32nd Parliament, 1st Session





























The House met at 2:01 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: I would ask all honourable members to join with me to extend a warm welcome to the members of the Alberta Legislature's select committee on the constitution. The chairman is the Honourable Gerry Amerongen, Speaker of the Legislature.


Mr. Speaker: I have today received an order in council dated May 1, 1981, appointing the following as members of the Board of Internal Economy: The Speaker will be the chairman; Honourable Thomas Leonard Wells, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council from among the members of the executive council; Honourable Milton Edward Charles Gregory, Minister without Portfolio, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council from among the members of the executive council; Honourable Robert Bruce McCaffrey, Minister without Portfolio, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council from among the members of the executive council; John McLellan Johnson, MPP, appointed by the caucus of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party; Robert Fletcher Nixon, MPP, appointed by the caucus of the Liberal Party of Ontario; Elie Walter Martel, MPP, appointed by the caucus of the New Democratic Party of Ontario.



Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, as many honourable members know, the people of the Sudbury basin have been planning intensively during the last year for the development of one of the most vividly exciting and fundamentally important projects that has been undertaken anywhere in our province in some years. The project of which I speak is the Sudbury Science Centre.

The Sudbury Science Centre will not be a mere clone of the Ontario Science Centre. It will explore the scientific principles and laws at play in the universe from the unique perspective of a particular part of that universe. In both its form and substance the centre will be rooted in the geology and the geophysics of the basin, its human settlement and the ways in which man has related to its natural endowments, with mining and smelting comprising a significant part of that relationship.

The concept underpinning the Sudbury Science Centre is absolutely breathtaking in its scope and vision. It embraces the cataclysmic 2.5 billion year history of this earth in the great Sudbury region. It celebrates the imagination and industry of the people who have settled the Sudbury basin and made it come alive, from the indigenous copper-culture Indians of 7,000 years ago to the Europeans who went there to work in the great mining industry and who planted many of the roots for the multicultural reality that has survived in the Sudbury area today.

It reaches out to the whole of the north and stimulates a new and rich exploration and appreciation of this region and its people. It is the Sudbury Science Centre, but it is more. It helps create an important tourism context for the north. It is a bright new star in the constellation of interpretative sites that shines in our province. It joins ranks with the likes of Old Fort William at Thunder Bay, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the Huronia Historical Parks at Midland, the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, and, of course, the Ontario Science Centre in Don Mills. For it will surely captivate us and excite in us a deeper understanding of who we are, where we came from, and why we are here.

It is in its concept, and it will be in its fulfilment, an institution that is province-wide in importance. In that context, it is only fitting that all the people of Ontario should join hands with the people of the Sudbury basin and the Ontario north to help make this dream come true.

So today, I wish to announce that the government of Ontario, on behalf of the people of Ontario, will invest a total of $10 million in the construction and operation of the Sudbury Science Centre. The total cost of the project is budgeted at $18.3 million. Of the province's $10 million contribution, $7 million will be dedicated to the construction of the centre. The remaining $3 million will be used as an investment fund. The interest that the fund earns will be devoted to the operating costs that the centre incurs day by day and year by year.

So the province is becoming an important partner in this enterprise, but I think it is essential to emphasize here that the province is becoming only a partner. As many honourable members know, there have been highly significant private sector contributions to the development of this centre. Inco Limited has pledged $5 million to the project, which will be owned and operated by a local, private, nonprofit corporation called the Sudbury Science Centre Incorporated. Falconbridge Nickel Mines Limited has already pledged $1 million.

We have been told by the officers of the Sudbury Science Centre Incorporated that our commitment, coming at this time, will help them to attract the necessary additional private sector support. They are also confident that our commitment will encourage the federal government to get involved in the project.

The provincial government's contribution speaks plainly to the significance of the Sudbury Science Centre. It speaks to the government's understanding of the historic human and physical importance of the north. And it also speaks to the government's appreciation of the continuing need for economic, social and cultural development in the north. It gives me great satisfaction to bring this news of the government's involvement in the Sudbury Science Centre to this House. I know all honourable members will share that satisfaction and a great enthusiasm for this outstanding project.


Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the House leader could inform me whether the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Walker) will be coming later. Does he have any idea? Thank you very much.


Mr. Smith: I will direct my first question to the Minister of Education. Can the minister explain to this House how it is that on campuses in Ontario today there are graduates of a 12-grade system from many other provinces of Canada, like Alberta, while graduates from Ontario have to have completed 13 grades to be on exactly the same footing?

Now before the minister shakes her head too forcefully I will tell her I will be glad to bring into this Legislature many students who graduated after 12 grades in other provinces and are on an equal footing today with 13 grade graduates from Ontario. Why is it that it takes the youth of Ontario 13 years in the minds of Ontario universities to accomplish the same grounding and basics that youth in other provinces can manage in 12 years?

2:10 p.m.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I would hope that the Leader of the Opposition would be aware that there are a number of universities in Ontario that also accept in specific programs, on an equal footing with students from other schools in Ontario, students from Ontario schools who are graduates of grade 12.

The honourable member is obviously aware that the secondary school education review project has been asked specifically to look at this matter and is, in its interim paper today, making some recommendations which bear strong relevance to the question which he has asked.

It is a matter which has been of concern within this province, and traditionally has been based upon the concept that the number of years required to achieve a BA degree at the university be universal throughout Canada. That basis has been very validly upheld during all of the years in which grade 13 has been in existence in Ontario, but it is a matter which we feel very strongly needs to be reviewed at this time.

Mr. Smith: By way of supplementary, since the minister has now been Minister of Education for about three years and must by now have formed an opinion on this matter, and since she has certainly not hesitated to express opinions on many other matters, surely the minister can tell the people of Ontario what opinion she has come to.

Since the highly paid review board she speaks of has already come up with a recommendation that grade 13 should not be required in Ontario, and since she has the benefit of that opinion of the review board, and since she herself has been minister for three years, surely she would care, Mr. Speaker, to express some opinion on this matter as to whether we will require our youth to go to high school for 13 grades when our own campuses are willing to accept grade 12 graduates from other schools on an equal footing with our grade 13 graduates.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, unlike the honourable member, I do not attempt to impose my personal opinion on policy development within Ontario. I object strenuously to the concern expressed by the honourable member about the high level of remuneration for those individuals who have served for the past year. They have served without remuneration, except for the director of the project.

Mr. Speaker: Supplementary, Mr. Cassidy.

Mr. Cassidy: Since these questions flow from the commission that has just reported on secondary education across the province, will the minister undertake that whatever recommendations of the secondary review panel are accepted by the government, that the government will now move in order to increase the provincial funding of local education costs to 60 per cent, as has been recommended by this commission, as was recommended by the Jackson commission and was recommended by the committee on the cost of education back in 1975?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, if the honourable members would take out their pocket calculators and add all of the funding which is provided in direct general legislative grants, and the funding which is provided to support education in a number of other ways, including the seniors' tax grant credit, they would find that this province this year is providing more than 61 per cent of the total cost of elementary/secondary education across Ontario.

Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary, Mr. Cassidy.

Mr. Cassidy: Would the minister not agree that the question is whether the provincial share of general legislative grants to education is to be raised to 60 per cent or not, and will the minister undertake that whatever else happens, Ontario's share will be raised to 60 per cent so that property tax payers should not find themselves almost forced out of their homes because of the high levels of education tax they have to pay locally?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: That is absolute nonsense, Mr. Speaker. The property tax in this province has increased significantly less over the past decade in terms of support of education than the grants from the province of Ontario have increased. It increased significantly less than the consumer price index, as a matter of fact, over that period.

Mr. Smith: A final supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Could the minister explain, given her willingness to express her opinion on such matters as corporal punishment, the use of the Lord's prayer in school, and a number of other matters, why she is so reticent about expressing herself on the question of whether we require 13 years in our education system before our students are ready for higher education? Why can she not express her personal opinion on this matter at this time?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the law of Ontario has required for many years, and still requires, the use of the Lord's prayer in opening exercises, or an alternative appropriate prayer. That is a part of the law. If someone wants to change that law, I would be pleased to have submissions from those responsible.

In the area of physical punishment, I did in fact send out a personal opinion to the chairmen of all school boards suggesting that since we were doing the biennial review of regulation 704, in which this specific regulation is situated, it might be well to consider, on the basis of research, the kind of information which has been developed and a suggested modification of that regulation and ask for responses. We are asking for responses to the content of this paper, which is related specifically to one year's full study at an intensive rate by 40 people in this province who represent the broad spectrum of the population of Ontario. I will not prejudge their decision at this point.

Mr. Smith: This the first time I have heard that minister unwilling to express an opinion. After three years as minister she still does not know whether we need 13 grades? Instant policy.


Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I shall ask a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, who I am sure will be very willing to express an opinion on a matter. He will recall our discussion the other day about the fact that we ought to have one body that is responsible for the investigation of fire safety in various hotels.

Would the minister like to explain to the House what the rationale is behind the present system whereby licensed hotels are inspected by agents who have four to five months of on-the-job training while unlicensed hotels are inspected by someone who is a graduate of the Ontario Fire College, has five years of fire prevention experience with a municipal fire department, and six months of field work?

What possible rationale is there for this double standard in which the unlicensed hotels are inspected by people with all this training and experience while licensed hotels remain under the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario with people with much less training and experience?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, the unlicensed hotels are not under the Hotel Fire Safety Act and that is the rationale for it.

Mr. Smith: That is a marvellous answer. Is the minister going to try to persist with this absolutely ludicrous system in which when one stays in an hotel the chances of its having been adequately inspected will depend on whether or not it happens to be an establishment unlicensed or licensed for the serving of liquor? Is this system going to be persisted in?

Is the minister aware of the coroners' verdicts after a number of fires, including one in Paris, Ontario, at the New Royal Hotel in 1974 and the one at the Wentworth Arms in Hamilton in 1978? Is the minister aware of those coroners' jury reports that have asked that there be only one department responsible, which would be the fire marshal's office, and that it have full responsibility for fire safety in all hotels irrespective of whether liquor is being served?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, we have already moved in that area. With the advent of the new fire code, which will come in under the changes to be brought in shortly by the Solicitor General (Mr. McMurtry), once those come in it will bring together many of the areas and consolidate them. Right now, they are inspected heavily by fire departments under the various acts and they are inspected heavily by the agents of the Solicitor General operating under the Fire Marshals Act. Consequently there is a lot of investigation, a lot of checking and inspection done by agents of the crown one way or the other.

Mr. Breaugh: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I did not hear from the minister a firm commitment that when they bring in the new fire code they will in fact consolidate all of these various levels of inspection, types of inspectors -- - whatever -- so that people who operate hotels and people who use them will know with some good conscience that the person who conducted the inspection was the most qualified person available for that task; and second, so that they might in future at least get consistent advice as to what to do. Will the minister do that?

2:20 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Walker: I think you will find, Mr. Speaker, there will be a substantial amount of consolidation once the actual code is before us, and I think you will be impressed by the degree to which that is revealed at that time.

At the moment they are all doing inspections under the fire code itself. I think the member will find the new amendments coming in under the fire code to be extremely stringent, so inspections will occur and the adherence will occur.

Mr. Smith: Supplementary: Is the minister unaware of what I said in the first part of the question, which is that those who are inspecting for the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario have a few months of on-the-job training, and in many instances that is all by way of qualification, whereas those who inspect for the fire marshal's office have all this training at the Ontario Fire College and years of fire prevention work, as well as field work?

Given that discrepancy, which can have no conceivable rationale, will the minister not simply stand in his place and undertake right now that only one body, namely the fire marshal's office under the Solicitor General's ministry, will henceforth be responsible for fire safety and inspection in all hotels of Ontario, irrespective of whether they serve liquor? Why can the minister not make that simple decision right now and not talk about a fire code, which frankly does not even relate to the question of whether one ministry will inspect all hotels?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Exactly the way is it now, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Smith: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, the minister implies that I have somehow or other been mistaken in this regard. I show him Topical, produced by the Civil Service Commission. Let me just read one paragraph, Mr. Speaker, to clear my reputation in this regard.


Mr. Smith: The Premier (Mr. Davis) and members opposite suggest I should read a whole book to clear my reputation. I do not mind, but for the moment, just to do it in brief, I will read one paragraph: "...the fire marshal's office in the Ministry of the Solicitor General enforces the Hotel Fire Safety Act ... in hotels licensed by the Ministry of Industry and Tourism. The Liquor Licence Board of Ontario" -- which, as I say, have different qualifications for their people -- "enforces the Hotel Fire Safety Act in hotels that come under the liquor Licence Act."

Nothing could be clearer than that.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Do not believe everything you read.

Speaking to the point of privilege raised by the honourable member, the fact of the matter is that the liquor licence inspectors -- yes, they are liquor licence inspectors, but they are in effect retained as agents by the Solicitor General. They even write on the same pad that says "Office of the Fire Marshal," and they carry out the same investigation as the fire marshal's people do. The only difference is there is a consolidation, in effect, that is being done by one inspector who inspects one thing on one occasion and on other occasions spends it on the other.

And, yes, a fair number of them are extremely well qualified and they are the ones who are doing the inspections. That is the part that the Leader of the Opposition is not realizing. Why does he not read more accurately?


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the minister of high-priced housing.

Now that the price of a house in the Metropolitan Toronto region -- which includes all of Mississauga, a large part of the region of Durham, and part of the region of York -- has risen in the month of April by $9,662 to the figure of $101,418 for the average house, would the minister tell the House how much further house prices have to rise in the Metropolitan Toronto region before the government is prepared to move in with measures that will keep housing affordable for average families in this province?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, it is rather interesting, the member talks about the Metropolitan Toronto region as his concern and then he wants to know what we are going to do to get a general policy for the province. I am not one who accepts that the whole of Ontario starts and stops in this part of our province. Frankly, Mr. Speaker -- and to the Premier, that includes Brampton if I may say so, sir, as well. I thought the Premier was going to turn around and ask for the price of his home. I am not sure what Main Street, in Brampton, is at the moment.

I suggest to the leader of the third party he might like to supply me with the source of the information he happens to be reading from. I would like him to look at some other figures from over the last five or six years in relation to housing in this province.

We get back to the great question of averages, which have little or no application to an individual's requirement or desire; it has to do with a situation in an overall market. But let us look at the period between 1976 and 1980 and the annual increase in housing in the various communities. The member talked about what is happening in this region only, but let us look at the rest of the province.

In Hamilton, the average increase in housing was 4.85 per cent; that is increase in the cost of housing. Then you go to Kitchener for an increase of 7.25 per cent, which is the highest anywhere in this province. Then we get to London, at 6.5 per cent; Oshawa, 3.3 per cent -- and I ask the member to question the member of his party from Oshawa if that position is correct. In Ottawa it is 3.7 per cent. The member and I should know a little bit about that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No; the minister should.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Yes, I will accept that as a correction from the Premier, that I should know where the member would not.

In Sudbury it is 5.2 per cent and in Toronto the average in the overall area has been 5.8 per cent. That was between 1976 and 1980, Mr. Speaker, and that has been somewhat below the average inflation factor we have experienced in this country, which was 10.4 per cent over that same period.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: The minister has kept on saying that people on modest incomes should look outside of the downtown core in order to find themselves a home. Is he aware that in the five cheapest areas of the Metropolitan Toronto region, which stretches from Bay Ridges to the Halton boundary and up past Richmond Hill, the average price of a home in April 1981 ranged from $64,000 to $77,000, and that is far out of reach of average families with the average family income of $27,000 in Metro?

Is he aware that in the month of April alone, in those areas where he says families on modest incomes should be looking for houses, the percentage increase in the price of homes that were sold ranged between 6.5 per cent up to as high as 21 per cent in that one month? How long is this spiral going to go on before the government steps in with action to protect people who want to have homes of their own?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I will come back to it again: to start dealing with averages is not responding to the individual requirements in this province, or anywhere close to it.

Frankly, the member has seen the figures from the Multiple Listing Service in this part of the province and, indeed, from other parts of Ontario, and there is the availability. Let me assure him the Ontario Mortgage Corporation, which happens to be an entity owned by the people of Ontario, which includes the member and myself, has something better than 400 units in the Peel and Brampton area, priced at under $40,000, that are available to the market today. Frankly, there is a supply of housing that will meet pretty well every range of income in this province.

I want to emphasize once again that what we are experiencing in Ontario is that today people are not only looking at buying a home as a shelter but they are looking at it from a second aspect as well. I heard about it this morning in the Urban Development Institute conference, along with colleagues from the provinces of Canada -- Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia.

The fact remains that people today are requiring shelter as one aspect of their purchase. As a second aspect they are looking at it as an investment, both long and short term, as to what they can gain back.

Mr. Ruprecht: Supplementary: I would like to ask the minister whether he believes, and if this government believes, that if the average Canadian is willing, able and ready to work very hard to own his own shelter, that is a right every Canadian should have; to own his own home if he is willing to work hard for it?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Again, generalities are very easy to put on the Order Paper or the question paper, Mr. Speaker. First of all, let us look at the fact that not every Canadian -- and I challenge any member of this House to criticize this -- is really interested in owning his, her or their own home. There are a number of people in our society who do not want to be in the ownership business at all.

Generally speaking -- and I repeat what I said a week ago or 10 days ago in this House -- it is beyond my comprehension to say that every income group is going to be able to afford a home. There are people in certain groups in our economy who obviously will not be into the ownership market at all because of their lack of income.

2:30 p.m.

