32nd Parliament, 1st Session






















The House met at 2:03 p.m.



Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: You will recall the exchange I had with the Solicitor General (Mr. McMurtry) when I pointed out that, in response to my questions and suggestions, he indicated in the House he preferred the status quo with regard to the method of inspecting hotels in terms of fire safety. He then went out and told the press a different story.

In the Globe and Mail of May 9, the Solicitor General has added insult to injury by saying the reason he changed his statement is the fact that the coroner, Dr. Ross Bennett, made the very recommendation made in the House. He said, "Dr. Smith may think in his wonderful world of psychiatry that I should have anticipated the recommendations of the inquest jury."

I will leave aside the rather silly slur on the professional field and simply point out that the question I asked in the House quoted two previous coroners' reports in which the wording was absolutely identical to the coroner's report by Dr. Ross Bennett. One of the reasons the wording was identical is that, of the two reports I quoted, the one from the hotel fire in Paris, Ontario, was the report of the same Dr. Ross Bennett who used exactly the same words then. They were the very words I put to this House.

The idea was scoffed at by the Solicitor General here, but then, outside the door, once he heard the same Dr. Ross Bennett say the same things I quoted, and say them yet again after another tragic loss of life, he suddenly saw the wisdom in the recommendations he scoffed at here.

I continue to say, Mr. Speaker, for your consideration, that in this House we ought to treat the suggestions and questions of members from all parts of this House with reasonable respect and consideration, and not simply make light of them and then walk out the door and treat the very same questions coming from other persons in a more serious and sometimes totally different manner with regard to the response.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you very much. I am sure the Solicitor General may want to comment on that point of privilege when he comes in.



Mr. Smith: I have a question I wanted to ask the Solicitor General (Mr. McMurtry), Mr. Speaker --

Hon. Mr. Davis: He will be here a minute.

Mr. Smith: All right. I have a question for the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell).

Hon. Mr. Davis: He will not be here.

Mr. Smith: Well, I will start by asking a question of the Premier, since I do not see the Provincial Secretary for Justice (Mr. Walker) here either.

Is the Premier aware of the police chase that occurred at 10:55 a.m. on Saturday within the Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk county line, southwest of Caledonia, a police chase in which a car was pursued apparently for no reason other than the fact that it did not have proper licence plates, and a chase in which it would appear a head-on collision occurred?

As I am asking the question, I will redirect it to the Solicitor General: This is in regard to the police chase within the Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk county line at 10:55 a.m. on Saturday, in which a car was pursued because it did not have a licence plate and in which the police vehicle apparently engaged in a head-on collision with an innocent bystander coming in the opposite direction. The innocent bystander is now in hospital with multiple injuries, and it is my understanding that the police constable has been charged with failing to share the roadway.

Will the Solicitor General not agree that the time has come to give very clear guidelines of a kind that would discourage police chases except where there is a balance of reason and probable reason to believe that the person being pursued is a dangerous criminal? Instead of the present guidelines, which say that if the police do not chase they will be neglecting their duty, is it not time we had stronger guidelines saying the police must chase, just as the discharge a firearm, only when they have reason to be seriously concerned with the potential danger of the person being pursued?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition really quite seriously distorts what the present guidelines state. His description of the guidelines just does not happen to coincide with fact.

There are very careful guidelines, some of which I have tabled in the House, laid down with respect to police chases and making it very clear that this very difficult decision that must be entered upon by an individual police officer must be a decision that is made very carefully, and the safety of individuals, not only the person being chased but also innocent bystanders in particular, must be given the highest of priorities before a police officer engages in such a chase. Obviously, innocent bystanders must be protected from the tragedies that sometimes occur as a result of these chases.

There are very careful guidelines laid down as to the weight that public safety generally must be given with respect to this particular undertaking.

I do not know the circumstances of the incident the Leader of the Opposition has just referred the House to, and I will endeavour to obtain very quickly full particulars of that incident. In the meantime, through the Ontario Police Commission, we have made it clear to all police forces that they are to report to the police commission on a regular basis with respect to any police chases that are engaged in so that the police commission may monitor this situation very carefully.

2:10 p.m.

I have said time and time again, if anyone has any useful suggestions as to how we can strengthen these guidelines, apart from what the police commission has already done in recent years, we are always quite prepared to receive these suggestions.

But in the final analysis, I must emphasize that these decisions obviously have to be made within a matter of moments, often split seconds, and it does require a great deal of individual judgement. There are no better guidelines available -- we have looked at guidelines from every other jurisdiction in North America and we do not know of any force that has better guidelines.

I want to emphasize once again that in the final analysis it has to depend upon the judgement of the individual police officer, and no guidelines by themselves are going to be anything more than guidelines. In other words, they are not going to be able to make that very difficult decision for the officer.

It is fair to say that the police forces in this province are very concerned about this issue, but again I do not think any member of the House simply wants the Ministry of the Solicitor General to put a ban on police chases.

Mr. Smith: Given the fact that it would seem as many people have been killed in high-speed police chases in Ontario as by the discharge of firearms by the police, and that far more have been injured in high-speed police chases than by the discharge of firearms, why will the Solicitor General not have a set of guidelines at least as stringent as those that apply to the discharge of firearms? Will he, for instance, compare the --

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: They are.

Mr. Smith: The minister says they are, but they are not. Will he take a moment to look at the memorandum issued by Judge T. J. Graham, chairman of the Ontario Police Commission, on November 1, 1979? On the subject of high-speed chases it says, "Regardless of the circumstances, the police officer would be derelict in his duty if he failed to give pursuit." Compare that comment to one on page four of the very same memo where Judge Graham says, "We should reiterate that a police officer should refrain from discharging his firearm unless to effect the apprehension, when other means are insufficient, of a person whom he, on reasonable and probable grounds, believes to be dangerous."

The "reasonable and probable grounds" to believe the person to be dangerous is the difference. This differs very much with, for instance, the Arkansas rules, which say, basically, that what is involved is "a judgement decision for the officer, similar in many respects to the problem of when to use a firearm. For this reason, high-speed chases are discouraged but not prohibited. They are sometimes necessary, but not often. It is highly unlikely that you will be asked why you did not chase a speeder. There is always tomorrow."

According to Judge Graham, a police officer would be neglecting his duty if he failed to give pursuit. There is a very different emphasis. Will the Solicitor General care to review his policy in this regard?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: The guidelines have to be looked at in the total context, rather than just taking a sentence -- if it does appear in the guidelines -- quite out of context. Obviously the guidelines make it very clear that in certain circumstances the police should not engage in high-speed chases. There are no guidelines that simply say in absolute terms, "You are in dereliction of your duty if you do not engage in a high-speed chase."

Mr. Ruston: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary on the same matter: We had a similar case in the Windsor area a week ago where a motorcyclist had been going 17 kilometres over the speed limit and two police cars went after him. The motorcycle ended up in the ditch after being rammed by one of the police cars. This was not intentional, of course, but it happened.

Is a speed of 17 kilometres over the speed limit so bad that we have to take after someone with two cars?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, if the honourable member is asking me to look into the circumstances of that particular chase, I will be happy to do so.

Mr. Breaugh: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I want to ask the minister why he continues to allow this process to occur. He must be aware that police officers are driving vehicles at high speeds when they are not designed or maintained for high-speed chases. The second major fault is that most police officers do not have any real training in giving chase at high speeds.

Why does he allow that kind of maniacal procedure to continue in Ontario? Not only are his guidelines wrong, but also the vehicles they are driving are not equipped for high speeds and most of the officers do not have any training at all in that.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, the question is based on a lot of false premises, so I am not going to dignify it by answering it.


Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations.

The minister will recall the questions that I raised in this House following the publication of Bimonthly Reports concerning some serious allegations about the Ontario Securities Commission and its handling, virtually from beginning to end, of the Astra Trust matter. It would now appear the standing committee on administration of justice, which is looking at the report of the ministry, seems unwilling, at least in the short run, to look at these matters.

Given the promise the minister made to respond to those allegations in this House, may I ask the minister why it is taking him so long to come up with the response of the Ontario Securities Commission?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I turned the copy of Bimonthly Reports over to the Ontario Securities Commission, and it has been looking at the questions posed in it. The document was some 10 pages long and closely typewritten. I bet it must be close to 10,000 words in length.

The document contains many allegations which members of the Ontario Securities Commission told me were a blend of a whole range of half-truths, part truths, total truths, and inaccuracies. The commission is sorting through many of the questions that have been posed, and in due course I am sure will have a response for the honourable member. I will be glad to provide that response once the moment arrives and it arrives.

Mr. Smith: Does the minister consider it satisfactory to walk into this House a week or 10 days after this matter was first broached and simply give a kind of hearsay report that typifies that 10,000-word study, as he calls it, as simply half-truths and untruths and things of this kind, rather than present point-by-point responses to very serious allegations that will serve to undermine confidence in our regulatory authorities unless dealt with efficiently, effectively and openly?

Why is the minister not prepared to respond to those allegations right here in this House, having had plenty of time by now to respond to the questions, which surely are not poorly understood by members of the securities commission?

Hon. Mr. Walker: These matters will all come to light in due course. Some of them are not revelations. A good many of them were brought out in the discussions of last December and January. I anticipate that before long we should have some response from the commission.

Mr. Swart: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister prepared to make a request to the justice committee to reinstitute and finish the hearings it started so it could consider this document along with a lot of other matters still to be considered by that committee?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, consideration of this whole matter was before the justice committee last Thursday. I think the member was there until he got into a huff and stomped out.

All I can say is that during that period of time a number of matters were considered. The justice committee in its wisdom considered recommendations made by the member for St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley), as well as some amendments made by the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) and ultimately concluded that more information was needed on its part. It solicited that information by a request to the ministries of the Attorney General and Consumer and Commercial Relations. As a result, we will be responding in due course. I hope the honourable member is at the meeting when the response occurs.

2:20 p.m.

Mr. Breithaupt: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Since the justice committee has asked for a status report on the circumstances with respect to both criminal matters and the civil charges, will the minister have available for the justice committee a status report from the Ontario Securities Commission as to the truth or otherwise of the various allegations in the report that my leader referred to, so that the whole matter can proceed, one hopes, as quickly and thoroughly as possible, perhaps in the last week of the month?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the member raised that question. That was not part of the resolution that came from the justice committee. I have not received their letter from the clerk, but I presume it will only be a matter of time before I get the letter. When I get that letter I will respond directly to it.

At the moment, I understand that it was asking the Attorney General's ministry for a status report on the criminal proceedings and presumably of the civil proceedings. In the case of our ministry, it was asking for a status report of the negotiations that are proceeding.

I will be responding directly to the letter that is sent to me from the clerk of the justice committee. It may or may not be the case that it happens to contain some additional matters that are perhaps unrelated, but at the moment I intend only to respond to the letter from the committee as requested.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, members of the New Democratic Party caucus today are all wearing the red roses which were a symbol of François Mitterrand in the recent presidential election campaign in France.

I hope all members will join with me in extending congratulations to the new President of France, particularly as it indicates that the swing of the pendulum in a rightward direction has now come to an end in that country; that progressive forces have triumphed politically there, as they will in Ontario.

I will send a letter to the new President of France saying that, even if the Premier (Mr. Davis) is not quite prepared to join in, we congratulate him on his victory.

It was a strongly progressive policy that Mr. Mitterrand was elected on.


Mr. Cassidy: In that vein, Mr. Speaker, and given the need to intervene to protect workers in the province, I wish to address a question to the Minister of Labour.

Is the Minister of Labour aware that his own ministry's statistics indicate that 23 plant closures affecting 5,443 workers have occurred or have been announced in the first three months of this year, and that at this rate we will have 90 plant closures in 1981, compared with the 68 that occurred in 1980?

Since the plant closures that have taken place this year have been in many industries, and have not just focused on the automotive industry, will the minister now undertake to implement the points that were being studied by the select committee on plant shutdowns and employee entitlements prior to the election, specifically with regard to an obligation on corporations to justify plant closures, an obligation to give more adequate advance notice and to provide pension protection, in addition to the promises made about severance pay?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure where the honourable member got his figures. I suspect they are similar to mine, but my recollection is that there have been something in the neighbourhood of 19 complete or partial closures over the first four months of this year.

To the best of my recollection, some eight or nine of those have been bankruptcies or insolvencies, and the remainder have primarily been Canadian corporations that have closed or moved for some reason or another, and there have been some that have been multinational.

I think it is interesting to note, however, that in some of those closures it simply has been a matter of a product that no longer has a market. But let me assure the member that in each of those situations the workers have been adequately protected, either by severance pay or by being offered alternative employment in that company.

In general, I may say that the record of employer concern with regard to their employees over the past four months has been admirable.

Mr. Cassidy: Whether a company is Canadian or multinational, whatever the reasons they may have decided to close down, does not surely rule out the need for justification. Will the minister comment specifically and explain why last October, at a time of minority government, he announced the creation of the post of layoffs co-ordinator, which co-ordinator would make immediate contact with management and with employees to obtain all pertinent information to assess the possibility of maintaining an operation that is the subject of a possible shutdown?

Can the minister explain why it is that when I asked last week about the Harlequin Enterprises shutdown in Stratford, the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) said the government is not in the business of reviewing decisions made by companies carrying on business in our economy?

Now that we have a majority government, is the policy of the government, as the Minister of Labour announced last fall, that the layoffs co-ordinator would try to keep the enterprise open, or has he adopted the hands-off attitude that was enunciated last week by the Minister of Industry and Tourism?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I have had numerous conversations with the Minister of Industry and Tourism. I suspect that either the member did not understand what he said or he was not listening, because I know very accurately that both the plant shutdowns committee and the Minister of Industry and Tourism and his staff are actively involved in efforts on many occasions to try to keep companies viable if that is a reasonable option. That is happening today. Perhaps that is why employment in this province continues to rise as opposed to the number of unemployed, which is dropping.

I have to tell the honourable member that it still remains the function of the plant closure committee of my ministry to approach matters exactly as I outlined to him last fall, They do it diligently. I may say they are involved in some innovative projects at the moment which we see as very progressive.

Ms. Copps: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I know this question was directed to the Premier earlier, but it has never actually been directed to the Minister of Labour. When is the minister going to stand by his promise to introduce severance pay retroactive to January 1, 1980?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I would have thought the member would have understood that there are those of us who obey and those of us who command. The Premier answered that question very clearly. He said legislation would be introduced.

Mr. Cassidy: If I can seek some clarity from the minister: Given the fact that the shutdowns and layoffs are continuing to occur, on May 5 of this year the Minister of Industry and Tourism stated: "May I say that I can only repeat what I have said earlier. This government is not in the business of reviewing decisions made by companies carrying on business in our economy."

In view of the contradiction with what the minister had to say in October and what the minister said just now, did the minister tell the Minister of Industry and Tourism that his statement was in error, that that is not the policy of the government, and that the policy is what the Minister of Labour has said? Which of the two ministers are we to believe and which policy are the companies in the province to follow?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Your question was, would I tell them to stay open.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, can I answer this question, or will that be disturbing the House? I do not want to get into anything that will disturb the repartee that is taking place.

