32nd Parliament, 1st Session






























The House met at 2:02 p.m.



Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I rise on two points of privilege. One deals with an article in the Toronto Sun yesterday in which you and your office are called into some question in regard to an article by David Oved. In that article, there is some question as to your being called in by the Premier and given marching orders and told -- if I can recall the exact words -- "to keep a tighter rein on the opposition."

Sir, I have a great deal of faith in your personal integrity but not so much in the government. I was surprised, quite frankly, that you yourself did not rise as Speaker of the House and as the, I hope, nonpartisan protector of the rights and privileges of all members of the House and make some comment in regard to that article. I think it casts aspersions on the office of Speaker, yourself and your personal integrity. I hope you will respond to that article in the House so that members on all sides can be assured you are completely nonpartisan and you see your duties and responsibilities to protect the rights and privileges of individual members of the House.


Mr. T. P. Reid: I think the second question of privilege, Mr. Speaker, also relates to all of us as members of this assembly. Again in the Toronto Sun and in other media, we have seen today articles relating to the constitutional process in Ottawa and dealing with the constitutional process between the 10 Premiers and the federal government. There are a number of quotations related to both the Premier (Mr. Davis) and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) in regard to Ontario's veto.

I do not wish to prejudge the constitutional negotiations that are going on, but one thing that really concerns me is the fact that -- I want to put this in a bit of a wider context -- we, as members of this House and as individuals of whichever party we belong to, never have an opportunity to debate any kind of federal-provincial agreement. This is so whether it be a Department of Regional and Economic Expansion agreement, the federal-provincial financing of the health care system or whatever it is.

The obvious example before us is that we, as members, have to pick up the press or watch the news on television and learn what the chips are in the constitutional game and what chips Ontario, through its Premier, is prepared to play. It seems to me that we as a legislature have a responsibility to all the citizens of Ontario to discuss these matters, to be unified in our approach and to be aware of what is going on in this process. The member for -- Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, the honourable Mr. Nixon --

Mr. Breithaupt: Dr. Nixon.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Dr. Nixon -- he has an honorary degree in French --

Mr. Nixon: I have it in law.

Mr. T. P. Reid: -- raised this question last week with the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs as to what negotiating power or avenues were open to Ontario to assist in the constitutional deadlock. The member asked specifically at that time, "Are you prepared to give up your veto power in this negotiation?" The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, as is the habit of the government, refused to deal with that.

This is the most fundamental, most vital thing that has happened to this province in many years and it affects us all as legislators and as citizens of Ontario and Canada. Yet there is no mechanism, or seems to be none, for us to deal with these matters or to be involved, as we should be, representing the people of Ontario. So I think you, Mr. Speaker, as the guardian of our rights and privileges, as the protector of the constitution, written and unwritten, of the people of Ontario, should consider this question and try to tell the House and the people of Ontario how we participate in these very vital matters.


Mr. Martel: On the first point of privilege raised by the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid), Mr. Speaker, I, too, read the article by Mr. Oved yesterday. As was my friend, I was somewhat surprised, particularly in view of the fact the Premier only about 10 days ago, when discussing these matters in the legislature, called on the former Speaker, the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes), to attest to the fact that he had never attempted, in all his years, to influence a Speaker.

I would hope that continues but the only way the House will have any assurance is if Mr. Speaker himself indicates that such a meeting did not occur. If it did, it certainly jeopardizes the Speaker's position. I hope it did not occur. I hope, Mr. Speaker, you could indicate to us it did not, so we could be assured your impartiality remains the way it should be.

2:10 p.m.

Mr. Speaker: I would like to respond briefly to the point of privilege. I must confess I have not read the article. I came in rather late yesterday morning and did not get an opportunity to see the morning papers. However, if the matters to which both honourable members refer are true, I want to take this opportunity to assure all honourable members of this House that, lo these many years, I have never been in the Premier's office at any time. However, I shall take a look at the article and respond more fully.



Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House of the formation of an Ontario section of the International Association of French-speaking Parliamentarians. The new Ontario section includes approximately 20 francophone or bilingual members of the Legislative Assembly.

At its founding general assembly, held on Thursday, October 29, 1981, the Ontario section approved its constitution and elected its executive members. I will recite them in a moment.

Founded in 1967, the International Association of French-speaking Parliamentarians includes representatives of more than 20 countries of Europe, Africa, North and South America and Asia. As does the international association, the Ontario section intends to promote close cooperation between parliamentary members of the association and to contribute to the establishment of a true dialogue between cultures. The Ontario section aims to encourage all activities and events likely to provide exchanges between Ontario parliamentarians and their francophone colleagues.

In the spirit of this welcome development, M. le Président, il me fait un grand plaisir d'annoncer à l'Assemblée législative la création d'une section ontarienne de l'Association internationale des parlementaires de langue française. La nouvelle section ontarienne regroupe une vingtaine de membres francophones ou bilingues de l'Assemblée législative.

Au cours de la première assemblée générale de la section, qui s'est tenue le jeudi 29 octobre 1981, les statuts ont été adoptés et l'exécutif a été choisi. Les membres de l'exécutif sont les suivants: Président honoraire, L'honorable John M. Turner, Président de l'Assemblée législative; président, M. Don Boudria, député de Prescott-Russell; vice-président, M. Yuri Shymko, député de High Park-Swansea; secrétaire parlementaire, M. George Samis, député de Cornwall; trésorier parlementaire, Sheila Copps, député de Hamilton Centre; directeurs, M. Michael Cassidy, député d'Ottawa Centre et M. René Piché, député de Cochrane North.

Fondée en 1967, l'Association internationale des parlementaires de langue française réunit les représentants de plus de vingt pays à travers le monde -- de l'Europe, de l'Afrique, des Amériques et de l'Asie.

Comme l'association internationale, la section ontarienne a pour but de promouvoir une étroite coopération entre les parlementaires francophones et de contribuer à l'instauration d'un véritable dialogue des cultures. Elle vise à encourager les échanges de toutes sortes entre les parlementaires ontariens et leurs collègues francophones.

Mr. Boudria: Monsieur l'Orateur, je vais seulement prendre quelques moments pour remercier l'honorable ministre d'avoir lu ce communiqué et je voudrais aussi vous remercier vous pour nous avoir aidés à fournir cette organisation de l'Assemblée législative ontarienne.

Je crois qu'il est très important aussi de remercier l'Honorable député de Lake Nipigon qui a lui aussi travaillé pour former cette organisation, de faire servir les membres de cette organisation afin d'épanouir la langue française en Ontario. Merci beaucoup.

Mr. Cassidy: Monsieur l'Orateur, de la part du Nouveau Parti démocratique comme membre de l'Association des parlementaires de langue française j'aimerais simplement dire comme je suis heureux au nom de mon parti de la formation de cette association et de la section ontarienne. J'ai l'intention de prendre une part assez active puisque dans mon comté il y a 20 pour cent de la population de langue française et parce que depuis mon élection en 1972 j'ai veillé à la reconnaissance du français en Ontario dans ce parlement et puis la reconnaissance aussi des besoins des Franco-Ontariens dans les services gouvernementaux.

Je crois qu'en termes de la connaissance du problème des Franco-Ontariens cette Association des parlementaires doit être bien utile et je suis bien heureux que l'Ontario maintenant soit un adhérent. Merci, monsieur.


Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, in late 1979 I appointed Professor S. R. Ellis as an industrial inquiry commission pursuant to section 34 of the Labour Relations Act. Professor Ellis' mandate was to inquire into and report to me concerning the application of the dependent contractor provisions of the Labour Relations Act to dump truck owner/operators in the aggregate producing and roadbuilding industries.

In June of this year part one of the commission's report was released and tabled in the Legislature. It will be recalled this first part of the report dealt specifically with the application of these provisions in the aggregate producing industry. Today I wish to table the second and final part of the commission's report. Part two examines the implications of the dependent contractor provisions in the roadbuilding industry.

As the members will see, parts one and two, taken together, represent a detailed analysis of the characteristics of the owner/operators' function in these two industries. I do not propose to summarize the commission's conclusions and recommendations at this time. The complete report is now being reviewed by the staff of my ministry. In the coming weeks I expect interested parties will make their views known to me as to what action they consider appropriate in the light of the commission's recommendations. I will, of course, advise the House when our review of the report and of those representations has been concluded.



Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Minister of Energy: The minister will recall he explained in the House yesterday the reason the government announced its intention in the Suncor deal on October 13, rather than waiting for the actual deal to be signed, was because -- and I quote the minister -- "we had to by virtue of the rules and the regulations which govern the shareholdings in the United States." Will the minister kindly identify or explain to this House what these regulations are and how they operate in the case of Ontario's acquisition of 25 per cent of Suncor?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that once the Suncor or Sun Oil people had signed the preliminary agreement -- the letter of intent -- within a certain period of time they had to notify the federal regulatory authority. It became a matter of timetable that we would then announce it to the House at the same time this information was being transmitted in accordance with the regulations governing such transactions in the United States. We would do so keeping in mind that, as the honourable Leader of the Opposition knows, the common shares of Sun Oil are traded in the United States and there are some Securities and Exchange Commission regulations that govern activities as far as New York trading is concerned. That is my understanding of the reason.

Mr. Smith: By way of supplementary: The understanding of Mr. Badolo in the office of the chief counsel of SEC in Washington is that Suncor shares are not listed on the exchange. As for Sun Oil, there is no obligation inasmuch as Suncor represents a very small fraction of Sun Oil's assets. Not only is there absolutely no obligation at all on Sun to make such a disclosure, but no such declaration and no documents have been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, New York or any place else.

2:20 p.m.

If there is some specific regulation, would the minister please let us know what it is? If he cannot name the regulation -- and according to the SEC no such regulation exists that compels Sun to do anything of the sort -- would the minister give us a more acceptable explanation of why the announcement was made some considerable time before the actual deal was signed?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I think the latter part of the question is not correct. We signed the letter of intent and announced it to the House. The honourable Leader of the Opposition is making reference to the ongoing negotiations, included within that letter, that will culminate in a formal agreement around November 20. We mentioned that. Once that is formalized we intend to table that agreement. It has always been our intention.

I cannot provide the honourable member with any further details except that I was advised a certain procedure had to be put into place with respect to the announcement and the time of the announcement. Corporate people from the Sun Oil Company in the United States were here, prepared to make the necessary calls. It is true a number of preferred Suncor shares are traded here, but Sun shares are traded in the United States. I cannot provide any further information. People who advise me with respect to these matters told me this was the way the procedure had to be.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: According to the regulations of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Suncor filed a voluminous 10-K document in Washington around April of this year. Among other things, this document contained such normally secret proprietary information as the cost of production for its oil and natural gas, the cost of production and the sales revenues for each cubic metre of its synthetic oil production in western Canada, and very detailed estimates of its oil reserves, natural gas and synthetic oils as well as its drilling and exploration plans and the proportion of ownership in each case.

Can the minister explain to this House why all that information should have been made available under the regulations of an American authority? Yet here in this Legislature, the ministry and the government were not prepared even to try to table anything of comparative frankness for the benefit of the people who are buying Suncor?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I cannot indicate to the House that I have been through all of this material, line by line. But certainly some time yesterday, prior to the honourable member's contribution in the debate last evening, I made inquiries with respect to some information and was told about this 10-K. I was told at that time there was nothing in that document not incorporated in a number of other documents that are public knowledge and information. Most, if not all, are included in the documentation tabled. I was told that. I myself have not checked that, and I share that with the member.

Mr. Smith: May I ask the minister by way of supplementary, having signed the agreement in principle, which was announced on October 13, why can we not see what the agreement in principle was? Why has the government withheld it pending the final contract being signed before the end of this month since there are already signatories on this deal? The answer on the Order Paper question said the agreement cannot be provided to us because it may unduly impact on the final negotiations now under way.

Will the minister please explain to the House, on behalf of those who have advised him, how releasing that information on something the government has already signed, an agreement it is already party to and Ontario has been bound by, will somehow impact on later negotiations since there is no way to get out of what has been signed anyway? Why can we not see what has already been signed since the government thought enough of it at least to announce the outlines of it in the House?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I can understand that question and certainly would like to attempt to be helpful in this answer. I think it is quite clear we are going to table the final agreement. There is no question about that. Some things are still being negotiated which I referred to in the preliminary document to which the Leader of the Opposition makes reference. One of these is that -- and I have shared this with the member before -- although there are some general terms with respect to the maximum period of time for the repayment of the balance of the purchase price and some reference to the favourable borrowing position of the province as it will reflect itself in interest rates. There is room for negotiation and manoeuvre within those limits.

We are in the middle of those negotiations right now. It would not be in the best interests of the people of Ontario at this point in the negotiations for me to do anything further. I would indicate to the Leader of the Opposition that once those things are finalized they will be incorporated in the final agreement, which will be tabled. There is nothing mysterious about that; people understand that.

Mr. Smith: Why announce it at all, for heaven's sake? I don't accept that answer.

Mr. Speaker, I have another question for the Minister of Energy, since the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) is not here and other senior ministers are engaged in constitutional negotiations. Oh, the Treasurer is here. Perhaps I will ask him, then.

The Treasurer will be aware that the summaries he has given us, of the McLeod Young Weir study and of the Price Waterhouse study, both say the price being paid by the government is an appropriate price according to their understanding of the market if one wishes to acquire, in a block, 25 per cent of the shares of Suncor.

May I ask specifically for other information that may be contained in those reports? Did either of those studies specifically say that purchase was "a sound investment for Ontario taxpayers" -- not just that this was the price the government would have to pay, but that it was a sound investment? And did either of those reports ever state specifically that the purchase would guarantee a return on investment of 15 per cent?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, if the Leader of the Opposition is asking for the exact words then I would not be able to say. I do not believe that question was posed, nor do I believe it should have been posed.

I would point out the decision as to whether one should or should not buy the asset was quite properly taken by the elected people of this province. And if they chose to do so their major interest was to make sure the acquisition, which in our mind was desirable, was made at a price deemed to be fair from our point of view, taking into account the value of the assets of the company and the interest rates of the day. All those factors are part of the appraisal process used by any competent appraiser.

Three or four years ago a business that was appraised when interest rates were 14 per cent had a higher total value than it has today when interest rates are 20 per cent, all other things being equal They used the interest rate market of 1981 and all the normal tests and they came up with a price range. We are in the three-quarters level of that range.

So I would say the question was properly ours to decide whether we wished to acquire it; theirs was to say whether the price was right.

Mr. Smith: By way of supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The Treasurer speaks, of course, of a decision made apparently by four elected people, one of whom objected, and one nonelected person, Mr. Rowan.

But leaving that aside, the Treasurer has not answered whether McLeod Young Weir or Price Waterhouse ever stated specifically that the purchase would guarantee a return on investment of 15 per cent. If they did not state that in their reports would the minister then care to tell the House why the Premier and Mr. Rowan were able to give that figure as their estimate of what the return was likely to be? Did either McLeod Young Weir or Price Waterhouse include in their reports the real cost of this purchase to the province, including the cost of the interest the province will have to pay on its money? Or did they simply say if the government wanted to buy 25 per cent of Suncor this is what the market price would likely be?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is either unable to understand the process of appraisal or unwilling to do so. Obviously, for an asset to be worth anything from a business point of view it has to be able to generate some money, potential or existing, in order to pay for it. I do not know where the 15 per cent came from. I am sure if you asked the Premier --

2:30 p.m.

Mr. Smith: Just tell us where it came from.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I saw it in the press.


Mr. Speaker: Order. Allow the Treasurer to proceed with his answer.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I was trying to point out if today the gross return of an investment was worth 15 per cent, the figure the member has just used, and interest rates are 17 per cent, he is going to tell me he is losing two per cent.

Mr. Smith: No, I am not. I just asked who told you 15.

Hon. F. S. Miller: All right. Yesterday when one of your members said 17 per cent plus 15 per cent --

Mr. Smith: Why doesn't the minister just answer the question?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I am trying very hard to answer it. I listened to the Leader of the Opposition when he posed it.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I said to the press yesterday, Mr. Speaker, that whenever this gentleman is losing a battle he interjects. He has the habit of interjecting to stop anyone from answering his questions when he is losing.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. F. S. Miller: In any case the process we used of asking the two consultants to give us a price would, if their tests have been done properly, produce a reasonable and expected rate of return in addition to the costs of the purchase. That would be expected, of course, whether it is 15 per cent or 20 per cent they used as their measuring stick. They would use the normal criteria for a return on investment in today's world.

