32nd Parliament, 1st Session
















The House met at 10 a.m.


Mr. Speaker: Before proceeding, I ask the members of the Legislature to join me in welcoming and recognizing Mr. Larry Birkbeck, a member of the opposition party of the Saskatchewan Legislature, who is sitting in the Speaker's gallery.


Mr. Speaker: On Thursday, October 15, the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) rose on a point of privilege with reference to my memo of September 22 regarding the signing of constituency offices. I would like to remind all honourable members of the regulations established by the Board of Internal Economy and point out that these guidelines apply only to the usage of moneys provided for each member out of the Legislative Assembly fund through the constituency office program. In my opinion, therefore, there is not a breach of those guidelines established by the Board of Internal Economy in this regard.



Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I had the honour of leading a delegation representing Ontario's mining industry at the thirty-eighth provincial mines ministers' conference, hosted this year by the government of British Columbia at Victoria. The conference theme was social dimensions of mining. Ontario's presentation dealt with the modular training programs --

Mr. Cassidy: You sound funereal this morning. You sound like an undertaker.

Hon. Mr. Pope: Would the honourable member like me to speed it up?

Mr. Cassidy: Just faster. Peppier, zippier.

Hon. Mr. Pope: Ontario's presentation dealt with modular training programs for hard-rock miners which have been developed with the aim of improving the health and safety of underground and open-pit mine workers. Ontario has been the leader in the development of modular training programs. The impetus for training reform evolved in the early 1970s, when we had a series of disturbing health and safety incidents. These led to the formation of the Ham commission.

Out of the subsequent report came the recommendation for a tripartite committee. It would undertake the creation of a training program to raise the standard of workmanship in both safety and productivity. It would also raise the status of workers in the industry through recognition of their skills by a proper certification program.

It was as a result of the hard work and co-operation of the United Steelworkers, the Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers and management people from industry, greatly assisted by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and the Ministry of Labour, that the present modular training program became a reality.

As a result of the efforts of these groups, I was able to present to the conference a program that has been adopted by all the mining companies in Ontario and has become mandatory for the training of all underground mine workers in the province.

To become a certified hard-rock miner, a worker must complete two stages in the program: the common core for basic underground hard-rock mining skills and specialized underground hard-rock mining skills. Total training takes place in the mines, and successful completion is judged on the basis of satisfactory performance demonstrated on the job.

The program is mandatory for all new regular underground workers, but it has been found that many incumbent workers also have chosen to undergo training to qualify for certification under the new program.

As a result of our discussions in Victoria, it was resolved that specific steps in three key areas of social policy, as it relates to the mining industry, must be taken.

1. Ontario will share with the other provinces its experience in modular manpower training, with the hope that the modular training program will be adopted by the other mining provinces and certification of underground hard-rock miners will be standardized and recognized throughout the country.

2. Alberta will undertake a full review of manpower mobility and discuss a strategy with the other provinces that can be adopted to deal with this problem.

3. Our host, the government of British Columbia, will prepare a submission relating to all aspects of safety within the mining industry.

We hope that reports on the three studies will be completed within six months and distributed to the participating provinces for review and further discussion.

Furthermore, it is my intention to send letters to each of the participating governments on the subject of cross-certification to encourage discussion of this proposal with the mines, education and labour ministers. Our position is that there should be no barriers to free movement of skilled workers from one province to another. This requires mutual recognition of training programs and skill certification.

I am greatly looking forward to their reports at the end of the six-month period.

Modular training manuals are available for study in the Natural Resources library and the public reading room in the Whitney Block.

10:10 a.m.



Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. Can the minister inform the House what the official response from himself and the Premier (Mr. Davis) has been to Mr. Trudeau's call for a last-ditch consultation with the Premiers on November 2?

Does he agree with the comment in the Prime Minister's telex that, since the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada indicates the constitutional package to be constitutional, Mr. Trudeau intends to proceed according to his previous timetable unless certain changes can be established at the meeting of November 2 after consultation with the Premiers?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I am happy to respond to that. First, I think my friend meant that the Prime Minister's telex said the constitutional package was legal rather than constitutional. That is the point in dispute. In the telex he says the court found by a decision of seven to two that the Parliament of Canada was legally competent to pass the constitutional package.

The response of the government of Ontario and of the Premier to the Prime Minister's telex has been that we certainly will be pleased to go to the meeting on November 2 and to go in the spirit suggested; that is, we would come prepared to give and take to see if we can arrive at a package.

Apparently, the Prime Minister seems to have indicated that he is willing to put some things on the table at some point, and in that spirit we will try to come up with a package that can go forward, supported, I hope, by more governments in Canada than it is at the present time.

Mr. Nixon: Since the minister and the Premier will be negotiating the whole future of the province, both as to our individual liberties and as to our role in the constitutional amendment procedures, can the minister be more specific about what areas he is prepared to bargain over?

For example, are there some human rights that he thinks do not need to apply in this province, rights he might back down on if the west does not like them? Is there some procedure in the amending of our constitution that might leave Ontario without the veto that has historically been ours and will undoubtedly remain ours?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I do not think we have gone into any detailed discussion about what things might or might not be in any packages that could be talked about at the meeting. I think my friend will recognize that at this point it is rather dangerous to get into public discussions of packages or positions before a meeting is held.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Oh, come on! This has been going on for years.

Hon. Mr. Wells: No. Listen to what I am saying. It is like setting out your position before going into a labour-management dispute.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Your position is that you'll do what Trudeau tells you.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Wells: In answer to what the Liberal House leader has said, there is no question that the positions of the province of Ontario, which I think are supported universally in this House, will ever be bartered away; for instance, recognition of the monarchy, which I see --

Mr. Nixon: How about the Lord's prayer?

Mr. T. P. Reid: What about motherhood?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Listen. I want to say something about the recognition of the monarchy, because I see it ridiculed from time to time, particularly by some columnists --

Mr. T. P. Reid: That is about as inane an answer as I have ever heard.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I think it is worth explaining, because I see it ridiculed as if it is not even under discussion in the package, when in fact it is. That package, while it is generally looked upon or perceived to be the amending formula and the charter of rights, also includes bringing home the British North America Act and establishing a way in which the British North America Act can be amended.

It is worth noting that, after this one-time occurrence, what is legally being done by the Parliament of Canada -- that is, amending our Constitution and bringing it home -- never can be done that way again, because there will be an amending formula that involves the provinces. In bringing home the British North America Act, one is bringing home and preserving in the constitution of Canada the position of the monarchy as it is at the present time.

I remind my friends that the federal government brought in a bill in 1977-78 called Bill C-60, which changed the status of the monarchy as far as Canada was concerned. It attempted at that time to put that change through unilaterally. That was blocked.

What I am saying is, one of the components of this package is that the British North America Act comes to Canada as part of the constitution of Canada, and it cannot be changed except under the amending formula which means, in our view and I am sure in my friend's view, protection of the monarchy.

I can also guarantee him that in any discussions the rights of minorities, women, the handicapped, native peoples and so forth that have been won by these people in the charter of rights will be preserved.

It disturbs me to find, for instance, the Premier of Saskatchewan, saying he could perhaps buy this if all the sections that prevent discrimination against women, minorities, native peoples and the handicapped and so forth were taken from the charter of rights of Canada.

Mr. Ruston: What about the Premier of Manitoba?

Hon. Mr. Wells: All those Premiers. While one can argue philosophically for or against a charter of rights, I think that the people of Canada in every province want a charter of rights in the constitution.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, the minister's words would ring a little more true if it had not been five years now since the government first received the report on reform of the Human Rights Code of Ontario, something it has not yet succeeded in enacting into the laws of the province.

My question to the minister is this: What is the give and take that Ontario is prepared to go forward with when the meeting takes place on November 2? For example, by indicating that as part of an overall package this province will accept the application of section 133, is Ontario prepared to guarantee the status of the French language with respect to the Legislature or the statutes and the courts of the province?

Since those talks in Ottawa are doomed to fail if the present impasse continues with neither side making a move because they are afraid they might give something away, what is the province prepared to initiate? Does Ontario have some imaginative proposal that will get both sides off the present impasse and see a solution to which most provinces could agree?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, Ontario believes it can be some kind of catalyst in achieving what we hope is a give and take on all parts and in achieving a position where more governments support the package.

We believe we can be the catalyst in that kind of endeavour, but we do not believe we can do it by talking publicly about positions in anything more than already has been said. The Premier has said this many times.

While we have approved the amending formula that is there now, we are willing to look at other amending formulas, particularly in the light of the argument from some provinces that the present formula creates first-class and second-class citizens.

I should say to my friend that Ontario's position on the matter of section 133 is well known. It has been stated many times by the Premier, by myself and by others. I might just say to the member that it is not a matter that has been discussed by anyone, even in generalities concerning the positions, amongst those people who approve or disapprove of the constitutional package.

10:20 a.m.

Mr. Nixon: Since the Premier obviously has very solid positions in all of these matters and there is no area where the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs can indicate Ontario's position is changing in any small degree, and since the Premier is not even allowed to sit down with the other eight Premiers -- they usher him out of the consultation room as they are discussing what they are going to do -- is it not pretty obvious that there will be no significant change emerging from the November 2 meeting?

If that is the case, will the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs indicate what he believes to be the timetable, the scenario of action, based on information he would receive from his provincial and federal colleagues that would result in the whole matter being debated and finalized by Parliament and sent to Westminster?

I also want to know whether, if that goes forward in that way, as obviously it will, he and the Premier intend to go to Westminster to counteract the arguments from the other Premiers that might in any way delay its passage there.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I will answer my friend's last question first. I have always said I was prepared and likely would spend some time, as will the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), in London at Westminster continuing the process in the spirit of helping those people who wish to see the package passed. We probably would not have to take that action except that, if others are doing it, the story and the position of the people of Ontario also have to be made clear as well as does the federal position.

In answer to the member's first question, he should direct the question to the Premier now that he is here, because he is the leader of the government and the one who can give him the position; and I should make it clear that he is the only one who was in on most of the discussions on Monday.


Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question. Based on my experience, I will not direct it to the Premier because, while he may have the information, there is no way he is going to give it to us.

I direct the question to the Deputy Premier, the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch). Is he aware that his newly acquired oil company owns and operates the largest single SO2 polluter in Alberta; in fact, one of the top 10 in Canada?

Does he not feel this gives him a moral responsibility, as the director of some of the new directors of that company, to have them go forward with the expenditure of funds which will at least reduce the sulphur dioxide in the Suncor tar sands plant by the factor of 10 which is readily available in modern technology? Is he aware of that responsibility, and what is he going to do about it?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I have to confess that I did not have that information. I am not familiar with that particular part of the operation of that company. I will be glad to take the question as notice and get some information, following which I will be glad to report back to the member.

Mr. Nixon: Just to be helpful to the minister, who obviously has been left out in the cold on all the background information leading to the purchase of Suncor, the Fort McMurray tar sands plant that he and his friend have just bought emits 93,000 metric tons of sulphur dioxide a year, which makes it the largest sulphur dioxide polluter in Alberta and one of the largest in Canada.

Since the government of Ontario is taking such a strong and critical position of other polluters outside our borders, does he not feel some compulsion to persuade the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller), who is very amenable to persuasion, to find the money to clean that place up now that the government is one of the major owners and operators?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I cannot add anything to my previous answer. I will certainly make myself familiar with that situation.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, is the minister now prepared to make available to the House the reports from Price, Waterhouse and from McLeod, Young, Weir on which the government based the decision to acquire the 25 per cent share of Suncor, and the other documents or studies that were carried out on behalf of those members of the cabinet who were in the know on which they based their decision to spend $650 million of the Ontario taxpayers' public funds?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that the requirements of the rules were satisfied yesterday with the filing of the compendium.

Mr. Cassidy: Is the minister not prepared to share any further information, or is it his view that, as far as the majority government of the province is concerned, what he knows is good enough for everybody else in the province and that a decision made by only four members of the cabinet without any substantiating information to justify the action, even after the fact, is reasonable and prudent conduct of the affairs of the province or reasonable and prudent use of the taxpayers' money? Surely we are entitled to know all the justifications under which Suncor was purchased.

Also, what was the advice given to the government as to the advisability of taking 51 per cent control so that we would have control as well as ownership of a portion of that company?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I repeat that the compendium was filed yesterday. The honourable member himself was a member of the select committee, as I recall, studying the Camp commission report. It was from that particular committee that the whole concept of a compendium was developed.

The honourable member, if he wants to refresh his memory and go back to the Camp commission report, which was the subject matter of study by the committee of which he was a member, will find it goes on to describe what a compendium is and makes some reference to the models that are available in the United Kingdom. It is my opinion that we have indeed followed that and have provided a collection of the available public information that preceded the reading of the statement in the House by the Premier.

Mr. Nixon: When the minister is preparing or asking for his personal compendium so that he has at least some personal background information, will he ask particularly for the statement from Dr. U. T. Hammer of the department of biology of the University of Saskatchewan, who did a report called Acid Rain: The Potential for Saskatchewan. I simply quote briefly from one of its paragraphs.