Let me emphasize to the member who asked the question that we were bribed into the situation on the assisted home ownership program homes by his government in Ottawa. We took people from certain income groups in Canada -- not only in Ontario but in Canada -- and encouraged them to get into an AHOP home, and five years later they found they were in over their heads.

I do not think it is the position of government to encourage people into a situation that is going to spell disaster for them in the end analysis. Not everyone in this province, in any way, shape or form, is going to be able to or wants to own their own private residence.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Given the fact that investment is an option but having shelter is a necessity for any family in Ontario, is the minister and the government not prepared to act in order to ensure that housing is treated only as a matter of shelter and is made available to people on modest incomes across the province and that people who want to invest can do it on the stock exchange or somewhere else?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, over the last two or three years the criticism around here has been on the question of shelter. Today we have switched away from just the question of shelter. It is a question of investing in ownership.

For a long time government was asked to meet the responsibility or, through it and the private sector, to provide adequate shelter for people in our society -- indeed, even if we had to support it through the public purse and the rent supplement program or under the Ontario Housing Corporation. I believe that is exactly the direction this government has moved in over the last number of years to provide adequate accommodation for the people of Ontario.

Mr. Cassidy: That is not true.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: The member for Ottawa Centre says it is not true. I ask him to put the statistics forward, not just to sit there yapping and saying it is not true.

The government has provided rental accommodation through the private sector on programs it initiated, such as the Ontario rental construction loan program we brought out in January. We provided $42 million in special mortgage programs for the private sector to provide low and middle income rental accommodation that would be in short supply -- the 10,000 were taken up and within a period of 30 days, we added 50 per cent to that by putting in 15,000 units.

Let me tell the member that Ontario Mortgage Corporation has already authorized something better than 15,000 units at $63 million mortgage funding for this province that will answer in all jurisdictions across Ontario a demand for rental accommodation for middle and low income people.

That is in conjunction with the private sector and not only provincial or federal government financing. In deference to the private sector, they realize there is an opportunity, if government will give them some assistance, to provide that type of accommodation at a reasonable rent to the people.

In the overall field of housing, I do not accept the terminology I have heard expressed in this House during the last couple of weeks that talks about a crisis. I do not see a crisis. There is a supply of housing for virtually every price range in the marketplace and indeed rental accommodations, I think, through the entire rental --

Mr. Smith: There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: If the member takes off his glasses, he will be in about the same spot.

I think we have supplied the market situation very generally.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question for the Minister of the Environment respecting his announcement last week that the government was engaging in an all-out war on acid rain. Given the declaration of war the minister unleashed last week, would he explain why it is that Ontario Hydro's program for scrubbers on its coal-fired power plants will not result in a single scrubber being installed in Ontario to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions before 1987?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, if the honourable member was aware fully of my comments on the occasion to which he is referring, I think he would understand that I explained in the course of that address the necessary lead time for such action to be taken by Ontario Hydro. Although he cites the date of 1987, I would like to know precisely where he gets that. The date that I am aware of is 1985.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: If the government and Hydro together have launched an all-out war on acid rain, since Hydro is the second largest source of sulphur dioxide emissions in the province, could the minister explain why the $500 million program cited by Hydro at a time when the government was trying to win votes before the election, back in January when this was announced, calls for the expenditure of only $30 million to $37 million in the program between now and 1985?

If the government is serious about declaring war on acid rain, why is it that the expenditure is all put back to the latter half of the 1980s? Why was the action not undertaken before now or is not going forward right now?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, again the honourable member indicates a lack of understanding of the necessary lead time to put this technology in place. He asks why it is not being done right now and that is surely an indication of his total and complete lack of understanding of the complexity of the problem. The fact is this government has taken action. It has embarked upon a determined program to deal with this situation in the face of the fact that certain other jurisdictions have clearly not.

We are willing and prepared to do something about it, and are doing something about it, yet he does an injustice not only to the programs of this government but the actions on the part of industry and Ontario Hydro, by repeatedly demonstrating his ignorance and saying, "Why is it not being done now?" The fact is, it is a complex problem. It requires commitment. It requires preparedness to see these things phased in, and that is what we are doing.

Mr. Smith: Supplementary: In the battle against these American plants that the minister has recently joined, is the minister at all concerned about the quality of his staff and its information, inasmuch as in the first place the ministry cited 18 coal-fired generating stations that had been previously cited by New York state? Fifteen days later the ministry resubmitted an intervention, this time adding two more stations near Cleveland, which I guess he either had not heard about or was still working on.

Is the minister aware there are another seven coal-fired generating stations in the state of Ohio that have requested emission relaxations, and they do not appear in the Ontario submission at all? Is the minister at all concerned that his officials are doing nothing but parroting what somebody in New York state says, rather than doing their homework properly?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I cannot respond at this time specifically with regard to individual stations. I will certainly check the information the honourable member has presented to the House and respond station by station, if he wishes. The point is, the action taken by our government and by my predecessor in this ministry was action that was taken prior to the action on the part of some of the other states. I think if we check we will find New York recently took an action that follows upon the action we took.

With regard to the information I receive from my staff, I know I can say with confidence that in my ministry, working on environmental issues, we have some of the finest staff I know of anywhere.

Mr. Smith: I had hopes for you. I had real hopes for you.

Hon. Mr. Norton: It must be a very pleasant task to be able to sit in a minority position on the opposition side of this House and take potshots at the people who are trying to come to grips with the serious problems we face. That is a very easy job, and at times, in the way in which some honourable members approach it, it is rather a sleazy task they undertake. I want to make it very clear that the opinion that the honourable Leader of the Opposition has demonstrated with respect to the staff of my ministry is not shared by scientists in similar fields.

When I was in the United States just last week there were scientists engaged in similar work who were coming forth asking for information from my ministry staff, asking for results of the research we have been undertaking. I can assure the honourable member, in my opinion that is a demonstration of the respect in which our ministry and our ministry staff is held. If the member would not care to take the time to sit down and try to understand the problems and the issues, then the honourable member, it seems to me, is being myopic. This is one area where he may be looking at the issues with his glasses off.

Mr. Cassidy: Before the minister gets too fulsome in praise of his staff, is the minister aware that the level of 450,000 tons of sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions in 1985, which has been set by the government for Hydro, is the same level of emissions Hydro has managed to achieve or to have had less than for seven of the last eight or 10 years? Would the minister not agree that in declaring an all-out war now, he is effectively attacking his predecessors? If it was a complex problem to resolve, the government should have begun many years ago on the preparations so Hydro would be installing scrubbers today rather than in 1987.

2:40 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I would first of all advise the honourable member that the figures he is using are incorrect and I will provide him with the correct ones if he would like to know them.


Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the minister of municipal affairs and housing regarding his ministry's right to review applications to close some 66-foot shoreline allowances, mainly in the cottage country.

Is the minister aware of a story in the Haliburton County Echo of an opinion expressed in a letter some years ago by the then Premier of Ontario, Leslie Frost? When writing to his federal member, he said: "The facts are that the provincial government really has nothing to do with this matter. For example, when Haliburton county and adjoining areas were surveyed some 90 years ago, a reservation of 66 feet was left around each lake and all navigable waters for road purposes. When the municipalities were organized at a subsequent date, all the road allowances to each municipality were given to the municipalities. These road allowances do not belong to the province, but, as other road allowances in any municipality, they belong to the municipality."

The letter is significant because it states a position of the provincial government with respect to the allowances that has apparently never been formally altered in legislation. In view of this opinion, does the minister not feel his ministry is exceeding its authority by placing too much red tape before the municipalities to convey these road allowances?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, the road allowance problem has been with us for some period and I recognize that. Frankly, when a municipality wishes to close up the road allowance and designate it to an adjoining property owner, we have gone through a rather complicated procedure and I admit to that as well.

I spoke with the member's planner at lunch today at a conference I happened to speak at and one of the questions raised was along those lines. We said we would be pleased to sit down and review it further with him.

Mr. Eakins: In regard to section 443, will the minister be taking steps to remove some of the great expense and the great length of time that municipalities and individuals must go to in order to convey these lots? At the present time there is a great deal of money involved for the individuals and a great deal of work that the ministry is asking for from municipalities which exceeds what is asked in section 443.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I trust that our review with the municipalities and the associations of municipalities relating to this subject will give us an opportunity to try to streamline the plan so that it does not involve quite the same cost for municipalities and individuals. But at the same time we will try to give a certain assurance to taxpayers and property owners adjacent to the right of way that their privileges and their rights are not going to be abused.


Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health. I wonder if the minister is aware of the impossible position of the people who have urea-formaldehyde insulation in the walls of their homes. Is he aware of the apprehension these people feel about their health knowing that foam is there? If they have pronounced symptoms from the formaldehyde gas, such as bleeding from the nose and nausea, insomnia or headaches, do they continue to live in that house or do they move? If they decide for health reasons to move, how do they sell their house when there is no market for those kinds of houses? Would the minister advise this House and those home owners what those people should do now.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I think we are all concerned, first of all, that we not encourage any panic on anybody's part. Last week I telexed the federal Minister of Health and Welfare regarding the report she tabled almost two weeks ago and on the basis of which she made permanent what was at that point a temporary ban on the use of urea-formaldehyde. I pointed out to Mme. Begin that in the report she had tabled there were two recommendations about which she has not as yet made any comment.

In the report of the expert medical advisory committee to her, one recommendation was that the federal government initiate a national survey of between 800 and 1,000 homes to determine the extent, if any, of health hazards. Essentially what happened is that the expert medical advisory committee said there could be a health hazard and therefore recommended the permanent banning of the product, based on which she did that.

This report went on to say that, first, she should do a national survey of 800 to 1,000 homes to determine what, if any, hazard does exist; second, having done that, the federal government should initiate -- I am not sure of the exact wording they used but I will call it a retrofit program -- a program to cover the extent of any problem that does exist. In essence, they are saying they do not know how much of a problem it is.

They made these recommendations to the federal minister, who has to date said nothing about either one. I asked Mme. Begin to let us know immediately what her plans are. I indicated to her that the province and the municipal health units are prepared to assist them in carrying out their work. Of course, in the ministry or the health units we do not have all the personnel or, for that matter, all the equipment necessary to do this. Even at the present time, we are relying on equipment that is in another ministry.

I am hopeful I can get an early answer from Mme. Begin. I had an acknowledgement on Thursday from her executive assistant that this will be drawn to her attention immediately. If I do not have an answer in a day or two, I will get back to her in order that we can all be clear, in all the provinces, on what the federal government is going to do to correct this matter with a substance it had approved for use in the country and a substance I am now informed was never approved by our own building code officials.

Mr. Nixon: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Speaker: Supplementary, Mr. Philip.

Mr. Philip: Could the minister advise the House about what instructions he has given to local municipal health inspectors, since I understand from the Etobicoke health inspector that no instructions have come from the ministry? Would he also comment on the fact that while certain municipal health inspectors are doing tests on request, the test being used in places such as Etobicoke is the Drager test. I understand that equipment will measure only to a standard considerably less than the federal government's ambient air standard. When will the minister be sending out some information, in light of his comment that we should not have alarm out there? Isn't it about time that his own municipal health inspectors knew what it is he would like them to do in this program?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, it was in December 1980 that the federal Minister of Health and Welfare placed a temporary ban on the use of this material, which of course was public information. Following receipt of that information from Health and Welfare, we sent out some background information in February to all the medical officers of health -- who are the supervisory officers of all the inspectors to whom the member refers -- about formaldehyde gas. We indicated to them that our own Ministry of Labour, which has the equipment required for the fine-tune testing which we do not have in the Ministry of Health, was prepared to offer technical advice.

Once the federal minister released the report to which I just referred, although in my view she had not completed her response to that since she had not covered those two very important recommendations, we followed that up. That is where the matter stands at this point.

The medical officers of health and the chairmen of the boards of health in Metropolitan Toronto met last week and quite rightly decided not to panic and order some massive testing, in the light of the information we provided to them about those two recommendations and the fact that we were seeking to get the federal government's response and action on those two points.

2:50 p.m.

Mr. Nixon: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Speaker: Supplementary, Mr. Swart.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, the minister has not answered my question of what he advises these people who are suffering from symptoms to do now. He has passed the buck to the federal government. Surely he must realize that his ministry has responsibility under the Public Health Act for these matters regardless of whether the product was licensed by the federal government or not.

The act reads: "It is the duty of the ministry and it has the power to determine when the existing condition of any premises is a nuisance or injurious to health; to enter into and to go upon any premises in the exercise of any power or the performance of any duty under this act and to make such orders and give such direction with regard to the structural alteration of the premises" et cetera. What is the minister doing about that in the light of other health conditions which have existed and about which he, in other jurisdictions, has given direction where there is this real likelihood of a major health hazard?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, that is just the point. The honourable member obviously has not read the report. The report, in effect, said it could be a health hazard, and based on those findings recommended that it be banned permanently. It then went on to say to the honourable minister in Ottawa, "Find out the extent of the problem in the country, and then, you, the federal government, establish a retrofit program." We are pressing them to do just that in order that a lot of -- I suspect when it all shakes down -- unfounded fears, can be allayed.

When something like this hits the press, especially when it is a matter like this, inevitably some people assume, because they have a ticklish throat or whatever, that perhaps theirs is a home in which there may be a problem. The only way we are going to find out for certain the extent of the problem is if the federal government will follow the recommendations in the report. If they refuse to exercise their responsibilities, then we will have to reassess the matter at that point.

Mr. Speaker: Supplementary, Mr. Nixon.

Mr. Nixon: What have I done to deserve this special treatment? However, Mr. Speaker, I appreciate your perception.

I would like to say to the minister, particularly based on the original question from the member for Welland-Thorold, that the people in the community have learned to rely on the medical officers of health in situations like this. It is certainly not sufficient to say, "Don't panic," when they realize that their houses are insulated with materials which are now, by edict, by order of the government of Canada, illegal.

Rather than sit back and wait for the government of Canada to do something, which may be a longer wait than we choose to abide by, would it not be better if he co-operated with his colleague the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Norton) and undertook some readily available tests, particularly for those people who are fearful of the effects of the insulation in their own house, thus taking a responsible position, as the province has in the past under other ministers, and may again?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have that commendation for activities past, perhaps in the last four years.

I have already pointed out that we communicated to the medical officers of health almost three months ago the information available to us, resulting from the then temporary ban on the use of this material, pointing out to them some basic facts about the particular commodity and also further pointing out that if they wanted technical assistance and advice, it was available from the government to assist in whatever follow-up they deemed necessary as medical officers of health in their particular jurisdiction.

Having just come from Hamilton where I spoke to the Association of Boards of Health, I wish I had had the member's commendation beforehand. I would have loved to have passed it on to them.


Mr. McKessock: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Agriculture and Food. The minister, at a speech given to the Livestock Market Association of Canada on April 24, said, and I quote: "The other major issue right now is interest rates, The solution lies at the federal level. I am sure all those experts in Ottawa could find a way of relieving farmers of this burden." All the experts are not in Ottawa. Other provinces have found their own experts and have come up with interest rebates of $10,000 per farmer, while Ontario experts have only come up with $1,600. Ten thousand dollars and $1,600 really do not compare.

In view of the fact the minister goes on, and I quote, "I hear tragic stories of farm sales which are partly the result of high interest rates and low livestock prices and it makes me furious," I am certainly pleased to see that the minister is now getting furious about this situation. Does the minister now, after a further increase in interest rates last week, intend to take his place among the other Ministers of Agriculture in Canada and give Ontario farmers what the other provinces are getting?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, I am a little bit surprised at the contacts that party over there has with Ottawa. Something like each Thursday the government of Ottawa decides that up goes the interest. This has continued for several months now, and that party keeps supporting them in that. They are well aware where the --

Mr. Ruston: Ask your Premier (Mr. Davis). He is the one who is supporting them.

Hon. Mr Henderson: Mr. Speaker, we are concerned about the farm people in this province. We will place our position before the Minister of Agriculture, Canada, one week from this Wednesday at nine o'clock in the morning.

Mr. Bradley: Why do you not do something yourself?

Mr. McKessock: Can the minister not see what is happening in the beef and hog industry in Ontario? Does he not feel that the same thing is going to happen as happened in the milk industry a few years ago when Quebec supported its dairy farmers and Ontario did not and we lost milk production to Quebec which we were never able to recover? Quebec farmers now are guaranteeing their beef farmers 90 cents a pound for beef and they are getting money at eight per cent to buy feeders. Is the minister going to familiarize himself with the situation and take action the way the other provinces are?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: We have been investigating these situations, and somehow or other I got a little bit different information than the honourable member did. He suggests that Quebec supported its farmers at 90 cents. It is my understanding that it supported them at 96 cents. We have done a great deal of research, and we are looking at all aspects.


Mr. Grande: My question is for the Minister of Education. The secondary education review project committee just reported this morning. It is a discussion paper; we will not have a final report until September some time. One of the recommendations is that the secondary school system should be compressed from five years to four years.

Will the minister ask the people who make up that SERP committee to find out whether the universities will increase a general BA degree from three years to four years? If so, will she say what will happen to the accessibility to post-secondary levels in our institutions for students from working-class families who have to pay an added $2,000 to $4,000 for the first year of university, when in essence right now it is free in grade 13?

Second, what would be the effect on the money the federal government puts into Ontario as a result of Ontario having a grade 13? After these studies are done, would the minister make a commitment to have a select committee on education so that education can be really debated in this province?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member is acutely aware that what has been produced is a discussion paper which is to be responded to by everyone who is interested in education. There is no doubt in my mind there will be a large number of responses to some of the suggestions. But it is my understanding the recommendations related to credits within the secondary school program suggest strongly there should be a realignment of the credits in secondary schools to permit those students who wish to do so to complete their entire secondary school education within a four-year period. It is not being suggested it be mandatory that there be a total compression of the secondary school education program to a four-year period.

