under the Environmental Assessment Act, the Environmental Protection Act or the Public Inquiries Act? If it is not going to be under the Environmental Assessment Act, what does the minister see as preferable in any other statute he intends to use?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think we have said consistently, right from day one, that it would not be under the environmental assessment process. Does the Leader of the Opposition understand that? We have said right from day one there would be hearings. We have said right from day one how the corporation would be made up and what its duties would be. For those kinds of things we are still waiting for the corporation. There are many people who are ready, I think, to give us their advice as to who should be on the corporation.

Mr. S. Smith: I did not ask about the corporation.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I know the Leader of the Opposition did not ask that. I am telling him the sequence of events.

Mr. S. Smith: I asked who would conduct the hearings and under what statute.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I will come to that. We are going to have that corporation in place in its entirety. At that time we will discuss with that corporation the appropriate vehicle for the hearings and the appropriate hearing officers. It will be done after that corporation is fully in place. We have worked very hard in the last two weeks to get that corporation in place. We are now waiting for a response from several agencies, which I think will be forthcoming in the next two or three days.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Bearing in mind the crown corporation might wish to make some amendments in what the minister has to propose, would the honourable minister undertake to come back to this Legislature tomorrow, when there will be people from South Cayuga in the galleries, and share with the Legislature what it is the government has in mind for terms of reference for the hearings that will take place? After two weeks, one has to assume the ministry has an idea of the nature of the hearings and of the possible legislation under which those hearings will take place. Why can the minister not undertake to share that with the Legislature before we rise this week?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think the leader of the third party put the case very well. He said it is possible the crown corporation may want to make some valid suggestions. I, for one, am quite prepared to listen to that crown corporation and its suggestions. I cannot listen until it is formed.

Mr. Cassidy: The minister is playing too close to the vest.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I am not playing with anything. I went over Hansard very carefully for the last few days. I suggested on November 25 or November 27 we go to committee -- I think that is an excellent suggestion -- at the time when the corporation will he formed. I said earlier I hoped it would be formed by the end of the year. I think there is every possibility that will occur. At that time we will listen to the corporation and we will go to the committee and be glad to discuss those terms of reference when I have the advantage of advice from the newly formed corporation.

Mr. S. Smith: The minister said on the day he announced Dr. Chant’s appointment that hearings would be held under the Environmental Protection Act “on the merits of the technology.” Since he has said today there will be hearings on the appropriateness and suitability of South Cayuga as a site, may I ask what kind of confusion is in the ministry or in the minister’s mind that prevents him from telling us who will conduct the hearings and under what statute of Ontario the hearings will be conducted? This is the third time I have asked the question. I would like to know what is the problem.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think most of the problem is the honourable member’s unwillingness to listen and to try to interpret what is being said correctly. It is that simple. I said we would make those determinations after the crown corporation is set up. I can put it another way. We are now drafting the terms of reference. They are not finished. Surely that is pretty simple and pretty clear.

I am glad to put on the public record that the question the member has asked is not finished as yet. I think the leader of the third party made an excellent point that the crown corporation headed by, I think, an excellent choice will be supplemented by people from the local community. All of a sudden the leader of the Liberal Party, before the local people have a chance to respond as to who they want to sit on that board --

Mr. G. I. Miller: The minister has never given them a chance. That is the problem right there.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Oh, yes I have.

2:30 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Order. Our very welcome visitors in the gallery are free to sit here and listen, to enjoy it if they wish, but they should not respond with any outbursts of clapping, please.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Let me finish that answer, Mr. Speaker. I would be glad to read from the record of what was clearly said:

“The mayor knows, and rightly so, that Dr. Chant and the corporation will have to satisfy the public as to the appropriateness of the site.” I do not want the Leader of the Opposition today to act as if that was a new revelation. That was said some time ago.

Mr. S. Smith: The minister is backing down. Why does he not back down the whole way?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: The member is dead wrong and he knows it. He would like to see it that way.

Mr. T. P. Reid: That’s not true. Now the minister is talking about the technology.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: No. I used the word “appropriateness,” I think on December 1, or approximately on that date. There it says very clearly on the record, “Nothing short of that would satisfy any of us in this government.” We want the technology discussed with full public participation. I said that over a week ago, maybe 10 days ago, within a day of the original announcement.

They are talking about some change in policy. The only change I have seen around here is on that side of the House when they want to jump on any side that seems advantageous. Particularly, what bothers me is that they do not come to grips with the very seriousness of our waste disposal problems in this province.

We are going to have the best facilities in the world. We are going to have the assistance of the local people, be it the mayor or her appointee or be it the representative from the local federation of agriculture. They are going to sit on that board. They are going to help run it and help make the decisions. That is the kind of public participation we appreciate on this side of the House. It is real action on their part.

Mr. Isaacs: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: How will these hearings we are talking about help the people whose lands are to be expropriated in the area? Why is the honourable minister rushing in to the expropriation of those lands without hearings under the Expropriations Act when the project may not go ahead if the site is found to be unsuitable?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I had a statement read at the meeting last night. It made it very clear about the land owners. I said not only would I be more than prepared to be at a public meeting in the area, but also the next thing I am going to do is meet with the local land owners in a private session. We will be doing that in the near future. I have asked them to set aside some time for me so I can meet with them.

That is the kind of direct consultation that led the mayor of that municipality to say, when I went there before the public announcement, “Isn’t it nice that a government is coming to the people?” Indeed we are; we will continue to do so.


Hon. Mr. Parrott: The members opposite can laugh all they like. There are some people out there who really understand the seriousness of this problem and that the sooner we address it, the sooner we protect the health of every citizen in this province. I say if we do not move, the health and the environment of the total province are in jeopardy. Liquid industrial waste demands solutions; it demands them as soon as we can get to them and that is precisely what we are frying to do.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: How can the honourable minister explain spending $425,000 on the MacLaren report that came out last year to justify the using of the site? How can he reply to the people in that area on that basis? How can they have any trust in his ministry when he is trying to buy them with money and put it in an area to protect his own government over there?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I really have a little difficulty understanding how the spending of $425,000 on a consultant’s report is somehow or other buying that local community. I really do not understand that. I am sure that if we had not done that rather extensive survey and assessment of this province we would have been accused of not having looked at the total problem. It was an excellent and wise use of public funds to have that survey done.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have another question for the Minister of the Environment related to reports about dioxin in chicken livers and dioxin found in fish in Lake Ontario with levels that are among the highest in the world.

Since the ministry now has a lab for detecting dioxin which is one of the most modern in the world, can the minister explain why his officials are refusing to confirm whether they have detected dioxin in fish in Lake Ontario when they have been sending samples to labs in other provinces and states to get confirmation of their findings? Will he give the House a definitive statement about what levels of dioxin have been determined from the Ontario testing of dioxin in Lake Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have a chance to correct what I think is some erroneous information in today’s press. When we saw that report we immediately contacted the people in New York state to get some confirmation of whether that was their understanding. I believe those people now are making a pretty concentrated effort to contact the media and correct that impression which is, in their opinion, wrong. They are referring to testing of some time ago.

It is true that last year in this House we said we were sending samples not only to New York but to Minnesota, I believe, as well -- two or three other places -- because we did not have the facilities to test for dioxin. On that basis, because of the importance of it, we established our lab facilities.

Just a week or two ago I said in the House we have now established those facilities. They are in operation. We have done a lot of testing on the drinking water. We have not yet done enough tests in our fish testing program to issue reports. We have been doing fish testing for some 10 years. In that last statement I was referring to dioxin testing. We can do about 14 samples a week at this time. We will try to speed that up as we become more familiar with the techniques of doing that sampling.

We are also trying to test samples of the same fish with other jurisdictions so that when those tests from ourselves and other facilities go out, we will have the same sample tested. I think that will help to achieve a more consistent approach. Then people will not be confused by various results from different samples, which logically could vary one from the other. So we are now in a position where, in the near future, we will be able to tell the leader of the third party the results of our fish testing program.

I would add that the lab that did the testing was closed down for some time.

In summary, I think a good deal of that information the leader of the third party is basing that question on was inaccurate. That is a statement from the source.

Mr. Cassidy: The officials of the New York laboratories indicate they are now discovering levels of dioxin in fish in Lake Ontario which, apart from Vietnam and the vicinity of the Dow Chemical plant, are the highest they have found in the world.

Can the ministry give any assurance to people who are concerned about eating fish as to what the dangers may be? Will the ministry undertake to establish a task force that could report by the end of January next year with specific information on dioxin levels that may be found in fish, chicken and other foods available to Ontario consumers? Will it also provide unbiased information about whether there is any level that is safe?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I guess I did not make it clear that the people who said that are denying that is their position. They are saying that information about those highest levels is not correct. It certainly is not our current position.

We have only been doing our dioxin testing on fish in the last few weeks. When sufficient samples are available to give out a scientifically satisfactory report, of course we will give that to the House. We always have done this. It will not be new procedure. As soon as that information is available, based on a reasonable number out of the sample, it will be provided.

2:40 p.m.

On December 19 we are meeting with other jurisdictions to discuss this whole problem of testing and putting out that information on a full and complete basis. We will be more than happy to give the member that information as soon as it becomes available.

Mr. McGuigan: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment may wish to refer this supplementary to the Minister of Agriculture and Food: What steps are being taken to see that wood chips treated with pentachlorophenol, which I believe leads to dioxin, are not used in the production of poultry? What steps are being taken to see that this is not done?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, the only thing I know on that is dioxin in wood chips is a contaminant. I think the Minister of Agriculture and Food can tell the member what action was taken previously, and I would ask him to do so.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, I say to the members of the House, the recent news with respect to dioxin in chicken livers pertains to a study that was conducted by the federal government two years ago. It does not relate to chicken currently on the market. The Department of National Health and Welfare has all the data from that study and has made interpretations, because it was responsible for testing for dioxin.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food can and does test for PCP but does not analyse for dioxin. During the past two years the Ministry of Agriculture and Food has taken very positive steps to remove any problem that might exist in commercial flocks from use of wood shavings and sawdust that have been treated with a preservative. Action taken included informing the poultry industry in 1978 about the possible dangers of using these shavings. We also offered a testing service to poultry producers wishing to have the quality of their shavings determined. This testing was for PCP only and not dioxin. We encouraged poultry producers to obtain shavings from sources where wood had not been treated or to switch to other bedding material, such as straw. We initiated research into the effect of pure PCP, dioxin-free, on poultry production and reproduction.

The ministry continues to offer a testing service to the producers and encourages all producers to avoid the use of this wood or the litter connected with it. Testing services are available through the provincial pesticides residue testing laboratory of the ministry, located at the University of Guelph, for a modest fee. Although the ministry test does not measure dioxin content, it does identify materials that are free from PCP. Any material free from PCP is also free from dioxin.

It should be added that the Canada Department of Agriculture has restricted the use of PCP and plans further restrictions in January 1981.

Mr. Samis: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Does the Minister of the Environment have any further information as to the extent of the sampling at the eastern portion of Lake Ontario, when the sampling was done and at what locations?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I think I heard the member ask if I had identified those areas yet.

Mr. Samis: Has he any further information as to the location, the extent and the time it was done?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: When we have those tests completed, we will identify the area the fish were taken from and the level of dioxin that is in them, if any. I remind the honourable members that we can test to one part per trillion. We have done extensive reports and testing on water in the Niagara River and Lake Ontario, and we have not been able to detect any dioxin. I repeat, we can test to one part per trillion; so our ability to test is extremely sensitive. Thank God, we have not been able to find any dioxin in the drinking water of the people of that area. I think that is extremely good news. But, at the same time, I want to tell the members we will not stop there. There will be a continuous monitoring of the drinking water, the fish and the herring gull eggs, the whole bit on dioxin, and we will tell them where and how much as often as we possibly can.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I was hoping the Premier would be here by now but in his absence I have a question for the Deputy Premier.

Is the Deputy Premier aware that, at the morning meeting today of the select committee on plant shutdowns and employee adjustment, three more Conservative back-benchers endorsed the committee’s recommendation for interim legislation that would ensure that, before this House rose, we passed severance pay provisions in the law of Ontario to protect workers who may be laid off through shutdowns this winter? Given the growing support of Conservative back-benchers for the concept of severance pay, can the Deputy Premier assure the House that the government will bring back Bill 191 before the House rises and include in it the severance pay measure which now has the unanimous endorsement of the select committee?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I have to admit that the proceedings of this morning’s meeting have not been brought to my attention.

I am in no position to give such an assurance. I can only draw the attention of the honourable member and that of the House to the statement by the Minister of Labour, when he introduced the legislation, indicating he wanted to provide an opportunity for those who had some interest in this matter to attend before the committee. I find it surprising to learn that the committee would want to foreclose that opportunity for public input.

Mr. Cassidy: There are now five Conservative back-benchers on the committee who have endorsed the concept after hearing from the Minister of Labour on several occasions. Will the Deputy Premier explain to the Legislature why the government is preparing to bring forward on an interim basis amendments with respect to pensions despite the fact we have yet to have the Royal Commission on Pensions report or the recommendations of the final report of the select committee on plant shutdowns and employee adjustment? If the government is prepared to move on an interim basis with respect to pensions, why would it not be prepared also to move on an interim basis with respect to severance pay to protect workers who are threatened by shutdowns over the course of the coming four or five months?

Hon. Mr. Welch: It was obvious the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Drea) wanted to address some particular matters of the legislation. I can only repeat what I have already said in response to the question and what has been said consistently since this line of questioning was introduced in the House, that the government wanted to provide the opportunity. It was quite open in making its intentions known. It has not in any way written off the possibility of that ultimately becoming part of the legislative package of this province. It simply asks for the opportunity for those who have some contribution to make in this general discussion to appear before the committee.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister not aware that last week in this very House we went through a process in which we decided collectively that the Legislature and the committees of the Legislature -- in this case the standing committee on administration of justice -- had a fundamental right to pursue their aims and objectives and that their voice should be heard? We established in the Re-Mor case that those documents should be provided on a majority vote and, even in this particular case, members of all three parties agreed to it. We are only trying to provide a minimum as far as severance pay goes, and why can we not have that in place before we leave before Christmas?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, all I am pointing out is that it is absolutely the same question. We have been very consistent, and to attempt to indicate that the government is not sympathetic to this matter is completely irresponsible. It is amazing what a full gallery will do on an afternoon as far as grandstanding is concerned.


Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, on a point of personal privilege: The minister is imputing motives to all of us in this chamber, and it is not a matter of that. We are facing hard times. We want to see some minimum standards in severance pay.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I am not imputing motives to any other member except the one whose question I am responding to. The member can wave his arms around, but he is not going to convince thinking people in this province that this government has adopted any position in opposition to the principle we maintain coming from this side. The members opposite want to foreclose the opportunity of public input into this particular discussion.


Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I have 300 letters here addressed to the Premier (Mr. Davis) and the Minister of the Environment. I would like to read one of the letters and then pose a question on the point that the writer is making. This letter, from one of the students in Haldimand county’s J. L. Mitchener Public School, is addressed to the Premier:

“Although I am not yet of voting age, I am nevertheless deeply concerned that any provincial government in a free, democratic country such as Canada” --

Mr. Speaker: Order. Is this a petition?

Mr. G. I. Miller: It is a question, Mr. Speaker.

Ms. Speaker: Is there a question?

Mr. G. I. Miller: There definitely is -- “should arbitrarily suspend the citizens’ rights to full independent hearings on such an important” --

Mr. Speaker: What is the question?

Mr. G. I. Miller: I am coming to it, Mr. Speaker

Mr. Speaker: What is the question? Put your question forthwith.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Given that this letter was written by a 12-year-old, Christine Clinton, from the public school in Cayuga, will the minister rescind the decision to proceed with the permanent liquid industrial waste treatment facility and follow the province’s own environmental assessment process, which includes a full environmental study under the terms of the Environmental Assessment Act and an independent public hearing by the Environmental Assessment Board before proceeding with any such facility, so that the rights and the privileges of the people of that part of Ontario are protected and not bought by money?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I am going to have to ask the member to put up on the accusation that somebody is being bought. I want to know who and by how much, and I want to know it now.

Mr. G. I. Miller: What I am asking is for the rights of the people of that part of Ontario to be protected by the legislation of this Legislature. That is all. It is a simple question, and I expect an answer.


Mr. Speaker: Order. I distinctly heard the member for Haldimand-Norfolk saying that somebody was being bought. Is that what you meant to say? That is an imputation of motives.

Mr. G. I. Miller: They are proposing to put in a bridge to appease the area. There was a study made indicating that lands in classes 1, 2, 3 and 4 should not be used for waste purposes, and that study was brought out in 1979. They brought out another study in August of this year indicating that the land should be utilized, and they spent $425,000 on that study. If the minister can explain to the people in my area how that is not --

Mr. Mancini: They are being bought with their own money.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Correct. People are being bought with their own money. I think it is obvious that the people want a fair hearing under the legislation of this Legislature.

Hon Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I still have not heard a response to the “being bought” accusation. That really concerns me a great deal. If the placing of a facility like a bridge is buying people, the House is frequently asked to buy the people. That is utter nonsense. Of course we put in facilities. Of course we put in hospitals and schools and bridges. That is the thing we do. But that was not the implication in that question. I am totally unsatisfied.

I do not press, but let me tell about the hearing. I have said it here consistently for two weeks. There will be a hearing; it will be on the technology and on the safety of that site.


Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I have a serious question for the Deputy Premier. I wonder whether he will explain to the House --


Mr. Mackenzie: Will the Liberals along there sit down?

Mr. Speaker: The member for Hamilton East can continue.


Mr. Sargent: On a point of order --

Mr. Speaker: Will the honourable member just take his seat? Please take your seat.

Mr. Sargent: Will you listen to my question?

Mr. Speaker: No, I will not. It is as simple as that.

Mr. Mackenzie: Will the Deputy Premier tell this House, and give us a clearer answer than he did a few minutes ago, why he is prepared to move on amendments to the Pensions Act before the umbrella groups can have the hearings to have some input into those amendments, and yet he is not prepared to move on the amendments with reference to severance pay when he has a unanimous recommendation of the committee? How does he explain this double standard that is apparent in this House?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I see them as two separate items, and we are attempting to show how those matters referred to in the legislation being introduced by the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations could proceed. What I was attempting to do, and we have both ministers here, was to explain the consistency of the position being taken by the Minister of Labour, who was attempting to emphasize the importance of the process.

I do not think anyone was calling into question what the ultimate resolution may be with respect to principle. Rather, the process being put in place is to provide an opportunity with respect to severance for those who have some interest in the subject to make presentations. I asked the question, why would the member not want to hear these representations? That is all. That is the basic distinction to be made in these two issues.

Mr. Mackenzie: He is not consistent in terms of the pensions. He is not consistent.

Mr. Speaker: Order. You are just repeating questions asked previously today. It was just a repetition of your previous question.


Mr. Ashe: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications. Is the minister aware of a news report last week on a local radio station which suggested the Liberal government in Ottawa is finally recognizing its responsibilities of commitment to public transit in this province and indicated through a statement by the federal Minister of Transport, Mr. Pepin, that it is prepared to provide the $30 million negotiated with the previous government in Ottawa? Is that a fact?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of that. I had a luncheon meeting with Mr. Pepin on Monday of this week and he did not mention any change in his plan; so I am not aware of any change.

Mr. Ashe: In that same news report, of which I have a transcript, there is an indication given by Mr. Pepin that each province receives $10 per person in grants, which for Ontario would be $85 million. The implication is that this is per annum. Is that correct?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Some of the press reports I saw, as well as Hansard from Ottawa which was sent to me, indicated Mr. Pepin saying in Hansard that Ontario got $68 million per year under the urban transportation assistance program. I know that was obviously a mistake on Mr. Pepin’s part, because the $10 per capita is for a five-year program based on $2 per year, which gives Ontario $16.25 million a year, not $68 million a year. If it were $68 million a year, I would be much happier.

Mr. Speaker: Do we have the unanimous consent of the House to revert to statements by the ministry to allow the Minister of Education to make a statement on something the minister thinks is of very important significance?

Agreed to.



Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I should like the honourable members of the House to know that I have just been informed that the teachers of Norfolk county have ratified, by a vote of 172 to 50, acceptance of the offer and the schools will reopen on Friday.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr Speaker, for clarification, the rumour is going around that the students of Norfolk county will not be accepted at the University of Waterloo or at Ridgetown this year. Can the minister tell us whether that is correct?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, that has not been the position of any university or post-secondary institution in Ontario under any circumstance. The students in the county of Norfolk have more than adequate time to make up time that was lost, through a number of mechanisms that have been suggested to both the board and the teachers’ federation, to ensure that their educational program is complete.



Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, I see the Premier is taking his place. Well, in the absence of the Premier from the Legislature, I will ask --

Mr. Speaker: Will you please put your question?

Mr. Grande: My question, Mr. Speaker, is to the Premier. In view of the fact that on Monday, December 1, I asked the Premier a question regarding making representation and using his influence with the federal government to allow entry into our country of all the earthquake victims who wish to emigrate to Canada, whether or not they have close family ties here, and in view of the fact that he agreed at that time to make such a representation to the government in Ottawa, has the Premier talked with the federal Minister of Employment and Immigration? If he has, what was the response? If he has not, does he realize he is allowing Stuarts-come-lately to exploit the issue for political purposes?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I do not want to get into the same problem as yesterday, which I will reply to in a second. I did not hear the last part of the question.

Mr. Grande: For the benefit of the Premier, perhaps from now on I should yell a little louder.

Mr. S. Smith: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I had a little difficulty hearing the member. I believe the member did say, and it is reported to me that he did imply, that I had somehow been trying to exploit the issue of this devastating tragedy in Italy for political purposes. I would suggest that is a very dishonourable motive to impute and I would ask the member to be a gentleman and withdraw that totally dishonourable imputation of motive.

Mr. Grande: Since the Premier has asked me to --

Mr. S. Smith: I ask you to rule, Mr. Speaker, that that deliberate and most dishonourable imputation of motive be withdrawn by the member.

Mr. Speaker: I heard your point the first time, will the member for Oakwood please take his seat? If what the Leader of the Opposition heard is what you said, I ask you to withdraw it. I did not hear it but, if that is what you said, I would ask you to please withdraw it. It is a statement unbecoming of a member of this House,

Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, the question to the Premier, so the Leader of the Opposition can hear --

Mr. Speaker: Order. Is the Leader of the Opposition misquoting the member for Oakwood?

Mr. Grande: Yes, of course.

Mr. S. Smith: Oh, be a man, Say what you said. Repeat what you said.

Mr. Speaker: I will have to look at the record to see whether the observation made by the member for Hamilton west is valid.


Mr. Speaker: Order. I will check the record, will the member for Oakwood please repeat his question?

Mr. Grande: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question was to the Premier. In view of the fact that on Monday, December 1, I asked the Premier to make representation and use his influence with the federal government to allow entry into our country of all the earthquake victims who wish to emigrate to Canada, whether or not they have close family ties here, and in view of the fact that the Premier at that time agreed to make such representation to the government in Ottawa, has the Premier talked to the federal Minister of Employment and Immigration and, if he has, what was the response? If he has not, does he realize that he is allowing Stuarts-come-lately to exploit the issue for political purposes?

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege --

Mr. Speaker: I still have not got the significance of what was said.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, there are many political issues on which I really do not mind this kind of jesting, I can assure you, but on this particular matter the clear statement by the member was that the Premier, by not going to the federal Minister of Employment and Immigration, was allowing a Stuart-come-lately, obviously referring to my visit with the minister yesterday, to exploit the issue of the Italian earthquake victims for political purposes.

I do not mind if the member wants to suggest that I am able --

Mr. Mackenzie: What are you doing right now but exploiting it?

Mr. S. Smith: Yes, I issued a press release; that is correct.

I do not mind if the honourable member wants to suggest that I adopt a number of policies and so on with an eye to the electorate. If he wants to say that sort of thing, that is fine, we say that about each other all the time in this House. But it just so happens that I have been very profoundly moved by the tragedy in Italy, and in the most sincere way I stood in this House on December 1 and asked as a very ordinary and polite question that a suggestion be taken up, which I then took up myself. He is implying that the motive for this was somehow an attempt to exploit the deaths and the suffering and the maiming of people for political purposes, and that when he asks questions it is simply from the purest of motives, but that anybody else who might be interested in the matter is only speaking out of political motives.

I say to you, Mr. Speaker, we have had a number of jests here and a number of insults back and forth, which we all get used to, but on this issue I insist that the member of the New Democratic Party withdraw the imputation, because I am sure neither the Premier of the province nor I, nor anyone else in this House, has been moving on this matter to exploit the issue for political purposes but rather out of humanitarian consideration. I took the Premier’s motive that way when he donated money on behalf of the people of this province, which he did very sincerely and was very moved at the time, and I would like my own motivation also to he taken that way. I ask the honourable member to be a gentleman and withdraw that very dastardly imputation.

Mr. Speaker: Does the member for Oakwood have anything to say?

Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, if that offends the Leader of the Opposition in this province, then I will change my remark to “Johnnies-come-lately to exploit the issue for political purposes.”

3:10 p.m.

Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, the members of the New Democratic Party have not had the real guts to join with us in defeating the government, yet they take these kinds of shots which are unbecoming to most members of the party. I insist, sir, you make the member for Oakwood take that back and apologize.

Mr. Speaker: My only commitment was to check the record and see if anything that was said was unacceptable and unparliamentary. I will report back. Does the Premier have a response to the question from the member for Oakwood?

Mr. S. Smith: No member of this House has been exploiting it for political purposes. That does not deserve an answer.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I say to the Leader of the Opposition that it happens in many sessions that the fact we are coming to a Christmas break is perhaps not a bad thing. As I tried to say to the Leader of the Opposition, we all play politics. I will get around to the point of order that the member raised because he had been asked by the press. I happen to know that is probably why he raised it earlier today. In doing so, I will endeavour to answer the question.

Mr. Laughren: Are you imputing motives already?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am not imputing motives. I am telling the member the facts of life.

I think we could all do ourselves a little favour. I am prepared to express a point of view to the member for Oakwood for something he felt was a little bit upsetting to him yesterday. I do not impute any motives with respect to his interest. I say that quite genuinely with respect to the earthquake situation in Italy. But if one were to pursue what he was saying a moment or two ago, he might have a word with the member for Wentworth.

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


Hon. Mr. Davis: The member is talking about the give and take in this House. He is talking about the imputation of one member and what he has said.


Mr. Speaker: Order. If the Premier is prepared or wishes to answer to the question posed by the member for Oakwood, will he please say so right now.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Yes, Mr. Speaker. Before the member for Wentworth gets too upset, I meant the member for Wentworth North (Mr. Cunningham). Before the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) chuckles too much, I wish he would read what one of his members said and wonder, as I am wondering out loud, whether he wants to be associated with that. I pose that as a question and I intend to say no more. I will deal with the question, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Forthwith, to the member for Oakwood.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, my recollection of my answer was that I did not give any undertakings, because I do not like to give undertakings where I feel I cannot accomplish something or where the government itself has not made a determination.

What I think I said to the honourable member was that we shared the concern. I pointed out to him that, unlike some provinces where they treat it as a matter of joint or divided jurisdiction, the approach we have taken in this province is that immigration has been solely the responsibility of the government of Canada. I think I went on to say my impression was that Mr. Axworthy was dealing with this matter -- this was about a week ago -- in a way that I felt appeared to be going in the right direction. I think the government shares the concerns expressed by all members of the House as to what more we might be doing. I am not sufficiently knowledgeable to know exactly what those things may be.

I anticipate the government of Canada will be making further alterations to its policy. I anticipate this with respect to the concerns all of us have expressed. I convey that to the honourable member. I assure him this government will make every effort, both in terms of rehabilitation and in terms of those people who are coming to Ontario, to assist in any way we can. If this means further discussion with the government of Canada with respect to immigration, if the government of Canada says this is all we are going to do, then I am prepared to undertake this. But I say to the honourable member, my impression is that the government of Canada is giving further consideration to the points that are being raised.

On the point of order he raised earlier today --

Mr. Di Santo: Just apologize.

Hon. Mr. Davis: For once why does the member not just sit and listen? He can be so self-righteous.