"Increasing emissions of SO2 and some nitrogen oxides from the tar sands -- Fort McMurray ... synthetic oil developments -- will only serve to accentuate the problem of acidic precipitation. The technology of the removal of acidic gaseous emissions must be improved to prevent loss of fish populations from northern lakes. If this is not done, recreation through fishing will be dramatically reduced in the next few decades. Commercial and domestic fisheries, the mainstay of many natives in the north, will also be affected."

That is the minister's factory; it is up to him to clean it up.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier with respect to Conservative Party spending in the election campaign of March 19.

The Premier was very clear yesterday in saying he thought that the reason the Conservative Party won the election was that the policies of his party were superior to those of my party or those of the Liberal Party.

If that is the case, can the Premier explain why he felt it necessary to reinforce the strength of those policies by spending $53,512 on the campaign in his riding in Brampton, and why it was necessary for the campaign of the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) to cost $129,000; for that of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Walker) to cost $81,000; for that of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett) in Ottawa South to cost $73,000; for that of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) to cost $69,000; for that of the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) to cost $67,000; for that of the member for St. George (Ms. Fish) to cost 564,000; and for that of the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch) to cost $60,000?

I could go on, but 35 of the 40 campaigns on all sides of the House that cost more than $40,000 were Conservative campaigns, mainly for cabinet ministers. If the government's policies were so good, why was there such gross high spending by these Conservative candidates as well?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I cannot comment on the specifics of each individual riding. What was the figure again in the great riding of Brampton?

Mr. Cassidy: It was $53,512.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is $53,000 in what is probably the second largest constituency in Ontario. I think I am fairly close to that. If the member equates that on a per capita basis with even some of his party's expenditures, certainly with the Liberal Party expenditures in St. David, he will find on a percentage basis that it was probably lower in the great riding of Brampton than in many other constituencies.

10:30 a.m.

They had a very difficult candidate to elect in that constituency, too, a candidate who was not in the riding during the campaign, unlike the leader of the New Democratic Party. That is another reason. I was only there twice. Fortunately, though, I spent a lot more time in the riding between campaigns than the member from the islands and Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) and, as a result, perhaps felt a little more comfortable in only being there two times during the campaign, unlike the member who had to save his own seat because he had neglected it for four years. That happens to be true.

Mr. Cassidy: You know, you are really cheap.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, cheap! One minute the member is saying we are expensive for spending that much in the riding of Brampton, and the next minute he is saying we are cheap. He cannot have it both ways. Are we expensive or are we cheap?

I only say to the honourable member, as I said to him yesterday, I am not going to argue with him, because I will never convince him that the reason they did not do very well, the reason they perhaps did not attract even as much support as traditionally from some of their financial constituency, was that those people who ordinarily support them in an economic sense were less than enthusiastic about the direction, the policy and the leadership the member was giving to his party.

I give as an example the great riding of Brampton once again. We have, for instance, a very high percentage of members of the United Automobile Workers. If the member does not think the Tory candidate in Brampton received more than his fair share of that union membership, which might traditionally have voted for his party, then he is making a gross error. The reality is the Tory candidate did, because they sensed, as they have for a number of elections, that while they might disagree with some aspects of our policy, what we were doing and what the local member was doing were preferable to that which his candidate or he, as leader of his party, was offering them. That is a reality of politics in my riding that I think was true in 124 other ridings across this province.

Mr. Cassidy: The question was, if the Conservatives are so good why do they have to spend so much? Perhaps the Premier can answer this question: What was the contribution to the democratic process involved in having a $3,500 golf tournament, which was paid out of the campaign and riding funds of the member for York Mills (Miss Stephenson) during the election period?

What was the purpose of using $5,700 of Conservative Party funds for a barbecue in the case of the member for Oakville (Mr. Snow)?

What was the purpose of spending $8,700 by the member for Brock (Mr. Welch) in his campaign to feed executive members and poll captains?

What is the contribution to the democratic process of taking $2,600 of these funds reported for the election, Conservative Party contributions, and using them to put some new furnishings in the constituency office of the member for Brock?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am only going by memory, but my recollection -- and it is fairly accurate -- is that the election campaign was conducted during February and March. I do not know of many golf courses in Ontario, and I assume this golf tournament was in Ontario, where one would have a golf tournament during February and March. One might have one in the honourable member's constituency; I do not know about climatic conditions in Ottawa Centre. But my understanding is that golf tournament was held by the association in June, some two months after the election.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Three months after the election.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Three months. If he takes exception to that, that is his business. I think it is totally irrelevant and, quite frankly, rather silly.

If the barbecue he is referring to is the one of which I am aware, held by the distinguished member for Oakville, that barbecue was not held during February or March. It really is chilly to have an outdoor barbecue in February and March. I think he will find it was held in June.

As I recall it was a thank-you to the many volunteer workers and to the professionals the member opposite employs year after year, the people who opt out, are drawing salaries and are still working for the New Democrats. This was just a gesture on the part of his Conservative organization to thank the hundreds of volunteers who worked night after night with no pay, with no inducement, with no motivation but to elect a Progressive Conservative member from that riding; and all he wanted to do was to say thank you.

Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary, the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk.

Mr. Nixon: I am not sure why the leader of the NDP (Mr. Cassidy) keeps feeding himself into this meat grinder, but --

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have been called many things, but I have not been called a meat grinder. I take exception to that.

Mr. Nixon: The quality of the sausages is not high.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would like to know how the eater would know that.

Mr. Nixon: I am not eating any of it.

Mr. Speaker: Order. I presume you do have a supplementary.

Mr. Nixon: As soon as you sit down.

Mr. Speaker: Right.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I am really concerned about the $25 million in public funds that was spent by the Premier and his colleagues, particularly the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman), to promote themselves and the government in general. That is an area where I feel the Premier has a lot more to explain. He has picked up bad habits from his predecessors in the job and we are going to see that he cannot pass them on to his successor.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member is expressing his opposition to a government communicating with the public. And I say to the --


Hon. Mr. Davis: That is fine. The member can select the Ministry of Industry and Tourism. I have met people from the agricultural community: with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. I believe it was -- certainly the fruit and vegetable association. I think I can get their communications -- or it may have been verbal -- where they were totally in support, in that instance, of efforts by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food to promote the use by Ontarians of Ontario-grown products. If the member objects to that he can say it to the federation of agriculture and tell them he is opposed to this form of communication.

I meet more senior citizens than the member does, perhaps because I am a shade older --


Hon. Mr. Davis: No, I am not. I meet more senior citizens than he does, in any event. And the communication program from the Ministry of Revenue to remind and inform the senior citizens of the availability of government programs is something they appreciate.

I have heard time and time again from the Liberal energy critic, who is not with us this morning, "Why are we not doing more to promote conservation?" I think they were excellent forms of communication from the Ministry of Energy to say to the people of Ontario, "Yes. Preserve it, conserve it is a relevant attitude to adopt." I think it was excellent communication material.


Hon. Mr. Davis: I say to the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson) that the acting leader of the Liberal Party -- and I only wish he were in the campaign -- is so far ahead of him in ability to perform in the House he could --

Is the acting leader going to be a candidate? I had better not extol his virtues too much in case he becomes one.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, is there nothing you can do about this?

Hon. Mr. Davis: He asked the question; I am giving him the answer.

If the member will go back and look at these excellent communication programs he will understand they were running well before any election was called. The members opposite were the people who were trying to put us into an election much earlier than we had ever planned; they wanted it much earlier than we did. In fact, those ads are still running, and I think the Ontario public appreciates them.

I notice the honourable member is never critical of the government of Canada. Has he raised any objection to some of those excellent communication mechanisms they are using? Did he raise those objections during those initial constitutional debates? I did not hear a word from him. I would challenge him to show me a letter he has written to the Prime Minister of Canada saying, "Mr. Prime Minister, we do not think the government of Canada should be communicating with the public of this nation."

Mr. Speaker: New question, the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy).

Mr. Cassidy: A final supplementary. please, Mr. Speaker.

10:40 a.m.

Mr. Speaker: New question.

Mr. Cassidy: I have only had one supplementary, Mr. Speaker. On a point of order, the Premier chooses to speak at length and you indicated at the beginning of this session you were going to stop long answers and long questions. If you want to use your prerogative then go ahead, Mr. Speaker. If not, I should get another supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: Order. In my view there have been sufficient supplementaries. I would point out to the honourable members that we have spent more than half the question period on three questions. Could we please have a new question from the member for Ottawa Centre?

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, on the point of order, before going to my second question would you please consult the ruling which was mailed to all members of this Legislature prior to the session in which you specifically stated that as Speaker, you intended to cease the practice of long answers coming from ministers of the crown, or for that matter, long questions coming from spokespeople on this side of the House. I have not seen that behaviour. If you want to cut members of this party down, then for goodness sake, start to use your authority.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you very much for your guidance. I would point out to you that it was not a ruling. It was a request to all members of the Legislature.

If you are as familiar with the standing orders as you would have us believe you would know it is within my discretion to limit supplementaries and I am doing that. I have just received a note from one of your colleagues asking me to limit the excessive time the leaders have taken this morning.

Mr. Mackenzie: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: If you are going to mislead this House with an answer like that, let me make it clear the note I sent to you was dealing with the time we have just spent on the leaders' questions. It was pointing out there was more time being used in responses from the cabinet ministers than there was in the questions and it was a misuse of this House.

Mr. Speaker: First of all I would point out to the honourable member that is not a point of order and you are continuing to waste time. If you had taken the time to read the memo, you would have seen I requested the co-operation of all members. I did not use the words but I certainly implied that long questions beget long answers.

I would ask all of you to use your own good judgement to co-operate in the interests of the operation of this House. In that respect I would ask the member for Ottawa Centre for a new question.

Mr. Cassidy: I would just say on a final point of order --

Mr. Peterson: If I may, Mr. Speaker, we certainly respect, under the standing orders, your prerogative to exercise your discretion. It is the exercise of that discretion with which a number of the members of this House are very unhappy. A leader's question generally -- at least under your reign in the chair -- entitles the leader to a supplementary. There is another supplementary which is passed over to another party and then back. I certainly think the leader of the New Democratic Party has a right to request a second supplementary for his own sake in this discussion.

What we find, Mr. Speaker, is sometimes you allow that and sometimes you do not allow that. Frequently you allow supplementaries on the most trivial questions and do not allow them on the most important questions. It is that exercise of your discretion with which many members of this House are unhappy. When you choose to use your discretion you must be responsible for the exercise thereof.

Mr. Speaker: Order, order, order. I draw your attention to the obvious; you are completely out of order.

However, in the discretion I am exercising it has obviously escaped the attention of all the honourable members that the leader of the third party did have an extra question -- no, you are talking to the current one. If we go back, the leader of the official opposition rose on a supplementary and had two I believe. We went over to the leader of the New Democratic Party. He rose on a new question. I referred to it and gave it to him as a supplementary. So he has, in fact, had the extra question. However, I would just ask the honourable member for Ottawa Centre to rise and ask his second question.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I just make a final comment, which is --

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order --

Mr. Speaker: It is not point of order. It is not debatable.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, this is not on that point of order. The point of order is that it has been drawn to my attention by several members over here -- and I must admit I was not present and did not hear it -- that the words were used by one of the members that you had misled the House. I submit that is not a proper thing to have been said and should be --

Hon. Mr. Grossman: The member for Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie) just nodded his head and said he did say that.

Hon Mr. Wells: I think that contrary to what you may think --

Mr. Stokes: Are you the Speaker?

Hon. Mr. Wells: No. I am just suggesting that if someone has indicated that the Speaker has misled the House, that should probably be withdrawn.


Mr. Mackenzie: On that point of order, if that is what it was, Mr. Speaker, I would suggest the Speaker read the entire note, simple as it was, that was sent to him. What he said left out an important part of the note and put the emphasis strictly on the leaders' questions. The way the Speaker made that comment to the House about the note I sent him was misleading to this House.


Mr. Speaker: Order. The whole exchange was out of order and, as I pointed out, being out of order it just was not recognized. However, I would be pleased to read the comment: "Mr. Speaker, did you time the first question and subsequent leaders' questions? More government response time than opposition questioning -- but a clear example of the excessive time on leaders' questions."

The member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy). This is a new question and it is not debatable. You are out of order. Order.

Mr. Nixon: Are you going to let him say that another honourable member has been misleading the House? I do not think we can allow that to go on. He did ask to have the note read, which has been done. To begin with, I do not think members' notes should be read by the Speaker or anybody else. Why does he not for once do the graceful thing and withdraw?

Mr. Speaker: I would ask the member to withdraw the reference he made.

Mr. Mackenzie: Having had the note read, I now withdraw the remark.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you very much. Now we will proceed with question period. The member for Ottawa Centre.

Mr. Cassidy: I have a final point of order to raise, Mr. Speaker, which is simply this. Prior to the session, you sent a note saying you intended to ask for limits on questions and on answers. It would appear that you intend to ask members of the government to co-operate but --

Mr. Speaker: Order, order, order. You have expressed an opinion that I do not necessarily agree with. Do you have another question?


