32nd Parliament, 1st Session






The House resumed at 8 p.m.



Hon. Mr. Drea moved second reading of Bill 84, An Act to amend the Ministry of Community and Social Services Act.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, probably the most important section of this act is that in this bill, in line with the growing consensus that there should be comprehensive auditing for all transfer payments, we are providing our own auditors with exactly the comprehensive authority that the Provincial Auditor has. The reason for that is there is a trend towards the purchase of service rather than the direct operation.

This comprehensive auditing authority will ensure two things: one, that we can constantly monitor the quality of service and that the quality of service is in line with the proposals and contract that has been signed for the provision of that service; and two, where indeed there is a multiple corporate relationship, even though a particular entity is providing the service it is owned or controlled or has arm's-length dealing, particularly with a holding corporation, we will have the authority for auditors to proceed all the way through the corporate arrangement.

Again, the results of the delegation of authority -- which is not new in other ministries, but is for the first time in the Ministry of Community and Social Services -- will enable area managers and so forth to be able, under very specific terms of course under that delegation, to be able to sign directly agreements for provision of service and for provision of program.

Particularly in areas outside of Toronto, this will be a welcome step, because quite often now it is that area manager or that local person who in reality is making the decision. Except, unfortunately, without the delegation of authority it comes forward as a recommendation to the central offices of the ministry in Toronto.

It is a little bit more than speeding up the implementation of programs or the renewal of programs, because it brings us one step closer to the people closest to the community or closest to the area being able to help decide their own priorities rather than merely being left in the position where they can recommend.

I would hope the Legislature, particularly with regard to the comprehensive auditing section, will see fit to support this bill.

Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, I would just like to offer some general comments about the bill before us. I am relatively new to my responsibilities in this area of governmental activity --

Mr. Martel: It has not changed in 10 years in that ministry. You're all right.

Mr. Conway: Perhaps that is so, but when I see a bill like this I am encouraged to wonder what lies behind it. I do not see anything on the face of this bill in specific language that would concern me. There is a tone in the inspection area that would worry me. I will talk about that in a moment.

I also want to know, particularly in the area of the whole inspection provision, I have to ask myself who out there has been involved with the department in such a way as to require these kinds of changes. At the present time, in the Ministry of Culture and Recreation there is a public library review under way. Some of the members may know about it.

What the poor people out in the individual community libraries do not really know, as I understand it, is that one major regional library apparently went bankrupt under the watchful eye of Queen's Park, and because of that local situation the entire province is going to be subjected to a library review and a lot of very good working relationships may very well be threatened, or at least that is the feeling of people in many of the small community libraries.

What I want to know here, what I would invite the minister to respond to, is, who specifically has done the minister out? Who has gypped the Ministry of Community and Social Services under the current auditing arrangements of money in such a way that this kind of legislative enactment is required to tighten up the process?

Make no mistake about it, my colleagues and I are altogether in favour of those arrangements that will provide for the most careful accounting of public dollars. I do not imagine there are any here who would disagree. But I am interested to know, partly because of a couple of instances in my own county, where people providing services are involved with the Ministry of Community and Social Services, that were reported to me -- these are people who, I think, provide a very good service, but I heard stories that were alarming from leaders in the community about funds and where they were going and where they were ending up.

I reported privately to the Ottawa office that these were the reports, and I would appreciate it if they could be checked out. If they were a matter of fiction, let them drop; if they were a matter of fact, then I would like to see some action taken. I have never heard another word from anybody. I do not know what happened. I wonder whether a case like that has brought the minister to this kind of legislation. Really, that is the sum and substance of my own concern here. I wondered how many people had been running through loopholes that need to be closed. Was it a problem in one part of the province only or was it a problem elsewhere?

I must say, though, the compendium relieves some of my worry. This was the matter that concerned me when I first read the bill. As I say, not knowing a great deal about the background and knowing little of the history that led up to this, I got the feeling there was almost a punitive tone of going out and saying, "We're going to watch and we're going to vet those welfare cases in this province with a very effective eagle eye." I felt very concerned that might, in fact, be the impression, wrong or otherwise, left by the legislation.

The minister is nodding vigorously, saying it is not so. But really what he wants to do is to make sure that, particularly in those corporate relationships where agencies are providing services with ministry money or buying or contracting those services and ministry money is involved, there is a more careful accounting. If that is all that is involved, as far as I am concerned, the faster the better. But I would, in conclusion, invite the minister to share with this House a couple of specific examples that would illuminate for honourable members present of the kind of on-line problem this legislation seeks to redress.

8:10 p.m.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this bill, although somewhat reluctantly --


Mr. R. F. Johnston: This is not a major campaign speech, Remo, you can relax and not pay too much attention.

Mr. Shymko: Let's see some leadership intention, Richard.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Until I receive money from the member for my campaign, I am not directing any of my speeches towards him.

I understand the premise behind this piece of legislation is that the auditing practices are changing and there is a need to make the present bill conform. That is a worthwhile kind of endeavour, but I am reluctant about this amendment to the Ministry of Community and Social Services Act for two reasons: one, there are so many other amendments that we should be seeing at the moment which could have a lot more body to them than this; and second, the tone involved in the auditing practices section.

I would just like to go through that for a minute in terms of other amendments. I realize I am not allowed to speak to things which are not in the bill. I would have been interested in seeing the legislation behind the decentralization policies of the minister at the moment in terms of what he feels about welfare recipients and why they should not be receiving the same increases as other groups and in terms of the social assistance review board, which needs a great deal of review, in my view. We don't see any of these things here.

Instead, we see a bill that is coming forward with a motion to change the auditing procedures which seems harmless enough and seems to be geared toward societies or agencies rather than individuals. I would echo the comments of the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) in asking just what are the specific groups. For instance, are they the children's' aid societies or other agencies for which at the moment the ministry doesn't feel it has the tools at hand to get at their books in order to check out their accountability in the way they are dealing with ministry funds, or is this strictly the clearing up of an auditing practice?

I am reluctant to suggest it, but is there by chance any thought at all in here in terms of welfare recipient bashing? I just read the wording. As somebody who is on the human rights bill at the moment, which is under substantial attack in committee, although we are waiting to go back to do clause by clause, I have heard it attacked in terms of the investigative powers of the members of that commission. I note that under section 6(c) an investigator for the ministry would have the ability to go and get not just an agency's books but an individual recipient's books or bank accounts or whatever, I would presume, in order to determine how they have spent or used ministry money which they have received. It states, "and may require a recipient of such payment to prepare and submit his financial statement." I would like an explanation from the minister as to why an individual as well as agencies are included in this.

I would also be concerned with the paragraph about obstruction and would like some clarification on that, because that is one of the things under the human rights bill that we have had some concern about in terms of somebody who decides not to give information to a human rights officer. It states here that, "No person shall obstruct the person designated under subsection I in the performance of any inspection of any book, record," et cetera, or conceal that sort of thing. I would like some legal interpretation of that because, as it states in the next section, every person is liable to a $2,000 fine if they do not participate, which is pretty heavy on individuals. I notice there is also a $25,000 fine for corporations which do not participate.

It strikes me that is a pretty strong power being vested in new investigative officers, I would gather, in terms of the last section of this bill and I would like to make sure that what we don't get here is sort of a witch hunt in chasing down of welfare recipients to check out their books to see just whether or not they are conforming to the Family Benefits Act, or whatever.

One thing the minister said in terms of his opening statement, he used the fascinating term of a "holding company." I was wondering if he could inform the House just what holding companies we are putting money through in terms of ministry funds. I wasn't aware of any, and perhaps it is a mechanism I hadn't really thought about. I thought these were normally directed to agencies or groups around. I wonder if he could explain to us just what the situation is there.

In terms of the other sections of the bill I have no problems at all. The third party section in terms of providing assistance to individuals makes a lot of sense. I just want to be absolutely sure this is strictly auditing and is not some kind of pursuit of either certain agencies or individuals under the present legislation.

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, in participating in this debate I just have a brief comment. We support, as my colleague said, the measures that have to do with stiffening the audit procedures. Let me perhaps speculate as to why that may be increasingly necessary. We view with considerable apprehension the increasing tendency of this government, and this ministry in particular, to rely upon profit-making private enterprise to provide social services.

I think for example of Extendicare which has been awarded, as I understand it, a significant contract for the provision of services to residents of Ontario who have developed mental handicaps. I think in particular of rumours bruited about that the government intends to use private enterprise to deal with the problem of providing housing accommodation for former mental health patients.

I think of our previous experiences with Mini-Skool, that famous subsidiary of the Great-West Life Assurance Company now run by an American social-industrial octopus. Obviously, the ministry is going to have to equip itself with more stringent auditing powers if it continues on the foolish path of entrusting essential human services to corporations which are first and foremost in the business of making a buck, not of meeting human needs.

Second, I want to echo the concern my colleague and the member for Renfrew North raised with respect to section 6(c). I was perhaps critic too long and became rather fond of the minister's staff. That is a sure sign that an opposition member should be moved somewhere. On the whole, I found a generous spirit of administration with respect to provincial social assistance programs.

By and large, it was the rule, but I look at a clause like section 6(c) with some apprehension and ask myself, "Is this minister gearing up for a return to the kinds of practices that prevailed when I worked in the ministry in the 1960s when the rule was to snoop and to impose as much by way of stigmatizing humiliation on the process of applying for provincial social assistance as it was possible to get away with?"

I hope it is not the intention of this section to equip the ministry with greater powers of -- if I may put it this way -- humiliating social assistance recipients. I put it together with the kinds of things the minister has been talking about recently in terms of categorizing social assistance recipients into good guys and bad guys; the good guys being what the minister refers to as long-term pensioners who will stay on provincial programs and the bad guys those who will be relegated to the municipal level.