Mr. Grande: Will you answer the question I asked?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am replying to the point of order which I gather the member raised. I have not read Hansard. I do not intend to read Hansard. I know exactly what transpired yesterday. I can almost tell him what was said. He directed a question to the Minister of Education, who was not in her seat, and he redirected to me. I listened and I tried very hard, but I say to him quite honestly, I do not hear most of what he is saying. I do not know whether it is the acoustics, whether it is because perhaps he should talk with a little more volume -- I have the same trouble with the member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden). I do not know what it is about those two seats. I do not.

Mr. Breaugh: Can you hear me all right?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I never have difficulty hearing the member for Oshawa. I can hear him here. They can hear him in Oshawa. I never have that problem.

I cannot even recall how the member concluded the final part of his question. I only say to him, I have never in this House in any deliberate fashion attempted to embarrass another member of this Legislature in the way that one or two members -- only one or two members of the gallery -- were suggesting.

If the honourable member felt this was happening, I offer my apology. However, I would give him a little word of advice: For heaven’s sake, develop a minimum sense of humour. I have listened to his colleagues across there --

Mr. T. P. Reid: Can’t expect an NDPer to have a sense of humour.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Of course they do not have any sense of humour.

I have listened to some of his colleagues call into question the intellectual capacity of people on this side of the House for the past 20 years. But does he know something? I do not object to it. But please, if we suggest facetiously on occasion that the people over there are not so bright -- in fact, I think the public has demonstrated over the years they regard that to be the truth -- please do not take umbrage.

I should say one further thing on his point of order, which I did not hear, but I understand he said he was not satisfied with my answer. If he checks Hansard, which I have not, he will see I did not attempt to answer his question. I redirected it to the minister to whom he had initially directed the question. So how in heaven’s name could he be dissatisfied with my answer? That is my reply to the member’s point of order.


Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: I heard, on what I guess they call the squawk box, reference made to me. The Premier (Mr. Davis) talks about others being self-righteous. I think he has the sole domain of that tied up.

It is regrettable that the Premier wants to continue this matter. Frankly, I regret the attention that has been given to this and the attendant embarrassment that has resulted for the member for Oriole (Mr. Williams) and his family. I regret that the Premier has chosen to make such an issue of it.



Mr. Cureatz from the standing committee on general government reported the following resolution:

That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of Housing be granted her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1981:

Ministry administration program, $11,696,000; community planning program, $91,300,000; land development program, $35,054,000; community development program, $23,036,000; Ontario Housing Corporation program, $126,938,000; Ontario Mortgage program, $9,812,000.

Mr. Speaker: Could we have a little order please? It is extremely difficult to hear these reports being read.

3:20 p.m.


Mr. Cureatz from the standing committee on general government presented the following report and moved its adoption:

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

Bill Pr42, An Act respecting the Italian Canadian Benevolent Corporation (Toronto District).

Your committee begs to report the following bill without amendment:

Bill Pr46, An Act respecting the Borough of York;

Your committee would further recommend that the fees, less the actual cost of printing, be remitted on Bill Pr42, An Act respecting the Italian Canadian Benevolent Corporation (Toronto District).

Report adopted.


Mr. Gaunt from the standing committee on social development presented the following report and moved its adoption:

Your committee recommends that Bill Pr31, An Act respecting Canadian School of Management, be not reported and that the fees, less the actual cost of printing, be remitted with respect thereto.

Report adopted.


Mr. Villeneuve from the standing committee on resources development reported the following resolution:

That supply in the following amount and to defray the expenses of the Provincial Secretariat for Resources Development be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1981:

Resources development policy program, $2,821,000.

Mr. Villeneuve from the standing committee on resources development presented the following report and moved its adoption:

Your committee recommends that Appendix A, Mineral Aggregate Resource Planning Policy for the Government of Ontario, dated September 2, 1980, or any version thereof, be not approved as government policy, but rather any policy deemed necessary after the passage of Bill 127, An Act to revise the Pits and Quarries Control Act, 1971, be developed in conformity with the bill as approved by the House.

On motion by Mr. Villeneuve, the debate was adjourned.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if you and the members of the House would allow me to present a petition. There was so much noise at the time the orders were called that I was unable to hear you.

Mr. Speaker: Do we have unanimous agreement to revert to petitions?

Agreed to.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, there is still a Christmas spirit.



Mr. Laughren: To the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly from the residents of Rayside-Balfour within the regional municipality of Sudbury; this is signed by 1,314 residents of that fine community: “We, the undersigned citizens of Rayside-Balfour, would like to see an extended care wing added to the Rosemont residence in Chelmsford as soon as possible in order to accommodate senior citizens of the area who can no longer look after themselves.”

Mr. Speaker: Who will pay for that?

Mr. Laughren: We will get the money where we can.

Mr. Speaker: The honourable member knows that he cannot address a petition that prays for the expenditure of funds. We will simply send it to the appropriate minister.



Hon. Mr. Wells moved that on Thursday, December 11, 1980, the House sit at 10 a.m. with routine proceedings at 2 p.m.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answers to questions 405, 407, 414, 418, 419, 423 and 424 standing on the Notice Paper. (See appendix, page 5180.)



The following bills were given third reading on motion:

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

Bill 168, An Act to amend the Juries Act, 1974;

Bill 169, An Act to provide for Liability for Injuries caused by Dogs;

Bill 182, An Act to amend the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act;

Bill 187, An Act to amend the Retail Sales Tax Act.


Hon Mr. Wells moved third reading of Bill 199, An Act to amend the Ontario Unconditional Grants Act, 1975.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, may I make a comment on section 1(2) of Bill 199, which reads as follows; “Where the minister is of the opinion that property taxes in a municipality are unduly high or have been or may be unduly increased because of (a) a substantial loss of revenue previously available to a municipality ... the minister may, by order, make a grant or a loan to the municipality under such terms and conditions as the minister considers necessary in the circumstances.”

I would like the minister to assure us that under this section of the act, this would mean that the city of Windsor now can expect some assistance on the $35 million that is owing to it as a result of the Ontario Unconditional Grants Act in the past.

Motion agreed to.


The following bill was given third reading on motion;

Bill 200, An Act to amend the Regional Municipality of Peel Act, 1973.


Mr. Belanger moved second reading of Bill Pr41, An Act respecting the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Ontario.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.

3:30 p.m.


Mr. Rotenberg moved second reading of Bill Pr45, An Act respecting the Powers of the Jewish Family and Child Service of Metropolitan Toronto.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. Ashe moved second reading of Bill Pr48.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Ashe moved third reading of Bill Pr48.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that the committee changed the name of that bill. Why does that not appear on the official list as it goes through second and third reading procedures?

Mr. Speaker: It should have if that is the case.

Mr. Ashe: Mr. Speaker, the name was changed by a duly approved motion in committee.

Mr. Speaker: And it is not reflected on the Order Paper?

Mr. Ashe: Not in the designation on here, Mr. Speaker, but I am sure it is designated in the appropriate --

Mr. Nixon: This is the only appropriate place.

Mr. Speaker: If that was the intent, I think it should be corrected now before it gets third reading.

Mr. Nixon: Why can we not move third reading with the appropriate name, Mr. Speaker? We would certainly agree to that.

Mr. Ashe: Mr. Speaker, you will note when I moved second and third readings, I just used the bill number and not the name in any event, on the assumption that the correct name would of course appear in the final printed bill.

Mr. Speaker: The problem is the table officer designates it by its name.

Mr. Nixon: Why do you not move it with its proper name?

Mr. Ashe: I don’t remember what it was. I now have to remember what it was.

Mr. Nixon: Was it not Redeemer Calvinist Reform or something like that?

Mr. Ashe: If you would carry on for a moment, Mr. Speaker, I can clarify the actual name we amended it to.

Mr. Speaker: We will withhold the motion for third reading and see whether we can get that information.


Mr. Rotenberg, on behalf of Mr. Ramsay, moved second reading of Bill Pr49, An Act to revive Gradore Mines Limited,

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. Watson moved second reading of Bill Pr50, An Act respecting the City of Kingston.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. Nixon, on behalf of Mr. S. Smith, moved second reading of Bill Pr51, An Act respecting the Hamilton Club.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. Watson moved second reading of Bill Pr53, An Act to revive McColl Farms Limited.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


The following bill was given third reading on motion:

Bill Pr48, An Act to incorporate Redeemer Reformed Christian College.


Hon. Mr. Gregory, on behalf of Mr. Rotenberg, moved second reading of Bill Pr42, An Act respecting the Italian Canadian Benevolent Corporation (Toronto District).

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. MacDonald moved second reading of Bill Pr46, An Act respecting the Borough of York.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Resuming the adjourned debate on the motion for second reading of Bill 209, An Act to revise and extend Protection of Human Rights in Ontario.

Mr. McClellan: The ex-leader of the Liberal Party should not go away mad; he will get time too.

Mr. Speaker, I want to continue the remarks I had started to make the other evening. I will not repeat, but let me at least recapitulate. I think I was simply stating a reality when I said the bill really deals in a thorough way with only one group of people -- that is the physically handicapped.

As I said before, there is a great silence in the bill and it is a very regrettable silence. It has to do with sexual orientation. I think the government should read the words of distinguished commissioners of a few years ago who were authors of the report on human rights in Ontario, Life Together. They were very clear and unequivocal with respect to the kind of discrimination that takes place within our society because of sexual orientation. They recommended that sexual orientation be included in a modern updated code. I hope there is still an opportunity on the part of the government to remedy that defect.

Other groups that are referenced in Bill 209 are really just referenced and not provided the same kind of comprehensive coverage that the physically handicapped are afforded. Let me illustrate again: I said the other night I did not think women were dealt with particularly effectively under this bill, and the minister sort of scrunched up his face in disagreement.

Let us look at the sexual harassment provision and -- I don’t wish to seem flippant -- look at it in the context of another bill that we just gave third reading to a few minutes ago. A few minutes ago we passed Bill 169, An Act to provide for Liability for Injuries caused by Dogs. One of the things we did in that bill was remove the right of the dog to a free bite, if I am not mistaken. I have not been following that bill with great attention, but I thought what we did in that bill was say the dog no longer has a free bite.

3:40 p.m.

Looking at the Human Rights Code in front of us, discrimination by virtue of sexual harassment is barred only if it is persistent. What does “persistent” mean? How many incidents of unwarranted and unwanted sexual solicitation or sexual harassment must a woman put up with before she is afforded protection under the act? That is the kind of thing I am talking about when I say other groups are dealt with in a very cursory way or not at all. That is regrettable.

I want to focus on the position of the physically handicapped, because that is ostensibly what this bill deals with. Let me try to be more clear today. If it is the purpose of this bill to end discrimination in Ontario against the physically handicapped, it is not going to happen by virtue of this statute. I do not think anybody should delude himself that the kind of discrimination and exclusion that handicapped people have experienced in our society. is going to be changed because of this act.

Discrimination against the physically handicapped is different from the kind of discrimination other groups of people experience. Discrimination against the physically handicapped is not simply personal or attitudinal, it is also structural. The physically handicapped are systematically excluded from housing accommodation, not simply because landlords are biased against handicapped people, but also because of the structural problem that buildings are not adapted to accommodate handicapped people. Handicapped people are excluded from the work place, not just because employers are biased against handicapped people and have a bad attitude, they are also excluded because our work places are not adapted to accept handicapped people in a physical way.

Unless the government is prepared to deal with the structural discriminations against the physically handicapped, this bill will be as useful as the kind of constitution we find in certain eastern European countries. It looks very nice on paper, but it does nothing to bring about an end to violations of human rights. If the physically handicapped are not permitted to gain access to normal rental accommodation on the basis of full equality with everybody else, then the discrimination is perpetuated. The bill before us has all kinds of loopholes. It has more loopholes than a loan shark’s mortgage, unless the government deals with the structural problems.

I do not see any evidence on the part of this government that it is prepared to move on the structural problems with respect to occupancy. Let me repeat, it is not enough to have a nice little phrase that says every person has a right to equal treatment in the occupancy of accommodation.

Unless the government is prepared to move on amendments to part five of the building code, unless the government is willing to stop its hypocrisy with respect to exclusionary zoning bylaws which are prohibiting the development of group homes for physically handicapped or mentally retarded people in nearly all the municipalities of this province, unless the government is prepared to come up with programs to provide funding to establish independent-living apartment facilities with support services built in for the physically handicapped, this legislation will be meaningless because of the exemption possibilities.

With respect to employment, unless the government is prepared to deal with the issue of reasonable accommodation, which has to do with the right of handicapped people to have access in the first instance either to a personnel office or to the work place, the employment provisions of Bill 209 will not have any reality.

We had some discussion earlier in the session about sheltered workshops in this province. I raised a question to the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) who, with her usual incapacity to understand, sloughed the answer off saying I was talking about sheltered workshops for the mentally retarded. I was not. I was talking about sheltered workshops for the physically handicapped. I do not have my file with me but somewhere between 30 and 40 per cent of the sheltered workshops for the physically handicapped in this province are not accessible to wheelchairs.

The mind boggles. These are workshops that are funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services. These are workshops whose employees are working on the authority of a ministerial exemption from the minimum wage laws issued by the Minister of Labour, whose bill this is. The Minister of Labour is doing his own study of sheltered workshops, which pay something in the order of, on average, 30 cents an hour to handicapped people.

This is the kind of discrimination that this bill will not even be able to contemplate. I should correct that. There is a provision in section 14 of the bill. I welcome that provision very sincerely because it will be a way of getting a handle on what is going on in these sheltered workshops, particularly for the physically handicapped and physically disabled. It provides a means of review, I assume. The minister will correct me if I have taken the wrong interpretation, but it would be a means of reviewing whether an employee who is in a sheltered workshop by virtue of an exemption from the minimum wage is really in a bona fide special program that is designed to relieve hardship.

My interpretation is precisely the opposite, if the minister is interested. I think a lot of these situations are the cause of hardship of our constituents who have been in sheltered workshops for pennies an hour over a period of 10 years. Does the minister think they are particularly pleased with this kind of patronizing, second-rate treatment? Of course they are not. I expect there will be, litigation as quickly as this section is passed and there will be cases brought before the commission for its adjudication.

If they are not brought forward by other people, they will be brought forward by me. I think the situation in this province with respect to employment opportunities for the physically handicapped is an absolute and utter disgrace, and nothing in this bill will change that. That will only be changed by a series of programs initiated, I hope, by the Minister of Labour to deal with this exclusion of handicapped people from their rightful place in our work places. That will require not legislation, but programs.