Mr. Cassidy: I have a new question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism, Mr. Speaker. Back in June, the minister indicated there would be an announcement about the microelectronics development centre slated to go into Cambridge or Ottawa by September, and specifically that he expected to have a final decision in early September. Since it is now late October, nine months less four days since the announcement in the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development program that this microelectronic centre would be located somewhere in Ontario, can the minister indicate what the decision is? And will he assure the House that the microelectronics development centre will be located in the logical place, which is in the region of Ottawa-Carleton?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Unlike the leader of the third party, I have larger responsibilities than just arguing on behalf of my home riding for the location of a microelectronics centre. I have the responsibility to recommend to this government where the centre should go, what should be in it, the people who should be participating with us in it, and the staffing of that facility.

This government, through BILD, treats that as one of the very major initiatives that any government in this country has taken in the area of high technology in the past very many years. Consequently, we decided to make sure there is available time for all the cities involved, and there are very many municipalities in Ontario that desperately want that centre. We decided to spend a great deal of time with people involved in the industry to see if we could get them to come with us in a joint venture in some way in the centre.

Finally, we thought it was appropriate to wait until the microelectronics task force of this province has reported to this government, which I expect to occur in the next couple of weeks. The microelectronics task force thought its report would be in a little earlier. It is not yet in, but as I say, I expect it in very shortly. Shortly after that, we will have some announcements to make with regard to the microelectronics centre.

10:50 a.m.

We have been fortunate to have some input from the very members of the microelectronics task force available to us in our deliberations with regard to the staffing, size and location of the microelectronics centre. I am convinced it will turn out to be a world-leading facility in view of the extensive work that has gone into it to date.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The logical location of the microelectronics centre is Ottawa, just as the logical location of a computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing centre, which was also proposed in the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development program, is the region of Cambridge or Waterloo. In view of this can the minister explain why it was not possible long before now to make the announcement that in principle the centre would be located in Ottawa and then to proceed to work out all the details?

Is the minister not aware of the degree of frustration that now exists among people in this rapidly-growing industry in the Ottawa area because they cannot plan for future facilities nor for the sourcing of products they are going to require until they know whether or not the province is serious about moving this project forward and whether it will be located in the Ottawa area?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, when I stood up in the face of the beating the honourable member has been taking so far this morning I was really determined to be moderate and reserved in my response. I am going to continue to try to do that.

Mr. Bradley: That is very nice of the minister.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: It is not easy for me, and the member opposite should not tempt me.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: The remark the honourable member just made about people in the area being frustrated at not being able to make decisions really shows so little understanding of what is going on in his own home area that even I find it hard to believe.

The people in that area have spent a lot of time with my people. If there is one message they have been relaying to my people it is that we have to be careful, that we have to make exactly the right decisions not only with regard to the locations but also with regard to what components should go into those centres. They have urged us to get a great deal of input from the microelectronics task force.

If there is one thing I am most gratified by, in terms of validating the decision by this government to make that investment, it is the extreme degree of interest shown by the industry in what we are doing. There is not the slightest sense of frustration; there is only a sense of gratification, total support and a coming together of all the people in both the Ottawa area and the Cambridge area -- unlike anything I have ever seen in any other situation during my time in government -- to make sure not only that their communities get it but that it is right, timely, proper, carefully planned and has full support.

Any attempt by the member to relay to his home riding and for his own political purposes the message that there is a sense of frustration among the people in the industry out there is so totally out of whack with reality that perhaps it explains some of his earlier questions this morning.

Mr. Peterson: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Why would the minister not consider in the placing of this centre the premise that it must be in conjunction with one of the existing universities? The universities are already under siege, they are being underfunded, a lot of them need new life breathed into them. This would be a perfect fit from a number of points of view, considering one of the engineering schools from one of the existing universities. Why would he not start there with this new program?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, those options are being looked at by the ministry and the consultants we have retained to look at the centres. Some decisions will have to be made with regard to whether these should be added to existing university facilities or whether -- in terms of their real application to Ontario industry, and the goal of CAD/CAM robotics particularly -- they ought not to be closer to the client group that must have access to the facilities to make sure they use them.

In the case of the latter facility, CAD/CAM robotics, we are urging it become a place for the diffusion of robotics technology to our client group -- the small and medium-sized industries throughout Ontario. So in considering its application to our broad industrial sector one of the key things we have to do in the locational decision is make sure it is in a place convenient to a lot of Ontario manufacturers. Otherwise they will not use this facility.

In the case of the microelectronics centre there are some very good arguments for joining it to the universities. However, I am satisfied the IDEA Corporation's funding to make sure that additional research -- industrial and applied -- occurs where it ought to occur, in the universities, will take place. All in all I think the member will be impressed with the package when it is finally put together, which I expect will be in a couple of weeks.

Mr. Cassidy: The minister said in June the decision would be made in September and at that time he said the location would be in Ottawa or Cambridge. Now he says it might be in one of a number of communities. Could he say when there will be an announcement? How many more weeks do people in the areas affected have to wait? What is his target date now for making a decision, making it public and getting on with the job?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I expect to have a decision for my colleague some time in November.


Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Transportation and Communications. On Tuesday I made reference to a report dated October 15, 1981, by the staff of the Toronto Transit Commission on the five-year intermediate-capacity transit system program along the waterfront. Initially the minister's response was that possibly I concocted this report. I have now sent the report over to him. How could the minister indicate in this House that he was unaware of this report? Is his staff not keeping him apprised of what is going on? More particularly, can he now explain to the House why the capital cost estimates on this proposal have gone from $90 million to $170 million in the course of eight months?

Hon. Mr. Snow: From what I have been able to see in the last moment or two, Mr. Speaker, I would explain that this is a report to the chief general manager of the Toronto Transit Commission from some of the staff of the TTC. It is not a report to my ministry. It may be possible that some of the staff of my ministry have seen it. If so, I am not aware of it. The date of the report is October 15, so it is obviously quite current but it would certainly appear to me to be an internal document of the TTC.

I believe the obvious answer to the $170 million projection the staff have put in this report for a lakeshore system would be based on the fact that although the original estimate for the system was $100 million, that was based on current dollars. It is shown here that this system is to be built from 1982 to 1986 and as in any construction project one has to build in the anticipated inflation allowance.

Mr. Cunningham: Why would the minister not have extrapolated these inflation costs over the years when the initial announcement on this project was made in January? Moreover, is he not concerned that the cost of this project, the necessity for which is in doubt, has almost doubled in the course of eight months? Does that not bother the minister just a little bit?

Hon. Mr. Snow: The projected costs definitely have not doubled in eight months. This project was first considered and talked about three years ago, in early 1978. I believe it was at that time I first mentioned the proposal for a lakeshore line. At that time a tentative estimate as to what such a line might cost, based on very preliminary information, was $70 million. From 1978 to 1981 that figure has been updated to $100 million and that takes inflation into consideration over that three-year period.

It is like any construction project based on $100 million in 1981 dollars. If the honourable member has some great secret way of assuring that there will be no inflation in the next five or six years, then he is a lot better off than I am. I remember the leader of his federal party in Ottawa told us quite a number of years ago that he was going to wrestle inflation to the ground. I am relying on him to keep that commitment. We know the Prime Minister of our country will keep his commitment and wrestle inflation to the ground. He just has not been successful in doing so yet.

11 a.m.

This is a projection of the Toronto Transit Commission staff in setting up a proposed possible cash flow for the construction of the system. The member will notice in the report I have had just a moment to look at that most of the expenditure takes place in the years 1985 and 1986 when actual construction would presumably take place. I think the staff have rightly considered that in putting forward a proposed cash flow for their executives to consider, they must put in what they think the actual current dollars may be in those years.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker: Now that the election is over, does the minister not believe what we actually have here is just an expensive white elephant showcase for the Urban Transportation Development Corporation? Does he not believe the money being talked about now would be much better used in improving services in the heavily-used areas of our TTC system at the moment, rather than playing around with something which is going to cost the people of Metropolitan Toronto a fortune over the next number of years because it is going to be totally inefficient?

Hon. Mr. Snow: No, Mr. Speaker, I would not agree with any of the things the honourable member has said. First of all, this project is not proposed as a showcase. The honourable member may not be aware but the city of Toronto, Metropolitan Toronto, and the Harbourfront organization have major plans for development in the waterfront area or the area of Toronto south of Front Street.

The honourable member seems to think a major development such as that can take place on the Harbourfront lands and on the railway lands and that there can be projected developments at the Canadian National Exhibition and a continuation of other private developments in that area without having some planned transit system to handle it. I think it would be very inappropriate for this government, the TTC and Metropolitan Toronto not to be looking at a lakeshore system that would be a part of the total public transportation system of Metropolitan Toronto which could be extended east and west. One cannot build everything at once.

One must also take into consideration that with the great assistance of my colleague to my right -- he is not usually to my right but today he is on my right -- a new trade and convention centre will be built in that area and other expansion will take place.

The member will recall when the TTC started to build the subway. Even at my age I can barely remember back that far, but I remember when Yonge Street was all dug up. The TTC did not build the Yonge Street subway from Union Station to Finch Avenue at one time. It started with a reasonably sized system and expanded. This is what should take place on the lakeshore.

Ms. Copps: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: Since the minister took double the time of the question that was asked to answer the question --

Mr. Speaker: Order. The member for Hamilton East with a new question.


Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier regarding yesterday's announcement that workers who are members of Local 1967, United Automobile Workers, at McDonnell Douglas would suffer another 550 layoffs, probably to be completed in the first two months of the new year following completion of the current layoffs of 850 members of that local.

The recent announcement by the Australian government that it is also purchasing F-18s has resulted in yet another layoff. It seems every time there is a sale of F-18s there is a further layoff of workers.

In view of these developments, is the Premier prepared to sit down with those workers and make some effort to see that alternative operations are put into that plant? Perhaps it could be in the light rail field or some other item that could be manufactured at McDonnell Douglas. But something should be done before we totally lose the capabilities and skills in that plant.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I was aware late yesterday afternoon of the additional layoffs at McDonnell Douglas and we are, as a government and in a more personal sense, very concerned. Going back a few months relative to the situation at McDonnell Douglas and my discussions with both the company and the union representatives, the government, the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman), people in his ministry, and even the Premier took what initiatives were available to us to see what might be done to assist in some way at least with respect to that facility.

I am not sure what the decision of the government of Australia will be with respect to the F-18, what impact it may have. I personally went to St. Louis to discuss with the chairman of the board and senior personnel at McDonnell Douglas the possibility of further work within the Malton plant.

It is fair to say the company was receptive to the idea of seeking out work that was not totally related to McDonnell Douglas itself. As perhaps the honourable member knows, it has had a corporate policy traditionally of not bidding on components or parts going into the airframes or parts of other aircraft manufacturers. I believe there is some consideration which may provide some avenue of extra activity.

I also made it clear when I visited St. Louis that, in my view, McDonnell Douglas Canada as a Canadian corporation had every right to bid in the offset program. With respect to the offset, there has been some sense that McDonnell Douglas Canada was not to have bid on some of the components. During the course of my visit it became obvious that, while they would not disclose the figures to us, they could not because they were to evaluate the various proposals.

As the honourable member knows, the government of Canada -- I am not being totally critical of this -- once the initial bids were in, suggested the bids be delayed so that Canadair could bid on one or two of the packages.

The end result of that was that McDonnell Douglas Canada ultimately was awarded either two or three of the packages with respect to the F-18. The problem involved in that is, while the dollar amount is of some significance, there is a time lapse, and the number of men employed for those three packages, or whatever number, would not offset the number of men at Malton who are engaged in the commercial production.

The difficulty is fairly simple. It is of great concern to me personally and to the government. The ministry is making every effort. They have had a particular individual involved in discussions with the company and with the union, and will continue to seek other avenues of activity for that particular facility. They have an excellent work force. I do not say that because a number live in my riding, but because they are a very competent group of people.

The problem is, there is a depressed market in the commercial aircraft field generally. The DC-10 has been a particular problem, unfortunately. While McDonnell Douglas are very confident about the acceptability of the new super 80 or 800 series of the DC-9 in the commercial field over the longer term, sales of that aircraft have not been as great as they had anticipated or had hoped they would be.

My personal assessment -- in which I could be in error, but I do not think so -- is that the people in St. Louis have a genuine interest in seeing in what ways they can increase the activity at the Malton facility.

It is also true, if the member checks the figures, although it does not solve anything, that the facility in Long Beach has faced some rather significant layoffs for the very same reason. The components from Malton go primarily to the Long Beach plant, where McDonnell Douglas has also had substantial layoffs because of the relatively depressed state of the commercial aircraft industry. They are having some difficulty at this moment with respect to the new DC-9; I think it is the super 800 series.

11:10 a.m.

Mr. Mackenzie: I recognized earlier the comments of the Premier about the support he had from United Auto Workers, and I presumed he would be receptive to efforts to see that the jobs were maintained there.

He is correct that the several proposals for getting out of some of the aircraft work and into things like light rail transit components may be part of the answer in that particular plant.

Inasmuch as the meetings with the federal people about a number of specific proposals, including the four-day work week, got no support or no real reaction whatsoever, the ball is in the Premier's court.

Can he give some kind of assurance that there will be a real effort made to see that they get into some diversification so that the jobs at McDonnell Douglas can be protected and possibly some of the layoffs can be prevented before the end of the year, both the current 850 layoffs and the 550 additional layoffs to come?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I can assure the honourable member that the ministry has been working very hard in trying to find ways and means of having work that is not necessarily related to the aerospace industry at that facility.