There will be ample opportunity for teachers, parents and others to respond to the suggestions that are made within this document. There will be opportunity for that steering committee -- which is even broader than a select committee of the Legislature -- to look at the responses which are developed and to produce what they consider to be a blueprint for education. That, I am sure, will raise a good deal of discussion within this House and within other forums, so that there can be full and complete discussion of secondary education in this province.

3 p.m.

There are implications, even in these suggestions, for both elementary and post-secondary education. There are a number of reassurances which would, in fact, have to be developed in order even to move in the kinds of directions which are being suggested here.

Mr. Grande: Supplementary: I am sure the minister is aware that this particular year--June or September seem to be the critical months -- we are going to have in this province a report from the tripartite committee on the funding at the university level. We have the final report of the secondary education review program. We already have a report on primary education and education prior to kindergarten by LaPierre. Would it be a good opportunity some time in September or October for the minister to strike a select committee on education so that the wider community in Ontario could have an input, and not just simply on that close section of the secondary school system, but so it could look at the whole education system and could really begin to have a blueprint for education in the province?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I would remind the honourable member that there are other documents which are out there for discussion at the present time as well, such as the document on polytechnic education and the document on continuing education. All of these matters have been distributed widely, so the entire spectrum of the Ontario population may respond to them if they wish to do so. I cannot believe that those who are concerned about education will not do just that. I would expect that will happen.

At the insistence of the honourable leader of the official opposition, I do not make instant policy, particularly on the hustings, without ever talking to anybody else about it, including my education critic. Secondly, when one asks a group of responsible citizens in this province to undertake a task, it not only is impolite, it would be absolutely immoral to suggest one's personal opinion before one hears what that group which has been asked to provide that service says about it.


Mr. Ruston: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. Is the minister aware of a proposed expansion of a sanitary landfill site in Essex county to supply the city of Windsor, which will take a great deal of number one farm land out of production? Is the minister making any plans to join with industry and municipalities to build energy-from-waste recovery systems?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I apologize. I was in the midst of reading a report. I wonder if the honourable member would repeat the question.

Mr. Ruston: Now I know what they call it after they win an election. I don't like to use the word, but the Conservative Party is arrogant once it has won the election. The minister doesn't even know what ministry he has. He is a fine fellow but he doesn't know what ministry he has.

Is the Minister of the Environment aware of a proposed expansion of a sanitary landfill site in the county of Essex to serve the city of Windsor which will take out hundreds of acres of prime agricultural land in a high heat-unit area, which is very important, and is the minister making any plans to join with industry and municipalities to build energy-from-waste recovery systems?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and through you to the honourable member, for repeating it. I somehow thought he was asking a supplementary to someone else and I carried on with my reading.

Although I have not been involved on an ongoing basis at this stage with that particular project, it is my understanding that there will be a hearing on the matter. With respect to the latter part of the member's question, as it relates to energy from waste -- I believe that is what he was referring to -- my colleague the Minister of Energy is the lead minister in those projects and I would be willing to refer that to him if the member would like that second question to be addressed.

Mr. Ruston: May I ask then a supplementary to the Minister of Energy, Mr. Speaker? Is the minister aware of General Motors of Canada planning -- they are in the engineering stage -- to build energy from waste into the steam system, and is the minister making any plans to have municipalities and industry, in conjunction with the government, build these energy systems?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Ruston: How soon?

Hon. Mr. Welch: The honourable member, of course, has not been reading all the material that has been coming daily from the Ministry of Energy. We have two demonstration projects on right now in regional Niagara, one with Ontario Paper Company in Thorold as the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart) will know, and one with the General Motors plant in the city of St. Catharines. Actually, they are in a very advanced stage with respect to these projects and we expect to be awarding some contracts. It should come as no surprise that a progressive area like the one from which I come would, in fact, take such a leading role.


Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Culture and Recreation. Is the minister aware that the radio reading service which serves the visually handicapped in the Golden Horseshoe area has only one and a half months of operating funds in the bank, and is still waiting for a decision by his ministry on its request for a modest $80,000 grant for 1981? Surely in this International Year of Disabled Persons, the minister would not see this kind of a service discontinued so that the visually handicapped would lose this valuable service?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I am very much aware of the financial needs of the radio reading service. They are a very small organization, and they have been in operation for some three or four years now. My ministry has been making ad hoc grants to them ever since 1978-79 when they received $38,000, 1979-80 when they got a $40,000 grant, 1979-81, another $40,000, and this year they are requesting $87,000.

We will be giving them a grant but we have also encouraged them to try to seek funding elsewhere. We have been in touch with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind on the kind of service the radio reading service is providing, to see how CNIB feels about this. I would like to assure the honourable member that certainly for this year we will not let them down. We will provide them with enough financial support to complete their services for this year. We hope, along with Community and Social Services and some of the other ministries, and with the CNIB, to find a long-term solution for radio reading service.

Ms. Bryden: Supplementary: We are already five months into 1981, and I think it is a crisis situation that cannot wait very much longer. Is the minister aware that the service is able to operate 17 hours a day and seven days a week only with the help of more than 100 volunteers? To ask those volunteers also to go out on fund-raising drives at this time is unreasonable for an organization of this sort. What they need is permanent funding from this government, if the visually handicapped are to be serviced, and the service extended. Will the minister comment?

3:10 p.m.



Hon. Mr. Wells moved that because of the interruption of the private bill legislation occasioned by the prorogation of the Fourth Session of the Thirty-First Parliament, the following applications for private legislation made during the Fourth Session of the Thirty-First Parliament be considered during the present session without giving further notice of the applications and without lodging further declarations proving publication:

1. The applications for private legislation related to Bills Pr44, Pr47 and Pr52 which received first reading in the Fourth Session of the Thirty-First Parliament;

2. The application for private legislation by the city of Windsor for which the fees were paid and the advertising was completed during the Fourth Session of the Thirty-First Parliament;

3. The application for private legislation by Stanley Stacey, Audrey Stacey and Marguerite Geddes for which the fees were paid during the fourth session of the Thirty-First Parliament and the advertising was completed in the Ontario Gazette on January 19, 1980;

That the fees paid by the applicants with respect to the said applications in the fourth session of the Thirty-First Parliament be applicable for the continuation of those applications in the present session;

That the report of Commissioners of Estate Bills received by the Clerk of the House respecting the said Bill Pr47 be deemed to be in relation to Bill Pr3 in the present session.

Motion agreed to.



Mr. Robinson moved first reading of Pr5, An Act to revive Stacey's Custom Upholstery Limited.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Williams moved first reading of Bill Pr1, An Act to revive Mildove Mining Company Limited.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Renwick moved first reading of Bill Pr2, An Act respecting the City of Toronto.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Newman moved first reading of Bill Pr7, An Act respecting the City of Windsor.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Philip moved first reading of Bill 46, An Act respecting Polling Places in Residential Buildings.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to require that a polling place for a provincial election be provided in every residential premise in which more than 250 voters reside. The bill also requires that every landlord of residential premises in which more than 250 voters reside make the premises available for use as a polling place during a provincial election.


Mr. Brandt moved first reading of Bill Pr6, An Act respecting the County of Lambton.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Nixon, on behalf of Mr. Breithaupt, moved first reading of Bill Pr3, An Act to revive Sioux Petroleums Limited.

Motion agreed to.



Clerk of the House: Mr. Speaker, I have a report from the Commissioners of Estate Bills with respect to Bill Pr3.

The report from the Commissioners of Estate Bills with respect to Bill Pr47 of 1980 and now Bill Pr3 of 1981, An Act to Revive Sioux Petroleums Limited:

"The undersigned, as Commissioners of Estate Bills as provided by the Legislative Assembly Act, RSO 1970, chapter 240, have had the above-noted bill referred to us as commissioners and now beg to report thereon.

"We have investigated the desirability of the proposed legislation. We are of the opinion that the provisions of the bill are proper for carrying into effect its purpose and it is reasonable that the said bill should pass into law. We are of that opinion notwithstanding that a parcel of land in Alberta, title to which is registered in the name of the corporation, may have become escheated, under the law of Alberta, to the crown in the right of that province. We think the revival of the corporation is desirable so that it will have status to assert the title it will claim to the Alberta property.

"We enclose a copy of the bill which we have duly signed.

Yours very truly,

A. R. Jessup, JA.

Bertha Wilson, JA."



Resumption of the adjourned debate on the amendment to the amendment to the motion for an address in reply to the speech of the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor at the opening of the session.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, since this is my first opportunity to speak in this session, I would like to congratulate you on your election to this high office. I trust you will continue the tradition established by the previous Speaker, the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes), for treating all members equally and maintaining the impartiality and dignity of the office, which is so essential to the preservation of our democratic parliament.

3:20 p.m.

Mr. Speaker, I had hoped that we would begin the post-election session with a throne speech that would be a call for vigorous action on the many problems concerning the people in my riding today. Instead, we heard a recycling of election promises with few specifics and no timetable for most of the programs. Because of its many glaring omissions, it is a throne speech which in my opinion missed the target.

For those in my riding without a job there were no measures for immediate job creation. The only jobs created are positions as directors and staff of several new crown corporations and agencies. For those unable to afford the soaring house prices in my area there was no clamp on the speculative boom which is putting home ownership and home upgrading beyond the reach of most working people.

For those concerned about the environment, there was no real commitment to more vigorous action against acid rain. Inco and Hydro can still go on polluting at high levels for the next decade. The government has not changed its support of STOL at the Island Airport, even though most transportation economists say it is an incredibly wasteful way of spending our transportation dollars as well as being destructive of our waterfront recreation and housing areas.

Many of my constituents, especially those on low and fixed incomes, are upset that the speech from the throne fails to deal with price ripoffs and inflation. They feel helpless in the face of weekly price boosts in food products when supermarkets are not required to justify any increases. Other disappointments to residents of my riding were no mention of opting out and extra billing by doctors, no reference to more adequate notice and pension protection for laid-off workers and no reference to severance pay, despite what one might call "cross my heart and hope to die" promises in the last session and promises that included making it retroactive to January 1, 1981. Time is running out.

No wonder people are cynical about this government's sincerity. Its 38 years in office are strewn with the skeletons of broken promises. The greatest disappointment of all to me was the government's absolute indifference to the needs of a majority of the population. When I say "a majority" I refer to women who now number about 51 per cent of our population. There is not a single reference in the throne speech to more than half the population of this province. There is absolutely no recognition of what we might call the facts of life about women in Ontario. Is the government not aware that women in Ontario earn only 58 per cent of the male average earnings and that the gap amounted to $7,000 a year in 1978 and is still growing?

Is the government not aware that unemployment is about twice as high for women as for men in the 25-to-44 age category? Is the government not aware that only 27 per cent of women are covered by private pension plans? Is the government not aware that two thirds of the 180,000 workers earning the minimum wage in Ontario are women? Is the government not aware that 71 per cent of part-time workers are women and they have very little protection in working conditions?

Is the government not aware that only 15 out of 21,000 apprentices who were apprenticed in the industrial trades in 1978 were women? In the next year they enrolled 1,500 more men and only four more women. Is the government not aware that two thirds of women are employed in the low-paying clerical, sales and service occupations? Is the government not awake to the microelectronic revolution which is threatening to wipe out from 30 to 40 per cent of these jobs in the next 10 years?

Where will these displaced women find alternative employment and training? A majority depend on their jobs to support themselves and their children and are not secondary wage earners as this government seems to consider them.

There is not a mention of this problem in the throne speech, nor is it mentioned in the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development pre-election manifesto, Building Ontario's Industrial Capacity in the 1980s. Women are completely ignored in the BILD industrial strategy. How can the government plan to increase productivity and develop our resources when it ignores half of Ontario's human resources?

Of course I can understand why the BILD brochure failed to mention women. It was little more than a charter of patched-up broken promises of past years. But since the government has never made any promises to work towards equality for women, there were no fractured remnants to glue together and paint over.

The government's failure to provide equal opportunity for women means the talents and potential of 50 per cent of our population are being wasted. We know that right inside the Ontario public service the potential of the women employees is not being fully utilized. Progress in moving women out of the low-paying jobs is painfully slow. Despite the existence of a so-called affirmative action hiring program since 1973, 52 per cent of all women in the public service earn less than $13,000 per year and 73 per cent earn less than $15,000. Only four per cent of female employees have succeeded in reaching the highest-paid category of $25,000 and over. Women at the director level are only about five or six of the total of directors.

Even though the BILD proposals did not cover women specifically, they contained ominous plans for the public service to explore, and I quote, "The inclusion of unclassified employees into permanent part-time positions and the conversion of full-time positions into part-time positions." This means there will be in the Ontario public service fewer full-time and more part-time positions in the future. These are usually paid at lower rates and carry fewer benefits. It is well known that more women than men accept such positions because there are fewer full-time opportunities for them.

Token appointments of women to boards and commissions, or even to the cabinet and deputy ministerships, are not the answer to establishing economic equality. In fact they are an insult to the vast majority of Ontario's 1.8 million working women who don't have equal opportunity in either the work place or society.

What is needed to develop an equal opportunity climate in this province? A package of measures is required to remove the barriers to change, to alter attitudes, to open up skills training and nontraditional jobs to women, to guarantee equal pay for work of equal value and to provide support services to give real meaning to economic equality.

Last fall the NDP member for Hamilton Mountain (Mr. Charlton) introduced such a package as a private member's public bill. It was called the Women's Economic Equality Act. It was five-pronged, calling for the following measures: equal pay for work of equal value; adequate quality day care so that women have a free choice about working inside or outside the home; increased access to skills training and apprenticeship to permit entry into the nontraditional and higher paying jobs; strong affirmative action programs in both the public and private sectors through an equal employment office in the Ministry of Labour; and a ban on sexual harassment on the job.

3:30 p.m.

The Conservative members blocked a vote on this bill last fall when it was debated. They have brought in no substitute, not even a promise to bring in improvements in any of these areas, in the throne speech.

Their record on equal pay legislation is indicative of their lack of understanding of equal opportunity. Ostrich-like, they persist in arguing that the present law, which calls for equal pay for "substantially the same kind of work," is as good as the concept of equal pay for work of equal value. It is not, because it does not allow for comparison of different jobs, like comparing a switchboard operator and a parking lot attendant, even if both jobs call for substantially the same skill, effort and responsibility. So low-paying job ghettos continue.

The present law also confines the comparison to jobs in the same establishment. Often there is not a job that is substantially the same to use as a yardstick in the same establishment.

The government tried to demonstrate that its law was capable of achieving more equal pay settlements by hiring 11 additional enforcement officers last year and spending almost half a million dollars on a media campaign to encourage complaints. It is true that it got six times as many complaints, but the number of violations found was only 35 out of the 132 complaints it investigated last year.

Perhaps the small number of violations found indicates the narrowness of the law, because the investigators probably rejected many complaints, almost three quarters of them, on the grounds that the law would not substantiate or uphold them. Since none of the cases went to prosecution, we do not know if the courts would have upheld what the investigators accepted under the present restricted law.

In the 35 cases where violations were found, 236 women received $306,458 in compensation, or an average of about $1,300 each. Spot audits produced an average of about $504 each for 155 women from six violations.

The backlog of cases that were not completed in 1980-81 is alarming. Of the 238 complaints received in that fiscal year, 106 had not been completely investigated by year end. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Overall, the enforcement activity of the ministry produced an average of 21 cents a year for the 1.8 million working women in Ontario, a far cry from raising them above the present level of 58 per cent of male wages. The effort cost the government the salaries and expenses of 11 extra people and $485,000 in ads. That is $95,000 more than the total amount of compensation paid. Surely it makes more sense to broaden the law and set up adequate affirmative action programs.

Another glaring instance of lack of commitment to equal opportunity for women is the government's day care program. Although its spokesmen boast that Ontario's day care expenditures are far ahead of other jurisdictions, we are far behind western Europe and far behind the need.

I find that speeches extolling the virtues of the family such as the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) frequently makes, or the pious statement in the throne speech, are simply attempts to distract attention from the government's failure to adequately fund services that are vital to the preservation of the family today.

Last year, the government dragged its feet on finalizing day care budgets until many centres had to put a freeze on admissions. In Metro Toronto the government twice had to revise its allotments when by large public rallies the need was clearly shown to be unmet. But even after its final pre-election, deathbed repentance increase in the grant for Metro, there was a total of 500 new subsidized spaces provided for Metro Toronto in the face of a documented waiting list of 4,100 spaces. Those 500 spaces were filled in the first two months of 1981.

Fifty-eight per cent of all mothers in Ontario today are working. Only 20,000 of the children of these working mothers will receive subsidized day care this year. Including nonsubsidized spaces, a total of 63,500 children will have access to supervised day care, about four per cent of the total children. For children under two, the nonavailability is staggering. Only 0.4 per cent of infants and 2.1 per cent of toddlers under two are served by child care services of a supervised form.

As a result, many parents have to resort to unsupervised day care arrangements. While some private home day care providers do an excellent job, others lack training, equipment and facilities for quality day care. The youngsters served by these informal arrangements are at risk, both physically and from a social and educational viewpoint.

Even in the supervised day care centres, facilities are limited by cutbacks in capital and repair grants. Moreover, the low level of subsidies means that professionally trained staff are paid far below other similar professionals. Despite low remuneration, their dedication to their work is remarkable, but they should not be expected to continue to subsidize an essential service to the community.