Finally, there is the area of economic right. That is something that does not get addressed. But if we understand correctly that 80 per cent of handicapped people are unemployed, as the Canadian Council on Social Development tells us, we understand that group will be living on some kind of social assistance program. We have said the solution lies in the development of employment opportunities, but we cannot ignore the mess in income security programs. Again that is not something that can be dealt with in human rights legislation. But that is at the very heart and soul of the plight of physically handicapped people in this province and in this country, whether they are injured workers victimized by the Workmen’s Compensation Board, or whether they are handicapped people on social assistance or welfare programs or whether they are handicapped people on Canada pension disability programs.

In any case they are the victims of a second-rate, haphazard, hotchpotch income security program that consigns them to sub-poverty levels of existence. How do we make the wonderful words of the preamble to this act have any kind of reality for those people? Nothing in this bill will do it.

If this government can only find the will and the determination to end these kinds of injustices, it could deal with them. The minister has promised reforms to the Workmen’s Compensation Act, but it is going to take a lot more than that. It is not simply going to be Weiler recommendations implemented that will deal with the economic injustice suffered by handicapped people. There will have to be changes right across the board.

3:50 p.m.

There are in this country something in the order of 86 separate income maintenance programs. It is absolutely mind-boggling. We have one of the worst and craziest social security systems in the western industrial world. The minister is dealing with a little tiny piece of it, a little tiny corner; the rest of it remains untouched. His government remains intransigent with respect to changes in the Canada pension plan as it affects disabled people. His government remains indifferent with respect to the inadequacies of our provincial and municipal social assistance legislation.

His government is dealing with a tiny piece in isolation, and nowhere is it dealing with the overall problem and the overall approach to economic rights issues as they affect handicapped people. Unless that is dealt with, the rhetoric in this bill will remain simply that. It is nice-sounding rhetoric but it will not mean very much to real people who live in wheelchairs or who walk with crutches.

In concluding, I want to talk very briefly about what has become a persistent problem with the commission. That has to do with its administration. There was a marvellous quote from Aneurin Bevan, “You can make your laws as nice as you like but what counts is the spirit of administration.” That is where the real problem is with the Ontario Human Rights Commission in 1980. The minister knows it.

We have a Human Rights Code that appears to be fairly tough with respect to racial discrimination. It is already in the language of the statute. Yet there are serious problems of credibility within multicultural communities such as Metropolitan Toronto with respect to the capacity of the human rights commission to have any relevance, with respect to the capacity of the human rights commission to respond to complaints, with respect to the capacity of the human rights commission to investigate complaints within a reasonable period of time, with respect to the capacity of this commission to do anything within a reasonable period of time.

It is not as though the government was not warned. The report Life Together has long sections dealing with the lack of resources available to the human rights commission. This was in 1977. I could not find the section that talks about the diffusion of resources, but it is something I recall the commissioners talking about in the Life Together report. They were simply spread too thin to do what was required of them under the act.

They give a warning on page 11 that I want to repeat. “The best legislation in the world is rendered useless if resources are not provided to put them into action.” Further on it says: “Words alone carry no power. They can be with justice labelled ‘window dressing,’ which produces frustration and resentment among the victims of discrimination while bringing comfort to the forces that would divide our communities.”

The record of the commission over the past few years has been one of rhetoric and window dressing. I say that to the minister as forcefully as I can. I believe the code has been rendered almost useless because of the failure of this government to fund it at an adequate level to employ sufficient staff to do what is required under the code, and to bring in the kind of people who could give leadership to the administration of the human rights commission. Unless that is done, this bill will simply be, as the commissioners predicted in 1977, window dressing.

That is all I wanted to say. I would be interested to hear from the minister what he intends to do with respect to the administration of the code. If he does not think he has problems in that area then he has been locking himself in his office and ignoring the voices of respectable community leaders in this city, in this metropolitan area and in this province. I do not think I have to spell it out in black and white for him. He has real problems and he is going to have to deal with them. He knows what those problems are as does virtually every other member in this House. Unless he deals with them, his fine rhetoric, his good intentions and his good draftsmanship, which I acknowledge in parts of Bill 209, will be an unfulfilled promise.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the minister, and his staff for bringing forward these amendments. I believe they are well founded and certainly well drafted. I want to say more about that In a few moments.

I was first elected to this House in 1962, the year when the original bill, which we now recognize as a landmark, was introduced. I hasten to assure the House I do not take any of the credit for that original legislation. It seemed to go through the House rather readily, without recognition that it was probably one of the most important endeavours any Legislature could undertake then or subsequently.

The minister introduced his ill-begotten bill last year, which might have been an amendment to this legislation. Every time it is referred to I notice he flushes, that is, in the physiological sense.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I blush with regard to your flip-flop.

Mr. Nixon: Well, the minister must surely be aware of our support for any statute we might pass that safeguards and extends the rights of the handicapped. The minister did not have the intestinal fortitude in those days to bring back amendments that might have been subject to amendment in ways he was not prepared to support or even to contemplate. The bill was consigned, I think rather properly, to the dustbin.

The matter has been, in my view, put before us quite well in these amendments, although my colleagues who are quite anxious this be reviewed by a committee feel that, even in the instance of the rights of the handicapped, there are improvements that should be considered.

I mentioned the drafting of the bill. I can understand it was no easy task. In my opinion, it was well carried out. I am not sure whether the minister, in the quiet of his surgery, contemplated the words. He may have had nothing directly to do with it other than to provide the guidance and final approval, which in itself is of great importance.

I am not sure the preamble registers with the preamble of the Bill of Rights or the constitution of the United States, but it sounds well. I just want to read a couple of lines from the preamble:

“ ... the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world ... ” To continue: “ ... it is public policy in Ontario to recognize that every person is equal in dignity and worth and to provide for equal rights and opportunities without discrimination that is contrary to law, and having as its aim the creation of a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each person so that each person feels a part of his community and able to contribute fully to the development and wellbeing of the community and the province.”

I think they were well drawn indeed. As one reads and thinks about them, one realizes we have fallen short of that aim but it provides the structure which, in a slightly different climate, might allow us to move forward, not to perfection, although we as Liberals believe in the perfectibility of mankind.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Perfection of mankind.

Mr. Nixon: Not just yet. It does not really require the elimination of any party, although I have a couple in mind. I should say that at least the goals are there and are well expressed. It leads me to say we are fortunate in a community such as ours that so many people can almost say, “What we need these things for, because we have been well protected by the laws as we have known and understood them?”

4 p.m.

The role of the human rights commission has not been a high-profile one, not one that intrudes on a daily and regular basis into the front pages of the dailies. I want to say something brief about that in a moment.

When we compare our traditions and way of life, our recognition of the rule of law in this nation and province with so many other nations where there is oppression, torture and the complete disregard for the value of human life and the self-realization of the human soul, we know that we live in one of the more fortunate jurisdictions anywhere. We are proud of it and if we can improve it, that should be one of our principal aims.

In listening to most of the debate I have been quite interested but I am not prepared to classify it in quality with other debates we have had. All the members know just what pinnacles of quality we achieve here and what opportunities we miss. It is an important debate and yet as so many tend to be, it is sort of a set piece without too much political confrontation in a matter like this. The battles are over in many senses before they begin. I even sense that the battle in this bill is over before it even begins. It is something that can be dealt with perhaps on other occasions.

The commission and its staff, which is highly paid and has an extremely important responsibility, is represented here and yet is singularly noticeable by its lack of interest in the actual views expressed by the members. I am sure this does not, in any way, indicate a disregard for those views and yet I do not know what it does indicate. It surely does not indicate a heavy portfolio of pressing work that means that they cannot be here to listen to the views, whether they can be constructed as pearls or otherwise. I do not suppose it is essential that they be here.

As the member cranes his neck around to the left, I say again that I am well aware that the commission is represented. He is also aware that there have been criticisms, particularly about the administration of the commission and the fact that we ought to perhaps think again as the opportunities to re-energize the concepts of the commission come forward, as they must. I personally feel that we might have looked for other alternatives, not for personnel, but in ways to administer the commission in the past.

The minister has asked for additional funds for field officers, I believe they were called. I gather these people are going to be hired on their ability to communicate to editorial boards and community groups the importance of the commission rather than to go out and assist those individuals who might feel that their rights have been infringed upon. The past speaker and others have referred specifically to the budget we are pushing to expand and have said we are not interested in providing a public relations budget other than to inform the public of their rights and their recourse.

I have not been impressed with the reactions of the commission in cases that have come forward. I do not intend to try to reignite fire in a burned-out tinder but we can think of some that have been important public issues in Toronto and elsewhere where the human rights commission, in my view, might have expressed a view more readily understood or more reacted to by the community at large than it has. There is no reason I cannot be specifically critical, as I am, and I feel we have missed an opportunity to enlarge the public profile and response of the commission itself.

I believe the legislation has been in specific respects inadequate and we have talked about that. These amendments, being the only ones of significance that have been presented since 1962, go a large measure in making up those inadequacies; not completely by any means but they go a long way. I simply say again that I congratulate the minister and his advisers and his colleagues.

I do not know what he might do about improving the public view of the commission itself. It may be that when we particularly need them and a specific case comes up they will be there, probably fighting for individual liberties and human rights. In spite of the general view of the community, that is really why they are there.

If rights are being infringed, where the community is in support of remedying those, of course, every member of the Legislature is bound to shoulder aside the chairman or anybody else in the human rights commission in an attempt to remedy those rights. It is when the matter is not so popular that the rights commission must come into its own and where strong, vocal, intelligent, and sensitive leadership is paramount. I do not think the commission has been significantly put to that test or has not found an occasion where, in my opinion, the test has even been tried, let alone passed.

I was talking to a former chairman many months ago now who was in no way expressing any views about the present administration; far from it. It was at the time when we were contemplating legislation establishing an Ombudsman. The view was expressed, I am not sure whether it was by the chairman or by others, that it was quite possible for the human rights commission through other types of legislation to have some of the Ombudsman’s responsibility shared by the chairman of the human rights commission of some new board that might have shared those responsibilities.

As I look over the record of the past number of years, it occurs to me that is an alternative we might have considered. Of course, I am not so sure that in the course of the unfolding of the universe it is still too late. We should not feel that we are entrenched in administrative procedures that cannot be improved and changed.

It is not my intention to review the sections of the bill itself; my colleagues learned in the law have already put their views before you and our colleagues in the House. I understand the matter will be reviewed, if not at leisure at least at some length, in standing committee hearings early in 1981 and I know that those hearings will be important and significant We can expect the bill to return either to this House or our successor, because there is no doubt that whatever party has the responsibility of the seals of office at that time, there is universal commitment to the concepts expressed in the preamble and the sections of the original bill and there amendments.

Mr., M. N. Davison: Mr. Speaker, I want to join with my colleagues in saying that I too think Bill 209 is a significant legislative step forward. I am sure many of us in the House on all sides would have hoped we could have done it earlier. In spite. of our concern in that regard, I think we all view it as a significant legislative step.

Viewed against the commission to which it addresses itself, however, I think we have to recall the remarks of my colleague from Bellwoods. It is fair to say, to paraphrase him, one of the biggest problems that the commission had was not the legislation it was charged with handling but in fact the way in which it handled that legislation. So it seems to me we have done here only one of two things that needed to be done, in very broad terms. We have come ahead with much better, much stronger legislation. I think we also have to come ahead in terms of the way in which that commission administers the legislation we have passed in the House.

What I want to speak to in the bill really is two of what I view to be major and outstanding problems with the bill. Unlike my colleague from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, I do not think yet that the battle is over in that regard. In fact, it continues because that battle has yet to be won or lost. It is still open to us.

4:10 p.m.

When the minister introduced the legislation on November 25, as I recall, I said at the time I was very pleased that he had come forward with legislation that included specific reference to sexual harassment. I withdraw not a word of the congratulations that I offered at that time because in principle it is a very significant step. Many of us have -- I certainly have -- over the past number of years talked to women who have faced sexual harassment in the work place and the difficulties that have ensued from that. Until May of this year, there had never been in this country legislation introduced to the parliaments specifically to prevent sexual harassment At that time, I came forward with a private member’s bill and, subsequent to that, the government has come forward, with its own legislation. I applaud its move in principle.

The problem for working women was a severe one and, as a matter of fact, still is a severe problem. All available evidence indicated that somewhere between 50 and 90 per cent of working women face sexual harassment in the work place. That is quite astonishing. For the record to substantiate that, I would offer a survey by the Ad Hoc Group for Equal Rights for Women which reported that 50 per cent of those surveyed reported experiencing sexual harassment on the job, a survey conducted by the Working Women’s Institute which revealed 70 per cent and the famous Redbook reader response survey of more than 9,000 women which showed that 88 per cent of women had experienced sexual harassment in the work place. It was a problem of stunning proportions.

The problem was that our legislation in Ontario prohibited only sexual discrimination. The commission was hearing sexual harassment cases at the time when I brought my bill forward in May. The initial reaction of the government was simply to say, “We have read our legislation as showing we can do something about this.” In fact, I think that was not a good argument simply from sheer numbers. Although most women experienced sexual harassment, hardly any had gone to the commission. Those who had faced a commission that rejected most of the cases and provided very little assistance, even in the cases that were finally won with the greatest of difficulty before the commission.

I respect very much the fact that the Minister of Labour has changed his position from that time on the wording of the old human rights legislation and what that did or did not do to help working women in terms of sexual harassment. It is not very often we see the kind of shift in the Legislature as we have seen in this instance. I think it does the Minister of Labour an immense amount of personal credit that since May he has been able to change his position and come forward with specific legislation because, until the day this legislation is passed, nothing stands to help working women suffering from sexual harassment. Their options are limited to quitting, rejecting the advances at risk of their jobs or simply putting up with the harassment. I think that is fundamentally wrong, and I am glad we are moving finally to change that in Ontario.

The parts of the bill that deal specifically with sexual harassment are somewhat different from the bill I brought forward. The central concern I have about the, bill is one I referenced by way of interjection when the minister spoke in this debate last night. It deals with the use of the word “persistent.” I do not mean to speak to that particular section but really about the theory behind the use of the word “persistent” in the legislation. It seems to me that the very presence of that word “persistent” is the ultimate inadequacy of this part of the bill. It provides a gap so big that bosses and employers will be able to drive a truckload of employees through it.