Mr. Speaker: You may proceed.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: As I understand it from the Minister of Industry and Tourism, who has just loudly proclaimed his view, I understand the member addressed a question to him which related to whether he would force companies to stay open. It is true, he will not be doing that. But the representatives of his ministry and the representatives of the plant shutdowns committee of my ministry are in conversation with companies whenever there is a suggestion that there may be a closure, to see whether any alternatives to that closure are possible. Let me assure the member that happens.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question of the Minister of Housing. I wish to draw to the attention of the House the presence in the gallery here of 11 people representing families who last August put $1,000 down to buy homes from Canada Homes in the Milliken subdivision in Scarborough and who this week have received a letter from a company related to the housing contractor, Cedarland Properties, which informs them that their application for a mortgage loan had been declined and that they no longer have a deal.

2:30 p.m.

I want to ask the Minister of Housing whether he is aware of this case, where people bought in good faith, where they qualified for a loan, where they were assured over the period from August up until last week that they would have a home, but they are now being confronted with impossible conditions, being told that the mortgage eligibility will be measured at interest rates three or four points above the mortgage rate that they have been told they get the mortgage at, or being asked to come up with money up front to keep their homes when that was not a part of the original deal.

Is it the minister's opinion that this is a part of the normal workings of the marketplace that he has told us about on so many occasions, or will the minister undertake to step in to ensure that these families and 50 other families in a similar situation will get the homes they contracted for last summer?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I am sure the leader of the third party is well aware, or he should be, that this particular question should not be directed to the Minister of Housing but is one for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Walker).

Mr. Smith: Redirect it then.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, there are very few people in Ontario who took the advice of the leader of the Liberal Party on March 19, and I do not intend to take it this afternoon.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I am indicating very clearly to the leader of the third party that he should know, after the time he has been around here, that this is a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, and may I say that very ministry is meeting at this time with those in the development industry that are affected in this particular problem.

Mr. Cassidy: Redirect, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, the matter came to our attention on Friday, and there has been a direct involvement in our ministry in terms of gathering the facts on the matter. As the Minister of Housing has indicated, the matter is being considered at this moment with a group in the Ministry of Housing and officials of Canada Homes. Once we have had a chance to see what the facts are, we will be able to offer a more definitive comment.

Mr. Cassidy: Since the Minister of Housing refuses to get involved with this, but since the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations is involved, does the minister consider that these people, some of whom are represented here, have a right to have the homes for which they contracted back in August; that having acted prudently and in good faith to buy a home then, before the recent very massive escalation, they should be able to have the houses at the prices at which the contractor promised to sell the houses to them; and that it is the responsibility of the government and of his ministry to step in on behalf of those particular purchasers to make sure they do not find themselves pushed out of their homes by a builder who simply wants to exploit the current market position to take unjustified and unwarranted profits at their loss?

Hon. Mr. Walker: If we can help to settle this matter, we are going to settle it. Certainly we feel that the contracts signed back in August 1980 should be carried out in total. I think our problem is one of jurisdiction and whether we are the ones who can legitimately move in. At the moment we are trying to find a way that we can be a part of it.

We are trying to help and, if we can help in the situation, we will. If we are not permitted to help because of the way the legislation is drafted or because of our involvement, then that may have to be the case, because essentially it is a contractual situation. But if we can be of help, we intend to be.

Mr. Smith: Since it would appear from the press, Mr. Speaker, and we do not have all the details, that a conditional offer of purchase was signed by the prospective buyers and was conditional upon their getting a mortgage, but from a named company that may not have been at arm's length from the vendor, does the minister not feel that there should be some protection, either in law at present or to be introduced quickly into law, to make it impossible for a vendor to offer that kind of contract to be signed which clearly protects the vendor and is self-serving if the mortgage company is not at arm's length and which obviously gives no protection at all to the purchaser in this regard?

If the two institutions, the vendor and the lending institution, are not at arm's length from one another, does the minister not see the collusion that is possible and the way in which the ordinary citizen can be taken advantage of?

Hon. Mr. Walker: That is a very confusing question, Mr. Speaker. The fact of the matter is that at the moment there is no indication to bear out that there is collusion, if there is any collusion. Indeed, there may be absolutely no issue of collusion. It may well all work out and we hope that it does work out.

Generally speaking, the issues of contract are between the person who signs the contract, in this case the builder, and the person who is purchasing. It is basically a question of contract. As I say, if our legislation is such that it permits us to get involved in the matter and resolve the matter, and even if it does not, if we are able to resolve it in a way that is satisfactory to many of the people who are represented here today, then we will solve the problem.

I would say part of the problem has to do with this whole question of interest rates. While I am not trying to pass the buck, all I can really say is that with interest rates varying the way they are, it has a lot of effect on our whole system.


Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: For the last week or so the members on this side of the House have been offended by the ostrich-like, head-in-the-sand nature of the Minister of Housing in regard to the housing crisis in Metro. Today I would like to present him with proper adornments to come into this House. If he wears them every day, he may be the prettiest member and the prettiest Minister of Housing we have ever had in this House.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, in response, I think the member for Scarborough West is a better-looking Indian than anybody around here, and I send them right back to him. I think he would be more appropriate in them. Thank you.

Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: Did the minister say "a better-looking Indian"? Is that what he said? Did you hear the minister, Mr. Speaker?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, to elaborate on my remarks, I said the ostrich feathers that the member for Scarborough West sent over to me would look better on the member than on me. If I happened to insult or upset somebody with my remarks relating to Indians, I was thinking of an Indian band. I am not quite sure how to describe the way the member carries on around here at times, but an ostrich he is.

Mr. Smith: On the point of privilege, having sat and listened to the minister express his views with regard to women a few days ago, may I ask you, Mr. Speaker, to point out to the minister when you have a chance to chat with him that our native people do not in fact go around the province wearing these huge ostrich plumes. In point of fact, the reference made to feathers and Indians is just another example of the kind of stereotyped thinking and racist remarks this House can do without.

Mr. Speaker: The minister has already withdrawn his remarks. I think quite enough has been said.


Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. Is the minister aware that about 30 American workers of the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, have been working for some time at the new Essex aluminum casting plant in Windsor despite the fact that neither Canada Manpower nor the Department of Employment and Immigration is aware of anyone from the United States working at that facility? Since thousands of Ford workers in Windsor remain on indefinite layoff, would the minister check the situation and ensure that the use of these workers is not taking jobs from Canadians, and would he remind Ford that permission is required for any foreign employment activity in Canada?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I have no way of knowing if the facts are accurate as the member has stated them, but I am sure he has contacted the Minister of Employment and Immigration. If he wishes me to do so as well, I will be pleased to.

2:40 p.m.

Mr. Wrye: Considering the fact that this government contributed some $28 million to the Ford project, I would have hoped that the minister would take a more serious look at the use of non-Canadian workers there. Ford in Oakville says this work is only of a temporary and limited nature. Will the minister assure himself that it is indeed only temporary, and will he tell the House why such skills for the startup operation of a plant which was on the drawing board some three years ago can only be imported and why no Canadians are qualified to do this work?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: First of all, I am sure the member did not mean it, but if he was seriously suggesting I do not care about the plight of workers in this province, I take offence at that. If he did mean it, then we have a problem with each other. I will be pleased to make inquiries into the problem he has outlined and will be glad to report to him. I would ask the member not to suggest that I do not have an interest in the problems related to workers in this province.

Mr. Cooke: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: We have brought this matter to the attention of the Minister of Labour on several occasions -- I have, as has my former colleague Ted Bounsall -- yet they continue to happen. Can the Minister of Labour not suggest to the immigration department, controlled by the party of my friends to the right, that proper procedures should be put in place so that we take advantage of workers who are unemployed in the Windsor area first, and so that we do not have these temporary problems that are discovered, investigated and then three months later we find out the workers should not have been allowed to work in the Windsor area, that we did have Canadians, and by that time it is too late?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, the member is quite right. There have been other occasions and we have talked about them. I said they had been satisfactorily explained and that suitable inquiries had been made. I have indicated I will make inquiries about this new situation and I trust the member will as well, or has, if he has a concern about it.


Mr. Martel: I have a question of the Provincial Secretary for Justice, in view of the absence of the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), regarding the conviction of Thyssen Mining for four violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, for which the company was fined the magnanimous sum of $250 on conviction. Does the minister agree with the comments of the judge at the hearing, where he said, one, that the Ontario --


Mr. Martel: Does the Premier want the floor?


Mr. Martel: Then why doesn't he desist?

Mr. Speaker: Order. Will the member please continue.

Mr. Martel: He makes light of question period all the time.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Mr. Martel, you will continue with your question.

Mr. Martel: Would the minister agree with the judge of the provincial court hearing these cases who said that the Occupational Health and Safety Act was just another piece of social legislation and, secondly, that in his opinion the workers were more responsible for safety than companies are and that he does not believe fines should be in accordance with ability to pay?

Does the minister believe in that sort of comment? I ask because I wrote the minister on January 23 and I am still awaiting a response.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed that the member for Sudbury East has been taking so many grumpy pills lately. I would be pleased if he returned to his original self.

Mr. T. P. Reid: If the minister had to sit beside Cassidy, he would be grumpy too.

Hon. Mr. Walker: I don't think it is very fair to make that kind of comment about his leader. His cross is heavy enough to bear as it is.

Mr. Speaker: Order. The minister will continue.

Hon. Mr. Walker: The learned judge is entitled to whatever comments he may wish to make. I am not about to pass judgement on whether a judge says something or whether or not it is proper for him to say something. He has made his comments. They are his and he will have to live with those comments.

Mr. Martel: Since we all know -- and the Minister of Labour knows more than anyone else -- that legislation did not put the onus on the employee but rather focused the onus on the employer, does the minister not think it is essential that we make sure judges are aware that is where the onus lies -- not with the workers -- when meting out this type of judgement?

Hon. Mr. Walker: I don't think one can use this type of situation to suggest in any way that the person who is an employee of a plant has to shirk his duties to make sure it is a safe situation. Indeed, as I understand the Occupational Health and Safety Act, it actually makes reference to the fact that employees will draw it to the attention of the appropriate people whenever there is an incident or a situation that would compromise safety. One cannot take away the individual responsibility here and I do not think the member should be trying that.


Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food. Is the minister aware of the tactics being employed by some bankers whereby farmers, instead of receiving an extension to their operating loans, are being compelled to extend their mortgages in order to obtain that money to operate their farms from one year to the next?

If he is aware of this, is there anything this government can do to check the tremendous power of these banks? Does he not think it is time an independent review agency is set up to look at what is going on within the lending institutions and the way they are treating the farmers so we can stop any further foreclosures and bankruptcies until the cases are studied carefully?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, in some cases this is a very serious situation. It is not something to be used as a political football. It is something that all members of the House should look at.

Mr. Smith: If it is serious we should not discuss it. Is that the idea?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: No, though I think the member's party might have some influence with the government at Ottawa, which has the authority to amend the Bank Act.

Last week this House was made aware that the federal Minister of Agriculture had called a meeting of the provincial ministers for Wednesday, May 13, 1981. It is my understanding the ministers from the prairie provinces had a meeting set up regarding freight rates and they responded. I got the message late Saturday night asking if I would go tomorrow morning. I am going to be in Ottawa tomorrow. I am putting together my presentation and it will include everything the honourable member has mentioned.

Mr. Riddell: The seriousness of the situation, as the minister well knows, is shown by the fact that once the mortgages have been extended the bankers simply march in and foreclose on these farmers. I think we have to stop this. If interest rates go to 22 per cent or even 25 per cent as is predicted, then we are going to see a lot of farms come on the market for sale.

Does the minister not think there would be some merit in calling a meeting of all the legislative members here who have some agricultural background so we may help him prepare this so-called presentation that he is going to be making at the first ministers' conference?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, I just happened to take time to read the speeches made by opposition critics in the last two weeks and I have tried to include in my brief anything I think is of importance.


Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food regarding something that is on page 21 of the Board of industrial Leadership and Development program and which the government spoke of during the election campaign. It says the Toronto stockyards is a core facility for much of Ontario's meat processing industry and that it should be located in the optimum location. The government is going to sit down -- contemplate that -- with interested parties to work out a long-range plan for the stockyards.

2:50 p.m.

Since the minister has indicated on CBC radio programs that this responsibility rests wholly and squarely with him, can he report whether any sitting down has taken place, if so with whom, and what is the time frame within which he is operating for this long-range planning and switching of the stockyards from the west end of Toronto to some site normally referred to as north of Toronto?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, in response to the honourable member, I do not believe he read the complete statement made under the BILD program. I believe he has taken some of that a little out of context. I think a few more words could have been put in. I have met with my staff, we have had dialogues and there will be other dialogues along the way with the appropriate people.

Mr. MacDonald: Who are the appropriate people? Since this meeting with the minister's staff presumably took place after the election when he made that cavalier promise without much consideration of anybody other than perhaps his staff, whom is he planning to sit down with and when -- plain and simple, whom and when?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: The date has not been set. I will meet with the people who are really concerned about the situation.

Mr. Speaker: The Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations has the answer to a question previously asked.


Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, you will remember a few moments ago the member for Ottawa Centre and the member for Hamilton West raised questions involving the matter in the town of Markham, the question of Canada Homes and Cedarland Properties. I indicated officials of our ministry were meeting right this minute with the concerned parties, the developer and the aggrieved parties.

In our effort to deliver immediate action, I can say the matter has now been settled to the satisfaction, I understand, of the prospective home purchasers.

Mr. Speaker: A new question, Mr. Boudria.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, do we not have the right to put supplementaries when there is an answer to a question previously asked?

Mr. Speaker: No, there is no supplementary. The minister was answering a question which was previously asked. I had already recognized Mr. Boudria with a new question.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: It has been the custom in this House that when a minister replies to a question previously asked it is open for an honourable member to place a supplementary after the minister makes his reply. That is what I wish to do now. Is the Speaker saying that is not in order?

Mr. Speaker: No, I am not. What I am saying quite clearly is that I had recognized Mr. Boudria on a new question since he stood up first. If you wish to ask the minister a new question, you may do so.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, obviously it would be the member for Prescott-Russell's turn in the rotation unless there was a supplementary. Is it not the Speaker's intention to recognize supplementaries? I did not have the chance to indicate that mine was a supplementary prior to your recognizing the member for Prescott-Russell.

Mr. Speaker: That was exactly the point. I had already recognized Mr. Boudria when he stood up.

Mr. Nixon: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I think there has been some misunderstanding in that the minister, when he got up supposedly to answer a question previously asked, had already answered it to the best of his ability a few moments ago. Somebody just passed him some additional information and he gratuitously wanted to get up and tell everybody what a good boy he was. It was not on the basis of a question previously asked another day, which is the basis of the rule.

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest to you that while the information was welcome indeed, the minister might well have chosen a proper time consonant with the rules when he could have conveyed the information and we would not have had this difficulty.

Mr. Speaker: That was exactly the point. The minister had in fact dealt with the question earlier. I recognize Mr. Boudria.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, it has been the custom in question period in this House for ministers to respond to questions from previous days, and when such a question has been responded to, for the Speaker to allow a supplementary question based on the response given by the minister. Since that is what has occurred I would urge the Speaker to allow that practice, which has been going on for years, to continue, and not to change the ruling now.