In fact, the minister informs me the ministry is organizing a seminar on Monday with respect to the new Canadian patrol frigate program announced by the government of Canada. I think it is a $2.3-billion program. People from McDonnell Douglas Canada have been invited to participate in that seminar to see if there is some part of that work that might be included in the facility at Malton.

I assure the member that the ministry will, and I certainly shall, continue to see if there are some other activities that could be located at the Malton plant of McDonnell Douglas, not just because of the physical plant but also because of the competence of the work force.



Mr. Swart moved, seconded by Mr. Philip, first reading of Bill 153, An Act to provide for the Removal of Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the bill is to provide recourse to persons who had their dwellings insulated with urea formaldehyde foam insulation. It follows the pattern of the Massachusetts bill.

An expeditious method is provided for obtaining an order for removal of the insulation and restoring the dwelling to its former state by the foam industry, or for reimbursement where the owner had the insulation removed.

The only elements required to obtain an order are evidence that the insulation was installed, the name of the installer, distributor and manufacturer and of physical harm occurring.

The application for the order is submitted to chief officials who are appointed by municipalities under the Building Code Act. The chief official, after checking the application, forwards it to the director of the building code branch, who is empowered to make an order dealing with the matter.


Mr. Charlton moved, seconded by Mr. Cooke, first reading of Bill Pr22, An Act respecting the City of Hamilton.

Motion agreed to.


House in committee of supply.


Mr. Chairman: It is my understanding the minister will have an opening statement.

Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to present the 1981-82 estimates of the Management Board of Cabinet for consideration by this committee. In my statement, I will make reference to our continuing efforts to improve productivity, to control growth in the public service and to maintain and further improve both individual and program performance.

It is generally recognized that the complex demands of the 1980s pose new challenges for management, particularly for those who manage in public sector environments. I think it is appropriate, therefore, to start by expressing my appreciation of the public servants who carry on the business of government and deliver the programs on behalf of the government.

Erosion of respect for our public servants has been an increasingly disturbing trend in our society. Perhaps we are all at fault at times, those of us in this House, our friends in the press gallery and the public at large, since, regardless of the problems, we rightly expect excellence.

Public servants are an easy target. Bound as they are by our parliamentary traditions, they cannot readily speak out on their own behalf. Yet in my tenure in four ministries and in my current contact with the staff of many ministries. I have seen, for the most part, dedicated, concerned and effective people doing their best to carry out the wishes of government on behalf of the people of Ontario.

We will continue to seek improvement and excellence, and to limit resources, while demanding results. In doing so, we depend on our staff, and I would like to commend publicly that large majority of public servants who deserve our praise and who have a right to be proud of their efforts and their public service.

In presenting the Management Board's estimates, I will be reviewing the actions that have been taken during the past year to ensure that Management Board's dual role as general manager and employer is carried out in the most efficient and effective manner.

Before outlining the various programs and initiatives of the Management Board secretariat and the Civil Service Commission, I wish to draw the members' attention to the results achieved through this government's expenditure policies over the past few years.

Ontario's record of fiscal management is well documented in the 1981 Ontario budget. Over the past six years, the rate of growth in provincial spending has consistently been held below the rate of growth in the economy.

During the past five years, provincial expenditures increased by 38.5 per cent, while inflation jumped by 39.5 per cent. Excluding inflation, provincial spending actually has decreased by 0.7 per cent over the past five years. Nevertheless, the government has been able to introduce new programs and enrich priority areas by careful redeployment of funds.

Management Board has responsibility for monitoring expenditures during the fiscal year. Through internal constraint programs and the identification of savings, in-year pressures for increased funds to meet changing needs are met largely from within the approved expenditure base.

11:20 a.m.

For example, during the past five years, $1.97 billion of in-year expenditure increases were offset by $1.94 billion in reductions. On average, actual spending was held to the original expenditure ceilings from 1976-77 to 1980-81. We have also made significant strides in restricting the growth of the civil service in keeping with our general constraint policy.

I might point out that all of the levels of the service have been subject to controls, including the executive ranks. As of October 1981, there were 588 executive positions in ministries. This represents a net reduction of 101 executive positions since the first controls were introduced in January 1976.

Overall, the size of the public service has decreased by 4,950 persons, or 5.7 per cent, from 87,109 in 1975 to 82,150 on March 31, 1981. Considering that the provincial population grew by 400,000 persons during this same period, the population served per public service position increased from 94 to 105, or 11.7 per cent.

These figures reflect this government's continuing commitment to increased efficiency in the use of human and fiscal resources throughout the Ontario public service. They also serve to reinforce my earlier comments on the dedication and competence of our public servants, who are truly doing more with less.

I would now like to outline for the honourable members some of the projects undertaken by the Management Board secretariat on the board's behalf that are assisting government managers in meeting the administrative demands of the 1980s.

Managing by results -- or MBR, as it is commonly referred to -- is an approach to management, a basic style of program management, which focuses equal attention on resources and results. Management Board introduced the MBR approach to government program management in 1973. There has been a phased implementation of MBR to the point where almost all operating expenditures are now covered.

Over the years since 1973, improvements have been made to the MBR approach. During the past year a task force of senior government executives was convened to examine the existing program and its current status of implementation and to develop a plan to make such additional improvements as were appropriate to managing by results.

Management Board reviewed the report of the task force in February 1981 and approved an MBR improvement plan which is currently being implemented. This plan reaffirms the essential and increasing importance of managing by results, acknowledges the progress made in developing results-oriented management processes and sets forth a program for improved managing by results, with the objective of achieving significant improvement in a number of specified areas by March 31, 1983.

As all members are well aware, the common private sector results criterion of profit and loss is not available to the manager in the public sector to provide a basis for performance measurement and for the evaluation of results. As a consequence, we along with others in government are working to improve management control, accountability and performance measurement to increase the focus on results for resources expended.

Ontario is in the vanguard of actions to improve management in the public sector, and our MBR program is an essential and successful element of our efforts in this direction.

Another major initiative undertaken by the board to advance the quality of management in the Ontario public service is the management standards project. Established in the spring of 1980, the project provides a focal point for the many management improvement initiatives being undertaken by ministries and central agencies.

The board's mandate is to lay the groundwork for further improving management in the public service over the next decade. Considerable headway has been made with this project over the past year. A brochure describing the Ontario government's philosophy was prepared and subsequently approved by cabinet in December 1980. With the aid of a videotape, it is currently being introduced throughout the service, providing all of us with a common set of principles and beliefs to direct our management efforts through the 1980s.

A two-volume inventory of management processes was published, consisting of an index and abstracts of all management processes used in every ministry throughout the government. All ministries have received copies of the inventory, providing them with a reference on where they might obtain further information on management practices currently being used in the service.

To complement the inventory itself, an inventory showcase was held on March 12, 1981. Seventeen ministries, central agencies and internal councils participated in this first-ever event, sharing information on their management processes with more than 700 government managers.

The project also sponsored a conference, Managing in the Eighties, held in June 1980, which brought together more than 100 of the more senior managers in government to discuss the challenges facing management in the new decade. A series in Topical was initiated on Managing in the Eighties, profiling the efforts of several government managers to respond to the changing requirements of their managerial role.

Over the next six to 12 months the project will concentrate on producing a government-wide publication series entitled OPS Management. These publications will document a consistent set of management principles, terms, processes and standards recommended for use by all government managers. A management training and education program to complement the publication series is being planned in conjunction with the Civil Service Commission.

We expect these efforts will combine to dramatically increase the awareness which we all must attach to managerial performance in the years ahead.

Management Board reviewed the important subject of internal audit this past year. On the advice of an interministry task force on audit policy established by the board, the government adopted an advanced form of internal auditing which is comprehensive in nature. The new form of auditing goes beyond the traditional financial audit process to include the auditing of both financial and management controls.

Management controls are those concerned essentially with value for money and accountability. This change makes the auditors key members of the management team. They will test the quality of vital control information and report their findings to the ministry managers and the deputy minister. This will ensure that the controls so essential to our value for money and accountability efforts are regularly evaluated and, where necessary, improved.

Introducing this new form of auditing will take time. While the major responsibility for implementation rests with ministries, the Management Board secretariat, in close co-operation with the internal auditors' council, the Minister of Treasury and Economics and the Civil Service Commission will provide necessary support.

The secretariat's supporting role encompasses the following initiatives: the publication this past August of a brief brochure on internal auditing from a manager's perspective; a soon-to-be-published reference document describing the internal audit process, including standards to be attained; and a videotape of internal auditing, due to be released this month.

The Civil Service Commission's supporting role includes the following: a study of internal audit staffing and training issues, and provision of central training in new methods and techniques to augment existing central training in the area of electronic data processing systems.

Finally, I would like to point out that the direction established by the government for the development of the internal audit function is completely compatible with that recommended by the Provincial Auditor in his 1979-80 annual report.

Turning to the subject of government accommodation, Management Board, working closely with the Ministry of Government Services, recently has changed the processes for the provision and ongoing management of government accommodation. These changes have been introduced to ensure that, in a time of rapidly rising costs for building, buying, leasing and maintaining accommodation the government's needs for accommodation will be met as economically as possible.

We have undertaken the development of a formal five-year plan for the provision of accommodation program. As part of this five-year plan, thorough reviews are scheduled for each major project to determine essential requirements, priorities and the most efficient method of providing the accommodation.

The planning process also supports improved co-ordination of the need for and supply of accommodation and enables strict control of accommodation project costs.

To improve the ongoing utilization of accommodation, ministries are to be provided with better information on the amount and cost of the space they occupy.

On an annual basis, each ministry will be required to review a statement of assignment accommodation which documents its holdings of six categories of leased or owned space and records the associated rental costs. These rental costs will include the actual or equivalent market rental costs as well as the upkeep costs.

This information will enable government managers to make more effective decisions about the need for new space or for the continued utilization of existing space to support their programs. It will also enable better overall documentation and monitoring of the government's diverse accommodation holdings.

11:30 a.m.

A review of corporate management initiatives under way would be incomplete without mention of the role technology plays in contributing to effective and efficient administration.

This government has displayed leadership in the use of information technology in the management and operation of its programs. One measure of this leadership is the Ontario annual investment in these areas. In 1981-82, this investment will be more than $100 million. A large portion of these investments, and the corresponding innovation and new-technology products, have been acquired competitively from a growing industry in Ontario.

Increasingly, new technology forms are being used to increase our efficiency and effectiveness. For example, extensive use is made of computers in various map-generation activities, in remote sensing to monitor water and air quality, in administering our correctional institutions and in health and education.

These developments proceed in an administrative policy framework that permits flexibility, encourages innovations and use of the private sector but at the same time insists on appropriate return on investment. We look to information technology to provide continued government productivity gains in the future.

Management Board is proactively preparing for these opportunities with a number of initiatives to provide leadership as we advance into the 1980s. An example of this type of initiative is the automated office information exchange seminar we recently convened, attended by more than 90 government managers, to share results and expectations of a number of office automation pilot activities under way in several ministries.

During the past year, we have established a committee of deputy ministers to guide the development of appropriate technology development strategies and policies for the government in the 1980s. We also established a systems council, composed of representatives from the information technology areas of each ministry, to more readily exchange innovative ideas and develop co-operative solutions to common problems.

Other proactive initiatives are concerned with the development of appropriate common service facilities to better serve our needs in the future. For example, we have initiated development, with a number of ministries, of a pilot data communications network for the government. A similar initiative is well advanced for co-operative radio communication facilities planning among all ministries and agencies that operate such networks.

We view it as our task to promote awareness and adoption of new-technology tools to improve the government process. Through its policies, Management Board will ensure that this adaptation occurs in the most cost-effective manner possible.

While most of Management Board's efforts are directed towards the internal management of government, it has been involved this past year in two major projects that impact the private sector.

Regulatory reform: In my last report in these circumstances, I was pleased to describe our involvement and progress in deregulation of records retention as it applies to the private sector. Many businesses in the province, by law, have certain obligations to the Ontario government. In response to criticism that this relationship has been strained by a heavy burden of paperwork, we launched a thorough study of all the regulations that require businesses to retain records for specific lengths of time.

Working with a number of private sector interests and all ministries, we found that 211 regulations contained such a requirement. The review recommended that 142 of these be modified to make clear what, if any, record-keeping requirement should apply.

Considering the large number of organizations involved and the high costs of storing information in the business world today, we feel that significant savings can be achieved by relaxing the requirements where appropriate. In some cases, simply by clarifying our intentions, we can eliminate the need for a firm to ask the government for permission to destroy relevant records.

We have now identified where these standards are lacking, and we have developed a mechanism to ensure that this issue is addressed whenever new legislation is drafted. In the near future, we expect to be able to publish in one document all the records retention requirements reduced as a result of this initiative. It is my expectation this will be a welcome and valuable reference for those many businesses and agencies affected.

Public sector purchasing dollars have a significant role to play in supporting and stimulating Canadian manufacturing and research capabilities. To ensure that Ontario's purchasing dollars are used most effectively in this regard, last year the Management Board secretariat and the Ministry of Industry and Tourism jointly undertook a study of the government's purchasing policies and practices.

The purpose of the study was twofold: First, to identify strategy for further increasing the effectiveness of government purchasing as an industrial development tool; and second, to ensure that the goods and services which are needed to conduct government programs continue to be acquired and managed efficiently, effectively and economically. The first phase of the study was completed last November.