It looks to me as if the minister is paving the way for the kind of social experiment taking place in British Columbia. I want to tell the minister we are incredibly apprehensive about the direction of social policy in much of this continent.

We intend to be particularly vigilant with respect to his ministry and with respect to the actions of the minister himself in particular. So we look for some kind of unequivocal assurance from the minister that he is not paving the way for a new round of humiliating administrative procedures directed against social assistance recipients.

8:20 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, it is somewhat surprising to me that the language is considered harsh. The language for the auditing provisions is identical to that given to the Provincial Auditor in the Audit Act, section 13.

It is the concern of a great number of people in this House -- and certainly one of the greatest proponents is not of my party; we shared a panel together, and I refer to the chairman of public accounts -- that there should be comprehensive auditing of every transfer payment, and that is all we are doing.

While I suppose the payments to a recipient of social assistance technically, in a very narrow way might be interpreted as transfer payments, for purposes of this act the transfer payments are either to individuals who are operating a single proprietorship, to a pair or more of individuals running a partnership, or to either a nonshare, nonprofit corporation or a conventional corporation or their agents. It would be absolutely redundant -- in fact, not only redundant but entirely wasteful -- to use these sections for eligibility review of an individual recipient of either general welfare assistance, family benefits or whatever, because the truth of the matter is that the designated staff of the ministry already have this right.

The reason the Provincial Auditor wants the same kind of comprehensive auditing in transfer payments is that it is not just an audit that lets one add up the money to see that one received $100,000 and spent $100,000. Just as in the direct operations of government, comprehensive auditing enables us to look at the quality of the operation.

The member for Renfrew North has asked if there are any instances. No. I don't know when he made his request -- it may have been before I was appointed -- but I had some others dealing with that particular one, and there was no basis for the allegation that funds were being used for something else.

The question today is that we are purchasing a service. We have had a holding corporation in the province before. It did not operate with payments directly from this ministry; it operated at that time under the auspices of the Ministry of Health, and it was a nonprofit corporation providing service. That was fair enough and easy enough to look at. The difficulty is, going beyond that, that they had to purchase services and a number of other things from a holding corporation which was a profit-making one. We do not have that situation today, and this is not why we are doing it.

Just as an example, I was asked, and some concerns were registered, by the member for Scarborough West (R. F. Johnston) about how a holding company could be involved. It is not, in the first instance. We would purchase services from company A, but then, in order to fulfil its end of the service contract, that company A might be dealing with other companies at less than an arm's-length arrangement. Our difficulty is that we probably have the authority -- at least it has not been challenged yet -- to go into company A but then we would be at a stone wall.

The obvious remedy is, and members would naturally say it to me, "Mr. Minister, terminate that contract when it is up because it is valueless." Fair enough. But supposing we were only in a month or two. We can terminate there or change there rather than waiting to buy off the contract, or something else.

Where we use the word "individual" it is because an individual has the books. In most cases there probably are not too many single proprietorships out there. Most of them, to protect themselves, have become a much less risky entity because they tend to own buildings, et cetera.

So it is not so much that we are equipping ourselves for the modern times; it is that the very Audit Acts of this province have changed. We were perfectly in line with the previous Audit Act. We are not in line with the comprehensive audit, the measurement of quality that is now being applied by the auditors who report to public accounts in this province. Under the arrangements our auditors will have that same responsibility and indeed will then be judged, not necessarily by the minister alone but by the Provincial Auditor with a report to public accounts.

At the moment, no matter how desirous the Provincial Auditor -- who, incidentally, is very enthusiastic about this bill -- or our own ministry may be, they really have no vehicle to bring that type of thing before public accounts except to say something went wrong and here is what we did to correct it.

Just to reassure the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan), when a person applies for social assistance he or she gives either the municipality or the provincial government -- in most cases the first application is taken by the municipality, although in some cases it may be by the province -- the right to inspect assets, to inspect bank accounts. The right to look at things is a carte blanche that is given by the individual.

To ask somebody to produce a financial statement when one already has the authority -- indeed it is on the basis of eligibility review: is that person in need? But in dealing with a corporate entity, nonprofit or profit, then one is not dealing on the basis of need or eligibility any more. An agreement has been signed based upon a proposal that has been made and one wants to ensure that at all times that proposal and that contract are being adhered to. I would hope that answers the question.

In answer to the member for Renfrew North, there is a demand, not only a public demand but a professional demand by the Provincial Auditor. Indeed the standing committee on public accounts has expressed it. We are moving in this direction because it does provide that comprehensive auditing that is so valuable in terms of quality.

Motion agreed to.

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

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, excuse me, can we have committee of the whole House? There is a technical amendment that I want to introduce. It is the wish of the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) that we not have a class of people but rather individuals under one of the housekeeping sections.

House in committee of the whole.


Consideration of Bill 84, An Act to amend the Ministry of Community and Social Services Act.

8:30 p.m.

Section 1 agreed to.

On section 2:

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Chairman, I had a comment I wanted to make about section 2(6)(c)(ii), which comes before the minister's amendment, if I am not mistaken, so perhaps I could ask my question.

The Acting Chairman (Mr. Hodgson): Would you like to hear the amendment first before you ask your question?

Mr. McClellan: I think the amendment comes after the section I want to discuss. It does not make any difference to me as long as the section does not carry before we get to it.

The Acting Chairman: Okay. Go ahead and ask your question.

Mr. McClellan: It will just take a second. My concern has to do with the definition of the recipient of a payment in section 6(c) of the act. The minister has said unequivocally that "recipient" does not refer to a recipient of an allowance or benefit. Could I have the minister make that statement as clearly as that? If that is the intention perhaps a simple amendment could be put in. Our concern is that the statute as drafted leaves the definition of "recipient" to the regulations.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Chairman, it will be handled in regulations. The reason we have not put a definition in or put some exclusions in is that these are sections that are going into the ministry act for the purposes of comprehensive auditing. We have been advised by the legislative counsel that we should not go to limiting those sections.

The problem with defining "recipient" in the legislation does not arise in relation to what a recipient is doing with the money that has been provided; it arises when we have a case -- and we do have a few -- where the money is administered. If, let us say for the sake of argument, a person in the community were administering, paying the bills, etcetera on behalf of recipients for one reason or another -- and I am not talking about a municipal government; I am talking about somebody completely outside the scope of the provincial or municipal governments -- it might very well be that we would like a very broad definition of "recipient" so we could go back and get at that administration.

We have a very difficult time finding someone to administer allowances because, as the member knows, there is a prohibition against any payment for doing that. But I assure the member that the definition in the regulations will be most explicit that it deals with providers of services or providers of programs.

The difficulty is that if it is just a single nonprofit group, one person, who is providing a program or a service -- and that can be done; you can have a single proprietorship -- that one person by law fits into that business of recipient, but it is entirely for program or for service, because it would be absolutely useless, a great waste, to use it the other way.

Mr. McClellan: That seems reasonable, but we will watch for the regulation and monitor it when it comes out.

The Deputy Chairman: Mr. Drea moves that section 6(f) of the act, as set out in section 2 of the bill, be amended by striking out "an employee or a class or classes of employees" in the first and second lines and inserting in lieu thereof "one or more employees."

Mr. Conway: Mr. Chairman, I have no difficulty in concurring and would just add a comment in response to the minister's wrapup on the first round.

As he stands there with pained expression telling us this is simply a matter of rendering uniform for his department accounting procedures elsewhere, why did he not at some point in one of these compendiums or in these explanatory notes tell us that?

It seems a rather simple matter. I have learned to be very careful with the way this government handles legislation. That expansive sermon about the whole accounting business seemed to escape the authors of both the compendium and the explanatory notes of the bill.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Chairman, I did not compile the compendium, and there may have been an assumption that, because of the interest expressed by the Provincial Auditor in a ministry going in this direction, and I believe we are the first to do so, there would have been an understanding. If there has been a lack of understanding, I apologize for it.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of section 6(f). I have no problems with it at all.

I might say I never trust compendiums at all -- I worry when the Premier (Mr. Davis) does not even come in with the facts to back up his statements in the House -- so I phoned the Deputy Minister of Community and Social Services, Mr. Bob Carman, and he was able to explain that to me although, as the minister can tell from my statement, I still have serious doubts.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Just to elaborate on the reason for the amendment: The Ministry of the Attorney General feels much more comfortable with the designation of individual people rather than a general class of employees. It was their request that we change this.

The Deputy Chairman: Is there any further discussion of this amendment?

All those in favour will please say "aye."

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion the ayes have it.

Motion agreed to.

Section 2, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 3 and 4 agreed to.

Bill 84, as amended, reported.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Drea, the committee of the whole House reported one bill with amendments.

8:40 p.m.


Mr. Jones, on behalf of Hon. F. S. Miller, moved second reading of Bill 47, An Act to establish a Corporation to Promote Innovation Development for Employment Advancement.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I would be very happy to address a few remarks to this bill. I think it is an indication of how seriously the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) takes it. Does the member have an opening statement?

Mr. Jones: Mr. Speaker, I have a few remarks I might share.

Mr. Peterson: The member has come to the House remarkably well informed. I have never seen that. Go ahead, please.

Mr. Jones: Mr. Speaker, just before the critic makes his comments about the bill, I would simply remind members that, at the time of the first reading of the bill, the Treasurer stressed that innovation is one of the keys to our future economic wellbeing, and the strong emphasis on research and development within the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development program is a recognition of this government's commitment to our economic future and to the importance of that innovation.