Children with special needs are also short changed by our day care system. There is very little provision for the physically and emotionally handicapped, neither is there help for shift-worker parents who need day care at unusual hours.

At its last convention in June 1980 the Ontario NDP adopted the most comprehensive day care policy offered by any party in this province. It was outlined in a motion tabled in this House last fall by the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan), our welfare critic at that time. He is still among us to continue to advocate that policy which would provide this province with an adequate level of diversified and quality day care.

Parents, children and the whole community would benefit from that policy, but the Premier (Mr. Davis) and his government do not even consider the topic important enough to mention in the throne speech or the BILD program.

I wonder when the government will start listening to its Ontario Status of Women Council. Its director, Lynne Gordon, and her council have consistently called for the sort of package of policies which I and the NDP are advocating, to establish equality of economic opportunity for women. The government is wasting its money on funding this council if it pays no attention to its advice. It is a widely representative council of people in this province. It has the expertise on the subject that the government seems to be ignoring.

3:40 p.m.

Mr. Speaker, the examples I have given clearly demonstrate that this government gives a grade Z priority to women's issues. It does not even seem to recognize that women have the advantage of having been declared to be persons by the highest court in the land, which is more than can be said for the male members of the government.

Mr. Robinson: What we may lack in numbers just at the moment, I can assure you, we make up in enthusiasm.

The Deputy Speaker: We hope so.

Mr. Philip: That is just because there are more people on this side of the House than on that side of the House at the moment.

Mr. Robinson: Mr. Speaker, once again, we have always stressed the quality rather than quantity.

It is with great pride and pleasure that I join with my colleagues in offering sincere and hearty congratulations to Mr. Speaker on his appointment to what is certainly the most sensitive position in this House. In the early days of this session, both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker have been tested more than once and I am certain that they have gained the great admiration and respect of all members of this House for their fair and impartial dealings on all matters.

Without being unduly partisan, I think it is fair to say that my party now forms the government of this province for countless reasons, the best of which is the superb leadership of the Premier (Mr. Davis). On March 19, it was obvious that many people saw him as I do, and that is as the image of Ontario.

The member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy), who has recently departed, said last week that those men and women of his party who were not returned on March 19 are going to be missed very much in this Legislature.

Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am not departed at all; I am here. I am here in body and mind and everything else, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Robinson: Forgive me. I overlooked the honourable member, as many others have in the past.

I would suggest that while they may be missed by the member for Ottawa Centre, the people of Ontario did not share in that sentiment, otherwise I would not be here with you today.

I would like to focus my remarks today on a topic which this government has long considered a priority. As was reiterated in the throne speech, the Ontario government's commitment to public transit, through policies and financing, is a matter of record. It is a commitment which, I am confident, will be strengthened as the transit needs of our urban areas increase in the years ahead of us. Indeed, I am certain that the role of public transportation systems in urban life will undergo considerable changes in the next few years as new modes of transport, alternatives to the automobile, become increasingly relevant and vital.

For a variety of reasons, including the constraints of energy supplies and the growth of our urban centres, the need for efficient and technologically advanced transit systems will be more strongly felt. In the light of these accelerated transit demands, I am both pleased and reassured by the leadership role of the government of Ontario in the development of innovative transit technology.

It was with foresight and a vision of the future that the Urban Transportation Development Corporation was established by the government of Ontario under the leadership of this Premier in 1973. It was with a true appreciation of the value of technological innovation and the importance of public transit needs in Ontario's potential that the UTDC was given a mandate to design, develop and market new equipment and systems to improve conventional transit technology.

I commend the Premier and the government for the initiative demonstrated in 1973, and for their continued confidence and commitment over the years in the face of unwarranted attack and ridicule from many members sitting opposite. The development of expertise and specialization in high technology industries is a key element in the industrial and economic process. New technologies are a source of economic revitalization and the productive utilization of labour resources.

Canadian specialization in these areas is vital if we are to remain competitive in the modern international market. I believe that we, in Ontario, are clearly prepared to establish ourselves as leaders in the development of transit technology. I believe that Ontario has the labour resources, the sense of initiative, the local market and the export capabilities to maintain a primary position in this field. These qualities have been the basis and the driving force behind UTDC activities since its inception in 1973.

I was disappointed at the lack of faith in these very same qualities that was the driving force behind the attack by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Smith) on UTDC projects. I am disappointed not only in his cynicism but in his demonstrated simplistic appraisal of technological initiative and advanced systems.

Perhaps the most innovative of UTDC projects is the ICTS, the intermediate capacity transit system. The ICTS is designed to meet the specific needs of municipalities looking for viable alternatives to expensive subway systems.

Many larger cities require transit systems to provide a high level of service, especially during peak hours. The costs of conventional subways often prove to be far too high for feasibility, with estimates up to $100 million per mile for installation. On the streets, buses and streetcars may be cheaper but can carry fewer passengers since they must contend with other surface traffic. As a system with substantially lower capital and operating costs that can handle up to 25,000 passengers per hour, the ICTS offers an attractive and affordable option for these municipalities.

The ICTS project began in 1975 under an initial $5.8 million contract with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. With an agreement in 1976, UTDC proceeded with the development of a prototype ICTS. By 1978, test vehicles were on the track at the transit development centre to begin operating tests.

Ontario proposed to install an ICTS in Hamilton-Wentworth to connect the downtown area with a major residential district on Hamilton Mountain to demonstrate this new technology. Unfortunately, implementation of the prototype rapid transit system has been postponed as a result of the federal government's delay in reaching a decision with respect to shared funding of the project. Despite this indecision and reassurance of the Ontario government's commitment to the project, funding for the demonstration system was given a high priority among the recent BILD initiatives.

The Ontario government has recognized that the development of transit technology today will have a tremendous impact on future society, not only in terms of a healthy and productive material initiative but also as people turn to public transit to meet their transport needs. Efficient municipal transportation is increasingly becoming a high priority in the eyes of local government as well as those of commuters and other transit users. I state this today as an experienced urban politician and as a person well aware of the benefits of quality transit systems.

Users of public transit are highly appreciative of efficient service and quality equipment. In this context, the advantages to the public of an ICTS are both numerous and noteworthy. As a result of innovative design improvements and technological features, the ICTS produces little visual intrusion and minimal noise. Both these factors are important in the application of the system in residential areas. Low interior noise and a smooth ride for the passenger are produced by the suspension and propulsion technology.

The point I would like to make is that the efforts of the UDTC have resulted in a transit facility which emphasizes aspects of technology both for the passengers and for those residential neighbourhoods that are affected by the system. From the point of view of safety, I am equally impressed by the technology of the linear induction motor, which ensures more reliable acceleration and braking, and the commuter train control, which detects and responds to vehicle and equipment problems very early. I was reassured, as were other supporters of the system, to learn that the transportation experts who assessed the performance of ICTS were satisfied and impressed in terms of both design and safety.

The achievements of the system from the point of view of technical operation in evaluations done by many North American transit officials should not be underestimated. I consider the selection of ICTS to serve the greater Vancouver area at an estimated $650 million project cost a vote of confidence in Canadian urban transit capability. The endorsement of the system by the British Columbia Urban Transit Authority is a decisive step by the BC government towards solving Vancouver's transportation problems, as well as a commitment to a proven and reliable safe system.

I recall the enthusiasm with which the Vancouver decision was met by many members of our previous Legislative Assembly. At the same time, however, I recall the lack of even a grudging acknowledgement from either the leader of the Liberal Party or his transportation critic at the success of the UDTC project in Vancouver.

The events of the Vancouver sale have proven both Liberal representatives wrong in their appraisal of this industrial initiative. It is worthy of note that their federal colleagues in Ottawa are the most recent converts to the overwhelming benefits of UTDC, and they have now put $60 million into the Vancouver project. In that light I would have hoped that the Ontario Liberal leader would have acknowledged the mistakes of his harsh criticism and directed praise where such praise is warranted.

3:50 p.m.

The government's commitment in this area and the initiative of those people involved in the development of the intermediate capacity transit system are worthy of the praise of all members of this House and the citizens of Ontario.

The Vancouver authorities were not the only officials to present a positive evaluation of the ICTS system. In Los Angeles, UTDC's proposals were judged to be first among competing technologies in terms of technical performance, including safety features, reliability and maintenance factors.

In addition, in terms of both intermediate costs and life cycle costs, UTDC stood out first in financial feasibility. As many members are aware, UTDC was recommended by the Los Angeles downtown people mover transit project as a supplier of the technology for the transit system. This recommendation came about following a comprehensive evaluation of ICTS earlier in the year by the United States Urban Mass Transportation Administration.

After a 30-day assessment of the UTDC system at the test and demonstration centre near Kingston, the administration was assured that all of the performance capabilities and environmental requirements of their transit program were satisfied by the ICTS technology.

There have, of course, been suggestions recently that the Los Angeles project may be delayed if certain elements of President Reagan's budget are or are not approved in the United States. UTDC, though, has been voted the contract and any delay has no bearing on the technological competence or in that city's ongoing confidence in the ICTS system.

The United States market is not going to go away. The pressures of ever-diminishing energy reserves and availability will force major cities into sophisticated mass transit systems in the next few years, thereby opening up an even greater market for UTDC's skills and sciences.

International appraisals, such as that done by the United States Mass Transportation Administration, are vital to the future success of the system and entry into the worldwide transit technology market. It is with the continued support of the government of Ontario and the UTDC that the potential of our superior technology and the development of an innovative transit industry in Ontario can be realized.

Transit technology is being integrated into our provincial industrial fabric as this government takes the essential steps to guarantee the sophisticated activities of UTDC. Guarantees and support by this government have taken various forms.

Ontario has undertaken the responsibility of posting performance bonds, a key to the successful marketing of projects of this magnitude. Furthermore, to assist the UTDC to meet delivery requirements, the Ontario government is providing financing for ICTS production through the purchase of additional UTDC capital stock.

In another form of support, the Ontario government has sought, in co-operation with other levels of government, new locations for the development of an ICTS line. I have already mentioned the Hamilton-Wentworth project. It depends on the participation of other levels of government for a demonstration system.

Recently, the Ontario government announced a new ICTS line for Toronto's waterfront. The system will not only enhance the environment of the waterfront, but will improve accessibility to the recreational attractions which line the stretch of land from Union Station to the Canadian National Exhibition and Ontario Place.

These improvements will undoubtedly promote the tourist facilities of the city of Toronto, as well as augment the considerable pride already felt by all Metro residents in this vital urban centre.

Scarborough-Ellesmere has the distinction in Ontario of becoming the model for a new light rail technology in Ontario. My riding boasts the Scarborough Town Centre, which is now in the early development stages and is well on its way to becoming a distinctive town centre core for a city of more than 430,000 people.

At this time, it is proposed that a light rail transit system join the easterly end of the subway system, near Kennedy Road and Eglinton Avenue, with the Scarborough Town Centre and in the future go beyond that into the Malvern community. As under development now, the line would use modified versions of the Toronto Transit Commission's new streetcars now in extensive service in the Toronto core.

As plans are drawn for the LRT line, two or three situations are left to be considered. First is the major cost of grade separations, as the LRT line crosses many major arterial roads between the subway and the town centre. Second is the intrusion, both from a visual and an audio standpoint, that the vehicles will have passing along the rear yards of the Treverton Park community.

I urge both this government, as a major funding partner, and the TTC to maintain its pledge of full sight and sound barriers for the protection of this community if the current light rail transit system is to be installed. But even at this stage of the development I would also urge both representatives of my government and Metropolitan Toronto to give serious examination to the use of Urban Transit Development Corporation's intermediate capacity transit system mode in this corridor. At this stage of LRT development I believe ICTS could be successfully substituted, effectively curing both the extensive problems of noise intrusion and grade separation -- including Midland Avenue for separation -- without further major expense or delay.

An intermediate capacity transit system in Metropolitan Toronto, in addition to providing the finest in transit technology, also serves as a showcase for the province both in the national and the international marketplace.

In Scarborough-Ellesmere, community comes first. I urge all with legislative responsibility in my riding not to put unabashed fervour to town centre development ahead of the comfortable and hard-earned family lifestyle of all those living in the vicinity both of the town centre and of the rapid transit line.

To me there seems little point in creating a glorious downtown at the sacrifice of stable community life when the objectives of both, I truly believe, could be accomplished by both the people and the people who represent them working hand in hand.

The leadership role taken by the province is an essential ingredient in the development of the transit industry in this country. I am hopeful the federal government would contribute more significantly to the efforts of the UTDC in this industrial opportunity. With these positive indications of success in transit technology, there is the opportunity to firmly establish a solid reputation for Ontario and Canadian expertise in an internationally competitive field.

With the Vancouver deal there is potential expansion of an industry in Canada which will promote skilled employment opportunities from coast to coast and attract manufacturing investment. The 22.4-kilometre line and the automatic trains will be ready for use in 1986 in Vancouver, the year in which that city will celebrate an international transit exposition. Transpo '86 will be a tremendous opportunity to display our technology to a worldwide market. In this sense, UTDC is developing a national enterprise and should therefore reflect the contribution of our national government.

In addition to the international promotion opportunity afforded by the Vancouver system, Ontario has entered into agreements during the past several years with various foreign transport firms. These contracts have involved both the ICTS technology and other services and products of UTDC.

For example, the corporation was awarded a contract to provide specialized technical services in terms of assessment and recommendations to help improve public transportation systems in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. In January 1980 UTDC was asked by the California Department of Transportation to negotiate a contract to provide expertise by establishing equipment standards, operating practices and maintenance systems for computer rail services in two local counties. These agreements represent achievements in the area of advisory services by UTDC in co-operation with leading urban transportation specialists.

Most recently these achievements were augmented by the award of the seventh in a series of contracts to provide transit advisory services to the San Francisco municipal railway.

I will not elaborate at this time on the details of these awards, or on the sophisticated role played by UTDC in the area of advisory services. However, I do hope I have made clear to members of this Legislature the great extent of UTDC activities, and the international reputation gained by the corporation as experts in an advisory capacity.

The export potential of UTDC technology and services has been realized to some extent by these contracts. Agreements with leading firms in Japan and Britain regarding marketing services and marketing rights for the sale and installation of Canadian technology in these countries have provided major opportunities for the export of these Canadian systems. A solid reputation in the international arena will mean access to major markets. These international contracts thus far have laid a very sure and firm groundwork for a flourishing exportability.

Coupled with these contracts are the positive evaluations of the system by international experts, which I mentioned earlier. Together, these factors suggest technological level and price of Urban Transportation Development Corporation systems are excellent indications of a competitive stance in the urban transit market. I am sure that members of this House are well aware of the economic implications and the impact on labour resources which will result from successful penetration of the worldwide market.

4 p.m.

I referred earlier to the importance of new technologies and research and development programs in today's industrial society. I am convinced that much of our future prosperity, economic progress and job opportunities depend on the initiatives in the high technology field. This important point formed the thrust of the BILD program announced earlier this year, highlights of which form the substance of the throne speech presented to this House some two weeks ago.

Utilizing our labour resources and meeting the job potential of our industrial economy is a central theme of the BILD program. It is a theme which played a major role in the decision to establish UTDC some eight years ago and in the expansion and diversification of UTDC's activities since its inception. Research and development experts have been a vital component of UTDC's programs. As designers and developers of technology, UTDC has provided skilled employment opportunities for our provincial economic setting.

Furthermore, a great number of subcontractors involved in fabrication of equipment, vehicles and guideways have been Canadian companies based in a variety of Canadian centres. It is clear that job possibilities in the area of design, construction and assembly and development of electronic components will all be stimulated across the province and across our country with the continued and growing success of UTDC initiatives.

For example, in the case of the Vancouver project, the construction of elevated guideways, stations and sidings will be done by local contractors in those municipalities involved. It is estimated that the construction aspect of the project will account for about half of the system's cost and for instance, is expected to keep two new concrete mixing plants in full production for four years.

I think that this example speaks for itself. UTDC's success will revitalize existing companies as well as stimulate the potential market for high technology skills and research and development initiatives.

As Canadians, we are well aware of the importance of an efficient transit infrastructure. As a key element in the productive economic system, the smooth movement of people and goods across long and short distances has long been recognized as a priority of the management of our infrastructure.

I am confident of the leading role taken by the government of Ontario in ensuring that the public transit component of that priority is well looked after. Municipal transit systems have been able to depend on a high level of subsidy and support services from the provincial government in their provision of quality transit services.

More recently, with specific reference to another transportation sector, we have been presented with an impressive final report of the task force on provincial rail policy. The report contains many valuable recommendations which focus on the provincial responsibilities and rail services in Ontario.

I repeat now that the commitment of the government of Ontario to transportation priorities is a matter of record and the continued support, patience and confidence in the activities of the Urban Transportation Development Corporation by the government members of this House have enhanced that record of achievement. In a period of rising energy prices and increased conservation efforts, viable transit alternatives are a necessity. People are being forced or are choosing to leave their cars at home in many instances and consider the alternatives for the first time.

In many North American urban centres, the problems associated with public transportation systems are numerous and multifaceted. In many instances, high costs, fragmented existing systems and equipment deterioration are among the very real problems facing these large municipalities. The UTDC has demonstrated a high level of expertise in aiding these cities with their transit difficulties, whether it be in the area of advisory services, the provision of equipment or as in the case in recent months in the negotiation for the application of an innovative technology such as an intermediate capacity transit system.

