32nd Parliament, 1st Session



































The House met at 2:01 p.m.



Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of personal privilege. At approximately 1:46 this afternoon in my office, room 221A in the north wing at Queen's Park, I was served with a notice of action under the Libel and Slander Act by an agent, Mr. Gordon Lemon, representing Mr. K. Trusler of the law firm of Giffen, Pensa, located at 478 Waterloo Street, London, Ontario.

I believe that the serving of these papers was a breach of my privilege. I will forward a copy of the papers that were served on me to you, sir, and I ask your consideration in this matter.

I would like to know, Mr. Speaker, if you gave authority for the serving of these papers.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you very much, Mr. Breaugh. I will take this under consideration. I would suggest, though, that you are quite right.


Mr. Roy: I rise on a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker. I only have the Instant Hansard of last evening, but my colleague the member for Hamilton Centre (Ms. Copps) was making a speech last night; she was addressing this assembly in both official languages. At one point the Instant Hansard recorded that she addressed the assembly in Italian. The acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens) stated, and I quote from Instant Hansard: "Ms. Copps, I am to remind you that there are two languages that can be used. The third is not allowed."

From a technical point of view the acting Speaker was quite right, that under our standing orders official status is only given to two languages. But I think you know, Mr. Speaker, because of the number of days you have been in this assembly, and all of us who have participated in debates know, it has been a longstanding tradition, depending on the occasion, that different languages are used. I have heard Italian used. I recall that when Pope John Paul II was chosen by the Cardinals to lead the Catholic Church a number of speeches were made in Polish in this assembly. There have also been a variety of other languages used, depending on the occasion.

I hope the standing orders will not be enforced in such a fashion as to deny this tradition that has been accepted in this assembly which is that, depending on the occasion, we tolerate the use of a variety of other languages that are used by a variety of the minorities we have, not only in this province but also elsewhere in this country.

I would like you, Mr. Speaker, to look at the situation and assure the members of the assembly that the standing orders will not be used in such a way as to deny this long-standing tradition.

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I simply want to associate our caucus with the remarks of the member for Ottawa East. We recognize that there are two official languages, and only two official languages; but we also recognize that we do live in a multicultural society. We support the suggestion made by the honourable member, that the chair exercise a certain amount of latitude with respect to the use of other languages; it should be continued in the future as it has been in the past.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you very much for drawing that matter to my attention.



Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, a little over one month ago, I introduced the 1981 Ontario budget. It is a responsible budget which reflects this government's unequivocal commitment to the best interests of this province and its people. That is the promise, and we are keeping that promise. At this time, I have the pleasure of announcing a program to fulfil the government's commitment to home heating cost relief.

The energy pricing scenario east under the national energy program calls for oil and natural gas prices to continue their quick and significant escalation. Of particular concern to this government are the substantial implications for home heating costs. Home heating fuel is a very basic commodity to each and every Ontarian. We recognize this; we do not tax home heating fuel. Yet within three years the average home owner will face yearly costs for home heating that will be at least $440 higher in the case of oil, and $205 higher in the case of natural gas, than today.

Therefore, to minimize the strain and ease the transition to higher costs, I proposed in my supplementary measures to stimulate the Ontario economy last fall -- I think it was November 13 -- that temporary assistance be made available to those with limited resources. Further, in view of the national scope of this adjustment problem, I stated at that time that leadership and relief ought best to be provided at the national level. Recognizing the need for Ontario to do its share, I proposed at that time that the two levels of government explore the introduction of a jointly financed temporary heating cost increase offset program. Specific proposals for just such an arrangement were then put to the meeting of ministers of finance in December. I am disappointed to say that our proposal met with little enthusiasm and, although I continued to press Ottawa for a redirection of some portion of its energy revenue for this purpose, it has shown no inclination to do so.

This government will not allow rapid price escalation in home heating fuel to pose an insurmountable adjustment problem for low-income Ontarians. Therefore, as I indicated in my budget, Ontario now is prepared to initiate unilaterally a temporary program to offset some of the impact of heating cost increases for low-and fixed-income Ontarians and for pensioners. I would now like to announce the details of a new tax credit and complementary pensioner grant that will take effect in respect of the 1981-82 heating season.

For those under the age of 65, a tax credit equal to $60 less one per cent of the taxable income of the principal tax filer will be added to the Ontario tax credit structure. This relief is available in addition to the existing property and sales tax credits, and will be claimed when filing 1981 tax returns next spring. Ontario senior citizen households, which as a result of the provision of pensioner property and sales tax grants no longer file tax credit forms, will receive a flat $60 grant in conjunction with the interim grant payments, also in the spring of 1982.

Mr. Nixon: That is plus the $50 sales tax. That makes it $110.

Hon. F. S. Miller: That is correct.

Mr. Breithaupt: Will you send pictures too?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Pictures for sure. This program will run for three years only, and both the basic credit and the grant will be reduced to $40 in the second year and $20 in the third year. By phasing out the assistance gradually over this period, lower-income Ontarians and pensioners will face less pressure while coming to grips with the reality of higher heating costs.

2:10 p.m.

The temporary home heating tax credits and grants will be available to renters and home owners alike. May I point out that the benefits will not be tied in any way to the volume or type of fuel used. This means that in individual situations benefits may vary slightly from cost increases on actual consumption. However, the complexity and compliance requirements of a use-related credit would have increased administrative costs enormously. As well, it would have reduced the high degree of benefit delivery efficiency we have been able to achieve by utilizing existing tax credit and tax grant mechanisms for this essentially short-term program. In this regard, I wish to thank the federal government for co-operation in putting the tax credit program in place.

Almost 1.4 million Ontario households comprising 830,000 nonpensioner and 540,000 pensioner households will benefit from this program for the coming heating season. The credits and grants will offset up to 36 per cent and 67 per cent of average oil and gas cost increases, respectively, for recipients this winter.

I estimate that this new home heating cost assistance program will cost $66 million in respect of the upcoming heating season and $125 million accumulating over the next three years. This is a sizeable expenditure and a redirection of a considerable share of the revenues accruing from the new ad valorem taxation of fuel taxes introduced this year. It is an example once again of how sound fiscal planning provides the flexibility to deal with changing circumstances and needs quickly and effectively.

I am confident that the temporary home heating assistance program will be of substantial benefit, enabling low-income Ontarians and pensioners to adjust to the reality of higher costs for home heating while at the same time recognizing the fiscal and economic realities within which we operate.


Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, as members of this House are aware, the federal tight monetary policy has created a difficult situation in the economy as a whole. Members of the farm community, particularly beef producers, have been hard hit. They are caught in a squeeze between high input costs on the one hand and depressed prices on the other. This is putting extreme pressure on Ontario's beef industry. A continuance of the current difficult circumstances could result in more bankruptcies of efficient beef producers, potentially eroding the food-producing capacity of the province.

We are deeply concerned about this vital sector of our economy. Therefore, the government of Ontario is stepping in to bring assistance to the hard-pressed beef industry.

Over the past two years the North American market for beef has been depressed. The uncertainty created by the USSR grain embargo, spring and summer droughts in the Canadian and American grain belts and high interest rates combined with the low prices resulting from the oversupply of beef in the US market have placed Ontario beef producers in a loss position.

My colleague the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson) and I have been working diligently over the past three weeks to design an effective program to assist Ontario beef producers. I am pleased to announce a program that will deliver $30 million in immediate cash benefits to sustain viable beef producers through the current difficult circumstances.

Details of this program will be announced by the Minister of Agriculture and Food in a few moments.

This government recognizes the importance of the farming community to the Ontario economy. We are reviewing a broad range of programs to ensure that the Ontario agricultural sector remains prosperous.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, as my colleague the Treasurer has stated, the beef feeding industry has suffered severe financial hardship. The high cost of grain and energy combined with the high cost of borrowing money put many fodder producers into a loss position. In addition, when they sold their cattle for slaughter, they received less than they had originally paid for them.

The government has been monitoring this situation with a great deal of concern. Agriculture is of vital importance to this province, and beef feeders form one of the largest sectors of this industry. It is my pleasure to announce, therefore, that the government of Ontario will make an emergency payment to producers of slaughter cattle.

The payment to producers will be $40 per animal for slaughter cattle, as a government contribution to cover some of the loss incurred on each animal. The payment will be based on 1980 sales of finished cattle. To qualify, a farmer must have sold a minimum of 10 animals in 1980. Details of the program will appear on the application forms.

The payments made under this emergency program are expected to amount to approximately $30 million, as previously said by my colleague the Treasurer. This program will provide some assistance to producers who have experienced substantial losses.

I should like to add that the Ontario Farm Income Stabilization Commission and the Ontario Cattlemen's Association are discussing the possibility of a beef-calf stabilization program beginning in 1981. Applications forms for the emergency beef payment will be in the agricultural representatives' offices about the middle of July.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: I think congratulations should also be extended to those thousands of farm men and women who came in and finally broke through the insensitivity of this government.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Mr. Henderson.


Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be able to make two announcements today about hog stabilization payments.

First, I wish to inform the House that Ontario's farm income stabilization payments to farmers participating in Ontario's hog stabilization plan have been made. The cheques are in the mail. The 4,246 Ontario farmers in the sow-weaner program should be receiving them this week. The payments are on nearly 190,000 sows. The total amount of the payout is approximately $10 million or $51.94 per sow.

2:20 p.m.

My second announcement is also one of good news for Ontario pork producers. Following my representations and the representations made by the Ontario Pork Producers' Marketing Board, the federal Minister of Agriculture today told the Pork Congress conference in Stratford that all Canadian pork producers will receive full federal stabilization payments.

Mr. Whelan initially planned to deduct $3.63 from the $8.96 he would pay Ontario pork producers for their four million hogs because of the money they receive from the Ontario hog stabilization plan. Now Mr. Whelan has said this is the last time he will make a full payment to Ontario farmers. In future, he says, he will reduce the payment to Ontario pork producers because of Ontario's stabilization plan.

When federal and provincial ministers of agriculture meet in Alberta during July, I will be emphasizing the importance of fair and equal stabilization programs for not only Ontario farmers but also all other Canadian farmers. At the 1978 agricultural ministers' conference in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Mr. Whelan suggested a 100 per cent stabilization plan. At that time my predecessor, Bill Newman, told Mr. Whelan he agreed in principle. This 100 per cent plan has never been introduced by Ottawa.

The Ontario Farm Stabilization Commission will be evaluating the federal position after the agricultural ministers' conference in Alberta. The commission expects to enrol qualified applicants for the third Ontario sow-weaner period during the summer months.


Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to announce a new community museums policy for Ontario. All members of the Legislature are familiar with the local museums in the areas of the province they represent. All members are also aware of the ambitions of many of those museums to enhance their collections and programs. The policy I am announcing today is designed to help Ontario's community museums fulfil their important aspirations.

The new community museums policy flows naturally from a generation of provincial government support to museums in Ontario. Since 1953, when the first five provincial grants totalling $3,000 were made to community museums, our program of financial assistance and advisory services has grown to involve approximately 230 museums receiving $2 million annually.

When the program was established, the provincial government wanted to stimulate the growth and development of museums unique to Ontario's communities. As members can tell readily from the statistics, the program has been a singular success. But as the number of museums has increased, so has the concern about the deterioration of the irreplaceable pieces of our past they hold and the realization that the proper care and presentation of these fragile, nonrenewable collections require special facilities and staff.

It is against this background that, last year, members of my staff undertook an intensive review of my ministry's museum support program. More than 40 public meetings were held in every region of the province. There were detailed consultations with the Ontario Museum Association and the museum section of the Ontario Historical Society, which had been active in bringing museum concerns to me.

I have studied the results of this public review very carefully, and I believe the community museums policy that has emerged will ensure that the resources available to my ministry in the coming years are organized in the best way possible to respond to the need of Ontario's community museums in these financially challenging times.

The policy embraces a number of important elements designed to enhance local museums and provide improved public service. It includes:

-- more equitable annual operating grants based on a percentage of expenditures;

-- advisory services expanded to include conservation supplies and information, the transportation of artefacts, loans of gifts to the crown, training seminars for boards and management committees and workshops for upgrading physical plant;

-- guidelines concerning minimum standards for acceptable public service;

-- financial support for upgrading existing museum facilities, conducting planning studies for museums and restoring structures of architectural and historic significance; and

-- funding for provincial organizations involved in public education and the training of museum workers.

To fulfil much of this policy, I will be making some changes in the way my museums section serves community museums. One of the most important is the acquisition and outfitting of the mobile conservation laboratory that will travel throughout the province. With the assistance of the National Museums of Canada, trained conservators will be able to give to local curators on-the-spot advice on the care and preservation of artefacts.

In conclusion, I will simply say that with the announcement of this new community museums policy, I confirm this government's commitment to the community museums of Ontario and the irreplaceable pieces marking Ontario's rich history that they hold in trust for the people of the province.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, today I want to provide members of the Legislature and the public with a statement on the matters involving Astra Trust Company and Re-Mor Investment Management Corporation.

Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, a point of privilege: Can I have a copy too. I want to have a copy of that statement, please.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I am sorry; I thought the copies had been sent across.

In recent weeks inside the Legislature and its committee, and outside from various public platforms, the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Smith) and some of his colleagues have raised certain questions and made a number of unfounded allegations concerning the role of various government ministries, agencies and individuals in these matters.

For example, the member for St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley) on June 10 gave out a 10-page document containing questions he wanted answered in the Solicitor General's estimates in regard to these companies. It is worth noting that at no time has he bothered to raise those questions in the Legislature.

Mr. Swart: You don't give any answers. You block it anyway.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Mr. Bradley.

Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, on a point of I privilege: Throughout the estimates of the Ministry of the Solicitor General I attempted to raise those questions beginning on June 3. I was ruled out of order at that time by the committee chairman. Subsequent to that, when we finally agreed we would spend an allocation of at least one hour on the Ontario Provincial Police vote, that agreement was violated and we had approximately 22 minutes left and we were still talking about other matters. So I have attempted to raise these particular questions.

Also, in the Legislature we have asked questions of various ministers and have been unable to get answers. On some occasions, because the Attorney General has been involved in other business outside the House, he has not been here on occasions when we might have wished to ask those particular questions.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I have been here for the great majority of question periods, and the honourable member has never attempted to direct a question to me. In any event, I intend to attempt to respond to these questions raised by the member for St. Catharines as well as to detail the work of the various police forces and to outline the current status of the civil actions as well.

In December 1979, at the request of the chief of the Niagara Region Police Force, a joint forces project --

2:30 p.m.

Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: Since the Attorney General is now prepared to respond to the questions that the member for St. Catharines and other members have put forward to him --

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: They never have put them forward.

Mr. Cassidy: -- will the minister agree to having the standing committee on administration of justice sit and look at these questions so they can --

Mr. Speaker: Order. Mr. McMurtry will proceed with his statement.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: In December 1979, at the request of the chief of the Niagara Region Police Force, a joint forces project with the Ontario Provincial Police was established to investigate allegations of fraudulent activities in a land development and housing project in Welland. During the early part of 1980, a connection was established between this investigation and Re-Mor Investment Management Corporation and some of its principals.

As a result, on about April 1, 1980, two officers were assigned to start an investigation into allegations concerning Re-Mor. By mid-April, the investigation was intensified and, with the bankruptcy of Re-Mor on May 2, 1980, it became a full-scale criminal investigation. On June 13, 1980, a provisional liquidator of Astra Trust was appointed, and the investigation was again expanded.

Prior to the police involvement, the Ontario Securities Commission had been investigating another related company, C and M Financial Consultants Limited. On April 24, 1980, arrest and search warrants were executed by securities commission officials with the assistance of the joint forces team officers. Three persons were charged with a number of criminal offences at that time. The three were committed to stand trial following a preliminary hearing at Niagara Falls in November 1980.

On March 3, 1981, warrants were issued for the arrest of 10 persons charged with a number of offences of conspiracy to defraud, defrauding the public, conspiracy to steal and theft. The charges involve allegations of defrauding the public of $35 million.