We all know that we live in a rapidly changing world economy, and Ontario must be in a position not only to respond to these changes but also to lead the way. This calls for dynamic new approaches that will capitalize on our most fundamental assets, the ability of Ontarians to innovate, to develop new and more efficient methods of production and to improve the quality and the usefulness of our products. We know that Ontario's economic future will depend to a great extent on the development of high-technology industries and that Ontario's manufacturing and industrial communities are moving in this direction.

Our government has an obligation to support scientific research and technological advances to speed the process; at the same time, we must enhance and encourage the outstanding potential that rests within our post-secondary institutions and then, to be truly successful, we must forge strong links between these sectors.

I recently had the opportunity to be involved in some exciting projects of this type in a demonstration of some of the technological advances that are taking place in these sectors within Ontario.

At the Canadian National Exhibition this last summer, we had an Ontario Futuredome, and we had a chance to glimpse some of the robotics, some of the other computer software and some of the new technology that is having a strong birth and growth here in Ontario.

We had demonstrated to us the possibilities that just a short time ago were undreamt of in this province by way of innovations, by way of employment opportunities for the future.

Innovative ideas are becoming more commonplace, provided they are given the type of financial support the IDEA Corporation is promising.

The IDEA Corporation will contribute significantly to Ontario's efforts to meet the economic challenges of the 1980s. In outlining some of the points they need to serve and satisfy, they need to encourage the development of new technology, particularly in the manufacturing sector.

If we wish to see economic growth and expanded employment opportunities, they need also to increase our efforts in the research, design and development potential. Already these exist in large measure in our post-secondary educational institutions, but we need to link these with our industrial, commercial and private sector innovations that are taking place.

They also must assist small companies, and particularly the Canadian-owned companies, in their efforts to develop new products and to expand their facilities.

These endeavours to create new and challenging employment opportunities are the big byproduct of this initiative.

A major component of IDEAs funding will be directed towards the acquisition of the latest research equipment for Ontario's post-secondary institutions and the provision of research grants for university staff whose work is likely to have applicability in Ontario's industries.

The IDEA Corporation will help us to address the needs that I have just outlined, and it will do so by providing financial assistance of various types, with the focus being the linkage of the different groups involved in the various stages of innovations. Joint endeavours will be encouraged to draw together the resources and abilities that exist within our industries, post-secondary institutions and government.

The IDEA Corporation will serve as a catalyst in the creation and co-ordination of such joint projects covering all aspects of development and application of new technologies.

The structure and membership of the board of directors of the IDEA Corporation will be developed to facilitate this common linkage, which is why there will be a broad representation from industry, labour, universities and government. The background and expertise of the various directors will be brought to bear in uniting these activities of the different sectors that will be involved.

This is an entrepreneurial role that the IDEA Corporation will fulfil through the authorization of grants, loans, guarantees or purchase of equity, whichever is most appropriate in the particular circumstances.

The corporation itself will not directly undertake any research or development activities but rather will provide financial activities and financial assistance to the research and production facilities of industries, universities and other government agencies.

In addition to these responsibilities, the corporation will serve to advise this government on issues that relate to the encouragement of innovative technology in Ontario.

The IDEA Corporation is an exciting new initiative that is central to Ontario's continued economic progress. Briefly, before summarizing, let me reiterate the objectives of the corporation: to promote the development of new technologies; to facilitate the application of new technologies within industry; to initiate research, design, development and demonstration of technologies of particular importance to Ontario; to enter into joint research and development ventures with commercial, industrial and educational institutions; to purchase and sell patents and licence rights as well as to provide various types of financial assistance; to foster communication and co-operation between universities, industries and government research centres; to improve the capacity of universities and other research centres to respond to the requirements of high-technology industries; to work with agencies of other governments with a view to co-ordinating activities and the development and implementation of that technology; and to advise government on the level of its expenditures on scientific research, design, development and demonstration.

Underlying the IDEA Corporation will be the need for IDEA to be flexible and adaptable in its approach. Its participation will vary depending upon the circumstances; so we are creating a structure that will permit the type of financial involvement most appropriate for each case.

The focus of its efforts will be to build linkages among the concerned technological progress and productivity so that together we may meet the innovation challenge upon which our economic future will be built.

I have a few minor amendments to move, Mr. Speaker; so I would ask that the bill go to committee of the whole House after the second reading.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I enjoyed the presentation, My Day at the Science Fair, by Terry Jones.

Supporting the concept of the IDEA Corporation, of course, I have to congratulate the government, because again it is a brilliantly named bill. I am under the impression that they have a complete bureaucracy over there that puts up names and puts the letters on all these bills, because it gives the perception of activity, even if no activity is being generated.

8:50 p.m.

No one in this House and no one in this province would disagree with the stated aims or objects of the corporation: to promote the process of technological innovation. We are all in favour of that, even my friends to the left. We are in favour of bringing together the research capabilities of the public sector and the commercial industrial sector, and we are in favour of growth and employment prospects in the Ontario economy.

I again congratulate the drafter of this legislation, because I think he itemizes very well some of the problems we have.

That being said, this bill is a tacit admission of the failure of so many other programs that this government should have been sensitive to a decade ago. I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, as I trace the figures, as I see the rundown of the Ontario economy, the so-called deindustrialization that has taken place in this province in the last five years, then it looks to me like too little, too late. This is a political response to an economic problem.

I regret very much that a number of the other programs that have been in place have yielded such barren fruit over the past little while. We have a small business development corporation program -- the only thing we have seen so far, and we will get into that some other day -- that is a massive system for tax avoidance and has been, by and large, a complete failure in introducing new venture capital and in doing exactly the kinds of things the parliamentary assistant is talking about today.

Then there is the Ontario Development Corporation. What is it doing? It should have been doing this kind of thing. What about the university sector, which is being squeezed, strangled slowly to death because of failure to fund, particularly the hard sciences? Do we need a new agency to tell it what to do? Look at the Ontario Research Foundation, a beautiful facility; if you talk to the directors of that organization, they will tell you they have great untapped capacity.

The list goes on of the government agencies, the government boards and the government commissions, all beautifully and aptly named. But when it nets out, I gather they are not accomplishing all that much, in the minister's mind.

The fact is, and it has been repeated many times in this House, our contribution to research and development in this province as a percentage of gross national product is dismal in terms of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development rating. We are thirteenth or fourteenth in the list of the 14 OECD countries, fighting it out neck and neck with Turkey about who will be last.

I am somewhat troubled, because this is such a deathbed response. I guess it came out of the last election. Enough people were hoodwinked by these great programs, so aptly named, to deal with the structural problems in this province. I do not disagree with a thing, in general motherhood terms, that my friend across the floor said. I am sure my friends in the Socialist party are very much of the same concern that I am. But there is so little of substance in here that it is very difficult either to agree with, except in the most broad and general terms, or to disagree with, because we really do not know how it is going to function.

I am very concerned about the funding of this organization. We can perhaps draw a parallel with the Ontario Energy Corporation. I am one of those people who has always supported the role of the Ontario Energy Corporation and felt it had a much larger role to play in the economy of Ontario, which is energy-dependent and energy-poor at the same time.

We saw a moribund organization in the OEC. For a few years it did virtually nothing. Today, it is resurrected phoenix-like and snaps up, at a price of $650 million, a quarter of Sun Oil Company. Whether that is going to accomplish some of the aims that were originally intended for that corporation is yet to be seen.

The Sun Oil problem is a speech for another day, but I want to use it as a parallel only in these circumstances, because this legislation will allow these people to do nothing for two or three or four years; then an election comes along and they have the power to jump up and buy a quarter of Chrysler or Massey-Ferguson or whatever to give the appearance of activity when, in fact, this legislation is an admission of the failure of so many other well-intentioned programs that have come and gone in this province.

I have been here long enough but, very frankly, I do not have very much faith in that government to deal with the very serious problems in a very serious way. I have so often seen them papered over; I have so often seen, as I have said, political responses to real problems that I do not put very much stock in this piece of legislation, even though we will not oppose it because it is innocuous at this point. But I am still a bit from Missouri in this whole matter. It is going to have to be proven to me by this government that they are serious about these problems.

I will not go into a litany of the failures. I will not go into a litany of the layoffs and the deindustrialization and all the problems we have had. But I will point out that much of the intellectual energy of this House is being directed at trying to solve some of the problems of that deindustrialization. The select committee on plant shutdowns and employment adjustment occupied a number of members very seriously involved in that program, because it is a function of the lack of economic growth here in Ontario. We were working on the select committee on pensions this summer; to some extent, that is a function of the same kind of phenomenon. On and on the list goes: problems of social services and a variety of other areas.

Someone asked me today, "Does this new energy initiative make the Premier a bit of a pinko?" Frankly, I do not know whether he is pink or red or blue or green or whatever colour, because he is whatever colour suits his particular purposes at the time. We have seen this latter-day intervention in the economy. I think it is a legitimate role for government; it is a good role. What is going to be required is the capacity of the administrators, the people whom the government has charged with the responsibility, to have a sensitive hand on the switch. Whether they are going to have that, I do not know.

I used the analogy of the Ontario Energy Corporation. Frankly, this is a company that is operating way under capacity and has done so for the last three or four years, and whether the move of today is going to redeem them has yet to be determined. I assume this corporation is going to be charged with responsibility for the auto parts technology centres -- is that true, Mr. Parliamentary Assistant? -- the microelectronics development centre, the advanced manufacturing technical centre, the biotechnology company, the centre for toxology and a variety of other so-called sophisticated scientific endeavours.