After asking not only one but two companies to make that appraisal, both of whom came up with $550 to $675 million as the price for that block of shares, I am satisfied they have used the proper interpretation of the financial data. I am satisfied the investment is worth that much money and we could expect to make our normal returns on that money.

Mr. Wildman: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker, the Treasurer has indicated the consultants were asked specifically about price and not return. Can he tell us who --


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Wildman: Can the minister please tell us who made the decision? Was it his ministry? Was it the Premier's office or was it the Ministry of Energy that did a study to determine that 25 per cent was a reasonable and acceptable amount of the shares to be acquiring and for that reason he asked the consultant to look at the price of that portion of the shares?

Hon. F. S. Miller: First, I am sure my friend knows that asking me, as a minister of government, who made a decision is not correct or proper. The government of this province has made the decision collectively, and this is something that party will never understand. Collectively we stand by the decisions of our cabinet in a united way in public, and always have done, and that explains a good many things in this province.

Mr. Peterson: Final supplementary, Mr. Speaker: It is extraordinary that the Premier in his press conference anticipated a 15 per cent return, yet the Treasurer does not know. But is the Treasurer aware that a 15 per cent return net after tax on a $650 million investment is $97.5 million a year? This is in addition to the debt servicing of $110 million a year, which will require Ontario's share of profit to be $207.5 million a year, a total profit generated from Suncor in Canada of $830 million a year, about two and a half to three times what it made in 1980. Is he telling this House that company is going to make $830 million this year and for the years in the future or for the next 10 years?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I have a great deal of respect for the member's economic ability, but I have to tell him that a lot of people making investments in this province do not have immediate identifiable cash returns like that.


Hon. F. S. Miller: Very often the most important part of the real net return on investment is the increase in value of an asset, not the dividend paid.

Mr. Speaker: A new question; the member for Ottawa Centre.


Mr. Speaker: Order. The Leader of the Opposition has had the opportunity to ask questions. The member for Ottawa Centre has the floor.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question for the Treasurer about what the government plans to do about the economic situation this winter.

A year ago the Treasurer brought in a mini-budget which he said was designed to help assist millions of taxpayers, to give economic leadership and to provide effective short-term stimulus to the economy. That mini-budget was worth about $1 billion, including a $260-million tax cut on a number of major items like vans, trucks, appliances and tourist accommodation.

Will the Treasurer tell the Legislature whether the government intends to bring down a mini-budget this winter, in view of all of the indications that this winter will be much worse, in economic terms, than last winter?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Not at this point in time, Mr. Speaker. On November 12, the honourable member will have an opportunity, as I will, to see what is in the federal finance minister's budget.

Mr. Wrye: We want to know what you're going to do, Frank. That's the question.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. F. S. Miller: For all the criticism we make of Ottawa on a daily basis, I have every reason to hope that there will be measures in that federal budget to assist the overall Canadian economy and specifically some of the people hardest hit by the federal government's current ill-advised fiscal policies.

Mr. Smith: Sell your share of Suncor. Help pay their mortgages with it.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Failing any such actions, I would have to reserve the right, as Treasurer of this province, to take actions needed at a point in time. Until I have had an appreciation of that budget, and until I have had a chance to see what effect it will have on the economy, I do not think I should make that decision. But if I thought something within Ontario's affordability, jurisdiction and competence could help, I would be prepared to look at those things at that time, but not until I have seen the federal budget.

Mr. Cassidy: Can the Treasurer explain what is different about this winter from last winter?

Right now we have a rate of unemployment that is higher than it was a year ago. We have 28,000 more workers out of work than we had a year ago. We have chartered bank interest rates that are upwards of 20 per cent, compared with 12 per cent a year ago. And we have an inflation rate of 12.5 per cent, compared with 10.5 per cent a year ago.

Is it the case that the government only brings in a mini-budget to create jobs and protect workers when there is an election impending, and why is the government so cynical with people here in Ontario?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Does the honourable member really think that anything I could say in response to that question would change his mind? No, absolutely not.

One of the reasons the people of Ontario do choose us instead of the honourable member's party is that, instead of saying what is wrong with this province, we are able to see what is right about this province. There are 129,000 more people at work this year than there were a year ago. The NDP walks a very convenient one-way street.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, since the Treasurer is going to be waiting for the federal budget to be brought down before deciding what he should do, I want to ask him, if there is no assistance in the federal budget to home owners who are being forced to the wall and being forced to leave their homes, will he then take action to assist those home owners in order that they can stay in their homes and try to meet their obligations?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Not until I see the federal budget, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Cassidy: Between September 1979 and September 1980, unemployment in this province increased by 30,000, and the Treasurer came in with a mini-budget in which he was prepared to spend $1 billion to get key industries going again. Specifically, there was action with respect to appliances, trucks, building materials, tourism, kitchen equipment and furnishings. All of those areas were assisted.

Why is the Treasurer refusing to act when right now we have the housing industry in crisis, the automobile industry in crisis, the farm machinery industry in crisis, the appliance industry in crisis and the aircraft manufacturing industry in serious trouble?

Why will the Treasurer not recognize that we are in a serious recession now and that we need a works program to get people jobs this winter in Ontario?

2:40 p.m.

Hon. F. S. Miller: When appropriate, we take the actions we can in this province. I think we have been very successful with them. I can only go back to the criticisms made after May 19, when I brought in the new budget and we forecast a real growth rate in Ontario this year of 2.4 per cent. There were those people on the benches across from here who pointed out that I was smoking pot or drinking something to conjure up figures that optimistic.

The truth is that about a month ago we had to revise upwards the real growth for 1981 to 2.8 per cent, in large part because of some of the measures we introduced a year ago, with a degree of prescience that this side is noted for, to help avoid some of the problems through the winter period.

I am going to wait, because I think it is time that the federal government, with its newly acquired oil revenues, stepped in and did things in the interest of the entire Canadian economy. We do not carry it alone.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Community and Social Services. Can the minister explain why it is that on November 1, recipients of family benefits and of guaranteed annual income system payments got an eight per cent increase in their cheques in addition to the seven per cent they had on January 1, increases to compensate for the cost of living that hits people on low incomes particularly severely?

If that was the case, why was there no increase on November 1 for people in receipt of general welfare assistance when they have to pay the same increase in terms of their cost of living and when their benefits have risen at only half the rate of inflation over the course of the last six years?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, we announced the increases shortly before Labour Day, and I made it perfectly plain that, on a priority basis in meeting needs, the first increase went to start to end the differential between people classified as permanently unemployable and disabled. Second, there was an eight per cent increase to family benefits recipients.

When the leader of the third party says there was nothing for general welfare assistance recipients, he is incorrect. We specifically designed a mandatory shelter allowance --

Mr. Cooke: That is for shelter, not for food.

Hon. Mr. Drea: My friend was the one who was up here last June barracking me. I went down to his municipality after that. As a matter of fact, I got a commendation from his municipality. If he wants me to take it away, I will take it away.

Mr. Foulds: Oh yes, there's the bully.


Mr. Speaker: Order. The minister will reply to the original question.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I am replying.

Mr. Mackenzie: You always play the bully boy.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I think it is a matter of record that a number of municipalities want me to rescind that increase, and I am not going to do it. But we specifically designed a mandatory shelter allowance that would be applicable to general welfare recipients to meet the greatest need this winter, which in our view is the cost of shelter.

Mr. Cassidy: Is the minister aware that, according to the Ministry of Community and Social Services, which we consulted, the maximum of $50 is not paid by any municipality in Ontario? Is he further aware that, even if it were paid, $50 a month is less than one fifth of what it costs to rent a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto right now and that the cost of rent just for an apartment exceeds what a single recipient of general welfare would receive in his entire cheque per month here in Toronto?

Can the minister explain why it is that he is extending this vindictive policy of nonsupport to some 50,000 sole-support parents who are now on family benefits but who he announced during the course of the summer were going to be transferred to the inadequate benefits available under general welfare assistance?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Let us just correct the record. Those people the member talked about got the eight per cent increase. Whether there is a single delivery system in the province, which we have accepted -- it was indeed brought forward year after year by the professionals in the municipal field through resolutions -- does not apply to the rates people will receive.

We made no bones about the fact, when this announcement was made in September, that we had ended the universality of social assistance increases, that we were going to prioritize and that we were going to do it on the basis of greatest need.

When the honourable member talks about the apartments and so forth being available in Metropolitan Toronto, one of the difficulties in applying a general increase was that for those who were in assisted housing, whether it be Ontario Housing, limited-dividend housing or municipal housing across the province, when we raised their rates, including their rents, it was a paper transaction. Whereas those who were out in the real market, where they had to pay a private landlord in current dollars, were often left at a disadvantage.

The mandatory shelter allowance, because the municipalities have to pay it and many object, was designed as a supplement on top of the existing rental allowances in the general welfare assistance scale.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, is the minister aware that the average price for a room with shared kitchen in Toronto today is $50 a week? He is covering a week of that person's shelter costs. What about all the other costs those individuals have? Why is he not taking into account the general welfare needs for clothing and food, which he has to admit have increased in the last year?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I do not want to leave the impression that the maximum is $50 a week. That is a supplement on top of the existing rental scales. I looked at the greatest need, which had been demonstrated to be in the field of shelter, particularly for those who were not in subsidized housing. That is the particular area within the amount of funds I have that we decided to put forward at this time.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, can the minister tell us how these people are supposed to make ends meet, with the increased cost of food and the increased cost of clothing?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I believe the allowances in this province are as fair and equitable as any social assistance allowances anywhere in North America. What is quite often missed in this Legislature is the fact that many people, who are not on any form of social assistance, face just as difficult times because of the combination of high inflation, high interest rates and an economy that is not providing sufficient jobs for the population.


Mr. J. A. Reed: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Energy on the subject of you know what.

The minister is no doubt aware of the statement made by the Premier in his press conference regarding the proposed acquisition of 25 per cent of Suncor, that this $650 million, to use the Premier's words, "will not create any new industry in Ontario, nor will it produce an extra drop of oil."

Is the minister aware that a similar $650-million investment in fuel alcohol plants in Ontario could have produced 430 million gallons of fuel alcohol per year by 1990? Or, to translate it another way, it could replace 15 per cent of our transportation fuel requirements by that time?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, perhaps we could just go back a minute to review some of the things that have already been said and get them in some context.

Although the honourable member is making some particular point on the creation of new jobs, I hope he is not overlooking what a lot of editorial writers have drawn to our attention in commenting on this deal: the importance of retaining jobs that are current.

Mr. Van Horne: Are they going to be here or in Alberta?

Mr. Peterson: What jobs were threatened?

Mr. Smith: Were they in Fort McMurray?

Mr. Speaker: Order.

2:50 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Welch: As far as Ontario is concerned, we understand that 65 per cent of our total energy requirements for the foreseeable future will be gas and oil. It is important, therefore, that we address the question of supply, and there are economic implications with respect to supply.

I will point out as well that the whole purpose behind the national energy program of the federal Liberal Party is, of course, the Canadianization of the oil and gas industry --

Mr. Peterson: It's to get people off oil.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Oh, no. Attached to that are very generous incentive grants for exploration. The honourable member knows that. He also knows that we have a company here that would not be provided with the incentive to develop its present holdings without access to these particular funds.

The member knows that we announced in this House more than a year ago, in October 1980, that as part of a 10-point program -- notwithstanding the fact that the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Smith) did not quote this from the documents he was waving around yesterday -- number nine of that 10-point program talks about an expanded role for the Ontario Energy Corporation, and included in that particular expanded role were ways and means in which it could assist in expediting the Canadianization of the oil and gas industry.

We are now identified with that; that will contribute to an improvement in the supply situation from which we obviously will benefit, and the availability and the security of supply do have some job implications as far as retaining jobs here is concerned.

Before we overlook some other points, as we understand and as the honourable member, who is a very intelligent person, knows full well, Ontario will benefit greatly by the expansion of the industry in that part of the country, because there are some estimates that a spinoff benefit of about one third will develop for industries in this province in so far as the megaprojects are concerned.

The member also will know, if he studies the material coming from this ministry, notwithstanding its quantity and notwithstanding the question as to its quality which was raised yesterday by my friend the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon), that there is plenty of evidence, in so far as this House is concerned, that this ministry is not abandoning its responsibility in doing work in other areas of fuel substitution. In the 10-point program to which I have already made reference, there was $75 million for alternative transportation fuels.

As I mentioned before, it is not an either/or situation. In the foreseeable future, oil and gas are still going to play a fairly important role. We are talking about a transition in so far as other fuels are concerned, and we have to be involved in giving some leadership to research and development here.

I think the honourable member will understand fully the need to join with other members in this House in hailing the Canadianization of the oil and gas industry. The people of this country support it, we are going to be identified with it through the Ontario Energy Corporation and, without those incentive grants, those lands would not be developed; so it does add some oil.


Mr. Speaker: Order. I am going to recognize the member for Halton-Burlington with a supplementary, but I will ask his colleagues to refrain from interjecting and asking supplementary questions, please.

Mr. J. A. Reed: Mr. Speaker, the minister went to great lengths to fail to explain how the acquisition of 25 per cent of Suncor is going to add one drop of oil security to Ontario. He knows very well it will not; he knows very well it cannot.

Do the reports that are being held back by the government, the ones the opposition feels are necessary to evaluate properly this decision by the government, contain anything about the evaluation of the option of spending $650 million on Ontario resources rather than on resources from outside the province?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, included among the material and the objectives are very ambitious targets for this province in making its contribution to crude oil self-sufficiency. Indeed, as the honourable member knows, within 10 to 15 years we would increase the amount of energy production within the borders of this province to 37.5 per cent.

I happen to be one who thinks in terms of Canada, not just Ontario, and I think it is about time that the member did that as well. I think anything that improves the supply and the availability of crude oil in Canada has to be of some benefit to Ontario as well, because we are still a very important part of Canada.

Mr. Smith: Keep it up and we will not be any longer.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Speaker, can the minister explain his government's sudden conversion to Canadianization when his government has presided over the greatest sellout of resources and industry of any province in Canada in the past 30 years?

Mr. Speaker: New question; the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston).

Mr. Foulds: Let the record show that there was no answer.


Mr. Speaker: Order. In the private members' questions I have allowed the original question, a supplementary to the original question and a supplementary from the third party. That is what has been followed so far today; that will continue to be followed.

The member for Scarborough West with a new question.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I did not realize there was a question. I thought there was a statement from the member for Cornwall (Mr. Samis) or Stormont, whatever it is.

The honourable member made some reference to our sudden conversion. It is certainly a consistent position of this administration. As far as oil and gas are concerned, he should read the documents; we have made that position --

Mr. Cassidy: The government has consistently been selling out.

Mr. Foulds: Why did you not take over Denison and Rio Algom?

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Welch: A year ago I stood in this very place to announce that 10-point program and, indeed, indicated that we saw this as a very important role for the Ontario Energy Corporation. This is not sudden; this is consistent.

Mr. Sargent: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: The minister is the only man I know who can say absolutely nothing and mean it.

Mr. Speaker: Order. The member for Scarborough West with a new question.


Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. It concerns the assisted housing waiting list in Metropolitan Toronto, where there are 13,635 households, or 33 per cent more households, on waiting lists this year for public assisted housing in Metro.

Is the minister aware that not only are we losing boarding home spaces in the private sector but also the prices are now out of reach for people on fixed incomes? For instance, is the minister aware that a recent housing registry survey in the city of Toronto showed that the average price in the private market for rooms with a shared kitchen is up 83 per cent from last year to more than $200 a month and that a one-bedroom flat is up 46 per cent to $360 a month?

Since the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Drea) seems unwilling to give those people enough money to afford it, what is the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing going to do to increase the amount of assisted housing in Toronto? Will he tell us how many new assisted housing starts he has initiated this year to counter this problem?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, we have brought in the Ontario rental construction loan program to try to stimulate rental factors all across Ontario and not just in Metropolitan Toronto. Indeed, we have had a fairly substantial takeup; as the honourable member will recall, in the agreements that are arrived at with each developer, 20 per cent of the units must be made available for rent supplement for people coming off the waiting lists of the various housing authorities in the communities they serve.