In the course of the police investigation, a total of 97 search warrants have been executed. These involved searches of business offices, financial institutions, law firms, private residences, accounting firms and government offices in Ontario and Quebec.

Owing to the number of searches and the large amount of material seized, some of these searches were not completed until February 1981. The execution of search warrants on the lawyer's offices were not delayed as suggested by the member for St. Catharines. Rather, they were effected as soon as there were reasonable and probable grounds to obtain the search warrants, which necessitated an examination of the many documents that were seized during the execution of earlier search warrants.

More than 200 file boxes of documents are at present in the possession of the OPP. Approximately 10 other boxes now are in the possession of the courts. The receivers and trustees involved are in possession of hundreds more boxes of documents that have been examined by investigators and accountants.

The accounting firm of Touche, Ross and Company, Hamilton branch, was retained by the Ministry of the Attorney General to assist the joint forces team at the outset of the original investigation. As the investigation broadened to include various related companies and other individuals, the accounting services were also expanded.

In addition to the accounting experts, the complement of the joint forces team at this time is: one acting inspector (OPP), two detective sergeants (OPP), two sergeants (Niagara Region Police), two constables (OPP) and one secretary (Ontario Police Commission). Two counsel from the crown law office have been assigned to assist the officers in their investigation and to conduct the prosecution.

Much of the investigative work has been completed, and more than 400 individuals have been interviewed in Ontario, Quebec and the United States. Approximately 100 interviews with investors in C and M and Astra remain to be conducted. There are in excess of 15,000 exhibit documents to be identified, filed, cross-indexed, copied and prepared for court presentation.

During the course of the joint forces investigation, a separate investigation was launched by the criminal investigation branch of the OPP into the granting of a charter to Astra Trust by the federal government and the subsequent granting by the provincial government of a mortgage broker's registration to Re-Mor.

That investigation has been completed and, while the final written report has not been received, I have been advised that the investigation has revealed no grounds for the laying of a criminal charge against any federal or provincial official in relation to the issuing of the federal charter or the provincial registration.

I want to advise the Legislature that several persons who were called as witnesses before the justice committee were under investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police at the very time they were testifying with respect to the matters being investigated. This was one of the main reasons why I objected to the conduct of a justice committee investigation at the same time and into precisely the same matter that was the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation.

In a list of questions submitted by the member for St. Catharines reference was made to an altered document that was examined by members of the justice committee in January. This document was examined at the Centre of Forensic Sciences, and it was found that the question mark was added after the original note was made. The police have been unable to determine who did this, but they believe it was done to change the context of the sentence, making it a question rather than a statement on the altered copy.

I can advise the Legislature that crown law officers in the Ministry of the Attorney General and OPP officers from two branches in the special services division have reviewed transcripts of justice committee hearings in this regard.

Further, I can advise that the information provided by the OPP to David Anderson in 1976 was probably in response to a query as to whether Mr. Montemurro had a criminal record.

I also want to advise the member for St. Catharines that the OPP does not have in its possession, and never did have, a recording of any conversation between John Clement and Carlo Montemurro.

I believe I have answered the questions raised by the member for St. Catharines and by the Leader of the Opposition in regard to the police investigations. I think any fair-minded person can see that the investigations have been wide-ranging and detailed. I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, the prosecutions that flow from these investigations will continue to be vigorous.

I want to turn briefly to the civil actions arising from the losses by the investors. In the civil actions that have been brought by a large number of investors against the crown and Mr. Weinstein, the then registrar of mortgage brokers, we are co-operating with all counsel to bring a single representative action or test case on for trial at the earliest possible date. We have been able to agree on a case in which there are 19 plaintiffs, and we expect the case will deal with most, if not all, of the different factual situations that have occurred.

Pleadings have been exchanged in this action, and we are now working out the arrangements for examinations for discovery to take place during the summer. In this connection there is an application to the court, returnable on Thursday of this week, to determine the scope of section 25(b) of the Mortgage Brokers Act, which imposes a very stringent obligation of secrecy upon Mr. Weinstein and upon all other persons involved in the administration of the act.

We are taking the position on the motion that we want to be able to make full disclosure on discovery and full production of documents, that we are not raising any argument of crown privilege and that section 25(b) does not in any event bind the crown so that the crown, as defendant, is at liberty to produce documents otherwise covered by section 25(b). Once this question has been clarified, we will proceed to discoveries, making the widest production of information and documents from the government files.

When discoveries are completed, we have agreed with counsel for the plaintiffs to request from the chief justice the earliest possible trial date, which we hope will be this fall. We have also agreed to pay the solicitor and client costs of counsel for the plaintiffs in this case.

The statement of claim of the plaintiffs alleges that the crown, its servants and agents were negligent in issuing a mortgage broker's licence to Re-Mor Investment Management Corporation. The claim sets out the particulars of the negligence. The court will be asked to determine whether the crown, its servants and agents were negligent. In other words, the negligence is the essence of the case. Therefore, it should be obvious that all of the circumstances surrounding the registration of Re-Mor will be revealed in evidence adduced at trial. Unfortunately, the opposition has been attempting to obscure this fundamental fact.

By proceeding now with this one case rather than waiting until pleadings and discoveries have been completed in all cases and a date for trial fixed when all the cases could be heard together, we are expediting the resolution of the legal issues and shortening the time for resolution, I suggest, by at least one year and probably two years.

2:40 p.m.

My colleague the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Walker) will be making a statement later in the week that will include an update on his discussions with the federal government, which obviously has a major responsibility for the losses in view of its licensing of Astra Trust. Federal involvement would certainly assist significantly in a just resolution of the outstanding claims.



Mr. Smith: A question for the Attorney General arising from his statement, Mr. Speaker: The Attorney General will remember that famous day when he sent people from the crown law office to tell us that, because of the possibility of the laying of a criminal charge against some provincial official, it would be best for the justice committee to forgo the possibility of looking at the Re-Mor and Astra Trust records.

Now he has stated in this House that no criminal charge will be laid against any provincial official, what possible reason still exists in the mind of the Attorney General to prevent the House, and the justice committee in particular, from pursuing its investigation to look into the way in which various people within the ministry and within the Ontario Securities Commission have conducted themselves on the matter of Astra Trust and Re-Mor, and into the ways in which government policy was devised and implemented at the ministerial level? What conceivable reason is there now for denying the justice committee the opportunity to pursue that investigation?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I thought the answer would be obvious even to the leader of Her Majesty's opposition, but that is presuming a level of intelligence that is unrealistic. I have made it very clear, on this and earlier occasions, that there are a number of criminal charges before the courts, that there are a number of civil actions before the courts and that in the process of this litigation all these relevant facts will be adduced.

Unfortunately, there are members of the justice committee who have indicated by their conduct in the past that they are not very interested in these individuals having a fair trial in the criminal courts and the civil courts. As the senior law officer of the crown, I am very much concerned, as the Leader of the Opposition and all members should be, with the preservation of the integrity of the administration of justice in so far as having these matters properly litigated in the criminal and civil courts is concerned. This should not be litigated before a justice committee, which obviously is not established for this purpose.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: I direct your attention to items 8 and 9 of rule 19(d) with respect to allegations made against another member or the imputation of false or unavowed motives to another member. I suggest, with respect, that the Attorney General in his comment that various members of the justice committee are not interested in achieving proper results in this matter is in breach of those two items. I ask him either to withdraw that comment or to name the persons he thinks are attempting to pervert or divert justice, as I find that to be a very serious allegation.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, we hear allegations from across the aisle every day that are much more serious.

Mr. Smith: Name them or withdraw.

Mr. Speaker: Order. I think if you read items 8 and 9 --

An hon. member: Read them out.

Mr. Speaker: No, I will not. Item 8 says, "makes allegations against another member," and item 9 says, "imputes false or unavowed motives to another member." My interpretation, off the top of my head -- and I would like some time to consider it -- is that he may have been expressing an opinion, but I would like to reserve judgement on it.

Mr. Smith: How can the Attorney General continue to suggest that the justice committee should be denied its opportunity to pursue the matter?

Mr. Speaker, I know you are busy, and I realize the Premier (Mr. Davis) is busy, but this is a very serious matter. I beg to be heard by the Attorney General.

How can the Attorney General suggest the action in the justice committee would interfere in some way with a fair trial for Mr. Montemurro and his associates? It has been made abundantly clear that the only item the justice committee wishes to look into -- and certain opposition members of the committee wish to look into -- has to do with the way in which ministry persons and persons employed by the Ontario Securities Commission did or did not carry out their jobs properly, within the law and within government policy.

How can it be suggested that this would interfere with the trial of Mr. Montemurro, when such criminal activities, or possible criminal activities, are not even going to be looked into? It has never been the desire of the committee to do that.

Further, how can the Attorney General assure us that all matters pertaining to government action will be brought out by the lawyers in the civil action? How can he predict that? How can the minister stand and say with certainty that the conduct of the Ontario Securities Commission will be looked at in the civil action? How can he say with certainty what the lawyers for the plaintiffs are likely to adduce before the courts?

Surely the government has some responsibility to the Legislature, and through the Legislature to the people directly, without depending on how some lawyer chooses to conduct a case in the civil courts. Will the Attorney General therefore withdraw the red herring that the justice committee -- or a royal commission, for that matter -- would interfere with anyone's criminal trial? Will he recognize that the only persons possibly being protected by the government's action with regard to the civil trial would be the government itself?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: It is quite obvious by what went on in the past that the issues related to both the criminal trials and the civil case were matters of great interest to the justice committee. Certainly there are always problems when matters of public interest have to be dealt with at the same time as there is litigation before the courts. Often we are prepared to answer specific questions with respect to matters of public interest notwithstanding that these matters are before the courts. We do so in such a way as not to create, either in reality or the perception by anyone, of any unfairness to the litigants. There is no question but that often this will be appropriate.

Voluminous documentation is going to be part of the criminal process. We have already experienced grave difficulty in proceeding before the justice committee when a subcommittee had to be set up to monitor the documents to protect the integrity of the criminal trials.

In so far as the civil cases are concerned, these cases are based on wide-ranging allegations of negligence involving all responsible government ministries, agencies and officials. These matters are going to be explored in great detail in the courts, where they should be explored this fall. It is inconceivable to me that any of this relevant information will not be forthcoming in so far as the civil trials are concerned.

I have received a number of comments from members of the legal profession in this province with no political axes to grind who have expressed the gravest concern about the attempt of justice committees, which are not set up as courts of law, to deal with issues that are before the courts.

Mr. Smith: I have not received one. Table them.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I can tell the honourable member it is calling the credibility of this Legislature into very serious scrutiny in this respect. I think the member should be aware of that.

Mr. Smith: Table those comments. That's a lot of rubbish. I've talked to a lot of senior lawyers who don't agree with you.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

2:50 p.m.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I happen to have received a number of communications from members of the public, including people who lost their life savings in the Re-Mor affair, suggesting the credibility of the government was at stake because of the arrogance with which they were resisting any attempt by the Legislature to investigate the Re-Mor affair.

My supplementary question to the minister is this: Since the government clearly decided in cabinet a few days ago that the arrogance with which it was being labelled was going too far and it had better do something about it, and since the government therefore has come up with payments to beef and hog producers and the heating oil plan, is the government prepared to show that it really has changed its spots, by submitting itself to a continuation of the discussions within the justice committee in order that the members of the justice committee can look at all of the ramifications of what the Ontario Securities Commission did and the possible negligence by the civil service; or, in fact, at heart does the government remain as arrogant as it ever was in refusing to allow this House to investigate this affair?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, a number of us on this side of the House have been working very hard for a just resolution of these issues and are not just engaging in the cheap political grandstanding with which these people are preoccupied.

Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In view of the fact that some 15 years ago, Atlantic Acceptance Corporation Limited, under the same circumstance, with the same licensing from this very government, was given a mandate to do the very same thing, and some of those cases have just been resolved in the last six or eight months, how can the Attorney General stand here and assure the people of Ontario that he is now going to do it, when the government made that same promise 15 years ago and the same things have come to pass again?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I do not see the relevance this has to the issue before the House, Mr. Speaker. Perhaps if the member wishes to acquaint me further with what happened, I may see the relevance. I do not think either he or I were here 15 years ago. I think we are dealing with this issue as effectively as we can, as fairly as we can, and we are going to continue to do so.

Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a question to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations on this same matter. I want to pursue the issue of the warning letter that was sent to the ministry in July 1979, which told the government that Astra Trust was acting as a front for Re-Mor.

Never mind that Re-Mor should never have been licensed in the first place, but keeping in mind that an additional $3 million had been deposited since July 1979 by unsuspecting investors, can the minister inform the House whether Mr. Terhune, who was told of the letter by Mr. Roach, simply took it upon himself to ignore the warnings in the letter, or did he talk to anyone else about the letter that Mr. Roach drew to his attention? Was it Mr. Terhune's decision to talk to no one else, or did he discuss that letter with anyone else?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, as far as I am aware -- and I have not asked Mr. Terhune whether he talked to another person on the matter -- the person who received the telephone call from the lawyer who said, in effect, "Do nothing in respect of the matter if we get paid," and that the matter had been resolved from their point of view -- to the extent that that telephone call was received from Mr. McGlynn, the person who had written in and complained, to my knowledge that was exactly what was done. How many times does the member want me to tell him that?

Mr. Smith: I find it absolutely shocking that the minister would not have inquired of Mr. Terhune as to who else Mr. Terhune discussed that key letter with.

Let me ask this of the minister: Given that Mr. Terhune in July 1978 had held a meeting on the subject of the Astra agency fund with Harry Bray, with Murray Thompson, with a number of officials on the suspicion of an unlawful distribution, of an unqualified pool fund; given that Mr. Terhune met with Mr. Baillie, with Mr. Bray, with Mr. Bigham, with Mr. Thompson and with Mr. Janda in October 1978 on the condominium matter of Astra Trust; given that Mr. Terhune met with almost everyone from the Ontario Securities Commission and the financial institutions division on the subject of Astra Trust and C and M; given that he was meeting on a regular basis with everybody in his ministry on this number one problem, how can the minister possibly accept the fact that, when confronted with a four-page letter detailing exactly the way in which a scam was occurring in the Hamilton area with regard to Astra and Re-Mor, he would decide to ignore the letter totally and not even phone to get further details about it simply on the basis that those folks got their money back?

Given that this was the number one issue before Mr. Terhune at that time, how can the minister blandly accept that he simply decided to ignore the matter?

Hon. Mr. Walker: It was not very difficult at all to accept that position. The essence of the letter sent in by Mr. McGlynn was that people did not get what they thought they were getting in information and in documentation. We often deal with those kinds of communication problems that come into the ministry.

As I said yesterday, in the light of hindsight perhaps a different decision might have been made. But with the information that was available, and because of the fact that the letter basically had been withdrawn by McGlynn by saying, "Look, the matter is done with; you do not have to do anything about the matter, because basically it is resolved" -- given that kind of telephone call from McGlynn; given the kind of memo on file, which the member has now seen; and given the letter that was subsequently sent by McGlynn, which said, "Oh, yes, we have been paid in full," is it any wonder that they would not proceed to do anything about it?

Mr. Smith: It sure is a wonder.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Well, it may be a wonder to the leader of the opposition; he has many things that are wondrous to him. But it was a relatively reasonable thing to do under the circumstances --

Mr. Smith: I want Mr. Terhune questioned. It is a wonder that people lost $3 million more because of that.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Well, come on. The member should be a little cautious about some of the comments he is throwing around.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Ignore the interjections.

Hon. Mr. Walker: I will ignore that interjection, Mr. Speaker, and I will ignore the member for the moment.