Again, to address each one specifically, I do not have any problems about those. But I think the government is operating to some extent on the wrong premises, and I want to talk about those for a minute.

I am most concerned, and anyone who has talked to people in the university sector today shares with me, I am sure, this concern, about the slow strangulation of the university sector. It seems to me that so much more could be done there. Rather than give a political response to the auto parts crisis, saying that whether we will have it in Chatham or St. Catharines depends on who votes for us, perhaps the proper place for that is Windsor, as part of the University of Windsor, very close to the main automotive industry in the province, in conjunction with the university and private enterprise as well as the government. I do not think we are properly building upon some of the structural advantages we have historically had here, just as the microelectronics centre may best go at a university in the Ottawa area.

When we try to force an artificial creation or a foster child -- really a bastard child born of a variety of different forces in different places -- into a place that may be alien to it, it is not exactly sure that foster child will be nurtured the way it should be nurtured and contribute to society in the way one had originally intended it to contribute.

That is why I have some specific reservations about some of the things I sense the government is going to do. I would rather see us build more on our strength on some of the installations that we have in place. Good Lord, the government's own report says there is a possibility that we may have to close five universities in this province. And it seems to me this so-called new idea program, or IDEA Corporation, could use some of the strengths of that system to allow it to survive longer than it appears it is going to survive at the present time.

9 p.m.

I have yet to be convinced that this new program, this new overview, this new coordination of all the disparate programs going on in a variety of different sectors -- private, public, university, industry and whatever -- is going to accomplish very much more.

As I said earlier, I would not be surprised if, to prove its existence some time, it buys into a high-technology company that has a very high profile, say a piece of Spar Aerospace or something, three or four years from now, to be able to run out in the next election and say: "Aren't we wonderful fellows? Look at what we are really contributing." Meanwhile, the deterioration goes on, and that is a function of so many things. There is no one simple solution to that. There is no one corporation that can solve that, but I can tell the government where to start: with the universities, the job training programs that are so dismally out of fit and out of sync with the job requirements today. It is a surprise that a searing indictment of this government has not led to its ultimate political ruination.

There are a lot of ways in research and development, in procurement and a number of other devices the government has at its disposal that it could have really helped. Maybe the most important thing government can do for a fledgling company or a high-tech company, even more than giving it research money, is to give it an order, buy its product and help it to market it, because an order is far better than a grant. Trust me, I am one of the few people in this place who happens to make a living occasionally in business, and I have some idea of what people who work in the private sector respond to.

We have seen so many examples of so-called free grants, unmonitored grants -- I point members' attention to the small business development corporation in London where $3 million of taxpayers' money is now down the hole, lost, functus. It will never be seen again, because 100 unsuspecting investors in London, Ontario, were taken down the pipe by this so-called free grant from London, Ontario, and a local sharpie took advantage of that to flog a lot of shares in high-tech companies -- some of them -- and it has all gone. We will never see it again.

That is the kind of abuse this kind of program invites, unless it is very carefully monitored. I will not go into that. That is another great speech for another day, and I invite the members back to hear it on the appropriate occasion.

Mr. McClellan: What do you mean, another great speech?

Mr. Peterson: I owe you guys two great speeches, and you are not going to get them tonight.

Mr. McClellan: I have news for you. You are one short.

Mr. Peterson: I just express those reservations at this time. I remain to be convinced that this is the solution to some of the structural problems. God knows, I hope it is, because it is long overdue. A sense of involvement with these kind of problems is long overdue.

There is not another sophisticated state, with the possible exception of certain provinces and states in North America, that is involved in this kind of thing. We have to do it to compete. I just hope the government can work out the structures quickly to make it work and make it operative.

The Deputy Speaker: Just before the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman) speaks, I would like to bring to the attention of members that there is an unusual din of conversation from the members on my right. I am sure you are talking about the IDEA Corporation. If you could just make your discussions a little quieter, we would much appreciate it.

Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, I find it somewhat amusing that today we had a rather momentous decision announced by the government -- certainly in terms of its ideological stance in the past -- a significant movement into the private sector in an area that is very important to the economy of this province, and it was done in a very low-key style, almost mumbling.

Yet when we had the overall announcement of the program that was to revitalize the economy of the province, part of which is the IDEA Corporation, the BILD program, there was a great deal of hoop-la. The government invited guests from all over the province to a real extravaganza of an announcement. The Premier and a number of ministers of the government participated in a media show --

Mr. Di Santo: A circus.

Mr. Wildman: A circus almost, yes; sort of like the ancient Romans, "Give the people circuses and they'll be satisfied."

When we are dealing with something like this, this IDEA Corporation and the whole BILD program, we make a great deal of it, the government makes a great deal of it and talks to just about every corporate executive and banker in the province, and yet when it moves to get involved in the energy field in an oil company it is done almost apologetically, almost as if, "We really don't want to make a big fuss about this. We will be having a news conference later, but it is not that big a deal" and so on.

Mr. Jones: Are we talking to the principle of the bill?

Mr. Wildman: I am talking of the principle of the bill. The principle of the bill, as I understand it, as enunciated by the parliamentary assistant, was the need for flexibility and the need for government initiatives in the economy, to rebuild the economy, in this case in terms of providing innovation and research and development, something that we agree has been missing and has been one of the major drawbacks of the Ontario economy and the Canadian economy.

Mr. Jones: We already have that, we are just going to take it to its next stage. Help it.

Mr. Wildman: We really don't have it. It is interesting that in Canada over the last few years we have had about 0.7 per cent of the gross national product invested in research and development. That is infinitesimal in comparison to most of the western industrialized economies. We are hitting somewhere in there at about the same level as Ireland and Turkey in terms of the amount of money that is reinvested in research and development.

The federal government has aimed at 1.5 per cent of our gross national product to be reinvested in research and development by 1985 because they, as many in this country of all political stripes, have admitted that is a major problem in our economy. The fact is that we buy about 80 per cent of our technology. We don't develop it on our own, and all of the successful economies are economies that invest much more heavily than we, not just in terms of financial resources, but in terms of their human resources in R and D, and we failed.

The problem, though, is that in most cases when a government of this ideological stripe or, for that matter, the federal government, desires to get involved with improving our performance in this area, they refuse to recognize the real root cause of our lack of R and D. One of the main reasons, perhaps the main reason, that we purchase so much of our research and development is that kind of thing is part and parcel of the branch plant economy, and nothing in this bill does a thing to attack that particular problem, nothing at all.

Mr. Jones: Didn't you hear me about the Canadian companies?

Mr. Wildman: Oh, yes, sure, they are going to help Canadian companies. I commend them. That is a good thing, it is wonderful, but that doesn't turn around any of the problems that we have in terms of the auto industry, for instance.

Mr. Martel: We are now in the fourth inning.

Mr. Wildman: This is the fourth inning. The problem is not only do we import our R and D, we also import our sports.

At any rate, the problem that we have is that most of the major corporations in Canada and in Ontario carry out most of their research and development at head offices in other countries, and the branch plants in this country and this province purchase those technological developments. They do not develop them themselves. They are not given the opportunity to develop them.

9:10 p.m.

Let us look at some of the figures. The 1977 figures are the latest available for comparing countries. We should look at the human resources we put into research and development and not just talk about financial resources. Canada had a population of about 23.3 million people in 1977. These are figures for the whole country, I admit, but since the manufacturing sector is concentrated in Ontario -- at least up until this point in our history it has been -- most of this applies to Ontario.

With a population of 23.3 million we had about 21,500 people in industrial research and development for a percentage of 0.09 of our population. Let us look at some other countries in Europe and the west. In Sweden, with a population of 8.3 million in 1977, they had more than 24,000 people involved in research and development in the industrial sector for a percentage of 0.29. In Holland, with a population of 13.9 million people, they had more than 26,000 people involved for a percentage of 0.19. It goes on. France has a percentage of 0.23; West Germany has 0.32 per cent; Japan has 0.27 per cent, and the US has 0.18 per cent of the population involved in industrial research and development. In Canada, 0.09 per cent.

Mr. Grande: That is what you have done.

Mr. Wildman: Of course, some of those people in the US are Canadians who have moved to the United States because the resources have not been provided, through our universities for example, to enable them to find employment here in the fields they have chosen. So they have gone to the US. We, in some cases, are training people who are then carrying on research and development not only in universities in the US but in the head offices of multinational corporations that are operating in both countries.

Mr. Grande: And when you need them here you have shortages. That is incredible.

Mr. Jones: That is what this is all about.

Mr. Wildman: I know this is what it is about. There is no question about that. I agree there is a problem. Looking at some of the other figures, there is one West German company --

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): This is tied into the bill is it?

Mr. Wildman: Of course. The bill has to do with research and development. We are trying to encourage more research and development in Ontario and then, comparing our situation with a number of other countries, one has to look at the magnitude of the problem to see if this bill is actually going to do anything about it. I think we have to understand what the problem is before we can discern whether this is actually a solution.

In West Germany, as I was saying, one company has 30,000 employees involved in research and development. In all of Canada in 1977 we only had 21,000. In that one West German company they have 42 per cent more employees in industrial research and development than all of Canada. In the United States, IBM annually spends more on industrial research and development than the whole of our nation. That is only one company. The question is, is this bill going to turn that around?

The situation is so serious that we import most of our technology. In the past 10 years 94 per cent of all the patents granted in Canada went to foreigners. We are pretty low on the list.

In terms of our gross national product we are competing with countries like Iceland, Ireland and Turkey for being the lowest of all the western nations.