Mr. Speaker: I am not, with all respect, changing the rules. I am making a ruling on the basis of a question that was a current question. It was not a question which had been previously asked. I will hear Mr. Boudria with a new question.

Mr. Cassidy: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I just want to bring to the attention of the Speaker and the minister that the purchasers of homes in the Canada Homes development who came to this Legislature today have neither met with the minister nor with his officials, nor are they aware of a settlement. If a settlement has been reached they welcome it, but they certainly want to be involved and not to be kept out in the cold like that.


Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Government Services. During the election campaign of 1967, this government announced the establishment of a central agency within the Ministry of Government Services which would co-ordinate all government purchasing activity and save millions of dollars. Is the minister aware that 14 years later the central purchasing department in this ministry was responsible for $26 million of purchases out of total ministerial purchases of $700 million? Can the minister tell us whether there are any plans to give the central purchasing unit in his ministry the mandate it was promised 14 years ago?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Speaker, we continue to work towards central purchasing. As the honourable member has said, we have not been successful in turning all of the various ministries over to central purchasing, but we will try to fulfil that promise in the next few years.

Mr. Boudria: The centralizing of government purchasing was intended to produce savings of $10 million in 1967. Given that the budget has increased from $2 billion to $16 billion since then, and in the light of the enormous potential for saving money which the promised measure would produce -- namely, $80 million by the government's own figures -- I would ask the minister whether he has made any representation to the present Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) to deal, in his current budget, with his predecessor's promise.

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Speaker, our estimates will be coming up in about two weeks. I understand the honourable member who asked the question will be his party's critic of my ministry. Perhaps he would raise this question again during the estimates, when I will be able to give him a fuller answer.

Mr. Laughren: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister aware that on the eve of the 1975 election a promise was made by his government, through the Premier (Mr. Premier), that the injured workers of northeastern Ontario, indeed of all northern Ontario, would have a vocational rehabilitation centre in Sudbury? Could he tell us when he intends to fulfil that promise?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Speaker, I believe that is a new question. I do not have that information with me, but I can get the member the answer to it at a later time, or he can raise it again in estimates. It really was not a supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: The Minister of Education has the answer to a question which was asked previously.

3 p.m.


Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, it is as Minister of Colleges and Universities that I respond to a question which was raised last Thursday, I gather, by the member for Hamilton West in which he very carefully distorted some information which was provided by a night clerk in the registrar's office in answer to a telephone call, during which she made a comment to the effect that the office was being deluged with applications and that there were a number of applications lying around in bundles on the floor of the office.

The actual procedure which is followed with this course of nursing -- as it is at all other community colleges with the courses in which there is a limited enrolment because of the requirement for clinical experience, which is not given within the college but within the hospital system -- is that the suitability of the applicant, on the basis of his or her academic performance in the past, is first established. When all of the suitable applicants exceed in number the total number of places which are available, they are then subjected to a computerized random number generator in order to select the 80, in this case.

There were approximately 300 applications for this area and 140 of those were judged to be eligible on the basis of their academic background and their knowledge of the role which they were likely to pursue. The computerized random sampling was only used after all of those criteria for applicants had been met, and none of those applications was on the floor in the office of the registrar.

Mr. Smith: By way of supplementary, I ask two points of the minister: Is her informant willing, as is my informant, to give a sworn statement in front of a commissioner of oaths, and to take any lie detection test the minister might wish --


Mr. Smith: Just a moment -- that she was told the applications were put on the floor and that armfuls were picked up and that among those armfuls only those who qualified were brought in? That is the first part.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: That is not what the member said.

Mr. Smith: Yes, it is. Secondly, is the minister prepared to defend a system in which a basic minimum for application is set and where, after that, no effort is made to differentiate between those who might be excellent, those who might be very good, and those who might just have passed the basic minimum, but where instead random numbers are chosen by a computer? What has happened to the idea of choosing the best for the available positions rather than those who --

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, we continue to attempt to choose the best in nursing courses. This is a limited course in terms of spaces available because of the clinical component, and there are measures taken to ensure that there are qualifications which must be met in order to allow those eligible to be considered for application to the course. That is done on the basis of information developed from academic programs and from other material which is developed as well.

When all of those eligible have been selected, they are then subjected to random selection in order to ensure that fairness is provided to each of these applicants in an area in which the number of places is limited.

Mr. Wrye: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister aware that in the other example used, given this great system of criteria of establishing the qualifications of applicants, the only criteria needed at Loyalist College are a grade 12 diploma and 60 per cent in biology? Does the minister believe that sets out criteria which would get us the best nurses in Ontario, as she seems to think?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, what I was answering was the question related to St. Lawrence College. I shall most certainly explore --

Mr. Smith: They are all the same.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: No, they are not. I shall most certainly explore the question regarding Loyalist College and report to the House.

Mr. Speaker: The Minister of Labour would like to introduce some guests he has in the Speaker's gallery.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I ask for the indulgence of the House for a moment to introduce some visitors in the gallery: The Honourable Nicholas Martis, Minister for Northern Greece, visiting Toronto today; His Excellency Ambassador Emmanuel Megalokonomos, the new ambassador from Greece; the diplomatic assistant to the Minister for Northern Greece, Mr. Apostolos Papasliotis, who is also a former consul general, and the present consul general, Mr. Vassilios Vassalos, who, to our regret and to his, is leaving Canada shortly.

Mr. Speaker: I am sure all members join in welcoming your most distinguished guests. With all respect, I will add two minutes to the question period.


Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Solicitor General. Is the minister aware of the allegations that the Ku Klux Klan is operating, on a farm near Lucan, a training centre in the use of handguns, small firearms and semi-automatic weapons? Does he --


Mr. Breaugh: Before the members opposite sign up to go down to this funny farm, let them just listen to it.

Is the minister aware of these activities carried on by the Klan, and is it true that Ontario Provincial Police officers have no jurisdiction and no legislative powers to control or even monitor this kind of paramilitary training in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, it is certainly not true that the Ontario Provincial Police does not have the jurisdiction to monitor this type of activity. We have heard a number of rumours to this effect in recent months, and the OPP and other police forces have been instructed to watch the situation very closely.

Some time ago I instructed the Ontario Police Commission to give me monthly reports with respect to the activities of the Klan, and we have been seeking to co-ordinate reports from various police forces. To date, we have been unable to detect any hard evidence to support the rumours that have come to the member's attention, which are similar to information that has come to my attention, but I want to assure him that we are watching it very closely.

Mr. Breaugh: Since the ministry is aware of what is going in that particular area near Lucan, is the minister saying in effect that to date the ministry has no hard evidence and does not intend to make any moves on the Klan to stop this training of revolutionaries here in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: First of all, I think we may be putting the cart before the horse a little bit, if I may say so, with the greatest respect.

As to what the appropriate course of action might be, that would depend, of course, upon obtaining hard evidence of this nature. There are certain sections of the Criminal Code that come to mind that might very well be applicable once we have obtained this information. I want to assure the House and the public that there are many sections of the Criminal Code that in our view would be appropriate if it can be established that such activity is being carried on.

Mr. Breaugh: Has the ministry established any connection between the already clearly known revolutionary action by the Klan in Dominica and this kind of training facility that it is operating near Lucan?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: We have no information of any relationship simply because we have been unable to establish that such a training centre does exist.

Mr. Speaker: The time for oral questions has expired.

3:10 p.m.


Mr. Cassidy: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I wish to bring to the House's attention that while the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations has agreed, and I thank him for this, to meet with the people from the Canada Homes development in 10 minutes, they and their representatives have not been consulted during the course of negotiations with the developer, as seemed to be the minister's statement earlier in this question period.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Speaking to the point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I have to say that I apologize for taking so long to get this matter settled. I regret that it has not been settled in the company of the aggrieved parties, but it has been settled directly by negotiations between our ministry and the developer.



Mr. Edighoffer moved first reading of Bill Pr12, An Act respecting the Town of St. Marys.

Motion agreed to.



Resuming 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.

Mr. Ruprecht: Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate you on your appointment as Speaker of this House, and I want to extend the same congratulations to the Deputy Speaker and to the Deputy Chairman of Committees.

I would be remiss if I did not thank the electorate of the riding of Parkdale, who have chosen to make me their member in the assembly for that constituency. I feel very fortunate to represent such a great constituency as the riding of Parkdale, which includes ward one, part of ward two and part of ward three in the city of Toronto. It also includes the federal ridings of Davenport, High Park-Parkdale and Trinity.

You might know, Mr. Speaker, that more than 100 years ago the independent village of Parkdale decided to join the city of Toronto, but not before it had received certain guarantees. One of the guarantees was that drinking water that came from the city should be purified, and another was that Parkdale should have special status in terms of reducing some of its taxes. I might add that Parkdale, being independent, was successful in those two requests. That is why it joined the city of Toronto.

You also know, Mr. Speaker, and I am sure the members do, that Parkdale comes right down to Lake Ontario and has one of the loveliest views of Lake Ontario. There is a multicultural reality built into that area, because we have people from all walks of life and we have people from all corners of the world as part and parcel of our Canadian mosaic now.

I might add that we in Parkdale have achieved something that is very precious in the governments of the world; that is, we have complete harmony and unity among all ethnocultural groups. What we have achieved in that area of town is that no matter who comes to Parkdale, no matter how many people come into our area, they are welcomed to this city through the area of Parkdale.

What is most important is that the area has been neglected over the last 10 years, and the city of Toronto has seen fit to include a new policy and spend more than $500,000 to clean up our area and to revitalize our institutions there. I am specifically speaking of the bachelorettes.

Many of the illegal bachelorettes in Toronto are found in the Parkdale area, and owners have been able to establish themselves there. Now we find that the city has quite clearly made the commitment to clean up the area, and that is why I wanted to represent the people of Parkdale. To my great surprise it is the province, the provincial government on the other side of the House, that has to make a decision. The decision quite clearly involves special money to clear up the biggest problem that our area now faces, and that is the area of group homes, boarding and lodging houses and crisis care facilities.

The city of Toronto has made the commitment to clean up illegal bachelorettes, but now it is incumbent on this government to make a commitment to clean up the policies of group homes, boarding and lodging houses and especially the policy of aftercare services. That, to my mind, is one of the priorities. That, to my mind, is why to a great degree I have been elected over the opposition member who had previously represented this area.

I must add that the previous member, who represented the New Democratic Party, did a credible job in that area. I think what he tried to do was something pretty noble, which was to try to come to grips with the whole issue of group homes and boarding and lodging houses.

I have made a special commitment to try to bring this to the attention of this House, on a daily basis, if I must, especially to the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) and the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Drea). That program is so urgently needed in Parkdale that without it the area may not ever recover to what it has formerly been.

I want to tell very briefly what has happened in terms of the program that has been instituted by the Ministry of Health, namely, the program of deinstitutionalization, and how that program has affected the Parkdale area, which at one time was a very proud, clean and most liveable part of the city of Toronto. Because of the deinstitutionalization policy of the minister, Parkdale to some degree has been reduced to an area that in some segments has become a ghetto. That includes not only the cleaning-up process of illegal bachelorettes, but also to a great degree the group homes, boarding and lodging houses that have not been looked after.

In the 1960s, the government of Ontario decided to depopulate its mental hospitals. Between 1963 and 1968, the number of psychiatric beds in Ontario was cut by almost three quarters, from 16,000 beds to 4,600 beds.

A reaction against the traditional medieval treatment of mentally ill people, combined with the discovery of new drugs that allowed those with chronic mental problems to be stabilized, brought about this dramatic change. The problem with Ontario's rapid deinstitutionalization was that it was not matched by a corresponding growth in community facilities. The province's closure of the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital this past year is the latest example. Only half of the $2.6 million reportedly saved was redirected into new community programs in the area served by the hospital, and only a tiny fraction went for housing of those discharged.

The inadequacy of the present situation in Metro is widely acknowledged. It affects not only Parkdale but also other wards and other areas. Recent articles in the Toronto press graphically describe the life of squalor and desperation faced by many hundreds of former mental patients now living three, four or more to a room in dingy boarding houses.

A recent Metro report confirms the picture of boarding homes with 30 or 40 beds, minimal-quality meals, little or no supervisory care suitable for the needs of residents and haphazard supervision of drugs -- this despite the fact that 95 per cent of discharged mentally ill patients are required to follow a medication program -- and little in the way of activating programs designed to reintegrate former patients into community life. This is a far cry, in other words, from the dream of deinstitutionalization.

3:20 p.m.

Nor can one blame the boarding house operators, many of whom get little financial reward or outside support. Their rates depend on the residents' incomes and, since the majority of ex-psychiatric patients are either on municipal welfare, provincial family benefits or old age pension, the operator is limited in the rent he can charge. At a monthly rate that often ranges from $190 to $240 for room and board it is hard to make a profit without compromising on accommodation, food or needed supervisory care.

The obvious first step to solving the boarding home problem is setting and enforcing standards. Existing licensing arrangements for boarding homes vary throughout Metro, even between departments within a municipality, and they do little to protect residents. For instance, while Etobicoke's zoning does not permit absentee-owned boarding homes, the city of Toronto licenses non-owner-occupied homes. The city is now amending the housing standards bylaw to require owner-occupied homes as well. Where licences are required, however, the emphasis is on a minimal physical standard, that is, cubic feet of space per person, number of persons or fire safety.

No one appears willing to take responsibility for setting standards of care and ensuring through proper inspection they are kept. The Minister of Health has told Metro's municipalities that they already have the power they need to do this through their public health units. The city of Toronto, which is considering a personal care bylaw to enforce standards of care -- I was involved with this -- has been advised by its own legal department that it may lack the authority. That is where the matter stands. The city does not know whether it has the authority, and the province, through this government, thinks it has provided the authority. Therefore, with no one in charge and with no enforceable standards, how can progress be achieved?

Compounding the problem arising from the poor quality of many boarding homes is the insufficient supply of residential alternatives. Despite the huge decrease in institutional beds, only 277 community-based residential beds have been developed in Metro. These are group homes that are provincially funded and regulated to varying degrees.

In addition, there are 480 beds in private commercial boarding homes known to serve ex-psychiatric patients, and an estimated equal number of homes not deemed acceptable by a service agency. Because there are not enough residential alternatives, such as housing cooperatives, halfway houses or supervised apartments, boarding homes are overused in Metro. We are told that boarding homes of marginal standards still make the Queen Street Mental Health Centre's recommendation list.

The supply problem is not likely to improve. The prospect of establishing more group homes in Metro is limited. For one thing, the province is not making money available for more group homes for ex-psychiatric patients. For another, Metro's boroughs will not allow group homes for ex-mental patients, except by spot rezoning. Until now, Parkdale, with an abundance of cheap rooming houses and proximity to Queen Street, has served as the receiving ground for the great majority of discharged patients -- so much so that about 900 ex-psychiatric patients are housed in the 38 homes there. Parkdale is now viewed as the Queen Street outpatient department.