It was with a vision of the future and a sense of responsibility in transit issues that the government of Ontario established and sustained UTDC. It is with the same vision and confidence that UTDC's activities will continue to have the support of this government in the future. The reasons are clear. The application of new technologies and particularly the development of public transit alternatives is essential in order that we maintain a competitive stance in the dynamic international economy. The job opportunities for the people of Ontario and Canada, the advantages of a solid reputation of expertise in the field, the benefits of improved access to export markets are motivating factors for the entry of UTDC and technological innovations.

We commend the Lieutenant Governor for his most meaningful throne speech. It is a fitting starting point for what I am sure will be a long and industrious career on behalf of Her Majesty here in Ontario. As I complete my first address to this assembly, I offer my pledge to this province and to my constituents to work hard and diligently for the betterment of all.

Mr. McKessock: First I want to congratulate the Acting Speaker, who is in the chair at present, and also the new Speaker, who is in the chair most of the time. The position of Speaker seems always to be filled by a nice guy and this time is no exception.

I suppose the image of a nice guy as Speaker is partly because of the entertaining he has to do in connection with visitors to the Legislature. Of course, the Premier (Mr. Davis) certainly wants someone who will be a good example.

It is a difficult position to fill because, to keep order in this place, it would be much easier for someone other than a nice guy at times. I am pleased to be sitting fairly close to the Speaker, but I have been trying to get a supplementary question in for some time and I am sorry I am sitting next to his bad eye.

I want to say a word of welcome to the 28 new members of the Legislature, although I would like to have more on this side. It would have made it easier for me to get to know them. I now know the six new members on our side, but I look forward to meeting and working with all new members on that side as time goes on.

I have a deep interest in agriculture, being a farmer myself and knowing the great contribution agriculture makes to our overall economy. Agriculture not only provides jobs for farmers, but there is a good spinoff of jobs in the food industry through processing, wholesaling, retailing, machinery companies, fertilizers, et cetera. One out of five works in the food business. It has been said, "Burn down the cities and leave the farms and the cities will spring up again as if by magic, but destroy the farms and the grass will grow on the streets of every city in the province."

It is for these reasons that, in this throne speech debate, I want to bring to the attention of the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson) the severe problem that exists with Ontario farmers in the beef and hog industry. Evidently he is not totally aware of the magnitude of the problem or he would have taken steps to correct it before now, the same as other provinces have.

How can the Minister of Agriculture and Food say, as he did in question period the other day, that Ontario is taking its place with other provinces in Canada when Quebec is giving loans of $250,000 to their farmers, the first $15,000 at two and one half per cent and the remainder at eight per cent interest?

Two things have caused the present problem. One is the high interest rate on borrowed money and the other is the low prices for finished beef and hogs. The problem is that farmers are going out of business and we are losing our beef and hog industry to other provinces.

Farmers are caught in a trap. They have had to borrow money to fill their feedlots with cattle and it is now costing them 19 to 20 per cent interest. What is even worse, money they borrowed last summer at a low interest rate is now costing them much more. I know because I borrowed money last summer at 13 per cent interest to buy cattle. That same loan for the same cattle today cost me 19 per cent, three quarters over prime. Tomorrow or Thursday, who knows, it could be much more. Depending on what happens to the interest rates from now on, things could be getting much worse.

4:10 p.m.

So a farmer or a small businessman has no control over the fluctuating interest rates. When projections and cash flows were made at 13 per cent last summer, how could a businessman be expected to project a jump of six per cent in the interest rates in a six-month period?

The minister says he lays this problem at the feet of the federal government. I expect all provinces do and I do not blame anyone for that. What I do blame him for is not taking interim action on behalf of his farmers in Ontario, the same as other ministers of agriculture in other provinces have for their farmers and for agriculture in their provinces.

The beef and hog farmers in Ontario are losing money fast and are coming to me each week with their situations, bank foreclosures, bankruptcies, or decisions to sell and maintain as much of their equity as possible before it is all eaten up in losses.

One young farmer who came to me has had the bank and the farm credit corporation both ask him to sell. When he sells everything he will be $30,000 in the hole and he does not want to go bankrupt because he does not want to have that against his name. He is going to spend many more years of his life paying off a $30,000 debt after everything is gone.

Others are watching their equity diminish and have either sold or will be selling to save as much equity as possible, if assistance is not forthcoming immediately to turn this thing around to at least a breakeven position. So for everyone who goes bankrupt there are nine others who are going broke quietly or who are selling to save further losses.

The minister may say it is not just Ontario; he is right. These high interest rates and low prices go right across Canada and the US, but the difference is the other provinces are giving their farmers assistance to ride out these tough times. Other provinces are giving interest rebates of $10,000 per farmer.

Quebec is guaranteeing the farmers 90 cents a pound for finished beef and the minister said in question period today he disagreed with me, it was 96 cents; that is much better. But one can see the problem we have in competing with Quebec when they are guaranteeing their farmers 90 cents or 96 cents for finished beef and then supplying them with eight per cent money to buy their feeder cattle.

What is happening? As Ontario farmers go out of business the other provinces are picking up the slack. We are losing our beef and hog industry because this government is not acting.

It happened a few years ago in the milk industry. Quebec assisted the dairy farmers and production left Ontario for Quebec and we never could get it back.

Feeder cattle that should be coming into Ontario now from the west are going to Quebec. Before the year is over, we in Ontario will be eating Quebec finished beef.

I do not agree with subsidies of any kind as long as nobody is getting them, but if the other provinces are going to take Ontario's agricultural production by subsidizing their farmers, then I see no alternative for Ontario but to subsidize their farmers to hold Ontario's production. If we do not, Ontario's loss will be the other provinces' gain.

The good farmers we are losing in Ontario we will never get back. The young farmers who are getting such a bad experience will not venture into agriculture again. First, because it would be too costly to start again and, second, the risks are too great when you see what can happen when some provinces help their farmers and others do not. If everyone were treated the same, most farmers would accept their knocks.

Then there is the farmer who owns his farm who is watching his equity diminish. He is selling to save what he has, so he will not be back either. He is going to retire while he still has something left to retire on. The first foreign buyer with a pocketful of money is going to get his farm.

Therefore, when the minister is coming up with assistance for these farmers it should be for all farmers. The equity position should not matter because, as I pointed out, if he does not help the farmer who owns his farm as well, he is also going to sell to save what he has left. If he does not want him to sell to foreign buyers, he should not bring in policies that discriminate against the farmer who has his farm paid for.

I suggest the minister bring in the recommendations of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, passed at its directors' meeting on April 22. Drop the equity part of the present program and pay the same for everyone. I suggest that interest rebate payments should be made on all interest above 12 per cent on loans up to $250,000, and that tomorrow will not be too soon to announce it. It should also be retroactive to January 1 of this year, and the first quarterly payment should be due right now.

A year ago, on April 10, 1980, when I introduced a resolution pertaining to Ontario agriculture into this House and it was debated by all parties, I said at that time, "Ontario farmers will be dropping out like flies if we do not take action, as other provinces have." It is now happening.

Take a look at bankruptcies, up 75 per cent in Ontario this year. Take a look at farm sales. Is the minister going to let this continue? Is he still thinking that $1,600 in interest rebates will solve the problem? It is like giving a sick cow 1 cc of penicillin when 30 cc are needed.

Surely if the minister is not concerned about Ontario farmers and Ontario agriculture he must have some concern for the people who like to eat in this province. We should keep Ontario agriculture strong, strong enough so that we will always be able to feed ourselves. Are we going to let the US and other provinces supply our needs? Do not forget, Mr. Speaker, if food gets scarce they will always feed themselves first. Let us not ever let Ontario be second when it comes to food production. Let us keep our agricultural industry strong. Let us give them a hand when they need it and they will give us food forever.

The farmers of Ontario are calling on the minister for action. They have been for some time, and a few weeks ago it appeared they were giving up and were calling on him for something else. But the minister can change this around and they will forgive him if he acts fast. I urge the minister to take immediate steps to give Ontario farmers the same competitive opportunity that other provinces are giving their farmers -- no more, no less.

Another area that is of great concern to me is the disappearance of choice farm land. This should be of great concern to urban and rural people alike. We only have about 10 per cent of our land in Ontario that is suitable for farming. With our growing population and our diminishing farm land it is just a matter of time before we cannot feed ourselves. Then imports, instead of competing for our markets, will be a necessity.

Toronto uses more prime farm land than any city in Canada. I feel Toronto is big enough and it has used enough food land. Surely it would be better to be growing a compatible crop on that land now surrounding Toronto and other large cities.

It would also be better for health. It would improve the air we breathe. Crops help purify air in several ways. Most important is the process of absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. During the growing season an average acre of corn draws about eight tons of carbon dioxide into its tissues. Meanwhile it releases enough oxygen to supply 12 persons with fresh air for a whole year. In another cleaning process fine hairs on plant leaves catch loose particles of dirt in the air and hold them until rain washes the particles into the soil.

We have lots of land suitable for development that is not suitable for farming. It only makes sense that we stop developing farm land and keep it for food land. Some day our children or our children's children will wonder who allowed our choice farm land to be covered over with industry, houses and cement. On the other hand, we have a few farms in our area that are so stony that I wonder why the bush ever was taken off. These farms would be ideal for industry and development.

I have talked about the business of agriculture and disappearing farm land. I want to put a word in now for all small business. Ninety-seven per cent of all Ontario business is small. Forty per cent of Ontario's work force works in small business, but 80 per cent of all new jobs created in the last five years have been in the area of small business. Only six per cent of small business is foreign-owned; only six per cent of large business is Canadian-owned. It is easy to see that agriculture and small business are the backbone of our economy.

4:20 p.m.

I would like to see steps taken to ensure that this remains the case. I would like simplified programs to assist small industry, both in manufacturing and in the so-called service industry. The ARDA program we used to have in our area was a good program. You knew where you stood with it. If you created one job you got a $5,000 grant towards capital costs. If you created two jobs, you got $10,000 and soon. Under the programs the Ministry of Industry and Tourism has brought out lately it takes you too long to find out whether you are getting nothing.

We need an Industry and Tourism office in our area that also handles Ontario Development Corporation loans. Grey riding is covered by the London ODC office, which is ridiculous. We are closer to either Kitchener, Barrie or Toronto. We should have an office in the town of Durham to cover that area. Local offices should have authority to handle loans up to $100,000. This would mean ODC would be of some value to small business in our area, an area that should be getting a bigger share of industrial expansion, for expansion could take place on rough land rather than choice farm land.

The Niagara Escarpment issue is still with us, as those of us who live on the escarpment know only too well. Even though it has been eight years since the Niagara Escarpment Development and Control Act was passed in this Legislature, and long and tedious hearings on the proposed plan are still going on, the effects of this act are still a millstone around the necks of the property owners. Often, when things get into such bad shape and a lot of controversy has taken place in an area, the government will change ministers in a certain portfolio and then ease out of the predicament. I hope this is what is happening here with the change of ministers in the Provincial Secretariat for Resources Development.

I wish the member for Sault Ste. Marie (Mr. Ramsay) well in his new duties. He has indicated to me he is going to have a meeting of all the MPPs whose area has within it some of the Niagara Escarpment. I congratulate the member for this action, if he takes it, and I look forward to those meetings. I hope he will be able to make the necessary changes now to correct an infringement on property rights in Ontario, brought on by the Niagara Escarpment Development and Control Act, 1973.

According to the act, when the hearings are completed on the proposed plan, the hearing officer shall report to the Niagara Escarpment Commission stating whether the plan should be accepted, rejected or modified. I hope he will reject it. He will also furnish the minister with his report. The Niagara Escarpment Commission will look at the report and shall then submit the proposed plan, with its recommendations, to the minister. Then, if there is still a plan left, the minister has final say as to whether to accept, reject or modify it.

When this act was passed in 1973, and when it was being contemplated 10 years prior to that, planning was not very far advanced in Ontario, and something like the Niagara Escarpment Act seemed necessary. It is a different story today. Ten years ago Grey county had no planners. Today, we have nine full-time planners. Our own official plans and zoning bylaws now quite adequately protect the land and the Niagara Escarpment.

The fact is, it took more than 10 years to try to get a plan to protect the Niagara Escarpment; it still is not ready, and now it is not needed. In the meantime, municipal planning surged ahead and has taken over. The Niagara Escarpment plan can now be rejected for these reasons and we can save the $2 million a year it is costing us.

As members have noticed, my main concern and interest is in agriculture and small business. But my leader has also added sports and recreation to my plate. I have always been a strong supporter of all sports and recreation. I have spent 20 years playing ball and realize the advantages of team sports, not only for exercise but to help develop our minds as well as our bodies. While participating in team sports one learns the advantage of co-operating with one's fellow man. The personal satisfaction and the thrill of competition are not only brought out in team sports, but also in sports such as skiing and golfing, which tend to be individual sports.

In my area, skiing is not just a sport, it is big business. I have Blue Mountain Resorts, Georgian Peaks, Talisman, Old Smokey, Beaver Valley Ski Club and many other private clubs in my riding. Many people in the area find full-time and part-time jobs in the ski business. In the summertime, the ski lifts and hills at Blue Mountain are used for the great slide rides. A new feature at Blue Mountain last year was the "slipper-dipper" ride.

Mr. Barlow: What is that? Say that again.

Mr. Ruston: Do you dip or slip? Which one do you do first?

Mr. McKessock: The slipper-dipper ride. Bring your bathing suit up and give it a try this summer.

Mr. McLean: Where is that?

Mr. McKessock: That is in Blue Mountain, quite close to Simcoe, but it is in Grey riding.

Sports and recreation in our area fit right in with industry and tourism and, of course, we farmers are pleased to supply the foods for those increased appetites as people come off the ski hills.

I look forward to working with individuals and people on sports and recreation committees and associations, and the Ontario Ministry of Culture and Recreation, to help develop in Ontario the best possible facilities and opportunities for sports and recreation. I feel individual satisfaction and enjoyment is most important when it comes to sports and recreation, but I would also like to see Ontario keep up front when it comes to Canadian and Olympic competition.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have had this opportunity to present some of my concerns and the concerns of Grey riding, and I look forward to this session and the estimates debates to follow, which will give us the opportunity to deal with specific areas in more detail.

Mr. K. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to join in the debate. I would like to remark on the absolute dedication, the sterling nature of all those present who, on an incredibly sunny day like today, are actually sitting here in the Legislature with the curtains drawn. I do not understand why we cannot have at least some light being shed upon us from outside if there is none going to be shed by those of us who stand to speak on the speech from the throne. I would hope that in the future, on lovely days like this, we might have the curtains open.

Through the Acting Speaker to the Speaker, I would like to congratulate him on his appointment as Speaker, and you on your appointment as well. Mr. Speaker and I are both from the Peterborough area, from the land of the shining waters. I welcome him. With him in the chair, and with me on this side standing, I think we add a great deal of class to the proceedings in general. I think the Acting Speaker should pass that on.

It is with great affection that I recall the previous Speaker, whom I have known for many years. and with whom, from time to time, I have had a number of run-ins; one notably to do with the support of motherhood, when he was offended, which may surprise you. We had a disagreement. He of course was right, as always, and I lost. It is interesting that I have not as yet been in conflict with the chair. Mind you, this is only the second or the third time I have been on my feet, so there is probably more to come in the future.

I would like to draw to your attention, and to that of Mr. Speaker, if I might, the difficulty with the naming of names instead of ridings. As a Mr. Johnston -- one of two, although I am a Mr. Johnston with emphasis on the "stun," some would say -- I find my name is often slurred and the Mr. Johnson from another riding is often mixed up with me in Hansard and in terms of direction from the chair. Notably, on opening day my name was misspelled in the list of members and in the legislative reports from last session my name was also misspelled.

I think there is some problem, some danger in just referring to me as "Mr. Johnston," and if I am referred to as "Mr. Johnston, Scarborough West" I do not see why that same sort of recognition should not be given to the other members of the assembly in that they be called by their riding names.

Monsieur l'orateur, je voudrais vous remercier, comme chef de l'administration de la législature, de l'occasion qui est offerte, aux députés qui le désirent, d'apprendre le français.

Depuis août 1979, je profite des cours donnés par les "Services de langue française," en prenant des leçons dans mon bureau, une ou deux fois par semaine.

En m'écoutant parler certains peuvent sans doute se poser de questions sur les résultats... Mais considérant que mes possibilités de m'exprimer en français étaient à peu près nulles au départ, comme pour la plupart des finissants des écoles secondaires de ma génération, le résultat n'est pas si mauvais.

C'est certainement à cause de ces leçons que j'ai pu suivre entièrement le premier discours de M. Boudria, l'autre soir. J'étais malheureusement un des rares à pouvoir comprendre la partie française de son discours, étant donné l'absence totale d'un système de traduction dans la chambre. Malgré la liberté qu'ont les députés de s'exprimer dans la langue officielle de leur choix, qui peut se permettre de vraiment jouir de cette liberté en choisissant le français, sachant très bien que presque personne ne pourrait le comprendre.

4:30 p.m.

What I just said, for those who don't understand French or don't understand my accent, is that we have the right in this House to speak in French, but when the language is being spoken most people do not have one iota of understanding of what is being said. That was the case with Mr. Boudria's maiden speech the other night. There were probably four people in this chamber who knew what he was talking about, and what he was talking about was very important. The reason people cannot understand it is because we have no instant translation in this chamber.