In section 17 of the bill, the government seems to indicate it thinks this bill is really going to turn things around, because in sections 17(3) and 17(4) it talks about the possibility this IDEA Corporation could be disbanded after three years. In other words, after the third annual report the corporation will be responsible for reporting to the minister whether the mandate of the corporation has been completed and whether the corporation should stay in existence. That is quite a statement.

I heard today in the emergency debate we had that the Treasurer complained about some of the statements made in this House about interest rates, that it would be ridiculous to say that problems which had developed over 15 years could get an immediate fix.

Mr. McClellan: His very words.

Mr. Wildman: That is what he said; it would be ridiculous to expect there could be an immediate fix. Putting that section in this bill seems to indicate that this government, in some cases, feels immediate fixes are possible. It is ludicrous from our point of view to suggest this IDEA Corporation is suddenly going to produce such a great expansion of research and development and technological innovation in Ontario that the whole thing could be terminated after three years.

This bill and the whole IDEA Corporation is typical of the gimmickry of this government. It is a tremendous election gimmick. It is an idea corporation. As my colleague the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson) said, they must have somebody who works on acronyms. It is really a gimmick.

Mr. McClellan: What happens after three years?

Mr. Wildman: I do not know what happens after three years. The bill does not require the corporation be terminated after three years. I suppose whatever kind of publicity the government is getting from it will determine whether it is terminated. This really is carrying sunset legislation to the ultimate, ridiculous approach.

The government is completely unwilling to attack the root causes of our lag in the technological field. There is nothing in this bill to say how they are going to encourage the kind of research and development we need. Nowhere in the bill does it say what financial resources are going to be given to this corporation. It does not say that anywhere.

We have no idea how much this corporation is going to have to invest, whether it is going to be $650 million to equal the investment in Suncor or whether it is going to be something very small. Considering the hoopla this was given during that thing over at McDonald House before the election, I would think it must be more important than the kind of low key announcement that was made today.

Mr. McClellan: Maybe the parliamentary secretary will tell us what the budget is going to be.

Mr. Wildman: I would hope he would. Of course, this bill cannot approach the question of the branch plant economy and what it has done in terms of our technology. That would be opposed to the ideology. Excuse me, I correct myself. I wrote that down before I heard the announcement today. I suppose nothing is opposed to the ideology of the government over there. Perhaps it would be better to say they are so pragmatic they will do whatever they think will get them elected and this is part of the BILD program. Maybe they will do something, but there is nothing in this bill that says they will.

9:20 p.m.

As far as I am concerned this is really a motherhood thing, like most of the BILD programs. The problem is there is nothing in here one can really be opposed to because there is nothing in it. It says: "We are going to do all these wonderful things for innovation in Ontario. We will even be able, as a matter of fact, to take equity in companies," which is a move in the right direction after what they have done in terms of grants to the auto industry. That is a move in the right direction.

I suppose they listened to what we had to say during that debate, and said: "We will put in there that they can take equity. After all, we are taking shares in a major oil company; we can certainly put this in the bill." It does not say they are going to; it says they can get royalties, that they can purchase patents and so on. Again, though, it does not give any indication of how much money this corporation is going to have to do any of those things.

Mr. McClellan: The assistant is going to tell us though.

Mr. Wildman: I would hope he would.

I could accept all of this as just a testimony to the bankruptcy of the Conservative government in terms of new ideas. That is what is so ironic about the name of this corporation. They are admitting, as did this Treasurer during his budget address, that their previous approaches in trying to encourage research and development have failed.

The Treasurer said last May the tax incentives that have been given by this government to the private sector in order to encourage it to get more involved in research and development have failed. He has predicted that if the rate continued there would be no way they would be able to reach the 1.5 per cent of the gross national product target set by the federal government. He admitted that. He said: "It hasn't worked. Tax incentives have not worked."

Of course they will not work in a branch plant economy. Even with tax incentives, it does not make it any more profitable for a major multinational in most cases to move a significant part of its research and development operation to Ontario or to Canada away from the head office where they have been centralized.

Unfortunately, during the budget address the Treasurer said, "Yes, it has not worked," but he had no other suggestions except to say that he felt the federal government should increase its tax incentives. He said the provincial tax incentives had not worked, but perhaps the federal government should increase its tax incentives.

In response to that failure to come up with any new ideas, they then bring us this IDEA Corporation, which is supposed to do something to encourage the private sector through grants, loans, purchasing equipment and whatever to get them to do what they have not done before, even in the sense of giving grants to the university community, which the private sector has not done before.

Mr. Jones: Oh, yes they do.

Mr. Wildman: They have, but not to --

Mr. Jones: Lots. I can list them.

Mr. Wildman: The parliamentary assistant himself has admitted that the universities in Ontario are not doing an adequate job in terms of providing the research and development and the new innovations we need.

Mr. Jones: No, I say we can help them do more.

Mr. McClellan: Tell us how much you are going to devote.

Mr. Cooke: Anything is more than this.

Mr. Jones: Lots.

The Acting Speaker: The member for Algoma has the floor. There will be an opportunity for you to make your comments.

Mr. Wildman: Certainly there have been grants to the university community. There is no question there have been, both from the private sector and the public sector. The point is, they have both been inadequate, and we have a report -- my colleague will be discussing that later -- from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities which is devastating in terms of the future of the university community.

I have one concern with regard to the thrust of this bill that I hope the parliamentary assistant can respond to. In his opening statement and in the compendium, the statements that were made at the time of the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development announcement, the whole thrust seemed to be towards encouraging research and development directly tied to technical innovations that would benefit the manufacturing sector. There is no question that we need that. But there does not seem to be any particular thrust towards pure scientific research as opposed to applied scientific research. I hope the parliamentary assistant will respond to that, because my colleagues will be dealing with this and there has been serious concern raised by the university community in that regard.

If this is a response to the suggestions made by the Council of Ontario Universities in February 1980, when it proposed the establishment of an Ontario research council, it does not sound like it. It does not sound like one that will be mainly or even significantly involved in pure scientific research. I hope the parliamentary assistant can respond to how he sees the relationship between technological innovation and pure scientific research that may or may not have a technological application in the immediate future.

As I said at the outset, it is hard to oppose this legislation, which says it is going to develop all kinds of things which we in this party and others have been saying for many years are necessary if the manufacturing sector of our economy is in any way to be able to compete, catch up and turn around what the Science Council of Canada, among others, has talked about as the deindustrialization of our economy.

Again I say we will support the legislation. I hope the parliamentary assistant will be able to respond to the questions of what the resources are actually going to be. I would also like him to respond to our main criticism that it does not deal with the major problem that has led to the slowdown of research and development in our country and in this province in particular: foreign ownership.

Although the government says it is going to increase and encourage research and development in Canadian-owned firms, besides not giving any indication of the financial resources involved it does not seem to have made any requirements for Canadian employment, the employment of Canadian scientists, engineers and technicians.

Will the government be able to require job guarantees, or at least job projections, in the monitoring of professionals in Canadian and Ontario laboratories that might be developed or expanded as a result of investments by the IDEA Corporation, or are we going to continue, as we have in the past, handing out the taxpayers' dollars without any guarantees of that sort?

I do not think section 11 of the bill responds to that in any way. Obviously, we have to ensure not only that we are giving financial resources but also that we are first of all producing the professionals who are needed, and then that we are providing them with opportunities for jobs in their fields so that we can encourage them to stay in this province and in this country so that we will have a future.

I hope the parliamentary assistant, in extolling the virtues of this bill, will be able to answer those criticisms and important questions in terms of the financial and human resources that might be applied by the corporation.

9:30 p.m.

Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, I wanted to take a few minutes to join the debate on second reading of this legislation because of the important role that research and development could have in providing a regeneration to the university system. That is what this bill fails to address.

I was struck by the comments of the previous speaker that the whole idea of the IDEA Corporation was so much gimmickry. I suppose the second we saw the name IDEA Corporation we should have realized it really was so much sound and fury.

For those who really do not know what IDEA stands for -- and I do not think anybody will ever be able to memorize it; I have to keep referring to the notes here -- it is the Innovation Development for Employment Advancement Corporation. It is even hard to say. But I guess it says that to this government, nifty, neat names are much more important than having a bill and setting in place a corporation which would have some teeth and which would have some money and which would provide some direction for the much needed research and development that would at least give the province a chance to come back in the 1980s.

In reading the final report of the committee on the future role of universities in Ontario, I was drawn to the fact that very early on, right on page two, the committee says, "To put it bluntly, neither BILD nor IDEA will be successful unless the universities, which provide the base for innovations, technology and development, are maintained."

As the parliamentary assistant knows, the report goes on to discuss the levels of funding needed for such maintenance. Yet we certainly have not had any statement from the government that we are going to get such maintenance. Indeed, we have not had any statement yet from the minister during second reading tonight -- I hope he will eventually give us one -- that there will be proper funding and proper seed money for the IDEA Corporation.

I wanted to discuss very briefly a couple of the other matters that were contained in the preliminary report and again in the final report of the Fisher committee. I think what stands out is the real deterioration of services in the research area at the universities. I will quote from the first report of the committee. In terms of just the physical ability to conduct research, it says:

"In the latter part of the 1970s, the research capacity of Ontario's universities diminished. The stock of research equipment acquired in the 1960s as part of the capital expansion is rapidly becoming worn out or obsolete. Although no accurate estimate can be made of replacement cost, the maintenance of state-of-the-art research capability could require $25 million annually over and above the current levels of expenditure."