What does “persistent” mean? The minister has to this point refused to define it, but it seems to me that persistent is more than once. Whether it is two times, 10 times, 20 times or 100 times, I do not know. I do not want to leave that up to some commission. I am not impressed with the way this commission, currently structured, has handled women’s issues, and I do not want to leave it up to that commission. I want us in the Legislature to be very specific about it.

As I read the legislation, if the boss should grab a lady and say, “Hey, baby, let’s get it on in the stock room or else,” that is not sexual harassment by the definition of this bill. That is the very thing we are trying to stop in Ontario, and I do not think it would do us any credit as legislators to leave such a gigantic loophole as we will do if we permit the word “persistent” to remain in this legislation.

It is from no pride of authorship that I argue stronger language more in keeping with my original bill but because this is inadequate, and I am glad the minister has decided to send the bill to committee over the winter so it can be amended. I hope it will be amended in that way because, in Ontario today, all working women run the risk of facing sexual harassment on the job and, because of that, having their livelihood jeopardized. Working women deserve more from this Legislative Assembly.

I think the wording in the bill brought forward by the government is unacceptable to the vast majority of working women, even though realizing the principle in itself is a significant step. I think working women in this province deserve strong protection against sexual harassment in the workplace.

The other element of the bill I want to address briefly deals with the way it relates to the report Life Together and the regrettable failure of the government to adopt all the proposals brought forward and, most specifically, the proposals for outlawing or prohibiting discrimination in this province on the basis of sexual orientation. That is a real tragedy.

One of the first uses of the word “discriminatory” I found around this place was drawn to my attention by the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell). She is not here at the moment, but I thank her for it. We were talking about discrimination in another context, which had to deal with the office of the Ombudsman. The question came up of what was unproperly discriminatory and the member for St. George responded, as only she can, by saying, “What on earth is properly discriminatory in this province?” I think this is not properly discriminatory and, if we could find a similar phrase to describe this in terms of discrimination, I would offer the phrase “popularly discriminatory,” because that is exactly what we are facing with the exclusion of sexual orientation from this bill. I do not believe we can deny basic human rights to any identifiable group in this society, but the government’s failure to include sexual orientation, in spite of the Life Together report, does exactly that.

If it is not an over-personal reflection to bring into the House, I recall what human rights were about when I was growing up in the north end of Hamilton, which was a rather tougher neighbourhood than I guess most of us are from. When I was a kid, one of my two best friends was German and one was Japanese. Maybe that was a strange relationship for us, in some way an apology for what an earlier generation of people had done to each other in terms of degradation of civil rights, but it was a strong relationship that has taught me a lot. I think about my German friend from childhood and the lessons I learned -- the simple fact that basic human rights in any community are invisible. He could speak to that in a way I cannot, but in a way I can appreciate.

I think about my Japanese friend from childhood and about the deep sense of personal guilt I had when I learned what Canada had done during the Second World War to the Japanese people living in this country, born in this country. Although it happened before my birth, I have a sense of guilt I will never be able to get rid of. I can recall going to my parents as a young person and saying to my parents with total innocence, as I guess only a kid can, that what happened to the Japanese during the war just was not fair. My parents said, “Yes, we know.”

4:20 p.m.

I hope younger members or future members of my family and younger people in this province will not have to look back one day on what we did in 1980-81 In regard to basic human rights for gays in this province and say the same thing. That would be a tragedy. I do not want them to have the sense of guilt about that issue that I feel about the Japanese issue.

We cannot discriminate in this province between different kinds of discrimination. It is time for us to say that discrimination is fundamentally wrong and we will have none of it in Ontario. It would be an unfortunate act of moral cowardice on the part of this assembly if it did not take the opportunity that will be presented to do something about that by specific legislation.

We learned from hard experience in the north end of Hamilton that discrimination is fundamentally wrong. In the words of an earlier time, “it just ain’t fair.”

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I want to address myself to Bill 209, An Act to revise and extend Protection of Human Rights in Ontario, and to support the bill in principle. I only hope the minister’s opening statements will be accepted and the intent of the legislation will be reached to its maximum. As he stated, the legislation will place Ontario in the vanguard of human rights legislation, which is a rather rational statement to uphold.

It is broadening human rights legislation to include a wide spectrum of almost all persons in Ontario’s social fabric. In particular, the purpose of the legislation has been to respond to certain recommendations of the report of the Human Rights Code review committee of 1977, Life Together.

One of the recommendations incorporated in Bill 209 relates to discrimination on the grounds of handicaps. That Is prohibited in all areas of the code. I hope handicapped persons achieve this measure of independence and self-sufficiency based upon the capabilities and job opportunities available. The minister in his opening statement said: “In this particular area, handicap is broadly defined in section 9b and includes past, present and perceived physical disability, mental illness, mental retardation and learning disabilities. After much deliberation, we concluded that in this regard, Life Together had not gone far enough and none of the major categories of disabilities should be excluded. This is the broadest definition of any Canadian jurisdiction and will also protect the victims of past injuries, including those who have received workmen’s compensation benefits”

That is going to cover a rather broad area if, as I interpret it, it goes back to past injuries that occurred to workers In the province. I suggest there are going to have to be many changes made In the Workmen’s Compensation Act as it is today. I suppose the minister is going to have to move in that area if he agrees with Professor Weiler’s report on new directions for the Workmen’s Compensation Board to function in. I suggest there are some good recommendations in that area that will have to be moved on now. There should be a bill put forward here in this Legislature right now to incorporate the intent of that statement by the minister under this proposed human rights legislation.

I do not have to tell the minister about the problems I had in trying to obtain employment for injured workers even within the industry in which they were injured. Those industries turn them out on the street and say they have no responsibilities in this area. I look forward to key amendments to the Workmen’s Compensation Act if we want to see this bill function as it should in relation to human rights and opportunities for the injured or handicapped persons in Ontario.

As has been mentioned before, the minister is going to have to make changes in the Ontario Housing Corporation. In my area, and I am sure in other areas in Ontario, handicapped persons are refused rental agreements on the basis that they do not have the necessary equipment to allow them to move about in wheelchairs or other means of transportation.

Group homes were mentioned earlier. The minister is going to have to give some direction to local municipalities. Some have moved in this area to accept group homes, for which we have to give them credit, but other municipalities have not moved in that direction. We are going to require amendments or different thinking by the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) as it relates to the issuing of driver licences. I have had a number of cases brought to my attention of people who, because they are diabetic, are refused certain operators’ licences, such as to drive a tandem dump truck. They cannot be employed in that area alone, and some of them have to sacrifice their income because they are diabetic, yet statements from their family physicians state it is controlled.

In this particular area, I think there may be a conflict with federal legislation as it relates to human rights legislation. I can recall a young chap who was working for the CPR in Thunder Bay in a track gang. He was only 19 years of age and all of a sudden they got a medical report and he was dismissed right there and then because he was a diabetic, and even though it was controlled he lost his job. I tried to get his job back for him, but they said there were certain rules that applied to persons employed at CPR and diabetics were not acceptable in their work force. I suggest we are going to need some new amendments to certain other pieces of legislation to bring about changes in this area, particularly in MTC legislation.

When one wants to seek employment with a government agency, for example, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, I suggest that the minister take a good look at this application form. To sum it up, it says: “I hereby declare that the foregoing information is true and complete to my knowledge. I understand that a false statement may disqualify me from employment or cause my dismissal.” Some rather important questions are asked: “Have you any physical handicaps to sight, hearing, speech, limbs? Have you had or do you have any trouble with heart, lungs or back?” “Have you been treated for mental illness?” They ask for weight in pounds, and height.

There is another white form that must be filled out, and I want to read this into the record. If the minister tells me this is not discriminatory, I do not know how he is going to relate it to this new bill. This form is from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, and it says: “Please use reverse for any detailed explanations. Please answer the following questions in full: 1. Have you ever had a serious illness, injury or operation? Describe and give dates.

“2. Have you ever been (a) refused employment because of your health; (b) refused life insurance; (c) rejected for services in the armed forces; (d) discharged from the armed forces for medical reasons? If yes to any of this section, please explain,” and they have little blocks here for yes and no.

“3. Have you ever filed a claim for veterans’ disability?

“4. Have you ever filed a claim for compensation because of an industrial injury or disease and why?”

Then it goes on to the second page: “Have you ever had head injuries, visual defects, fainting spells, convulsions or fits; nervous conditions or breakdowns; spine or back injury; spine or back operation; hip, knee or foot injury; hip, knee or foot operation; shoulder, elbow and hand injury; shoulder, elbow and hand operation; heart trouble; lung trouble; asthma; hay fever; allergy; skin trouble; stomach trouble; kidney trouble; liver trouble; diabetes; hernia or rupture; bone infection; varicose veins or ulcers; broken or fractured bones; backaches” -- boy, they have covered the whole anatomy here -- “arthritis or rheumatism?”

4:30 p.m.

It goes on to say: “I certify the above answers are true to the best of my knowledge and will form part of my conditions of employment if accepted.”

There is a complete medical history there, but I look at one particular item which says, “Have you ever filed a claim with the Workmen’s Compensation Board for industrial injury or disease?” I do not have to tell the minister that this is just one of the many forms a person who is seeking employment has to fill out today. If we look at this as it relates to injured persons claiming from the Workmen’s Compensation Board, many of whom are trying to obtain employment, the minute they file an application like that they know the response is going to be nil. They will not be accepted. This applies not only to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario but also to many industries in the province where an injured worker has been trying to get established in industry.

Am I to interpret this particular section of the act the minister quoted, “any physical handicap,” to say that the ministry or the government is going to come through with new legislation which says industry has an obligation to a worker who has been injured? Is the legislation going to say this person must be employed in industry, or is it going to shove him out on the street with a measly pension of about $80, $90, $100 or $200 a month and say: “That is industry’s responsibility. We have paid for the injury”? This is the area I am concerned about.

I hope the intent of this legislation will give that provision, as the minister has indicated, to cover the person who has claimed from the Workmen’s Compensation Board. If not, I would like to see amendments come forward in this session to increase the benefits to those persons who have been injured and who cannot be reasonably accepted in industry.

I mentioned veterans. When veterans came back from overseas there was always a job available for them in some government agency. Those persons had either been maimed by the war or had some war injury. I think of the Wetland Canal, for example, which is now part of the St. Lawrence Seaway, where almost every person who served overseas and was injured, lost an arm or a limb, had a job available there. It is not there today.

When I first came into the Legislature there were injured persons here who were running the elevators in this building. We do not see those persons today. I suggest that in this piece of legislation there is going to have to be some clear-cut direction given to industry and governments saying there is a place for these persons in a society. There should be self-sufficiency. They should be employed so they can at least earn a decent wage to maintain a standard of living and look after their families. This particular bill is a step in the right direction. I support it.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak briefly on this bill. First of all, I will say I am pleased to support it. I welcome the initiative that it represents. I congratulate the minister for the work that has gone into it, because I think it is probably the most far-reaching change in human rights legislation in the history of Ontario. On that basis I certainly welcome the bill.

I am especially pleased, as a member of the Legislature, by the inclusion of the provisions for the handicapped and those involving sexual harassment. I am pleased about the handicapped provisions because I think it represents a major change in the government’s position. We all recall the policy advocated last spring in the Legislature that they were to be provided with separate legislation, distinct from the Human Rights Code. The handicapped organizations across the province, and I know in my own particular riding, as well as both, opposition parties, fought hard to have the handicapped included in the Human Rights Code. Here we are at last. The government has changed its position. It has recognized the validity of the position advocated by the handicapped and the opposition parties and has incorporated the rights of the handicapped in the Human Rights Code. I congratulate the minister for that.

I do not intend to repeat some of the proposals made by my colleague regarding the various provisions under the human rights legislation, especially dealing with accommodation, but I do hope the implementation of the provisions on the handicapped will be conducted by some sort of public education campaign on the rights and role of the handicapped in Ontario.

As for the provisions dealing with sexual harassment, I welcome those because I think they were badly needed. I think they will serve to protect women with at least a modicum of protection in the work place as well as the domicile.

Like most of my colleagues, if not all, I have severe reservations about the inclusion of the word “persistent” in the definition of the word “harassment.” I really do not see the need for introducing the whole concept of persistence in the definition. I think it seriously undermines the real rights of the individuals affected, in that it makes redress that much more difficult and will cause all sorts of problems for those investigating and adjudicating the complaints under the provisions.

I can guess what the minister is going to say in defence of the inclusion of the concept of persistence, but I believe the result will be a considerable weakening of the provision. Many individuals will wonder whether they really have any chance of obtaining justice if they have to prove not only the existence of the act or acts of harassment but also the degree of persistence.

To me, the act of harassment is reprehensible and repulsive. Surely the purpose of the code is to protect women from any and all forms of sexual harassment, especially at work. Why dilute the provision beyond that? If the act of harassment is a violation of a person’s human rights, why do we have to introduce the concept of persistence or repetition at all? It simply does not make sense, and I am sure the women of this province will make their concerns well known to the minister and the committee in this upcoming winter session.

I welcome the inclusion of the provisions dealing with age for the young, because I think there were all sorts of problems there involving discrimination. I do have to confess, I have some doubts in my own mind as to the efficacy of the existing provisions as they relate to people over the age of 40. I have had frequent complaints in my riding office and I am very struck by the fact that people over 40 are not aware of the existing provision.

I welcome the provisions dealing with the rights of families vis-à-vis accommodations. I welcome the provisions especially protecting the rights of people on social assistance who suffer all forms of discrimination in our society. I welcome the provisions requiring the commission to commence proceedings within 30 days and to make a decision within 30 days upon completion of their investigation. I also welcome the fact that they will now be obliged to inform someone who has issued a complaint whether or not they are proceeding with the investigation of the complaint.

In closing, I want to emphasize something I think is crucial to the Human Rights Code; that is, some sort of campaign to make this known throughout Ontario so that everybody knows and understands what his or her rights are under this code. I am not talking about some sort of partisan, slick campaign such as we had this fall regarding energy, environment and all that sort of muck -- industry and tourism as well. I mean a really meaningful information campaign, especially one designed to reach the people whose rights are being protected by these amendments: the women, the handicapped, the tenants and the young people I have a feeling that most people in our province do not know their rights and know precious little about our existing Human Rights Code. The good intentions of the bill will go for naught if we do not effectively make people aware of their real rights and the recourse available to them.