That points up the problem this Conservative government has not spoken to either in the last election or before in the constitutional debate, and that is the employment of section 133 and that which it implies to this Legislature. It is something that is not shoving French down the throats of people around the province but is instead giving reality to the right of someone to speak in French in this House and be understood. Why should Mr. Boudria get up again and speak in French when he knows no one is going to understand him and no one is going to read Hansard the next day to see what he said and then get somebody to translate it for them. This place should be equipped with translation devices.

Mr. Havrot: We can't afford it.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: We can't afford it. Note that the member for Timiskaming said we cannot afford it.

Mr. Havrot: The member picked up on that instantaneously.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I did pick it up instantaneously. Now that we don't have a garbage track to pick up most of the member's comments, I am glad I picked that up.

I note the lack of connection between the statement in the throne speech about our role as Ontarians and the government of Ontario in terms of the national debate, and the role we played in leadership in that area, and the fact that this government has been unable to take the one step that would have been very important in terms of leadership for the nation -- not for the province and certainly not for parochial concerns, but for the nation -- and that was in terms of recognition of our minority language rights and employing them in this House.

I won't repeat my comments from the last parliament. I spent approximately half an hour attacking the government before we went to election on that issue. It is hard to understand how it would have hurt to have employed that. There may be some cost, yes, but a small cost in terms of what it might have done for our country and God knows what it might have done to help.

I can only look at the abandonment of the select committee, which started way behind schedule because this government would not recognize the need for us as legislators to be actively involved in the national debate, and is a further indication that it has no view of our importance as legislators in terms of the continuing debate on what happens with the constitution.

No matter what the Supreme Court decides in the next week or two about this particular package, there is much more that needs to be done in terms of constitutional reform. This Legislature, not just the executive, should be involved in that discussion.

What we learned as members of that committee travelling across the country was that it is vital that the debate be broadened, that it be taken away from just the national Parliament and just the Premiers around the country and be broadened to include as many Canadians as possible, so that they understand what that debate is about and understand the choices that are there to be made for the future of the country.

It is time for this government to act, in terms of re-establishing our traditional ties with Quebec. I realize that may be some kind of anathema to the present government in view of the fact that the Parti Québecois is in power in Quebec, and that its long-term goal of sovereignty association may be seen to be a major block in that area. But one of the problems that we have is that the natural axis, that natural alliance between Ontario and Quebec, in terms of the provincial and federal debate has fallen apart.

We need to re-establish that connection. This government should take a lead in doing that and it should allow a committee of this Legislature also to take the lead in so doing. I think it is particularly appropriate that today was the day that the Alberta committee was here. We did not have a select committee that could still talk to it. A number of us went because we were invited, because we knew what the subject was about.

This House no longer is involved in that debate. This House has been excluded from discussion on terms of the future of our country, and I think that is a terrible mistake and a terrible omission in direction in this throne speech.

The thing about the throne speech, when you look at it, is primarily omissions. What we see in it is a repetition of matters that have been brought before us earlier. It is essentially boring. It essentially reflects the strategy of the Conservative government moving into the last election. It reflects, in fact, what was the mistake of the opposition over the last number of years, in terms of not making issues exciting in Ontario.

All one has to do is look at the turnout. The Premier (Mr. Davis) should be considering himself the Premier of Boredom, the Emperor of Ennui. We now, in our province, get out only 50-odd per cent of the vote for a provincial election in what is supposed to be a major democracy. Why? Because we have lulled them to sleep -- I think we in the opposition from lack of dynamic action perhaps, and because we took minority government seriously, but the government because of a systematic plan to do just that, to bore the electorate to death and then get out that basic Tory vote and win the election with as little as possible.

Look at the difference between Quebec and Ontario. Quebec had an 86 per cent turnout. No matter what one thinks of the platform of the Parti Québecois, they won with 51 per cent of an 86 per cent turnout. In Ontario, the Conservative government is re-elected with a massive majority, reflecting 25 per cent of the eligible voters in this province. That is something of which we should all be ashamed.

I go back to why I think we got lulled into it: because we tried to make minority government work. I know the Liberals will yell at us about the number of times we supported the Tories on no-confidence motions, and we will yell back about the number of times they supported the government, and how we all missed the point.

What we tried to do was have a constitution committee that would come up with a consensus, have a Hydro select committee that would come through with good legislative suggestions, a plant shutdowns committee that would try to come together with some kind of a consensus and come up with some sort of legislation, a justice committee that would actually get down to and look at what was going on with Re-Mor. That was a major mistake on our part over here, because we got lulled into trying to be the executive of this place and as a result got caught up in defusing issues.

One of the wonderful things that is going to come up over the next few years is that this will not be happening. The Tories have their majority, they have their ability to sit over there smugly, get rid of good committees, stop the Legislature from being an effective organ. They have that ability, and what they are going to have over here is a lot of people who will be drawing very distinct lines between us and them.

By the time we get to the next election, they will not be able to buy off the electorate with a few dollars to a hospital in my riding that needed the money two years ago and not during the election, and to a hospital in David Warner's riding that needed the money two years before and not during the election. That will not work next time because the lines will be clearly drawn.

The first part of this speech is on economic development, so-called, and industrial strategy, so-called. What it really reflects is the fact that this government has no coherent philosophy on what it wants to do in terms of economic management.

If we look at the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development proposals for the economy of Ontario, there are some which could be said to be based on an economic nationalist philosophy. Let's look at the procurement policy as an example: buy Canadian first, do not buy foreign first, to try to use the public purchasing power of Ontario to maintain jobs for Ontario. That could be seen as a pronationalist approach. There are no guts to that proposal.

4:40 p.m.

There is no mandatory involvement by public agencies in purchasing to make sure that $7 billion we use in public purchasing in this province is actually spent on Canadian goods primarily. We are going to get the 21 Toyota situation in the city of Toronto with the police buying Toyotas instead of buying North American-built cars for the future because there is nothing mandatory in it. But the thrust and philosophy behind the procurement policy is surely one of economic nationalism.

Then we have the idea of crown corporations. In fact, the number of crown corporations that were suggested was lifted directly out of the speeches on the budget by the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren). They took out the parts they thought were useful. But there is no coherent plan there to stop foreign takeovers. There is no coherent thought behind it as to why they want to do this.

Why do we think it is good to control our own resources? Is it the stock foreign takeover question? Is it just an ad hoc, buying-off of votes because they knew the polls said that government involvement in the private sector was acceptable? That is not acceptable to a number of members over there, I am sure, but the polls of their election planning people showed that. That is why they went that way. It was not because they believed in it but because they knew it would work and it would diffuse the thrust and philosophy we espouse on this side.

One of the fundamental reasons we say what we say in terms of industrial strategy is that we cannot plan in relation to what we do not control. We believe in a coherent plan of action by government in order to control and to own that which we need to control in order to maintain and guarantee jobs. These measures the government comes up with over there are not goal-related.

There is no relationship; there is no full employment goal; there are no targets for sectoral control, as suggested by the member for Nickel Belt; there is no specific goal for a percentage of greater Canadianization; there are no targets for improving the lot of women in the work force, or involving the handicapped specifically in the work force; there is no specific plan to have mandatory apprenticeship. There are no goals; it is just ad hockery. This government has won through ad hockery, and it is a major failing.

I would like to deal with the area of social services, which is my responsibility now. The most important minor statement in this whole throne speech talks about the problems that are going to be coming up soon with transfer payments between the federal government and the provincial government in a number of areas. One of those areas is that of social services. The word is out that the federal government is planning to cut back by millions of dollars the amount of money it shares for social service programming to the provinces across the country as part of the financial responsibility it is trying to emulate these days.

What they are doing to us now, and to the government, is essentially what the government has been doing to the municipalities for the last five years. The challenge the government has is to maintain services, to increase services even when that political act is perpetrated on us, and not to use it as an excuse. But I predict they will use it as an excuse.

They will not take their responsibility seriously, as the municipalities did, and increase taxes if necessary or increase revenues somehow in order to be able to preserve and expand our social services. On page 11 they deal with the bulk of social services in one line: "My government is committed to provide a continued strong support for health care, education, day care and those in need." That is essentially it.

Let us deal with day care. If we are seeing the same commitment to day care now that we have seen from this government in the last number of years, then day care is going to be in sad shape in Ontario for the next number of years. The only reason there were increases in the day care amounts last year, and in the number of subsidized spaces last year, was because pressure developed. The lobby for day care became very strong, especially in Metro Toronto, and the government decided to go for the minimum figure, 500 spaces, that somebody at the lower municipal level was silly enough to put up as the target, instead of the 4,000 spaces that were talked about as required in the task force report.

The minister at that time -- and God knows what the new minister is going to be like -- used to take advice from an American quack on day care policy. I saw a recent article by him and he still believes that day care is not necessarily good for kids. He believes day care can be bad for kids and therefore government should be really cautious when it gets into it. As a result we have seen in the last budget an infinitesimal rise in the amount of money given to infant care, something like $450,000 which can buy a handful of spaces -- and only an expansion of subsidized spaces in the province.

There is no underlying philosophy about what day care is about. This government still believes that day care is a welfare issue and that it is a matter of buying subsidized spaces for those poor people in need. It does not understand that day care is part of an industrial strategy, that day care is an employment issue, not a welfare issue. Day care is a matter of the right to work for women. It means the right to a home for a lot of people and it is needed to maintain the family values that are spoken of so highly in here.

A family cannot afford a house in which to raise its children if it has to spend $290 a month for one child in day care. It is impossible. How can a family save the money towards a house if the woman is not able to go back to work after, say, a six-month pregnancy leave because there is no infant day care? It is real and it is happening.

When my sister learned she had conceived, the next day she phoned for a space in infant day care in Metro Toronto, paying the full shot. She only learned one week before she went back to work that she had that space. Otherwise she was going to be in the position of having to leave her infant with somebody whom she did not trust in a home situation, with whom there was a great communication problem because of language. It was only because she had arranged it that early that she was able to get that space.

A lot of people in this province right now are going back to work, are leaving their children in inadequate and dangerous situations, and this government is not willing to act or it is unwilling to understand that the goal it should have is universality. Its goal should be the right for any parent to have his or her child in day care.

I am not saying it is going to achieve that overnight. I remember the past minister throwing out a ridiculous figure of $7 billion to do it. What it should be doing is looking at how to integrate that with the whole education system in terms of local schools. It should be making sure that space is being used properly and that day care is being implemented.

In this government, there is no mention of it. There is just the fact that we are going to end up with the same kind of strong support that we have seen in the past when 4.2 per cent of children who need day care are in and 96 per cent are not in. It is just a failure of planning.

There is no mention in here about the problems of child abuse. We have had a consistent problem of funding of children's aid societies around the province. We had a horde of strikes in the last year or two. We have another one pending right now in Toronto. I do not know whether it is on or off at this moment but boy, when that one goes, it is going to cause havoc in Metropolitan Toronto. That has been because of a lack of a co-ordinated attack and approach to the children's aid societies and their funding, and an incredible disregard for the problem of child abuse that is prevalent in our society today.

I raised the question with the new minister the other day, referring to Nijah Degg who died a number of months ago and about whom there was a report from the ministry which criticizes the role of the ministry, the protector in this case, and the role of the children's aid society as the agent of that protection for the child. Yet I am told by the minister that is not going to be made available to us because it is sub judice, that it will have to wait.

4:50 p. m.

He said it is probably going to be another year or year and a half or maybe two years before we are able to get hold of that information. That information is not secret information. I have it on good account that that information has already been given to the children's aid society here in Toronto, and that the CAS and the ministry have already sat down and gone over this report, this report which he tells me is supposedly just for the crown to be able to conduct its affairs. That report, in my view, is going to be essentially suppressed.

That is not the only one. We had an inquiry set up by Judge Ward Allen. Twenty-six months ago he completed that inquiry. Just a month ago he said the report was nowhere near completion. All the accounts in the trial that went on all said there were really serious problems with the way our child care system was protecting children in potential abuse situations. Yet we have seen no action and no demand by this government that he come forward with his report. If he is busy with other cases he should be taken off them. This is an important issue, and there is no mention of that as a priority by this government in the throne speech.

Finally, there is no mention at all of children's services for the native people of this province. I do not know if any of you have read the reports on the status of native children which have come out since 1977, but almost double the average percentage of children under protective care, that normal average, are native children. Those native children are out in foster homes and those foster homes are primarily of non-Indian, non-native families. It is becoming a major factor in the disruption of our Indian and native communities.

There has been no role taken as yet by this government. There should be a statement in here saying that the delivery of those social services to protect children in terms of protective-care custody of native children should be handled by the bands themselves, should be under their control. Those children should be kept under band supervision as much as possible; they should not be sent out to white homes all around the north, as is occurring. There is no mention of that. There is no understanding of that as a major and serious problem. We instead have just one line telling us how we are going to be handling our present services.

My own area of expertise and background is in work with the elderly. There is a lovely line here for the elderly: "Continuing emphasis will be placed on community living for elderly and disabled persons, enabling them to live in their own homes." I do not deny that there is a horde of programs, a hotchpotch of programs around the province to try to enable people to remain in their own homes -- in fact I worked on one, an experimental program that is still continuing -- but since 1976 this government supposedly recognized that there was a real problem in terms of co-ordination.

In 1976 the then minister, the present Minister of the Environment (Mr. Norton), promised there would be co-ordinated legislation for the nine acts and 13 different programs, or however many it is. In 1979, in estimates, he promised me that by the spring of 1980 we would have legislation.

By the fall when he came back, he and his deputy minister apologized to me. They said it had not been possible, that they had been going through this community dialogue, but that very shortly, in fact by December 1980, there would be a white paper that would be circulated to the four corners. That is the way it was put to me. The four corners of I don't know what closet; the four corners of the cabinet room is as far as I know that it ever got, because we have seen nothing of it, except that I have a copy coming to me through the same source from which I got the Toronto Island paper.

The reason that has gone nowhere is that there was no discussion with the Ministry of Health. They are talking about co-ordinating home support services to the elderly and disabled, and yet there has been no communication between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community and Social Services. There is no agreement on how you put together that legislation after supposedly four and a half years of work.

What we have here is that there will be continuing emphasis. Well, if that is the emphasis we have got, then I have to say that, by God, we are not going to see this for another year and a half again, or maybe two years, or maybe it will come in the last year. It is vitally needed. There are all sorts of areas of the province where programs are not available, where there are gaps in programs. The minister in charge of the Social Development secretariat knows that. There is a vital need for having this in, yet we are not going to see it.

The paper that was distributed was an absolute disgrace. It could have been written by any second-year bachelor of social work student. It listed a range of things we might look at, a lot of which are contradictory, and it tosses them up in the air with no indication of the government's direction, although it raises that horrible idea, in my view, that the private sector might have a very important role to play in terms of home-support delivery of services. The notion that a fee for service and some kind of fixed fee and income testing mechanism might be brought in is very worrisome. Yet we haven't seen it and we have no idea when it is going to come forward.

We have nothing in here about the needs in terms of housing that are reflected in terms of home support. Why don't we have recommendations in this throne speech for a whole development of sheltered housing as they have in Britain? Why isn't that here? Why isn't the proposal here for a major move in terms of group homes for the elderly for the province? Why isn't there a proposal for assistance to elderly people who wish to subdivide their homes to have somebody in with them which would be a great boon to a number of widows in this province? There are no recommendations of that sort. There has been no creative thinking at all by this government in terms of that area.

Then we have the homes for the aged. My God, what a flip-flop we have there. It makes the member for Hamilton West look like an amateur. As late as a few weeks before the election, we had the member for Kingston and the Islands (Mr. Norton) getting up and saying that there would be no expansion of homes for the aged. Two months before that, he told me in committee there would be no expansion. I asked him whether he thought he would even be keeping them in public control and he wasn't sure of that. Then right in the middle of the election, all of a sudden we get the announcement that there is going to be a major increase of several hundred beds in homes for the aged around the province.

We still don't know what this government intends to do about those homes for the aged because all of us who have been involved in the field know they are more and more like nursing homes. The average age is well over 80 in most of those institutions, and the kind of nursing that is needed is much closer to nursing homes than it is to homes for the aged. Yet this province has a system of nursing homes which is almost entirely under private control. It is the only area of health care that we have in this province which is health care for profit. It is interesting that we do it to our elderly.

One of the best investments we can make, because I know the people over there like to make investments, would be in extended care. They could make themselves a fortune. They would be making it on nursing homes with poor standards that try to minimize costs in order to maximize profit and it is something of which we should all be ashamed. I predict this government will move towards moving the homes for the aged that it controls into that sector within the next number of years.

Whatever happened to the notion that we might have a senior citizens secretariat? There were all sorts of rumours that was going to be in here. I don't know when it was erased but it never made it. It has been a recommendation from the Ontario Advisory Council on Senior Citizens, from the United Senior Citizens of Ontario and from Canadian Pensioners Concerned Inc., for I don't know how many years. I had thought I had seen a hint of it coming when I was on a TV program during the election with the minister in charge of the Social Development secretariat.

There is nothing in here about chronic care. There is no statement in here that the government is finally going to get rid of that damned double standard that it has for elderly people in chronic care. Some time they should admit it is unjust that a person who is 64 years of age can earn up to $15,000 a year and have no costs for chronic care, whereas two people who are 65 years and over on pension have the one person's pension taken totally to go into paying his or her cost in the chronic care facility, which leaves the other person with income with which it is very difficult for them to maintain themselves in their own home. There is no move away from that and it is very disappointing.