At the same time, we still have nonprofit public and private units and co-ops being built. I do not have the exact number with me today, but I think I have tabled at a previous time -- and I am prepared to table it again, sir -- the number of units that are currently under construction or have been completed this year related to those programs.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I would like to send the minister some of the statistics from the housing registry survey for his information. Perhaps he would tell us how many of these assisted housing starts there are in Toronto, as I asked initially.

The minister might notice not only that there is a problem in the lack of availability and the cost but also that 40 per cent of the landlords in these housing registries refuse to take welfare recipients and 50 per cent refuse to take families with children.

We want to know what the minister is going to do immediately to make sure that people such as those in the cases I noted are not living in overcrowded, filthy and illegal housing and are not sleeping in the stairwells of city hall and other garages.

3 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: We will continue the programs we have had in conjunction with the federal government. I must say to this House that we have always worked in co-operation with the federal government under agreements in the supply of public housing or rent supplements.

I have to remind this House that if those agreements were to be changed it would be because the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the federal government concurred. This province and every other province in Canada, indeed even the territories, have always worked with CMHC in the provision of adequate housing in the field where it is publicly supported.

The question was asked, how many units? I take it the honourable member was referring to 20 per cent of them getting public assistance under the rental construction loan program. In Toronto we have 929, in Brampton we have 1,853, in Mississauga we have 2,467 units, in North York we have 902 and in Scarborough we have 1,861. Twenty per cent of those units will be made available to the housing authorities at the completion date.

Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, I ask the minister, who is so concerned about the provision of publicly assisted housing, to comment on a press release that his ministry released only last month showing that the rent on rental units for some 67,000 seniors in this province will categorically increase over the next two years as a result of a change in his ministry's policy. How can he sit here at the same time and say he is looking out for the interests of our senior citizens and our subsidized tenants when that just is not so?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure this is a supplementary. But if the member reads the press release, she will find out that it is not a change of policy; it is reforming and going back to the policy that the Liberals in Ottawa backed some years ago, asking us to try to adjust things.

CMHC has advised us very clearly, either we get back on the national position of rent geared to income in all of the public housing units or Ontario can pick up all of the cost of subsidizing those units in relationship to the downside in not going to the 25 per cent rent geared to income.

The press release indicates very clearly that CMHC not only would like to have $13 million for not going to the 25 per cent in this current year that we are doing something for seniors, but also is looking for something like $12.5 million in back payment for not going to it last year.

In the next short time, we hope we will have a common understanding and agreement by CMHC that the program will be implemented over the next two years to go national, and that this province will make no back payments to the federal government.

Ms. Copps: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: It is a change of policy in the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing which is going to mean money out of the pockets of 67,000 senior citizens --


Mr. Speaker: Order.


Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, I have a question to the Minister of Education with respect to the need for a French school in Orleans.

The minister will recall that this question was raised once before, and she challenged some of the figures that I presented to her. I have since checked with the Carleton Separate School Board and discovered that this school was number one on their priority list both in 1980 and in 1981.

Second, as of September 30, 1981, the enrolment capacities for the two French schools to which the children are being bused are 125 and 117 per cent, and the enrolment capacities of the two English schools in the same area are 56 and 49 per cent.

Will the minister now assure the French parents in Orleans that she will give approval to the board so that they can have a school in place by September 1982?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, if the information provided by the honourable member is correct, that school board is capable of immediately providing a school for those francophone students simply by putting the anglophone students in one school. If those figures are correct, I see no reason at this point for constructing an entirely new school if one of the anglophone schools has a 49 per cent enrolment capacity.

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, does the minister not know that putting English-speaking students and French-speaking students in the same school will create problems in the community? Does she also not know that if they take an English school and make a French one out of it, that is going to create some more division in the community?

Recognizing that within a year those English schools will be filled anyway, and some of them do not even belong to that same school board but belong to the board of education, would the answer not be, instead, to build that school in time for next September to satisfy the needs of the French community of that area?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, it seems to me my responsibility as Minister of Education is to ensure the dollars made available by the taxpayers of this province are expended wisely, efficiently and economically. At this point, it would be difficult to suggest that, if there are two schools adjacent to one another operating at 50 per cent or less of capacity, one of those schools could be utilized for another group for which the capacity is obviously greater.

Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister not aware her lack of a solution contributes to the language tensions in the communities there because people want to ensure there is adequate schooling? And is she not aware the area in question is suffering overcrowding of the French schools because it is a growth area where a great number of new homes have been constructed? There will be new families living in the area in September 1982. Those needs should be met, and not by making pupils live in portables or be jammed together the way the minister is advocating.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am not advocating they be jammed together at all. It seems to me reasonable and logical mathematics would provide for the honourable members the rationale for a solution. I agree there is great growth in that area because that board has been provided consistently with funds for the construction of new schools. It is one of the few boards in the province with that growth --

Mr. Cassidy: Because they have a growing population.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: I just said that. Why does the member not listen for a minute? If there is a current problem this year with overcrowding in two schools and obvious undercrowding in two others, there is a logical solution which could be implemented immediately and should be if those are the facts.


Mr. Samis: I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, Mr. Speaker. As the consumer representative in the cabinet, can the minister explain to the consumers of Ontario why he is allying himself with the forces of big business in opposing the proposed federal competitions legislation? I would urge answering in the House as opposed to in committee.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, there is a variety of reasons we are opposed to the competition act presented by Mr. Ouellet, the federal Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs. Basically we do not know exactly what the act will do because of the submissions put forward last April by the minister. It was put forward in the form of a variety of questions.

We took a great deal of concern with it. One of the concerns we have is that it would cut back a lot of important matters in consumer interests. For instance, we could relate it to the price-fighting or at least the special brands fighting. We think to some extent the competition act as proposed could extend as far as including the elimination of no-name products. It is that kind of thing that is creating the problem with it.

Mr. Samis: The minister must realize that to the average person in Ontario his position is identical to that of big business, which has been consistently opposed to competition legislation. Could he tell us why, when we have the weakest competition legislation in the entire western world, we do not hear any positive statements from him as to what he wants to stimulate true competition in the marketplace? Does he agree with Jim Conrad of the Canadian Federation of Independent Petroleum Marketers who says, "Canada's basic economic problem is abusive market power by dominant firms and oligopolistic industrial sectors."

Hon. Mr. Walker: I have not had a chance to read the speech by the noted authority which is being provided. But it is our opinion the proposed competition bill Mr. Ouellet might introduce is simply a political reaction to a lot of high-profile mergers in the last while. Basically the end result will attempt to destroy competition as opposed to prevent anti-competitive behaviour. We think they are on the wrong track.

3:10 p.m.

Mr. Swart: A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker: If the minister, as he seems to indicate in his reply, is in favour of competition, why did he not mention one word in his four-page statement and subsequent nine-page proposal to the federal Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs at the conference in Quebec on September 3 about the need to maintain competition? Why did he rather support monopoly, semimonopoly and multinational enterprises all the way through that document? Does the minister not realize there are two sectors to his ministry?

Mr. Yakabuski: A crying shame.

Mr. Martel: The seals are at it again. Throw them another fish.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Would you please ask the question again; only the question, not the preamble.

Mr. Swart: If the minister professes to be in favour of competition, why in the four page lead-in statement and the nine page proposal at the federal-provincial conference of consumer ministers in Quebec did he not mention one word about maintaining competition but came out solely on the side of monopoly and multinational corporate enterprises? Does he not realize there are two parts to his ministry including that of protecting consumers? Why has he become the mouthpiece for multinational monopoly corporations?

Hon. Mr. Walker: The interesting thing around this place is that some people not only have difficulty asking questions but they have difficulty hearing. The member asked that very question in the estimates committee a week ago and so directed his question that now he has to be asked to repeat it. The answer is going to be the same.

It was a critique of the questionnaire put out by the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs in Ottawa. In addition, the entire day was spent talking about the competition policy. If we mentioned it once, we probably mentioned two dozen times that all the provinces recognize the interest of maintaining that. Indeed our communiqué, which was supported in that respect, indicated that. I spent the better part of an hour explaining to Mr. Ouellet how the consumer was going to be put at a disadvantage by reason of the proposed competition act and he knows that.

Mr. Speaker: A new question, the member for Hamilton Centre.

Mr. Roy: May I ask a supplementary?

Mr. Speaker: There have already been two supplementaries.

Mr. Roy: They were all on that side.

Mr. Speaker: They were the only ones who stood up at that time.


Ms. Copps: I have a question for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Housing. Is the minister aware of a recent vote by regional council to take over control of the Hamilton-Wentworth Housing Authority because the province is doing such a bad job? If the minister is aware of that, will he move in to clean up a situation that was brought to his attention in this House as early as last May?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Yes, I am aware of the request. I have already replied to the regional council that we would be pleased to discuss it with them. I wonder if the member might like to be more specific about the details of the conditions? As she knows, we did meet and review some of the things that were happening in the Hamilton-Wentworth Housing Authority. We have looked at some of the requests made by the member and I think I have responded directly to her.

Ms. Copps: I reiterate that the situation was brought to the minister's attention six months ago. At that time, he promised action but we are still waiting. We are waiting on the issue of the 67,000 tenants facing an increase, the issue of assistance for housing to the people of this province, and we are waiting for him to do something about the mess of the situation. If he will not do anything immediately what is the purpose of his ministry?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: The member rambles on. We have had the opportunity to discuss some of these problems with other members from the Hamilton area and I have made it very clear we will take action where action is necessary. We have discussed it with the chairman of the Hamilton-Wentworth Housing Authority and I think the member is aware of that fact. There are some personality conflicts in that organization that I am sure will be worked out in due course.

As for the 67,000 senior citizens, I trust the member can read the press release. It clearly indicates the exact program relating to senior citizens. Before action was taken by this government through the Ontario Housing Corporation's recommendation, we went to the Ontario Advisory Council on Senior Citizens. The Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) conducted the meeting and we reviewed it with the council. They understood clearly what the problem happens to be in that situation, and they concurred with the actions of the government.


Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Is the minister aware of the situation at 131 Dunn Avenue in Toronto? The Parkdale Tenants' Association alleges that tenants have been evicted on the grounds that extensive repairs are to be done, though essentially only cosmetic changes have taken place. The association alleges the landlord has failed to issue proper notices and that notices for eviction are improper because the renovations that have taken place are not major.

Is the minister further aware that the landlord in that building is conducting a guerrilla war on the tenants by such actions as taking out windows and turning off the heat?

What is he going to do about this situation, which seems clearly to violate the Residential Tenancies Act of his ministry?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, the member has brought this matter to my attention now. I will have it addressed and respond.

Mr. Philip: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is it not time the minister strengthened the Residential Tenancies Act so that landlords like this, who apparently flout the law, are punished? Under this act there are no penalties for landlords that would in any way compensate tenants for this kind of action.

Hon. Mr. Walker: We will look into that question.

Ms. Copps: Final supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The issue of nonessential renovations is a critical one across this province. When is the minister going to bring in stricter guidelines to establish exactly what is a renovation and what is not, so that landlords can stop trying to rip off the Residential Tenancy Commission by doing unnecessary renovations?

Hon. Mr. Walker: I do not know that I am coming in with guidelines, Mr. Speaker, but I will look into the question.


Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. We took a tour of the Haldimand-Norfolk area only a week ago tomorrow under the direction of the member for Wilson Heights (Mr. Rotenberg) and only seven members were able to take advantage of it. I would like to ask the minister: Given the scarcity of affordable housing in Ontario and the difficulty the housing industry and the lumber business are in, would he consider allowing a reasonable rate of interest, as in the development of Townsend, so that the many vacant lots -- several hundred, to be exact -- in the Haldimand-Norfolk area and other parts of Ontario could be used for the construction of housing?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I indicated clearly a week ago, in answer to a question from the other member from the Haldimand area, we had told the construction industry in the Townsend area that if they took up mortgages before the end of June of this year they could have the preferential interest rate we were offering to renewals of Ontario Mortgage Corporation mortgages. I said very clearly that I was not prepared to expand that program to other locations in the province.

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


Mr. Smith: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: You are aware, of course, that we on this side of the House are very unhappy with the so-called compendium that was given to us on the subject of the Suncor deal, and you are perfectly aware this has been raised with you before. In that compendium was a statement by the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch) which had been made on Friday, October 10. To rub salt in our wounds the minister has continually made reference to that statement as though it somehow or other signalled the Suncor deal -- was the beginning of the planning for the Suncor deal -- as though it somehow represents a full disclosure of how the Suncor deal got started.


3:20 p.m.

Mr. Smith: Friday, October 10, 1980. If I said anything else I stand corrected.

This statement can under no circumstances be given the interpretation of the minister. The title is "A 10-Point $165 Million Energy Program." The 10 points, just to summarize briefly -- I will not read them all -- are as follows: There is a paragraph that says, "This 10-point program emphasizes energy conservation and oil substitution" -- nothing about buying oil companies -- "and includes the following initiatives:"

Point one is alternative transportation fuels; two is solar energy; three is conservation and off-oil programs; four is energy audits in municipalities; five is energy conservation in building; six is converting from oil to other energies; seven is oil substitution and industrial conservation programs; eight is conservation standards in the building code; nine is expansion of the Ontario Energy Corporation -- note that point; and 10 is a skills development program for natural gas fitters and installers.

Obviously the entire program, and any role for the Ontario Energy Corporation, in that context is plainly in the field of substituting for oil and getting off oil. To make it even more certain, the second last paragraph of the speech says, "The programs unveiled today will help reduce Canada's dependency on crude oil. It is my hope that the proposed federal off-oil program will be designed to both complement and supplement these initiatives."

There is no conceivable way that can be honestly read as indicating an intention to spend billions of dollars to buy a share of an oil company. The entire statement plainly is one of conservation and substitution, and speaks of being added to by the very idea of a federal off-oil program.

Therefore to say this means the compendium we received was truly pertinent and provided the background of the Suncor deal, is simply not to deal with the truth in any reasonable way at all. Furthermore, to make reference to the same repeatedly in question period, suggesting that was the signal of what the government was about to do, cannot in any way be taken as answers that are in correspondence with the facts.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I fail to see where that is a point of privilege, because the honourable member will find that some of us will have an opportunity to take part in the debate. I think he has abused the rules of this House. He has already taken part in the debate on interim supply, and now, under the guise of a point of privilege, he tries to stay in the debate. I will have my opportunity to respond to that and to develop the theme I have been developing in answers, when I take part in the debate later on today.

Mr. Speaker: If I may just respond very briefly -- and you did not make the request -- there have been previous questions asked of the Speaker to make sure the compendium complied with the standing orders.

I have taken the matter under advisement. I have looked it up in May's parliamentary practice. I do not have the written document with me, but as best I can recall from memory, under chapter 19 it states very clearly that the tabling of documents is the responsibility of the government. If people are not satisfied with the information provided, then they appeal to the government to make it available, not to the Speaker. It is not the Speaker's prerogative to make sure that information is supplied.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Smith: Could I have guidance from you, Mr. Speaker? If a compendium is simply whatever the government says it is, which is in essence what you are saying to us, and if that is parliamentary practice, then they can comply with the standing orders in ways I am sure were never contemplated when the standing orders were themselves drafted.

Are you saying to us, in essence, the standing orders that guarantee us a compendium in fact guarantee us virtually nothing -- they guarantee us whatever the government wishes to call a compendium -- and that if we want to have real compendia, instead of any sort of garbage or propaganda or whatever, we are going to have to make some change in the standing orders to obtain that? Is that what you are saying, sir?

Mr. Speaker: Yes. I think it is not within the province of the Speaker to rule on what is a proper compendium and what is not. I think it is very clear it is a matter of opinion. Quite obviously you as an individual and your party as a group have a different understanding of what comprises a compendium, as opposed to what the minister may have or what the third party may have.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, on that point of order: I would urge very strongly that you look again at your role as Speaker in this matter, as to whether following the precedent from May would deal equally with the different parties in this Legislature. I would urge you to look whether you should not under certain circumstances be prepared to break new ground rather than just following a precedent in May that may go back a number of years.

It has always been my understanding of parliamentary practice that while precedent is looked to with a fair amount of reverence, it does not have to be slavishly followed. I would suggest that here is a case where, as in other aspects of a common law tradition, it is possible for you as presiding officer in this Legislature to determine that a new precedent should be struck. This would be a precedent that enforces the right to know of the members of the opposition parties in this Legislature and, through them, the people of the Ontario. I appeal to you, Mr. Speaker, to take those actions.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, the original section 26(c) was put in our standing orders as a result of a number of commissions, such as the Camp commission and the Morrow commission. The philosophy behind it was to improve the status of the individual member of the House and to provide him or her with the necessary information to be informed, on which the government could be questioned, whether it be members of the opposition or members of the back benches of the Conservative Party in this case. That was the philosophy, that we would have the information so we could be as fully informed as possible without offending the rules of confidentiality in some cases, so this could be a more informed and competent place.