Even in the city of Toronto, which has been receptive to group homes, voices are now being raised against allowing any more such homes until regulations and standards are in place.

Critics of deinstitutionalization point to a high readmission rate -- the revolving-door pattern -- showing that 65 or 70 per cent of those admitted to hospitals for psychiatric treatment are repeaters, although this group represents a small percentage of the total number treated.

Defenders answer that many forms of mental illness are cyclical and require frequent returns to the hospital. They insist the situation is worsened by both ineffective monitoring and the lack of a unified network of support services to facilitate the move from the hospital to the community.

The larger issue is that of responsibility. Ex-psychiatric patients have a whole range of needs: health, housing, vocational, social and recreational. At the present time, there is a patchwork of facilities offering a variety of services, with no agency responsible for seeing they are provided on a co-ordinated basis. Unless the Ontario government develops a policy on community mental health services, including housing, deinstitutionalization will continue to mean little more than the emptying of hospital beds with minimal patient rehabilitation.

The minister asked me last week if there would be some positive steps, some positive programs that would be propagated by this side of the House. I am happy that we on this side are quite ready to show the minister how he can much more effectively operate by providing these positive policy steps:

First, he could define which government ministry has responsibility for aftercare services so that the patchwork that currently exists with not nearly sufficient financing could end.

Second, he could implement the recommendations of the Metro council report on boarding homes and lodging houses by mandating local government to license in respect of boarding homes and to fund enrichment programs.

Third, he could approve Metro council's inclusion of its group home policy in the official plan so that area municipalities cannot block the establishment of group homes in residential areas. I hope the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett), who has recently signed such a policy, will be sufficiently tough to maintain the official position of Metro council.

Fourth, he could instruct the Ontario Housing Corporation to provide apartments for psychiatric patients.

Fifth, he could fund group home programs for psychiatric patients in the boroughs that permit such housing.

Finally, in terms of group homes, along with our party and our leader, who addressed himself to that policy some months ago, I would call for a public inquiry into the state of mental health care in Ontario. That is very necessary.

What is of interest to note in the mental health field today is that Metro council wants certain things from the Ministry of Health and from the government. It now wants the establishment of outreach services for boarding homes in the community, which especially serve wards two and seven in the city of Toronto and ward five in the borough of Etobicoke, in the 1981 fiscal year.

The provincial response to the Metro request is simple. It simply says there may be funding available depending on the type of service to be provided and the need for the service being demonstrated. That is the response. I think we in Parkdale have more than ample proof. The member for High Park-Swansea (Mr. Shymko) will know that, because he has to drive through our area. He too will have ample proof that we need outpatient care, outpatient programs and housing facilities for ex-psychiatric patients.

3:30 p.m.

The response continues, and it says quite clearly that patients discharged from psychiatric hospitals "may require assistance in financial management, managing personal care, finding accommodation, obtaining income maintenance and reaching counselling programs." There is something very surprising in the provincial response. It says: "Only a minority of the patients discharged from psychiatric facilities require these types of assistance." I find this very strange.

In 1979, the Queen Street Mental Health Centre reported a 64 per cent rate of return to institutional care of discharged patients. Here the provincial response to the request by Metropolitan Toronto says that only a minority of patients discharged from psychiatric facilities require these types of assistance. it is clear to see this is not a minority, that 60 per cent represents a substantial majority. Now, in 1980, we know it is no longer a 64 per cent rate of recidivism -- in other words, a return of patients to the hospital and psychiatric institutions -- but has been established today at between 65 and 70 per cent.

It is very clear to see what is essential in the Parkdale area, especially when one looks at the most recent development, a development that indicates that Parkdale in terms of the group home boarding and lodging house phenomena is indeed in a state of crisis.

Only a few weeks ago we had the editor of a local monthly newspaper for ex-patients indicate quite clearly that she wants 200 to 300 ex-psychiatric patients to stop taking antipsychotic and antischizophrenic medication. Why wait until a crisis of this proportion is permitted to happen and, if I may ask, what does this crisis indicate to us? What is this strike supposed to achieve?

The reason is simple. The patients in the Parkdale area feel very isolated and left alone without any help to be able to reintegrate into normal society. The proposed strike is a protest against the province's policy of releasing mental patients into the community where there are inadequate support services, armed only with prescriptions for a variety of powerful drugs. That is the basic reason why there is a strike in the Parkdale area.

I hope the Minister of Health will understand and try to come up with some very specific policies. If he cannot come up with these policies through his own ministry, then let him come to this area of the House and ask the Liberal Party what these policies and guidelines ought to be, because we are ready to show him precisely where these people can be helped so that a normalized lifestyle can be maintained.

I have a letter from the Ministry of Health, signed by a Mr. Klamer of the nursing home inspection service, who says in December 1980 that he inspected some of these homes, especially a nursing home, Dr. Rajovic's health centre on Dowling Avenue, where he made some interesting findings. I listened here just last week while one of the honourable ministers of the government indicated there is no need to have inspections of nursing homes. Those inspections, he claimed, are not really necessary; one has only to look the nursing homes over to see if they are clean, in which case one can assume it is acceptable for a loved one to be put into its care.

What Mr. Klamer from the nursing home inspection service finds in many nursing homes in the Parkdale area is a totally different picture. He finds many problems. For instance, in terms of nutritional care, he finds that a cook employed in the facility I mentioned claims she is terminating her employment owing to lack of food supplies. He reports it is the opinion of the inspectors that the nutritional care standards are not adequate for the wellbeing of the residents. We need a co-ordinated policy which will address these problems that have become obvious in the Parkdale area.

Let me now address myself to the economic policy of this province, although I must confess I have not yet discovered it. But in so far as one does exist, it is clear it is one of dependence upon our powerful neighbours to the south. This means we are linked to another economy in which the policies of a certain group of powerful multinational corporations determine Ontario's future growth in accordance with their own economic policies. I am saying quite clearly we in Ontario are subject to the growth priorities of other countries.

This means the growth pattern of Ontario's economy is dependent specifically on the US economy and on US political priorities. On a lower level, this means we are dependent on the growth priorities of American corporations vis-à-vis their subsidiaries.

Our policy in this province should address its economic strategy to three areas: balance of payment policies, antitrust laws and freedom of export policies. But there is nothing in the minor policy initiatives taken in the throne speech to indicate this has been done. This government has not seriously examined these areas. In fact, I would submit that there is no clear strategy in terms of our economic development and the leader of the Liberal Party has already made that abundantly clear in his own response.

3:40 p.m.

I am deeply concerned that those now in control of the government have failed to make clear where they are heading and where they propose to lead this province. I think the time to face and weigh these facts is now. I think a new period is beginning and we can very clearly see that by the high interest rates, by the economic chaos in this province and by the unemployment. A new period is beginning and it must summon new men, not old men. These are new problems, they demand new ideas, they demand new action and I for one cannot pretend to believe that the Progressive Conservative Party has fully met its duty in the throne speech.

The times in which we live are not conventional and the scene we must view is not simply one of partisan politics. What is at stake here is the future of Ontario and, as the leading province of this country, what is done here probably affects the future of Canada as well.

In this spirit. I am compelled to say two things very bluntly. First, I find it unreasonable that there is no clear strategy in our economy, only responses of tactics to win favour with the electorate.

Second, I find it reasonable and urgently necessary that the spokesmen of the PC party declare now, not at some later date, precisely what they believe and what they propose in order to meet the great matters before the province. We cannot march to meet the future with a banner aloft whose only emblem is a question mark. The question mark is the throne speech. The path of great leadership does not lie along the top of a fence; it climbs heights, it speaks truths. The people want one thing above all others: leadership of clear purpose and that candidly proclaimed.

What we find lacking in the throne speech is that the PC party has not recognized Ontario's industrial decline and the need for a definite industrial strategy. We also find that there is nothing in this throne speech which points a way to help small businesses, farmers and home owners to deal with the tremendously high interest rate structures that exist at present.

I am personally very disappointed there is nothing in the throne speech that indicates an intention to act upon the crisis of escalating housing costs which are making the dream of owning a home an impossibility for average Ontarians.

In North America, we have the technology to place a man on the moon, yet we find ourselves unable or unwilling, apparently, as the government has indicated, to come to grips with some of the social problems that are so necessary in order to make Ontario again number one in terms of economic progress, educational policy and social development.

What we need to develop in this province is a greater sense of community. We can look at the proclamations of Jean Jacques Rousseau, who was one of the main builders of this community spirit. Unless we do that -- I think we have achieved it to a certain degree in Parkdale -- and build a sense of community, we are going to be prey to forces that will create chaos in this province.

I know I am joined by my colleagues on this side of the House in wanting to see policies instituted and problems addressed in the throne speech which will make Ontario number one in all fields of endeavour.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, in entering this debate, I want first to express my congratulations and best wishes to yourself and to the member for Peterborough in assuming the responsibilities of Deputy Speaker and Speaker of this House.

The New Democratic Party has expressed some concern with regard to the process in existence here for choosing a Speaker, the chief officer of the whole Legislature. Those concerns persist. I have set out my reasons for that concern in other places and my hope would be that some time between now and the next time we have to choose a Speaker -- presumably in four years or so -- we might clarify those procedures, because I think it would be in the interests of all of us, and particularly of this institution, that such should be done.

However, the point I want to make is that our doubts and concerns expressed with regard to that process are not to be taken as criticism of you, Mr. Speaker, in your person and in the responsibilities you have assumed. I repeat, we wish you well because -- and it is a platitude, almost -- a successful operation by the chief officer of the Legislature is perhaps the most important contributing factor to an effective operation of the House as a whole. It has much to do with regard to the tone and the effectiveness of our operation.

I also want to say a word of welcome to all the newcomers in the House. Those serried ranks up there have now been depleted to just four. They must have known I was going to speak, so they all disappeared. However, again, I welcome them. As one who has been around here for some time -- some people say on borrowed time and I will explain exactly what I mean by that in a moment -- I would suggest they have undertaken one of the noblest and most rewarding callings that anybody in a democratic society can undertake, that is, seeking elective office, being elected and serving their fellow men and women.

I say that in the context that if a person is not sure whether he really wanted to be an elected representative he may discover he is dying a thousand deaths a week and he is in the wrong game altogether. He may want to get out sooner rather than later because it is the kind of operation for which one is suited temperamentally or one will find it very difficult.

The Camp commission on the Legislature, when it completed its investigation and review of the House back in the mid-1970s, discovered the average tenure in the House was about nine and a half years. I understand that with all the newcomers, if one were to do that calculation today, the average tenure might be down to about seven years or even less.

When one has been around here for seven, eight or nine years, or beyond that, one is beginning to live on borrowed time. Perhaps the members should bear that in mind, because it is just possible the quality of fate will in future be meted out somewhat more equally to that side of the House than has been the case in the past. They will find that borrowed time is imposed upon them.

3:50 p.m.

I want to devote the major portion of my remarks this afternoon to the constitution and federal-provincial relations. It is not a matter that most people are really interested in, quite frankly, but since it has received so much press and has created such a crisis in our federal politics and in our provincial politics, particularly in some parts of the country, people, even though they do not have an intrinsic interest, have had an interest imposed upon them, so to speak.

There is also a feeling that since there is some prospect we have reached the conclusion of the current chapter in this anguished effort to get a new constitution in Canada, we should welcome it and forget it and get on to all the other important things that tend to be neglected. However, in the process of going through this current chapter, for those of us who live in Ontario, there is a matter of very major concern and it is that upon which I want to focus.

In the throne speech, there was one paragraph -- which I do not suppose anybody in the House is going to have any particular objection to -- dealing with this matter of the constitution. It read as follows: "While my government regrets the lack of accord between several of our sister provinces and the central government, we continue to hold a positive perspective on the outcome. For its part, this province will continue to strive for patriation of the Canadian constitution with a fair amending formula and with an entrenched charter of rights." I suppose that is really the nub of it: "This province will continue to strive for patriation of the Canadian constitution with a fair amending formula and with an entrenched charter of rights" -- something that is supported by all parties within the House. "This has been our position since the federal-provincial conference on the constitution in February 1969," said the throne speech.

As is well known, Ontario's historic role in Confederation, in federal-provincial relations, has been that of the compromiser, the peacemaker, the facilitator, sometimes referred to as the linchpin of Confederation. Ontario has often been the unofficial spokesman and leader of English-speaking Canada, because other provinces were willing, at least in the past, to let Ontario be the spokesman and the leader. In that capacity, it has very often played a key role in bridging the gap between English and French Canada. When impasses emerged or developed between the central government and the provinces, Ontario has often been the arbitrator and the conciliator in trying to bridge the gap.

However, the matter of concern that I referred to a moment ago is that during the 1970s Ontario has forsaken that historic role. Frequently, when there is a federal-provincial conference, it appears that Ontario is the odd man out. When it makes a suggestion, instead of being accepted as the unofficial leader, it is more likely that most of the other provinces are going to be lining up in opposition to what Ontario has suggested. There is little or no effort on the part of Ontario, particularly in the current chapter of negotiations, to seek an acceptable middle ground between the federal government and the dissenting provinces. In short, Ontario has moved into a very different position.

It is a radical change. It is a change that might be stated another way, that historically Ontario was the defender of provincial rights. From Mowat through Hepburn to George Drew, the posture of Ontario was that of defender of provincial rights against the encroachment of federal power. There has been a gradual shift from that. From the days of Leslie Frost through the days of John Robarts, while retaining something of a championing of provincial rights, while retaining a position that was somewhat at arm's length from the federal government, there was at least a willingness to become more closely identified with interests that the federal government normally champions.

In other words, Ontario as a major benefactor of Confederation has a growing tendency to defend the status quo in protecting those interests from which it has been the major benefactor. This process of identification and joint stands with the federal government has now reached an advanced point where Ontario -- in the vernacular -- is in bed with Trudeau. Davis is in bed with Trudeau almost submissively, almost indecently so.

One hears that said perhaps more vigorously by the Conservative rank and file than perhaps by anybody else. In fact, Davis is not only in bed with Trudeau; the perception is that he has pulled the covers up over his head and is not even looking out into the world and the battle that is ongoing.


Mr. MacDonald: I said it was potentially and perceptibly indecent, so let the words speak for themselves.

There are a number of new realities that have created this different role for the province. It might be useful to remind ourselves of what these new realities are. First has been the growing nationalist movement in Quebec -- starting with Duplessis, carrying through with Lesage and reaching its climax with the separatist Parti Québecois. That has made it extremely difficult for Ontario to maintain its traditional partnership with Quebec, a role which is the product of both history and geography and a recognition of common interests that stems from pre-Confederation days. But if the stated objective of the government of Quebec is to separate from Canada, an objective that may be muted for the time being -- and one welcomes that -- then it is difficult for Ontario to maintain that historic relationship. It is one of the new realities.

The second and even more compelling new reality is the kind of economic development that has taken place in this country. It is upsetting the traditional regional balances, or perhaps more accurately, the traditional regional imbalances. Economic development in the west -- and to a lesser extent in the east, although there is a promise for it and one lives with these promises as vigorously as one lives with the reality down in the Maritime provinces -- has altered forever the traditional dominance of Canada's economy which has characterized Ontario's position down through the last 100 years or so. Have-not provinces of yesterday have become the have provinces of today. Indeed, some of the have-not provinces of today are hoping to become the have provinces of tomorrow. As one listens to Mr. Peckford one would think tomorrow is just around the corner.