I draw the minister’s attention to the Business Practices Act, which I think was introduced here in 1975 by John Clements. I think it represented a fairly substantial improvement in terms of consumer rights, but hardly anybody in Ontario knows what those provisions are. Hardly anybody understands what added rights that bill gave them in terms of consumer transactions. I have a terrible feeling that bill has gone almost for naught because of the failure of the government to publicize its provisions and to make people aware of what their rights are.

I plead with the minister, once this bill is adopted by committee and receives third reading this spring, to see that the government embarks on a massive information campaign, specifically designed to make the people of Ontario know what their rights are and how those rights have been strengthened by the amendments adopted by this Legislature.

4:40 p.m.

Mr. McGuigan: Mr. Speaker, I rise to support Bill 209, “a new beginning,” in the minister’s words.

If I can reminisce for a few minutes, as did one of the other members, in 1933 I was 10 years old. That was the worst year of the 10 lost years of the great Depression. My family had a large operation in farming: fruit and vegetables, tobacco, and livestock. It was quite an extensive operation that employed a lot of people. While tractors were just coming into general use, most of the work of haying, hoeing, barn cleaning, thinning and harvesting fruit and all those operations were performed by hand. As the competition was fierce, both locally and with the United States, prices were low and, of course, wages were low. It was and still is a low-wage industry.

Each summer people, mainly those from the city of Windsor but also transients moving all across Canada mostly by the railways, came into the village of Cedar Springs and set up a hobo jungle. There were several of them in the village. As a youth I grew up in a hobo jungle in the summertime; I certainly learned a great deal and had a great many experiences at a rather early and tender age.

Many of these people were new Canadians. They lacked language skills they lacked educational skills and probably above all else -- and this is in the context of those days -- they were not considered at that time to be part of the mainstream of Canadian society and they were discriminated against because of that. Many of them were highly skilled, very moral and fine people.

One I remember used to entertain himself and everybody else by singing what I interpreted at that time to be grand opera. He really had a beautiful voice singing unaccompanied; he would entertain everybody. I do not know what the arias were from or even if that is the right word, but certainly it was great music. Some were mainstream people down on their luck. Two I remember particularly were bankers. They were hopeless alcoholics but very likeable, nice fellows who had been reduced to that work by alcoholism.

But common to all these people was their dignity and basic feeling of self-worth. Even in those very trying circumstances they had a humanity and dignity I have always admired throughout my life. Whenever I am in circumstances where I might feel sorry for myself, I always to this day think back to those people. It gave me a lifelong respect for the dignity of the human spirit and of the human person.

All of them were victims of the cycle of depression that seems to affect our society approximately every 50 years. I guess we are about the 50-year anniversary right about now. I hope it will not happen. But most of them were victims of some sort of discrimination; age, sex, colour and physical handicap were the most apparent. Creed and racial origin may have been factors but, in the raw crucible of the Depression, where such factors were brought out more than normal, this really was not apparent to me, especially as a child.

The older men and women were perhaps the most pitiful. They could not stand the hard physical work and the rough life and conditions. Women were paid the same as men -- both equally low. Women were easy victims of sexual harassment. Even as a 10-year-old and later on throughout that period until it came to an end in 1939, it was very apparent to me the sexual harassment that was carried on --

Hon. Mr. Snow: When they got Hepburn defeated, things improved.

Mr. McGuigan: There were other events too. It was very evident to me how women suffered in those times. I certainly made it a rule in my own business that, whenever and wherever I became aware of any of that, I brought it to an absolute halt.

I share the same concern as other members about the word “persistent.” I suppose the minister is torn between the position where someone might accidentally bump into another person and that would be considered sexual harassment in their view, or might be cause for laying a charge, as compared to a bona fide case that is brought about by persistence. It seems to me that somewhere between those two extremes a better word or a better definition should be found. I cannot suggest what it might be, but it seems to me there is a midpoint much earlier than persistence to protect women in that case.

In these hobo jungles that I spent my youth in, colour was not a problem, because I suppose in those very dark days a black person would not venture into the job market since it was rather a vicious place. But the physically handicapped were there.

I remember an immigrant from Yugoslavia who told me that in his own country where the climate was dry -- I do not know Yugoslavia that well -- in the summer time he slept out on the bare ground and when he came to Canada as an immigrant he continued this practice in the summertime for a year or two. He ended up a rigid arthritic. If I ever saw a person as stiff as a poker, it was that man. It was a great agony for him to work and yet he did work until quite well on in life.

I remember another person who was raised in the village and who lost his leg in a hunting accident as a young man. Of course, those were the days when there was no welfare or anything of that sort of thing. I did not see this but I am told he earned his living for a year or two by dragging himself around, up and down the strawberry rows and raspberries, and so on, simply dragging himself. He was helped by the community taking a collection and raising money to buy a wooden leg. Today you would say prosthesis, but then they talked about a wooden leg. That man married and raised a family. He is dead now. With the burden of that wooden leg, he kept up to everyone else. He never let down his human dignity. In my view, he was really a Terry Fox of a small community years ago. His name was Dan Attewell.

4:50 p.m.

I want to say how much I appreciate the provisions in the bill, especially for the handicapped. We might criticize the government for bringing this forward so tardily. Those people who take the assumption that if we provide employment for these people we are going to take it away from somebody else must be ignoring the history of the post-war years, when the baby-bonus group hit the labour market and so many women came into the labour market and we actually had a frenzy of activity for a good many years. It seems that workers created demands that fed on themselves.

Adding these people to the work force, I submit, is only going to benefit society rather than take away from it. We would have to assume that there is nothing more to be done in this province, that we do not have lands that need reforesting, that we do not have lakes and rivers that require cleaning up, that we do not have the need for research and development and for great and small renewable energy projects. There are so many glaring opportunities for work if we only had the will, the money and the people to do them. I wonder why it has been delayed all these years. However, it is here now and I certainly welcome it and wish to support it.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to the bill. I welcome the bill as all members of the House do. It is important at this stage to re-evaluate the human rights legislation in the province. It is important to do so in the worldwide context that the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) spoke of in his speech earlier. Many of the items I would have liked to speak to have been spoken to by other members to this point.

I am particularly happy that the section on the handicapped has been included in the main body of the bill and is not being left as it was before in a separate bill which put them in a separate category. One of the major reasons we opposed that last bill was that it did that. It, therefore, made them a special case and not part of the general body of citizens. The member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) spoke about a number of very practical problems to do with implementing actual equal rights for the handicapped and what that meant in terms of facilitating accommodation and access. I thought his comments were very useful and very helpful.

I am not going to take a great deal of time, because a number of people wish to speak to this bill. It is an important bill which is going to be going out to committee. Hopefully, it will get an awful lot of input, because we are not going to get another shot at this bill for a long time. It is for that reason I am speaking today with a bit of sadness in terms of the major omission in the bill. That has to do with another major section of the Life Together report which had recommended the inclusion of sexual orientation as a ground for discrimination within the Human Rights Code.

The member for Riverdale spoke the other day, quite thoughtfully I felt, about the fact that it seems as if our society, and our society as it is represented here in this Legislature, is unwilling to take the necessary steps at this time to have that matter included, unobtrusively in my view, in this overall bill of opposing discrimination of any kind against citizens of any kind in the province..

In my view, we are taking a step backwards passively from a move by a once-famous prime minister of this country who spoke about the state having no rights and privileges in the bedrooms of the nation. By not acting now in an all-party agreement at this time on the matter of sexual orientation, I believe we are missing an opportunity to make that a real fact for a large group of people in this province. I regret we could not all have done it and all stood together and taken the flak because if it is not entered and brought in as part of the bill by the government it is bringing out, in my view, an awful lot of fear on the parts of other people who might have wanted to see it included in terms of taking the initiative to include it for fear of having that thrown back at them and being isolated in a campaign as pro a specific minority group and anti the needs and wishes of the province as a whole. For that I really regret an all-party agreement prior to the entry of this bill was not made. We are now left in the position that we in the opposition are too quiet by half on this issue.

This whole business of sexual orientation is not just a matter of homosexuality. If I could poke a little fun at us all here today, as we are all uptight about this issue and unwilling to deal with it --

Mr. Nixon: You mean all six of us?

Mr. R. F. Johnston: It is not just us. That is not the reason people are not in the House. As my friend knows, they normally do not come in at all for these speeches.

I am talking about our caucuses, which have all discussed this matter and all, in our various ways, turned away from it. What I want to say is, there are other kinds of sexual orientation which now are not given protection, not just homosexuality. I would like to know how this affects a woman who has been deserted and is living in Ontario Housing Corporation housing, for instance. She is living with two or three kids; she develops a relationship with a man; the husband is not there; perhaps the divorce is through, perhaps it is not; and they decide for their own reasons as individuals to develop a seminal relationship.

I worry about OHC housing as a landlord. I worry about other landlords deciding the morality of whether those women should be sexually active when they are deserted or separated or whatever and saying: “You are in Ontario housing and you have this man here. Two or three nights a week we have seen this man here” -- I am not sure what would be acceptable to property managers -- “He is living here and your activities are not acceptable to us in our society.” There is not going to be any protection at all for people in that situation.

What protection is there going to be for senior citizens? Is it normal sexual orientation, in our view, that people over the age of 65 would desire to have sexual relations? Maybe some of us are affronted by the idea and the possibility of rules against sexual interaction between senior citizens in homes for the aged. It is a possibility and I can see an administrator saying, “Now, now, Mr. Jones, it is not right for you to be off visiting down the hall with Cynthia; that is not proper.” He would have no protection from that.

It is not too long ago that husbands and wives were separated in homes for the aged. I remind the House of that. They were put in different rooms, their sexuality and their lifelong commitment to each other ignored. It now is on the goodwill of administrators that does not occur. In this act an administrator can decide for people over the age of 70. Why not 70? I mean, we are all wanting to move the retirement age, as I recall from the bill of the member for York West (Mr. Leluk). At the age of 70 it is now inappropriate. Separate them; put them into different rooms. Why not?

There are so many ludicrous things that come out of this. For instance, what about the use of sexual aids. Are sexual aids acceptable now in our society? Is this not an orientation which we as members in this honourable institution would feel to be unacceptable? If that is the case, perhaps we should wonder if we find a person in an apartment who has various sexual aids. Perhaps we should decide whether he or she is fit to live in that particular residence. Perhaps we should say, “We should phone your employer because, really, that is not what our society accepts.” Perhaps we should go to the doctors who prescribe those sexual aids --

Mr. Speaker: Can the honourable member tell me which section or principle of the bill he is speaking to?

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I am speaking to the principle of discrimination in terms of sexual orientation which is --

Mr. Speaker: I do not see that in the bill.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, is it not possible to talk about an omission in terms of the grounds it is not proper? That seems an awful shame, because I was going to talk about the problems of not talking about celibacy in here.

5 p.m.

Mr. Speaker: Second reading is for the purpose of discussing principles contained in the bill.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: The principle I want to talk about is discrimination and the omission of discrimination against any individual in this society. This is under section 2.

Mr. Warner: Section 2(1).

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Thank you very much.

The point I want to make is that this is an all-inclusive amendment to the rights of people in this province, yet there is a group that is not included in this area and an area that is not addressed. I feel it is important to talk to that a little bit,

Mr. Speaker: You are saying you want to talk to a principle that has been omitted in the bill.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Yes, I do.

Mr. Speaker: That is out of order.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Is that out of order? Then let me speak to a principle that is in the bill, and I will allude to this secondarily. I think it is a wonderful thing that we forbidding discrimination according to sex in this bill in terms of men or women. I think that is a magnificent thing and I am very pleased to see that we are now saying one cannot discriminate in terms of a person’s sex. I think that is a great thing.

However, I am disappointed that we have not taken it further and extrapolated from that principle and that word to talk about other problems like celibacy. I worry about this tendency amongst a certain faction in our society, and I am wondering if perhaps this group should not be discriminated against in terms of housing or jobs. Are we going to get to the stage again where we allow people to put the letter A on people if they commit adultery. I know I am out of order; so I will finish and get off this topic.

It cannot help but mock us, at this stage in our society’s growth, that we are backing off from what is a common-sense inclusion to make sure that people are not unjustifiably taken out of their jobs or not given access to homes like any other citizen because of something they decide to do in the privacy of their own bedrooms.

I am not speaking here in favour of anything to do with a homosexual subculture or any of the accoutrements that go along with that. I am talking about individual rights. We should be ashamed that we are not able to stand up as one and come to grips with this instead of bowing to reactionary pressures, in my view, to exclude this group from provisions in this bill.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Scarborough-Ellesmere on the principle of the bill.

Mr. Warner: That is the only reason I rose, Mr. Speaker.

I appreciate the opportunity to speak on what I take to be --

Mr. Kerrio: The long and the short of it.

Mr. Warner: Don’t start attacking short people again.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: David, look over here.

Mr. Warner: Yes. I will speak to the chair.

Mr. Speaker, I do not believe that in a civilized society there can be anything more important than a code of human rights and the civil rights that go with that. I suppose it is easy for us to take the matter of human rights for granted, because it is not very often that we are placed in the position of losing our rights. If we lived in some South American countries, such as Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile or Argentina, where human rights have been denied, where civil rights and civil liberties have been removed -- in fact, there are literally thousands of missing persons there -- then we would take the issue of human rights more seriously. If we wish always to have a civilized society, we have to pay very close attention to human rights.

I welcome the bill. I welcome the minister’s initiative. The minister has brought forward a fairly wide-ranging new act, and it really is a new act. He has taken the time to address some of the problems which affect human rights in this province and he has done so quite well for the most part. The minister was making notes and I think he took under advisement some of the concerns raised by members as legitimate concerns.

I think the minister fully understands now that the bill is not perfect. The section on sexual harassment has to be altered, which I think is fairly evident to the minister. If it is not, then it should be because it is not good enough. I think the minister also understands the comments made by my colleague from Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) regarding handicapped individuals. I wish to deal with a particular section in the bill, of which part of the principle has to do with what is euphemistically called in our society domestic service, which is really slavery. The minister knows that.

There is an attempt to have some protection built in, particularly to section 4 regarding harassment in employment. Before that section is finalized, I would ask the minister to read the recent article written in the United Church Observer in December 1980 called “Toil and Trouble.”