You are saying, Mr. Speaker, that you looked at May. I think you have to look at the rule of our own Legislature in section 26(c). While May might have something to say about it, the Legislature in its wisdom has passed this rule for this Legislature. I say respectfully that as Speaker it is your role and responsibility to uphold the rules found in the Legislature of Ontario standing orders.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I rise to remind you that the government has admitted it has documentation that it is not making available either to the public or to the opposition. It is my understanding that the very word "compendium" means an all-inclusive collection of background information. Although the standing rule says the government shall table a compendium, I suggest the government has admitted it is not complying with the rule of the House because it has, quite deliberately, in its answer to the question I put on the Order Paper, said there is documentation. This is a valuation report prepared by McLeod Young Weir and a critique of that valuation prepared by Price Waterhouse. And the government says it is not going to make those public.

I even understand some of the hesitancy the government may have about allowing information to slip out while it is conducting negotiations and how that might affect various financial arrangements in the province. Surely, however, having admitted the documentation exists, it is the obligation of the government to make available to the House as full a copy of that documentation, perhaps inking out -- as it did in many Hydro reports of accidents -- the specific information that might bring attention to a specific individual.

3:30 p.m.

I suggest the government has not lived up to the rule in our standing orders. There are ways the government can demonstrate good faith by giving us the information that is available in fuller form to give us an understanding -- both we on this side of the House and the people of Ontario -- of what led the government to make the decision. I do not think we want to jeopardize the negotiations, nor do we want to give an advantage to certain insiders, but we do have a right to have the information the government says it had when it made the decision to buy 25 per cent.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I was interested in hearing the aside made by the Minister of Energy with respect to the fact that the standing orders do not say what a compendium is. If he would search the Shorter Oxford English dictionary he would find compendium is defined as follows: "An abridgement of a larger work or treatise, giving the sense and substance, within smaller compass; an epitome, a summary, a brief."

As we look back in the rules, at the time when he was House leader for his party and I was House leader for mine, basically the intention was there be some opportunity to have shorter statements in the House in order that more work could be accomplished and that additional information be provided, at the same time, through the use of this practice of filing a compendium. It is quite clear what the intention was -- that information, supplementary and helpful, was going to be made available to all members of the House, as much to the benefit of government back-benchers as to members of the opposition.

I suggest in looking at the parliamentary rules, as far as Erskine May or the other background is concerned, we are not governed here by a precedent. We are clearly governed by a rule. We are covered by rule 26(c), as my colleague the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid) has suggested, in a word that is quite equally known to all of us and quite easily defined.

The intention is to have as much information as possible. I think there is a requirement to provide that in accordance with the spirit of the rules.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy). I am doing this for a purpose.

Mr. Martel: So he can get on the record? He is here today.

Mr. Speaker: No. He is going to speak anyway, but I did lose rotation when I recognized the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt). I am going to recognize the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) and then the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel).

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I quite understand that in your ruling you cannot be looking at all the information that has been obtained by way of compendium in determining whether it adequately follows the rule.

But there reaches a point, Mr. Speaker, where you must ensure the rule is complied with. I think there is a role for the chair to play if, for instance, the government refuses completely to supply a compendium or if you feel whatever is supplied by the government does not comply with the rule to all intents and purposes. For instance, if they supplied as a compendium a book on Pinocchio and we were talking about the energy program surely that would not be complying with the rule.

The point I want to make is, if they do not comply at all or they comply in such a fashion they do not comply with the rule, I think there is a role for the chair. What you are saying is you cannot get involved and look over every compendium to see whether it is adequate or not, but I think there is a role for the chair to play.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, speaking as a member of the Morrow committee, when we reviewed this we wanted to be able to ascertain on what grounds a government made a decision with respect to a particular policy.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Was it not primarily for legislation and then it was expanded to policy statements?

Mr. Martel: No, it dealt with the whole field in the original Morrow report because --

Hon. Mr. Welch: And then it was expanded to policy.

Mr. Martel: It dealt with legislation but the purpose was to be able to put together or to understand what it was that prompted the government to take the action it took.

Hon. Mr. Welch: It was the rules committee.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Table the public opinion poll.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Martel: If the Deputy Premier is telling me the material presented as a compendium several weeks ago, which was a couple of glossy documents and a ministerial statement, was what he --

Mr. Nixon: They didn't present anything at first -- nothing at all.

Hon. Mr. Welch: We did. There is nothing in the rules that says --

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Martel: If the Deputy Premier is telling me the government based its decision on that couple of documents, I do not think he really expects anyone over here to believe that. I do not think anyone on that side of the House would have made any decision with respect to such a purchase with that limited information.

The information that is supposed to be made available to the members is the information on which the government made a decision, originally with respect to legislation and later expanded, so that everyone would understand what background information led to a particular decision.

What we are confronted with now is a refusal of the government to give any of the information. All of us recognize, I think, that certain confidentiality in a business transaction must remain confidential until the deal is consummated, but surely there is also a way of deleting that material.

We had such a way with Re-Mor. We certainly had it on the select committee when it was looking at the document from the Treasurer on the auto industry. We had him as a guest one afternoon, and he agreed to strike out certain material. The committee agreed to it, because he said it was confidential. We accepted his word, and he struck from some of the documents the material he considered confidential.

Surely the government should be prepared to do that now to get us out of this bind, to get us on to other business and, at the same time, to give the opposition parties an opportunity to look at the documentation that is germane and is not considered confidential. I fail to see why it continues to dig itself in in this impasse, when there are certain alternatives available to the government.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: It is not our impasse.

Mr. Martel: The Minister of Education would not understand. She has it in her head that she can just ramrod. It would be nice if she had served on a committee once in a while and understood how this place operates.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: No, I have not done that. But I understand what compendium means and I have read the rules.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, on the basis of my 20 years in this House, it is inconceivable to me that a top government authority could put a deal in place and, along with scores of other people, have inside information that members of House should not have access to. I think the mechanics of this deal should be made available to every member of this House. The deal is only a letter of intent at this point, it is not consummated, and I think at this time we should have everything out in the open.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you very much. I did not mean to be provocative or argumentative when I brought this matter up, but I refer all the honourable members to standing order 26(c). It says, "After any policy statement the minister shall table a compendium of background information."

Having sought that guidance, I looked up the dictionary and found out, as the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt) did, the definition of "compendium," which I submit is somewhat vague; it refers to a summary and so on. Then I referred to the nineteenth edition of May on page 432, and I now have the paper in front of me. Under the heading of "Responsibility of Laying Documents," I will read what it says:

"It is the responsibility of the government, and not of the chair, to see that documents which may be relevant to debate are laid before the House and are available to members. It is not for the chair to decide what documents are relevant. Only when the Speaker himself has control of a document can he be involved in making it available to the House or a committee."

That is what I was guided by.

There are, I might say, other ways of getting the information.

Mr. Martel: Tell us how, Mr. Speaker, and we will do it.

Mr. Speaker: You can find out by putting a motion. There are several procedures.

3:40 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Yesterday the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) raised an interesting point and asked me to look into whether it was proper for a deputy minister of the crown to comment publicly on a report. I have checked into the matter: as a matter of fact, I heard a news report on the radio, and I do have some knowledge of what was said.

The person in question, Mr. Rowan, spoke to the report as co-chairman of the Ontario energy and agricultural policy committee, not as deputy minister. So he was co-chairman of the committee and made the comments as co-chairman.

Mr. Breaugh: I wish to pursue it briefly, Mr. Speaker; I do not want to make a big deal of it. I am aware that in other jurisdictions it is considered to be a gross impropriety for a member who has participated in the preparation of a report, let alone co-authored it virtually and co-chaired the proceedings, to make comments about that report prior to its being tabled in whatever parliament it might be. That is the point I want you to address, Mr. Speaker.

I realize that at one time he was the deputy minister and that he now is senior in another agency on behalf of the government. It strikes me that it would do this House some great service to have you look at that in more detail, because I do believe that practice would be a dangerous one.

Mr. Foulds: If I might make a point, Mr. Speaker, I would add that the important thing to remember is that Mr. Rowan is still a very senior public servant. He is president of the Ontario Energy Corporation and a former deputy minister. Whether that was a shuffle upwards or sideways or downwards remains to be seen, but he still is a very senior public servant.

Hon. Mr. Welch: One brief comment, Mr. Speaker: We have to understand that for reasons I do not know a document got in the hands of a journalist and was being commented upon. Other media became somewhat interested, and we all got calls about this document.

I think one of the co-chairman of the committee, the former deputy minister, felt some obligation with respect to truth. As far as I have read, he admitted that there was such a report, that he did co-chair such a committee and that it was a wide-ranging discussion that talked about everything from "large farm machinery to fertilizer."

By way of general acknowledgement, I fail to see what was violated. He refused to talk about any recommendations and acted quite properly in so doing until the report was tabled. That is the extent to which I have become familiar with any comments he made with respect to a report that he co-authored.

Mr. Speaker: If I may, I wish to point out further to the member for Oshawa and all honourable members that, as Speaker, I do not have any control over members of the civil service, only the legislative officers and the members.

Mr. Nixon: I guess the minister doesn't either, because several press members --

Hon. Mr. Welch: That is not true. Name one.

Mr. Speaker: Order. The member for St. Catharines.

Mr. Nixon: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Speaker: I have recognized the member for St. Catharines.


Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order, I believe. You can correct me and tell me it is a point of privilege, if you want.

Regarding the procedure you follow in the question period and the suggestion I sent to you in a note, one of the problems that private members have had, and many of us have expressed it for some time, is that in question period the number of questions put to ministers is rather limited because of the length of time taken by the leaders' questions and because of interjections and other matters that take place during the question period.

I recognize that, in an attempt to solve this problem and to be consistent on all questions, you have limited the number of supplementaries on private members' questions to two, and you have been consistent in doing this. However, some parties do not wish to ask a supplementary to the other party's question in the interest of speeding up the question period so we can get more questions on.

What you have done, and you are consistent in doing it, is you have given two supplementaries no matter which party has asked the question. My suggestion for your consideration in that particular case, if the other opposition party is not interested in asking a supplementary question, is that you ask for a new question.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you very much.


Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Energy has challenged me to name another reporter besides somebody on the Toronto Sun who had a copy of the report. I will tell him that a reporter working for one of the radio networks, heavily subsidized by the public purse, asked me questions before the House that day and indicated he had a copy of the report, on the day the minister presented the report to the House later on.

For the minister to say only one member of the press somehow got hold of it is patently incorrect. This other person had a copy of the report. There seemed to be a general furore, and many members of the House were asked questions, because these people had copies of the report.

The minister delayed the report until after the estimates of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food were completed. It should have been available for the Ministry of Agriculture and Food estimates; it was delayed and then leaked over the weekend. The Minister of Agriculture and Food and his colleagues are responsible.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Boy, in your old age you're sinking lower and lower.

Mr. Nixon: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I don't know what is wrong with the Deputy Premier --

Mr. Speaker: Order. The member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk will please resume his seat.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Stokes: Throw them both out.



Mr. J. A. Taylor from the select committee on pensions presented the committee's report and moved its adoption.

Mr. J. A. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, I move the adjournment of the debate.

Mr. Martel: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: One of my colleagues came to me as a result of this report. I ask your guidance because, as I understand this report, there was some problem with it. We had a debate some time ago, and the chairman of the particular select committee was involved. As I recall the incident, because it was not signed properly it was taken back and a small modification was supposed to be made.

Mr. Nixon: That was an NDP objection, as I recall.

Mr. Martel: Yes. What has happened, Mr. Speaker, and where your guidance or some ruling is going to have to be made, is that after the report had been reviewed and there had been some consensus and it had been tabled and then withdrawn, three of the Conservative members, as I understand it, decided at that stage of the game to write their dissent, after the report was completed.

Surely one could agree that if there were a small modification or some correction that had to be made to that particular document, that would have to be done. But if starting to write a minority report after the report was completed is tolerated, we are going to be into such a mess that whenever somebody feels a little heat in the kitchen, and the report is not on the desk or has not been tabled, we are going to call it back and start to rewrite it.

Mr. Nixon: The best two out of three.

Mr. Martel: My friend the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk is right; it sounds like the best two out of three. But when one uses the numbers game simply to do that sort of thing, I do not think we can ever expect to get a report through. We are never going to get any type of consensus on a document, because if someone gets caught with his finger in the cookie jar, as my friends did, and somebody chastises him, he is going to run back and say, "I want to rewrite the document." We are never going to get a report completed in any satisfactory fashion if that is allowed to continue.

3:50 p.m.

I ask the Speaker either to rule on the point I am raising or to submit it to the standing committee on procedural affairs, where they will not play the numbers game but will look at the parliamentary tradition and the rules as they really are. But to do this sort of thing is irresponsible. If it was too hot in the kitchen, that is the fault of my buddies opposite. They should have lived by what they agreed to do in the beginning; they cannot use the numbers game to change a report after it has been completed.

Mr. Jones: Mr. Speaker, I think it is very important that we clarify a couple of the comments made by the member for Sudbury East. The insinuation has been clear that somehow or other there was all of a sudden, as he calls it, heat in the kitchen; that somehow or other it just popped up --

Mr. Martel: About three weeks after.

Mr. Jones: Three weeks after, to choose the member's time frame.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Jones: But I can share with you, Mr. Speaker, and for the benefit of the members who were not part of that process in committee, that early in the initial drafting of the wording to be used in relation to section 21 of the Haley report, not only Conservative members but also members from one of the other parties expressed a very serious concern that there would be a gross misinterpretation of what the committee was saying as they put forward what they felt to be a very critical recommendation as a comment on this report.

I think it is important for members to be aware that we did not have an opportunity to see the final wording, which was changed more than in the preparation of the final draft, and we were deprived of the opportunity to see it as it was tabled. There were discussions with other members from other parties, as a matter of fact, who were anxious to sign that dissent.

I just want to reassure the House that there was no chastisement by any member of the government, as my friend suggested; rather, the members were bringing forward some very real concerns they had had in the course of the discussions that went into the drafting of that report on the section that we objected to.

Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to your attention a very significant inconsistency that has arisen from the statement by the member for Sudbury East. I want to remind you that what was central to this whole issue, the very reason it was raised in this House in the first instance by the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan), was the fact that none of the members of the committee had had an opportunity to peruse the report in its final draft.

The member for Bellwoods raised the furore in the House because he had not had the opportunity to sign that report; the other members on all sides of the House and from all parties agreed that they should have had an opportunity to sign that report and thus indicate that they had read the final draft and were in agreement with its final wording.

Now the member for Sudbury East has the audacity to get up in this House and suggest that the members who had submitted a dissenting opinion were submitting it after the final report had been completed and agreed to by all the members. That is a total inconsistency, because that was the very reason the report was withdrawn in the first instance: it was not deemed to have been complete and had not been fully accepted by all members of the committee. I want that to stand clearly on the record, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I find it extremely difficult to follow the reasoning of the last speaker. I think it should be clearly on record that a consensus was reached in the committee and, yes, there was an argument over it.

The one point that caused the problem on this was a motion moved by one of the Tory members and supported by my colleagues and some of the Liberal members in that committee. When we came back for a second look at it, and this was before it was filed the first time in this House, we found that the wording was slightly different from the motion that had passed and it was challenged by my colleague the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan). The Tory member for Brantford (Mr. Gillies), supported by at least two of his colleagues, said, "Yes, the way the member for Bellwoods has put it is the correct way, and that is what we voted on the first time." We voted again, it carried and there was no more discussion at that point. We then finished in half an hour, winding up the report in the committee.

Mr. Martel: That's when they should have made their dissent.

Mr. Mackenzie: This question of dissent was not raised until we came back the last time around, and that was only about the wording we had finally agreed on and voted on twice in that committee.

Does the fact that two of them disagreed -- and one was not there during the vote and came in -- give them a chance to go back to it again, after it has been passed, for another kick at the cat? Where are we going in terms of the committees of this House? I think this is a serious point that should be raised.