Gone or fast going is the historic empire of the St. Lawrence, where economic destinies of the whole nation were decided in Montreal and Toronto, where east and west were regarded as a resource base and market to be exploited by central Canada, and federal governments pursued policies which served what was regarded as the imperial centre of Canada. Confederation is increasingly a partnership of equals rather than a partnership of one or two dominant provinces and the rest in relatively subservient roles. One has to acknowledge that new reality. For Ontario, it is going to be difficult to adapt to it. When one has held a dominant position for 100 years it is difficult to accommodate to a partnership of equals.

On one hand this is a development which is good. Surely nobody would regret the have-not provinces of yesterday developing a resource base so that they can stand on their own feet -- that they no longer need to go as suppliants for the necessary financial resources to be able to provide even the minimum standards for their people. It is a development to be welcomed. On the other hand, as I have noted, it creates great difficulties for a province like Ontario, whose paramountcy in Confederation has now been removed. This, Mr. Speaker, I think is the question: How do we accommodate ourselves to these new realities?

4 p.m.

I want to attempt to answer that question, and to do so by speaking specifically to the basic concern of today, the constitutional impasse, a situation in which only two provinces are lined up with the federal government and the other eight provinces are lined up in quite vigorous opposition.

Some are firmly convinced that the current impasse between the federal government and the eight dissenting provinces is, in part at least, the product of Ontario forsaking its traditional role in Confederation. Lining up so solidly, so unquestioningly, with the federal government is perceived to be the protection of the status quo, not a strengthening of central power.

Ontario has played no part in forestalling the division of the nation into hostile camps. It has played little or no part in seeking that common ground that must exist if this nation is going to continue. Hopefully, it is not too late for Ontario, even now, to play some role of leadership and conciliation, to seek some acceptable middle ground.

I acknowledge that the nature of any future scenario is going to be laid down by the Supreme Court in its decision some four to six weeks from today. Since God has finally been included in our constitution, my hope, even my prayer, would be that He would grant to the Supreme Court divine wisdom in pointing our way out of this impasse, and not plunge us back to square one, where we will be even more deeply in trouble than we have been for the past year or so.

Should the judgement favour the federal government package, or at least favour its substance even though striking down some of its components, I would like to believe that the door would be open and that it would still be possible to achieve some measure of reconciliation between the federal government and the two supporting provinces and those eight dissenting provinces.

Surely it is a profoundly unhappy situation that on a matter as fundamental and one that should be unifying the nation as the development of the new constitution, we should have this kind of basic division. The prospect of trying to move into a new constitutional chapter with such massive opposition is something that I would like to believe even Pierre Elliott Trudeau -- or perhaps particularly Pierre Elliott Trudeau, as a constitutional lawyer -- would hope could be improved if some measure of consensus could be achieved.

I have reason to believe, and I measure my words carefully, that among the eight dissenting provinces there are some -- not all -- that would be open to a tradeoff in which the charter of rights would be accepted if a more acceptable amending formula were conceived.

This, of course, assumes that this very controversial and mixed-in issue of energy can be dealt with as another separate issue and not mixed in with the constitution. There are some signs that may happen.

I was interested in the article that Ron Atkey wrote for the Globe and Mail on March 18. He noted that the Premier (Mr. Davis) stated at the first ministers' conference last September that Ontario could live with some reasonable version of the Vancouver consensus. Atkey pleaded with the Premier to exercise his influence and his leverage with Ottawa on this constitutional issue because it must be significant, and without the Premier's support the central government position would have been unacceptable and in even deeper trouble from the word go.

He pleaded for the Premier to use his influence, his leverage with Ottawa, to secure some move towards an acceptance of this tradeoff. I would add my pleadings: The Vancouver consensus, which calls for two thirds of the provinces, representing 50 per cent of the population, and with this catch, this add-on -- which is the controversial one, of course -- the right of the province to opt out of a proposed change if it affects its legislative jurisdiction or resources.

If the opting-out right were narrowly enough defined, it might be able to be little different from the kind of diversity of arrangements that currently exist in our federal-provincial affairs. In short, it can be argued -- and I suggest it is an argument that has a fair measure of validity and should be entertained by this government -- that there is a possibility of a greater consensus. If the federal government accepted such a version of the Vancouver formula, if it made it possible for more provinces to accept the charter of rights, we would have a much more acceptable package to send over to Britain for Westminster's consideration.

I am blithely proceeding here to create my own personal scenario as to how these constitutional changes might be achieved. I acknowledge and emphasize that my scenario is different from that accepted by the House of Commons. The official scenario envisages that the package, if it is accepted totally or substantially by the Supreme Court of Canada and comes back to the House of Commons, will be debated for another short period, two days I believe, and will be adopted without further amendments.

But we do not need to remind ourselves that sovereign parliaments can do anything by unanimous consent. Unanimous consent got the House of Commons out of a hopeless bind after months of debate, and I would like to believe that unanimous consent would still be possible for improvements to the package that reflected a reasonable consensus -- not necessarily unanimity, because I firmly believe we have to get away from the tyranny of unanimity, which some people think has been the operative way in our constitutional arrangements.

There need not necessarily be unanimity among the provinces, although that may well be possible, and my fervent hope would be that Ontario would expend every effort to achieve it. In so doing, it might go far to restoring something of the historic role that Ontario has played in Confederation.

Having said that, I want to move on to two or three specifics within the general context that I spelled out. Let me say, as an aside and a digression, that in the course of speaking with many people in politics and the academic world, political scientists and others who make it their almost full-time preoccupation these days to consider the difficulties in the reform of our constitution, I was most distressed to discover almost a bottom line among many of them when they were asked what Ontario should be doing now that would be a meaningful contribution to resolving this impasse.

I was struck by the remarkable paucity of suggestions as to what Ontario might be able to do. Some argued, and this was the bottom line, that Ontario's credibility, Ontario's image among the other provinces, had slipped to a point where it might well have to spend the next five years or so rebuilding its image and rebuilding its credibility before it could have the capacity for leadership that had been traditional in the first 100 years or so of Confederation. I do not accept that. It is a counsel of despair, in my view. I do not accept it for reasons I have already indicated as to how I think Ontario might move in to achieve that greater measure of middle ground. I do not accept it as I take a

The first one is in the general area of federal-provincial relations. Undoubtedly, because of the fact that Ontario has slipped from that paramount, dominant role in Confederation and in the Canadian economy, we are going to have to manifest a greater sensitivity towards the interest, the concerns and the aspirations of others than has been the case in the past.

4:10 p.m.

If I may move away from the economic base of Confederation, we have done that in the past with regard to French-Canadian aspirations. One of the remarkable characteristics of the contribution of John Robarts is that, for reasons that are worthy of an intense, almost psychiatric study, he had an understanding and appreciation of the aspirations of French Canada and was willing to voice them. Since that voice came from Ontario, the historic partner in Confederation, there was the possibility of much more progress than hitherto had been the case.

There has to be a greater understanding of western Canada. One of the things I found absolutely baffling and staggering was the proposal that emerged from the government here in Ontario, voiced by the Premier at a public meeting at the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, the Vancouver Board of Trade or something, in which he called for a royal commission to find out why western Canada is alienated.

The hilarious and derisive laughter has not quite subsided in western Canada. If Ontario, including the Premier, does not know at this point why western Canada is alienated, we are a great distance away from the meeting of minds which may resolve some of the problems. I hesitate even to put on the record some of the searing editorials that emerged in western papers with regard to Ontario and the Premier of Ontario when that proposal was made. It fell like a lead balloon and has not been heard of since, except as a source of laughter.

Perhaps it is a manifestation of our unwillingness or our incapacity, right at the government level, to understand why western Canada feels the way it feels. We have to educate ourselves a little bit. We have to do something to develop sensitivity, without necessarily forgoing a fight to protect Ontario's interests, because in future it may well be that Ontario, like many other provinces, has to fight in good part to protect its own interests in federal-provincial relations.

I do not think that in doing that there is need to forgo that role of leadership, but it can fulfil that role of leadership only if it has some understanding and sensitivity towards the aspirations of western Canada in particular and, to somewhat the same extent, of eastern Canada.

I had the benefit a week ago this past weekend of speaking to many of our colleagues from the Atlantic provinces, particularly my old and good friend Lloyd Shaw, who is one of the leading industrialists, with roots in all three of the Maritime provinces as well as in Newfoundland.

He stressed that there is a general acknowledgement and acceptance of the fact that the federal Department of Regional Economic Expansion program, in its efforts to stimulate the economy by an input here and an input there, simply has not worked. They have to sit down and plan economic development. With the coming into play of new resources, they have more capacity to do that kind of planning. As the sheet anchor of the Canadian industrial and manufacturing world, Ontario can, with a sensitivity towards that part of the country as well as towards western Canada, play a more effective role in federal-provincial relations generally.

Let me move to a second point with which I want to deal, a point obviously of great touchiness in Ontario. I want to suggest quietly, as unprovocatively as possible, that Ontario should move to a voluntary acceptance, from within the province rather than from any attempt to impose from without, of section 133 of the British North America Act. Let me quote Ron Atkey's comments in this connection from the article he wrote for the Globe and Mail. I mentioned it earlier.

He said: "But for French-speaking Quebeckers looking for a new deal they were promised before the no vote in last year's Quebec referendum, some positive signal is needed from the rest of Canada in addition to the Trudeau package, which is receiving lukewarm support in that province as Monday's election results seem to indicate. Such a signal from Mr. Davis need not involve making Ontario officially bilingual. It might simply commit Ontario within a reasonable time of, say, three years to the same constitutional footing as Quebec and Manitoba with respect to linguistic minorities.

"Ontario is already there respecting the use of English and French in the Legislature. It is almost there regarding the use of English and French in courts. The cost of translating statutes, records and journals of the Legislature would not be unmanageable if spread over a period of years."

I think Mr. Atkey, to put it frankly, is being a bit cute by saying the Premier could do all these things without making Ontario officially bilingual. True, he could, and the important thing is they are doing these things. Linguistic equality exists in this Legislature. Linguistic equality is going to be achieved in the courts, and the chief law officer of the crown has stressed that they are moving towards that as quickly as circumstances will permit.

The proposition that we cannot do what Quebec has always done, what little New Brunswick and little Manitoba are doing in terms of a translation of the statutes and other documents and things of that nature, is nonsense. To argue that it would be too costly is nonsense. If it is not too costly to achieve that basic unity in Manitoba, New Brunswick and through them for the whole nation, it is not too costly for Ontario, the richest province in this country.

I find it distressing, if not humiliating, to have the Prime Minister of this country and the federal leader of the Progressive Conservative Party pleading with the leader of our government to do the right thing. I acknowledge that there is a potential backlash in this province about moving in this direction. I am always puzzled as to how that backlash is kept quiet when the government proceeds to do all the things except to establish the symbol of official equality of language.

But Robarts faced exactly that same backlash when he accepted the bilingualism and biculturalism report back in 1966 which called for a recognition of the validity of bilingualism in this country. Indeed, I can remember people on the front benches who were not in the cabinet audibly expressing opposition to John Robarts when he said he was going to accept the report and set up a task force to proceed towards implementation.

It is difficult to argue against the Quebec government's restriction on anglophones' linguistic rights and the Quebec government's retreat to unilingualism when Ontario refuses to acknowledge comparable rights to the francophone population, the largest single bloc of francophones outside of Quebec. In the last Quebec election not only was the Parti Québecois government re-elected but also there was a 50 per cent increase in support of the PQ from the anglophone community.

The percentages I have read are that from 13 per cent to just over 20 per cent of the anglophone community supported the Lévesque government. It was significant and I think not to be ignored and forgotten that on election night Levesque paid tribute to the fact that the anglophone and the ethnic communities had supported the PQ government to a greater extent than they had in the past. It is predicted that will be reflected in future shifts in the cabinet.

4:20 p.m.

Some people have said from the outset that the reason for the Parti Québecois' retreat into unilingualism and establishment of French as the predominant language is the long battle to establish the equality of French in Quebec and the belief they could do it only if they establish unilingualism, at least for a time, a fact that arose from the use of English in the dominant economic life of the province, most of which, until very recent years, tended to be in the anglophone community.

Some say -- and this is only a prediction; they may be wrong -- that once the French language has been established in Quebec there will be a willingness to restore some of the linguistic anglophone rights that have been restricted to some degree in the last two or three or four years. In short, we will get that historic balance of rights that has characterized Quebec from Confederation. Would it not be ironic if that kind of thing were to happen in Quebec and here in Ontario we were to continue to insist that we could not officially accept the equality of the French language along with the English language?

I suggest that what is required here is an act of statesmanship and healing at this time. When Richard Hatfield in New Brunswick says, "How can I argue for equality of linguistic rights in Quebec when Ontario, with the largest group of francophones, is not willing to do the same?" he has a valid point. It requires an act of statesmanship. Sometimes those acts of statesmanship, in terms of meeting the needs of the whole nation, have to be taken, even if one recognizes there will not be unanimous support within the province itself. That would not be the first time it happened. I repeat, it was the kind of thing that happened back in John Robarts's day on a number of scores.

I suggest that a voluntary acceptance of section 133 from within the province, not only having the support of opposition parties in this House, is a prerequisite to building a historic relationship with the sister province of Quebec.

I move down to a third area, and I do it tentatively and not in any great depth, because clearly it is a very fluid situation. That is the whole energy policy. It has been all mixed up in the constitution, inevitably so. There are some prospects that now it is going to be separated out; indeed, after the Supreme Court has made a decision and the constitution comes back to the House, presumably there will be a passage of the package -- we hope with a measure of reform reflected in greater consensus -- over to the House of Commons so it leaves the energy issue separate to be settled.

I am told that people from our Ministry of Energy were in Ottawa the week after the election discussing this impasse, this crisis in the whole energy pricing field in Canada today. The scuttlebutt -- which may be wrong or may be right, or which may be sufficiently right to be valid to make the point -- is that the word from Ontario was, "Well, if you move to some measure of accommodation with Alberta, we will grumble, but we won't scream." There is certainly a growing recognition that some sort of compromise has to be worked out.

I have always found it a little puzzling as to why they have not worked towards that compromise when we have both the Premier of Ontario and Premier Lougheed of Alberta publicly on record as saying that 75 per cent of world price would be an acceptable kind of goal or solution. Seventy-five per cent of world price would be up to about $32 or $33 a barrel and would go far to conciliate the bruised feelings and sensitivities of western Canada when the price is only $17 or $18 a barrel now.

The New Democratic Party would reiterate, if that kind of scenario were going to be played, that there is the common ground set out by the two Premiers, that along with such moves there must be the necessary policies to cushion the implementation of such policies for those who are going to be most vulnerable to that kind of a massive increase in energy prices.