I offer that brief comment from the report, and I draw section 10(2)(d) to the parliamentary assistant's attention. In that, it states that one of the powers of the IDEA Corporation will be to promote and improve the capacity of universities to respond to the skill requirements of high-technology industries. It seems to me that the universities, as starved as they are for funds, are in no position to join in the partnership with industry and government that is proposed in this or any other legislation. It is all that many of the universities in our system can do to stay afloat, let alone play any role in partnership in either applied research or basic research.

I am drawn again to the final report of the Fisher committee, which points out that basic research has played a very important role in recent years. It proposes that the IDEA Corporation should be providing funding for basic research as well as for applied research and development.

I am also drawn by a comment that one of my colleagues made. I might note it for the other member of my party who is here as well as for the members of the New Democratic Party; I am sure the government members know it full well. In section 4(6) of the bill under "board of directors," there seems to be the implication that somewhere along the line another Tory is going to get an appointment, for right here in the bill it says --

Mr. Cooke: How many members?

Mr. Wrye: At least one, perhaps more. I understand there are still seven without any extra funding, and perhaps they intend to lower that number, because it says:

"Notwithstanding anything in the Legislative Assembly Act, a member of the assembly who is appointed a member of the board is not thereby rendered ineligible as a member of the assembly or disqualified from sitting and voting in the assembly."

Apparently, the government has as one of its purposes the appointment of some of its backbenchers to the board of directors of the IDEA Corporation.

In summation, I just want to say that, given the very great needs we have in this province, it is a very disappointing response on behalf of the government; but given the very nature of the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development program, which really was so much gimmickry, I suppose this IDEA Corporation just forms an integral part of the gimmickry.

Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, I want to make a few comments. I would like to repeat some of the things that my colleague said, because they bear repeating. We think so much alike that --

Mr. Wrye: He stole them.

Mr. Cooke: That is about the bottom line. But I do want to make a few comments about this bill in my capacity as Industry and Tourism critic for the party.

It is kind of ironic that, after years and years of complaining and pointing out the problems of lack of research and development in this province by my party, the government finally has responded, the government finally at least has recognized that there is a problem. They have brought forward this bill, Bill 47, which my colleague the member for Algoma has pointed out is really a name of a bill and that is about it. What it is going to do, I do not really know. The principles behind it are good, but the practical results of the bill I question very seriously.

Research and development is incredibly important to the future of our economy. One of the major manufacturing industries in this province, the automobile industry, shows what lack of research and development means to the future of an industry.

For example, in Japan they have been spending between four and five per cent of gross sales on research and development. We all know how far ahead in many respects the Japanese automobile industry is of the North American automobile industry.

In North America, we have been spending 1.5 per cent to two per cent of gross sales. Many of the corporations, such as General Motors, are diversified into many other fields; so that 1.5 per cent to two per cent includes all the other areas that they are involved in.

The Treasury study on the automobile industry, that confidential study the Treasurer did not want to release but was forced to when there was minority government, indicated very clearly that the automobile industry falls far behind Japan, as I said. But it further showed that what is happening to the Canadian automobile industry is that the multinationals do virtually no research and development whatsoever. They do export about $250 million a year to the United States for research and development. That is over and above the trade deficit that exists under the Canada-US auto pact; it has gone as high as $4 billion in past years and this year is running already at well over $2 billion.

There is virtually no research and development done in the automobile industry. I think that holds true for most of the multinationals that have branch plants in this province.

9:40 p.m.

My colleague the member for Algoma pointed out that Canada has an extremely poor record in research and development. As a percentage of our gross national product, we are 0.09 per cent, while Sweden is running at 0.29 per cent, France is at 0.23 per cent, the Japanese are at 0.27 per cent, and West Germany is at 0.32 per cent. All those countries are performing very well in their economies. Their standards of living now exceed that of Canada. Canada now ranks thirteenth, well behind most of the western industrialized nations.

It seems to me this bill does nothing to really correct the basic structural problems that have led to the lack of research and development being done in this country. I do not think this government recognizes or understands -- or it refuses to admit -- that the real problem of the lack of research and development in this country and in this province has to do with ownership of our economy. There is no way to convince a branch plant to do research and development in the province unless there is legislation making it mandatory.

We can give them some tax advantages. We can give them outright grants. We can do whatever we want to try to bribe them into doing research and development in the province. But the only way it is going to get done, and the only way this economy will benefit from that research and development, is to mandate them to do so and to mandate them to perform a whole range of activities in this province to make sure we get our fair share of the total picture of those corporations. It is only right to make them act as good corporate citizens, since their past performance indicates they have not done so on their own.

I do not see any provision in the bill that will guarantee we are going to get the jobs that result from the research and development. Are we going to see what happens in some of the multinationals where they simply fly their engineers and scientists into Ontario for a day or two to do a little bit of research and development and then fly them back to Detroit, Chicago, New York or wherever the headquarters of the corporation is? Are those the kinds of guarantees we are looking at, that they simply do some research and development here to qualify for a grant? Or are we going to have a serious commitment to research and development?

It seems to me we should be going into partnership with Canadian-owned corporations to develop ideas that are unique to our province and to our country that will eventually result in innovations that are, first of all, marketable in Ontario and in Canada. Perhaps we will also have a world market, but we should be concentrating on Canadian-owned companies. The multinationals have the money and the expertise, and all we need to do is legislate them to do the research and development in the province that they owe us from years and years of neglect.

I really wonder what the province's commitment is, even in the last decade. If we look at what the provincial government has done to funding our universities, 10 years of underfunding have meant their research capacity has been severely undermined. Much of our scientific staff has moved to the west and to the United States. Our equipment has become outdated, because the provincial government has made no kind of commitment of capital to reinvest in the universities and to re-equip them with modern equipment. As a result, there is a real question whether the universities could even respond to any serious commitment on the part of this government to research and development.

In short, I look at this piece of legislation as window-dressing, and not as a serious commitment to research and development in the province. When we take a look at it after the corporation has been in effect for three years, we are going to see it has been a dismal failure, it will not have accomplished any of the things the parliamentary assistant says it will accomplish, and we will be in the same crisis as we have been for a number of years.

In terms of the future of our Canadian-owned manufacturing industries and in new areas like microelectronics, new areas that are emerging in the auto industry, it simply means we are not going to be world competitive and we are not going to develop Canadian technology and corporations; we are simply going to continue to rely on the importation of technology and more foreign domination of our economy.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, in entering this debate, I want to go back to 1967, if I might, because that was the election when the government of Ontario created the Ontario Development Corporation (ODC); Robarts was going to bring this province into the manufacturing era. Then we moved to the Northern Ontario Development Corporation (NODC), and I do not know how many DCs we looked at. Then there were a variety of giveaway programs that ultimately John White killed a number of years after those endeavours were made.

I am just going to digress before my friend the member for Sault Ste. Marie (Mr. Ramsay) leaves, in the event he does leave. I well recall the by-election in 1979, when we were up in Sault Ste. Marie, and I heard the member saying: "Look at your resources. If you elect the Socialist horde, the resources will be controlled by the bureaucrats in Toronto" -- not the American ones, but the ones in Toronto. Today the Socialist horde on that side of the House bought a chunk of Sunoco.

I do not know how the minister can sit in his seat with that sort of development from that side of the House. He must have pangs, because the bureaucrats at Queen's Park will be having something to say about Sunoco. I find it strange that he has changed positions. I am delighted to have him with us. It is nice to see progress being made -- slowly but surely, it is being made.

I want to go back to 1971, because the Premier -- he became Premier that year -- established a select committee to look into economic and cultural nationalism. There were 21 reports from that select committee. The Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. Leluk) served on that particular select committee. We had a great deal to say about R and D, and my friend recalls it.

It is now 10 years later, and in another election we get this dinky program. I hope it works, but I do not think it will, because when we were on the select committee -- and the parliamentary assistant might talk to the Minister of Correctional Services about this -- we visited some of the companies that had R and D, and we had to go to the United States to visit them, like Philco-Ford.

Does the minister remember talking to the companies and suggesting to them they might do some of the research in Canada? What did they tell us? They said, "No." They said, "We have to get all our scientists in one community together."

Mr. Jones: They don't do that any more.

Mr. Martel: They don't, eh? I want to tell the member that we got the good news from Philco-Ford that it was not prepared to do any of its R and D in Canada. I think we met with a company by the name of Honeywell at that time too. My friend the Speaker might know something about that company. I wonder how much pure research it is doing in Canada. Maybe the Speaker can tell me, after he tells me how much they are doing and how much of it will stay here in Canada, the benefits of that research.

9:50 p.m.

But nothing has changed. There were 21 reports from the select committee. They all advocated some of the things we should be doing to redress the structural weaknesses in our economy. There have been reports coming out of our ears on the problem, and we are not dealing with it sensibly, because the minister responsible for the development of industry continues to run around trying to entice multinationals into Canada and into Ontario in particular. That is at the core of the weakness of our economic difficulty.

We are going to do research and development; and if we do not have Canadian corporations that are prepared to spend their money here, to do the R and D here and take the development that occurs and manufacture it here, we will have nothing.

We looked in the last select committee -- which we did not, by the way, write a report on -- at a company from Peterborough. Outboard Marine Corporation of Canada perfected a way in which to resolve one of the problems they have had with respect to one of their outboard motors. Do you know what they did with it? They picked it up lock, stock and barrel and moved it to the United States, because that is what happens in the real world.

The Science Council of Canada, in its many reports spelling out why we are in such trouble, indicates that we have almost a total reliance on multinational corporations and the exploitation of raw material. Our friend the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) runs around here, and he has got a new one going called global product mandating. It is still multinationals that he is trying to entice into Ontario, and it will just aggravate the problem.