Mr. J. A. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, we have heard much about cookie jars and kitchen temperatures but --

Mr. Foulds: The member is going to take over from the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Smith) as the Cookie Monster.

Mr. Bradley: You're in third place now.

Mr. Foulds: I withdraw that.

Mr. J. A. Taylor: Thank you very much; I appreciate the member's attention.

Mr. Speaker, as you will vividly recollect, I tabled this report previously. I want to point out that it was not before the House improperly. It was signed by me as chairman after a full review of its contents by the committee. I understand that in the past year, out of 15 similar reports, about 11 have been signed only by the chairman and four have been signed by all the committee members.

Because of the question raised by the member for Bellwoods in regard to affording an opportunity to all members of the committee to sign the report, I asked that the report be withdrawn so a further meeting of the committee could be held and a proper resolution passed with regard to this report and future reports, saying that they should be signed by all members of the committee. That resolution was passed by the committee, and all members of the committee signed the report.

If there is a dissenting opinion expressed by any member of a committee, the concurrence of that committee is necessary to include that dissenting opinion in the report tabled in this House. A resolution was passed by the committee to enable dissenting views and opinions to be expressed and to be tabled with the report. Seizing on that opportunity, a dissenting view has been tabled with the report this afternoon.

Mr. Martel: After the fact, though. You should have written it in the first place.

Mr. Mackenzie: Don't be dishonest. It was after the fact, and you know it.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. J. A. Taylor: I see nothing improper or irregular and, as you know, Mr. Speaker, I have moved the adjournment of the debate.

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I want to make it absolutely clear that I have no criticism of the chairman of the committee. I think all members of the committee will agree he has operated that committee with an exceptional degree of fairness. Nor do I have any criticism of the clerk of the committee, who was simply following the directions laid down in the procedural manual. I want to make that abundantly clear as well.

The thing we find distasteful is the fact that a number of Conservative members of the committee chose to file a dissent from the majority report after the fact, which has been pointed out by a number of speakers. That is to say, they did that after the report was written, adopted and agreed on as a consensus report. That is what we find distasteful.

4 p.m.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you very much. I think the opinions that have been expressed might better be expressed during the debate on the report.

I draw the members' attention to standing order 89(d). The last sentence of section 89(d) says: "A committee may, in its discretion, include any dissenting opinions in its report." I am not privy to what went on. I have not seen the report. I can only assume that there is no impropriety. I can only assume that the committee did, in fact, give its permission and discuss fully any dissension or dissenting report that was made.

Mr. Martel: Let me just ask you this, Mr. Speaker: I understand the rule perfectly well as you have just outlined it; we are not disagreeing with that rule. What we are disagreeing with and what we find offensive is that, after it was been brought into the Legislature, it then went back to the committee to be endorsed, and they then decided to write their dissent. If they are going to write a dissent that is going to be appended, surely they should do it when the drafting of the report is going on and not after the report has been completed.

Mr. Speaker: If I can just go back to what I said earlier, which is that I have to assume -- I do not have any information otherwise -- that the committee has consented to the inclusion of a dissenting report or dissenting opinion.

Mr. Nixon: It was signed by everybody.

Mr. Speaker: That is right. The only thing I can say is that the comments which are raised, the points which are raised might better be raised during the debate.

On motion by Mr. J. A. Taylor, the debate was adjourned.



Hon. Mr. Walker moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Gregory, first reading of Bill 162, An Act to amend the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the bill is to provide specific authority for the minister and deputy minister to delegate powers and duties vested in them under any act to designated officers of the ministry. The delegation may be subject to specified terms and conditions.


Hon. Mr. Walker moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Gregory, first reading of Bill 163, An Act to amend the Personal Property Security Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the Personal Property Security Act is to correct some decisions that have been made by the Supreme Court of Ontario -- not to correct the decisions, but to correct the situation relating to registration of real property, the registration of mortgages, assignments of mortgages and leases, and to allow a situation to permit the registration of the deeds without the necessity of registration under the Personal Property Security Act. There were two decisions that altered that time-honoured situation, which has been with us for many years.

In addition to that, it will correct a problem involving the postal strike. There was a mandatory 30-day period of registration that was frustrated by reason of a postal strike lasting longer than 30 days. This will again set the clock back and resolve problems there.


Hon. Mr. Gregory: Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the answer to question 141 standing on the Notice Paper. (See Hansard for Friday, November 6.)



Resuming the adjourned debate on the amendment to the amendment to the motion that the Treasurer of Ontario be authorized to pay the salaries of the civil servants and other necessary payments pending the voting of supply for the period commencing November 1, 1981, and ending March 31, 1982, such payments to be charged to the proper appropriation following the voting of supply.

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, just to refresh everybody's memory, last night I was talking about the fact the government had no money to build such a thing as a French school near my constituency in the riding of Carleton East. I was talking in the context --

Mr. Speaker: I think I have allowed a very wide-ranging debate in the discussion of this motion, and I would ask the co-operation of all honourable members in addressing themselves to the motion itself.

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, I was just about to say that I was talking about this to illustrate the fact the government was not spending its money wisely, as I thought the government should.

The honourable members will remember I read a letter I sent to the Premier (Mr. Davis). I suggested in that letter that the Premier sell his jet and build us a school, that it would be a much better investment. I am sure that you, Mr. Speaker, would agree with that.

I am a little disappointed today because there are public servants calling here and there, tying up all the lines to the Ontario Liberal Party. Here at Queen's Park some of us have been getting phone calls. We cannot help but think that perhaps there are those members sitting on the other side who may have suggested to the public, especially to the public servants of this province, to call their favourite local Liberal MPPs to express their displeasure with the fact pay cheques may be late this Thursday.

But as our very distinguished leader said today in his press conference, and I would like to read one short paragraph, "It is very important that people understand that we in opposition are fighting tooth and nail for the sacred rights of Parliament, and even more so for the rights of every taxpayer and every resident of the province of Ontario, including the very ones whose cheques may be delayed by the government."

I hope all public servants are understanding of this and I am sure they all are. They have perhaps been provoked a little by some prominent Tories. I would hate to accuse anyone blatantly, but we have been suspicious that perhaps government members may have incited some people to phone Liberal members to express their displeasure with this.

I will read another paragraph. "The rights that we are fighting for are the following: The right to know how and why billions of tax dollars are being spent and the right of the opposition to demand a reasonable explanation from the government, even when it has a majority."

The government is assuming that because it has a majority it can do absolutely everything it wants at any time and not have to justify it to anybody. This was made especially evident during the first few weeks of the spring session when the government used to remind us at every second or third question, sometimes every question, of the "realities of March 19," trying to tell us the realities of March 19 were that we had nothing to say in this House.

4:10 p.m.

It just so happens on a motion for supply like this that we do have something to say. These are some of the most basic rights of parliament. The procedure through which members of the House ask the government for redress before granting supply of funds dates back hundreds of years in various parliaments. That is, of course, exactly what we are doing.

We are not doing this just for the form of it or the fun of it or any other reason. We are doing this for a very specific reason. We do honestly think this government has not acted in the best interests of the constituents of Ontario. I am sure that you, Mr. Speaker, in your very objective and unpartisan view would agree with this.

I notice there are not very many Conservative members in this House right now listening to this very important debate.

Mr. Kerrio: There are not many Conservatives over there any more, period.

Mr. Boudria: Perhaps my good friend, the member for Niagara Falls, is questioning whether there are red Tories as opposed to other colours of Tories in this Legislature.

But even more fundamental than that, these same people who perhaps were telling constituents to phone their Liberal member to tell him how displeased they were about not getting their pay cheque this Thursday are not even here in this House to participate in this important debate. Let the record show that the Tory members are not interested in this. At this time there are only five of them in this House. Out of 70 Tory members, there are five MPPs sitting in their seats right now.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Seven to be exact.

Mr. Boudria: That is shameful. There are nearly twice as many opposition members in this House at the present time as there are government members. Proportionately, we have three times the kind of representation they have.

Hon. F. S. Miller: It takes three of you to equal one of us.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): Order.

Mr. Boudria: I find this appalling. A little while ago, I was reading in the Toronto Star a letter to the editor. I want to read it to show members what the people think of the quality of financial management the honourable Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) is giving to this province. It reads like this: "Plane a New Toy for the Premier. When Prime Minister Trudeau promised $40 million in aid to an underdeveloped country, the letters to the editor told him in no uncertain terms that 'charity begins at home' and objected to this waste of the taxpayers' hard-earned money.

"To date, I have not seen a letter concerning the Davis government's purchase of a $10 million aircraft." He has not been getting my mail because I have been getting lots of those letters. "Apparently the Ontario taxpayers have no objection to the purchase of a new toy for the Premier and his cohorts, but consider money spent to feed hungry children in a foreign land to be a misuse of tax dollars."

This just goes to illustrate that when there are so many important things we can do with the hard-earned dollars of our constituents, so many worthwhile projects we could be embarking on, this government chooses to buy a new jet and to invest in an oil company which is not located in this province, which will not add new jobs, et cetera, et cetera.

I would like to read another letter that was written in the same newspaper about the jet. Obviously the person who wrote the first letter had not read the second one, because he was saying it was the first one of its kind.

This letter goes like this: "I cannot for the life of me understand the criticism being levelled at the Davis government over its recent acquisitions. It should be patently obvious that they are doing their best to decrease the level of unemployment in our beloved province." Now the Tory members would agree with that, would they not? "For example, Davis' flying machine will require at least two persons on the flight deck -- or three, if you include a navigator, which, based on past performance, they will sorely require -- and a couple of flight attendants to ensure the comfort of the passengers, not to mention a crew of mechanics and maintenance personnel."

Mr. Mancini: Don't forget the bar.

Mr. Boudria: My learned colleague from Essex South tells me not to forget the bar. I guess we are assuming that perhaps the cabinet will have a bar aboard this --

Mr. Mancini: No beer in the ball park.

Mr. Boudria: No beer in the ball park, but a bar on the jet. I will keep on reading:

"Employment will also be provided to catering service people and other ancillary services." The member for Essex South will be glad to know our reader is insinuating just that.

"Regarding Suncor, is it not logical to assume that our astute legislators, in their finite wisdom, are merely assuring the availability of a continuous flow of petroleum product necessary to keep the taxpayer's $10 million-plus albatross airborne?

"We should be applauding their business acumen rather than being so contemptuously critical of their political perfidy." This is signed by a Mr. Norman Roberts of Mississauga.

We hear just how ridiculous some of those plans are. When people take the time to sit down and write letters to the editor to ridicule the policies of this government in that fashion, surely that must tell us that something is wrong; that this province is just not being run the way it should be.

We have quite a few financial difficulties in our constituency and when the people of my riding listen to the news and they hear that the Premier is buying a new jet and our Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch) thinks it is a good idea to buy Suncor and to give up on Ontario, they are very disappointed. They just cannot understand why everybody would give up like that.

I will give you an example: In my riding, in the east end of my riding especially, we have several factories that we have seen closed down lately. We have heard in this Legislature about the Amoco layoffs in the city of Hawkesbury. Nothing is being done there to invest in that industry.

Has the government of this province given up on the people of this province? Have they chosen to invest in Alberta because it is "where the action is?" Why is it the action is in Alberta? Why is it not here in Ontario? I remember the action was in Ontario a few years ago. I know some of the members would say, "But Ontario does not have oil. It does not have fuel." That is the reason that was given to us not long ago in this Legislature by some members.

But I suggest that if we do not start investing in alternative energy, we will never have fuel in this province to propel our automobiles and heat our homes. It is not by buying a company that has refineries and oil wells in Alberta that we are going to increase the fuel production in the province. Of course that is not the way. We know the only way to assure ourselves of a good supply of fuel is to invest in this province in alternative fuels.

I have questioned as well why this report that was mentioned a while ago -- a report I see the honourable member in front of me has on his desk about fuel and agriculture, energy and agriculture -- and the other report on peat that we have heard of recently, were only released over the weekend. Could it be it is because the government figured that by then they would have their interim supply, therefore they purposely delayed the production of those documents, not only to avoid the estimates of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food but out of fear they would not get their interim supply. I think this is another very interesting aspect we should look at.

I could say what the government of this province should be investing in rather than a 25 per cent share in an American oil company, but before I do that let us talk a little bit about Ontario having shares in a foreign-owned oil company. Perhaps members could picture this: they are driving down the street and they see a Petro-Canada gas station -- they are not Petrofina any more; they are just changing the signs to Petro-Canada -- and right beside it we have one of these Suncor gas stations which are 25 per cent owned by the province. What Ontario is telling us, as my learned colleague from Niagara Falls was telling me earlier this morning, is to come and buy at a foreign-owned gas station -- 75 per cent foreign-owned, 75 per cent owned by somebody other than Canadians. Ontario is saying go and buy at that foreign-owned gas station that Ontario owns a share in instead of buying at Petro-Canada, which is 100 per cent ours.

We do not need a Suncor. We already own all of Petro-Canada as Canadians. Therefore, the government of this province is encouraging us to buy oil from a foreign competitor of our own Petro-Canada.

4:20 p.m.

Can you see, Mr. Speaker, just how ridiculous this investment is? If the government of this province was telling us to buy fuel from a company that produces fuel in Ontario as opposed to fuel coming from other jurisdictions, even other provinces, I would say that is good, because we are encouraging jobs in our own region. That is a very commendable thing to do. But when the government of this province is telling us to buy gasoline from "our" gas station, "our" means the gas station Ontario owns 25 per cent of, instead of buying from Fina, now Petro-Canada, which is 100 per cent ours. I totally fail to see what this policy is going to do to increase self-sufficiency in petroleum for Ontario, or even, for that matter, for Canada.

My colleagues to the left here -- there are not too many of them in the House right now. I only see one member of the New Democratic Party, the very learned member for Downsview (Mr. Di Santo) sitting over there. Maybe one is enough. I would certainly agree wholeheartedly that we do not want too many NDPers, but we certainly want this member here, who is very learned. But yesterday, I guess it was, the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) was criticizing the Ontario Liberal Party, telling us that our federal counterparts are encouraging Canadian ownership and we, as a provincial Liberal Party, are discouraging it. That is totally erroneous. That is absolutely not the policy of the Ontario Liberal Party.

What the member for Niagara Falls says is quite true. But what disturbs me is that the NDP is telling us we are contradicting the federal Liberal Party on its national energy policy. We are not in contradiction. We agree wholeheartedly that the government of Canada has to ensure oil sufficiency for this country. Of course we agree with that. That is the commendable thing to do. I suggest that 80 per cent of the people in this country think that is the proper thing to do -- perhaps even more. That is not what we are saying.

A lot of Tories would say that is the right thing. Even Joe Clark had to back down from selling Petro-Canada. We know there are Tories who like the idea of having a national, Canadian-owned, people-owned oil company. And we wholeheartedly agree with that. But there is a big difference between that and the policy of this provincial government. What on earth is buying 25 per cent of the shares of Suncor going to do? Is it going to give us a controlling interest in that company? No. Is it going to produce more oil? No. Is it going to produce more jobs? No. Is it going to drain capital out of Canada to the US? Yes.

If that company is paying dividends, 75 per cent of the dividends will leave this country and go back to the United States. Let us remember that Suncor had been reinvesting practically all its money in this country. Now we will be losing 75 per cent of those potential reinvestment dollars. For the New Democratic Party to accuse us of contradicting our federal friends is totally false. I know the member for Downsview would not stoop that low because he is a very learned member. But some of the other members said that yesterday, and I am sure when he stands up to speak in a little while he will totally contradict what the other New Democratic Party member said and, of course, he will agree that the Liberals have said the right thing. They very often contradict each other.

Sometimes some of them contradict their previous statements. For example, yesterday we heard the leader of that party, I think, speak extensively against the purchase of Suncor and then say we should buy 51 per cent of it. That is very disturbing, as I said yesterday. The government is investing $650 million in a clear demonstration that they have given up on the people of this province. The NDP wants us to invest $1.3 billion; they have only half as much confidence in the Ontario economy as the Conservative members have, so they are giving up twice as badly as the government.

Mr. Elston: Send them to Saskatchewan.

Mr. Boudria: My learned colleague from Huron-Bruce says, "Send them to Saskatchewan"; but no, they are welcome here. And once we are in power I am sure we will revive the economy of this province and ensure that everybody has jobs, including defeated former members of the New Democratic Party.

Mr. Lane: There will be a lot of yours.

Mr. Boudria: I hear some sounds coming from the other side.