We have the International Year of Disabled Persons and what do we have in here? We have primary promises that go in the area of recreation. I have no difficulties with money being put into areas of recreation and social activity for the handicapped. There is a great complex in my riding, but I would say that there are some more basic needs that have to be looked at for handicapped people. Why is it that people who are on disability pensions are not eligible for the property tax grant? Why is it that they have been excluded? Their income is less than most pensioners on the basic pension with the guaranteed annual income supplement would get, yet they are not eligible. How can it be said that the government is helping to keep people in their homes when it is not even giving them a basic income upon which to live and maintain their homes? Why is the government not giving them the same tax break that any senior citizen gets in this province?

5 p.m.

Why do we start looking at recreational kinds of things when we should be looking at prosthetic aids? This is something that has been studied for months now by the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) and we have no indication that there is going to be some sort of movement on it in the next few months.

We have a school for the deaf in my riding and during the campaign I ran into three families with children who have to have moulded hearing aids for both ears at a cost of approximately $600 a shot. They have to pick up the entire cost of those hearing aids because they are not covered under OHIP. Of course they decide to spend the money there. Of course they decide that this is their priority and the money is spent there. They are willing to do that three or four times as that child grows and the hearing aid needs to be refitted.

Why should they be put through the extra financial pressure of that kind of cost? Why wasn't that a priority for the disabled instead of recreational and social kinds of funds? It does not make any sense to me at all.

Why is it that we are not making the building code changes mandatory? When we renovate a school now we give grants to the school if it will make its property accessible to the handicapped, but they do not have to do that. It is not mandatory that any public building, when renovations are done, must be renovated to fit the needs of the handicapped. That is something that is much more basic than recreational and social needs, which is an area where the volunteer sector has been doing not a bad job at all.

Then there is the question I raised almost a year ago about the radio reading service and the whole matter of funding. Blind people in this particular area of Metro rely on a broadcast from Oakville to get the basic news and information that we take for granted from the daily newspapers, of which I read three. That is something we all take for granted, yet that organization has been going from year to year with ad hoc grants and has never received the full, long-term kind of grant it should be receiving. That is something that would be a much more practical and basic kind of thing for the government to be involved with.

The final item I want to deal with for a minute is housing. The fact that there is a need for a speculation tax is something we in our party accept implicitly. The fact that there are major speculators active throughout Metropolitan Toronto is something we understand is really happening.

When the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett) gets up and says that even though it takes $44,000 a year to own the average home in Metro the poor should move to Peel or to particular housing developments that are off the beaten track in terms of those people who work in a factory in my riding -- that this is where they should go if they want housing -- then we are in some really serious difficulties. We have a minister who should be coming into this House with ostrich feathers attached to his derriere, because that is essentially the stance he is taking.

I know personally of an example of a home which, a week after the closing date of the first purchase, was sold again at a $50,000 difference; no upgrading, no nothing, just $50,000 of profit. I heard just yesterday at a brunch I was at about a condominium that is beautiful. There were three closing dates all being decided at the same time by lawyers before a judge. One was a sale in October, it was sold again in November and then it was sold again in December. As the ownership passed from lawyer to lawyer, one person owned it at $275,000, the next person owned it at $355,000 and the next person owned it at over $400,000, all in the space of about three minutes. And the Minister of Housing tells us there is no problem with speculation.

I have a personal problem. As a result of finally feeling secure enough in my seat because of my landslide victory of 400 big ones, I now want to buy the house I have been living in at Victoria Park and Kingston Road, which is not in the centre of the city, if someone would tell the great Minister of Housing that. Our landlord suggested we might be able to buy this at around $80,000 to $90,000. Feeling a little insecure during the election, I hesitated to put down an offer; afterwards, full of confidence, I phoned him in Nova Scotia and said I would be glad to. He said, "Well, we have decided to have an assessor come in." They had just read the Maclean's story. I said, "Oh," and he said, "Somebody will be coming by in the next few days to give us an estimate." "Great," I said.

Well, a house that is almost exactly the same as ours in outward appearance came available up the street. I phoned to find out what the cost was. The cost of this home was $154,000. I said, "Wow, this house on the outside looks the same as mine, but perhaps it has some magnificent features." The real estate agent said, "Well, it has an electric fireplace." I said, "That's wonderful; we have one that works." I asked, "Are there other features?" and he said, "Well, it unfortunately does not have any closets, but it does have plate rails on both floors." I said, "Are plate rails now being given out as a feature in housing?" and he said, "Yes."

I thought, "Oh my God, what am I going to do?" Our landlord did all sorts of work on our place in terms of renovating it, and my house, I am sure, by next week will be estimated at something like $130,000, $140,000 or more. Even I, as an overpaid member of the Legislature -- some would say underpaid, as we all cry now -- am not going to be able to afford to buy this place. I am going to have to move to Peel because the other homes in Scarborough West will all be going at the same kind of level. That is hardly going to be acceptable.

The throne speech, as I see it, is essentially a boring one, lacking enthusiasm, lacking vigour, lacking vision, lacking creativity. If that is the kind of thing we are going to be seeing from that side for the next four years, I can guarantee that the response from this side is going to be anything but boring, it is going to be anything but tranquil, and members are going to be hearing a lot from us on this side.

Mr. Shymko: Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to stand in this House today to participate in the throne speech debate. I wish to congratulate you, first of all, on your appointment to guide us in our deliberations, and also to congratulate all the newly elected members of our assembly and the re-elected members who have chosen to serve and represent the people of Ontario and work towards our common prosperity, our unity and the growth of our Canadian Confederation. The events leading up to March 19 were exhilarating and challenging for me, as I am sure they were for many members. Now that Ontarians have stated their preference, it is up to us in this House to get down to business.

I would like to refer to my initiating experience in the business of the Legislature last Tuesday. I saw the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) here a minute ago, but he has left. I recall this as my initiation to the procedures in our chamber and to the high degree of respect we have for one another and for this institution. It came as rather a shock to many of us, especially our newly elected members, when the member for Oshawa looked at us as we were sitting listening to his speech at 9:30 in the evening; he said, "As I look at that pile of manure ... " and then he proceeded.

That was quite an initiation to the procedures of this House. I am sure this type of expression was the result perhaps of the frustrations and the pains of having been decimated the way a certain party was on March 19. I am sure it was no reference to the frustrations of the throne speech, which is an excellent economic strategy for the growth of this province, but I would like to state that I felt this was an insult. But then, as I think about it, I think it is an insult to the member himself, to his constituents, certainly to his party -- and I see the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) sitting here. Perhaps we should get a list of the acceptable expressions in referring to one another, so that we can use a terminology that would lend respect to one another.

5:10 p.m.

The throne speech has given all of us a great deal to think about and an opportunity to debate the many philosophies -- if I may use the term -- policies and programs enunciated in the speech. One especially has a particular significance to me. It is contained in the opening paragraph and I would like to quote this sentence, if I may: "May I express the wish that your hopes and objectives, and those of your constituents, will be fulfilled through the opportunities for service afforded you as individual members and together as the Legislature of this great, historic province."

It is my belief that the strength of the democratic system lies in the fact that all of us here, representing different political ideologies, can criticise and can debate policies, suggest new ones, and eventually arrive at some sort of conclusion. We, the 70 members on this side of the House, in my opinion provide what we may term the leadership and focus for these policies and programs under our own scrutiny in caucus, and under yours as well, Mr. Speaker, that will affect the lives -- and this is something we tend to forget -- of more than 8.5 million Ontarians, almost one third of the population of Canada.

As Ontarians, all of us realize we have common goals and common aspirations, on whichever side of the chamber we may sit. There is no doubt a commonality of purpose and of concerns to improve the quality of life of our citizens and to lighten the burden of that brief passage of time we call life. One goal that all parties in this House have agreed to is the desire to have a patriated constitution which will clarify federal and provincial divisions of power in a way that is relevant to national decision- making, not only in the 1980s but in the twenty- first century.

It was indeed an experience as I sat in the gallery and heard the unanimity of the debate here in this chamber in this great, important area of concern. Ontario, no doubt, wants a constitution to guarantee clearly the very fundamental democratic rights of all Canadians. One hundred and fourteen years ago, Canada became a nation. Since that time we have grown, we have developed and we have taken our place in the family of nations, and we certainly have the respect of that family.

Monsieur l'orateur, nous avons été élus pour servir tous les citoyens, il n'y a pas de question, de cette province, la communauté majoritaire tant que la communauté minoritaire, de notre province de l'Ontario. Nous devons répondre aux aspirations des autochtones, des francophones, des communautés éthno-culturelles déjà établies de plusieurs générations et des immigrants qui viennent de s'établir dans notre pays.

Et c'est en fonction du degré de pression et de prise de conscience -- si je peux me servir du terme -- du public et des citoyens initiés par les minorités voulant être traitées en toute égalité et dans un climat de compréhension de leurs besoins de citoyens égaux que nous avons vu, et je voudrais souligner que nous avons vu des changements remarquables pendant les quatre dernières décennies sous la direction d'un gouvernement conservateur en Ontario.

Et j'ai écouté la présentation du député de Scarborough West qui, en parlant français, a démontré qu'il y a en effet le besoin de progrès. Je voudrais indiquer simplement que le progrès qu'on avait fait dans les services de la langue française dans cette province dans les dix dernières années, que nous voyons dans le rapport annuel de 1979 du bureau du Coordonnateur provincial des services en langue française, est un progrès remarquable et qui aurait dû prendre un demi-siècle. Et ça, nous devons l'admettre. Ce n'est pas la fin. Naturellement, ce n'est pas la fin. Mais nous voyons des changements remarquables. Notons les services en français devant les tribunaux: un autre exemple du progrès que nous avons fait sous la direction d'un parti qu'on appelle Conservateur Progressiste, qui démontre les progrès que nous faisons.

Canada, and especially Ontario, has become a haven for a wide variety of ethnic groups. I am proud to say I am a Canadian and I am also proud of my heritage and proud that the people of my riding who come from many diverse backgrounds have elected me to speak on their behalf in this chamber. The riding of High Park-Swansea represents a microcosm of our pluralistic society. Diverse socially and culturally, it is a vibrant community that has made a remarkable contribution both individually and collectively to the growth and prosperity of this city and province,

Political leaders -- and I may name a series of them, such as Colonel George Drew from the riding of High Park -- epitomize the quality of such leadership. Sixty per cent of the riding of High Park-Swansea -- by the way it was in 1975 that the boundaries were changed to include the former village of Swansea -- represents major minority groups of Ontario. They represent the largest concentrations of such communities as Canadians of Ukrainian, Polish, Lithuanian and Maltese origins and almost 20 other groups.

We have more than 2,000 francophones, I would point out quite proudly. Most, like myself, are not of French-Canadian or Québecois origin and background but they share the linguistic ability and the cultural sensitivity of our Franco-Ontarian population. Many no doubt came to our shores to enjoy our economic opportunities in Ontario and Canada. We should remember that more than one half of all immigrants choose this province as the place to settle, despite the boom in places like Alberta. Many came to our shores for these economic opportunities, but also many arrived here to escape political persecution in their homelands.

In order to illustrate the nature of this riding, I will indicate the many monuments. In Budapest Park on Lakeshore Road we have a monument to the Hungarian freedom fighters, and in High Park a monument to the great Ukrainian poetess Lesia Ukrainka, whose poem Contra Spem Spero, which means Hoping Against Hopelessness, is always quoted to illustrate the human will for survival. Last year we erected a monument to the victims of Katyn, a symbol to Canadians of Polish origin of the massacre of 15,000 officers of the Polish army by the Soviet regime. There are plans now being discussed by the Maltese community to erect a monument to Louis Schikluna, a famous Canadian shipbuilder of the nineteenth century of Maltese origin who lived in St. Catharines.

There is that pride of the contribution to the growth and prosperity of this province and country. To symbolize their contribution briefly, perhaps in a way that some members may have done in the past in the constitutional debate, I would appreciate the privilege of addressing our assembly in two of those languages, Ukrainian and Polish.

These are among the list of almost 50 languages whose survival in this province and country is guaranteed by our heritage language program, of which we are very proud and which was initiated by a Progressive Conservative government. I would like to remind our honourable members that such a privilege was used by Her Majesty's representative in Canada, the Governor General, His Excellency Ed Schreyer, at his installation a few years ago. So I will be using this privilege which was used by some honourable members during the constitutional debate.

5:20 p.m.

[Translation from Ukrainian.]

Mr. Speaker, as you travel across our western provinces, you find hundreds of small graves of children dispersed throughout the many cemeteries of towns and villages where the first Ukrainian pioneers settled at the turn of the century along with immigrants of other back grounds Their task was the opening of our Canadian west under often difficult if not tragic in Ontario and Canada. We should remember conditions. These children were not as fortunate as their parents to survive these hardships. They were not destined as we were to participate in the common building process of this great country of ours. We should be reminded at times of that sacred gift of life which we all share and treasure in common as members of the human family.

My ancestors and all our ancestors, be they native peoples, the settlers of New France, the Loyalists of Upper Canada or the thousands of settlers and refugees who came from all corners of the world, have made an invaluable contribution to the growth and prosperity of Ontario and Canada.

Canadians of Ukrainian origin number almost three quarters of a million in this country. Of these, 86 per cent are Canadian-born, many fourth-generation Canadians. Of all the provinces in our Dominion, their largest numbers are here in Ontario. It should not surprise us that four members of our Legislature are of Ukrainian background, reflecting the wide diversity of all our honourable members on both sides of this chamber.

[End of translation.]

I just mentioned that Ontario, again in terms of numbers, has the highest number of Canadians of Ukrainian origin, and it is no surprise that four members of our Legislature are of that origin. Certainly that's a reflection of the diversity of all our members here and the diversity of members on both sides of the House.

[Translation from Ukrainian.]

The Ukrainian nation of 50 million living in the lands of its forebears in eastern Europe has been decimated by centuries of subjugation, persecution, two world wars and the holocausts of Stalin's and Hitler's regimes of terror. That nation was able, nevertheless, not only to survive physically policies of genocide, ethnocide and linguicide, but to retain and develop its rich cultural heritage and to pass a millennium of treasured traditions to its heirs.

The history of such peoples as Ukrainians gives us an understanding of why it is so important to a number of ethnocultural groups and non official-language minorities in Canada that their cultural and linguistic heritages be protected by such policies as multiculturalism, guaranteed by provincial statutory acts as well as by the new Canadian constitution. To them it is a question of continued survival and the struggle to survive as identified cultural and linguistic entities making up our richly diverse human family.

The greatest treasure is nevertheless the freedoms and common liberties we enjoy as citizens and residents, the rights of free men and women to choose and decide the growth and development of our individual and communal lives without infringing on the rights of others. These are rights and privileges about which the peoples in their former homelands, from which Ukrainian Canadians and other Canadians have emigrated, can only dream today under conditions of foreign oppression and dictatorial regimes.

[End of translation.]

[Translation from Polish.]

Mr. Speaker, every year the Polish community in Canada and the respective communities outside Poland -- and now, for the first time in 36 years, people in Poland itself commemorate the historic anniversary of the Polish Constitution of the Third of May.

Yesterday, Canadians of Polish origin in Ontario marked the one hundred and ninetieth anniversary of the declaration of this first democratic Polish constitution, which heralded one of the most progressive political frameworks in the western world through the establishment of a constitutional monarchy. By marking such anniversaries and such important historical events, the young generation of Polish Canadians learns about events in Poland, about the land and the people whose ancestry and heritage it has proudly preserved.

Similar to the declaration of the May constitution 190 years ago, which proved to be too revolutionary and was followed by foreign invasion and the tragic partition of Poland, we are witnessing historic developments today in Poland, namely the free trade union movement of Solidarity, a unique phenomenon of international scope and implications. Just as in the past, similarly today we are witnessing the creative genius of the Polish people, epitomizing a strength and power that permeate all levels of society.

Just as in the past, similarly today the motivating impulse is social justice combined with the deep sense of patriotism of the Polish people. We join Canadians of Polish origin in sharing their hope and faith that we will see the inevitable day when the liberties symbolized by the May constitution will be enjoyed by the Polish nation -- the same freedoms we enjoy in Canada and which, it is hoped, will be guaranteed by our new Canadian constitution.

[End of translation.]

Today, Mr. Speaker, all Canadians are awaiting the impending decision of the Supreme Court of Canada. It is very important to ensure that the freedoms that brought people to this country are stated clearly and are enforced fully. There is little doubt that one of the major influences of the revised constitution has come as a result of public input from many groups across the country, and we have witnessed that procedure. The first draft of the charter of rights was quite different from the present draft after that major public input.

I think we are all proud of the participation of many minority groups, and I would say more than half of the witnesses came from minorities who were concerned about the protection of their rights as they appeared before the joint parliamentary committee. If we are to have a constitution that is truly reflective of our society we must solicit and listen carefully to all ideas.

I had the privilege of being a member of the Ontario delegation to the first ministers' conference last September. I would like to point out that Ontario was the only delegation that allowed for civil servant advisers and nonelected advisory council chairmen besides cabinet ministers at the time to participate at that constitutional conference. I would like to point out that I shared in the challenges and frustrations that surrounded those meetings. Many of my constituents emigrated, or more truly, escaped from countries of persecution. That is why they cherish a charter of rights, rights that can only be dreamed of in many countries of the world today, including their former homelands.

Many of my constituents, from the nonpolitical but economic aspect, emigrated from countries where there were strict internal restrictions on the flow of people, of goods, of services. I would like to comment for a moment about this. We have heard examples of some problem between Quebec and Ontario. If we talk about mobility rights, let us have a national vision of Canada. I would like to point out that we cannot continue to place limited provincial interests ahead of the growth and development of Canada as a nation. Full freedom of movement and action, work, travel, investment and business must be maintained for all Canadians. We, as a government of Ontario, have had a major input in supporting that very economic principle.