Let me give the members an example. Canada stands third in the production of mineral resources in the world. It imports more mining equipment than any other country in the world. Canada has a large enough economy in the mining sector to have a high-technology content in mining equipment, and up to this time we have a trade deficit of $1 billion annually.

We recommended in 1974, I say to my friend who says it is not part of the bill -- it was signed by my friend the Minister of Correctional Services, the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Walker) and the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Education (Mr. Kennedy) -- that "policies should be developed to improve the performance of mining machinery and equipment firms in terms of export, research and development and increasing Canadian value added." It says "research," and from that research we might derive some benefits. But, unfortunately, if you do not have Canadian firms in the field the potential is not there for deriving the benefits from R and D. Surely the member must realize that.

Or he might want to take a look at another report from the same committee, called "Capital Markets, Foreign Ownership and Economic Development." They recommend a variety of moves to entice Canadian business and get R and D in Canada. But it is one of the problems, if he has read the Gray report, of the truncated -- whatever term one wants to use -- industry that abounds in this province, namely, that it is just end-run; it is here primarily to get across the borders, to beat the tariff. It does not do R and D, and it does not do a whole host of things, and we pay heavily for the services it brings here.

In fact, my colleague mentioned bringing in an engineer for a couple of days. When we did the study in 1975, we imported 10,000 engineering jobs a year -- as if we do not have qualified engineers to do the work in this country, we must import them.

Let me get back to the mining equipment. We are the third largest producer of mineral wealth in the world. We import more mining equipment than any other country in the world, and we have a trade deficit of $1 billion. There are things coming that we are going to establish in Sudbury. I guess they go before cabinet maybe tomorrow, to talk about some funding for that august little body the government is going to create to try to study the possibility of doing some R and D in the Sudbury area.

Hon. Mr. Pope: They are also going to study the food terminal.

Mr. Martel: No, not at all. I say to my friend the minister, he missed my comment. I managed to get that written in a report in 1974. We also put in a report, when we studied the Inco layoffs in 1978, the necessity for mining equipment to be produced in northern Ontario, and we are finally going to get somebody to look at it. It has only taken us 10 years. That is progress.

Mr. Newman: He is only going to look, though.

Mr. Martel: Well, I hope we will get more tangible benefits than just a little R and D and some consorting at certain parties.

Mr. Wildman: You might get a food terminal.

Mr Martel: No, that is going to Timmins. It has been a while coming -- since 1977, I guess. They opened one up last fall in Timmins, but it was the local LCBO. It had nothing to do with food, but it was a terminal.

Until we are prepared to grapple with the problems confronting not only Ontario but also Canada, we are going to be destined to the same type of economy 25 years down the road. Before the Gray report of 1967 or 1968, we had the Watkins report; and since then there has been the Science Council of Canada report. There has also been the Senate report. There were 21 reports from the select committee of which the member for York West (Mr. Leluk) was a member. There were innumerable other reports and there was the select committee report that did not get written. And we are still standing around talking about developing something that is going to encourage.

I look at universities and I worry. We got into the problem of university faculties being Canadian because of funding for post-doctoral work. With the cutbacks we are experiencing, I do not see that problem being overcome in the very near future. In fact, if we read today's newspaper, it tells us what we are getting in terms of skilled labour out of the universities, and there is a paucity there -- skilled in terms of the things we are going to need to carry on. Shall I run and get the Star so I can read it to the minister? I really want to have the right terminology so I will not offend her ears. To have to think of somebody coming out of university as a skilled labourer would be a blow to the people who graduate from those great institutions.

Again, the select committee knew that unless we pump a lot of money into post-doctoral work, we are not going to have the skilled people at universities to do the R and D that is necessary, and we will eventually end up somewhere down the road with a lack of personnel to carry on in the universities, which created the problem in the first place of adequate university graduate professors and so on, who were Canadian.

10 p.m.

So we have this window-dressing in the midst of an election. We had the window-dressing in 1967 with John Robarts. He brought in the ODC and everything down the road. Now we even see the Ontario Economic Council; I read recently that they are being wiped out for some reason. John Smith lives again. I think he called them raving Socialists, and the Premier (Mr. Davis) had to take John aside, whisper in his ear and have some of his speeches vetted. Now we have the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller), who has wiped it out totally. It was the one body that had some credibility with people in the province in terms of what was going on here economically. Well, what the government does is get rid of them.

We saw the structural weaknesses again last winter. Those of us who sat on the select committee -- and my friend the member for Sault Ste. Marie (Mr. Ramsay) was there -- found out that the type of structural weaknesses we have will lead to ever greater problems. With the recent General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade signed by the feds, I know that the staff of the Ministry of Industry and Tourism is looking at some 2,000 companies over the next four or five years that are going to shut their doors and go home, because the tariff barrier will no longer be sufficient to keep them operating in Ontario. I ask my friend the parliamentary assistant: If we should lose 2,000 companies, what is this program going to do?

That is why the Premier established a select committee in 1971. He did not act on any of the reports save, I think, one. He put on that 50 per cent of the board of directors had to be Canadian. That was farther, by the way, than most of the members of the select committee wanted to go in those days. I think the seven Tories insisted we could go to 20 per cent, but the Premier outdid them and went to 50 per cent, and it did not mean a hill of beans.

For window dressing, the government has it down to an art. That was really going to resolve the problems of Ontario when 50 per cent of the board of directors was going to be Canadian. Man, what that was going to do! As we look at last year through the Ministry of Labour and we see the exodus of companies just pulling up stakes and going home, one scratches one's head wondering why we do not finish the select committee report on plant shutdowns.

On the basis of the material right from the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, we are looking at the possibility of 2,000 companies going home, and we are going to have the IDEA Corporation to take its place. That is going to do a lot for us. With IDEA in place. we are safe; we have got it made.

What is it going to achieve? Very little, I suspect, unless the province is prepared to spend more than it has been spending on economic development and unless it is prepared to encourage Canadian economic development -- not what the Minister of Industry and Tourism is doing, running after global product mandating, which is enticing more multinationals into Ontario and creating more branch plants that can shut their doors whenever it is time to go home, despite the fact that many of them, as the select committee saw last winter, were making very good profits. But they decided it was a little more profitable to make an end run or put another shift on in a plant in the United States and produce even more.

The irony for those of us who sat on that committee was that frequently the Canadian management was not even called in to discuss it; they were just told it is shutting down.

One only has to look at Essex. They had two plants in the Windsor area that were profitable for 40 years. Then old Alexander Haig thought it was time they went home; so they went home.

One can look at a whole raft of corporations that did it last winter. Under the present circumstances with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade that is going to continue, but at an even accelerated rate because there is nothing to keep them here. That is what the federal government will not deal with; that is what the Ontario government will not deal with.

Maybe what the government did today is part of the solution. We Socialists would say it is -- that the government buys a chunk of the action and therefore has some say. I would only hope we could get as enthusiastic on the resource sector and keep it all here. In fact, we should insist that we not only mine it all here but refine it all. If the minister wants, I would be more than delighted to support him in eliminating section 113 of the Mining Act.

For openers, if the minister wants to convince me he is sincere, there is where we could immediately move in and guarantee jobs. Falconbridge in 50 years has yet to refine a pound of nickel in Ontario or Canada. The government wants to get serious? Revoke section 113 of the Mining Act. We could create 2,000 jobs just refining the stuff from Falconbridge alone. Then we could talk about -- what is that silver mine up there the government is having some trouble with; the one now trying to force the government into giving a further extension of section 113 so it can continue to refine silver off in Hoboken some place?

If the government is serious about wanting to create an economy they should do it using our resources here, and not indulge in a lot of window dressing. We should get tough and say it is ours. That is where one starts the whole process from -- not a lot of flim-flam, not a lot of window dressing that is not going to create much out of 12 people on the board of directors. It gets the odd success, but it is not going to resolve the economic weakness facing Ontario. Until the government is prepared to get serious and rectify the economic weakness we are doomed forever.

The parliamentary assistant might take home tonight a book by Professor John N. H. Britton, just out within the last year, called The Weakest Link. I recommend it for bedtime reading. It would do him good. He might buy a copy for all of his colleagues who are not convinced there are very serious structural weaknesses which this bill will not remedy. It cannot as long as our economy is dominated primarily by one country, the United States. The government better grow up to it, and the sooner the better.

I am trying to get the attention of my colleague the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) to let him know I am about to wind down and resume my seat.

I would hope the parliamentary assistant would read that book. I would hope he would go back tomorrow to the cabinet -- maybe the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Ramsay) will do it -- and say, "We had to write that report on plant shutdowns because it was dealing with the structural weaknesses in this economy and methods whereby this would not occur."

I think the problem was that the Premier was getting too much feedback. I give the member for Sault Ste. Marie some credit; he showed a genuine concern for what was happening to working people in this province. I know he and I were on the same wavelength on a number of items which would have been difficult for the government to ignore.

Those were two things. I hope the minister will do one, and I hope the parliamentary assistant will do one. For the third time, to try and drive it home, we must get at the structural weaknesses in our economy. The government can window dress until hell freezes over. In 1969 we created the Ontario Development Corporation which was going to resolve the problems and it did not.

Ten years from now we will be back here debating yet another bit of window dressing, which will not resolve the problems until they are prepared to deal with the root problem, and that is the branch plant economy.

The member should think about it. He should think about it, and try to impress on some of his cabinet colleagues that is the direction we should be going and not this junky method.

10:10 p.m.

Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, I am going to be very brief but I hope that in the parliamentary assistant's response he will give us certain information which is crucial to this bill.