It is illuminating. Some very disturbing remarks come out of that article. For example, it is the “bargain of the century” to get a live-in nanny. It reads: “The Canadian dollar does not buy much overseas these days, but in the overcrowded and underdeveloped countries of the Third World, it still buys bargains in people. It is one of those great deals where everybody wins. The Jones family gets Florence from Jamaica to cook, clean and babysit, for little more than the cost of sending one child to day care. We taxpayers get off the hook for subsidizing more day care, and we do not have to worry about services for Florence and her family because she is as disposable as the diapers ... Though we pay her less than the minimum wage, it’s more than she would get at home, and anyway she’s not used to life’s luxuries.

“Meet some of our bargains. Joyce is one of them. She came from Jamaica to Toronto to clean house, cook, care for two children and mow the lawn, six days a week, for room and board plus $100 a month.

“Margaret is another bargain. She is 32 and has three children who depend on her to send $200 a month, nearly her full salary from her Ottawa employer. So she will do anything to hang on to her job -- including having sex with the man of the house when he told her that was part of her duties.”

I want to know before the debate on this bill concludes and before the committee concludes that such travesties cannot and will not be tolerated under this new human rights code. The article goes on: “Though the employer has agreed with the federal immigration department on wages and working hours the employee may never see the agreement, and it is not legally enforceable. Many employers live up to it. Many don’t.”

Some of the stories that come out about the slaves are really incredible, working 80 hours a week, for example. There does not seem to be anything in this bill to preclude that from happening, nor any protection in any other law in this province for that matter. There are “stories of women being fired and thrown out at night with no place to go, asked to ‘help out’ on their night off, wakened at 2 a.m. to serve sandwiches to a group home from a party, fired for going to church or wanting Christmas day off with friends, required to sleep with the family dog to keep him from barking.” As John MacDonald of the Ottawa-Carleton Immigrant Services said, “Once they live in, they’re practically slaves.”

5:10 p.m.

The article talks about there being two basic parts to the problem. One half is “an immigration system that invites exploitation.” That has been historical in this country. That is the history of our immigration laws in Canada; they are used to exploit people. “The other half is a lack of legal rights for all domestic workers.” I find it difficult to find the wording in the section -- particularly in section 4, but perhaps I have looked in the wrong part -- that protects domestic workers.

Maybe there is a reason for it. Maybe there is a reason why there is not the coverage in this bill that there should be. It is also quoted in the article that the member for Sault Ste. Marie (Mr. Ramsay), a Conservative member of the Ontario Legislature, told the House that “his constituents would not be able to afford domestics if they had to pay the minimum wage, consequently, there would have to be more day care, and that would surely raise taxes.” I wonder if the lack of specific protection for domestics is because of the Conservative Party’s stand on the matter. They have no intention of ending the slavery. They have every intention of perpetuating a system which surely should be intolerable to any civilized society.

The article also includes as part of the evidence that the government has no desire to move on the subject and that, “according to court testimony, Ontario cabinet minister Larry Grossman paid his domestic, in Canada illegally from the Caribbean, $230 a month for 80 hours of work a week.” By rough calculation that is less than $1 an hour. The Minister of Industry and Tourism is willing to pay less than $1 an hour to an adult to work full time. That is absolutely incredible.

To the best of my knowledge, the sections in the bill which address the right to equal treatment in employment without discrimination are simply not good enough. I think the minister knows this. I am asking the government to improve the appropriate sections of the bill in an effort to end the legalized slavery which exists in our province. It is unacceptable to me and, I submit, to civilized people. I think that has to happen.

There are a couple of other remarks I would like to make. As I said at the outset, human rights legislation is essential in a civilized society. It sets out the kinds of things which we accept and do not accept. It sets a standard for other parts of the world to try to live up to. It allows for the equal treatment of human beings. In the attempt which the government is making in good faith, the minister has included some very good sections in the bill. I think the minister has picked up from the remarks made by various members that we applaud the efforts being made by him. Admittedly, there are many members of the government who would not have the courage to bring it forward. I believe that. But he has, and he has included some very good sections in this bill and some which will receive our wholehearted support.

There is an area left which this government has to come to terms with and there is an area where this government is lacking in leadership. In the city in which I live, Metropolitan Toronto, over the last few years we have had some severe problems with race relations. We have had some serious difficulties with the way in which our police force functions and with the kind of direction they have been given from the commission.

There has been a very serious and honest attempt to correct the problems within the police force and also to bring about better understanding and greater harmony within our multicultural society of Metropolitan Toronto. That effort has been in part by this government, through the Ministry of Education, through Culture and Recreation, through other ministries and through the Attorney General. That kind of effort has also been made by the city of Toronto and by the boroughs and Metropolitan Toronto council. Overall there has been a concerted effort over the last few years for people to get to understand each other’s background, each other’s culture and each other’s heritage in an attempt to arrive at an atmosphere of mutual understanding and, hopefully, of mutual agreement on respecting each other’s backgrounds and differing lifestyles.

I was born and raised in Toronto and I grew up here. My ancestry is English, so I bring with that my English culture and English heritage. But I hope that through my adult life I have come to understand and appreciate the lifestyles of other people whose background is not English, whose background may be East Indian or Caribbean or any number of the almost 100 different countries which are represented in Metropolitan Toronto.

I wonder if I could have the undivided attention of the Minister of Labour.

Mr. Rotenberg: He is talking to your own member.

Mr. Warner: Yes, I was just about to get to that. If the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston) could contain himself for a moment

Hon. Mr. Maeck: He will read Hansard later. Go ahead.

The Deputy Speaker: Feel free to direct your comments to the chair.

Mr. Warner: I will, Mr. Speaker. It is obvious that neither the minister nor anybody else is concerned, so I will direct them to you.

A certain concern and sensitive treatment has been developed over the last few years in different levels of government and has been directed towards the difficult situation of race relations and race understanding in our city of Metropolitan Toronto and, I suspect, in other communities as well. I am suggesting that same kind of effort be duplicated by this government with respect to the homosexual issue -- the “gay community.”

Unless that is done, the government will always feel its political neck about introducing protection for homosexual people against discrimination, whether that is discrimination in housing or employment or in any other field. Unless that basic work is done to try to develop a better understanding of someone else’s lifestyle, then the government will always feel sensitive and politically vulnerable about introducing the appropriate kind of protection.

I think it is essential. I think the government has to do that. That kind of effort is necessary, otherwise it is not fully living up to the stated principle of this bill, of protecting individuals against discrimination.

5:20 p.m.

In closing, I recall the remarks of a very experienced politician who has been consistently re-elected over the past 30 years. He was asked about discrimination. “Do you support a change in the law to end discrimination against gay people?” He said to the reporter: “Who is it that you would like to discriminate against? I do not think we should discriminate against anyone.” I think that is the answer; I really do.

Surely there is not a member in this House who wants to discriminate against anyone. Our Human Rights Code must be amended that way. When we introduce a new code, as the minister is really doing -- he does not call it a new code but it is revising one, so it really is a new code -- surely the minister wants to say, “We do not want to discriminate against anyone.” I hope that as this goes through committee stage and the various sections of the bill are addressed my concerns will be met and, in particular, that the minister will make every effort both in this bill and any companion legislation to end the slavery which exists in this province. It is unacceptable.

Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Speaker, I would I like to take part in the debate on Bill 209 because I think it is a very important bill. As many of my colleagues who participated in the debate said, it is a very important step in revising the old Human Rights Code which was passed 18 years ago and in such a short time has become obsolete to the point that it needed a full revision. In fact, I think the bill introduced by the Minister of Labour must be complimented because it is a gigantic step in the right direction.

I think human rights represents a very important achievement in our modern democracies. It is a great achievement because, for the first time in modern history, the laws of each country protect their minorities. I would like to say that the majorities never need to be protected because the majorities are those who pass the laws; the majorities are those who have power. Those who suffer are the minorities: be those racial, religious or political minorities. Therefore, human rights legislation is very important legislation because it shows that each and every person in our society is protected.

For this reason I think this bill is a very important piece of legislation, especially because for the first time it addresses issues such as sexual harassment, that personally I think are very important to our society. In this Legislature we have been dealing many times with episodes and instances where workers, especially female workers, have been harassed at the work place. Until now they have had no recourse at all because the law did not protect them unless they were able to lay criminal charges. In this legislation, this is addressed in the right direction and I compliment the minister because immigrant women especially are affected in the work place. We hear innumerable examples of women who are in the most difficult circumstances because they are newcomers and have financial obligations that in many cases they cannot fulfil when only one person in the family works. Especially in families of immigrants, women are subjected to sexual harassment. I think the bill is a step in the right direction.

In the past, I have personally addressed and collectively our caucus has addressed the issue of the handicapped. I would like to limit my remarks to one single aspect, employment. I regret to say the bill does not address the issue in the right way. I am absolutely positive that by invoking affirmative action we will not be able to solve the problem of the disabled, the handicapped and, I should also say, those people who are disabled by reason of an industrial accident on the job.

I think the minister did not have the fortitude to reject a philosophical approach which is obsolete. This government does not want to accept the idea that at some point it is the responsibility of the government to tell the employers, be they private or public, that it is their moral responsibility to hire people who are disabled or handicapped. The only way to do that in a direct, straightforward way is by imposing a system of quotas. This may not be perfect but, in my opinion, it is one of the ways to solve the problem. When we rely on the good heart of the employers, I know there are many employers who hire people who are either disabled or handicapped, but there are many who would never do that because they are in a competitive field. They have to sell products and maintain productivity to compete on the market. Therefore, they are unwilling to hire people who are less productive.

By the way, I would like to bring to the minister’s attention that Professor Weiler in his report made a fundamental step in that direction when he said that the employers should rehire workers who were injured at their work place or they should pay a fee, which is a different way of imposing rehiring injured workers on the employers.

Opinions are not unanimous because there is no perfect way of solving problems like this where human beings are involved. It is difficult to have absolutely perfect answers, but by going in that direction the minister would have indicated that we could solve the problem. By asking for an affirmative action, I think we will not go much further. In closing my remarks, I would like to reaffirm my appreciation of the bill introduced by the minister. I hope when we go to the committee he will accept some of our suggestions.

5:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. MacBeth): Is there any other member wishing to take part in this debate. If not, the minister in reply.

Mr. Martel: Would the minister be prepared to relax for a moment? Mr. Speaker, I do not want to take a very lengthy time.

The Acting Speaker: I did recognize the minister. If the minister is ready to give way, I am prepared to allow it.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I do most things possible for the member for Sudbury East.

Mr. Martel: I will only be a very few moments, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Nixon: Unless he is provoked.

Mr. Martel: I cannot get started.


Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, while I appreciate the contents of the bill, you will recall some weeks ago I raised the matter of a questionnaire being sent out and people being forced, in an effort to obtain employment, to answer a questionnaire which I found totally offensive.

I had hoped the minister would have had in the bill something that would have prevented this kind of questionnaire from going out. I have asked my colleague the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) to look at the section of this bill which might prevent this from occurring, this sort of questionnaire being used. I checked with legal counsel for the Ministry of Labour. I think there is some concern that it will not do what the minister thinks it will do.

I do not think the questionnaire is covered in that section of the bill and I do not want to deal with it specifically or read it because we are speaking to the principle. I think this type of questionnaire, as it is, will not be covered by the legislation before us. Let me just indicate some of the ridiculous questions pertaining to both males and females. I will not even deal with the female section for a moment. The questionnaire asks such silly things. I do not know what they have to do with applying for a job.

Let me give a couple of the crazy questions in it “Do you have difficulty relaxing? Are you more tired or lacking energy lately? Do you worry? Does worrying get you down? Are your feelings easily hurt? Do you find it easy to cry? Do you feel apart even among your friends?” What, in God’s name, has this got to do with one’s ability to do a job in a factory or anywhere? These questions just go on ad infinitum. I do not know how one blocks this sort of thing. I do not think the act does it. The section pertaining to women, as I indicated during question period a number of weeks ago, I found to be the most offensive material I have ever seen.

I do not know why, for example, one would have to ask questions such as the following:

“Have you ever had or do you have masses of cysts, bleeding from the nipples, injury, infection?” Or, in regard to menstrual history, “when did you start to menstruate, age 10 or under, age 18? Irregular menstrual periods in the past 12 months? Flow three days or more, eight days or more?” What are they talking about?

Mr. Riddell: It’s on the verge of being obscene.

Mr. Mattel: Let me go on: “Pelvic organs, abnormal vaginal discharge, pain on intercourse, bleeding after intercourse.” We simply cannot tolerate anyone in this province having to answer this type of questionnaire. As I said, I do not want to take the time of the House, but I know the minister is under the impression that section 21(1) will cover the area in question. I would urge that legal counsel for the ministry, in conjunction with people from the Ontario Human Rights Commission and legislative counsel here at Queen’s Park, would review that section very carefully. I know it will not be easy, but we should find some way of eliminating this because, as the manager of the company said, people should not be offended at answering this. If they did refuse to answer, obviously they had something to hide. If they had something to hide, one would then not employ them. As I said earlier, I think some guy gets his jollies reading the answers in questionnaires like this. I hope that something in the act is changed substantially to ensure that does not occur again, not just in this company but across the province,

I thank the minister for giving me the five minutes.

Mr. Riddell: It sounds to me like a precursor of sexual harassment.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I will try not to take too long, but I do feel an obligation to make a few comments, in addition to the remarks I have made in my opening statement and on previous occasions.

May I say in a very personal way in this Legislature I think we have seen a degree of general approval about the principles in the bill, which I think is very heartening, because I know of no issue on which some consensus in society is more important than the issue of human rights. For that alone I think we should all be proud there is a bill before the House -- certainly I am -- and that there is the degree of consensus we have heard in the past two days.

I appreciate there are matters included that some members think may need to be altered. I appreciate there are matters which should have been included that are not. I think we all have to respect each other’s reasons for doing that. If they merit further discussion, we can do so hiring the clause-by-clause debate.

I was particularly pleased that several of the members have paid tribute to Tom Symons and to other members of the commission for the very thoughtful and perceptive way in which they carried out their study and drafted conclusions, which I think have become world renowned in terms of the people who have expressed an interest in receiving copies of that book, Life Together.

I have a rather personal reason for being kind of appreciative because Tom Symons and I were fellow students and friends together. In that way it just reconfirms the very nature of the man as he was as a student because as a man he continues to have those humanitarian reform instincts he had as a child. I would like to pay tribute to that commission for the very perceptive and excellent way in which it prepared Life Together.