Some of the initiatives arising from phase one which are now being implemented include:

1. Greater standardization of government purchasing forms and government purchasing practices. This should further facilitate access by potential suppliers to government business.

2. The establishment of a corporate review mechanism to identify and facilitate access by Canadian suppliers to those government purchases which are significant, either because of the size of the purchase or its potential to lead to industry development.

3. Advance notice to potential suppliers concerning the government's high technology purchases. This should, we hope, be particularly helpful to Canadian companies in the high tech field who are frequently smaller and more highly specialized and who consequently need more time to respond to government requests for proposals.

These initiatives are being undertaken in conjunction with the newly established office of procurement policy in the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, as is the second phase of the purchasing study which is currently under way.

Access to government business has been an important consideration in the current review, and in particular access by small business which makes such a significant contribution to our economy. As part of the purchasing study, the secretariat and the Ministry of Industry and Tourism undertook a survey of the purchase orders which were issued by government ministries during the 1979-80 fiscal year. The results of the survey showed that small businesses received 58 per cent of the total value of government purchases -- exclusive of purchases for petroleum products, automobiles, road salt and construction projects -- and 69 per cent of the purchase orders which were issued.

A sampling of the purchase orders issued during 1980-81 will be undertaken shortly to update these findings, and my colleague, the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) will be tabling the results early in the new year. I can assure members, however, that access by small business in supplying goods and services to the government will continue to be a priority for us.

Agencies: Before moving to a review of the activities of the Civil Service Commission. I would like to mention briefly a recent development in the administration of agencies. The Ontario government relies on its 278 agencies for advice on a wide range of issues and for some program delivery and control. The effective administration of agencies continues to be of prime concern to the government in general and Management Board in particular.

The sunset review of agencies was incorporated into the manual of administration in January 1981. Through this process and through the memorandum of understanding for operational and regulatory agencies, the exact roles and responsibilities of agencies and the usefulness to the policy development and program delivery process are determined.

Other administrative issues we are addressing this year include anomalies to existing policies, particularly in the establishment and staffing of new agencies, in the remuneration of agency personnel and in improved financial controls over agencies. I look forward to reporting on the results of these studies at some future date. The Civil Service Commission is in the process of gathering appointment and staffing information on those agencies in schedules 1 and 2 who hire full-time staff. To provide members with an outline of the activities directly related to personnel administration, I direct my comments to the Civil Service Commission.

For the information of new members in the House, the Civil Service Commission represents the other half of my ministry. The commission is responsible to me for administering the Public Service Act and for the development of other related personnel policies.

11:40 a.m.

I would like to note some highlights of the current activities in which the commission is involved. The continuing need in the foreseeable future to do a great deal more with fewer resources requires management skills significantly different from those required to manage in times of plenty. To ensure that the Ontario government has people with the right skills, a more proactive approach is being taken to executive manpower development. Accordingly. we are encouraging and assisting senior staff to broaden their skills base and to develop corporate perspectives by means of career rotational moves and by secondments within the service to other jurisdictions. Of 193 appointments made in the 1980-81 fiscal year, 43 were by means of career rotation or secondment.

We have also developed an executive skills profile to be used in the assessment of executives for promotability and to better identify developmental needs. The profile has been pilot-tested in six ministries, is being further refined and will be introduced into the balance of the ministries.

We are now expanding the in-house executive education program. The existing program, which consists of an annual one-week seminar for senior executives focusing on the interaction of government and society and two one-week seminars for program managers dealing with the structure and process of government, will be enlarged to provide executives with more courses at all stages of their careers. An advisory committee headed by a deputy minister and with four line executives as members has been established to assist the commission in ensuring that the content of the program is focused on the needs of management in the 1980s.

Closer ties are being sought with educational institutions throughout the province in order that more effective use can be made of their resources in meeting our needs for executive development. We have also established with Carleton University a fellow in public administration program, in which other provinces will be joining. Discussions are under way with other Ontario universities to establish similar programs.

Human resources planning and career development within other areas of the civil service are of increasing concern to us. Our review of data regarding seven key service-wide occupational groups contained in government computerized employee information systems has recently been completed. Reports that have been prepared on each of the groups focus on such aspects as age profiles, potential retirements, turnover, career progression and potential career opportunities. These reports are being communicated to all concerned parties in order to verify concerns and address problems highlighted by the survey.

The Civil Service Commission, through its performance appraisal policy, continues to place a strong emphasis on improving job performance throughout the service. Over the past six months, we have conducted a comprehensive review of performance appraisal programs within ministries and we are very encouraged by the demonstrated commitment by ministries to performance management. Recommendations for further enhancement of performance appraisals throughout the Ontario public service are now being developed. We are consulting with ministries to assist in the development of performance appraisal programs and, in this regard, the performance appraisal resource centre continues to be a valuable reference point on the subject for use by ministries.

Quality of working life: Following extensive discussions with the union, a statement of purpose and shelter agreement was signed in February 1981, reflecting the intent of both the union and the employer to jointly support quality of working life initiatives in the Ontario public service. The joint working committee composed of commission and Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) staff has been providing information sessions at potential ministry sites where interest has been expressed. Our intention is to encourage two or three experimental programs and then to evaluate carefully the outcome from both the employer's and the union's point of view.

In the area of staff development, approximately 3,500 employees participated in 188 courses and workshops and more than 300 days of management consulting were carried out by the staff development branch at ministry work sites. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 1981, more than 500 employees received instruction in the French language. This will, of course, assist us in the provision of services to Franco-Ontarians. Also, the Ontario-Quebec summer exchange program continues to provide a valuable cultural and employment experience for selected students from both provinces. This year, 95 Ontario students worked in Quebec and 150 Quebec students were employed by ministries in this province.

On the subject of training in general, I would like to mention that we are continually reviewing the programs provided centrally in order that they will meet current and future needs. This has resulted in a number of initiatives not only in the content of training programs but in the way in which they are provided.

I have already referred to the training that is under way to meet the expanded role of internal audit. Other initiatives in progress include measures to equip public servants with skills that will enable them to adapt to changing technology, particularly in view of the increasing adoption of word processing.

I would like to make special mention of an area where skills training is being focused on an important function: namely, that of personnel management. With the continuing emphasis on the delegation of its authority to ministries, the Civil Service Commission views it as increasingly critical that both personnel practitioners and line managers be adequately trained to ensure both consistency in the application of personnel policies and procedures and the equitable treatment of employees.

To this end the Civil Service Commission has been delivering workshops for personnel administrators in the areas of position analysis and evaluation, job description writing, classification, grievance handling and the recruitment-staffing process. As a further assistance to ministry personnel branches in upgrading line managers' knowledge of the personnel function, the Civil Service Commission has been providing training courses in performance appraisal. Training packages in grievance handling and in staffing have also been developed. In addition, training courses on attendance awareness and improvement are being delivered by ministries to ministry supervisors to enhance their awareness of absenteeism as a performance problem and to assist them in managing more effectively. The Civil Service Commission is responsible for the development of service-wide policies in this area and for the monitoring of experience and the provision of training aids.

In October 1979 the Civil Service Commission initiated a program to improve opportunities for handicapped persons to gain employment in the Ontario public service. The designation of 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons emphasizes the importance of employment in assisting handicapped persons to achieve their rightful recognition as fully contributing members of society. The Civil Service Commission has adopted policies and issued guidelines designed to eliminate obstacles to recruitment, referral and selection. Also provided is an outreach recruitment service for agencies representing handicapped candidates to facilitate access to available jobs in the Ontario public service. The program will be extended to other parts of Ontario during the remainder of this year and in 1982.

GO Temp employees are appointed as group 1 of the unclassified service and are administered by the recruitment branch, Civil Service Commission. Although the majority of assignments under GO Temp are in the clerical and office support categories, from time to time temporary assignments may be available for professional, administrative, technical and operating areas. GO Temp services operates on a zero-based budget and bills ministries and agencies at the end of each calendar month for the temporary employee services provided. The number of employees registered with GO Temp is normally around 5,000, with approximately 1,200 to 1,400 out on assignments at any one time. These services are optional to ministries and provide a cost-effective method of fulfilling ministries' needs for temporary assistance.

A central fund has been established with recruitment branch to facilitate the placement of surplus staff by allowing ministries to claim more salary protection and retraining costs.

May I have some Adam's ale, please?

Mr. T. P. Reid: It is awfully dry over here, too.

Hon. Mr. McCague: I noted the member's comments last night, which fell in the same category.

Mr. T. P. Reid: That is amazing. I was not here last night.

Hon. Mr. McCague: No, it was not last night; I was reading what the member had to say in Hansard -- that was it. I have got it all marked up with very profound statements here. He wanted me to talk all morning, he said last night. What is his wish now?

Mr. T. P. Reid: Wind down.

Hon. Mr. McCague: Wind down?

A policy enabling management employees to accept payment in lieu of notice has been developed and implemented. The proposed moves of the Ontario Health Insurance Plan and Ministry of Transportation and Communications to Kingston and of the Ministry of Revenue to Oshawa are being supported by a staffing strategy designed for those circumstances.

11:50 a.m.

The recommendation of the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development program that permanent part-time work arrangements be implemented in the Ontario public service has resulted in a study being conducted in this area. There are approximately 9,000 employees on the unclassified staff who work less than a full day, a full week or a full year but who are employed on an ongoing basis. We are investigating the feasibility of converting these employees to the classified staff, and have been carrying out discussions with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union to this end. In addition, there are many employees in the classified service who might wish to opt for part-time work if it were made available to them. We are therefore also considering strategies for the conversion of full-time positions to part-time.

In a work force as large as that employed by the provincial government it is important that any upward change in average pay grades across the service be identified and the reasons examined. In July of this year the Civil Service Commission developed a statistically reliable monitoring system that enables them to quickly identify and address such changes. In the future this and a number of other recently-developed computer-assisted reporting mechanisms will provide both the Civil Service Commission and ministries with timely, accurate and meaningful position administration and classification data. Such data not only are essential to the corporate decision-making process but are needed by operating ministries in managing their personnel responsibilities and in assessing whether performance expectations they have set for themselves have been achieved.

To ensure that classification systems measuring the relative worth of jobs be kept current the Civil Service Commission has a number of major classification standards projects in progress. The objective of these projects is the identification and elimination of inconsistencies in the area of equal pay for equal work. The projects affect some 20,000 employees, the majority of whom are women.

I should like once again to make members aware of the concern that Ontario government employees have for the wellbeing of the members of their respective communities. Last fall in 31 United Way campaigns throughout the province approximately 35,000 employees donated $913,000 for human care services. This represents approximately a 19 per cent increase over the preceding year.

The 1981 United Way campaigns are now under way, and to these organizers and campaigners I wish to express sincerest appreciation on behalf of the government of Ontario for their interest and support and to extend best wishes for a successful campaign.

This spring's campaign in the Metropolitan Toronto and surrounding area for the Canadian Cancer Society and the Ontario Heart Foundation resulted in a 22 per cent increase over 1980. This new record of approximately $190,000 brings the total of voluntary employee donations for charitable purposes for this fiscal year to more than $1.1 million.

In addition to their financial contributions, staff continue to support the Red Cross blood donor services program. In Toronto during the last fiscal year just under 3,000 units of blood were donated. The Ontario government will continue to co-operate with the Red Cross by supporting in-house clinics. Towards this end, and in order to meet the ever-increasing demand for volunteers, the June clinic in the Queen's Park complex was serviced by government staff trained by the Red Cross at the registration desks and in the donor rest area. This is a small role in which we along with several other major employers are able to let our employees participate in a positive manner with the Red Cross in their efforts to recruit volunteers.

One must appreciate that such tremendous support for all these programs does not just happen. A great deal of planning and organizing must go into every campaign, and I would like at this time to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the staff who volunteer their energy for their leadership and general canvassing. To them and to the donors who so generously supported these programs I say thank you.

In my opening statement last December on Management Board estimates I referred to the fact that the government, the union and the employees involved were concerned about the fairly large backlog of grievances that had built up over the past few years. I advised the standing committee on general government at that time that we had added 18 vice-chairmen to the panel and had appointed a special vice-chairman to expedite and mediate outstanding grievances with a view to resolving a number of grievances without the need for a hearing.

I am pleased to advise that these changes have produced the intended results. We are now at the point where all public service grievances filed before January 1981 have been heard or scheduled for hearing, and from here on the grievance settlement board will be hearing grievances on a current basis.

A significant number of grievances filed by employees of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and of the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario are still outstanding. A special vice-chairman has been reappointed for another year, and he is now concentrating his efforts on these grievances. I would hope and expect that he will achieve the same favourable results he did with the public service grievance.

Mr. Chairman, these are the highlights of our current programs.

Mr. Chairman: We are in committee of supply, and we thank the Chairman of the Management Board for his opening statement.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, I suppose I could begin by congratulating the minister on his relatively good labour relations over the past year. The settlements have been arrived at without very much acrimony that I have been aware of. It is quite a relief not to have threats of the withdrawal of services of one kind or another, or at least the continuation of problems in these negotiations, hanging over the other work of the Legislature.