Let me give some examples of where we could invest money in this province. I have in front of me a letter written by the Ontario Veterinary Association. This is a very worthy and important group in this province. They have been telling us they are very concerned about how this government is spending money, and even more concerned about where it is not investing it. Let us hear what they have to say in a letter they wrote to me:

"The Ontario Veterinary Association, on behalf of this province's more than 1,800 veterinarians, invites your concern and support to the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, in its current funding crisis."

The Acting Speaker: Could I ask the member to speak to the amendment that is on the floor?

Mr. Boudria: Oh yes, Mr. Speaker, I am definitely speaking to the amendment. We as an opposition party are trying to demonstrate the government should not be investing in ventures like Suncor; the government should use this interim supply, when and if we grant it to them, to invest in things such as I am reading about now. So that links this directly as you are telling us to do.

"The situation is most serious when implications threatening Ontario's agricultural economy as well as the accreditation of the college" -- can anyone see us losing the accreditation of the Ontario Veterinary College? I hope we certainly never see that here, but the Ontario Veterinary Association is deeply concerned about that. There are members on the other side who represent agricultural ridings -- not that many members on the other side right now; there are only five of them.

I see the member for Sarnia (Mr. Brandt) has not read his mail. Perhaps while he is reading his mail he can listen with his other ear to the very important discussion that is going on right now. I am sure he is very concerned about the Ontario Veterinary Association's quest to get proper funding so that the Ontario Veterinary College will not be closed. That would be a disgrace.

The honourable member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon), who represents an agricultural constituency, is very concerned about this, he has told me so. And many other members are concerned as well. I was discussing this very important issue with our agricultural critic, the member for Kent-Elgin (Mr. McGuigan), and how we should make sure the government, with the interim supply money it is going to get, addresses this very fundamental issue.

So you can see, Mr. Speaker, how this links perfectly with the interim supply motion and the amendments thereto. The agricultural community is in dire straits. We have heard that term "dire straits"; some people have even called their town "dire straits" in an attempt to get funds from the federal government.

4:30 p.m.

I notice the provincial government has not used a catchy line such as "dire straits" here. Everybody would have called their agricultural communities whatever name would get them funds, because the government of this province is seriously underfunding the agricultural area.

Let me demonstrate what is going on. Last year we had the Ontario farm interest assistance program, 1980. This was a program under which farmers were rebated part of the interest they paid on their short-term demand loans for operating their farms. They were rebated interest to the difference between 12 and 15 per cent, assuming they paid a rate of more than 15 per cent. For part of the year that was the situation.

I believe something like $6 million or $7 million was put aside for this program and only $1.5 million was used. Why? Because the program was poorly organized. It was organized in such a way the farmers could not even qualify to get their money.

In talking to those constituents as late as yesterday, they heard I was going to speak today on this important subject of granting this government more money. They want to know whether they will get some of that money for this kind of thing. One cannot blame them.

To a certain extent, the farmers of my area have borrowed from the private sector rather than banking institutions. The government organized this program in such a way that anyone who had borrowed from private sources was ineligible. It is a disgrace that those highly-paid public servants who are very worried, and rightfully so, about their pay cheques this Thursday, did not see when they were organizing this legislation that all farmers would qualify for it.

Let us talk a little about the fact the government is not investing money, as it should, in tile drainage. The members may remember the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson) sent a letter to the clerks and treasurers of all municipalities in Ontario asking them to borrow only up to 50 per cent of the amount of the cost of tile drainage projects.

That worries me because, as one can appreciate, some farmers borrowed money from the private markets, went ahead with the job thinking, in calculating their budgets, they were going to get 75 per cent of those funds at eight per cent. Once the municipality, through the encouragement of the minister, has decided to fund these projects only to the tune of 50 per cent, that raises the interest they are paying on the total project by 50 per cent.

How can our agricultural community in this province survive with those kinds of actions? How can the people in the agricultural area of this province make ends meet? That is the place where this government should be investing its money. How many jobs in Ontario are in the agricultural sector as opposed to the number of new jobs in Ontario that will be created through the acquisition of Suncor?

I challenge the members across to rise right now to tell me the number of new jobs created by this venture of the government, the acquisition of Suncor. There is dead silence in here. The members are not counting the number of new jobs because there are no new jobs with the acquisition of Suncor.

As a matter of fact, the drain of dollars from this province will probably mean we will lose jobs. I was speaking yesterday about that full-page advertisement in the Toronto Sun inviting people, "Come and work for Suncor" -- in whatever city it was -- "in Alberta." The government of Ontario owns 25 per cent of a company that is telling people to move away from here and work some place else.

Mr. Speaker, you will understand that this is a questionable investment. That is why our party is looking for the compendium of information so we can fulfil our role as the opposition. It is a very important role. I know some of the government members look across the House and say, "No, this is just the opposition; it is not important." But the whole principle of a parliament is that it is not a dictatorship.

Mr. Epp: Want to bet?

Mr. Boudria: It is not supposed to be a dictatorship.

I represent as many constituents as the members on the opposite side. My constituents have sent me to this Legislature to make sure the government of Ontario is properly administered. They did not send me here to sit back as an opposition member and say, "I am not in charge; I am just an opposition member." Perhaps some of the Tory back-benchers think that way. Perhaps they think, "I am just a back-bencher; therefore, I cannot rise to speak on this issue." Perhaps it is just a coincidence that none of them are saying anything.

I notice my learned neighbour the member for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (Mr. Villeneuve) is just walking in. I am glad to see he is here, because all the farmers in his constituency are very concerned about the way this government is underfunding the agricultural community and spending hard-earned tax dollars to buy an oil company.

A few weeks ago, members of the Liberal caucus went to my constituency and we met with the pork producers of that area. They are very concerned about high interest rates, the lack of assistance to the farming community in general and the fact that this government is not putting money where it should be. This was before the Suncor deal. Imagine how they feel now. They must feel abandoned, and I do not blame them at all.

Was it the Minister of Energy who said that Alberta is where the action is? One of the cabinet ministers made that remark in this House. As a taxpayer in this province, I am insulted to hear that kind of remark from a cabinet minister. He is saying to us that Ontario the beautiful, Ontario yours to discover, is no longer where the action is. That is an admission of defeat. It is shameful behaviour on the government's part.

Some of us spoke at length a few months ago on the matter of the ad valorem gas tax. In the speech I made on that particular occasion, I questioned whether the government was attempting to raise funds through the ad valorem gas tax to purchase an oil company that was not located in this province. Sure enough, my worst fears have come true. This government has let us down in exactly the way I figured it would. This is most unfortunate.

I would like to read some of the documents from the ad valorem tax grant. I am reading from a statement prepared by my distinguished colleague the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson). He said, "Premier Davis's welcome of the energy agreement and his apparent glee at the windfall which his government will receive from its ad valorem tax demonstrates his complete hypocrisy on the issue."

This is the same Premier who told us only a few days before that we have to make sure gas does not go up too high. But every time the price of gas goes up through some mechanism other than his own, he will reap the windfall profit. He will use that profit to buy an oil company that is not even located here, instead of investing in Ontario.

4:40 p.m.

I will keep on reading: "Just two years ago, on September 15, 1979, the Premier described the energy agreement then expected between the Clark government and Alberta as a clear raid upon the spending powers of the average citizen of this province." Is taking $650 million from the people of Ontario and sending it to the United States to buy a foreign-owned oil company not a raid on the taxpayers of this province? Is that not taking away our hard-earned dollars and spending them elsewhere? If it does not, what constitutes such a raid as the Premier talked about in 1979?

I continue: "His own government is now embarked upon one of the biggest raids ever on the spending powers of the average citizen of Ontario." This is the ad valorem gas tax raid. On October 18, 1979, the Premier said, "Any move by the Clark government to raise gas prices by 23 cents a gallon would be a wilful attack on the individual consumers and the economy of Ontario."

Let us put all this in perspective. We have a government that is telling us that increasing gas prices is a raid on the consumer. That sounds reasonable so far. But this same government has an ad valorem gas tax, which means that when the gas tax goes up through some other mechanism, it reaps the benefits. These are the same people who are telling us gas should not go up, but we do not believe them.

Now, even further, the government owns one of the oil companies that is supposed to be ripping us off, according to its own words. To make it even worse, that oil company is an American-owned oil company, of which we will only own 25 per cent. That makes us wonder just what kind of rationale this government has for embarking on that kind of acquisition.

I will read the rest of the statement: "Given the magnitude of the price increase Ontario consumers will face as a result of the energy agreement, it is the worst form of political cynicism for the Davis government to compound those increases." That was quite true at the time, that it was the worst -- I should not say that; I should say it was the second worst form of cynicism. The worst is the one we are witnessing today. As bad as that was then, we never realized that this government was even more cynical than we thought it was.

Mr. Elston: How could it be worse?

Mr. Boudria: Yes, one wonders just how it could be worse.

We remember that famous night of May 19, when the Treasurer, the same Treasurer who is talking to us about interim supply, because this all ties in, talked to us about his budget. We remember that one of the highlights, or perhaps I should describe it as one of the low points, of the budget was the ad valorem tax grant. Let us talk about the ad valorem tax grant.

The Acting Speaker: The speaker will draw this into the amendment, I am sure.

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, I thought I had just done that a minute before. Perhaps I can refresh your memory on just how this links in. The government in its budget enunciated to us its fiscal policy for the coming year, and now the interim supply is drawing money to satisfy the policies enunciated in that budget. As you can see, this is directly related to what we are talking about, Mr. Speaker.

Let me read a few lines further: "Because of the change to an ad valorem system of taxation of gasoline, the government has launched on a program of profiteering by and contributing to inflation rather than protecting people from its ravages."

We just outlined a minute ago that this government had acknowledged that this is no longer where the action was. This government decided to profiteer by inflation, to take the money from that profiteering and all other moneys that should be invested in sound, worthwhile investments in Ontario and, acknowledging they had given up on this place because it no longer was where the action was, invested those funds in this American-based oil company which owns oil wells in Alberta. That is seen by this government as the best fiscal policy for Ontario.

If that is the best this government can do, imagine the worst it could do. If we had a classroom of grade four students running this province, I am sure they would say this was ridiculous. Even they would recognize there are better ways to run this province than by creating jobs elsewhere and giving up on our economy. This is not what the people of Ontario want.

Just imagine: the people of my area, the people of Orleans, of Ottawa and all those areas, are hearing that the government is spending $650 million on an oil company. They are also listening to the news about the government buying a jet.

I was talking a minute ago about students. There is no money to help out Carleton University. There is no money to build a French school in Orleans. The Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) has even suggested that we could take everybody and put them all in the same school, the French school and the English school perhaps being together. There could be some from the Carleton Board of Education and some from the Carleton Roman Catholic Separate School Board and all kinds of things like that to satisfy the critical shortage we have of classroom space for the education of our children.

This is seen as being a reasonable thing to do to the future generation of this country. That is the proper thing to do, according to them. It would be unreasonable to do otherwise, because it would "not be spending the money in the wisest way." I think those were the words used by the Minister of Education. Was the Minister of Education party to the discussions that resulted in buying Suncor? If she was, I am sure she would be one of the members who would be against this purchase.

One could look at all the cabinet ministers if they were here. None of them is here at the present time, but if there were any cabinet ministers here, one could look at each one individually and say, "No, I do not think this cabinet minister was for the acquisition of Suncor." One could go down the front row and the second row with every single one of them, and one would have a hard time finding one person who one would figure, as a reasonable person, would want the acquisition of Suncor.

Yet, collectively, the cabinet is for it. How can we understand that individually none are for it but collectively they are all for it? If I were to go around and talk privately to some of the back-benchers I see -- I see the member for Sarnia, the member for Nipissing (Mr. Harris), the member for Prince Edward-Lennox (Mr. J. A. Taylor), who is a former Minister of Energy, and a few others -- and ask them individually if they were in favour of Suncor, I am sure I would hear a negative reply from practically every one of them. Yet, again, collectively they are all for it.

When I raised that point a while ago, asking one of them to stand up and say how many new jobs were created, this place became deadly silent. They are for it, but only very quietly for it.

Mr. Kerrio: Socialists is what you all are.

Mr. Breaugh: You are going to have to turn in your Petro-Canada card, Vince.


The Acting Speaker: The member for Prescott-Russell has the floor. Please continue on the amendment.

Mr. Boudria: I am right on the amendment, Mr. Speaker. I was just about to get some more of my documentation to explain to you why we, as an opposition, are concerned with the quality of the fiscal management this province has and why we think this province should not be granted interim supply until there is redress.

4:50 p.m.

I have a little document here entitled Waste in Government Spending. I am not referring to the salaries of the Tory members of this House, you can rest assured; there is more than that to it. Let us talk a little bit about things like Minaki Lodge, like land assemblies which this government went into in Edwardsburgh and in South Cayuga, which they have since changed their minds about.

Even right near my constituency, in the riding of Carleton East, is what they call the Carlsbad Springs land assembly; it cost $13.8 million just for that one. That is not far from the constituency of the member for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry; it is only a few miles from his riding.

I am very concerned that this government is just not handling the taxpayers' dollars properly. We have noted and expressed our dissatisfaction with all those things in the past: the Edwardsburghs, the areas in Milton and South Cayuga, Minaki Lodge and all those other things. But to hear the government now on this jet venture and this Suncor venture -- this is the straw that broke the camel's back. We just cannot hold back any longer. We need redress before we grant this government interim supply.

We could talk ad infinitum about all the advertising this government has done, all the wasteful spending of taxpayers' dollars telling us to "Preserve it, conserve it." What are some of the government's other jingles? I am sure the members opposite will remember them; they are probably part of the kit they send to the Tory candidate in each riding. I am sure you would not know, Mr. Speaker, as nonpartisan as you are, but you may have heard others say it.

Mr. Elston: He has thrown them away.

Mr. Boudria: My learned colleague the member for Huron-Bruce says you would have thrown such documents away had you received them, Mr. Speaker.

The Acting Speaker: On the amendment.

Mr. Boudria: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I was speaking exactly to the amendment.

Let us talk a little bit about how the government of this province should be funding the health sector more. I will address my remarks to a specific part of that health delivery system: health services for francophone communities.

A report was published in 1975 or 1976, called the Dubois report. This report recommended that the government spend large sums of money to build proper facilities for the delivery of health care in the French language. It outlined, for instance, the necessity for having a psychiatric hospital in French.

Je voudrais vous illustrer, Monsieur l'Orateur, que dans mon comté, j'ai une de mes commettants, une Madame Chapelet, qui est présentement dans l'hôpital psychiatrique de Broadville. Cette dame a soixante-dix-sept ans et ne peut pas parler un mot en anglais. Elle est présentement dans cet hôpital, où elle ne peut avoir aucun service en langue française. Et ceci des années, Monsieur le Président, après que le rapport Dubois nous a informé que c'était important d'investir dans de meilleurs services pour la santé pour la population francophone de notre province.

Je crois que c'est déplorable. Monsieur l'Orateur, j'étais tellement frustré là-dessus que j'ai même émis un communiqué de presse.

I'll just repeat this. I was so upset by this situation that I forced myself into issuing a press release on this matter, Mr. Speaker. And, for the benefit of the members, I will read it to you in case you may have missed it.

Je vais lire comme suit: "Don Boudria a fait appel aujourd'hui auprès du ministre de la Santé, Dennis Timbrell, le priant d'établir un hôpital psychiatrique francophone en Ontario. Trente-cinq pour-cent des patients à l'hôpital psychiatrique de Broadville sont français et ils n'ont à peu près pas de personnel qualifié pouvant parler cette langue.

"Une patiente," comme j'ai mentionné tantôt, "Madame Pamela Chapelet, unilingue française, âgée de soixante-dix-sept ans, est incapable de demander les soins essentiels, au dire de sa famille."

Imaginez-vous, Monsieur le Président, cette situation. Qu'un commettant, dont les ancêtres viennent de ce comté et de cette province -- ça fait peut-être deux cent ans qu'ils demeurent ici -- une personne qui a contribué envers tout ce qu'on a en Ontario, que cette personne ne peut même se procurer un verre d'eau dans un hôpital parce qu'elle est incapable d'avoir le service qui lui est dû. Monsieur le Président, ça c'est une situation déplorable.

Je suis persuadé que le député de Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (M. Villeneuve), ayant lui aussi un grand nombre de commettants de langue française, est inquiet à propos de cette situation-là. Et je suis persuadé qu'il est content que j'apporte justement ce sujet-là, pour tenter de rectifier cette lacune.