It is incredible to think that Canadians who have had the benefits of an abundant source of material prosperity, abundant mineral resources, agricultural resources, energy, manpower and skills, are constantly squabbling today about who is entitled to what and not getting on with their work. The rest of the world must think it is positively ludicrous. It is positively ludicrous. I am sure the member for Oakwood (Mr. Grande) will agree that we must start talking about the issues, the guts, the problems that affect our lives today. We have started with our Board of Industrial Leadership and Development program, I remind the member for Oakwood, who so eloquently expressed his support to at least some of the aspects of the BILD program in the past.

I would like to point this out to the members opposite: While the debate continues nationally about whether to entrench a charter of rights, and I pointed out it is a very important area, we in Ontario have put forth major revisions of our own human rights code, which is one of the most progressive codes in the western world today. The issues we placed before the House last November are ones that reflect our social and human needs, and all members will agree. We live in a pluralistic society and it is important to make clear that we as a society recognize and protect the human rights of all citizens by extending protection to the handicapped, and for people subject to sexual harassment. We are responding to the nature and needs of Ontarians. The guarantees of domestic workers are another example of that progressive legislation.

5:30 p.m.

A good example of the government's response to the needs of Ontarians has been the introduction of the amendments to the Devolution of Estates Act. It is important that we protect not only the rights of the living but the wishes of the deceased as well. Justice can assume many different forms, and I can only stress that we are no doubt all aware of the ripoff to the tune of approximately $10 million every year of many Canadians, many Canadians from eastern Europe and particularly from such countries as the Soviet Union, which often will declare a person deceased while the person is still living in Canada, and file for estate claims. They have a vast network of inspections and files and whatever term may be used for investigation along with the system and style that they use, which is not necessarily acceptable here. These people have been victimized, and I think the amendments to the Devolution of Estates Act are part of that concern of the population of our province.

I would like to say that when the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Smith) made his remarks on the throne speech I recall that he became very upset with us on this side of the House because we had not decided to act on the recommendations contained in the report of the royal commission on pensions. I recall that. I am truly amazed at the Leader of the Opposition. It was not until mid-February of this year, if I may recall, that the commission's 163 recommendations were submitted to the government, and this, as you all remember, was in the middle of an election. Not only does he expect us to adopt the findings now, but the member from Hamilton West (Mr. Smith) chides us with a remark from Isaiah, saying, "Their strength is to sit still." Mr. Speaker, imagine!

I would like to quote Henry Clay, who said over 150 years ago: "Governments are trustees, and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of all the people." We have been presented with an enormous, complex and detailed report, which is no doubt very important. It takes time to assess the recommendations and to determine possible courses of action that will be beneficial to the entire society that will be affected by these recommendations.

The members opposite are itching to express their views on that report, no doubt. As indicated in the throne speech a select committee will be asked to examine and review the recommendations contained in the report. We do not have to stress the great degree of importance that the members opposite had placed on committees, as you recall. Not even the Legislature here was as important as committees and subcommittees to look, to study, to analyse, to reanalyse legislation before it was introduced. All of a sudden now it is almost sacrilegious, it is almost evil, to pass such recommendations to a committee. Maybe the members opposite know something that I don't know. Maybe the Leader of the Opposition has forgotten that just maybe the public should be consulted with regard to an issue of this scope.

If the House will recall, the Toronto Star, by no means a Conservative paper, raised serious objections in an editorial to some of the basic recommendations of that report. I am sure an editorial speaks for many people. In the course of our vast legislative experience it must have dawned on the opposition that constructive results come from public consultation and input. I do not know all the ramifications that would result from implementing the recommendations, and I venture to say that they don't know either. The Toronto Star is an example of that concern, and I know the member for Parkdale (Mr. Ruprecht) expressed some of his concerns. I think he should share these concerns with his colleagues on that particular report.

We are not sitting still in this area, nor are we sitting still in many others. In the course of my work, for example, as chairman of the Ontario Advisory Council on Multiculturalism and Citizenship I met many groups of people whose suggestions and ideas became incorporated in that council's recommendations to the government. I would like to ask how many of the members opposite even read that report and recommendations which were mailed as far back as June 1980. I am sure if one were to ask, only a select few will have even an idea of what the recommendations were. That is from public input. The member for Oakwood is again waving his hands. I would like to ask the member if he can quote some of the recommendations.

Mr. Grande: How many of the new members have read it?

Mr. Shymko: Name me one recommendation from that council. He is very often such a concerned member.

Mr. Grande: You are a newcomer to that field. Don't forget it.

Mr. Shymko: I would like to hear some of these recommendations, but as you can see, Mr. Speaker, he doesn't remember them because he never read them. In this coming year, from that one council, four task forces have been set up to examine and report on native policy, report on broadcasting in Ontario, on equal opportunities in government service and, finally, tax exemptions to community cultural centres. These are four very important task forces. The council was not designated to operate in a vacuum nor on the top of some mountain removed from the people. Nor by the same token does government operate behind or beyond the wishes of its constituents.

The very fact that we are here today is a clear indication we are a part of that decision-making process and no one will question that. When the reports of these task forces are submitted to the government -- and I would certainly appreciate it if the honourable members opposite would at least read the reports -- I am quite confident they will be examined and considered by everyone and perhaps asked to be submitted to committees for study and scrutiny.

It is no different with the pension report. By sending it to a committee of elected representatives -- and I stress "elected representatives" -- we will have the opportunity to learn and understand the impact and the ramifications of the proposals on the public sector and government.

I know the honourable member for Hamilton West is not present here. At least the leader of the NDP was present for a while to give moral support to some of the concerns expressed in the debate on the throne speech. Very poor leadership, I must say.

The success of Ontario has been based on a foundation of private enterprise developed by thousands of small businessmen as well as large companies. This is something the honourable members of the third party will want to listen to and consider. I see the member for Oakwood nodding his head. I am sure he will agree Ontario's prominence as a manufacturing and industrial centre has been consistently promoted and developed by this government through small business loans, through tax incentives and through the support of our post-secondary institutions.

Whatever criticism there is of our Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson), as Canadians we are faced with the challenges of controlling and reducing inflation, coping with increased energy costs and competing with other world markets. This is a very tall order and that is why, as Canadians, as members of this Legislature, we must get together and work out comprehensive solutions to these problems. This could be done through committees at times -- often through committees -- including through the royal commission report on pensions.

The provincial governments can do only so much individually, no doubt, but together, working with the federal government, we can take decisive and reasonable actions to cure these ills. I am sure, since man is not perfect, nor are governments perfect, we will not find perfect solutions. It is impossible. At least we have the humility to admit we are not perfect. But we should not live with the arrogance implied by the solutions of the members opposite which epitomize some perfection in human nature and human talent.

5:40 p.m.

I would like to stress that the BILD program we have presented gives an excellent outline on the economic directions this province will be taking, no matter what the cynicism of some members opposite. However, as was stated in the throne speech, and I quote, "Without question, government has a role to play to assist in opening the door to employment opportunities. But it is the role of private enterprise to provide the wide range of choices which our society requires." That is what democracy is all about, choices and the freedom of implementing choices.

At the same time, our society must be able to rely on the very resourcefulness and will of its own members. I would like to point out that one of the key goals of the program is the expansion of our food processing facilities. That has a particular impact in my riding, I must admit, since the Toronto stockyards are located there. I would like to propose that the government establish a special committee composed of the farming community, the packing companies, local businessmen, municipal representatives, the ratepayer organizations and home owners of the area to examine --

Mr. Grande: I thought that was going to take place.

Mr. Shymko: I will remind the member for Oakwood of that commitment in the BILD program to examine and develop a long-term development strategy for the stockyards and the surrounding area. I will remind the member for Oakwood that it is because the former member for High Park-Swansea was cynical and did not believe in that genuine concern that today he is listening to me and to no one else and there is that empty seat.

I would like to propose that to the government. I would urge the government and the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson) to do that. I am saying this in public. I am urging a minister of the crown to establish this committee by the end of this year so hearings and public consultations which members support, which members have always supported, can be undertaken as quickly as possible. I would like to challenge the members opposite to criticize that concern and that suggestion.

This proposal will have long-term benefits, not only for the residents of my riding in terms of improving their living and working environment, but for all Ontarians. As I stated in the campaign, it will ensure that Ontario maintains its competitive position in the food processing sector.

A crucial component in the development and expansion of our economy is a strong labour force. The Ministry of Colleges and Universities will be developing a community counselling program to assist our youth in developing their abilities and career opportunities. This is very much a concern of mine, having been in education for over 13 years. I stress that we cannot continue to allow our young people to sit and wait for us to make all the decisions. There are so many young people today in Ontario who have ideas, who have ambitions, who have enthusiasm, who have talents --

Mr. Swart: And no jobs to go to because of the member's government.

Mr. Shymko: -- and who have jobs. If the member opposite recalls the statistics for the graduates of our universities, more than 95 or 96 per cent of our graduates have obtained employment in the areas and in the field of their studies. That is a fact.

I would like to point out that in government and in industry, we must give them the chance to try out their ideas to see if they work. Just as established businesses are competing today with foreign markets, so our university students, our youth are competing with youth in Japan, with youth in the United States, with youth in Germany and many other countries. That is a challenge.

Because we have such a broad multicultural base in Ontario -- and I would point to some relationships -- we have a built-in advantage in that we are recipients of so many different ideas, values and approaches to business and industry.

I would like to point out that the present secondary education review project committee has received from the minister a public request to give accreditation to community-run third-language schools where someone studying Japanese for 11 years -- and Japanese is quite an ability today in competing for international trade -- would be given credit for those 11 years, although he or she may not be studying in a public secondary school but in a community-run school. This would give credit to these young people who are putting in years of study.

I would also like to point out that the Ministry of Industry and Tourism is developing a new international intern program which is designed to strengthen foreign business marketing expertise for Ontario companies. To say this is not a genuine attempt is foolish.

There is absolutely no doubt that we in Ontario can learn a great deal from the business attitudes and practices of other countries. We can learn a great deal here. We do not have to leave Canada to learn the attitudes and practices of other countries; we can learn at home from those who have chosen Canada to be their country, those who have come to our shores from every corner of the world.

We can see what happens in other countries when labour-management relations become embittered and polarized. Sometimes some parties opposite would like to see nothing but confrontation. When this partnership is damaged by selfish and self-seeking practices, we all realize that nobody benefits. We seem to have fallen into a way of thinking that getting a bigger pay cheque each year is indicative of success regardless of the financial situation the company may face. I would like to know at what point the employees of a company feel a responsibility towards their employer. There have been exceptions to the traditional rule that only employers should bear the responsibility for the successful operation of a particular firm. We have all heard of the example in the United States when the Chrysler auto workers did agree to a reduced wage increase until the company got back on its feet. That is what I am talking about.

Just last week there was an article in the Toronto Star on how Japanese auto workers got together to prevent their employer from going under. The Mazda production line workers were relocated to the sales area so that they could persuade people to buy their cars. The company's researchers also altered their rotary engine to make it more fuel efficient. That mutual co-operation is the reason we have such tough competition from Japan and West Germany. Perhaps we can develop the spirit of this idea so that business and labour could cooperate on ideas that would be beneficial to both.

I would like to point out -- and I think it was an impressive suggestion in a venture now -- an article in the Globe and Mail last week, which spoke of the 80-member task force on Canada's corporate and labour elite, composed of 80 people who have studied the use of Canadian goods and services over the next 20 years. From the predictions, and the report will be coming out some time in June, we can save $440 billion in proposed buy-Canadian programs; $440 billion to stay here in this country by that type of co-operation, not confrontation, between labour and management. It is important to point out that about 30 per cent of the total expenditure on these projects would be in Ontario and Quebec.

That is what I mean by the type of vision and venture we can learn from other countries: For example, and this is an issue the New Democratic Party has raised over the years, why do we have to operate on the assumption that government should be the agency responsible for providing day care and, if the third party had its way, I am sure free day care? I think at some point we are going to decide who is responsible for delivering day care in Ontario and where day care centres should be.

5:50 p.m.

Perhaps the focus on day care should be shifted away from a social service perspective and into a labour perspective. There is absolutely no reason why a labour union could not work with management in establishing day care facilities in the work place. It would be less expensive in terms of time and money, and more beneficial to the children if their mother or father could be close to visit. I would like to point out that it works; it works in places such as Japan, West Germany and Sweden. We can use the resources already in place in our communities.

I would like to point out the example of Villa Colombo Home for the Aged with which I am sure the member for Oakwood is familiar, and which, by the way, was realized by a $4.5 million Ontario capital grant, as he is being reminded once again. In that example, there is a day care centre attached to Villa Colombo. I have visited it, although not with the member for Oakwood. Maybe some day we will visit it together so that he may be influenced at least by some of the wisdom on this side of the House. I have visited it on several occasions and I can tell the House the elderly people there are delighted to have contact with young children.

There are many alternatives, many avenues we can explore in order to find solutions to the challenges we all face in this province. So, to quote once more from the throne speech, I would like to say: "We are a strong and vigorous province. Our continuing vitality, despite the pressures of the times, owes no little credit to the foresight and planning of past years." There is nothing wrong in repeating some of these programs.

There is wisdom in past years, and in past members, including some members opposite who may not be around. These are the views of the past, and many of these recommendations and plans are viable, and have provided the firm economic and social foundation of the Ontario of today. Reinforcing this foundation to ensure future growth and development is a crucial element in the strength of the Ontario of tomorrow.

Il faut conclure à la reaction des remarques du député à qui je m'adresse, le député de Sainte-Catherine, que notre province et notre pays est une société diverse, multiraciale et pluriculturelle. Cette réalité ne se refléte pas toujours dans les structures du pouvoir, ni dans les institutions de notre pays.


Mr. Shymko: I am sure if the member would pay attention he might learn some French, if not anything else.

C'est là le défi que nous devrons relever demain. Afin --

Mr. Ruston: Why did the member not learn while he was in Ottawa?

Mr. Shymko: This is why I am here, to profit from the members' wisdom. The problem is that in the past few days of experience I have profited very little. I hope in the months and years ahead I will indeed profit.

Mais ça c'est le défi que nous devrons relever demain, afin de faire en sorte que nos institutions soient ouvertes à cette réalité et en tiennent compte. Je voudrais rappeler que quand nous protégeons la diversité culturelle et quand nous respectons les droits des minorités -- et moi, en effet, je suis membre d'une minorité; je vais essayer de ne pas interrompre la charmante députée de Hamilton Centre qui essaye d'interrompre mon idée.


The Deputy Speaker: I remind the members that the member for High Park-Swansea has the floor.

Mr. Shymko: Alors je répète et je reviens au début de ma phrase. Quand nous protégeons la diversité culturelle, la diversité des Francophones disons, quand nous respectons les droits des minorités, nous cultivons la fine fleur de la tradition canadienne. Il n'y a pas de question, et c'est notre force et non pas notre faiblesse.

Et si on parle d'un parallèle entre le Québec et l'Ontario, d'un choix libre, je voudrais vous donner un exemple: un immigrant qui arrive en Ontario a le choix d'envoyer ses enfants dans une école anglophone ou dans une école francophone. Au Québec, cet immigrant n'a pas de choix. Il n'a pas de choix, et on appelle ça la liberté? Parlons en effet d'une égalité. Ce choix existe dans cette province: voilà l'égalité et la justice.


The Deputy Speaker: Mme. Copps, M. Shymko has the floor.

Mr. Shymko: Mais c'est pour cette raison que nous allons profiter de vos suggestions. Des suggestions des députés du côté opposé. En effet puisque j'ai quelques minutes à terminer, monsieur l'Orateur, je voudrais dire que l'unité véritable dont je rêve, dont vous rêvez, dont nous rêvons ensemble, et que je vois dans cette province n'empêche pas les différences mais se nourrit au contraire de la diversité de ses membres, tant Francophones qu'Anglophones. Notre foi en cet idéal prend ses racines dans notre confiance même en la vie.

Members will have a translation. Perhaps some day there may even be a simultaneous translation, who knows? We have made great progress in the area of French language services, unmatched by other provinces. It is too bad, it is unfortunate, that the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) is not here; he is never here when you need him. It is too bad, since he has publicly stated that the record of Ontario in achievement of the introduction of French and expansion of French language services is positive, and I highlight the wisdom of some of the members opposite.

Mr. Bradley: Why did you not tell the people about it during the campaign?

The Deputy Speaker: Mr. Bradley, Mr. Shymko has the floor, please. Mr. Shymko, you have two minutes to conclude.

Mr. Shymko: Since I have two more minutes, Mr. Speaker, I would like to terminate this brief dialogue. As I look around this chamber, despite the rather shocking initiation last Tuesday, I do sense a marvellous and sacred link. I do, as we all do. No doubt, we all have, as the heckling certainly illustrates, our party loyalties and our concerns, our partisan limitations, but we are bound by the same loyalties to our constituents, and that is reflected by the results of elections.

Government is indeed based on trust. It is based on the trust in the province of Ontario and it has delivered. The province of Ontario and its eight and a half million people represent that collective trust, and we should be reminded of this whatever our partisan feelings may be.

So, Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to participate in this debate, and with your guidance and assistance I am sure we will succeed in serving the people of Ontario to the best of our abilities, whatever side of the House we sit on.

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

The House adjourned at 5:59 p.m.