Even though I wish I could just pass on and say many of the items discussed by members will be dealt with during the clause-by-clause debate it would be inappropriate. Some fundamental issues were raised that I have to and want to address now so that they do not linger around in people’s minds as areas about which I think there are some misperceptions.

One member suggested Life Together indicated that the commission should be at greater arm’s length from the minister than it is. With due respect to the commission and to the member who raised it, I fundamentally cannot agree with that. Here we have a situation where an administrative tribunal, much like the Ontario Labour Relation Board, reports through a minister to the House, to responsible government, to someone accountable, the minister. Yet that board, I am sure each member in this House knows, is really totally autonomous. This act gives them an even greater autonomy in that they and they alone will have sole power to determine whether or not issues will or will not go to a board of inquiry. The minister will have no power to revoke or rescind any decision of the commission to have a matter go to a board of inquiry.

The only real connection of the minister is to be responsible for the human rights commission in the House, as he is for the labour relations board, which I think we all agree is totally autonomous in the same way. I have to take some argument with those who suggest there is other than an arm’s length relationship.

5:40 p.m.

The commission files an annual report, something that has come about since the days of Life Together. I think the new code gives them broader powers as a commission and broader powers through the board of inquiry than they have ever had before. If one reads the act, one will find the commission itself will now have the power to make recommendations on government statutes, programs and policies. I would ask the members who think there may be some validity to that suggestion to think it over carefully. I honestly do not think that is a valid criticism.

The member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) noted the responsibility of the Minister of Labour was not explicitly spelled out in the bill. That is true. It was done quite deliberately because the government feels that, from time to time, with the changes in the nature of problems in society, it may be considered reasonable that a different minister should become responsible for the reporting relationship in the House.

Mr. Laughren: Very shortly.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: No, I do not think so. Mind you, if it seems that is reasonable and logical, it is fine with me. I think the important thing is the government recognizes there may be a time when a change is needed.

The member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) expressed some concern about section 4(2), harassment in employment, suggesting it might cast an undue burden on the employer. I would ask him to think about that carefully. What the section really says is that if one employee is harassing another, for whatever reason as outlined in the code, that employee has a right to bring a complaint to the Ontario Human Rights Commission. If, at a board of inquiry, the commission feels the employer should be aware of what is going on, It can include that employer for the purposes of information only. As a result of the decision, if the harassment has been confirmed, the board of inquiry may then direct the employer to do certain things in the event of a subsequent case of harassment.

We have not put an employer or landlord in any unduly embarrassing or untenable position because he or she will be made aware of the existing problems in the work place or in accommodation. I suggest there might be some merit in the member reviewing his thoughts on that matter. I hope he will come to agree it is a fair and just provision.

Several members have raised the question of access with regard to the physically handicapped. It is a difficult issue. Let us not pretend it is not. What each of us has to do is what has been done in other legislatures, federally and in Saskatchewan, as they addressed this issue. They said to themselves that a human rights commission is meant to deal with attitudinal discrimination in society. I agree with that. It is on that basis that the Saskatchewan and federal Human Rights Codes indicate that, where there is discrimination against someone with a handicap, a board of inquiry may do certain things. That is also the position we have taken. A human rights commission must deal with attitudinal discrimination. If it finds it, the board of inquiry under our proposal would have the authority to order such adjustments with regard to access as may seem necessary, just and fair and do not cause undue hardship to the employer or landlord.

Mr. T. P. Reid: A pretty tough balancing act.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: That is right. That is what the honourable member’s colleague, then federal Minister of Labour, John Munro, said in the House of Commons. It is a tough balancing act. That is what human rights are all about, trying to balance rights in society. I know the member will agree with him because the member thinks he is a wonderful man. I have heard the member speak highly of him on many occasions.

I would also like to remind the members that in the broad new powers the commission has, is the power to recommend affirmative action in certain situations, of its own volition or on a complaint. That is another new element of moral suasion that the commission, of its own volition, may introduce into a situation -- to try to improve the educational process society has to go through to better understand and appreciate the legitimate needs of the handicapped in society.

We had a very interesting discussion from two or three members about the issue of international covenants relating to human rights in Canada and how they relate not only to Canada but to the provinces in a federal state such as we have. I am sure these are matters that can be discussed at greater length at the committee level and I look forward to that.

Actually the inclusion in our preamble of the universal declaration of human rights was endorsed enthusiastically in Life Together, and I may, for the information of the members, just refer to that. On page 17, the last paragraph reads: “The members of the commission find that the current role of their chairman in federal-provincial consultations on human rights,” which, by the way, are still going on, “and particularly in facilitating procedures for Canada’s long-delayed ratification of the United Nations Human Rights Covenants and Protocol,” which occurred in 1976, “is of great assistance in setting Ontario’s human rights problems in a proper national and international context. Active participation in these wider relationships is essential for the continued nourishment for what is in Ontario, an old but still fragile tradition of concern for human rights.”

We have accepted the principle that Life Together felt should be included in the preamble of the code. For that reason, 1 think the members who spoke on the issue will be supportive because we agreed with the authors of the text. We must, however, keep in mind that some of the matters referred to in the various covenants are sufficiently general that they may, indeed, be difficult to translate into legislative protection in a code which ensures against discrimination in the context of employment, accommodation and provision of goods, services and facilities.

Again, I look forward to discussing these matters in greater detail at the committee stage and hope we can elaborate on all of our thoughts on the issues at that time.

The member for Riverdale expressed some concern about the Human Rights Commission being a closed system and he commented that even though there was a semi-autonomous board of inquiry over which the commission had no say in the appointment of, a couple of things troubled him. First of all, he was troubled by the fact that it was necessary for the Attorney General to approve appeals, and second, he was troubled by the fact that no civil rights action arose from matters outlined in the code.

With the greatest of respect to the member for Riverdale, and I sincerely do have a great deal of respect for him, I think in the latter instance he was probably reading only the trial judgement and not the Court of Appeal judgement. He will recall that as recently as a few months ago there was the second of two cases which I will refer to, which was Bhaduria versus the Board of Governors of Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology where the Supreme Court held that cause of action was created by matters outlined in the code. I know the member is not here today, but I hope he and I will have an opportunity to talk about it because I think it was just a matter that it had not come to his attention that the Court of Appeal had overturned the trial division in each of those cases.

I think if the member for Riverdale will read section 41(2), which is the relevant section with regard to the Attorney General approving prosecutions, he will find it has nothing to do with appeals from boards of inquiry. We all know that boards of inquiry decisions may be appealed on both fact and law. What section 41(2) deals with is the requirement that the Attorney General must approve a prosecution for an offence under this act.

For example, let us take section 8: “No person shall infringe or do anything that results, directly or indirectly, in the infringement of a right under this part.” There is a possibility then of an action for someone who is committing an offence in that they are trying to thwart the purposes of section 8 -- in other words, a criminal action. He is quite wrong in thinking that the Attorney General has anything to do with determining whether an individual has a right to appeal his decision from a board of inquiry.

5:50 p.m.

That right exists. But if there is a criminal charge to be laid for trying to thwart the purposes of the Human Rights Code then the Attorney General is involved in the process, as he is in all other actions. I think the member for Riverdale can be assured there is no motive for that particular inclusion other than that.

Many members have referred to the issue of racism. I am sure they know that is an issue I have spoken to and thought a lot about myself, because I cannot think of anything that is more corrosive to society or which demeans each of us more when it takes place in society.

I was grateful for the remarks I heard that indicated there was an appreciation that there had been a movement by the commission and by the government in order to get into these areas in a more aggressive way as they become more apparent. I appreciate those remarks. I do not think there was any suggestion that there was any apathy about the issue, because let us be certain about that, there is not. There is no personal apathy, no apathy by members of the commission, no apathy on the part of the new race relations division and its chairman, and the cabinet committee is fully committed to the principles of the Human Rights Code.

I am sure all members are interested to note the varieties of activities that are going on in the area of racism at the municipal level. In North York and Toronto and everywhere around we have seen a response which is a healthy response to the issue of racism in all areas. We see the private youth employment services response in the York-Finch area facilitated and assisted by North York council and by our own commissioner, Dr. Ubale. The North York council has, as you all know, engaged Dr. Dan Hill to be its consultant in regard to racial matters. So there is lots going on in the community. It is never enough. It has been a problem that has been with us for years but I think each generation gets better. I hope we will all be part of an improving generation.

The member for Riverdale made some remarks with regard to insurance contracts and expressed his own concerns about some of the wording. I hope he will go back to the act and read that, whatever he may feel about a variety of issues, any exemption or preference must always be on “reasonable and bona fide grounds.” So no matter what concerns him, the grounds must always objectively be proven to be reasonable and bona fide before a board of inquiry. The member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner) is shaking his head. He has to understand the basic principles of common law. It is there. Whether he likes it or not, it is there, my friend.

Mr. Warner: It is all hollow words of the minister.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: No, they are not hollow words. They are hollow words of common law, which we are privileged to be part of this country.

The Acting Speaker: The member will please direct his remarks through the chair.


Hon. Mr. Elgie: If I did, my friend, I could probably do something for you. You may need it some day. There are days when I think you need it now; a little hole up front here. It would make you a little more palatable.

The member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell) raised a question of reverse onus. I only want to say at this time that it seems paradoxical to me. I gave it some thought, as did many members of our government, but it does seem a little paradoxical to think of including a reverse onus section in a Human Rights Code which is intended to protect all people’s rights, the accused as well as the accuser. We know that the balance of onus shifts from time to time and there are problems with it. I hope that she gives serious thought to the issue of reverse onus, because it may create an imbalance in the process which may be contrary to the fundamental purposes of a Human Rights Code.

I was disappointed that she suggested there was some lack of interest in the matter of age in this government. The member for York West (Mr. Leluk) has made it very clear, and so has this party, that it has a deep and continuing concern for the rights of senior citizens in society. But we also have a concern about other matters that I have expressed very clearly relating to pensions and other rights of people. We want those matters addressed before we make any decisions -- and they should be thoughtful decisions -- about changing the age of mandatory retirement.

The member for Windsor-Sandwich (Mr. Bounsall) raised some concerns about the issue of services, implying that it was a very limited and narrow definition. That surprises me, because services in the context of section 1, when used with goods and facilities, is used in the sense of any help, benefit or advantage. As such it includes any public or administrative help, benefit or advantage offered, or made available by the government, any service offered or made available under an act of the Legislature, any help, benefit or advantage offered or made available by municipal authority, a board or commission and any help, benefit or advantage offered or made available by an individual or a corporation.

I do not know how one can have a broader definition of service. I am not sure what cases he can be talking about. My information is that there has been no case law to limit that general understanding of the definition of services. If he wants to talk to me about it in private I would be glad to do it, because if he has some information I think it would be important for us to know it. But that is our understanding of the definition of service.

The issue has come up quite frequently about the question of epileptics and diabetics.

Clearly epileptics are covered in the act -- they are specified. As a physician, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind whatever that diabetics are covered. Section 9(b) says very clearly diabetes is a physical disability which may be due to a birth defect, or due to an illness or due to trauma.

I appreciate that diabetics might like to have it spelled out differently, but there is a whole range of illnesses and conditions. Were we to itemize every one, the mere act of itemizing might mean we forget one.

Mr. B. Newman: Why would you not have included diabetics regardless?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: It may well be that we have to, if there is any doubt. But I am telling the member we could have an incredibly long list if one listed all of the disabilities -- be they due to trauma, to burns, to infection. There is a whole classification of disabilities. But I know of no physician who would ever think that diabetes was not included in this general definition. So there can be no doubt about that.

I was also asked if section 16 applies to housing and it does. I could discuss the question of adult-only buildings in detail again, but as members know, I covered it in great detail in my opening remarks yesterday. I hope the member for Windsor-Sandwich will refer to that and if he wishes to speak to me about it privately or during the clause-by- clause debate I would be glad to. We think we have a very rational and logical position on that. I honestly believe in the position we have taken on it.

The issue of political belief was raised by the member for Windsor-Sandwich. I would be curious to know what empirical evidence he really has that it is a problem in this society. I would refer him to page 63 of Life Together. It was concluded there that Ontario does not begin to have the problems found in other countries where the lack of freedom of political belief is often the most common denial of human rights. They could not find a problem in this province at least. I will be interested, in clause-by-clause, to learn what specific types of political beliefs he is talking about and what kind of problems he has encountered or he has heard of that he thinks should be dealt with. Life Together could not find any evidence of it in this province. One must always be sure that one is dealing with the problems that exist in society.

We can get into the makeup of the commission in greater detail, but I hope the member will agree that by and large they are a very thoughtful, committed group of people.

I do not agree with his suggestion that it should be filled with people who have special interests. I think it is important that there be a balance in a commission.

He mentioned in particular a need for handicapped persons. Dr. Al Jousse, who himself is handicapped and who established the first rehabilitation centre, Lyndhurst Lodge, for handicapped people in this province and who is world-renowned, is a member of that commission. He is very knowledgeable in the field both from a personal point of view and from a physician’s point of view. I was surprised the member picked that one example, because he brings both points of view to that commission. That is why he is there -- to bring that kind of facility to the commission.

The member for Windsor-Walkerville, I think gave very thoughtful remarks. I have known of his great interest in the handicapped for many years, and he should take great pride in the fact that this bill is now before the House because it encompasses many of the things he fought for, for many years, and I am proud to be part of it because of that.

I would like to assure him again, because I know the special concern he has about diabetes, that there is no possible way that diabetics are not covered. We can talk about it at committee if he thinks there is a need to do more. It is just a matter of how far one goes in listing individual conditions. But there is no doubt it is covered.

The Acting Speaker: Can I draw the minister’s attention to the time?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Perhaps the other members who had many valuable comments will forgive me if I do not go over them all individually. I will keep these notes and perhaps when we go to committee we can review it on a clause-by-clause basis and discuss some of the matters raised.

On one issue, I must clear the air: The domestics are not excluded from the Human Rights Code. By not excluding them, they are specifically included. Let there be no doubt about that.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for standing committee.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, would it be possible for the government House leader to introduce a motion at a later date referring this to a specific committee?

The Acting Speaker: Yes, I think that can be done. It will be a standing committee.

The House adjourned at 6:01 p.m.