I also recognize the thorny issue of the time frame in which such policies would be implemented. There is not much point in me painting a scenario here about the even thornier problem of how they are going to share the revenues, but it is an area with which we have to come to grips. I suggest it is an area where, once again, Ontario cannot hide under the bedclothes, so to speak, when it is in bed with Trudeau.

Ontario has to voice its views, and one hopes it can do it with a bit more fearlessness now that the election is over and the government has a majority. Now it can resume something of a role instead of being a cipher in this growing impasse that has emerged between the central government and western Canada, because it is obvious that the whole nation is suffering and the goal of energy self-sufficiency will be fading away into the 1990s, if not into the next century, if we do not break this impasse some time soon.

I will wrap up my comments here by reiterating that I refuse to accept that counsel of despair I found from so many of the people I was speaking to, that Ontario's image and credibility in its relationships with other provinces has dwindled to a point that it has to spend five or 10 years rebuilding that image and that credibility. It may well be true that it has to work on that, but it has to express the sensitivity I discussed earlier with regard to the reasons for western Canadian alienation and the aspirations of the Atlantic provinces.

There are things that Ontario can do now. Some of them were pointed to by Ron Atkey. I have emphasized some of them; I have added to them. There are specifics that Ontario can do now in terms of acts of statesmanship and nation building that are not going to violate the responsibility of any government, namely, to protect the interests and the rights of the province for which it speaks.

Let me briefly turn to one other topic, and I am not going to go into it in great depth. I will try to do this as unprovocatively as possible too. Since the Premier is not here, maybe it is not possible to provoke. Dare I suggest that those back-benchers cannot be provoked? One of them has already intervened to say, "Don't be too sure."

I want to say a word about the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson). Agriculture is one of my major concerns in this House and has been for some 25 years or so. I think we have a situation today that is totally unprecedented in our history. From my reading of the history books and from my recollection of the last 25 or 30 years, I do not know of any period in which there has been such an open repudiation and criticism and call for the resignation of the Minister of Agriculture and Food as is the case today.

The Premier can dig in his heels. Someone suggested that precisely because there is a call for his resignation we will have to live with him for even longer, because they will have to save face.

I think it is well for us to note just how widespread and how deep-seated this lack of credibility has grown to in the case of the Minister of Agriculture and Food. It is not something that happened overnight. It emerged from day one, when he was appointed to the ministry, because there was no wild enthusiasm or any great belief out there in farm circles -- may I say to the member for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (Mr. Villeneuve), in farm circles as elsewhere -- that he was the man who could really do the job.

4:30 p.m.

Members will recall last year that unprecedented move when the board of directors of the largest farm organization in this province, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, called for the minister's resignation if he did not do something substantial to move in the direction of coping with the problem of the foreign takeover of prime agricultural land in Ontario.

But what he did was not substantial. What he did was to belatedly proclaim an act that had been passed four or five months earlier. What he did under criticism in this House was to finally appoint a co-ordinator and inspectors to supervise this whole new registration process so we could find out just how great this problem is. Indeed, until then, the government and the minister had been arguing that there really was no problem; it was being exaggerated.

That was the first open call by the major agricultural organization in this province for the minister's resignation. When the minister's response came to the current crisis -- which is constantly being referred to in this House and on every radio farm broadcast program one can hear daily, weekly, monthly, rolling in, the crisis of interest rates and related issues -- there was an insensitivity, a sloughing off.

There was a meeting in Chesley which represented 500 farmers from the area of Grey and Bruce and a meeting held in the Wellington-Dufferin-Peel area some time later. Let me read the comment that was made by the chairman of the Wellington Federation of Agriculture, Mr. Brian Crawley: "He has failed us ever since he got in there. He has done nothing but bluster his way out of his responsibilities. He is an embarrassment. It reflects on the integrity of farmers to have a man of his calibre there."

That is in western Ontario. Let us go to the eastern part of the province. John McNinch, president of the Frontenac Federation of Agriculture, says the Wellington federation is justified in demanding the minister's resignation. "I do not think Henderson has done a good job," McNinch says. "We expect an agricultural minister to look after farmers and have some clout with the cabinet. He does not seem to have it or to have an interest in it. He does not seem to be interested in getting agriculture in Ontario going."

These are not irresponsible people in the media or elsewhere. These are farmers who are living with the consequences. Let me sketch the extent to which this goes on and on. Gordon Wainman of the London Free Press on April 15 had an article, following the board of governors' meeting, in which he spoke to the county federation presidents. Not one of the nine officials of area county federations polled on Tuesday praised the minister's performance. Now, that is pretty massive unanimity -- not one.

What were their comments? Laverne Wray, a federation director on the minister's Lambton home ground, defended him on Tuesday over interest rates and blamed some farm bankruptcies on farmers themselves. "What do they expect Henderson to do, hold their hands all the time?" he asked. "I can think of several local people who have gone under; if they were any representation of those others going bankrupt, they should not have lasted as long as they did." The best one can get for the minister was that Wray did not criticize the minister's general performance -- but neither did he offer a commendation from the minister's home territory.

Other spokesmen were open in their criticism. Listen to this: "Farmers in general are pretty disgusted with Henderson's performance. He is a joke." That comes from Brian Ireland, the Bruce federation director. "We are still on record as calling for his resignation over foreign ownership of land. The feeling here is that the Ontario government just doesn't give a damn or care about agriculture." That is from Gerry Fortune, Huron federation president.

"There is no doubt in my mind and this county's that Henderson has proved inadequate. He does not seem to display the knowledge necessary for the agricultural portfolio," says Eric Hardy, federation president.

Dissatisfaction with Lorne Henderson is overwhelming. "You would have to look a long time to find a Middlesex farmer who would say he could not find a much better Minister of Agriculture," is the opinion of Dave Murray, Middlesex federation director. "The man just passes the buck on to the federal government, or even to the farmer himself. He does not listen to the farmer," says Albert Vanderploeg, Elgin federation director. "I sense a lot of people feel Henderson just is not in touch with what is going on," says Howard Cornwall, Oxford federation board. "Lorne can say he owns a farm, but he doesn't hold a candle to former minister Bill Stewart so far as his aggressiveness for farmers is concerned," in the view of Clayton Bender, Perth federation director. And so it goes on, all across the province.

By way of a concluding point, the focus is on the minister because of his inadequacies, which were obvious from the day he was appointed. They are only now being articulated by people who normally will live with this government, because that is the sort of cosy relationship they have always had.

But the problem is not just with the minister; the problem is with the government. What I find most objectionable is for the Premier to stand up as he did the other day, when he was being queried about the interest rate problem and the responsibility of the province to do something about it, and say that we cannot get at this piecemeal because the problem is Ottawa. He said the solution rests in Ottawa and that we cannot plug the dike here or there or ease the pain and suffering somewhere else.

There is a measure of validity in that argument, but that is not the argument the government was making one year ago. The interest rates were just as high, but an election was coming; so the government was willing to do something. They made $25 million available. However, for reasons that mystify me still, only $5 million of the $25 million was picked up.

If the government was being serious and not crassly cynical in making the $25 million available in advance of an election, surely, having appropriated the money, they would leave it available so that the farmers who needed it could be able to get it. But they cut off the program because this government, like the government in Ottawa, is not basically sympathetic to agriculture. Ministers of Agriculture and Food are odd men out in the cabinet. Gene Whelan, the federal minister, periodically has to take his fight with the rest of the cabinet out to the public as a whole.

Liberal and Tory governments are business-dominated governments. Agriculture is just one other sector of the economy to be exploited by business interests. Liberals and Tories normally are not willing to do what is necessary to protect agriculture.

Mr. Williams: That is not so.

Mr. MacDonald: It is not only so, but the record is very clear. It is not something the member for Oriole would do anything about anyway. He should not display his ignorance.

As pointed out by one of the federation's spokesmen in that series of criticisms I quoted, the problem is that the minister has neither the willingness, credibility nor weight -- imagine that minister not having the weight -- to be able to influence the cabinet. So, afterwards, the cabinet washes out a pre-election program, which they were willing to concede in order to get votes, before the money was spent. That is classic proof of this government's lack of sympathy and willingness to do something to solve the problem, even if one were to agree that the problem starts in Ottawa and ultimately has to be solved in Ottawa.

But the Minister of Agriculture and Food has lost his credibility. I say this so that the Premier may read it or have somebody read it on his behalf: He can dig in his heels, he can save face and he can defend the indefensible by defending Lorne Henderson as the Minister of Agriculture and Food, but that will not be serving the interests of Ontario agriculture. The sooner we have a change, the better.

4:40 p.m.

Mr. Harris: Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand in this assembly and join the throne speech debate -- proud and at the same time humble, because it is a great responsibility the people of the riding of Nipissing entrusted to me on March 19. After working so hard before and during the election to win the trust of the voters, I, along with all my colleagues on this side of the House, intend to work just as hard to keep that trust.

I would like to begin, Mr. Speaker, by offering you my personal congratulations on your election to the assembly's highest office. You have, sir, the challenge of keeping this oft-times unruly House in order, a challenge which we all expect you will meet with skill and determination.

In addition, I would like to congratulate all members for their personal victories last March. I believe this Parliament, and all members in it, will accomplish much for the people of Ontario in the next four years.

As the member for Nipissing, I want to spend some time talking about the concerns of northerners in general, and the people of Nipissing in particular. I will talk about the unique quality of life we enjoy in northern Ontario and how the provincial government is working to preserve and enhance that lifestyle.

It goes without saying that I am proud to be a member of the Progressive Conservative Party. Equally, I believe northern Ontario is fortunate that the Progressive Conservative Party forms the government because we are the only party with a policy responsive to the unique needs of the people of the north. This party is the only one that recognizes the inherent differences of the north and actively encourages the development of the north in a way that we northerners want it. This policy is clearly in contrast to the policies of the two opposition parties.

Take the official opposition, for instance. The Liberals are so concerned about northern development that they want to do away with the whole Ministry of Northern Affairs. Meanwhile, they weep crocodile tears in northern Ontario about how the government is ignoring the real needs of its residents. In other words, the Liberals try to have their cake and eat it too. They charge the government with insensitivity towards the north, yet advocate eliminating the very ministry that has developed special expertise in assisting people in northern Ontario.

It is the same thing with interest rates. Even in my admittedly short time here I have noticed the members opposite getting very worked up about interest rates. They would have one believe they truly have the concerns of Ontarians at heart, yet Liberals give with one hand and take with the other. All of us in this assembly know the real source of high interest rates. It is the federal Liberal government, through the Bank of Canada.

The Liberals say high interest rates are a necessary part of the federal government's anti-inflation policy. Yet, these same Liberals absolutely refuse to restrain their out-of-control government spending. Their profligacy has reached the point where the federal deficit is now cited as a major cause, if not the major cause, of Canada's inflation problem. All these troubles come from the Liberals, who told us a few years ago that inflation was wrestled to the ground.

I would say to the members opposite, if they are really concerned with the problem of interest rates, why do they not go to the heart of the problem and ask their kissing cousins in Ottawa to change their interest rate policy? That would be a far more constructive action than the charade of concern which I have heard in this House in my short time here. Tell the feds they could learn something from the sort of restraint that we, on this side of the House, have been practising for the past six years. I rather suspect members of the third party could also learn something from the policies of this government.

I mentioned earlier that we are dedicated to encouraging the sort of development that northerners want to see. This is important to us in northern Ontario. Queen's Park does not dictate to us but rather assists private ventures conceived and initiated by northerners in response to northern needs. The type of constant government intervention members of the third party continually advocate is not the sort of government northern Ontario wants. I venture to say that Ontarians generally reject having their lives ordered by distant bureaucrats, no matter how well-intentioned.

Sturdy self-reliance is characteristic of people in northern Ontario and New Democrats would do well to respect that. Certainly the search for northern solutions to unique northern challenges is the policy of this government. Any other approach, I submit, would contradict that northern lifestyle that means so much to us.

Let me touch on a few examples where this very sort of local initiative, often with provincial government assistance when requested, has benefited my own riding of Nipissing. In Sturgeon Falls, for instance, the J and L Aircraft Leasing Company Limited is strengthening our local transportation links in creating four new jobs with the aid of a $50,000 provincial loan. In North Bay, Northern Customfab Inc. will create seven new jobs, again helped by a $50,000 loan.

We hear a lot about how northern Ontario must encourage the development of more secondary industry. Here are some announcements made in North Bay last year. Dupont of Canada's Nipissing Works plant is investing $4.6 million to produce polyolefin mesh. The Dr. Paul Bottger Labs is investing $8.7 million to manufacture pharmaceutical products, at the same time creating 60 new jobs. StoweWoodward Limited, with a $2 million investment, including a $500,000 provincial loan, is manufacturing pulp and paper equipment. This project has established 37 new jobs in North Bay.

Altogether, since its inception in 1971, the Northern Ontario Development Corporation has provided a total of $6.1 million in assistance to some 50 businesses in Nipissing riding. This assistance has helped generate an estimated 670 new jobs in North Bay, Sturgeon Falls, Field, Verner, Springer, and other communities in my riding.

In addition, the Ministry of Northern Affairs -- that same ministry the Liberals want to eliminate -- through its regional and community priorities budget has also contributed a total of $6.1 million towards projects in Nipissing. This includes industrial parks servicing in North Bay, a Nipissing tourism study and water and sewer improvements in the town of Sturgeon Falls. Perhaps the most vital aid received from the Ministry of Northern Affairs was $4.5 million in flood relief and control throughout the riding of Nipissing and especially to the people in Field after the serious flooding in the spring of 1979.

In my opinion, one more step had to be taken to further the growth of local industry and that step was taken at a meeting I attended and addressed less than two weeks ago with the formation of a Nipissing area industrial association to act as the local board of industrial leadership and development. This body, initiated by municipal officials and the industrialists themselves, will help co-ordinate local development strategies and work to attract new industry and industrial infrastructure to our communities. A strong northern lobby speaking on behalf of our industrial interests can only help develop our industrial base.

Industrial development is picking up throughout the north. Last year alone, in the period up to the end of August, a total of 23 new plants or factory expansions of more than $500,000 each was announced. This represented an investment of some $1.4 billion and will create almost 1,800 new jobs in northern manufacturing. Much of this investment was no doubt attracted to the north by this government's generous program of economic development fund grants and Northern Ontario Development Corporation loans.

4:50 p.m.

The overall business climate in Ontario, as established and maintained by our policies, had a lot to do with this upsurge in investment. Encouraging as these facts are, in the immortal words of Al Jolson, "Ladies and gents, you ain't seen nothin' yet."

The Board of Industrial Leadership and Development program, as outlined in the excellent speech from the throne, foresees much new industrial investment in the north, particularly in the resource machinery and equipment sector. The government will establish a resource machinery advisory board consisting of representatives of resource firms, mining and forestry equipment manufacturers, labourers and government. It will identify manufacturing opportunities and initiate joint ventures to supply and develop the equipment needs of the resources sector. Where necessary, the government will invest directly in existing machinery companies or new companies to help create a more vigorous resource machinery sector.

I know the government is already meeting with representatives of the resource and equipment companies and is generally getting a favourable response to its proposals. I would hope to see suggestions on how we can promote more manufacturing to emerge from these discussions by the early summer.