Je continue à lire mon texte, Monsieur le Président: "Le Ministre a mis six semaines à répondre à ma lettre, ou je lui faisais part de cette triste situation. Et lorsqu'il a accusé réception, sa réponse était sans solution. Et je dis, au dire de Boudria, c'est une disgrâce de voir le gouvernement gaspiller son argent sur du luxe et priver la population francophone des services essentiels, tels que les soins psychiatriques. Car la guérison est sûrement plus longue chez un malade qui ne peut pas communiquer ou se faire comprendre aux infirmières."

Do you agree, Jim?

Je suis persuadé que le député de Simcoe Centre (M. G. Taylor) là-bas partage aussi mon opinion, et je suis persuadé aussi que le député de Prince Edward-Lennox (M. J. A. Taylor) est très concerné par cet aspect. Et naturellement le député de Cornwall est là parce qu'une grande partie de sa population a aussi besoin d'une amélioration de services de santé en langue française, et je suis certain que vous partagez, Monsieur le député -- à travers de vous, naturellement, Monsieur l'Orateur -- l'opinion qu'il y a des grandes lacunes dans ces services.

Enfin, je suis très déçu que le gouvernement n'agisse pas plus vite, mais je veux quand même que la Législature soit au courant du fait que cette lacune devrait être rectifiée avant qu'on donne cet argent au gouvernement.

This is the kind of situation that should be addressed by this government in order for us to give them interim supply.

I have other information here that I would like to share with some members. Let me read some of the concerns that people in my constituency have with the quality of financial management that this province is providing and why we require redress before we grant them interim supply. I know the Speaker is very concerned that I keep to the theme of the interim supply.

I received this letter from a constituent, and in it he tells us why we need better funding in agriculture. Let me read it to members, because I am sure they would want to hear this. It is addressed to myself, and it goes like this:

5 p.m.

"Sir" -- he calls me "sir" -- "I went to a local OFA meeting where our provincial president Ralph Barrie explained their position and demand for the five points interest rebate program for Ontario farmers. I personally support their request and intend to go to Toronto ... to back them up.

"The latest slap in the face is the news of reducing the tile drainage loans from 75 per cent of capital cost to 50 per cent."

You will remember I was talking about that a while ago, Mr. Speaker. You can see I am not just making that up. My constituents are very concerned about that.

Mr. Elston: As are mine.

Mr. Boudria: Of course. We want the record to show that the constituents of the member for Huron-Bruce are very concerned as well.

I will read more of this letter: "There is no need to put up more money on the agricultural budget for tile drainage loans with that restriction" -- meaning, of course, the restriction of going with 50 per cent of capital cost -- "because more farmers than ever before will be squeezed to the point they can't afford it any more.

"Hoping to hear from you soon."

It is signed Leo Brisson, who is one of my constituents.

Then I received a letter from the Minister of Agriculture and Food, telling us what he is going to do about the farmers in my constituency and how he is going to provide funds for them. This is the Honourable Lorne C. Henderson. He wrote me a letter. It goes like this: "Dear Don, I wish to acknowledge your recent letter which included a copy of correspondence from Mr. Leo Brisson of Embrun, Ontario."

The Acting Speaker: This is on the amendment?

Mr. Boudria: Yes, Mr. Speaker. As I explained prior to reading the reply, I am illustrating this to you specifically because the people of my constituency expect the investment of this government to be in the people of Ontario rather than in places elsewhere, as in the acquisition of Suncor, which is a US-based company having interests in Alberta and so on.

Now where was I in this letter? "Mr. Brisson wrote to me with an identical letter. I attach a copy of my reply to him. Examples of what I am doing to help are my recent announcement on July 24 for emergency payments on slaughter cattle and payments to hog producers under the sow-weaner program." That is fine, of course; but I wonder what it has to do with approving drainage. As you can see, Mr. Speaker, it has nothing to do with it.

Mr. Brandt: Or with Suncor for that matter, or anything.

Mr. Boudria: The member for Sarnia is wondering what that has to do with Suncor. I would like to tell him that we are not here to discuss Suncor. We are here to discuss interim supply. Through your guidance, Mr. Speaker, I am adhering to this. I would not go astray and go off at a tangent in the way the member for Sarnia suggests I am doing. I would rather stick to the topic, and I am sure you would approve of that. Now I will finish --

The Acting Speaker: On the amendment.

Mr. Boudria: I will finish reading the letter.

Mr. Nixon: The member opposite should tell us about his Suncor refinery down there. What's the matter with him?

Mr. Brandt: I'll tell you about the big ships down there.

Mr. Kerrio: And what the ships bring in with our money.

The Acting Speaker: Order, order.

Mr. Boudria: Yes, a very good point. Perhaps there is some comfort for the Tory members in knowing the money will be well invested in Pennsylvania. I hope the member thinks that is very nice but that is only --

An hon. member: Perhaps we should call them the tormented Tories.

Mr. Boudria: Maybe we should. But I think the money would be far better invested in helping the farmers of Ontario than the farmers of Pennsylvania. I do not think we will get very many jobs from farming in Pennsylvania. Perhaps we will get a few more people working at customs, because we will have to import more food. I suggest that if the money was invested here in this province, it would be far better for all of us.

I will finish reading this letter, because I still had one sentence I had not read. I know that you are waiting anxiously to hear this, Mr. Speaker. "I am confident that these two programs, along with others that are under review at this time, will give additional strength to Ontario's agricultural industry."

At that time, that minister had not given up on Ontario. As a matter of fact, he was counting on additional strength to that industry. What happened between the time of that letter of July 14, which I received on July 23, and today? I wonder what happened that could have discouraged that government so much. What made them give up on Ontario? Perhaps they should listen to more of our constructive opposition rather than the negativism they are having. I see the member for Sarnia looks up when I mention constructive opposition. We are a constructive opposition.

My very learned colleague from Halton-Burlington (Mr. J. A. Reed) has been trying day after day to convince this government that it should invest its money in alternative energy sources. That is constructive opposition. I am sure the Speaker in a non-partisan way will agree that is as constructive as one can be.

Mr. Elston: It would provide jobs for the people of Ontario.

Mr. Boudria: Just imagine how many jobs we would create in Ontario by investing in alternative energy instead of Suncor energy.

The government of this province wanted to have a window on energy. They say it is a window on oil, but I do not know what that is supposed to do. I think it would be much more important for us to have a window on energy in general rather than just a window on oil. Nevertheless, if they were really serious about us having a window, an input into energy, would it not be better to invest in the technology, in the research and in the production of alternative fuels? Would it not be much better to send a few of these high-paid public servants to a place in South America where they have already converted the majority of the automobiles to run on fuel alcohol instead of buying Suncor?

I fail to see how this government can justify that acquisition.

Mr. Kerrio: It cannot.

Mr. Boudria: That is a good point. I was just going to say they cannot justify it. The proof that they cannot justify it is they are not providing us with the information by which they could do it. The reason they are not providing it is probably because they cannot justify what they have done. It may be a blunder; it may be a mistake. The people sitting here to my left serve in a funny position on this. They are wondering whether it is a good idea to support the government on this acquisition because they think the government should buy 51 per cent. At the same time they want to oppose it because they want to get some coverage and they are really scratching their heads right now. I would not have wanted to be at their caucus meeting this morning. They must be a divided group on this issue. They do not present a united front as do the provincial Liberals.

Mr. Foulds: If the provincial Liberals have a united front it will be the first time in the 10 years I have been in this place.


The Acting Speaker: Order. Speak to the amendment.

Mr. Villeneuve: That would be something new.

Mr. Boudria: I even got the member for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry to say a few words so, obviously, I must have touched a very sensitive nerve. This must be a very controversial issue. Yes, it hurts. I would be disappointed in that policy as well.

I have had second thoughts about their position, but we all have that position so I am not going to worry about the way they feel on this.

Mr. Stokes: Are you in opposition to the federal government having Petrocan? Stop being hypocritical. You're going to rupture yourself by being on both sides of the fence at the same time.

Mr. Boudria: I just heard the member for Lake Nipigon asking if we take exception to the federal government's ownership of Petrocan. Of course we do not. If the honourable member will just get a copy of the Instant Hansard he will find I totally explained our position on that earlier this afternoon. At the time there was only one NDP member in this Legislature, the very distinguished member for Downsview.

Nevertheless, getting back to the amendment, because I certainly would not want to lead the conversation --

Mr. Stokes: Which amendment?

Mr. Boudria: My friend should pay attention. We are discussing the member's amendment and the amendment to the amendment. We are discussing the theme of both of those.

The Deputy Speaker: I wish the gentleman who has the floor would speak to the chair.

Mr. Elston: Point of order, Mr. Speaker. I wonder if this might not be a good time to help the member for Lake Nipigon recall what the amendment was since he obviously has displaced that in his mind. It might be well to have --

The Deputy Speaker: Order. No, this is not a good time to help the member for Lake Nipigon.

Mr. Foulds: Point of order, Mr. Speaker: I would like to indicate to these two first-timers in the Legislature that my friend and colleague the member for Lake Nipigon needs no help in recalling what should be the matter under discussion. Whether it is or not he needs --

Mr. Boudria: From time to time everyone needs it.

Mr. Samis: Even the member for Prescott-Russell.

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, I am glad the member for Port Arthur has told us of the very distinguished career of the member for Lake Nipigon. I want to reassure him we know of his very distinguished career and we certainly do not need the member for Port Arthur to remind us. Although I am a new member I recognize the achievements of the previous Speaker.

Getting back to the subject, Mr. Speaker, I will ignore interruptions. I have here a little letter that arrived by pageboy a minute ago. I question whether this sort of thing should occur, but I will let you decide as Speaker. This was sent to me by somebody who is obviously sitting in the gallery at this time or who was at the time this letter was sent to me. I can let you rule on whether this should happen.

It says, "I am a civil servant whose pay you are holding up. I have sat through your afternoon and consider you as an elected representative to be a waste of time" or something like that. I just question whether those types of things should be allowed to enter this chamber. I feel that representing the constituents of my riding does not constitute a waste of my time. Perhaps the civil servant who sent that can run against me in the next election. I would certainly --

Mr. Epp: Did he have the courage to sign it?

Mr. Boudria: Yes, but I cannot read it. I will send that to the member by page, Mr. Speaker, and you can decide whether this type of thing in the future should go on.

The Deputy Speaker: I will answer that now. There is nothing under the standing orders that makes it a responsibility on my ruling as to a letter a member has received. Your comments are well put.

5:10 p.m.

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, it was not royal mail. It was obviously an attempt by somebody in the gallery to participate in the debate. I do not think that person came from my constituency. If he had he would have signed it in a way I could read it. There is another way of getting into this Legislature -- to run for office, which is what I did. I have a few more notes I would like you to see, Mr. Speaker.

The government of this province participated with the federal government in a very ill-conceived plan to insulate our homes with urea formaldehyde foam insulation. Many people living in my constituency and others -- maybe even the person who sent me that letter -- have houses insulated with urea formaldehyde. When we ask the government of this province to participate in removing that foam, when we ask it to make grants available to repair damages that were done through government fault, we get no action from them.

Mr. Stokes: It is the federal government's fault.

Mr. Boudria: Somebody is saying it is the federal government's fault. It was in the Ontario Building Code as well. It was government fault at both levels, and the failure of this government was not to do proper testing after members of the New Democratic Party advocated testing and verifying of it years ago. Even then, the government was not interested in participating in cleaning up that venture.

As a result, some of our population have no homes in which to stay. Some have had to move out of their houses and install trailers or mobile homes outside their residences. They have had to do this because this government has let them down. This government has given up on Ontario and decided to put its money in Alberta where the action is. I think they will be sorry they used that phrase. They probably are by now. There are not many of them here but some of the government members probably wonder what kind of wisdom --

An hon. member: They are probably where the action is.

Mr. Boudria: Maybe they are where the action is. Some of the government members probably wonder why that cabinet minister made that statement that day. I must agree with them. I do not see why that comment was made.

I was reading a special section of the Toronto Star today called Energy Special, dealing with ways to conserve energy and be more self-sufficient in energy in our homes. It is a laudable section of the newspaper and a great idea. The purpose of the whole thing, of course, is so companies can sell wood stoves and heat pumps, but it is a good idea. Nowhere do I see anybody advocating the purchase of Suncor as a method of improving our energy self-sufficiency. There is not even a Suncor ad in all this. There are all kinds of other things in here like commercials for heat pumps, passive solar equipment and so on, but nowhere does it say we should be buying part of a foreign oil company to achieve self-sufficiency in oil in Ontario.

I have been talking for a long time. I am sure people in the gallery would want to know this as well, although I am not addressing myself to them. I am addressing myself to you, Mr. Speaker, but they have participated somewhat in this debate -- at least one of them has.

We have here what is called -- and I use the word liberally -- the compendium. This is supposed to be what the government used to make the wise decision to spend $650 million of our money. This kit was distributed. It has only a few copies of speeches by Conservative cabinet ministers, a reprint of the national energy program and a statement in this Legislature by the Minister of Energy in October 1980. Is this the basis of the government's acquisition of Suncor? Did they sit around a table, look at previous speeches they made to each other and decide --

Mr. Brandt: Good stuff, those speeches.

Mr. Boudria: They are beautiful speeches. I hope the government used a better rationale than that to buy an oil company, I really do. It is a disgrace to think that is all that constitutes a compendium for probably the largest single acquisition ever made by the government of this province.

The members of this Legislature are vested with the ultimate power of governing this province by the constituents in their respective ridings. But that is all that was provided for probably the largest acquisition the government has ever made. It is making a mockery of the parliamentary system.

5:20 p.m.

This is not a joke. What does the government think they are doing by providing us with a few copies of the Minister of Energy's old speeches of a year ago, which probably most Tory members threw out so they would not have to read them?

An hon. member: They are committed to recycling.

Mr. Boudria: The only energy that is being conserved there is the recycling of that speech, and I guess that saves one sheet of paper.

Very seriously, I do think this government owes this Legislature more than just a few of the speeches of its cabinet ministers. We have been vested with a responsibility, as the member for Sarnia said when he put me back with the emphasis on the right syllable. We have been vested with the ultimate responsibility of governing this province. It is not right to give us that kind of information and say, "Here, you are just opposition; that is all you deserve." Only you, Mr. Speaker, in your nonpartisan way, would understand this is not right. Only you would understand that being a member of this Legislature is far more important and has far greater implications than some of the government cabinet ministers think it has. They think because they have a majority now they do not have to justify anything they do.

What would have happened if these events of the last six months -- not just this event, but all the events in fiscal policy in the last months -- had occurred under a minority government? There is the $10 million jet, this Suncor purchase, the ad valorem tax grant and so forth. Obviously we would have been back at the polls two or three times already. There is no way the majority of the elected members of this great Legislature would think this is the best way to handle tax dollars. It is not just a coincidence that all this is occurring after the election rather than before. It is deliberate: the government is using its power, and it is using the opposition as well. It is using its power to the maximum and a little bit beyond.

Maybe the person who sent me this letter is not aware the government introduced a resolution asking for its interim supply of money 90 minutes before the time allotted for debate ran out. And, of course, time ran out the next day. But 90 minutes is all we had as members of this Legislature to discuss the interim supply of the government, the same interim supply of money that is going to be used to pay for the jet, to pay for Suncor and to pay for all the other things this government will think of in the next three or four months -- things that will probably be just as ridiculous as the ones it thought of in the last three or four months. Perhaps the people do not know that.

Yesterday my very distinguished leader showed in this House the telephone number of the Treasurer to all concerned and to the press -- those who were here; I do not know if there were any. We wanted the people to know that it is not the so-called fault of the opposition if interim supply is delayed. I am certainly not going to tell the government, "Look, guys, you should bring in interim supply with a little bit more time than 90 minutes." That certainly is not my function; it is their function as government.

They should have told us a week or two before, "Look, we are going to have this discussion on interim supply. We want you to be notified now. We can debate it in the House, and there the policies of this government" -- or lack of policies, although they wouldn't say that -- "can be properly aired. We can speak on behalf of our constituencies, and tell the government where redress is in order." That was not done.