Mr. Renwick: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Having regard to the allegations that have been made day in and day out by the Leader of the Opposition with respect to this correspondence, which raised very serious questions, and having regard to the statement made a few minutes ago by the minister's colleague the Attorney General indicating that a criminal investigation was carried out into two matters but neglecting to say that a criminal investigation was carried out into the registration in Ontario of Astra Trust, will he as minister seriously consider asking his colleague to have a criminal investigation made to cover what is obviously a gap in the report that the Attorney General reported today as having been completed but not yet received?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I do not believe there has been any gap in the criminal investigation. It may not have been fully elucidated in the comments made by the Attorney General, but so far as I am concerned the investigation was extremely thorough. Of course, I was not in the ministry at the time, and I am just going on the basis of information supplied to me, but I gather that Inspector Roberts, who was the lead authority, on going through every single individual in the ministry with whom he could possibly come into contact, was absolutely and fully satisfied. So I am led to believe by his investigation that there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about from the point of view the member is raising.

Mr. Smith: The minister keeps referring to the fact that all Mr. McGlynn wanted was a certain amount of information, or that the Ramseys were just unable to get a certain amount of information. Since the fundamental amount of information they were unable to get is exactly what they were getting for their money; since the fundamental matter, the choice they wished to exercise, was where their money would go; since detailed lists of the practices of Astra and Re-Mor were provided, not just a request to get the money back; and since Astra was the number one matter on the plate of Mr. Terhune at the time, how can the minister accept that this was merely one of thousands of letters, crank calls and so on that he happens to get from time to time?

Will the minister stand up and deny, if it is not true, that, because action did not occur from the time that letter was received, another $3 million was deposited by unwary investors with those particular persons?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Had the member received this letter, in my opinion he would have come to the conclusion that the ministry did. When he keeps talking about Astra, he has to keep in mind that it is a federal company and that the federal government was the one that was monitoring the operation of the Astra Trust Company. I ask the member to please understand that. I wish he would keep that in mind.

3 p.m.

When I read that the members opposite are not interested in that aspect, I cannot believe they would be saying that. That is the way it was, and if the Leader of the Opposition had received this letter -- I will just read the last paragraph of the letter:

"The Ramseys now find themselves with an $80,000 investment, which substantially represents their life savings, with a lender and borrower of whom they know nothing for security which may or may not be adequate and supported by the guarantee of the company which may be totally inadequate to cover its obligations in the event of default without"--

Mr. Smith: Yes. The warning the company is about to go bankrupt.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Come on, slow down a bit and listen. Just bear with us for a moment. Let me read the paragraph again for the Leader of the Opposition. Will that help?

--"the guarantee of the company ... may be totally inadequate to cover its obligations in the event of default without any opportunity to assess their investment or to obtain independent advice as to the merit of the investment. I would appreciate your reviewing this situation and look forward to receiving your comments."

In the light of that, the same day a telephone call was received from Mr. McGlynn. "McGlynn asked this office" -- I am reading from the memo -- "not to act on his complaint but to keep the file open until he sends a written confirmation from him to confirm that his client has received his funds in full and is satisfied." At that point --

Mr. Smith: It was the hottest issue in the ministry.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Oh, come on.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Oh, come on. Calm down. The Leader of the Opposition should not put his finger up that way. He should be pointing with his left finger instead of his right finger. He is getting mixed up in his fingers, and he is going to start stretching a point here.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Walker: There is that, plus the letter that was received, dated July 31. The matter was treated in the way most matters would be where people offer a complaint --

Mr. Smith: I want to know why it was treated that way.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Calm down a moment and everybody will be happy.

Mr. Smith: I am not calm. I have to deal with these people who have lost their money. When they lose their money, they don't go to your office; they come to mine.

Hon. Mr. Walker: I know. The member does not need to tell me he is not calm. I know that. I am asking him to be calm.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Will the minister address himself to the main question, please?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Is that about the calmness?

Mr. Sargent: Tell the truth.

Hon. Mr. Walker: I can assure the honourable member we are telling the truth. That is right. That is a fact.

Mr. Smith: Oh, sure. You are stonewalling and covering up.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Come on; be careful. The letter that was received, dated July 31, basically said the matter could now be resolved in view of the fact the money had come forward.

Mr. Smith: It said they could have their money back, and nothing more. I read the letter into the record.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Yes, that is right. Then the Leader of the Opposition should have knowledge of what it says. He should not be standing there saying those things.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question for the Premier. Marketing magazine now finds that, whereas in 1979 Ontario's government advertising in Canada made it the ninth largest advertiser in the country, in 1980 there was such an increase that we moved up from ninth to sixth and the government's advertising was up by 50 per cent to just under $18 million. Can the Premier say whether that extraordinary increase in government advertising had anything to do with the fact that 1980 was a pre-election year?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, not a thing.

Mr. Cassidy: Given the fact that in 1980 the Ontario government spent more on its advertising than Ford, General Motors, Seagram, Imperial Oil, Standard Brands, Kellogg Salada, Chrysler, Nestlé, Johnson, Argus Corporation, more even than the Bank of Montreal, and given the fact that the Ontario government's advertising was equal to more than the combined advertising of McDonald's and Coca-Cola, is it true that nobody can do it like the Tories can or is it simply that March 19 was the pause that refreshes?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have to say the leader of the New Democratic Party is quite right. March 19 was a very refreshing day for the people of this province. That is quite clear. I do not debate that for a moment.

I listened to the list. The honourable member might discover that this government in its own way has been more successful than nearly all of the organizations he mentioned. Our budget probably is somewhat higher, our business is greater and we are dealing with 8.5 million constituents. We are not restricted just to those who like hamburgers or those who like a particular model of vehicle; our public is 8.5 million people. I think the leader of the New Democratic Party would find, and I am sure he would not oppose this, that a good order --

Mr. Sargent: And most of them did not vote for you either.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Before the member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent) retires, he will probably vote for us too, the way he is coming around. How can he be so left of centre as to support the recent philosophy of the Liberal Party of Ontario? I expect to see him over here, a free enterpriser like him, somebody committed to free enterprise: he cannot be associated any longer with that party.

He may find part of the advertising may be for Wintario -- I am not sure of that -- or Lottario, and I know he would not want those lottery schemes to be unsuccessful. So many Liberal members come to me and to the minister saying, "Can we have some of that Wintario money for the projects in our riding?" I have had some of the member's colleagues come and say these things to me.

I think of the information program for the senior citizens -- look at the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) chuckling, because he knows what I am saying is true -- and ask if the member would not want us to communicate with the senior citizens of this province? Should they not know about the tax credits available? Are these hundreds of thousands of Ontario citizens not to be informed, not to reap the benefits of the enlightened policies of this government which, incidentally, the member supported until the time came.

Mr. Speaker, I think that is a very full and adequate answer.

Mr. Nixon: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the Premier aware that the questions on the Order Paper dated April 30, referring to each of his ministries, asked for specific information with regard to the cost of advertising? The only answer we have been able to get out of the Premier or any of his ministers so far is that the information would be available in mid-June. It is now June 23. Is he waiting for the House to adjourn before this information is made public, or what?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, at the rate we are progressing I expect there will be ample time to answer. But I expect it will be tabled very shortly.

Mr. Nixon: And where is the information? Why don't you get it together? Don't you pay these people enough?

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, I guess the truth of the matter is we probably do not, but we will have that information.

I just want to add one other thing about government advertising. I was visited by some constituents of some members opposite from the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association, a very important group of people in this province. They said to me, "Mr. Premier, will you please make sure that the excellent advertising by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, 'Good things grow in Ontario,' is not only continued but also expanded?" It is important to them, and I thought I would let members know that.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister aware that the information that is being sought on the Order Paper was prepared for last session and the cabinet decided not to present it in December of last year, when it was available and similar questions were asked?

Is the Premier aware of a memorandum from the provincial auditor who in his very cautious language indicated that he is extremely concerned about the way government advertising is accounted for? He said, "We have determined that some advertising costs have been included in the services code, 71, 'other services,'" and he concluded that more than $23 million was spent in the fiscal year ended March 31, 1980 -- and that does not total all of it.

Is the Premier aware that this year the Minister of Energy has included or hidden, in the energy conservation program, $2.5 million of expenditures, as well as the $1.4 million it has identified as advertising expenditure?

Can the Premier tell me why his people killed my bill, which would have prevented government advertising from benefiting the political party in power?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am sure the honourable member expects it will take me some time to answer what I calculated were six questions. I will deal with the last question first.

The government did not kill anything. We just did not happen to agree with the member, as he does not agree with us on some issues. If his party wants to take that position -- which it does not in Saskatchewan, incidentally -- he should take a look at the Saskatchewan government's public relations or communications budget, whichever term he wishes to use. He will find it is not insignificant on a per capita basis, compared with Ontario's. He will find that is true of many other governments as well. Compared to the government of Canada, our sums are almost modest by comparison.

I would say we do not agree. As a government, we think we do have not only a right but an obligation to communicate to the public. As I say, and they were in there --

3:10 p.m.

Mr. Cassidy: It was 50 percent more in an election year.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Let me finish. I did not interrupt the member in his lengthy question; so I expect the same courtesy. I do not really expect it, but I am asking for it.

I say to the honourable member that the representatives of the agricultural community who were in to see me the other day were not insistent, because they are too polite, but they were most supportive of this government's program with respect to encouraging Ontario citizens to buy Ontario produce.

I think the member might even find that the member for Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell), though he would not be quoted, might even be in support of it himself. He cannot say it out loud; I understand that. That is why we do not agree with the bill. I do not think that should come as any surprise to the member at all.

I am not aware of the breakdown within the Ministry of Energy or the total. However, I say to the member that I have heard some of his colleagues make speeches about energy conservation. I have heard the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) make some eloquent speeches about energy conservation. In fact, I thought that was really part of the policy of the member's party during that 44-day period.

I think it is only consistent, on the assumption that information for the public does generate some public thought, that it will result in some energy conservation. I think most surveys will show that advertising or communications with respect to energy conservation do lead to energy conservation. I think the investment made by the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch) perhaps could be pursued in terms of actually reducing our consumption as a province well beyond the figure that has been used.

Now, what was the third question the member had asked me?

Mr. Foulds: That's enough.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is enough? Thank you very much.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Health. Can the minister explain why it is that the Toronto Western Hospital is recruiting in the United States and the United Kingdom for nurses, Women's College Hospital is recruiting in England and the Sick Children's Hospital is recruiting in England as well, when the registry of the College of Nurses of Ontario shows that at this moment there are 7,612 nurses in Ontario unemployed and looking for nursing jobs?

Hon. Mr Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, if the honourable member will take the time to look at the very good report that has been prepared for my ministry and for the Ministry of Colleges and Universities by the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario on the question of the nurse supply, he will find there are a variety of reasons.

I think he will also find that in the main the recruitment to which he refers is for highly specialized nurses. Our shortages in the main tend to be in specialized areas: emergency, intensive care, surgical nurses and so forth.

If memory serves me correctly, and maybe my colleague can help me, I think they identified in the order of 30,000 registered nurses in Ontario who are not now in the work force. That is not to say they want to be either, because perhaps there are other factors that dissuade some people. Maybe they have continued to maintain their qualification and membership in the RNAO and the college but are raising a family. In other cases, it is because of shift work; they do not want to do that. There are a variety of reasons. But I think the member will find, if he checks into it, that where they are recruiting they are looking for specialty nurses in the main.

I should point out as well that at the same time, other hospitals in other states and countries are recruiting here for general nurses, if I can call them that. That is not a proper category, but I will call them that for the moment.

Mr. Cassidy: The minister says specialty nurses are being sought abroad. Can he explain two things then? First, why is it the ministry has not established specialized training programs at the community colleges to permit those nurses who are now unemployed and looking for work to train into the specialties where the need happens to be the greatest?

Second, when there are more than 7,000 nurses unemployed but looking for nursing jobs, why is it that Toronto Western Hospital is closing 52 beds this summer because of nursing shortages? Why is Humber Memorial Hospital closing 90 beds because of nursing shortages? Why is Toronto General Hospital having to close 100 beds because of nursing shortages? Is it not a fact that those hospitals were hit by a combination of nursing shortages and budget restraints, which is forcing them to cut back on needed services?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: On the last point, the honourable member should be reminded again that spending this year, at the time of the announcement of the budgets, represented an increase of more than $300 million over last year. To be added to that are adjustments yet to come for wage and salary settlements for 1980-81 and 1981-82. The spending increases for hospitals this year, as in all years are very significant; but this year they are the highest ever.

I will be very surprised to find an unemployed nurse who cannot find work in this province. There are positions in various parts of the province. The member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid) and I have discussed the fact that in the communities of Fort Frances and Rainy River they are facing a shortage of nurses. I will be interested -- if the member will give me the source of his statistics and some examples -- to find any nurse who wants to work full time in this province and cannot find a position.

The member talks about the training programs. The training programs essentially will have to be done in co-operation with the hospitals. I think that was identified in the report by the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario. I also recall, if memory serves me correctly, that it said a simple increase in enrolment would not answer the problem. Rather, it identified specialty areas that required attention and called on us to establish an ongoing planning committee for nursing manpower, to which I readily and immediately agreed.

Further recommendations with respect to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities -- the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) has a tick.

Mr. McClellan: I do not think you are being totally candid.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Further recommendations will be followed up by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

Mr. Sargent: The minister's advice is like the doctor who gave a guy six months to live and, when he did not pay his bill, gave him another six months.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Is the member the living proof?

Mr. McClellan: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Going back to the question, the minister made some gratuitous comments about looking at the excellent task force report on nursing shortages published by the RNAO in April of this year. Has the minister formally responded to the RNAO, indicating which of its recommendations he intends to accept?

Second, will the minister explain why he has still not implemented the recommendations of the 1975 nursing manpower task force report, which contained some of the same recommendations that were made again in April 1981, including the one he just referred to, that a provincial nursing manpower committee should be established to identify problems and trends in nursing manpower? There are a number of other current recommendations that are also six years old and have been awaiting action for the last six years. Why is that?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, since 1975 we have gone through another cycle in the question of nursing supply. As the member will recall, a couple of years ago, large numbers of graduates were not able to find employment because we had an oversupply. We felt it would be better to work with the profession. In fact, we said to the profession: "You know your field best. Will you look at your problems in the nursing profession and come up with some recommendations that you, as professional nurses, believe will be workable?"

They have done this. I met with the representatives of the RNAO -- and I am afraid I do not recall the date -- including the current president, and I believe the president-elect was there also. We went through the report, and I indicated at that time that I accepted their recommendations. Work has begun to establish this ongoing committee. Subsequently, they met with the Minister of Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson) and, I believe, received an equally positive and encouraging response. The member may want to ask the minister a question later on in question period as to her response to their report.

Mr. Speaker: New question, Mr. Roy.

Mr. Roy: I had a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Walker). Is he under the gallery some place? Possibly if my colleague the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt) will ask his question, I will wait until the minister comes back in.


Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Health. Since the fluoridation of community water supplies is well known to be a positive method of preventing tooth decay, especially in children, is the minister now prepared to bring in province-wide legislation to introduce this preventive health measure into all community water supplies?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, the policy of the government is to maintain local options.

3:20 p.m.

Mr. Breithaupt: If the minister is of that view, will he at least present amendments to the Fluoridation Act in the fall so that the referendum question can be intelligently phrased in a positive "yes" or "no" manner, instead of the present rather convoluted form for discontinuing, where "no" means "yes" and "yes" means "no"? Would it not be better to ask whether one wishes to continue it so that those who wish it will know to say "yes," rather than the discontinuing point of view? Surely that would be a positive way of developing that theme. I hope the minister might give that some interest.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I will be delighted to.

Mr. Stokes: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: While the minister is looking into that, can I ask him to ask his colleague the Minister of Government Services why he is importing water from outside that is not fluoridated? If Toronto water is good enough for everybody in Toronto to drink, why should it not be good enough for members and staff? Here in all the lobbies we have unfluoridated water that is being imported by the Ministry of Government Services at additional cost. Will he ask him that at the same time?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The honourable member should perhaps direct the question at the appropriate time to the minister. I know nothing of that particular situation.


Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Attorney General. It concerns publications distributed by a Toronto group known as Christ is the Answer, Incorporated.

I want to ask the minister whether it is legal in this province to issue publications containing statements such as: "86 per cent of those in the priesthood are undergoing psychological and psychiatric treatments; that Jesuit priests are trained as spies to infiltrate and subvert Protestant churches and seminaries; that a computer in the Vatican contains the names of every Protestant church member in preparation for a new inquisition; that the Reverend Jim Jones of the Jonestown massacre in Guyana was a powerful warlock and well-trained Jesuit; that the Irish Republican Army is commanded by Jesuits under oath; that the Roman Catholic Church, in union with Communists, Zionists and Masons, controls world banking, commerce and the media; and that Catholic girls sleep with Protestant pastors to discredit and subvert Protestantism." Is that legal?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I am sorry I did not hear the name of the publication. If the honourable member will give us a copy of the publication, I will be happy to have our crown law officers review it.

It certainly appears, in general terms, to offend the hate literature sections of the Criminal Code. As the member can appreciate, that section is a rather complex one. One would have to look at the whole context. It certainly does appear to be a very scurrilous publication.

Mr. Breaugh: The name of the organization is Christ is the Answer, Incorporated. The member's ministry has had these documents since the beginning of May. Are we going to get a speedy answer to this particular problem, or will we have the ridiculous situation of one church suing another church for libel and slander?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: If our law officers have been reviewing the publication since early May, I expect we will have a response shortly.


Mr. Eaton: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Agriculture and Food. I want to ask the minister whether he is aware of a fine new publication being put out in commemoration of the opening of the Pork Congress today?

Mr. Breithaupt: He's the centrefold.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Pork Barrel 1981.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Eaton: I want to indicate that I am seeing that each member of this House will receive one of these collector's editions of PlayBoar.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, the Pork Congress people are a very happy group today. Yes, I was aware of the publication.

Mr. McKessock: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I want to ask a question of the minister in regard to the Pork Congress. In the announcement he made today, why did he not bring forth an interest rebate so the pork producers and the cow-calf and feeder people could have had some help, as well as the people who finish cattle? If there had been a rebate, then these other people who also have financial problems could have benefited from the minister's program as well.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, I felt that I explained it fully. I suggested that the government of Canada had withdrawn its objections to the provincial hog stabilization program. I suggested that Ontario would be paying out $10 million this week under that program.

I might go back to an announcement that I made in this House about three weeks ago. I think the honourable member was here. At that time I stated that about four million hogs are produced for slaughter in Ontario. I think it was $8.98 per hog that the government of Canada was paying, or about $35 million. Those applications are in the mail, and the federal minister clarified that today; so the total stabilization that will be available to the hog farmers in Ontario is approximately $45 million.

Mr. MacDonald: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) said in his statement prefacing the minister's announcement with regard to the beef stabilization, "We are reviewing a broad range of programs to ensure that the Ontario agricultural sector remains prosperous." Are we to assume that in addition to today's beef and hog announcement there is more in the mill to be ground out before this session lifts?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, the Treasurer of this province is a very honourable man. He has never misled this House, and his words are exactly correct. The member can count on every word that our Treasurer says. There will be other programs.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: I specifically asked the minister whether we are going to get more announcements before the House lifts. He specifically did not answer that.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, I am sorry; I did not hear the member's last words. I have no plans for more announcements this week.


Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. I preface the question with the observation that the policing and enforcement within his ministry are seriously undermined, as has been brought out by what has happened now in Re-Mor, in Co-operative Health Services of Ontario and in Argosy.

I want to ask the minister whether he can explain how a situation in Ottawa, about which I have written to the ministry and have received correspondence from him as minister, can exist where an individual by the name of Mr. Parisiene can be disbarred as a lawyer in 1971, can be refused his licence renewal as a mortgage broker in 1972, can be advised by the ministry in 1973 to cease activity as a mortgage broker and yet continue to operate as a mortgage broker until 1978, advertise as such and in the process defraud the people of Ottawa of $1.2 million?

What kind of enforcement and what kind of policing does the minister have in his ministry that would allow this individual to operate for five years and defraud the people of Ottawa?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, the mortgage brokerage system is such that it requires people to be registered with it. Mr. Parisiene must be going back some time, but I gather that he was basically delisted or deregistered. The member no doubt has the paragraph of the letter in front of him, but from 1973 on our ministry did not hear that he was in any way carrying on the duties of a mortgage broker. That information was not available.

I suppose that in some way he advertised, but those advertisements were not brought to the attention of the ministry. So far as I know, he simply operated beyond the law. He simply did not register and was not known to have been operating. Had he been known to have been operating in that interim period, then obviously the ministry would have taken the necessary steps to bring an injunction against him, as it has done with respect to an individual in one of the ridings not very far away who was operating as a used-car dealer without a proper licence.

When we find out that these people are operating, then of course we bring forward injunction proceedings in the Supreme Court to prevent that kind of thing from happening. But after that time in 1973, when he was given the cease-and-desist order and our information was that he was no longer acting, the file remained closed. We had no further information to tell us that this was happening.

3:30 p.m.

Mr. Roy: Can I ask the minister whether he plans to change the enforcement provisions? Accepting that the minister does not receive any complaints, can an individual who has been advised to cease and desist and to stop operating in 1973, operate not for two or three months but for five years, without his ministry having some backup or checkup? Consider that as far back as 1977 this individual apparently had some form of advertisement in the Yellow Pages of the phone book and mortgages were bought and sold at 354 Waverley Street, which was his business address.

In view of the situations we have heard about over the past year involving Re-Mor, Cooperative Health Services, Argosy and this situation, what does the minister plan to do, at least as far as mortgage brokers are concerned, to make sure the enforcement or policing prohibits people from operating at will, against the law and against the policy of the ministry for a period of as long as five years?

Hon. Mr. Walker: I think the interesting thing is that the honourable member was a member all that time. I gather he was aware this individual was given a cease-and-desist order. Did the member know that was happening? Did he advise us what was happening? How can we do anything other than rely on information that is brought forward to us?

As far as the Yellow Pages advertisement goes, without having seen it, I would not think that falls within a mortgage broker classification. Even if one were to read that, one would not necessarily assume from that information that the person was a mortgage broker.

Mr. Peterson: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In the wake of the various little scandals he has had in his ministry, I want to know what the role of his ministry has been in the collapse of the Med-Lon and Arcturus small business syndicates in London. I want to know the results of the Ontario Securities Commission investigations in that matter.

What is the minister's position on the up to $3 million worth of taxpayers' money that may have been lost in those two companies, in addition to the possibly up to $10 million worth of local people's money lost in those two companies? What is the result of his investigation? What is he doing about it? How is he sitting on the matter?

Mr. Speaker: That was a new question. It was not supplementary to the question which --

Mr. Peterson: It was not a new question. It was regulatory in his capacity as chief regulator.

Mr. Speaker: Order. It was not supplementary to the main question.

Mr. Roy: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: The minister implied that because this Parisiene was operating in Ottawa, a place where I was practising law, I should have been reporting somehow the fact that he was operating or somehow I should have been enforcing the Mortgage Brokers Act. Is that not a serious and flawed allegation on the part of the ministry, when I would not know whether he had a mortgage broker's licence?

Second, how would I know he was even operating, or selling or buying mortgages involved with people? Who is taking care of the ministry? Who is enforcing in the ministry? Is it supposed to be the legal profession? Is it supposed to be individual members? Or does the ministry not have any enforcement unless there is a complaint?

I think it is serious on the part of the minister to suggest that somehow I was flawed, that I had the responsibility for enforcement of something that is under the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations.

Hon. Mr. Walker: I do not know whether that is a question, Mr. Speaker. I do not know whether it is a point of privilege he is raising or what he is really saying in the whole process. I rather assumed that in his own riding he would know whether a person had been known as a mortgage broker.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: I appeal to you, Mr. Speaker, on the question put to the minister today and on my colleague's question about the enforcement powers and capacities and the regulatory capacity of that minister. I have to say to you respectfully, Mr. Speaker, that my question is completely in order, because it relates very much to a matter within his jurisdiction in that general term. I ask you to --

Mr. Speaker: Order. It was a new question, in my opinion. It was not supplementary to the main question asked by Mr. Roy.


Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Provincial Secretary for Social Development. As this is senior citizens' week, is the minister not a little embarrassed that the only announcement we have had from the government this week is today's announcement that a $60 grant is going to be given to seniors who are at home next spring? It supposedly is going to take into account inflation and, in good Tory fashion, reduce from $60 to $40 the next year, and then to $20 the following year.

At the same time as people are living on a guaranteed income, many senior citizens in Ontario today are living below the poverty line as established by Statistics Canada. Two thirds of women over 55 are living below the poverty line, and people who are paying the chronic care co-payment are having 80 per cent of their income taken if they are on the basic income. When is the minister going to institute a proper raise in the basic guaranteed annual income system (Gains) rate to get it above the poverty line and institute a regular quarterly increase to reflect the cost of living rises?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: That was several questions, Mr. Speaker. Senior citizens' week was officially launched yesterday, and senior citizens across this province were delighted to participate. They are very pleased with the programs this government has provided for them, even if the member does not appreciate that.

I get just a little tired and a little offended by this constant reference to the poverty line. When a single senior citizen in this province is entitled to almost $7,000 along with all the fringe benefits, I do not hear too many complaints from senior citizens across this province.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Until the ministry takes action and does actually increase the basic income, of single seniors especially, it is going to be hearing a lot more complaints from us.

My supplementary is this: On July 1, the federal government will be increasing its allotments for old age security and guaranteed income supplement. Will the minister be passing that money through to senior citizens or is she going to be reverting to her past approach -- that is to say, to deduct the Gains amount appropriately to save her some money so she can supposedly pay this $60 grant next spring? Is she going to pass that through or not?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, I would suggest the honourable member direct that question to the minister responsible, the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Ashe). But I would just like to say that in the past this government has always passed through whatever has been dealt out by the federal government.

Ms. Copps: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: When is this government going to start recognizing the contribution of senior citizens not only during the one week of the year, but by including them as citizens to be considered under the Ontario Human Rights Code legislation?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: I would think the honourable member would know that question should go to the Minister of Labour.


Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Colleges and Universities. By now, the minister should be aware of the concerns expressed by many people and by many organizations about the grave inadequacies of the random selection process at Ontario's colleges. I want to give the minister just one more example of the results of her process.

Is she aware that just nine out of 43 graduating students in the nursing program at St. Lawrence College of Applied Arts and Technology in Kingston passed their comprehensive examination this spring? In view of this fact that just 20 per cent of those who even survived the two years to write the final exams were able to pass, will the minister undertake to review the policies that provide for random selection and propose an alternative system?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am aware the leader of the second party veered away from his left-wing fling in Kingston long enough to suggest there should be some other mechanism. In fact, he suggested that St. Lawrence College used no assessment program at all before random selection was used, and that is wrong -- entirely unfactual.

Mr. Smith: I never said that.

3:40 p.m.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Yes, the member was reported in the newspaper as having said that.

Mr. Smith: There is no room for rationalizations and you know it.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: He was misquoted? Fine.

In response to the honourable member's question, the test which was carried out at St. Lawrence College was a pre-provincial examination test, a test to provide these students with some experience in writing an examination in a format quite unlike what they have been pursuing for the past two years within their college program.

The college has set the test. In addition it moved the passing mark from 60 to 70, which is an unusual activity. It has decided to repeat that pre-provincial examination experience testing for the students in order to give them another opportunity. They do not believe the results accurately reflect the learning experience and the capability of the students.

Mr. Wrye: The minister is aware the only reason it was moved from 60 to 70 is the concern the college had that the standards of the college had been dropping so badly.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: No.

Mr. Wrye: That is true, that is exactly what they say.

The minister's refusal to accept the reality that the program encourages mediocrity rather than excellence would not be so disheartening, I suppose, if the taxpayers were not the ultimate victims of this policy. The minister is aware that each chair filled by a student who cannot hack the course is costing some $7,000 a year. Perhaps she is aware of the comments of Ray Walker, an executive at a hospital in Hamilton. I would like to quote him: "We would not have a shortage of nurses in the province if we selected people who had aptitude and interest through a careful screening program."

When is the minister going to announce a selection process that is a little more sophisticated than the educational roulette wheel that is offered to students today?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, that kind of rhetoric is the variety of hyperbole that I would anticipate from some of the honourable member's colleagues.

Mr. Smith: There is no place for a lottery system in nursing and you know that.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the Professional Association of Nursing Educators is responsible for the establishment of a number of the assessment programs which are being used by the various nursing colleges throughout the province. They are under review constantly, they are in place and they are used when a number of fully-qualified students, on the basis of nursing educators' assessment, remains in excess of the number of places available. Only then is that random selection process used. I do wish the Leader of the Opposition would understand that.

Mr. Smith: It shouldn't be. It is not used in law; it is not used in medicine.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: It should have been used for you.

Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, is the minister still convinced there are enough places and we just have a distribution problem in terms of nurses in this province even though we still have one set of beds empty at the Algoma Manor in my riding? They are not open simply because there are not enough nurses.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Health reported to this House, we have been informed by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario there are at present 30,000 registered nurses in this province who probably could be working if there were opportunities available perhaps closer to their locations.

I am not aware of the situation at Algoma Manor, but if it is an institution of the variety I think it is, it probably depends as well on the instruction of registered nursing assistants. There seems to be a very adequate number of RNAs as well as RNs in the province. I do not know how one would persuade some of those 30,000 who wish to be employed to go back to work but I think some of them probably could be encouraged to do so.


Mr. O'Neil: Mr. Speaker, I have a point of personal privilege dealing with the Minister of the Environment and the Premier. On several occasions in this Legislature both myself and the member for Hastings-Peterborough have raised the subject of radioactive waste in the Bancroft area. On several of these occasions we have been told the provincial government does not have anything to do with it. I understand, from reports made in the Belleville Intelligencer and the Peterborough Examiner, a commitment was given by the Premier that an intervention would be made on behalf of the province to try and stop this material from being dumped in the Bancroft area. I wonder if we might have a comment or a statement by either the Premier or the Minister of the Environment so this matter can be cleared up before the Legislature is adjourned.

Mr. Speaker: That is not a matter of privilege; it is a new question. Point of privilege, Ms. Copps.


Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether all the members have had a chance to see this complimentary copy of PlayBoar, but I suggest the members on the government side who were so proud in lauding this edition would not appreciate it if I went back to my constituents and read the PlayBoar interview with Leonid Fullov Bullshitsky. Neither do I think they would appreciate it if we trumpeted in the riding the picture --

Mr. Speaker: Order. That is not a point of personal privilege.

Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, on this same point of privilege --

Mr. Speaker: Order. I have not seen it.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, you have jurisdiction over what is distributed in this chamber. I would like to know whether you were consulted and gave permission for this publication to be distributed in the chamber. If not, I suggest you tell honourable members that if they wish to have publications distributed, they do so at their own leisure through the mailboxes or otherwise.

Mr. Speaker: No, I did not give permission for distribution, nor have I seen it.

Ms. Copps: On that same point of personal privilege, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Speaker: There is no personal privilege.

Ms. Copps: I am a member of this Legislature. I have received a magazine and my privileges have been abused. I do not want to receive a copy of PlayBoar magazine under the guise of a spokesman for the pork producers of this province --

Mr. Speaker: Order. Reports.



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

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

Bill 89, An Act to provide for the Consolidation of Hearings under certain Acts of the Legislature.

Report adopted.

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

Ordered for committee of the whole House.



Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the House be authorized to sit the afternoon of Wednesday, June 24, 1981 at 2 p.m.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells moved that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 64(a) private members' business will not be considered on Thursday, June 25.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the standing committee on the administration of justice be authorized to sit the afternoon of Wednesday, June 24, 1981 for consideration of Bill 59, An Act to amend the Fire Marshals Act.

Motion agreed to.

3:50 p.m.