If the information that we get on the particular topics I am going to talk about sounds reasonable, then I would say this particular IDEA Corporation might have a chance. What the member from Sudbury East was talking about is real. He is talking about the fundamental problems of the economy. He is not talking just about some idea that they somehow put forward as an election promise, although it has its roots, I must say to them, it has its roots. The university sector has been talking to them for at least two or three years about setting up an Ontario research council and I guess the IDEA Corporation comes out of that.

Let me succinctly put the problems, or at least the questions, that the parliamentary assistant, when he gets up in a few minutes, must address. As I say, those answers will tell us whether they are serious about this, or whether the IDEA Corporation is going to be nothing else but a sham.

I want to say that no one in Ontario had heard about the IDEA Corporation prior to the March election platform. As a matter of fact, the member from the Liberal Party was talking about this report to the committee on the future role of universities, and this report came down in August of this year. It is a very recent report. Some of the comments it makes about the IDEA Corporation certainly do not give me or anybody else on this side of the House any credence that what they are talking about is going to be any serious kind of intervention.

I just want to quote from page 23, where it says that "all the foregoing presents great uncertainty." They talk about funding and they talk about inflation and what it does to underfund the university system. "All the foregoing presents great uncertainty. Uncertainty about government funding levels is inevitable given the unknowns of the inflation levels and rates of real economic growth."

There is also some uncertainty about the scope of the IDEA Corporation. These people are not strangers to the government setup and to the government hierarchy. Two of those people happen to be at the very top. One is the Deputy Minister of Education and Colleges and Universities and the other is the Assistant Deputy Minister of Colleges and Universities, and they do not know what this IDEA Corporation is about, or at least they are uncertain about the IDEA Corporation.

I want to quote another passage here, and this is on page 33 of that same report: "According to the bill incorporating the IDEA Corporation, this new agency which will report to the Treasurer will have important roles both in university research and in the training of manpower in high technology. Independent initiative on the part of the IDEA Corporation could risk distorting university missions."

I was saying before that the universities in this province, for at least the last four or five years, have been badly underfunded, and I am glad the Minister of Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson) is here. As to that, we will have more to talk about on Monday when the estimates begin. But the fact is this report comes down in a clear way and says either fund the universities or shut down the system which was built in the 1960s. That is an indictment of this government. That is what this report is all about.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: That is not what it says. Read the report.

Mr. Grande: Oh, I have read the report.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: That is not what it says. Read it correctly.

Mr. Grande: I have read it very carefully. The minister is the one who does not like to make any comments on this report.

In effect, what I am saying to the parliamentary assistant is that these people who are deputy ministers, assistant deputy ministers and business men of this province do not know what the scope of the IDEA Corporation is all about. All they know is it was an election platform. All they know is there is a BILD.

I do not think anyone can disagree with the statements the parliamentary assistant made in terms of the objectives of this IDEA Corporation. I think they are nothing but motherhood statements. They are statements anyone from either side of this House could make. Anyone could make those statements and feel that, through those particular objectives, great accomplishments will be made.

I have the bill here in front of me. It says in section 1O(1)(a) the objects of the corporation are to "promote the process of technological innovation in Ontario, both on a province-wide and a regional basis." Who does not want that to happen?

In section 1O(1)(b) it says, "bring together the research capacities of the public sector with the commercial and industrial sector." It is about time that happened.

In section 1O(1)(c) it says, "enhance the growth and employment prospects of the Ontario economy, both on a province-wide and a regional basis." What is so new about that?

Mr. Jones: The fact that it is in the bill. You guys go on and on.

Mr. Grande: Oh, come on, the fact that it is in a bill. The fact there are bills for each university in this province does not mean that at the universities there has been funding for the research that should be going on in those universities. Forget about the research. The ministry has not even kept up in terms of making sure that the laboratory facilities and the equipment used in those universities are updated.

In effect, there was great potential in those universities 10 years ago. Right now, this report says we will have to spend over $25 million a year to update those facilities and those laboratories. These facilities have been allowed to run down over the past few years and now, is this IDEA Corporation going to do it?

I have three or four questions I think the parliamentary assistant should answer. One is, he says in the bill between five and 15 people are going to sit on this board of directors. I want to know who these people are. I want to have an idea who the chairman of this corporation is going to be. By knowing that individual, we already know whether that particular individual has done anything in the past. In other words, does this individual have credibility with this government?

I suspect, and I could be wrong, this individual in the last three or four years has not been listened to once by this government. I am not going to give the name of this individual. I want the parliamentary assistant to tell me who he is.

10:20 p.m.

Next, I want to know why in this bill there is not an effective secretariat established and why there is not one cent put into it -- at least in terms of money we know is going to be put into that bill -- so that an effective secretariat could be established and so that good research staff and economists could be hired. After all, if this particular IDEA Corporation is going to fulfil what they want it to fulfil, there had better be first-class people on that corporation.

This corporation is going to do pilot programs and demonstrations, et cetera. Where is the money for it? How much is the parliamentary assistant talking about? Is he talking about $5 million, $10 million, $50 million? He should just say something, put it on the record, so that we know this corporation is not an empty promise, not a promise that comes out of the election campaign so he is on record as saying, "We have fulfilled our campaign promise." I do not think the people of this province will allow the parliamentary assistant to do that. I certainly will not allow him to do that.

One other question which I think the parliamentary assistant should be answering, along with the three that I have just cited, is in terms of the industrial secrecy of companies. The private sector seems to be jealously guarding its research from anyone. I just want the parliamentary assistant to tell me how that problem is going to be solved by this corporation.

If the universities are going to be in this and their facilities are going to be used and their researchers are going to be used, how is a company going to protect this industrial secrecy in terms of its own particular research? What is he going to say? Will he say, in effect, "No, you should not have industrial secrets from your competitors"?

Let me just suggest to the parliamentary assistant that the IDEA Corporation, provided that he answers these questions just put before him, might be given a chance to work -- might. If, when he gets up right now, he does not have any clear answer to those questions, I think as I stated before, this organization, this corporation is nothing but a sham, it is nothing but an illusion. It is nothing but the parliamentary assistant taking the people of this province, once again, for a ride as he did in March.

Mr. Jones: Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief, if I may. The opposition have said that they support the bill in principle and I thank them for their comments. However, given the member for Oakwood's comments, such as sham and some of those, and his questions that to some extent were an echo of questions of other members of the New Democratic Party, I would just like quickly to touch on a couple of those.

First, I do not think it is appropriate that we should be talking specific dollars when we are processing the bill under second reading and when the member knows full well -- or he ought to know -- that IDEA Corporation is under the BILD program, and that of course is a committee of cabinet. He knows also the commitment that this government has made and it is part of a five-year program of $1.5 billion. That is hardly, as the member has tried to suggest, something less than a total commitment and certainly not something that he could pretend was some kind of a sham.

Certainly the government recognizes that research and development is an expensive proposition. It brings this bill forward fully recognizing that. However, some of the questions the member for Oakwood was asking, such as "Why not a secretariat?" would be answered if he just reflected for a moment and reminded himself that the IDEA Corporation is part of the BILD overall industrial strategy program and under a special committee of this government.

As to some of the comments raised by the members, I am happy that the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) acknowledges the participation and insistence over the years by members of this government, some of whom are members of cabinet these days, when he talks about the select committee and some of the contributions it has made over the years towards bringing it into this next phase where the IDEA Corporation will join the private sector, will join our university institutions, and see the IDEA as outlined, the IDEA principles brought forward to add the new employment in the new age of the 1980s.

I think the members already know the answers to most of the questions they asked. We will have an opportunity to deal with any of them in committee. We can be specific for them if it will be helpful. You will recall at the outset of my remarks, Mr. Speaker, I said there were a few amendments and I would ask the House to give us leave to bring them to committee. We have to defer it today as we have not had an opportunity to complete them, but we are anxious to move with urgency as soon as House time permits in the next few days. We propose to go to committee of the whole, and at that time we will have an opportunity to present the amendments that are in final draft at this stage.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.


Mr. Mitchell, in the absence of Hon. Mr. Walker, moved second reading of Bill 22, An Act to amend the Racing Commission Act.

Mr. Mitchell: Mr. Speaker, I will save any comments until the other two parties have had an opportunity to speak. The bill is very simple. It merely repeals one section and makes up for an omission.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I did not know you were going to proceed with the bill just at this moment, but it seems to me it simply removes any proscriptions from the appointment of certain people to the racing commission. I did not know the government was really very badly troubled about those appointments since the only real requirement seemed to be that a person was a good, bona fide, long-serving Tory.

Some of the members applauding are looking for that sort of preferment in the future, but I often feel if the government were to appoint some people to the racing commission who had a little less respect for the Ontario Jockey Club and a little more respect for the farmers in the back concessions who want to take part in the racing business, it might be better for all concerned.

Frankly, I like to attend the events sponsored by the jockey club. They are among the classiest ones, not only in the province, but in the country, maybe even on the continent. The jockey club has done a good deal for the racing enterprise in this province, but I sometimes feel it is carried too far when the minister responsible for the racing commission has his name in a parking place out at one of the operations of the jockey club. It seems like a commitment, but it goes too far. I just heard this. I do not attend these jockey club locations all the time. Ray Connell's racetrack down in the township of Flamboro suits me, and I think one probably gets as good a deal there as anywhere else, both as a farmer and as a person going to enjoy the races, but I really feel that any restrictions --

Mr. Speaker: I draw the member's attention to the clock.

Mr. Nixon: Oh, well, I move the adjournment of the debate. I thought you wanted to go forward with this.

The House adjourned at 10:31 p.m.