The matter of the minister's responsibility has given me more and more concern, however, since he describes his own position as really being that of general manager of the government. In his report he has indicated his pleasure, which we all share, with the participation of our employees, 82,000 plus of them, in the United Way and in blood donor clinics. There was a time when the Management Board, or at least its precursor, had many more important things to do with the business of government. Before the committee on government productivity emasculated it and changed its name the then treasury board was enough to make ministers pale and tremble, let alone deputies and other bureaucrats. The treasury board, run by the Treasurer, ran the government in much more than a management way.

I have a great deal of sympathy for the minister. He says he is the general manager, but he is instructed by the treasurer of the corporation to do everything he can to support the treasurer's intent to balance the budget. Then the chairman of the board comes along and says, "Yes, I agree with that, but right off the top I want a $10.8 million jet plane." It must be a problem for the minister to take seriously the admonitions he receives in this House and from his colleagues in the cabinet to move towards a balanced budget and to be seen to be a management-oriented, business-type government when the decisions taken by his superiors are so costly and irrational.

The Premier (Mr. Davis) has really had a bee in his bonnet ever since the House, by information revealed in this very chamber, criticized him for taking free flights to Florida and going with his buddy Gerry Moog to ski in Vermont using government planes. I do not necessarily want to rethresh that old straw; it is all factual and on the record; the people have judged whether or not they thought it was a politically terminal mistake and they have found that it was not.

But even over the years since then, when the Premier more or less came to his travel senses and started paying for his own private trips, there has always been the feeling that -- when he met the Premier of Alberta, for example, the Premier of Alberta had his own airline as well as his own private jet. I have always felt there is a certain competition between the Premier of Ontario and the Premier of Alberta for who would get there first or who would fly the highest or who would have the highest public opinion polls. I think before history is written out in this country those two fellows are going to have to square off, and I cannot wait for the occasion.

But the Premier once again is certainly not going to be outdone jet-wise by any footling western Premier. So we have undertaken an expenditure that I am sure the Chairman of the Management Board has had to approve in one form or another, even if it was just not to say anything -- which I am sure the minister is good at.

The jet is a great gift to the opposition in some respects, because almost every program we put forward about which the government has said, "We cannot afford it. Where are we going to get the money?" almost always fits nicely into part of the cost of that ridiculous airplane.

12 noon

As a matter fact, just last night I saw clips on the news of this thing with its enormous double jets sticking out at the back. Of course it is down in Texas now being refurbished with what they call, euphemistically, executive configuration. Undoubtedly that means a bar at the back.

It must be a source of concern to the general manager to change the whole direction of the policy of the government of Ontario, simply to fulfil the whim of the Premier -- who, after winning a majority in the last election now feels that all of these troublesome little shadows in his career can be painted over once and for all. The person who is boss is going to have his way, even if it is on his way out.

The enormity of the commitment of the money is that even at 15 per cent interest on the money that undoubtedly we will have to borrow to buy the plane, $1.6 million has got to be committed in interest payments. It is quite a gift to the opposition, to tell the truth. The city of Brantford has little or no post-secondary facilities whatsoever. The only thing they have is an $18,000 grant from the Ministry of Industry and Tourism. In his successful attempt to elect his friend, that minister gave us this grant to see what could be done by way of getting consultants to tell us how to move away from the one-industry-town syndrome. That $18,000 is still being spent doing something or other; but one of the recommendations is that we have no post-secondary education, what we need is the co-operation of the surrounding community colleges and universities to give us a post- secondary facility that would enable our young people to compete on an even basis with other communities.

By coincidence, the price tag is just about $10 million to provide post-secondary education for a major city in Ontario. We have been trying to do this ever since Dick Beckett was elected by the Tories in Brantford. He did his best to do something for the town. The Premier put him up in the back corner and let him rot there. They did not do anything for the city when they should have. They expedited the road a little bit, which I took credit for since it was in my area. But that is not an important thing.

The cost of post-secondary facilities is just one jet plane. I do not know whether we ought to be comparing what you might call apples and oranges, but even in the city of Brantford they just unveiled their largest capital program in the history of the city: a new sewage disposal plant. It has all the buildings and labs squirting around that we could possibly have.

It is the largest capital expenditure we have ever made; $10 million for just one little plane that is sitting down in Texas getting the plush stapled on to the frame so that when the Premier goes out to meet with Premier Lougheed he will not feel second best, or whatever.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Think about Massey-Ferguson.

Mr. Nixon: What has the government done for Massey-Ferguson? It has not cost it very much money yet. Look at the taxes the government is milking out of Brantford simply to buy this ridiculous plane. I have a feeling the 30 minutes I had directed towards my response is going to be eaten up, but I still have a certain sympathy with the minister in trying to manage the business of government when the chairman of the board does things to him.

I suppose it is just about as bad when the bills come in from the Ministry of Industry and Tourism for one quick flight on the Concorde by the minister just so that he could tell his buddies down at the Albany Club, or wherever he hangs out, that he has just come home on the Concorde.

I happened to hear him in action at a meeting down in the Amethyst Room in the presence of the Speaker of the European Parliament, and he was dropping the names of all the financiers and industrial developers in the capitals of Europe. He goes there regularly. I do not know how often he goes on the Concorde, and I do not know whether he is even going to take the Premier's jet next time he goes to Brussels or Luxembourg or wherever he intends to go.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Australia.

Mr. Nixon: Australia is losing its cachet. People have been there. It is not on this year's list. They got sunburns down there.

This leads me to another problem that should concern the minister, and that is the unnecessary travel of the minister's colleagues. I am not saying that about the minister, because the only travel he does is necessary, of course, and we will argue about that, perhaps, in private.

But it really gets me down when I see the examples set by the members of Parliament in Canada. I do not know when they ever get any work done. It may be that feeling of despair that the members of Parliament in Canada get because they have a strong executive and such a successful government in Canada that they are travelling all the time. They can even take their spouses and friends at no charge.

It really is the most amazing thing, and the disease is creeping in here. With the election of a majority government, there is more or less a tendency to throw up our hands and say: "Well, let us ride with this thing. The ministers are going; let us all go."

I am well aware that some travel is necessary, but the Premier and his diminutive minister go to Australia; even before they go, they announce $100 million in new business, and that is absolutely wrong. There is no way I can use the word "misleading" or anything like that, Mr. Chairman.

It is wrong that one of the minister's employees, the poor old manager of the business of government, who is trying to do a good job of blowing the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) up to the size that is necessary for him to compete for the next job on his personal agenda, which may very well be the Treasurership -- not the one he has in mind; after all, one has to walk before one can fly -- should be made to look so innocuous. Every now and then he has to assert himself and get into a plane himself and say, "I can fly too."

Hon. Mr. Grossman: He just got back from Hong Kong.

Mr. Nixon: From Hong Kong? That certainly is amazing. But it is just a further indication. I am sure it was necessary for the minister to be there to assist in the opening of yet another trade office. I am sure that as soon as the suits of the Minister of Industry and Tourism get a little more frayed he will go over there to look into the matter again.

It is just a feeling I have that the taxpayers are being taken to the cleaners by the government. They have forgotten that those dollars do mean something, and there is a feeling that, with $20 billion to reach into and spend for the good of the province, another few thousand more or less will not make much difference.

I am convinced that some travel is necessary. I simply warn those who are listening so attentively to be careful and not give in to the slackness that infected the government in, let us say, about 1973, just before they came to their senses and bore down on it.

Just because the government has won a majority at the polls certainly does not give it licence to lose the kind of restraint that people expect elected members to have. To be fair, they are under the mistaken impression that Tories can be more restrained than anybody else.

Well, why does the government not do it? Instead of simply travelling on their reputation, they insist on travelling on the Concorde. I am talking about the minister, because he is very near the top of the list of those who really have to be brought down to earth.

I am concerned that the government productivity committee, which made so many mistakes that are slowly being rectified, made a very serious one when it emasculated the Treasury Board. I used that word before, and it is really the only one. Now they are reduced to doing all these important things such as doing research on record-keeping requirements and some performance appraisal. We certainly need that sort of thing if, after performance appraisal, there is either a good carrot or a good stick at the bottom line of the appraisal.

They have been successful in their negotiations with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, and I have already congratulated them on that. They were telling us about student exchange, something I am very interested in indeed. I do not know why the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) does not do that.

12:10 p.m.

It really means that the Treasury Board has been lost, and we have a manager with no power, a manager who is busy doing this sort of office duties for the business of government. I know this particular minister has other responsibilities -- to advise his cabinet colleagues in Ontario Municipal Board appeals.

I personally think he does quite a good job at that. There may be another occasion when we can discuss the procedure, which is what we would call informal. I really do not think he does it quite as effectively as his predecessor in that job, but it may be that as he moves forward with more and more approval on all sides of the House that he too may become Minister of Agriculture and Food if in the dim and distant future there is ever a vacancy.

I believe that the so-called general manager must lose his taste for the job when the chairman of the board and his immediate superior, the Treasurer, simply keep giving him orders that mean all his best efforts at economy are just thrown into the fan.

Compared with a new jet or picking up a new oil company, any concept or thought of bringing the finances of the province to some sort of a rational balance goes right out the window on the whim of the Premier and a very small group in the presidium. I do not know what you call the inner, inner, inner cabinet, but presumably the Premier just talks to the people who will agree with him. He has to talk to the Treasurer, and I have a feeling he must be sick to death of talking to the Treasurer.

While we are critical of the Minister of Agriculture and Food and certain other ministers from time to time, if there ever was a need for change, it has to be in the Treasury. That is why I have a feeling that the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, in creating this fabulous presence in the government and in the community, has really got one step before he takes the big jump. The Treasury might very well be it.

It could be that the Treasurer was on the side of the general manager of government in trying to force the Premier to think again before he reacted to the vision to buy $650 million worth of oil stocks in the hope that it is going to go up and he will be able to show a profit, because it does not look as though there is any other advantage that I can see.

I want to talk specifically about some other areas where the general manager, the Chairman of Management Board, might do something where he cannot do anything to really affect the main course of the government policy.

I am sure he is aware that there are alumni brothers of ours from this House, former MPPs, former cabinet ministers, who are serving in important jobs in the community at the same time as they are collecting their full pension from this House.

As nearly as I can gather, those gentlemen -- all of them doing a good job, no doubt -- are collecting in the area of a $25,000-a-year pension based on their service here. In their second and sometimes third and fourth incarnations in public service, as chairmen of various boards. agencies and commissions, they receive an additional $55,000 to $65,000. That is just the cash they get; then they get the cars and drivers, the various expenses associated with their high office.

Frankly, I have a feeling that a serious mistake was made when the government decided that they would allow pensioned members to go on to full employment beyond their pension, because it does not seem rational, fair or reasonable to me that the taxpayers should be paying those gentlemen more than $80,000 a year together with everything that goes with it. To begin with, they all had substantial careers upon which they even based their political involvement.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Not all of them.

Mr. Nixon: All right. I know one of them whose career has been dedicated to public service. Actually, we could say that the three cabinet ministers about whom we are talking have all been excellent public servants. Why should they refuse the money? I am not criticizing them; I am criticizing the government and the general manager of the government, who should not permit this to happen. Those honourable gentlemen are doing a good job, but they are not worth $85,000, and I am sure they would not try to suggest they are.

The argument that they have earned their pensions is valid. Let them take their pensions, but only as long as they are not taking additional remuneration from the taxpayers, putting them in pay brackets beyond which it is reasonable for the taxpayers to be put in the position of having to provide the wherewithal.

I have already talked about the car and driver business. My own feeling is that the driver is essential to people who are under the pressures that cabinet ministers and certain others are. The driver is essential, but I think we have really gone a long way in providing the cars.

I happen to stay at the Sutton Place Hotel, a block from here, and the taxpayers pay my hotel bill, which has gone up to $55 per night. That is very steep indeed. Of course, the hotel provides a telephone in the washroom, which I appreciate even though I cannot think of anybody to call under those circumstances.

When I come out of the hotel in the morning, there is a lineup of government limousines, all idling away, with the neat little plaque in the front and the impressive yellow spotlights on either side. One gets the impression they may be death rays. The limousines have little receptacles on the fenders just in case they ever get the nerve to put Ontario flags on the fenders so they can float around going to their meetings with the escort in front and the pickup escort behind and the flags snapping as they go along. It is just a matter of time until they make that jump. Actually, they do under certain circumstances.

The point is that I am at the Sutton Place. Even I can make the walk across. Some of the impressive ministers come down in the elevator, walk out and there is somebody the poor innocent taxpayers have to hire, holding the door open, saying: "Good morning, Mr. Minister. Here is your paper." They sit in the back seat with the plush coming up around their arms and joggle across Wellesley Street for one block, where they are dumped off at the east door.

I am telling the members, that is a waste of money and somebody should do something about it. Everybody is always saying, "Oh, that old Mitch Hepburn, he auctioned off those cars and bought limousines." The first part of that is true, but the second part is not. The government ministers bought their own cars and, whenever they needed a driver, which I think is essential on a long trip when one is working hard and has all the cares of the world on one's shoulders the way the honourable Minister of Industry and Tourism has, then one needs that. It is not a luxury; it is a necessity. But they have gone a long way.