Mr. Foulds moved, seconded by Mr. McClellan, first reading of Bill 128, An Act to amend the Insurance Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the bill is to make insurers responsible for the debts incurred by persons who are appointed by the insurers as insurance agents. It arises out of the case of one of my constituents, Mr. Joseph Novak, who has allegedly been defrauded by Mr. Jean-Charles Belair, who claimed to be an agent of the Combined Insurance Company of America.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day I would like to make a statement that is further to my statement of May 14, when I announced the location, sequence and time allocations for nine sets of estimates. I now wish to indicate to the House how the balance of the estimates will be taken when the House returns in the fall.

In committee of supply we will follow with the Ministry of Revenue, 10 hours; Ministry of Treasury and Economics, 13 hours; Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs, 10 hours; Lieutenant Governor, Premier and cabinet office, five hours.

In standing committee on administration of justice: Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations, 25 hours; Ministry of the Attorney General, 17 hours; Ministry of Correctional Services, five hours.

In standing committee on general government: Office of the Legislative Assembly, three hours; Office of the Ombudsman, five hours; Office of the Provincial Auditor, two hours.

In the standing committee on resources development: the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, 18 hours; Ministry of Labour, 20 hours; Ministry of the Environment, 15 hours; Ministry of Housing, 10 hours; Ministry of Natural Resources, 18 hours; Ministry of Industry and Tourism, 12 hours; Ministry of Transportation and Communications, 12 hours; Provincial Secretariat for Resources Development, seven hours.

In the standing committee on social development: the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, eight hours; Ministry of Community and Social Services, 23 hours; Ministry of Health, 20 hours.


Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day I would also like to table the answers to the following questions standing on the Notice Paper: 103 to 111, 121, 125 to 127, 137 and the interim answers to questions 130 to 135.



Hon. Mr. Norton moved second reading of Bill 90, An Act to establish the Ontario Waste Management Corporation.

Mr. Speaker: Shall the motion carry?

Mr. Nixon: No, we have a speaker.

Mr. Speaker: All right.

Mr. Kerrio: Is the minister going to make a statement?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I will make a brief opening statement. At the time of the introduction of the bill for first reading I made a statement in the House. I will try not to repeat all of the contents of the remarks made at that time, but I would point out for the consideration of the honourable members once again two or three particularly important principles embodied in this bill.

As the honourable members are aware, the bill would establish a crown corporation, or a corporation that would be an agent of the crown, in right of the province of Ontario, with the express purpose of developing, establishing and operating facilities for the safe treatment of liquid industrial waste. The bill as it is presented to the House makes no substantial change other than the establishment of the corporation that presently exists under the Corporations Act of the province.

It is worth mentioning a couple of things that have been raised by residents in South Cayuga, for example, with regard to the process of the hearing tribunal. That relates primarily to the express desire to see the tribunal have the rights and the power to subpoena witnesses, is afforded the opportunity to take evidence under oath and is allowed cross-examination of witnesses. This bill would clearly give authority to the Lieutenant Governor in Council to provide such a hearing tribunal with that authority under statute at the time of its appointment.

I am sure there will be a number of issues raised by the honourable members opposite during discussion of the bill and I will reserve further comment until I have heard them.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, we are not going to support this bill. I must say that at the outset because I think this is a regressive step as it relates to the responsibility of a government to respond to the threat to our environment. I consider this a step backward from a direction pointed out in many jurisdictions and accepted in this jurisdiction.

To deal with this problem that is so uncontrolled, we should have a great deal of input from those citizens, from those experts in the field, from those people in our society who have seen a constant erosion of our environment.

It is particularly obvious to those of us who come from the Niagara peninsula. It has been pointed out worldwide what can happen when there is poor government control of an environmental situation.

I am disturbed that we are now talking about setting up a corporation and, under the guise of that corporation, about supposed new management of the handling of waste in Ontario. The thing uppermost in the minds of everyone concerned -- in the Niagara frontier, in Cayuga, the investment at Walker Brothers and in other areas where we were going to have full environmental hearings -- is the withdrawal by the government of that avenue of making the determination to take those wastes to another site. They are going to circumvent what appears to be the only avenue the public has to object to some of the things governments do on their behalf.

It is incredible and unconscionable that in this day and age people have to band together to protect themselves from an encroachment on what could be considered a safe environment. Look at the people who have come down by bus from Stouffville. They cannot agree there has been real integrity shown in relation to the water supply of that village and city.

On this very day I received a call from a concerned citizen who said that during the course of those hearings they are not able to present some new evidence brought before them by Global TV which investigated the site. Global did it in a proper fashion, taking samples, having them properly analysed and finding there is something to worry about in relation to toxics on that site.

The minister can appreciate that we on this side of the House, particularly those of us in the Liberal caucus, take exception to the fact we are going to put a bill in place that would allow liquid chemicals to be taken to a proposed facility at South Cayuga and eliminate the hearings people are normally able to attend to give reasons why those things should not happen. They are going to put those wastes beside the banks of the Grand River which empties into Lake Erie and subsequently into the Great Lakes basin where some 55 million people live.

Americans are now telling us there may be a grave concern and we may have to back off from what we considered were reasonable levels of toxics in that whole system. There may be directives from the United States government that we should not eat the fish that come from any part of that system.

Now we are going to take a step backwards when we should be moving in the other direction. We should be responding more to the needs of individuals who are concerned about the poisoning of our environment, particularly as it relates to our waterways.

4 p.m.

The minister has seen fit to take a very high profile in objecting to what the Americans are doing with sulphur dioxide emissions that lead to acid rain, the consequence of which we see in our province. I admire the minister for that stand. He is justified in doing that.

The problem is that we are dealing with many contradictions. We are talking in the same breath of Ontario Hydro delivering to the United States, with a new cable under Lake Ontario, the complete output of one of our thermal plants that is going to burn some of that high sulphur coal. It is very difficult to have a minister of this government go to Washington and make a presentation that would have those people in Ohio and Michigan back off on their emissions while we are going to do the very same thing in Ontario.

The former minister refused entirely -- I have not gone through Hansard to bring those words of wisdom to this assembly -- but he suggested I was being less than responsible when I said the then Minister of the Environment should travel just across the Niagara River -- not to Washington, D. C. as this minister is to do on our behalf -- but only across the bridge, to make his feelings known at Lewiston, New York, where people were having hearings. The Deputy Premier made a submission and was an interested party in those hearings. He was most welcome. He did not appear as a member of the governing party of Ontario. He appeared as a citizen -- with the board's full knowledge that he was somewhat more highly elevated than an ordinary citizen.

The minister does not and will not attend those hearings. The former minister suggested I was not being reasonable when I said, "Yes, Mr. Minister, I do expect you to go to the United States, to New York, our nearest state, and make your feelings known to our neighbours that they should not pollute our water-ways." I think I took a reasonable stance. I bring up these facts to suggest to the minister that we can do nothing less than New York State did in relation to hearings, when it invited its Canadian neighbours to come over and participate as interested parties.

Perhaps the most significant point that can be made about government is that citizens should be allowed to participate, particularly when we are talking about an issue that affects the health and welfare of all of us. It is unconscionable that we would circumvent what was in place and allowed to every concerned citizen. I think we should not support a bill that will allow the government to set up this management board. It can do that not only on this specific site but on subsequent sites it might decide to explore. It will be able to go with the same kind of attitude, that citizens might have some input but not to the degree that exists today under the present regulations.

We cannot support this bill. I ask the minister if he would at least take the bill to the general government committee. I ask this in the same way I ask the minister about the bill itself. I ask him to have it in committee so that we can invite interested citizens to come and make their feelings known. If the minister could convince those who are so concerned about this new thrust, this new way of handling this grave environmental future, that this is the route to go, I would be very surprised. So on this reading we are not supporting the bill.

I ask the minister to put the bill to the general government committee so that those who will be affected may be heard from. When I say those people who will be affected, I suppose that includes every man, woman and child in the province, even in the neighbouring jurisdictions. It has very far-reaching implications.

The fact that we have managed to poison our environment to the degree we have in one generation suggests we should not be dealing with the future of this province in a regressive way. We should be looking at the reasons why this has happened. We should be putting in legislation and regulations that will ensure we reverse this impact on our whole society. We should turn it in a new direction that will make government more responsible, make those people who develop these chemicals more responsible and make the people we represent feel that we are looking out for their best interests.

Mr. Charlton: Mr. Speaker, we are also going to oppose this bill on second reading, I suppose for some of the same reasons the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) has just stated but for some additional reasons as well. I will be laying out some of them, as will my colleague the member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden).

This bill leaves me very disappointed in the process we thought was evolving during the 1970s. It makes it clear that those environmental processes that evolved in this House during the 1970s are no better than those who administered them. It points very clearly to the fact that those who administered the environmental legislation of this province are only prepared to do it in a full, complete, straightforward fashion when it suits them.

Although the present Minister of the Environment (Mr. Norton) was not here last fall when the South Cayuga site was first announced, the then minister claimed he was exempting the South Cayuga site from a full environmental assessment because of the time, the urgency of establishing a waste disposal site of this type in this province and the very critical situation of dealing with the wastes involved. He made it abundantly clear that was the basic and foremost reason for the exemption.

We opposed the exemption but did not at that point perceive the direction that was going to be taken in this bill. It now takes that exemption process one very large and very dangerous step further. It was all right for the minister to say in the case of South Cayuga that because of the time involved and the urgency of dealing with toxic liquid waste in this province he felt he had to ask the cabinet to exempt the project. It was just as useful for us to oppose that, to attempt to force the minister to come clean in that process and to ask him to tell us the real reasons. But he never changed his position; the basic position was time.

4:10 p.m.

Yet this bill sets out that the Lieutenant Governor in Council will set the policies of this new waste management corporation. The Lieutenant Governor in Council will lay out the priorities, the activities, the responsibilities and the enterprises of this corporation.

On every occasion, as this bill sets out, through the cabinet of this government, the Lieutenant Governor gives approval to a new facility, a new project, a new initiative, a new site, a new direction for this waste management corporation; and because the Lieutenant Governor in Council has approved that as an activity or an undertaking of that corporation, then that corporation and that project or initiative automatically, because it is an activity of that corporation, will be exempt from three major pieces of legislation: the Environmental Assessment Act, the Environmental Protection Act, section 33(a), and the Ontario Water Resources Act, section 43.

The minister says to us that this is really no different from what was expressed to us in the first instance. I want to say to the minister that this is far different from the initial exemption that was expressed to this Legislature.

This is saying one of two things. One possibility is that this corporation is going to be so inefficient in its operation that no project it ever takes on will be planned and prepared far enough in advance that it can sit down and properly look at it in a very qualitative way, through the environmental assessment process, under the Environmental Protection Act, or even relating to the Ontario Water Resources Act, and that all the projects of this corporation will be so last-minute in nature, so urgent and emergency-oriented, that they will have to be automatically exempted.

Alternatively, the minister is saying to us that this crown corporation can do no wrong, and that it does not need to have the full review that is implied by the laws that we very carefully set out in this province to establish ongoing protection for the environment in this province. We have seen far too many blunders over the years on the part of this government to ever contemplate believing that possibly could be true.

We went through a process some two years ago, around a Hydro heavy water plant, where this government argued right to the bitter end that the addition, I guess it was of plant D -- at any rate, it does not matter which plant it was -- had to be built. This government maintained right to the bitter end that the plant had to be built and that it was going ahead on the advice of Ontario Hydro, until Ontario Hydro turned around on them and said they did not need to build it and it has since been moth- balled.

Nobody over there is going to convince us that the processes that go on in that cabinet are infallible. One of the reasons we have the acts I am referring to here, the Environmental Assessment Act, the Environmental Protection Act, and the Ontario Water Resources Act, is that a lot of decisions that have been made by the province, by the municipalities in this province, by private corporations in this province, by individuals on that side of the House, and even probably by some on this side of the House who have concurred in matters that have happened here in the past, have shown that the processes here are not infallible.

This legislation was put in place to see that all projects that may present a possible danger will be very thoroughly and very carefully scrutinized so that at least -- and let us face it, human beings will always be somewhat fallible -- in future, as it relates to the environment and to our water resources, we do not make any stupid, unnecessary and serious blunders. That is what this bill is setting us up for.

In effect, we are stepping back from the legislation that this House, including the government members on that side of the House, felt was necessary to safeguard the environment of this province. I do not want to hear the minister tell me that things have changed, that the government is any less fallible than it was when it felt it was necessary to implement the legislation. This government is not any less fallible than it ever was and is not any less fallible than any other group of human beings anywhere. That is not to say that any Environmental Assessment Board is infallible either. It is simply to say that the full and open process that is implied under the Environmental Assessment Act is a far better safeguard than the kind of processes that are being set up in this situation around South Cayuga and in this bill for the future.

There are a couple of examples of the kind of thing I am talking about in the compendium of information the minister put out with the bill. I want to read a couple of them to try to give a sense, and not only in terms of the three pieces of provincial legislation I have just talked about.

One says: "The Lieutenant Governor in Council may establish policies for the corporation. Initially, this will require the corporation to abide by municipal bylaws The first part of that sounds fine...." It would be nice if crown corporations in this province could find it in their hearts to abide by municipal bylaws where municipal elected officials have very carefully sat down and planned what should happen in their municipality and how and when and where it should happen.

Unfortunately, the statement does not end there. It goes on to say: "... to abide by municipal bylaws which do not frustrate the corporation's objects." What that says to me is that this crown corporation is going to abide by the law as long as the law does not get in its way. The minute the law gets in its way, it is going to ask somebody for an exemption or it is going to find a way -- I guess this act is going to give it the way -- to avoid the law or to quash the law.

Not only is this corporation going to be in the position to get around the three provincial acts I have talked about, but it is given the ability to ignore totally what some municipalities may have spent decades putting together -- not only ignore it, but perhaps even destroy it.

Another serious matter that bothers me in the whole process around this bill relates to the specifics of the South Cayuga situation and some comments that have been made in this House by the Minister of the Environment. I go back again to what I said earlier, that the members of this Legislature were assured last fall when the former Minister of the Environment announced the South Cayuga site and announced the exemption from the three acts I have talked about, that the basic and foremost reason for that exemption was time; it was an urgent situation, we had to get on with the job and we had to face the problem that nobody wanted this kind of thing in his backyard.

4:20 p.m.

One of the things underlying that was the urgency of establishing a first-rate facility to deal with industrial wastes in Ontario. Just the other day, during question period, my colleague the member for Niagara Falls and I were questioning the minister about the South Cayuga situation.

Things have been set back. There was some argument about how far they have been set back, but they most certainly have been set back past the former minister's deadline by a substantial amount. The thrust of the questions to the minister was, why was he not now prepared to allow a full environmental assessment and to allow other sites to be looked at as alternatives? The minister's response was there was not the expertise in Ontario to look at more than one or two sites at a time.

The problem is, where does all the urgency around the establishment of the waste disposal site go? If the minister is telling us the truth -- and I believe he probably thinks he is telling us the truth -- that the hearing board appointed by the board of directors of the corporation doing the quasi-judicial hearings on the South Cayuga site is really going to look thoroughly at this matter and make its own decision about whether to proceed at that site, and if the minister is really telling us the truth that the decision has not already been made -- and I am prepared to accept that at this point -- then where does the urgency around the establishment of that site go?

Where does all this rhetoric about time and the urgency of establishing that facility go? What if that board turns it down and decides some time late this year, or perhaps even well into next year, that the South Cayuga site is unacceptable, that without question it cannot go into the South Cayuga site and we have to start the process all over again?

If the situation is so urgent, and if the minister has told us the truth that the hearings at present going on in South Cayuga are up front and they will make their own decision, I ask the minister to think carefully about the logic of the process that is being set out here.

Perhaps the minister is even right that there is not enough expertise in the field to take a thorough look at five sites all at once. The minister may be right, but certainly we could find the expertise in this province to look at more than one site, to look at two or three.