I was very interested to read the report on provincial rail policy, written by the Ontario Task Force on Provincial Rail Policy and ably chaired by my colleague the member for St. David (Mrs. Scrivener). I am sure northerners generally will follow the progress of the recommendations made by the task force, recommendations that could greatly improve the state of rail transportation in northern Ontario.

The task force starts with the excellent affirmation that an adequate level of services be maintained in the north. This is no mere motherhood proposal because, for many years, the level and quality of our rail service, particularly passenger service, has been deteriorating as the railways cut back on unproductive runs. The report recommends Ontario should speak up more forcefully on behalf of communities and industries that depend on rail service and which might be harmed by changes in the cost and availability of rail services.

These recommendations are aimed particularly at helping our unorganized communities and resource industries. These are realistic proposals that recognize the primary responsibility for providing rail services will continue to rest with the railways and the federal government, but that the province has a responsibility to ensure all points of view are heard.

The task force also makes a number of proposals that lie within provincial jurisdiction. It proposes the province designate at least four centres of railway access and encourage rail transportation and industrial development in these centres with the aim of serving the Canadian and export markets. North Bay was one of the suggested locations, a suggestion I obviously endorse and will support.

Further, the province, through the Ontario Northland Railway, should consider the acquisition of the Canadian National route from North Bay to Toronto. This acquisition would provide not only real operating advantages to the ONR but better and more efficient service to residents of northern Ontario. For too long northerners have put up with too little cooperation from Canadian National.

The Ontario Northland Railway has well established its role as Ontario's provincial railway. Even Keith Penner, the federal Liberal MP for Cochrane, agrees with this argument.

Last month he wrote in Northern Ontario Business: "I argue that CN has a responsibility in northern Ontario. It should help and not hinder our progress. Unless it is prepared to act differently, it should move over and let another railway do the job. Would not our own provincial crown corporation, the Ontario Northland Railway, be more sensitive to regional needs and aspirations? I think so." That was Mr. Penner and I heartily agree with him and think so too.

There are many other important proposals in this report, far too many for me to list them all. Because of its thoroughness and excellent quality this report must not vanish into some sort of bureaucratic limbo. I support many of its recommendations and, as far as possible, I shall endeavour to see they are acted upon.

The poor quality of rail service in the north has been a major popular grievance for as long as I can remember, and I am glad to see that the provincial government is now moving in yet another area where the federal Liberals have let northern Ontario residents down.

The Ontario Northland Railway has long been bringing tourists to experience the beauty of northern Ontario. The rugged environment and unspoiled freshness of the north are the foundations of our tourist industry, an industry which is vital to the survival of many communities. Tourists, however, only enjoy the northern environment and the northern lifestyle for a short while. We northerners take it in year round.

The riding of Nipissing exemplifies the general rule of the importance of tourism to local economies. We have worked very hard to develop a year-round tourism industry in Nipissing, an industry that we and the tourists can enjoy 12 months of the year. With this in mind, winter tourism is increasingly important. Members will not be surprised to hear that Lake Nipissing is renowned for its ice fishing. It is so famous, in fact, that some people now fear the lake is being overfished.

Because of the tremendous popularity of fishing in Lake Nipissing, both in winter and summer, a co-operative effort is required to maintain the high quality of the lake. To this end, I have proposed the formation of a study committee for Lake Nipissing. This committee would comprise representatives of the various lake users and associations who would work together to preserve and strengthen the role of an important resource in my riding of Nipissing.

The initial steps towards the establishment of this committee have already been taken under the direction of Dr. Desmond Anthony, a biologist and professor at the fine Nipissing university complex in North Bay. I, and the people of Nipissing, will be looking to this government for support in carrying out any studies required and in funding the remedial programs necessary for the revitalization of Lake Nipissing.

How many members know that the Nipissing area is developing into a major ski area? We have more than 125 miles of marked and groomed cross-country ski trails, many of them cleared by the Ministry of Natural Resources through its trail development plan. There is an extremely active Nordic ski club promoting cross-country skiing. There are three major downhill ski facilities available to the people of Nipissing and to the many people throughout the province who see Nipissing as a winter vacationland.

Winter activities and facilities were extensively promoted by the Ministry of Industry and Tourism's winter newspaper insert, a very successful advertisement for winter tourism right across the province, using the Ontario: Yours to Discover theme.

In addition to this important provincial support, the Almaquin-Nipissing Travel Association, representing 10 different tourism and travel associations in Nipissing and Parry Sound, is raising money to further market the area. The pamphlets of this association are crammed with necessary information for the traveller. There is information on camping, motels, hotels, trails, skiing, golfing, museums, hunting and fishing. In fact, the pickerel season begins on May 20, and I invite all members to join me for the famous opening of the pickerel season on Lake Nipissing.

This association is also co-operating with the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission to promote the Chief Commanda II cruise ship on Lake Nipissing. It is a 100-foot triple-deck catamaran specially designed for cruising northern waters.

All these initiatives show that my area is increasingly taking advantage of the possibilities opened up by tourism, yet we know that much remains to be done.

An important step was taken last summer when the Ontario North Now pavilion, conceived and encouraged by my colleague on this side of the House, the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier), opened at Ontario Place.

This showplace for northern Ontario will play an important role in revealing the true nature and lifestyle of northern Ontario.

5 p.m.

On behalf of the residents of Nipissing, at this time I would like to extend my compliments to the Premier (Mr. Davis), to the Minister of Northern Affairs, to this government and to the members of the northern Ontario municipalities, who have all worked together to make the Ontario North Now pavilion a reality. I applaud the government's efforts to raise the profile of tourism in the north. It was an excellent decision on the part of the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development to pump an extra $2 million into provincial tourism marketing efforts in 1981-82. This brings the total tourism marketing spending to $11.6 million, and will allow a major new ad campaign to be aimed at nearby US markets.

I know that last year Ontario's marketing efforts were highly successful, recording increases in virtually every one of the target markets; and three quarters of Ontarians are now familiar with the Ontario: Yours to Discover campaign. This is an important fact, because 70 per cent of the tourism dollars spent in our province are spent by Ontarians. Last year tourism was worth a record $7.5 billion to the Ontario economy, accounting for one eighth of the gross provincial product. This year tourism revenues are expected to rise by 16 per cent to $8.7 billion.

The throne speech and the BILD program outline a number of initiatives to be taken by this government to further strengthen our tourism industry. The highly successful tourism redevelopment incentive program, TRIP, initiated in 1979, will be extended to December 31, 1984, to help tourist operators expand and upgrade their facilities.

A province-wide grading system for tourism accommodations will be operational by the spring of next year, providing a substantial incentive for owners to improve their lodging facilities.

The Ontario government is encouraging the establishment of a number of four-season, world class resorts, particularly in eastern and northern Ontario. With the co-operation of industry, we shall introduce a comprehensive electronic reservation system to streamline the booking of accommodations and keep Ontario competitive with other jurisdictions.

Finally, the government will provide financial assistance to private marina operators and municipalities for the improvement, expansion and construction of docking and marina services plus ancillary onshore facilities.

These BILD commitments show the importance this government attaches to our tourism industry and demonstrates our determination to keep that industry competitive with the best in the world.

I opened my remarks today with the statement that I was proud to be a member of the Progressive Conservative Party. The brief survey I have just made of some of the concerns of northern Ontario and what I feel are extremely positive responses of this government to these concerns, show why, in my opinion, a PC government is the only government for the north.

The people of northern Ontario, along with their fellow Ontarians across this great province, have entrusted the responsibility of government to us. The BILD program and the speech from the throne show that we fully intend to live up to that responsibility.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Spensieri: Mr. Speaker, as one of the new members returned to this Legislative Assembly from the metropolitan riding of Yorkview, I would first like to congratulate you and the Deputy Speaker on your appointments to these important positions. While I have not had the luxury of being able to compare your performance to that of previous Speakers, I can only say that I view your concern for the back-row members on both sides of the House, and particularly your concern that they be permitted to engage in question period and to participate fully in the proceedings of this House, as a noble, encouraging, and for my part, entirely laudable approach.

It is customary in these circumstances to thank the voters for having provided the member the privilege, the opportunity and the honour of representing them in this august assembly. For me, the perfunctory vote of thanks normally accorded to the ordinary voter after election day is as heartfelt and genuine as it could possibly be. You see, Mr. Speaker, the riding of Yorkview has been represented by a member of the third party for almost as long as the government party has represented the province and, therefore, when I thank the 11,000-odd voters who reposed their faith and confidence in me, I do so with genuine sincerity and also with some degree of relief, I must confess. The outcome could easily have been the continuation of a regime which began when my riding consisted of empty fields and less than 20 per cent of the present population.

The riding of Yorkview today boasts a population eligible to vote in excess of 60,000 people and, by the latest estimate, only 50 per cent of the residents over the age of 18 have satisfied the citizenship and residence requirements to enable them to vote. It is, therefore, a highly ethnic, multiracial and multicultural riding in which wave upon wave of immigrants from all parts of the world have made their homes and are now industriously striving for their piece of the economic pie of this province. The people of my riding can point with pride and a sense of accomplishment to the fact that in the vast majority of their residential streets and local businesses the working language of the everyday residents is neither English nor French but rather Italian.

More than 50 per cent of the residents of Yorkview are of Italian extraction and have made their homes in Yorkview since the post-war period. These original immigrants, together with the original native settlers, form the backbone of the industrious, open-minded and financially sound middle class component of the riding, occupying row upon row of neat, well-kept bungalows and other traditional forms of single family residence which are the mainstay of the residential assessment and revenue for the city of North York and parts of Etobicoke.

Upon this solid middle-class component there has been a proliferation and a welcome mix of more than 60,000 rent-geared-to-income units, Ontario Housing units and nonprofit housing units, either owned or operated by the municipality or by the Ontario Housing Corporation with direct provincial involvement. The net result has been a mosaic of peoples, a mosaic of races, and a mosaic of social and economic positions which have not always been harmonious or fully integrated. Over the course of the past five years, thousands upon thousands of immigrants from the East Indian community, from Sri Lanka, from the islands and from South America have added a new dimension and a new strength to my riding, making it the riding with the largest proportion of its people being from the so-called visible minorities.

Needless to say, the task of a legislator and a member of the Legislative Assembly returned from a riding such as this is not an easy one. For the past 20 years, and I am sure the members of the third party will concur in this, a member who has been well known to all the members and who gained their respect across party lines, Mr. Fred Young, served this riding with diligence and open-mindedness. I can only hope in the course of these four years I will be able to demonstrate to members here and to the people of Yorkview that this tradition of service and integrity in dealing with constituents has been upheld by my election.

About the throne speech itself, I would like to dwell briefly on three encouraging aspects that I see as being of special significance to my riding. I view the government's proposals to encourage job creation by giving a high priority to industrial and technical development, to strike a better balance between work opportunities and skills in our educational facilities, and to encourage and strengthen the apprenticeship program -- a Liberal proposal -- as positive steps towards solving the chronic youth unemployment which plagues my riding.

5:10 p.m.

In particular, I trust the government will address itself to the burning issue of providing educational upgrading and retraining to enable the thousands of young residents of Yorkview who lack the basic educational requirements even to enter an apprenticeship program to gain such upgrading and prepare themselves for jobs in which a clear need has been demonstrated.

Second, in the area of urban transportation, I also view with some optimism, if it is not to be a mere election promise, the government's commitment to review provincial policies for the financing of local public transit in the large urban centre of northwest Metro. In particular, the government promise of an intermediate capacity transit system designed by the Urban Transportation Development Corporation presents some reason for optimism, particularly if the government's efforts in the Metro area are to be expended primarily in the urban core of northwest Metro, which I happen to represent, a core which is now devoid of effective transportation routes to the centre of the city.

During the course of the campaign, discussions were held at the riding level to determine the feasibility of using a large tract of land now owned by the province and running alongside Finch Avenue West as the site for the location of the intermediate capacity transit system line to link northwest Metro to the main subway line at either Spadina or Yonge Street.

Third, the government's pledge for continuous strong support in health care, education care, et cetera, if true, is to be viewed as encouraging for the Yorkview area. Having said this, members opposite should not take my conciliatory comments as being intended to indicate all is well in the best of all possible worlds. Yorkview in particular has been the butt end of a very bad joke when it comes to allocation of expenditures by the province.

Were I to be a cynic, I might conclude that the relative forgetfulness of the provincial government when it comes to providing funding for northwest Metro stems from the fact the Tory government has never in recent history returned a Tory member from my riding. Equally cynical would be the conclusion that representation by a member of the third-place party for a quarter of a century, up to and including my election, might have confirmed in the government's mind the view that Yorkview was slim pickings indeed, and therefore not the appropriate ground for the lavishing of expenditures.

By turning to the Liberal alternative, the Yorkview voters have indicated their disapproval and repudiation of both the philosophies and facile solutions of the Socialists and at the same time an unwillingness to jump into bed with the Tories in order to become the beneficiaries of the ill-gotten fruits of an incestuous marriage intended to elect a government member who no doubt would profess his willingness to become a cabinet minister. It is my determination and purpose that through vigilance, constructive criticism and the effective use of all the resources available to a private member and to a member of the official opposition caucus, Yorkview can be brought into the mainstream of government planning and government funding.

I would like to conclude by saying two things which have become apparent to me during my stay here and during the campaign. In the first place, the thrust of my own party, which has centred largely on attacking and criticizing the government, as is the lawful purpose of an official opposition, appears somewhat misplaced in this House when one considers that were it not for the continued presence of the third party a Liberal government would now be installed and in place. It is the clear duty of members of this caucus and of this party to concentrate, along with our attack and criticism of the members opposite, on a concerted and effective campaign to point out to the voters of Ontario the untenable position of our friends from the third party.

Especially after a virtual monopoly of the government benches by members opposite for over half a century, it behooves us as Liberals to speed up the return to a two-party system in this province which can only assist in the change and shift of power, a change of power which can never occur unless and until the already dwindling fortunes of the third party are allowed to dwindle even further towards extinction.

On the home front, as a person who was born and raised in Europe, I have always failed to understand why there should be some reluctance on the part of Ontario Liberals to associate themselves freely and openly with our federal counterparts. In my own riding I was privileged to have been assisted by two ministers of the crown, the Minister of Multiculturalism and the Solicitor General. As Liberals, whether at the provincial or federal level, they have shown themselves favourably disposed and enthusiastic and willing to assist in the shift of power in this province.

The spirit of co-operation and unity will and must become the norm over the next four years, so that when we enter the next election campaign we will do so as one party sharing a common goal -- that of providing the only alternative to the present Tory government.

On this note I conclude my remarks and thank all present for their attention.

Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Speaker, the member for Nipigon (Mr. Stokes) was supposed to speak after the member for Yorkview (Mr. Spensieri), but I am delighted to enter the debate. I notice the new member for Yorkview is not only enthusiastic but also a dreamer. The member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) and the member for Wellington South (Mr. Worton) know very well how hard it is for his dreams to come true. They have been sitting in opposition for many years and know how hard the Tories are to beat -- even though they deserve to be beaten. But being a new member, he can afford his optimism.