This government took the Legislature for granted. That is what happened. At the House leaders' meeting they said, "Oh, by the way, on Friday morning we will bring in a resolution, because we need money to run for the rest of the year." What on earth is this parliament supposed to be for, if it is not to run the affairs of this province? The government just thought, "Oh, well, we will submit a very routine resolution. We need a few billion, and they will okay it. Everybody will nod and we will go home for the weekend and see our families"; which is a very nice thing to do, that is what we all do on the weekend.

Surely something of this magnitude deserves to be debated for more than a few minutes in this Legislature. I am sure the member for Ottawa East, when he heard last week we were only going to debate interim supply for 90 minutes, must have been appalled.

Mr. Roy: I was. I dropped everything I was doing and came right down here.

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, we have it right there; the member was so concerned, he felt this was just not the proper way to handle the affairs of this province.

I know some honourable members on the other side of this House would like to speak on this issue. They would just love to rip into some of those cabinet ministers for some of the things they have been doing. They really wish they had this opportunity. Let me remind my honourable confreres on the other side of the House they do have that power. They are, above all, not Tories. They are, above all, members of the Legislature of Ontario. That is what they are first; everything else comes after.

It is time some of them started to think they are members of the Legislature, not trained seals, and not yes-persons, and not any of those other kinds of things. They are, in this province, the people who were vested with the privilege of representing the constituents in the Legislative Assembly of this province.

One of their roles is to ensure sound financial management of this province. If any of them think this is not sound financial management, as I am sure some of them must think, why can they not stand up and say so? Why can they not stand up and say to the government, to the cabinet minister, even though they are from their own party, "Look, we as well do not think you should get interim supply, until you provide a compendium of information to the Opposition parties, and to us," meaning the back-benchers.

I see the Treasurer is finally coming in. I am glad to see he is here. Maybe he brought the compendium with him, but I see nothing in his hand. I am very disappointed. I thought for sure he would have a proper compendium of information with him.

I thought my speaking in the Legislature on behalf of the people of this province would have moved that member to come in here with the compendium and say, "Look, what you have asked for is only fair and reasonable. As members of this Legislature, you want to know how this province is governed, and that is your right."

It is not a privilege; it is our right as members of this Legislature to know that. The government could provide all that to us. We could terminate the debate shortly thereafter and move on to some other items of business. I am sure that deep down inside the Treasurer feels that way as well. He probably does not even like Suncor. As a matter of fact --

5:30 p.m.

Mr. Kerrio: Oh, he was dead against it.

Mr. Boudria: That is right. I believe that, because he looks like a very reasonable man to me. I am sure he would not want to be party to such a decision. Maybe he was not party to the decision, but a dissenter from the decision. I see some more notes coming onto my desk.


Mr. Boudria: I will be finished in one or two minutes. That is very interesting. The member for York North (Mr. Hodgson) has just walked into this place, sat down for five minutes and asked that our very important conversation be terminated. He has not even been here in this Legislature. He did not even know what we were talking about.

Mr. Wrye: I bet he knows what rate of return Suncor will get.

Mr. Boudria: Yes. If the member is prepared to give us that information, I will gladly sit down and let him provide us with the information that everybody else has refused to give to us. But he does not have it either. He will not stand up to speak against the policies of this government. He will just sit there and not do a thing and hope this thing is got over with as soon as possible so the people will forget it by the time the next election comes around.

Mr. Elston: Government by secrecy.

Mr. Boudria: Yes, but it is not only that. This is a government that introduces very popular measures before an election; all kinds of things -- the BILD program and what have you. Then right after the election it socks it to the taxpayers not only for the ridiculous schemes it is getting into but for the promises it made just before the election so it can pay for them. This is not the way this province should be run. We as a party have discussed this matter very seriously and we have come to the conclusion this government is totally out of touch with the needs of the people of Ontario.

It is terrible to say that Ontario is not where the action is; to come out and tell us that Alberta is where the action is. Can anyone imagine, 10 or 15 years ago before this present administration, if somebody had stood in this Legislature and told us that some other place was where the action was; he or she would have been unanimously booed right out of the place. This is where the action was prior to this government. This is where the action should be. With the next Liberal government in this province, the one we will have after the next election, this province will return to the proper financial management it should have had.

Mr. Mackenzie: Dreamer.

Mr. Boudria: I was called a dreamer by some people when I sought the Liberal nomination and then when I stood in this last election. But the dream, if it can be called a dream, did come true and today I am standing here before members in this great assembly explaining to everybody how I think the people of my constituency feel about the way this government is running Ontario's affairs.

Mr. Roy: You give full value to your constituents.

Mr. Boudria: Thank you very much. But the people of Ontario are not getting full value from this government. They are getting a government that has admitted defeat, a government that has told us it no longer thinks Ontario is a worthwhile place to invest in.

Industries in all areas of the province need assistance. If the government wants to buy into an industry, why does it not buy into an Ontario industry? I guess the government is not interested in alternative energy. If it had been, it would have invested in that.

Assuming it is not, although it should be, why does it not invest in other industries? Why does it not invest in all kinds of other places, whether it be the auto parts industry or agriculture, to try to reduce our food imports from other countries. Why does it not invest more money in that? Why is the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of this province investing the least amount of dollars per capita of any provincial jurisdiction.


Mr. Boudria: Mr. Speaker, I am glad I have your undivided attention, but I am sure my distinguished colleague the member for Essex South (Mr. Mancini) was having an important conversation with you about some matter that deals with the constituents of Essex South. They are well represented in this Legislature by such an honourable member. Maybe you were having a discussion on how we could convince Conservative members in this place to come to grips with the situation so that they too would rise and speak on this issue.

It is rather unusual. We are standing here and speaking against the acquisition of Suncor. The members across the way, of course, are government members. Why are they not standing and speaking in favour of it, if they are in favour of it? If they are in favour, let them speak for it. If they are not, let them speak against it. There is only one position worse than a bad position; that is no position at all, and that is where they are right now. They seem to be devoid of any policy. Whatever the government says, they agree with.


Mr. Boudria: The member for Carleton (Mr. Mitchell) is starting to heckle a little, which is good. I am glad that member is coming to life. I am sure that, when I sit down after finishing my remarks, he will immediately rise and speak on this important issue, either for or against it. I hope he rises and makes a speech of some sort on this topic, even if it is only for four or five minutes.

Mr. Wrye: This week or next week. Keep on talking.

Mr. Roy: You are going to have lots of time.

Mr. Eaton: Glad to see you here today, Albert. It's Tuesday.

The Deputy Speaker: Continuing with the debate.

Mr. Boudria: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I was just grabbing a drink of water. I was not giving an opportunity for other members to get into a private conversation, because I know that would be out of order. I certainly want to be in order. I know that several other members want to speak on this important issue.

I think I have spoken about most of the concerns my constituents have about the fiscal policies of this government. But I want the members to know that, when I go to my riding, there is not one place I go to without my constituents stopping me and saying, "Isn't that terrible about the government doing this and that?" I seldom hear praise for the government.

They stop me on the street. They come to my constituency office. They talk to me about the jet, about the lack of educational facilities, about the lack of services for our francophone community, about all kinds of other things. But I have yet to hear the people of my constituency come to see me and say, "Are we ever pleased that we have such a great agricultural policy." I have never heard that. Why is it we never hear that, Mr. Speaker? Because there is none there; that government just does not have the policy that it should have.

5:40 p.m.

I see in front of me the very distinguished member for Cochrane North (Mr. Piché). He is sitting in his seat, and I am sure he would like to stand as well. He would like to speak on that issue. He would like to say that the people from the north do not want a government that will invest elsewhere. He would want the government to invest in the north.

The only way he is going to get to do that is to stand up in this House and to speak on behalf of his constituents. If it is not permitted to do so on that side of the House, and it does appear that it is not, there is one simple solution. One could just walk right across the floor here and sit down on this side. I promise the member one thing, the members of our caucus let all our members speak on important issues. We, as a caucus, do not try to muzzle our members.

Mr. Hodgson: That is all you have done for the last 40 years.

Mr. Boudria: The member for York North says, "That is all you have done in this caucus for the last 40 years." The member may be right. Maybe we have not been in government for very many years. Maybe we were a little too negative in the last election instead of being -- I cannot think of the right word that would be parliamentary to describe what was done in the advertising by the government. Maybe we were not all of those things and we were negative instead, but we told the people the truth. If I have to tell something other than the truth to get elected, I would rather be defeated.

I told the people the truth in my riding and I got elected. Sooner or later, we will tell the truth to the people all across the province and we will be elected. Instead of having a government by surprise, by secrecy, by public opinion poll, we will have a government that speaks the truth and acts in the best interests of the taxpayers of Ontario. That is the kind of representation this province deserves. That is the kind of representation we intend to give them.

Mr. Piché: This is a sin, what you are doing.

Mr. Boudria: The member for Cochrane North says it is a sin. What is a sin? Is it a sin to stand here and speak on behalf of my constituents? I am going home tonight to see my constituents in the morning. If what I am doing today in this Legislature in speaking on their behalf is a sin, they will tell me tomorrow morning.

I would like them to tell the member for Cochrane North what they think of his actions. Is it not a sin to sit on his hands in this Legislature when one should be speaking on behalf of his constituents? That is an abdication of his responsibility; that is not the kind of thing we are doing in this party.

We think very highly of this great institution, of this Legislature. We do not take it for granted. This is not a sideline or some little club that members go to when there is nothing else to do. This, for us, is where government is. That is the way we feel as a party.

If the government felt the same way, why are they not providing the duly elected people of this province with the compendium of information that we asked for, that we need, that we deserve as members of this Legislature to be able to go back to our constituents and say, "We have allowed the government interim supply because they have satisfied us that they are investing their money properly."

It sounds reasonable, as a member of this Legislature, to go home and tell them: "Yesterday, I voted to give the government money to administer the province because they are administering the money properly; they have proven to us that they are. And having proven that they are administering the funds properly, we are satisfied with that and we let the government have some more money to continue administering."

If the government wanted to muzzle us right now, instead of telling public servants to phone us and send us messages in the House and things like this, they could move the previous question and the thing could be over right after I have finished speaking. They are not prepared to do that.

Could it be that there is still some division within the government caucus and that they themselves want to see that compendium? Could it be that some government members would like us to have that so they can see it too, so that they can go back to their ridings and tell their people that they are satisfied that this government is investing the money properly?

It may be that they could not be satisfied. Maybe that is why the government is not providing that information. Maybe they just cannot properly rationalize this purchase. The other day the member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent) rose and spoke on a very important issue that was not answered by the Treasurer. The member for Grey-Bruce was so convinced of what he was saying that he could not hold back. Unfortunately, he was evicted from this great Legislature. He was so concerned with this very important issue that he just could not hold himself any longer.

That is a sad situation when we see that this government is frustrating this Legislature to that point. The member for Grey-Bruce has principle and, as an elected member, that is what is important; it is not toeing the party line but having principle, and the very distinguished member for Grey-Bruce has principle.

I have just about terminated my speech on this topic. I would like to thank the honourable members who have participated in this debate so far, and I would like to thank the members who have given me their undivided attention on this very important topic.

Now that I have announced I am going to finish my speech, the Minister of Energy is coming in with documents in his hand. I wonder if I have convinced the Minister of Energy to give us a compendium.

I see the minister smiling; I think that is the compendium. If that is the compendium, that is not a victory for the opposition; it is a victory for this Legislature and for the people of Ontario. That is what it is if that is the compendium we have requested. If it is not the compendium, then it is a failure of this government to respect the Legislature of this great province.

Mr. Eaton: That's his speech. If the member thought his speech was long, wait until he hears this one. The minister has a speech even longer than his.

5:50 p.m.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I have my speech written down here on a stamp, but that does not matter.

Mr. Piché: Who wrote your speech for you?

Mr. Martel: I think it was the Treasurer. The Treasury, if one looks at it carefully, is Suncor today and Pinco tomorrow. We are going to call it the People's International Nickel Company of Ontario, with headquarters in Sudbury.


Mr. Martel: I am delighted by the purchase of Suncor. In fact, if I had my way we would move even harder to gain control of resources, because ultimately it would lead to an industrial strategy for Ontario that would be workable --


Mr. Martel: I want to tell the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) something for him and him alone, and maybe he will listen, about the former member for Nipissing -- not the one who was defeated but my good friend the late Dick Smith. When the select committee looked at economic and cultural nationalism and my colleague Ian Deans and I moved in the report on resource ownership that we should have 100 per cent control of resources, Dick Smith said, "Can I join you in signing that dissent?"

If the member wants to go back and look at the report for 1974 on natural resources, he will find in a footnote in that document that Deans, Martel and Smith said that, after we got the Tories to agree to 50 per cent control of resources. I remind my Tory friends that seven of them signed that document: the Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. Leluk), the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Walker), the member for Mississauga South (Mr. Kennedy) -- they were all there, and they were calling for a 50 per cent takeover of the resource sector.


Mr. Martel: I am coming to that. Seven Tories wanted that, and their friend and my friend Dick Smith said, "Fifty per cent is not enough; we have got to have control of it all."

It is interesting that just last year the Ontario Mining Association had a poll done which, I say to the Treasurer, indicated that more than half the people in this province want government involvement in resource ownership. The fact that we did not start in Ontario is a bit bothersome. But I remind the Liberal Party that in 1972 their federal colleagues, under some pressure in a minority government, established Petrocan.

It was a great move for Canada. We are going to gain 50 per cent control of the resource sector, at least in gas. It does not go far enough to suit me and some of my colleagues. Obviously it goes far enough to suit the federal Liberals. But I find it strange that the Ontario Liberals do not want to join us. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Smith) said, "I am moving to the left." But that was two months ago.

Mr. Mancini: Are you with us on this or are you with the Tories?

Mr. Martel: On ownership, I am with the Tories.

Mr. Mancini: Then why are you filibustering?

Mr. Martel: I can remember the leader of the Liberal Party at a policy conference when he said, "I am moving to the left." Well, he meant left of Genghis Khan or Attila the Hun; I am not sure which, but it was not very far to the left.


Mr. Martel: When I listen to the claptrap about resource ownership, I think the Liberals are devoid of policy. I can understand wanting more documentation, and that is why we are joining in; I for one would like to see more. But if I had my way, I would want the documentation not to argue about 25 per cent; I would want the documentation to argue for 51 per cent.

Mr. Kerrio: Where would you get the money?

Mr. Martel: I am no great entrepreneur but, when I look at how corporations do it, they put up a very small portion of their own money and they allow dividends and profits and whatnot to pay for it.


The Deputy Speaker: Speaking to the chair, the member for Sudbury East.

Mr. Martel: I would sell a couple of federal jets.

Mr. Breithaupt: Sell the provincial one too.

Mr. Martel: I have listened about that provincial jet. Last week, the Liberals were going to reforest the whole forest shortage with one jet -- $10 million. The shortage in the resource field and the woods industry is so great that $10 million would not even begin to rectify the problem in the resource sector in forestry. If they think that is going to do it -- and they have spent that $10 million in 47 different ways so far -- I do not know how long they can stretch the elasticity in that $10-million debt.

I know what the government wants it for. They want it for the next election so they do not have to rent a plane, and the Premier can come in, as he did into North Bay, and promise this, that and the other. He flew into Sudbury from North Bay and promised some money for the science centre. Then he jetted off somewhere else and made another promise, to Timmins and then Kapuskasing. If it would only land. If he only had a landing field long enough, he could come in and give away the store.

I am arguing for documentation and asking the minister for it, because I want to argue that we need 51 per cent. If we are going to get the maximum benefits of the federal write-offs to accrue back to this province, surely we should get control. I do not mean 25 per cent; I am talking about absolute control. When we get 25 per cent and provided they can get Canadianization for the next 26 per cent, the largest single block will still be in the United States.

Unless they can get that 51 per cent, with 26 per cent of it divided between a couple of other companies, unless they can get some sort of agreement the 49 per cent in the United States will still be in control. I do not want them to have control, and that is why I stand here arguing that we need the documentation to get a handle, to determine if we are getting a good deal.

I have been here a long time and I have heard cabinet minister after cabinet minister, led by the Treasurer and the former Minister of Natural Resources, say: "You guys want to nationalize everything. You do not know what you are talking about." What are the people opposite doing in the nationalizing field now? They are getting a little red over there. I can see them taking over a loser. When they took over Minaki, everyone knew they bought a loser.

Mr. Piché: Minaki's good for the north and you know it.

Mr. Martel: That issue will come back to haunt you.


The Deputy Speaker: Order.

The House recessed at 6 p.m.