If this project is as urgently needed as was stated last fall and as has been stated repeatedly since, that seems to me to be the only logical approach under the circumstances. Even if the minister cannot look at all the sites he might potentially want to look at concurrently, as opposed to one after the other, he could at least look at as many sites as have been suggested where some background study has been done.

As the minister has pointed out to this House, there has been some initial work done on a number of sites. He could at least make an effort to do concurrent assessments of as many of those sites as possible. Perhaps if it is only possible to do concurrent reviews of two sites, then they could set up two to be concurrently done, which could be very quickly followed by an additional two to be done concurrently if the first two should fail the test.

The urgent and dire need for this project has been poked at us by the government for seven or eight months now. They have said to us, "We have to have a waste disposal site to deal with the industrial waste of the province." They have said that we have bugged them about adequately dealing with industrial waste in Ontario.

That is very true, but from my discussions with a number of people who are quite expert in the field, some from the ministry and a number from the South Cayuga area, it seems to me there is a damned good possibility that come next spring the site is not going to be approved and the project will never go ahead in that location unless, as I suggested earlier, the decision has already been made and the hearing board is not going to look at the real facts presented to it of the geography, the geology and the water problems in the area. I suggest that there is a damned good chance that the site will not be acceptable and come this time next spring we will be starting the whole process over again. That does not seem very logical to me.

That is the second basic reason why it is difficult to believe what the minister is telling us about the need for the process that is being set out in this bill: the reiteration of the process they set up by order in council. It is also difficult for us to understand, even if many of the things I am suggesting are impossible in the South Cayuga case, why they have to establish that this will be the process for this corporation in any future venture it becomes involved in.

For those reasons, we find ourselves in a position where we cannot support this piece of legislation. We are prepared to support the establishment of the Ontario Waste Management Corporation, but we are not prepared to exempt it forever from all of those pieces of legislation which this Legislature, including the members of the government opposite, very carefully worked out as being necessary in the province, not only for the private sector but also for the crown, and which are necessary to help avoid some of the problems the crown and this government have created in the past.

We cannot support the kind of legislation that takes the view that a very carefully set-out process can now be set aside where the government of Ontario and its waste management corporation are concerned.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to hear that the Liberals are joining with us in opposing this piece of legislation. I just wonder if they have reconciled their differences within the party since the member for Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell) came back from his trip to look at waste disposal sites in Britain and Germany and said he thought the South Cayuga site could be acceptable without an environmental assessment. In fact, he said he thought the technology was at such a stage he would say the project could even be acceptable in Huron-Middlesex.

Mr. Kerrio: On a point of personal privilege, Mr. Speaker: I want to make certain the member is accurately describing what our member said. In fact, what I thought our member said was from what he saw on the trip he was willing to accept what he saw over there in his backyard, and not what was being proposed at South Cayuga.

4:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): Carry on, Ms. Bryden.

Mr. Foulds: On the point of order, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Kerrio: That is not a point of order.

Mr. Foulds: Well, a point of privilege. I would just like to clarify --

The Acting Speaker: Mr. Foulds, do you have the floor on a point of order?

Mr. Foulds: On the point of the previous interjection.

The Acting Speaker: Is this a point of order, then?

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, the previous interjector erupted with a statement that indicated he thought the member for Huron-Middlesex said that. Unless he is sure, I am sure he will agree with me that he should not rise on either a point of order or a point of privilege.

Mr. Philip: That is right. That is a point of order.

The Acting Speaker: Thank you. Ms. Bryden has the floor.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, this bill sets up a crown corporation as an answer to the waste disposal problem in this province. It is the government's very belated response to the report of the all-party standing committee on resources development in the fall of 1978, which said, "The formulation of a comprehensive plan of action for safe handling and disposal of toxic wastes must have a high priority." The committee recommended the establishment of a crown corporation to deal with the problem as an option that should be explored. That was almost three years ago.

However, the Minister of the Environment insisted on waiting for the private sector to come forward with adequate plans for toxic waste disposal facilities. What he got was a few scattered proposals that covered only part of the province and part of the problem. Moreover some of the private proposals were subsequently rejected by environmental assessment hearings, because the companies were not willing to meet the stringent standards needed to reassure nearby residents that the operations would be environmentally safe. So two years were lost in this futile pursuit of an adequate solution through the private sector.

In the meantime, the problem grew in seriousness. As new chemicals were added to the productive processes, new hazards were discovered in existing processes. The lack of disposal facilities here forced waste producers to resort to midnight dumpers or to ship their toxic wastes across the border. Long-distance hauling not only added to the cost but also exposed residents of this province to additional hazards from transportation accidents.

Finally, in the fall of 1980, just before an election was in sight, the then Minister of the environment saw that he had produced no solution to the most urgent environmental problem in this province and that this commitment to the environment was being seriously questioned.

At the same time, the government found that the province was embarrassed by the fact that it held a large tract of land in South Cayuga, purchased by a previous Treasurer, John White. The land had been intended for a new town, which turned out to be a castle in the air. Its acquisition typified the lack of realistic planning by the Conservative government and its lack of concern for the taxpayers' dollars.

These two embarrassing situations for the government were married in the announcement on November 25, 1980, of the establishment of a crown corporation to develop comprehensive facilities for the disposal of hazardous wastes and to locate these facilities on the surplus land. The announcement also contained the news that no hearings on the project would be held under the Environmental Assessment Act or the Expropriations Act. The reason given, as my colleague has mentioned, was that time was of the essence because of the seriousness of the problem.

However, the real reason was the minister's foot-dragging for the two years prior to that. If he had acted promptly in 1978 on the recommendation of the resources development committee the environmental assessment could have taken place and the project would have been under way by 1980.

While the initial announcement on November 25, 1980, said nothing about any public hearings as an alternative to assessment under the Environmental Assessment Act, the minister finally started to talk about public information meetings when he was pressed by myself and my colleagues for some possibility for the public to be heard. We told him public information meetings were not an adequate substitute for public hearings where people could speak, bring expert witnesses and cross-examine the proponent's witnesses. The minister finally agreed to appoint a panel of hearing officers to hold public hearings on the safety of the South Cayuga site and its proposed facilities and to determine whether the facilities were technologically sound.

We suggested that in order to make those hearings fair there should be public funding for the citizens' groups who wished to appear and face a proponent, which was a crown corporation funded by the government. The previous Minister of the Environment maintained the same policy he had maintained throughout his term of office -- a policy of no public funding for citizens' groups. The new minister must have been struck on the road to Damascus last week when he suddenly decided there would be public funding for citizens' groups. We can probably attribute this change partly to the firm stand taken by the new chairman of the crown corporation, Dr. Chant, who publicly said he thought there should be public funding for such hearings.

I would like to know if the minister will apply this policy in any form to future public hearings under the Environmental Assessment Act or under his ministry. If he does not, we are back to the David and Goliath situation where citizens have a very weak voice and the proponents, who are usually large companies, have a strong voice and can deduct their costs from their taxable income.

In his statement presented to the resources development committee on January 20, 1981, the previous Minister of the Environment said that if the panel recommendation on the site was against it, the crown corporation would be instructed to look for a new site, but it cannot do so until there is an outright rejection by the panel officers. Even if there is mounting evidence during the hearings that the South Cayuga site may be unsuitable, the crown corporation cannot proceed to look at any alternatives until such time as it is instructed by the minister to do so.

It appears there is a possibility of delay on delay. We know the hearings have not even got under way as far as hearings go. There are some public information meetings. However if we have to go through the process on every site of public information meetings, hearings, reports and decisions by the cabinet whether to accept reports, it may be 10 years before we actually find a suitable site in this province and are able to start solving this problem.

It appears to me this crown corporation is little more than a Charlie McCarthy for the government. Its powers under the bill are greatly restricted. In the first place, its policies are to be formulated by the cabinet. I do not object to that as a general principle for crown corporations. Their policies should be formulated by the cabinet. But its activities are also greatly restricted. It cannot build anything without the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council. It cannot select a particular technology without the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

4:40 p.m.

If the present site is rejected, it cannot, as I mentioned, look for a new site without the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council. Permission to look for a new site can be hemmed in by further conditions and limitations imposed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

This seems to me to be interference in its day-to-day operations in solving the problem of how to dispose of liquid waste in this province. That is its responsibility. If it has to come to the Lieutenant Governor in Council for every decision it will be greatly hampered.

The other thing this bill shows by setting up this procedure is the government has decided the Environmental Assessment Act is a dead letter. As my colleague has said, it would appear all future activities of this crown corporation in the toxic waste field also will not be subject to environmental assessment.

Certainly, the clause saying it can only do things with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council says nothing about the Lieutenant Governor in Council submitting to environmental assessment. I always thought the Environmental Assessment Act was largely a window-dressing operation and this seems to prove it, since one of the most serious areas of environmental danger is completely out from under the act.

The makeup of the crown corporation is another matter of concern. The initial statement of the minister in the fall of 1980 was that it would be made up of two representatives from the general public, two from the local community, two technical experts and a chairman.

However, appointments have been announced recently which include representatives of industry which was not mentioned in the initial statement. The new bill allows for an unlimited number of appointments with a minimum of seven. It would appear this crown corporation could become a handy senate for the government since any number of appointees can be sent to it. There do not appear to be any guidelines as to who the appointees will be.

Some of the appointees at present are, I understand, the nominees of organizations like the Conservation Council of Ontario. The bill does not recognize this situation so there is no guarantee future appointments will be made on nomination from organizations of that nature.

I think this should be spelled out in the bill to ensure there is adequate representation from environmental organizations. Nor is it clear from the bill what the relationship is between the appointees of organizations such as the conservation council and the crown corporation. Do they have to report back to the council? If they decide to resign, will the council be allowed to replace them?

There are many other unanswered questions about the crown corporation. I hope the minister will attempt to fill us in with more detail. It is a fairly important body that is being set up. For instance, will it have a monopoly in the field of liquid industrial waste? What will be its operating target -- to break even, to make a profit or to operate at a deficit?

Will the user charges eventually recover the initial investment of $60 million announced at the time the corporation was set up? Will the operation of transport services be part of the operation? Will the crown corporation develop its own specialized carriers for toxic wastes or will it license carriers and perhaps have special rules beyond those under the present Highway Traffic Act for transportation of hazardous substances? These are certainly things that must be looked at because there is considerable danger from the transportation of hazardous substances.

As far as the question of accountability goes it is not clear how this crown corporation will be responsible to the Legislature. Section 16 does provide that the minister may appoint one or more persons to review any activity or proposed activity of the corporation, and to report to the Lieutenant Governor in Council. Members will note that it says "may" not "must"; it says "report to the Lieutenant Governor in Council," not to the Legislature. And it says nothing about how the review persons are to be selected. If they are just friends of the government, can we expect a critical report of its activities? There is no provision for a review by an all-party committee, which I think there should be.

Other unanswered questions are: Who will be responsible for the environmental consequences of accidents or spills that may occur at this plant? Will the ministry be responsible or the agency? Who will one sue?

Mr. Speaker, you can see why we are opposing this bill. There are so many unanswered questions about it we feel it is not really an answer to the problem of disposing of liquid industrial wastes, but simply a smokescreen to indicate that some action is being taken. It is a desperate and flawed attempt by the government to pretend it is meeting the problem.

The hearing process has turned out to be less satisfactory than a proper environmental assessment would be. Because there is still considerable delay it does not have any precedents to go on such as the Environmental Assessment Board has built up in regard to procedure and recognition of standing, and things like that. It is going to have to make all these decisions by itself as it gets going. It will not have experienced staff unless it borrows them from the Environmental Assessment Board. It will have no precedents to go on. So I suspect it will take longer than environmental assessment would have taken.

There does not appear to be anything in the bill requiring a report to the Legislature. It is true it says the minister may request reports of any kind from the crown corporation, but there should be provision for an annual report. At least it would give this Legislature an opportunity to refer that annual report to a committee for review and discussion. Also it would allow the Legislature to get involved in the process of making policy for the corporation. But without those provisions it is not an adequate act, and it is not a crown corporation that we can support.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise and speak on Bill 90, An Act to establish the Ontario Waste Management Corporation. As proposed, it is going to affect directly a part of Ontario that I represent, the riding of Haldimand-Norfolk. I would like to express my concerns which are similar to those expressed by the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) in indicating we cannot support the bill. Obviously the government is in a majority position and it perhaps will force the waste management corporation through. I hope it will accept some amendments to that legislation because of our concerns that the wishes we express here in the House might be carried out.

4:50 p.m.

This all began back on November 25, 1980, when the announcement was made. The decision at that time was final, according to the then Minister of the Environment (Mr. Parrott). It was going to be located in South Cayuga in my riding of Haldimand-Norfolk.

Since then a lot of people have come forward, particularly the Haldimand-Norfolk Organization for a Pure Environment, to give us a lot of input into how we should be dealing with the industrial waste of Ontario.

We are making a historic move as we make this decision to deal with our industrial waste. It is certainly something we have to deal with, and it is something that, during the last election, was a key issue.

It is important that we deal with it properly so that future generations will be protected. The questions we have put forth from this side of the House are: Should we be locating all our waste in one site? Does it make sense to transport it all to one area and deal with it there? Should industry have input and be encouraged to deal with its own waste? These questions have been asked many times, and I hope that the Minister of the Environment will take them into consideration.

First of all the former minister was reluctant to come down to visit the site so he would be aware of where it was going to be located, along the valley of the Grand River on the shore of Lake Erie, a very narrow peninsula.

I wrote him a letter dated May 8. He did not respond to that letter, but he did accept the invitation to go down and meet with the people of Haldimand-Norfolk, the people in the towns of Haldimand and Dunnville and the people from the HOPE organization along with those who expected to be expropriated. I am glad he had that opportunity so he could see firsthand exactly what he was dealing with.

I have tried to point out over the many months that it is class one, two, three and four agricultural land. We also provided the minister with that information from the University of Guelph. Their own reports that have been brought forward, the MacLaren studies, both in 1979 and 1980, indicated that this type of land was not to be used for industrial waste sites, and that we should be protecting it for agricultural purposes.

After he has a firsthand look at this site this fact should become clear to him. I do not know if he has an agricultural background or not, but it certainly is good productive land that could be upgraded further by proper drainage procedures.

I have pointed out to him that we do have a lot of development in the region of Haldimand-Norfolk at the present time which is not being utilized. Stelco has become established there. They have an industrial park of 3,500 acres and a steelmaking site of 3,000 acres, making a total of 6,500 acres. I do not know why, if they really wanted to deal with the waste in that area, they would not consider using a portion of that site to deal with the waste generated in that area. It already is zoned for heavy industry.

Certainly if I were the Minister of the Environment I would be getting in touch with the industries themselves and trying to come up with a compromise according to which each industry and each region would deal with its own waste. The region of Kitchener-Waterloo is making the same proposal and is trying to deal with its own industrial waste.

I know the crown corporation was supported by the Liberal Party as a way of dealing with it so somebody would have control over Ontario's waste. But again, the narrow ground rules laid down in Bill 90 do not give them an opportunity to look at other sites around Ontario. Many explanations have been given by the government and by the minister to the effect that they do not have the expertise, they do not have the research people or the technical people to make the studies around Ontario.

The MacLaren report pointed out there were 17 areas in Ontario that could be utilized. From our own research we know there are five consulting firms which would be available to look at these various sites. They could all be reporting back. The minister would get the confidence of the people if he would accept this proposal that we expand the criteria to look at all areas of Ontario -- to look at Ontario as a whole -- rather than zeroing in on one particular area which does not fit the classification as far as any culture is concerned.

The land is too good to be used for an industrial waste disposal site. If established, this site would be located along the Grand River and will be there for all time to come. The Grand River feeds into Lake Erie so it will then affect the fishing industry of the best fresh water fishing area in Canada.