Since the throne speech we have noticed the new arrogance of this government. I have been a member since 1975, representing the riding of Downsview, and I have always been in a minority situation. In the last five and a half years we saw a government forced to come to terms with the opposition parties. But since the very first day of this new session we have noticed that old habits die hard and the Tories have come back to playing the old tune.

I feel sorry for the people of Ontario, because we are faced with a government that does not understand the reality of Ontario in 1981. Despite all the propaganda, despite all the programs, we know that Ontario is slipping in Confederation every year. We now have a fiscal ability which is the lowest in Canada. Our industrial development in Ontario is the lowest in Canada. There is no solution in sight.

The government is talking now of building a mining machinery industry in northern Ontario. They have been the government for 38 years and they have visited other countries. The Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) went to Japan and did not learn anything. He wants to replace, with the grandiose idea of BILD, a type of branch plant economy with another branch plant economy.

Last year when he appointed the committee of multinationals to work out a program for the so-called global product mandating, Mr. Lodge, who was the chairman of that commission, came up with recommendations that are quite scary for Ontario. Unfortunately, they have not been publicized as they should have been. Mr. Lodge said that in the present economic situation all the big multinational corporations are trying to rationalize their production lines and therefore are shutting down plant after plant where they are not needed. In Canada's situation, because of the lowering of tariff barriers, these plants are not economically feasible any longer in Canada and are being shut down. Last year we had 30,000 workers laid off because of that situation.

5:20 p.m.

Even if the government's idea is accepted by the multinational corporations which in one way or another are already involved in the global product mandating situation, we will not have a viable manufacturing industry in Ontario because the marketing will always be in the hands of the exporters. These exporters will operate on the basis of the global interest of the multinational corporations and certainly not in the interest of Ontario.

Research and development will not be done locally in Ontario. Because of the rationalization of industry, they will require that R and D be done where the multinationals see fit. This applies especially to the automobile industry which is the most important manufacturing industry in the province. It is slowly decaying and the government is unable to do anything at all.

The Premier (Mr. Davis) and the Minister of Industry and Tourism went to bribe Ford to have a new engine plant built in Windsor. Now we hear that the government of British Columbia is having secret talks with Toyota. What is this government going to do now? Is it also going to bribe Toyota and ask that Toyota bring in industry?

What about the taxpayers of Ontario, of whom the government speaks so often and so wholeheartedly? What is it going to do? Is it going to subsidize multinational corporations in exchange for a few jobs that may or may not come here, as in the case of the pulp and paper companies, the most shameful example of waste of public money?

The government has not been able to make a case to demonstrate money was necessary to rationalize the production of the pulp and paper companies. They did not do it with a commitment that pulp and paper companies would clean up the pollution they created with the complicity of the government for so many years.

We now have thousands of people out of work and we have parts manufacturers closing down because the Big Three -- General Motors, Ford and Chrysler -- at this time have no interest in buying parts in Ontario and are increasingly building parts in-house because it is more economical. Because of the recession they have to protect jobs in the United States, not only for economic reasons but also because of political pressures in the US.

This proves the failure of this government to face an imaginative industrial strategy which would bring Ontario back to the position that belonged to this province for so many years. I am not saying the responsibility for an industrial strategy belongs only to this government. This is the obvious objection we hear every day. Whenever there is a problem, the government of Ontario tells us: "It is not up to us, it is up to the federal government. This is a federal problem."

We know the federal Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce, Mr. Herb Gray, has been forced to shelve his grandiose economic plan because it is not a priority with the federal government. We understand there are enormous pressures from interested groups which are not willing to change the present economic growth of Canada because they are in a privileged situation in this country. But we do think it is a primary responsibility of this government to look after the welfare of the people of Ontario.

When the Premier tells us that last year 57,000 jobs were created, we know why they were created. It is because a higher number of women are entering the labour market and those jobs are low-paid jobs, not high-skilled jobs. We think the Premier is wrong -- and the government is wrong -- when he compares Ontario, as he does every day, not with the most advanced industrial nations, but with South Carolina and the southern states of America, where there are low wages but also low economic development.

We do think that if Ontario does not want to go back to the condition of being a deindustrialized province we must compete and we must meet the challenge of the most advanced countries in the world. We know that the issue of low wages is a phoney one, because we know very well that the automobile industry in Japan and in Europe pays much higher wages than in Canada. They are able not only to produce more than we do in Canada but also to compete with us and to export to Canada.

I think, unless this government takes the initiative for a more radical revision of the auto pact, which is not very popular with many people, as I said in my first throne speech in 1976, and I repeat it now, unless we renegotiate the auto pact the situation in Ontario will become worse and worse.

Also, I think there are other solutions available. In yesterday's news from East Germany, the East Germans are negotiating with Toyota a contract that will allow them to build Toyotas under licence. I guess three or four years down the road we will be importing Toyotas from East Germany. I already know the outcry coming from the most retrograde sectors of our society, because we import Communist-made cars.

There has never been an initiative by this government, because they always talk about the private sector, they always talk about free enterprise, they are willing to set up crown corporations when it is convenient to them, but they are not willing to tackle the most serious problem we have here in Ontario; that is, the erosion of the most important economic sector of the province, the manufacturing sector. In the first quarter of this year, in auto parts, we have already a deficit of more than $1 billion. If we calculate how many jobs we lose, apart from the inflation we import, then we will realize the enormous harm this government is doing to the workers of Ontario.

In the throne speech there is nothing innovative. There are no new ideas. There is BILD, but that is an acronym. We do not solve the problems of the province with acronyms. We need new ideas, we need actions, and we will not have either. I was extremely disappointed in listening to the throne speech when I did not hear any reference at all to the Workmen's Compensation Board. This is a most serious problem, in human terms and in economic terms.

5:30 p.m.

Since July 1979, although the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) always expresses his concern for injured workers and workers in general, the injured workers of Ontario have not received an increase in their benefits. In 1981, the wife of a worker who dies on the job still receives $410 a month. That is a shameful pension which speaks to the insensitivity and callousness of this government.

We remember the excuses the government has offered from time to time. We remember that the former Minister of Labour (Miss Stephenson) ordered an actuarial study in order to delay increasing the benefits. After the study was completed some considerable time later, what came out was that the situation was not only economically sound but that the employers had reduced their contribution to the Workmen's Compensation Board. For the last three years, they have been decreasing.

Professor Weller, who was commissioned to do a report under the present Minister of Labour, presented this report in November. There was a long series of recommendations and we are now waiting for the final report to be tabled some time in the future, and with the Tory government we never know when the future will come. In the meantime, the injured workers are still receiving the same pensions they were receiving in 1979. That is not only irresponsible, but outrageous. This government has no justification at all for delaying increases.

The problems of injured workers, though, are not fashionable. The government has mounted an incredible propaganda machine, at a cost of $180,000, to operate among the ethnic groups especially. This is mentioned in my written question to the Minister of Labour in Hansard. The government is making efforts to portray the Workmen's Compensation Board as a humanitarian agency which takes care of the injured workers. But we know the misery of workers who, once they are injured, receive pitiful pensions which are totally unrelated, as Professor Weller says --

Hon. Miss Stephenson: We would like to remind you that the Workmen's Compensation Board is funded entirely by the employers of the province. You said it was entirely a government activity.

Mr. Di Santo: We know that it is funded by the employers of the province, but we know that it is under the control of --

Mr. Shymko: Compare it to countries such as France and Italy. You would see the difference.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Let the member proceed.

Mr. Di Santo: The member for High Park-Swansea became a part of the patronage apparatus of the party as chairman of the multicultural committee after he was defeated in the federal election last year. Obviously he is a defender of your system because he has been living within the system. I am speaking on behalf of the injured workers and if --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Let Mr. Di Santo proceed.

Mr. Di Santo: If the member for High Park-Swansea has the courage to do so, he should stand up and say that injured workers are treated fairly.

Mr. Speaker: Mr. Di Santo, you will please proceed with your speech. Do not enter into a debate.

Mr. Di Santo: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I was anxious to see what comparison the member for High Park-Swansea wanted to make, because the Premier compares Ontario with South Carolina. He probably wants to compare the Workmen's Compensation Board with Zimbabwe or Namibia. We are talking --


Mr. Di Santo: Probably in Libya there is a better system.

Mr. Speaker: Please ignore the interjections.

Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Speaker, of the injured workers who are partially disabled, especially those injured workers who belong to ethnic groups and who have language problems, we know by experience and by the statistics that are given to us by the Ministry of Labour that a great number of them cannot re-enter the labour market, because there is no provision whatsoever in the law of Ontario that compels employers to hire the injured workers back.

That is one of the recommendations of the Weiler report. Perhaps it would be a good idea if the member for High Park-Swansea were to read the report; he might learn something. If he compared the system in Ontario with the existing systems in Europe, France, Italy, Britain or West Germany, then he might learn that there is a quota system in those nations that completely solves that problem. There is no problem for injured workers who are partially disabled. Their disabilities are assessed not on the basis of what they can perform but on the basis of a table that the workers call the "meat chart."

An hon. member: Ask him if he is going to support the Ombudsman's report on Thursday night.

Mr. Di Santo: That is the other point that I was going to make. The Ombudsman made a recommendation on 100 cases in which he said evaluation is simply illogical; it does not make sense and it is not just. This is a system that has to be changed.

Mr. Cooke: Is he going to support the Ombudsman's report on Thursday night?

Mr. Di Santo: We will see Thursday night. I would like to see the member for High Park-Swansea stand up and speak against the Ombudsman, because he represents a riding with ethnic people who have the same problems as the people I, the member for Yorkview and many other members represent. These are people who are thrown out by a system that is cruel, that excludes them and that treats them like a commodity. They are used as long as they are healthy, but once they are disabled they are thrown out like garbage. That is the way his government treats injured workers.

In the throne speech I did not hear any mention about multiculturalism, which is fashionable --

Mr. Pollock: We are supposed to be Canadian.

Mr. Di Santo: What was that?

Mr. Speaker: Just carry on, Mr. Di Santo, please.

Mr. Di Santo: I can see that the new members of the Conservative Party have not been trained yet and told to restrain themselves. I want to tell you that of course we are all Canadians. I am Canadian, I was not born here, but I am Canadian. I represent Canadians.

Mr. Speaker: Mr. Di Santo, would you please address your remarks to the chair.

Mr. Di Santo: Yes, Mr. Speaker, through you I want to tell that member that the Canadians I represent may come from many other countries of the world but they are contributing to the welfare of this country. They are working and building this country. I am not ashamed. I am proud of having chosen this country as my second country. I do not regret at all that I am an immigrant, because anyone in this country gives his contribution to the development of his province.

5:40 p.m.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: We are all immigrants. Some of us have been here longer than others, that is all.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Mr. Di Santo has the floor.

Mr. Di Santo: The Minister of Education perhaps should coach the member for Hastings-Peterborough.

I think multiculturalism is very important because, whether one likes it or not, we have a composite society, a society made up of people who came from many parts of the world, who are here to stay, who must live together. Multiculturalism is an important tool to create in our society the harmony that is necessary if one wants to build a stronger province and a stronger Canada.

This government, unfortunately, has treated multiculturalism as tokenism by appointing the Ontario Advisory Committee on Multiculturalism and Citizenship just to reward defeated candidates -- Tory candidates, of course.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: The council is not made up of defeated candidates.

Mr. Di Santo: But in this party, we have been fighting -- that was the member for High Park-Swansea, Mrs. Stephenson.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: I am not Mrs. Stephenson.

Mr. Di Santo: I am old-fashioned. I apologize to the Minister of Education, but I am old-fashioned and I call my mother Mrs. Di Santo.

In this party we have been fighting for many years, and we were able to force the government -- just by accident it was before the 1975 election -- to introduce the heritage language program. That was a very important program the government has been trying to curtail time and again through cutbacks.

We know the secret memorandum that was sent out by the Ministry of Education just before the last election.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: There was no secret memorandum sent out -- none.

Mr. Di Santo: I acknowledge the Minister of Education is recognizing that the memorandum was public, but still it was detestable because it was intended to curtail a program we thought was the first step towards the integration of that program into the normal curriculum.

The government not only opposed integrating the heritage language program into the normal curriculum by voting against it, by actually blocking the private member's bill introduced by my former colleague the member for Parkdale, but also has slowly tried to undercut the program, because we know many boards of education have not approved the program or those who have reluctantly accepted the program are trying to limit it. That happens.

We know the situation in North York, the city that the Minister of Education and I represent. We know the situation in North York, in Scarborough, in Etobicoke. It is a moral responsibility of the minister, if she wants to prove that is not tokenism, that the government should take the initiative and integrate the programs into the normal curriculum.

I want to say a few words about TVOntario. This is another aspect of this government, so sensitive to the needs of the multicultural groups in our society.

Members will remember, and certainly you will, Mr. Speaker, when Connections was broadcast by the CBC and my community reacted angrily because we thought that type of program served no purpose other than to describe us in a certain way that was unacceptable. It did not reflect reality, because my community is a law-abiding community. It is made up of citizens who are respectful of the law, hard workers, people who have contributed to the building of this city.

I asked the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Baetz) why TVOntario did not undertake programs that had two purposes: on the one hand to help other Canadians understand the complex and multicultural reality of this society, and on the other hand to give to the ethnic groups in our society an opportunity to express themselves, their culture and their traditions so there would be a major understanding. Nothing was done.

We have repeatedly asked the Minister of Culture and Recreation to take some initiative, but the government has done nothing. Not only that, in the throne speech there is no mention whatsoever -- except a mention of the expansion of TVOntario to other areas -- in relation to those millions of taxpayers who belong to other ethnic groups and who, I think, deserve a service like any other Canadians.

I want to say this to the member for Hastings-Peterborough (Mr. Pollock). The government has done nothing with TVOntario and will not do anything. I think it has a moral obligation to serve the ethnic communities in Ontario.

Of course, this lack of service to the ethnic communities is reflected in many other areas. It is reflected in the social services. We know there is a minimum number of people who speak other languages, and that creates enormous problems, especially in areas of high ethnic concentration.

We know, and perhaps the government should realize we know, that in government offices one very rarely finds names that belong to other groups in the higher echelons of the bureaucracy. I do not think those people are less bright or less competent than other people, but there is a mechanism that does not work for them, because the room at the top is very limited and there is not much room for the ethnic people to go up.

The government should look at that reality and should not be surprised when, at elections, the ethnic voters resoundingly reject the Conservative candidates. They are not stupid. They understand reality and they will not allow the government to treat them as they do and then give their votes.

I think the throne speech is a further indication of the wrong direction in which the government is going. For this reason, together with my party, I will vote against the throne speech hoping -- and I know hopes die hard -- that after this debate the government may learn something, because the reality of March 19 is not the end of the world. The world changes continually, and yesterday was a great day in France when a Socialist President was elected.

5:50 p.m.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: In Berlin the Socialist mayor was defeated.

Mr. Di Santo: I know the Minister of Education has a great sense of humour, but that proves my point. Things may change, and I hope they will change here also.

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

The House adjourned at 5:52 p.m.