It is so even for the chairmen of our various boards, agencies and commissions. Why they need cars and drivers is beyond me, and somebody is going to have to get up enough nerve to take it away from those fellows. Take it away from them! Even with the city of Toronto, it is just whacko. One sees the elected members of council zooming around in chauffeur-driven limousines.

I go down University Avenue or come up University Avenue on my way to work, and Phil Givens goes by in his. And there is the chairman of Metropolitan Toronto in his blue Cadillac. Our Premier has never had the nerve to buy a Cadillac for government service, and I think that is fine. Two big Chryslers are okay; it is quite all right.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: On a point of privilege, Mr. Chairman: I would like to remind the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk that the chairman of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, Mr. Allan Grossman, has never had a car or a driver since he left government in 1975. He has not requested one and has not been given one.

Mr. Nixon: I am certainly glad to know that the chairman of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board has special advocates in this House. Actually, he may have two, because he is one of my favourite former members. Thank God, I have never had to appear before him in his capacity as chairman of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.

But I know for a fact that the chairman of the Commission on Election Expenses and Contributions has a car and driver to take him to work. I do not know why that is necessary. Maybe we do not pay him enough to hire a cab. It is difficult to convey the concept that, for essential transportation, yes, but once the story gets out that Mr. A has a car and driver, or Mr. W has, then Mr. G. is going to think about it, as is everybody else, because nobody likes to be left behind.

It is the same thing at the municipal level, and it certainly is here. The competition to keep up with one's fellow ministers and one's fellow parliamentary assistants -- now they are getting into the free car business, and members know it. There are so many of the parliamentary assistants not here but with their names on empty seats. They could be here if they wanted to. They have access to cars and drivers; they are just going over the deep end.

12:20 p.m.

It is amazing how almost any foolish decision in that connection can be rationalized by pointing to what is done somewhere else. A classic case is the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett) insisting that the cost for his personal home in Toronto be paid by the taxpayers. He was good enough to say, "I won't insist on my mortgage payments" -- that is what he demanded first -- "but you have to pay for my heat and basic costs." We pay his taxes, and he is offended. One of his employees, in commenting on my criticism, said I was taking a very small approach. I forget what the word used was, but I found it rather a nasty word.

I really feel that the honourable minister responsible for housing is being foolish -- it must be politically destructive for him -- to insist that the taxpayers pay the cost of his home on one of the finer streets in Toronto, simply because he has the misfortune to be a cabinet minister from Ottawa. I forget what his pay is now, but it must be close to $70,000.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: It's $62,000.

Mr. Nixon: He gets $62,000 plus a car, plus a fellow with a little piece of plastic to pay for his lunch whenever he does not bring any change.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: He doesn't have a telephone in his washroom.

Mr. Nixon: He certainly wants to keep out of touch with the local press; so I can understand why he does not want to be near a telephone.

That is the sort of thing that is bringing government into disrepute. That is the sort of thing that the Chairman of Management Board could do something about. Presumably he has his own car, and I have no objection to that. I do not know whether he is even buying a house down here, now that the Tories have rammed through the Board of Internal Economy a vote making it possible for all of us to buy houses and have those basic costs approved.

I am telling members it is a mistake, and it is traceable only to the bad judgement of the minister of housing and to the feeling of the Conservative members on the Board of Internal Economy that, "We won the election, and we are not going to listen to claptrap from the opposition."

I believe it is a mistake. It is money poorly spent. It just adds to the concept that people have of people in government at the municipal level, certainly at the federal level, and at this level, that we do not know too much about the individual buck and all we talk about is the millions and billions.

Just briefly, I want to refer to some of those million-dollar matters. One that the minister must surely be concerned about is Minaki Lodge. To protect $550,000 in loans granted to Minaki by the Northern Ontario Development Corporation when it was privately owned, the government purchased the lodge in 1974. It is still closed, having no bedrooms, although a further $10 million has been spent.

Another $12 million is needed to make it operational next year when management is to be turned over to Radisson Hotels, a United States management firm. If it becomes operational at that time, an estimated 150 direct seasonal jobs will be created. This is with an investment of $22 million, and it is a further indication of the inadequate and costly management decisions made by the government and approved by its general manager.

In land assemblies, we have talked about Edwardsburgh and so on so often that I am not going to repeat it. But I must say that another classic case that is the direct responsibility of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing but must be approved by Management Board -- it would have been stopped by a treasury board if we had one -- is the inordinate commitment of dollars to the new town of Townsend.

It is such a ridiculous situation when one sees that it is based on former Treasurer John White's vision. He said there were going to be 900,000 people in the area by the year 2000. In fact, the population of Haldimand-Norfolk has stayed static all these years, with no perceptible growth that can be measured.

The taxpayers have committed about $55 million to property purchase and development of that area. They have huge advertising campaigns based on the slogan, "Come home to Townsend." They have built a shopping centre costing $2 million, and there are only 30 or 40 people living in the whole community.

They forgot that the main street of the new town is the line between the old county of Norfolk and the old county of Haldimand; so they even have two school boards to put up with, and the people on each side of the street have to have their own buses to go in different directions to different schools.

Now the local region has decided to build a regional headquarters there at an estimated cost of $3 million to $4 million. The only reason they will build it there is that the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing gave them the land. Where else are they going to get free land?

The people down here decided that a regional headquarters should go in that spot. The members of council approved it because the land was there and they were looking for a headquarters. I do not believe they would have needed this huge commitment of public dollars if the government of Ontario had not pushed them into regional government in a system that has had more flaws and difficulties than any other regional government in the whole of Ontario.

I am concerned about the increased tendency of people in government not to do their own research and make decisions but to hire consultants. I do not think any work of any importance is done by a bureaucrat now at the request of a minister or a deputy without getting somebody from outside upon whom the decision can be blamed if it goes wrong. It is really getting to be a disease in government that we have consultants for every aspect of responsibility.

I suggest to the minister that consultants' fees and the retention of lawyers for our various committees and boards has escalated to a cost that is absolutely unconscionable. By our lack of attention to this matter, we are creating millionaires in this business who do nothing but feed on the public purse through the consultancy procedures established by the government and approved by the minister.

The minister has made much of his various procedures and special films designed to improve management, but the lesson that is learned by anybody with management responsibility over there is that when a problem comes up get a consultant. If there are no problems, they get a consultant to find out why there are no problems and what problems are coming up. If the minister cannot think of any new ideas to improve his profile in public, he gets a consultant in public relations to suggest certain programs that would sell well in Toronto or Sarnia or Minaki.

It is that kind of waste of public funds that is more and more of a concern. It is based on the relaxation of any rigidity of attitude or discipline that used to be associated with provincial government. Much of this has been lost and, frankly, I trace the most recent level of relaxation to the majority achieved by the Progressive Conservative Party last March. There is a feeling, "Nobody can touch us now, and we can dig into this $20 billion for the convenience of our Premier, the comfort of our travelling ministers and to save us too much wear and tear on the old noggin, because we can hire people to do our thinking for us."

I will close by saying that I regret the loss of the treasury board. I feel any strength the treasury board undoubtedly had has been dissipated as the Management Board performed the new functions prescribed for it by the Committee on Government Productivity.

12:30 p.m.

I have a high regard for the minister. He does not like to be criticized any more than anybody else does, but I feel that he has been given a job to do which does not warrant cabinet rank any more. I would like to see the present minister given a line responsibility; and maybe he will be, because there has to be a shake-up in the cabinet in the next few months. We have got to do something in Agriculture and Food, Treasury is getting to be a continuing embarrassment and there are other areas where some of those guys who have waited patiently either on the periphery or entirely outside are going to have a chance.

That is good, because the time for the party to operate the government of Ontario is rapidly running out. If there was ever an indication that all these years since 1943 have finally drained the ability of the Progressive Conservative Party to come up with the new concepts and the new leadership the province needs, it is the review of the business of government itself. They are old, tired, ineffectual and expensive. The province cannot afford them any more.

Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Chairman, I am going to ask your indulgence to some extent in the comments I have to make in these estimates, because it is not a ministry that I have had any experience with.

Quite frankly, until I read the debate from last year I was not really sure -- there are so many ministries and boards in this government -- exactly what the minister's responsibilities were. I guess I am trying to get a handle on it myself as much as anything else. But the reading I have done makes me wonder if the questions that have been raised in previous estimates, certainly last year, had an awful lot of relevance.

I think the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk has touched on some of the things that were bothering me a bit as to whether they were within the minister's terms of reference. I certainly also got the feeling that, if we were to try to deal strictly with the role he has as manager, I guess, of the civil service in the province, it would be something like punching at marshmallows. I am not really sure it has a heck of a lot of relevance unless we have a specific question, or unless we have the information before us to get anywhere in questions of that kind.

I did wonder exactly what the role of Management Board was in this particular government. I took a look at the comments that were made at the time of the government of Ontario organization of the Management Board secretariat, the initial study done by Urwick Currie back in January 1972. I think I am looking at the right page in the study, page three, where it says:

"In dealing with major functions of the Management Board, the Committee on Government Productivity distinguishes policy making and policy implementation as the two basic processes in decision making by government and assigns to the Management Board responsibility for advising cabinet on policy implementation."

It goes on further than that, but I think that is an indication of some of the responsibilities that are supposed to be the minister's.

In looking at basic responsibilities, on page seven of that report on major functions, I see "program analysis" listed very prominently; then, under the key responsibilities that he has, "effectiveness of analysis re: policy making" and "effectiveness of analysis re: policy implementation in the province." It goes on from there as well.

That, to my mind at least -- and admitting that I am not really familiar with his ministry -- raised questions as to what kind of role he is playing with the advice he gets from the secretariat in specifically analysing and looking at new government programs and new government initiatives, because I clearly see that as one of his major responsibilities as Chairman of Management Board.

I think one of the things that was touched on just briefly by my colleague is a valid one. Inasmuch as the minister is supposed to analyse and pass some judgement, I guess for the use of the cabinet in Ontario as Chairman of Management Board in this government, what kind of analysis, what kind of study, what kind of information did he pass on to the cabinet -- or just the four members of the cabinet who apparently knew about it -- in terms of the major expenditure in Suncor that is obviously going to affect other ministries in their budgets?

It is $650 million, as I understand it, with half of that in the first year. May I ask what kind of analysis, what kind of study, what kind of information the minister passed on to the cabinet in terms of that major purchase? What kind of analysis did he make of the assets of Suncor and their programs and the extent to which they are involved in new exploration in the energy field?

I would like to hear from him whether he did this kind of analysis, or as I suspect, if he knew no more about it than the other three or four cabinet ministers in the government who were involved. If that is the case, I would have to seriously question the role of the Management Board of Cabinet.

It seems to me the question is equally valid, although a lot smaller amount of money is involved, in the $10.5 million purchase of the executive jet airplane for the Premier (Mr. Davis) and the cabinet. I heard a question asked by one of my colleagues, I believe it was the leader of the Liberal Party (Mr. Smith), in the House the other day as to whether or not an analysis had been done of how much rental of executive jets that are already available would cost, in terms of the interest that could be saved on that almost $11 million. Was the role of the Chairman of Management Board to do any kind of financial analysis as to what benefits we were getting out of purchasing that, and whether or not the same job could have been done, and done probably at less cost, by renting?

I think those are valid questions. There are a number of other areas in which we could be asking questions. Is the minister simply there to administer the civil service, or do the guidelines for the Chairman of Management Board mean something in this province?

I would like to know to what extent Management Board actually evaluates government programs, whether they be in some of the areas we are concerned with, such as the community and social services and health fields, or the purchase of a major interest in the oil and gas industry. What kind of evaluation is Management Board actually doing on an ongoing basis of the ministers' performance and the ministries themselves? How closely does the Chairman of Management Board monitor the expenditures of the various ministries in Ontario?

In the course of monitoring their expenditures and whether they are living within their budgetary items -- that he will have to deal with at some time if they do not, through approving an overage -- does Management Board hold the ministers personally responsible or is that something that is not thought of in terms of this government?

I would like to know what the chairman's role is in terms of what I perceive is the broader responsibility of Management Board, and how closely he is dealing with this kind of management or supervision of the various ministries in this government, because heaven only knows some control is needed on some of them.

What specific responsibilities does he take? Is it just a rubber-stamping in terms of a ministry that has gone over its budget? When he has to approve an overage, as I believe is his responsibility, when there is a request for additional funds in excess of what was allowed in that particular budget, how closely is that monitored? If the government is not going to increase the deficit, if we do not see a substantial increase in taxes and the government has to come up with $325 million in what the government says is a very tight situation in Ontario, where is that money going to come from?

Is the board going to have to do some further cutting in the budgets already approved for some of the ministries? How is the board going to find that particular amount of money? What role is it going to play in a request of the Ministry of Community and Social Services, if we deal with an issue my colleague the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston) has been raising, and which I hope to be raising shortly? That is a small issue, but a serious one in terms of a lack, which the government's own people are now starting to admit, of resources for abused or battered women in this province.

In my own town, they can turn away as many as 29 or 30 badly battered women in a single evening because they do not have the rooms or facilities to handle them. If there is a request from the Ministry of Community and Social Service for additional funds because it is recognized that is a needed area where we do not have the current resources available, what is having to find, out of a clear blue sky, $325 million for the Suncor purchase going to do to that? How closely does the Chairman of Management Board monitor a situation like that?