An example of what waste can do is Lake Ontario and the waste that has been feeding into the Niagara River over the years. Now those fish are not suitable for the fishing industry. They can only be eaten on an occasional basis. What is the government going to do to the future of fishing in Lake Erie? Once this site is established, it will be there. All of Ontario's waste is going to be brought there to be dealt with; to be stored there for all generations to come.

I think these are serious things we have to think about. I know by establishing a crown corporation we will have people like Dr. Chant who is an environmentalist. It has been pointed out by my colleague from the third party that they are concerned about the appointments to this corporation. Are there always going to be two from the community, two from agriculture and two from the ministry? I think that is another area that has to be clarified so we can be assured that the corporation will not be top-heavy with people who are only concerned about getting rid of the waste and have no real concerns about the feelings of the community and their concerns about the location of the facility as is proposed.

The minister has to reflect on this because he is making a decision that is going to affect not only this generation but the future of that part of Ontario forever.

Going back again to the HOPE organization, their only request was, "We urge you to consider the seriousness of this problem -- ." Let me back up a little to where they say, "We, as citizens, are being extremely reasonable about this issue. We are asking for nothing more, nor will we settle for anything less than a hearing under the Environmental Assessment Act. The Ontario government has chosen to circumvent its own legislation and refuses to listen to us."

That was a request put forward by the HOPE group, the region of Haldimand-Norfolk, the town of Haldimand and the town of Dunnville. They are just asking for simple justice, simple protection under the legislation as was proposed. By the way, as has been indicated by many members of the government side, it is the best legislation in the world and yet the government did not see fit to give the people in that area the opportunity to use it. They have come in with an ad hoc proposal such as this crown corporation. Some amendments will have to be made before it is going to be acceptable and before it affords the protection to the people they justly deserve.

I hope the minister will send it to committee and will give the municipalities and the people who are affected the opportunity to have some input into the bill that is being proposed. This would help the democratic system to be moved forward in the best interests of everyone in Ontario, and in particular, the people of my riding of Haldimand-Norfolk. I think they deserve that and I hope the minister will give that serious consideration.

5 p.m.

Mr. Speaker: Does any other honourable member wish to participate in this debate?

Mr. McGuigan: Mr. Speaker, I would like to participate in this debate on Bill 90. I am going to confine my remarks to one omission. I think other areas have been adequately covered by other members. I cannot support this bill because of the omission of funding for opponents to the undertaking. Without being provocative about it -- it is a matter that is mostly behind me -- nevertheless I have had quite an experience the last couple of years and I would like to touch on some of the happenings in Harwich township where I live and which I represent.

The former minister announced in November 1979 that the minister would be co-proponent with Browning-Ferris Industries to establish the very plant that is now proposed to be established in Cayuga. The people found it particularly offensive that the ministry was guaranteeing $100,000 to Browning-Ferris Industries in the event they did not win their submission, while at the same time denying the local people any funds whatsoever.

It seems to me this set up a very nasty climate for a confrontation and caused the local people to fight that much harder against what they regarded as a gross injustice. The Premier did, during the course of events, suggest to the opponents -- in this case it was a group of citizens who called themselves CRAW, citizens rebelling against waste -- that if they advanced the names of certain witnesses then in the judgement of the Environmental Assessment Board these witnesses could come in and give testimony.

But I asked a question of the minister: Whose witnesses would these be? Would they be witnesses for the proponents or for the opponents? The standard answer was, they are just witnesses. They are there to tell the truth and that is what they are.

My friends in the legal profession tell me a standard practice is to do what they call "wood-shedding." The lawyer for the defence would meet with the witnesses and go over the story so they were sure they were both talking about the same thing. For instance, a witness might say it had been snowing and the questions would be, Was it snowing at that time? Was there snow on the ground? What was the effect of it? -- and so on. Unless the lawyer has that background, he cannot put up a very good defence of the situation.

It was never answered whether these people would have time, whether they would be paid for research they might have to do and whether they would have a chance to be interviewed by the defence lawyer before they appeared on the stand. So that offer was really not received very well.

The other answer the minister gave me when I talked about funding was that he would not give a boondoggle -- I do not really know what that word means, but it is the word he used -- for environmental lawyers. The figure I had in mind for the local group was about $50,000 -- and on a matching basis, because I do not believe money should be handed out to people who are not willing to put up some of the defence themselves. I think it is a principle of international law, and even local law, that one only owns what one can defend. If one does not have a fence around one's farm and the neighbour's cattle get in, it is not his fault. It is the owner's fault for not having a fence up. I do not think money should be passed out to groups unless they are willing to put up some money.

When it comes down to a boondoggle, we estimate it cost $400,000 for the MacLaren report, Browning-Ferris Industries spent an estimated $200,000 to $300,000 on its presentation, Harwich spent about $150,000, and I am guessing the Ministry of the Environment spent $250,000 on hearings and on the preparations it made in trying to sell this. If my guesses are anywhere near the mark, about $1 million was spent on a proposal that failed.

Had money been given to the defence, I am not saying it would have won either. One can only speculate. What I do say is, the people put up a much stiffer fight and the minister challenged them far more than he would have had he provided some money. Emotions were much higher, and the rhetoric was much higher. I submit that in his own interests the minister should provide funding for such groups. Naturally, the funding would have to have certain guidelines, and I am sure he could develop guidelines. He might even have some sort of review board that would look at individual cases to decide whether funding was merited.

I am sure the minister has already discovered in his new office the distrust and cynicism that exists in the field. The not-in-my-backyard syndrome is prevalent. The former minister was constantly accusing us of that. I submit it is no small wonder there is that feeling about politicians. We had the Watergate affair. We had a number of other affairs.

An hon. member: The town of Vaughan.

Mr. McGuigan: I said I would not be provocative; so I am not going to mention where these other areas of distrust come from, but they are there.

On the scientific side, there is also distrust of the scientists. Surely there were scientists in the Hooker Chemicals company who knew what was going on and who knew there would be problems down the road, yet these scientists kept quiet in the case of the Love Canal.

There is a question of conflicting statements from different people. In the case of Harwich township, the Ministry of the Environment people told us it would take 800 years for the water to percolate down to the watertable. Yet some recent statements from the Ministry of Health say there are materials in the water now that have come not from the landfill site but from air pollution. They also say the water that is being drawn percolated there 30 years ago.

All one has to do is put these various statements together to find out they just do not match. There was not much air pollution 30 years ago, and the 30 years does not jibe with the 800-year figure. So there is all sorts of mistrust and cynicism.

I believe these people are reasonable. The people of Harwich were at times characterized by the former minister as unreasonable. I think he used stronger terms than that. I submit they are as reasonable as any people in this world, and they conducted themselves in a fine manner. I am proud of them.

I submit to the Minister of the Environment that it would be in his own interest to fund local people to make the process appear fair and to try to do away with or set aside much of the cynicism and mistrust that exists in the field. The minister probably already senses that.

In the case of Cayuga, I realize the chairman, Dr. Donald Chant, according to the press, said there would be some local funding. If Dr. Chant were to resign his position, I suspect this whole Cayuga thing would be thrown out. Because of the power he now wields, he has been able to extract that commitment from the ministry. I submit that all such undertakings, not just ones in the hands of Dr. Donald Chant, deserve the same treatment.

Just covering that one aspect of the bill and the experience I had in my own riding, I find it very difficult to support this bill.

5:10 p.m.

Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege. In making her comments, the member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden) stated that after seeing the industry in Germany and Denmark, I would invite it into in any of the ridings in Ontario without a hearing. The member -- inadvertently I am sure -- misled the House.

I was interviewed by the press when I came back from Germany and Denmark. I indicated to them that, with the kind of industry we saw over there and the sound, practically foolproof method of disposing of waste chemicals, and with the clean industry that we saw, we would have no trouble -- and I was not the only one on the committee; there were a few other members on the committee who said the same thing -- in defending that kind of industry if it were found to be suitable for our ridings.

I did not at any time suggest that we should be inviting it without a hearing. I think I made it perfectly clear when I was interviewed by the press that there had to be a hearing, but I said that time was of the essence and we could not delay hearings until it was too late. In other words, I said we do not want to run into a series of Love Canals. I definitely indicated that there should be a hearing, but I am also convinced that we have the technology, time is of the essence and we have to get at the job.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I have a clipping from the Globe and Mail for January 20, 1981, in which the member for Huron-Middlesex is quoted as saying, "I would invite one of these plants into my riding." There is no comment about a hearing.

Mr. T. P. Reid: That is hardly what you said earlier when he was not here to defend himself.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that over many years Ontario has experienced a growing problem with the elimination or control of liquid industrial waste. One of the problems that faces us as politicians is why it had to come to such an emergency before action was taken. Naturally, if there is any credit and if there is any blame to be attached to an individual, the minister's predecessor has had to carry a good deal of that load before his retirement from active politics.

The present minister is simply fulfilling the commitments made by his predecessor. Of course, he had a part to play in that he was one of his predecessor's colleagues. In those days he might not have thought of finding himself in this situation, which is not an easy one for a minister. When one contemplates what might be running through the mind of ministers and prospective ministers when all the offices are being passed around, I think this is not one that would be eagerly sought after.

However, the minister has been protected to some extent by his sort of low-profile approach. He is not shirking the responsibility -- and I give him credit for this -- he has been travelling down to South Cayuga and meeting with the various citizens there. They did not accept the minister's proposition in any way that I could fathom from public reports. I know the minister will be glad to know that at least representatives of that group look forward to attending the standing committee which will deal with this bill, if and when it gets second reading, although I and my colleagues intend to oppose it and we will oppose it.

The minister is aware that the chairman of the regional municipality has been one of the major spokesmen in opposition to the imposition of this government decision that South Cayuga should be the repository of liquid industrial waste for their treatment and eventual disposal.

Besides that, there are a number of community groups, most significantly one designated by the acronym HOPE, which have gone to the trouble to gather a good deal of information and in many ways focus the opposition in the community. I know that my colleague the member for Haldimand-Norfolk (Mr. G. I. Miller) has been in regular communication with these people, and we expect that they too want to appear before a standing committee which might be asked to consider a detailed review of the provisions of the bill.

It is unfortunate -- and we need not repeat the arguments -- that the problems in Ontario have reached such an emergency as to result in the presence of this bill, which states specifically in its provisions that the Environmental Assessment Act, the Environmental Protection Act and the Ontario Water Resources Act, which require public hearings "do not apply in respect of ... an activity, enterprise or facility ... of the corporation; or... in respect of the property described in the schedule." That is South Cayuga. That is the giveaway, in more ways than one, that the ministry is making without the careful moderation they pride themselves on.

This is an emergency bill. The only reason the concept is flying, frankly, is that Dr. Chant, perhaps in some desperation, was prevailed upon by the spokesman for the government to agree to be chairman of this corporation. As I recall his original statement, he said that since it was decided by the government -- and nobody doubts their powers -- to impose this liquid waste disposal facility on South Cayuga, the least he could do was to use his professional abilities and the undoubted respect he has commanded in the community to see that it would be the best that money can buy. The fact that it is going to be the best that money can buy seems to be the only defence the government has.

Personally, I feel that Dr. Chant did not show good judgement in doing this, particularly since it required his resignation from a most important citizens' group that has been very much a watchdog on government policy and certainly a critic of statements made by opposition members with regard to the environment over these many years.

There is a tendency for many people to think -- and I am not sure I am in that group yet; I will have to observe more carefully as time goes on what his actions are -- that the undoubted prestige of high government position, together with all the emoluments that go with it, has perhaps tended to cloud his judgement.

We have to take at face value what he has said: The government has decided that the blooming thing is going to go in South Cayuga, and therefore his place in the Ontario Waste Management Corporation is simply to see that it is as safe as it possibly can be. On that basis, we have to maintain our respect for his integrity and for his service in the community.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, other citizens have been persuaded to take part in the corporation that would be established by this bill but is already having meetings and issuing advertisements that are going to be paid for by money from somewhere. The advertisements appear in all the dailies -- even in the Sun, for goodness' sake -- indicating that they are going to be holding certain hearings.

There is a strange cloudiness over the effectiveness of these hearings, almost as if they are tantamount to an environmental assessment. Of course, that is not so, since the original statements indicated clearly that the government was committed to locating this facility in this location. They have fiddled and fudged at that a little bit, indicating that if there is any indication that this is not an acceptable position they will reconsider the decision. But certainly the original statement made it clear that the former minister had seized the nettle firmly and had decided that this was where the industrial liquid waste would go.

I appreciate what has already been said by my colleagues and I support their concept of this problem entirely. But it is interesting to note that it was not decided until fairly recently that the situation was in such a mess that we had to solve it with this Draconian solution, setting up a special corporation, setting aside a property that was not protected by the various laws of the province, giving it special funding and getting it the best people who could be persuaded to serve.

5:20 p.m.

In one instance, the mayor of Haldimand, a fine lady indeed, was persuaded to join this board, even though the corporation had not been established. At one of the meetings of the corporation of the town of Haldimand, the council voted to dismiss the mayor from that meeting since they were meeting with their lawyers on a procedure to stop the imposition of the waste disposal site. They felt that a member of the corporation, even if she were the mayor, should not be there to listen to their deliberations. I understand she left the meeting and then came back, indicating it was illegal that she be dismissed from the confidential deliberations of the council.

Because of this sort of bad leadership and bad decision, I suggest that the ministry is guilty of being a very disruptive influence in the area. That is regrettable.

It was the former Minister of the Environment who finally decided this tough decision had to be made. I am sure he agonized over it, but he made the decision. I personally believe it was the wrong decision, because surely he had felt until that time there were alternatives to such a monstrous liquid waste dump. He did not like it called a dump; he called it a repository.

There is some idea that if one spends enough money all the liquid waste will go in there and disappear. There will not be even a puff of smoke, because that is not permitted; it will simply disappear. We do not know whether it would be retained in large tanks, which presumably it is, or whether they will dribble it out into the lake or river after it has been properly neutralized and equalized and generally made innocuous.

It reminds me of the old Ontario Water Resources Commission, which came up to open a sewage disposal plant in my area, and the chairman said, "This effluent is good enough to drink." Somebody handed him a glass of it and he said, "Well, that is what they tell me, but I will let them experiment with it themselves."

Some of the liquid wastes do require very special treatment indeed. I do not want to go over the problems we have experienced with polychlorinated biphenyls, other than to remind you, Mr. Speaker, when this problem emerged rather rapidly, it was decided they would all be kept in cans with a nice barbed-wire fence around them in the constituency of Lincoln, which was then represented by a Liberal. Then they decided that was not good enough and they would spend $5 million on storage in the constituency of Brant, which is represented by yours truly. Now they have abandoned that plan, and they are going to put them in a $65-million facility in Haldimand-Norfolk, which is represented and will continue to be represented by my colleague, who also is a Liberal.

I am not sure that is irrelevant, because the number of sites recommended by the MacLaren study included 17 sites in various parts of the province, and this was not even one of them. The only recommendation this property had was that the then Treasurer, John White, had bought it in a flight of fancy some years before. It had become apparent that there was absolutely no use that property could be put to, in spite of the fact that John White had described it as a Garden of Eden in Ontario. In many respects, it is. It is situated between Lake Erie and a bit of a bend in the Grand River. The concept that John White had was that this was going to be a fine new community that would serve the expanding population in this area along Lake Erie that was destined for industrial growth.

It seems ridiculous indeed that, when the consultants, MacLaren, had been hired by the ministry at great expense -- one does not get those people for a low fee -- to make a recommendation as to where such facilities should go, the government should decide, at the same time dispensing with all hearings on the environmental assessment, that the one place they would put this dump, this liquid waste disposal facility, was in an area that was not recommended and was selected by the chief planner of the province. The Treasurer in those days, when he actually had some work to do, was considered and designated himself to be the chief planner for the province. It was selected by him as the site of a new community with all the best aspects, including location and environment, that possibly could go with such a new community. Now the designation is as I have described it.

I want to say something about the polychlorinated biphenyls and other industrial liquid wastes to this minister in particular, since he represents the riding of Kingston and the islands. One of the most impressive, objective authorities on the disposal and destruction of liquid waste is Dr. Tom Barton, who is a research scientist and professor at the Royal Military College in Kingston. He probably even votes for the minister, for all I know, although I really did think his judgement was rather superior.

Hon. Mr. Norton: That is an obvious indication that it is.

Mr. Nixon: If the minister wants to deal with that, he can go right ahead. During the brief period of time when the government had decided the best solution to all its problems was to dump all this stuff in the riding of Brant-Oxford-Norfolk in the township of Onondaga, we contacted Dr. Barton, who had perfected a new procedure for the high-temperature combustion elimination of PCBs.

He had done a good deal of research and actually completed it with the generous addition of about $600,000 from the Treasury of Ontario which was directed his way by the former minister. I know that Dr. Parrott at the time had said publicly he hoped this process could be used to eliminate the dangerous industrial wastes for which other procedures were not proper and that we could develop this high-temperature electric furnace, which would be portable. It would move around the province to where Ontario Hydro and other agencies were going to be taking PCBs out of service and actually burn them up, destroy them on the scene, with all the controls necessary for safeguarding the citizens in those areas. These liquids would not have to be loaded in containers and on trucks and dragged many miles over questionable road facilities to some central disposal site. That is what he wanted to do.

It has never been made clear why that concept was abandoned. It may well be that it is not possible. I am sure it is not possible to take all the tremendous gallonages of pickling liquors and acids from steel processes and so on and put them all through the electric arc furnace. I forget just what he called it.

Hon. Mr. Norton: A plasma arc furnace.

Mr. Nixon: A plasma arc furnace, right. That is probably not possible. But Stelco, Algoma Steel and so on have been getting rid of pickling liquors for a long time. It probably was not the best in the world, since they have to be treated with neutralizing substances before they are put in a water course. Still, there are procedures without having to take them to one central location in the province.

I hope in his response the minister will indicate what sort of communication he has had with the researchers at the Royal Military College. In my opinion, Dr. Barton in his presentation to a large and interested group of citizens in Onondaga township, having to do with the disposal of PCBs, made a presentation that was as good as any I have ever heard.

He certainly did not talk down to anybody. It was necessary for us to strain ourselves, I suppose -- certainly I had to, if not the other people -- to understand some of the intricacies of what his proposals were. He was fully financed by federal and provincial government funds and had come up with what I feel was a world-class alternative to the storage of PCBs.

There is no indication that this facility, even though it is going to cost $65 million, is going to contain a facility other than a big tank for the disposal of PCBs. If the answer is that they are going to drag all the PCBs in the province down there and put them in a tank, that is not a good alternative compared with the less expensive, more effective and permanent solution proposed by the minister's own constituent.

As a matter of fact, I have been provided with a copy of a letter signed by Dr. Barton, dated April 1, 1981, in which he was responding to an inquiry from a citizen, Mr. C. J. Bronson of Dunnville. He says as follows in that letter; "South Cayuga is not by any assessment an ideal toxic waste disposal storage area, and an environmental hearing is in order, legally, prior to its establishment."

I do not believe Dr. Barton has any axe to grind other than his personal commitment and belief in the efficacy of the apparatus that he invented, developed and proved, using our taxpayers' money. I do not know why we should allow the minister to allow that alternative simply to drop out of sight rather than keeping it in the forefront.

My colleague the member for Haldimand-Norfolk also mentioned that during his visit to South Cayuga the minister told the citizens of the area that the reason he was not looking at alternative sites was that there were not enough professional hydrologists available to do the research needed. There was not time, and what was implicit in what he said was that the decision had been made.

The minister, they say, can be quite persuasive. I am sure he would not go down there and say: "The decision has been made. Why don't you people just be quiet and we will spend enough money to keep you safe?" Obviously, the citizens are not going to accept that explanation.

They do not want to become a world capital for liquid waste storage, which is really what the minister has in mind. He does not have anything that is going to dispose of the chemicals that we are really concerned with, even though he intends to spend $65 million. The PCBs, it appears, are simply going to be kept in tanks, although there is some thought that there will be some sort of a kiln that might undertake some of the disposal.

It is a known fact that there are professional people trained in hydrology, or whatever the science is, who could have done the research that the minister said could not be done. I feel the reason it cannot be done is that by agreement the government has simply decided to pursue the Harry Parrott initiative, come what may, and it has decided it is going to set this problem to rest by offending a small group of people who live in South Cayuga, since it is a Liberal riding anyway.

I feel that it is basically unfair. The whole concept of setting aside the legal requirements for environmental assessment, which has been on the law books for five or six years, is an indication of the lack of good faith of the government.

We must oppose the bill. In the unacceptable event that the bill passes in spite of our opposition, I hope the minister will make himself available to discuss the matter further with the citizens who will be exercising their right to come to Queen's Park to express their views as to its provisions, before the bill goes further.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I want very briefly to put my comments on the record and join with my colleagues in opposition to this bill.

When historians put this type of action in perspective, they will see that this whole process of Bill 90 is really a corporation that is going to be, as my friend the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk has said, looking to establish this plant -- which is a nice word for it, but a more realistic word for it would be a dump -- in a particular riding or in a particular area of the province.

When people look at this in the perspective of time, when they look at the evolution of a very sophisticated society and a very sophisticated government, such as this Ontario government, which has been in power for so long, it seems to me they will see this situation as one of the more cynical acts of a government that has been in power for so long.

It will be reviewed in the perspective of a government that had established, originally, prime farm land, a government that professes to have concern about agricultural land and wants to preserve this farm land. They will see it in the perspective of this government having taken this land and John White having decided that this was going to be the area of a city. In the perspective of time, they are going to see how ridiculous this whole process, this whole idea was to start with.

Then the government proceeded on from there to say: "We have this land available. We have this very tough decision to make about where we are going to establish this plant." It has decided it is going to put it on farm land that is not only no longer suitable for use as a city but is going to be used basically for a dump. But possibly even more cynical than the fact that the government is going to put this plant, this dump in fact, on prime farm land in an area where there is the potential for a serious disaster, is the fact that it is doing it in a Liberal riding. I think that should be put on the record. As a member, I would not be doing the service the people of Ottawa East have sent me here to do if I did not expose some of these cynical moves.

First of all, the government takes prime farm land and establishes this type of repository for our waste. It creates a dump in that area. Then it goes a cynical step further and does it in an area it knows it cannot win politically. It insults the people of that area by saying, "It is a Liberal riding and that is where we are going to put this thing." That is where the decision is made. To further complicate things, the government is doing it, and then going a step further by wanting to get around its own legislation.

There is law in this province calling for an environmental hearing, an environmental assessment, of such a project, but the government is again getting around that. I am not necessarily looking at this minister as being the author and perpetrator of this whole cynical act, but he is a part of the government. He is part of the process that continues.

In the perspective of time, in the perspective of history, I suspect people will be looking at this decision as one of the more cynical moves of a government which professed at some point to be impartial and neutral. Then it goes and puts this in a Liberal riding, on farm land and, finally, gets around its own legislation. What more cynical and what more hypocritical move can it make?

I thought it important that I, as one member of the Legislature, at least put it on the record if nothing else. We do not have the bodies, and the government has enough people around to get the legislation passed. But the fact remains that some of us at least are on the record as opposing such a cynical move.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, I want to take just a few short minutes of the House's time to give my views on Bill 90, An Act to establish the Ontario Waste Management Corporation. I want to say to the minister in my own way that I thought, possibly after the election had passed us by and after the Tories had been returned to office, they would give this matter some new consideration; they would realize the injustice they have perpetrated on the people of that area of Ontario over the past few months; and they would realize they were taking away from the people in that area rights guaranteed to them by law, rights guaranteed to them by this Legislature.

I am highly offended that we prepare legislation and we enshrine rights for all the citizens of Ontario. Then, at the behest of the incumbent government, whenever it serves its own political purposes, it decides to ignore the rights this Legislature had considered and had passed. I want to know from the new Minister of the Environment (Mr. Norton) why he has steadfastly stuck to the position of the government, prior to the election, not to have an environmental assessment hearing. Why has he stuck to that position? Why has he denied the people in that part of Ontario their rights which had been enshrined by law?

5:40 p.m.

What justification does he have for using some of Ontario's best prime agricultural land? What justification has he to build this monstrosity of a treatment plant for chemicals without letting the people go through a system that had been set up to protect their health and their environment? I say to the minister there is no justification.

I see the Premier (Mr. Davis) is sitting next to him. I know he believes a law is fully considered before we pass it in this province. When we give people rights such as the right to oppose things, it should not be taken away freely and it should not be taken away for political purposes. I say to the Premier, to the Minister of the Environment and to all the Tory members over there there is absolutely no justification for not having an environmental assessment hearing other than it is politically expedient for them.

In this type of free society, we try to pride ourselves on how open and free government is and how we have implemented steps whereby people can oppose decisions made by government in a fashion which is peaceful and gives them an opportunity to put their views forward.

I know the members are anxious to vote. I just wanted to make sure it was on the record that I object to the way the government has handled this matter and I object on the grounds that rights have been taken away. I do not find it very tasteful.

Mr. Speaker: Does any other honourable member wish to participate in this debate? If not, Mr. Norton.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I shall try to be brief. I am sure all the honourable members would like to vote on second reading prior to the six o'clock recess of the House.

It is tempting to respond to the kind of cynicism, sarcasm and personal remarks that have come from the opposite side in the course of the debate this afternoon. However, I shall try to restrain myself. The calibre of debate in this Legislature at times does sink to an all-time low. I would say to the member for Ottawa-Carleton -- is that where he is from? --

Mr. Roy: Ottawa East.

Hon. Mr. Norton: -- when he stands up and makes statements about how historians are going to view the acts of my predecessor, that historians, looking back at the decisions made by my predecessor, will see him as a statesman dedicated to responding to an urgent matter of public importance. The real cynicism --

Hon. Mr. Davis: The real cynicism is over there.

Hon. Mr. Norton: That is right. The real cynicism on this issue is on the part of those people who are not prepared to address the really fundamental matter, but who inflame passions, ignore facts and try to seize the political opportunity every time to embarrass government at the expense, if necessary, of dealing with an issue of importance to the public.

The member for Essex South (Mr. Mancini) asks why we did not change after the election. The reason we did not change after the election is we are Conservatives on this side of the House, not Liberals.

Hon. Mr. Davis: A bunch of Socialists over there.

Hon. Mr. Norton: That is right. This is not a matter of a Port Hope decision where the federal Liberal Party relocated a plant to Sudbury or North Bay after the election. We are consistent. We act out of principle and conviction on this side of the House.

I am pleased they have said, "Since you have a majority, it will be steamrollered through." I suggest to the members I suspect it will be supported by all the members on this side of the House plus, of course, by at least one honourable member on the other side of the House. I would just like to read into the record very briefly what he said, and I think it takes courage for a man to speak from his heart and to speak out of principle.

He said: "I have been wanting to get this off my chest for some time, and now that I have I am going to sleep tonight. I am a farmer. I believe I am practical and I believe I am reasonable. But I am concerned that we are going to run into a series of Love Canals, and I sure do not want to be the one to stand up in front of the people who have to live in this environment and say to them that I am the one who delayed the minister in this decision."

He went on to say: "The technology is available, and we have to get something in place. We cannot continue to dump this stuff into the landfill sites. I do not want midnight haulers coming along my concession road and dumping it into a ditch or a creek that runs through my place. We have to do something different than we are doing. We cannot waste too much time in doing it."

I think we all know who that honourable member is. I have great respect for the member for Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell) in honestly speaking his mind to the committee in January.

Many things were raised that I would like to address, for example, the question of plasma arc, which was raised by the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon). I hope that technology will be used in the future. In fact, nothing in this act precludes its use in any event. The fact of the matter is that it has been very promising on a very small scale, and we are now awaiting the results of a larger-scale model. Some considerable testing is yet required to ensure that the burning process does not result in the formation of any worse chemicals, such as dibenzofurans, as happens in burning under some other circumstances. I think we have to check all those things as new technology develops. We will do that and we will use the best technology available.

For members opposite to repeatedly ignore the fact of the technology and to refer to what is being proposed as a dump, just ignores the facts. The member for Huron-Middlesex certainly knows that the technology exists -- he has seen it. We can improve upon what he has seen, I am told, and we will. But for members opposite to continue to refer to it as a dump and to say, "It will be dumped on that site and it will disappear somewhere," is really bordering on being irresponsible, I suggest, in terms of the kind of fear that it can create in the minds of the people of this province, whether they live in South Cayuga or elsewhere because that is not what we are talking about at all. We are talking about the establishment of a safe technology and a safe treatment site.

Of course, contrary to what some members have suggested, the site has not been predetermined to the extent that if it is unsafe it will still be located there. The matter of ultimate importance in the mind of this government is that the site be safe, that the technology be safe and that we move with as much haste as we can safely to establish a treatment facility. That is in the interests of all the people of this province and is ultimately in the interests of the people of South Cayuga if the site is to be there.

A number of the things that have been raised can perhaps be better dealt with in clause-by-clause consideration. It is my understanding that the House leaders had had some discussion about this. I am certainly not averse to dealing with the matter in committee. In fact, I welcome that opportunity on the understanding, I trust, that the matter will be reported back to the House before the rising of the House. From the way things are going, I suspect we may have some considerable time to go.

Just on a personal level, I had hoped that the members would not keep me tied up in committee next week. I have two important commitments. One is in Albany, New York, where I will be meeting with my counterpart from New York State to discuss some matters relating to the Niagara frontier, which will be of great interest to my colleague, the critic for the Liberal Party. I had a second meeting later in the week where I would be appearing before a Senate committee on the matter of acid rain. If necessary, I will sacrifice those and try to establish later opportunities in order to be with the members in committee, but I would hope we can deal with it more quickly than that.

Mr. Speaker, I think I will wind up my remarks so that we can vote on this matter before six o'clock.

6 p.m.

The House divided on Mr. Norton's motion for second reading of Bill 90, which was agreed to on the following vote:


Andrewes, Ashe, Baetz, Barlow, Bennett, Bernier, Birch, Brandt, Cousens, Cureatz, Davis, Dean, Drea, Eaton, Elgie, Eves, Fish, Gillies, Gordon, Gregory, Grossman, Harris, Henderson, Hennessy, Hodgson, Johnson, J. M., Kennedy, Kerr, Kolyn, Lane, Leluk;

MacQuarrie, McCaffrey, McCague, McLean, McNeil, Miller, F. S., Mitchell, Norton, Piché, Pollock, Ramsay, Robinson, Rotenberg, Runciman, Scrivener, Shymko, Stephenson, B. Sterling, Stevenson, K. R., Taylor, G. W., Taylor, J. A., Timbrell, Treleaven, Villeneuve, Walker, Watson, Welch, Wells, Williams, Wiseman, Yakabuski.


Boudria, Bradley, Breaugh, Breithaupt, Bryden, Cassidy, Charlton, Conway, Cooke, Copps, Cunningham, Di Santo, Edighoffer, Elston, Epp, Foulds, Grande, Haggerty, Johnston, R. F., Kerrio, MacDonald, Mackenzie, Mancini, McClellan, McGuigan, McKessock, Miller, G. I.;

Newman, Nixon, O'Neil, Peterson, Philip, Reed, J. A., Reid, T. P., Renwick, Riddell, Roy, Ruprecht, Ruston, Samis, Stokes, Swart, Sweeney, Van Horne, Wildman, Worton, Wrye.

Ayes 62; nays 47.

Ordered for standing committee on general government.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, with the agreement of the House, I would like to revert to motions.

Agreed to.



Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the standing committee on general government be authorized to sit tomorrow afternoon, Wednesday, June 24, 1981, to consider Bill 90, An Act to establish the Ontario Waste Management Corporation.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: I have the honour to note the presence in the gallery of Lucie Nicholson, the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and a strong supporter of the rights of hospital workers in Ontario.

The House recessed at 6:09 p.m.