12:40 p.m.

Does he have any say as Chairman of Management Board in the kind of prioritization of the budget in cabinet, or is that totally something that is done by the Premier and the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller)? It would seem to me if he is supposed to evaluate the effectiveness of the programs in his particular ministry he should have a pretty good handle on where we have problems in Ontario.

Is there a problem, as some people will charge, in the health care field or in housing or in some of the social services needed? What kind of prioritization, what kind of specific recommendations, does his ministry make before the budget is brought in here?

I recognize it is to all of us clearly nothing in terms of if there is an election imminent, because then that is just what might appeal most to the voters. But there are at least, hopefully, two or three years that we are not facing an election. What kind of a genuine analysis of the priorities of this government is done by his particular ministry?

Does he evaluate all new government programs? We have dealt with two of them -- and I am not sure we would call them programs, but certainly major expenditures -- the executive jet and the purchase of a 25 per cent interest in Suncor. Does he evaluate all new proposals that come before this House from the government from time to time, or has he got some kind of a guideline that says it depends; his examination is qualified by the cost or the size or the perceived importance of the particular project? Because obviously if he is going to evaluate all of the new programs he has to have some pretty specific terms to judge the performance.

In reading last year's estimates, as I referred to earlier, I was struck by the absence of any overall policy or directional questions that went on and the lack of requests for clarification on some of the minister's comments. I will admit my real concern is the things I have already raised, some kind of an idea of just exactly what kind of a role he is playing in terms of the priorities in Ontario, but there is a number of small points that did peak my curiosity. I am not going to spend a lot of time on them, but one or two of his answers might give me a clearer idea of what was meant and maybe a little bit more insight into what his ministry is all about.

I refer to page G-281 of the 1980 legislative debates. The minister says: "I know the members will be interested to hear of the steps we have taken over the past year to ensure that the board's dual role of general manager and employer is carried out effectively by the Management Board secretariat and the Civil Service Commission. Since 1975, Ontario has reduced the cost of running internal government operations by 1.3 per cent and, in the same period, increased assistance to people by 6.6 per cent." It is as bland and blanket as that.

I want to know, per cent of what? He certainly has not very clearly stated what he means by cutting internal government operations by 1.3 per cent. Is that accurate? Was some of that contracted out so we were doing it not internally within the government? Increased assistance to people by 6.6 per cent; if it is a straight 6.6 per cent, and I do not think that is what he meant, then given inflation there was no increase at all, because the inflation over that period of time would be greater than that.

I say to the minister that there may be a simple answer, but when I read it I did not see anybody challenge it and I do not understand it. That may be me and I accept that, but I really wonder what he is saying.

Another statement he made was, "We establish a very strong pressure on prudent management; namely, the realization that any increases in expenditure will have to be offset elsewhere in the system." I am using that to refer back to the questions I was asking him about what he is going to do in terms of the major expenditure we have coming up in terms of the oil deal. Where are the offsets? How has he figured it out?

If I can go to page G-282, dealing with cutting out some of the bureaucracy in government, in dealing with medical records he said: "In some cases, these records have been retained for at least 50 years after the patient's last visit. We expect to reduce and standardize this period to 20 years, and we are discussing this recommendation with the people affected."

In the course of making that rather flat statement during the estimates last year, I want to know whether he did it, but also I want to know if in the process before he did it there was any recognition by his ministry of the urgent need to monitor workers' health and exposure for long periods of time in terms of exposure to toxic substances?

Because of the latter-day recognition that we are dealing with things like lung cancer from coke oven exposure and asbestos exposure and the variety of forms of cancer that are just terrifying, in terms of asbestos workers, we are dealing with exposure and results 20 and 30 and 35 years after these people were actually in the particular work place.

So, in terms of saying he was going to get rid of records after 20 years: One, what did he actually do? Two, in making that flat statement in his opening remarks a year ago in the estimates, has anybody done the kind of analysis of what that would mean in terms of the absolute necessity for some kind of a longer term monitoring of workers in Ontario?

If I can be permitted to mention something that almost caused a little laugh when I read it, the minister made a big point out of saying that another example of what he was going to do away with is the Ministry of Agriculture and Food requirement that operators of riding-horse establishments must retain a record of every customer visit. He said, "We hope we will be able to delete this record keeping." Now there I can see it. I tried to find out for what purpose -- and I gather there was a purpose -- he wants a record of every person who visits a riding-horse establishment in Ontario.

I guess it is one of the many crazy old laws we have. I have taken my daughter a couple of times in the last year, not far from my cottage, and I was amazed to realize that there may be a record, for whatever purpose -- I've certainly nothing to hide -- of the fact that we went and visited a certain riding-horse establishment. Did he actually get rid of that or was that just one of the many regulations or things that he was going to take a look at last year? I do not see that as the major role of this ministry, but I am curious to know just exactly what the minister does in his particular work.

He also made a point -- I think it is on page 283 -- that he was going to work for more government purchases in the private sector and specifically from Canadian industry. I would like some idea of whether he can put an actual figure on that. I am not sure exactly what use it was last year when he said: "Specifically, we found that small business received 51.2 per cent of the total value of our purchases," referring to government purchases, exclusive of purchases for construction projects. In addition, small businesses received 63.9 per cent of the individual purchase orders which the ministries issued."

They certainly got a majority of the purchase orders but I suspect that, because they may or may not have been frozen out of some of the major purchases, they had a sizably smaller percentage of the actual business done. But why did he say in that -- and nobody questioned him -- "exclusive of purchases for construction projects"? It would seem to me those would be a major portion of purchases by this government as well. What does that do then, even to the figures or percentages he used in his comments? I am really not sure of the importance of all of this, but these are the kinds of things that nobody seems to have asked or raised in the estimates a year ago.

On a smaller scale than the major items I was raising first, it would help me to have some kind of a handle on just how closely he does look at something. If, for example, he took care of that crazy situation of recording visits of any Ontario citizen to a riding-horse establishment, if he did do something -- and he may have been wrong -- in terms of the health records being disposed of that much earlier, if he was able to follow through on those little items, then is his ministry one that just looks after little things? And why have we not seen the kind of analysis that this House has been asking for over the last week in terms of the Suncor purchase? Or can we have a clearer definition of just exactly what kind of role this minister has in this particular government?

In view also of the emphasis he gave a year ago, referred to in much less detail in his comments today, on the need to reduce absenteeism as a problem in terms of government productivity -- in other words, I guess, what we can get out of our employees, especially when we are trying to cut back on the number of those employed -- I really have a strong feeling the emphasis on eliminating absenteeism as a means of improving productivity, which I do not disagree with, is probably not the most productive approach.

12:50 p.m.

However, because I think it has some bearing on whether the question of productivity or absenteeism is related to the kinds of stress in jobs, I would like the minister to produce for this House, by major occupational categories over the last couple of years, a breakdown of absenteeism for nursing assistants, for example, or residential counsellors or some of the people in some of the tougher jobs in some of our institutions where we have had some serious grievances, as the minister is well aware. If he cannot do that, it will have to go on the Order Paper.

I would like to know what the absentee records show by the various kinds of occupational groups, because it may tell us where we have an inefficiency and the kinds of jobs, conditions or experiences they have to handle as employees. I have a strong feeling the minister should change the emphasis from the absenteeism.

By changing it I do not mean ignoring it. Instead of that being his main emphasis, he should take a much stronger look at job retention. I have tried to relate this back to the Civil Service Commission's monthly figures and reports and, unless I am reading the figures wrong, I have a feeling we have a turnover rate in the government service that is rather substantial.

A comment made to me by one of my colleagues was that although considerable attention has been paid to improving productivity by combating absenteeism, the most obvious source of productivity improvement has been missed and that is to reduce employee turnover. The vast majority of government jobs can be performed efficiently only after some learning period. There are a number of pressures in some of the jobs in dealing with people and the fact that we do not want people to be cynical or unresponsive to what they see as civil servants. On occasion, people out there are quick and willing to heap abuse.

There is a period of learning by doing in most government jobs. The length of time during which productivity improves as a result of learning by doing, clearly varies with the complexity of the various jobs government employees may have.

It should be apparent that a higher degree of productivity would certainly be one of the advantages of a considerably lower turnover in staff. The report of the Civil Service Commission for 1980-81 reports that new appointments from April 1980 to March 1981 were a total of 17,406 employees.

If we can compare this to the complement over the same period, the April 1980 figure, page 39 in the civil service complement figures, it is 67,821 while the March 1981 figure is 67,637. The new turnover of 17,406 against 67,729 indicates an annual staff turnover rate of 25.73 per cent, almost 26 per cent.

I recognize there are a couple of intangibles that have to be worked into it, but if we can look at the staff turnover from a different perspective, we can observe that the total of classified plus unclassified in 1980-81 -- and again simply averaging the April 1980 and March 1981 figures that he was using -- was 80,345.

Of this number, the average number of unclassified staff was 12,616. If we add the 12,616 to the 17,406 new appointees -- and I recognize some of those were there before and there are contact renewals and so on -- we get a total annual intake of new employees of 30,022, albeit some of them possibly are trained, having done it on an unclassified basis before. If we took 30,022, even allowing for the fact some of those may have been renewed contracts, over 80,345, we have a 36.36 per cent annual new employee turnover.

I suspect the minister has some arguments that may reduce that to some extent, but it still bothers me that we are dealing with a sizeable new employee intake. That certainly does not promote productivity. At any given time during the year, about one third of the individuals on government payroll were either those recently hired, who must be assumed to be still learning the job and therefore not performing at maximum potential, or some of the renewals of casual, temporary or unclassified staff, or whatever the case may be.

In comparison with the five years prior -- I am referring to the 1975-76 report of the Civil Service Commission -- new appointments, 5,938, classified staff at that time, 68,225 or only an 8.7 per cent turnover. Probably using somewhat different numbers, the report of the Civil Service Commission for 1975-76 reported staff turnover of 8.69 per cent on a recruitment basis.

The 1975-76 civil service report provides no data on unclassified employment, thus to make even a rough comparison we have to go to the 1977 provincial budget, which shows for the year 1976 -- we are not that far away so there probably would not have been that much of a change -- classified staff of 63,210 and unclassified staff of 14,811 for a total 78,021.

If we add the 14,811 unclassified staff, as I have done previously, to the 5,938 new appointments the year previous -- I recognize we are taking a chance in doing that -- we would have a total of 20,749 persons recruited into government. As a percentage of 78,000 that is 26.59 per cent. It bothers me because a comparison of new appointments as a percentage of classified staff showed 8.7 per cent in 1975-76 and 25.73 per cent in 1980-81. New appointments plus unclassified, as a percentage of classified plus unclassified, was 26.5 per cent 1975-76 and 36.36 per cent this year.

That shows a sizeable increase in the turnover over a period of time. I would like to have an explanation for that, because it would seem to me that if those figures even come close to being accurate -- and they are out of his own ministry reports -- then we have a problem in terms of productivity, in terms of the turnover. Staff retention would be a more valuable tool, and turnover is a much greater problem than we have in terms of absenteeism. When we look at straight absenteeism, we also have to look at the kind of pressures that are involved in some of the government jobs.

I have difficulty also in knowing, when he tells us of the kind of reductions that he is getting in the numbers of government employees, whether or not we are getting an accurate picture. I am really not sure how much more contracting out is done and how much more use is being made of the unclassified staff and how many of those are doing it on a contract basis. The figures are difficult to read. Classified plus unclassified employees starting in 1976 were 78,628. In March 31, 1980, it was down to 76,682.

In the same period he had, I must admit, probably about the same percentage in unclassified. The unclassified were down from 14,886 to 13,208, but the percentage of unclassified employees in this government has gone from 18 to 19 to 16 to 16 and back up to 17 last year. Are we offsetting some of the savings that he is reporting to this House with the kind of use we are making of unclassified staff? I do not know. There may be an answer, but he is not clear in what he has so far presented to us in this House. I would like a little bit more information on that.

I notice in the figures I have just used that they exclude Ontario Provincial Police uniformed staff which appear in most numbers. I am told there are no unclassified staff in the OPP uniformed staff. They are considered essential and we do not have a single unclassified employee in the uniformed OPP staff. Yet we have all kinds of unclassified employees, for example, in the hospital sector. Does that mean they are not as important and we need not worry about the importance or permanency of the jobs and can resort to unclassified assistance in that particular area where we cannot do that in terms of the OPP?

I might have made that argument a little more specifically if it was not for the fact that I then took a look at the Attorney General's ministry and found out that, my golly, 37 per cent of their complement is unclassified. Does it pay there because they can probably remain unclassified and come in on a short-term basis in the job and get more money? I really wonder if it is not the case for the hospital workers, because almost invariably anybody we are bringing in to do the laundry or some other job is the low paid worker, and we have lots of unclassified there, but they do not have the same option of coming in as temporary, part-time or unclassified employees and making a little bit more money, but in the Ministry of the Attorney General a heck a lot of the staff do. Is it because they can of make a heck of a lot more money, being, in most cases, lawyers who can command that kind of fee? I do not know, but I think it is a valid question and I would like to know the answer.

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

On motion by Hon. Mr. Wells, the committee of supply reported progress.

The House adjourned at 1:01 p.m.